Daniel 4

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1 Nebukadnezar, der König, allen Völkern, Völkerschaften und Sprachen, die auf der ganzen Erde wohnen: Friede euch in Fülle!

2 Es hat mir gefallen, die Zeichen und Wunder kundzutun, welche der höchste Gott an mir getan hat.

3 Wie groß sind seine Zeichen, und wie mächtig seine Wunder! Sein Reich ist ein ewiges Reich, und seine Herrschaft währt von Geschlecht zu Geschlecht! -

4 Ich, Nebukadnezar, war ruhig in meinem Hause und hatte Gedeihen in meinem Palaste.

5 Ich sah einen Traum, er erschreckte mich; und Gedanken auf meinem Lager und Gesichte meines Hauptes ängstigten mich.

6 Und von mir wurde Befehl gegeben, alle Weisen von Babel vor mich zu führen, auf daß sie mir die Deutung des Traumes kundtäten.

7 Alsdann kamen die Schriftgelehrten, die Beschwörer, die Chaldäer und die Wahrsager herbei; und ich trug ihnen den Traum vor, aber sie taten mir seine Deutung nicht kund.

8 Und zuletzt trat vor mich Daniel, dessen Name Beltsazar ist, nach dem Namen meines Gottes, und in welchem der Geist der heiligen Götter ist; und ich trug ihm den Traum vor:

9 "Beltsazar, du Oberster der Schriftgelehrten, da ich weiß, daß der Geist der heiligen Götter in dir ist, und daß kein Geheimnis dir zu schwer ist, so sage mir die Gesichte meines Traumes, den ich gesehen habe, und seine Deutung.

10 Was nun die Gesichte meines Hauptes auf meinem Lager betrifft, so sah ich: und siehe, ein Baum stand mitten auf der Erde, und seine Höhe war gewaltig.

11 Der Baum wurde groß und stark, und seine Höhe reichte bis an den Himmel, und er wurde gesehen bis an das Ende der ganzen Erde;

12 sein Laub war schön und seine Frucht zahlreich, und es war Nahrung an ihm für alle; die Tiere des Feldes fanden Schatten unter ihm, und die Vögel des Himmels wohnten in seinen Zweigen, und alles Fleisch nährte sich von ihm.

13 Ich schaute in den Gesichten meines Hauptes auf meinem Lager, und siehe, ein Wächter und Heiliger stieg vom Himmel hernieder.

14 Er rief mit Macht und sprach also: Hauet den Baum um und schneidet seine Zweige weg; streifet sein Laub ab und streuet seine Frucht umher! Die Tiere unter ihm sollen wegfliehen und die Vögel aus seinen Zweigen!

15 Doch seinen Wurzelstock lasset in der Erde, und zwar in Fesseln von Eisen und Erz, im Grase des Feldes; und von dem Tau des Himmels werde er benetzt, und mit den Tieren habe er teil an dem Kraut der Erde.

16 Sein menschliches Herz werde verwandelt und das Herz eines Tieres ihm gegeben; und sieben Zeiten sollen über ihm vergehen.

17 Durch Beschluß der Wächter ist dieser Ausspruch, und ein Befehl der Heiligen ist diese Sache: auf daß die Lebenden erkennen, daß der Höchste über das Königtum der Menschen herrscht und es verleiht, wem er will, und den Niedrigsten der Menschen darüber bestellt.

18 Diesen Traum habe ich, der König Nebukadnezar, gesehen; und du, Beltsazar, sage seine Deutung, da alle Weisen meines Königreichs mir die Deutung nicht kundzutun vermögen; du aber vermagst es, weil der Geist der heiligen Götter in dir ist."

19 Da entsetzte sich Daniel, dessen Name Beltsazar ist, eine Zeitlang, und seine Gedanken ängstigten ihn. Der König hob an und sprach: Beltsazar, der Traum und seine Deutung ängstige dich nicht. Beltsazar antwortete und sprach: Mein Herr, der Traum gelte deinen Hassern und seine Deutung deinen Feinden!

20 Der Baum, den du gesehen hast, der groß und stark wurde, dessen Höhe an den Himmel reichte, und der über die ganze Erde hin gesehen wurde;

21 und dessen Laub schön und dessen Frucht zahlreich, und an welchem Nahrung war für alle; unter welchem die Tiere des Feldes wohnten, und in dessen Zweigen die Vögel des Himmels sich aufhielten:

22 das bist du, o König, der du groß und stark geworden bist; und deine Größe wuchs und reichte bis an den Himmel, und deine Herrschaft bis an das Ende der Erde.

