Ezekiel 16

English: King James Version         

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1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.

5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.

6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.

7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.

10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.

11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.

15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.

16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.

17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,

18 And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.

19 My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD.

20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,

21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

22 And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.

23 And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;)

24 That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.

25 Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.

26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.

27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.

28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.

29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.

30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;

31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;

32 But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!

33 They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.

34 And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.

35 Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD:

36 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;

37 Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.

38 And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.

39 And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.

40 They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.

41 And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.

42 So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.

43 Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.

44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.

45 Thou art thy mother's daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.

46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.

47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.

48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.

52 Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.

53 When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:

54 That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.

55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

56 For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride,

57 Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about.

58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD.

59 For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.

61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant.

62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD:

63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Apocalypse Explained 1029

Apocalypse Revealed 350, 880

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 64

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 139

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 93, 213, 289, 297, 374, 622, 666, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 134, 166, 189, 209, 213, 216, 245, ...

Conjugial Love 119

Doctrine of the Lord 28

Life 79

Heaven and Hell 180

True Christianity 306, 314, 583, 782

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 126, 141, 195, 238, 240, 242, 272, ...

Spiritual Experiences 246, 5160

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Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

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
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.

Every one
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
'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...

Left hand
'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.

Right hand
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...

'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...

and Samaria
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
'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.

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242. To buy of Me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be enriched, signifies that they should acquire for themselves from the Lord genuine good, that they may be able to receive the truths of faith. This is evident from the signification of "buying," as being to acquire and appropriate to oneself (see Arcana Coelestia 4397, 5374, 5397, 5406, 5410, 5426); also from the signification of "gold tried by fire," as being genuine good, thus good from the Lord (of which presently); also from the signification of "that thou mayest be enriched," as being to be enabled to receive the truths of faith. This is the signification of being "enriched," because "riches" and "wealth" signify the knowledges of truth and good, and "the rich" are those who are in intelligence by means of knowledges, here, those who are in faith by means of them, since those who are in the doctrine of faith alone are here treated of. From this it is clear that "to buy of Me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be enriched," signifies that they must acquire for themselves genuine good from the Lord so that they may receive the truths of faith.

(Odkazy: Revelation 3:18)

[2] It shall first be told how this is to be understood. It has often been said before, that there is no truth which is truth in itself unless it be from good, thus no faith that is faith in itself unless it be from charity: for there is no truth that is truth in itself unless there is spiritual life within it, and spiritual life is within it when it is formed out of the good of charity; for truth is the form of good, and good is the esse of truth, thus also its life; and good is from no other source than from the Lord. When there is good from the Lord, the truth that is from the good looks primarily to the Lord and also to the neighbor and his good, for the Lord flows in with good and by it forms truth, which is the truth of faith, and causes man's spiritual sight to look to him and to the neighbor. (That this is so, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 145, 251, namely, that the Lord looks at angels and men in the forehead, and these look to the Lord through the eyes; for the reason that the forehead corresponds to the good of love, and the eyes to the understanding illustrated thereby, consequently to the truths of faith. Also in the same work, n. Heaven and Hell 17, 123, 124, 142-144, 510, it is shown that in the spiritual world all are turned to their own loves, and those who have acknowledged the Lord and believed in Him are turned to Him, and thereby have good, and through good, illustration in respect to truths.) From this it can be seen what the genuine good is that is signified by "gold tried by fire," namely, that it is good from the Lord alone.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 17, The Apocalypse Explained 123-124, The Apocalypse Explained 142-144, The Apocalypse Explained 510)

[3] As what is written to the angel of this church treats of those who live according to the doctrine of faith alone, and as those who had confirmed themselves in that doctrine, and were on that account called learned in the world, were able to join falsities with truths and make the doctrine appear as if it were true, therefore, it was granted me to talk with some of them in the other life; and as the things that were then said on either side may serve for illustration I will present them. These learned ones, from their belief while in the world, supposed that there might be faith without charity, and that man may be justified by that alone. Their talk was very ingenious; they said that there is faith without charity, because it is prior to charity, and because by it man is in good. "Who," they said, "is not able to believe that there is a God, that the Word is Divine, and other like truths, which unless believed could not be received and thought of by man?"

