Mark 12

Study the Inner Meaning

King James Version         

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1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.

8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.

21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.

23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

35 And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?

36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Mark 12      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of Mark 12

Verse 1. THAT spiritual truth is communicated from the LORD by the Word to man, as a security against evils and falsities, and for the procuring of heavenly good, and for elevation to interior intelligence, whilst the LORD Himself appears absent.

Verse 2. For the LORD is continually intent on producing in man's mind the good of love and charity, and on instructing man by His Word that this good ought to be acknowledged as a Divine gift, and thus returned to Himself, the giver.

Verses 3, 4, 5. But they who are in the science of truth without its life, either pervert, or reject, or falsify the truth.

Verses 6, 7, 8. Insomuch that they reject the Divine Truth itself, or the Word, when manifested in the flesh, and thus appropriate all good and truth to themselves, instead of ascribing them to their Divine Source.

Verse 9. Therefore they perish in the day of judgement, being deprived of all knowledge of the truth, which is transferred to those who are principled in good.

Verses 10, 11. Thus fulfilling the prediction which teaches that the LORD'S Humanity, which is Divine Truth, should, by such rejection, be exalted to union with the Divinity through its own proper power, and should thus become the supreme object of worship and adoration.

Verses 13, 14, and part of 15. That they who are in hypocritical worship treat the Word with outward respect, and consult it for the regulation of the external man as to things of moral and civil life.

Verse 15, latter part. But this they do without any regard to the regulation of the internal man.

Verses 16, 17. Whereas the Word teaches by significatives that the external man bears the image of the world for which it was created, and therefore ought to be regulated by and submit to the laws of moral and civil life; but that the internal man bears the image of heaven for which it was created, and therefore ought to be regulated by and submit to the laws of heavenly or spiritual life.

Verses 18-24. That they also who deny the Scripture doctrine of regeneration consult the Word respecting the heavenly marriage of good and truth.

Verse 24. But being perplexed about it, they are instructed that their perplexity is the effect of their ignorance, in consequence of not admitting into their minds and lives the Divine Truth and Good of the Word by regeneration.

Verse 25. Which heavenly principles must be admitted during man's abode in this world, otherwise they cannot be admitted after death; and which, if admitted, form angelic life.

Verses 26, 27. Therefore the Word teaches that all celestial, spiritual, and natural good and truth are from the LORD, and that none can attain such good and truth but in the degree in which they renounce self-love, and cherish heavenly love.

Verses 28-30. The Word further teaches that the LORD, in His Divine Humanity, is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom United, and is thus the Only GOD; and that He ought to be loved by man with the whole of his will, and of his understanding, also with those things which are of the will and of the understanding in the external man.

Verse 31. In like manner man ought to love the good and truth which are from the LORD in others as in himself.

Verses 32-34. Which doctrine is assented to even by those who are of the perverted church, and who, on that account, are pronounced by the LORD to be in the way of advancement towards heaven.

Verses 35-37. The Word further teaches that man ought to consider well the quality of the LORD'S Humanity, so as to discern clearly, that although before glorification it was the Son of Mary and of David, yet after glorification it ceased to be so, being then one with the Eternal FATHER, and thus having Omnipotence and Omniscience.

Verses 38-40. Caution also is necessary respecting those in the perverted church, who seek preeminence in the communication of good and of truth, and to be thought better and wiser than others, whilst under a pretence of piety they deprive those of truth who are in the desire of truth, and thus increase their own condemnation.

Verses 41, 42. For the LORD, from His Divine Love, perceives the quality of everyone's worship, as proceeding either from the knowledges of truth in the understanding, or from the desire of truth in the will.

Verses 43, 44. But the worship proceeding from the latter source is more acceptable to Him than the worship proceeding from the former source.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 36, 342, 344, 1017, 1038, 1069, 1200, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 342, 505, 650, 681, 915

Conjugial Love 41, 315

Doctrine of the Lord 9, 14, 35, 45, 51

True Christian Religion 6, 81, 102, 697


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 253, 298, 315, 411, 417, 532, 687, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 2

Spiritual Experiences 1757, 5798

Marriage 6, 81, 102

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 3:2, 6:7

Leviticus 19:18

Deuteronomy 4:35, 39, 6:4, 10:12, 25:5

1 Samuel 15:22

1 Kings 19:10

2 Kings 12:10

2 Chronicles 36:16

Psalms 110:1, 118:22, 23

Proverbs 26:24

Isaiah 5:2, 7, 29:21, 45:5, 46:9

Jeremiah 2:30

Hosea 6:6

Micah 6

Bible Word Meanings

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...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

killed
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...

killing
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...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

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...

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...

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

Scripture
The sacred scripture, or Word, is divine truth itself. The whole sacred scripture is nothing but the doctrine of love and charity.

hold
'To hold fast' signifies permanence in a state of good of love and faith up to the visitation.

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

way
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....

pharisees
The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish church at the time of the New Testament. The name comes from a root that means "separate",...

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...

TRUE
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

in truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

penny
A penny,' as in Revelation 6, signifies something so small that it is barely anything.

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...

saith
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...

image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

answering
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

render
'To reward' signifies meting out punishment.

marvelled
In Revelation 13:3, 'all the world wondered after the beast,' signifies that faith alone was gladly received and became the doctrine of the whole church.

resurrection
'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...

asked
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

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...

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...

dying
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...

died
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...

third
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...

rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

angels
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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

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...

isaac
'Isaac' represents spiritual love. 'Isaac,' in Genesis 17:19, signifies the rational divine. 'Isaac' signifies the Lord's divine rational in reference to divine good. Isaac' signifies...

God of Jacob
The God of Jacob signifies goods in act.

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...

scribes
'A scribe,' as in Isaiah 33:18, denotes intelligence. 'A scribe,' as in Matthew 23, signifies the Word from which doctrine is derived.

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...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

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...

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...

neighbour
'The neighbor' is not only an individual person, but also people collectively, as a less or greater society, our country, the church, the Lord’s kingdom,...

scribe
'A scribe,' as in Isaiah 33:18, denotes intelligence. 'A scribe,' as in Matthew 23, signifies the Word from which doctrine is derived.

the truth
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...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

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...

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...

ask
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

question
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

the temple
'Solomon's temple' represents heaven and the church.

christ
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...

ghost
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

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...

whence
According to Swedenborg, time and space are physical realities which do not exist in the spiritual realm. Instead, people in the spiritual world experience differences...

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

clothing
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

prayers
When people pray in the Bible, it means they are opening up their internal states. When it is the Lord praying, or a figure who...

sat
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...

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....

poor
"The Word talks frequently about aiding the poor and needy. People in possession of external truths who have not yet been brought to internal truths...

Mites
'Mites' corresponds to evil uses.

Farthing
To pay the uttermost farthing, as in Matthew 5:21, 26, signifies the punishment which is called eternal fire.

disciples
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...

want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

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.


 Friendships: Men and Women
Getting to know a variety of men or women helps us learn about the opposite sex and ultimately helps us learn what qualities we care about and will want in the person we marry.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Marriage after Death
The New Church teaches that partners who are happily married can live together as angels to eternity after death.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Marriages in Heaven
Marriage begins here on earth and continues in heaven. That means that you can fall in love and marry someone here, and you will be together with that person, forever, as angels in heaven.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: Worship of the Heart
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Prayers for Children: Help Me Be Kind and Just
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Teens: Marriage of Good and Truth
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Roll Away the Stone
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Worshiping the One True God
Worship Talk | Ages over 18


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