Ezekiel 21

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1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

2 Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and let thy speech flow towards the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel:

3 And say to the land of Israel: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I come against thee, and I will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off in thee the just, and the wicked.

4 And forasmuch as I have cut off in thee the just, and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh, from the south even to the north.

5 That all flesh may know that I the Lord have drawn my sword out of its sheath not to be turned back.

6 And thou, son of man, mourn with the breaking of thy loins, and with bitterness sigh before them.

7 And when they shall say to thee: Why mournest thou? thou shalt say: For that which I hear: because it cometh, and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be made feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and water shall run down every knee: behold it cometh, and it shall be done, saith the Lord God.

8 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

9 Son of man, prophesy, and say: Thus saith the Lord God: Say: The sword, the sword is sharpened, and furbished.

10 It is sharpened to kill victims: it is furbished that it may glitter: thou removest the sceptre of my son, thou hast cut down every tree.

11 And I have given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, that it may be in the hand of the slayer.

12 Cry, and howl, 0 son of man, for this sword is upon my people, it is upon all the princes of Israel, that are fled: they are delivered up to the sword with my people, strike therefore upon thy thigh,

13 Because it is tried: and that when it shall overthrow the sceptre, and it shall not be, saith the Lord God.

14 Thou therefore, O son of man, prophesy, and strike thy hands together, and let the sword be doubled, and let the sword of the slain be tripled: this is the sword of a great slaughter, that maketh them stand amazed,

15 And languish in heart, and that multiplieth ruins. In all their gates I have set the dread of the sharp sword, the sword that is furbished to glitter, that is made ready for slaughter.

16 Be thou sharpened, go to the right hand, or to the left, which way soever thou hast a mind to set thy face.

17 And I will clap my hands together, and will satisfy my indignation: I the Lord have spoken.

18 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

19 And thou son of man, set thee two ways, for the sword of the king of Babylon to come: both shall come forth out of one land: and with his hand he shall draw lots, he shall consult at the head of the way of the city.

20 Thou shalt make a way that the sword may come to Rabbath of the children of Ammon, and to Juda unto Jerusalem the strong city.

21 For the king of Babylon stood in the highway, at the head of two ways, seeking divination, shuffling arrows: he inquired of the idols, and consulted entrails.

22 On his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in slaughter, to lift up the voice in howling, to set engines against the gates, to cast up a mount, to build forts.

23 And he shall be in their eyes as one consulting the oracle in vain, and imitating the leisure of sabbaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity that they may be taken.

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because you have remembered your iniquity, and have discovered your prevarications, and your sins have appeared in all your devices: because, I say, you have remembered, you shall be taken with the hand.

25 But thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come that hath been appointed in the time of iniquity:

26 Thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, take off the crown: is it not this that hath exalted the low one, and brought down him that was high?

27 I will shew it to be iniquity, iniquity, iniquity: but this was not done till he came to whom judgment belongeth, and I will give it him.

28 And thou son of man, prophesy, and say: Thus saith the Lord God concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach, and thou shalt say: sword, O sword, come out of the scabbard to kill, be furbished to destroy, and to glitter,

29 Whilst they see vain things in thy regard, and they divine lies: to bring thee upon the necks of the wicked that are wounded, whose appointed day is come in the time of iniquity.

30 Return into thy sheath. I will judge thee in the place wherein thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.

31 And I will pour out upon thee my indignation: in the fire of my rage will I blow upon thee, and will give thee into the hands of men that are brutish and contrive thy destruction.

32 Thou shalt be fuel for the fire, thy blood shall be in the midst of the land, thou shalt be forgotten: for I the Lord have spoken it.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 144

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 309, 574, 2799, 4111, 6563, 8294, 8813, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 52, 748, 759, 924

Conjugial Love 156

The Lord 4, 28, 48

True Christian Religion 156, 322

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 126, 131, 183, 504, 600, 840, 1082

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 58

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Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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,' 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...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

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 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...

