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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
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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
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Dienen
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Arcana Coelestia # 3901

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3901. The reason why the final state of the Church is compared to eagles gathered together where there is a carcass or body is that 'eagles' means man's rational ideas. When used in reference to forms of good 'eagles' means true rational ideas, but when used in reference to forms of evil 'eagles' means false rational ideas, or reasonings. 'Birds' in general means a person's thoughts, and in both the genuine and the contrary senses, 40, 745, 776, 866, 991, 3219; and each species has some individual meaning, 'eagles' meaning rational ideas because they are high-flyers and sharp-sighted. This meaning may be seen from many places in the Word, from which let the following be brought forward to confirm it. First, places where true rational ideas are meant: in Moses,

Jehovah found His people [Jacob] in a wilderness land and in the emptiness, the howling, the lonely place He encompassed him, instructed him, and kept him as the pupil of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreads out its wings, takes one, carries it on its wings. Deuteronomy 32:10-11.

That which is described here and compared to the eagle is instruction in the truths and goods of faith. The actual process up to the point when a person becomes rational and spiritual is what this description and comparison contains. All comparisons in the Word are made by means of meaningful signs, in this case by 'the eagle', which means the rational.

[2] In the same author,

Jehovah said to Moses, You have seen the things which I did to the Egyptians, and I bore you on eagles' wings so that I might bring you to Myself. Exodus 19:3-4.

Here the meaning is similar. In Isaiah,

Those who await Jehovah will be renewed with strength; they will mount up with strong wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31.

'Being renewed with strength' stands for growth in the willing of good, 'mounting up with strong wings like eagles' for growth in the understanding of truth, and so growth of the rational. Here, as elsewhere, dual expressions are used to present the subject, the first of a pair involving good which belongs to the will, the second truth which belongs to the understanding. 'Running and not being weary' and 'walking and not fainting' are similar dual expressions.

[3] In Ezekiel,

Speak a parable about the house of Israel, and say, Thus said the Lord Jehovih, A great eagle with long pinions, full of feathers, in its embroidery, came on Lebanon and took a twig of the cedar. He carried it into a land of trade, he placed it in a city of perfumers. It sprouted and became a spreading vine. There was another great eagle with great wings and full of feathers, towards which, behold, this vine directed its roots, and sent out its branches towards it to water it from the beds of its young plants in a good field, by many waters. But it will be laid waste. He sent his ambassadors to Egypt that they might give him horses and many people. Ezekiel 17:2-9, 15.

The eagle mentioned first stands for the rational enlightened by the Divine, the eagle mentioned second for the rational originating in the proprium, subsequently perverted by means of reasonings based on sensory evidence and factual knowledge - 'Egypt' standing for factual knowledge, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, and 'horses' for understanding resulting from all this, 2761, 2762, 3217.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, Arcana Coelestia 2761-2762)


[4] In Daniel,

A vision of Daniel. Four beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion, but had eagle's wings. I watched it until its wings were torn away and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on its feet like a human being; and the heart of a human being was given to it. Daniel 7:3-4.

That which is described by 'a lion which had eagle's wings' is the first state of the Church, 'eagle's wings' in this case meaning rational ideas originating in the proprium. And when these had been removed, rational ideas and desires in the will which had a Divine origin were given to it. These are meant by the lifting up of the eagle from the ground and the standing of it on its feet like a human being, and the gift to it of the heart of a human being.

[5] In Ezekiel,

As for the likeness of the faces of the four living creatures or cherubs, each of the four had the face of a human being, and the face of a lion on the right side; and each of the four the face of an ox on the left side; and each of the four had the face of an eagle. Ezekiel 1:10.

Their wheels were called Galgal; and each one had four faces - the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. Ezekiel 10:13-14.

In John,

Around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature was like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a human being, the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:7.

