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Daniel 7

Afrikaans 1953     

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1 In die eerste jaar van Bélsasar, die koning van Babel, het Daniël 'n droomgesig gesien en gesigte van sy hoof op sy bed. Toe het hy die droom opgeskrywe, die hoofsaak vertel.

2 Daniël het gespreek en gesê: Ek het in die nag in my gesig gesien, en kyk, die vier winde van die hemel het die groot see in beroering gebring;

3 en vier groot diere het uit die see opgeklim, die een verskillend van die ander.

4 Die eerste was soos 'n leeu, en hy het vlerke van 'n arend gehad; ek het bly kyk totdat sy vlerke uitgeruk is en dit van die grond af opgehef en soos 'n mens op twee voete neergesit is en daaraan 'n mensehart gegee is.

5 En kyk, 'n ander dier, 'n tweede, het gelyk soos 'n beer, en is aan die een kant opgerig; en drie ribbes was in sy bek tussen sy tande; en só het hulle vir hom gesê: Staan op, eet baie vleis.

6 Daarna het ek gesien, en kyk, daar was 'n ander een soos 'n luiperd, en dit het vier vlerke van 'n voël op sy rug gehad; ook het die dier vier koppe gehad, en aan hom is heerskappy gegee.

7 Daarna het ek in die naggesigte gesien, en kyk, daar was 'n vierde dier, vreeslik en skrikwekkend en baie sterk, en dit het groot ystertande gehad; dit het verslind en vermorsel en die oorskot met sy pote vertrap; en dit was verskillend van al die diere wat voor hom gewees het, en dit het tien horings gehad.

8 Terwyl ek op die horings ag gee, kom daar 'n ander horinkie tussen hulle op, en drie van die vorige horings is daarvoor ontwortel; en kyk, in hierdie horing was soos mens-, en 'n mond wat groot dinge spreek.

9 Ek het bly kyk totdat trone reggesit is en 'n Oue van dae gaan sit het; sy kleed was wit soos sneeu en die hare van sy hoof soos skoon wol; sy troon was vuurvlamme, die wiele daarvan 'n brandende vuur;

10 'n stroom van vuur het gevloei en voor Hom uit gegaan; duisend maal duisende het Hom gedien, en tien duisend maal tien duisende het voor Hom gestaan; die gereg het gaan sit, en die boeke is geopen.

11 Ek het toe bly kyk vanweë die stem van die groot woorde wat die horing gespreek het; ek het bly kyk totdat die dier gedood en sy liggaam vernietig en aan die verbranding deur vuur oorgegee is.

12 Ook aan die ander diere is hulle heerskappy ontneem, en verlenging van die lewe is aan hulle gegee tot op tyd en uur.

13 Ek het gesien in die naggesigte, en kyk, met die wolke van die hemel het Een gekom soos die Seun van 'n mens, en Hy het gekom tot by die Oue van dae, en hulle het Hom nader gebring voor Hom.

14 En aan Hom is gegee heerskappy en eer en koningskap; en al die volke en nasies en tale het Hom vereer; sy heerskappy is 'n ewige heerskappy wat nie sal vergaan nie, en sy koninkryk een wat nie vernietig sal word nie.

15 Die gees van my, Daniël, is in sy omhulsel verontrus, en die gesigte van my hoof het my verskrik.

16 Ek het nader gekom na een van die wat daar gestaan het, en van hom sekerheid gevra oor dit alles; en hy het dit vir my gesê en die uitlegging van die dinge aan my bekend gemaak:

17 Hierdie groot diere wat vier is--vier konings sal uit die aarde opstaan;

18 en die heiliges van die Allerhoogste sal die koningskap ontvang, en hulle sal die koninkryk in besit neem tot in ewigheid, ja, tot in alle ewigheid.

19 Toe wou ek sekerheid verkry oor die vierde dier wat van al die ander verskillend was, buitengewoon vreeslik, met ystertande en met koperkloue, wat verslind, vermorsel en die oorskot met sy pote vertrap het,

20 en oor die tien horings wat op sy kop was, en die ander een wat opgekom het en waarvoor drie geval het, naamlik hierdie horing wat oë en 'n mond gehad het wat groot dinge gespreek het, terwyl sy gestalte groter was as van die ander.

21 Ek het gesien dat hierdie horing oorlog voer met die heiliges en hulle oorwin,

22 totdat die Oue van dae kom en aan die heiliges van die Allerhoogste reg verskaf is en die bepaalde tyd gekom het dat die heiliges die koninkryk in besit geneem het.

23 Só het hy gesê: Die vierde dier--die vierde koninkryk sal op die aarde wees, wat verskil van al die koninkryke en die hele aarde sal verslind en dit sal vertrap en dit verbrysel.

24 En die tien horings--uit daardie koninkryk sal tien konings opstaan, en 'n ander een sal ná hulle opstaan, en hy sal verskillend wees van die voriges en drie konings neerwerp.

25 En hy sal woorde spreek teen die Allerhoogste en die heiliges van die Allerhoogste mishandel; en hy sal probeer om tye en wet te verander, en hulle sal in sy hand oorgegee word gedurende 'n tyd en tye en die helfte van 'n tyd.

26 Maar die gereg sal sit, en hulle sal hom die heerskappy ontneem om dit vir goed te verdelg en te vernietig.

27 Dan word die koningskap en die heerskappy en die grootheid van die koninkryke onder die ganse hemel gegee aan die volk van die heiliges van die Allerhoogste; hulle koninkryk is 'n ewige koninkryk, en al die heerskappye sal hulle vereer en gehoorsaam wees.

28 Hier is die einde van die saak. Wat my, Daniël, betref, my gedagtes het my baie verskrik en my gelaatskleur het verander aan my, maar die saak het ek in my hart bewaar.