'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...

“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

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

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

As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

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

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

He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

Go forth
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...

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...

Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

'South' denotes truth in light.

'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

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

Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

'Loins' in general, signify love, and when referring to the Lord, divine love. 'Loins' signify the interiors of conjugial love. Loins,' as in Isaiah 11:5,...

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

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

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...

'To melt' denotes vanishing before the heat of lust.

'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

A knee,' as in Genesis 30:5, signifies conjugial love. The king,' as in Isaiah 66:12, signifies celestial love. A knee,' as in Ezekiel 7:17, signifies...

'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

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

As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

'To wail and howl,' as in Micah 1:8, signifies the grief of the angels of heaven and the people of the church, where the church...

In Revelation 19:16, 'the Lord’s thigh' signifies the Word regarding its divine good. 'The thigh and loins' signify conjugial love, and because this is the...

'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.

'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

'A multitude of slain' relates to people who perish from falsities, and 'a great number of carcasses,' of people who perish from evils, as in...

The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

'Slaughter' signifies perdition and damnation. 'Slaughter' and 'a storm of slaughter,' signifies evils which destroy the goods of the church. 'The day of great slaughter'...

In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

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 set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

Babylon was an ancient city built on the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. It once was the capital of a great empire...

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

The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

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

The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

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


A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Ammonite and Moabite ('Deuteronomy 23:3'), signify the profanation of the celestial and spiritual things of faith.

City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

In the Word, arrows stand for truths which defend person from falsity. In Arcana Coelestia 2709, it says this when discussing Genesis 21:20: "And he...

Right hand
'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...

To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

Open the mouth
'To open the mouth,' as in Revelation 12:16, signifies bringing truths from the Word.

In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

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

'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

In vain
'To take the Lord's name in vain,' denotes profaning divine truths with blasphemies and applying divine teachings to idolatrous worship, as the Jews did when...

'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...

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

'Bound up transgressions,' as in Lamentations 1:14, stands for falsities coming up towards interior or rational things.

The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

'A turban' signifies intelligence of truth.

'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...

The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

'Vanity' signifies evil and the falsity of evil. 'Vanities of strangers' signifies falsities of religion.

When people lie or speak falsely in the Bible, It represents what Swedenborg calls "falsity of faith" and the resulting "evil of faith." This is...

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...

'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...

It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

The creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis means the new creation of the celestial church called 'Man'.

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...

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...

Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

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



Pour out      

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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 who study and receive the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

(Odkazy: Apocalypse Revealed 676; Revelation 16:1)

Ze Swedenborgových děl


Apocalypse Explained # 840

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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840. Verse 17. And that no one be able to buy and 1 to sell if he hath not the mark of the beast, signifies forbidding anyone to learn and teach anything but what has been acknowledged and thence accepted in doctrine. This is evident from the signification of "to buy and to sell," as being to acquire knowledges to oneself and to communicate them to others, thus to learn and to teach (of which presently). "To cause no one to be able" signifies to forbid. It is evident also from the signification of a "mark," as being an attestation and sign of acknowledgment that those who are in these so-called truths and goods of that faith are of the church (see just above, n. 838). From this it is clear that "to cause that no one be able to buy and to sell save he that hath the mark of the beast" signifies forbidding anyone to learn and to teach anything but what has been acknowledged and also accepted in doctrine. "To buy and to sell" signifies to acquire for oneself the knowledges of truth and good from the Word and to communicate them, or what is the same, to learn and teach, because "wealth and riches" signify in the Word the knowledges of truth and good; and "silver and gold," by means of which buying and selling are conducted, signify the truths and goods of heaven and the church; and this is why "buying and selling," and also "doing business and trading," are spoken of in the Word here and there, and why they signify spiritual buying and selling, and doing business and trading.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 51:1; Revelation 13:17; The Apocalypse Explained 838)

[2] As in Isaiah:

Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no silver, come ye, buy and eat; come, I say, buy wine and milk without silver and without price (Isaiah 55:1).

Everyone sees that by "buying wine and milk" is not here meant buying such things. And as "to buy" signifies to acquire for oneself such things as contribute to man's spiritual life, evidently the particulars here are to be spiritually understood; thus the "waters" to which everyone that thirsts may come signify truths for those that desire them; "waters," meaning truths from the Word, and "to thirst" meaning to desire them; that these are given freely from the Lord is signified by "he that hath no silver," also by "without silver and without price;" "to eat" signifies to appropriate to oneself; "wine and milk" signify spiritual truth and natural truth therefrom, both from good.

[3] In Matthew:

The prudent virgins said to the foolish, Go ye rather to them that sell, and buy oil for yourselves; but while they went away to them to buy the bridegroom came (Matthew 25:9, 10).

"The prudent virgins" signify those in the church with whom faith is conjoined to charity, and "the foolish" signify those in the church with whom faith is separated from charity; for "lamps" signify the truths of faith, and "oil" signifies the good of love; therefore "to go to them that sell and to buy" signifies to those who teach, and to learn or acquire for oneself. But as such had not acquired for themselves the good of love, and vivified by that means the truths of faith, while they lived in the world, but had acquired them afterwards, and as no one can acquire for himself the good of love after death and retain it, so these foolish virgins, by whom all who separate the good of love or the good of charity from the truths of faith are signified, were not admitted to the marriage feast nor received by the bridegroom. "The marriage feast" signifies heaven, and "the bridegroom" the Lord.

(Odkazy: Matthew 25:9-10)

[4] In the Gospels:

Jesus entered into the temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of them that sold doves (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; Luke 19:45).

"Those that sold and bought" here signify those who make gain for themselves out of holy things; the "tables of the money-changers" signifies those who do this from holy truths; and the "seats of them who sold doves" those who do it from holy goods; therefore it is afterwards said that they made the temple "a den of thieves," "thieves" meaning those who pillage the truths and goods of the church, and thus make to themselves gain.

[5] In Luke:

As it came to pass in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded (Luke 17:28).

"To eat and drink" signifies here to live for self and the world, and to appropriate to oneself evils and falsities; "to buy and sell" signifies to acquire these and to communicate them to others; "to plant and build" signifies to confirm oneself in these, and to live in them.

[6] In the same:

Jesus said, Now he who hath a purse let him take it, and likewise a wallet; but he that hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one (Luke 22:36).

What is meant by these words is evident from what follows there, namely, that "this which was written must be fulfilled in the Lord" (verse 37), thus that He was to suffer the cross; and since this must needs distract the minds of those who were then living, as well as the minds of the disciples, and lead them into doubts respecting the Lord and His kingdom, and thus into temptations, and these doubts could be dispelled only by means of truths, therefore the Lord says, "he that hath a purse and a wallet let him take them," that is, he that possesses truths from the Word, in which it is foretold that Christ must suffer such things, let him take heed not to lose them; for the purse and the wallet have a similar signification as the coins and money in them, namely, the knowledges of truth and good from the Word. "But he that hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one," signifies let those who have no truths reject what is their own, and acquire the truths with which they may fight against falsities, "sword" signifying the combat of truth against falsity, and the destruction of falsity.

(Odkazy: Luke 22:37)

[7] As "Tyre" signifies the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good, and thence also the knowledges of truth and good which belong to the church, and which are serviceable for its doctrine, so where "Tyre" is treated of in the Word, her "tradings" are also treated of, which signify the acquisition and also the communication to others of these knowledges, as in Ezekiel:

All the ships were for the trading of thy traffic; Tarshish was thy trader in silver, iron, tin, and lead; they traded for thy merchandise. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, these were thy merchants; they traded for the merchandise with the soul of man and with vessels of brass. The sons of Dedan were thy merchants, many islands were the merchants of thy hand. Syria was thy trader with chrysoprasus. But thy riches and thy tradings, thy merchandise, and they who trade thy traffic, shall fall into the heart of the seas in the day of thy fall (Ezekiel 27:12, to the end).

In Isaiah:

Howl, ye ships of Tarshish, for Tyre is devastated, whose merchants are princes, her traders the honored of the earth (Isaiah 23:1, 8).

Everyone can see that tradings and merchandise here do not mean tradings and merchandise; for what has the Word, which in itself is Divine and heavenly, and teaches man about God, heaven and the church, eternal life, and the like, in common with such things? Therefore who cannot see that all the particulars here signify spiritual things which pertain to heaven and the church, not only the names of the lands here mentioned with which trading was carried on, but also their special kinds of merchandise? But it would take too much space to explain here what the particulars in the spiritual sense signify; it is enough to know that "tradings" here signify the acquisition and communication of the knowledges of truth and good; and that "merchandise or wares" signify these knowledges; which are multifarious.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 27)

[8] That this is the signification is evident also from these words in Ezekiel:

In thy wisdom and in thine intelligence thou hast made to thyself wealth; and hast made gold and silver in thy treasures; by the abundance of thy wisdom in thy trading thou hast multiplied to thyself wealth (Ezekiel 28:4, 5).

This treats of the prince of Tyre, by whom the knowledges of truth from the Word, through which come intelligence and wisdom, are meant; and as these same knowledges are signified by "wealth," and the acquisition of them by "trading," it is said, "by the multiplication 2 of thy wisdom in thy trading thou hast multiplied to thyself wealth."

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 28:4-5)

[9] From all this it can now be seen why:

The Lord compared the kingdom of the heavens to a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:45, 46).

"Pearls" signify knowledges, and also truths themselves; and "the one of great price" signifies the acknowledgment of the Lord; and "to sell all that he had" signifies to set aside all things that are of one's own love, and "to buy it" signifies to procure for oneself that Divine truth.

(Odkazy: Matthew 13:45-46)

[10] The like is meant by:

The treasure hidden in a field, which a man having found hid, and for joy he went and sold all things whatsoever that he had and bought the field (Matthew 13:44).

The "treasure" signifies the Divine truth that is in the Word; and the "field" signifies the church and its doctrine; and "to sell all things whatsoever that he had and buy the field" signifies here as above, to set aside what is one's own and to acquire for oneself the Divine truth that is in the Lord's church.

[11] As "trading" signifies the acquisition and possession of truths, the Lord spake by a parable:

Of a man going on a journey, who gave to his servants talents, that they might trade with them and make gain (Matthew 25:14-30);

and of another:

Who gave to his servants ten pounds, that they might trade with them (Luke 19:12-26).

"To trade," "tradings," and "traders," have the same signification elsewhere in the Word; also the contrary sense, in which they signify the reception and appropriation of falsities (as in Isaiah 48:15; Ezekiel 16:3; Nahum 3:14; Revelation 18:3, 11-24). So the church in which such things exist is called:

A land of trading (Ezekiel 16:29; 21:30, 31; 29:14).

Moreover, "to sell" and "to be sold" signify to alienate truths and to be alienated from them, and to accept falsities in their place, and to be captivated by them (Isaiah 50:1; 52:3; Ezekiel 30:12; Joel 3:6, 7; Nahum 3:4; Zechariah 13:5; Psalms 44:11-13; Deuteronomy 32:30). From this can be seen what is properly signified by "being redeemed and redemption," where the Lord is treated of; as in Isaiah:

Ye have sold yourselves for nought; therefore ye shall be redeemed without silver (Isaiah 52:3);

and in many passages elsewhere.


1.  The Latin has "et," but in the text of the chapter we read "aut."

2.  The photolithograph reads "multiplicationem," but just above "multitudinem."


(Odkazy: Ezekiel 21:30-31; Joel 3:6-7; Matthew 13:44-46; Nahum 3:16)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 835, 860, 1104, 1138, 1190

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