Exodus 23

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version         

← Exodus 22   Exodus 24 →

1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

4 If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:

11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)

16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.

27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.

28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.

30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

← Exodus 22   Exodus 24 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 737, 1001, 1444, 1736, 1754, 1925, 2342, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 44, 81, 344, 444, 567, 578, 623, ...

True Christian Religion 299


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 130, 313, 329, 388, 412, 518, 650, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 12:3, 15:18, 21, 24:7, 35:5, 39:17

Exodus 12:10, 15, 13:3, 4, 15:16, 26, 18:8, 20:3, 5, 8, 10, 16, 22:20, 28, 32:34, 33:2, 34:12, 13, 17, 18, 24

Leviticus 18:3, 19:15, 16, 23:6, 9, 10, 17, 34, 39, 25:3, 7

Numbers 14:11, 35, 15:21, 18:12, 13, 20:16, 22:3, 24:8, 25:2, 28:26, 34:2, 12

Deuteronomy 1:17, 2:25, 6:1, 13, 19, 7:1, 2, 5, 14, 20, 22, 9:3, 11:24, 12:30, 14:21, 15:11, 16:1, 19, 19:16, 20:18, 22:1, 26:10, 33:27

Joshua 2:24, 5:13, 14, 9:7, 10:40, 13:6, 22:5, 23:7, 13, 24:8, 12, 15, 19

Judges 2:2, 3, 13:18

1 Samuel 8:3, 15:24

1 Kings 9:25

2 Kings 17:8, 11, 18:4

1 Chronicles 28:8

2 Chronicles 9:26, 14:2, 25:14

Nehemiah 10:32, 36

Job 5:26

Psalms 35:1, 42:3, 72:8, 82:3, 91:11, 94:21, 106:36

Proverbs 3:9, 11:21, 17:15, 23, 18:5, 22:22

Ecclesiastes 7:7

Isaiah 5:20, 23, 9:5, 10:1, 2, 33:15, 63:9

Ezekiel 22:29, 44:30, 46:9, 48:13, 14

Hosea 10:2

Amos 5:12

Micah 6:6

Zechariah 12:8, 13:2

Malachi 3:1

Matthew 28:12

Mark 2:27, 15:15

Luke 2:41, 6:27, 23:24

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

witness
Galeed, a heap and a witness, mentioned in Genesis 31:47, signifies quality on the part of good of the divine natural principle.

follow
To go after or to follow, as in Genesis 24:8, signifies to be separated from the natural, and conjoined to the rational principle.

multitude
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...

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

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

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...

meet
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

enemy's
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...

enemy
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...

ass
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

going
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...

back
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...

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

hateth
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

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...

burden
A burden (Jer. 17:4) signifies that which is from the proprium of man.

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...

poor
In most cases, those described as "needy" in the Bible are those who lack true knowledge of the Lord and his teachings, but have a...

righteous
'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.

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...

justify
'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.

words
'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...

stranger
'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, 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...

seeing
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...

strangers
The word "stranger" is used many times in the Bible, and it is sometimes paired with the word "sojourner". They are different concepts in the...

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

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

six
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

Gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

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...

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...

Vineyard
'Vineyard and branch,' as in Psalm 80:15, signifies the spiritual church represented by the sons of Israel.

oliveyard
'An olive,' as in Isaiah 17:6, signifies celestial remains. 'An olive' signifies love and charity, because 'the olive tree' signifies the celestial church, and so...

Six days
The six days' or periods of time, are the various consecutive states in a person's regeneration. They are, in general, as follows: The first state...

days
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
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...

work
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

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...

handmaid
'Maids' denote external affections serving the internal.

all things
The Lord is life itself, is the Creator of the universe, and is the source of life on an ongoing basis. So in a literal...

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...

make
'Make mention' denotes communication.

Mention
'Make mention' denotes communication.

name
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...

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

heard
'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...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

Unleavened bread
'Unleavened bread' signifies the holiness of love, or the holy of holies, so, pure love. The baking of unleavened bread is purification.

unleavened
For something to be “unleavened” means that it's been made without yeast. Since yeast is what makes bread rise and take on its airy texture,...

seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

commanded
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,...

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...

Abib
The Passover, and the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt, happened during the month Abib, in the Hebrew calendar. Abib signifies the beginning of a...

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...

Harvest
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

ingathering
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

gathered
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

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...

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...

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

leavened
Leaven' signifies evil and falsity, which should not be mixed with good and true things. In Leviticus 2:11, it says, 'no meat offering which ye...

fat
'Fat things full of marrow,' signify goods.

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

first
In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

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...

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...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

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...

seethe
'To seethe' signifies destroying truths and goods by falsities.

kid
'A kid' signifies the truth of the church. 'A kid,' as in Isaiah 11:6, signifies the genuine truth of the church and also innocence and...

mother
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

mother's
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

milk
Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

send
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

angel
'A messenger' signifies communication.

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

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

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

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...

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...

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...

go before
To "go before" in the Bible means either to lead or to prepare, depending on context. When it is said of the Lord or things...

hittites
'A Hittite' in a good sense, signifies the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. The Hittites were among the upright Gentiles who were...

Hivites
The Hivites' represent those who were in idolatry, but in which there was something of good.

Jebusites
Girgashites and Jebusites, as in Genesis 15:21, signify falsities derived from evils.

bow
To bow, as in Genesis 18:2 signifies to humble.

bow down
To bow in prayer is common in most religious practices, so it's not surprising that “to bow” in the Bible represents humility and worship in...

serve
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...

works
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

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...

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

bless
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...

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

sickness
'The sickness prior to death means a movement towards regeneration, so the next stage towards it. A person is by nature in a state of...

barren
"Sarai was barren, she had no child" (Gen 11:30), signifies that evil and falsity were not productive.

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

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...

Hornets
'Hornets,' as mentioned in Exodus 23:28, signify falsities of a tormenting and destructive kind, striking with formidable terror, or the dread of those who are...

hivite
The Hivites' represent those who were in idolatry, but in which there was something of good.

Hittite
'A Hittite' in a good sense, signifies the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. The Hittites were among the upright Gentiles who were...

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...

Red sea
'The Red sea' signifies hell and damnation, or temptation.

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

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...

desert
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

river
'Rivers' signify truths in abundance serving the rational self, and so, the understanding, for the purpose of doctrine and life. 'Rivers' or 'floods' signify temptations....

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

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...

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 at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Feast of Ingathering
Color the pictures of the Children of Israel celebrating this feast, then attach the pictures together to display.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: Our Guardian Angels
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Quotes: The Lord's Fruitful Harvest
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Thanking the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Significance of Thanksgiving
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Three Feasts
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18


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