Bible

 

以西結書 16

联盟版(繁体)         

Studovat vnitřní smysl

← Předchozí   Další →

1 耶和華的又臨到我說:

2 人子啊,你要使耶路撒冷知道他那些可憎的事,

3 耶和華耶路撒冷如此:你根本,你出世,是在迦南地;你父親是亞摩利人,你母親是赫人。

4 論到你出世的景況,在你初生的日子沒有為你斷臍帶,也沒有用你,使你潔淨,絲毫沒有撒鹽在你身上,也沒有用布裹你。

5 誰的眼也不可憐你,為你做件這樣的事憐恤你;但你初生的日子扔在田野,是因你被厭惡。

6 我從你旁邊經過,見你滾在血中,就對你:你雖在血中,仍可存活;你雖在血中,仍可存活。

7 我使你生好像田間所的,你就漸漸大,以致極其俊美,兩乳成形,頭髮成,你卻仍然赤身露體。

8 我從你旁邊經過,見你的時候正動愛情,便用衣襟搭在你身上,遮蓋你的赤體;又向你起誓,與你結盟,你就歸於我。這是耶和華的。

9 那時我用你,洗淨你身上的血,又用抹你。

10 我也使你身穿繡花衣服,腳穿海狗皮鞋,並用細麻布給你束腰,用綢為衣披在你身上,

11 又用妝飾打扮你,將鐲子戴在你上,將金鍊戴在你項上。

12 我也將環子戴在你鼻子上,將耳環戴在你耳朵上,將華冠戴在你上。

13 這樣,你就有的妝飾,穿的是細麻衣和綢,並繡花衣;的是細麵、蜂蜜,並。你也極其美貌,發達到王后的尊榮。

14 你美貌的名聲傳在列邦中,你十分美貌,是因我加在你身上的威榮。這是耶和華的。

15 只是你仗著自己的美貌,又因你的名聲就行邪淫。你縱情淫亂,使過路的任意而行。

16 你用衣服為自己在處結彩,在其上行邪淫。這樣的事將必沒有,也必不再行了。

17 你又將我所你那華美的、寶器為自己製造人像,與他行邪淫;

18 又用你的繡花衣服他披上,並將我的膏和香料擺在他跟前;

19 又將我賜你的食物,就是我賜的細麵、,和蜂蜜,都擺在他跟前為馨香的供物。這是耶和華的。

20 並且你將給我所生的兒女焚獻給他。

21 你行淫亂豈是小事,竟將我的兒女殺了,使他們經火歸與他麼?

22 你行這一切可憎和淫亂的事,並未追念你幼年赤身露體滾在血中的日子。

23 你行這一切惡事之耶和華:你有禍了!有禍了!)

24 又為自己建造圓頂花樓,在各街上做了臺。

25 你在一切市口上建造臺,使你的美貌變為可憎的,又與一切過的多行淫亂。

26 你也和你鄰邦放縱情慾的埃及人行淫,加增你的淫亂,惹我發怒。

27 因此我伸攻擊你,減少你應用的糧食,又將你交恨你的非利士眾女(眾女是城邑的意思;本章下同),使他們任意待你。他們見你的淫行,為你羞恥。

28 你因貪色無厭,又與亞述人行淫,與他們行淫之後,仍不滿意

29 並且多行淫亂,直到那貿易之地,就是迦勒底,你仍不滿意

30 耶和華:你行這一切事,都是不知羞恥妓女所行的,可見你的心是何等懦弱!

31 因你在一切市口上建造圓頂花樓,在各街上做了臺,你卻藐視賞賜,不像妓女

32 哎!你這行淫的妻啊,寧肯接外人,不接丈夫

33 妓女是得人贈送,你反倒贈送你所的人,賄賂他們從四圍與你行淫。

34 你行淫與別的婦女相反,因為不是人從你行淫;你既贈送人,人並不贈送你;所以你與別的婦女相反。

35 你這妓女啊,要耶和華的

36 耶和華如此:因你的污穢傾洩了,你與你所的行淫露出下體,又因你拜一切可憎的偶像,流兒女的血獻他,

37 我就要將你一切相歡相的和你一切所恨的都聚集來,從四圍攻擊你;又將你的下體露出,使他們盡了。

38 我也要審判你,好像官長審判淫婦和流人血的婦女一樣。我因忿怒忌恨,使流血的罪歸到你身上。

39 我又要將你交在他們中;他們必拆毀你的圓頂花樓,毀壞你的臺,剝去你的衣服,奪取你的華美寶器,留下你赤身露體。

40 他們也必帶多人來攻擊你,用石頭打死你,用刀刺透你,

41 焚燒你的房屋,在許多婦人眼前向你施行審判。我必使你不再行淫,也不再贈送與人。

42 這樣,我就止息向你發的忿怒,我的忌恨也要離開你,我要安靜不再惱怒。

43 因你不追念你幼年的日子,在這一切的事上向我發烈怒,所以我必照你所行的報應在你上,你就不再貪淫,行那一切可憎的事。這是耶和華的。

44 俗語的必用俗語攻擊你,母親怎樣,女兒也怎樣。

45 你正是你母親的女兒,厭棄丈夫和兒女;你正是你姊妹的姊妹,厭棄丈夫和兒女。你母親是赫人,你父親是亞摩利人。

46 你的姊姊是撒瑪利亞,他和他的眾女在你左邊;你的妹妹所多瑪,他和他的眾女在你右邊。

47 你沒有效法他們的行為,也沒有照他們可憎的事去做,你以那為小事,你一切所行的倒比他們更壞。

48 耶和華:我指著我的永生起誓,你妹妹所多瑪與他的眾女尚未行你和你眾女所行的事。

49 看哪,你妹妹所多瑪的罪孽是這樣:他和他的眾女都心驕氣傲,糧食飽足,大享安逸,並沒有扶助困苦和窮乏人的

50 他們狂傲,在我面前行可憎的事,我見便將他們除掉。

51 撒瑪利亞沒有犯你一,你行可憎的事比他更多,使你的姊妹因你所行一切可憎的事,倒顯為義。

52 你既斷定你姊妹為(為:或譯當受羞辱),就要擔當自己的羞辱;因你所犯的比他們更為可憎,他們就比你更顯為;你既使你的姊妹顯為,你就要抱愧擔當自己的羞辱

53 我必叫他們被擄的歸回,就是叫所多瑪和他的眾女,撒瑪利亞和他的眾女,並你們中間被擄的,都要歸回,

54 好使你擔當自己的羞辱,並因你一切所行的使他們得安慰,你就抱愧。

55 你的妹妹所多瑪和他的眾女必歸回原位;撒瑪利亞和他的眾女,你和你的眾女,也必歸回原位。

56 在你驕傲的日子,你的惡行沒有顯露以先,你的就不提你的妹妹所多瑪。那受了凌辱的亞蘭眾女和亞蘭四圍非利士的眾女都恨惡你,藐視你。

57 a

58 耶和華:你貪淫和可憎的事,你已經擔當了。

59 耶和華如此:你這輕看誓言、背棄盟約的,我必照你所行的待你。

60 然而我要追念在你幼年時與你所立的約,也要與你立定永約。

61 你接待你姊姊和你妹妹的時候,你要追念你所行的,自覺慚愧;並且我要將他們賜你為女兒,卻不是按著前約。

62 我要堅定與你所立的約(你就知道我是耶和華),

63 好使你在我赦免你一切所行的時候,心裡追念,自覺抱愧,又因你的羞辱就不再開。這是耶和華的。

← Předchozí   Další →

   Studovat vnitřní smysl
Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

揭秘启示录 350, 880

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 64

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 139


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

属天的奥秘 93, 213, 289, 297, 374, 622, 666, ...

揭秘启示录 134, 166, 189, 209, 213, 216, 245, ...

婚姻之爱 119

Doctrine of the Lord 28

Doctrine of Life 79

天堂与地狱 180

真实的基督教 306, 314, 583, 782


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 126, 141, 195, 238, 240, 242, 272, ...

Spiritual Experiences 246, 5160

Jiný komentář

  Příběhy:


  Duchovní témata:


Skočit na podobné biblické verše

創世記 24:22, 38:16

出埃及記 15:16, 24:8

利未記 26:30

民數記 35:16, 17, 18, 21, 31

如申命记 1:10, 11, 22:22, 24, 29:24, 32:13, 32, 43

列王纪上 12:28, 14:23

历代志下 21:11, 28:3, 5, 18, 25, 36:17

以斯帖记 9:27

約伯記 29:6, 34:26, 40:4

詩篇 45:15, 78:37, 85:3, 106:38, 41, 45, 147:14

箴言 7:19

雅歌 1:10, 11

以賽亞書 3:11, 19, 21, 10:11, 14:1, 24:5, 33:24, 43:1, 27, 44:22, 47:8, 55:3, 57:5, 9, 58:1, 61:8

耶利米書 1:16, 2:2, 10, 18, 20, 24, 3:1, 11, 20, 24, 11:10, 13:26, 27, 19:5, 23:40, 25:9, 31:32, 46:27, 52:13

耶利米哀歌 2:15

以西結書 5:6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 7:3, 8, 20, 9:10, 16:3, 20, 22, 27, 36, 43, 45, 57, 58, 17:19, 18:7, 20:4, 26, 28, 29, 43, 22:2, 23:1, 3, 23, 25, 36:18, 22, 25, 32, 37:26, 43:10

但以理書 9:13, 14

何西阿書 1:2, 2:5, 10, 20, 4:18, 8:9, 10, 9:1, 11:1, 14:1

彌迦書 1:5, 5:12, 13

路加福音 1:72, 15:22, 22:20

約翰福音 10:3

羅馬書 2:1, 3:19, 6:21, 9:4

以弗所書 5:26

彼得前书 3:20

約翰一書 5:6

啟示錄 17:16

Významy biblických slov

耶和華的
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

耶和華
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...


'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

耶路撒冷
Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, signifies the doctrine of love to the Lord, and how it governs your life. Jerusalem first comes to our attention in...


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

知道
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...


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


The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

父親
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

母親
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...


'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...


It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that “washing” in the Bible represents purification. Washing dirt from the skin is symbolic...


A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...


'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

頭髮
The hair is the very outermost part of the body, and "hair" in the Bible represents the outermost expression of whatever the body represents. In...


To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

洗淨
It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that “washing” in the Bible represents purification. Washing dirt from the skin is symbolic...


Oil – typically olive oil – was an extremely important product in Biblical times, for food preparation, medicinal ointment and for burning in lamps. As...

細麻
'Silk' signifies intermediate celestial good and truth. It means good because it is soft, and truth because it shines. 'Silk,' like 'fine linen,' denotes genuine...

麻布
Linen' signifies genuine truth.


'Silk' signifies intermediate celestial good and truth. It means good because it is soft, and truth because it shines. 'Silk,' like 'fine linen,' denotes genuine...


Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

鼻子
'A nose' signifies the life of good, because of the respiration which happens through it, which is life in the internal sense, and because of...


The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....


Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...


'Money' relates to truth.


When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

衣服
It is said, in Deuteronomy 22:11, "Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts; as of woolen and linen together…”. This means that the...


'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.


As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...


Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...


按照瑞典博格的说法,时间和空间不存在于精神现实中,它们是纯粹的自然事物,只存在于物质层面。这就意味着,一个精神性的东西不可能在时间上的另一个精神性的东西 "之后 "发生,因为没有时间。而一个精神性的东西也不可能在空间上 "追随 "另一个精神性的东西,因为没有空间。 相反,灵性的现实是建立在灵性状态的基础上,或天使的爱和思想。这些爱和思想以因果链的方式连接在一起,天使们的体验就像我们体验时间一样;一个思想在精神层面上流向另一个思想,而天使们感觉到这种进步,就像我们感觉到一个时刻流向另一个时刻的进步一样。当天使有类似的思想和感觉时,他们体验到的亲近感和我们对肉体亲近感的体验是非常相同的;他们对 "空间 "的概念是整个精神世界中的灵魂所拥有的思想和情感的变化。 当《圣经》将某件事情描述为 "后边 "的东西时,那么,属灵的意义就与属灵状态的递进有关;它是在前边的东西基础上产生的新的属灵状态。由于较高的状态会流入较低的状态,所以 "之后 "的东西往往是较低的、较外在的状态。例如,内心深处对他人的善的渴望,会自动地流向具体的想法,即我们可以做的具体的善事。那么,这些具体的想法,就会 "在 "善的欲望之后。

建造
在圣经中,"建立 "其实有两个意思。当一个东西第一次被建造的时候,或者说是最典型的意义上的建造,它的意思是收集相对外在的思想,建立起一个教义体系--从某种意义上说,这是一个你可以使用或居住的结构。不过,在其他情况下,"建立 "是指已经被破坏的东西。例如,从战斗中留下的废墟,可以重新建造。在这些情况下,"建造 "指的是去除我们对邪恶的欲望,这样我们就可以开始一个新的灵性成长阶段。在这些情况下,"建立 "常常与 "兴起 "一起使用,意思是在同一过程中去除错误的思维方式。

埃及
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

埃及人
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

滿意
'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

迦勒底
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

妓女
'A harlot' signifies the affection of falsities, thus the church corrupted.

