ダニエル書 5

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1 ベルシャザル王は、その大臣一千人のために、盛んな酒宴を設け、その一千人の前で酒を飲んでいた。

2 酒が進んだとき、ベルシャザルは、その父ネブカデネザルがエルサレムの神殿から取ってきた金銀の器を持ってこいと命じた。王とその大臣たち、および王の妻とそばめらが、これをもって酒を飲むためであった。

3 そこで人々はそのエルサレムの神の宮すなわち神殿から取ってきた金銀の器を持ってきたので、王とその大臣たち、および王の妻とそばめらは、これをもって飲んだ。

4 すなわち彼らは酒を飲んで、金、銀、青銅、鉄、木、石などの神々をほめたたえた。

5 すると突然人の手の指があらわれて、燭台と相対する王の宮殿の塗りに物を書いた。王はその物を書いた手の先を見た

6 そのために王の顔色は変り、その心は思い悩んで乱れ、その腰のつがいはゆるみ、ひざは震えて互に打ちあった。

7 王は大声に呼ばわって、法術士、カルデヤびと、占い師らを召してこさせた。王はバビロンの知者たちに告げて言った、「この文字を読み、その解き明かしをわたしに示す者には紫の衣を着せ、首に金の鎖をかけさせて、国の第のつかさとしよう」と。

8 王の知者たちは皆はいってきた。しかしその文字を読むことができず、またその解き明かしを王に示すことができなかったので、

9 ベルシャザル王は大いに思い悩んで、その顔色は変り、王の大臣たちも当惑した。

10 時に王妃は王と大臣たちの言葉を聞いて、その宴会場にはいってきた。そして王妃は言った、「王よ、どうか、とこしえに生きながらえられますように。あなたは心に思い悩んではなりません。また顔色を変えるには及びません。

11 あなたの国には、聖なる神の霊のやどっているひとりの人がおります。あなたの父の代に、彼は、明知、分別および神のような知恵のあることをあらわしました。あなたの父ネブカデネザル王は、彼を立てて、博士、法術士、カルデヤびと、占い師らの長とされました。

12 彼は、王がベルテシャザルという名を与えたダニエルという者ですが、このダニエルには、すぐれた霊、知識、分別があって、夢を解き、なぞを解き、難問を解くことができます。ゆえにダニエルを召しなさい。彼はその解き明かしを示すでしょう」。

13 そこでダニエルは王の前に召された。王はダニエルに言った、「あなたは、わが父の王が、ユダからひきつれてきたユダの捕囚のひとりなのか。

14 聞くところによると、あなたのうちには、聖なる神の霊がやどっていて、明知、分別および非凡な知恵があるそうだ。

15 わたしは、知者、法術士らを、わが前に召しよせて、この文字を読ませ、その解き明かしを示させようとしたが、彼らは、この事の解き明かしを示すことができなかった。

16 しかしまた聞くところによると、あなたは解き明かしをなし、かつ難問を解くことができるそうだ。それで、あなたがもし、この文字を読み、その解き明かしをわたしに示すことができたなら、あなたに紫の衣を着せ、金の鎖を首にかけさせて、この国の第のつかさとしよう」。

17 ダニエルは王の前に答えて言った、「あなたの賜物は、あなたご自身にとっておき、あなたの贈り物は、他人にお与えください。それでも、わたしは王のためにその文字を読み、その解き明かしをお知らせいたしましょう。

18 王よ、いと高き神はあなたの父ネブカデネザルに国と権勢と、光栄と尊厳とを賜いました。

19 彼に権勢を賜わったことによって、諸民、諸族、諸国語の者はみな、彼の前におののき恐れました。彼は自分の欲する者を殺し、自分の欲する者を生かし、自分の欲する者を上げ、自分の欲する者を下しました。

20 しかし彼は心に高ぶり、かたくなになり、ごうまんにふるまったので、王位からしりぞけられ、その光栄を奪われ、

21 追われて世の人と離れ、その思いは獣のようになり、そのすまいは野ろばと共にあり、牛のように草を食い、その身は天からくだる露にぬれ、こうしてついに彼は、いと高き神が人間の国を治めて、自分の意のままに人を立てられるということを、知るようになりました。

22 ベルシャザルよ、あなたは彼の子であって、この事をことごとく知っていながら、なお心を低くせず、

23 かえって天の主にむかって、みずから高ぶり、その宮の器物をあなたの前に持ってこさせ、あなたとあなたの大臣たちと、あなたの妻とそばめたちは、それをもって酒を飲み、そしてあなたは見ることも、聞くことも、物を知ることもできない金、銀、青銅、鉄、木、石の神々をほめたたえたが、あなたの命をその手ににぎり、あなたのすべての道をつかさどられる神をあがめようとはしなかった。

