In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...
son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...
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...
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...
'Nativity,' as in Genesis 10:32, signifies reformation. Out of thy nativity and out of thy father's house,' as in Genesis 12:1, signifies corporeal and worldly...
Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...
'A Hittite' in a good sense, signifies the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. The Hittites were among the upright Gentiles who were...
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...
It does not take a great leap of imagination to see that “washing” in the Bible represents purification. Washing dirt from the skin is symbolic...
'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...
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.
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...
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.
'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.
The breast (Ezek. 16:7), signifies natural good.
The hair is the very outermost part of the body, and "hair" in the Bible represents the outermost expression of whatever the body represents. In...
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...
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extinguished.
'Unclothed' signifies being deprived of the truths of faith.
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...
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.
The instruction not make clothing that mixes 'Woolen and linen' threads means, in the internal sense, that people's spiritual states of good and truth should...
'Silk' signifies intermediate celestial good and truth. It means good because it is soft, and truth because it shines. 'Silk,' like 'fine linen,' denotes genuine...
Bracelets (Gen. 25:22) signify truth, and in this passage divine truth, because the Lord is treated of.
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....
'Money' relates to truth.
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...
Fine flour, as in Ezekiel 16:19, signifies the spiritual principle of charity.
'Honey' signifies the delight derived from good and truth or from the affection thereof, and specifically the external delight. Thus it signifies the delight of...
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence.
'The time of the heathen,' as mentioned in Ezekiel 30:3, signifies the heathen, or wickedness.
Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.
'A harlot' signifies the affection of falsities, thus the church corrupted.
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.
Jewels' when applied to the ears, signify good in act.
Images of men
'Images of men,' as in Ezekiel 16:17, signify appearances of truth, which are nevertheless falsities.
'Images' denote things fashioned from man’s own intelligence.
'Incense' or 'odors' signify worship and confession of the Lord, from spiritual goods and truths.
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...
'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...
Sweet' signifies delightful things from the good of truth and the truth of good. Everything sweet in the natural world corresponds to delightful and pleasant...
'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, as in...
"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...
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...
'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...
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...
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.
Swedenborg tell us that in terms of measurement, height relates to the desire for good and breadth relates to the knowledge of truth. Following that,...
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...
'And [Tyre] shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication,' as in Isaiah 23:17, signifies the vaunting and boasting of falsity.
Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.
To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.
the daughters of
The daughters of Rabbah' signify people who are in natural good and falsify the truths of the church.
The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...
'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...
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...
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...
'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...
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.
As in Micah 1:8, 'to be stripped' signifies being without goods, and 'to be naked' signifies being without truths.
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.
A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...
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...
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...
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...
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...
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...
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...
In general, things that are “elder” in the Bible represent spiritual states that come before others. For example, of the two sisters Jacob married, Leah...
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...
'The left hand' in a negative sense signifies falsity which is used to produce evil.
In general, birth order in the Bible reflects the progression of spiritual states, but the specifics of those states depends greatly on context: who the...
'Inhabit' refers to good.
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...
'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.
'Pride' signifies the love of self.
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...
The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.
'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.
Half and double in reference to numbers in the world have a similar signification as the numbers themselves.
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...
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...
To be ashamed (Gen 2:25) signifies to be in evil
'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.
Captivity and spoil (Daniel 11:33) signifies the deprivation of every truth and good.
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...
The fourscore men who came from Schechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, as in Jeremiah 41:5, represented the profanations of good and truth.
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...
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...
'Syria,' as in Ezekiel 27:16, signifies the church regarding knowledges of truth and good.
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...
An oath' or 'swearing' signifies confirmation and conjunction.
'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.