Ezekiel 33

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Darby Version         

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1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them all, and set him for their watchman:

3 if he see the sword coming upon the land, and blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

4 then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning, if the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood is upon him: whereas had he taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword coming, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, if the sword come and take a person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

7 So thou, son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; and thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and warn them from me.

8 When I say unto the wicked, Wicked [man], thou shalt certainly die; and thou speakest not to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand.

9 But if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 And thou, son of man, say unto the house of Israel, Thus ye speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we waste away in them, how then should we live?

11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

12 And thou, son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he sinneth.

13 When I say to the righteous that he shall certainly live, and he trusteth to his righteousness and doeth what is wrong, none of his righteous acts shall be remembered; but in his unrighteousness which he hath done, in it shall he die.

14 And when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt certainly die, and he turneth from his sin, and doeth judgment and justice;

15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, doing nothing that is wrong; he shall certainly live, he shall not die.

16 None of his sins which he hath committed shall be remembered against him: he hath done judgment and justice; he shall certainly live.

17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.

18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and doeth what is wrong, then he shall die therein.

19 And when the wicked turneth from his wickedness, and doeth judgment and justice, he shall live for these things.

20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth [month], on the fifth of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten!

22 Now the hand of Jehovah had been upon me in the evening, before he that had escaped came; and he had opened my mouth against his coming to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

23 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

24 Son of man, they that inhabit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited this land, and we are many: the land is given us for a possession.

25 Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood; and shall ye possess the land?

26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife; and shall ye possess the land?

27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: [As] I live, verily they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.

28 And I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment, and the pride of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolated, so that none shall pass through.

29 And they shall know that I [am] Jehovah, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment because of all their abominations which they have committed.

30 And as for thee, son of man, the children of thy people keep talking of thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from Jehovah.

31 And they come unto thee as a people cometh, and they sit before thee [as] my people, and they hear thy words, but they do them not; for with their mouth they shew much love, [but] their heart goeth after their dishonest gain.

32 And behold, thou art unto them as a lovely song, a pleasant voice, and one that playeth well on an instrument; and they hear thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass (behold, it will come), then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

← Ezekiel 32   Ezekiel 34 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 156


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 612, 2235, 6367, 7102, 8711, 9263

Apocalypse Revealed 567, 668

The Lord 28

Sacred Scripture 85

True Christian Religion 51


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 55, 304, 388, 405, 650

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56

Marriage 51

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 9:4, 17:8

Exodus 21:34

Leviticus 7:20, 21, 26, 26:19, 39

Numbers 5:13, 29

1 Samuel 3:20

2 Chronicles 7:14, 34:24

Ezra 9:15

Nehemiah 8

Psalms 51:15, 103:9

Proverbs 15:10

Isaiah 21:11, 12, 42:20, 51:2

Jeremiah 7:9, 15, 14:15, 18:8, 10, 25:3, 28:9, 39:2, 42:21, 44:7, 8

Lamentations 3:33

Ezekiel 1:2, 3, 2:5, 3:11, 16, 27, 5:9, 17, 6:11, 12, 14, 7:4, 24, 11:15, 14:17, 15:7, 8, 18:4, 6, 7, 12, 19, 20:11, 22:3, 11, 24:23, 25, 27, 30:9, 36:18, 39:8, 40:1

Amos 3:6

Micah 7:18

Habakkuk 2:1

Zechariah 1:4

John 8:24

Acts of the Apostles 20:26

2 Corinthians 5:10

James 1:22, 2:10

2 Peter 20

Revelation 22:12

Word/Phrase Explanations

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

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

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

Sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Watchman
'A watchman,' as in Isaiah 21:11, in an internal sense, signifies someone who observes the states of the church and its changes, which applies to...

see
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...

trumpet
'Trumpets,' and all other wind instruments, relate to celestial affections.

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

person
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Require
'To require of another' denotes the state when one thing is joined to another so that it cannot be separated.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

Wicked
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

die
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

way
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

Transgressions
'Transgressions' or 'trespasses' denote such evils as are done against the truths of faith.

sins
'Bound up transgressions,' as in Lamentations 1:14, stands for falsities coming up towards interior or rational things.

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

ways
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

righteous
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

wickedness
Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

justice
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

restore
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

smitten
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.

Evening
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

Inhabit
'Inhabit' refers to good.

Waste places
'Old waste places' signify the celestial aspects of faith.

Abraham
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Idols
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

neighbour's
'The neighbor' is not only an individual person, but also people collectively, as a less or greater society, our country, the church, the Lord’s kingdom,...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Pestilence
'Pestilence' denotes the vastation of good and truth.

pride
'Pride' signifies the love of self.

strength
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

doors
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

Sit
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

goeth
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

gain
'Lucre or gain' signifies every thing false derived from evil which perverts the judgment.

song
'A song' signifies acknowledgment and confession from joy of heart.

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

playeth
To play,' as in Zechariah 8:5, signifies some kind of interior festivity arising from the affection of truth and good.

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...


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