From this they concluded that as faith precedes, or is prior to, charity, there can be faith without charity; and if there can be, that it must be saving, since man cannot do good from himself; unless, therefore, that faith were saving all would perish: moreover, without faith there could be no presence of God with man; and without the presence of God evil would reign, and no one would have any good. This, they said, is what is meant by justification by faith alone. But it was shown them that there could not be faith unless there was at the same time charity; and that what they called faith was nothing but the knowledges that are first with every man; for example, that there is a God, that the Word is Divine, and the like, and that these knowledges are not in the man before they are in his will, but are in the entrance to him, which is his memory; but so far as they are in his will so far they are in the man himself, for the will is the man himself; and so far as they are in the will so far they are in his sight, which is faith. The knowledges themselves that precede, and that appear to the natural sight as if believed, do not until then come to be of faith; consequently this seeing the knowledges, that is thought to be of faith, recedes step by step from man as he begins from willing evil to think evil, and also recedes from him after death when man becomes a spirit, if the knowledges have not been rooted in his life, that is, in his will or love.

[4] This may be illustrated by a comparison with the stomachs of birds and beasts of the earth that are called ruminating stomachs. Into these they first collect their food, and afterwards by degrees take it out and eat it, and thus nourish the blood; food thus becomes a part of their life. With man the memory corresponds to these stomachs; and man is endowed with memory instead of these because he is spiritual; into this he first gathers spiritual foods, which are knowledges, and afterwards he takes them out by a sort of ruminating, that is, by thinking and willing, and appropriates them, and thus makes them a part of his life.

From this comparison, although trifling, it can be seen that knowledges, unless implanted in the life by thinking and willing them and then doing them, are like food that remains unconsumed in ruminating stomachs, where it either becomes putrid or is vomited out. Moreover, the circle of man's life is to know, 1 to understand, to will, and to do; for man's spiritual life begins with knowing, passes next to understanding, then to willing, and finally to doing. From this it is clear that so long as knowledges are in the memory they are merely in the entrance to the life, and that they are not fully in man until they are in acts, and the more fully they are in acts the more fully they are in the understanding and will.

[5] It was further shown that the faith of knowledges before it becomes the faith of life is historical faith, the nature of which is well known, namely, that it is believed because another has said it; until this has been made man's own it is an alien thing, or something with ourself belonging to someone else. Historical faith, moreover, is like a belief in things unknown, for it is said that things must be believed though not understood, yea, that they must not be searched into by the understanding; and yet spiritual faith is such that in it truths themselves are seen and are consequently believed. In heaven no one believes any truth unless he sees it or has seen it; for they say, "Who can believe that a thing is so unless he sees it? It may possibly be false." And only the evil can believe what is false; for the evil from evil see falsities, but the good from good see truths; and as good is from the Lord, so also seeing truth from good is from the Lord. Angels see truths because the light of heaven, in which they are, is Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; all, therefore, even those in the world, who are in that light are able to see truth. (Of the light of heaven, and that it is such, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 126-140.)

[6] It was then shown that charity and faith act as one and enter together into man, thus that man is so far in faith as he is in charity, since faith as to its essence is charity, just as truth as to its essence is good; for good, when it exists in shape or in form is truth; in like manner charity is faith, for good is of charity and truth is of faith; moreover, the one loves the other and conjoins itself to the other, therefore one is not given unless the other be with it. This was illustrated by man's thought, which is of his understanding, and his affection, which is of his will; to think apart from affection is impossible, for the very essence of thought is affection or love. Man is able, to be sure, to think all things that he knows from the doctrine of the church, but only from a natural affection, which is the affection or love of glory, fame, honor or gain; but such an affection does not make thought to be spiritual; this requires charity, which is spiritual affection itself. When this is conjoined with knowledges there is faith, and then so far as man is in that affection he sees in thought the things that are of his faith, which are called truths, and acknowledges them, because they are from his very spirit, thus from his very spiritual life. This also is what is called illustration; and this is why no one can be illustrated from the Word unless he is in the spiritual affection of truth. Something like illustration there is, indeed, with those who have confirmed themselves in such things as are of the doctrine of faith alone and justification by faith; but that illustration is a fatuous illustration, since falsities as well as truths can be confirmed, like all those heresies that prevail both among the Jews and among Papists. With those who are called naturalists, and who deny God, the Divinity of the Word, and all other things belonging to the church, there is a similar light after confirmations; like that with those who have confirmed themselves in faith alone and justification by faith. (That the light of confirmation is natural, not spiritual, and exists also with the evil, see Arcana Coelestia 8780.)

