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...
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...
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.
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...
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...
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...
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.
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...
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...
"Drawing" is used a number of different ways in the Bible, generally in the sense of pulling, leading or moving: People most commonly draw water,...
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...
'The time of the heathen,' as mentioned in Ezekiel 30:3, signifies the heathen, or wickedness.
'To mock' or 'scorn' relates to people in truth but not in good.
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...
'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...
Father and mother
In the spiritual sense by father and mother is meant God and the church.
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...
'Oppression' signifies destruction of truth by falsities.
'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, as in...
'Orphans' signify people who are in a state of innocence and charity, and desire to know and to do what is good but are not...
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.
In Exodus 31:13, 'verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep,' signifies continuous holy thought about the union of the Lord’s divine with His human.
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...
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...
'Unclothed' signifies being deprived of the truths of faith.
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...
The meaning of "apart" in the Bible is pretty straightforward; it means there is a separation in spiritual states. What those states are and how...
'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,...
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...
'Sons' wives,' as in Genesis 6:18, signify truths joined to goods.
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...
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.
'Lucre or gain' signifies every thing false derived from evil which perverts the judgment.
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...
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...
The meaning of "scatter" in the Bible is relatively literal, but it is used in regard to spiritual things, not natural ones. So to "scatter"...
Uncleanness and scum, as in Ezekiel 24:11, signifies evil and falsity.
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...
The dross, mentioned in Isaiah 1:22, signifies falsity.
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.
'Tin,' as in Ezekiel 22:18, has respect to the literal sense of the Word, or the goods and truths of the natural self.
'An iron pan,' as in Ezekiel 4:3, signifies the truth that was falsified and adulterated among the Jewish people.
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...
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...
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...
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.
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...
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.
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...
In Jeremiah 20:4-5, 'wealth,' 'labor,' 'precious things,' and 'all the treasures of the kings of Judah' signify the knowledges of faith.
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.
'Pollution' denotes the truth of faith defiled.
'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...
'A wolf' signifies eagerness to seize, but also eagerness to rescue and deliver the good.
Untempered mortar,' as in Ezekiel 13:11, signifies the confirmation of falsity by fallacies, which makes falsity appear true. 'Stones of hail' are falsities.
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...
'Vanity' signifies evil and the falsity of evil. 'Vanities of strangers' signifies falsities of religion.
The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.
In most cases, those described as "needy" in the Bible are those who lack true knowledge of the Lord and his teachings, but have a...
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...
'A hedge,' as mentioned in Matthew 21:33, signifies preservation from falsities of evil which are from hell.
'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...
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...
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.
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...
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...