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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...

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...

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}

d'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...

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
'Shafts' or 'arrows' signify truths and spiritual truth.

rois
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...

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...

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

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...

l'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...

Jeune
"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...

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...

habite
'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...

femmes
'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...

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...

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
Jeremiah, in the Book of Jeremiah 1:1 and what follows, represents the Lord. (Arcana Coelestia 2838 [2]). In Jeremiah 13:7, he signifies the state of...

prophète
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Apocalypse Explained # 608

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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608. Verse 6 (Revelation 10:6). And he sware by Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages, signifies the verity from His own Divine. This is evident from the signification of "to swear," as being a strong assertion and confirmation, and in reference to the Lord the verity (of which presently); also from the signification of "Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages," as being the Divine from eternity, which alone lives, and which is the source of life to all in the universe, both angels and men. (That this is signified by "Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages" may be seen above, n. 289, 291, 349.) That "to swear" signifies asseveration and confirmation, but here verity (since it is the Lord that is meant by the angel that swears), can be seen from this, that "to swear" means to asseverate and confirm that a thing is so, and when done by the Lord means Divine verity; for oaths are made only by those who are not interiorly in truth itself, that is, by those who are not interior but only exterior men; consequently they are never made by angels, still less by the Lord; but He is said in the Word to swear, and the Israelites were allowed to swear by God, because they were only exterior men, and because the asseveration and confirmation of the internal man, when it comes into the external, falls into the form of an oath. In the Israelitish Church all things were external, representing and signifying things internal. The Word in the sense of the letter is similar. From this it can be seen that "the angel sware by Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages" cannot mean that he thus sware, but that he said in himself that this is verity, and that when this came down into the natural sphere it was changed, according to correspondences, into the form of an oath.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 289, 291, The Apocalypse Explained 349)


[2] Now as "to swear" is only an external corresponding to the confirmation that belongs to the mind of the internal man, and is therefore significative of that, so in the Word of the Old Testament it is said to be lawful to swear by God, yea, that God Himself is said to swear. That this signifies confirmation, asseveration and simply verity, or that it is true, can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Jehovah hath sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength (Isaiah 62:8).

In Jeremiah:

Jehovah of Hosts hath sworn by His soul (Jeremiah 51:14; Amos 6:8).

In Amos:

The Lord Jehovih hath sworn by His holiness (Amos 4:2).

In the same:

Jehovah hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob (Amos 8:7).

In Jeremiah:

Behold, I have sworn by My great name (Jeremiah 44:26).

Jehovah is said "to have sworn by His right hand," "by His soul," "by His holiness," and "by His name," to signify by Divine verity; for "the right hand of Jehovah," "the arm of His strength," "His holiness," "His name," and "His soul," mean the Lord in relation to Divine truth, thus Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; the like is meant by "the excellency of Jacob," for "the mighty One of Jacob" means the Lord in relation to Divine truth.

[3] That "to swear," in reference to Jehovah, signifies confirmation by Himself, that is, from His Divine, is evident in Isaiah:

By Myself have I sworn, the word has gone forth from My mouth, and shall not be recalled (Isaiah 14:23).

In Jeremiah:

By Myself I have sworn that this house shall become a desolation (Jeremiah 22:5).

Because "to swear" in reference to Jehovah signifies Divine verity it is said in David:

Jehovah hath sworn truth unto David, He turneth 1 not from it (Psalms 132:11).

(Odkazy: Isaiah 45:23)


[4] Jehovah God, or the Lord, never swears, for to swear is not becoming to God Himself, or the Divine verity; but when God, or the Divine verity, wills to have anything confirmed before men, then that confirmation in its descent into the natural sphere falls into the form or formula of an oath, such as is used in the world. This shows why it is said in the sense of the letter of the Word, which is the natural sense, that God swears, although He never swears. This, then, is the signification of "to swear" in reference to Jehovah or the Lord in the preceding passages, and also in the following. In Isaiah:

Jehovah of Hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass (Isaiah 14:24).

In David:

I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto David My servant. Lord, Thou hast sworn unto David in verity (Psalms 89:3, 35, 49).

In the same:

Jehovah hath sworn and will not repent (Psalms 110:4).

In Ezekiel:

I have sworn unto thee, and have entered into a covenant with thee, that thou mightest become Mine (Ezekiel 16:8).

In David:

Unto whom I have sworn in Mine anger (Psalms 95:11).

In Isaiah:

I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more pass over the earth (Isaiah 54:9).

In Luke:

To remember His holy covenant, the oath which He sware to Abraham our father (Luke 1:72, 73).

In David:

He hath remembered His covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath with Isaac (Psalms 105:8, 9).

In Jeremiah:

That I may establish the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers (Jeremiah 11:5; 32:22).

In Moses:

The land which I have sworn to give unto your fathers (Deuteronomy 1:35; 10:11; 11:9, 21; 26:3, 15; 31:20; 34:4).

(Odkazy: Luke 1:72-73; Psalms 105:8-9)


[5] From this it can be seen what is meant by "the angel lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages," as it is likewise said in Daniel:

And I heard the man clothed in linen, that he held up his right hand and his left hand unto the heavens, and sware by Him that liveth unto the ages of the ages (Daniel 12:7);

as meaning to bear witness before the angels respecting the state of the church, that what follows is Divine verity.

[6] Because the church that was instituted with the sons of Israel was a representative church, in which all things that were commanded were natural things representing and signifying spiritual things, the sons of Israel, with whom that church existed, were permitted to swear by Jehovah, and by His name, likewise by the holy things of the church; and this represented and thus signified internal confirmation, and also verity, as can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

He that blesseth himself in the earth let him bless himself in the God of truth, and he that sweareth in the earth let him swear in the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16).

In Jeremiah:

Swear by the living Jehovah, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness (Jeremiah 4:2).

In Moses:

Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God, Him shalt thou serve, and shalt swear in His name (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20).

In Isaiah:

In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that swear to Jehovah of Hosts (Isaiah 19:18).

In Jeremiah:

If in learning they will learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, Jehovah liveth! (Jeremiah 12:16).

In David:

Everyone that sweareth by God shall glory, but the mouth of them that speak a lie shall be stopped (Psalms 63:11).

"To swear by God" here signifies to speak the truth, for it is added, "the mouth of them that speak a lie shall be stopped." (That they swore by God see also Genesis 21:23, 24, 31; Joshua 2:12; 9:20; Judges 21:7; 1 Kings 1:17.)

(Odkazy: Genesis 21:23-24)


[7] As the ancients were allowed to swear by Jehovah God, it follows that it was an enormous evil to swear falsely or to swear to a lie, as is evident from these passages. In Malachi:

I will be a witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against those that swear to a lie (Malachi 3:5).

In Moses:

Thou shalt not swear to a lie by My name, so that thou profane the name of thy God; also, Thou shalt not take the name of thy God in vain (Leviticus 19:12; Deuteronomy 5:11; Exodus 20:7; Zechariah 5:4).

In Jeremiah:

Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see whether there be any who say, By the living Jehovah; surely they swear by a lie. Thy sons have destroyed 2 Me, and sworn by one not God (Jeremiah 5:1, 2, 7).

In Hosea:

Israel, ye shall not swear, Jehovah liveth (Hosea 4:15).

In Zephaniah:

I will cut off them that swear by Jehovah, and that swear by their king, and them that are turned back from following Jehovah (Zephaniah 1:4-6).

In Zechariah:

Love not the oath of a lie (Zechariah 8:17).

In Isaiah:

Hear ye, O house of Jacob, who swear by the name of Jehovah, not in truth nor in righteousness (Isaiah 48:1).

In David:

The clean in hands and the pure in heart doth not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor swear with deceit (Psalms 24:4).

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 5:1-2)


[8] From this it can be seen that the ancients, who were in the representatives and the significatives of the church, were permitted to swear by Jehovah God in order to bear witness to the truth, and by that oath it was signified that they thought what is true and willed what is good. Especially was this granted to the sons of Jacob, because they were wholly external and natural men, and not internal and spiritual; and merely external or natural men wish to have the truth confirmed and witnessed to by oaths; but internal or spiritual men do not wish this; indeed, they turn away from oaths and shudder at them, especially those in which God and the holy things of heaven and the church are appealed to, and are content with saying and with having it said that a thing is true, or that it is so.

[9] As swearing does not belong to the internal or spiritual man, and as the Lord, when He came into the world, taught men to be internal or spiritual, and to that end abrogated the externals of the church, and opened its internals, therefore He forbade swearing by God and by the holy things of heaven and the church. This is evident from these words of the Lord in Matthew:

Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not swear [falsely], but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oath; but I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; neither by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; neither by Jerusalem, for it is a city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black (Matthew 5:33-37).

Here the holy things by which one must not swear are mentioned, namely, "heaven," "earth," "Jerusalem," and the "head;" and "heaven" means the angelic heaven, wherefore it is called "the throne of God" (that "the throne of God" means that heaven, see above, n. 253, 462, 477); "the earth" means the church (see above, n. 29, 304, 413, 417), which is called therefore "the footstool of God's feet" (that "the footstool of God's feet" also means the church, see above, n. 606; "Jerusalem" means the doctrine of the church, wherefore it is called "the city of the great king" (that "city" means doctrine, see above, n. 223; and the "head" means intelligence therefrom (see above, n. 553, 577), therefore it is said "thou canst not make one hair white or black," which signifies that man of himself can understand nothing.

(Odkazy: Matthew 5:33-36; The Apocalypse Explained 29, The Apocalypse Explained 223, 253, The Apocalypse Explained 304, The Apocalypse Explained 413, 417, 462, 477, 553, 577, 606)


[10] Again, in the same:

Woe unto you, ye blind guides, for ye say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And whosoever shall swear by the altar it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it he is a debtor. Ye fools and blind; whether is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? But whosoever sweareth by the altar sweareth by it and by everything thereon. And whosoever sweareth by the temple sweareth by it and by Him that dwelleth therein. And he that sweareth by heaven sweareth by the throne of God and by Him that sitteth thereon (Matthew 23:16-22).

One must not swear "by the temple and by the altar," because to swear by these was to swear by the Lord, by heaven, and by the church; for the "temple" in the highest sense means the Lord in relation to Divine truth, and in a relative sense heaven and the church in respect to truth, likewise all worship from Divine truth (see above, n. 220; and the "altar" signifies the Lord in relation to Divine good, and in a relative sense heaven and the church in respect to that good, likewise all worship from Divine good (see above, n. 391; and because by the Lord all Divine things that proceed from Him are meant, for He is in them and they are His, so he who swears by Him swears by all things that are His; likewise he who swears by heaven and by the church, swears by all the holy things that belong to heaven and the church, for heaven is the complex and containant of these things; so, in like manner, is the church; therefore it is said that the temple is greater than the gold of the temple, because the temple sanctifies the gold, and that the altar is greater than the gift which is upon it, because the altar sanctifies the gift.

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Footnotes:

1.  Latin has "turneth," the Hebrew "turn back," which is found in AC 2842.

2.  Latin has "destroyed," the Hebrew "forsaken. "

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(Odkazy: Isaiah 45:23; Matthew 5:33-36; The Apocalypse Explained 220, The Apocalypse Explained 391)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 605, 1029


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


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