Daniel 4

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1 Si Nabucodonosor na hari, sa lahat na bayan, bansa, at wika, na nagsisitahan sa buong lupa: Kapayapaa'y managana sa inyo.

2 Inaakala kong mabuti na ipahayag ang mga tanda at mga kababalaghan na ginawa sa akin ng Kataastaasang Dios.

3 Kay dakila ang kaniyang mga tanda! at pagka makapangyarihan ng kaniyang mga kababalaghan! ang kaniyang kaharian ay walang hanggang kaharian, at ang kaniyang kapangyarihan ay sa sali't saling lahi.

4 Akong si Nabucodonosor ay nagpapahinga sa aking bahay, at gumiginhawa sa aking palasio.

5 Ako'y nakakita ng isang pangitain na tumakot sa akin; at ang pagiisip ko sa aking higaan at ang mga pangitain na suma aking ulo ay bumagabag sa akin.

6 Kaya't nagpasiya ako na iharap sa akin ang lahat na pantas sa Babilonia, upang kanilang maipaaninaw sa akin ang kahulugan ng panaginip.

7 Nang magkagayo'y nagsidating ang mga mahiko, ang mga enkantador, ang mga Caldeo, at ang mga manghuhula; at isinaysay ko ang panaginip sa harap nila; nguni't hindi nila maipaaninaw sa akin ang kahulugan niyaon.

8 Nguni't sa kahulihuliha'y dumating sa harap ko si Daniel, na ang pangala'y Beltsasar, ayon sa pangalan ng aking dios, at siyang kinaroroonan ng espiritu ng mga banal na dios: at aking isinaysay ang panaginip sa harap niya, na aking sinasabi,

9 Oh Beltsasar, na pangulo ng mga mahiko, sapagka't talastas ko na ang espiritu ng mga banal na dios ay sumasaiyo, at walang lihim na bumabagabag sa iyo, isaysay mo sa akin ang mga pangitain ng aking panaginip na aking nakita, at ang kahulugan niyaon.

10 Ganito ang mga pangitain ng aking ulo sa aking higaan, Ako'y tumitingin, at narito, ang isang punong kahoy sa gitna ng lupa, at ang taas niyao'y di kawasa.

11 Ang punong kahoy ay lumaki, at tumibay, at ang taas niyao'y umaabot hanggang sa langit, at ang tanaw niyaon hanggang sa wakas ng buong lupa.

12 Ang mga dahon niyao'y magaganda, at ang bunga niyao'y marami, at pagkain sa lahat; ang mga hayop sa parang ay may lihim sa ilalim niyaon, at ang mga ibon sa himpapawid ay nagsisitahan sa mga sanga niyaon, at ang lahat na laman ay nangabubusog doon.

13 May nakita ako sa mga pangitain ng aking ulo sa aking higaan, at, narito, isang bantay at isang banal ay bumaba mula sa langit.

14 Siya'y sumigaw ng malakas, at nagsabi ng ganito, Ibuwal ang kahoy, at putulin ang mga sanga niyan, lagasin ang mga dahon niyan, at isambulat ang mga bunga niyan: paalisin ang mga hayop sa ilalim niyan, at ang mga ibon sa mga sanga niyan.

15 Gayon ma'y inyong iwan ang tuod ng kaniyang mga ugat sa lupa, na magkatali ng bakal at tanso, sa murang damo sa parang; at bayaang mabasa siya ng hamog ng langit, at makasalo siya ng mga hayop sa damo sa lupa:

16 Bayaang ang kaniyang puso na pusong tao ay mapalitan at ang puso ng hayop ay mabigay sa kaniya; at mangyaring makapito sa kaniya.

17 Ang hatol ay sa pamamagitan ng pasiya ng mga bantay, at ang utos ay sa pamamagitan ng salita ng mga banal; upang makilala ng mga may buhay na ang Kataastaasan ay nagpupuno sa kaharian ng mga tao, at ibinibigay niya ito sa kanino mang kaniyang ibigin, at itinataas niya sa kaniya ang pinakamababa sa mga tao.

18 Akong si Nabucodonosor na hari ay nakakita ng panaginip na ito: at ikaw, Oh Beltsasar, ipahayag ang kahulugan, sapagka't lahat na pantas sa aking kaharian ay hindi makapagpaaninaw sa akin ng kahulugan; nguni't maipaaaninaw mo; sapagka't ang espiritu ng mga banal na dios ay sumasa iyo.

19 Nang magkagayo'y si Daniel na ang pangala'y Beltsasar, natigilang sangdali, at binagabag siya ng kaniyang mga pagiisip. Ang hari ay sumagot, at nagsabi, Beltsasar, huwag kang bagabagin ng panaginip, o ng kahulugan. Si Beltsasar ay sumagot, at nagsabi, Panginoon ko, ang panaginip ay mangyari nawa sa napopoot sa iyo, at ang kahulugan niyao'y mangyari nawa sa iyong mga kaaway,

20 Ang punong kahoy na iyong nakita na tumutubo, at tumitibay na ang taas ay umaabot sa langit, at ang tanaw niyao'y sa buong lupa;

21 Na ang mga daho'y magaganda, at ang bunga niyao'y marami, at pagkain sa lahat; na ang lilim ay tinatahanan ng mga hayop sa parang, at ang kaniyang mga sanga'y dinadapuan ng mga ibon sa himpapawid:

22 Ay ikaw, Oh hari, na lumalaki at nagiging malakas; sapagka't ang iyong kadakilaan ay lumaki, at umaabot hanggang sa langit, at ang iyong kapangyarihan ay hanggang sa wakas ng lupa.

