Daniel 7

English: Darby Version         

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1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream; he told the sum of the matters.

2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens broke forth upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, different one from another.

4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked; and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

5 And behold, another beast, a second, like unto a bear, and it raised up itself on one side; and [it had] three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and they said thus unto it: Arise, devour much flesh.

6 After this I saw, and behold, another, like a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird upon its back; and the beast had four heads; and dominion was given to it.

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and exceeding strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another, a little horn, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

9 I beheld till thrones were set, and the Ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was flames of fire, [and] its wheels burning fire.

10 A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11 I beheld therefore, because of the voice of the great words that the horn spoke; I beheld till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given up to be burned with fire.

12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away; but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of heaven [one] like a son of man, and he came up even to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.

15 As for me Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the certainty of all this. And he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things:

17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, [that] shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the most high [places] shall receive the kingdom, and they shall possess the kingdom for ever, even to the ages of ages.

19 Then I desired to know the certainty concerning the fourth beast, which was different from them all, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet;

20 and concerning the ten horns that were in its head, and the other that came up, and before which three fell: even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and whose look was more imposing than its fellows.

21 I beheld, and that horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them;

22 until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most high [places]; and the appointed time arrived, and the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 He said thus: The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon the earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

24 And as to the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall arise ten kings; and another shall arise after them; and he shall be different from the former, and he shall subdue three kings.

25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most high [places], and think to change seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and a half time.

26 And the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

27 But the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heavens, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high [places]. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

28 So far is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my countenance was changed in me; but I kept the matter in my heart.

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Daniel's First Vision: 4 Beasts and the Little Horn      

By Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Dibb


This opening verse of the prophecies of Daniel has a resounding similarity to the opening verses of most of the preceding chapters of the book of Daniel. Like them, it places the vision in a context, we are shown the point of our regeneration at which the Lord is directing us: the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon.

In the internal sense, time is an indication of state. This means that the events and prophecies of Daniel do not follow in a strict chronological order, but rather happen on different levels at the same time. While Nebuchadnezzar is king of Babylon, representing selfishness in our inner self, Belshazzar rules our outer self. The work of overcoming selfish motives has to go hand in hand with the removal of that very selfishness in our external—otherwise the exercise is purely intellectual. Daniel’s visions in the last six chapters of the book, indicate the process by which we become aware of the effects of selfishness in our daily lives: when Belshazzar is king.

In spiritual development, we sometimes delude ourselves that change follows effort without delay. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our habits are very powerful—often we are not even aware that we have them. Yet "regeneration" literally means "re-birth," which entails casting out each and every obstacle in the path of our spiritual development. This can only be done by examining the exterior motives in our lives, and getting to the very bottom or root of our behaviors.

Daniel’s vision traces this exploration for us. Each of the four beasts he saw rising up from the sea depict the states of an evil life in us, with the added twist in their relationship to the religious principles a person purports to hold. Each must be examined and rejected. Every detail of the vision, therefore is important.

As with all numbers in the Word, the number "four" has a special meaning vitally important to the exposition. "Four" represents a joining together, and so has the same meaning as the number "two," (Arcana Coelestia 1686, 9103, 9601) which is obvious since "four" is the result of two multiplied into itself.

In a general sense, when the term "four winds" is mentioned in the Word, it means "all things of good and of truth, thus all things of heaven and of the church" (Arcana Coelestia 9642:10) flowing into a person, for "wind" means the influx of life from the Lord (Apocalypse Revealed 343). Thus the Lord breathed life into Adam in the Garden of Eden, and again on His disciples, filling them with the Holy Spirit. In an ideal situation, the presence of the Lord, both in our will and our understanding, in equal measure, indicates a state of regeneration. In that state, we are as "four-square" as the New Jerusalem.

As in so many cases in the book of Daniel, the symbolism needs to be reversed in order to see its full meaning. Daniel is in Babylon, a servant to the king, and thus anything usually relating to the Lord is inverted to relate to the king of Babylon, as selfishness: the opposite of love to the Lord.

The influx then is not goodness and truth, but evil and falsity, specifically love of self and control over others. The "sea" in this vision depicts the great restless tide of selfishness controlling our external being. The book of Daniel is a picture of a person whose conscience is restricted to thoughts and feelings, yet whose behavior, attitudes, and habits still reflect the old states of selfishness (Apocalypse Explained 316). Babylon reigns. In the vision that follows, the states and their effects are revealed.