[7] But let us return to the faith that in its essence is charity. That faith is continually perfected by such things as confirm; for from spiritual light more truths are constantly being seen, and all these join themselves to the good of charity, and perfect it. From this man has intelligence and wisdom, which at length become angelic. Moreover, those who are merely in the knowledges of faith, and not in a life according to them, believe that man can easily receive faith, if not in the world yet in another life, saying within themselves, "When I hear and see that a thing is so can I not believe it?" But they are greatly mistaken; for those who have not received spiritual faith in the world can never afterwards receive it, even if they were to hear of it and see it a thousand times; and for the reason that such a faith is not in man, but outside of him. That this is so can be clearly seen from this, that all who come from the world are first received by angels and good spirits, and instructed in every way, yea, many things are shown them to the life and before their very eyes, and yet they do not receive; thus they alienate themselves from angels and good spirits, and join those who are in no faith.

[8] Again, it was also told them, that if faith could be received by merely knowing and thinking it would be received by all, 2 the evil and the good alike, and thus no one would be damned. That charity, which is spiritual affection, can never be given to anyone unless he knows truths, examines himself by means of them, accepts them, and leads a new life in accordance with them, may be seen above n. 239. From this it follows that charity is the life of faith, and that there is nothing of life in faith except in the measure of the charity that is in it; and also that in the measure that charity is in faith man is led by the Lord, but in the measure that charity is not in faith man is led by himself; and he who is led by himself and not by the Lord is unable to think of good, still less to will and do good which is good in itself; for from what is man's own [ex proprio] nothing proceeds except evil; for when a man thinks of good, and wills and does good and 3 what is his own [ex propio], it is only for his own sake and for the sake of the world, which are the ends of what he does, and the ends are the loves that lead him; and man cannot be withdrawn from his selfhood [a suo proprio] or elevated unless he looks to the Lord in regard to the things that are of life; by this looking he is conjoined with heaven, and from heaven a spiritual affection is given him by the Lord. When this had been said, it was granted to those with whom I was talking on this subject to be in spiritual light, which light is such that in it truths can be seen as clearly as objects in the world are seen in its light; and then those who were in the doctrine of faith alone and justification by faith could not but affirm that this was true; but as soon as that light was taken away from them, and they were let back into their own light, which was natural, they were unable to see otherwise than that the sight of knowledges is saving faith, and therefore that the falsities that they had made part of their faith were truths. Falsities come to be of the faith when evils are of the life.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 239)

[9] But to return to the explanation of the words of this passage, "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be enriched," which signifies that they should acquire for themselves from the Lord genuine good, that they may be able to receive truths. It now remains to be shown that "gold" in the Word signifies the good of love. This can be seen from the following passages. In Malachi:

Behold, I send My angel [messenger] who shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the angel [messenger] of the covenant whom ye desire; He shall sit refining and purifying silver, and shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall purge them as gold and silver, that they may bring to Jehovah an offering in righteousness (Malachi 3:1-3).

These things are said of the Lord's coming. It is said that Jehovah is to send a messenger [an angel] who will prepare the way before Him; and the messenger [angel] meant is John the Baptist, as is known. "Before Me," or before Jehovah, means before the Lord's Divine Itself; "the temple to which He is to come" means His Divine Human; this is also called "the messenger [angel] of the covenant," because through it there is a conjunction of men and angels with the Divine Itself, for covenant means conjunction. "The silver that He shall sit refining and purifying" means truth from good; "the sons of Levi" mean all those who are in the good of charity and in the truths of faith therefrom; it is therefore said, "He shall purge them as gold and silver." This is said because "gold" signifies good, and "silver" the truth therefrom. "Bringing to Jehovah an offering in righteousness" means worship of the Lord from the good of charity. (That "temple" signifies the Lord's Divine Human, see above, n. 220; that "covenant" signifies conjunction, see Arcana Coelestia 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10632; that "silver" signifies truth from good, n. 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658; that "an offering" signifies the good of love and charity, n. 4581, 9992-9994, 10079, 10137; that "righteousness" is predicated of good, n. 2235, 9857.) Therefore "to bring an offering in righteousness" signifies worship from the good of love.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 665-666, 1551-1552; The Apocalypse Explained 220)

[10] In Zechariah:

Two parts in all the land shall be cut off, shall expire, but the third shall be left therein. Yet I will lead the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried. (Zechariah 13:8-9)

"All the land" does not mean all the land, but the whole church; nor does "the third part" mean a third part, but some in the church. "To lead it through the fire, and refine as silver is refined, and to try as gold is tried," signifies to so purify them from falsities and evils that good and truth may be implanted. (That "earth" [land] in the Word signifies the church, see Arcana Coelestia 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 6516, 9325, 9643; that "a third part" signifies some, n. 2788.) In these passages there are comparisons of "silver" and "gold" with truth and good; but in the Word all things that serve as comparisons also correspond, and thence signify (see Arcana Coel (Arcana Coelestia 3579, 8989[1-11]) estia, n. 3579, 8989). Because "gold tried by fire" signifies the good of love purified from evils, it was commanded:

That the gold and silver taken from the Midianites should be passed through the fire, and thus be purified (Numbers 31:22-23).

[11] That "gold" signifies the good of love and of charity is shown further in the following passages.

In Hosea:

Israel hath forsaken good; the enemy pursueth him; they have made their silver and their gold into idols for themselves (Hosea 8:3-4).

"Making their silver and their gold into idols for themselves" signifies that they have turned truth and good into falsities and evils, as is evident from its being said, "Israel hath forsaken good, and the enemy pursueth him;" "the enemy" is falsity from evil, and evil from falsity.

[12] In Joel:

What are ye to Me, O Tyre and Zidon? My silver and My gold ye have taken, and the desirable things of My goods have ye brought into your temples, and the sons of Judah, and the sons of Jerusalem ye have sold to the sons of the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their borders (Joel 3:4-6).

"Tyre and Zidon" mean those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good; here those who have perverted these, and applied them to falsities and to the evils of falsities; this is signified by "Ye have taken My silver and My gold, and the desirable things of My goods have ye brought into your temples;" "silver" signifying truth, "gold" good, and "the desirable things of goods" signifying derived truths and goods, which are knowledges from the sense of the letter of the Word; "to bring them into their temples" signifies to turn them into profane worship; that "they sold the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem to the sons of the Grecians" means that they changed all the truths of good into the falsities of evil; "removing them far from their borders" means far from truths themselves. (That "Tyre and Zidon" mean those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good, see Arcana Coelestia 1201; that "sons of Judah and sons of Jerusalem" mean all truths of good, because "sons" signify truths, n. 1729, 1733, 2159, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 7499, 8897, 9807; "Judah" the celestial church, n. 3654, 6364; "Jerusalem" the church where there is genuine doctrine, n. 3654, 9166; that "sons of the Grecians" mean falsities, because "Grecians" signify the nations that are in falsities, see above, n. 50.)

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 50)

[13] In Ezekiel:

The traders of Sheba and Raamah, by the chief of all spices, and by every precious stone and gold, they gave for thy tradings (Ezekiel 27:22).

In the same:

In thy wisdom and thine intelligence thou hadst made to thyself wealth, and hast gotten gold and silver in thy treasures. Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, and gold (Ezekiel 28:4, 13).

In these two passages also Tyre is treated of, and by it, as was said above, those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good are meant. (By "her tradings" those knowledges themselves are meant. "Sheba and Raamah" also mean those who are in these knowledges, see Arcana Coelestia 1171, 3240; "spices" signify truths which are pleasing because from good, see n. 4748, 5621, 9474, 9475, 10199, 10254; "precious stones" signify truths, which are beautiful because from good, n. 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905; "the garden of Eden" signifies intelligence and wisdom therefrom, n. 100, 108, 1588, 2702, 3220.) Now because these things signify the knowledges of truth and of good, and "gold and silver" the goods and truths themselves, and because through these all intelligence and wisdom are acquired, it is said, "In thine intelligence and thy wisdom thou hast gotten gold and silver in thy treasures."

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 9474-9475)

[14] In Lamentations:

How is the gold become dim! How is the most pure gold changed! The stones of holiness are poured out at the head of every street. The sons of Zion are esteemed equal to pure gold; how are they reputed as earthen bottles, the work of the hands of the potter! (Lamentations 4:1-2).

Here the vastation of the church is treated of; "the gold that is become dim, and the most pure gold that is changed," signify the goods of the church; "the stones of holiness that are poured out at the head of every street," signify the truths therefrom that are falsified; "the sons of Zion, who were esteemed equal to pure gold," signify the truths of the former church; "earthen bottles, the work of the hands of the potter," signify evils of life from falsities of doctrine, which are from self-intelligence.

[15] In Ezekiel:

I decked thee with ornaments, and I gave bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy garments of fine linen and silk and broidered work. Thou didst also take the vessels of thine adorning of My gold and My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images with which thou couldst commit whoredom (Ezekiel 16:11, 13, 17-18).

Here Jerusalem is treated of, which signifies the church in respect to doctrine (as above). "The ornaments with which she was decked" signify in general all truths from good and intelligence therefrom (Arcana Coelestia 10536, 10540); "bracelets upon the hands" signify in particular, truths from good (3103, 3105); "the chain upon the neck" signifies the conjunction of interior truths and goods with exterior, or things spiritual with things natural (5320); "fine linen" signifies genuine truth, and "silk" the same, resplendent from interior good (5319, 9469); "broidered work" signifies knowledge [scientificum] pertaining to the natural man (n. 9688); "the images with which she committed whoredom" are the fallacies of the senses, that appear as truths to those who are in falsities; "to commit whoredom with them" is to establish falsities by fallacies (that "to commit whoredom" signifies to imbue with falsities, see above, n. 141. From this it is clear that the contents of this chapter describe the church as it was when first established by the Lord, and as it afterwards became.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 16:17; The Apocalypse Explained 141)

[16] In Isaiah:

Behold, I stir up against them the Medes, who shall not value silver, and shall not delight in gold; their bows shall dash to pieces the young men, their eye shall not spare the sons (Isaiah 13:17-18).

The "Medes" mean those who are against the truths and goods of the church; it is therefore said of them, "they shall not value silver nor delight in gold;" "silver" is the truth of the church, and "gold" its good. Their "bows" signify the doctrinals of falsity fighting against truths and goods (Arcana Coelestia 2686, 2709); "the young men whom they shall dash to pieces" signify those who are intelligent from truths (n. 7668); "the sons whom they shall not spare" signify the truths themselves.

[17] In the same:

The troop of camels shall cover thee; they all shall come from Sheba; they shall bring gold and frankincense; and they shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah. The isles hope in Me, and the ships of Tarshish, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them (Isaiah 60:6, 9).

Here the coming of the Lord is treated of, and "the troop of camels" means all who are in the knowledges of truth and good (Arcana Coelestia 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145); "Sheba, from which they shall come," means where those knowledges themselves are (n. 1171, 3240); "the gold and frankincense which they shall bring" mean goods and truths from good, which are therefore pleasing, "gold" is goods, and "frankincense" truths (n. 9993, 10177, 10296); "the isles which shall hope" mean the nations that are in Divine worship, but more remote from the truths of the church (n. 1158); "the ships of Tarshish" mean the general knowledges of truth and good, which contain many knowledges in particular (n. 1977, 6385); "the sons whom they shall bring from far" mean truths more remote, "sons" meaning truths (as above), and "from far" those more remote (n. 1613, 9487); "their silver and gold with them" signify the knowledges of truth and good with them.

Like things are signified by:

The wise men who came from the East to the place where Christ was born, offering gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).

They offered these because these signified goods and truths, interior and exterior, which are gifts pleasing to God.

[18] In David:

All kings shall bow themselves before Him; and all nations shall serve Him. He shall save the souls of the needy. And they shall live, and He shall give them of the gold of Sheba (Psalms 72:11, 13, 15).

Here also the coming of the Lord is treated of; by "kings that shall bow themselves before Him," and "nations that shall serve Him," all who are in truths from good are meant (that "kings" signify those who are in truths, see above, n. 31; and that "nations" signify those who are in good, see also above, n. 175; "the needy whom He shall save" mean those who are not in the knowledges of good and truth but yet long for them (see also above, n. 238; "the gold of Sheba, of which He shall give them," means the good of love into which the Lord shall lead them by means of knowledges (what "Sheba" signifies see just above).

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 31, The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 238)

[19] In Haggai:

I will stir up all nations, that they may come, the choice of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory. The silver is Mine, and the gold. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former (Haggai 2:7-9).

This also treats of the coming of the Lord; by "nations" those who are in good and in truths therefrom are meant; by "house" the church (Arcana Coelestia 3720); "the glory with which it shall be filled" means Divine truth (n. 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429). "The silver is Mine, and the gold," means that truth and good are from the Lord alone.

[20] In Zechariah:

The wealth of all nations round about shall be gathered together, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance (Zechariah 14:14).

"The wealth of all nations" means knowledges, wheresoever they are, even with the evil; "gold, silver, and garments, in great abundance," mean goods and truths, spiritual and natural. The like was signified by:

The gold, silver, and garments that the sons of Israel borrowed from the Egyptians, when they went away from them (Exodus 3:22; 11:2, 3; 12:35-36).

Why this was done, and what it involves, may be seen in The Arcana Coelestia 6914, 6917, namely, to represent that the things the evil have shall be taken away from them and given to the good (according to the Lord's words in Matthew 25:28, 29; and in Luke 19:24, 26); and that they should make to themselves friends by the unrighteous mammon (according to the words of the Lord in Luke 16:9). "The unrighteous mammon" means the knowledges of truth and good with those who do not possess them justly, who are those that do not apply them to life.

(Odkazy: Exodus 11:2-3; Matthew 25:28-29)

[21] In David:

Kings' daughters are among thy precious ones; at Thy right hand stood the queen in the best gold of Ophir. The king's daughter is all glorious within; her vesture is inwrought with gold (Psalms 45:9, 13).

This treats of the Lord; and "a king's daughter" means the church that is in the affection of truth, which is described by "kings' daughters are among His precious ones," which means the affections of truths themselves; "at His right hand doth stand the queen in the best gold of Ophir" means the Lord's celestial kingdom, which is in the good of love; "her vesture is inwrought with gold" means that its truths are from good.

[22] In Matthew:

Jesus said to His disciples whom He sent forth to preach the gospel, that they should possess no gold, nor silver, nor brass in their purses (Matthew 10:9);

by this was represented that they should have nothing of good and truth from themselves, but only from the Lord, and that all things would be given them freely. Because "gold" signified the good of love:

The table on which the shewbread was placed was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:23-24);

Likewise the altar of incense, which was thence called the golden altar (Exodus 30:3);

For the same reason the lampstand was made of pure gold (Exodus 25:31, 38);

Also the cherubim (Exodus 25:18);

And for the same reason the ark was overlaid within and without with gold (Exodus 25:11);

Likewise many things in the temple at Jerusalem.

For the tabernacle, in which were the ark, the cherubim, the table on which was the shewbread, the altar of incense, and the lampstand, represented heaven, and so did the temple; therefore the gold therein signified the good of love, and the silver truth from good.

(Odkazy: Exodus 25:17-18, 25:31-38)

[23] As what is most holy in heaven was represented by the gold in the temple:

When Belshazzar drank wine out of the vessels of gold brought out of that temple, and at the same time praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, there appeared written on the wall: Numbered, weighed, divided; and in that night he was slain (Daniel 5:2);

for thereby was signified the profanation of good.

[24] Moreover "gold" in the Word in a contrary sense signifies the evil of self-love, and "silver" the falsity therefrom. As in Moses:

The silver and gold of the nations they shall not covet, for they are abominations, nor bring them into their houses, but they shall be accursed, because they are to be abhorred and abominated (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).

But this signification of "gold" and "silver" shall be spoken of further on.


1.  For "is to know" the Latin has "and to know."

2.  For "received by all" the Latin has "received that by all."

3.  For "and what is his own" the context requires "from what is his own. "


(Odkazy: Exodus 25:31-38; Ezekiel 16:17; Revelation 3:18)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 226, 272, 277, 324, 340, 430, 444, 701, 907, 1043, 1120, 1141

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Spiritual Experiences 5945

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