23 Und daß der König einen Wächter und Heiligen vom Himmel herniedersteigen sah, welcher sprach: Hauet den Baum um und verderbet ihn! Doch seinen Wurzelstock lasset in der Erde, und zwar in Fesseln von Eisen und Erz, im Grase des Feldes; und von dem Tau des Himmels werde er benetzt, und er habe sein Teil mit den Tieren des Feldes, bis sieben Zeiten über ihm vergehen-

24 dies ist die Deutung, o König, und dies der Beschluß des Höchsten, der über meinen Herrn, den König, kommen wird:

25 Man wird dich von den Menschen ausstoßen, und bei den Tieren des Feldes wird deine Wohnung sein; und man wird dir Kraut zu essen geben, wie den Rindern, und dich vom Tau des Himmels benetzt werden lassen; und es werden sieben Zeiten über dir vergehen, bis du erkennst, daß der Höchste über das Königtum der Menschen herrscht und es verleiht, wem er will.

26 Und daß man gesagt hat, den Wurzelstock des Baumes zu lassen, dein Königtum wird dir wieder werden, sobald du erkannt haben wirst, daß die Himmel herrschen.

27 Darum, o König, laß dir meinen Rat gefallen, und brich mit deinen Sünden durch Gerechtigkeit und mit deinen Missetaten durch Barmherzigkeit gegen Elende, wenn deine Wohlfahrt Dauer haben soll.

28 Alles das kam über den König Nebukadnezar.

29 Nach Verlauf von zwölf Monaten wandelte er umher auf dem königlichen Palaste zu Babel;

30 und der König hob an und sprach: Ist das nicht das große Babel, welches ich zum königlichen Wohnsitz erbaut habe durch die Stärke meiner Macht und zu Ehren meiner Herrlichkeit?

31 Noch war das Wort im Munde des Königs, da kam eine Stimme vom Himmel herab: Dir, König Nebukadnezar, wird gesagt: Das Königtum ist von dir gewichen!

32 Und man wird dich von den Menschen ausstoßen, und bei den Tieren des Feldes wird deine Wohnung sein, und man wird dir Kraut zu essen geben wie den Rindern; und es werden sieben Zeiten über dir vergehen, bis du erkennst, daß der Höchste über das Königtum der Menschen herrscht und es verleiht, wem er will.

33 In demselben Augenblick wurde das Wort über Nebukadnezar vollzogen; und er wurde von den Menschen ausgestoßen, und er aß Kraut wie die Rinder, und sein Leib ward benetzt von dem Tau des Himmels, bis sein Haar wuchs gleich Adlerfedern und seine Nägel gleich Vogelkrallen.

34 Und am Ende der Tage erhob ich, Nebukadnezar, meine Augen zum Himmel, und mein Verstand kam mir wieder; und ich pries den Höchsten, und ich rühmte und verherrlichte den ewig Lebenden, dessen Herrschaft eine ewige Herrschaft ist, und dessen Reich von Geschlecht zu Geschlecht währt.

35 Und alle Bewohner der Erde werden wie nichts geachtet, und nach seinem Willen tut er mit dem Heere des Himmels und mit den Bewohnern der Erde; und da ist niemand, der seiner Hand wehren und zu ihm sagen könnte: Was tust du?

36 Zur selben Zeit kam mir mein Verstand wieder, und zur Ehre meines Königtums kamen meine Herrlichkeit und mein Glanz mir wieder; und meine Räte und meine Gewaltigen suchten mich auf, und ich wurde wieder in mein Königtum eingesetzt, und ausnehmende Größe wurde mir hinzugefügt.

37 Nun rühme ich, Nebukadnezar, und erhebe und verherrliche den König des Himmels, dessen Werke allesamt Wahrheit und dessen Wege Recht sind, und der zu erniedrigen vermag, die in Hoffart wandeln.

  
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Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew M. T. Dibb

Floor mosaic of a the Tree of Life (as a pomegranite) from the Big Basilica at Heraclea Lyncestis. Bitola, Macedonia.

In the Book of Daniel, Chapter Four is narrated, after the events of the chapter, by a much-changed Nebuchadnezzar. In the internal sense, the story shows both the Lord's mercy in leading us, and also the depths of despair to which we sink before we willingly open our minds to the Lord and pray for His leadership.

At the beginning of the story, Nebuchadnezzar's idleness imitates the sense of complacency when things seem to be going right, when no temptations darken our skies, and essential selfishness asserts itself once again. Our mind is its house, its palace. We come into this state after a temptation or battle against our sense of selfishness, when we put the struggle aside and rest on our laurels. We are oblivious to the fact that regeneration is an ongoing state, that one temptation succeeds another, and that once conscience has been established in our thought processes, it will not be too long before the lethargy of selfishness is challenged.

While Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in his house, he had a disturbing dream, one unknown to him. As before when he did not understand his dreams, he called the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans and the soothsayers, who, once again, could not interpret the dream.

Often we feel that we face the same temptations over and over again. We might wonder if we will ever regenerate. This is because we fall into a state of selfishness, represented by the king at rest. But when we encounter resistance to that selfishness, we turn back to all our old thought patterns to help us.

Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar called Daniel to tell him his dream. As he recounts the story after the seven years of illness, he uses the words he had spoken before. He addresses Daniel as Belteshazzar, because that is how he saw him before the temptation. Even so, he recognized the presence of the Spirit of the Holy God within him, acknowledging Daniel's power to explain dreams and give interpretations.

The king's second dream took the image of a great tree, planted in the earth, so high it could be seen from the ends of the earth. This parallels the image of the great statue, whose head was gold. As we saw earlier, this image represents the initial state of perfection, followed by a decline as a person turns away from this ideal. The statue shows how self love takes dominance in our lives if unchecked, and brings us into a final state of spiritual destruction.

In this new dream, the tree in the midst of the earth is a reference to the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Both trees symbolize wisdom. The Tree of Life represented the perception the Most Ancient people had from love (Arcana Coelestia 103), but Nebuchadnezzar's tree is from the love of self and the different perceptions people have when motivated by that love (Apocalypse Explained 1029:6).

But when Nebuchadnezzar saw the tree in his dream, it was lovely. Everything in the dream which normally has a good and beautiful significance, instead takes on a negative meaning. The leaves and flowers, which should have been a picture of guiding truths (Arcana Coelestia 9553), represent the opposite, as the falsities which mislead us. We saw how the king called his false guides: the magicians, soothsayers, astrologers, and Chaldeans.

The birds represent the false thoughts from selfishness (Arcana Coelestia 5149). These give credence to selfishness, to justify it and find new ways to express it. So the tree takes on an intellectual picture of the selfish mind. But the mind is made up of both intellect and emotion. There were also beasts sheltering under the tree representing the things we care about.

When selfishness rules in us, just as Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon, all the lesser loves take their cue from this leading love. Thus the beasts of the field, were drawn to the tree for food and shelter.

After this scene is set, Nebuchadnezzar sees "a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven." The introduction of the indescribable watcher is the turning point in the dream, marking the beginning of the end for this marvel reaching up to heaven.

In a state of selfishness, we are spiritually asleep, just as Nebuchadnezzar was asleep when he dreamed. But the Lord never sleeps. Truth in our minds is always vigilant, looking for ways of bringing itself to our consciousness to lead us out of our selfish state. Just as everything seemed right in Nebuchadnezzar's world, he became aware of a watcher—the truth.

In an instant, the king's serenity was changed: a force greater than himself commanded the destruction of the tree, and there was nothing he could do about it. These words make it clear just how vulnerable our selfish states are. At their height, they seem so powerful, but in the face of truth they are shown for the sordid little nothings they are. Truth has the power to expose evil, and we should not be afraid to allow it to do so in our own lives. To stand indicted of selfishness is not the end of life, as it may feel, but the beginning of a new life of liberation.

But we still need some sense of self. There is nothing wrong with being concerned with our own well-being; it is vital to our lives. Selfishness is a part of us, but it needs to be kept under control, subordinated to the higher loves of serving the Lord and our neighbor.

This is why the watcher did not order the complete destruction of the tree: the stump is all that is left of a rampant selfishness, the bands of iron and brass represent thoughts and feelings which originate in selfishness, which can be used to keep it under control (Apocalypse Explained 650:32).

Finally, with the tree destroyed, Nebuchadnezzar himself had to be changed. The watcher commanded that the king is given the heart of an animal for seven years. In substance abuse recovery programs, it is said that an addict cannot change until they hit rock-bottom—when they realize the full necessity of change. In spiritual life, this rock bottom is a point at which we almost lose our humanity, we are so dominated by selfishness, greed and the lust of dominion that we lose our ability to think rationally. We become animals. The difference between humans and animals is our ability to think and act in freedom. Self-love destroys that freedom, thus destroying all humanity within us.

In this prophesy, we see a descent: from man, to beast, to ox. People are human because they are created in the image and likeness of the Lord. Thus human beings have the ability to think and act according to reason. This is the essence of our humanity (Arcana Coelestia 477, 2305, 4051, 585, 1555). When these are in tune with truth and goodness from the Lord, then we are truly human, because the image of the Lord is in us.

So again, we see this slide from an ideal to a lesser state: from man, the king became a beast. From rationality and freedom, he entered slavery. This fall appears earlier in the Word: when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they were cast out.

Finally he was told that he would eat grass like oxen. In a positive sense, oxen represent our affections (Arcana Coelestia 5198, 5642, 6357), or our love of the things of this world. But the opposite meaning of 'ox' is the perversion of goodness (Arcana Coelestia 9083), and the affection for injuring others (Arcana Coelestia 9094).

This humbling of the king represents the proper use of the love of self, and shows that the Lord does not eradicate it, because it is the foundation of true relationships with other people and the Lord Himself. But before it can become useful, selfishness needs to be converted into a humbled love of self, and we must return from the ox state.

As Daniel explained the meaning of the dream, he offered the king counsel: 'break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.' This is the next step in spiritual awareness. Seeing our selfishness, coupled with an increased awareness of the Lord, we reach the point where thoughts must become actions. At first glance, the concept of 'sins and iniquities' may seem redundant. But in the Word, pairs of synonymous words reflect two internal senses: the celestial and the spiritual (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 80). The celestial relates broadly to goodness, and the spiritual to truth. Together they make one.

Daniel's advice to Nebuchadnezzar is to repent. Repentance is the only way out of the quicksand of selfishness. The Lord taught that we should love one another as He loves us (John 13:34, John 15:12). To love ourselves alone, and to wish to control others is not in keeping with the Lord's teachings. The only solution is to listen to the voice of our conscience and allow ourselves to be guided by the truth.

In spite of everything, Nebuchadnezzar's pride was not reduced. As he walked around his palace, his heart was filled with pride: 'is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?'

A selfish person believes that everything they own or have accomplished is by their own power. There is no place for God or anyone else. When people do not listen to the Lord's teachings and reject His counsel, there is nothing the Lord can do but allow the person to reap the consequences of their choice.

The king remained in this ox-state until seven times passed over him, which illustrates that the Lord leaves us in this state until it runs its course. Sometimes it takes us a lifetime to see how our selfishness hurts others, and ourselves. Yet the Lord never leaves us. The promise of the root of the tree, bound with bands of iron and bronze is always there. The Lord works unceasingly to bring our selfishness under control until it can serve the higher loves of our neighbor and the Lord Himself.

Forgiveness begins in the recognition that we are in sin. In his ox-like state, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his eyes to heaven. Eyes represent understanding (Arcana Coelestia 2975, 3863), and to lift them to heaven is to lift our understanding to the truths the Lord has given us. The king had been given some truths in his dreams and in the interpretation of them. He knew from Daniel's advice that he needed to repent and change his ways. As he did so, his understanding and appreciation of the Lord grew. He realized how small he was in the grand scheme of things. The inflated ego of selfishness was deflated by the recognition that all things had been given to him by the Lord.

His story is our story. We each build our empires in one way or another. We hold the power of life and death over others in a figurative sense—do we not decide who we like and dislike, who is admitted out our 'inner circle' and who is beyond the pale? The warnings the Lord gave to Nebuchadnezzar apply to us, and like the king, we can also ignore them. The consequences in our lives are the same, as we are reduced to a merely animal-being, wet with the dew of heaven.

Yet can we hear the Lord's voice calling, for unless we do, we will remain in that state. Can we lift our eyes to heaven and search for the truth leading to the greatest declaration one can make, provided it is done with the heart and not with the lips:

Now I … praise and extol and honor the king of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and his ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to abase.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Revealed 717

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 175


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Die Himmlischen Geheimnisse 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 1326, 3301, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 47, 60, 158, 173, 474, 567, 757, ...

Die Lehre vom Herrn 40, 48

Vom Jüngsten Gericht 54

Wahre Christliche Religion 93, 644


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 204, 257, 650, 662, 1029, 1100

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

An Invitation to the New Church 22

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 30, 31

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Významy biblických slov

Nebukadnezar
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of the Babylonian empire. His fiery furnace and his dreams of the great tree and of the great statue are...

mächtig
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

sah
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

wahrsager
'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

Daniel
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

gesehen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

unter
In the Bible, things that are lower down, or under, physically, generally represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases, the...

sprach
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

gerechtigkeit
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

ewig
It is hard for us to conceive this, but time does not exist in spiritual reality. Time is an aspect of physical reality that no...

sagen
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

wahrheit
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

Wege
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

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