The vision of the four beasts coming up from the sea tells our story when we cynically misuse truth to live selfishly, until evil completely takes over and would destroy us (Apocalypse Explained 556, Apocalypse Revealed 574). Evil will succeed unless the power of the truth, in our conscience, overcomes evil and allows us to reject it.

The first of these beasts was like a lion with eagle’s wings. Lions are mentioned many times in the Word, and usually describe the power of truth to destroy falsity and evil (Apocalypse Explained 556). But in this vision, describing Babylon, the lion takes on the opposite meaning: the lion represents the power of the love of self (Arcana Coelestia 6367), and the power of falsity to destroy truths.

The eagle's wings, representing human reason, were taken away from the lion, and he was made to stand on his two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to him. A person engrossed in selfishness loses their ability to appreciate religion, and weighted down by their own contrary thoughts, find themselves alienated from the truth.

Next, Daniel saw a bear raised up on one side. This posture indicates our eagerness to misinterpret the Word to suit our own means (Arcana Coelestia 781). This a vision of the human state when self love (Nebuchadnezzar) rules our internal being, and the expression of that selfishness (Belshazzar) controls our daily actions. The bear is the pleasure of justifying evil with our own 'superior' reasoning.

It is easy to be kind, while manipulating other people for our own benefit. It is easy to present oneself as a spiritual being in order to deceive other people. In such a life, charity is a dead form. Thus the bear had three ribs hanging from its mouth.

Daniel never tells who commanded the bear to 'arise, and devour more flesh,' but perhaps the urging comes from deeper states of selfishness which control our external actions. Whatever its origin, these words give voice to the heart of a person misusing the Word for his or her own gain.

A leopard is "a ferocious beast" which loves to "kill harmless animals." Its very appearance, black spots on white, illustrates the effect of falsity on truth (Apocalypse Revealed 57). But the leopard in Daniel also had four wings like a bird. As in the case of the lion which had the wings of an eagle, the wings here also signify our intellect destroying the truth. The four wings on the leopard depict "confirmations of what is false" (Apocalypse Revealed 574).

The leopard not only had four wings, but also four heads. This is a depiction of human degradation when falsity rules. It is a state of spiritual insanity, for when a selfish internal acts with a falsified external, there is nothing to prevent a person engaging in all kinds evil (Arcana Coelestia 1944:3). In this state, the conscience is enslaved, powerless to stop the madness.

The fourth beast, whose appearance is not described, signifies the "destruction of truth and good" (Apocalypse Revealed 574). Once a person reaches this state of degeneration, they stop at nothing to destroy any restraining influences. Falsity is used to destroy truth through denial or twisting it to suit one’s own ends. This process is described as "teeth like iron" devouring and breaking in pieces (see 1 explanation of Daniel 2 for a description of 'iron')(Apocalypse Revealed 556).

'A horn' is usually a symbol of power, and in the highest sense, the power of truth against falsity. But again, in this story the opposite sense applies, and the power here is of falsity for evil (Apocalypse Explained 316). These ten horns depict the complete power falsity has over the way we act.

The whole sordid description of the four beasts culminates on a little horn. This is the complete perversion of anything good and true drawn from the Word, and so represents the final profanation. If there was no counter-balancing conscience, a person would be irrevocably in hell.

The casting out of the three horns depicts the power of evil and falsity to destroy and remove the truths of the Word (Apocalypse Explained 316). The number "three" represents fullness or completeness, and thus the power of evil when brought into action to destroy all truths. Hence, the old saying 'when you break one of the Commandments, you break them all,' takes on a more powerful meaning.

The next image shifts: we see the thrones "cast down" signifying the falsities (Arcana Coelestia 8215) from the beasts, judged by the truths of the Word forming our conscience. All judgment begins with truth, for truth provides the balances upon which our lives are measured.

In the image of God’s throne, symbolizing judgment, it is important to remember that His judgment is always a product of love and mercy. But the Lord’s love should not be confused with license: just because He loves the human race, individually and collectively, this does not mean evil is permissible. Evil interferes with a person’s reception of the Lord, putting barriers between Him and ourselves. For the most part, the Lord permits evils, but does not will them, because they are useful reminding us to turn away from them (Divine Providence 275, 278). Yet there are times when human beings overstep the mark.

The judgment in this chapter must be seen in its context, which is in the reign of Belshazzar. It is the story of both the beasts and the fact that Belshazzar was weighed in the balances, found wanting, and killed by Darius. That in essence is a judgment on the external’s of our lives, on our behavior. and attitudes which have their origin in the Nebuchadnezzar states of our inner being.

