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Daniel 9

German: Elberfelder (1871)         

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1 Im ersten Jahre Darius’, des Sohnes Ahasveros’, aus dem Samen der Meder, welcher über das eich der Chaldäer König geworden war,

2 im ersten Jahre seiner egierung merkte ich, Daniel, in den Schriften auf die Zahl der Jahre, betreffs welcher das Wort Jehovas zu dem Propheten Jeremia geschehen war, daß nämlich siebzig Jahre für die Verwüstung (Eig. die Trümmer) Jerusalems vollendet werden sollten.

3 Und ich richtete mein Angesicht zu Gott, dem Herrn, um ihn mit Gebet und Flehen zu suchen, in Fasten und Sacktuch und Asche.

4 Und ich betete zu Jehova, meinem Gott, und ich bekannte und sprach: Ach, Herr! du großer und furchtbarer Gott, der den Bund und die Güte denen bewahrt, die ihn lieben und seine Gebote halten!

5 wir haben gesündigt und verkehrt und gesetzlos gehandelt, und wir haben uns empört und sind von deinen Geboten und von deinen echten abgewichen.

6 Und wir haben nicht auf deine Knechte, die Propheten, gehört, welche in deinem Namen zu unseren Königen, unseren Fürsten und unseren Vätern und zu allem Volke des Landes geredet haben.

7 Dein, o Herr, ist die Gerechtigkeit, unser aber die Beschämung des Angesichts, wie es an diesem Tage ist: der Männer von Juda und der Bewohner von Jerusalem, und des ganzen Israel, der Nahen und der Fernen, in allen Ländern, wohin du sie vertrieben hast wegen ihrer Treulosigkeit, die sie gegen dich begangen haben.

8 Jehova! (So nach der letzten kritischen Ausgabe des hebr. Textes. And. l.: Herr!) unser ist die Beschämung des Angesichts, unserer Könige, unserer Fürsten und unserer Väter, weil wir gegen dich gesündigt haben.

9 Des Herrn, unseres Gottes, sind die Erbarmungen und die Vergebungen; denn wir haben uns gegen ihn empört,

10 und wir haben der Stimme Jehovas, unseres Gottes, nicht gehorcht, um in seinen Gesetzen zu wandeln, welche er uns durch seine Knechte, die Propheten, vorgelegt hat.

11 Und ganz Israel hat dein Gesetz übertreten und ist abgewichen, so daß es deiner Stimme nicht gehorcht hat. Und so hat sich der Fluch und der Schwur über uns ergossen, welcher im Gesetz Moses, des Knechtes Gottes, geschrieben steht, weil wir gegen ihn gesündigt haben.

12 Und er hat seine Worte erfüllt, die er über uns und über unsere ichter geredet hat, welche uns richteten, indem er ein großes Unglück über uns brachte (O. daß er ein großes Unglück über uns bringen würde;) so daß unter dem ganzen Himmel keines geschehen ist wie dasjenige, welches an Jerusalem geschehen ist.

13 So wie es im Gesetz Moses geschrieben steht, ist all dieses Unglück über uns gekommen. Und wir flehten Jehova, unseren Gott, nicht an, daß wir von unseren Missetaten umgekehrt wären und Einsicht erlangt hätten für deine Wahrheit.

14 Und so hat Jehova über das Unglück gewacht (Vergl. Jer. 1,12;31,28) und es über uns kommen lassen. Denn Jehova, unser Gott, ist gerecht in allen seinen Taten, die er getan hat (O. tut;) aber wir haben seiner Stimme nicht gehorcht.

15 Und nun, Herr, unser Gott, der du dein Volk aus dem Lande Ägypten mit starker Hand herausgeführt und dir einen Namen gemacht hast, wie es an diesem Tage ist-wir haben gesündigt, wir haben gesetzlos gehandelt.

16 Herr, nach allen deinen Gerechtigkeiten (d. h. den Erweisungen, Betätigungen deiner Gerechtigkeit.) laß doch deinen Zorn und deinen Grimm sich wenden von deiner Stadt Jerusalem, deinem heiligen Berge! denn wegen unserer Sünden und der Missetaten unserer Väter sind Jerusalem und dein Volk zum Hohne geworden allen denen, die uns umgeben.

17 Und nun höre, unser Gott, auf das Gebet deines Knechtes und auf sein Flehen; und um des Herrn willen laß dein Angesicht leuchten über dein verwüstetes Heiligtum!

18 Neige, mein Gott, dein Ohr und höre! tue deine Augen auf und sieh unsere Verwüstungen und die Stadt, welche nach deinem Namen genannt ist! Denn nicht um unserer Gerechtigkeiten willen legen wir unser Flehen vor dir nieder, sondern um deiner vielen Erbarmungen willen.

19 Herr, höre! Herr, vergib! Herr, merke auf und handle; zögere nicht, um deiner selbst willen, mein Gott! denn deine Stadt und dein Volk sind nach deinem Namen genannt.

20 Während ich noch redete und betete, und meine Sünde und die Sünde meines Volkes Israel bekannte, und mein Flehen vor Jehova, meinem Gott, für den heiligen Berg meines Gottes niederlegte,

21 während ich noch redete im Gebet, da kam der Mann Gabriel, den ich im Anfang im Gesicht, als ich ganz ermattet war, gesehen hatte, zu mir her (And. üb.: im Gesicht gesehen hatte, schnell fliegend zu mir her) zur Zeit des Abendopfers (Eig. Abendspeisopfers.)

22 Und er gab mir Verständnis und redete mit mir und sprach: Daniel, jetzt bin ich ausgegangen, um dich Verständnis zu lehren.

23 Im Anfang deines Flehens ist ein Wort ausgegangen, und ich bin gekommen, um es dir kundzutun; denn du bist ein Vielgeliebter. So merke auf das Wort, und verstehe das Gesicht:

24 Siebzig Wochen sind über dein Volk und über deine heilige Stadt bestimmt, um die Übertretung zum Abschluß zu bringen und den Sünden ein Ende zu machen, (Nach and. Les.: die Sünden zu versiegeln) und die Ungerechtigkeit zu sühnen und eine ewige Gerechtigkeit einzuführen, und Gesicht und Propheten zu versiegeln, und ein Allerheiligstes zu salben.

25 So wisse denn und verstehe: Vom Ausgehen des Wortes, Jerusalem wiederherzustellen und zu bauen, bis auf den Messias, den Fürsten (Eig. bis auf einen Gesalbten, einen Fürsten,) sind sieben Wochen und 62 Wochen. Straßen und Gräben werden wiederhergestellt und gebaut werden (Eig. Es (Jerusalem) wird wiederhergestellt usw. werden zu Straßen und Gräben,) und zwar in Drangsal der Zeiten.

26 Und nach den 62 Wochen wird der Messias weggetan (Eig. ausgerottet) werden und nichts haben. Und das Volk des kommenden Fürsten wird die Stadt und das Heiligtum zerstören, und das Ende davon wird durch die überströmende Flut sein (O. die Stadt und das Heiligtum wird das Volk des Fürsten zerstören, welcher kommen und dessen Ende in der überströmenden Flut sein wird;) und bis ans Ende: Krieg, Festbeschlossenes von Verwüstungen.

27 Und er wird einen festen Bund mit den Vielen (d. h. mit der Masse des jüdischen Volkes) schließen für eine Woche; und zur Hälfte der Woche wird er Schlachtopfer und Speisopfer aufhören lassen. Und wegen der Beschirmung der Greuel (Viell. der Greuelgötzen. O. über den Flügel (Beschirmer) der Greuel) wird ein Verwüster kommen (And. üb.: neben dem Flügel (näml. der Cherubim) werden Greuel der Verwüstung stehen,) und zwar bis Vernichtung und Festbeschlossenes (Vergl. Jes. 10,23;28,22) über das Verwüstete (And.: den Verwüster) ausgegossen werden.

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Exposition of Daniel's Prayer      

By Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Revealed 548

Die Eheliche Liebe 26

Himmel und Hölle 171

der Propheten und der Psalmen Davids 180


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 395, 411, 622, 728, 988, 1857, 2025, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 3, 36, 492, 501, 658, 662, 757, ...

Kurze Darstellung 100

Die göttliche Vorsehung 134, 328

Die Lehre vom Herrn 6, 52, 64

Wahre Christliche Religion 157, 179, 181, 378, 755, 758, 761, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 83, 204, 315, 375, 397, 405, 409, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 157

Coronis oder Anhang zur Wahren Christlichen Religion 34

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 38

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Samen
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

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

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

Propheten
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

Jeremia
Jeremiah, in the Book of Jeremiah 1:1 and what follows, represents the Lord. (Arcana Coelestia 2838 [2]). In Jeremiah 13:7, he signifies the state of...

jerusalems
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

Gott
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

suchen
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

sacktuch
'Being clothed in sackcloth' signifies lamentation because of the devastation of truth in the church. 'Sackcloth,' as in Revelation 6:12, relates to destroyed good.

Asche
Ashes as in ('Ezekiel 27:30') signify what is condemned; because fire from which they are derived signify infernal love. Ashes of the furnace ('Exodus 9:8')...

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

sprach
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...

güte
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

geboten
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

gehört
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

Namen
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Gerechtigkeit
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

Tage
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

Männer
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Juda
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

Könige
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

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

stimme
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

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

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

geschrieben
In John 8:2-11, the Lord wrote twice on the ground, when the woman taken in adultery was brought to him, which signifies the condemnation of...

bringen
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

unter
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...

himmel
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

wahrheit
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

Kommen
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

gerecht
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

Ägypten
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

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

Zorn
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

stadt
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

augen
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Vor
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

Berg
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

Gabriel
Gabriel signifies an angelic society in heaven that is made up of people who teach from the Word, particularly about the Lord’s advent.

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

Zeit
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

heilige
The Bible describes many things as being holy, or sacred. The Ark of the Covenant is one very holy object. The inmost chamber of the...

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

salben
Oil in the Bible represents the Lord’s love, so anointing someone (or something) with oil was a way to make that person (or object) a...

bauen
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

Messias
'Messiah' signifies divine truth.

Sieben
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

nach
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

Heiligtum
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

Krieg
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

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

Flügel
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

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Hesekiel 22:4

German: Elberfelder (1871)         

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4 durch dein Blut, das du vergossen, hast du dich verschuldet, und durch deine Götzen, die du gemacht, hast du dich verunreinigt; und du hast deine Tage herbeigeführt und bist zu deinen Jahren gekommen. Darum habe ich dich den Nationen zum Hohne gemacht und allen Ländern zum Spott.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

der Propheten und der Psalmen Davids 145


Další odkazy Swedenborga k tomuto verši:

Arcana Coelestia 374, 376, 488, 2906, 3400, 4735, 9127

Die Lehre vom Herrn 4

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Blut
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

Tage
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

Nationen
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

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Apocalypse Explained # 684

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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684. It is said the "kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's," and this signifies that Divine good and Divine truth are received when the evil are separated from the good and are cast into hell; for then both the higher and the lower heavens can be in enlightenment and thus in the perception of good and truth; and this could not be effected so long as the evil were conjoined with the good, because the interiors of the angels, who are in the lower heavens, could not then be opened, but only the exteriors, and the Lord does not reign in spirits and men in externals separate from internals, but in internals, and from internals in externals; for this reason, until the interiors of the angels of the lowest heaven, which are spiritual and celestial, were opened, that heaven did not become the kingdom of the Lord as it did after the separation of the evil from them.

(Odkazy: Revelation 11:15)


[2] It is said that "the kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's," and "Lord" here has the same meaning as "Jehovah" in the Old Testament, and "Father" in the New, namely, the Lord in respect to the Divine Itself and in respect to Divine good; while "Christ" has the same meaning as "God" in the Old Testament, and "the Son of God" in the New, namely the Lord in respect to the Divine Human and also in respect to Divine truth, for "Christ" has a like meaning as "Anointed," "Messiah," and "King;" and "Anointed," "Messiah," and "King" mean the Lord in respect to Divine truth, and also in respect to the Divine Human when He was in the world, for the Lord in respect to His Human was then Divine truth. So "the Anointed of Jehovah" has a similar meaning, for the Divine Itself which is called "Jehovah" and "Father," and in its essence was the Divine good of Divine love, anointed the Divine Human, which is called "the Son of God," and which in its essence while it was in the world was Divine truth; for "anointing" signified that the Lord's Divine Human proceeded from His Divine Itself, and consequently the Divine truth from His Divine good.

[3] From this it is clear that the Lord alone in relation to the Divine Human was essentially "the Anointed of Jehovah," while kings and priests were called "the anointed of Jehovah" representatively; for the "oil" with which the anointing was performed signified the Divine good of the Divine love. Now as it was Divine truth with the Lord that was anointed by the Divine good, so "Christ," and likewise "the Messiah" and "Anointed," and also "King," signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love. That this is so can be seen from passages in the Word where "Christ," "Messiah," and "Anointed" are mentioned.

[4] That "Christ" is the Messiah, or Anointed, is evident in John:

Andrew findeth his brother Simon and said to him, We have found the Messiah, which is, when interpreted, Christ (John 1:41).

And in the same:

The woman of Samaria said, I know that Messiah cometh, who is called Christ (John 4:25).

This shows that the Lord is called "Christ" because He was the Messiah whose coming was foretold in the Word of the Old Testament; for the word for Anointed is "Christ" in the Greek, and "Messiah" in the Hebrew, and a king is one anointed. This is why the Lord is called "King of Israel," and "King of the Jews," which also He acknowledged before Pilate, wherefore it was inscribed upon the cross:

The king of the Jews (Matthew 27:11, 29, 37, 41; Luke 23:1-4, 35-40).

Also in John:

Nathaniel said, Thou art the Son of God, the King of Israel (John 1:48).

(Odkazy: John 1:45, 1:49; Matthew 27:42)


[5] As "Anointed," "Christ," "Messiah," and "King," are synonymous terms, so also "Son of God;" and each one of these names signifies in the spiritual sense Divine truth (that this is the signification of "king" may be seen above, n. 31, 553, 625); and "Son of God" also has the same meaning, because in the Word "sons" signify truths, and thus "the Son of God" signifies Divine truth. That "sons" signify truths may be seen above (n. 166). "Christ" and "Messiah" have a like signification.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 31, 166, The Apocalypse Explained 553, The Apocalypse Explained 625)


[6] That "Christ" signifies Divine truth is evident in Matthew:

Be not ye called Rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ (Matthew 23:8).

"Rabbi" and "teacher" signify one that teaches truth, thus in an abstract sense the doctrine of truth, and in the highest sense Divine truth, which is Christ. That the Lord alone is Divine truth is meant by "Be not ye called Rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ."

[7] In the same:

See that no one lead you astray; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall lead many astray. If anyone shall say to you, Lo, here is the Christ, or there, believe it not; for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets (Matthew 24:4-5, 23-24; Mark 13:21-23).

This must not be understood as meaning that there will arise those who will call themselves the Christ or Christs, but those who will falsify the Word, and declare that this or that is Divine truth when it is not; those who confirm falsities by the Word are meant by "false Christs," and those who hatch out falsities of doctrine by "false prophets." For these two chapters treat of the successive vastation of the church, thus of the falsification of the Word, and lastly of the profanation of truth thence. (But this may be seen further explained in the Arcana Coelestia 3353-3356, and n. 3897-3901.)

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 3897-3901)


[8] And as "Son of God" also signifies Divine truth, as has just been said, He is sometimes called:

The Christ, the Son of God (as in Matthew 26:63; Mark 14:61; Luke 4:41, 22:66-71 to the end; John 6:69, 11:26-27, 20:31).

In a word, when the Lord was in the world He was called "Christ," "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," because in Him alone was the Divine good of Divine love, from which Divine truth proceeds, and this was represented by "anointing;" for the "oil" with which anointing was performed signified the Divine good of Divine love, and the "king," who was anointed, represented Divine truth. This is why kings, when they had been anointed, represented the Lord, and were called "the anointed of Jehovah;" yet it was the Lord alone in relation to His Divine Human that was "the Anointed of Jehovah," since the Divine good of Divine love was in Him, and this was Jehovah and the Father from whom the Lord had the being [esse] of life. For it is well known that He was conceived of Jehovah, thus it was from the Divine good of Divine love, which was in Him from conception, that the Lord in relation to His Human was Divine truth so long as He was in the world. This shows that the Lord alone was "the Anointed of Jehovah" essentially, and that kings were called "the anointed of Jehovah" representatively. Thence now it is that the Lord in relation to His Divine Human was called "Messiah" and "Christ," that is, "Anointed."

(Odkazy: Mark 14:61-62)


[9] This can also be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, therefore Jehovah hath anointed Me to proclaim good tidings unto the poor, He hath sent Me to bind up the broken in heart, to preach liberty to the captives, to the bound, to the blind, to proclaim the year of Jehovah's good pleasure, and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:1, 2).

This is plainly said of the Lord. The meaning is that the Lord Jehovih anointed His Divine Human "to proclaim good tidings unto the poor, and sent it to bind up the broken in heart," and so on, for all this the Lord accomplished from His Human (but the particulars may be seen explained above, n. 183, 375, 612).

(Odkazy: Isaiah 61:1-2; The Apocalypse Explained 183, The Apocalypse Explained 375, The Apocalypse Explained 612)


[10] In David:

Why have the nations become tumultuous, and why have the peoples meditated vanity? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers took counsel together against Jehovah and against His Anointed. I have anointed My king upon Zion, the mountain of My holiness. I will declare the statute, Jehovah said unto me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee; ask of Me and I will give the nations for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and ye perish in the way, for His anger will shortly burn forth; blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Psalms 2:1-2, 6-8, 12).

Evidently "the Anointed of Jehovah" means here the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, for it is said, "Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee; kiss the Son lest ye perish; blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." In the sense of the letter this indeed is said of David, but in the Word "David" means the Lord in relation to Divine truth, or as a King (see above, n. 205. It is evident also that the Lord's coming and finally the Last Judgment by Him, and afterwards His sovereignty over all things of the world, are here treated of.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 205)


[11] The spiritual things that lie hidden and are signified in the particulars of this passage are as follows: "The nations have become tumultuous and the peoples have meditated vanity," signifies the state of the church and of the former heaven that was to pass away, "nations" meaning those who are in evils, and "peoples" those who are in falsities (see above n. 175, 331, 625); "the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers took counsel together, against Jehovah and against His Anointed," signifies the falsities of the church and its evils, as being utterly opposed to the Divine good and the Divine truth, and thus to the Lord, "the kings of the earth" meaning the falsities of the church, and the "rulers" its evils, "Jehovah" meaning the Lord in relation to the Divine itself, thus in relation to Divine good, and the "Anointed" the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, thus as to Divine truth.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 331, The Apocalypse Explained 625)


[12] "I have anointed My king upon Zion, the mountain of My holiness," signifies the Lord's Human in relation to Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of His Divine love, and thus His sovereignty over all things of heaven and the church, "Zion" and "the mountain of holiness" meaning heaven and the church; and thus all things of heaven and the church; "I will declare the statute" signifies an arcanum of the Divine providence and will; "Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee," signifies the Lord as the Anointed, Messiah, Christ, and King, thus in relation to His Human conceived and afterwards born of the Divine Itself, that is, Jehovah; "this day" signifies what is decreed from eternity and looks therefrom to the conjunction and union accomplished in time.

[13] "Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession," signifies His kingdom and dominion over all things of heaven and the church, which shall be His; "kiss the Son" signifies conjunction with the Lord by love, "to kiss" signifying conjunction by love; "lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way," signifies lest evils assault you and you be condemned, for "to be angry" when predicated of the Lord, signifies the turning away of men from Him, thus their anger and not the Lord's; and evils are what turn away, and then are angry; "for His anger will shortly burn forth" signifies the Last Judgment, and the casting down of the evil into hell; "blessed are all they that trust in Him" signifies salvation by love to the Lord and faith in Him.

[14] In the same:

Thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured upon thy lips. Gird about thy sword upon the thigh, O Mighty One, in thy majesty and thy honor; and in thy honor mount, ride upon the word of truth and of meekness of righteousness, and thy right hand shall teach thee in wonderful things; thine arrows are sharp, the peoples shall fall under thee, enemies of the king from the heart. Thy throne, O God, is for an age and for eternity; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom; thou hast loved righteousness and hated evil; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows, with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, all thy garments. Kings' daughters are among thy precious ones; on thy right hand standeth the queen in the best gold of Ophir (Psalms 45:2-9).

It is clear from all the particulars in this psalm that this is said of the Lord, and consequently that He it is of whom it is said "God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of joy, with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and all thy garments." What this signifies can be seen from the series as follows, namely, that He has Divine wisdom and that from Him is the doctrine of Divine truth, is signified by "thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured upon thy lips," "fair" signifies wisdom, "the sons of men" signify those who are intelligent in Divine truths, and "lips" signify doctrinals.

[15] The Lord's omnipotence from Divine truth proceeding from Divine good, and the consequent destruction of falsities and evils and the subjugation of the hells, is signified by "gird about the sword upon the thigh, O Mighty One, in majesty and in honor, and in thy honor mount, ride upon the word of truth; thy right hand shall teach thee in wonderful things, thine arrows are sharp, the peoples shall fall under thee, enemies of the king from the heart;" "sword" signifies truth combating against falsity and destroying it; "chariot," like as "the word of truth," signifies the doctrine of truth; "to ride" signifies to instruct and combat; "right hand" signifies omnipotence; "arrows" signify truths combating; "peoples" those who are in the falsities of evil; and "enemies of the king" those who are opposed to truths, thus the hells.

[16] That the kingdom and dominion would thus be His to eternity is signified by "Thy throne, O God, is for an age and for eternity; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom," "scepter of uprightness" meaning Divine truth which has power and sovereignty. That as He delivered the good from damnation by destroying the evil, therefore the Divine itself united itself to His Human, is signified by "thou hast loved righteousness and hated evil, therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows," "to love righteousness and to hate evil" signifying to deliver the good from damnation by destroying the evil, "to anoint with the oil of joy" signifying to unite Himself by victories in temptations, "God, thy God," signifying the reciprocal uniting of the Human with the Divine, and of the Divine with the Human.

[17] Divine truths united to Divine goods are signified by "He hath anointed with myrrh, and aloes, and cassia all thy garments," "myrrh" signifying good of the lowest degree, "aloes" good of the second degree, and "cassia" good of the third degree, like as these three spices when mixed with olive oil, out of which the "oil of holiness" for anointing was made (Exodus 30:23-24); and that "oil" signified the Divine good of the Divine love, and the "garments" that were anointed signified Divine truths.

(Odkazy: Exodus 30:23-25)


[18] That those who are of His kingdom have the spiritual affection of truth is signified by "kings' daughters are among thy precious ones," "kings' daughters" meaning the spiritual affections of truth, which are called "precious" when truths are genuine. That heaven and the church are under His protection and are conjoined to Him, because they are in love to Him from Him, is signified by "on thy right hand standeth the queen in the best gold of Ophir," "queen" signifying heaven and the church, "at the right hand" signifying under the Lord's protection from conjunction with Him, and "the best gold of Ophir" the good of love to the Lord.

[19] In the same:

I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David My servant, even to eternity will I establish thy seed, and will build up thy throne to generation and generation. Thou hast spoken in vision to thy holy one, and hast said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people; I have found David My servant, with the oil of My holiness have I anointed him, with whom My hand shall be established; Mine arm also shall strengthen him. I will beat in pieces his adversaries before him, and will strike down them that hate him. I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers; he shall call me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation; I will also make him the firstborn, high above the kings of the earth; and My covenant shall be steadfast for him; and I will set his seed forever, and his throne as the days of the heavens. Once have I sworn by My holiness, I will not deal falsely with David, his seed shall be to eternity, and his throne as the sun before Me, it shall be established as the moon to eternity, a faithful witness in the clouds (Psalms 89:3-4, 19-21, 23, 25-29, 35-37).

That by "David" here David is not meant, but the Lord as to His kingship, which is the Divine spiritual, and is called the Divine truth, is very evident from what is here said of David, namely, that "his seed and throne shall be as the days of the heavens, and as the sun and the moon to eternity," that "he shall set the hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers," and that "he shall call Jehovah his Father, and shall be the firstborn, high above the kings of the earth," with other things that could not be said of David, his sons and his throne. That "David" in the Word means the Lord may be seen above n. 205.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 205)


[20] But to proceed to particulars. "I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David My servant," signifies the union of the Lord's Divine with the Human, "to make a covenant" signifying to be united, and "to swear" to confirm the union; "chosen" is predicated of good, and "servant" of truth. "Even to eternity will I establish thy seed, and will build up thy throne to generation and generation," signifies Divine truth, and heaven and the church from Him, "seed" meaning Divine truth and those who receive it, and "throne" heaven and the church.

[21] "Thou hast spoken in vision to thy holy one" signifies a prophetic arcanum respecting the Lord; "I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people," signifies Divine truth whereby Divine good operates all things, which is called "help upon one that is mighty," and elsewhere "the right hand of Jehovah;" Divine majesty and consequent power is signified by "the exalting of one chosen out of the people;" "I have found David My servant, with the oil of holiness have I anointed him," signifies the Lord in relation to the Divine Human and union with the Divine Itself, which union is called in the Word of the New Testament glorification, and is meant by "being anointed with the oil of holiness," for "the oil of holiness" signifies the Divine good of Divine love, and "to be anointed" signifies to be united to Divine truth, which was of the Lord's Human in the world.

[22] "With whom My hand shall be established, Mine arm also shall strengthen him," signifies omnipotence therefrom, "hand" signifying the omnipotence of truth from good, and "arm" the omnipotence of good by means of truth; "I will beat in pieces his adversaries before him, and will strike down them that hate him," signifies combat with victory against falsities and evils, thus against the hells; "I will set His hand in the sea, and His right hand in the rivers," signifies the extension of His dominion and sovereignty over all things of heaven and the church, for "seas and rivers" mean the ultimates of heaven, and ultimates signify all things.

[23] "He shall call Me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my Salvation," signifies the Divine Human which is the Son of God, who was conceived from Him, and afterwards born; and as the Lord's Human had therefrom Divine truth and Divine power He is also called "God" and "Rock of Salvation;" "I will also make him the firstborn, high above the kings of the earth," signifies that He is above every good and truth of heaven and the church, because goods and truths therein are from Him; "and My covenant shall be steadfast for him" signifies eternal union; "I will set his seed forever, and his throne as the days of the heavens," has the same signification here as above, "days of the heavens" meaning the states of the entire heaven, which are from His Divine.

[24] "Once have I sworn by My holiness, I will not deal falsely with David," signifies eternal confirmation, because from the Divine, respecting the Lord and the union of His Human with the Divine Itself; "His seed shall be to eternity, and his throne as the sun before Me, it shall be established as the moon to eternity," has a like signification as above, where "seed" and "throne" are mentioned; it is said "as the sun and moon," because eternity in respect to Divine good is predicated of the "sun," and in respect to Divine truth of the "moon," for these are signified by "sun and moon;" "a faithful witness in the clouds" signifies the acknowledgment and confession from the Word of the Divine in the Lord's Human; that this is "a witness in the clouds" may be seen above (n. 10, 27, 228, 392, 649).

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 10, 27, The Apocalypse Explained 228, The Apocalypse Explained 392, The Apocalypse Explained 649)


[25] In the same:

O Jehovah, remember David, all his labor; who sware unto Jehovah, and vowed unto the Mighty One of Jacob, Surely I will not enter within the tent of my house, nor go up upon the couch of my bed, until I find out a place for Jehovah, habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob. Lo, we have heard of Him in Ephrathah, we have found Him in the fields of the forest. We will go into His habitations, we will bow ourselves down at His footstool. Arise, O Jehovah, to Thy rest, Thou and the ark of Thy strength. Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy saints shout for joy; for Thy servant David's sake turn not back the face of Thine anointed. In Zion will I make the horn of David to bud; I will set in order a lamp for Mine anointed; his adversaries will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown flourish (Psalms 132:1-3, 5-10, 17-18).

Here, too, "David" and "Anointed or Christ" do not mean David, but the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, for it is said that "His habitations," that is, of the Mighty One of Jacob, "are found in Ephrathah," which is Bethlehem, and that they "would bow themselves down at His footstool;" but that this is so will be more evident in the explanation of the particulars in their order.

[26] "Who sware unto Jehovah, and vowed unto the Mighty One of Jacob," signifies irrevocable affirmation before the Lord, who is called "Jehovah" from the Divine in things first, and "Mighty One of Jacob" from the Divine in ultimates, in which is Divine power in its fullness; "surely I will not enter within the tent of my house, nor go upon the couch of my bed," signifies not to enter into and know the things that are of the church and its doctrine, "tent of the house" signifying the holy things of the church, and "the couch of a bed" its doctrine; "until I find out a place for Jehovah, habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob," signifies until I shall know about the Lord's coming, and the arcana of the union of His Human with the Divine; these in the highest sense are "a place for Jehovah" and "habitations" of the Lord's Divine Human.

[27] "Lo, we have heard of Him at Ephrathah, we have found Him in the fields of the forest," signifies both in the spiritual sense of the Word and in the natural, for "Ephrathah" and "Bethlehem" signify the spiritual-natural of the Word, and "fields of the forest" the natural of the Word, for there the Lord is found; "we will go into His habitations, we will bow ourselves down at His footstool," signifies that there He is found, for He is the Word; "His habitations" here mean the things of the spiritual sense of the Word, and thus the heavens, for these are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and "His footstool" means the things of the natural sense of the Word, and therefore the church, since in the church are Divine truths in their ultimates, which serve as a footstool for the spiritual things of the Word and of the heavens, thus for the Lord Himself who dwells therein.

[28] "Arise, O Jehovah, to Thy rest, Thou and the ark of Thy strength," signifies the union of the Divine itself with the Human in the Lord, and consequent peace to all in heaven and in the church, "Jehovah's rest" meaning that union, and "the ark of His strength" heaven and the church; "let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy saints shout for joy," signifies worship from love for those who are in celestial good, and worship from charity for those who are in spiritual good, "priests" meaning those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom, while those who are in His spiritual kingdom are called "saints."

[29] "For Thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of Thine anointed" signifies that they may be enkindled by love and enlightened by the light of truth, when Divine truth has been united with Divine good in the Lord, thus the Divine Itself with the Human and the Human with the Divine, for "David" as a "servant" signifies the Lord's Human in relation to Divine truth, and "the anointed" signifies the same united to Divine good, and "his face" signifies Divine love and enlightenment therefrom; "in Zion will I make the horn of David to bud" signifies the power of Divine truth from Him in heaven and in the church; "I will set in order a lamp for Mine anointed" signifies enlightenment of Divine truth from the union of the Divine and Human in the Lord, "lamp" meaning Divine truth in respect to enlightenment. "His adversaries will I clothe with shame" signifies the subjugation of the hells and the dispersion of the evils thence; "but upon himself shall his crown flourish" signifies perpetual and eternal victory over them.

[30] From the passages here cited from the Word it can be seen that the Lord is called "the Anointed," that is, the Messiah or the Christ, from the union of Divine good with Divine truth in His Human, for the Lord's Human from that union is meant by "the Anointed of Jehovah."

[31] Likewise in the first book of Samuel:

Jehovah will judge the ends of the earth, and will give strength unto His King and exalt the horn of His Anointed (1 Samuel 2:10).

This is a part of the prophetic song of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, before there was any king or anointed over Israel, therefore "King" and "Anointed" here mean the Lord, to whom "is given strength" and whose "horn is exalted" when the Divine is united to the Human, "strength" signifying the power of good over evil, and "horn" the power of truth over falsity, and truth is said "to be exalted" when it becomes interior, and in the same degree becomes more powerful.

[32] "The anointed" has a similar meaning in Lamentations:

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

"The anointed of Jehovah" here means in the sense of the letter a king who was made captive, but in the spiritual sense it means the Lord, therefore it is said, "the breath of our nostrils," that is, the life of the perception of good and truth; "taken in the pits" signifies rejected by those who are in the falsities of evil, "pits" meaning the falsities of doctrine; "to live under his shadow" signifies to be under the Lord's protection against the falsities of evil, which are meant by "nations."

[33] Since "the Anointed," "Messiah," or "Christ" signifies the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, thus in relation to Divine good united to Divine truth, so "anointing" signifies that union, respecting which the Lord says:

I am in the Father and the Father In Me; believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 14:7-11);

and elsewhere:

The Father and I are one; know ye and believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 10:30, 38).

And because this was represented by the anointing of Aaron and his sons, therefore:

The holy things of the sons of Israel which belonged to Jehovah Himself were given to Aaron and His sons for the anointing (Numbers 18:8).

These holy things belonging to Jehovah which were given to Aaron and his sons are enumerated from verses 9 to 19 of that chapter. But see what has been said before, n. 375, respecting "anointings," namely, that the Lord alone, in relation to the Divine Human, was "the Anointed of Jehovah" because in Him was the Divine good of the Divine love, which was signified by "oil," and that all others anointed with oil were only representatives of Him. This has been said of "the Anointed of Jehovah," since "the Anointed of Jehovah" is the Christ, that it may be known that by "the Lord and His Christ" in this passage of Revelation two are not meant but one, that is, that they are one, as are "the Anointed of Jehovah" and "the Lord's Christ" in Luke 2:26.

(Odkazy: Numbers 18:9-19; Revelation 11:9-19; The Apocalypse Explained 375)


[34] Since the Lord is here treated of, to show why He was called "the Christ," that is, Messiah or Anointed, it is important to explain what is said of the Messiah in Daniel:

Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy city of holiness, to consummate the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. Know, therefore, and perceive that from the going forth of the Word even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem, even to Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks. After sixty and two weeks it shall be restored and built with street and moat, but in straitness of times. But after sixty and two weeks the Messiah shall be cut off, yet not for Himself. Then the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, so that its end shall be with an inundation, and even unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Yet He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and meal-offering to cease. At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation (Daniel 9:24-27).

The meaning of these words has been investigated and explained by many of the learned, but in the literal sense only, and not as yet in the spiritual sense, for that sense has been hitherto unknown in the Christian world. In that sense these words have the following signification: "Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people" signifies the time and state of the church that then existed with the Jews, even to its end, "seven" and "seventy" signifying fullness from beginning to end, and "people" those who were then of the church; "and upon thy city of holiness" signifies the time and state of the end of the church in respect to the doctrine of truth from the Word, "city" signifying the doctrine of truth, and "the city of holiness" Divine truth, which is the Word.

[35] "To consummate the transgression and to seal up the sins and to expiate iniquity" signifies when there are nothing but falsities and evils in the church, thus when iniquity is fulfilled and consummated; for until this is done the end does not come, for reasons given in the small work on The Last Judgment; for if the end should come before, the simple good, who are conjoined as to externals with those who imitate and hypocritically make a show of truths and goods in externals, would be destroyed; therefore it is added "to bring in the righteousness of the ages," which signifies to save those who are in the good of faith and charity; "and to seal up vision and prophecy" signifies to fulfill all things contained in the Word; "to anoint the Holy of Holies" signifies to unite the Divine itself with the Human in the Lord, for this is "the Holy of Holies."

[36] "Know, therefore, and perceive from the going forth of the Word," signifies from the end of the Word of the Old Testament, since that was fulfilled in the Lord, for all things of the Word of the Old Testament treat in the highest sense of the Lord and of the glorification of His Human, and thus of His dominion over all things of heaven and the world; "even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem" signifies when a New Church was to be established, "Jerusalem" signifying that church, and "to build" to establish anew; "even to Messiah the Prince" signifies even to the Lord and Divine truth in Him and from Him, for the Lord is called "Messiah" from the Divine Human, and "Prince" from Divine truth; "seven weeks" signify a full time and state.

[37] "After sixty and two weeks it shall be restored and built with street and moat" signifies the full time and state after His coming until the church with its truths and doctrine is established, "sixty" signifying a full time and state as to the implantation of truth, like as the number "three" or "six," and "two" signifying the same for the implantation of good, thus the "sixty and two" together signify the marriage of truth with a little good; "street" signifies the truth of doctrine, and "moat" doctrine. (What "street" signifies see above, n. 652; and "moat" or "pit," n. 537.) "But in straitness of times" signifies hardly and with difficulty, because with the Gentiles that have little perception of spiritual truth.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 537, The Apocalypse Explained 652)


[38] "But after the sixty and two weeks" signifies after a full time and state of the church now established in respect to truth and to good; "the Messiah shall be cut off" signifies that they fall away from the Lord, which took place chiefly with the Babylonians, by their transferring the Lord's Divine power to the popes, and thus by not acknowledging the Divine in His Human; "yet not for Himself" signifies that yet the power is His and the Divine is His.

[39] "Then the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary" signifies that thus doctrine and the church will be destroyed by falsities, "city" signifying doctrine, "sanctuary" the church, and "the prince that shall come" the reigning falsity; "so that its end shall be with an inundation, and even unto the end of the war desolations are determined," signifies the falsification of truth, even until there is no combat between truth and falsity; "an inundation" signifying the falsification of truth, "war" the combat between truth and falsity, and "desolation" the last state of the church, when there is no longer any truth, but mere falsity.

[40] "Yet He shall confirm a covenant for one week" signifies the time of the Reformation when the Word is again read and the Lord acknowledged, that is, the Divine in His Human; this acknowledgment, and conjunction therefrom with the Lord by means of the Word, is signified by "covenant," and the time of the Reformation by "one week;" "but in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the meal offering to cease" signifies that still interiorly with the Reformed there will be no truth and good in worship; "sacrifice" signifying worship from truths, and "meal offering" worship from goods, "the midst of the week" signifying not the midst of that time but the inmost of the state of the Reformed, for "midst" signifies inmost, and "week" a state of the church; there was no truth and good interiorly in worship after the Reformation, because they adopted faith as the essential of the church, and separated it from charity, and when faith is separated from charity then there is no truth or good in the inmost of worship, for the inmost of worship is the good of charity, and from that the truth of faith proceeds.

[41] "At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation" signifies the extinction of all truth by the separation of faith from charity, "the bird of abominations" signifying faith alone, thus faith separated from charity, for "a bird" signifies thought respecting the truths of the Word and the understanding of them, and this becomes "a bird of abominations" when there is no spiritual affection of truth, which enlightens truth and teaches it, but only a natural affection, which is for the sake of reputation, glory, honor, and gain, and as this affection is infernal it is abominable, since from it there are mere falsities; "and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation" signifies its last state, when there is no longer anything of truth or of faith, and when the Last Judgment takes place.

[42] That these last things in Daniel were predictions respecting the end of the Christian church is evident from the Lord's words in Matthew:

When ye shall see the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him who readeth understand (Matthew 24:15).

For that chapter treats of the consummation of the age, thus of the successive vastation of the Christian church, therefore the devastation of that church is meant by these words in Daniel. (But what they signify in the spiritual sense has been explained in Arcana Coelestia 3652.) From this it can now be seen what is signified by "the kingdoms of the world are become the Lord's and His Christ's," also what is signified by "the Lord's Christ" (or the Christ of the Lord), in Luke:

A promise was made to Simeon by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord (Luke 2:26).

(Odkazy: John 1:45, John 1:49; Revelation 11:15)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 679, 695, 700, 706, 745, 989, 1089


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


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