丈夫
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...


To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...


Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

偶像
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

聚集
A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...


Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

石頭
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...


A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...


Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

房屋
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...


A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

許多
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

安靜
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...


To 'take the sum of the sons of Israel,' as in Exodus 30:12, signifies the whole church.

女兒
Marriages among people – both in the Bible and in life – represent spiritual marriage. Women represent the desire to be good and to do...

母親的
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

撒瑪利亞
'Samaria,' as in Amos 4:1. 6:1, signifies the spiritual church perverted.


Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

妹妹
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

所多瑪
"Sodom" in the Bible represents the love of self and the love of ruling or dominating others springing from the love of self. This is...

飽足
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.


Half and double in reference to numbers in the world have a similar signification as the numbers themselves.


In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...


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

羞辱
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

中間
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

安慰
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...


In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

Bible

 

但以理書 9:13

联盟版(繁体)         

Studovat vnitřní smysl

← Předchozí    Celá kapitola    Další →

13 這一切災禍臨到我們身上是照摩西律法上所的,我們卻沒有求耶和華我們的恩典,使我們回頭離開罪孽,明白你的真理。

   Studovat vnitřní smysl

Exposition of Daniel's Prayer      

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

Keeping balance in one’s spiritual life is of supreme importance—and perhaps this is why the book of Daniel is given in two such clearly demarcated forms. The first six chapters show us the history of Daniel’s life in Babylon, from the time of his captivity as a youth to his elevation to power in the reign of Darius the Mede. The overall view of these first six chapters is to bring home the concept that our spiritual life is an ongoing progression. Certainly there are hard times, and certainly the selfishness in our characters is often hard to beat. Implicit in the history, however, is the ongoing promise that this evil can and will be beaten. We need to keep this in mind.

As we turned to the prophetic section of the book the importance of the historical section becomes clearer. In chapter seven, in the midst of the horrific vision which tells of our slide into evil, we need to remember the context of the vision—it takes place in the reign of Belshazzar. So does the vision of chapter eight, which describes the alternating states of good and evil, and particularly the state in which evils seems to so completely take over and dominate our minds.

In these visions there is a tendency to feel desperate. Will any goodness ever return to us, will the state ever swing back towards goodness? Daniel’s reaction to this vision was to faint and feel sick for days.

The darkness of night, however, is always broken by the gleams of morning light. In the depths of temptation, even to the point of despair, we are given the gift of the long view shown in the historical section. Belshazzar the king, during whose reign Daniel saw these visions, was deposed by Darius the Mede, and even though he faced terrible dangers during those years, nevertheless, he rose to a position of great power.

Belshazzar, as we have seen earlier depicts states of selfishness and evil in our external life. When we allow ourselves unfettered selfishness, when we willingly permit ourselves to discard the restraining truths of the Word, then our evil will express itself in daily life. Even the good things we do, when done from a selfish motive, are really expressions of evil. Like Belshazzar before us, when we are in this state, we wantonly profane the love of goodness and the understanding of truth given to us by the Lord.

This state, however, never lasts unless we choose to embrace it of our own free accord. As in the case of the four beasts shown in chapter seven, there will be a time of judgment. Like Belshazzar we will be weighed in the balances and found wanting.

The important question, however, is what do we do to turn the tide of evil, or tip the balances of our lives? Even in chapter eight, when Daniel sees the vision of the ram and the goat, he was within the walls of the citadel of Shushan, showing us that no matter how much we slide into evil, the Lord provides that our conscience is always able to be activated, and from that conscience we are able to see our condition, repent and turn away from it.

It follows, then, that chapters seven and eight outline a natural progression from the origin of evil in our lives—described as the beast, to the rule of evil, shown by the actions of the goat. Liberation comes from humility and repentance before the Lord, and chapter nine focuses on repentance leading the way to a fulfilment of spiritual life.

VERSES 1-2
We first met Darius the Mede at the end of chapter five, when he swept into Babylon and killed Belshazzar on the very night of the profane feast. Specific mention was made that Darius was sixty two years old at the time. Analysis of the way Darius exalted Daniel, especially his unwillingness to have him put to death, indicates that Darius represents a person who is in the process of turning aside from pure selfishness into a state where the conscience, symbolised by Daniel, is elevated to high rank. In this state the conscience begins to rule our thoughts as Daniel ruled in Babylon, second only to himself (Cf. Daniel 6:3).

The reign of Darius stands as a counterpoint to that of Belshazzar, both in the historical and prophetical series. In Belshazzar’s reign, epitomising selfishness, Daniel saw visions of beasts putting goodness to flight. Those states, as said before, alternate with other states when the conscience is able to direct our feelings and thoughts. These latter are states of spiritual lucidity and recommitment to regeneration, and by correspondence take place during the reign of Darius.

Daniel, who had lived long in Babylon, surviving both Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, found himself an old man. He had been carried into captivity as a young boy, and later watched from afar as Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian hordes. From his privileged vantage point he was aware of the vast number of Jews compelled to live in Babylon on order from the king. He was equally aware of the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, and knew that this meant that no sacrificial worship could take place. Yet Daniel also knew prophecies indicating that this state of affairs would not last forever. He states that he "understood by the books the number of years specified … that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Years in the internal sense of the Word never refer to time, always to state, and the number of years therefore refers to the states a person must go through in their selfish, or Babylonian, states, before they are set free to live again without the influence of selfishness to mar their lives.

The desolation of Jerusalem is the damage done to the church, or more specifically the states of genuine goodness and truth within us, by the evils of selfishness. Selfishness is the single most destructive human emotion, as we have seen from the violence of its depiction in the actions of Nebuchadnezzar, the profanation of Belshazzar, and in the terror of the beast and the goat. Yet if the human conscience is nurtured and fed, if it is lifted up, as Darius honoured and promoted Daniel, then the conscience will flourish, and spiritual sanity will be restored.

The process takes a lifetime. "Two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings," Daniel was told—alternations continuing through states of temptations until it is possible for a new state to break into our minds and establish itself there.

In chapter nine the seventy years of Babylonian captivity describe the steady breakdown of the power of selfishness over us. "Seventy years" of captivity before release represents the states in us before the Lord is present. When we are in states of selfishness, our selfishness blocks out the presence of the Lord. As we regenerate, however, the selfishness is put aside, and the Lord is able to draw closer. The presence of the Lord in our lives has the effect of further breaking down our selfishness, and ushering in new states of life freed from these.

Seen from this point of view, chapter nine follows clearly from chapters seven and eight. The pendulum of life has swung, we are aware of our evils, in fact we are still immersed in them, but by the power of the conscience we begin the process of breaking free.