Here, however, we see the origin of truth as "the Ancient of Days," sitting on the throne of judgment, heralding the destruction of one state and the beginning of another (Apocalypse Revealed 574). The "Ancient of Days" is an image of the love of the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 9470), and in a sense is the Divine counterpart to the love we are led to by means of truth. The object of all truth is to lead one to a love of God, and a love of the neighbor, and a life expressive of both. Our love for God is a reflection of His love for us.

In the Word, a garment corresponds to truth one knows and which forms a part of a person’s mind. Thus the garment of the Ancient of Days represents the truth veiling over the Divine Good. This truth is truth in our minds, in our conscious minds (Arcana Coelestia 9470, Apocalypse Explained 67). These garments were as white as snow to show us the quality of the intelligence and wisdom we can have from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 195:18).

'Hair' means the most external parts of our lives—the natural thoughts and feelings we have which prompt us into action, all perfectly conscious. While we are in this world, this very external part of us seems to be vitally important, but in fact it is only driven by the inner things. If these are from the Lord, then our external will also appear as virgin wool.

The fire of the throne is the appearance of the Lord's love. The wheels represents the wisdom and intelligence we have from the Lord, which are full of love and so are described as "burning."

All judgment is done by the Lord. The Lord’s birth in Bethlehem was the beginning of a last judgment on the ancient churches, and that judgment from love by means of wisdom, came about through the life and death of Jesus Christ, the Divine Human of the Lord.

In Daniel’s vision, there is a similar relationship between the Ancient of Days, seated on His throne, and the Son of Man to whom was given all power. The Ancient of Days represents the Lord, and in that vision we saw the unity of the Divine love and Divine wisdom in the fiery throne upon which He sat.

Once the presence of the Lord has been established in us by the overthrow of evil and falsity, we will continue to develop in goodness and truth. This spiritual growth is described in the words that 'the Son of Man was given an everlasting dominion,' a theme repeated in verses 18 and 27. The kingdom of the Son of Man extended over "all peoples, nations and tongues," representing the different states of the human mind which will be made subject to truth from the Word. "Peoples" are the truths of doctrine—in this case, the false ideas which affect our behavior to be judged against the truth introduced into our minds by the conscience. "Nations" mean the evils of life, overthrown in the process of judgment (Apocalypse Revealed 483, Apocalypse Explained 175, 455). Thus in the process of judgment, both our habitual thoughts and feelings will be confronted by truth, and replaced by feelings drawn from the goodness and truth of the Lord. Finally, "tongues" signify the actions drawn from evil feelings and false thoughts—these too will be brought down in our personal "last judgment."

The "time, times, and half a time" are the states of temptation and combat we need to go through in order to regenerate. Yet each minute of that combat is a temptation, and temptation only takes place within the framework or regeneration. Thus a person being tempted, who resists the evil, sits in judgment on that evil, and from the power of the Lord will eventually prevail over it.

These final verses are a vision of things yet to come. This is before our entrance into the Lord’s kingdom, before the power of falsity is broken. We still have growing to do. There are still states we need to face and overcome. Even with this marvelous promise of ultimate victory, Daniel found that his thoughts still troubled him.




Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1326, 10455

Apocalypse Revealed 748

De Verbo (The Word) 5

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 178

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 49, 934, 1066, 1607, 1990, 2547, 2832, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 24, 36, 47, 49, 101, 166, 229, ...

Conjugial Love 26, 81, 193

Divine Providence 134

The Lord 4, 6, 10, 26, 42, 48, 52

Sacred Scripture 49, 86

Doctrine of Life 61

Heaven and Hell 171

True Christian Religion 1, 113, 157, 223, 251, 262, 288, ...

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 36, 63, 67, 70, 175, 195, 199, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 41

Canons of the New Church 37

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 3

De Verbo (The Word) 10, 15, 25

An Invitation to the New Church 10

Marriage 0, 1, 113

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Apocalypse Explained # 195

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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195. Verse 4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis that have not defiled their garments, signifies those who live a moral life from a spiritual origin, by applying the knowledges of truth and good from the Word to the uses of their life. This is evident from the signification of "name," as being the quality of the state of man's life (see above, n. 148); here, therefore, "names" signify men who are such. It is evident also from the signification of "the church in Sardis," as being those who live a moral life but not a spiritual life, because they have little regard for the knowledges of truth and good from the Word (see also above, n. 148, 182); but here those are meant who live a moral life from a spiritual origin, for it is said, "that have not defiled their garments." It is evident also from the signification of "garments," as being knowledges [scientifica] and cognitions in the natural man (of which presently). "Not defiling their garments," therefore, signifies living as a moral man not for the sake of self and the world, which is for the sake of the body and its life only, but for the sake of the Lord and of heaven, which is for the sake of the soul and its life. From this it is clear that "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis that have not defiled their garments," signifies such as live a moral life from a spiritual origin, by applying the knowledges of truth and good from the Word to their life.

(Odkazy: Revelation 3:4; The Apocalypse Explained 148, The Apocalypse Explained 182)

[2] But as few know what it is to live a moral life from a spiritual origin, and what it is to apply the knowledges of truth and good from the Word to the uses of their life, it shall be told. Man lives a moral life from a spiritual origin when he lives it from religion; that is, when he thinks, when anything evil, insincere, or unjust presents itself: that this must not be done because it is contrary to the Divine laws. When one abstains from doing such things in deference to Divine laws he acquires for himself spiritual life, and his moral life is then from the spiritual; for by such thoughts and faith man communicates with the angels of heaven, and by communication with heaven his internal spiritual man is opened, the mind of which is a higher mind, such as the angels of heaven have, and he is thereby imbued with heavenly intelligence and wisdom. From this it can be seen that to live a moral life from a spiritual origin is to live from religion, and within the church, to live from the Word; for those who live a moral life from religion and from the Word are elevated above their natural man, thus above what is their own [proprium], and are led by the Lord through heaven; consequently they have faith, the fear of God, and conscience, and also the spiritual affection of truth, which is the affection of the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, for to such men these are Divine laws, according to which they live. Many of the heathen live such a moral life, for they think that evil must not be done because it is contrary to their religion; this is why so many of them are saved.

[3] But on the other hand, to live a moral life not from religion, but only from the fear of the law in the world, and of the loss of fame, honor, and gain, is to live a moral life not from a spiritual but from a natural origin; therefore to such there is no communication with heaven. And as they think insincerely and unjustly regarding the neighbor, although they speak and act otherwise, their internal spiritual man is closed, and the internal natural man only is opened; and when this is open they are in the light of the world, but not in the light of heaven. For this reason such persons have in them little regard for Divine and heavenly things, and some deny them, believing nature and the world to be everything. (From this it can now be seen what it is to live a moral life from a spiritual origin, and what it is to live it from a natural origin; but these things may be seen set forth in clearer light in the work on Heaven and Hell 528-535.) Of those who live a moral life from a natural origin only, it may be said that they "defile their garments," for "garments" mean that which is outside the man himself and which clothes him, thus his natural man with the things that are in it, which are knowledges [scientifica] and cognitions; and when these are from the Word they are defiled by the fact that he learns and holds them only for the sake of reputation, that he may be thought learned or well informed, or that he may thereby acquire honors and gain wealth; and except for such ends he has no regard for them. Thus it is that the knowledges from the Word are polluted and defiled by the loves of self and the world, for these knowledges dwell in the same place with the evils and falsities that gush out from those loves as from their fountains.

[4] It was said above, that man becomes spiritual by means of the knowledges of truth and good from the Word applied to the uses of life. Why men become spiritual by means of knowledges from the Word, and not by means of other knowledges, shall now be told. All things that are in the Word are Divine, and they are Divine for the reason that they have in them a spiritual sense, and by that sense communicate with heaven and with the angels there. When, therefore, man has knowledges from the Word and applies them to life, then through these he has communication with heaven and by that communication becomes spiritual; for man becomes spiritual by his being in like or in corresponding truths with the angels of heaven. It is said in "corresponding" truths, because each and all things in the sense of the letter of the Word are correspondences, for they correspond to the truths that angels have. But the knowledges derived from other books, which set forth and by various means establish the doctrines of the church, do not effect communication with heaven except by the knowledges from the Word they contain; such knowledges do give communication if they are rightly understood and are applied to life, and not to faith alone. Everyone can see that this is so from this, that the Word in itself is Divine, and what is Divine in itself can become Divine with man by his applying it to life. "Becoming Divine with man" means that the Lord can have His abode with man (John 14:23), thus dwelling with him in what is His own (that the Lord dwells in His own with man and angel, and not in what is their own [proprio illorum], see in the work on Heaven and Hell 12). The Lord dwells in His own when He dwells in those things with man that are from the Word, for the Lord is the Word (John 1:1, 2, 14); and the words that He spoke, that is, that are in the Word:

Are spirit and life (John 6:63, 68; 12:50).

