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Daniel 4

Finnish: Pyhä Raamattu (1933/1938)         

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1 (H3:31) "Kuningas Nebukadnessar kaikille kansoille, kansakunnille ja kielille, jotka asuvat kaiken maan päällä: suuri olkoon teidän rauhanne!

2 (H3:32) Minä olen nähnyt hyväksi ilmoittaa ne tunnusteot ja ihmeet, jotka korkein Jumala on minulle tehnyt.

3 (H3:33) Kuinka suuret ovat hänen tunnustekonsa ja kuinka voimalliset hänen ihmeensä! Hänen valtakuntansa on iankaikkinen valtakunta ja hänen valtansa pysyy suvusta sukuun."

4 (H4:1) "Minä Nebukadnessar elin rauhassa huoneessani ja onnellisena palatsissani.

5 (H4:2) Minä näin unen, ja se peljästytti minut; ja unikuvat, joita minulla oli vuoteessani, minun pääni näyt, kauhistuttivat minut.

6 (H4:3) Niin minä annoin käskyn tuoda eteeni kaikki Baabelin viisaat, että he ilmoittaisivat minulle unen selityksen.

7 (H4:4) Silloin tulivat tietäjät, noidat, kaldealaiset ja tähtienselittäjät, ja minä kerroin heille unen, mutta he eivät voineet ilmoittaa minulle sen selitystä.

8 (H4:5) Mutta viimein tuli minun eteeni Daniel, jonka nimi on minun jumalani nimen mukaan Beltsassar ja jossa on pyhien jumalien henki; ja minä kerroin hänelle unen:

9 (H4:6) 'Beltsassar, sinä tietäjäin päämies, jossa minä tiedän olevan pyhien jumalien hengen ja jolle mikään salaisuus ei ole liian vaikea! Sano, mitä olivat ne näyt, jotka minä unessani näin, ja mikä on sen selitys.

10 (H4:7) Nämä olivat minun pääni näyt, jotka minulla oli vuoteessani. Minä näin: Katso, oli puu keskellä maata, ja sen korkeus oli suuri.

11 (H4:8) Puu kasvoi ja vahvistui, niin että sen latva ulottui taivaaseen ja se näkyi kaiken maan ääriin.

12 (H4:9) Sen lehvät olivat kauniit ja sen hedelmät suuret, ja siinä oli ravintoa kaikille. Sen alla etsivät varjoa kedon eläimet, ja sen oksilla asuivat taivaan linnut, ja kaikki liha sai siitä ravintonsa.

13 (H4:10) Minä näin pääni näyissä, joita minulla oli vuoteessani: katso, pyhä enkeli astui alas taivaasta.

14 (H4:11) Hän huusi voimallisesti ja sanoi näin: hakatkaa puu poikki ja karsikaa sen oksat, riipikää sen lehvät ja hajottakaa sen hedelmät. Paetkoot eläimet sen alta ja linnut sen oksilta.

15 (H4:12) Mutta sen kanto juurineen jättäkää maahan, rauta-ja vaskikahleissa kedon ruohikkoon. Taivaan kasteesta hän kastukoon, ja niinkuin eläinten olkoon hänen osansa maan ruoho.

16 (H4:13) Hänen sydämensä muutetaan, niin ettei se ole ihmisen sydän, ja hänelle annetaan eläimen sydän. Ja niin kulukoon häneltä seitsemän aikaa.

17 (H4:14) Tämä on säädetty enkelien päätöksellä, ja niin ovat tästä asiasta pyhät sanoneet, että elävät tietäisivät Korkeimman hallitsevan ihmisten valtakuntaa ja antavan sen, kenelle hän tahtoo, ja asettavan sen päämieheksi ihmisistä halvimman.'

18 (H4:15) Tämän unen näin minä, kuningas Nebukadnessar. Ja sinä, Beltsassar, sano sen selitys, koska ei yksikään minun valtakuntani viisaista voi minulle ilmoittaa sen selitystä. Mutta sinä sen voit, sillä sinussa on pyhien jumalien henki."

