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Amos 3

Italian: Riveduta Bible (1927)         

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1 Ascoltate questa parola che l’Eterno pronunzia contro di voi, o figliuoli d’Israele, contro tutta la famiglia ch’io trassi fuori dal paese d’Egitto:

2 Voi soli ho conosciuto fra tutte le famiglie della terra; perciò io vi punirò per tutte le vostre iniquità.

3 Due uomini camminano eglino assieme, se prima non si sono concertati?

4 Il leone rugge egli nella foresta, se non ha una preda? il leoncello fa egli udir la sua voce dalla sua tana, se non ha preso nulla?

5 L’uccello cade egli nella rete in terra, se non gli è tesa un insidia? La tagliuola scatta essa dal suolo, se non ha preso qualcosa?

6 La tromba suona essa in una città, senza che il popolo tremi? Una sciagura piomba ella sopra una città, senza che l’Eterno ne sia l’autore?

7 Poiché il Signore, l’Eterno, non fa nulla, senza rivelare il suo segreto ai suoi servi, i profeti.

8 Il leone rugge, chi non temerà? Il Signore, l’Eterno, parla, chi non profeterà?

9 Proclamate questo sui palazzi d’Asdod e sui palazzi del paese d’Egitto; dite: "Adunatevi sui monti di Samaria, e vedete che grandi disordini esistono in mezzo ad essa, e quali oppressioni han luogo nel suo seno".

10 Essi non sanno fare ciò ch’è retto, dice l’Eterno; accumulano nei loro palazzi i frutti della violenza e della rapina.

11 perciò, così parla il Signore, l’Eterno: Ecco il nemico, tutt’attorno al paese; egli abbatterà la tua forza, e i tuoi palazzi saran saccheggiati.

12 Così parla l’Eterno: Come il pastore strappa dalla gola del leone due gambe o un pezzo d’orecchio, così scamperanno i figliuoli d’Israele che in Samaria stanno ora seduti sull’angolo d’un divano o sui damaschi d’un letto.

13 Ascoltate questo e attestatelo alla casa di Giacobbe! dice il Signore, l’Eterno, l’Iddio degli eserciti:

14 (H3-13) Il giorno che io punirò Israele delle sue trasgressioni, punirò anche gli altari di Bethel; e i corni dell’altare saranno spezzati e cadranno al suolo.

15 (H3-14) E abbatterò le case d’inverno e le case d’estate; le case d’avorio saranno distrutte, e le grandi case spariranno, dice l’Eterno.

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Exploring the Meaning of Amos 3      

By Rev. Martin Pennington and Rev. George McCurdy

A church cannot serve two masters. It cannot peacefully coexist with truths and falsities. To want to live with both and to seek a compromise will cause the church to be laid to waste. The church will perish, and the goods and truths of the Word will be taken away from it.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 203


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 592, 921, 1453, 2832, 2973, 3869, 6188, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 3, 137, 241, 270, 392, 471, 774

The Lord 4


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 163, 278, 316, 391, 409, 601, 624, ...

De Verbo (The Word) 12

Spiritual Experiences 4762

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 75

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Word/Phrase Explanations

parola
'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...

figliuoli
'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’israele
'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...

famiglia
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

Egitto
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

conosciuto
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

iniquità
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...

due
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...

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

foresta
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

voce
'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,...

uccello
"Birds" mean rational concepts in the external man and intellectual concepts in the internal man.

cade
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...

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

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

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

signore
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...

profeti
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

parla
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

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

monti
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

samaria
'Samaria,' as in Amos 4:1. 6:1, signifies the spiritual church perverted.

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

dice
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...

violenza
'Violence' signifies the outrage done to charity and the destruction of charity and faith. 'Violence,' as in Jeremiah 15:21, signifies falsities which assault the good...

forza
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

pastore
The Writings tell us that shepherds represent those who lead and teach others, using knowledge and true ideas to help people reach the goodness of...

Gambe
'Legs' signify the exteriors of the natural man.

giacobbe
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...

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

eserciti
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}

giorno
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...

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

Bethel
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

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

inverno
'Winter' signifies the same thing as 'night,' that is, the end of the church.

estate
Summer' signifies the full state of the church, the same as 'noon.'

Avorio
'Ivory' signifies natural truth.

Bible

 

2 Peter 1:21

Italian: Riveduta Bible (1927)         

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21 poiché non è dalla volontà dell’uomo che venne mai alcuna profezia, ma degli uomini hanno parlato da parte di Dio, perché sospinti dallo Spirito Santo.

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2 Samuel 23:2

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Word/Phrase Explanations

parlato
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

spirito
'The seven spirits' in Matthew 12:45 signify all falsities of evil, and as a result, a total extinction of goodness and truth. 'The seven spirits'...

santo
'Saints' mean people governed by truths from the Lord through the Word.

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The Bed is Too Short      

By Rev. William Woofenden

"The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you." (Isaiah 28:20)

Among the lesser known myths of Greek antiquity, there is the story of Procrustes, a celebrated legendary highwayman of Attica, who tied his victims on an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched or cut off their legs to adapt them to its length. Hence, the phrase "the bed of Procrustes," or "Procrustean bed" came to refer to an idea, theory, or system to which facts, human nature, or the like, would be arbitrarily fitted.

This, as we shall see, is remarkably in harmony with what Swedenborg indicates is the correspondential meaning of a bed. But before we get into that, let me first call attention to a couple of other references to beds in Scripture that may help us understand the message of our text from Isaiah.

First, just for fun, let me note — because of the sharp contrast with the bed mentioned by Isaiah — the reference in Deuteronomy to the bed of Og, king of Bashan. "His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide." (Deuteronomy 3:11) (And I bet some of us thought the king-size bed was a modern invention!)

There are two references to beds in the book of Amos that I may want to refer to later: in the third chapter it speaks of "those who sit in Samaria on the edge of their beds and on the corner of their couches" (Amos 3:12) (with a footnote that the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain), and another instance in chapter six where the prophet is addressing the complacent: "You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches… but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph" (Amos 6:4-6).

Now, turning to our text from Isaiah, we read this comment on it in the Interpreter's Bible: "Isaiah evidently knew what it was to put in some cold and sleepless nights on a short bed with blankets too narrow to tuck in. Under the graphic and humorous figure of the bed with the skimpy covering there is suggested the inadequacy of some current views of religion which neither cover the facts nor meet the needs for life. The modern world is full of them: ethical cults, humanistic philosophies, the half-truths of eccentric sects; all inadequate because, while they concede to God a place, they will not acknowledge that the ultimate source and hope of salvation is in his love. In fair weather a man can makeshift to live by such religions; but when the dark night falls and the storm begins to howl about his life, he has nothing to fall back upon, and the little faith that met his small demands when all was well offers him neither protection nor covering... Everyone should consider whether his religion is equal to the demands of life."

One might well ask: is it enough to reduce religion to a minimum, to boil it down to a few ethical principles? No, reduction can never be the last word about religion. When we talk of music, we don't ask how much we can get rid of and have it still be counted musical. When we speak of the family, we never dream of considering how many of a parent's duties we can evade and still be reckoned a parent. It should be the same with our religion. It is not a question of how little we can do with and still think we have a faith; it is rather a question of how much that is true and vital we can make our own. The person who tries to reduce religion to duty and decency is too drastic; in the crises of life that person will find that his bed is too short and the blanket too narrow to wrap around him.

In the New Church commentary on Isaiah, the author J. H. Smithson says briefly of our text: "No false doctrine [the bed] will avail, at the time of judgment, to protect those who are therein confirmed against the influence and destructive power of what is evil and false." If I understand correctly what he intends by that, it would be that even though one were essentially dedicated to "duty and decency," if one at the same time has an inadequate faith, one is in great danger of being overwhelmed by the forces of evil in times of crisis.

Commenting further on this in the exposition of the chapter, Smithson states: By "the bed being shorter than that one can stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it," is implied that doctrines founded in fallacious reasonings and in false principles, prevent the growth and extension of the rational mind, and obstruct the process of regeneration; and that they have no power to enlighten the mind with heavenly truth, or to warm it with heavenly love.

Earlier in the paragraph the author attempted to distill the basic and relevant wisdom concerning the deeper meaning of beds, when mentioned in Scripture, as follows: A bed signifies doctrine. The ground and reason of this is from correspondence; for, as the body rests on its bed, so does the mind rest on its doctrine. But by a bed is signified the doctrine which everyone acquires to himself, either from the Word, or from his proper intelligence, for there in the mind reposes, and, as it were, sleeps. The beds in which they lie in the spiritual world are of no other origin. Everyone's bed there is conformable to the quality of his knowledge and intelligence—the wise have magnificent beds, the foolish have mean ones, and they who are in falsities have filthy ones. This is the signification of a bed in Luke: "I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other left" (Luke 17:34). Speaking of the Last Judgment, "two in one bed" means two in one doctrine, but not in similar life. In John, "Jesus saith unto the sick man, 'Rise, take up thy bed and walk; and he took up his bed and walked'." (John 5:8–9). And in Mark, "Jesus said unto the sick of the palsy, 'Son, thy sins be forgiven thee;' and He said unto the scribes, 'Whether it is easier to say, "Thy sins be forgiven thee;" or, to say, "Arise, take up thy bed and walk;"' and he took up his bed, and went forth from them". (Mark 2:5-12). That here something is signified by "bed" is evident... By taking up his bed and walking is signified to meditate in doctrine. Doctrine is also signified by a bed in Amos. Sitting on the edges of their beds and the corners of their couches refers to what is more remote from the truths and goods of doctrine.

Let me try to expand on that a bit. I'm sure we all have known people who tend to perch precariously on the edges of beds and the corners of couches. One almost gets the idea that they are almost afraid to commit themselves to the extent of sitting firmly or fully on the bed or couch! It's the "I can only stay for a moment!" mentality; the apparent unwillingness to become, as we say, "too involved." "Let me just rest ever so lightly on the edge, not get too settled, for fear I might want to beat a hasty retreat." Some people seem to go through their whole life with that attitude: minimum faith, minimum involvement in the life of the church, minimum concern for those in need, minimum effort at getting on with the task of personal regeneration. And, it seems to work — at least for a while. But what happens when such a person is suddenly faced with one of the storms of life? What happens when personal disaster strikes?

Then, perhaps for the first time, one discovers that the meager principles by which he has been living, principles founded on fallacious reasonings and false principles, have no power to support the mind with heavenly truth, or to warm it with heavenly love. "The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you."

What steps can we take to avoid having this happen to us? There is a marvelous passage in the 35th chapter of Isaiah which speaks directly to this problem, Isaiah 35:1–7.

In many earlier versions, including ones Swedenborg used, the animal named in that last verse is not a jackal but a dragon—and it is with that reading that Swedenborg interprets the verse. The gist of it is that in a place where dragons used to lie (that is, make their bed) grass will now grow.

First, let us consider a bed which forms the habitation of dragons. In Apocalypse Revealed 537 we read, "By dragons here are understood those who are in faith alone, who reject the works of the law as not contributing to salvation." To be "in faith alone" is to try to live in some of the ways we have described, limiting our responses to human needs to what we consider our minimum duty. Not only is our bed too short, it is infested with dragons! Instead of this we need to have as our bed a place where "grass can grow"—denoting that "there will be true memory-knowledge instead of things in which there is no truth" (Arcana Coelestia 6723).

Then, the redemption that is now possible is beautifully summed up in the verses in Isaiah 35:8–10.


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