2 Samuel 1

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

← 1 Samuel 31   2 Samuel 2 →

1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;

2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.

3 And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.

4 And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.

5 And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?

6 And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.

7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.

8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.

9 And he said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.

10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.

11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:

12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

13 And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite.

14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?

15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD's anointed.

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:

18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.

25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou was slain in thine high places.

26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

← 1 Samuel 31   2 Samuel 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 66, 1197, 1408, 2576, 2686, 3024, 3105, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 11, 53, 166, 281, 299, 300, 501, ...

Sacred Scripture 103

Faith 51

True Christian Religion 265, 279


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 278, 281, 357, 358, 375, 652, ...

De Verbo (The Word) 15

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Joshua 7:6, 10:13

Judges 9:54

Ruth 2:3

1 Samuel 6:17, 14:47, 48, 18:1, 20:41, 24:7, 11, 25:39, 26:9, 30:13, 17, 26, 31:1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13

2 Samuel 3:29, 31, 33, 35, 4:10, 13:19, 14:4, 15:32, 24:20

2 Kings 5:7

2 Chronicles 35:25

Psalms 14, 105:15

Proverbs 18:24, 30:30

Isaiah 21:5

Jeremiah 50:9

Micah 1:10

Luke 19:22

Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

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...

saul
Saul was the first king of Israel, anointed by Samuel when the people insisted on having a king. Like all the kings, both good and...

david
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

Slaughter
'Slaughter' signifies perdition and damnation. 'Slaughter' and 'a storm of slaughter,' signifies evils which destroy the goods of the church. 'The day of great slaughter'...

Two days
'Two days,' as in Hosea 6:2, signifies the time and state which precedes judgment.

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

Third
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

Third day
'The third day' signifies the end of a state of preparation for reception, and so an end of purification, as in Exodus 19:16. 'The third...

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

camp
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

clothes
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith. 'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost...

Earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

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

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....

fell
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...

said
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...

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...

Tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

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...

battle
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

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...

Dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

jonathan
There is little direct teaching about Jonathan in Swedenborg. He is the son of Saul, the first king of Israel (I Samuel: 9-10) and the...

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

young
'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

happened
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

Mount
Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

spear
'Spears and swords' signify truths adapted to spiritual warfare.

Behind
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

saw
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...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

stand
'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...

Slay
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

life
According to Swedenborg, the Lord is life itself, and we are recipients of life. This is true even of the most evil spirits, who loved...

Crown
The crown of glory in the hand of Jeho­vah (Isa 62:3) signifies wisdom which is of good, and a royal diadem in the hand of...

bracelet
'A scarf,' as in Genesis 38:18, denotes truth, because it is one of the items associated with 'garments', and 'garments' in general mean truths. As...

my lord
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

Hold
'A hold,' 'a den,' or 'dungeon,' as mentioned in Revelation 18:2, signifies hell, because people who are there are in confinement.

men
"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...

mourned
In a general sense, mourning in the Bible represents a state of grief over the lack of desires for good and true ideas about life....

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

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...

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...

stranger
'A sojourner' or 'stranger,' as in Matthew 25:32, signifies someone who is willing to be instructed.

afraid
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

anointed
Oil in the Bible represents the Lord’s love, so anointing someone (or something) with oil was a way to make that person (or object) a...

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...

young men
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

go
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...

Near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

died
'The soul going forth' and 'dying,' as in Genesis 35:18, signifies the extreme of temptation, which is when the old self dies and the new...

blood
The internal meaning of “blood” is a little tricky, because Swedenborg gives two meanings that seem quite different. In most cases, Swedenborg links blood with...

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...

Slain
'The slain' when referring to the Lord, as in Revelation 5, means the separation of everything from the divine. In denial of His divinity, He...

Lamentation
The children of Israel represent 'lamentation' by various things which signified some evil of the church among them for which they were punished. When they...

over
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

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....

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

Bow
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

the book of Jasher
The book of Jasher,' referred to in Joshua 10:10, 12,13, and 2 Samuel 1:17, 18, is contained in the ancient Word, which was extant in...

Book
(Rev. 10:9.) "And I went unto the angel, saying, give me the little book," signifies the faculty of perceiving the quality of the Word from...

Beauty
Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

Mighty
Mighty,' as in Revelation 19:18, signify people who are educated about doctrine derived from the Word. By extension, 'mighty' signifies education or learning derived from...

Gath
Gath, a city of the Philistines, signifies the spiritual principle of the church.

Streets
The phrase 'in the streets and synagogues' in Matthew 6:2, 5, and Luke 8:26-27, refers to a representative rite amongst the Jews to teach in...

the daughters of
The daughters of Rabbah' signify people who are in natural good and falsify the truths of the church.

Daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

philistines
The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

rejoice
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

Uncircumcised
'The uncircumcised,' as in Ezekiel 31:18, signifies people lacking the good of charity.

mountains
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

Dew
Dew, in Deut. 32:2 signifies the multiplication of truth from good, and the fructification of good by truth.

Rain
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

fields
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...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

Shield
'A shield' signifies defense which is trusted against evils and falsities. In respect to the Lord, it signifies defense, and in respect to people, confidence...

cast
For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

oil
Oil – typically olive oil – was an extremely important product in Biblical times, for food preparation, medicinal ointment and for burning in lamps. As...

the blood of the
‘The blood of the grape’ signifies spiritual celestial good, which is the name given to the divine in heaven as it goes out from the...

Fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

turned
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...

back
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

pleasant
Generally, when the Bible describes something as "pleasant" or "desirable," it is talking about true ideas and concepts, things of the intellect. A good example...

Lives
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

weep
'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief. 'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief.

Scarlet
'Scarlet,' as in Isaiah 1:18, signifies truth derived from good, or truth from a celestial origin, such as is the truth of the Word in...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

Put on
'To put on' is communication and imbuement.

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

Brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

love
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

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.


 For This Child I Prayed
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


Translate: