Daniel 5

English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 Belshazzar the king hath made a great feast to a thousand of his great men, and before the thousand he is drinking wine;

2 Belshazzar hath said -- while tasting the wine -- to bring in the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple that [is] in Jerusalem, that drink with them may the king, and his great men, his wives, and his concubines.

3 Then they have brought in the vessels of gold that had been taken out of the temple of the house of God that [is] in Jerusalem, and drunk with them have the king and his great men, his wives and his concubines;

4 they have drunk wine, and have praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

5 In that hour come forth have fingers of a man's hand, and they are writing over-against the candlestick, on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king is seeing the extremity of the hand that is writing;

6 then the king's countenance hath changed, and his thoughts do trouble him, and the joints of his loins are loosed, and his knees are smiting one against another.

7 Call doth the king mightily, to bring up the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. Answered hath the king, and said to the wise men of Babylon, that, `Any man who doth read this writing, and its interpretation doth shew me, purple he putteth on, and a bracelet of gold [is] on his neck, and third in the kingdom he doth rule.'

8 Then coming up are all the wise men of the king, and they are not able to read the writing, and the interpretation to make known to the king;

9 then the king Belshazzar is greatly troubled, and his countenance is changing in him, and his great men are perplexed.

10 The queen, on account of the words of the king and his great men, to the banquet-house hath come up. Answered hath the queen, and said, `O king, to the ages live; let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor thy countenance be changed:

11 there is a man in thy kingdom in whom [is] the spirit of the holy gods: and, in the days of thy father, light, and understanding, and wisdom -- as the wisdom of the gods -- was found in him; and king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, chief of the scribes, enchanters, Chaldeans, soothsayers, established him -- thy father, O king --

12 because that an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of enigmas, and loosing of knots was found in him, in Daniel, whose name the king made Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and the interpretation he doth show.'

13 Then Daniel hath been caused to come up before the king; answered hath the king, and said to Daniel, `Thou art that Daniel who [art] of the sons of the Removed of Judah, whom the king my father brought in out of Judah?

14 And I have heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods [is] in thee, and light, and understanding, and excellent wisdom have been found in thee.

15 `And now, caused to come up before me have been the wise men, the enchanters, that this writing they may read, and its interpretation to cause me to know: and they are not able to shew the interpretation of the thing:

16 and I -- I have heard of thee, that thou art able to give interpretations, and to loose knots: now, lo -- thou art able to read the writing, and its interpretation to cause me to know -- purple thou dost put on, and a bracelet of gold [is] on thy neck, and third in the kingdom thou dost rule.'

17 Then hath Daniel answered and said before the king, `Thy gifts be to thyself, and thy fee to another give; nevertheless, the writing I do read to the king, and the interpretation I cause him to know;

18 thou, O king, God Most High, a kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and honour, gave to Nebuchadnezzar thy father:

19 and because of the greatness that He gave to him, all peoples, nations, and languages were trembling and fearing before him: whom he willed he was slaying, and whom he willed he was keeping alive, and whom he willed he was raising up, and whom he willed he was making low;

20 and when his heart was high, and his spirit was strong to act proudly, he hath been caused to come down from the throne of his kingdom, and his glory they have caused to pass away from him,

21 and from the sons of men he is driven, and his heart with the beasts hath been like, and with the wild asses [is] his dwelling; the herb like oxen they cause him to eat, and by the dew of the heavens is his body wet, till that he hath known that God Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and whom He willeth He raiseth up over it.

22 `And thou, his son, Belshazzar, hast not humbled thy heart, though all this thou hast known;

23 and against the Lord of the heavens thou hast lifted up thyself; and the vessels of His house they have brought in before thee, and thou, and thy great men, thy wives, and thy concubines, are drinking wine with them, and gods of silver, and of gold, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone, that are not seeing, nor hearing, nor knowing, thou hast praised: and the God in whose hand [is] thy breath, and all thy ways, Him thou hast not honoured.

24 `Then from before Him sent is the extremity of the hand, and the writing is noted down;

25 and this [is] the writing that is noted down: Numbered, Numbered, Weighed, and Divided.

26 This [is] the interpretation of the thing: Numbered -- God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it.

27 Weighed -- Thou art weighed in the balances, and hast been found lacking.

28 Divided -- Divided is thy kingdom, and it hath been given to the Medes and Persians.'

29 Then hath Belshazzar said, and they have clothed Daniel with purple, and a bracelet of gold [is] on his neck, and they have proclaimed concerning him that he is the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 In that night Belshazzar king of the Chaldeans is slain,

31 and Darius the Mede hath received the kingdom, when a son of sixty and two years.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326

Apocalypse Explained 587, 1029

Apocalypse Revealed 717

The Last Judgment 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 176

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 1183, 3079, 3104, 5223, 8932, 9093, 9818, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 313, 316, 364, 459, 913

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

The Lord 48

Heaven and Hell 365

True Christianity 156, 754

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 183, 220, 242, 373, 376, 453

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Make known
'To make known' is to teach.

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'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

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Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.

 Belshazzar's Feast
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Belshazzar’s Feast
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Belshazzar’s Feast (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Belshazzar’s Feast (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Belshazzar’s Feast (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

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

Ze Swedenborgových děl


Arcana Coelestia # 5223

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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5223. 'And he sent and called all the magi of Egypt, and its wise men means in consulting factual knowledge, interior as well as exterior. This is clear from the meaning of 'the magi' in the good sense as interior factual knowledge, dealt with below, and from the meaning of 'wise men' as exterior factual knowledge, also dealt with below. The reason 'the magi and wise men of Egypt' means factual knowledge is that Egypt had been one of the kingdoms where the representative Ancient Church existed, 1278, 2385. But in Egypt the facts known to that Church were the particular objects of care and attention, being knowledge about correspondences, representatives, and meaningful signs. For that knowledge was used to explain what had been written in the books of the Church, and to explain the things that were done in their sacred worship, 4749, 4964, 4966. This was how it came about that 'Egypt' meant factual knowledge in general, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, as did 'Pharaoh' its king too. The leading people among them who were well-versed in and imparted that knowledge were called magi and wise men. The magi were those well-versed in mystical knowledge, the wise men those well-versed in non-mystical, so that the facts known to the magi were interior ones, while those known to the wise men were exterior. This explains why such factual knowledge is meant in the Word by those two kinds of men. But after they began to misuse the Church's interior factual knowledge and to turn it into magic, Egypt', and likewise 'the magi of Egypt and its wise men', began to mean factual knowledge that led to perversions.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, 1238)

[2] The magi in those times had a knowledge of the kinds of things that belong to the spiritual world, and in their teaching about these they employed the correspondences and the representatives known to the Church. For this reason many of those magi also communicated with spirits and learned the arts of illusion which they used to perform miracles that involved magic. But those who were called the wise men had no interest in anything like this. Instead they provided the answers to hard questions and taught about the causes lying behind natural things. It was primarily in arts such as these that the wisdom of those times consisted, and the ability to practise them was called wisdom. This becomes clear from what is recorded about Solomon in the first Book of Kings,

Solomon's wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east, and all the wisdom of the Egyptians, so much so that he was wiser than all people - than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. In addition he spoke about trees, from the cedars which are in Lebanon even to the hyssop which comes out of the wall. He also spoke about beasts, and about birds, and about creeping things, and about fish. Therefore they came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth who had heard about his wisdom. 1 Kings 4:30-34.

Also there is what is recorded about the queen of Sheba in the same book,

She came to test him with hard questions; and Solomon gave her an explanation for every matter she mentioned. 1 There was not a matter 2 hidden from the king for which he could not give her an explanation. 1 Kings 10:1 and following verses.

(Odkazy: 1 Kings 4:30, 10:1-3, 10:3)

[3] From this one may see what was described in those times as wisdom and who exactly those people were who were called wise men, not only in Egypt but also elsewhere - in Syria, Arabia, and Babel. But in the internal sense 'the wisdom of Egypt' means nothing else than knowledge about natural things, while 'that of the magi' means knowledge about spiritual realities, so that exterior factual knowledge is meant by 'the wise men', and interior factual knowledge by 'the magi', 'Egypt' meaning knowledge in general, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 4749, 4964, 4966.

Egypt and its wise men had no other meaning in Isaiah,

The princes of Zoan are foolish, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh has become brutish. How does one say to Pharaoh, I am a son of the wise, a son of the kings of old? Where are your wise men now? Isaiah 19:11-12.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)

[4] The fact that the term 'magi' was applied to those who had a knowledge of spiritual realities, and who also for that reason received revelations, is clear from the magi who came from the east to Jerusalem, asking where the King of the Jews was to be born and saying that they had seen His star in the east and had come to worship Him, Matthew 2:1-2. The same is also clear from Daniel, who is called the chief of the magi in Daniel 4:9. And in another place,

The queen said to King Belshazzar, There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. And in the days of your father, light and intelligence and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him. Therefore King Nebuchadnezzar your father set him up as chief of the magi, diviners, Chaldeans, and determiners. Daniel 5:11.

And in yet another place,

Among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; for when they were to stand before the king, every matter of wisdom [and] understanding which the king asked of them exceeded ten times [that of] all the magi, the diviners who were in his kingdom. Daniel 1:19-20.

[5] It is well known that in the contrary sense 'magi' 3 is used to mean those who pervert spiritual realities and thereby practise magic, like those mentioned in Exodus 7:9-12; 8:7, 19; 9:11. For magic is nothing else than a perversion, being the perverted use of those kinds of things that constitute true order in the spiritual world, a perverted use that gives rise to magic. But at the present day such magic is called natural, for the reason that no recognition exists any longer of anything above or beyond the natural order. People refuse to accept the existence of anything spiritual unless one means by this an interior dimension of what is natural.


1. literally, all her words

2. literally, word

3. The same Latin noun magus describes a wise man or philosopher in a good sense, but a magician in a bad sense.


(Odkazy: Exodus 7:11-12, 7:11, 7:22, 8:17, 8:18-19; Genesis 41:8)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5225, 7337

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121

Other New Christian Commentary

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