VERSES 9-19
Spiritual regeneration begins in humility. Daniel was aware of Israel’s captivity in Babylon, and longed for it to end. In humility he turned his face towards the Lord God, to make his requests by prayers and supplications and to emphasise his grief and mourning over this state of affairs with the time honour practices of fasting, wearing garments of sack-cloth and pouring ashes over his head.

These actions, rooted in the deepest of Old Testament times contain within them the very essence of repentance. We will forever remain slaves to selfishness unless and until we are willing to humble ourselves to the Lord. This begins when we recognise the work of the beast and the goat in our own lives, when we see Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar as twin kings of evil directing our inner and outer selves. It is easy to lay the blame for these states on others, to claim that our up-bringing was not good, for example, but in reality the responsibility is ours. The Daniel side of our minds needs to be active.

The first step of the spiritual activity which will eventually set us free is recorded in the words "Daniel set his face to the Lord God." That single physical motion is the beginning of the series of spiritual events in our lives which will eventually free us from selfishness. In the internal sense the "face" represents our internal states, which gives us the ability to see our lives from a different perspective than simply that of the senses (Arcana Coelestia 358, 5165) As we saw earlier, it was because of Daniel, or our conscience, that we are able to see anything in ourselves at all. Part of the judgment arising from truth is looking at ourselves, as we are, and rejecting the evil or grosser parts of our beings. Daniel turning his face to the Lord God takes on the meaning of a person focusing his or her internals on the presence of the Lord in them. To do this, they have to turn aside from their selfishness.

By fixing our sights on the Lord we are able to begin the process of repentance. Repentance is a process which involves a complete reorientation of our lives. We are told that “actual repentance consists in a person’s examining himself, recognising and acknowledging his sins, praying to the Lord, and beginning a new life” (True Christian Religion 528).

The visions of Chapter Seven and Eight, which show the origin and progress of evil in our lives, can easily be related to the self examination required in repentance. Chapter Nine deals more fully with the acknowledgement of sins, and prayer to the Lord for forgiveness.

Yet repentance can never begin without turning our faces towards the Lord God, for, as in the words of the Psalmist, all our sins are really sins against Him. Recognising this is the basis of true humility.

It is in this humility that Daniel proposed to speak to the Lord. Notice his words as he turned his face towards the Lord God "to make request by prayer and supplication." In the literal sense Daniel is praying for the restoration of Jerusalem and freedom from Babylon. In our lives, our request is for a return to the states of innocence and peace we last experienced in our infant years, with the difference that after regeneration this innocence is an expression of wisdom in contrast with infant ignorance.

Daniel turned to the Lord with "prayer and supplication." These words are not merely repetition of the same thing. In the Word where pairs of words are used in this way, it draws attention to the duality in the Word (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 80-90, True Christian Religion 248-253). The Word is an outpouring of love and wisdom from the Lord, which is reflected in each and every detail, but most clearly when pairs of words are used to describe the same thing. "Prayer and supplication" as a pair of words, meaning the same thing, express both the love and wisdom from Lord, and by using them in this fashion, Daniel draws attention to the fact that our humility and repentance come from both the will and the understanding parts of our being.

Should we turn to the Lord with the will only, we may find that we wish to repent, but do not have any idea of how to do so. The desire may well eventually founder because it is not directed by the understanding. On the other hand, repentance which does not also draw from a will or desire to change has no depth. The intellectual side of our minds alone cannot lead us into a new life. So the two must go together, as partners, to lead us with by the desire of the will according to the wisdom of the understanding. Like Daniel, we need to turn to the Lord with "prayer and supplication."

Prayer, we are told "is talking to God and at the same time some inner view of the things that are being prayed for” (Arcana Coelestia 2535). Prayer is a very necessary part of our spiritual lives. We are told that a person can remove evils "only if he acknowledges the Divine Providence and prays that the removal be done by it” (Divine Providence 184). The power to overcome evils is given in response to the prayer (Doctrine of Life 31), which is described as "a certain opening of the man's interiors toward God” (Arcana Coelestia 2535). As our interiors open to the Lord, the power He used to fight against evil spirits is given to us to use as our own power, which puts us into a state of freedom to resist evil.

Notice Daniel’s actions in prayer. The matter for which he prayed was close to his heart, the deliverance of Israel from Babylonian captivity. He knew the prophecy of seventy years, and knew also that about seventy years had passed since the captivity had taken place. His prayer, however, was not one of demanding his rights, there was no arrogance in his tone, such as we sometime find in our own when we think the Lord has not lived up to His side of the covenant.

Daniel’s prayer was full of inner and outer humility. We see the outer humility first as he prepared himself for prayer by fasting and clothing himself in sackcloth and ashes. As in every detail of the Word this sequence of actions contains within itself a series of states, in this case states preparatory to prayer itself.

Daniel began with fasting. In the internal sense "to fast" means "to mourn on account of the lack of good and truth” (Apocalypse Explained 1189:2). In our prayer to the Lord for help in times of temptation and deliverance from it, it is important to begin with the attitude of recognition that we actually have no real good or truth in us. Our goodness is under control of the love of self, just as Daniel was, in spite of his high position, technically still a captive of the king of Babylon.

We can only begin to really break free of the bondage of self when we come to this recognition—and this is why Daniel had to witness those two terrible visions, so that he, and we through him, could see our own state, and be affected by it, and be moved by a desire to break free from it. The concept of "fasting" therefore, also contains a willingness to enter into combat against the Babylonian side of ourselves (Apocalypse Explained 730).

There is another element in the idea of fasting which is also of great importance here. "Fasting" also stands for the desire to learn the forms of good and the truths of faith (Arcana Coelestia 9050:7). Without this desire our spiritual progress grinds to a halt. A person who has no interest in acquiring knowledge about the forms of goodness and truth closes his or her mind to the presence of the Lord, remaining thus in ignorance and will eventually lapse, without resistance, back into a life of unfettered selfishness.

This fasting is in many ways analogous to the young Daniel, recently carried to Babylon from Jerusalem, when he refused to eat the food from the king’s table. Although he did eat fresh vegetables, technically he fasted in regards to Nebuchadnezzar’s food. "Eating" and "drinking" represent the assimilation of goods and truths in our minds, and in the opposite sense, the assimilation of evil and falsity. By refusing to eat the king’s food, young Daniel showed himself unwilling to partake of the feelings and thoughts arising from selfishness. It was really that unwillingness which sustained him during the course of his life, and now, as he begins to pray to the Lord, he once again fasts.

