Daniel 4

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1 Ego Nabuchodonosor quietus eram in domo mea, et florens in palatio meo :

2 somnium vidi, quod perterruit me : et cogitationes meæ in strato meo, et visiones capitis mei conturbaverunt me.

3 Et per me propositum est decretum ut introducerentur in conspectu meo cuncti sapientes Babylonis, et ut solutionem somnii indicarent mihi.

4 Tunc ingrediebantur arioli, magi, Chaldæi, et aruspices, et somnium narravi in conspectu eorum : et solutionem ejus non indicaverunt mihi,

5 donec collega ingressus est in conspectu meo Daniel, cui nomen Baltassar secundum nomen dei mei, qui habet spiritum deorum sanctorum in semetipso : et somnium coram ipso locutus sum.

6 Baltassar, princeps ariolorum, quoniam ego scio quod spiritum sanctorum deorum habeas in te, et omne sacramentum non est impossibile tibi : visiones somniorum meorum, quas vidi, et solutionem earum narra.

7 Visio capitis mei in cubili meo : videbam, et ecce arbor in medio terræ, et altitudo ejus nimia.

8 Magna arbor, et fortis, et proceritas ejus contingens cælum : aspectus illius erat usque ad terminos universæ terræ.

9 Folia ejus pulcherrima, et fructus ejus nimius : et esca universorum in ea. Subter eam habitabant animalia et bestiæ, et in ramis ejus conversabantur volucres cæli : et ex ea vescebatur omnis caro.

10 Videbam in visione capitis mei super stratum meum, et ecce vigil, et sanctus, de cælo descendit.

11 Clamavit fortiter, et sic ait : Succidite arborem, et præcidite ramos ejus : excutite folia ejus, et dispergite fructus ejus : fugiant bestiæ, quæ subter eam sunt, et volucres de ramis ejus.

12 Verumtamen germen radicum ejus in terra sinite, et alligetur vinculo ferreo et æreo in herbis quæ foris sunt, et rore cæli tingatur, et cum feris pars ejus in herba terræ.

13 Cor ejus ab humano commutetur, et cor feræ detur ei : et septem tempora mutentur super eum.

14 In sententia vigilum decretum est, et sermo sanctorum, et petitio : donec cognoscant viventes quoniam dominatur Excelsus in regno hominum, et cuicumque voluerit, dabit illud, et humillimum hominem constituet super eum.

15 Hoc somnium vidi ego Nabuchodonosor rex : tu ergo Baltassar interpretationem narra festinus, quia omnes sapientes regni mei non queunt solutionem edicere mihi : tu autem potes, quia spiritus deorum sanctorum in te est.

16 Tunc Daniel, cujus nomen Baltassar, cœpit intra semetipsum tacitus cogitare quasi una hora : et cogitationes ejus conturbabant eum. Respondens autem rex, ait : Baltassar, somnium et interpretatio ejus non conturbent te. Respondit Baltassar, et dixit : Domine mi, somnium his, qui te oderunt, et interpretatio ejus hostibus tuis sit.

17 Arborem, quam vidisti sublimem atque robustam, cujus altitudo pertingit ad cælum, et aspectus illius in omnem terram ;

18 et rami ejus pulcherrimi, et fructus ejus nimius, et esca omnium in ea, subter eam habitantes bestiæ agri, et in ramis ejus commorantes aves cæli :

19 tu es rex, qui magnificatus es, et invaluisti : et magnitudo tua crevit, et pervenit usque ad cælum, et potestas tua in terminos universæ terræ.

20 Quod autem vidit rex vigilem, et sanctum descendere de cælo, et dicere : Succidite arborem, et dissipate illam, attamen germen radicum ejus in terra dimittite, et vinciatur ferro et ære in herbis foris, et rore cæli conspergatur, et cum feris sit pabulum ejus, donec septem tempora mutentur super eum :

21 hæc est interpretatio sententiæ Altissimi, quæ pervenit super dominum meum regem,

22 Ejicient te ab hominibus, et cum bestiis ferisque erit habitatio tua, et fœnum ut bos comedes, et rore cæli infunderis : septem quoque tempora mutabuntur super te, donec scias quod dominetur Excelsus super regnum hominum, et cuicumque voluerit, det illud.

23 Quod autem præcepit ut relinqueretur germen radicum ejus, id est arboris : regnum tuum tibi manebit postquam cognoveris potestatem esse cælestem.

24 Quam ob rem, rex, consilium meum placeat tibi, et peccata tua eleemosynis redime, et iniquitates tuas misericordiis pauperum : forsitan ignoscet delictis tuis.

25 Omnia hæc venerunt super Nabuchodonosor regem.

26 Post finem mensium duodecim, in aula Babylonis deambulabat.

27 Responditque rex, et ait : Nonne hæc est Babylon magna, quam ego ædificavi in domum regni, in robore fortitudinis meæ, et in gloria decoris mei ?

28 Cumque sermo adhuc esset in ore regis, vox de cælo ruit : Tibi dicitur, Nabuchodonosor rex : Regnum tuum transibit a te,

29 et ab hominibus ejicient te, et cum bestiis et feris erit habitatio tua : fœnum quasi bos comedes, et septem tempora mutabuntur super te, donec scias quod dominetur Excelsus in regno hominum, et cuicumque voluerit, det illud.

30 Eadem hora sermo completus est super Nabuchodonosor, et ex hominibus abjectus est, et fœnum ut bos comedit, et rore cæli corpus ejus infectum est, donec capilli ejus in similitudinem aquilarum crescerent, et ungues ejus quasi avium.

31 Igitur post finem dierum, ego Nabuchodonosor oculos meos ad cælum levavi, et sensus meus redditus est mihi : et Altissimo benedixi, et viventem in sempiternum laudavi et glorificavi : quia potestas ejus potestas sempiterna, et regnum ejus in generationem et generationem.

32 Et omnes habitatores terræ apud eum in nihilum reputati sunt : juxta voluntatem enim suam facit tam in virtutibus cæli quam in habitatoribus terræ : et non est qui resistat manui ejus, et dicat ei : Quare fecisti ?

33 In ipso tempore sensus meus reversus est ad me, et ad honorem regni mei, decoremque perveni : et figura mea reversa est ad me, et optimates mei et magistratus mei requisierunt me, et in regno meo restitutus sum : et magnificentia amplior addita est mihi.

34 Nunc igitur, ego Nabuchodonosor laudo, et magnifico, et glorifico regem cæli : quia omnia opera ejus vera, et viæ ejus judicia, et gradientes in superbia potest humiliare.

  

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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:

Apocalypsis Revelata 717

De Sensu Interno Librorum Propheticorum et Psalmorum Davidis 175


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 3301, 3384, ...

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

Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Domino 40, 48

Vera Christiana Religio 93, 644


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypsis Explicata 109, 204, 257, 650, 662, 1029, 1100

Coronis 3

Invitatio 22

De Conjugio 93

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 30, 31

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Významy biblických slov

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'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

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subter
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vidit
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dicere
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cum
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...

ut
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