Isaiah 9

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

← Isaiah 8   Isaiah 10 →

1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.

9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,

10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;

12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.

14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.

15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.

17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.

19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.

20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:

21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

← Isaiah 8   Isaiah 10 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 9


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 430, 519, 574, 897, 1085, 1232, 1259, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 21, 47, 285, 291, 306, 355, 379, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 44, 120

Conjugial Love 81, 118, 394

Divine Love and Wisdom 38

The Lord 6, 19, 38

Sacred Scripture 85, 86, 111

Heaven and Hell 216, 287, 570

True Christian Religion 30, 51, 82, 95, 98, 101, 112, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 284


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 97, 253, 304, 329, 331, 365, 386, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 29, 30

Canons of the New Church 41, 43

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 58, 60

De Domino 39

Marriage 30, 51, 82, 95, 98, 101, 112, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 2

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 32:30

Exodus 23:21

Leviticus 26:13, 26

Judges 5:30, 7:22, 8:12, 13:18

2 Samuel 7:13, 16

1 Kings 2:33, 45, 10:9, 16:21

2 Kings 9

Psalms 4:8, 45:7, 89:5

Isaiah 3:5, 12, 5:24, 25, 7:20, 10:4, 16, 26, 11:5, 14:5, 19:15, 28:1, 31:1, 32:1, 33:11, 12, 37:32

Jeremiah 9:3, 4, 15:7, 18:21, 23:5, 43:2

Lamentations 2:14

Daniel 7:14

Hosea 10

Amos 4:6, 8, 9, 10, 11

Micah 5:1

Zephaniah 1:6, 3:2

Zechariah 6:13, 11:9

Matthew 4:15, 16, 28:18

Luke 1:33, 2:7, 10, 14

Romans 9:5

2 Corinthians 4:6

Hebrews 1:8, 7:2

Word/Phrase Explanations

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

first
'The first and the last' signifies that the Lord is the only God.

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...

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

Naphtali
'Naphtali' in a supreme sense, signifies the proper power of the Lord’s divine human. In a spiritual sense, he signifies temptation and victory and a...

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...

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

Jordan
The land of Jordan,' as in Psalm 42:6, signifies what is lowly, consequently, what is distant from the celestial, as the external parts of a...

Galilee
Cana of Galilee signifies the church among the Gentiles.

Nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

people
"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...

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

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

seen
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...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

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...

shadow
Since the sun’s light represents the Lord’s Divine Truth, “shade” represents a spiritual state in which that light is blocked. The Writings often use the...

Shadow of death
'The shadow of death' has respect to the states of people in hell, who are in the falsities of evil.

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...

Nation
'A nation,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies the spiritual church which should receive the good of faith. Nation from afar,' as in Jeremiah 5:17, signifies...

joy
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...

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 sickle,' as in Revelation 14, signifies the divine truth of the Word, because 'a harvest' signifies the state of the church regarding divine truth...

Spoil
'To spoil,' as in Genesis 34:27, signifies destruction. 'Spoil,' as in Deuteronomy 13:16, signifies the falsification of truth.

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

Staff
'A staff' signifies power because it is a support for the hand and arm, and through these to the whole body. A staff takes on the...

Shoulder
'The shoulder' signifies all power. 'The shoulder,' as in Ezekiel 29:7, signifies the power or faculty of understanding truth. 'To dwell between his shoulders,' as...

rod
To ask counsel at their stocks,' as in Hosea 4:12, signifies the good of the delight that comes from some lusts.

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

Midian
'Midian' signifies people who are in falsity.

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...

noise
'A voice crying,' and 'the voice of a cry,' are common expressions in the Word, and are applied whenever there is a noise or disturbance,...

Garments
The garments of the Lord were divided by the soldiers, but not the vesture, which was without seam woven from the top throughout (John 19:23)....

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...

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...

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...

child
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....

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...

Government
Government upon his shoulder,' as in Isaiah 9:5, 6, signifies all divine truth in the heavens from the Lord himself, because the heavens are distinguished...

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...

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...

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...

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...

everlasting
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

increase
'Produce' denotes fruit derived from the good of charity, and truth of faith.

Throne of David
'The throne of David,' as in Isaiah 9:6, signifies the Lord's spiritual kingdom.

Throne
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

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...

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

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.

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...

Hosts
When the divine power of good or omnipotence is being discussed in the Word, then says 'Jehovah Zebaoth,' or 'Jehovah of hosts,' and also 'Lord,'...

