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


Conjugial Love # 156

Conjugial Love (Rogers translation)      

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156. 14. The state of marriage is preferable to a state of celibacy. This follows from what has been said so far about marriage and celibacy. The state of marriage is preferable because it exists from creation; because the origin of it is the marriage between good and truth; because it corresponds to the marriage of the Lord and the church; because the church and conjugial love are constant companions; and because the use it serves is more excellent than the uses served by anything else in creation, seeing that it results, according to order, in the propagation of the human race, and also of the angelic heaven, since heaven exists from the human race. In addition to this, marriage is the completion of a person, for by marriage a person becomes a complete person, as we show next in the following chapter. 1 None of these things is true of celibacy.

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 14:5; Matthew 19:4-5)

[2] On the other hand, if one takes the proposition that a state of celibacy is better than the state of marriage and turns it over to an inquisition to approve and confirm by arguments, then these arguments lead to the following conclusions: That marriage is not sacred, nor can any marriage be chaste. Indeed, that chastity in the female sex is possible only in the case of those who refrain from marrying and take a vow of perpetual virginity. And moreover, that people who take a vow of perpetual celibacy are the kind of people meant by "eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:12). Besides many other conclusions which, stemming from an untrue premise, are also untrue.

"Eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God" mean spiritual eunuchs, and these are people who in their marriages abstain from the evils of licentious relationships. The statement plainly does not mean Italian castrati. 2

151r. [repeated] 3 To this I will append two narrative accounts. This is the first:

As I was returning home from the school of wisdom spoken of above in no. 132, on the way I saw an angel dressed in blue.

He attached himself to my side and said, "I see that you have come from one of the schools of wisdom and that you were pleased by what you heard there. I perceive, too, that you are not fully in this world, because you are at the same time in the natural world. You are therefore also not acquainted with our Olympian gymnasia, where sages of old meet and learn from newcomers from your world what changes and progressions the state of wisdom has gone through and is presently undergoing. This being the case, if you wish, I will take you to a place where many of the sages of old live, together with their descendants or disciples."

He then took me to a border region between the north and the east. And when from an elevation I looked out toward it, suddenly a city appeared, and on one side of it two hills, with the hill nearer the city being lower than the other.

And the angel said to me, "That city is called Athenaeum, the lower hill Parnassium, and the higher one Heliconeum. They are called by these names because in the city and around it live wise men of old from Greece, such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristippus, and Xenophon, along with their disciples and pupils."

I then asked about Plato and Aristotle. The angel said that they and their followers lived in another region, because they taught matters of reason having to do with the intellect, while the ones here taught matters of morality having to do with life.

[2] The angel said that scholarly envoys are frequently sent out from the city of Athenaeum to educated Christians, to find out from them what people presently think about God, the creation of the universe, the immortality of the soul, the nature of man compared to the nature of animals, and other things which are matters of interior wisdom. And the angel said that today a herald had announced an assembly, a sign that the envoys had found newcomers from the earth from whom they had heard some interesting news.

We then saw many people coming out of the city and from the surrounding area, some wearing laurel wreaths on their heads, some holding palm branches in their hands, some with books under their arms, and some with pens under the hair of the left temple.

We slipped in among them and together ascended. And lo, on the hill there was an octagonal palace, which they called the Palladium, and we went in. And behold, we saw there eight hexagonal alcoves, each with a set of bookcases in it, and also a table, at which the people with the laurel wreaths sat. Moreover, in the Palladium itself we saw benches carved out of stone, on which the rest of the people took their seats.

[3] And then a door opened on the left, through which two newcomers from earth were ushered in. And having first greeted them, one of those wearing the laurel wreaths asked: "What news do you have from earth?"

So the newcomers said, "The news is that some people resembling beasts, or beasts resembling people, have been found in a forest. From their facial and physical features, however, it has been reportedly learned that they were born human, and that they were lost or left in the forest when they were about two or three years old.

"According to the report," the newcomers said, "they are unable to express any thought verbally, nor are they able to learn how to articulate sound into the form of any word. Nor did they know what food was suitable for them, as animals do, but they thrust into their mouth things they found in the forest, both things fit to be eaten and things unfit - to mention only some of many other similar discoveries. As a result of these findings, some of the learned among us have formed a number of conjectures, and others conclusions, about the nature of human beings compared to the nature of animals."

[4] When they heard this, some of the sages of old inquired, "What conjectures and conclusions do they draw from these discoveries?"

The two newcomers then replied that there were a number of them, but that they could be reduced to the following:

1. By his own nature and also from birth, the human being is more stupid and thus worse off than any animal, and that is the way he turns out if he is not educated.

2. He can be educated because he learned how to make articulate sounds and thus to speak, and by that means began to express thoughts, and this gradually more and more, until he was able to formulate laws of society, though many of these laws are imprinted on animals from birth.

3. Animals have the same faculty of reason as human beings.

4. Therefore if animals could talk, they would reason on any subject as cleverly as human beings. It is an indication of their ability that they think in accordance with the same reason and prudence as human beings.

5. The intellect is no more than a modified form of light from the sun, aided by warmth, by means of the ether, so that it is only an activity of interior nature, and this activity can be raised to the point that it appears as wisdom.

6. It is therefore vain to believe that a person lives after death any more than an animal - unless perhaps, owing to an exhalation of the life of the body, he may possibly appear for several days after death as a vapor resembling a ghost, before it evaporates back into nature - in much the same way as a bush raised from the ashes appears in a likeness of its prior form.

7. Consequently, religion, which teaches life after death, is an invention to keep simple people in bondage from within by its laws, as they are kept in bondage from without by laws of the state.

To this the newcomers added, that that was merely how some clever people reasoned, but not the intelligent ones.

Their listeners then asked, "What is the reasoning of the intelligent ones?"

The newcomers answered that they had not heard, but it was what they supposed.

152r. [repeated] 3 On hearing these things, the people who were sitting at the tables all said, "Oh, what the times are like on earth now! Alas, what changes wisdom has undergone! Has wisdom become ingenious nonsense? The sun has set and now stands beneath the earth diametrically opposite its zenith!

"From the evidence of the people left and found in the forest, who cannot see that that is what a human being is like without education? Is he not as he is taught? Is he not born in a greater state of ignorance than animals? Does he not have to learn to walk and talk? If he did not learn to walk, would he stand erect upon his feet? And if he did not learn to talk, would he mutter anything he thought? Is everyone not as he is taught, irrational from being taught falsities, and wise from being taught truths? And one who is irrational from being taught falsities - is he not entirely caught up in the fantasy that he is wiser than one who is wise from being taught truths? Are there not fools and lunatics who are no more human than the people found in the forest? Are persons without memory not similar to them?

[2] "From these considerations and observations, we ourselves conclude that a person without education is not human, and not an animal either, but that he is a form of life which can receive into himself that which makes a person human. And thus we conclude that he is not born human, but becomes human; and that a person is born such a form of life in order that he may be an organism receptive of life from God, so that he may become a vessel into which God can introduce every kind of good and which by union with Himself He can bless to eternity.

"We perceive from what you have said that wisdom today has become so nonexistent or nonsensical that people know nothing at all about the nature of the life of human beings compared to the nature of the life of animals. That is why they also do not know the nature of man's life after death. Nevertheless, those who could know it, but do not wish to know it and therefore deny it, as many of your Christians do - we can liken them to the people found in the forest. Not that they have become that stupid from a lack of education; but by relying on misconceptions of the senses, which are dark shadows of truths, they have made themselves that stupid."

153r. [repeated] 3 At this point, however, someone in the middle of the Palladium stood up, holding a palm branch in his hand, and said, "Explain, please, this mystery, how a human being, created in the image of God, could be changed into the form of a devil. I know that angels of heaven are images of God and that angels of hell are images of the devil; and the two forms are opposite each other, angels of hell being forms of madness, angels of heaven forms of wisdom. Tell us, therefore, how a human being, created in the image of God, could pass from the light of day into such darkness of night that he could deny God and eternal life."

[2] To this the masters replied in turn, first the Pythagoreans, then the Socratics, and afterwards the rest.

But there was among them a certain Platonist. He spoke last, and his opinion prevailed. He said that people of the Saturnian period or golden age knew and acknowledged that they were recipient forms of life from God, and wisdom was therefore engraved on their souls and hearts. And consequently, from the light of truth they saw truth, and through truths perceived good from the delight of a love for good.

"However," he said, "in subsequent ages, the human race fell away from acknowledging that all truth of wisdom and consequent goodness of love in them continually flowed in from God; and as they fell away from this acknowledgment, they ceased to be dwelling places of God. Moreover, speech with God and association with angels also then ceased. For the orientation of the inner faculties of their minds, which had been directed upwards by God to God, became more and more bent in a slanting direction outward to the world, so that it was directed by God to God through the world; and finally it was turned upside down in the opposite direction, which is downwards to self. And because God cannot be regarded by a person who is inwardly upside down and thus turned away, people separated themselves from God and became forms of hell or the devil.

[3] "It follows from this that, in the first ages, people acknowledged with their heart and soul that all goodness of love and so truth of wisdom came to them from God, and also that these virtues were virtues of God in them, so that they themselves were merely recipients of life from God and for this reason were called images of God, sons of God, and born of God. But it follows then that, in succeeding ages, they no longer acknowledged this with their heart and soul, but did so owing to a certain conviction of belief, and then as a result of traditional faith, and finally with the lips alone. And to acknowledge something like this with the lips alone is not really acknowledging. Indeed, it is to deny at heart.

"Consequently it can be seen what wisdom is like today on earth among Christians - even though with their written revelation they could be inspired by God - when they do not know the difference between man and animal. And because of this, many of them believe that if a person lives after death, so will an animal. Or, because an animal does not live after death, so neither will a person. Has not our spiritual light, which enlightens the sight of the mind, become darkness in them? And their natural light, which enlightens only the sight of the body - has it not become their refulgence?"

154r. [repeated] 3 After this the people all turned to the two visitors and thanked them for their coming and for their account; and they begged them to report to their comrades what they had heard.

Then the visitors replied that they would convince their friends of this truth, that they are human to the extent that they attribute every good of charity and truth of faith to the Lord and not to themselves; and that in the same measure they become angels of heaven.

155r. [repeated] 3 The second account:

One morning I was awakened by the sound of very sweet singing from some height above me. And being therefore in the first moment of awakening, which is more internal, peaceful and gentle than any other moment of the day, I could be kept for a while in the spirit, as though outside the body, and could attend keenly to the affection which was being expressed in song. (A song in heaven is nothing but an affection of the mind which is expressed vocally as a melody, for it is the sound of one speaking without spoken words, coming from the same affection of love which gives life to speech.)

In that state I perceived that it was an affection having to do with the delights of conjugial love, which was turned into song by wives in heaven. I noticed that this was so from the sound of the singing, in which those delights were variously expressed in marvelous ways.

After this I arose and looked out into the spiritual world. And lo, in the east, beneath the sun there, I saw what seemed to be golden rain. It was morning mist, descending in such quantity that, struck by the rays of the sun, it presented to my eyes the appearance of golden rain. Being still more fully awakened on account of it, I went out in spirit, and then, meeting by chance an angel, I asked him whether he saw the golden rain coming down from the sun.

[2] Answering, he replied that he saw it whenever he was thinking about conjugial love and then turned his eyes in that direction.

He said further, "That rain falls upon a hall where there are three husbands with their wives, who live at the center of an eastern paradise. This kind of rain seems to be falling from the sun upon that hall, because abiding in those husbands and wives is wisdom concerning conjugial love and its delights - in the husbands, wisdom concerning conjugial love, and in the wives, wisdom concerning its delights.

"But since I perceive that you are thinking about the delights of conjugial love, I will take you to that hall and introduce you."

So he led me through areas befitting a paradise to houses which were built with boards of olive wood, with two columns of cedar in front of the entrance; and having introduced me to the husbands, he asked that I be allowed, in their presence, to speak with their wives.

They then nodded and called their wives.

The wives looked searchingly into my eyes. So I asked, "What are you looking at?" They said, "We can see keenly what attraction you feel and therefore what affection you have, which is where your thought concerning love for the opposite sex comes from. And we see that although you are thinking about it intently, still you are thinking chastely." They then said, "What do you want us to tell you about it?"

So I replied, "Please tell me something about the delights of conjugial love."

And the husbands nodded, saying, "Reveal to them something about these delights, if you wish. Their ears are chaste."

[3] So they asked, "Who told you that we were the ones to ask about the delights of that love? Why not our husbands?"

Then I replied, "This angel who is with me, he told me privately that wives are vessels receptive of and sensitive to those delights, because they are born forms of love, and all delights have to do with love."

Smiling at this they answered, "Be discreet, and do not say such a thing unless it can be interpreted in more than one way, because it is a point of wisdom kept deeply hidden in the hearts of our sex, which is not revealed to any husband except to one who is in a state of truly conjugial love. There are many reasons for this, which we conceal within and keep to ourselves."

At that the husbands then said, "Our wives know all the states of our mind, nor is anything hidden from them. They see, perceive and feel whatever comes from our will. And we in turn know nothing of this in our wives. Wives have this gift, because they have very tender loves and feelings of almost blazing zeal for the preservation of the friendship and trust in marriage and thus for the preservation of both partners' happiness of life. This happiness they watch over for their husbands and themselves from a wisdom inherent in their love - wisdom which is so full of discretion that they will not and therefore cannot say that they are the lovers, but that they are the recipients of love."

I then asked why wives will not and so cannot say this.

The wives replied that if the least suggestion of anything like this were to slip from their lips, their husbands would be invaded with coldness, which would separate them from their bed, bedroom, and sight.

"But this happens," they said, "in the case of people who do not hold marriage sacred, and who therefore do not love their wives with a spiritual love. It is different with those who do. This love in their minds is spiritual, and in the body becomes natural as a result of that. We here in this hall experience the natural love as a result of a spiritual one, and consequently we confide to our husbands secrets about the delights we feel having to do with conjugial love."

[4] At this point, I respectfully asked them to reveal something of these secrets to me as well. And immediately they looked toward the window to the south, where suddenly a white dove appeared. Its wings shone as though with silver, and its head was adorned with a crown seemingly of gold. It was standing on a branch, which had an olive growing out from it.

As they saw the dove engaged in an attempt to spread its wings, the wives said, "We will reveal something. When that dove appears, it is a sign to us that we may."

They then said, "Every man has five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. But we have also a sixth sense, which is a sense of all the delights of conjugial love in our husbands. We have this sense in the palms of our hands, whenever we touch our husbands' breasts, arms, hands or cheeks - especially their breasts - and also when we are touched by them. All the happy and pleasant states of the thoughts of their mind, and all the joys and delights of their heart, and the merry and cheerful feelings in their breast - these are then transmitted from them to us, taking form in us and becoming perceptible, discernible, and tangible. Moreover, we discern these things as keenly and as clearly as the ear discerns the melodies of songs, or as the tongue does the flavors of exquisite foods.

"In a word, the spiritual delights of our husbands take on a kind of natural embodiment in us. And for that reason, our husbands call us the sensory organs of chaste conjugial love and therefore of its delights. But this sense in our sex appears, continues, remains, and rises in the measure that our husbands love us for our wisdom and judgment, and in the measure that we love them in return for the same qualities in them. In heaven, this sense in our sex is called the interplay of wisdom with its love and of love with its wisdom."

[5] I was stirred by this with a desire to ask more questions, such as about the variety of the delights.

Answering, they said, "The variety is endless. However, we do not wish to say any more, and therefore we cannot, because the dove outside our window, with the olive branch under its feet, has flown away."

I then waited for its return, but in vain. Meanwhile, I asked the husbands, "Do you have a similar sense of conjugial love?"

And they replied, "We have one in general, but not in particular. We have a general sense of bliss, of delight, and of pleasant contentment, owing to the particular sensations of these in our wives. And this general sense, which we have from them, is like a peaceful serenity."

At these words, suddenly through the window a swan appeared, standing on the branch of a fig tree; and spreading its wings, it flew off.

Seeing this, the husbands said, "That is a sign for us to be silent about conjugial love. Come back from time to time, and perhaps more will be disclosed."

They then withdrew, and we departed.


An inclination and also a capacity for conjunction as though into one was implanted in man and woman from creation, and man and woman still have this inclination and capacity in them. That this is so appears from the book of creation, and at the same time from what the Lord said. In the book of creation, which we call Genesis, we read:

Jehovah God fashioned the rib, which He had taken from the man, into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And the man said, "This one, this time, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman ('ishshah), because she was taken from man ('ish). For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and they shall be as one flesh." (Genesis 2:22-24)

The Lord also said something similar in Matthew:

Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning...male and female..., said, "For this reason a man shall leave father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall be as one flesh"? Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. (Matthew 19:4-6)

[2] It is apparent from these verses that woman was created out of man, and that they each have both an inclination and a capacity for reuniting themselves into one. This means into one person, as is also apparent from the book of creation, where the two together are called "man." For we read:

In the day that God created man..., He created them male and female...and called their name Man.... (Genesis 5:1-2)

We find the reading here, "He called their name Adam," but "Adam" and "man" are the same word in the Hebrew. Moreover, both together are called "man" in Genesis 1:27 and 3:22-24. "One flesh" also means "one person," as is apparent from passages in the Word where the term "all flesh" occurs, meaning "every person" (such as in Genesis 6:12-13,17,19; 4 Isaiah 40:5-6, 49:26, 66:16,23-24; Jeremiah 25:31, 32:27, 45:5; Ezekiel 20:48, 21:4-5; and elsewhere).

[3] But as for the meaning of the rib of the man which was fashioned into a woman, of the flesh which was closed up in its place, and consequently what is meant by "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh," also what is meant by the father and mother which a man is to leave when he marries, and by his clinging to his wife - this we showed in Arcana Coelestia (The Secrets of Heaven), where we explained the two books, Genesis and Exodus, in their spiritual sense. We established there that a rib does not mean a rib, nor flesh flesh, nor a bone bone, nor cling cling, but that they mean spiritual things, to which they correspond and which they therefore symbolize. They mean the spiritual things which mold one person out of two, and this is evident from the fact that it is conjugial love which joins them together, and this love is spiritual.

We have said several times above that a man's love of wisdom is transferred into his wife, and this will be more fully established in the chapters that follow next. We cannot go off and thus digress now from the subject matter before us here, which is the conjunction of two married partners into one flesh by a union of their souls and minds. This union, however, will be made clear according to the following outline:

1. Each sex has implanted in it from creation a capacity and inclination that gives them the ability and the will to be joined together as though into one.

2. Conjugial love joins two souls and thus two minds into one.

3. A wife's will unites itself with her husband's understanding, and the husband's understanding in consequence unites itself with his wife's will.

4. A desire to unite her husband to her is constant and continual in a wife, but inconstant and intermittent in a husband.

5. A wife inspires the union in her husband according to her love, and a husband receives it according to his wisdom.

6. This union takes place gradually from the first days of marriage, and in people who are in a state of truly conjugial love, it becomes deeper and deeper to eternity.

7. A wife's union with her husband's intellectual wisdom takes place inwardly, but with his moral wisdom outwardly.

8. In order that this union may be achieved, a wife is given a perception of her husband's affections, and also the highest prudence in knowing how to moderate them.

9. Wives keep this perception in them hidden and conceal it from their husbands for reasons that are necessary in building conjugial love, friendship and trust, so that they may have bliss in living together and happiness of life.

10. This perception is a wisdom that the wife has. A man is not capable of it, neither is a wife capable of her husband's intellectual wisdom.

11. A wife from her love continually thinks about her husband's disposition towards her, with a view to joining him to her. This is not true of a husband.

12. A wife joins herself to her husband by appeals to his will's desires.

13. A wife is joined to her husband by the atmosphere of her life emanating from her love.

14. A wife is joined to her husband by her assimilation of the powers of his manhood, though this depends on the spiritual love they have for each other.

15. A wife thus receives into herself an image of her husband, and from it perceives, sees and feels his affections.

16. A husband has duties appropriate to him, and a wife duties appropriate to her, and a wife cannot enter into duties appropriate to her husband or a husband into duties appropriate to his wife and perform them properly.

17. These duties also join the two into one, and at the same time make a single household, depending on the assistance they render each other.

18. According as the aforementioned conjunctions are formed, married partners become more and more one person.

19. Partners who are in a state of truly conjugial love feel themselves to be a united person and as though one flesh.

20. Truly conjugial love regarded in itself is a union of souls, a conjunction of minds, an effort to conjunction in breasts, and a consequent effort to conjunction in body.

21. The states produced by this love are innocence, peace, tranquillity, inmost friendship, complete trust, and a mutual desire in mind and heart to do the other every good; also, as a result of all these, bliss, felicity, delight, pleasure, and, owing to an eternal enjoyment of states like this, the happiness of heaven.

22. These blessings are not at all possible except in a marriage of one man with one wife.

Explanation of these statements now follows.


1. See "The Conjunction of Souls and Minds by Marriage," nos. 156[r]ff.

2. Male singers, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent the soprano or contralto voice range from changing.

3. Section numbers 151-156 are used twice. To maintain the proper sequence they are all included after the first number 156. NewSearch98 thus treats them all as part of number 156. However, when referenced it should be to the specific number, such as 154r.

4. "All flesh" in Genesis 6:17,19 seems rather to refer to all animal life.


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Inbound References:

Conjugial Love 166, 173, 182, 202, 207, 208, 214, 334

   Parallel Passages:

True Christian Religion 692

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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation. The full title of this translation is "DELIGHTS OF WISDOM RELATING TO CONJUGIAL LOVE".