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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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Swedenborg

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
'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...

lord
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...

Son
'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
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...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

birth
'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.

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

mother
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,...

hittite
'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...

born
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...

washed
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...

water
'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...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

eye
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...

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

field
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...

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

said
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
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

multiply
'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

breasts
The breast (Ezek. 16:7), signifies natural good.

hair
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
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...

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

nakedness
'Unclothed' signifies being deprived of the truths of faith.

sware
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...

entered
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...

oil
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

linen
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
'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...

ornaments
Bracelets (Gen. 25:22) signify truth, and in this passage divine truth, because the Lord is treated of.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

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

head
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....

gold
'Money' relates to truth.

silver
'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
'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...

Prosper
'To be made to prosper' signifies being provided for. Which is why 'Jehovah made it prosper in his hand' means Divine Providence. 

Heathen
'The time of the heathen,' as mentioned in Ezekiel 30:3, signifies the heathen, or wickedness.

beauty
Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

harlot
'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.

garments
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

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

Incense
'Incense' or 'odors' signify worship and confession of the Lord, from spiritual goods and truths.

before
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...

meat
'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.

a
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
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
'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...

daughters
"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...

devoured
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...

children
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....

pass
'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...

remembered
'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...

days
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...

youth
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

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

built
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

street
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,...

way
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...

feet
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...

fornication
'And [Tyre] shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication,' as in Isaiah 23:17, signifies the vaunting and boasting of falsity.

Egyptians
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
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
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...

stretched
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,...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

food
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.

philistines
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...

ashamed
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...

satisfied
'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

canaan
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
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...

work
'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...

woman
'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...

wife
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...

husband
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...

give
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
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

hear
'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
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...

loved
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...

hated
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.

see
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...

judge
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
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.

strip
As in Micah 1:8, 'to be stripped' signifies being without goods, and 'to be naked' signifies being without truths.

clothes
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

company
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...

stone
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...

swords
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...

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

fire
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...

sight
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...

many
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...

quiet
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...

mother's
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...

sister
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...

elder
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...

Samaria
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

dwell
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.

younger
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...

dwelleth
'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
'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.

walked
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

ways
'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

iniquity
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

Pride
'Pride' signifies the love of self.

bread
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...

Poor
The poor, maimed, lame, and blind,' as in Luke 14:21, signify the uninstructed Gentiles who were in lives of good.

needy
'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.

half
Half and double in reference to numbers in the world have a similar signification as the numbers themselves.

sins
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...

bear
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...

own
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...

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

righteous
'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.

Captivity
Captivity and spoil (Daniel 11:33) signifies the deprivation of every truth and good.

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

comfort
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...

return
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.

mouth
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.

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

Syria
'Syria,' as in Ezekiel 27:16, signifies the church regarding knowledges of truth and good.

despised
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...

Oath
An oath' or 'swearing' signifies confirmation and conjunction.

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

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Arcana Coelestia # 2576

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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2576. 'Behold, it is for you a covering of the eyes for all who are with you' means that rational truths are like a covering or garment for spiritual truths. This is clear from the meaning of 'a covering', to be dealt with immediately below, and from the meaning of 'the eyes' as things of the understanding, as is evident from very many places in the Word, and also from the meaning of 'seeing' as understanding, 2150, 2325. Anyone may see that each detail in this verse holds arcana within it which cannot be brought to light except by some interior sense - such as the detail that it is said 'he gave a thousand pieces of silver to her brother' not 'to her husband'; or the details that it was 'a covering of the eyes', and that it was 'for her and all who were with her', also 'with all'; or the detail 'so she was vindicated'. Many historical inferences might indeed be drawn from the sense of the letter, but none of these would have anything spiritual in them, still less anything Divine. Such is the nature of the Word.

[2] As regards rational truths being like a covering or garment for spiritual truths, the position is that the inmost parts of man's being belong to his soul, while the more exterior belong to his body. Man's inmost parts consist in goods and truths from which the soul has its life, or else the soul would not be a soul. Those which are more exterior however derive their life from the soul, and each one of them is like a body, or what amounts to the same, a covering or garment. This becomes clear in particular from the things that are seen in the next life, for example, from angels when these are presented to view. The interior parts of their beings shine from their faces, while the exterior are represented both in their bodies and in the clothes they are wearing, so completely that anyone there may recognize the character of those angels simply from the clothes they are wearing; for every angel consists of real substance and so is an essence given outward form. It is similar in the case of angels who have been seen and whose faces and clothing are described in the Word, such as those seen in the Lord's tomb, Matthew 28:3; Mark 16:5; and the twenty-four elders around the throne, Revelation 4:4; and others. Nor does this apply only to angels but also to everything else, even inanimate objects, mentioned in the Word. Their exteriors are a covering or garment as with the Ark of the Covenant and the tent surrounding it. 'The Ark' there, which was inmost, represented the Lord Himself, for the Testimony belonged there, while 'the tent' outside of it represented the Lord's kingdom. Every single one of 'the coverings' there, that is, the veils and screens, represented the exterior celestial and spiritual things within the Lord's kingdom, that is to say, within the three heavens This becomes clear from the plan of it that was shown to Moses on Mount Sinai, Exodus 25:9; 26:30. It was this that gave it its holiness, not the gold and silver and the carvings that were in it.

[3] Since the matter of rational truths being like a covering or garment to spiritual truths is being discussed here, and since in Moses a description of the Tent is given - of its coverings or of its screens, and also of its veils in front of places of entry - let an explanation be given, for the sake of illustration, of what specifically was meant by the veils. (But what was meant by the enveloping covers will in the Lord's Divine mercy be stated elsewhere.) The Tabernacle had three veils, the first, which made a division between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies; the second, which is called a screen serving as a door into the tent; the third, which is called a screen serving as a gate into the court.

[4] The first of these, the veil itself, which was a screen in front of the Ark, is referred to in Moses,

You shall make a veil of violet and purple and twice-dyed scarlet and fine-twined linen. The work of a designer, 1 you shall make it with cherubs on it. And you shall hang it on four pillars of shittim, overlaid with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold; [they shall stand] on four bases of silver. And you shall hang the veil under the clasps. And you shall bring in, within the veil, the Ark of the Testimony, and the veil shall divide for you the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. Exodus 26:31-34; 36:35-36.

This veil represented the most immediate and inmost appearances of rational good and truth, which occur among the angels of the third heaven. These appearances are described by the violet, purple, twice-dyed scarlet, and fine-twined linen, the red of which represented the goods that belong to love, and the white its truths. Also, the gold and silver with which the pillars were overlaid, and of which the hooks and bases were made had a similar representation. As regards colours being representative, see 1042, 1043, 1053, 1624; and as regards 'gold' meaning the good of love, 113, 1551, 1552, and 'silver' truth, 1551, 2048.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1042-1043, Arcana Coelestia 1551-1552; Exodus 26:31-33)


[5] This shows what is meant by the veil of the temple being torn in two, Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45 - namely that once all appearances had been dispelled the Lord entered into the Divine Itself, and at the same time He opened a means of access to the Divine Itself through His Human that had been made Divine.

[6] The second veil, or screen serving as a door to the tent, is referred to in Moses as follows,

You shall make a screen for a door of the tent, of violet and purple and twice-dyed scarlet and fine-twined linen, the work of an embroiderer. And you shall make for the screen five pillars of shittim and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold; and you shall cast for them five bases of bronze. Exodus 26:36-37; 36:37-38

This screen represented the appearances of good and truth which are lower and more exterior than those mentioned already; that is, they are the middle appearances that belong to the rational, which occur among the angels of the second heaven. The description given to these appearances is virtually the same, the difference being that this screen had five pillars and five bases, by which number is meant something relatively small, for these appearances are not so unified or heavenly as the appearances belonging to the inmost or third heaven. Regarding the number 'five' meaning that which is small, see 649, 1686. And because these appearances look to natural things, it was commanded that the bases should be cast of bronze; for bronze represented and meant natural good, 425, 1551.

[7] The third veil, or screen serving as a gate into the court, is referred to in Moses as follows,

The screen for a gate of the court shall be twenty cubits [long], of violet and purple and twice-dyed scarlet and fine-twined linen, the work of an embroiderer; the pillars of it shall be four and the bases of these four. All the pillars of the surrounding court shall be fastened with silver; their hooks shall be of silver but their bases of bronze. Exodus 27:16-17; 38:18-19

This screen represented the still lower and more exterior appearances of good and truth, which are the lowest appearances belonging to the rational, and which occur among the angels of the first heaven. Because these appearances correspond to those that are more interior the description given to them is also much the same, the differences being that the pillars were not overlaid with gold but were fastened together with silver, while the hooks were made of silver - all of which mean rational truths such as have their origin immediately in factual knowledge - and the bases were made of bronze which mean natural goods. All these considerations show that there was nothing in the Tent which was not representative of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom; that is, they show that all those things were made so as to provide every type or imprint of the celestial and spiritual things that exist in the three heavens. And they also show that the coverings or screens meant things which, like a body or clothing, surround or are outside of that which is inmost.