Sent
'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...

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...

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

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...

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...

ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

Samaria
'Samaria,' as in Amos 4:1. 6:1, signifies the spiritual church perverted.

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...

Pride
'Pride' signifies the love of self.

stoutness
The word used for 'activity,' as in Genesis 47:6, in Hebrew also means 'strength' and 'virtue,' which, in the internal sense, means something that prevails,...

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...

fallen
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...

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,"...

build
There are really two meanings for "build" in the Bible. When something is being built for the first time, or built in the most typical...

stones
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

cedars
'Libanus' signifies the spiritual church. The glory of Libanus,' as in Isaiah 9:13, signifies the celestial spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom and church.

adversaries
Foes, or adversaries, denote the falsities of evil. Foes, or adversaries, when predicate of the Lord, signifies to avert falsities derived from evil.

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...

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...

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

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

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...

anger
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

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...

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

stretched
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

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...

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....

Tail
'Tail' signifies the opposite extreme of the head, because the brain is continued to the tail through the spine, This is why the head and...

Branch
A branch (Matt. 24:32) signifies affection, for affection springs and flourishes from good as a branch Springs from its trunk. A branch (Mal. 4:1) denotes...

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...

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...

led
The meaning of "leading" people in the Bible is pretty straightforward, though obviously it is about leading people in spiritual things, not natural ones. When...

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...

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

Fatherless
The fatherless signify those who are in good without truth, and are desirous by truth to be led to good.

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

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

Folly
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 9:17: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

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

briers
'Thorns, briers, brambles, and thistles' signifies falsities of evil because of their stings or prickles.

Thickets
In Jeremiah 4:7, facts are called 'thickets,' because facts are by nature like thickets, especially when the desires of self-love and love of the world...

forest
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

mount
'Mount Olivet' signifies the celestial church, or celestial good, which comes from love towards the Lord, and divine love.

Smoke
'Smoke' signifies divine truth in extremes, because 'fire' which gives off smoke, signifies love. 'Smoke' also signifies the same thing as 'cloud' in many places....

wrath
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

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...

Right hand
'The right hand' signifies the whole of a person regarding intellectual power, and so, regarding faith. 'To place the right hand on the head,' signifies...

hungry
Food and drink in the Bible represent the desire for good and the understanding of what is true, which nourish and delight us spiritually the...

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...

Left hand
'The left hand' in a negative sense signifies falsity which is used to produce evil.

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...

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...

Manasseh
'Manasseh' signifies the will of the spiritual church.

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.

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.


 Christmas Prophecies
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Christ the King
As you celebrate Easter this year, you can remember the Lord’s suffering, but more importantly, we can rejoice in the success of the Lord’s mission while He lived on earth. He brought the heavens into order and conquered the hells. He provided for people’s freedom to choose a life of heaven, and He showed how He is indeed our Heavenly King. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 5, for ages 10-11.
Religion Lesson | Ages 10 - 11

 Do Not Be Afraid
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 His Name Is Wonderful
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 His Name Shall Be Called
Make a picture of the Lord, think about the names mentioned in Isaiah 9, and write the names around the picture.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 His Name Will Be Called: The Development of the Lord in Our Lives
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 I Am the Light of the World
This sermon explores light and darkness, focusing on how the prophecy in Isaiah (9:2) can help us understand the nature of God, what He longs to do, and the kind of life to which He leads us.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Light in the Darkness
Children will enjoy using special materials to picture the bright, beautiful light that the Lord brought into the world when He was born on earth.
Project | Ages up to 10

 Memory Verse: Glory of the Lord
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Prophecies of the Advent
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Unto Us a Child Is Born
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Names of the Lord
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Prophecies of the Messiah
One of the most important events in the history of human beings is the birth of the Lord on earth as an infant. By the time the Lord was actually born, the truths of the Word had been lost or perverted. But there had been prophets who told people that the Lord was going to come on earth and gave them hope. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 6, for ages 11-12.
Religion Lesson | Ages 11 - 12

 Quotes: Prophecies of the Advent
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Unto Us a Child Is Born
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Lord Is the Hero of War
Color picture of the Commander of the Lord's army appearing to Joshua.
Picture | All Ages

 The Prince of Peace
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Unto Us a Child Is Born
The prophecy "Unto Us a Child Is Born" printed in a color border.
Picture | Ages over 15

 Why the Lord Has Different Names
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Why the Lord Was Born on Earth
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Wonderful
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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