John 1:4

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning


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4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


William Blake's etching/watercolour "Ancient of Days".

Commentary on this verse

"Life" in the Bible has reference to what we love, to our affections, because what we care about actually makes us who we are. "Light" has to do with our thinking, our intellect – which is not life itself, but defines and guides our lives. This verse, then, in saying "in him was life," reveals that it is divine truth that inspires our feelings, that makes us want what is good. And when we want what is good, that will be "the light of men," inspiring us to seek and understand true ideas that can help us actually be good and do what is good.

So divine truth – the exquisite expression of the Lord’s love – is not only the driving force behind creation, it is also the agent that creates our own internal lives, inspiring our desires for good and through them our understanding of what is true.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2894; Arcana Coelestia 4687 [2-3]; De Domino 1; True Christian Religion 39)




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Study the Inner Meaning

Commentary on this text:

Explanation(s) or references from Swedenborg's works:

Apocalypse Revealed 58, 200, 413, 502, 629, 796, 954

Arcana Coelestia 20, 1069, 1839, 1999, 2533, 2658, 2894, 3195, 3704, 4180, 4415, 4687, 5922, 8604, 9360, 9407, 9410, 9429, 10083

Conjugial Love 129

Divine Love and Wisdom 38

Divine Providence 159

Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 2

Doctrine of the Lord 1, 2

Heaven and Hell 137

True Christian Religion 39, 50, 85, 190, 358, 474, 780

Apocalypse Explained 43, 82, 151, 186, 196, 294, 349, 392, 526, 803, 850, 1069, 1120, 1134

Coronis 54

De Verbo 2, 17

Marriage 39, 50, 85

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14

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