19 (H4:16) Silloin Daniel, jonka nimenä oli Beltsassar, hämmästyi hetkeksi, ja hänen ajatuksensa peljästyttivät häntä. Kuningas lausui ja sanoi: "Beltsassar, älköön uni ja sen selitys sinua peljästyttäkö". Beltsassar vastasi ja sanoi: "Herrani, koskekoon uni sinun vihollisiasi ja sen selitys sinun vastustajiasi.

20 (H4:17) Puu, jonka sinä näit ja joka kasvoi ja vahvistui, niin että sen latva ulottui taivaaseen ja se näkyi kaikkeen maahan,

21 (H4:18) jonka lehvät olivat kauniit ja hedelmät suuret ja jossa oli ravintoa kaikille, jonka alla kedon eläimet asuivat ja jonka oksilla taivaan linnut oleskelivat,

22 (H4:19) -se puu olet sinä, kuningas, joka olet kasvanut ja vahvistunut; sinun suuruutesi on kasvanut ja ulottuu taivaaseen ja sinun valtasi maan ääriin.

23 (H4:20) Ja että kuningas näki pyhän enkelin astuvan alas taivaasta ja sanovan: 'Hakatkaa puu poikki ja turmelkaa se, mutta jättäkää sen kanto juurineen maahan, rauta-ja vaskikahleissa kedon ruohikkoon; taivaan kasteesta hän kastukoon, ja niinkuin kedon eläinten olkoon hänen osansa, kunnes häneltä on kulunut seitsemän aikaa',

24 (H4:21) sen selitys, oi kuningas, ja Ylimmäisen päätös, joka on kohdannut minun herraani, kuningasta, on tämä:

25 (H4:22) Sinut ajetaan pois ihmisten seasta, ja kedon eläinten parissa on sinun asuinpaikkasi oleva; sinä joudut syömään ruohoa niinkuin raavaat, ja sinä olet kastuva taivaan kasteesta; ja niin on sinulta kuluva seitsemän aikaa, kunnes tulet tuntemaan, että Korkein hallitsee ihmisten valtakuntaa ja antaa sen, kenelle hän tahtoo.

26 (H4:23) Mutta että käskettiin jättää maahan puun kanto juurineen, se tietää, että sinun valtakuntasi pysytetään sinulla, ja sinä saat sen, niin pian kuin tulet tuntemaan, että valta on taivaan.

27 (H4:24) Sentähden, kuningas, kelvatkoon sinulle minun neuvoni: kirvoita synnit itsestäsi almuilla ja pahat tekosi vaivaisia armahtamalla; ehkäpä silloin onnesi kestäisi."

28 (H4:25) Tämä kaikki kohtasi kuningas Nebukadnessaria.

29 (H4:26) Kaksitoista kuukautta tämän jälkeen, kun kuningas oli kävelemässä kuninkaallisen palatsinsa katolla Baabelissa,

30 (H4:27) hän puhkesi puhumaan sanoen: "Eikö tämä ole se suuri Baabel, jonka minä väkevällä voimallani olen rakentanut kuninkaalliseksi linnaksi, valtasuuruuteni kunniaksi!"

31 (H4:28) Vielä oli sana kuninkaan suussa, kun taivaasta tuli ääni: "Sinulle, kuningas Nebukadnessar, julistetaan: Sinun valtakuntasi on otettu sinulta pois.

32 (H4:29) Sinut ajetaan pois ihmisten seasta, ja kedon eläinten parissa on sinun asuinpaikkasi oleva; sinä joudut syömään ruohoa niinkuin raavaat, ja niin on sinulta kuluva seitsemän aikaa, kunnes tulet tuntemaan, että Korkein hallitsee ihmisten valtakuntaa ja antaa sen, kenelle hän tahtoo."

