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Amos 4

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1 Hören detta ord, I Basans-kor på Samarias berg, I som förtrycken de arma och öven våld mot de fattiga, I som sägen till edra män: »Skaffen hit, så att vi få dricka

2 Herren, HE EN har svurit vid sin helighet: Se, dagar skola komma över eder, då man skall hämta upp eder med metkrokar och eder sista kvarleva med fiskkrokar.

3 Då skolen I söka eder ut, var och en genom närmaste rämna i muren, och eder Harmonsbild skolen I då kasta bort, säger HE EN.

4 Kommen till Betel och bedriven eder synd till Gilgal och bedriven än värre synd; frambären där på morgonen edra slaktoffer, på tredje dagen eder tionde.

5 Förbrännen syrat bröd till lovoffer, lysen ut och kungören frivilliga offer. Ty sådant älsken I ju, I Israels barn, säger Herren, HE EN.

6 Jag lät eder gå med tomma munnar i alla edra städer, jag lät eder sakna bröd på alla edra orter. Och likväl haven I icke omvänt eder till mig, säger HE EN.

7 Jag förhöll regnet för eder, när ännu tre månader återstodo till skördetiden; jag lät det regna över en stad, men icke över en annan; en åker fick regn, men en annan förtorkades, i det att regn icke kom därpå.

8 Ja, två, tre städer måste stappla bort till en och samma stad för att få vatten att dricka, utan att de ändå kunde släcka sin törst. Och likväl haven I icke omvänt eder till mig, säger HE EN.

9 Jag slog eder säd med sot och rost; edra många trädgårdar och vingårdar, edra fikonträd och olivträd åto gräsgnagarna upp. Och likväl haven I icke omvänt eder till mig, säger HE EN.

10 Jag sände ibland eder pest, likasom i Egypten; jag dräpte edra unga män med svärd och lät edra hästar bliva tagna såsom byte; och stanken av edra fallna skaror lät jag stiga upp och komma eder i näsan. Och likväl haven I icke omvänt eder till mig, säger HE EN.

11 Jag lät omstörtning drabba eder, likasom när Gud omstörtade Sodom och Gomorra; och I voren såsom en brand, ryckt ur elden. Och likväl haven I icke omvänt eder till mig, säger HE EN.

12 Därför skall jag göra så med dig, Israel; och eftersom jag nu skall göra så med dig, därför bered dig, Israel, att möta din Gud.

13 Ty se, han som har danat bergen och skapat vinden, han som kan yppa för människan hennes hemligaste tankar, han som kan göra morgonrodnaden till mörker, och som går fram över jordens höjder -- HE EN, härskarornas Gud, är hans namn.

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Exploring the Meaning of Amos 4      

By Helen Kennedy

In chapter 4 of the Book of Amos, verses 1-3 talk about people who pervert the truths of the church. They will fall into falsities in outermost things. Fish are lower things, so it follows that fishhooks (verse 2) would mean being caught and held fast in natural or lower things.

Verses 4-6 talk about things of worship such as tithes and sacrifices. These look similar to genuine worship, but are only in outermost things. We can tell because ‘teeth’ (verse 6) represent ultimates or outermost things (Secrets of Heaven 6380), so it follows that “cleanness of teeth” would mean outermost things that look good but only imitate genuine worship. The Lord exhorts, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Verses 7-8. Some things true will remain, when the rest are false, in consequence of which truths will have no power. This can be seen where the Lord says, “I made it rain on one city; I withheld rain from another city... where it did not rain the part withered.” Again the Lord exhorts, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Verse 9. Afterward all things of the church are falsified, shown in how blight attacked the gardens, vineyards, fig tree and olive trees. The last three represent spiritual, natural and celestial things, or all the things of spiritual life. “Yet you have not returned to me,” says the Lord.

Verses 10-11. The Lord explains the devastating things he allowed to happen: plague in Egypt, death of young men by swords, stench in the camps, Sodom and Gomorrah. This is because they are profaned by sensual knowledges - profanation meaning the mixing of good and evil together (Secrets of Heaven 1001:2).

This extends to all things of the church, the church being the Lord’s kingdom on earth (Secrets of Heaven 768:3).

With profanation “as soon as any idea of what is holy arises, the idea of what is profane joins immediately to it” (Secrets of Heaven 301).

Now there is hardly anything left. “Yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord again.

Verses 12-13. Because people adamantly remain in their profane ways, they are warned, “Prepare to meet your God!”. This is the God powerful and mighty, “who forms mountains, and creates the wind,” and even more close to home, “Who declares to man what his thought is.” As intimately a knowing as that is, the Lord’s love for all humanity is contained in His exhortations for them to turn themselves to Him.

See, for example, Luke 6:44-45, and True Christian Religion 373.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 204


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Caelestia 382, 1069, 1453, 2165, 2220, 2799, 2842, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 336, 439, 474, 496, 502, 862

The Lord 49


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 403, 405, 513, 532, 556, 560, 608, ...

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Apocalypse Explained # 403

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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403. As a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when shaken by a great wind, signifies which knowledges the natural man has laid waste by its reasonings. This is evident from the signification of "fig-tree," as being the natural man (of which presently); from the signification of "her unripe figs" as being the things that are in the natural man, which especially are the knowledges implanted in the natural man from infancy, and that are not yet mature, having been merely heard and thence accepted; also from the signification of "shaken by a great wind," as being, which the natural man has laid waste by reasonings. "To be shaken by a great wind" here signifies the reasonings from the falsities of evil, for "great" in the Word is predicated of good and of evil, "wind" of truth and of falsity, and "to be shaken thereby," of reasoning therefrom. Such is the signification of these words, although they are used comparatively, because in the Word all comparisons, like the rest, are significative, for they are equally correspondences. With respect to these things, the case is this: every man is born natural from his parents, but becomes spiritual from the Lord, which is called to be born anew or to be regenerated; and because he is born natural, therefore the knowledges that he imbibes from infancy, before he becomes spiritual, are implanted in his natural memory; but as he advances in years and begins to consider rationally the knowledges of good and truth that he has imbibed from the Word or from preaching, if he is then leading an evil life he eagerly adopts and is imbued with the falsities that are opposite and contrary to these knowledges, and then, because he is endowed with ability to reason, he reasons from falsities against the knowledges of his infancy and childhood, in consequence of which these are cast out, and falsities take their place; this, therefore, is what is signified by "the stars shall fall to the earth as a fig-tree casteth her unripe figs when shaken by a great wind."

(Odkazy: Revelation 6:13)


[2] That "the fig-tree" signifies the natural man is from correspondence; for in heaven gardens and paradises are seen, where there are trees of every kind, and each tree signifies something of the Divine that is communicated to angels by the Lord. In general, "the olive" signifies the celestial, which is of the good of love; "the vine" the spiritual, which is of truth from that good; and "the fig-tree," the natural, which is derived from the spiritual or the celestial. And as these trees have this signification they also signify the angel or man in whom such things exist. But in a general sense they signify a whole society, because every society in the heavens is so formed as to present the image of a single man. In the spiritual sense, however, these trees signify the church, "the olive" the celestial church, "the vine" the spiritual church, and "the fig-tree" the natural church, which is the external church corresponding to the internal. From this it can be seen why "the fig-tree" is said to signify the natural man, that is, the natural with man.

[3] That "the fig tree" signifies this, and, in general, the external church is evident also from other passages in the Word, where it is mentioned, as from the following. In Isaiah:

All the host of the heavens shall waste away, and the heavens shall be rolled up as a book; and all their 1 host shall fall down as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as that which falleth from the fig-tree (Isaiah 34:4).

This is said of the day of the Last Judgment, which was to come, and which also did come; for the Last Judgment foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament was accomplished by the Lord when He was in the world; and as the things then done were like those done in the Last Judgment that is foretold in Revelation, and has at this day been accomplished by the Lord, so nearly the same things are said; as in the prophet Isaiah, that "all the host of the heavens shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as that which falleth from the fig-tree," likewise that "the heavens shall be rolled up as a scroll;" and in Revelation, that "the stars shall fall unto the earth, as a fig-tree casteth her unripe figs," and that "the heaven shall depart as a book rolled up." "All the host of the heavens shall waste away" signifies that all goods and truths that are of love and faith are corrupted, "the host of the heavens" meaning all goods and truths that are of love and faith; for the sun, moon, and stars, by which these are signified, are called "the host of the heavens." "The heavens shall be rolled up as a book" signifies their dispersion; "all the host shall fall down as the leaf from the vine, and as that which falleth from the fig tree" signifies a laying waste from the falsities of evil.

[4] In Jeremiah:

In consuming I will consume them; there shall be no grapes on the vine nor figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf shall wither (Jeremiah 8:13).

"No grapes on the vine" signifies that there is no spiritual good, for "the vine" signifies the spiritual man, and "the grape," as being its fruit, signifies the good of that man, which is called spiritual good; "nor figs on the fig-tree" signifies that there is no natural good, for "the fig-tree" signifies the natural man, and "the fruit of the fig tree" signifies the good of that man which is called natural good. Evidently "the vine" does not mean a vine, nor "the fig-tree" a fig-tree, for it is said, "In consuming I will consume them, there shall be no grapes on the vine nor figs on the fig-tree," for they would not be consumed on that account. Moreover, the vastation of the church is what is treated of, as is clearly evident from what there precedes and follows.

[5] In Hosea:

I will make all her joy to cease, her feast, her new moon, her sabbath. And I will lay waste her vine and her fig-tree, whereof she hath said, These are my meretricious hire; and I will make them a forest, and the wild beast of the field shall eat them (Hosea 2:11-12).

This treats of the churches and of the falsification of truth therein. That the church is treated of is evident from the second verse of this chapter, where it is said, "Plead with your mother; for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband," "mother" and "wife" meaning the church. Moreover, the holy things of the church, from which worship is performed, and the worship itself, are signified by "the feast, the new moon, and the sabbath," which shall cease; therefore "I will lay waste her vine and her fig-tree" signifies that both spiritual good and natural good are to perish. That "they will be made a forest, and the wild beast of the field shall eat them" signifies that both will be merely natural, and that the spiritual will be consumed by falsities and lusts; "forest" signifying the merely natural, and "wild beast of the field" falsities and lusts. And as falsities in the church are especially falsified truths, and these are treated of in this chapter, it is said, "whereof she hath said, These are my meretricious hire," "meretricious hire" signifying falsification.

(Odkazy: Hosea 2:2)


[6] In Joel:

A nation shall come up upon My land, vigorous and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it hath the cheek-teeth of an immense 2 lion. It hath made My vine a waste. and My fig-tree foam; [in stripping it hath stripped it, and cast it away;] the branches thereof are made white. The vine is dried up and the fig-tree languisheth; the pomegranate-tree, the palm-tree also, and the apple-tree, all the trees of the field are dried up (Joel 1:6-7, 12).

This whole chapter treats of the devastated church; and "the nation that comes up upon the land, vigorous and without number, having the teeth of a lion, and the cheek-teeth of an immense lion," does not signify any such nation, but direful evil and falsity therefrom; "the land upon which it comes up" signifies the church; "the teeth of a lion" signify the falsities of such evil; and because these destroy all the goods and truths of the church, they are called "the teeth of the lion and the great cheek-teeth of a lion," "lion" signifying [falsity] which destroys. Therefore "it hath made My vine a waste, and My fig-tree foam," signifies that the church internal and external is thereby vastated, "vine" signifying the internal church, and "fig-tree" the external, "foam" signifying where there is inwardly no truth; "in stripping it hath stripped it, and cast it away" signifies that there is no longer any good or truth that is not destroyed, "to strip," that is, of fruits and leaves, means of goods and truths, and "to cast away" means to destroy entirely; "the branches thereof are made white" signifies that there is no longer anything spiritual; "the pomegranate, the palm, and the apple, and all the trees of the field, that are dried up" signify the kinds of goods and truths of the church, and its knowledges, which are consummated by evils and falsities, "the trees of the field" signifying in general the knowledges of good and truth.

[7] In the same:

Fear not, ye beasts of My fields; for the habitations of the wilderness are full of herbs, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the vine shall yield their strength (Joel 2:22).

This treats of the establishment of the church, therefore "the beasts of the field" do not mean beasts of the field, but the affections of good in the natural man, consequently those in whom are such affections. Who does not see that it cannot be beasts to whom it is said, "Fear not, ye beasts of my fields?" "The habitations of the desert are made full of herbs" signifies that with such there will be knowledges of truth where there were none before, "the habitations of the wilderness" meaning the interiors of the mind of those in whom these did not exist before, "full of herbs" signifying the increase and multiplication of these; "for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine shall yield their strength" signifies that they have natural good and spiritual good, "strength" here meaning the production of fruit.

[8] In Amos:

Your many gardens and your vineyards, and your fig-trees and your olive-trees, the palmer worm hath devoured; yet have ye not returned unto me (Amos 4:9).

"Gardens" signify all things of the church that constitute intelligence and wisdom; "vineyards" spiritual goods and truths; "fig-trees" natural goods and truths; "olive-trees" celestial goods and truths; "the palmer worm" means the falsity that destroys; "the fig-tree," "the vine," and "the olive" properly signify the church and the man of the church; but as the church is a church and man is a man from goods and truths, so these also are signified by those trees, goods by their fruits, and truths by their branches and leaves.

[9] In Haggai:

Set your heart from this day and onwards. Is not the seed yet in the barn, even to the vine and fig-tree, and the pomegranate and the olive-tree? (Haggai 2:18-19).

These words in the spiritual sense mean that there are goods and truths yet remaining; all goods and truths from first to last are meant by "the vine, the fig-tree, the pomegranate, and the olive-tree," "the vine" meaning spiritual good and truth; "the fig-tree" natural good and truth; "the pomegranate" in general that which belongs to knowing and perceiving, and in particular, the knowledges and perceptions of good and truth; and "the olive-tree" the perception of celestial good and truth; "the barn" signifies where all these are, either the church or the man in whom the church is, or the mind of the man which is the subject.

[10] In Habakkuk:

The fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be produce on the vines; the labor of the olive shall dissemble, and the fields shall yield no food (Habakkuk 3:17).

"The fig-tree shall not blossom" signifies that there shall be no natural good; "neither shall there be produce on the vines" signifies that there shall be no spiritual good; "the labor of the olive shall dissemble" signifies that there shall be no celestial good; "the fields shall yield no food" signifies that there shall be no spiritual nourishment.

[11] In Moses:

Jehovah God bringeth thee to a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths going forth in valley and mountain; a land of wheat and barley, and of vine and fig-tree and pomegranate; a land of oil-olive and honey (Deuteronomy 8:7-8).

"The good land" to which they shall be led means the land of Canaan, which signifies the church; here, therefore, "vine," "fig-tree," "pomegranate," and "olive," have a like signification as above. (The remainder may be seen explained before, n. 374)

Because "the land of Canaan" signifies the church, and "the vine," "the fig-tree," and "the pomegranate," signify the internal and external things of the church, so it came to pass that the explorers of that land brought away such things from it, respecting which it is thus written in Moses:

The explorers of the land of Canaan came to the brook Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, which they bare upon a pole between two; and also of the pomegranates and of the figs (Numbers 13:23).

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 374)


[12] Because "the vine" and "the fig-tree" signify such things, it is said in the Word of those who are in the goods and truths of the church, and thus in safety from evils and falsities, that "they shall sit securely under their own vine and under their own fig-tree, and none shall make afraid." Thus in the first book of Kings:

Judah and Israel dwelt in security, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon (1 Kings 4:25).

In Zechariah:

I will remove the iniquity of this land in one day. In that day ye shall cry every man to his companion, to the vine and to the fig-tree (Zechariah 3:9-10).

And in Micah:

In the end of the days it shall be that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established as the head of the mountains; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make afraid (Micah 4:1, 4:3-4).

These things are said respecting the Lord's kingdom, which is with those in the heavens and on the earth who are in love to Him. The Lord's kingdom is signified by "the mountain of Jehovah, which is established as the head of the mountains," for "the mountain of Jehovah" signifies the Lord's kingdom constituted of those who are in love to Him; and as these dwell above the others in the heavens, it is said that this mountain "shall be established as the head of the mountains" (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 188). And as such have truths inscribed on their hearts, and therefore do not dispute about them, it is said that "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more," which signifies that in that kingdom there shall be no disputation about truths (see in the same work, n 25-26, 270, 271). That through the truths and goods in which they are, they shall be safe from evils and falsities is signified by "they shall sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and none shall make afraid."

(Odkazy: Heaven and Hell 270-271; Micah 4:1-3)


[13] In Jeremiah:

Lo, I will bring upon you a nation from afar, which shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread; and it shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters; it shall eat up thy flock and thy herd; it shall eat up thy vine and thy fig tree (Jeremiah 5:15, 17).

"A nation from afar" signifies the evil opposed to celestial good, "from afar" signifying apart and remote from, also opposed to, goods and truths; "which shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread" signifies that it will destroy all truths and goods by which there is spiritual nourishment; "which shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters" signifies all the spiritual affections of truth and good; "which shall eat up thy flock and thy herd" signifies truths and goods internal and external; "which shall eat up thy vine and thy fig tree" signifies thus the internal and the external of the church.

[14] In Hosea:

I found 3 Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig-tree in its first season (Hosea 9:10).

"Israel" and "the fathers" do not mean here the fathers of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, but those who were of the Ancient Church, because they were in good (see Arcana Coelestia 6050, 6075, 6846, 6876, 6884, 7649, 8055); because these were in good, but at the beginning in ignorance of truth, through which, however, good comes, it is said, "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as a fig-tree in its first season," "grapes" signifying spiritual good, "wilderness" signifying ignorance of truth, and "the first-ripe in the fig-tree" signifying natural good from spiritual good in infancy.

[15] In Luke:

When these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads. And He spoke a parable: Behold the fig-tree and all the trees; when now they shall have shot forth ye see and shall know of your own selves that summer is now near. So ye also, when ye shall see these things coming to pass know that the kingdom of God is nigh (Luke 21:28-31; Matthew 24:32; Mark 13:28-29).

This treats of the consummation of the age, which is the Last Judgment, and the signs which precede are enumerated, which are meant by "when all these things begin to come to pass;" that a new church is then to begin, which in its beginning will be external, is signified by "Behold the fig-tree and all the trees, when they have shot forth." This parable or similitude was related because "the fig-tree" signifies the external church, and "trees" signify the knowledges of truth and good; "the kingdom of God," which then is near, signifies the new church of the Lord; for at the time of the Last Judgment the old church perishes and a new one begins.

(Odkazy: Matthew 24:32-33)


[16] In Luke:

Every tree is known by its own fruit; for from thorns men do not gather figs, nor from a bramble bush gather they the grape (Luke 6:44; Matthew 7:16);

as "fruit" signifies the good of life, and the good of life is external good from internal, or natural good from spiritual, and as from this good man is known, so the Lord says, "Every tree is known by its own fruit; from thorns men do not gather figs, nor from a bramble-bush gather they the grape," "fig" here meaning the good of the external or natural man, and "the grape" the good of the internal or spiritual man; "thorns" and "bramble-bush" mean the evils opposed to these goods.

[17] Because the kings of Judah and Israel represented the Lord in relation to Divine truth, and Divine truth with man endures distress and labors as it were, when the life is not according to it and when it is not made the good of life, but when it is made the good of life it lives, so this was signified by the following:

By command of Jehovah they brought to Hezekiah king of Judah, when he was sick, a lump of figs, and placed it as a plaster upon his boil, and so he lived (2 Kings 20:7; Isaiah 38:21).

From this it can be seen that "the fig-tree" in the genuine sense, signifies the natural man in respect to good and truth, the fig itself as a tree the natural man, the fig as a fruit the good of the natural man, and its leaf the truth of that good.

[18] But that "the fig-tree" in the contrary sense signifies the natural man in respect to evil and falsity, the fig as a tree the natural man itself, the figs of it as fruit, the evil of that natural man, and its leaf the falsity of that evil, is evident from the following passages. In Jeremiah:

Jehovah showed me, and behold, two baskets of figs set before the temple of Jehovah, one basket of very good figs, as of fig-trees bearing the firstfruits; and the other basket of very bad figs, that could not be eaten for badness. Jehovah said, As the good figs, so will I recognize those carried away of Judah into the land of the Chaldeans for good; and I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back upon this land; and I will build them, and I will plant them. And as the bad figs, so will I give them that are left in this land to commotion, and to evil to all nations; and I will send among them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, that they may be consumed (Jeremiah 24:1-10);

"the captivity of the Jews in the land of the Chaldeans" means the like as the spiritual captivity or removal of the good from the evil in the spiritual world, according to what has been said above (n. 391, 392, 394, 397), namely that those who were inwardly evil, and yet were able to maintain a moral life externally like a spiritual life, remained upon the earth in the spiritual world, and made habitations for themselves there upon the higher places; while those who were inwardly good were removed from them, and concealed by the Lord in the lower earth; this was what was represented by the carrying away of the Jews into the land of the Chaldeans, and by the continuance of the rest of them in the land; therefore it is said concerning those who suffered themselves to be carried away into the land of the Chaldeans, "I recognize those carried away of Judah into the land of the Chaldeans for good; and I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back upon this land; and I will build them, and I will plant them;" while of those that remained it is said "I will give them that are left in this land to commotion, and to evil to all nations; and I will send among them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, that they may be consumed." That this is what was represented is evident also from this, that the temple of Solomon was destroyed before they were carried away, and a new one was built when they returned; "temple" signifying Divine worship, and "a new temple" worship restored.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 391-392, 394, 397)


[19] From this it can be seen what is signified by "the two baskets of figs set before the temple of Jehovah, in one of which were very good figs, as of fig-trees bearing the firstfruits, and in the other very bad figs, that could not be eaten for badness," namely, that those who are inwardly good, of whom a new heaven is to be formed, are meant by "the basket of good figs;" and those who are inwardly evil, who are to be cast down into hell, are meant by "the basket of bad figs;" wherefore it is said of the latter that "they could not be eaten for badness," signifying that such are inwardly evil, while of the former it is said that they were "as fig-trees bearing the firstfruits," signifying that such are inwardly good, so that a new heaven may be formed out of them; for "the fig," as a fruit, signifies the good of life both in its internal and its external form, and in the contrary sense it signifies the good of life merely in its external form, which is the evil of life, because inwardly it is evil, every external deriving all its quality from its internal, as it is an effect of it. With such, evil appears in externals as good, because they feign good for the sake of the evil that is within, in order to obtain some end, to which the seeming good serves as a means. The like is said of those who remained in the land of Canaan elsewhere in the same prophet:

Thus said Jehovah concerning the king, and all the people that dwell in this city that are not gone forth with you into captivity: Behold, I will send against them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten for badness (Jeremiah 29:16-17).

[20] That "the fig," as a tree, in the contrary sense signifies a merely natural man, and a church constituted of such, or those with whom there is no natural good because there is no good within is evident in Luke:

Jesus spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; he therefore came seeking fruit thereon, but found none. He said unto the vine dresser, Behold, three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, but find none; cut it down, why also doth it make the land unfruitful? But he answering said, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it and dung it, if indeed it will bear fruit; but if not, after that thou shalt cut it down (Luke 13:6-9).

"The vineyard in which was the fig-tree" signifies the church, which contains also such as are in externals; for in the Lord's church there is both an internal and an external; the internal of the church is charity and the faith therefrom, while the external of the church is the good of life. The works of charity and faith, which are the good of life, belong to the natural man, while charity itself and faith therefrom belong to the spiritual man, therefore "a vineyard" signifies the internal of the church, and "a fig-tree" its external. With the Jewish nation there was only the external of the church, since it was in external representative worship; therefore "a fig tree" means the church with that nation; but because they were in external worship and in no internal, being inwardly evil, and external worship without internal is no worship, and with the evil is evil worship, therefore with them there was nothing of natural good. It is therefore said that "for three years he found no fruit on the fig-tree, and that he told the vine dresser to cut it down," which signifies that from beginning to end there was no natural good with that nation, "three years" signifying a whole period, or the time from beginning to end, and "the fruit of the fig tree" signifying natural good; by natural good is meant spiritual-natural good, or good in the natural from the spiritual. And because a church composed of such as are not in natural good, as was the Jewish nation, is not a church, it is also said "why also doth it make the land unfruitful?" "land" meaning the church; "the vine dresser saying that it should still be left, and he would dig about it" signifies that they would remain, and that they would hereafter be instructed by the Christians, in the midst of whom they would be; but no answer being made to this means that the fig tree would still produce no fruit, that is, that no good proceeding from anything spiritual would be done by the Jewish nation.

[21] This is the signification of "the fig-tree that withered away" when the Lord found no fruit on it, in Matthew:

In the morning Jesus returning into the city, hungered. And seeing a fig-tree by the way, He came to it, but found nothing thereon but leaves, therefore He said unto it, Let nothing grow on thee henceforward forever; therefore from that time the fig-tree withered away (Matthew 21:18, 19; Mark 11:12-14).

Here, too, "the fig-tree" means the church with the Jewish nation. That with that nation there was no natural good, but only truth falsified, which in itself is falsity, is signified by "the Lord came to the fig-tree, but found nothing thereon but leaves," "the fruit" which He did not find signifying natural good such as was described above, and "the leaf" signifying truth falsified, which in itself is falsity, for in the Word "leaf" signifies truth, but the leaf of a tree that is without fruit signifies falsity, and with that nation truth falsified, because they had the Word in which truths are, but which they falsified by application to themselves, which was the source of their traditions. That no natural good from a spiritual origin, which is called spiritual-natural good, would be done by that nation is signified by the words that the Lord spoke respecting it, "Let nothing grow on thee henceforward forever; therefore from that time it withered away;" "to wither away" signifying that there was no longer any good or any truth. The Lord saw the fig-tree and said this when He was returning into the city, and hungered, because "the city of Jerusalem" signifies the church, and "hungering," in reference to the Lord, signifies to desire good in the church (as may be seen above, n. 386. One who does not know the signification of "fig-tree," and that this fig-tree meant the church with that nation, thinks no otherwise than the Lord did this from indignation because He was hungry; but it was not done for that reason, but that it might be signified that such was the quality of the Jewish nation; for all the Lord's miracles involve and signify such things as belong to heaven and the church, whence those miracles were Divine (see Arcana Coelestia 7337, 8364, 9051 at the end).

(Odkazy: Mark 11:20, 11:20-21; Matthew 21:18-19; The Apocalypse Explained 386)


[22] A perverted church, or the man of the church perverted in respect to his natural or external man is also signified by the fig-tree in David:

He gave them hail for their rain, a fire of flames in their land; and He smote their vine and their fig-tree; He brake the tree of their border (Psalms 105:32-33).

This was said of Egypt, which signifies the natural man that is in falsities and evils; and "vine," "fig tree," and "the tree of the border" signify all things of the church, "vine" the internal or spiritual things thereof, "fig-tree" the external or natural things thereof, and "the tree of the border" everything pertaining to knowing and perceiving, "the border" signifying the ultimate in which the interior things close, and in which they are together, and "trees" signifying knowledges and perceptions. Because all these things were perverted and therefore damned, it is said that they were "smitten and broken," which signifies destruction and damnation; that this was done by the falsities of evil which are from the love of the world is signified by "hail for their rain, a fire of flames in their land," "rain as hail" signifying the falsities of evil, and "the fire of flames" the love of the world.

[23] In Nahum:

All thy fortresses shall be like fig-trees with the first-ripe figs, if they be shaken they fall upon the mouth of the eater (Nahum 3:12).

This is said of "the city of bloods," which signifies doctrine in which truths are falsified and goods adulterated. This is compared to "fig-trees with the first-ripe figs, if they be shaken they fall upon the mouth of the eater," and this signifies that the goods therein are not goods, however much they may appear to be goods; and that such are not received, or if received are received only in the memory and not in the heart. That "if they be shaken they fall" signifies that they are not goods although they appear to be goods, because they are "the first-ripe figs;" and their falling "upon the mouth of the eater" signifies that they are not received even in the memory. That "the mouth of the eater" signifies non-reception is evident from appearances in the spiritual world; for those who commit anything to memory appear to receive it with the mouth; so "to fall upon the mouth" signifies not to receive even in the memory but only to hear, and also if they do receive, that it is only in the memory and not in the heart. "Fig-trees with their first-ripe figs" may also mean genuine goods, of which the like is true as of those who are in the falsities of evil.

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Footnotes:

1.  Photolithograph has "its host;" the Hebrew "their host;" the latter is found in AE 573.

2.  Photolithograph has "immense teeth," but AC 556 and AC 9052 have "immense lion" with Hebrew.

3.  Photolithograph has "I saw;" Hebrew has "I found;" this is also found in the explanation AE 403, as well as AE 918, and in AC 217, 1971, 5117.

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(Odkazy: Hosea 2:2; Micah 4:1-4; Revelation 6:13)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 398, 556, 619, 625, 657, 815, 918, 919

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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