(Odkazy: John 1:1-2)

[5] That "garments" signify the things that are in the natural man, which are knowledges [scientifica], 1 true or false, or cognitions, is from the spiritual world; for in the spiritual world all, however many, appear clothed according to their moral life; consequently those who have lived a moral life from a spiritual origin appear clothed in shining white garments, like fine linen; but those who have lived a moral life from a natural origin only, appear according to the nature of that life, those who have polluted their life by evils and falsities appearing in dark garments, mean, torn, and hideous to behold (see the work on Heaven and Hell 177-182). From this now it is that "garments" in the Word signify truths from good, and in the contrary sense falsities from evil, both of them in the natural man; truths and falsities in the natural man are called knowledges [scientifica] and cognitions.

[6] That "garments" in the Word signify truths or falsities can be clearly seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on the garments of thy splendor, O Jerusalem; for henceforth there shall no more come to thee the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isaiah 52:1).

"Zion" in the Word signifies the Lord's celestial kingdom, thus also the celestial church, and "Jerusalem" the spiritual kingdom and the spiritual church (what the celestial kingdom is, and the spiritual kingdom, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 20-28). The "garments of splendor that Jerusalem must put on" are Divine truths; the "uncircumcised and the unclean that shall not come to them" are those who are in evils and falsities.

[7] In Ezekiel:

Jerusalem, I clothed thee with broidered work, I shod thee with badger's skin, I girded thee about with fine linen. I adorned thee with ornament, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy throat, and a jewel upon thy nose, and earrings upon thine ears, yea, a crown of ornament upon thy head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver, and thy garments were fine linen, silk, and broidered work, whence thou becamest exceeding beautiful, and didst prosper even unto the kingdom. But thou didst take of thy garments, and didst make to thee high places with divers colors, that thou mightest commit whoredom upon them; thou also didst take garments of thy broidered work, and didst cover the images of a male, with which thou didst commit whoredom (Ezekiel 16:10-13, 16-18).

Here what the church was when it was first established by the Lord is described; the "garments" that are mentioned are truths from good; "broidered work" is true knowledge [scientificum]; "fine linen and silk" are truths from a celestial source; the "bracelets," "chain," "jewel," "earrings," and "crown," are decorations signifying things spiritual of various kinds; the "gold and silver" with which she was decked are the good of love and its truth. Then the same church when perverted is described, by this, that "she took of the garments, and did make to herself high places with divers colors," signifying truths falsified; and that "she took the garments of broidered work, and covered the images of a male," signifies that they applied the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word to so confirm falsities even so as to make them appear like truths; "committing whoredom with them" and "under them" signifies making doctrine and worship out of falsities (that this is to "commit whoredom," see above, n. 141, 161).

(That "Jerusalem" is the church where there is true doctrine, see Arcana Coelestia 402, 3654, 9166. That "broidered work" is knowledges [scientificum], n. Arcana Coelestia 9688. That "fine linen" is truth from a celestial origin, n. 5319, 9469. That "bracelets" are truths and goods of the church, n. 3103, 3105. That "a chain [for the neck]" is representative of the conjunction of interior and exterior things, n . 5320; that "jewels [for the nose]" and "earrings" are representatives of perception and obedience, n. Arcana Coelestia 4551. That "a crown" means wisdom, see above, n. 126. That "gold" is the good of love, see Arcana Coelestia 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9510, 9874, 9881; that "silver" is truth from that good, n. 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658. That "high places with divers colors" are truths falsified, n. 796, 4005. That the "male" or "masculine" is truth, n. 749, 2046, 4005, 7838; therefore "images of a male" are appearances of truth.)

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1551-1552; Ezekiel 16:10-18; The Apocalypse Explained 126, 141, The Apocalypse Explained 161)

[8] In the same:

Fine linen in broidered work from Egypt was thy spreading forth, blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was thy covering. Syria was thy merchant in purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, with chrysoprasus. Dedan was thy merchant with garments of liberty for the chariot; Asshur and Chilmad with bales of blue and of broidered work, and with treasures of precious garments (Ezekiel 27:7, 16, 20, 23-24).

