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Daniel 7

German: Elberfelder (1905)         

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1 Im ersten Jahre Belsazars, des Königs von Babel, sah Daniel einen Traum und Gesichte seines Hauptes auf seinem Lager. Dann schrieb er den Traum auf, die Summe der Sache berichtete er.

2 Daniel hob an und sprach: Ich schaute in meinem Gesicht bei der Nacht, und siehe, die vier Winde des Himmels brachen los auf das große Meer.

3 Und vier große Tiere stiegen aus dem Meere herauf, eines verschieden von dem anderen. -

4 Das erste war gleich einem Löwen und hatte Adlersflügel; ich schaute, bis seine Flügel ausgerissen wurden, und es von der Erde aufgehoben und wie ein Mensch auf seine Füße gestellt und ihm eines Menschen Herz gegeben wurde. -

5 Und siehe, ein anderes, zweites Tier, gleich einem Bären; und es richtete sich auf einer Seite auf, und es hatte drei Rippen in seinem Maule zwischen seinen Zähnen; und man sprach zu ihm also: Stehe auf, friß viel Fleisch! -

6 Nach diesem schaute ich, und siehe, ein anderes, gleich einem Pardel; und es hatte vier Flügel eines Vogels auf seinem Rücken; und das Tier hatte vier Köpfe, und Herrschaft wurde ihm gegeben.

7 Nach diesem schaute ich in Gesichten der Nacht: und siehe, ein viertes Tier, schrecklich und furchtbar und sehr stark, und es hatte große eiserne Zähne; es fraß und zermalmte, und was übrigblieb, zertrat es mit seinen Füßen; und es war verschieden von allen Tieren, die vor ihm gewesen, und es hatte zehn Hörner.

8 Während ich auf die Hörner achtgab, siehe, da stieg ein anderes, kleines Horn zwischen ihnen empor, und drei von den ersten Hörnern wurden vor ihm ausgerissen; und siehe, an diesem Horne waren Augen wie Menschenaugen, und ein Mund, der große Dinge redete.

9 Ich schaute, bis Throne aufgestellt wurden und ein Alter an Tagen sich setzte: sein Gewand war weiß wie Schnee, und das Haar seines Hauptes wie reine Wolle; sein Thron Feuerflammen, dessen Räder ein loderndes Feuer.

10 Ein Strom von Feuer floß und ging von ihm aus; tausend mal Tausende dienten ihm, und zehntausend mal Zehntausende standen vor ihm. Das Gericht setzte sich, und Bücher wurden aufgetan.

11 Dann schaute ich wegen der Stimme der großen Worte, welche das Horn redete: ich schaute, bis das Tier getötet, und sein Leib zerstört und dem Brande des Feuers übergeben wurde. -

12 Und was die übrigen Tiere betrifft: ihre Herrschaft wurde weggenommen, aber Verlängerung des Lebens ward ihnen gegeben bis auf Zeit und Stunde.

13 Ich schaute in Gesichten der Nacht: und siehe, mit den Wolken des Himmels kam einer wie eines Menschen Sohn; und er kam zu dem Alten an Tagen und wurde vor denselben gebracht.

14 Und ihm wurde Herrschaft und Herrlichkeit und Königtum gegeben, und alle Völker, Völkerschaften und Sprachen dienten ihm; seine Herrschaft ist eine ewige Herrschaft, die nicht vergehen, und sein Königtum ein solches, das nie zerstört werden wird.

15 Mir, Daniel, ward mein Geist in mir tief ergriffen, und die Gesichte meines Hauptes ängstigten mich.

16 Ich nahte zu einem der Dastehenden, um von ihm Gewißheit über dies alles zu erbitten. Und er sagte mir, daß er mir die Deutung der Sache kundtun wolle:

17 Diese großen Tiere, deren vier waren, sind vier Könige, die von der Erde aufstehen werden.

18 Aber die Heiligen der höchsten Örter werden das Reich empfangen, und werden das Reich besitzen bis in Ewigkeit, ja, bis in die Ewigkeit der Ewigkeiten.

19 Darauf begehrte ich Gewißheit über das vierte Tier, welches von allen anderen verschieden war, sehr schrecklich, dessen Zähne von Eisen und dessen Klauen von Erz waren, welches fraß, zermalmte, und was übrigblieb, mit seinen Füßen zertrat;

20 und über die zehn Hörner auf seinem Kopfe; und über das andere Horn, welches emporstieg, und vor welchem drei abfielen; und das Horn hatte Augen und einen Mund, der große Dinge redete, und sein Aussehen war größer als das seiner Genossen.

21 Ich sah, wie dieses Horn Krieg wider die Heiligen führte und sie besiegte,

22 bis der Alte an Tagen kam, und das Gericht den Heiligen der höchsten Örter gegeben wurde, und die Zeit kam, da die Heiligen das Reich in Besitz nahmen. -

23 Er sprach also: Das vierte Tier: ein viertes Königreich wird auf Erden sein, welches von allen Königreichen verschieden sein wird; und es wird die ganze Erde verzehren und sie zertreten und sie zermalmen.

24 Und die zehn Hörner: aus jenem Königreich werden zehn Könige aufstehen; und ein anderer wird nach ihnen aufstehen, und dieser wird verschieden sein von den vorigen und wird drei Könige erniedrigen.

25 Und er wird Worte reden gegen den Höchsten und die Heiligen der höchsten Örter vernichten; und er wird darauf sinnen, Zeiten und Gesetz zu ändern, und sie werden eine Zeit und Zeiten und eine halbe Zeit in seine Hand gegeben werden.

26 Aber das Gericht wird sich setzen; und man wird seine Herrschaft wegnehmen, um sie zu vernichten und zu zerstören bis zum Ende.

27 Und das Reich und die Herrschaft und die Größe der Königreiche unter dem ganzen Himmel wird dem Volke der Heiligen der höchsten Örter gegeben werden. Sein Reich ist ein ewiges Reich, und alle Herrschaften werden ihm dienen und gehorchen. -

28 Bis hierher das Ende der Sache. Mich, Daniel, ängstigten meine Gedanken sehr, und meine Gesichtsfarbe veränderte sich an mir; und ich bewahrte die Sache in meinem Herzen.

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

By Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb

Woodcut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Footnotes:

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

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10455

Apocalypse Revealed 748

De Verbo (The Word) 5

der Propheten und der Psalmen Davids 178

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

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

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

Die Eheliche Liebe 26, 81, 193

Die göttliche Vorsehung 134

Die Lehre vom Herrn 4, 6, 10, 26, 42, 48, 52

Die Lehre des neuen Jerusalem von der Heiligen Schrift 49, 86

Lebenslehre 61

Himmel und Hölle 171

Wahre Christliche Religion 1, 113, 157, 223, 251, 262, 288, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

On the Athanasian Creed 41

Die Hauptlehren der neuen Kirche 37

Coronis oder Anhang zur Wahren Christlichen Religion 3

De Verbo (The Word) 10, 15, 25

An Invitation to the New Church 10

Marriage 0, 1, 113

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Apocalypse Revealed # 343

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

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343. Holding back the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. This symbolizes the Lord's holding back and restraining a closer and thus stronger influx into the lower regions where good people were attached to evil ones.

It must be known that a last judgment takes place when evil people multiply below the heavens in the world of spirits, and this to such a degree that angels in the heavens cannot continue in the state of their love and wisdom, as they are then without a support and foundation. Since this results from a multiplication of evil people below, therefore in order to preserve the angels' state, the Lord flows in more and more strongly with His Divinity, and this continually until no influx can preserve them unless the evil people below are separated from the good. This is accomplished by a subsidence and closing in of the heavens, with a consequently stronger influx, until the evil cannot bear it. And at that point the evil flee away and cast themselves into hell.

This, too, is what is symbolized in the preceding chapter by the statement, "They said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (Revelation 6:16-17)

(Odkazy: Revelation 7:1)


[2] Now for the exposition:

The four winds symbolize an influx of the heavens. The earth, the sea, and every tree symbolize all the lower regions and all that they contain - the earth and sea symbolizing all the lower regions, and every tree all that they contain.