23 At yamang nakita ng hari ang isang bantay at isang banal na bumababa mula sa langit, at nagsasabi, Ibuwal ninyo ang punong kahoy, at inyong lipulin; gayon ma'y itira ninyo ang tuod ng mga ugat niyaon sa lupa na magkatali ng bakal at tanso, sa murang damo sa parang, at bayaang mabasa siya ng hamog ng langit, at makasalo siya ng mga hayop sa parang, hanggang sa mangyari sa kaniya na makapito;

24 Ito ang kahulugan, Oh hari, at siyang pasiya ng kataastaasan na sumapit sa aking panginoon na hari:

25 Na ikaw ay mahihiwalay sa mga tao, at ang iyong tahanan ay mapapasama sa mga hayop sa parang, at ikaw ay pakakanin ng damo na gaya ng mga baka, at mababasa ka ng hamog ng langit, at makapitong mangyayari sa iyo; hanggang sa iyong maalaman na ang kataastaasan ay nagpupuno sa kaharian ng mga tao, at nagbibigay niyaon sa kanino mang ibigin niya.

26 At yamang kanilang iniutos na iwan ang tuod ng mga ugat ng kahoy; ang iyong kaharian ay tunay na magiging iyo, pagkatapos na iyong maalaman na ang mga langit ay nagpupuno.

27 Kaya't, Oh hari, tanggapin mo ang aking payo, at lansagin mo ng katuwiran ang iyong mga kasalanan, at ng pagpapakita ng kaawaan sa dukha ang iyong katampalasanan; baka sakaling ikatibay ng iyong katiwasayan.

28 Lahat ng ito'y sumapit sa haring Nabucodonosor.

29 Sa katapusan ng labing dalawang buwan ay lumalakad siya sa palacio ng hari sa Babilonia.

30 Ang hari ay nagsalita, at nagsabi, Hindi baga ito ang dakilang Babilonia na aking itinayo na pinaka tahanang hari, sa pamamagitan ng lakas ng aking kapangyarihan at sa ikaluluwalhati ng aking kamahalan?

31 Samantalang ang salita ay nasa bibig pa ng hari, ay may isang tinig na nanggaling sa langit, na nagsasabi, Oh haring Nabucodonosor, sa iyo'y sinalita: Ang kaharian ay mahihiwalay sa iyo.

32 At ikaw ay palalayasin sa mga tao; at ang iyong tahanan ay mapapasama sa mga hayop sa parang; ikaw ay pakakanin ng damo na gaya ng mga baka; at makapitong mangyayari sa iyo; hanggang sa iyong maalaman na ang Kataastaasan ay nagpupuno sa kaharian ng mga tao, at ibinibigay sa kanino mang kaniyang ibigin.

33 Nang oras ding yaon ay natupad ang bagay kay Nabucodonosor: at siya'y pinalayas sa mga tao, at kumain ng damo na gaya ng mga baka, at ang kaniyang katawan ay nabasa ng hamog ng langit, hanggang sa ang kaniyang buhok ay lumagong parang balahibo ng mga aguila, at ang kaniyang mga kuko ay parang mga kuko ng mga ibon.

34 At sa katapusan ng mga kaarawan, akong si Nabucodonosor ay nagtaas ng aking mga mata sa langit, at ang aking unawa ay nanumbalik sa akin, at aking pinuri ang Kataastaasan, at aking pinuri at pinarangalan ko siya na nabubuhay magpakailan man; sapagka't ang kaniyang kapangyarihan ay walang hanggang kapangyarihan, at ang kaniyang kaharian ay sa sali't saling lahi;

35 At ang lahat na mananahan sa lupa ay nabilang sa wala; at kaniyang ginagawa ang ayon sa kaniyang kalooban sa hukbo ng langit, at sa mga mananahan sa lupa; at walang makahahadlang sa kaniyang kamay, o makapagsasabi sa kaniya, Anong ginagawa mo?

36 Sa oras ding yaon ay nanumbalik sa akin ang aking unawa; at sa ikaluluwalhati ng aking kaharian, ay nanumbalik sa akin ang aking kamahalan at kakinangan; at hinanap ako ng aking mga kasangguni at mga mahal na tao; at ako'y natatag sa aking kaharian, at marilag na kadakilaan ay nadagdag sa akin.

37 Ngayo'y akong si Nabucodonosor ay pumupuri, at nagbubunyi, at nagpaparangal sa Hari ng langit; sapagka't ang lahat niyang gawa ay katotohanan, at ang kaniyang mga daan ay kahatulan; at yaong nagsisilakad sa kapalaluan ay kaniyang mapabababa.

  
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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:

Arcana Coelestia 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 1326, 3301, ...

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

Doctrine of the Lord 40, 48

The Last Judgement 54

True Christian 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

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'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

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'Soothsayers' were people who studied natural magic.

daniel
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nakita
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...

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sa
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

katuwiran
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nagsalita
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itinayo
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daan
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