Here Tyre and her wares are treated of, and "Tyre" signifies the knowledges of truth and good, and "trading" and "trafficking," signify acquiring for oneself and communicating such knowledges; "purple and blue" signify the celestial love of good and truth; "Egypt," the knowledge belonging to the natural man; by "broidered work from Egypt" the like; "Syria" the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good; "Asshur" the rational of that church; "Dedan" those who are in the knowledges of celestial things. From this it can be seen that the "wares of Tyre," treated of in the whole of that chapter, do not mean wares, but each and all these things mean spiritual things, which man ought to acquire, be imbued with, and communicate. (That "Tyre" signifies the knowledges of good and truth, see Arcana Coelestia 1201. That "Egypt" signifies the knowledges [scientificum] belonging to the natural man, n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 5700, 5702, 6015, 6651, 6679, 6682, 6683, 6692, 7296, 9340, 9391. That "Syria" is the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good, n. 1232, 1234, 3664, 3680, 4112. That "Dedan" signifies those who are in the knowledges of celestial things, n . 3240, 3241. That "Asshur" is the rational therefrom, n. 119, 1186. That "purple" is the celestial love of good, n. Arcana Coelestia 9467. That "blue" is the celestial love of truth, n. 9466, 9687, 9833; likewise "chrysoprasus," n. Arcana Coelestia 9868. What "fine linen" and "broidered work" signify, see just above.)

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, Arcana Coelestia 3240-3241, 6682-6683)

[9] In David:

The king's daughter is all glorious within, her clothing is inwrought with gold. She shall be brought unto the king in broidered work (Psalms 45:13-14).

The "king's daughter" signifies the spiritual affection of truth, and therefore the church consisting of those who are in that affection; "king" signifies the Lord in respect to Divine truth; "clothing inwrought with gold," intelligence and wisdom from that truth; the "broidered work" in which she should "be brought to the king" signifies the knowledges of truth. (That "daughter" signifies the affection of truth, and the church therefrom, see Arcana Coelestia 2362, 2623, 3373, 3963, 4257, 6729, 6775, 6779, 8649, 9055, 9807. That "king" signifies the Lord in respect to Divine truth, see above, n. 31.)

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 31)

[10] In the second book of Samuel:

Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet with dainty things, and who put an ornament of gold upon your apparel (2 Samuel 1:24).

This is in the lamentation of David over Saul, which he wrote:

To teach the sons of Judah the bow (2 Samuel 1:18);

by "bow" is signified truth combating against falsities (see Arcana Coelestia 2686 Arcana Coelestia 2686, 2709); "Saul" here, as a king, signifies such truth; the "sons of Judah" signify those who are in truths from good; "to clothe the daughters of Israel in scarlet," and "to put ornaments of gold upon the apparel," is to impart intelligence and wisdom to those who are in the spiritual affection of truth.

[11] In Matthew:

When the king came in to behold those reclining to eat, he saw there a man that had not on a wedding garment; and he said unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? He was speechless. Then said the king, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out into outer darkness (Matthew 22:11-13).

A "wedding garment" signifies the intelligence of the spiritual man, which is from the knowledges of truth and good; but "he that had not on a wedding garment" signifies a hypocrite, who by a moral life counterfeits the spiritual life when yet he is merely natural; "to bind him hand and foot" signifies the deprivation of the knowledges from the Word, by which he has put on the likeness of a spiritual man; "to be cast out into outer darkness" signifies among those who are in falsities from evil (for "outer darkness" signifies falsities from evil).

[12] In Zephaniah :

I will visit upon the princes, and upon the king's sons, and upon all that are clothed with the garments of the alien (Zephaniah 1:8). "Princes" and "king's sons" signify those who are in truths, and in a contrary sense, as here, those who are in falsities; these are said to be "clothed with the garment of the alien," because "garment" signifies falsity, and "alien" those who are out of the church and do not acknowledge the truths of the church.

[13] In Matthew:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing; inwardly they are ravening wolves (Mat. Matthew 7:15).

"False prophets in sheep's clothing, who inwardly are ravening wolves," are those who teach falsities as if they were truths, and who in appearance live a moral life, but who by themselves, when they think from their spirit, think of nothing but themselves and the world, and are eager to deprive all others of truths.

[14] In John:

Jesus said to Peter, When thou wast younger thou girdedst thyself and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old thou shalt stretch forth thy hands and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldest not (John 21:18).