[8] In addition to all this, the fact that coverings, screens, and a garment or clothes mean relatively lower truths becomes clear from many places in the Word, as in Ezekiel,

Fine linen with embroidered work from Egypt was your sail, violet and purple from the islands of Elishah was your covering. 2 Ezekiel 27:7.

This refers to 'Tyre', which means interior cognitions of celestial and spiritual things, and therefore those who possess those cognitions, 1201. 'Embroidered work from Egypt' stands for factual knowledge - 'Egypt' meaning factual knowledge, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462. 'Violet and purple from the islands of Elishah as a covering' stands for forms of ritual corresponding to internal worship, 1156.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[9] In the same prophet,

All the princes of the sea will step down from upon their thrones, and will remove their robes and will strip off their embroidered clothes. They will clothe themselves with tremblings; they will sit on the ground. Ezekiel 26:16.

This too refers to 'Tyre'. 'Robes' and 'embroidered clothes' stand for cognitions formed out of factual knowledge, and so stand for lower truths.

[10] In the same prophet,

I clothed you with embroidered cloth and shod you with badger, and I swathed you in fine linen and covered you with silk, and I adorned you with adornments and put bracelets on your hands and a chain on your neck. You took some of your garments and made for yourself gaily-decked high places and committed whoredom on them. You took your embroidered clothes and covered them. Ezekiel 16:10-11, 16, 18.

This describes 'Jerusalem', which is the spiritual Church, as it had been in early times and as it was subsequently when perverted. Its lower spiritual things and its matters of doctrine are the embroidered clothes, fine linen, and silk.

[11] In Isaiah,

The Lord, Jehovah Zebaoth, is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah the whole staff of bread and staff of water. At that time a man will take hold of his brother, of his father's house, [saying,] You have clothing, you will be leader for us. On that day he will speak out, saying, I will not be a binder up; and in my house there is neither bread nor clothing. You shall not make me leader of the people. The Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion. And on that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, and of the networks, and of the crescents, and of the necklaces, and of the chainlets, and of the bracts; 3 and the tiaras, and the garters, and the sashes, and the perfume boxes, 4 and the earrings; the rings, and the nose-jewels, the changes of clothes, and the robes, and the veils, and the pin-cases, and the mirrors, and the muslin, and the turbans, and the mantles. Isaiah 3:1, 6-7, 17-24.

'Jerusalem' stands for the spiritual Church, 'Judah' for the celestial Church, 'the staff of bread and the staff of water which will be taken away' for good and truth. 'The clothing which the leader will have' stands for the truths that make up doctrine. The various articles of clothing and adornments that are listed belonging to the daughters of Zion mean every single genus and species of good and truth which were to be taken away from them. Unless each item that is mentioned meant some specific detail of the Church they would not be part of the Word, every expression of which has what is Divine within it. 'The daughters of Zion' who are said to possess all these articles means those things that constitute the Church; see 2362.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 3:17-23)


[12] In the same prophet,

Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion, put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; no more may there come in to you the uncircumcised and the unclean. Isaiah 52:1-2.

'Zion' stands for the celestial Church, 'Jerusalem' for the spiritual, 'beautiful garments' for the sacred things of faith. In the same prophet,

Their webs do not become clothing, neither are they covered in their works. Their works are works of iniquity. Isaiah 59:6.

'Webs' stands for made-up truths which do not become clothing. 'Clothing' stands for exterior truths of doctrine and worship, hence the statement 'neither are they covered in their works'.

[13] In the same prophet,

I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah, my soul will exult in my God, for He will clothe me with the clothes of salvation, with the robe of righteousness has He covered me. Isaiah 61:10.

'The clothes of salvation' stands for truths of faith, 'the robe of righteousness' for the good that flows from charity. In John,

You have a few names also in Sardis, who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who conquers will be clad in white garments. Revelation 3:4-5.

In the same book,

Blessed is he who is awake and keeps his garments, so that he may not walk naked. Revelation 16:15.

In the same book,

On the thrones I saw twenty-four elders seated, clad in white garments. Revelation 4:4.

Here it is evident that 'garments' do not mean garments but spiritual things, which are forms of truth.

