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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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Word/Phrase Explanations

sah
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Daniel
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

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

Seite
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

drei
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

nacht
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

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

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

Räder
'Wheels,' as in Exodus 14:25, signify the power of proceeding and divine intelligence. 'Wheels,' as in Isaiah 5:28, signify the doctrine of natural truth. 'Wheels,'...

sagte
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...

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

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

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

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...

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

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Apocalypse Revealed # 717

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

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717. REVELATION: CHAPTER 17

1. Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

2. with whom the kings of the earth committed whoredom, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her licentiousness."

3. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

4. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her licentiousness.

5. And on her forehead a name was written: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whoredoms and Abominations of the Earth.

6. And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder.

7. But the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

8. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, those whose names have not been written in the Lamb's Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9. This is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

10. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must remain a short time.

11. And the beast that was, and is not, is itself the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to destruction.

12. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings that have not yet received a kingdom, but receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast.

13. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.

14. These will do battle with the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."

15. Then he said to me, "The waters that you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes, nations and tongues.

16. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

17. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His purpose, and to be of one mind and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.

18. And the woman whom you saw is the great city which holds sway over the kings of the earth."

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING

The Contents of the Whole Chapter

The subject is the Roman Catholic religion. Described is the way in which it falsified the Word and so perverted all the church's truths (verses 1-7). How it falsified these and perverted them among peoples subject to its dominion (verses 8-11), but less among peoples who had not so subjected themselves to its dominion (verses 12-15).

Regarding the Protestant Reformed, that they had withdrawn themselves from the yoke of its domination (verse 16, 17). Its continuing domination anyway (verse 18).

The Contents of the Individual Verses:

Verse ContentsSpiritual Meaning
1. Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me,Influx now and a revelation from the Lord from the inmost of heaven about the Roman Catholic religion,
saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,a revelation about that religion as regards its profanations and adulterations of the Word's truths,
2. with whom the kings of the earth committed whoredom,that it adulterated the church's goods and truths that it had from the Word.
and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her licentiousness."Its insanity in spiritual matters owing to the adulteration of the Word among those immersed in that religion.
3. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness.John's being carried away in a spiritual state to people in whom everything of the church had been destroyed.
And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy,That religion resting on the Word that they profaned.
having seven heads and ten horns.Their intelligence gained from the Word, at first reverent, later abandoned, and at last irrational, and their continued great power drawn from the Word.
4. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet,The celestial Divine good and truth contained in the Word among them.
and adorned with gold and precious stonesThe spiritual Divine good and truth contained in the Word among them.
and pearls,The concepts of goodness and truth contained in the Word among them.
having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her licentiousness.That religion derived from the sacred contents of the Word profaned, and from its goods and truths defiled by dreadful falsities.
5. And on her forehead a name was written: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whoredoms and Abominations of the Earth.The Roman Catholic religion such as it is interiorly, which is concealed, that from its origin, springing from a love of exercising dominion from a love of self over the sanctities of the church and over heaven, thus over everything connected with the Lord and His Word, it defiled and profaned things having to do with the Word and so with the church.
6. And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.That religion irrational because of its adulterating and profaning the Divine truths and goods of the Lord, of the Word, and so of the church.
And when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder.Astonishment that that religion is of such a character interiorly, when indeed it appears otherwise outwardly.
7. But the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.A disclosure of the symbolic meaning of the preceding events and scenes.
8. The beast that you saw was, and is not,The Word among them acknowledged as holy, and yet really not acknowledged.
and will ascend out of the abyss and go to destruction.The laity's and common people's being given the Word and reading it deliberated several times in the papal Consistory, but rejected.
And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, those whose names have not been written in the Lamb's Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.The astonishment of those who belong to that religion, of all those who from its commencement strove for dominion over heaven and earth, that even though the Word had been thus rejected, still it endures.
9. This is the mind which has wisdom:This is the interpretation in the natural sense, but intended for people who have the spiritual meaning from the Lord.
The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10. They are also seven kings.The Divine goods and truths in the Word on which that religion was founded, in time destroyed and finally profaned.
Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must remain a short time.The Word's Divine truths have all been destroyed but this one, that the Lord was given all authority in heaven and on earth, and a second one, which has not yet been called into question, and when it is, will not survive, namely, that the Lord's humanity is Divine.
11. And the beast that was, and is not, is itself the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to destruction.The Word, as mentioned previously, is Divine good itself and Divine truth, and it has been taken from the laity and common people to keep the Roman Catholic hierarchy's profanations and adulterations of it from appearing, and the people's turning away on that account.
12. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings that have not yet received a kingdom,The Word as to the power it has from Divine truths among Roman Catholics who live in France and are not so much under the yoke of papal dominion, who nevertheless have not yet formed among them therefore a church separate from the Roman Catholic religion.
but receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast.The Word has force with them, and through the Word they prevail, as though they possessed its Divine truths.
13. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.They unanimously acknowledge that the only means of government and dominion over the church is through the Word.
14. These will do battle with the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings;The Lord's battle with them over an acknowledgment of His Divine humanity, because the Lord in that humanity is God of heaven and earth and also the Word.
and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."People who turn to the Lord and worship Him alone are those who go to heaven, both those concerned with the external elements of the church and those concerned with its internal and inmost elements.
15. Then he said to me, "The waters that you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes, nations and tongues.Under papal dominion, but caught up in various ways in that religion's adulterated and profaned truths of the Word, are peoples of a varying doctrine and discipline, and of a varying religion and confession of it.
16. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot,The Word as to the power it has from Divine truths among Protestants, who have thrown off entirely the yoke of papal dominion.
make her desolate and naked,They will rid themselves of its falsities and evils.
eat her flesh and burn her with fire.They will with hatred condemn and destroy in themselves the evils and falsities inherent in that religion, and will renounce the religion itself and expunge it in themselves.
17. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His purpose, and to be of one mind and give their kingdom to the beast,A judgment among them from the Lord that they should utterly repudiate and renounce the Roman Catholic religion and expunge and eradicate it in themselves, and a unanimous judgment that they should acknowledge the Word and found the church on it.
until the words of God are fulfilled.Until all the things foretold about them have been fulfilled.
18. And the woman whom you saw is the great city which holds sway over the kings of the earth."The Roman Catholic religion will reign as to doctrine in the Christian world, and to some extent still also among the Protestant Reformed, even though the latter are not under papal dominion.



THE EXPOSITION

The Protestant Reformed were the subject before this in chapters 7-16. The subject now in this chapter and the next is Roman Catholics, and those among them who claim for themselves the power of opening and closing heaven are meant by Babylon. We must first say here, therefore, what Babylon means specifically.

Babylon or Babel means a love of ruling over the sanctities of the church stemming from a love of self, and because this love increases to the degree it is given free rein, and the sanctities of the church are also the sanctities of heaven, therefore Babylon or Babel symbolizes dominion over heaven as well.

Moreover, because this love thus plays the part of the devil, who aspires to similar ends, it cannot help but profane sacred things by adulterating the Word's goods and truths. Consequently Babylon or Babel also symbolizes the profanation of what is sacred and the adulteration of the Word's goodness and truth.

These are the symbolic meanings of Babylon here in the book of Revelation, and of Babel in the following places in the prophetic and historical Word:

(Regarding) Babel... Behold, the day of Jehovah is coming, cruel...., ...the stars of heaven and their constellations do not give their light; the sun has been darkened in its rising, and the moon does not cause its light to shine....

"I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the violent...."

Babel, the glory of kingdoms..., will be as God's overthrowing of Sodom and Gomorrah... Ziyyim 1 will lie down there, their houses will be full of 'ochim, 2 and the offspring of owls will dwell there, and satyrs will caper there. 'Iyyim 3 will reply in her palaces, and dragons in her pleasant palaces. (Isaiah 13:1, 9-11, 19, 21-22)

(Odkazy: Apocalypse Revealed 718, 719, 720, 721, 722, 723, 724, 725, 726, 727, 728, 729, 730, 731, 732, 733, 734, 735, 736, 737, 738, 739, 740, 741, 742, 743, 744, 745, 746, 747, 748, 749, 750; Daniel 4:4-37, Daniel 6:8-28; Jeremiah 51:1, 51:26; Revelation 17:1, 17:1-7, 17:2, 17:3, 17:4, 17:5, 17:6, 17:7, 17:8-11, 17:8, 17:9, 17:10, 17:11, 17:12, 17:12-15, 17:13, 17:14, 17:15, 17:16, 17:16-17, 17:17, 17:18)


[2] Not to mention many other declarations throughout that chapter.

...you will take up this parable regarding the king of Babel...:

"Your magnificence has been brought down into hell....

."..you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer... ...you have said in your heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God...; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol....

...I will rise up against them... and cut off from Babel the name and remnant...." (Isaiah 14:4, 11-15, 22)

[3] Not to mention many other declarations throughout that chapter.

...Jehovah spoke against Babel...: "Your mother was deeply ashamed; she who bore you was ashamed. Behold, the last of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land and a solitude....

"Put yourselves in array against Babel all around..., shoot at her, spare no arrows....

"How Babel has become a desolation among the nations!

."..she has behaved insolently against Jehovah, against the Holy One of Israel....

"A drought is against her waters, so that they are dried up. For it is the land of carved images, and glories in shocking things.

"Therefore ziyyim shall dwell there with 'iyyim, and the offspring of owls shall dwell in it..., as in God's overthrowing Sodom and Gomorrah...." (Jeremiah 50:1, 12, 14, 23, 29, 31, 38-40)

[4] Not to mention may other declarations regarding Babel in that chapter.

"Babel was a golden cup in Jehovah's hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank of her wine; therefore (they) are demented....

"Forsake her..., for her judgment reaches to heaven and rises up to the clouds....

"Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, that destroys all the earth... I will... roll you down from the rocks, and make you a burnt mountain....

"I will visit judgment on Bel in Babel, I will take the chewed food out of his mouth, so that the nations do not stream to him anymore. The wall of Babel also shall fall....

."..behold, the days are coming when I will visit judgment on the carved images of Babel, so that her whole land is ashamed....

"If Babel were to mount up to heaven, and if she were to fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me would come destroyers....

"Indeed, I will make drunk her princes and wise men, her leaders and her prefects..., so that they sleep the sleep of an age and do not awake...." (Jeremiah 51:7, 9, 25, 44, 47, 53, 57)

[5] Not to mention many other declarations throughout that chapter regarding Babel.

"Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground, without a throne... Take a millstone and grind meal... Uncover the thigh, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered..., your shame will be seen....

"You said, 'I shall be a lady forever,' ...you did not remember the end....

"You trusted in your wickedness; you said, 'No one sees me.' Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, when you said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me'....

"Ruin shall come upon you suddenly, without your knowing.

"Persist... in your enchantments, in the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth. Perhaps they will possibly be of some use, perhaps you will become fearsome." (Isaiah 47:1-3, 7, 10-12)

Not to mentioned many other declarations regarding Babel in that chapter.

[6] Similar qualities are symbolically meant by the city in Genesis 11:1-9 and by the tower whose top was in heaven, which the people coming from the east into the valley of Shinar began to build, people whose languages Jehovah, descending from heaven, confused, because of which the place was named Babel (confusion).

[7] Similar qualities are symbolically meant by the following things in Daniel:

By the statue that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babel, saw, whose feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, which the stone cut without hands struck and broke in pieces, and all the pieces of the statue became like chaff on the threshing floors, and the stone became a great rock (Daniel 2:31-47).

By the great statue that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babel, made, and commanded that people fall down before it and worship it, and that whoever did not do so would be cast into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:1-7ff.).

By the tree growing until its height reached heaven and it was visible to the end of the earth, which a watcher and holy one, coming down from heaven, ordered to be chopped down, stripped, cut up, and scattered; and because it represented the king of Babel, it came to pass that he was driven from mankind, dwelled with beasts, and ate grass like an ox (Daniel 4).

By Belshazzar, king of Babel, in company with his lords, wives and concubines, and his drinking wine from the gold and silver vessels of the temple in Jerusalem and praising the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron and stone, on which account the writing appeared on the wall and on that very day the king himself was slain (Daniel 5).

By the edict of Darius the Mede, king of Babel, that for thirty days no one petition anything from God or man, but from the king alone, or else be cast into a den of lions (Daniel 6:7-28).

And by the four beasts that Daniel saw come up from the sea, the fourth of which was dreadful and strong, and having huge iron teeth, it devoured and broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and judgment was set then, and the books were opened, and the beast was slain and its body given to the burning flame; and then one like the Son of Man was seen, coming with the clouds of heaven, to whom was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all people, nations and tongues will worship Him, His dominion being an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one which shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:1-14).

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Footnotes:

1. A Hebrew word (צִיִּים), appearing six times in the Old Testament (Psalms 72:9; 74:14). It seems to refer to desert dwellers, and in contexts suggesting animals, to desert creatures, but the actual identity is unknown. It may not be a precise term.

2. Another Hebrew word (אֹחִים), appearing only once in the Old Testament. Isaiah 13:21 identifies them as birds of the night.

3. Another Hebrew word (אִיִּים), appearing only three times in the Old Testament (Isaiah 13:22; 34:14)

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(Odkazy: Daniel 4:4-37)

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