What these words signify in the spiritual sense may be seen above n. 9; namely, that by "Peter" is meant the faith of the church; when he "was younger and girded himself and walked whither he would" means the faith of the church at the beginning, when men are in the good of charity, that they then think about the truths of the church from the spiritual man, which is to think from their spirit, thus from the spiritual affection of truth, that is, from freedom. But by "Peter when old, that he should stretch forth his hands and another should gird him," is meant the faith of the church at its end, when faith would be without charity, that they then would think nothing about the truths of the church from themselves, but from others, thus from doctrine only and not from the Word, which is relatively a servile state. For to believe what another says is servile, but to believe what one himself thinks from the Word is freedom; according to the Lord's words in John:

If ye abide in My Word, ye are truly My disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 9)

[15] In Luke:

No man putteth a piece of a new garment on an old garment; else the new will rend the old, and the piece from the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and itself be spilt, and the bottles be destroyed (Luke 5:36-37; Matthew 9:16-17; Mark 2:21-22).

Because a "garment" signifies truth, the Lord compared the truths of the former church, which was a church representative of spiritual things, to a piece of an old garment, and the truths of the new church, which were spiritual truths themselves, to a piece of a new garment; He compared them likewise to bottles of wine, because "wine" in like manner signifies truth, and "bottles" mean the knowledges that contain truth. (That "wine" in the Word signifies truth, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 219.)

(Odkazy: Luke 5:36-38)

[16] From this it can now be seen what is signified in the Word elsewhere by "garments," which are often mentioned there, as in the following passages. In Revelation:

And upon the thrones four and twenty elders sitting, arrayed in white garments (Revelation 4:4).


The armies of the One sitting upon the white horse followed Him, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Revelation 19:14).


They who stood before the throne in sight of the Lamb, were clothed in white robes (Revelation 7:9).


The seven angels from the temple were clothed in linen, clean and shining (Revelation 15:6).


White robes were given to everyone of those under the altar (Revelation 6:11).


Buy gold and white garments (Revelation 3:18).

In Ezekiel:

If he giveth his bread to the hungry, and covereth the naked with a garment (Ezekiel 18:16).

"To give bread to the hungry" signifies in the spiritual sense to instruct from the good of charity those who long for truths; "to cover the naked with a garment" signifies to instruct, in like manner, those who are not in truths.

[17] In the same:

The enemies shall strip thee of thy garments, and shall take away the jewels of thine adorning (Ezekiel 23:26).

In Zechariah:

Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and thus stood before the angel. And he said to those that stood before him, Take away the filthy garments from off him. And he said, I have made thine iniquity to pass from off thee, in clothing thee with changed garments (Zechariah 3:3-5).

In Lamentations :

They have wandered blind in the streets, they have been polluted with blood; what they cannot pollute they touch with their clothes (Lamentations 4:14).

From the signification of "garments" it can be known what is meant by many statutes with the sons of Israel:

That they should not put on mixed garments (Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 22:11);

That a woman should not wear the vessels of a man, nor a man be clothed with the garments of a woman (Deuteronomy 22:5);

That they should wash their garments that they might be purified, and thus sanctified (Exodus 19:14; Leviticus 11:25, 11:28, 11:40; 14:8; (Leviticus 14:8); Numbers 19:11-22);

and elsewhere:

That in mourning for transgression against Divine truths they should put off their garments and put on sackcloth (Isaiah 15:3; 22:12; 37:1-2; Jeremiah 4:8; 6:26; 48:37; 49:3; Lamentations 2:10; Ezekiel 27:31; Amos 8:10; Jonah 3:5-6, 3:8);

And that they should rend their garments (Isaiah 37:1 and elsewhere).

Also what this signifies:

That the disciples laid their garments upon the ass and the colt when the Lord was going to Jerusalem, and that the people then strewed their garments in the way (Matthew 21:7-9; Mark 11:7-8; Luke 19:35-36);

can be seen above n. 31.

(Odkazy: Leviticus 14:8-9; The Apocalypse Explained 31)

[18] That "garments" signify truths has its origin in this, that the light of heaven is Divine truth proceeding from the Lord as a sun there, and all things that have existence in the heavens have existence from the light there, and this is true in like manner of the garments in which the angels appear clothed. It is from this:

That the angels who sat at the Lord's sepulchre had raiment white as snow (Matthew 28:3);

And that their garments were shining (Luke 24:4).

(That the garments in which the angels appear clothed correspond to their intelligence, and that they have intelligence according to their reception of Divine truth from the Lord, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 177-182;and that Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is light in heaven, n. 126-135.) From this it can be seen what "garments" signify in reference to the Lord, namely, Divine truth proceeding from Him; and as Divine truth is signified, the Word also is signified, for the Word is Divine truth from the Lord on earth and in the heavens. This was represented by the Lord's "garments" when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, which are thus described in the Evangelists:

When Jesus was transfigured, His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as the light (Matthew 17:2);

And white, dazzling (Luke 9:29);

And glistering white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them (Mark 9:3).

