Ezekiel 33

Study the Inner Meaning

English: World English Bible         

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1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

2 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and tell them, When I bring the sword on a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;

3 if, when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and doesn't take warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be on his own head.

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and didn't take warning; his blood shall be on him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.

6 But if the watchman sees the sword come, and doesn't blow the trumpet, and the people aren't warned, and the sword comes, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

7 So you, son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

8 When I tell the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you don't speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand.

9 Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he doesn't turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.

10 You, son of man, tell the house of Israel: Thus you speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we pine away in them; how then can we live?

11 Tell them, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel?

12 You, son of man, tell the children of your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his disobedience; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall he who is righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he sins.

13 When I tell the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he has committed, therein shall he die.

14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.

18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die therein.

19 When the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

20 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. House of Israel, I will judge every one of you after his ways.

21 It happened in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city has been struck.

22 Now the hand of Yahweh had been on me in the evening, before he who was escaped came; and he had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more mute.

23 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

24 Son of man, they who inhabit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.

25 Therefore tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land?

26 You stand on your sword, you work abomination, and every one of you defiles his neighbor's wife: and shall you possess the land?

27 You shall tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and him who is in the open field will I give to the animals to be devoured; and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.

28 I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment; and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, so that none shall pass through.

29 Then shall they know that I am Yahweh, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment, because of all their abominations which they have committed.

30 As for you, son of man, the children of your people talk of you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Please come and hear what is the word that comes forth from Yahweh.

31 They come to you as the people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but don't do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their gain.

32 Behold, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they don't do them.

33 When this comes to pass, (behold, it comes), then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.

← Ezekiel 32   Ezekiel 34 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 156


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 612, 2235, 6367, 7102, 8711, 9263

Apocalypse Revealed 567, 668

The Lord 28

Sacred Scripture 85

True Christian Religion 51


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 55, 304, 388, 405, 650

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56

Marriage 51

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 9:4, 17:8

Exodus 21:34

Leviticus 7:20, 21, 26, 26:19, 39

Numbers 5:13, 29

1 Samuel 3:20

2 Chronicles 7:14, 34:24

Ezra 9:15

Nehemiah 8

Psalms 51:15, 103:9

Proverbs 15:10

Isaiah 21:11, 12, 42:20, 51:2

Jeremiah 7:9, 15, 14:15, 18:8, 10, 25:3, 28:9, 39:2, 42:21, 44:7, 8

Lamentations 3:33

Ezekiel 1:2, 3, 2:5, 3:11, 16, 27, 5:9, 17, 6:11, 12, 14, 7:4, 24, 11:15, 14:17, 15:7, 8, 18:4, 6, 7, 12, 19, 20:11, 22:3, 11, 24:23, 25, 27, 30:9, 36:18, 39:8, 40:1

Amos 3:6

Micah 7:18

Habakkuk 2:1

Zechariah 1:4

John 8:24

Acts of the Apostles 20:26

2 Corinthians 5:10

James 1:22, 2:10

2 Peter 20

Revelation 22:12

Word/Phrase Explanations

word
'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...

son
'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...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

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...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

bring
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...

Sword
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...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

Watchman
'A watchman,' as in Isaiah 21:11, in an internal sense, signifies someone who observes the states of the church and its changes, which applies to...

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

trumpet
'Trumpets,' and all other wind instruments, relate to celestial affections.

hears
'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...

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

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....

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...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

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

person
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Require
'To require of another' denotes the state when one thing is joined to another so that it cannot be separated.

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

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...

mouth
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...

give
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...

Wicked
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

die
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

Way
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

Transgressions
'Transgressions' or 'trespasses' denote such evils as are done against the truths of faith.

sins
'Bound up transgressions,' as in Lamentations 1:14, stands for falsities coming up towards interior or rational things.

says
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...

lord
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...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

ways
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....

righteousness
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

righteous
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...

day
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...

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

disobedience
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...

wickedness
Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning...

turns
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

restore
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...

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

judge
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...

Month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

Jerusalem
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...

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

struck
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

evening
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

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

Inhabit
'Inhabit' refers to good.

Waste places
'Old waste places' signify the celestial aspects of faith.

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...

one
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...

many
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...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Idols
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

neighbor's
'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,...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

fall
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...

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

Pestilence
'Pestilence' denotes the vastation of good and truth.

Pride
'Pride' signifies the love of self.

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

doors
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

Sit
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

show
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

heart
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...

goes
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...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

gain
'Lucre or gain' signifies every thing false derived from evil which perverts the judgment.

Song
'A song' signifies acknowledgment and confession from joy of heart.

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

Play
To play,' as in Zechariah 8:5, signifies some kind of interior festivity arising from the affection of truth and good.

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...


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