阿摩司書 3

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1 以色列人哪,你們全家是我從埃及地領上來的,當耶和華攻擊你們的

2 在地上萬族中,我只認識你們;因此,我必追討你們的一切罪孽。

3 人若不同心,豈能同行呢?

4 獅子若非抓食,豈能在林中咆哮呢?少壯獅子若無所得,豈能從洞中發聲呢?

5 若沒有機檻,雀豈能陷在網羅裡呢?網羅若無所得,豈能從地上翻起呢?

6 城中若吹角,百姓豈不驚恐呢?災禍若臨到一城,豈非耶和華所降的麼?

7 耶和華若不將奧秘指示他的僕人─眾先知,就一無所行。

8 獅子吼叫,誰不懼怕呢?耶和華發命,誰能不預言呢?

9 要在亞實突的宮殿中和埃及地的宮殿裡傳揚:你們要聚集撒瑪利亞上,就見城中有何等大的擾亂與欺壓的事。

10 那些以強暴搶奪財物、積蓄在自己家中的人不知道行正直的事。這是耶和華的。

11 所以耶和華如此:敵人必來圍攻這地,使你的勢力衰微,搶掠你的家宅。

12 耶和華如此:牧人怎樣從獅子中搶回兩條羊或半個耳朵,撒瑪利亞以色列人躺臥在床角上或鋪繡花毯的榻上,他們得救也不過如此。

13 耶和華─萬軍之:當這話,警戒雅各家。

14 我討以色列罪的日子,也要討伯特利祭壇的罪;角必被砍下,墜落於地。

15 我要拆毀過冬和過夏的房屋象牙房屋也必毀滅;高大的房屋都歸無有。這是耶和華的。

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 203

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

天堂的奥秘 592, 921, 1453, 2832, 2973, 3869, 6188, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 3, 137, 241, 270, 392, 471, 774

Doctrine of the Lord 4

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 163, 278, 316, 391, 409, 601, 624, ...

De Verbo (The Word) 12

Spiritual Experiences 4762

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 75

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Apocalypse Explained # 409

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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409. And every servant, and every freeman, signifies the natural man and the spiritual man. This is evident from the signification of "servant," as meaning the natural man (of which presently); and from the signification of "freeman," as meaning the spiritual man. The spiritual man is meant by "freeman" and the natural man by "servant" because the spiritual man is led by the Lord from heaven, and to be led by the Lord is freedom; while the natural man obeys and serves the spiritual, for it executes what the spiritual man wills and thinks. "Servant" is mentioned in many passages in the Word; and one who does not know that in these "servant" means what does service and effects the things the spiritual man wills and thinks, might suppose that "servant" there means one who is in servitude, thus he might understand it in its ordinary sense, but it will be plain from the passages in the Word that will presently be cited that it means what does service and effects. When "servant" is mentioned in the Word in this sense, the natural man is meant by it, which is "a servant" in the same sense as the body is a servant to its soul.

As what does service and effects is meant by "servant," so "servant" is predicated not only of the natural man in its relation to the spiritual, but also of men who perform service for others and of the angels who execute God's commands, yea, of the Lord Himself as to His Divine Human when He was in the world; it is also predicated of truths from good, because good acts and produces effects by means of truths, and truths perform the service to good which good wills and loves, and so forth. Moreover, "servant" is predicated of the natural man with regard to obedience and effect, although with the regenerate the natural man is just as free as the spiritual, for they act as one, like principal and instrumental; and yet the natural man, in relation to the spiritual, is called "a servant," because, as was said, the natural man is of service to the spiritual in producing effects. But with those with whom the spiritual man is closed and the natural man only open, the whole man in a general sense is a servant, although in appearance it is like a freeman; for the exterior natural man is subservient to the evils and falsities which the interior wills and thinks, and is thus led by hell, and to be led by hell is to be altogether a servant, and after death such a man also becomes altogether a servant and vile slave in hell; for after death the delights of everyone's life are changed into things that correspond, and the delights of evil are changed into servitude and into loathsome things (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 485-490). In this sense also "servant" is mentioned in the Word. But here it shall be shown especially that "servant" means what is of service and what effects, and this in every respect.

(Odkazy: Revelation 6:15)

[2] That "servant" means what is of service and effects is plainly evident from this, that the Lord in relation to His Divine Human is called "servant" and "minister," as in the following passages. In Isaiah:

Behold My servant, on whom I lean, My chosen, in whom My soul is well pleased; I have given My spirit upon Him. [He shall bring forth judgment to the nations]. Who is blind but My servant? or deaf as My angel that I send? Who is blind as He that is perfect, and blind as My 1 servant? (Isaiah 42:1, (Isaiah 42:1) 19).

This is said of the Lord, who is treated of in the whole of this chapter, and the Lord in respect to His Divine Human is here called "a servant," because He served his Father by doing His will, as He frequently declares; and this means that He reduced to order all things in the spiritual world, and at the same time taught men the way to heaven. Therefore by "My servant on whom I lean," and by "My chosen, in whom My soul is well pleased," the Divine Human is meant; and this is called "a servant" from the Divine truth by which it produced effects, and "chosen" from the Divine good. That it was by means of the Divine truth which belonged to Him that the Lord produced effects is meant by "I have given My spirit upon Him, He shall bring forth judgment to the nations;" "the spirit of Jehovah" meaning the Divine truth, and "to bring forth judgment to the nations" meaning to instruct. He is called "blind" and "deaf" because the Lord is as if He did not see and perceive the sins of men, for He leads men gently, bending and not breaking, thus leading away from evils, and leading to good; therefore He does not chastise and punish, like one who sees and perceives. This is meant by "who is blind but My servant? or deaf as My angel?" He is called "blind" and hence "a servant" from the Divine truth, and "deaf" and hence "an angel" from the Divine good; for "blindness" has reference to the understanding and thence to the perception, and "deafness" to the perception and thence to the will; it is therefore here meant that He as it were does not see, although He possesses the Divine truth from which He understands all things, and that He does not will according to what He perceives, although He has the Divine good, from which He is able to effect all things.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 42:19)

[3] In the same:

He shall see out of the labor of His soul, He shall be satisfied; by His knowledge My just servant shall justify many, in that He hath borne their iniquities (Isaiah 53:11).

This, too is said of the Lord, of whom the whole chapter evidently treats, and indeed of His Divine Human. His combats with the hells and His subjugation of them are signified by "the labor of His soul," and "He hath borne their iniquities;" "bearing their iniquities" means not that He transferred them unto Himself, but that He admitted into Himself evils from the hells that He might subdue them; this therefore is what is meant by "bearing iniquities." The consequent salvation of those who are in spiritual faith, which is the faith of charity, is meant by the words, "by His knowledge My just servant shall justify many;" "knowledge" signifying Divine truth, and thence Divine wisdom and intelligence, and "many" signifying all who receive; for "many" in the Word is predicated of truths, but "great" of good, therefore "many" means all who are in truths from good from the Lord.

It is said that "He shall justify" these, because "to justify" signifies to save by Divine good, and from Divine good He is also called "just." Because the Lord accomplished and effected these things by His Divine Human, He is called "the servant of Jehovah;" this makes clear that Jehovah calls His Divine Human "His servant," because of its serving and effecting.

[4] In the same:

Behold My servant shall act prudently, He shall be exalted, and lifted up, and made exceeding high (Isaiah 52:13).

This, too is said of the Lord, whose Divine Human is called "a servant," for the same reason as was mentioned just above; the glorification of His Human is meant by "He shall be exalted, and lifted up, and made exceeding high." In the same:

Ye are My witnesses, and My servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe Me (Isaiah 43:10).

Here, too, "servant" means the Lord in respect to His Divine Human. That the Lord Himself calls Himself "a minister" from serving is clear in the Gospels:

Whosoever will become great among you must be your minister, and whosoever will be first must be your servant, as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister (Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-44; Luke 22:27).

This may be seen explained in the work on Heaven and Hell 218). And in Luke:

Blessed are the servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that He will gird Himself, and make them to recline to meat, and drawing near He will minister to them (Luke 12:37).

(Odkazy: Luke 22:26-27; Mark 10:42-45)

[5] Since "David" in the Word means the Lord in respect to Divine truth, and Divine truth serves, so David also, where the Lord is meant by him, is in many places called "a servant," as in Ezekiel:

I Jehovah will be their God, and My servant David a prince in the midst of them (Ezekiel 34:24).

In the same:

My servant David shall be king over them, that they all may have one shepherd (Ezekiel 37:24).

This was said of David after his times, when he was never again to be raised up to be a prince in the midst of them, or a king over them. In Isaiah:

For I will defend this city to save it for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake (Isaiah 37:35).

In David:

I 2 have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David My servant, even to eternity will I establish thy seed. I have found David My servant; with the oil of My holiness have I anointed him (Psalms 89:3-4, 20).

The whole of this Psalm treats of the Lord, who is here meant by "David." In the same:

He chose David His servant; from following the ewes giving suck He brought him to feed Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance; and he fed them in the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the intelligence of his hands (Psalms 78:70-72);

and elsewhere. That the Lord in respect to Divine truth is meant by "David" in the Word, may be seen above (n. 205), and in the passages there cited. The Lord is also called "a servant" in the Word where He is meant by "Israel." As in Isaiah:

Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be made glorious. It is a light thing that thou shouldst be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to lead back the preserved of Israel; but I have given thee for a light to the nations, that thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:3, 6).

