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Jérémie 51

French: Martin (1744)         

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1 Ainsi a dit l'Eternel : voici, je m'en vais faire lever un vent de destruction contre Babylone, et contre ceux qui habitent au cœur [du Royaume] de ceux qui s'élèvent contre moi.

2 Et j'enverrai contre Babylone des vanneurs qui la vanneront, et qui videront son pays; car de tous côtés ils seront venus contre elle au jour de son mal.

3 Qu'on bande l'arc contre celui qui bande son arc, et contre celui qui se confie en sa cuirasse; et n'épargnez point ses gens d'élite, exterminez à la façon de l'interdit toute son armée;

4 Et les blessés à mort tomberont au pays des Caldéens; et les transpercés [tomberont] dans ses places;

5 Car Israël et Juda n'est point privé de son Dieu, de l'Eternel des armées; quoique leur pays ait été trouvé par le Saint d'Israël plein de crimes.

6 Fuyez hors de Babylone, et sauvez chacun sa vie, ne soyez point exterminés dans son iniquité; car c'est le temps de la vengeance de l'Eternel; il lui rend ce qu'elle a mérité.

7 Babylone a été comme une coupe d'or en la main de l'Eternel, enivrant toute la terre; les nations ont bu de son vin; c'est pourquoi les nations en ont perdu l'esprit.

8 Babylone est tombée en un instant, et a été brisée; hurlez sur elle, prenez du baume pour sa douleur, peut-être qu'elle guérira.

9 Nous avons traité Babylone, et elle n'est point guérie; laissez-la et allons-nous-en chacun en son pays; car son procès est parvenu jusqu’aux cieux, et s'est élevé jusqu’aux nues.

10 L'Eternel a mis en évidence notre justice. Venez, et racontons en Sion l'œuvre de l'Eternel notre Dieu.

11 Fourbissez les flèches, et empoignez à pleines mains les boucliers; l'Eternel a réveillé l'esprit des Rois de Méde; car sa pensée est contre Babylone pour la détruire, parce que c'est ici la vengeance de l'Eternel, et la vengeance de son Temple.

12 Elevez l'enseigne sur les murailles de Babylone, renforcez la garnison, posez les gardes, préparez des embûches; car l'Eternel a formé un dessein, même il a fait ce qu'il a dit contre les habitants de Babylone.

13 Tu étais assise sur plusieurs eaux, abondante en trésors; ta fin est venue, et le comble de ton gain déshonnête.

14 L'Eternel des armées a juré par soi-même, en disant : si je ne te remplis d'hommes comme de hurebecs, et s'ils ne s'entre-répondent pour s'encourager contre toi.

15 C'est lui qui a fait la terre par sa vertu, et qui a rangé le monde habitable par sa sagesse, et qui a étendu les cieux par son intelligence.

16 Sitôt qu'il fait ouïr sa voix il y a un grand bruit d'eaux dans les cieux; après qu'il a fait monter du bout de la terre les vapeurs, ses éclairs annoncent la pluie, et il tire le vent hors de ses trésors.

17 Tout homme paraît abruti dans sa science; tout fondeur est rendu honteux par les images taillées; car ce qu'ils fondent est une fausseté, et il n'y a point de respiration en elles.

18 Elles ne sont que vanité, et un ouvrage propre à abuser; elles périront au temps de leur visitation.

19 La portion de Jacob n'est point comme ces choses-là; car c'est celui qui a tout formé, et il est le lot de son héritage; son Nom est l'Eternel des armées.

20 Tu m'as été un marteau [et] des instruments de guerre; par toi j'ai mis en pièces les nations, et par toi j'ai détruit les Royaumes.

21 Et par toi j'ai mis en pièces le cheval et celui qui le monte; et par toi j'ai mis en pièces le chariot et celui qui était monté dessus.

22 Et par toi j'ai mis en pièces l'homme et la femme; et par toi j'ai mis en pièces le vieillard et le jeune garçon; et par toi j'ai mis en pièces le jeune homme et la vierge.

23 Et par toi j'ai mis en pièces le pasteur et son troupeau; et par toi j'ai mis en pièces le laboureur et ses bœufs accouplés; et par toi j'ai mis en pièces les gouverneurs et les magistrats.

24 Mais je rendrai à Babylone, et à tous les habitants de la Caldée, tout le mal qu'ils ont fait à Sion, vous le voyant, dit l'Eternel.

25 Voici, j'en veux à toi, montagne qui détruis, dit l'Eternel, qui détruis toute la terre; et j'étendrai ma main sur toi, et je te roulerai en bas du haut des rochers, et je te réduirai en montagne d'embrasement.

26 Et on ne pourra prendre de toi aucune pierre pour la placer à l'angle de l'édifice, ni aucune pierre pour servir de fondement, car tu seras des désolations perpétuelles, dit l'Eternel.

27 Levez l'enseigne sur la terre, sonnez de la trompette parmi les nations; préparez les nations contre elle; convoquez contre elle les Royaumes d'Ararat, de Minni, et d'Askenas; établissez contre elle des Capitaines, faites monter ses chevaux comme le hurebec qui se hérisse.

28 Préparez contre elle les nations, les Rois de Méde, ses gouverneurs, et tous ses magistrats, et tout le pays de sa domination.

29 Et la terre en sera ébranlée, et en sera en travail, parce que tout ce que l'Eternel a pensé a été effectué contre Babylone, pour réduire le pays en désolation, tellement qu'il n'y ait personne qui [y] habite.

30 Les hommes forts de Babylone ont cessé de combattre, ils se sont tenus dans les forteresses, leur force est éteinte, et ils sont devenus [comme] des femmes; on a brûlé ses demeures; et ses barres ont été rompues.

31 Le courrier viendra à la rencontre du courrier, et le messager viendra à la rencontre du messager, pour annoncer au Roi de Babylone que sa ville est prise par un bout;

32 Et que ses gués sont surpris, et que ses marais sont brûlés au feu, et que les hommes de guerre sont épouvantés.

33 Car ainsi a dit l'Eternel des armées, le Dieu d'Israël : la fille de Babylone est comme une aire; il est temps qu'elle soit foulée; encore un peu, et le temps de sa moisson viendra.

34 Nébucadnetsar Roi de Babylone, [dira Jérusalem], m'a dévorée et m'a froissée; il m'a mise dans le même état qu'un vaisseau qui ne sert de rien; il m'a engloutie comme un dragon; il a rempli son ventre de mes délices, il m'a chassée au loin.

35 Ce qu'il m'a ravi par violence, et ma chair [est] à Babylone, dira l'habitante de Sion; et mon sang est chez les habitants de la Caldée, dira Jérusalem.

36 C'est pourquoi ainsi a dit l'Eternel : voici, je m'en vais plaider ta cause, et je ferai la vengeance pour toi; je dessécherai sa mer, et je ferai tarir sa source.

37 Et Babylone sera réduite en monceaux, en demeure de dragons, en étonnement, et en opprobre, sans que personne [y] habite.

38 Ils rugiront ensemble comme des lionceaux, et bruiront comme des faons de lions.

39 Je les ferai échauffer dans leurs festins, et les enivrerai, afin qu'ils se réjouissent, et qu'ils dorment d'un sommeil perpétuel, et qu'ils ne se réveillent plus, dit l'Eternel.

40 Je les ferai descendre comme des agneaux à la tuerie, et comme [on y mène] les moutons avec les boucs.

41 Comment a été prise Sésac? et [comment] a été saisie celle qui était la louange de toute la terre? comment Babylone a-t-elle été réduite en désolation parmi les nations?

42 La mer est montée sur Babylone, elle a été couverte de la multitude de ses flots.

43 Ses villes ont été un sujet d'étonnement, une terre sèche et de landes, un pays où personne ne demeure, et où il ne passe pas un fils d'homme.

44 Je punirai aussi Bel à Babylone, et je tirerai hors de sa bouche ce qu'il avait englouti, et les nations n'aborderont plus vers lui; la muraille même de Babylone est tombée.

45 Mon peuple, sortez du milieu d'elle, et sauvez chacun sa vie de l'ardeur de la colère de l'Eternel.

46 De peur que votre cœur ne s'amollisse, et que vous n'ayez peur des nouvelles qu'on entendra dans tout le pays; car des nouvelles viendront une année, et après cela [d'autres] nouvelles une [autre] année, et il y aura violence dans la terre, et dominateur sur dominateur.

47 C'est pourquoi voici, les jours viennent que je punirai les images taillées de Babylone, et tout son pays sera rendu honteux, et tous ses blessés à mort tomberont au milieu d'elle.

48 Les cieux, et la terre, et tout ce qui y est, se réjouiront avec chant de triomphe contre Babylone, parce qu'il viendra de l'Aquilon des destructeurs contre elle, dit l'Eternel.

49 Et comme Babylone a fait tomber les blessés à mort d'Israël, ainsi les blessés à mort de tout le pays tomberont à Babylone.

50 Vous qui êtes échappés de l'épée, marchez, ne vous arrêtez point; souvenez-vous de l'Eternel dans ces pays éloignés où vous êtes, et que Jérusalem vous revienne au cœur.

51 [Mais vous direz] : nous sommes honteux des reproches que nous avons entendus; la confusion a couvert nos faces, en ce que les étrangers sont venus contre les Sanctuaires de la maison de l'Eternel.

52 C'est pourquoi voici, les jours viennent, dit l'Eternel, que je ferai justice de ses images taillées, et les blessés à mort gémiront par tout son pays.

53 Quand Babylone serait montée jusqu'aux cieux, et qu'elle aurait fortifié le plus haut de sa forteresse, toutefois les destructeurs y entreront de par moi, dit l'Eternel.

54 Un grand cri s'entend de Babylone, et un grand débris du pays des Caldéens.

55 Parce que l'Eternel s'en va détruire Babylone, et il abolira du milieu d'elle la voix magnifique, et leurs flots bruiront comme de grosses eaux, l'éclat de leur bruit retentira.

56 Car le destructeur est venu contre elle, contre Babylone; ses hommes forts ont été pris, et leurs arcs ont été brisés; car le [Dieu] Fort des rétributions, l'Eternel, ne manque jamais à rendre la pareille.

57 J'enivrerai donc ses principaux et ses sages, ses gouverneurs et ses magistrats, et ses hommes forts; ils dormiront d'un sommeil perpétuel, et ils ne se réveilleront plus, dit le Roi dont le Nom est l'Eternel des armées.

58 Ainsi a dit l'Eternel des armées : Il n'y aura aucune muraille de Babylone, quelque large qu'elle soit, qui ne soit entièrement rasée; et ses portes, qui sont si hautes, seront brûlées au feu; ainsi les peuples auront travaillé inutilement, et les nations pour le feu, et elles s'y seront lassées.

59 C'est ici l'ordre que Jérémie le Prophète donna à Séraja, fils de Nérija, fils de Mahaséja, quand il alla de la part de Sédécias Roi de Juda en Babylone, la quatrième année de son Règne; or Séraja était principal Chambellan.

60 Car Jérémie écrivit dans un livre tout le mal qui devait venir sur Babylone; savoir toutes ces paroles qui sont écrites contre Babylone.

61 Jérémie donc dit à Séraja : Sitôt que tu seras venu à Babylone, et que tu l'auras vue, tu liras toutes ces paroles-là;

62 Et tu diras : Eternel, tu as parlé contre ce lieu-ci pour l'exterminer, en sorte qu'il n'y ait aucun habitant, depuis l'homme jusqu'à la bête, mais qu'il soit réduit en désolations perpétuelles.

63 Et sitôt que tu auras achevé de lire ce livre, tu le lieras à une pierre, et le jetteras dans l'Euphrate;

64 Et tu diras : Babylone sera ainsi plongée, et elle ne se relèvera point du mal que je m'en vais faire venir sur elle, et ils en seront accablés. Jusques ici sont les paroles de Jérémie.

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcanes Célestes 1368

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 117


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcanes Célestes 42, 150, 215, 583, 623, 1072, 1154, ...

L’Apocalypse Révélée 24, 158, 238, 241, 285, 298, 316, ...

Doctrine de a Nouvelle Jérusalem sur Le Seigneur 4, 39, 40, 47, 48, 53

Du Ciel et de L'Enfer 365

La Vraie Religion Chrétienne 93, 158


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 63, 187, 261, 273, 275, 278, 304, ...

Nine Questions 4

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 19, 21, 51, 98

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Word/Phrase Explanations

dit
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...

l'eternel
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...

Vent
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...

Babylone
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...

habitent
'To tarry,' as in Genesis 27:44, signifies almost the same thing as 'to dwell,' except that 'to tarry' relates to the life of truth with...

cœur
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...

Pays
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

côtés
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

jour
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

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

arc
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

armée
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

mort
'The slain' when referring to the Lord, as in Revelation 5, means the separation of everything from the divine. In denial of His divinity, He...

Israël
'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...

Juda
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.

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

armées
Armies of the heavens and the sands of the sea ('Jeremiah 33:15-22') signify the knowledges of truth and good in the spiritual and natural ma{ign21}

Plein
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

iniquité
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...

temps
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...

d'or
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

main
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

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

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...

vin
Wine played a key role in the ancient world, where safe, reliable water sources were scarce. It could be stored for long periods of time;...

est tombée
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

baume
Balm signifies the truth of exterior natural good, and its pleasantness.

douleur
Grief is anxiety of heart or will.

nous
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

cieux
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

Justice
'Justice' signifies both good and truth.

flèches
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...

temple
'A temple' represents heaven and the church. The sacred place where the ark was, represents the inmost, or third heaven, and the church among people...

les habitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

eaux
'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...

trésors
'Treasuries' denote knowledges of good and truth, and, in the opposite sense, evil and falsity.

Gain
Gain denotes every false principle derived from evil, which perverts the judgment of the mind.

juré
The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...

monde
The term "world" has both general and more specific meanings in the Bible, including the relatively literal sense of the natural, physical world. In more...

voix
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

bruit
'A tumult,' as in Isaiah 8:4, signifies eager desire to combat against truths.

éclairs
'Lightning' is the radiance and brilliance of God's truth.

pluie
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

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

visitation
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...

jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

formé
Forming from the womb, as in Isaiah 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5, signifies the reformer. For references to the Lord as Reformer and Regenerator, see Doctrine...

héritage
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

Nom
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

instruments
Instruments of music,' according to correspondences, signify the pleasant and delightful affection of spiritual and celestial things. Therefore, also in many of the Psalms of...

guerre
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

monté
'To ride' signifies being elevated regarding the intellectual part of the mind. To ride upon a cherub,' as in Psalm 18:9, 10, denotes the Lord’s...

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

la femme
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

femme
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

garçon
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

vierge
'Virgins,' as in Revelation 14:4, signify people who love truths because they are truths, so from a spiritual affection. 'Virgin' signifies the church as a...

les gouverneurs
'Officers' signify principles of what is false and evil.

caldée
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

voyant
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...

Montagne
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

pierre
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

trompette
'Trumpets,' and all other wind instruments, relate to celestial affections.

chevaux
'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

barres
Bars, as in Lamentations 2:9, signify doctrinals

rencontre
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

roi
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

feu
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...

fille
"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...

moisson
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

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

jérusalem
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...

vengeance
'To be avenged seventy and seven fold' denotes damnation.

mer
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

lions
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

sommeil
In a general sense, sleeping in the Bible represents a state of obscurity about spiritual matters, a state in which you are not recognizing things...

perpétuel
'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.

descendre
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

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

fils
'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...

d'homme
'A husbandman,' as mentioned in Amos 5:16, signifies the man of the church, because 'field' signifies the church regarding the implantation of truth. 'A husbandman,'...

Bel
Bel (Isa. 46:1) signifies the profanation of truth.

bouche
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...

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

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

peur
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

après
'A hind,' as mentioned in Genesis 49:21, signifies the affection of natural truth.

Images
'Images' denote things fashioned from man’s own intelligence.

honteux
To be ashamed (Gen 2:25) signifies to be in evil

épée
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...

souvenez
'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...

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

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

couvert
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

étrangers
In Ezekiel 28:7, 'strangers' signify falsities which destroy truths, and 'the terrible of the nations,' evils which destroy good.

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

pris
"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

rendre
'To repay' denotes making amends by truth.

portes
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

ordre
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

Jérémie
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Apocalypse Explained # 587

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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587. And idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, signifies false doctrinals that are from self-intelligence, that favor the loves of the body and of the world, and principles derived therefrom. This is evident from the signification of "idols," as being the falsities of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, which are from self-intelligence. But what "idols of gold, of silver, of brass, of stone, and of wood," signify in particular can be seen from the signification of "gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood;" "gold" signifies spiritual good, "silver" spiritual truth, "brass" natural good, "stone" natural truth, and "wood" sensual good. All these goods and truths enter into genuine doctrine, because such doctrine is both from the spiritual and from the natural sense of the Word. When a false doctrinal is confirmed by the spiritual things of the Word it becomes an idol of gold and an idol of silver; but when it is confirmed by the natural things of the Word, such as belong to the sense of its letter, it becomes an idol of brass and stone; and when it is confirmed by the mere sense of the letter it becomes an idol of wood; for both the interior or spiritual and the exterior or natural senses of the Word can be applied to confirm falsities, as can be seen from innumerable heresies which are all confirmed thereby.

(Odkazy: Revelation 9:20)


[2] Falsities become confirmed when the genuine sense of the Word is not understood, and for the reason that self-loves and the principles derived therefrom are dominant, and when these are dominant man sees nothing from the light of heaven, but whatever he sees is from the light of the world separated from the light of heaven; and when the light of the world is separated from the light of heaven there is thick darkness in things spiritual. It is to be known that the sons of Israel took from Egypt and also from the nations round about the foul custom of worshiping idols; and as they were merely external men they also had that worship implanted in them from natural inclination, as can be seen from the idolatries of so many of the kings of Judah and Israel related in the Word, and also from Solomon himself who was the wisest of them; but still these idols which they made for themselves and worshiped, when they are mentioned in the Word, signify in the spiritual sense false doctrinals from self-intelligence, from which and according to which is worship.

[3] This signification of idols, too, has its cause from the spiritual world; there evil spirits who have framed for themselves falsities of doctrine are seen fashioning idols and marking them in various ways until they appear to be in a human form; they also make selections from various representatives and fit them together so as to cohere, and thus counterfeit that form in externals. It has been permitted me to witness the formation of such idols by leaders of the church, who have persuaded themselves that falsities are truths; and as they excelled in ingenuity they knew how to join the particulars together assiduously, and afterwards to clothe them. Such an idol I have seen made by the English, by which they represented that faith alone is the essential of salvation, and that it produces the goods of charity without any cooperation from man. Idols are formed in the spiritual world by those who are in falsities of doctrine that are from self-intelligence, because Divine truths, from which is the genuine doctrine of the church, induce upon angels the human form; for this reason also angels signify in the Word Divine truths; and for this reason falsities of doctrine that are confirmed from the Word are presented as idols in the human form; truths of the Word that are falsified and that are used as confirmations induce that form, but because the truths are falsified an idol is presented that has no life.

[4] That "idols, graven images, and molten images," signify the falsities of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, can be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:

The artificer casteth a graven image, and the refiner spreadeth it over with gold and casteth chains of silver. He that is too impoverished for an oblation chooseth wood that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a wise artificer to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved (Isaiah 40:19, 20).

This describes how doctrine is fused and welded together by means of falsities, thus by means of such things as are from self-intelligence, for these are all falsities. The "artificer," the "refiner," and the "wise artificer," whom he seeketh unto him, mean one who fashions and forms such a doctrine. "To spread it over with gold" signifies that it may appear in the external form as good; "to cast chains of silver" signifies that falsities may fit together and appear as truths; "to choose wood that doth not rot, and to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved," signifies that the doctrine may be acknowledged and not seem to be false.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 40:19-20)


[5] In Jeremiah:

Every man has become foolish by knowledge; every refiner is put to shame by the graven image; for his molten image is a lie, and there is no breath in them; they are vanity, and a work of errors; in the time of their visitation they shall perish (Jeremiah 10:14, 15; 51:17, 18).

Because a "graven image" signifies the falsity of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, therefore it is said, "every man has become foolish by knowledge, and every refiner is put to shame by the graven image;" the "knowledge by which man becomes foolish" signifies self-intelligence, wherefore falsity therefrom is signified by "the graven image;" such falsity is also meant by "the molten image is a lie, vanity, and a work of errors." That there is no spiritual life in falsities, or in the things that are from self-intelligence, is meant by "there is no breath in them;" for life is solely in Divine truths, that is, in truths that are from the Lord, as He teaches:

The words that I speak unto you are spirit and are life (John 6:63).

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 10:14-15, Jeremiah 51:17-18)


[6] In Jeremiah:

He hath cut wood out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. He doth deck it with silver and with gold; he doth fasten them with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are rigid like a palm-tree, but they speak not; they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. They are both brutish and foolish; the wood is a teaching of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman and of the hands of the refiner; their garment is hyacinthine and purple; they are all the work of the wise. But Jehovah is the God of truth, He is the living God, and the King of an age (Jeremiah 10:3-5, 8-10).

That the "graven image" here means the falsity of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, fashioned and formed by the ingenious by means of self-intelligence, is evident from the particulars of this description when viewed in the spiritual sense. The self-intelligence by means of which it is cut out and formed is meant by "the work of the hands with the axe," and by "the work of the workman and of the hands of the refiner," and by "the work of the wise." That "the work of the hands of the workman and artificer" signifies what is from self-intelligence has been shown in the preceding article; the falsities that are from it are signified by "they are both brutish and foolish, the wood is a teaching of vanities;" that these have no life is signified by "they are rigid like a palm-tree, they speak not, they cannot go;" "to speak" and "to go" signify to live, and to live means to live spiritually. Confirmations from the Word are signified by "silver spread into plates brought from Tarshish," and by "gold from Uphaz," also by "hyacinthine and purple" which was their garment; "silver from Tarshish" signifies the truth of the Word, and "gold from Uphaz" the good of the Word, both falsified; "hyacinthine and purple" have a similar meaning. That every truth of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, is from Jehovah, that is, from the Lord, is meant by "Jehovah is the God of truth, the living God, the King of an age;" for the Lord is called "God" from Divine truth, and also "living," and "King."

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 10:3-10)


[7] In Isaiah:

They that form a graven image are all of them vanity, and their most desirable things do not profit; and they are witnesses to themselves that they see not, and know not. For all his fellows shall be ashamed, and the workmen themselves. He fashioneth iron with the tongs, and worketh it in the coal, and strengthens 1 it with sharp hammers, so he worketh it by the arm of his strength; yea, he is hungry until he hath no power, neither doth he drink water until he is exhausted. He fashioneth wood, he stretcheth out the line, and describeth it with a rule; he maketh it in its angles, and shapeth it by a circle, that he may make it in the form of a man, according to the beauty of man, to dwell in the house. To cut out for himself cedars, or he hath taken the box-tree or the oak; although it be for a man to burn, and he taketh of them to be warm, and also kindleth it to bake bread, yet he maketh a god and boweth himself down, he maketh of it a graven image and adoreth it. They know not nor discern, for they have forgotten so that their eyes do not see, and their hearts do not understand. And none taketh it into his heart, there is no knowledge or intelligence, neither doth he say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (Isaiah 44:9-20).

This whole description of a "graven image" means the formation of doctrine from self-intelligence, and the particulars of the description signify the particulars of such formation. Why otherwise should there be in the Divine Word so extended a description of the mere formation of a graven image? That there is nothing but what is false, because it is from self-intelligence, is meant by "They that form a graven image are all of them vanity, and their most desirable things do not profit;" also by "they have no knowledge nor intelligence, neither doth he say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" The self-intelligence out of which the falsity of doctrine is formed is described by "He fashioneth iron with the tongs, and worketh it in the coal by the arm of his power;" "to fashion iron with the tongs, and to work it in the coal," signifies to hammer out falsities that favor self-loves; to join falsities with falsities by means of fallacies that make them seem to be truths, is described by "he stretched out the line, and describeth it with a rule, he maketh it in its angles, he defineth it by a circle, that he may make it in the form of a man, according to the beauty of man, to dwell in the house;" "the form of a man" signifies an appearance of truth, and "the beauty of man," an appearance of intelligence therefrom, and "to dwell in the house" signifies an appearance of spiritual life therefrom. That from this there is no life of intelligence or of the perception of truth and good is signified by "They know not nor understand, their eyes do not see, and their hearts do not understand." It would be too lengthy to explain what each single thing signifies in particular in this description; it is only necessary that everyone shall be able to see that there is something signified more interior and wise than the mere formation of a graven image. Let it be known that in this description heavenly wisdom which is ineffable lies hidden, and that the angels are in this wisdom when these things are read by man, although the man thinks of nothing but a graven image and its formation; for there are here as many correspondences and as many arcana of wisdom therefrom as there are words.

[8] In Habakkuk:

What profiteth the graven image? For the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image and the instructor of a lie? For the former of its lie trustest in it, since he maketh dumb gods. Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the silent stone, Be watchful, it shall instruct! Behold, it is fixed with gold and silver, and there is no breath in the midst of it. But Jehovah is in the temple of His holiness (Habakkuk 2:18-20).

As a "graven image" means the falsity of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, in which there is nothing of spiritual life because it is from self-intelligence, it is said "What profiteth the graven image? For the maker thereof hath given it; the molten image and the instructor of a lie? in which the former of the lie trustest;" a "lie" signifying falsity, and "the instructor and former of a lie" signifying him who frames it; that there is no intelligence or life in it or from it is signified by "he maketh dumb gods, and there is no breath in the midst of it;" that every truth of doctrine, of the church, and of worship, is from the Lord alone is signified by "Jehovah is in the temple of His holiness;" "temple of holiness" meaning heaven, where and from which is Divine truth.

[9] In David:

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of the hands of man. They have a mouth but they speak not, eyes have they but they see not (Psalms 115:4, 5; 135:15, 16).

"Their idols are silver and gold" signifies external worship without internal, confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word not understood, and also by the fallacies of the senses; "the work of the hands of man" signifies what is from self-intelligence (that "the work of the hands" means what is from self-intelligence, see in the preceding article). "They have a mouth but they speak not, eyes have they but they see not," signifies that from these there is no thought nor any understanding of truth.

(Odkazy: Psalms 115:4-5, 135:15-16)


[10] From self-intelligence nothing but falsity comes, because man's self [proprium] is nothing but evil, for it favors his own love and his own intelligence; such, therefore, do not seek truths for the sake of truths, but only for the sake of reputation, renown, glory, and gain, and when these are dominant heaven cannot flow in with its light and open the sight and enlighten, consequently they see like owls, moles, and bats, in the dark, according to these words in Isaiah:

In that day a man shall cast away the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold, which they made for themselves to bow down to the moles and to the bats (Isaiah 2:18, 20).

In Jeremiah:

A drought is upon her waters and they have become dry; for this is a land of graven images, and they boast of horrible things. Therefore the tziim and the ijim shall dwell there, and the daughters of the owl shall dwell therein (Jeremiah 50:38, 39).

"A drought upon her waters" signifies that there is no truth; "the tziim and the ijim" signify infernal falsities and evils, and "the daughters of the owl" signify the affections of falsity. This is said of the land of Chaldea, and of Babylon, which signify the profanations of truth and good by falsities that favor evils, which such frame for themselves for the sake of dominion.

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 50:38-39)


[11] In Hosea:

They have made for themselves a molten image of their silver, idols in their intelligence, all of them the work of the artificers; those that sacrifice man kiss the calves (Hosea 13:2).

Because a "molten image" signifies a doctrinal from self-intelligence it is said, "They have made a molten image of their silver, idols in their intelligence, all of them the work of the artificers;" and because by means of it they destroy spiritual life and put on what is merely natural, it is said, "those that sacrifice man kiss the calves," "to sacrifice man" signifying to destroy spiritual life, and "to kiss the calves" signifying to become merely natural.

[12] In Isaiah:

Behold they are all an iniquity, their works are nothing; their molten images are wind and emptiness (4 Isaiah 41:29).

Evils of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, are signified by "they are all an iniquity, their works are nothing," and falsities by "their molten images are wind and emptiness;" "wind and emptiness" are predicated in the Word of falsities from self. In Jeremiah:

Why have they provoked Me to anger with their graven images and with the vanities of aliens? (Jeremiah 8:19).

"Vanities of aliens" also signify the falsities of religion, like as "graven images," therefore it is said, "with their graven images, with the vanities of aliens."

[13] In Ezekiel:

Every man of the house of Israel who shall make idols to ascend upon his heart, and shall put the stumbling block of iniquity before his faces, shall yet come to the prophet; shall I, Jehovah, answer him who cometh with a multitude of his idols? (Ezekiel 14:4).

Here, too, "idols" stand for the falsities of doctrine which are from self-intelligence; to accept these falsities and to acknowledge them is signified by "making idols to ascend upon his heart;" and to be affected by them and live according to them is signified by "putting the stumbling block of iniquity before his faces;" that to such the Lord cannot reveal the genuine truths of doctrine so long as they are in these falsities is signified by "if he shall come to the prophet, shall I, Jehovah, answer him who cometh with a multitude of his idols?" A "prophet" means one who teaches truths, and in the abstract sense the doctrine of genuine truth which is from the Lord; and "a multitude of idols" signifies falsities in abundance, for from one falsity assumed as a principle, falsities flow forth in abundance, together with falsities in a series from their connection; this is why they are called "idols," in the plural, and "a multitude of idols."

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 14:3-6)


[14] In the same:

I will sprinkle clean waters upon you that ye may be cleansed from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols will I cleanse you (Ezekiel 36:25).

Because "idols" signify falsities of doctrine it is said, "I will sprinkle clean waters upon you;" "clean waters" signifying genuine truths, and "to sprinkle them upon them" signifies to purify from falsities; these falsities are also called "uncleannesses," because they are falsities from evil, and falsities producing evil.

[15] In Micah:

I will make Samaria into a heap of the field, and I will make its stones to flow down into the valley, and I will open its foundations. Then all her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hire of her whoredom shall be burned up with fire, and all their idols will I lay waste; for she hath gathered them from the hire of a harlot, therefore to the hire of a harlot shall they return (Micah 1:6, 7).

"Samaria when it became idolatrous" represented the church devastated in respect to the truths of doctrine and the goods of life, or destroyed by the falsities of doctrine and by the evils of life; devastation in respect to all the truths of the church is signified by "it shall be made into a heap of the field, and its stones shall flow down into the valley, and its foundations shall be opened;" "the field" meaning the church; "the heap of the field" its devastation; "the stones" the truths of the church, and "foundations" the natural truths upon which the church is founded; the complete devastation of these is signified by "the stones shall flow down into the valley, and the foundations shall be opened;" the destruction of the church by the falsities of doctrine is signified by "her graven images shall be beaten to pieces, and her idols laid waste;" "the hire of whoredom which shall be burned up with the fire," signifies the falsification of truth by applications to favor the loves of self and of the world.

(Odkazy: Micah 1:6-7)


[16] "Graven images," "molten images," and "idols," have a similar signification in the following passages. In Isaiah:

As My hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols and their graven images of Jerusalem and Samaria, shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? (Isaiah 10:10, 11).

Ye shall judge unclean the covering of the graven images of thy silver, and the plating of the molten images of thy gold; thou shalt disperse them as a menstruous thing; thou shalt call it dung (Isaiah 30:22).

In that day a man shall cast away the idols of his silver and the idols of his gold, which your hands have made for you a sin (Isaiah 31:7).

Lest thou say, Mine idol hath done these things, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them (Isaiah 48:5).

They shall be turned backward, they shall be ashamed with shame, that trust in a graven image, that say to a molten image, Ye are our gods (Isaiah 42:17).

A lion upon a watchtower said Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the earth (Isaiah 21:8, 9).

In Ezekiel:

Your altars shall be destroyed, and your sun images shall be broken; and I will make your slain to fall before your idols. And I will lay the carcasses of the sons of Israel before their idols (Ezekiel 6:4, 5).

In Micah:

In that day I will cut off thy graven images and thy statues out of the midst of thee; that thou mayest no longer worship the work of thy hands (Micah 5:10, 13).

In Moses:

And I will cast your bodies upon the bodies of your idols, and My soul shall abhor you (Leviticus 26:30).

The graven images of their gods shall ye burn up with fire; thou shalt not covet the silver or gold that is on them to take it unto thee, for it is an abomination to thy God (Deuteronomy 7:25).

Cursed be he who shall make a graven and a molten image, an abomination unto Jehovah, the work of the hands of the artificer, and shall put it in a secret place (Deuteronomy 27:15).

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 6:4-5; Isaiah 10:10-11, 21:8-9)


[17] "Idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood," have a similar signification as:

The gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone, that king Belshazzar praised when he drank wine with his nobles and wives out of the vessels of gold and silver that were brought from the temple of Jerusalem; on account of which the handwriting appeared on the wall, and the king [Nebuchadnezzar] 2 was himself driven out from man, and became like a beast (Daniel 5:1, et seq.).

"The vessels of gold and silver of the temple of Jerusalem" signified the holy goods and truths of the church; "the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, which the king of Babylon then praised," have a similar meaning as "idols" of the same, and these signify the evils and falsities of doctrine and of worship; "to praise" signifying to worship; "to drink out of the vessels of the temple of Jerusalem and at the same time to praise or worship those gods" signifies the profanation of good and truth by evils and falsities in worship; and because by profanation everything spiritual in man is destroyed, and man without the spiritual is not a man, so Nebuchadnezzar was driven away from man and became like a beast.

(Odkazy: Daniel 5, 5:2-5)


[18] Because an external without an internal must not be worshiped, but only an external from an internal, thus the internal in the external, it was forbidden to make any graven image in the likeness of anything living on the earth, in Moses:

Ye shall not make you a graven image, the shape of any similitude, the figure of male or female, the figure of any beast that is on the earth, the figure of any winged bird that flieth under heaven, the figure of anything that creepeth on the ground, the figure of any fish that is in the waters under the earth (Deuteronomy 4:16-18; 5:8).

This was prohibited because the Jewish nation, more than all other nations, was in externals without internals, and thus in the worship of all the external things that the nations called holy; and to worship external things other than those that represented heavenly things, which were the altar, the sacrifice upon it, the Tent of meeting, and the temple, was idolatrous. The Jewish worship of these, indeed, was also an idolatrous worship, but inasmuch as the church with them was a representative church their worship was accepted for the sake of the representation, although it did not affect them in respect to their soul, as can be seen from the various things shown respecting that nation in Arcana Coelestia (see what is collected in the New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 248). And as the worship of an external anywhere else than where it was commanded, which was beside the tent in the desert and beside the temple and in the temple in Jerusalem, was the worship of the representative itself without any intuition of the thing represented, thus a worship of what is merely earthly apart from anything heavenly, therefore this was forbidden them, even to the extent that they should not make for themselves any graven images of such things; for the nature of that nation was such that as soon as they saw them made they worshiped them.

[19] That the idolatrous nations worshiped the images, not only of men but also of various beasts, birds, and creeping things, came from its having been handed down from the ancients that these objects signified things celestial and spiritual; as that "beasts" signified affections; "birds" the thoughts therefrom; and "creeping things" and "fishes" the same in the sensual-natural man. From this it came that when those who were in external worship without any internal heard that the holy things of heaven and the church were signified by these objects, they began to worship them; as the Egyptians, and from them the sons of Israel in the wilderness and afterwards in Samaria, worshiped calves, because "calves" with the ancients signified the good affections of the natural man.

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Footnotes:

1. Latin has "strengthens," the Hebrew "formeth," as also found in AE 386; AC 8941, 9424.

2. Latin has "the king," i.e., Belshazzar, the Chaldee has "Nebuchadnezzar.

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(Odkazy: Daniel 5:2-5; Ezekiel 14:3-6; Revelation 9:20)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 583, 695, 724, 780, 827, 1186

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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