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Исагогика

Свящ. Александр Мень

§9. Литературная критика

1. Литературные жанры. Обладая в качестве «слова человеческого» всеми свойствами литературного произведения, Библия передает нам Слово Божие средствами многообразных литературных жанров, или видов. Рассматривая Писание само по себе и сравнивая его с памятниками древней литературы, толкователь может определить, к какому роду и виду письменности принадлежит та или иная часть Библии. Необходимость в этом диктуется тем, что каждому жанру соответствует специальный подход: эпическая поэзия и гимн, рассказ летописного характера и притча не могут толковаться в одинаковом ключе. Так, для изучающего Евангелие безразлично, имело ли место в действительности событие, описанное в притче о милосердном самарянине, но когда речь идет о фактах земной жизни и служения Господа, дело обстоит иначе. В книге Неемии мы находим не только религиозный смысл, но и описание событий современником; напротив, рассказ о вавилонской башне, дошедший через толщу веков и преданий, важен прежде всего своим духовным смыслом.

Из православных авторов в изучение ветхозаветных литературных жанров немалый вклад внес профессор СПб. Духовной Академии И. С. Якимов (1847-1885), а из католических — доминиканец М. Ж. Лагранж (1855-1938). Труды последнего оказали влияние на энциклику «Дивино аффланте спириту» (1943). В ней, между прочим, сказано: «Часто в словах и писаниях древних восточных авторов буквальный смысл не проявляется столь очевидно, как у писателей нашего времени; то, что они хотели сказать своими словами, не может быть установлено только законами грамматики или филологии или только контекстом. Совершенно необходимо, чтобы экзегет мысленно как бы вернулся к тем отдаленным векам Востока, чтобы, пользуясь средствами истории, археологии, этнологии и других наук, определить и выяснить, какими литературными родами хотели воспользоваться и какими действительно воспользовались писатели этого древнего времени... Чтобы вполне удовлетворить современным требованиям изучения Библии, католический экзегет должен, толкуя Св. Писание, доказывая и защищая его абсолютную непогрешимость, разумно пользоваться этим средством; он должен исследовать, как способ выражения или литературный жанр, который пользуется священный писатель, может привести к правильному и точному пониманию».

Литературные жанры развивались у народов, окружавших Израиль, на протяжении веков. Это были официальные летописи, панегирики царям, плачи, мифы, сатиры, лирическая поэзия, молитвы, сказки, философские трактаты, афоризмы, деловые документы. Все они имели свои каноны, которым подчинялись авторы. В чём-то это имеет сходство с иконописью, где мастер не изобретает выразительных средств, а берет их готовыми из традиции. Законы жанра соблюдались строго, и особенности каждого легко увидеть даже при первом чтении (сравните, напр., Судебник вавилонского царя Хаммурапи с поэмой о невинном страдальце; см. Библиографию).

2. Литературные жанры в Библии. Св. библейские авторы, обращаясь к своим современникам, усвоили эти литературные формы (подобно тому как св. Отцы пользовались языком и жанрами античной литературы и философии). Приведем лишь некоторые из этих устоявшихся жанров, как они отразились в Библии:

  • Тольдот חולרוח, или генеалогии (напр., Быт 10; ср. Мф 1:1 сл.), — обычно лаконичны, строги, лишены литературных украшений. Их цель — не удовлетворить любопытство читателей, а преподать в данной форме определенное учение (напр., единство рода человеческого или происхождение Христа от рода Давидова). Эта задача превышает конкретную историческую достоверность, выдвигая на первый план духовный смысл.
  • Торот חורוח, или законы, — содержат как религиозно-нравственные предписания, так и элементы правового уложения и уголовного кодекса. Они отмечены торжественностью стиля, афористичностью.
  • Поэтический эпос (Песнь Деворы, Суд 5; Кн. Браней Господних, которая цитируется в Числ 21:14 сл.; Кн. Праведного, Ис Нав 10:12-13), — характеризуется образностью средств выражения и гиперболами.
  • Эпические повествования (напр., о патриархах, завоевании Ханаана и судьях), в основе которых лежат реальные факты истории, но изложенные в форме сказания. Они отличаются конкретным живым изображением лиц и событий.
  • Фрагменты летописей, написанные очевидцами и современниками событий (напр., история похода Синнахерима). Они включены в Библию как своего рода призыв к покаянию, как научение с помощью истории. Они богаты достоверными историческими деталями, язык их строг, но не лишен драматизма.
  • Пророческие проповеди, молитвы и гимны отличаются возвышенным стилем, язык их исполнен священного пафоса, торжественности, свойственной богослужению. Это обусловлено и особенностью пророческого вдохновения, и тем, что пророки, как правило, говорили свои речи при Храме или других святилищах. Их речи были частью богослужения.
  • Культовые правила, созданные как руководство для клириков и мирян (Исх 34:18-25; Левит и др.), написаны сухим языком, насыщены обрядовыми подробностями.
  • Псалмы (об их формах подробнее будет сказано при разборе Псалтири).
  • Писания мудрецов (евр. סומרים софрим и חכמים хахамим). Они близки по стилю к изречениям житейской мудрости Востока. Одни мудрецы писали, не ссылаясь на Завет, Закон и Обетование (Притчи, Иов, сказание об Иосифе в Бытии), другие же (Пс 118) делали тему Закона центральной. Среди писаний мудрецов выделяется род притч (евр. משל маш`ал), которые первоначально представляли собой афоризмы о жизни и вере. Лишь в отдельных случаях притча Ветхого Завета выступала в виде связного рассказа (Суд 9:7-15).
  • Мидраши, то есть назидательные размышления и сказания, которые призваны иллюстрировать то или иное религиозное учение. Жанр мидраша один из поздних в Ветхом Завете (характерный образец его — Кн. Товита).
  • Апокалиптические писания появляются в основном в послепророческий период. Они раскрывают тайны истории и Промысла Божия с помощью мистических символов, иносказаний, намеков и грандиозных картин борьбы Добра и Зла. Первые элементы апокалиптики есть уже у прор. Иезекииля. Классический ее образец находится в Кн. Даниила (гл. 7-12). Многие апокрифические книги Ветхого Завета (см. § 5) принадлежат к этому жанру.

При толковании той или иной части Библии важно определить ее жанр, поскольку каждый из них обладает своими изобразительными средствами, языком, приемами. Этому помогает изучение древневосточной культуры.

3. Библейская поэтика. К области литературной критики относится выделение в Библии стихотворных разделов. Это стало возможным только после установления законов древней семитической поэзии. В отличие от античной и современной, она характеризуется нестрогим размером и отсутствием рифмы. Главной ее чертой, заметной даже при поверхностном чтении, является параллелизм. Священный поэт раскрывает и варьирует свою мысль в двух параллельных строках. Содержание обеих строк либо одно и то же, либо в них даются антитезы (противопоставления). Например:

Глас вопиющего:
в пустыне приготовьте путь Господу,
прямыми сделайте в степи стези Богу нашему.
Всякий дол да наполнится,
и всякая гора и холм да понизятся.

Иногда во второй строке развивается мысль, начатая в первой, или повторяются слова из первого стиха, чтобы дать им новое направление. Такой параллелизм более правильно называть симметрией, поскольку оба стиха или даже группы стихов имеют общий смысловой стержень. Знание этих законов библейской поэтики важно для «всестороннего постижения смысла Священного Писания» (М. С. Иванов. Библейская стилистическая симметрия. — ЖМП, 1981, # 7, с.70).

Другие особенности библейского стихосложения (аллитерации, акростихи и т.д.) видны лишь при чтении подлинника. Изучение текстов Ветхого Завета показало, что почти половина их написана стихами (части Пятикнижия, Кн. Иова, Псалтирь, большая часть пророчеких книг, Притчи, Премудрость, Песнь Песней). В связи с этим во всех современных переводах Библии стихотворные главы и разделы печатаются колонкой. Из русских изданий это правило соблюдено только в брюссельском издании синодального перевода (1973-1977).

