In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...
'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...
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...
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...
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...
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...
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...
'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...
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...
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.
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...
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...
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...
'South' denotes truth in light.
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...
'Loins' in general, signify love, and when referring to the Lord, divine love. 'Loins' signify the interiors of conjugial love. Loins,' as in Isaiah 11:5,...
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...
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...
'To melt' denotes vanishing before the heat of lust.
A knee,' as in Genesis 30:5, signifies conjugial love. The king,' as in Isaiah 66:12, signifies celestial love. A knee,' as in Ezekiel 7:17, signifies...
'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...
'Slaughter' signifies perdition and damnation. 'Slaughter' and 'a storm of slaughter,' signifies evils which destroy the goods of the church. 'The day of great slaughter'...
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....
'To wail and howl,' as in Micah 1:8, signifies the grief of the angels of heaven and the people of the church, where the church...
In Revelation 19:16, 'the Lord’s thigh' signifies the Word regarding its divine good. 'The thigh and loins' signify conjugial love, and because this is the...
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.
'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.
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.
'A multitude of slain' relates to people who perish from falsities, and 'a great number of carcasses,' of people who perish from evils, as in...
Great men, as in Revelation 6:15, signify those who are in good, and, in an opposite sense, those who are in evil. Great men, as...
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...
In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...
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...
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.
Babylon was an ancient city built on the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. It once was the capital of a great empire...
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.
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...
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.
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....
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.
The children of Ammon ('Jeremiah 49:1'), signify those who falsify the truths of the Word, and of the church.
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.
'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...
'Shafts' or 'arrows' signify truths and spiritual truth.
'Images' denote things fashioned from man’s own intelligence.
'The liver,' as in Exodus 29:13, signifies interior purification, and 'the caul above the liver,' the inferior good of the external or natural self.
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.
Open the mouth
'To open the mouth,' as in Revelation 12:16, signifies bringing truths from the Word.
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...
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.
'Shouting, singing, and playing' have respect to spiritual things.
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.
Fortifications denote truths so far as they defend good. Fortifications signify defense against falsities and evils.
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...
The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.
'Transgressions' or 'trespasses' denote such evils as are done against the truths of faith.
'Bound up transgressions,' as in Lamentations 1:14, stands for falsities coming up towards interior or rational things.
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...
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...
'A turban' signifies intelligence of truth.
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...
'Lightning' is the radiance and brilliance of God's truth.
'Vanity' signifies evil and the falsity of evil. 'Vanities of strangers' signifies falsities of religion.
When people lie or speak falsely in the Bible, It represents what Swedenborg calls "falsity of faith" and the resulting "evil of faith." This is...
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...
'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.
The creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis means the new creation of the celestial church called 'Man'.
Pouring out the vials upon the earth, which contained the plagues,' in Revelation 16:1, signifies influx of the reformed into the church, or into people...
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...
'A skilled man' relates to the affection of truth, or people in the affection of truth.
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...