The Bible

John 20:1-10 : The Tomb Found Empty (John)

Study the Inner Meaning

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2405, 2921


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 532, 820

De Domino 45

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


Sermons:


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Word/Phrase Explanations

the first
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first
Why would it be insulting for a man to refer to his married partner as his “first wife”? Because it implies there will be a...

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

Week
'A week' signifies state, and 'the seventh week,' a holy state. The ancients understood 'a week' to mean any period divided into seven, whether days,...

early
Since the sun represents the Lord, the early morning and sunrise represent a state of enlightenment, with a new and clear understanding coming after a...

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

stone
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...

Simon
'Simon, son of Jonah,' as in John 21:15, signifies faith from charity. 'Simon' signifies worship and obedience, and 'Jonah,' a dove, which also signifies charity.

Peter
Key of David,' as in Revelation 3:7, signifies the Lord's omnipotence over heaven and hell. 'The keys of Peter,' in Matthew 18:18, signify the same...

loved
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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Linen
Linen' signifies genuine truth.

clothes
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

following
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

lie
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Napkin
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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....

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

believed
The meaning of "believe" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but runs deeper than what appears on the surface. When in the Old Testament people...

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

rise again
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rise
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Dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

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!...

own
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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 by following this link.


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 Death and Resurrection
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Commentary

Easter Morning - The Disciples at the Tomb

The disciples Peter and John running to the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection, a painting by Eugène Burnand

In the Easter story, in the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb first, on the Sunday morning. She sees that the stone has been rolled away from where it was sealing Jesus's tomb, and that Jesus's body is not there. She runs back with the news, meeting Peter and John on her way.

John and Peter run to the tomb to see for themselves. John arrives first, and looks in, but doesn't go in. Peter arrives, and goes on into the tomb, looking around, seeing the graveclothes and the napkin. The John enters, too, and sees it all, and believes, too, that the Lord has been resurrected.

There are three kinds of "seeing" that are involved in this story - and they are the three kinds, or stages, of seeing that we need to go through. In the Greek text - the original language of the New Testament - there are three separate words used for these kinds of seeing.

Here's the Greek text, along with a very literal (Young's Literal) transation into English:

John 20:4, 5: and the two were running together, and the other disciple did run forward more quickly than Peter, and came first to the tomb, and having stooped down, seeth the linen clothes lying, yet, indeed, he entered not.

John 20:4, 5: ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ· καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμεν τάχιον τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθεν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ παρακύψας βλέπει κείμενα τὰ ὀθόνια, οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν.

βλέπει is one kind of seeing. It's an eager, first to arrive, quick assessment kind of seeing.

The second type of seeing is mentioned next, in verses 6 and 7. Look for the Greek word, θεωρεῖ, which means a more analytical, considering, careful studying.

John 20:6, 7: Simon Peter, therefore, cometh, following him, and he entered into the tomb, and beholdeth the linen clothes lying, and the napkin that was upon his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but apart, having been folded up, in one place;

John 20:6, 7: ἔρχεται οὖν καὶ Σίμων Πέτρος ἀκολουθῶν αὐτῷ, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον· καὶ θεωρεῖ τὰ ὀθόνια κείμενα, καὶ τὸ σουδάριον, ὃ ἦν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ, οὐ μετὰ τῶν ὀθονίων κείμενον ἀλλὰ χωρὶς ἐντετυλιγμένον εἰς ἕνα τόπον.

Then, in verse 8, we see the Greek word εἶδεν, which describes a third kind of seeing; one that is deeper, and sees a whole thing, and that comes before real belief.

John 20:8: then, therefore, entered also the other disciple who came first unto the tomb, and he saw, and did believe;

John 20:8: τότε οὖν εἰσῆλθεν καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς ὁ ἐλθὼν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐπίστευσεν·

There's a clear progression in the story. We need to make this progression too, in our own spiritual growth - our own Easter morning. We move from the first eagerness to see, followed by a deeper, more careful studying and assessing, and then by reaching a deeper level of insight, understanding, and belief, or faith.


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