Clearly, those living creatures that were seen mean Divine arcana, as consequently does the likeness of their faces. But exactly which arcana are meant cannot be known unless one knows what 'lion', 'calf', 'human being', and 'eagle' mean in the internal sense. It is evident that 'the face of an eagle' means vigilance and therefore providence, for the cherubs who were represented by the living creatures in Ezekiel mean the Lord's providence which guards against anyone entering the mysteries of faith from himself and his own rationality as the starting point, see 308. This also shows that when 'an eagle' is used in reference to a human being the rational is meant in the internal sense. It has this meaning because an eagle is a high-flyer and from its more exalted position has a wide view of things below.

(Odkazy: Revelation 4:6-7)


[6] In Job,

Is it through your intelligence that the hawk flies up and spreads its wings towards the south? Is it at your command 1 that the eagle lifts itself up and makes its nest up high? Job 39:26-27.

In this verse it is evident that 'the eagle' means reason which is an attribute of intelligence. This was what 'eagle' meant in the Ancient Church, for the Book of Job is a book of the Ancient Church, 3540 (end). In fact the writing of almost all the books of that period involved the use of meaningful signs, but with the passage of time meaningful signs have been so eclipsed that it is not even known that 'birds' in general means thoughts, even though these are referred to many times in the Word and in those places quite clearly is meant something different from birds.

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 1:1)


[7] As regards 'the eagle' in the contrary sense meaning rational ideas that are not true, and so are false, this is evident from the following places: In Moses,

Jehovah will raise up above you a nation from far away, from the end of the earth, as an eagle flies, a nation whose language you do not understand, a hard-faced nation. Deuteronomy 28:49-50.

In Jeremiah,

Behold, he comes up [like] clouds, and his chariots like a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we have been laid waste! Jeremiah 4:13.

In the same prophet,

Your bragging has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill; because, like the eagle, you have made your nest up high, I will cast you down from there. Behold, he mounts up and flies like an eagle, and spreads his wings over Bozrah; and the heart of the powerful men of Edom has become on that day like the heart of a woman in distress. Jeremiah 49:16, 22.

In the same prophet,

Our pursuers were swifter than eagles; they pursued us over the mountains, they laid in wait for us in the wilderness. Lamentations 4:19.

In Micah,

Make yourself bald, and shave your head for the children of your delight; extend your baldness like an eagle, for they have departed from you. Micah 1:16.

In Obadiah,

If you raise yourself up like the eagle, and if you place your nest among the stars, I will bring you down from there. Obad. verse 4.

In Habakkuk,

I am rousing the Chaldeans, a bitter and headlong nation, marching into the breadths of the earth, to inherit habitations that are not its own. Its horses are swifter than leopards. 2 Its horsemen will come from afar. They will fly in like an eagle hastening to devour. Habakkuk 1:6, 8.

(Odkazy: Obadiah 1:4)


[8] In all these places 'eagles' means falsity that has been introduced through reasonings - the delusions of the senses and external appearances being the source of that falsity. 'The Chaldeans' referred to in the last of the Prophets quoted means people who outwardly are holy but inwardly are under the influence of falsity, see 1368, and these like Babel are those who lay waste the Church, 1367. 'The breadths of the earth' means truths (the vastation of which is meant by 'marching into the breadths of the earth') see 3433, 3434, and 'horses' their intellectual concepts, which are similar, 2761, 2762, 3217. What is meant by 'an eagle hastening to devour' is clear from all this, namely a hastening to make man desolate of truths, for the desolation of the Church is the subject in these verses. Comparisons are made with eagles, but as has been stated, comparisons in the Word are made by means of meaningful signs. From all this one may now see what is meant by the comparison with the eagles which will be gathered together where the carcass is.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, mouth

2. The Latin means eagles, but the Hebrew means leopards, which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.

Genesis 30
1. And Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob [any children], and Rachel was jealous of her sister, and said to Jacob, Give me sons; if you do not, I am dead.
2. And Jacob flared up in anger against Rachel, and he said, Am I in God's place, who is withholding from you the fruit of the womb?
3. And she said, Behold, my maidservant Bilhah; go [in] to her, and let her bear [a child] upon my knees, and I too shall be built up from her.
4. And she gave him Bilhah her servant-girl as his wife, and Jacob went [in] to her.
5. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son.
6. And Rachel said, God has judged me, and also has heard my voice, and has given me a son. Therefore she called his name Dan.
7. And Bilhah, Rachel's servant-girl, conceived again and bore a second son to Jacob.
8. And Rachel said, With the wrestlings of God I have wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed. And she called his name Naphtali.
9. And Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, and she took Zilpah her servant-girl, and gave her to Jacob as his wife.
10. And Zilpah, Leah's servant-girl, bore Jacob a son.
11. And Leah said, A troop comes! And she called his name Gad.
12. And Zilpah, Leah's servant-girl, bore a second son to Jacob.
13. And Leah said, In my blessedness! for the daughters will call me blessed. And she called his name Asher.
14. And Reuben went in the days of the wheat harvest and found dudaim in the field, and brought them to Leah his mother. And Rachel said to Leah, Give me now some of your son's dudaim.
15. But she said to her, Is it a small thing for you to have taken my husband? And will you take also my son's dudaim? And Rachel said, Therefore he will lie with you this night [in return] for your son's dudaim.
16. And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him and said, You must come [in] to me, for I have surely hired you with my son's dudaim. And he lay with her that night.
17. And God hearkened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.
18. And Leah said, God has given me my reward, because I gave my servant-girl to my husband. And she called his name Issachar.
19. And Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob.
20. And Leah said, God has endowed me with a good dowry; once again my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons. And she called his name Zebulun.
21. And afterwards she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.
22. And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb.
23. And she conceived and bore a son, and she said, God has taken away 1 my reproach.
24. And she called his name Joseph, saying, May Jehovah add to me another son.
25. And it happened, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, Send me away and let me go to my own place and to my own land.
26. Give me my womenfolk and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service with which I have served you.
27. And Laban said to him, If now I have found grace in your eyes have learned from experience, and Jehovah has blessed me for your sake.
28. And he said, Indicate your wages to me, and I will give them.
29. And [Jacob] said to him, You know how I have served you, and how your cattle have fared with me.
30. For you had few before I came, and they have increased into a multitude; and Jehovah has blessed you since I set foot here. And now, when shall I, even I, provide for my own house?
31. And he said, What shall I give you? And Jacob said, You shall not give me anything; if you will do this one thing for me, I will return, feed, and guard your flock.
32. I will pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted member of the flock, and every black one among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the she-goats; and that will be my wages.
33. And my righteousness will answer for me on the morrow, when you come [to look] over my wages that are before you; every one that is not speckled and spotted among the she-goats, and black among the lambs, is one stolen by me.
34. And Laban said, Behold, let it be according to your word.
35. And he removed on that day the variegated and spotted he-goats, and all the speckled and spotted she-goats, every one that had white in it, and every black one among the lambs; and he gave them into the hand of his sons.
36. And he put three days' journey between himself and Jacob; and Jacob was feeding the rest of Laban's flocks.
37. And Jacob took for himself fresh rods of poplar, and hazel and plane, and stripped white strips on them - an exposing of the white which was on the rods.
38. And he set the rods which he had stripped in runners, in the troughs of water where the flocks came to drink, in front of the flocks; and they came on heat as they came to drink.
39. And the flocks came on heat at the rods, and the flocks brought forth variegated, speckled, and spotted ones.
40. And Jacob singled out the lambs, and set the faces of the flock towards the variegated, and every black one in Laban's flock; and he put his own droves apart and did not put them near Laban's flock.
41. And so it was, whenever those came on heat - those of the flock which came together first - that Jacob put the rods before the eyes of the flock in the runners, so that they would come on heat at the rods.
42. And before [the eyes of those of] the flock which came together later he did not put [the rods] in. And those which came together later were Laban's, and those which came together first were Jacob's.
43. And the man became very very prosperous, 2 and he had many flocks, and servant-girls and slaves, and camels and asses.

1. literally, gathered up

2. literally, spread himself exceedingly exceedingly

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(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1327, 2761-2762, Arcana Coelestia 3433-3434)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4229, 4334, 4422, 5113, 6895, 8764, 9688, 10199

The Last Judgment 35

True Christian Religion 757

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 246


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 5, 400, 684


Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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