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Daniel's First Vision: 4 Beasts and the Little Horn      

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

Woodcut

This opening verse of the prophecies of Daniel has a resounding similarity to the opening verses of most of the preceding chapters of the book of Daniel. Like them, it places the vision in a context, we are shown the point of our regeneration at which the Lord is directing us: the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon.

In the internal sense, time is an indication of state. This means that the events and prophecies of Daniel do not follow in a strict chronological order, but rather happen on different levels at the same time. While Nebuchadnezzar is king of Babylon, representing selfishness in our inner self, Belshazzar rules our outer self. The work of overcoming selfish motives has to go hand in hand with the removal of that very selfishness in our external—otherwise the exercise is purely intellectual. Daniel’s visions in the last six chapters of the book, indicate the process by which we become aware of the effects of selfishness in our daily lives: when Belshazzar is king.

In spiritual development, we sometimes delude ourselves that change follows effort without delay. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our habits are very powerful—often we are not even aware that we have them. Yet "regeneration" literally means "re-birth," which entails casting out each and every obstacle in the path of our spiritual development. This can only be done by examining the exterior motives in our lives, and getting to the very bottom or root of our behaviors.

Daniel’s vision traces this exploration for us. Each of the four beasts he saw rising up from the sea depict the states of an evil life in us, with the added twist in their relationship to the religious principles a person purports to hold. Each must be examined and rejected. Every detail of the vision, therefore is important.

As with all numbers in the Word, the number "four" has a special meaning vitally important to the exposition. "Four" represents a joining together, and so has the same meaning as the number "two," (Arcana Coelestia 1686, 9103, 9601) which is obvious since "four" is the result of two multiplied into itself.

In a general sense, when the term "four winds" is mentioned in the Word, it means "all things of good and of truth, thus all things of heaven and of the church" (Arcana Coelestia 9642:10) flowing into a person, for "wind" means the influx of life from the Lord (Apocalypse Revealed 343). Thus the Lord breathed life into Adam in the Garden of Eden, and again on His disciples, filling them with the Holy Spirit. In an ideal situation, the presence of the Lord, both in our will and our understanding, in equal measure, indicates a state of regeneration. In that state, we are as "four-square" as the New Jerusalem.

As in so many cases in the book of Daniel, the symbolism needs to be reversed in order to see its full meaning. Daniel is in Babylon, a servant to the king, and thus anything usually relating to the Lord is inverted to relate to the king of Babylon, as selfishness: the opposite of love to the Lord.

The influx then is not goodness and truth, but evil and falsity, specifically love of self and control over others. The "sea" in this vision depicts the great restless tide of selfishness controlling our external being. The book of Daniel is a picture of a person whose conscience is restricted to thoughts and feelings, yet whose behavior, attitudes, and habits still reflect the old states of selfishness (Apocalypse Explained 316). Babylon reigns. In the vision that follows, the states and their effects are revealed.

The vision of the four beasts coming up from the sea tells our story when we cynically misuse truth to live selfishly, until evil completely takes over and would destroy us (Apocalypse Explained 556, Apocalypse Revealed 574). Evil will succeed unless the power of the truth, in our conscience, overcomes evil and allows us to reject it.

The first of these beasts was like a lion with eagle’s wings. Lions are mentioned many times in the Word, and usually describe the power of truth to destroy falsity and evil (Apocalypse Explained 556). But in this vision, describing Babylon, the lion takes on the opposite meaning: the lion represents the power of the love of self (Arcana Coelestia 6367), and the power of falsity to destroy truths.

The eagle's wings, representing human reason, were taken away from the lion, and he was made to stand on his two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to him. A person engrossed in selfishness loses their ability to appreciate religion, and weighted down by their own contrary thoughts, find themselves alienated from the truth.

Next, Daniel saw a bear raised up on one side. This posture indicates our eagerness to misinterpret the Word to suit our own means (Arcana Coelestia 781). This a vision of the human state when self love (Nebuchadnezzar) rules our internal being, and the expression of that selfishness (Belshazzar) controls our daily actions. The bear is the pleasure of justifying evil with our own 'superior' reasoning.

It is easy to be kind, while manipulating other people for our own benefit. It is easy to present oneself as a spiritual being in order to deceive other people. In such a life, charity is a dead form. Thus the bear had three ribs hanging from its mouth.

Daniel never tells who commanded the bear to 'arise, and devour more flesh,' but perhaps the urging comes from deeper states of selfishness which control our external actions. Whatever its origin, these words give voice to the heart of a person misusing the Word for his or her own gain.

A leopard is "a ferocious beast" which loves to "kill harmless animals." Its very appearance, black spots on white, illustrates the effect of falsity on truth (Apocalypse Revealed 57). But the leopard in Daniel also had four wings like a bird. As in the case of the lion which had the wings of an eagle, the wings here also signify our intellect destroying the truth. The four wings on the leopard depict "confirmations of what is false" (Apocalypse Revealed 574).

The leopard not only had four wings, but also four heads. This is a depiction of human degradation when falsity rules. It is a state of spiritual insanity, for when a selfish internal acts with a falsified external, there is nothing to prevent a person engaging in all kinds evil (Arcana Coelestia 1944:3). In this state, the conscience is enslaved, powerless to stop the madness.

The fourth beast, whose appearance is not described, signifies the "destruction of truth and good" (Apocalypse Revealed 574). Once a person reaches this state of degeneration, they stop at nothing to destroy any restraining influences. Falsity is used to destroy truth through denial or twisting it to suit one’s own ends. This process is described as "teeth like iron" devouring and breaking in pieces (see 1 explanation of Daniel 2 for a description of 'iron')(Apocalypse Revealed 556).

'A horn' is usually a symbol of power, and in the highest sense, the power of truth against falsity. But again, in this story the opposite sense applies, and the power here is of falsity for evil (Apocalypse Explained 316). These ten horns depict the complete power falsity has over the way we act.

The whole sordid description of the four beasts culminates on a little horn. This is the complete perversion of anything good and true drawn from the Word, and so represents the final profanation. If there was no counter-balancing conscience, a person would be irrevocably in hell.

The casting out of the three horns depicts the power of evil and falsity to destroy and remove the truths of the Word (Apocalypse Explained 316). The number "three" represents fullness or completeness, and thus the power of evil when brought into action to destroy all truths. Hence, the old saying 'when you break one of the Commandments, you break them all,' takes on a more powerful meaning.

The next image shifts: we see the thrones "cast down" signifying the falsities (Arcana Coelestia 8215) from the beasts, judged by the truths of the Word forming our conscience. All judgment begins with truth, for truth provides the balances upon which our lives are measured.

In the image of God’s throne, symbolizing judgment, it is important to remember that His judgment is always a product of love and mercy. But the Lord’s love should not be confused with license: just because He loves the human race, individually and collectively, this does not mean evil is permissible. Evil interferes with a person’s reception of the Lord, putting barriers between Him and ourselves. For the most part, the Lord permits evils, but does not will them, because they are useful reminding us to turn away from them (Divine Providence 275, 278). Yet there are times when human beings overstep the mark.

The judgment in this chapter must be seen in its context, which is in the reign of Belshazzar. It is the story of both the beasts and the fact that Belshazzar was weighed in the balances, found wanting, and killed by Darius. That in essence is a judgment on the external’s of our lives, on our behavior. and attitudes which have their origin in the Nebuchadnezzar states of our inner being.

Here, however, we see the origin of truth as "the Ancient of Days," sitting on the throne of judgment, heralding the destruction of one state and the beginning of another (Apocalypse Revealed 574). The "Ancient of Days" is an image of the love of the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 9470), and in a sense is the Divine counterpart to the love we are led to by means of truth. The object of all truth is to lead one to a love of God, and a love of the neighbor, and a life expressive of both. Our love for God is a reflection of His love for us.

In the Word, a garment corresponds to truth one knows and which forms a part of a person’s mind. Thus the garment of the Ancient of Days represents the truth veiling over the Divine Good. This truth is truth in our minds, in our conscious minds (Arcana Coelestia 9470, Apocalypse Explained 67). These garments were as white as snow to show us the quality of the intelligence and wisdom we can have from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 195:18).

'Hair' means the most external parts of our lives—the natural thoughts and feelings we have which prompt us into action, all perfectly conscious. While we are in this world, this very external part of us seems to be vitally important, but in fact it is only driven by the inner things. If these are from the Lord, then our external will also appear as virgin wool.

The fire of the throne is the appearance of the Lord's love. The wheels represents the wisdom and intelligence we have from the Lord, which are full of love and so are described as "burning."

All judgment is done by the Lord. The Lord’s birth in Bethlehem was the beginning of a last judgment on the ancient churches, and that judgment from love by means of wisdom, came about through the life and death of Jesus Christ, the Divine Human of the Lord.

In Daniel’s vision, there is a similar relationship between the Ancient of Days, seated on His throne, and the Son of Man to whom was given all power. The Ancient of Days represents the Lord, and in that vision we saw the unity of the Divine love and Divine wisdom in the fiery throne upon which He sat.

Once the presence of the Lord has been established in us by the overthrow of evil and falsity, we will continue to develop in goodness and truth. This spiritual growth is described in the words that 'the Son of Man was given an everlasting dominion,' a theme repeated in verses 18 and 27. The kingdom of the Son of Man extended over "all peoples, nations and tongues," representing the different states of the human mind which will be made subject to truth from the Word. "Peoples" are the truths of doctrine—in this case, the false ideas which affect our behavior to be judged against the truth introduced into our minds by the conscience. "Nations" mean the evils of life, overthrown in the process of judgment (Apocalypse Revealed 483, Apocalypse Explained 175, 455). Thus in the process of judgment, both our habitual thoughts and feelings will be confronted by truth, and replaced by feelings drawn from the goodness and truth of the Lord. Finally, "tongues" signify the actions drawn from evil feelings and false thoughts—these too will be brought down in our personal "last judgment."

The "time, times, and half a time" are the states of temptation and combat we need to go through in order to regenerate. Yet each minute of that combat is a temptation, and temptation only takes place within the framework or regeneration. Thus a person being tempted, who resists the evil, sits in judgment on that evil, and from the power of the Lord will eventually prevail over it.

These final verses are a vision of things yet to come. This is before our entrance into the Lord’s kingdom, before the power of falsity is broken. We still have growing to do. There are still states we need to face and overcome. Even with this marvelous promise of ultimate victory, Daniel found that his thoughts still troubled him.

-----
Footnotes:

http://newchristianbiblestudy.org/bible/story/daniel-interprets-nebuchadnezzars-dream/king-james-version

-----

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10455

Apocalypse Revealed 748

De Verbo (The Word) 5

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 178

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 49, 934, 1066, 1607, 1990, 2547, 2832, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 24, 36, 47, 49, 101, 166, 229, ...

Conjugial Love 26, 81, 193

Divine Providence 134

The Lord 4, 6, 10, 26, 42, 48, 52

Sacred Scripture 49, 86

Life 61

Heaven and Hell 171

True Christian Religion 1, 113, 157, 223, 251, 262, 288, ...


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 36, 63, 67, 70, 175, 195, 199, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 41

Canons of the New Church 37

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

De Verbo (The Word) 10, 15, 25

An Invitation to the New Church 10

Marriage 0, 1, 113

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Vysvětlení slova/fráze

gesien
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gesê
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kant
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drie
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wit
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wiele
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geopen
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ewige
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opstaan
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spreek
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wet
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onder
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Daniel's First Vision: 4 Beasts and the Little Horn      

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

Woodcut

This opening verse of the prophecies of Daniel has a resounding similarity to the opening verses of most of the preceding chapters of the book of Daniel. Like them, it places the vision in a context, we are shown the point of our regeneration at which the Lord is directing us: the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon.

In the internal sense, time is an indication of state. This means that the events and prophecies of Daniel do not follow in a strict chronological order, but rather happen on different levels at the same time. While Nebuchadnezzar is king of Babylon, representing selfishness in our inner self, Belshazzar rules our outer self. The work of overcoming selfish motives has to go hand in hand with the removal of that very selfishness in our external—otherwise the exercise is purely intellectual. Daniel’s visions in the last six chapters of the book, indicate the process by which we become aware of the effects of selfishness in our daily lives: when Belshazzar is king.

In spiritual development, we sometimes delude ourselves that change follows effort without delay. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our habits are very powerful—often we are not even aware that we have them. Yet "regeneration" literally means "re-birth," which entails casting out each and every obstacle in the path of our spiritual development. This can only be done by examining the exterior motives in our lives, and getting to the very bottom or root of our behaviors.

Daniel’s vision traces this exploration for us. Each of the four beasts he saw rising up from the sea depict the states of an evil life in us, with the added twist in their relationship to the religious principles a person purports to hold. Each must be examined and rejected. Every detail of the vision, therefore is important.

As with all numbers in the Word, the number "four" has a special meaning vitally important to the exposition. "Four" represents a joining together, and so has the same meaning as the number "two," (Arcana Coelestia 1686, 9103, 9601) which is obvious since "four" is the result of two multiplied into itself.

In a general sense, when the term "four winds" is mentioned in the Word, it means "all things of good and of truth, thus all things of heaven and of the church" (Arcana Coelestia 9642:10) flowing into a person, for "wind" means the influx of life from the Lord (Apocalypse Revealed 343). Thus the Lord breathed life into Adam in the Garden of Eden, and again on His disciples, filling them with the Holy Spirit. In an ideal situation, the presence of the Lord, both in our will and our understanding, in equal measure, indicates a state of regeneration. In that state, we are as "four-square" as the New Jerusalem.

As in so many cases in the book of Daniel, the symbolism needs to be reversed in order to see its full meaning. Daniel is in Babylon, a servant to the king, and thus anything usually relating to the Lord is inverted to relate to the king of Babylon, as selfishness: the opposite of love to the Lord.

The influx then is not goodness and truth, but evil and falsity, specifically love of self and control over others. The "sea" in this vision depicts the great restless tide of selfishness controlling our external being. The book of Daniel is a picture of a person whose conscience is restricted to thoughts and feelings, yet whose behavior, attitudes, and habits still reflect the old states of selfishness (Apocalypse Explained 316). Babylon reigns. In the vision that follows, the states and their effects are revealed.

The vision of the four beasts coming up from the sea tells our story when we cynically misuse truth to live selfishly, until evil completely takes over and would destroy us (Apocalypse Explained 556, Apocalypse Revealed 574). Evil will succeed unless the power of the truth, in our conscience, overcomes evil and allows us to reject it.

The first of these beasts was like a lion with eagle’s wings. Lions are mentioned many times in the Word, and usually describe the power of truth to destroy falsity and evil (Apocalypse Explained 556). But in this vision, describing Babylon, the lion takes on the opposite meaning: the lion represents the power of the love of self (Arcana Coelestia 6367), and the power of falsity to destroy truths.

The eagle's wings, representing human reason, were taken away from the lion, and he was made to stand on his two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to him. A person engrossed in selfishness loses their ability to appreciate religion, and weighted down by their own contrary thoughts, find themselves alienated from the truth.

Next, Daniel saw a bear raised up on one side. This posture indicates our eagerness to misinterpret the Word to suit our own means (Arcana Coelestia 781). This a vision of the human state when self love (Nebuchadnezzar) rules our internal being, and the expression of that selfishness (Belshazzar) controls our daily actions. The bear is the pleasure of justifying evil with our own 'superior' reasoning.

It is easy to be kind, while manipulating other people for our own benefit. It is easy to present oneself as a spiritual being in order to deceive other people. In such a life, charity is a dead form. Thus the bear had three ribs hanging from its mouth.

Daniel never tells who commanded the bear to 'arise, and devour more flesh,' but perhaps the urging comes from deeper states of selfishness which control our external actions. Whatever its origin, these words give voice to the heart of a person misusing the Word for his or her own gain.

A leopard is "a ferocious beast" which loves to "kill harmless animals." Its very appearance, black spots on white, illustrates the effect of falsity on truth (Apocalypse Revealed 57). But the leopard in Daniel also had four wings like a bird. As in the case of the lion which had the wings of an eagle, the wings here also signify our intellect destroying the truth. The four wings on the leopard depict "confirmations of what is false" (Apocalypse Revealed 574).

The leopard not only had four wings, but also four heads. This is a depiction of human degradation when falsity rules. It is a state of spiritual insanity, for when a selfish internal acts with a falsified external, there is nothing to prevent a person engaging in all kinds evil (Arcana Coelestia 1944:3). In this state, the conscience is enslaved, powerless to stop the madness.

The fourth beast, whose appearance is not described, signifies the "destruction of truth and good" (Apocalypse Revealed 574). Once a person reaches this state of degeneration, they stop at nothing to destroy any restraining influences. Falsity is used to destroy truth through denial or twisting it to suit one’s own ends. This process is described as "teeth like iron" devouring and breaking in pieces (see 1 explanation of Daniel 2 for a description of 'iron')(Apocalypse Revealed 556).

'A horn' is usually a symbol of power, and in the highest sense, the power of truth against falsity. But again, in this story the opposite sense applies, and the power here is of falsity for evil (Apocalypse Explained 316). These ten horns depict the complete power falsity has over the way we act.

The whole sordid description of the four beasts culminates on a little horn. This is the complete perversion of anything good and true drawn from the Word, and so represents the final profanation. If there was no counter-balancing conscience, a person would be irrevocably in hell.