33 (H4:30) Sillä hetkellä se sana toteutui Nebukadnessarissa: hänet ajettiin pois ihmisten seasta, ja hän söi ruohoa niinkuin raavaat, ja hänen ruumiinsa kastui taivaan kasteesta, kunnes hänen hiuksensa kasvoivat pitkiksi kuin kotkan sulat ja hänen kyntensä kuin lintujen kynnet.

34 (H4:31) "Mutta sen ajan kuluttua minä, Nebukadnessar, nostin silmäni taivasta kohti, ja minun järkeni palasi. Ja minä kiitin Korkeinta, minä ylistin ja kunnioitin häntä, joka elää iankaikkisesti, jonka hallitus on iankaikkinen hallitus ja jonka valtakunta pysyy suvusta sukuun.

35 (H4:32) Kaikki maan asukkaat ovat tyhjänveroiset; ja hän tekee, niinkuin hän tahtoo, taivaan joukoille ja maan asukkaille, eikä ole sitä, joka pidättää hänen kätensä ja sanoo hänelle: 'Mitäs teet?'

36 (H4:33) Siihen aikaan palasi minun järkeni, ja palasi minun valtasuuruuteni ja loistoni, minun valtakuntani kunniaksi. Ja minun hallitusmieheni ja ylimykseni etsivät minut, ja minut pantiin jälleen hallitsemaan valtakuntaani, ja minun valtani lisääntyi ylenpalttisesti.

37 (H4:34) Nyt minä, Nebukadnessar, kiitän, ylistän ja kunnioitan taivaan kuningasta; sillä kaikki hänen työnsä ovat totiset ja hänen tiensä oikeat. Ja hän voi nöyryyttää ne, jotka ylpeydessä vaeltavat."

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Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream      

By Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb

Floor mosaic of a the Tree of Life (as a pomegranite) from the Big Basilica at Heraclea Lyncestis. Bitola, Macedonia.

In the Book of Daniel, Chapter Four is narrated, after the events of the chapter, by a much-changed Nebuchadnezzar. In the internal sense, the story shows both the Lord's mercy in leading us, and also the depths of despair to which we sink before we willingly open our minds to the Lord and pray for His leadership.

At the beginning of the story, Nebuchadnezzar's idleness imitates the sense of complacency when things seem to be going right, when no temptations darken our skies, and essential selfishness asserts itself once again. Our mind is its house, its palace. We come into this state after a temptation or battle against our sense of selfishness, when we put the struggle aside and rest on our laurels. We are oblivious to the fact that regeneration is an ongoing state, that one temptation succeeds another, and that once conscience has been established in our thought processes, it will not be too long before the lethargy of selfishness is challenged.

While Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in his house, he had a disturbing dream, one unknown to him. As before when he did not understand his dreams, he called the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans and the soothsayers, who, once again, could not interpret the dream.

Often we feel that we face the same temptations over and over again. We might wonder if we will ever regenerate. This is because we fall into a state of selfishness, represented by the king at rest. But when we encounter resistance to that selfishness, we turn back to all our old thought patterns to help us.

Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar called Daniel to tell him his dream. As he recounts the story after the seven years of illness, he uses the words he had spoken before. He addresses Daniel as Belteshazzar, because that is how he saw him before the temptation. Even so, he recognized the presence of the Spirit of the Holy God within him, acknowledging Daniel's power to explain dreams and give interpretations.

The king's second dream took the image of a great tree, planted in the earth, so high it could be seen from the ends of the earth. This parallels the image of the great statue, whose head was gold. As we saw earlier, this image represents the initial state of perfection, followed by a decline as a person turns away from this ideal. The statue shows how self love takes dominance in our lives if unchecked, and brings us into a final state of spiritual destruction.

In this new dream, the tree in the midst of the earth is a reference to the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Both trees symbolize wisdom. The Tree of Life represented the perception the Most Ancient people had from love (Arcana Coelestia 103), but Nebuchadnezzar's tree is from the love of self and the different perceptions people have when motivated by that love (Apocalypse Explained 1029:6).

