Matthew 19

Study the Inner Meaning

King James Version         

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1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Matthew 19      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1, 2. That the Lord, as to His Humanity, arose out of scientifics into the exterior goods of the church, and introduced heavenly order into those goods.

Verses 3, 4, 5. Teaching from the Word, that every truth has its proper good, and every good its proper truth, and that the understanding of truth ought to be separated from all that is evil and false, that it may be conjoined to the will of good, so that both together may be made one good.

Verse 6. In which case they are no longer divided, but united in heavenly marriage, agreeably to Divine Order, which is sacred and inviolable.

Verses 8, 9. And although the external of the Word appears to teach otherwise, yet this is merely in accommodation to the natural mind, which is not qualified to receive a purer law, but it is not according to the original order of God.

Verse 9. For the order of God requires, that the understanding of truth shall not in any wise separate itself from its proper will of good, so long as that will abides in good, and does not decline to evil; because, in such case, spiritual disorder and defilement ensue.

Verses 10, 11. And although this law appears to the natural man to be of difficult observance, yet it is not so to the spiritual and the celestial man.

Verse 12. For the heavenly marriage with the celestial man is effected by the love of truth for its own sake, thus by the Lord through love to Him; and with the spiritual man, by truth first received in the memory, and next intellectually in the thought, thus by the Lord through the understanding of truth; and with the natural man, by scientifics of truths, and by correspondent good of life, thus by the Lord through scientifics of truth; which things can only be comprehended by the intelligent.

Verses 13, 14, 15. That the goods and truths of innocence ought all to be ascribed to the Lord, because heaven consists in such acknowledgement, and the Lord has communication with those goods and truths.

Verses 16- 22. No one therefore can enter into heaven, unless he acknowledge the Lord, even as to His Human Essence, to be the God of heaven, and that from Him is every good which is good, and unless he live also according to the precepts of the Decalogue, by abstaining from those evils as sins, which are there forbidden.

Verse 17. For the Lord alone is good, and the source of good; and the way to attain conjunction of life with Him is to observe His precepts.

Verses 18, 19. Which precepts teach that man ought not to destroy or to pervert in himself the life of love and charity, nor to ascribe that life to himself, but to the Lord alone, nor to call anything good or true but what is of the Lord, thus that he should respect and exalt in himself the Divine Love and Wisdom above every other good and truth, and cherish what is of God in another as in himself.

Verses 20, 21. That these precepts cannot be fulfilled until man removes his heart from riches, fights against cravings, and acknowledges the Lord to be God.

Verse 22. Which things appear grievous to those who are in the knowledges of truth separate from the good of charity.

Verses 23, 24. Therefore those knowledges, when so separated from life, are rather hindrances to the attainment of conjunction with the Lord, since it is contrary to order that sciences or knowledges of themselves, without the life of love and charity, should be introduced into heaven.

Verses 25, 26. Nevertheless they are no hindrances, if the Divine Truth be respected and exalted.

Verses 27, 28. For all who renounce the corruptions of self-love, and acknowledge the Lord, as to His Human Essence, to be God, shall be exalted to communication and conjunction with the Lord, in His Divine Truth, and thus to dominion over all inferior goods and truths.

Verse 29. And all who reject their hereditary evils and falsities, through faith and love to the Lord's Divine Humanity, shall have eternal conjunction with the Lord in the good of His love.

Verse 30. But they who place merit in their own works, instead of ascribing it to the Lord, cannot attain such conjunction.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 128, 233, 394, 1017, 1059, 1072, 2027, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 79, 81, 233, 273, 284, 618, 798, ...

Conjugial Love 50, 112, 156, 194, 215, 255, 276, ...

Divine Providence 230, 324

Doctrine of the Lord 25, 45

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51

Heaven and Hell 281, 357, 365, 372

True Christian Religion 226, 729


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 39, 102, 186, 206, 253, 254, ...

De Verbo (The Word) 5, 15

Justification 31, 44

Spiritual Experiences 1061, 1321, 1466

Marriage 119

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 14, 33, 87

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 1:27, 2:24, 5:2, 18:14

Exodus 20:12, 14

Leviticus 18:5

Deuteronomy 5:16, 22:19, 29

Nehemiah 9:29

Job 42:2

Psalms 62:11, 100:5

Jeremiah 32:17

Daniel 7:9

Zechariah 12, 8:6

Malachi 2:16

Bible Word Meanings

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...

sayings
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

galilee
Galilee was the northernmost province of Biblical Judea, a hilly area relatively remote from the center of Jewish culture in Jerusalem and bordered by foreigners...

multitudes
'A multitude' relates to truths.

healed
'Healing' signifies reformation by truth derived by good. 'Healing in his wings,' as mentioned in Malachi 3:20, signifies reformation by divine truth from good.

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",...

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

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...

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...

Father and mother
Father and mother, which a man is to leave, as in Genesis 2:24, and Matthew 19:4, 5, in a spiritual sense, are his proprium of...

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...

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...

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...

fornication
The fornication of Babylon with the kings of the earth, as in Revelation 18:3, signifies the falsification of the truth of the church.

disciples
A disciple in Matthew 10:41 signifies charity and at the same time, faith from the Lord. It disciple signifies the truth of life, and a...

eunuchs
A eunuch (Isaiah 56:3, 5) denotes the natural man as to good, and the son of the stranger denotes the natural man as to truth;...

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...

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...

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.

pray
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...

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

life
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...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

Keep the commandments
To keep the commandments,' as in Revelation 14:12, signifies living according to the precepts, which the Decalogue contains in summary.

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,...

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...

poor
The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.

treasure
'Treasure,' as in Matthew 13:44, signifies divine truth in the Word.

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...

possessions
'Possessions' are spiritual riches, which are knowledges from the Word.

saved
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

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...

peter
Peter – born Simon, son of Jonah – is certainly one of the Bible's most important figures, second only to Jesus in the New Testament....

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...

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...

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

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

twelve
'Twelve' and 'twenty-four' signify everything, and refer to truths.

Twelve tribes of Israel
'The twelve tribes of Israel' signify all the goods and truths of the church in their order. 'The twelve angels' in Revelation 21:12 signify the...

twelve tribes
'The twelve tribes of Israel' signify all the goods and truths of the church in their order. 'The twelve angels' in Revelation 21:12 signify the...

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

sisters
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

wife
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

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.


 Introduction to Life After Death
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Let the Children Come to Me
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Like a Merchant Seeking Pearls
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Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: Marriage of Good and Truth
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Obtaining Conjugial Love
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Preparing to Receive Conjugial Love
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Scroll of Angelic Appearances in Christmas Story
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Face and Clothing of Love
Genuine love of marriage is seen in friendship, which is described as the face and clothing of conjugial love. To be a good spouse is to be a genuine friend.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord as Father
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sense of Touch
Touch is an important aspect of relationships with others. When we touch another person we should keep in mind what's best for others as well as what's best for ourselves.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Truly Christian Charity
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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Use 2 interlocking hearts to picture the way a couple can grow to become one in mind and heart.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 What God Hath Joined Together
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Why Be Religious? For the Sake of True Married Love
Article | Ages over 15


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