Вопросы для повторения
  1. Какова цель литературной критики Св. Писания?
  2. Что такое литературный жанр, или вид?
  3. Какие жанры существовали на Древнем Востоке?
  4. Перечислите основные литературные жанры, встречающиеся в Библии.
  5. Каковы особенности библейского стихосложения?
Отрывки к тексту:
Gen 10
Jdg 5
Mat 1:1
Num 21:14
Jos 10:12-13
Exo 34:18-25
Psa 118
Jdg 9:7-15
Dan 7-12
Isa 40:3-4
1
Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood.
2
The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.
3
The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah.
4
The sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim.
5
From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.
6
The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.
7
The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.
8
Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.
9
He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”
10
The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11
From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah,
12
and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.
13
Mizraim became the father of Ludim and Anamim and Lehabim and Naphtuhim
14
and Pathrusim and Casluhim (from which came the Philistines) and Caphtorim.
15
Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, and Heth
16
and the Jebusite and the Amorite and the Girgashite
17
and the Hivite and the Arkite and the Sinite
18
and the Arvadite and the Zemarite and the Hamathite; and afterward the families of the Canaanite were spread abroad.
19
The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
20
These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations.
21
Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born.
22
The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram.
23
The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash.
24
Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber.
25
Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.
26
Joktan became the father of Almodad and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth and Jerah
27
and Hadoram and Uzal and Diklah
28
and Obal and Abimael and Sheba
29
and Ophir and Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.
30
Now their settlement extended from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the hill country of the east.
31
These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.
32
These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.
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1
Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,
2
“That the leaders led in Israel, That the people volunteered, Bless the LORD!
3
“Hear, O kings; give ear, O rulers! I—to the LORD, I will sing, I will sing praise to the LORD, the God of Israel.
4
“LORD, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, Even the clouds dripped water.
5
“The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD, This Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.
6
“In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, And travelers went by roundabout ways.
7
“The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Until I arose, a mother in Israel.
8
“New gods were chosen; Then war was in the gates. Not a shield or a spear was seen Among forty thousand in Israel.
9
“My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel, The volunteers among the people; Bless the LORD!
10
“You who ride on white donkeys, You who sit on rich carpets, And you who travel on the road—sing!
11
“At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the LORD, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel. Then the people of the LORD went down to the gates.
12
“Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and take away your captives, O son of Abinoam.
13
“Then survivors came down to the nobles; The people of the LORD came down to me as warriors.
14
“From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down, Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples; From Machir commanders came down, And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of office.
15
“And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As was Issachar, so was Barak; Into the valley they rushed at his heels; Among the divisions of Reuben There were great resolves of heart.
16
“Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the piping for the flocks? Among the divisions of Reuben There were great searchings of heart.
17
“Gilead remained across the Jordan; And why did Dan stay in ships? Asher sat at the seashore, And remained by its landings.
18
“Zebulun was a people who despised their lives even to death, And Naphtali also, on the high places of the field.
19
“The kings came and fought; Then fought the kings of Canaan At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo; They took no plunder in silver.
20
“The stars fought from heaven, From their courses they fought against Sisera.
21
“The torrent of Kishon swept them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength.
22
“Then the horses’ hoofs beat From the dashing, the dashing of his valiant steeds.
23
‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD, ‘Utterly curse its inhabitants; Because they did not come to the help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the warriors.’
24
“Most blessed of women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Most blessed is she of women in the tent.
25
“He asked for water and she gave him milk; In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.
26
“She reached out her hand for the tent peg, And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; And she shattered and pierced his temple.
27
“Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay; Between her feet he bowed, he fell; Where he bowed, there he fell dead.
28
“Out of the window she looked and lamented, The mother of Sisera through the lattice, ‘Why does his chariot delay in coming? Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?’
29
“Her wise princesses would answer her, Indeed she repeats her words to herself,
30
‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil? A maiden, two maidens for every warrior; To Sisera a spoil of dyed work, A spoil of dyed work embroidered, Dyed work of double embroidery on the neck of the spoiler?’
31
“Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD; But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.” And the land was undisturbed for forty years.
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1
The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
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14
Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD, “Waheb in Suphah, And the wadis of the Arnon,
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12
Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
13
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
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18
“You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.
19
“The first offspring from every womb belongs to Me, and all your male livestock, the first offspring from cattle and sheep.
20
You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed.
21
“You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.
22
You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
23
Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.
24
For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God.
25
“You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning.
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1
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2
Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
3
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
3
Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
4
Oh let those who fear the LORD say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
5
From my distress I called upon the LORD; The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.
6
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
7
The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
8
It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man.
9
It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in princes.
10
All nations surrounded me; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.
11
They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.
12
They surrounded me like bees; They were extinguished as a fire of thorns; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.
13
You pushed me violently so that I was falling, But the LORD helped me.
14
The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
15
The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
16
The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
17
I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD.
18
The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death.
19
Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.
20
This is the gate of the LORD; The righteous will enter through it.
21
I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.
22
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
23
This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.
24
This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25
O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
27
The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
28
You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You.
29
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
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7
Now when they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, “Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you.
8
Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’
9
But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’
10
Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come, reign over us!’
11
But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’
12
Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You come, reign over us!’
13
But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’
14
Finally all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come, reign over us!’
15
The bramble said to the trees, ‘If in truth you are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’
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1
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.
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Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
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And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
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The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
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And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’
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After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
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After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
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While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
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“I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.
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“A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.
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Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
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As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.
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“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.
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“And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
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“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.
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I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
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‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.
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But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’
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“Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet,
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and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.
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I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them
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until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
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“Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.
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As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
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He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
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But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.
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Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’
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“At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”
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In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king a vision appeared to me, Daniel, subsequent to the one which appeared to me previously.
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I looked in the vision, and while I was looking I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I looked in the vision and I myself was beside the Ulai Canal.
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Then I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last.
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I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself.
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While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.
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He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath.
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I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power.
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Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
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Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land.
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It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down.
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It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.
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And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.
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Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?”
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He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.”
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When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and behold, standing before me was one who looked like a man.
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And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, “Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.”
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So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.”
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Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright.
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He said, “Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.