But when Nebuchadnezzar saw the tree in his dream, it was lovely. Everything in the dream which normally has a good and beautiful significance, instead takes on a negative meaning. The leaves and flowers, which should have been a picture of guiding truths (Arcana Coelestia 9553), represent the opposite, as the falsities which mislead us. We saw how the king called his false guides: the magicians, soothsayers, astrologers, and Chaldeans.

The birds represent the false thoughts from selfishness (Arcana Coelestia 5149). These give credence to selfishness, to justify it and find new ways to express it. So the tree takes on an intellectual picture of the selfish mind. But the mind is made up of both intellect and emotion. There were also beasts sheltering under the tree representing the things we care about.

When selfishness rules in us, just as Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon, all the lesser loves take their cue from this leading love. Thus the beasts of the field, were drawn to the tree for food and shelter.

After this scene is set, Nebuchadnezzar sees "a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven." The introduction of the indescribable watcher is the turning point in the dream, marking the beginning of the end for this marvel reaching up to heaven.

In a state of selfishness, we are spiritually asleep, just as Nebuchadnezzar was asleep when he dreamed. But the Lord never sleeps. Truth in our minds is always vigilant, looking for ways of bringing itself to our consciousness to lead us out of our selfish state. Just as everything seemed right in Nebuchadnezzar's world, he became aware of a watcher—the truth.

In an instant, the king's serenity was changed: a force greater than himself commanded the destruction of the tree, and there was nothing he could do about it. These words make it clear just how vulnerable our selfish states are. At their height, they seem so powerful, but in the face of truth they are shown for the sordid little nothings they are. Truth has the power to expose evil, and we should not be afraid to allow it to do so in our own lives. To stand indicted of selfishness is not the end of life, as it may feel, but the beginning of a new life of liberation.

But we still need some sense of self. There is nothing wrong with being concerned with our own well-being; it is vital to our lives. Selfishness is a part of us, but it needs to be kept under control, subordinated to the higher loves of serving the Lord and our neighbor.

This is why the watcher did not order the complete destruction of the tree: the stump is all that is left of a rampant selfishness, the bands of iron and brass represent thoughts and feelings which originate in selfishness, which can be used to keep it under control (Apocalypse Explained 650:32).

Finally, with the tree destroyed, Nebuchadnezzar himself had to be changed. The watcher commanded that the king is given the heart of an animal for seven years. In substance abuse recovery programs, it is said that an addict cannot change until they hit rock-bottom—when they realize the full necessity of change. In spiritual life, this rock bottom is a point at which we almost lose our humanity, we are so dominated by selfishness, greed and the lust of dominion that we lose our ability to think rationally. We become animals. The difference between humans and animals is our ability to think and act in freedom. Self-love destroys that freedom, thus destroying all humanity within us.

In this prophesy, we see a descent: from man, to beast, to ox. People are human because they are created in the image and likeness of the Lord. Thus human beings have the ability to think and act according to reason. This is the essence of our humanity (Arcana Coelestia 477, 2305, 4051, 585, 1555). When these are in tune with truth and goodness from the Lord, then we are truly human, because the image of the Lord is in us.

So again, we see this slide from an ideal to a lesser state: from man, the king became a beast. From rationality and freedom, he entered slavery. This fall appears earlier in the Word: when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they were cast out.

Finally he was told that he would eat grass like oxen. In a positive sense, oxen represent our affections (Arcana Coelestia 5198, 5642, 6357), or our love of the things of this world. But the opposite meaning of 'ox' is the perversion of goodness (Arcana Coelestia 9083), and the affection for injuring others (Arcana Coelestia 9094).

This humbling of the king represents the proper use of the love of self, and shows that the Lord does not eradicate it, because it is the foundation of true relationships with other people and the Lord Himself. But before it can become useful, selfishness needs to be converted into a humbled love of self, and we must return from the ox state.

As Daniel explained the meaning of the dream, he offered the king counsel: 'break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.' This is the next step in spiritual awareness. Seeing our selfishness, coupled with an increased awareness of the Lord, we reach the point where thoughts must become actions. At first glance, the concept of 'sins and iniquities' may seem redundant. But in the Word, pairs of synonymous words reflect two internal senses: the celestial and the spiritual (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 80). The celestial relates broadly to goodness, and the spiritual to truth. Together they make one.