The reality of this in our own lives is very important. Our conscience is formed partly from an unwillingness to embrace evil, not only once but continually. When we come to repent our sins, this unwillingness has to be at the very core of our spirits, otherwise our repentance will be of no avail.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of people in a state of mourning who fast, wear garments of sackcloth and cover their heads with ashes. In the New Testament the Lord ties together the concept of grieving or mourning with repentance when He said, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes (Luke 10:13).

It was entirely in keeping with the customs of the Old Testament, therefore, for Daniel in his grief over the captivity of the people, to augment his fast with clothes of sackcloth and ashes on his head. In the internal sense to be clothed in sackcloth means to be in mourning because one does not one has not been receptive of Divine good and truth (Apocalypse Explained 637), and thus that good has been destroyed (Arcana Coelestia 4779). Ashes, which were placed on the head, or sometimes people rolled in them, represent the false thoughts and ideas a person has had on account of evil (Arcana Coelestia 7520).

Daniel’s actions are deeply symbolic of a person who is beginning the process of serious repentance. By fasting, wearing sackcloth and ashes he indicates the feeling of humility and sorrow, or contrition, we need in order to truly enter into repentance. While contrition is necessary to motivate us to repent, one needs to be careful that those intense feelings of sorrow about our evil states do not so dominate our thoughts that we feel that the sorrow itself is repentance. One needs to guard against falling into the trap of thinking that we are total depraved sinners without seeing any particular evil in ourselves which can be overcome by repentance (True Christian Religion 513). Repentance is an activity, not a feeling.

Daniel does not wallow in his sorrow, he directs his thoughts to the Lord with the words of prayer and confession. Repentance is a process beginning is self-examination done in a state of humility. A person who is repenting needs to then do two things after self-examination- prayer and confession. As one takes the findings of self-examination to the Lord in prayer, so one confesses ones sins to Him. Confession "will be that he sees, recognises, and acknowledges his evils, and finds himself to be a miserable sinner" (True Christian Religion 539). The person doesn’t need to list particular incidents of sin to the Lord, for the Lord is present in the process of self-examination, but he or she needs to have a clear understanding of the sins to be repented.

Once the person confesses to the Lord, it is necessary to pray to the Lord for forgiveness. Even though the Lord constantly forgives people their sins, but it is necessary to pray for forgiveness for our own sakes because it reminds us that forgiveness comes with the removal of sins, and sins are removed as we refrain from them and enter a new life. We also need to be reminded of the fact that the Lord does indeed forgive us our sins if we repent them. (True Christian Religion 539).

Daniel’s prayer is a model of confession and begging for forgiveness. He begins with a recognition of the Lord Himself. Notice the duality of the terms in his opening, "O Lord, great and awesome God." As we saw earlier, this juxtaposition of two names refers to the qualities of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. The name used for God in any given chapter of the Word indicates the quality or aspect of God present in the internal sense at that point. Generally the name "Lord" refers to the Lord’s love operating in people’s lives, while God describes the Divine truth which is the vehicle carrying love down to the level at which people can receive it (Arcana Coelestia 2921, 2769).

This opening of a prayer can seem like simply addressing the prayer to the Lord, but it is much more than that. It indicates that in the state of repentance we need to keep two things in mind, firstly, that the Lord is a God of love. Without this idea there would be no real reason to repent at all. If the Lord was a God of anger or revenge, then no matter what we do we would never be able to be reconciled with Him, for no human being can ever hope to prepare for the Lord a state so perfect that He would be appeased. If, however, one sees God as a God of love, then there the quality of mercy is allowed, and from this there is hope. Secondly, by using the term God, we are reminded of the order by which the Lord both creates and governs His creation. This order is inscribed by the Lord on all things, including the process of repentance. Daniel’s choice of words here is no accidental greeting to the Supreme, but carefully chosen because it conveys the fullness of God to us in a state of repentance.

The presence of the Lord in repentance is in order. Daniel continues that the Lord "keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep his commandments." Here again we see the positioning of two issues, covenant and mercy.

The Lord’s covenant, first given to Noah, and reiterated to Abram and many others after him is simple: if people obey they will prosper, if they disobey they will perish. The whole of the Old Testament bears testimony to this covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties, and in the Lord’s covenant the two parties are Himself and the human race. The covenant is the promise that people can be regenerated and so conjoined to the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 665, 666). Every impulse towards goodness and truth in our lives bears testament to this covenant.

However, it is also told in the pages of the Old Testament, and in our own lives, that we do not always embrace the Lord’s goodness and truth. We fall short in the part we play in the covenant. The nature of the human being is attracted to selfishness and a desire to dominate over others. This is why we end up captives in our own spiritual Babylon, dominated by Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. Yet within the Lord’s covenant is the implicit promise of repentance. If we turn away from selfishness, the Lord can and will remit our sins, and we will be renewed. Daniel in his prayer is aware of the Lord’s mercy as a factor of the covenant, and appeals to it. We too need to be aware of this, for it inspires us with hope, and spurs us on to a rejection of evil.

Daniel continues then with a confession of the sins of Israel, "we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled." Notice again the duality of phrase, sin and committed iniquity. "To sin" means "to sin, to miss, to miss the way, to go wrong, to incur guilt" (Brown-Driver-Briggs definition no. 2398). While "iniquity" means "to bend, to twist, to distort” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Definition no. 5753). In these dictionary definitions one sees the fullness of Daniel’s confession. Not only was the sin from the will, which causes one to miss the way, go wrong and incur guilt, but also from the understanding as one bends, twists and distorts the truth. One can trace this process through the pages of Daniel, especially in the historical series, where in chapter two one sees the influence of the evil of selfishness on the understanding and in chapter three on the will. Both need to be cleansed, and so both need to be confessed.

Essentially "sin" is a state of disjunction from the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 4997), it is the breaking of the Lord’s covenant and arises in the loves of selfishness and greed. All people are born with an inclination towards evils, but they are not born "sinners" as is commonly believed by those who propound the doctrine of "original sin." Sin enters a person’s life when he or she becomes, through purposeful action, guilty of evil (Arcana Coelestia 7147), and so separated from the life of goodness and truth which is the basis of the Lord’s covenant.

In order for a sin to be a sin it must be done purposefully, or from intention, while knowing that it is opposed to the Lord’s teaching. We are told that “to sin is to do and think what is evil and false intentionally from the will, for such things which are done intentionally from the will are such as come forth out of the heart and defile man, consequently which destroy spiritual life with him” (Arcana Coelestia 8925).

Recognising sin in our lives, then, is recognition of the fact that we have turned aside from the Lord. We have broken covenant with Him, and can only be lead back into communion with Him through the process of repentance and reformation.

In a similar way "to commit iniquity" means to twist or distort the truth. There is a steady thread of this distortion running throughout Daniel, from Jehoiakim, king of Judah who represents a lust for evil and an aversion to truth (Apocalypse Explained 481:4), to the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans that Nebuchadnezzar called on to interpret his dreams. These represent the habitual thought processes we fall into to protect and enhance our selfish states. Whenever our minds are not directed by the conscience, our thoughts are dominated by the selfish will, with the result that we commit iniquity by thinking selfishly.

This kind of acknowledgement is the beginning of the formal process of repentance. As Daniel says in his prayer, "we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgements." In these words he captures the totality of human evil, both as to its motivation sin and the expressive thought. All sin, in one way or another, is a rebellion against God. As we have seen in earlier chapters Lucifer’s fall was occasioned by his rebellion.

Any general recognition of sin and iniquity of life, however, needs to be more than simply a general statement of evil. It does people no good to simply admit that of themselves they are sinners without specifying at least one sin. A person may know from the Word that he or she is a sinner, but unless that person actually searches out his or her evils, they remain as a source of spiritual infection (Charity 3). If we claim to be sinners without self-exploration, can cannot truly confess ourselves to be sinners (Arcana Coelestia 8390, The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 159) for our confession would have no basis in self-perception and would merely be a lip confession, which can be made even by evil men when the thought of hell-fire is present (True Christian Religion 517).

It follows then that Daniel highlights a specific example of how the Jews had sinned against God, which lead to their captivity in Babylon. He said, “Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land” (Daniel 9:6).

The sin of the ancient Jews was the ignoring of and disobedience to the prophets sent by the Lord to lead the people. King after king of Judea set up idols, worshipping them in place of the Lord, until finally the kingdom was overrun, the temple desecrated and destroyed, the people carried off into captivity or scattered. Jehoiakim, king of Judah at the time of the Babylonian captivity is a case in point. His father, Josiah, read the Word and restored the temple. He tore down idolatrous places of worship and re-instituted the Passover (2 Kings 23, 24). Jehoiakim, inheriting the throne at age twenty five, knowing full well the reforms of Josiah, and yet chose to reject these by "doing evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done” (2 Kings 23:37). In this way he ignored the Lord and disobeyed His teachings.

Much the same happens to us. When selfishness controls us it leads us to intentionally reject the teachings of the Word—even though we may pay lip-service to them. The result is a state of disobedience which can only be rectified through repentance. Each alternation of state, when we swing from goodness into evil is such an action. As Daniel says, we do not listen to the Lord’s prophets.

In the literal sense of the Word a prophet is one who preaches the truth, as did Elijah and Elisha, to name but two. However, in the internal sense a prophet represents the teaching itself, thus the doctrine from the Word (Arcana Coelestia 2534). As we have seen earlier, "kings" in the Word represent the ruling principles in our lives, and if these are false, then all our subsidiary thoughts, the "princes" will also be false.

The nature of sin and iniquity, then, is to allow the ruling principles in our minds, our "kings," and our thoughts derived from these, our "princes" to fall into falsity by ignoring the teachings of the Word. When a person can see this tendency within themselves, they are well on the way to truly confessing their sins to the Lord, not as an abstract state of life, but specific incidents of disobedience.

Part of this process of recognition and confession of sins is an observance of the consequences of one’s sins. Remember that Daniel is writing this prayer partly in response to the captivity of Judah—a captivity resulting from the neglect on the part of at least the king of Judah to obey the Word of the Lord. This captivity describes our states when we are held captive by the evils and falsities arising in selfishness. Daniel could clearly see that the historical captivity resulted from the disobedience of the kings of Judah. Can we see that our evils and their consequences are a result of our disobedience to the Lord? Can we come to the point at which we acknowledge our guilt to the Lord in Daniel’s words?

“Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you.”—Such a cry to the Lord would be cold and sterile if there was not hope of redemption. The historical story of Daniel shows us, however, that there is always hope. The recurring theme is that the Lord is always with us, even in the darkest times to bring the light of knowledge and a renewed commitment to change. In times of repentance this is perhaps more important than at any other time, for when we repent we undertake to change based on our recognition of the states of evil and falsity within us. At those times we need to remember that the Lord does not bear grudges, and that the very force of His Divine Providence is leading us towards heaven.

The measure of the Lord’s mercy is highlighted in the concept that when one sins, one sins against the Lord Himself (Psalm 51:4). Daniel recognises that by not listening to the teaching of the prophets the Jews had "not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God." This is a further development in the recognition of sin in oneself. To reject and be disobedient to the teaching or doctrine of the Word is one thing, for the Word is open to many interpretations, it can be twisted this way and that to suit people’s will. The real damage to the Word comes, however, through the motive for the twisting. As we have seen in many places in Daniel, when the Word is twisted to underpin and protect selfish loves, then one does damage to the Lord Himself, for He is the Word itself. As Daniel points out, the prophets are "His servants," as teaching is a servant of truth itself.

The result is the disjunction of sin, a breaking of the covenant and separation from all the goodness and truth which originates in the Lord, and which is described in the book of Deuteronomy as a curse. There are too many curses to list, but they all indicate various states of evil which befall those who separate themselves from the Lord.

In Daniel the woes of captivity are indicated as being curses from the Lord on the Jews for disobeying the Lord, and it is easy to be sympathetic to this view. Evil, especially selfishness causes life to unravel, if not in this world, then certainly in the next. Relationships based on selfishness will never be happy, conflict dogs those whose only concern is themselves. This unhappiness and conflict may seem to be a curse or disaster sent by the Lord to punish the evil doer, yet it is a great truth that the Lord never punishes anyone for their evils (Arcana Coelestia 696, 697, 1857).

For a person who is in the process of repentance this is both a necessary and comforting thought, for if the Lord cast us into hell because of our sins, all hope would be lost and life would lose its point. We need to know that regardless of how dreadful our evils may seem, and how willingly we allow ourselves to be drawn into them, still the Lord is, as Daniel says "righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice."

It is important in order to keep a state of balance in repentance to remember the times the Lord has helped us in our captivity to selfishness. In his prayer Daniel remembers back to the liberation from Egypt. If we take the historical series of the book of Daniel as our guide, we can see the Lord’s hand in the way He patiently and continually led Nebuchadnezzar through terrible times to the eventual point where the king could praise the Lord as his God. Each detail of that journey is reflected in our progressive liberation from selfishness and all its attendant states. Finally as our inner motivations change, we can be lead to the state depicted in the reign of Darius when Daniel is given charge over the land.

Providence can never be seen in advance, only in hindsight (Divine Providence 178, 187). In the throes of temptation and repentance is seems as if the Lord has abandoned us, yet He is always there to show us the way to a new state of life.