The casting out of the three horns depicts the power of evil and falsity to destroy and remove the truths of the Word (Apocalypse Explained 316). The number "three" represents fullness or completeness, and thus the power of evil when brought into action to destroy all truths. Hence, the old saying 'when you break one of the Commandments, you break them all,' takes on a more powerful meaning.

The next image shifts: we see the thrones "cast down" signifying the falsities (Arcana Coelestia 8215) from the beasts, judged by the truths of the Word forming our conscience. All judgment begins with truth, for truth provides the balances upon which our lives are measured.

In the image of God’s throne, symbolizing judgment, it is important to remember that His judgment is always a product of love and mercy. But the Lord’s love should not be confused with license: just because He loves the human race, individually and collectively, this does not mean evil is permissible. Evil interferes with a person’s reception of the Lord, putting barriers between Him and ourselves. For the most part, the Lord permits evils, but does not will them, because they are useful reminding us to turn away from them (Divine Providence 275, 278). Yet there are times when human beings overstep the mark.

The judgment in this chapter must be seen in its context, which is in the reign of Belshazzar. It is the story of both the beasts and the fact that Belshazzar was weighed in the balances, found wanting, and killed by Darius. That in essence is a judgment on the external’s of our lives, on our behavior. and attitudes which have their origin in the Nebuchadnezzar states of our inner being.

Here, however, we see the origin of truth as "the Ancient of Days," sitting on the throne of judgment, heralding the destruction of one state and the beginning of another (Apocalypse Revealed 574). The "Ancient of Days" is an image of the love of the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 9470), and in a sense is the Divine counterpart to the love we are led to by means of truth. The object of all truth is to lead one to a love of God, and a love of the neighbor, and a life expressive of both. Our love for God is a reflection of His love for us.

In the Word, a garment corresponds to truth one knows and which forms a part of a person’s mind. Thus the garment of the Ancient of Days represents the truth veiling over the Divine Good. This truth is truth in our minds, in our conscious minds (Arcana Coelestia 9470, Apocalypse Explained 67). These garments were as white as snow to show us the quality of the intelligence and wisdom we can have from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 195:18).

'Hair' means the most external parts of our lives—the natural thoughts and feelings we have which prompt us into action, all perfectly conscious. While we are in this world, this very external part of us seems to be vitally important, but in fact it is only driven by the inner things. If these are from the Lord, then our external will also appear as virgin wool.

The fire of the throne is the appearance of the Lord's love. The wheels represents the wisdom and intelligence we have from the Lord, which are full of love and so are described as "burning."

All judgment is done by the Lord. The Lord’s birth in Bethlehem was the beginning of a last judgment on the ancient churches, and that judgment from love by means of wisdom, came about through the life and death of Jesus Christ, the Divine Human of the Lord.

In Daniel’s vision, there is a similar relationship between the Ancient of Days, seated on His throne, and the Son of Man to whom was given all power. The Ancient of Days represents the Lord, and in that vision we saw the unity of the Divine love and Divine wisdom in the fiery throne upon which He sat.

Once the presence of the Lord has been established in us by the overthrow of evil and falsity, we will continue to develop in goodness and truth. This spiritual growth is described in the words that 'the Son of Man was given an everlasting dominion,' a theme repeated in verses 18 and 27. The kingdom of the Son of Man extended over "all peoples, nations and tongues," representing the different states of the human mind which will be made subject to truth from the Word. "Peoples" are the truths of doctrine—in this case, the false ideas which affect our behavior to be judged against the truth introduced into our minds by the conscience. "Nations" mean the evils of life, overthrown in the process of judgment (Apocalypse Revealed 483, Apocalypse Explained 175, 455). Thus in the process of judgment, both our habitual thoughts and feelings will be confronted by truth, and replaced by feelings drawn from the goodness and truth of the Lord. Finally, "tongues" signify the actions drawn from evil feelings and false thoughts—these too will be brought down in our personal "last judgment."

The "time, times, and half a time" are the states of temptation and combat we need to go through in order to regenerate. Yet each minute of that combat is a temptation, and temptation only takes place within the framework or regeneration. Thus a person being tempted, who resists the evil, sits in judgment on that evil, and from the power of the Lord will eventually prevail over it.

These final verses are a vision of things yet to come. This is before our entrance into the Lord’s kingdom, before the power of falsity is broken. We still have growing to do. There are still states we need to face and overcome. Even with this marvelous promise of ultimate victory, Daniel found that his thoughts still troubled him.

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Footnotes:

http://newchristianbiblestudy.org/bible/story/daniel-interprets-nebuchadnezzars-dream/king-james-version

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Apocalypse Explained # 556

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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556. And their teeth were as those of lions, signifies that sensual things, which are the ultimates of the intellectual life, seem to them to have power over all things. This is evident from the signification of "teeth," as being the sensual things which are the ultimates of the natural life in respect to the understanding (of which presently); and from the signification of "lions," as being the truths of the church in respect to power, but here falsities destroying truths, thus also these in respect to power (of which above, n. 278). Here falsities are meant, because "locusts" signify the corporeal-sensual who are in the falsities of evil. These seem to themselves to have understanding, and thereby power over all things, because that persuasiveness which has been treated of above has its seat in the sensual, which is the ultimate of the natural life; for this sensual, or the sensual man, is in self-confidence, and in the belief that he is wiser than all others, for he is unable to weigh and explore himself, because he does not think interiorly; and when he has persuaded himself of this, then such confidence and belief are in all things that he speaks. And because his speech takes its tone from these, it fascinates and infatuates the minds of others, for the tone of confidence and belief produces such an effect; and this is especially manifest in the spiritual world, where man speaks from his spirit; for the affection of self-confidence and of the consequent belief that a thing is so is in man's spirit, and a man's spirit speaks from his affection. In the natural world it is different. There man's spirit discourses by means of the body, and for the sake of the world brings forth such things as are not of the affection of his spirit, which he rarely exhibits, that its character may not be known. For this reason it is unknown in the world that there is such an infatuating and suffocating persuasiveness as exists in the spirit of the sensual man, who believes himself to be wiser than others. From this it can be seen why "their teeth were as those of lions" signifies that sensual men seem to themselves to have understanding, and thereby power over all things. That "teeth" signify sensual things, which are the ultimates of the natural life in respect to knowledge [scientia] can be seen from the correspondence of "teeth," as described in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 575), and in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 5565-5568).