The like is said of the Ancient of Days in Daniel:

The Ancient of Days did sit, and His garment was like white snow (Daniel 7:9).

"The Ancient of Days" is the Lord from eternity. As "light" is Divine truth, and this in reference to the Lord is signified by "garments," therefore it is said in David:

Jehovah covereth Himself with light as with a garment (Psalms 104:2).

(Odkazy: Psalms 45:8; The Apocalypse Explained 126-135)

[19] From this it can be seen what the Lord's garments mentioned elsewhere in the Word signify. As in David:

He hath anointed all Thy garments with myrrh and aloes and cassia (Psalms 45:7-8);

where the Lord is treated of. In Moses:

He will wash His vesture in wine, and His covering in the blood of grapes (Genesis 49:11).

This is also said of the Lord. "Wine" and "the blood of grapes" signify Divine truth. Because the Lord's garments signified Divine truth, therefore also:

Those who touched the border of His garment were healed (Matthew 9:20-21; Mark 5:27-28, 30; 6:56; Luke 8:44).

In Isaiah:

Who is this that cometh from Edom, His garments bespattered from Bozrah; this that is honorable in His apparel? Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments as of one treading in the wine-press? Their victory is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all Mine apparel (Isaiah 63:1-3).

This also is said of the Lord; "garments" here signify the Word, which, as has been said, is Divine truth from the Lord on earth and in the heavens; the violence offered to Divine truth or to the Word by those who were then of the church, is described by this, that "He was red in apparel as one treading in the wine-press," and that "victory was sprinkled upon His garments," and that "He had stained all his raiment."

[20] In Revelation:

He that sat on the white horse was arrayed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God (Revelation 19:13).

Here it is plainly declared that He who sat on the white horse was called "the Word of God;" and it is clear that this is the Lord, for it is immediately said of Him:

He hath on His garment and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

It is therefore the Word in the letter that is signified by the "garment dipped in blood," since violence was done to it, but not to the Word in the spiritual sense; violence could not be done to this, because they knew nothing about it.

[21] That violence was done to the Word in the sense of the letter, but not to the Word in the spiritual sense, is signified also by the soldiers dividing the Lord's garments, but not His tunic, of which it is said in John:

The soldiers took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore one to another, Let us not divide it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be. These things therefore the soldiers did (John 19:23-24).

And in David:

They parted My garments, and cast the lot upon My vesture (Psalms 22:18).

"The garments of the Lord which they parted" signify the Word in the letter; His "tunic" the Word in the spiritual sense; "soldiers" signify those of the church who should fight in behalf of Divine truth; therefore it is said, "These things therefore the soldiers did." (That "tunic" signifies Divine truth, or the Word in the spiritual sense, see Arcan (Arcana Coelestia 9826, 9942) a Coelestia, n. 9826, 9942; that "soldiers" signify those who are of the church, and who should fight in behalf of Divine truth, see above, n. 64, at the end, where these things are more fully explained.) It should be known that each particular related in the Evangelists respecting the Lord's passion, involves and signifies how the church at that time, which was among the Jews, had treated Divine truth, thus the Word, for this was Divine truth with them; the Lord also was the Word, because He was Divine truth (John 1:1, 2, 14). But what each particular involves and signifies cannot be known except from the internal sense. Here it will be told only what "the Lord's garments" signified, because the meaning of "garments" is here treated of, namely, that they signify truths, and in reference to the Lord, Divine truths.

(Odkazy: John 1:1-2; The Apocalypse Explained 64)

[22] "The garments of Aaron and of his sons" have a like signification, because Aaron with his sons represented the Lord in respect to Divine good, and their garments the Lord in respect to Divine truth. (But these things may be seen explained and shown in The Arcana Coelestia; as that Aaron represented the Lord in respect to Divine good, n. 9806, 9946, 10017; also what each of their garments signified, the breastplate, the ephod, the cloak, the tunic wrought with checker work, the miter, and the belt, n. 9814, 9823-9828)


1.  The Latin has "knowledge," for "knowledges."


(Odkazy: Luke 5:36-38; Psalms 45:8; Revelation 19:13-14)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 181, 187, 198, 240, 243, 271, 328, 329, 356, 359, 375, 386, 401, 412, 452, 475, 519, 627, 637, 655, 717, 805, 820, 922, 951, 1007, 1222

Other New Christian Commentary

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