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      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew M. 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

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 6, 10, 26, 42, 48, 52

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 49, 86

Doctrine of Life 61

Heaven and Hell 171

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

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

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

On the Athanasian Creed 41

Canons of the New Church 37

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

De Verbo (The Word) 10, 15, 25

An Invitation to the New Church 10

Marriage 0, 1, 113

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Apocalypse Explained # 675

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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675. And the tenth part of the city fell, signifies that no truths of doctrine any longer existed with those who remained. This is evident from the signification of "ten," as being all persons and all things, also many persons and many things, and of "the tenth part," as being all and much (of which presently); also from the signification of "city," as being doctrine and also the truth of doctrine, for a doctrine, that it may be a doctrine of the church, must consist of truths from the Word (that a "city" signifies doctrine see above, n. 223. It is evident also from the signification of "to fall," as being to be separated, consequently to have no existence; to be separated and to have no existence is predicated of truths of doctrine when "to fall" is predicated of a city.

(Odkazy: Revelation 11:13; The Apocalypse Explained 223)

[2] For every particular thing has allotted to it its analogous and proper expression, according to the correspondence of the subject in the natural sense with the subject in the spiritual sense; and here the subject in the natural sense is a city, while the subject in the spiritual sense is the truth of doctrine. That no truths existed with those that remained follows from what has been said in the preceding article, namely, that when the good are taken away from a society in which the good and the evil have been together, and are carried up into heaven, no truths of doctrine any longer remain with the evil, because they are then deprived of their communication with the good which enabled them as to the external to be as it were in truths, and thence to speak about truths from doctrine.

[3] For in the spiritual world there is a communication of the affections and thence of the thoughts, and from such communication one is held by another, thus all in the same society mutually, in a like affection and accordingly in a like good; thus are the evil also held by the good. But these evil were such as were able in external form to put on an appearance of sanctity, of piety, of intelligence, of zeal for the church and its doctrine, also in the life an appearance of being just and sincere from the heart, and yet interiorly in themselves they possessed nothing of such good. Such were the evil, with whom there could no longer exist any truths of doctrine, after the good were taken away, who are meant by "the two witnesses" that went up by command into heaven.

[4] It is to be known that there were in the spiritual world many societies formed of such, and that these societies taken together are meant by "the first heaven" which passed away (Revelation 21:1). (Respecting these societies or that heaven, many things are related in the small work on The Last Judgment.) In these societies were such evil persons as have been described, and the good associated with them; and so long as these were conjoined in one society the evil appeared in externals like the good; but when they had been separated, then the external good in them, which was only simulated and hypocritical, was separated, and their interiors were laid open, which were infernal, filled with mere evils and falsities therefrom. Such a separation and such a consequent state existed in the spiritual world a little before the Last Judgment; this, therefore, is the state that is here described; for the last time of the church, when the universal judgment is at hand, is here treated of.

[5] That "ten" signifies all persons and all things, also many persons and many things, can be seen from the passages in the Word where that number occurs. As in Moses:

Jehovah hath commanded unto you His covenant which He covenanted 1 you to do, the ten words which He wrote upon two tables of stone (Deuteronomy 4:13).

And again:

Jehovah wrote upon the tables according to the former writing, the ten words which Jehovah spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire (Deuteronomy 10:4).

There were "ten words" or "ten commandments" constituting the Decalogue, because "ten" signifies all things, therefore "the ten words" mean the law in its whole complex.

(Odkazy: Luke 19:15-21)

[6] As "ten" signifies all persons:

The Lord compared the kingdom of the heavens to ten virgins having lamps with which to go forth to meet the bridegroom, of whom five were prudent and five foolish (Matthew 25:1, 2, et seq.). "The ten virgins" to whom the kingdom of the heavens is likened signify all who are of the church, for "ten" signifies all, and "virgins" the church; but "five" signifies some, or some part, for some of the church were prudent and some foolish. Such is the signification of the number "five" in the Word. "Lamps" signify the knowledges of truth and good, here from the Word, also the truths of doctrine and of faith; "oil" signifies the good of love and of charity; the "bridegroom" means the Lord, and the "wedding" means heaven and the church, which are called a "wedding" from the marriage of good and truth; and as where there is not this marriage there is neither heaven nor the church, therefore those are called "foolish" who know the truths of faith and have no good of love, while those who have the good of love are called "prudent;" for, as has been said, "lamps" here mean the truths of faith, and "oil" the good of love. "Virgins" signify the church, because "virgin" and "daughter" in the Word signify the affection of good and truth, and it is because of that affection that the church is a church. This is why "the virgin and daughter of Zion," "the virgin and daughter of Jerusalem," "the virgin and daughter of Israel" and "of Judah," are mentioned in so many passages, these everywhere meaning the church.

