Ezekiel 33

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version      

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1 Again the word of the LORD 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, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he 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 shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any 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, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

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

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, 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 Therefore, 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: 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 for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely 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 committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye 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, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.

22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.

25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; 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 GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes 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 be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.

28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.

29 Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.

30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against 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 the LORD.

31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, 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

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

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...

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...

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...

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...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

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....

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...

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
'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...

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...

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...

Trumpet
The sounds of trumpets are heard in heaven when assemblies and appointments happen. So among the children of Israel, for whom everything was representative of...

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...

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...

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...

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...

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

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

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...

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...

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
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...

die
Death in the Bible represents spiritual death, or the destruction of everything that is good and all true beliefs in someone. This happens when people...

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.

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...

pleasure
'To be satisfied with favor' signifies being filled with the good of love, and 'to be full with the blessings of the Lord' signifies being...

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
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

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

transgression
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...

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

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...

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...

pledge
Pledges and sureties in the Bible are similar ideas; both are ways of providing assurance that a promise will be kept. The difference is that...

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

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...

came to pass
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...

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...

Captivity
Captivity and spoil (Daniel 11:33) signifies the deprivation of every truth and good.

tenth
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

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...

city
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

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...

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

Dumb
To be dumb, or unable to speak, as in Isaiah 35:6, signifies those who on account of ignorance of the truth, cannot confess the Lord,...

Inhabit
'Inhabit' refers to good.

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

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...

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...

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

wife
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

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...

beasts
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

pestilence
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

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...

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

still
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

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
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...

sit
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

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...

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

Shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

much
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...

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...

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...

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

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...

Voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

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

well
A pit,' or 'well which has no water,' as in Jeremiah 2:13, signifies doctrines which have no truths.

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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