Daniel 7

English: Darby Version         

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1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream; he told the sum of the matters.

2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens broke forth upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, different one from another.

4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked; and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

5 And behold, another beast, a second, like unto a bear, and it raised up itself on one side; and [it had] three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and they said thus unto it: Arise, devour much flesh.

6 After this I saw, and behold, another, like a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird upon its back; and the beast had four heads; and dominion was given to it.

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and exceeding strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another, a little horn, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

9 I beheld till thrones were set, and the Ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was flames of fire, [and] its wheels burning fire.

10 A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11 I beheld therefore, because of the voice of the great words that the horn spoke; I beheld till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given up to be burned with fire.

12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away; but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of heaven [one] like a son of man, and he came up even to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

15 As for me Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the certainty of all this. And he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things:

17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, [that] shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the most high [places] shall receive the kingdom, and they shall possess the kingdom for ever, even to the ages of ages.

19 Then I desired to know the certainty concerning the fourth beast, which was different from them all, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet;

20 and concerning the ten horns that were in its head, and the other that came up, and before which three fell: even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and whose look was more imposing than its fellows.

21 I beheld, and that horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them;

22 until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most high [places]; and the appointed time arrived, and the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 He said thus: The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon the earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

24 And as to the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall arise ten kings; and another shall arise after them; and he shall be different from the former, and he shall subdue three kings.

25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most high [places], and think to change seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and a half time.

26 And the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

27 But the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heavens, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high [places]. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

28 So far is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my countenance was changed in me; but I kept the matter in my heart.

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

By Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb


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.




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

Doctrine of Life 61

Heaven and Hell 171

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

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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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Word/Phrase Explanations

The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

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...

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

four wings
By the four wings, as of a fowl, on the back of the third beast, signifies confirmations of falsity.

The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Ancient of days
The Lord as to divine good or divine love, who is called the Ancient of Days, as in Daniel 7:9, 10, from the most ancient...

If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

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'Wheels,' as in Exodus 14:25, signify the power of proceeding and divine intelligence. 'Wheels,' as in Isaiah 5:28, signify the doctrine of natural truth. 'Wheels,'...

'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

'To be prolonged' relates to good.

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All laws, even civil and judicial laws, which are in the Word, correspond to the laws of good and truth, which are in heaven.

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It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a physical action. But in fact it represents an elevation in spiritual state, moving to a more internal frame of mind, closer to the Lord. Often it has to do with understanding a new or important idea; we "rise up" to a state of greater perception and enlightenment.

Obviously context is crucial to the exact meaning of the phrase in a given passage – it matters greatly who it is that is rising up, and why.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 2401, 3171, 3723, 4103, 4160, 4881, 5605, 7435)

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Apocalypse Explained # 175

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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175. I will give him power over the nations, signifies over the evils within him, which will then be scattered by the Lord. This is evident from the signification of "nations," as being evils (of which presently); and from the signification of "giving power over them," as being that these (the evils) will then be dispersed by the Lord. "To have power," in reference to "over the nations," means to scatter in reference to evils; thus there is an adaptation of words to their subjects. It is said that evils will be scattered by the Lord, for the Lord scatters evils by means of truths. He first discovers them to man by means of truths, and when man acknowledges the evils, the Lord scatters them. (That the Lord alone does this, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 200.) "Nations and peoples" are often mentioned in the Word, and those who know nothing of the spiritual or internal sense of the Word, believe that peoples and nations are to be understood. But "peoples" mean those who are in truths, or in the contrary sense those who are in falsities, and "nations" those who are in goods, or in the contrary sense, those who are in evils. And as such are meant by "peoples" and by "nations," so abstractly from persons "peoples" mean truths or falsities, and "nations" goods and evils; for the true spiritual sense is abstracted from persons, spaces, times, and like things, that are proper to nature.

(Odkazy: Revelation 2:26)

[2] With these the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, is at one; and the sense that is at one with these serves as a basis to the sense that is apart from them. For all things that are in nature are ultimates of Divine order, and the Divine does not rest in the middle, but flows down even to its ultimates, and there subsists. From this it is that the Word in the letter is such as it is, and unless it were such it would not serve as a basis for the wisdom of angels who are spiritual. It can be seen from this how mistaken those are who despise the Word on account of its style. "Nations" signify those who are in good, and in the abstract, goods, because men who lived in ancient times were divided into nations, families, and houses; and they then loved each other mutually; and the father of a nation loved the whole nation which was from him; thus the good of love reigned among them. For this reason "nations" signified goods. But when men came into the opposite state, which took place in the following ages when empires were established, then "nations" signified evils. (See further on this subject in The small work on The Earths in the Universe 49, 90, 173, 174.)

(Odkazy: Worlds in Space 173-174)

[3] That "nations" in the Word signify either goods or evils, and "people" either truths or falsities, can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Nations shall walk to Thy light, and kings to the brightness of Thy rising. Then shalt Thou see and flow together, and Thine heart shall be enlarged, because the multitude of the sea is converted unto Thee, the army of the nations come unto Thee; Thy gates shall be opened continually, they shall not be shut by day and by night, that men may bring unto Thee the army of the nations, and their kings shall be brought; for the nation or kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish; and the nations by wasting shall be wasted. Thou shalt suck the milk of nations, even the breasts of kings shalt Thou suck. The little one shall become a thousand, and the few a numerous nation (Isaiah 60:3, 5, 11-12, 16, 22).

Here the Lord is treated of; and by "nations" all who are in the good of love to Him are meant, and by "kings" all who are in the truths of faith in Him. From this it is manifest who are meant by the "nations" that "shall walk to Thy light;" and by "the army of the nations that shall be brought;" also, who are meant by "the kings" that "shall walk to the brightness of Thy rising;" and by "the kings of the nations" that "shall be brought;" also, what is meant by "Thou shalt suck the milk of nations and the breasts of kings" ("milk" is the delight of the good of love, likewise "breasts," for milk is from them). The multiplication of truth and the fructification of good are described by the "little one shall become a thousand, and the few a numerous nation. " But by "the nations that shall be wasted" are meant all that are in evils, and also the evils themselves.

[4] In the same:

Behold I will lift up My hand towards the nations, and set up Mine ensign towards the peoples, that they may bring thy sons in the bosom, and carry thy daughters upon the shoulder; and kings shall be thy nourishers and the chief women thy sucklers; with the face to the earth shall they bow down to thee (Isaiah 49:22, 23).

here also the Lord is treated of, and those who shall worship and adore Him. To "lift up His hand towards the nations, and His ensign towards the peoples, " 1 is to join to Himself all who are in the goods of love and in truths therefrom; of these it is said that "they shall bring thy sons in the bosom, and carry thy daughters upon the shoulder;" "sons" are the affections of truth, and "daughters" the affections of good (see above, n. 166). And of these it is said that their "kings shall be thy nourishers, and the chief women thy sucklers." "Kings" are truths themselves, "chief women" are the goods thereof; and as man is regenerated by both of these, and also nourished, it is said that they shall be "nourishers" and "sucklers." (That man is regenerated by means of truths and a life according to them, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 23, 24, 27, 186.) This is the internal sense of these words; without that sense who could understand them?

(Odkazy: Isaiah 49:22-23; The Apocalypse Explained 166; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 23-24)

[5] In the same:

Jehovah said, Behold I spread out upon Jerusalem peace as a river, and as a torrent the glory of the nations, that ye may suck. He will come to gather all nations and tongues, that they may come and see My glory. They shall declare My glory among the nations; then shall they bring your brethren out of all nations, as a gift to Jehovah, upon horses and upon the chariot, to the mountain of My holiness (Isaiah 66:12, 18-20).

Here "Jerusalem" is the Lord's church in the heavens and on the earth; it is said the church in the heavens, for the church is there also (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 221-227). By "nations and tongues" all who are in the goods of love and in truths therefrom are meant. It is said that "they shall bring out of all nations a gift to Jehovah, upon horses and upon the chariot;" "a gift to Jehovah" is worship from the good of love; "horses and chariots" are intellectuals and doctrinals, for these are the source and foundation of worship. (That this is what "horses and chariots" signify, see 1:1-5.)

(Odkazy: The White Horse 1-5)

[6] In the same:

It shall be in that day that a Root of Jesse, which shall stand for a sign of the people, the nations shall seek (Isaiah 11:10). "The root of Jesse" is the Lord; "to stand for a sign of the people" means that it may be seen by those who are in truths; "the nations which shall seek," are those who are in the good of love. It is believed that "nations" here mean the nations that are to approach and acknowledge the Lord, from which is to be the church that is called the church of the Gentiles; but these are not meant by "nation" but all who are in love to the Lord and faith in Him, whether within the church or out of it (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 308, 318-328).

[7] In the same:

A strong people shall honor Thee, the city of the powerful nations shall fear thee (Isaiah 25:3).

In the same:

Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation may enter in. Thou hast increased the nation, O Jehovah, Thou hast increased the nation, Thou art glorified (Isaiah 26:2, 15).

In the same:

Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye peoples (Isaiah 34:1).

In the same:

I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, for a covenant to the people, for a light of the nations (Isaiah 42:6).

In Jeremiah:

The nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they glory (Jeremiah 4:2).

In the same:

Who will not fear Thee, O king of nations? and in all their kingdom there is none like unto Thee (Jeremiah 10:7).

In Daniel:

I was seeing in the night visions, and behold with the clouds of heaven One like the Son of man. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall worship Him (J er. Daniel 7:13, 14).

In David:

The peoples shall give thanks unto Thee, O God; all the peoples shall give thanks unto Thee. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou shalt judge the peoples with equity, and shalt lead the nations upon the earth (Psalms 67:3, 4).

In the same:

That I may see the good of Thy chosen, and be glad in the joy of Thy nations (Psalms 106:5).

In Revelation:

The glory and honor of the nations shall be brought into the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:26).

In Isaiah:

Ye shall be called priests of Jehovah; ministers of your 2 God, it shall be said to you. Ye shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory shall ye glory (Isaiah 61:6).

In the Lamentations:

The breath of our nostrils, the Anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits; of whom we had said, In His shadow we shall live among the nations (Lamentations 4:20).

In these passages, by "nations" all who are in love to the Lord, whether within the church where the Word is or out it: are meant.

(Odkazy: Daniel 7:13-14; Psalms 67:3-5, Psalms 67:3-4; Revelation 21:25-26)

[8] That by "nations" in a contrary sense those who are in evils are meant, and in the abstract, evils themselves, can be seen from the following passages. In Jeremiah:

I will bring a nation upon you from far, it is a mighty nation; it is a nation of an age, a nation whose tongue thou shalt not know. It shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread; it shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters; it shall eat up thy vine and thy fig-tree; it shall impoverish the cities with the sword (Jeremiah 5:15, 17).

The vastation of the church is here treated of; and by "nation" is meant the evil that will consummate it; it is therefore said, that "it shall eat up the harvest and the bread," "the sons and daughters," "the vine and the fig-tree," and "shall impoverish the cities with the sword;" by which all the goods of love and the truths of faith are signified; by "harvest" a state of the reception of truth from good (see Arcana Coelestia 9295); by "bread" the good of love (see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 218); by "sons and daughters" the affections of truth and good (see above, n. 166; by "vine" the internal church, thus the internal things of the church (see Arcana Coelestia 1069, 5113, 6376, 9277): by "fig-tree" the external church, thus the external things of the church (Arcana Coelestia 5113); by "cities" doctrines (Arcana Coelestia 402, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493); by "sword" falsity destroying (see above, n. 73, 131). From this it can be seen that by "nations" is signified the evil that destroys all these.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493; The Apocalypse Explained 73, The Apocalypse Explained 131, The Apocalypse Explained 166)

[9] In the same:

Behold I lay stumbling-blocks before this people, that they may stumble upon them, the fathers and the sons together. Behold, a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation from the sides of the earth. They have no compassion, their voice roareth like the sea, and they ride upon horses (Jeremiah 6:21-23).


Here also "nation" means evil, and "peoples" falsities, "the stumbling-blocks upon which the fathers and the sons stumble" are the perversions of good and truth ("fathers" are goods, and "sons" truths therefrom). It is said, "a people from the land of the north, and a nation from the sides of the earth," for the "north" signifies falsity from evil, and "the sides of the earth" signify what is outside of the church, thus evils remote from the goods of the church. "To roar like the sea, and to ride upon horses," is to persuade by fallacies of the senses, and by reasonings therefrom.

[10] In Ezekiel:

The land is full of the judgment of bloods, and the city is full of violence, wherefore I will bring the worst of the nations, that they may occupy their houses; the king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with stupor (Ezekiel 7:23-24, 27).

The "land" is the church; "full of the judgment of bloods" is to be in falsities that destroy goods; "city" is doctrine; "full of violence" is to use force against the good of charity; "the worst of the nations" are direful falsities from evil; "to occupy their houses" is to possess their minds; "the king who shall mourn" is the truth of the church; "the prince who shall be clothed with stupor," is subservient truth. (That the "land" is the church, see Arcana Coelestia 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 9325, 9643; that "bloods" are falsities destroying good, n. 374, 1005, 4735, 5476, 9127; that "city" is doctrine, n. 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493; that "violence" is using force against the good of charity, n. 6353; that "houses" are the things of man that belong to his mind, n. 710, 2231, 2233, 2559, 3128, 3538, 4973, 5023, 6690, 7353, 7848, 7910, 7929, 9150; that "the king who shall mourn" is the truth of the church, see above n. 31.)

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493, Arcana Coelestia 6353; The Apocalypse Explained 31)

[11] In David:

Jehovah bringeth the counsel of the nations to naught, He overthroweth the thoughts of the peoples (Psalms 33:10).

"Nations" mean those who are in evils, and "peoples" those who are in falsities; and because both are signified, it is said that "Jehovah bringeth the counsel of the nations to naught, and overthroweth the thoughts of the peoples," which are two expressions, as it were, of one thing, yet they are distinct in the internal sense, in which "nations" signify one thing, and "peoples" another.

[12] In Luke:

Then they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive among all nations, and at length Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the nations, until the time of the nations be fulfilled. Then there shall be signs in sun, moon, and stars, and upon the earth anguish of nations, the sea and the waves roaring (Luke 21:24-25).

The consummation of the age is here treated of, which is the last time of the church, when there is no longer any faith because there is no charity, or no truth because there is no good. This is here described by correspondences: "to fall by the edge of the sword" is to be destroyed by falsities; "to be led captive among all nations" is to be possessed by evils of every kind; "Jerusalem, which shall be trodden down," is the church; the "sun" is love to the Lord; the "moon" faith in Him; the "stars" the knowledges of good and truth; the "signs" in them mean that these are to perish; "the sea and the waves that shall roar" are fallacies and reasonings therefrom.

[13] In Matthew:

Nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. And they shall deliver you unto affliction, and ye shall be hated of all the nations for My name's sake (Matthew 24:7, 9 (Matthew 24:9); Luke 21:10, 11).

These things also were said by the Lord respecting the last time of the church; and by "nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" is signified that there will be conflicts of evils and falsities among themselves; by "famines and pestilences" are signified the failure and wasting of truths; by "earthquakes" the perversion of the church; by "being hated of all nations" is signified to be hated by all who are in evil; "the name of the Lord," for the sake of which they shall be hated, signifies all things of love and faith whereby the Lord is worshiped (see above, n. 102, 135).

(Odkazy: Luke 21:10-11; The Apocalypse Explained 102, The Apocalypse Explained 135)

[14] In Ezekiel:

Behold Asshur a cedar in Lebanon. He has become high, and his branches have been multiplied. In his branches have all the fowl of the heavens built their nests, and under his branches all the beasts of the field have brought forth, and in his shade have dwelt all great nations. But his heart is lifted up in his height; therefore I will give him into the hand of the strong one of the nations, strangers shall cut him off, the violent of the nations, and they shall cast him down; whence all peoples of the earth have gone down from his shadow, and have abandoned him (Ezekiel 31:3, 5, 6, 10-12).

These things no one can understand unless he has a knowledge of the spiritual or internal sense of the Word. He will believe them to be mere comparisons, in which there is no spiritual signification; when yet all the particulars therein signify things of heaven and the church; therefore they shall be explained briefly. "Asshur" is the rational of the man of the church which is illustrated; this is called "a cedar in Lebanon," because a "cedar" has the same signification as "Asshur," specifically truth from good in the rational; and "Lebanon" is the mind where the rational resides, because there were cedars in Lebanon.

By "his branches that were multiplied" are meant truths therefrom; "the fowl of the heavens that built their nests in his branches" are the affections of truth; and "the beasts of the field that brought forth under his branches" are the affections of good; the "great nations that dwelt in his shade" are the goods of love; "his heart lifted up in his height" is the love of self; "to be given into the hands of the strong one of the nations," and "to be cast down by the violent of the nations," means that evils from that love will destroy goods and truths; "the peoples of the earth that went down from his shadow and abandoned him" are all truths of the church. From this it is manifest that "nations" signify goods, and in the contrary sense evils; by "the nations that dwelt in his shade," goods; and by "the nations that cut him off, and cast him down," evils. (See, moreover, what is said and shown about nations and their signification in Arcana Coelestia, namely, that by "nations" in the Word are meant those who are in good, and consequently goods themselves, n. 1059, 1159, 1258, 1260, 1416, 1849, 6005; "the assembly of the nations," truths and goods, n. 4574, 7830; "the holy nation," the spiritual kingdom, n . 9255, 9256; when it is said "nation and people," by "nation" those who are in celestial good are meant, and by "people" those who are in spiritual good, n. 10288. That by "nations," especially the nations of the land of Canaan, evils and falsities of every kind are meant, n. 1059, 1205, 1868, 6306, 8054, 8317, 9320, 9327).


1. The Latin has "kings" for "peoples," but see text as quoted just before.

2. Hebrew: "our," as also found in Apocalypse Explained 155, 1115, Arcana Coelestia 9809; but in Apocalypse Revealed 128 we find "your."


(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 9255-9256; Ezekiel 31:5-6; Psalms 67:3-5; Revelation 2:26, 21:25-26)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 149, 208, 230, 242, 331, 365, 388, 400, 453, 454, 455, 519, 625, 631, 657, 684, 693, 701, 706, 726, 741, 768, 803, 872, 881, 945, 1077, 1107, 1191

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.