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The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.
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The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
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The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.
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“In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue.
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“His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree And prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.
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“And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency.
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“The vision of the evenings and mornings Which has been told is true; But keep the vision secret, For it pertains to many days in the future.”
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Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king’s business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it.
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In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans—
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in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
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So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
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I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
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we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.
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Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
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“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You.
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Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
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To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;
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nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets.
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Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.
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Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.
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As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth.
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Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
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“And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked.
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O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us.
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So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary.
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O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion.
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O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
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Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God,
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while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering.
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He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding.
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At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision.
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“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
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So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
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Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
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And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
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In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision.
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In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks.
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I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed.
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On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris,
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I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz.
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His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult.
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Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves.
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So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength.
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But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
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Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.
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He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
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Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.
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But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.
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Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
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When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless.
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And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, “O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength.
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For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.”
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Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me.
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He said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
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Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.
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However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.
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“In the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.
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And now I will tell you the truth. Behold, three more kings are going to arise in Persia. Then a fourth will gain far more riches than all of them; as soon as he becomes strong through his riches, he will arouse the whole empire against the realm of Greece.
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And a mighty king will arise, and he will rule with great authority and do as he pleases.
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But as soon as he has arisen, his kingdom will be broken up and parceled out toward the four points of the compass, though not to his own descendants, nor according to his authority which he wielded, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and given to others besides them.
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“Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.
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After some years they will form an alliance, and the daughter of the king of the South will come to the king of the North to carry out a peaceful arrangement. But she will not retain her position of power, nor will he remain with his power, but she will be given up, along with those who brought her in and the one who sired her as well as he who supported her in those times.
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But one of the descendants of her line will arise in his place, and he will come against their army and enter the fortress of the king of the North, and he will deal with them and display great strength.
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Also their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold he will take into captivity to Egypt, and he on his part will refrain from attacking the king of the North for some years.
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Then the latter will enter the realm of the king of the South, but will return to his own land.
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“His sons will mobilize and assemble a multitude of great forces; and one of them will keep on coming and overflow and pass through, that he may again wage war up to his very fortress.
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The king of the South will be enraged and go forth and fight with the king of the North. Then the latter will raise a great multitude, but that multitude will be given into the hand of the former.
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When the multitude is carried away, his heart will be lifted up, and he will cause tens of thousands to fall; yet he will not prevail.
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For the king of the North will again raise a greater multitude than the former, and after an interval of some years he will press on with a great army and much equipment.
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“Now in those times many will rise up against the king of the South; the violent ones among your people will also lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down.
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Then the king of the North will come, cast up a siege ramp and capture a well-fortified city; and the forces of the South will not stand their ground, not even their choicest troops, for there will be no strength to make a stand.
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But he who comes against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to withstand him; he will also stay for a time in the Beautiful Land, with destruction in his hand.
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He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he will put into effect; he will also give him the daughter of women to ruin it. But she will not take a stand for him or be on his side.
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Then he will turn his face to the coastlands and capture many. But a commander will put a stop to his scorn against him; moreover, he will repay him for his scorn.
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So he will turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and be found no more.
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“Then in his place one will arise who will send an oppressor through the Jewel of his kingdom; yet within a few days he will be shattered, though not in anger nor in battle.
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In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
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The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.
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After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people.
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In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.
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He will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South with a large army; so the king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war; but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him.
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Those who eat his choice food will destroy him, and his army will overflow, but many will fall down slain.
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As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil, and they will speak lies to each other at the same table; but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time.
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Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.
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“At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before.
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For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
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Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
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By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.
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Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.
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Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy.
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Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.
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“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.
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He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.
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But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures.
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He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.
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“At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.
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He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.
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Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape.
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But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels.
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But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many.
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He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
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“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
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Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
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Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
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But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
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Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river.
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And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?”
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I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.
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As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?”
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He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.
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Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
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From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
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How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
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But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”
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A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
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“Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
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