(Odkazy: Matthew 25:1-2)

[7] As "ten" signifies all as also many:

The Lord said of the nobleman who went into a far country, that he called his ten servants and gave them ten pounds [minas] to trade with; and after they had traded, one said that his pound had gained ten pounds; to him he said, Thou shalt have authority over ten cities; and the second said, Thy pound hath made five pounds; to him he said, Be thou over five cities; and of the third, who laid up his pound in a napkin, and did not trade, he said, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds (Luke 19:12-14, 16-20, 24).

Here, too, the numbers "ten" and "five" are employed because "ten" signifies all persons and all things, and "five" some persons and some things. "The ten servants" whom the nobleman going into a far country called to him, mean all who are in the world, and in particular, all who are of the church; for the "nobleman" means the Lord, and "going into a far country" means the Lord's departure out of the world and His then seeming to be absent; "the ten pounds that he gave to the ten servants to trade with" signify all the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, with the ability to perceive them; for a "pound" [mina], which was silver and was money, signifies the knowledges of truth and the ability to perceive; and "to trade" signifies by means of these to acquire intelligence and wisdom; those who acquire much are meant by the servant who from a pound gained ten pounds; and those who acquire some are meant by him who from a pound gained five pounds; the "cities which are said to be given them" signify the truths of doctrine, and "to possess them" signifies intelligence and wisdom, and life and happiness therefrom. Thence it is clear what is signified by "ten cities" and by "five cities." As those who acquire nothing of intelligence are like the "foolish virgins" (of whom just above), and as these possess truths in the memory only and not in the life, after their departure from this world they are deprived of truths, while those who possess truths both in the memory and in the life enrich themselves in intelligence to eternity, so it is said that "they should take away the pound from him who gained nothing with it, and should give it to him who had ten pounds."

(Odkazy: Luke 19:12-13, 19:15-21)

[8] It is similar with those:

To whom talents were given, to one five, to another two, and to a third one; the first of whom from his five talents gained another five; and the second from two talents gained other two; and the third laid away his talent in the earth, of whom the Lord said, Take from him that hath not traded and gained, and give to him that hath ten talents, for unto everyone that hath shall be given that he may abound, and from him that hath not even that which he hath shall be taken away (Matthew 25:14-30).

Here, too, "five" and "ten" also signify something and much; thus, that the first from some knowledges of truth and good acquired much wisdom. It is taken away from him who has acquired nothing of intelligence and is given to him who has much, because when man after death becomes a spirit he carries with him all things, and every single thing that he has drawn from the Word and from the doctrine of the church. But those who through these have acquired nothing of intelligence are interiorly evil, and therefore misuse the truths and goods of heaven and the church, which they possess in the memory only, in exercising dominion over the simple good who are in the lowest heaven, and in doing evil to them. This is why these truths and goods are taken away from them and are given to those who have many, since these do not misuse them, but from them perform uses.

[9] Those who do not acquire spiritual intelligence in the world through the knowledges of truth and good from the Word are evil, as can be seen from this, that all are born into evils of every kind, and these evils are removed only by means of Divine truths from the Word, that is, by applying truths to uses, and thus receiving them in the life. So to those who have gained it is said:

Good and faithful servants, ye have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things; enter ye into the joy of your Lord (verses 2 Matthew 25:21, 23);

and to him who had gained nothing:

Cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (verse 30).

