Amos 5

Study the Inner Meaning

Swedish (1917)         

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1 Hören följande ord, som jag vill uppstämma såsom klagosång över eder, I av Israels hus:

2 »Fallen är hon och kan icke mer stå upp, jungfrun Israel! Hon ligger slagen till marken i sitt land; ingen reser henne upp.»

3 Ty så säger Herren, HE EN: Den stad varifrån tusen plägade draga ut skall få behålla hundra kvar, och den stad varifrån hundra plägade draga ut skall få behålla tio kvar, i Israels hus.

4 Ty så säger HE EN till Israels hus: Söken mig, så fån I leva.

5 Men söken icke Betel, kommen icke till Gilgal, och dragen ej bort till Beer-Seba; ty Gilgal skall bliva bortfört i fångenskap, och Betel skall hemfalla åt fördärvet.

6 Söken HE EN så fån I leva; varom icke, så skall han komma över Josefs hus lik en eld; och elden skall bränna, och ingen skall släcka den, till att rädda Betel.

7 I som förvandlen rätten till malört och slån rättfärdigheten ned till jorden, veten:

8 han som har gjort Sjustjärnorna och Orion, han som kan förvandla svarta mörkret till morgon och göra dagen mörk såsom natten, han som kallar på havets vatten och gjuter det ut över jorden -- HE EN är hans namn.

9 Och han låter fördärv ljunga ned över starka fästen; ja, över fasta borgar kommer fördärv.

10 Dessa hata i porten den som försvarar vad rätt är och räkna såsom en styggelse den som talar sanning.

11 Därför, eftersom I trampen på den arme och tagen ifrån honom hans säd såsom skatt, därför hören; om I än byggen hus av huggen sten, skolen I icke få bo i dem, och om I än planteren sköna vingårdar, skolen I icke få dricka vin från dem.

12 Ty jag vet att edra överträdelser äro många och edra synder talrika, I den rättfärdiges förtryckare, som tagen mutor och vrängen rätten för de fattiga i porten.

13 Därför måste den förståndige tiga stilla i denna tid; ty det är en ond tid.

14 Söken vad gott är, och icke vad ont är, på det att I mån leva. Då skall Herren, härskarornas Gud, vara med eder, såsom I menen honom vara.

15 Haten vad ont är, och älsken vad gott är, och hållen rätten vid makt i porten; kanhända skall då Herren, härskarornas Gud, vara nådig mot Josefs kvarleva.

16 Därför, så säger HE EN, härskarornas Gud, Herren: På alla torg skall dödsklagan ljuda, och på alla gator skall man ropa: »Ack ve! Ack ve!» Åkermännen skall man mana att brista ut i jämmer, och dödsklagan skall höjas av dem som äro förfarna i sorgesång;

17 ja, i alla vingårdar skall dödsklagan ljuda, ty jag skall gå fram mitt ibland eder, säger HE EN.

18 Ve eder som åstunden HE ENS dag! Vad viljen I med HE ENS dag? Den är mörker och icke ljus.

19 Då går det, såsom när någon flyr för ett lejon, men därvid mötes av en björn, och när han då söker tillflykt i sitt hus, bliver han stungen av en orm, vid det han sätter handen mot väggen.

20 Ja, HE ENS dag är mörker och icke ljus, den är töcken utan något solsken.

21 Jag hatar edra fester, jag är led vid dem, och jag finner intet behag i edra högtidsförsamlingar.

22 Ty om I än offren åt mig brännoffer, jämte edra spisoffer, så har jag dock ingen lust till dem, ej heller gitter jag se edra tackoffer av gödda kalvar.

23 Hav bort ifrån mig dina sångers buller; jag gitter icke höra ditt psaltarspel.

24 Men må rätten flöda fram såsom vatten, och rättfärdigheten lik en bäck som aldrig sinar.

25 Framburen I väl åt mig slaktoffer och spisoffer under de fyrtio åren i öknen, I av Israels hus?

26 Så skolen I nu nödgas taga med eder Sickut, eder konung, och Kiun, eder avgudabild, stjärnguden, som I haven gjort åt eder;

27 och jag skall låta eder föras åstad i fångenskap ända bortom Damaskus, säger han vilkens namn är HE EN, härskarornas Gud.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Exploring the Meaning of Amos 5      

1-3 The Lord is sorrowful that the church, the Truth from the Divine flowing into the world, has successively been devastated, as is seen in the previous chapter, Amos 4. Verse 3 says, “The city that goes out by a thousand shall have a hundred left.” So very little truth is left to nourish the people, and this bad state is by their own doing.

4-9 Amid this dying out, the Lord entreats, almost anxiously, “Seek Me and live,” then names traps or states that will turn people from Him: Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba. The first is falsifying knowledges, the second sensuous or external pleasures; and the last “negative attitudes towards everything that constitutes faith and its doctrine (SH 3923:6). The next warning is to those “who turn justice into wormwood,” v. 7 or turn good into evil (SH 1488:2). He wants them to return to him and explains clearly that He is the source of power, the one who, “Made the Pleiades and Orion,” v. 8 and the one who “rains ruin upon the strong” v.9.

10-13 In their self-intelligence they continue to reject the Lord, to “tread down the poor,” rejecting even the little bits of truth coming to them. The people are warned, “Though you have built houses of hewn stone, yet you shall not dwell in them,” stone meaning truths of the natural (AE 745:3). The dictionary meaning of “hewn” means a workman making something, so it can be seen as coming from themselves, or their own intelligence. Anything like that is “devoid of life from the Divine” (SH 9852:2).