Daniel's advice to Nebuchadnezzar is to repent. Repentance is the only way out of the quicksand of selfishness. The Lord taught that we should love one another as He loves us (John 13:34, John 15:12). To love ourselves alone, and to wish to control others is not in keeping with the Lord's teachings. The only solution is to listen to the voice of our conscience and allow ourselves to be guided by the truth.

In spite of everything, Nebuchadnezzar's pride was not reduced. As he walked around his palace, his heart was filled with pride: 'is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?'

A selfish person believes that everything they own or have accomplished is by their own power. There is no place for God or anyone else. When people do not listen to the Lord's teachings and reject His counsel, there is nothing the Lord can do but allow the person to reap the consequences of their choice.

The king remained in this ox-state until seven times passed over him, which illustrates that the Lord leaves us in this state until it runs its course. Sometimes it takes us a lifetime to see how our selfishness hurts others, and ourselves. Yet the Lord never leaves us. The promise of the root of the tree, bound with bands of iron and bronze is always there. The Lord works unceasingly to bring our selfishness under control until it can serve the higher loves of our neighbor and the Lord Himself.

Forgiveness begins in the recognition that we are in sin. In his ox-like state, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his eyes to heaven. Eyes represent understanding (Arcana Coelestia 2975, 3863), and to lift them to heaven is to lift our understanding to the truths the Lord has given us. The king had been given some truths in his dreams and in the interpretation of them. He knew from Daniel's advice that he needed to repent and change his ways. As he did so, his understanding and appreciation of the Lord grew. He realized how small he was in the grand scheme of things. The inflated ego of selfishness was deflated by the recognition that all things had been given to him by the Lord.

His story is our story. We each build our empires in one way or another. We hold the power of life and death over others in a figurative sense—do we not decide who we like and dislike, who is admitted out our 'inner circle' and who is beyond the pale? The warnings the Lord gave to Nebuchadnezzar apply to us, and like the king, we can also ignore them. The consequences in our lives are the same, as we are reduced to a merely animal-being, wet with the dew of heaven.

Yet can we hear the Lord's voice calling, for unless we do, we will remain in that state. Can we lift our eyes to heaven and search for the truth leading to the greatest declaration one can make, provided it is done with the heart and not with the lips:

Now I … praise and extol and honor the king of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and his ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to abase.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Revealed 717

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 175


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 274, 290, 395, 728, 776, 1326, 3301, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 47, 60, 158, 173, 474, 567, 757, ...

The Lord 40, 48

The Last Judgment 54

True Christian Religion 93, 644


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 204, 257, 650, 662, 1029, 1100

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

An Invitation to the New Church 22

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 30, 31

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Nebukadnessar
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of the Babylonian empire. His fiery furnace and his dreams of the great tree and of the great statue are...

näin
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...

daniel
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alla
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...

sanoi
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...

Resources for parents and teachers

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 Blessings: The Kingdom of Heaven
Blessings to say at mealtime.
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Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Daniel, Interpreter of Dreams
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Thinking About Eternity
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story or passage and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

Ze Swedenborgových děl

 

Apocalypse Explained # 453

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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453. Which no one could number, signifies that the Lord alone knows of what quality and how much of good and truth there is in them. This is evident from the signification of "number," as meaning what is the quality of a thing, so "to number" means to know the quality of a thing, here, the quality of the good and truth with those now treated of. It also signifies that the Lord alone knows this, as is meant by "which no one could number;" for no man and no angel knows the quality of good and truth with another in every series and connection, but only something of it that is apparent in externals; and yet every quality is of infinite extension, for it joins and associates itself with innumerable things that lie concealed within, and that abide without, and that spread out in every direction. All this no one sees but the Lord alone; therefore it is the Lord alone by whom all are arranged and disposed according to their quality, for He sees the quality of everyone, thus what his nature is and what will happen to him to eternity, since the Lord's sight which is called omniscience, foresight, and providence, is eternal. This is why no one except the Lord alone knows the quality of good and truth with anyone. It may seem strange that "to number" signifies to know the quality of good and truth, for one reading these words and remaining in the meaning of the letter can have no other thought than that it means simply that the multitude was too great to be numbered; yet in the spiritual sense "number" signifies quality, and thus "to number" signifies to know the quality, and to arrange and dispose according to it.

(Odkazy: Revelation 7:9)


[2] Because of this signification of numbering a punishment was inflicted upon David for numbering the people, which is thus described in the second book of Samuel:

Again the anger of Jehovah glowed against Israel, and He incited David against them saying, Go, number Israel and Judah. And the king said to Joab, Go now to and fro through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people. Joab dissuaded him, but the king's word prevailed. And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people; and David said, I have sinned exceedingly in that I have done; but now let, O Jehovah, I beseech thee, the iniquity of Thy servant pass away, for I have done very foolishly. So the prophet Gad was sent to David, announcing to him three punishments, and of these David chose the pestilence, of which seventy thousand died (2 Samuel 24:1-25 to the end).

Who does not know that there is no iniquity in numbering a people? Yet here the iniquity was so great that David, on account of it, was threatened with three punishments from which he was to choose one, and of the pestilence which he chose seventy thousand died. But there was a reason for this, namely, that "Israel and Judah" represented, and thence signified, the Lord's kingdom in the heavens and on the earth, and "to number" signified to know their quality, and to arrange and dispose accordingly, and that this belongs to the Lord alone; which shows that "to number" in the Word has this signification.

(Odkazy: 2 Samuel 24:1-15)


[3] "To number" has a like meaning in Moses:

When thou takest up the sum of the sons of Israel as to the numbering of them, then shall they give every man an expiation for his soul unto Jehovah in numbering them, that there be no plague among them in numbering them (Exodus 30:12).

Here, also, "to number" signifies to know their quality, or the quality of the church with them, and to arrange and dispose according to it; and because this belongs to the Lord alone, it is said, "everyone shall give an expiation for his soul unto Jehovah in numbering them, that there be no plague among them in numbering them." (For a further explanation of this see Arcana Coelestia 10216-10232.)

[4] In Daniel:

Because Belshazzar drank wine out of the vessels of gold and of silver from the temple at Jerusalem, a hand went forth and wrote on the wall, Numbered, thou art numbered, weighed, and divided. God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it (Daniel 5:2, 5, 25, 26).

"Numbered, numbered," signifies here to be seen and explored as to the quality of good and truth; and "hath numbered the kingdom" signifies hath arranged and disposed. (What the rest signifies see above, n. 373.)

(Odkazy: Daniel 5:25-26; The Apocalypse Explained 373)


[5] In like manner in Isaiah:

By the relinquishment of my days I shall go to the gates of hell [of the grave]; I am numbered, the remainder of my years (Isaiah 38:10).

These are the words of Hezekiah the king when he was sick, and "to be numbered" signifies to be explored and concluded. "To number" and "to be numbered" have a different signification in the spiritual sense of the Word from that which they have in the letter or its natural sense, as is evident from the fact that with angels in heaven, numbers and measures have no place in their spiritual idea, that is, they do not think from numbering or measuring, but from the quality of a thing; but this thought of theirs falls into numbers and measures when it comes down therefrom into the natural sphere; and yet the Word is written equally for angels as for men, consequently angels, in numbers and numbering in the Word, perceive the quality of the thing treated of, while men understand numbers and numbering. This can still further be seen from this, that every number in the Word signifies somewhat of thing or state (of which see above, n. 203, 336, 429, 430).

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 203, The Apocalypse Explained 336, The Apocalypse Explained 429-430)


[6] As numbering is mentioned in some passages of the Word, and it signifies to know the quality of a thing, and to arrange and to dispose according to it, I will also cite these passages in confirmation. In Isaiah:

A voice of a tumult of the kingdoms of nations gathered together; Jehovah of Hosts numbering the host for war (Isaiah 13:4).

The "kingdoms of nations gathered together" of which there was a tumult, do not mean nations gathered from kingdoms, for this passage is prophetical and not historical; but "kingdoms of nations gathered together" signifies the falsities of evils that have been made to cohere, and "their tumult" signifies their threats and eagerness to fight against truths; for "kingdoms" are predicated of truths, and in the contrary sense of falsities, while "nations" signify goods, and in the contrary sense evils (see above, n. 175, 331); and "tumult" is predicated of the eagerness for fighting, here against truths; "Jehovah of Hosts numbering the host" signifies the arrangement of truths from good by the Lord against the falsities from evil; the Lord is called in the Word "Jehovah of Hosts," from truths and goods fighting against falsities and evils, for "zebaoth" means hosts, and "hosts" signify the truths and goods of heaven and the church; and "to number" signifies to arrange these, and "war" signifies spiritual combat.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[7] In the same:

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these things, who hath led out their host in number, who calleth them all by name (Isaiah 40:26).

The "host of the heavens" means in the literal sense, the sun, moon, and stars, for these are called in the Word "the host of Jehovah," but in the spiritual sense "host" signifies all the goods and truths of heaven and the church in the complex, for the "sun" signifies the good of love, the "moon" the good of faith, and the "stars" signify the knowledges of good and truth; this makes clear the signification of "Lift up your eyes and see who hath created these things." "To create," when predicated of goods and truths, signifies to form them with man, and to regenerate him; "to lead out the host in number" signifies to arrange truths and goods according to the quality of those with whom they are; "who calleth them all by name" signifies who knows the quality of all and disposes accordingly, for "name" in the Word signifies the quality of a thing or state.

[8] So, too, in John:

The sheep hear His voice, and He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out (John 10:3);

where the same expressions, "to lead out" and "to call by name" are used as above in Isaiah, and they have a similar signification. (That "name" signifies the quality of a thing or state, see above, n. 102, 135, 148) In David:

Jehovah counteth the number of the stars; He called them all by their names (Psalms 147:4).

"To count the number of the stars, and to call them all by their names," signifies to know all truths and goods, and to dispose them according to their quality in heaven and the church. For what other reason could it be said of Jehovah that "He numbers the stars, and calls them by their names"?

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 102, 135, 148)


[9] In Jeremiah:

In the cities of the mountain, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the circuits of Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again by the hands of him that numbereth them (Jeremiah 33:13).

What "mountain," "lowland," "the south," "the land of Benjamin," "the circuits of Jerusalem," and "the cities of Judah," signify in the spiritual sense may be seen just above (n. 449, where they are explained). "The flocks shall pass by the hands of him that numbereth them" signifies that there will be interior goods and truths in the church according to their order and quality, for "flocks" signify interior goods and truths; "flocks" meaning lambs, sheep, she-goats, rams, and kids, and these signify interior goods and truths, which are spiritual goods and truths, while "herds," which consist of calves, bullocks, cows, and oxen, signify exterior goods and truths, which are natural truths and goods. (That this is so see Arcana Coelestia 1565, 2566, 5913, 6048, 8937, 10609)

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 449)


[10] In David:

Mount Zion shall be glad, the daughters of Judah shall exult, because of Thy judgments. Encompass Zion and encircle her; number her towers, set your heart to the bulwarks, mark ye well her palaces; that ye may tell the generation following (Psalms 48:11-13).

"Mount Zion which shall be glad," signifies the celestial church, in which are those who are in love to the Lord; "the daughters of Judah who shall exult," signify the affections of good and truth which those have who are of that church; "because of Thy judgments" signifies because of Divine truths which they have from the Lord; "encompass Zion and encircle her" signifies to embrace the things belonging to that church from love; "to number her towers" signifies to give thought to the higher or interior truths of that church, "to number" meaning to see and give thought to their quality, and "towers" meaning the higher or interior truths; "set your heart to the bulwarks" signifies to love the exterior truths that defend that church against falsities; "mark ye well her palaces" signifies to perceive the goods of truth, for "houses" mean goods, and "palaces" the more noble goods of truth; "that ye may tell the generation following" signifies their permanence to eternity.