[14] The same may be seen in what the Lord said when speaking about the close of the age. When He said that people were not to turn back and fetch their garments, Matthew 24:18; Mark 13:16, truths were meant by 'garments', see 2454, as they also are in His reference to the man who was not wearing a wedding garment, Matthew 22:11-12, and in His reference to John,

What did you go out to see. A man clad in fine garments? Those who wear fine garments are in kings' houses. Matthew 11:8; Luke 7:25.

This means that they did not care about the external things of doctrine and worship but about the internal, and this is why He adds,

What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. Matthew 11:9.

'A prophet' here stands for the external things of doctrine and worship.

[15] As 'clothes' meant truths of every kind the children of Israel were commanded when leaving Egypt to ask from their neighbour for gold and silver, and for clothes, and to place them on their children, Exodus 3:22; 12:35-36.

[16] They were also commanded not to wear clothes made from different kinds of stuff, or to wear mixed ones, Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 22:11; and were commanded to make tassels for the hems of their clothes, to put a violet cord there, and when they saw it were to recollect the commandments and carry them out, Numbers 15:38-40. In former times they also rent their clothes, as is evident in Joshua 7:6; Judges 11:35; 1 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 1:2, 11-12; 3:31; 13:30-31; 15:32; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 5:7-8; 6:30; 22:11, 14, 19; Isaiah 36:22; 37:1. This action meant a zealous regard for doctrine and truth which had in a similar way been torn to shreds, and also a humble recognition that nothing existed with them, which is meant by the adornment of clothing.

(Odkazy: 2 Samuel 1:11, 13:31)


[17] That veils, screens, garments, or clothes mean such things is also evident with the prophecy of Jacob, who by now was Israel,

He will bind his colt to the vine, and the foal of his ass to a choice vine. He will wash his clothing in wine, and his garment in the blood of grapes. Genesis 49:11.

What these words mean nobody can know except from the internal sense, that is to say, what is meant by 'a vine', 'a choice vine', 'a colt', 'the foal of an ass', 'wine', 'the blood of grapes', 'clothing', and 'garment'. That it is a reference to the Lord who in that prophecy is called 'Shiloh' is self-evident. The reference at this point is to Judah who represents the Lord's Divine celestial. 'The clothing he was to wash in wine' and 'the garment in the blood of grapes' mean His Rational and Natural which He was to make Divine.

[18] Similarly in Isaiah,

Who is this coming from Edom, with dyed clothes from Bozra, he that is glorious in his apparel, marching in the vast numbers of his strength? Why are you red as to your clothing, and your clothes like his that treads the winepress? And I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me. Their victory has been sprinkled on my clothes, and I have stained all my raiment. Isaiah 63:1-3.

Here also 'clothes' and 'raiment' stand for the Lord's Human which, by means of the conflicts brought about by temptations and by means of victories, He made Divine by His own power; hence the statement, 'I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me'. The reference to 'Isaac smelling the smell of Esau's clothes, and so blessing him' implies much the same, Genesis 27:27.

[19] The Holiness itself of the Lord's Divine Human was also a garment which was seen as light and as something dazzling white when He was transfigured, described in Matthew as follows,

When Jesus was transfigured His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became [white] as the light. Matthew 17:2.

In Luke,

When Jesus was praying the appearance of His face was altered; His clothing became dazzling white. Luke 9:29.

And in Mark,

When Jesus was transfigured His clothes became glistening, intensely white like snow, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Mark 9:3.

The sacred vestments worn by Aaron when he went inside the veil, which were made of linen, were similarly representative, Leviticus 16:2, 4, and so were the sacred vestments 'for glory and adornment' when he ministered, which are described in Exodus 28:2-end; Exodus 28:39:1-end. Not a detail of those vestments failed to be representative.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, of designing, but where this verse is explained Swedenborg translates of a designer; see 9669.

2. The Latin word used here is the same as that which in preceding quotations from the Word has been translated screen.

3. i.e. thin metal plates worn as jewelry

4. literally, houses of the soul

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(Odkazy: Exodus 28:2-43, 39; Genesis 20:16; Isaiah 3:17-23; Matthew 11:8-9)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2356, 3021, 3207, 3210, 3300, 3301, 3322, 3537, 3540, 3575, 3652, 3693, 3703, 3735, 3762, 3812, 4545, 4728, 4858, 4875, 4884, 4973, 5006, 5248, 5319, 5433, 6377, 6918, 7967, 8904, 9093, 9158, 9212, 9331, 9372, 9688, 9806, 9922, ...

The White Horse 1


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 31, 38, 64, 240


Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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