14-15 The path is shown for the way the Lord can be with them, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live.” It can’t be any plainer. In that way the Lord can reach out with His mercy, and “be gracious to the remnant of Joseph” v.15. The remnant is the small amount of truth, and Joseph is the spiritual part of us (SH 3921:3).

16-20 Here people are warned of how bad it will be for them when the day of the Lord comes. “Is not the day of the Lord darkness?” for those who are in evil, “with no brightness in it?” v.20. A person’s suffering will be painful, “as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him,” and terrorizing, “As though a man fled from a lion and a bear met him,” v. 19.

21-22 Their worship won’t be accepted, shown by, “I hate, I despise your feast days” v. 21. The strong language of the Lord is the mirror opposite of the depth of the evil the people are in, since only a remnant of the truth is with them, as in v. 3.

23-25 Take away your noisy songs and melodies, the Lord says, take away what sounds beautiful to you but is hurtful to the Divine because of the lack of goodness and truth. In its place he wants people to “Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mightly stream” v. 24.

26-27 If people don’t return to the Lord, everything good will be taken from them, shown in “Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus” v. 27. Damascus was the furtherest boundary of Canaan, or beyond where spiritual things reside. The “boundary of Damascus” is also used in Ezekiel 47:16-18 (AE 1088).

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 205


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Caelestia 195, 468, 576, 922, 925, 1071, 1715, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 316, 410, 413, 501, 573, 620, 650, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 38

Sacred Scripture 85

True Christianity 51, 82, 689, 761


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 208, 365, 376, 448, 519, 526, 573, ...

Canons of the New Church 27

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 5, 56

Marriage 51, 82

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 56, 75

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

1 Mosebok 26:23, 33

2 Mosebok 11:4, 23:3, 6

3 Mosebok 26:16

5 Mosebok 28:30, 62, 63, 32:22

Josua 5:9

1 Samuelsboken 15:22

1 Konungaboken 14:15, 21:20

2 Konungaboken 15:29, 17:23, 18:36, 20:3, 23:8

2 Krönikeboken 15:2, 20:3, 4, 24:20, 21, 34:25

Job 9:9, 20:19

Psaltaren 34:13, 69:33, 97:10, 105:4

Ordspråksboken 15:8, 21:27

Predikaren 10:8

Jesaja 1:14, 5:19, 20, 10:2, 3, 24:18, 46:12, 58:2

Jeremia 4:4, 9:9, 16, 21, 18:8, 13, 22:3, 33:2, 38:20, 48:13

Hesekiel 20:16, 21:3, 34:21, 45:9

Hosea 4:3, 4, 15, 9:2, 10:12

Joel 2:2

Amos 1:5, 2:7, 3:1, 15, 4:1, 4, 13, 6:7, 12, 7:9, 10, 8:14, 9:6, 14

Jona 3:9

Mika 2:3, 3:2, 9, 11, 6:15

Habackuk 1:4

Sefanja 2:3

Matteus 24:29

Apostlagärningarna 7:42, 43

Romarbrevet 12:9

Galaterbrevet 4:16

Efesierbrevet 5:16

Hebreerbrevet 12:29

Jakobsbrevet 5:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

ord
'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...

klagosång
The children of Israel represent 'lamentation' by various things which signified some evil of the church among them for which they were punished. When they...

hus
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

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...

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...

säger
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...

he
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

stad
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

tusen
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

hundra
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

tio
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...

betel
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

gilgal
Gilgal signifies the doctrine of natural truth, serving for introduction into the church.

Josefs
Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son, is one of the favorite characters in the Bible, with his troubles, his triumphs over them, and his constant trust in...

eld
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...

malört
'Wormwood' signifies infernal falsity because of its intense bitterness, which makes meat and drink awful. 'Waters of wormwood' signifies falsities of evil.

jorden
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

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

natten
'Midnight,' as in Exodus 11:4, signifies total devastation from a state of mere falsities.

vatten
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

namn
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...

kommer
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

hata
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

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

bo
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...

vingårdar
'A vine' signifies spiritual good and truth. 'A vine' or 'vineyard' signifies the church where the Word, and the Lord in it, is known, or...

dricka
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

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

många
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...

synder
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...

tid
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

gott
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

ont
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

gud
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

gator
The phrase 'in the streets and synagogues' in Matthew 6:2, 5, and Luke 8:26-27, refers to a representative rite amongst the Jews to teach in...

dag
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

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

ljus
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...

flyr
Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

lejon
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

Björn
Bears represent the power of the literal external stories and ideas of Bible, separate from their deeper meanings. Since they are wild carnivores, this is...

Orm
'The bite of a snake' or 'serpent,' as in Amos. 5:19, signifies falsification of the Word, from the interior dominion of falsity from evil.

kalvar
Fatlings signify celestial goods and the affections thereof, and the delights of those affections. Fatlings of Bashan, as in Ezekiel 39:11, signify goods of the...

höra
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

bäck
A 'stream' signifies aspects of intelligence.

fyrtio
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

öknen
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

konung
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Damaskus
Damascus and Aroer (Isaiah 17:1, 2) signify the knowledges of truth and good. See Eliezer of Damascus.


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