(Odkazy: Revelation 9:8; The Apocalypse Explained 278)


[2] That "teeth" have this signification can be seen from the following passages in the Word. In David:

My soul, I lie in the midst of lions; their teeth are spear and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword (Psalms 57:4).

"Lions" signify those who by means of falsities destroy the truths of the church; "their teeth which are spear and arrows" signify the knowledges that are applied to confirm falsities and evils, and thus to destroy the truths and goods of the church; "their tongue a sharp sword" signifies crafty reasonings from falsities, which are called "a sharp sword" because a "sword" signifies falsity destroying truth.

[3] In the same:

O God, break off their teeth in their mouth; remove 1 the jaw teeth of the young lions (Psalms 58:6).

"Teeth in their mouth" signify the knowledges from which they produce falsities; "the jaw teeth of the young lions," signify the truths of the Word falsified, which in themselves are falsities, and which are especially effective in destroying the truths of the church.

[4] In Joel:

A nation cometh up upon my land, vigorous and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it hath the jaw teeth of an immense lion. It maketh 2 my vine to a waste, and my fig tree to froth (Joel 1:6, 7).

"A nation that cometh up upon the land" signifies evil devastating the church, "nation" meaning evil, and "land" the church; "vigorous and without number" signifies powerful and manifold; "vigorous" is predicated of the power of evil, and "without number" of the power of falsity; "its teeth are the teeth of a lion" signifying destroying falsities; "the jaw teeth of an immense lion" signify truths falsified; "it reduceth the vine to a waste, and the fig tree to froth," signifies the destruction of spiritual and natural truths; spiritual truths are those of the spiritual sense of the Word, and natural truths those of the sense of its letter (see also above, n. 403, where this is explained). The "teeth of lions" in these passages have a similar signification as "teeth as those of lions" here in Revelation. "Teeth" properly signify such things as are merely in the memory and are brought forth therefrom, for the things that are in the memory of the sensual man correspond to bones and teeth.

(Odkazy: Joel 1:6-7; The Apocalypse Explained 403)


[5] In Daniel:

There came up out of the sea a second beast like to a bear; three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and they said unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this there came up a fourth beast, dreadful, and terrible, and exceedingly strong, and it had great teeth of iron; it devoured and crushed, and trampled the remnant with its feet (Daniel 7:5, 7).

"A beast from the sea" means the love of dominion, to which holy things serve as means, and the "four beasts" signify its successive increase; this "second beast like to a bear" signifies the second state, when such dominion is confirmed by means of the Word; those who do this appear in the spiritual world like bears. "Three ribs in the mouth between the teeth" signify all things of the Word which they apply, and which they understand merely according to the letter, "three ribs" meaning all things of the Word, "in the mouth" meaning, which they apply in teaching; "between the teeth" meaning which they understand merely according to the letter, that is, as the sensual man does; "they said unto it, Arise, devour much flesh," signifies that they applied many things and thereby destroyed the genuine sense of the Word; "the fourth beast that came up out of the sea, dreadful, and terrible, and exceedingly strong," signifies the fourth and last state, when by holy things as means they established for themselves dominion over heaven and earth; because this state is profane and powerful it is called "dreadful, and terrible, and exceedingly strong;" "it had great teeth of iron" signifies falsities from the sensual man hard against the truths and goods of the church; "it devoured and crushed" signifies that it perverted and destroyed; "and trampled the remnant with its feet" signifies that what they could not pervert and destroy they defiled and blotted out by the evils of natural and corporeal loves. (The rest respecting these beasts may be seen explained above, n. 316.)

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 316)


[6] In Moses:

The tooth of beasts I will send upon them, with the poison of the creeping things of the earth (Deuteronomy 32:24).

This evil, among others, was denounced upon the Israelitish and Jewish people if they did not keep and do the statutes and commandments; "the tooth of beasts" signifies falsities from evils of every kind, and "the poison of the creeping things of the earth" signifies the things that destroy and utterly extinguish spiritual life; "beasts" signify in the Word such things as belong to the natural man, and "the creeping things of the earth" the things belonging to the sensual man; both these when separated from the spiritual man are mere falsities from evils, because they are merely such things as belong to the body to which they adhere, and as belong to the world to which they stand nearest; and from the body and the world all thick darkness in spiritual things arises.

[7] In David:

Arise, O Jehovah; save me, O my God; for Thou smitest all mine enemies upon the cheek; Thou breakest the teeth of the wicked (Psalms 3:7).

"To smite the enemies upon the cheek" signifies to destroy interior falsities with those who are opposed to the goods and truths of the church; such persons and their falsities of evil are meant in the Word by "enemies;" "to break the teeth of the wicked" signifies to destroy exterior falsities, which are such as are based on the fallacies of the senses and are confirmed by them.

[8] As the expressions in David, "to smite the cheek" and "to break the teeth" signify the destruction of interior and exterior falsities, it can be seen what is meant by "smiting on the cheek" in Matthew:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also. And if any man wisheth to sue thee at the law and to take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also; and whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. Give to everyone that asketh thee, and from him that wisheth to borrow of thee turn not thou away (Matthew 5:38-42).