(That in the highest sense the Lord is meant by "Israel," see Arcana Coelestia 4286; and that "the Stone of Israel," means the Lord in respect to Divine truth, n. 6426.)

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 6426; Psalms 89:1; The Apocalypse Explained 205)

[6] Since the Lord in respect to Divine truth is called in the Word "a servant" from serving, so those who are in Divine truth from the Lord and thereby serve others are there called "servants," as the prophets are in these passages. In Jeremiah:

Jehovah sent unto you all His servants the prophets (Jeremiah 25:4).

In Amos:

He hath revealed His secret unto His servants the prophets (Amos 3. 7).

In Daniel:

He hath set [His laws] before us 3 by the hand of His servants the prophets (Daniel 9:10).

So too:

Moses is called The servant of Jehovah (Malachi 4:4).

And also Isaiah, in his prophecy (Isaiah 20:3; 50:10).

For "prophets" in the Word signify the doctrine of Divine truth, thus Divine truth in respect to doctrine (see Arcana Coelestia 2534, 7269). So again, David calls himself "a servant of Jehovah," as in the following passages:

I rejoice in Thy statutes; I do not forget Thy word. [Deal well with Thy servant.] Thy servant doth meditate in Thy statutes. Thou hast done good to Thy servant, O Jehovah, according to Thy word. Deal with Thy servant according to Thy mercy, and teach me Thy statutes. I am Thy servant, cause me to discern, that I may know Thy testimonies. Make Thy faces to shine upon Thy servant, and teach Me Thy statutes. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant (Psalms 119:16-17, 23, 65, 124-125, 135, 176).

In the same:

Keep my soul, for I am holy; save Thy servant, for I trust 4 in Thee. Gladden the soul of Thy servant; for unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up My soul. Give strength unto Thy servant, and save the son of Thy handmaid (Psalms 86:2, 4, 16; and elsewhere, as Psalms 27:9; 31:16; 35:27; 116:16; Luke 1:69).

Since the Lord in respect to Divine truth is meant by "David" in the above cited passages, and thus "David," in like manner as the prophets, means Divine truth, so "servant" in these passages also means in the spiritual sense, what is of service. One who is ignorant of the spiritual sense of the Word might believe that not only David but also others who are spoken of in the Word, called themselves "servants," for the reason that all are servants of God; but still wherever "servants" are mentioned in the Word, what is of service and effect is meant in the spiritual sense. For this reason too:

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is called the servant of Jehovah (Jeremiah 25:9; 43:10).

But in a particular sense, "servant" and "servants" in the Word mean those who receive Divine truth and who teach it, since Divine truth is what serves, and by means of it Divine good produces effects. For this reason "servants" and "chosen" are frequently mentioned together, "servants" meaning those who receive Divine truth and who teach, and "chosen" those who receive Divine good and who lead, as in Isaiah:

I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains; that My chosen may possess it, and My servants may dwell there (Isaiah 65:9).

In the same:

Thou, Israel, art My servant, and Jacob, whom I have chosen (Isaiah 41:8).

In the same:

Hear, O Jacob, My servant; Israel, whom I have chosen. Fear not, O Jacob, My servant, and thou Jeshurun, whom I have chosen (Isaiah 44:1-2

(That those are called "chosen" who are in the life of charity, see Arcana Coelestia (Arcana Coelestia 3755), n. 3755 near the end, 3900.)

(Odkazy: Amos 3:7; Arcana Coelestia 3900; Psalms 119:16, Psalms 119:16-18, Psalms 119:48)

[7] Now as "servants" have reference in the Word to what is of service and effects, consequently to such as serve and produce effects, therefore the natural man is called "a servant," since this serves the spiritual in effecting what it wills; and for this reason the spiritual man is also called "a freeman" and "master." This, too, is meant by "servant" and "master" in Luke:

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will prefer the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:13).

This must be understood as referring, not to servants in the world, for such can serve two masters, and yet not hate and despise one of them, but to servants in a spiritual sense, who are such as desire to love the Lord and themselves equally, or heaven and the world equally. These are like those who wish to look with one eye upwards, and with the other downwards, that is, with one eye to heaven, and with the other to hell, and thus to hang between the two; and yet there must be a predominance of one of these loves over the other; and where there is a predominance, that which opposes will be hated and despised when it offers opposition. For the love of self and of the world is the opposite of love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor. For this reason, those who are in the heavenly love would rather die or be deprived of honors and wealth in the world than be drawn away by them from the Lord and from heaven; for this they regard as the all, because it is eternal, but the former as relatively nothing, because it comes to an end with life in the world. On the other hand, however, those who love themselves and the world above all things, regard the Lord and heaven as relatively of no account, and even deny them, and so far as they see that they are opposed to self and the world they hate them; this becomes clearly manifest with all such in the other life. With those who love the Lord and heaven above all things, the internal or spiritual man is open, and the external or natural man serves it; then the latter is a servant because it serves, and the former is a master because it exercises its will; but with those who love themselves and the world above all things, the internal or spiritual man is closed, and the external or natural man is open; and when the latter is open and the former closed, the man loves the one master, namely, himself and the world, and hates the other, namely, the Lord and heaven. To this I am able to bear witness from experience; for all who have lived for self and the world, and not, as they ought, for God and heaven, in the other life hate the Lord and persecute those who are His, however in the world they may have talked about heaven and also about the Lord. From this it can be seen how impossible it is to serve two masters. That these words of the Lord must be understood spiritually is clear from the Lord's own words; for He says, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon. "

[8] In Matthew:

The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord (Matthew 10:24, 26).

This in the most general sense means that man must not make himself equal to the Lord, and that it is sufficient for him that all that he has he has from the Lord, and then the disciple is as the Teacher, and the servant as the Lord, for then the Lord is in him, and causes him to will good and to think truth. The term "disciple" is used in reference to good and "servant" in reference to truth. It is similar in a particular sense, namely, with each individual who is led by the Lord, the external or natural man with him is "a disciple" and "a servant," and the internal and spiritual man is "a teacher" and "a lord." When the external or natural man serves the internal or spiritual by obeying and carrying into effect, then it also is "as its teacher" and "as its lord," for they act as one, as is said of the principal cause and the instrumental, that they act as one cause. This particular sense coincides with the most general in this, that when the spiritual and natural man act as one, the Lord Himself acts, for the spiritual man does nothing of itself, but what it does comes solely from the Lord; so far, indeed, as the spiritual man has been opened (for this opens into heaven), so far man acts not of himself but from the Lord; this spiritual man is the spiritual man in its proper sense.

(Odkazy: Matthew 10:24-25)

[9] In John:

Ye shall know the truth; the truth maketh you free. The Jews answered, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man; how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, everyone that committeth sin is a servant of sin. The servant abideth not in the house forever; the Son abideth forever. If the Son therefore make you free ye shall be free indeed (John 8:32-36).

This means that to be led by the Lord is freedom, and to be led by hell is slavery; "the truth that makes free" means Divine truth which is from the Lord, for he who receives this in doctrine and in life is free, because he is made spiritual and is led by the Lord; therefore it is also added, "the Son abideth in the house forever; if the Son make you free ye shall be free indeed," "Son" meaning the Lord, and also truth (see above 63, 151, 166), and "to abide in the house" meaning to abide in heaven. That to be led by hell is slavery is taught by these words, "everyone that committeth sin is a servant of sin," "sin" is hell because it is from hell.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 63, 151, 166)

[10] That to receive Divine truth from the Lord in doctrine and in life is to, be free the Lord teaches also in John:

Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; I rather call you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and appointed you that ye may go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit may abide (John 15:14-16).

"Friends" here mean the free, "friends" being contrasted with "servants." That those who receive the Divine truth in doctrine and life from the Lord are not "servants," but are "friends" or freemen, is taught by these words, "if ye do whatsoever I command you, no longer do I call you servants, but friends;" likewise by these words, "all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known unto you, that ye may go and bring forth fruit;" "to command" and "to make known" pertain to doctrine, and "to bring forth fruit" pertains to life. That these are from the Lord is thus taught, "ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and appointed you." Something nearly similar was represented by the Hebrew servants who were sent away free in the seventh year and in the year of Jubilee (who are treated of in Exodus 21:2, 3;Leviticus 25:39-41; Deuteronomy 15:12; Jeremiah 34:9. Concerning these see Arcana Coelestia 8973- 9005.)

From what has been thus far set forth it can be seen that those are called "servants" in the Word who serve and bring into effect, and that therefore "servant" means the natural man, because this serves its spiritual man by bringing into effect what it wills and thinks; also that those are called "freemen" who act from the love of truth and good, thus who act from the Lord, from whom is the love of truth and good. Moreover, "servants" in the Word mean also those who are led by self and the world, and thence by evils and falsities, consequently who are led by the natural man and not at the same time by the spiritual. But respecting these servants, the Lord willing, it shall be told elsewhere.


1.  Photolithograph has "My," but Hebrew has "of Jehovah," as also found in AC 2159.

2.  Photolithograph has "He hath made," but Hebrew has "I have made," as also in AE 205, 608, 684, 701, etc.

3.  Photolithograph has "you;" for Hebrew "us."

4.  Photolithograph has "for I trust;" Hebrew "that trusteth."


(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 8973-9005; Exodus 21:2-3; Jeremiah 39:9; Matthew 10:24-25; Psalms 119:16-18, Psalms 119:48; Revelation 6:15)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 407, 612, 625, 650, 657, 695, 696, 1202, 1210

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.