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Daniel 7

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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

Woodcut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Footnotes:

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

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10455

Apocalypse Revealed 748

De Verbo (The Word) 5

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 178

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

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

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

Conjugial Love 26, 81, 193

Divine Providence 134

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

Sacred Scripture 49, 86

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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Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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Word/Phrase Explanations

daniel
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...

saw
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...

spoke
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

said
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
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

three
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...

arise
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.

night
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...

sit
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...

raiment
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

white
'White' relates to truths, because it originates in the light of the sun.

wheels
'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,'...

stood
'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...

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

prolonged
'To be prolonged' relates to good.

serve
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

everlasting
It is hard for us to conceive this, but time does not exist in spiritual reality. Time is an aspect of physical reality that no...

interpretation
'Interpretations,' as in Genesis 40:22, signify prediction.

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

brass
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.

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

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

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Apocalypse Explained # 455

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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455. And peoples and tongues, signifies all who are in falsities from ignorance and from various religions. This is evident from the signification of "peoples," as being those who are in the truths of doctrine, and in a contrary sense those who are in the falsities of doctrine (of which above, n. 175; but here, those who are in the falsities of doctrine from ignorance; for here are treated of those who are saved, although from the doctrine of their religion they have been in falsities. All those who are in the good of life in accordance with the dogmas of their religion, which they have believed to be true although they are not true, are saved, for falsity is not imputed to anyone who lives well according to the dogmas of his religion, because it is not his fault that he is ignorant of truths. For the good of life in accordance with a religion contains within itself the affection of knowing truths, and these truths are learned and accepted when such persons come into the other life, for every affection remains with man after death, and especially the affection of knowing truths, because this is a spiritual affection; and when man becomes a spirit, he is his affection; consequently the truths that are then desired are imbibed and thus received deeply in the heart. (That when a man lives well falsities of religion are accepted by the Lord as truths, see above, n. 452.) The above is evident from the signification of "tongues," as meaning their confessions from religion, for "tongues" mean speech, and "speech" signifies confession and religion, because the tongue utters and confesses the things that pertain to religion.

(Odkazy: Revelation 7:9; The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 452)


[2] There is frequent mention in the Word of the "lip," the "mouth," and the "tongue;" and the "lip" signifies doctrine, the "mouth" thought, and the "tongue" confession. "Lip," "mouth," and "tongue," have this signification because these are the externals of man, by means of which things internal find expression, and it is things internal that are signified in the internal or spiritual sense. For the Word in the letter consists of external things that are manifest before the eyes and are perceived by the senses, therefore the Word in the letter is natural, and this in order that the Divine truth that it contains may be there in what is ultimate and thus in fullness. But these external things, which are natural, include in themselves things internal that are spiritual, and these therefore are the things that are signified.

[3] That "tongues" signify confessions from religion, and according to the dogmas of religion, can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

The time shall come for bringing together all nations and tongues, that they may come and see My glory (Isaiah 66:18).

This is said of the Lord's coming; "nations and tongues" signify all who are in the good of life according to their religions; "tongues" signify religions from confessions; it is therefore said "that they may come and see My glory," "glory" signifying Divine truth, by which the church exists.

[4] In Daniel:

Behold, with the clouds of the heavens one like the Son of man. And there was given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, tongues, and nations might worship Him (Daniel 7:13, 14).

"The Son of man who was to come in the clouds of the heavens," evidently means the Lord, and "the clouds of the heavens" mean the Word in the letter, in which it is said that the Lord is to come, for the Word treats of Him, and in the inmost sense of Him alone. Therefore it is said "Son of man," because the Lord is called "the Son of man" from Divine truth, which is the Word. But respecting this see more above n. 36 where these words are explained:

Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him (Revelation 1:7).

The Lord's power from Divine good is meant by "dominion," and from Divine truth by "glory," and heaven and the church are meant by "kingdom." "Peoples, tongues, and nations," signify all those who are in doctrine and in a life according to their religions; those who are in doctrine are called "peoples," those who are in life "nations," and "tongues" mean religions.

(Odkazy: Daniel 7:13-14; The Apocalypse Explained 36)


[5] In Zechariah:

In those days ten men out of all tongues of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a man that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zechariah 8:23).

The spiritual sense of these words may be seen above n. 433; namely, that a "Jew" means those who are in love to the Lord and in the truths of doctrine from Him; and that "all tongues of the nations" mean those who are of various religions.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 433)


[6] "Tongues" have a like signification in the following passages.