That these words are not to be understood according to the letter is evident to everyone; for who is bound by Christian love to turn the left cheek to him who smites the right, or to give the cloak to him who would take away the coat? In a word, who is there to whom it is not allowable to resist evil? But as all things that the Lord said were in themselves Divine-celestial, it can be seen that these words, as well as the others which the Lord spoke, contain a heavenly sense. The sons of Israel had this law that they should give "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" (Exodus 21:23, 24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21), because they were external men, and thus were only in the representatives of heavenly things, and not in heavenly things themselves, thence not in charity, in mercy, in patience, nor in any spiritual good; consequently they were under the law of retaliation; for the heavenly law and thence the Christian law is that which the Lord taught in the Gospels:

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye to them; this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31).

Because this is the law in heaven, and from heaven in the church, therefore every evil carries with it a corresponding punishment, which is called the punishment of evil, and is in the evil as if joined with it; and from this springs the punishment of retaliation which was prescribed for the sons of Israel, because they were external and not internal men. Internal men, as the angels of heaven are, do not wish the retaliation of evil for evil, but from heavenly charity they forgive freely; for they know that the Lord protects from the evil all who are in good, and that He protects according to the good with them, and that He would not protect if on account of the evil done to them they should burn with enmity, hatred, and revenge, for these drive away protection.

(Odkazy: Exodus 21:23-24)


[9] These things, therefore, are involved in what the Lord here said; but their signification shall be given in order: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," signifies that so far as anyone takes away from another the understanding of truth and the sense of truth, so far are they taken away from him, the "eye" signifying the understanding of truth, and "tooth" the sense of truth, for a "tooth" means truth or falsity such as the sensual man has. That one who is in Christian good will permit an evil person to take these away as far as he can, is described by what the Lord says in reply on the same subject. "Resist not him that is in evil" signifies that there should be no fighting back of retaliation; for angels do not fight with the evil, much less do they return evil for evil, but they allow it to be done, since they are protected by the Lord, and therefore no evil from hell can do them harm. "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also" signifies if anyone wishes to do harm to the perception and understanding of interior truth, it may be allowed to the extent of the effort; "the cheek" signifies the perception and understanding of interior truth, the "right cheek" affection for it and consequent perception of it, and the "left cheek" understanding of it, and as the "cheek" is mentioned, so is "smiting," which means doing harm to; for all things pertaining to the mouth, as the throat, the mouth itself, the lips, the cheeks, the teeth, signify such things as belong to the perception and understanding of truth, because they correspond to them, therefore by these objects in the sense of the letter of the Word, which consists of pure correspondences, these things are expressed; "if any man wisheth to sue thee at the law and to take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also," signifies if anyone wishes to take away truth interiorly with thee, it may be allowed him to take away also exterior truth, "coat" signifying interior truth, and "cloak" exterior truth. This also is what angels do when they are with the evil, for the evil can take away nothing of good and truth from angels, but they can from those who on that account burn with enmity, hatred, and revenge, for these evils avert and repel protection by the Lord; "whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two," signifies whoever wishes to lead away from truth to falsity and from good to evil, since he cannot do it, may be left unopposed, a "mile" having a similar signification as a "way," namely, that which leads away or leads; "give to everyone that asketh thee" signifies that it is to be permitted; "and from him that wisheth to borrow of thee turn thou not away" signifies that if anyone wishes to be instructed he may be instructed, for the evil desire this that they may pervert and take away, and yet they cannot. This is the spiritual sense of these words, in which are stored up the hidden things that have now been said, which are especially for the angels; who perceive the Word only according to its spiritual sense; they are also for men in the world who are in good, when the evil are trying to lead them astray. That the opposition of the evil to those whom the Lord protects is such it has been granted me to know by much experience; for they have continually striven in every way and with all their might to take away from me truths and goods, but in vain. From what has been presented it can also in some degree be seen that a "tooth" signifies truth or falsity in the sensual, which is the ultimate of the intellectual life with man; that this is the signification of "tooth" is evident from the Lord's reply, in which the perception and understanding of truth are treated of, which the evil strive to take away from the good.

[10] That this is the signification of "teeth" can be seen further from the following passages. In Jeremiah:

In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the teeth of the sons are set on edge. But every man shall die in his own iniquity; every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge (Jeremiah 31:29, 30; Ezekiel 18:2-4).

This involves evidently that the sons and descendants shall not incur punishment on account of the evils of parents, but everyone on account of his own evil; "to eat the sour grape" signifies to appropriate to oneself the falsity of evil, for a "sour grape," which is a bitter and bad grape, signifies the falsity of evil, and "to eat" signifies to appropriate to oneself; and "the teeth set on edge" signifies to be in the falsity of evil therefrom, for "teeth" here as above signify falsities in ultimates or in the sensual man, in which the evils of parents, which are called hereditary evils, especially lie hidden in children, and "to be set on edge" signifies the appropriation of falsity from evil; for a man is not punished on account of hereditary evils but on account of his own and so far as he makes hereditary evils actual in himself; therefore it is said that "everyone shall die in his own iniquity; and every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge."

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 31:29-30)


[11] In Job:

All men abhor me; my bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh; I have escaped with the skin of my teeth (Acts of the Apostles 19:19, 20).

In the sense of the letter this means that he became thus lank and lean; but in the spiritual sense it signifies that temptations so suppressed the interiors of his mind that he became sensual, and thought only in things most external, and yet that he thought truths and not falsities; this is signified by "I have escaped with the skin of my teeth," "teeth" without skin signifying falsities, but with skin not falsities, since they are still in some degree clothed.

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 19:19-20; Job 19:19-20)


[12] In Amos:

I have given to you emptiness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places (Amos 4:6).

"Emptiness of teeth in the cities" stands for a scarcity of truth in doctrines, and "want of bread in all places" for scarcity of good from doctrines in the life.

[13] In Zechariah:

I will take away his bloods out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth (Zechariah 9:7).

This is said of Tyre and Sidon, which signify the knowledges of truth and good, here these falsified; "bloods out of the mouth" signify the falsifications of the knowledges of truths; and "the abominations from between the teeth" signify the adulterations of the knowledges of good; the knowledges of good are also truths, for to know goods is from the understanding, and the understanding is of truth.

[14] In David:

The waters had overwhelmed us, the presumptuous waters had passed over our soul. Blessed be Jehovah, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth (Psalms 124:4-6).

The "waters that had overwhelmed" signify falsities that flow in, and as it were overwhelm man when he is in temptations; therefore it is said, "Blessed be Jehovah, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth," that is, to the hells that destroy truths by falsities, thus to destructive falsities.

[15] In Job:

I brake the jaw teeth of the wicked, and plucked the prey out of his teeth (Job 29:17).

This Job says of himself. "I brake the jaw teeth of the wicked" signifies that he fought against falsities and conquered them, "jaw teeth" signifying knowledges [scientifica] from the sense of the letter of the Word, adapted to confirm the falsities by which truths are destroyed; and "I plucked the prey out of his teeth" signifies that he delivered others from falsities by instructing them.

[16] Because the "teeth" signify falsities in things most external, "gnashing of teeth" signifies to fight with vehemence and anger from falsities against truths, in the following passages. In Job:

He teareth me in his wrath, and hateth me; mine enemy gnasheth upon me with his teeth, he sharpeneth his eyes against me (Job 16:9).

In David:

The halt whom I know not gather themselves together against me, they rend, nor are they silent. They gnash upon me with their teeth (Psalms 35:15, 16).

In the same:

The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth (Psalms 37:12).

In the same:

The wicked shall see and be provoked; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt 3 away (Psalms 112:10).

In Micah:

Against the prophets that lead the people astray, that bite with their teeth (Micah 3:5).

In Lamentations:

All thine enemies opened their mouth against thee, O daughter of Jerusalem, they hissed and gnashed the teeth (Lamentations 2:16).

In Mark:

One said to Jesus, I have brought unto thee my son, who hath an evil 4 spirit; and wheresoever it taketh him it teareth him; and he foameth and grindeth his teeth, and pineth away; and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast it out, but they were not able. And Jesus said unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I command thee come out of him, and enter no more into him (Mark 9:17, 18, 25).

One who is ignorant of the spiritual sense of the Word might suppose that they are said "to gnash the teeth" merely because they were angry and intent on evil, since men then press the teeth together; but they are said "to gnash the teeth" because the endeavor to destroy and the act of destroying truths by means of falsities are meant by it; this is said in the Word because "teeth" signify falsities in things most external, and "gnashing" signifies vehemence in fighting for them; this effort and act are also from correspondence.

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 16:9; Mark 9:17-18; Psalms 35:15-16)


[17] Moreover, such was the deaf and dumb spirit that the Lord cast out; for all spirits are from the human race; this spirit was from that kind of men who had vehemently fought for falsities against truths; consequently the one obsessed by him "foamed and gnashed his teeth." He is called by the Lord "deaf and dumb" because he was unwilling to perceive and understand the truth, for such are signified by "the deaf and the dumb." And because this spirit was determined and obstinate against truths, and had confirmed himself in falsities, the disciples were not able to cast him out, for the falsities for which he had fought they were not yet able to dispel because they had not yet reached the proper state, and it was for this also that the disciples were rebuked by the Lord. That this spirit was such, and the one obsessed by him was not such, is signified by "the spirit tearing him," and the obsessed "pining away;" and the Lord's commanding the spirit "to enter no more into him."

[18] All this makes clear what is signified by:

Gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28).

"Gnashing of teeth" in the hells means continual disputation and combat of falsities with each other and against truths, and thus of those who are in falsities, joined with contempt of others, enmity, jeering, derision, blaspheming, and these also burst forth into attempts to tear each other in pieces, for everyone fights for his own falsity from love of self, of learning, and of fame. These disputations and contests are heard outside of these hells as gnashings of teeth, and are also turned into gnashings of teeth when truths flow in thither out of heaven. (But more on this subject may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 575.)

[19] Because with the evil the teeth correspond to the falsities they have in the ultimates of their intellectual life, which are called corporeal-sensual, therefore the spirits who are such appear deformed in the face, the greater part of which is made up of the teeth standing widely apart like gratings, and in a broad grin, and this because such gaping of teeth corresponds to the love and eagerness for fighting for falsities against truths.

[20] Because the teeth correspond to the ultimates of man's intellectual life, which are called sensual, and these when separated from the truths of the interior understanding, which are called spiritual, are in the falsities of evil, but the same when not separated correspond to the truths of good in the sensual, so "teeth" in the Word signify also ultimate truths (as in Job 19:19, 20; Amos 4:6, which may be seen explained above).

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 19:19-20; Job 19:19-20)


[21] And because the Lord glorified His entire Human, that is, made it Divine, therefore it is said of Him in Moses:

His eyes shall be red with wine, and His teeth white with milk (Genesis 49:12).

"Eyes red with wine" signifies that His intellectual was Divine truth from Divine good; and "teeth white with milk" signifies that His sensual was likewise Divine truth from Divine good; for "Shiloh" here (v erse 10) means the Lord.

(Odkazy: Genesis 49:10)


[22] Because "teeth" correspond to the ultimates of the intellectual life, which are called sensual, good spirits and angels have teeth the same as men, but with them the teeth correspond to truths in the ultimate sensual, for with them the sensual is not separated from the truths of the interior understanding which are called spiritual.

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Footnotes:

1. Latin has "remove," the Hebrew "tear out."

2. Latin has "maketh," the Hebrew "made," as also found in AE 403; AC 5113, 9052.

3. Latin has "melteth," Hebrew "shall melt."

4. Latin has "evil," Greek "mute," as in AE 815.

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(Odkazy: Revelation 9:8)

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Apocalypse Explained 542, 557, 632, 650, 697, 1029

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 Why Do People Go to Hell?
God wants everyone to go to heaven, however He grants the freedom to choose hell, which is to love self and delight in evil.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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