VERSES 20-27
The wonder of prayer lies in the answers. Sometimes people are not certain whether the Lord listens to prayer, and whether prayer can ever change the Lord’s mind about something. This is not, or at least should not be the reason we pray. Prayer is for our benefit, for it focuses our minds upon the Lord and opens up the interiors of our minds making it possible for us to receive His presence. The answers to prayers are seldom given in loud or dramatic ways. More often than not the answer lies in a small quiet awareness of the Lord’s presence. As we are told in the doctrines, the answer comes as “…something like a revelation (which is manifested in the affection of him that prays) as to hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy” (Arcana Coelestia 2535).

Daniel prayed to the Lord for the salvation of Israel, captive in Babylon for seventy years. He prayed with deep humility, with an awareness of the evils of the Jews, and a willingness to confront those evils. The Lord answered his prayer.

When we are in the process of repenting, we too need to pray to the Lord in confession and in prayer for forgiveness and mercy. The fact of saying those prayers is powerful, for in confessing our sins to the Lord we acknowledge from humility of heart that the evils of our lives are not defensible. The action of prayer is, in many ways, the opposite and therefore the antidote to the rule of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar in our minds. While they are present we justify our evils, we permit and actively make possible states opposed to the presence of the Lord. But in confession this changes, and our minds are opened.

Supplication, or prayer for mercy does much the same thing. In our Babylonian states we are self-sufficient—we don’t need the Lord or His Word. Our minds are dominated across the axes of our will and understanding just as the he-goat in chapter eight extended the power of his horns to the four winds of the earth. By opening our minds in prayer, however, we acknowledge that this selfish power is not real power. Real power belongs to the Lord who can and will forgive us, and in so doing gives us the power to override selfishness and break its hold over us.

While Daniel prayed, he became aware of the answer from the Lord. The imagery in his words show us a great deal about how the Lord answers prayers from the heart. As he prayed he became aware of "the man Gabriel" who flew swiftly and reached him at the time of the evening offering.

In Chapter Eight we learned that Gabriel was in reality an entire society of angels (Apocalypse Explained 302). Gabriel represents the Divine truth itself drawing near to human conscience (Arcana Coelestia 8192). This is the first part of the Lord’s answer to our prayers. When we pray we ask the Lord to hear us. The essence of prayer in Daniel’s words are summed up in verse nineteen: “O Lord hear! O Lord forgive! O Lord listen and act!”

The Lord listens with His Divine truth, and answers with truth, represented by Gabriel flying down to Daniel, reaching him at "about the time of the evening offering." As we have seen many times in this study, "evening" is a state of obscurity caused by the presence of selfishness blocking out charity and thus faith. When we repent and pray to the Lord we are still in that state of obscurity, and yet part of the answer of prayer is to lift the darkness and give us insight into the nature of our lives and a clearer vision of how to overcome our evils. This is why Gabriel came in the evening, but notice his words to Daniel “Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand.”

The answer to prayers is given as "hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy” (Arcana Coelestia 2535). These spiritual gifts come from the Lord’s love for all humanity, but love is always communicated by means of wisdom. In other words we cannot have a feeling of hope unless we have thoughts of hope. We will not experience consolation unless we know that things will turn out for the better. Without the thought process, faith if you will, there can be no inward joy, for joy, or any emotion cannot exist in a vacuum separated from the thought processes.

The Lord’s answer to Daniel’s, and our, prayers is by lightening the darkness in our minds. Gabriel came to bring "skill to understand," with us that is the skill to see the evils of life clearly. It means breaking away from the persuasive power of the astrologers, magicians, soothsayers and Chaldeans who held such power over Nebuchadnezzar. In the historical series we were shown how they failed the king whose questions could only be satisfied by Daniel, our conscience.

So it is with us. In the process of repentance our conscience leads us to see our sins and urges us to confess them to the Lord. As we do so, the Lord enlightens our minds. This makes it possible for us to see several things from His perspective, firstly the enormity of our sins, secondly the possibility of rejecting them and being forgiven, and thirdly real hope that we will be freed from them. All this takes "skill to understand," and an increasingly clear sight of the Divine truth.

Gabriel then begins to explain to Daniel. He goes back to the very point at which Daniel began his prayer of repentance—the seventy years of captivity in Babylon, saying “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).

As we saw at the beginning of this chapter "seventy weeks" means the time of fullness from beginning to end of the Babylonian captivity (Apocalypse Explained 684). This period represents the steady breakdown of selfishness in our lives. When we are in states of selfishness we are held captive by the "Babylonians" within, yet with the rise of conscience to power, that hold is gradually broken, and the process is described by Daniel’s steady rise to power. The promise given to us in the process of repentance, therefore, is that we will eventually be liberated during the course of "seventy weeks."

Daniel was told that the captivity of seventy weeks would be upon his people and the city of holiness. The "people" are those states in us which belong to the church (Apocalypse Explained 684), or, in other words, all the states of goodness and truth, of charity and faith which are oppressed and held in bondage by selfishness. When we are selfish it is impossible to be in states of true charity—we cannot love other people when we love ourselves more, nor can we think in terms of truth clearly when our thoughts are clouded by habitual self justification. In these states of spiritual captivity, our conscience is present, as Daniel was present throughout the entire Babylonian captivity, to lead us to a state of repentance when bondage can be broken.

The "city of holiness" with us relates to the thought process based on truths from the Word which lead us into revolt against selfishness (Apocalypse Explained 684). While we are in spiritual bondage our thoughts are dominated by selfishness, but the Lord provides certain truths from the Word which form the basis of our conscience. These truths are the "cities of holiness" for they are from the Lord and make it possible for the Lord to be present in our minds, even in our darkest hours. It also makes it possible for the conscience to develop to the point where it can enter into active opposition against selfishness.

The seventy weeks "determined for your people and your holy city" are the states of life we pass through as we journey through our captivity. A person cannot repent from selfishness until he or she sees the quality of self, and rejects it, just as Nebuchadnezzar had to be brought down to a point of madness before he could be completely restored, and as Belshazzar had to be weighed in the balances and found wanting before he could be killed. We too have to pass through that process, and allow it to run its course, for it is only when we are moved with horror at our evils, as Daniel was moved to feel physically sick at the sight of the he-goat, that we can be led into true repentance, and then the Lord can come to us in full glory.

Gabriel’s words all built up to this point. One has to finish the transgression, make and end of sins and a reconciliation of iniquity, and then the Most Holy is anointed. In the Lord’s own life this verse meant that He would eventually unite the Divine to the Human through to process of glorification (Apocalypse Explained 624, 684). He did this by continual victories over hell from His own power (Arcana Coelestia 2025).