In Moses:

From these were the islands of the nations separated in their lands, every man according to his tongue, according to their families, in their nations. The habitations of the sons of Shem, according to their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations (Genesis 10:5, 31).

In Revelation:

Thou must prophesy again over many peoples and nations and tongues and kings (Revelation 10:11).

Again:

And they of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations shall see their bodies three days and a half (Revelation 11:9).

Again:

And it was given unto the beast to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and there was given him power over every tribe and tongue and nation (Revelation 13:7).

Again:

I saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to proclaim unto those that dwell on the earth, and unto every nation and tribe and tongue and people (Revelation 16:6).

And again:

The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues (Revelation 17:15).

"Waters" here signify the truths of the Word, for "waters" in the Word signify truths, and in the contrary sense falsities; therefore here "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues," mean those who are in truths falsified, which in themselves are falsities, and are consequently in evils of life.

(Odkazy: Revelation 14:6)


[7] In Luke:

The rich man said to Abraham, Have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and may cool my tongue, for I am tortured in this flame (Luke 16:24).

In this parable, as in others, the Lord spake by correspondences, as can be seen by this, that the "rich man" does not mean the rich, nor does "Abraham" mean Abraham, nor by "the water with which Lazarus might cool the tongue" are water and tongue meant, nor does the "flame" mean flame, for in hell no one is tortured by flames; but a "rich man" means those who are of the church where the Word is, from which they have spiritual riches, which are truths of doctrine; so the "rich man" here means the Jews, with whom was the Word at that time; "Abraham" means the Lord; the "water into which Lazarus might dip the tip of his finger" signifies truth from the Word; and "tongue" signifies a thirst and eagerness to pervert the truths that are in the Word; and the "flame" the punishment of that eagerness, which is various and manifold. This makes evident what these things signify in the series, and that "to cool the tongue with water" signifies to allay the thirst and the eagerness to pervert truths, and to confirm falsities thereby. Who cannot see that it does not mean that Lazarus should dip the tip of his finger in water to cool the tongue?

[8] In Zechariah:

This shall be the plague wherewith Jehovah will strike all the peoples that shall fight against Jerusalem; his flesh shall waste away as he stands upon his feet, and his eyes shall waste away in their sockets and his tongue shall waste away in his mouth (Zechariah 14:12).

This is said of those who endeavor to destroy the truths of doctrine by means of falsities; and this is signified by "fighting against Jerusalem," "Jerusalem" signifying the church in respect to doctrine, and thence the truths of the doctrine of the church; "the flesh shall waste away" signifies that all good of love and of life will perish, for this is what "flesh" signifies; "standing upon his feet" means upon bones without flesh, which signifies that they will be wholly corporeal-natural, "feet" signifying the things that belong to the natural man, here its lowest things; "his eyes shall waste away in their sockets" signifies that all the understanding of truth will perish, "eyes" signifying the understanding; "his tongue shall waste away in his mouth" signifies that all the perception of truth and all the affection of good will perish; "tongue" signifying also the perception of truth and the affection of good, the perception of truth from its speaking, and the affection of good from its power of tasting, for "taste" signifies appetite, desire, and affection.

[9] In the book of Judges:

Jehovah said unto Gideon, Everyone that lappeth the waters with his tongue as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; and everyone that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped in their hand were three hundred men; and these were led against Midian and smote him (Judges 7:5-7).

"Midian" here means those who do not care for truth, because they are merely natural and external; therefore Midian was smitten by those who "lapped the waters in the hand with the tongue like a dog;" these mean such as have an appetite for truths, thus they who from some natural affection seek to know truths, a "dog" signifying appetite and eagerness, "waters" truths, and "lapping them with the tongue" to have an appetite for and eagerly seek. So it was by these that Midian was smitten. Anyone can see that such things would not have been commanded unless they had been significative.

[10] In David:

Thou hidest them in the hiding place of Thy faces from the pride of man; Thou concealest them in a pavilion from the strife of tongues (Psalms 31:20).

"A hiding place of faces in which Jehovah hides them," signifies the Divine good of the Divine love, for "the face of Jehovah" signifies the good of love, and "the hiding place" signifies inwardly in man; "the pride of man" signifies the pride of self-intelligence; the "pavilion in which He hides them" signifies Divine truth; and "the strife of tongues" signifies the falsity of religion from which they reason against truths. This makes clear what these things signify in series.

[11] In Jeremiah:

Lo, I will bring upon you a nation, a nation whose tongue thou shalt not know nor shall thou understand what they speak. It shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread (Jeremiah 5:15, 17).

This does not mean that a nation of an unknown tongue or of an unintelligible speech should be brought; but an evil nation of an utterly different religion is meant, whose dogmas they shall not know nor understand the reasonings therefrom; and in an abstract sense the falsities of evil which are altogether contrary to the truths of good are signified; for "nation" in an abstract sense means evil, and "tongue" here means the falsity of religion, and "to speak" means to reason therefrom; therefore it is added, "it shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread," for "harvest" signifies truths by which there is good, "bread" the good therefrom, and "to eat up" to consume and deprive.

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 5:15-17)


[12] In Ezekiel:

Thou art not sent to a people of deep lip and heavy of tongue, but to the house of Israel; not to great peoples of deep lip and heavy of tongue, whose words thou shalt not hear. If I should send thee to them, will they not hearken unto thee? (Ezekiel 3:5, 6).

"Peoples of deep lip and heavy of tongue, whose words are not heard," signify those who are in an unintelligible doctrine, and thus in an abstruse religion, whose dogmas cannot be comprehended, "lip" signifying doctrine, "tongue" religion, and "words" its dogmas; therefore these peoples mean the nations that do not have the Word, by which Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is known. That these will receive Divine truths when they are instructed is signified by "these would hearken if he should be sent unto them."

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 3:5-6)


[13] In Isaiah:

Thou wilt not see an obstinate people, a people of depths of lip that thou canst not hear; barbarous in tongue, without intelligence (Isaiah 33:19).

"A people of depths of lip and barbarous in tongue" has a similar signification here as "peoples of deep lip and heavy of tongue" above. Evidently a people with a speech that cannot be understood is not meant; for it is added, "barbarous in tongue, without intelligence," for there may be intelligence in the tongue or speech of such, but not in their religion.

[14] In the same:

I have sworn that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (Isaiah 45:23).

This is said of the coming of the Lord; and "every knee shall bow" signifies that all who are in natural good from spiritual good will worship Him, the "knee" signifying the conjunction of natural good with spiritual. This shows that bending the knees signifies acknowledgment, thanksgiving, and adoration from spiritual good and delight in the natural; "every tongue shall swear" signifies that all will confess the Lord who are in good from religion, "to swear" signifying to confess, and "tongue" religion according to which one lives.

[15] In David:

And my tongue shall meditate of Thy righteousness and of Thy praise all the day (Psalms 35:28).

Here, too, "tongue" signifies confession from the doctrine of the church, for it is said "to meditate of;" "righteousness" is predicated of the good of the church, and "praise" of its truth, as also elsewhere in the Word. So again in the same:

My tongue shall meditate of Thy righteousness all the day (Psalms 71:24).

[16] In the same:

With gall the wicked compass me, the mischief of their lips doth cover them; burning coals overwhelm them; with fire let them be cast into pits, that they rise not again; a man of tongue shall not be established in the earth (Psalms 140:9-11).

"Gall" signifies truth falsified, which in itself is falsity; "the mischief of their lips" signifies the falsity of doctrine therefrom, for "lips" signify doctrine; "burning coal by which they are overwhelmed," and the "fire with which they are to be cast into pits," signify the pride from self-intelligence and the love of self, through which they fall into mere falsities, "burning coals" signifying the pride of self-intelligence, "fire" the love of self, and "pits" falsities. Moreover all falsities of doctrine in the church and all falsifications of the Word spring from the pride of self-intelligence and from the love of self. This makes evident what is signified by "a man of tongue shall not be established in the earth," namely, a false religion.

[17] In the same:

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

"Lions" signify those who plunder the church of truths, and thus destroy it; the "sons of man who are set on fire," signify those who are in the truths of the church, and in an abstract sense the truths themselves, which are said to be "set on fire" by the pride of self-intelligence, whence come falsities; "their teeth are spear and arrows" signifies reasonings from external sensuals and thus from the fallacies and falsities of religion, by which truths are destroyed, "teeth" signifying the ultimates of man's life, which are external sensual things, and here reasoning from these, and "tongue" signifying the falsities of religion; therefore it is said "their tongue a sharp sword," "sword" signifying the destruction of truth by falsities.

[18] In Job:

Wilt thou draw out leviathan with a fish-hook, and overwhelm his tongue with a cord? (Job 12:1)

In this and the preceding chapter the Behemoth and the leviathan are treated of, and both signify the natural man, the "Behemoth" the natural man in respect to goods which are called the delights of natural love, and the "leviathan" the natural man in respect to truths which are called knowledges and cognitions, from which is natural light. These are both described by pure correspondences according to the ancient style. That reasoning from the light of nature by means of knowledges [scientifica] can be restrained by God only, is described in that chapter and the subsequent one by the "leviathan," and also by these words, "Wilt thou draw out leviathan with a fish-hook, and overwhelm his tongue with a cord?;" "tongue" signifying reasoning from knowledges [scientifica]. That the "leviathan" signifies the natural man as regards knowledges [scientifica] can be seen from other passages where it is mentioned (as Isaiah 27:1; Psalms 74:14; Psalms 104:26). Also from the fact that the "whale," by which the leviathan is meant, signifies the natural man in regard to knowledges [scientifica].

[19] In Isaiah:

The heart of the hasty shall have intelligence for knowing, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be swift to speak (Isaiah 32:4).

The "hasty" mean those who readily seize upon and believe whatever is said, thus also falsities; of such it is said that "they shall be intelligent and know," that is, receive truths; "stammerers" mean those who are hardly able to apprehend the truths of the church; that they will confess them from affection is meant by "their tongue shall be swift to speak," "swiftness" is predicated of affection.

[20] In the same:

Then shall the lame leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing aloud; for waters shall break out in the wilderness, and brooks in the plain of the desert (Isaiah 35:6).

This is said of the coming of the Lord; the "lame" signifies those who are in good but not genuine good, because they are in ignorance of truth through which good comes; "to leap as a hart" signifies to have joy from the perception of truth; the "dumb" signifies those who on account of ignorance of truth are unable to confess the Lord and the genuine truths of the church; "he shall sing" signifies joy from the understanding of truth; "waters shall break out in the wilderness" signifies that truths shall be opened where they were not before; and "brooks in the plain of the desert" signify intelligence there, for "waters" signify truths, and "brooks" intelligence.

[21] This makes clear what is signified in the spiritual sense by "the deaf man that had an impediment in his speech" whom the Lord healed, which is thus described in Mark:

Jesus took aside the deaf man who had an impediment in his speech, and put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, touched his tongue; and looking up into heaven, He said to him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened; and straightway his ears were opened, and the bond of his tongue was loosed, and he spake aright (Mark 7:32-35).

The Lord's miracles, because they are Divine, all involved and signified such things as pertain to heaven and the church, therefore they were healings of the diseases which signified the various healings of the spiritual life, as may be (Arcana Coelestia 7337) seen (Arcana Coelestia 8364) in (Arcana Coelestia 9031) the Arcana Coelestia 7337, 8364, 9031). The "deaf man" signifies those who are without the understanding of truth, and thence in no obedience; "his difficulty in speaking" signifies the difficulty of such in confessing the Lord and the truth of the church; the "ears" opened by the Lord signify the perception of truth and obedience; and the "tongue" whose bond was loosed by the Lord signifies the confession of the Lord and of the truths of the church.

(Odkazy: Mark 7:33-35)


[22] Again, that the apostles and others after the Lord's resurrection spoke with new tongues signifies also the confession of the Lord and of the truths of the new church. This is thus referred to in Mark:

Jesus said, These signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out demons, and they shall speak with new tongues (Mark 16:17).

"To cast out demons" signifies to remove and reject the falsities of evil; and "to speak with new tongues" signifies to confess the Lord and the truths of the church from Him. So:

To the apostles there appeared divided tongues like as of fire, which sat on them. And being filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak with other tongues (Acts of the Apostles 2:3, 4).

The "fire" signified the love of truth, and "filled with the Holy Spirit" signified the reception of Divine truth from the Lord; and "new tongues" signified confessions from the love of truth or zeal; for, as was said above, all Divine miracles, consequently all miracles mentioned in the Word, involved and signified things spiritual and celestial, that is, such things that pertain to heaven and the church: by this Divine miracles are distinguished from miracles not Divine. It is unnecessary to quote more passages from the Word to show that "tongues" do not mean speech in the ordinary sense, but confessions from the truths of the church, and in the contrary sense confessions from the falsities of any religion.

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 2:3-4; Jeremiah 5:15-17; Mark 7:33-35; Revelation 7:9, Revelation 14:6; Romans 2:3-4)

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Apocalypse Explained 451, 584, 625, 657, 803, 872, 1077

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 The Story of Gideon
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