That a wind symbolizes influx - properly speaking, the influx of truth into the intellect - can be seen from the following passages:

Thus says the Lord Jehovih, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live." (Ezekiel 37:9-10)

(There appeared four chariots to which were harnessed four horses.) These are the four winds of the heavens... (Zechariah 6:1-5)

You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and... cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. (John 3:7-8)

The Maker of the earth... prepares the world by His wisdom... He brings the wind out of His treasuries. (Jeremiah 10:12-13; 51:15-16, cf. Psalms 135:7)

He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow. He declares His Word..., His statutes and His judgments... (Psalms 147:18-19)

It praises Jehovah..., the stormy wind, doing His Word... (Psalms 148:7-8)

(Jehovah) makes His angels winds... (Psalms 104:4)

(Jehovah) rode... upon the wings of the wind. (Psalms 18:10, cf. 104:3)

The wings of the wind are Divine truths that flow in. The Lord is therefore called "the breath of our nostrils" (Lamentations 4:20), and we are told that He "breathed into (Adam's) nostrils the breath of life" (Genesis 2:7); moreover, that "He breathed on (the Disciples) and said..., "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 20:21-22). The Holy Spirit is the Divine truth emanating from the Lord, the influx of which into the Disciples was represented and thus symbolized by the Lord's breathing on them.

(Odkazy: Psalms 18:9-10, 104:3-4, 147:17-19, 148:8; Zechariah 6:1, 6:5)


[3] A wind and breathing symbolize the influx of Divine truth into the intellect, owing to the correspondence of the lungs with the intellect, a treatment of which may be seen in Angelic Wisdom Regarding Divine Love and Wisdom, nos.371-429.

Since a closer and stronger Divine influx through the heavens dispels truths in the case of evil people, therefore a wind symbolizes the dispersion of truth in them, and thus their conjunction with hell and perishing - as may be seen from the following passages:

I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four ends of heaven and scatter him. (Jeremiah 49:36)

You shall scatter them, that the wind may carry them away and the storm disperse them. (Isaiah 41:16)

The breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, sets them on fire. (Isaiah 30:33)

The workers of iniquity... perish by the breathing of God, and by the breath of His nostrils they are consumed. (Job 4:8-9)

...the foundations of the world were uncovered at the rebuke (of Jehovah), at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. (Psalms 18:15)

I saw in my vision..., and behold, the four winds... were rushing upon the Great Sea. And four beasts came up... (Daniel 7:2-3ff.)

...from a storm of Jehovah has gone forth fury... It will rush upon the head of the wicked. (Jeremiah 23:19; 30:23)

O my God..., ...pursue them with Your storm, ...frighten them with Your tempest. (Psalms 83:13, 15)

(Jehovah's) way in the storm and in the tempest... (Nahum 1:3)

And so also elsewhere, as in Jeremiah 25:32, Ezekiel 13:13, Hosea 8:7, Amos 1:14, Zechariah 9:14, Psalms 11:6; 50:3; 55:8, and Psalms 107, where we read:

...He commands the stormy wind to blow... (God) causes the storm to subside, so that its waves are still. (Psalms 107:25, 29)

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 4:8-9)


[4] It is apparent from this what is symbolically meant in the spiritual sense by the following:

(Jesus in the boat) rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ."..be still!" And... there was a... calm. (Mark 4:39, cf. Luke 8:23-24)

The sea here symbolizes hell, and the wind an influx from it.

A strong influx, too, is symbolically meant by the east wind in Ezekiel 17:10, Jeremiah 18:17, Ezekiel 19:12, Hosea 13:15, Psalms 48:7. And by that same wind which dried up the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21), regarding which Moses said:

At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were heaped up... You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them. (Exodus 15:8, 10)

It can now be seen from this that holding back the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, symbolizes the holding back and restraining of a closer and thus stronger influx into the lower regions.

(Odkazy: Mark 4:39-40; Psalms 18:9-10; Revelation 7:1)

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Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 342, 346, 644, 647, 948


Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.

Bible

 

1 Korinther 15:27

German: Elberfelder (1905)         

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27 "Denn alles hat er seinen Füßen unterworfen." Wenn er aber sagt, daß alles unterworfen sei, so ist es offenbar, daß der ausgenommen ist, der ihm alles unterworfen hat.

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