(Odkazy: Matthew 25:30)

[10] Because "ten" signifies all and much, therefore that number is used by the Lord also in other passages, where all and much must be understood. As in Luke:

Of the woman having ten drachmas, if she lose one, doth she not light a candle and sweep the house and seek carefully till she find it? (Luke 15:8)

"Ten" here signifies much. This is said of a "woman," and that "she would light a candle and sweep the house" because of the spiritual sense in every particular of the Word. In that sense a "woman" signifies the church in respect to the affection of truth, thus also the affection of truth itself which belongs to the church; the "drachma" signifies truth; "to lose the drachma" signifies to lose one of the truths or the knowledges of truth; "to light a candle" signifies self-examination from affection; "to sweep the house" signifies to traverse the whole mind and to examine every particular where the truth lies hidden. This is the spiritual sense of these words. "A hundred" has the same signification as "ten," namely, much; therefore a similar parable speaks of:

A hundred sheep, if one is lost (Matthew 18:12, 13; Luke 15:3-7).

(Odkazy: Matthew 18:12-13)

[11] "Ten" signifies all and much also in the following passages. In Isaiah:

Many houses great and fair 2 shall become a waste without inhabitant; for ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath (Isaiah 5:9, 10).

This is said of the desolation of truth with those who are of the church. "Many houses which shall become a waste" signify the men of the church, and in particular, such in respect to truths from good; "great and fair," that is, houses, signifies the affection of good and the understanding of truth, for "great" is predicated of good and its affection, and "fair" is predicated of truth and its intelligence; "ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath" signifies that in all things of the church with man there is scarcely any truth from good, for a "bath" has also a similar signification as wine, namely, truth from good; therefore "ten acres of vineyard" signify all things of the church with man.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 5:9-10)

[12] In Moses:

If ye will go contrary to Me I will break for you the staff of bread, that ten women may bake your bread in one oven, and I will bring back your bread by weight (Leviticus 26:23, 26).

"To break the staff of bread" signifies to deprive of spiritual food, and thus of spiritual nourishment, for "bread" means everything that nourishes the soul, and in particular the good of love; therefore "ten women shall bake your bread in one oven" signifies that in all things of the church with man there is so little of good and truth as to be scarcely anything; "ten women" signify all things of the church; "bread" signifies good and truth that nourish the soul; and "oven" signifies where spiritual food is prepared, thus the man with whom it is; "to bring back the bread by weight" signifies the lack and want of such things as spiritually nourish.

[13] In Zechariah:

Many peoples and numerous nations shall come to seek Jehovah of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the faces of Jehovah. In those days ten men out of all the tongues of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of a man, a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zechariah 8:22, 23).

This is said of the calling together of the Gentiles and their admission to the church by the Lord; and "ten men out of all tongues" signify all from whatever religion, namely those "who come to seek Jehovah of Hosts in Jerusalem," that is, who wish to be admitted to the church and to confess the Lord, therefore "ten men" mean all such, and "the tongues of the nations" mean their religious principles. But this with the rest of the passage may be seen explained above n. 433, where it is shown that "Jerusalem" does not mean Jerusalem, nor "Jew" any Jew.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 433; Zechariah 8:22-23)

[14] In Amos:

Jehovah said, I hate the pride of Jacob and his palaces; therefore I will shut up the city and the fullness thereof; if there remain ten men in one house they shall die (Amos 6:8, 9).

"The pride of Jacob and his palaces which Jehovah hates," signify the love of falsity and belief in it with those who are of the church, "pride" meaning the love of falsity, and "palaces" the falsities themselves, which are called "palaces" because they belong to the proud, and because the falsities of such are embellished in external form so as to appear magnificent, although they are most vile, like huts full of rubbish and filth; "to shut up the city and the fullness thereof" signifies to condemn the doctrine, because it is full of the falsities of evil, and is possessed by them, "city" meaning doctrine, and "fullness" the falsities of evil; therefore "if there remain ten men in one house they shall die" signifies that all the truths of good with everyone shall perish, "ten men" meaning all truths, "house" man in respect to good, and "to die" to perish.

(Odkazy: Amos 6:8-9)

[15] In Zechariah:

The prophet saw a flying roll, the length thereof twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits; this is the malediction that goeth forth over the faces of the whole land (Zechariah 5:2, 3).

"The flying roll," which meant "the malediction that goeth forth over the faces of the whole land," was twenty cubits in length and ten in breadth because "twenty" and "ten" signify all, here all good changed into evil and all truth into falsity; "twenty" is predicated of good and everything of it, and "ten" of truth and everything of it; moreover, "length" also signifies good, and "breadth" truth (see above, n. 355, 627, 629, and in the work on Heaven and Hell 197).

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 355, The Apocalypse Explained 627, 629; Zechariah 5:2-3)

[16] As "ten" signifies all things and many things, so "ten times" signifies so many times and always, in the following passages. In Daniel:

Among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; 3 in every word of the wisdom of intelligence which the king sought of them, he found them ten times better than all the astrologers and diviners that were in all his kingdom (Daniel 1:19, 20).

In Moses:

All the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, and who have tempted Me these ten times, they shall not see the land (Numbers 14:21-23).

And in Job:

Ten times ye have dishonored Me, ye are not ashamed, ye harden yourselves (Job 19:3).

"Ten times" in these passages signifies at all times or always, and so many times.

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 19:3; Daniel 1:19-20)

[17] In Daniel and in Revelation horns are attributed to the beasts, to some ten, to some seven, and to some three, and the "horns" of these beasts signify the power of falsity against truth, and of evil against good, and "ten horns," the highest power. In Daniel:

The fourth beast coming up out of the sea had ten horns; as to the ten horns out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise (Daniel 7:7, 20, 24).

"The ten horns" of the beast here signify the highest power of falsity against truth; "ten kings" signify falsities in the whole complex, and "kingdom" signifies that church perverted. In Revelation:

The dragon had seven heads and ten horns, and upon the heads seven diadems (Revelation 12:3).


The beast coming up out of the sea had seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten diadems (Revelation 13:1).

And again:

The woman sitting upon the scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, had seven heads and ten horns; the ten horns that thou sawest are ten kings which have not yet received a kingdom; yet they shall receive power as kings one hour with the beast (Revelation 17:3, 7, 12).

What is signified there in particular will be seen in the explanations further on.

[18] As "ten" signifies all persons and all things, it follows that "the tenth part" signifies everything. It is from this that "tenths" and "tithings" derived their origin, and these signified that everything was holy and blessed when the tenth part of the threshing floor and of the wine press, or of the corn and wine, was given to the Levites; likewise for the Levites when the tenth part was again tithed and given to Aaron. Of these it is thus written in the Word:

Tithing thou shalt tithe all the increase of thy seed that is brought forth in the field year by year (Deuteronomy 14:22).

Say unto the Levites, that the tenths must be given to them for an inheritance, and that they must offer up a heave offering of them to Jehovah, a tenth of the tenths, and this from the corn of the threshing floor and from the fullness of the wine vat; and the tenth of the tenth they must give to Aaron the priest (Numbers 18:24-28).

[19] That the "tenth" signified a blessing in all things, thus that everything was holy and blessed, is evident in Malachi:

Bring ye all the tithes to the house of treasure, that there may be food in My house; then prove ye Me in this, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing until there be no room for more (Malachi 3:10).

"To open the windows and pour out a blessing" signifies the inflowing Divine from which is intelligence and life eternal; the like as is signified by "rain" above n. 644; and this also is properly meant by the "blessing" that would be given if the tithes were brought; so "tithes" here signify that everything was thus blest. That all things might be blest that Abraham took from his enemies, it is said:

That he gave to Melchizedek, who was king in Salem and at the same time priest to God Most High, tithes of all (Genesis 14:18, 19).

Jacob likewise promised and vowed:

That if he returned in peace unto his father's house everything that Jehovah gave him tithing should be tithed (Genesis 28:21, 22).

From these passages, as well as others, it can be seen what is signified in the Word by "ten" and "the tenth part."

(Odkazy: Genesis 14:18-19, Genesis 14:18-20, 28:21-22; The Apocalypse Explained 644)

[20] The reason that "ten" signifies all things is derived from heaven itself; for heaven in the whole and every part answers to a man, and is therefore called the Greatest Man. All the forces of life of this Greatest Man or heaven close in the two hands and the two feet, and the hands close in ten fingers, and the feet in ten toes; for this reason, all things of man in respect to power and support are lastly gathered into ten fingers and toes, so these signify all things of man; moreover, ultimates signify in the Word all.


1. The Hebrew has "He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded," as found in Arcana Coelestia 1288, 6804, 9396.

2. The Hebrew here has "good," as also found in Arcana Coelestia 1488.

3. The Latin here has "Ananiah."


(Odkazy: Genesis 14:18-20; Luke 19:12-13, Luke 19:15-21; Revelation 11:13)

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Apocalypse Explained 672, 687, 716, 777, 849, 1069

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