'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...
'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 out to meet, as in Genesis 14:17, signifies to submit themselves. To go out, as in Genesis 28:10, signifies to live more remotely....
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...
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...
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.
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.
'To melt' denotes vanishing before the heat of lust.
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...
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,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the 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...
'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'...
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...
'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...
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.
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...
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...
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.
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.
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;...
'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.
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.
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 number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.
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...
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...
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.
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.
'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...
'The sons of Rabbah' signify the affections of truth in the natural self.
Ammonite and Moabite ('Deuteronomy 23:3'), signify the profanation of the celestial and spiritual things of faith.
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...
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....
'Shafts' or 'arrows' signify truths and spiritual truth.
There are three universal kinds of idolatry; the first is grounded in self-love, the second in the love of the world, and the third in...
'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.
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...
'Shouting, singing, and playing' have respect to spiritual things.
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...
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.
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...
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.
'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...
'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.
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...
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...
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...
'A turban' signifies intelligence of truth.
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...
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.
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...
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.
'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...
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.
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...
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 workman,' as in Hosea 8:6, signifies a person’s proprium or selfhood. 'A workman,' as in Zechariah 1:20, signifies the same thing as 'iron,' that...
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.