[11] In Isaiah:

He that walketh in righteousness and speaketh uprightness, thine eyes 1 shall see the king in his beauty; they shall behold the land of wide extent. Thy heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the weigher? where is he that counteth the towers? Thou wilt not see an obstinate people, a people of depths of lip (Isaiah 33:15, 17-19).

"To walk in righteousness and to speak uprightness" signifies to live in the good of love and charity, and to think and perceive truths; for "to walk" signifies to live, "righteousness" is predicated of good, and "uprightness" is truth; "thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty" signifies that they shall attain to wisdom, "king" signifying truth from good, and "beauty" its wisdom, for in wisdom Divine truth is in its beautiful form; "they shall behold the land of wide extent" signifies the extension of wisdom into heaven, "land" signifying the church, and also heaven, and "wide extent" extension there; "thy heart shall meditate terror; where is the scribe? where is the weigher? where is he that counteth the towers?" signifies remembrance of the state of the church, when there is no intelligence, no wisdom, and when interior truths are falsified; "terror" meaning that state, "scribe" intelligence, "weigher" wisdom, "towers" interior truths; to destroy the quality of these by falsifications is here signified by "numbering them;" "thou wilt not see an obstinate people" signifies not seeing those who are in the falsities of evil, or in an abstract sense those falsities themselves; "a people of depths of lip" signifies falsities of doctrine confirmed until they appear as truths, "lip" signifying the truths of doctrine, here falsity that will not be seen.

[12] "To number" signifies also evil arrangement, consequently destruction by falsifications, as is evident in the same:

Ye have seen the breaches of the house of David that they are many; and ye have brought together the waters of the lower pool. And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, that ye might tear down the houses to fortify the wall (Isaiah 22:9, 10).

"The house of David" means the church in respect to the truths of doctrine; and "its breaches" signify falsities breaking in; "to bring together the waters of the lower pool" signifies to collect many things from the sense of the letter of the Word and from the natural man; the "pools in Jerusalem" signified such truths as are in the exterior and interior senses of the Word; "the waters of the higher pool" such truths as are in the interior sense of the Word, and "the waters of the lower pool" such as are in the exterior sense of the Word, that is, the sense of the letter, for "waters" mean truths, and the "pools" in Jerusalem have a similar signification as the "lakes" and "seas" outside of Jerusalem, namely, a collection of truths; "to number the houses of Jerusalem" signifies to falsify the goods of truth, "the houses of Jerusalem" signifying the goods of truth of the church, and "to number" signifying wrong apprehension and evil arrangement, which is to interpret falsely or to falsify; "that ye might tear down the houses to fortify the wall" signifies to destroy these goods in order to build up a doctrine consisting of mere falsities, "wall" meaning the truth of doctrine defending, here truth falsified, because without good.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 22:9-10)


[13] These things make evident what is signified by "numbering days, steps, and hairs," as in the following passages. In David:

To number our days (Psalms 90:12).

In Job:

Dost Thou not number 2 my steps? (Job 16:16).

Doth He not see my ways and number all my steps? (Job 31:4).

In Luke:

The hairs of your head are all numbered (Luke 12:7).

Here "to number" signifies to know the quality from least to greatest, and to arrange and dispose according to it, that is, to provide. What "days," "steps," and "hairs," signify has been told and shown elsewhere.

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Footnotes:

1.  Photolithograph as "he," the Hebrew "thine eyes;" see AE 152, 304; AC 3863.

2.  Photolithograph has "thou numberest."

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(Odkazy: 2 Samuel 24:1-15; Acts of the Apostles 14:16; Isaiah 22:9-10; Job 14:16; Revelation 7:9)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 451, 625, 734, 841

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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