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Ezekiel 14

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1 And there came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.

2 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?

4 Therefore speak to them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet, I Jehovah will answer him according to this, according to the multitude of his idols:

5 that I may take the house of Israel by their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Return ye, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, who separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet to inquire of me by him, I Jehovah will answer him by myself;

8 and I will set my face against that man, and will make him desolate, [so that he shall be] for a sign and for proverbs, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people: and ye shall know that I [am] Jehovah.

9 And if the prophet be enticed and shall speak a word, I Jehovah have enticed that prophet; and I will stretch out my hand against him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

10 And they shall bear their iniquity: the iniquity of the prophet shall be even as the iniquity of the inquirer;

11 that the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither make themselves any more unclean with all their transgressions; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, saith the Lord Jehovah.

12 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

13 Son of man, when a land sinneth against me by working unfaithfulness, and I stretch out my hand upon it, and break the staff of the bread thereof, and send famine upon it, and cut off man and beast from it;

14 though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, should be in it, they should deliver [but] their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord Jehovah.

15 If I cause evil beasts to pass through the land, and they bereave it, and it become a desolation, so that no one passeth through because of the beasts;

16 -- though these three men should be in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters: they only should be delivered, and the land should be a desolation.

17 Or [if] I bring the sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land, so that I cut off man and beast from it,

18 and these three men should be in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only themselves should be delivered.

19 Or [if] I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast,

20 and Noah, Daniel, and Job should be in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, they should deliver neither son nor daughter: they should [but] deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

21 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the evil beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast!

22 But behold, there shall be left in it those that escape, who shall be brought out of [it], sons and daughters. Behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings; and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, as to all that I have brought upon it.

23 And they shall comfort you, when ye see their way and their doings; and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord Jehovah.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 137


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 576, 2165, 2921, 4876, 5536, 7102, 7505, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 323, 459, 485, 543, 567, 883, 939

The Lord 28


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 386, 388, 412, 587, 650, 724, 727, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 58

Nine Questions 9

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Elders of Israel
The elders of Israel (Deut. 1:13, 15) represent celestial men.

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

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

the Word
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
'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...

Jehovah
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...

son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

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...

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

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

iniquity
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

to
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

saith
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...

man of the
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...

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

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

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

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

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

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

return
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...

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

faces
“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...

strangers
The word "stranger" is used many times in the Bible, and it is sometimes paired with the word "sojourner". They are different concepts in the...

sign
'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

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

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

stretch out
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

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

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

go
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...

unclean
'Pollution' denotes the truth of faith defiled.

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

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

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

break
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

staff
'A staff' signifies power because it is a support for the hand and arm, and through these to the whole body. A staff takes on the...

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

send
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

beast
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Three men
'The three men' who appeared to Abraham, as in Genesis 18:2, signify the essential divine, the divine human, and the holy proceeding.

noah
'Noah,' as in Genesis 5:29, signifies the ancient church, or the parent of the three churches after the flood.

souls
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...

righteousness
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

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

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

sons
'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...

daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

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

Pour out
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...

fury
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.

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

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

famine
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

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

see
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...

way
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...

comforted
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

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Sons of the stranger      

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'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 Psalm 144:11-12.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 489; Psalms 144:11)

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Arcana Coelestia # 5536

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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5536. 'You have bereaved me [of my children]' means that thus no Church existed any longer. This is clear from the representation of Jacob, the one who says this about himself, as the good of truth, dealt with in 3659, 3669, 3677, 3775, 4234, 4273, 4538 (and as the good of truth is represented, so also is the Church because good is the essential element of the Church. It therefore amounts to the same whether you say the good of truth or the Church, for the person who has the good of truth present with him has the Church present with him. 'Jacob' represents the Church, see 4286, 4520, and that being so his sons represent the truths known to the Church, 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512); and from the meaning of 'bereaving' as depriving the Church of its truths and forms of good, such as those here which are represented by Joseph, Benjamin, and Simeon, to whom reference is made directly after the words 'you have bereaved me'.

[2] 'Bereaving' is depriving the Church of its truths for the reason that the Church is likened to a marriage. Good is likened to the husband and truth to the wife, while the truths born from that marriage are likened to 'the sons' and the forms of good to 'the daughters', and so on. When therefore a state of bereavement or an action causing this is mentioned, the meaning is that the Church has been deprived of its truths and as a consequence ceases to be a Church. The expressions 'bereft' and 'bereavement' are also used in various other places in the Word, as in

Ezekiel,

I will send famine and evil wild animals upon you, and I will make you bereft. Ezekiel 5:17.

In the same prophet,

When I cause evil wild animals to pass through the land and they leave it bereft so that it becomes a desolation, with the result that no one passes through on account of the wild animals. Ezekiel 14:15.

In Leviticus,

I will send into you the wild animals of the field, which will leave you bereft and will cut off your beasts, 1 and make you few in number, so that your roads are laid waste. Leviticus 26:22.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 45:15)


[3] In these quotations 'famine' stands for an absence of cognitions of good and truth and the consequent desolation, 'evil wild animals' for falsities derived from evils, and 'the land' for the Church. 'Sending famine and evil wild animals, and leaving the land bereft' stands for destroying the Church by means of falsities derived from evils and so depriving it completely of truths. In Jeremiah,

I will winnow them with a winnowing-fork in the gates of the land; I will bereave, I will destroy My people. Jeremiah 15:7.

Here also 'bereaving' stands for depriving of truths. In the same prophet,

Give their children over to the famine, and cause them to be wiped out by the power of the sword, 2 so that their wives become bereaved [of children] and widows. Jeremiah 18:11.

'So that their wives become bereaved and widows' stands for their being left without truths or good.

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 18:21)


[4] In Hosea,

As for the Ephraimites, their glory will fly away like a bird, away from birth, and from the belly, and from conception. Even if they bring up their sons, I will make them bereft of human beings. Hosea 9:11-12.

Here the meaning is similar. In Ezekiel,

I will cause human beings to walk upon you, even My people; and those human beings will by inheritance take possession of you and you will be an inheritance to them; no more will you bereave them [of their children]. Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Because they say to you, You have been one devouring human beings and one bereaving your peoples [of children]. Ezekiel 36:12-13.

Here also 'bereaving' stands for depriving of truths.

[5] In Isaiah,

Now hear this, you lover of pleasures, sitting securely, saying in her 3 heart, I am, and there is no one else like me; a widow I shall not sit, nor shall I know bereavement [of children]. But these two things will come to you in a moment in one day-bereavement and widowhood. Isaiah 47:8-9.

This refers to the daughter of Babel and to Chaldea, that is, to those who are outwardly holy but inwardly unholy and who call themselves the Church by virtue of that outward holiness. 'Bereavement and widowhood' stands for a deprivation of truth and good. In the same prophet,

Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you. The children of your bereavements will say again in your ears, The place is too narrow for me; yield me a place to dwell in. But you will say in your heart, Who has begotten these for me, when yet I am bereft [of children] and alone, an exile and one who has been displaced? Who therefore has brought these up? I was left, alone. These, where were they? Isaiah 49:18, 20-21.

This refers to Zion, which is the celestial Church, and to its fruitfulness after it had been laid waste. 'The sons of bereavements' stands for the truths of which it was deprived when laid waste, but which were restored and underwent enormous increase.

-----
Footnotes:

1. i.e. cattle

2. literally, cause them to flow down by means of the hand of the sword

3. The Latin means your but the Hebrew means her, which Swedenborg has in another place where he quotes this verse.

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(Odkazy: Genesis 42:36)


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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5540, 5632, 6337

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121


Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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