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Hosea 8

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1 Set the trumpet to thy mouth. [He cometh] as an eagle against the house of Jehovah, because they have transgressed my covenant, and rebelled against my law.

2 They shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee; [we], Israel.

3 Israel hath cast off good: the enemy shall pursue him.

4 They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not; of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.

5 Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast [thee] off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will they be incapable of purity?

6 For from Israel is this also: -- a workman made it, and it is no God: for the calf of Samaria shall be [broken in] pieces.

7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; should it sprout, it would yield no meal; if so be it yield, strangers shall swallow it up.

8 Israel is swallowed up: now are they become among the nations as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.

9 For they are gone up [to] Assyria [as] a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

10 Although they hire among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall begin to be straitened under the burden of the king of princes.

11 Because Ephraim hath multiplied altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.

12 I have prescribed unto him the manifold things of my law: they are counted [as] a strange thing.

13 They sacrifice flesh [for] the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; Jehovah hath no delight in them. Now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.

14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 191


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 921, 1949, 3881, 5354, 9146, 9391, 9714, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 242, 343, 392

Sacred Scripture 79


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 55, 242, 279, 391, 419, 1153

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Word/Phrase Explanations

eagle
Eagle wings, referred to in Daniel 7:3, signify rational principles grounded in man's proprium.

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...

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...

Cry
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....

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...

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...

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...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

enemy
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

Pursue
'To pursue,' as in Genesis 14:16, signifies a state of purification, because 'to pursue enemies' is the expulsion of evils and falsities which were with...

silver
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

gold
'Money' relates to truth.

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

calf
Calves of the lips (Hos 14:2) are confessions from the affection of truth.

Samaria
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

workman
'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...

wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

reap
'To reap' signifies executing judgment. 'Reaping' denotes the reception of truth in good.

Meal
'Meal and farina' signifies the truth of faith, or truth from good.

swallowed
To 'swallow' signifies natural truth.

Nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

Burden
A burden (Jer. 17:4) signifies that which is from the proprium of man.

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

altars
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

law
All laws, even civil and judicial laws, which are in the Word, correspond to the laws of good and truth, which are in heaven.

flesh
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...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

remember
'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...

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

visit
The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

sins
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

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...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

forgotten
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

buildeth
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

judah
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.

cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

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...

fire
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...

palaces
'A palace,' as in Psalm 144:12, represents the understanding in which truths have a beautiful form. They have a beautiful form when they are from...

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Sacred Scripture # 79

Sacred Scripture (Dole translation)      

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79. There are many passages in the prophets about our understanding of the Word, passages about the church, where it tells us that the church exists only where the Word is properly understood, and that the quality of a church depends on the quality of the understanding of the Word among its members. There are also many passages in the prophets that describe the church among the Israelite and Jewish people, a church that was utterly destroyed and annihilated by the distortion of the Word’s meaning or message, for this is exactly what destroys a church.

[2] The name Ephraim in the prophets, especially in Hosea, symbolizes both true and false understandings of the Word, because Ephraim in the Word means the understanding of the Word in the church. It is because the understanding of the Word makes a church that Ephraim is called “a precious child, and one born of delights” (Jeremiah 31:20), “the firstborn” (Jeremiah 31:9), “the strength of Jehovah’s head” (Psalms 60:7; 108:8), “powerful” (Zechariah 10:7), and “filled with a bow” (Zechariah 9:13); and the children of Ephraim are called “armed” and “bow-shooters” (Psalms 78:9). The bow means a body of teaching from the Word fighting against what is false.

So too, Ephraim was transferred to the right of Israel and blessed, and accepted in place of Reuben (Genesis 48:5, 11, and following; [1 Chronicles 5:1]). And therefore Ephraim, together with his brother Manasseh, was exalted over all by Moses in his blessing of the children of Israel in the name of their father Joseph (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).

(Odkazy: Genesis 48:11-15; Hosea 1:1)


[3] The prophets, especially Hosea, also use “Ephraim” to describe what the church is like when its understanding of the Word has been lost, as we can see from the following:

Israel and Ephraim will stumble. Ephraim will be desolate. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment. I will be like a lion to Ephraim: I will tear them and leave; I will carry them off and no one will rescue them. (Hosea 5:5, 9, 11, 14)

What shall I do to you, Ephraim? Your holiness goes away like a cloud at dawn and like the morning dew that falls. (Hosea 6:4)

(Odkazy: Hosea 1:1, Hosea 5:11-14)


[4] They will not dwell in the land of Jehovah: Ephraim will go back to Egypt and will eat what is unclean in Assyria. (Hosea 9:3)

The land of Jehovah is the church, Egypt is the preoccupation of the earthly self with mere facts, and Assyria is rationalizing based on those facts; all of which lead to distortion of the Word in regard to the way it is understood. That is why it says that Ephraim will go back to Egypt and will eat what is unclean in Assyria.

[5] Ephraim feeds on the wind and chases the east wind. Every day he increases lies and devastation. He makes a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried down into Egypt. (Hosea 12:1)

To feed on the wind, chase the east wind, and increase lies and devastation is to distort what is true and in this way destroy the church.

[6] Much the same is also meant by Ephraim’s whoredom, since whoredom means distortion of the way the Word is understood - that is, distortion of its genuine truth. See the following passages:

I know Ephraim; he has committed whoredom in every way and Israel has been defiled. (Hosea 5:3)

I have seen something foul in the house of Israel: Ephraim has committed whoredom there, and Israel has been defiled. (Hosea 6:10)

Israel is the church itself and Ephraim is the understanding of the Word that is the source of the church and that determines its quality, so it says that Ephraim has committed whoredom and Israel has been defiled.

[7] Since the church among Jews had been completely destroyed because of its distortions, it says of Ephraim,

Am I to give you up, Ephraim? Am I to hand you over, Israel? Like Admah? Shall I make you like Zeboiim? (Hosea 11:8)

Since the book of the prophet Hosea, from the first chapter to the last, is about the distortion of the Word and the consequent destruction of the church, and since whoredom means the distortion of truth in the church, the prophet was commanded to represent that state of the church by taking a whore as his wife and fathering children by her (chapter 1); and also by forming a relationship with a woman who was committing adultery (chapter 3).

(Odkazy: Hosea 1:2-9, 3:2-3)


[8] These instances have been presented so that readers may know and be assured from the Word that the quality of a church depends on the quality of the understanding of the Word in it - outstanding and priceless if its understanding comes from genuine truths from the Word, but in ruins, actually filthy, if it comes from distortions.

For further evidence that Ephraim means the understanding of the Word, and in its opposite sense a distorted understanding leading to the destruction of the church, you may check some other passages that deal with Ephraim: Hosea 4:17-18; 7:1, 11; 8:9, 11; 9:11-13, 16; 10:11; 11:3; 12:1, 8, 14; 13:1, 8, 14; Isaiah 17:3; 28:1; Jeremiah 4:15; 31:6, 18; 50:19; Ezekiel 37:16; 48:5; Obadiah verse 19; Zechariah 9:10.

(Odkazy: Hosea 11:12, 13:12)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 44, 297, 360, 571, 629, 740

Divine Providence 172, 256

Sacred Scripture 114


   Parallel Passages:

True Christianity 247


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


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