We overcome hell by the power of the Lord, and when we do so, we come into the states of peace and tranquillity which typify heaven, and yet that can only happen in a state of total rejection of evil and falsity (This state of rejection is called "vastation," and without it the Lord cannot be fully received (Arcana Coelestia 728)).

Having explained this to Daniel, Gabriel continues: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times” (Daniel 9:25).

In history the ancient Jews were liberated from Babylon by king Cyrus. They returned home with the intention of rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple armed with the confidence that the cost of rebuilding was be born by the state. Even the vessels taken by Nebuchadnezzar would be restored to their rightful places. A tremendous inertia set in, however. Only the oldest of the captives could remember Jerusalem after seventy years, and many of the Jews were firmly established in Babylon. Historian John Bright writes that “the early years of the restoration venture proved bitterly disappointing, bringing little but frustration and discouragement (Bright 1972:361, 363, 364).

These early difficulties were mirrored in Gabriel’s words to Daniel, that from the giving of the command to the restoration of the temple to the coming of the Messiah shall be "seven weeks and sixty two weeks." The "going forth of the command" means the end of the time of preparation. Specifically in the analysis in the Apocalypse Explained we are told that these Word signify the end of the Old Testament because it was fulfilled by the coming of the Lord. The "restoration and building of Jerusalem" describes the renewal of the church by the Lord’s coming (Apocalypse Explained 684).

In the story of regeneration, these concepts can be seen to apply to the establishment of a new state within the human soul who has undergone the process of repentance and who is in process of fulfilling his or her potential of the development of new spiritual states. Thus the "going forth of the command" can be seen to be the process of repentance, which is the true beginning of regeneration, while the "building of the Jerusalem" is the final, regenerated state in which the ends of selfishness have been defeated and one returns to true worship of the Lord in every aspect of life.

As in earlier chapters Gabriel provides Daniel with a time frame for this development. This should not be thought of as natural time, however, but as the progression of state through which one passes between repentance and regeneration. Regeneration does not spring into being fully formed the moment a person decides to repent. It is a life-time process involving the gradual transition from a self-oriented life to a selfless life. To manage this one needs to undergo the rigours of temptation and the discipline of self compulsion.

The time given by Gabriel is familiar. The time between the order and the building of Jerusalem is seven weeks. Here we see the repetition of seven, and the meaning is the same—the full cycle of life, indicating once again that rebirth is an ongoing process.

More interesting, however, is the statement that "after sixty and two weeks it shall be restored and built." The term "sixty two" is only used in one other place in the Word, in Daniel chapter five, where we are told that Darius was sixty two years old when he killed Belshazzar. At that point we saw that sixty two represents a state in which faith is developing, but has not yet reached its fullness, for "sixty" describes the progress we make, while "two" indicates the incompleteness of that progress.

By pointing this out we are prepared to realise that whilst repentance is a major step forward in our spiritual lives, by itself it is not enough. If we persist, however, that repentance will develop into the states of reformation and finally regeneration, and the city Jerusalem will be built in our minds.

The angel says that in sixty two weeks the "street will be built again, and the wall." A "street" describes the truth of teaching from the Word (Apocalypse Explained 684). This is not simply an intellectual knowledge of what the Word teaches but an insight into the relevance of that truth to our lives. This truth is clearly related to the conscience which has been developing in the person throughout the course of his or her life, and which is now coming to fruition in leading the person to repentance.

The New King James version here describes the wall being build around the city, but in the original language the term is more properly translated as a trench, a moat or a ditch (Brown-Driver-Briggs Definition #2742. Swedenborg uses the term "fossa" which is translated "moat" or "drainage ditch"). In the internal sense a "moat" represents the doctrine or teaching which leads a person through life. The street and the moat are two sides of the same insightful concept of truth which the Lord gives to us as a result of repentance and prayer.

However, we should also know, as was mentioned above, that repentance initiates one into states of temptation. As soon as we begin to shun selfishness, there is a reassertion of the selfishness. The result is that we enter into the alternations of state described in Daniel’s visions in chapters seven and eight. These alternations are states of temptation as we struggle to be freed from the evil sides of our personalities, and remain connected to the good. The city, street and moat, therefore would be built in "troublesome times," meaning that our spiritual life is regained with difficulty.

There will even be times when "the Messiah will be cut off," a concept similar to the vision in chapter eight, when one feels that one’s spiritual progress, described by the ram, is scattered by the he-goat. The "Messiah shall be cut off" indicates states of relapse into selfishness (Apocalypse Explained 684), although within that selfishness there is still the hope that as long as our conscience survives, like Daniel in the citadel of Shushan, there will be enough power to turn the corner once again and repent.

This is the promise of repentance. When we turn to the Lord in prayer of confession and thanksgiving, we need to know that while things will ultimately be all right, still there is a hard road ahead. Nevertheless we are not alone. The Lord answered Daniel’s prayer with honesty, and He answers our prayers in the same way. The city will be rebuilt, but there is work to be done in the rebuilding of it. Nevertheless, at the time of repentance, we can experience the hope, consolation and inward joy in knowing that the Lord walked this path before us, and from His own power fought and defeated these same inner demons. He gives us the power to walk that path.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 180


Další odkazy Swedenborga k tomuto verši:

属天的奥秘 6752

揭秘启示录 662


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 937

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 38

Jiný komentář

  Příběhy:


  Související Knihy  (see all)


Skočit na podobné biblické verše

利未記 26:23

如申命记 28:15

列王纪下 22:16

以賽亞書 43:22, 64:6

耶利米書 5:3, 30:14, 44:23

以西結書 16:43

Významy biblických slov

我們
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

摩西
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...


If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

耶和華
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...


主是爱本身,以智慧本身的形式表达。爱是他的本质,也是他的全部。智慧-对如何将爱付诸行动的热爱理解-稍微有点外在,为爱提供了一种表达自我的方式。 当圣经说“耶和华”时,它代表的是至高无上的爱,这是主的本质。那爱本身就是一个完整的整体,而爱也是一个,只适用于主的名字。然而,智慧表达在各种各样的思想和观念中,这些著作统称为神的真理。也有许多虚构的神,有时天使和人也可以被称为神(耶和华说摩西将成为亚伦的神)。因此,当圣经称上帝为“上帝”时,多数情况下是指神圣的真理。 在其他情况下,“上帝”指的是所谓的神圣人类。情况是这样的: 作为人类,我们不能直接将主作为上帝的爱来参与。它太强大了,太纯净了。相反,我们必须通过神圣的真理了解他来接近他。因此,神圣的真理是人类形式的主,这是我们可以接近和理解的形式。因此,“上帝”也被用来指代人类这一方面,因为它是真理的表达。


Přeložit: