Deuteronomy 12

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

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1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:

6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:

7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

9 For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.

10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:

12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:

14 But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

17 Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:

18 But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.

20 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

21 If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.

23 Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.

25 Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.

26 Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose:

27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;

30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 796, 1001, 1045, 1947, 2009, 2187, 2722, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 81, 379, 781

Sacred Scripture 101

True Christian Religion 264, 298, 706


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 102, 329, 391, 405, 617, 1045, 1082

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  PDF Resources


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 23:24, 34:24

Leviticus 3:17, 17:3, 4, 11, 18:3, 21, 30, 20:2, 23:40, 25:18, 19

Numbers 5:9

Deuteronomy 3:18, 5:1, 6:1, 7:5, 16, 10:9, 11:16, 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 14:5, 23, 26, 27, 29, 15:19, 20, 22, 23, 16:2, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 17:8, 18:6, 9, 10, 19:1, 20:18, 21:9, 26:2, 11, 27:7, 31:11, 33:28

Joshua 9:27, 11:23, 14:1, 21:43, 22:11, 16, 29

Judges 17:6

1 Samuel 1:21

1 Kings 8:29, 12:27, 14:23

2 Kings 3:27, 16:10, 17:15, 18:22

1 Chronicles 22:1, 18, 29:22

2 Chronicles 7:12, 14:2, 33:2

Nehemiah 1:9, 8:9

Psalms 66:13, 78:58, 106:35, 116:17

Isaiah 62:9

Jeremiah 2:20, 7:12, 21, 17:2, 31:2

Ezekiel 11:12, 38:11, 44:3

Micah 2:10

John 4:20

Acts of the Apostles 13:19

Philippians 4:4

Hebrews 8

Word/Phrase Explanations

Statutes and judgments
In Deuteronomy 11:1, 'statutes' signify the external parts of the Word, such as rituals, and representations of the internal sense. 'Judgments' signify the internal parts...

Judgments
'Great judgments' signify the laws of divine order, or divine truths.

Observe
'To observe' stands for all aspects of the Word in general.

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

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...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

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...

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

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...

nations
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...

served
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

gods
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

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

high mountains
'Towers' in the Word refer to truths, and 'mountains' to goods.

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...

hills
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...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

green
The color green is almost exclusively used in connection with plants in the Bible (the exceptions include two stomach-turning references to moldy plagues in Leviticus),...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

break
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

pillars
The images of Beth-Shemesh (the house of the sun), as in Jeremiah 43:13, signify self worship.

groves
'Olive yards,' as in Amos 4:9, signify the celestial aspects of the church.

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Images
'Images' denote things fashioned from man’s own intelligence.

names
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

Tribes
In general, 'the twelve tribes' signify every aspect of the doctrine of truth and good, or of faith and love. Truth and good, or faith...

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

habitation
'The sanctuary and habitation' together signify heaven and the church, 'sanctuary' regarding the good of love, and 'tabernacle' regarding truths of that good, because the...

seek
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

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

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...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

Tithes
'Tithes' or 'ten' denotes fullness, and 'a tenth part,' sufficiency.

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

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...

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...

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...

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

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

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...

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...

the rest
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

rest
'To slumber' and 'sleep' denotes the state of a person who is not in truths, as in Jeremiah 51:39, 57, Psalm 8:3 and 76:5, and...

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

giveth
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...

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...

jordan
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

Round
Something 'round' relates to good. 'A small round thing,' as in Exodus 16:14, refers to the good of truth in its first formation. This is...

command
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

Heave offering
'A heave offering,' as mentioned in Exodus 29:27, signifies the divine celestial which belongs to the Lord alone, perceived in heaven and the church.

Vow
In Genesis 28:20, 'he vowed a vow' denotes, in the internal sense, willing that the Lord will provide. In the highest sense, where the Lord...

sons
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...

daughters
Marriages among people – both in the Bible and in life – represent spiritual marriage. Women represent the desire to be good and to do...

gates
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

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...

kill
The Lord is love itself, and that love is the ultimate source of all energy and thus of all life. It follows, then, that the...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

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...

Blessing
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

Hart
'A hart' signifies the natural affection of truth.

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...

water
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

corn
The word “corn” can be a bit tricky when looking at spiritual meanings, because there are two different Hebrew words with different meanings which are...

oil
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

Flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

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...

daughter
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...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

Border
A border as in Isaiah 54:12 signifies the scientific and sensual principle. "And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand-breath round about."...

say
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...

Herd
'A herd,' as mentioned in Genesis 32:7, denotes exterior or natural good, and also not good things.

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...

Well
'A well,' as in Numbers 21:17-18, signifies the Word of the ancient church. 'A well,' or 'pit,' as in Luke 14:5, signifies falsity and 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....

sight
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...

holy
The Bible describes many things as being holy, or sacred. The Ark of the Covenant is one very holy object. The inmost chamber of the...

Altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

hear
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...

Words
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

following
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...


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