24 それゆえ、彼の前からこの手が出てきて、この文字が書きしるされたのです。

25 そのしるされた文字はこうです。メネ、メネ、テケル、ウパルシン。

26 その事の解き明かしはこうです、メネは神があなたの治世を数えて、これをその終りに至らせたことをいうのです。

27 テケルは、あなたがはかりで量られて、その量の足りないことがあらわれたことをいうのです。

28 ペレスは、あなたの国が分かたれて、メデアとペルシャの人々に与えられることをいうのです」。

29 そこでベルシャザルは命じて、ダニエルに紫の衣を着せ、金の鎖をその首にかけさせ、彼について布告を発して、彼は国の第のつかさであると言わせた。

30 カルデヤびとの王ベルシャザルは、その夜のうちに殺され、

31 メデアびとダリヨスが、その国を受けた。この時ダリヨスは、おおよそ六十二歳であった。

  

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The Feast of Belshazzar      

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

Belshazzar's Feast, by Rembrandt, showing the handwriting on the wall

This chapter begins with Belshazzar's feast for his friends. Belshazzar is presented in this chapter as the son of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. His name tells us something about him, for Belshazzar in the original Chaldean language means 'Bel Protect the King.' 'Bel' was a Babylonian god, so this name is about the relationship of the kingly, or ruling loves in a person, and the love of selfishness and dominion from that described by the god of the Babylonians.

Belshazzar has a similar spiritual relationship to Nebuchadnezzar as the Lord Jesus Christ had to the Father. In the case of the Lord, His human set forth the Divine, making it present for all people to see. In the case of Belshazzar, he set forth the love of selfishness, Nebuchadnezzar, for all the world to see. Belshazzar represents the external manifestation of the deepest feelings of selfishness, translated first into thoughts, then actions.

The story of Daniel is about the power of truth changing us from being self-centered to being regenerated. Each person has a Nebuchadnezzar side, and also a Daniel side. In previous chapters, we see Daniel's impact on Nebuchadnezzar. So truth impacts our lives. When we begin the process of change, we follow the order given in chapters two, three, four, and five. Truth is first an intellectual idea which, in time, affects our will. To change, we must be willing to undergo the temptations described in chapter four, but for this to happen, we need to judge our behavior. This is the feast, where actions are judged and those incompatible with conscience are cast out.

Belshazzar commanded the vessels brought so that the guests could drink from them. To drink wine from them means drawing teachings from the Word that one needs to live properly (Apocalypse Explained 376). Before our minds are clear of selfishness, we may go to the Word for guidance. But we are not looking to be lead to the good of life, but to support the selfishness within. This is not unusual with people first introduced to the truths of the Word: as they learn, they may find that the teachings seem to support some of their attitudes, rather than undermine faults. We can see this in Belshazzar's use of the vessels: he did not treat them with respect, but profaned them. Sharing the vessels with his lords, his wives, and concubines shows the various thoughts and affections still tied to selfishness which guided him.

As the king and his guests drank from the holy vessels, they showed their true allegiance: they worshiped gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, compounding their profanation. Profanation is when the sacred and profane are brought together. One cannot believe the Word is holy, and mock it at the same time. No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

For a complete explanation of the different materials of the profane idols, see the explanation of the statue from Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2. The differences between the two rests in materials of the legs and feet, but in the internal sense, these differences disappear.

Amid this debauchery, a vision took place: the fingers of a man's hand appeared on the wall and wrote words in an unknown language. Belshazzar's fear reflects our own when it suddenly dawns on us that the activities of our life are in conflict with the very things we hold to be true. The conflict between good and evil within us is brought down to the level of our daily lives. The effect can be frightening: it is the realization of our shortcomings. Yet often, before the issues become clear, we feel a sense of unease, a feeling of dissatisfaction at the way our lives are going.

This vague feeling is Belshazzar's inability to read the words written upon the wall. They frightened him, but he did not know what they meant. Like us, he turned to the familiar, comforting voices which usually explained the unknown to him: the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the Chaldeans. These 'wise men' represent the thought patterns we have when our lives are disturbed: we look inwards to our usual justifications. Thus we blame others for our state of mind, or credit it to misfortune, without ever really going to the source of what is bothering us.

Belshazzar promised his soothsayers three distinct things:

"Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

The angels of the celestial heaven wear crimson clothes (Divine Love and Wisdom 380, True Christian Religion 686) as an expression of their love to the Lord. Clothing signifies knowledge (Heaven and Hell 179, Arcana Coelestia 1073, 2576, 5319, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536) so 'clothing of purple' represents knowledges about love to the Lord. But because Belshazzar is selfishness, the knowledge he offered represents re-establishing selfish love as the ruling principle in our minds. In addition to the purple garments, he offered chains of gold. As we have seen before, gold represents goodness from the Lord. But in this case, the 'goodness' originates in selfishness. The final promise is power. The characteristic of the love of self is the lust for power. Nebuchadnezzar extended his natural kingdom across the earth, as selfishness extends its power throughout our lives.

Unsurprisingly, the 'wise men' could not read the writing on the wall. When we are unhappy because of our selfishness, no thoughts from selfishness will set us straight. If we know that what we are doing is wrong, and yet make excuses for our behavior, we will find little or no comfort in these justifications—they are a part of the problem.

So the queen suggested to Belshazzar that he call Daniel. To convince him of Daniel's worth, she uses terms that describe the quality of a conscience formed from the truths of the Word. 'The Spirit of the Holy God' is the truth from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 183), where conscience is formed. Divine truth in the mind brings spiritual light (True Christian Religion 40) giving first understanding, and then wisdom. Conscience draws its being from the Divine truths from the Lord. The Babylonian 'wise men' all represent the various thoughts of a selfish mind. As the conscience is formed, it begins to take precedence over these thoughts, until it rules. So a person regenerating intellectually thinks from truth, but may still act from selfishness.

The queen's pleas made an impact on Belshazzar, and Daniel was brought before him. The king offered Daniel the same gifts he offered his wise men and astrologers. Daniel, of course, could not accept these, in much the same way, years before, he had been unable to accept food from Nebuchadnezzar's table. To accept the garments of purple, chains of gold, and a position of power in the kingdom was meaningless to Daniel. He was already, after all, in a position of power. Conscience does not need to be bribed: it stands firm and alone in our minds.

Daniel began his interpretation of the Writing on the Wall with a brief history of Nebuchadnezzar, as a summary of the progression of selfishness. He began with the fact that Nebuchadnezzar received his kingdom of from God. In chapter 1, we are told that 'the Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand.' This implies that not only was the Lord responsible for the siege of Jerusalem, but for all of Nebuchadnezzar's other victories. This verse reinforces that concept: Nebuchadnezzar's success was because of the Lord.

Daniel voiced the words of judgment eloquently: Belshazzar had not humbled his heart, he had lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven. He used the vessels of the Lord's temple to worship gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, yet he does not know that the Lord holds his life in His hand.

These well-spoken words of judgment are as much an indictment on us as they were on Belshazzar. Often we know the truths of the Word, we wrestle with them in our minds, we allow them to direct our feelings, and yet we do nothing about them. Spiritual procrastination is one of life's greatest dangers. As long as we put off spiritual progress, and wallow in the comfort of selfishness, as long as we hang onto old prejudices and attitudes, and habitual thinking, we are using the Lord's Word as a way of worshiping false idols. What needs to change in us are our loves, our attitudes. As these change, our external behavior must be brought into alignment with them.

Having chastised Belshazzar, Daniel began to explain the writing on the wall. He began by stressing that the fingers that wrote 'were sent by Him,' meaning the 'Most High God' who gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom, majesty and glory. While Nebuchadnezzar had humbled himself before the Lord, Belshazzar had not. In the historical sense, it was important for Daniel to stress the relationship between what happened to Nebuchadnezzar and what would happen to Belshazzar.

The judgment, from the power of the Lord, lay in the words written on the wall: 'mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.' Four words in an unknown language that could only be interpreted by Daniel. Thus we see how our conscience, drawn as it is from the teachings of the Word, is the root of our resistance to evil.

Daniel begins by explaining 'mene' saying: 'God has numbered your kingdom and found it wanting.' To number means to know the quality of something. This is why Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem 'in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim,' and dreamed of the great statue 'in the second year' of his own reign.

The word 'mene' means the process of self-examination. There is no indication why the word is repeated twice; perhaps it indicates the need for an examination of acts flowing from both our will and our understanding—our actions from an inner love for them, and actions from a sense of duty.

The third word on the wall is 'Tekel,' which Daniel told Belshazzar means: 'You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.' When we examine ourselves, it is from truth: we judge how we compare to the truth. The next step is to assess our feelings. Thus 'one should be found wanting.'

Daniel interprets the final word of the four to mean 'your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.' This literally happened to Belshazzar, but in the internal sense, to divide means to disperse and expel (Apocalypse Explained 373, Arcana Coelestia 9093). This is the third stage of repentance: when a person has examined self, found one's self wanting, and is willing to change, the next step is to separate the evil from ourselves, and to expel it from our lives. It is only in this way that we can be cleansed of evil.

This is an indication of how our lives should progress: no man can serve two masters, the Lord said, we cannot serve God and mammon. We cannot serve self and be ruled by the conscience at the same time. One must increase and the other decrease. By giving Daniel these gifts in the face of the imminent end of his kingdom, Belshazzar shows us how the conscience must increase, while selfishness as the root of our evil must decrease.

Thus it happened that on that very night, Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain, and Darius the Mede received the throne, being about sixty-two years old.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326

Apocalypse Explained 587, 1029

Apocalypse Revealed 717

The Last Judgement 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 176

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 1183, 3079, 3104, 5223, 8932, 9093, 9818, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 313, 316, 364, 459, 913

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

Doctrine of the Lord 48

天界と地獄 365

True Christian Religion 156, 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 183, 220, 242, 373, 376, 453

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 Belshazzar's Feast
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Belshazzar’s Feast
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Belshazzar’s Feast (3-5 years)
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 Belshazzar’s Feast (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Belshazzar’s Feast (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
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