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Lamentations 1

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1 กรุงที่คับคั่งด้วยพลเมืองมาอ้างว้างอยู่ได้หนอ กรุงที่รุ่งเรืองอยู่ท่ามกลางประชาชาติมากลายเป็นดั่งหญิงม่ายหนอ กรุงที่เป็นดั่งเจ้าหญิงท่ามกลางเมืองทั้งหลายก็กลับเป็นเมืองขึ้นเขาไป

2 กรุงนั้นร่ำไห้สะอื้นในราตรีกาล และน้ำตาของเธอก็อาบแก้ม เธอจะหาใครท่ามกลางคนที่รักเธอให้มาปลอบเธอก็หาไม่พบ บรรดาพวกเพื่อนของเธอสิ้นทุกคนได้ทรยศต่อเธอ เขาทั้งปวงกลับเป็นศัตรูของเธอ

3 ยูดาห์ได้ถูกกวาดไปเป็นเชลย ได้รับความทุกข์ใจ ต้องทำงานอย่างทาส เธอต้องพำนักอยู่ท่ามกลางประชาชาติทั้งหลาย เธอไม่พบที่หยุดพักสงบเลย บรรดาผู้ข่มเหงได้ไล่ทันเธอเมื่อเวลาเธอทุกข์ใจ

4 ถนนหนทางที่เข้าเมืองศิโยนก็คร่ำครวญอยู่ เพราะไม่มีผู้ใดเดินไปในงานเทศกาลที่เคร่งครัดทั้งหลายนั้น บรรดาประตูเมืองของเธอก็รกร้างเสียแล้ว พวกปุโรหิตของเธอได้พากันถอนใจ สาวพรหมจารีทั้งหลายของเธอก็ต้องทนทุกข์ และตัวเธอเองก็ได้รับความขมขื่นยิ่งนัก

5 พวกคู่อริของเธอกลายเป็นหัวหน้า พวกศัตรูของเธอได้จำเริญขึ้น ด้วยว่าพระเยโฮวาห์ได้ทรงกระทำให้เธอทนทุกข์ เพราะความทรยศอันมหันต์ของเธอ ลูกเต้าทั้งหลายของเธอตกไปเป็นเชลยต่อหน้าคู่อริ

6 และความโอ่อ่าตระการได้พรากไปจากธิดาแห่งศิโยนเสียแล้ว พวกเจ้านายของเธอก็กลับเป็นดุจฝูงกวางที่หาทุ่งหญ้าเลี้ยงชีวิตไม่ได้ และได้วิ่งป้อแป้หนีไปข้างหน้าผู้ไล่ติดตาม

7 เยรูซาเล็มเมื่อตกอยู่ในยามทุกข์ใจและยามลำเค็ญก็ได้หวนระลึกถึงสิ่งประเสริฐที่ตนเคยมีในครั้งกระโน้น เมื่อพลเมืองของเธอตกอยู่ในมือของคู่อริ และหามีผู้ใดจะสงเคราะห์เธอไม่ พวกคู่อริเห็นเธอแล้วก็เยาะเย้ยวันสะบาโตทั้งหลายของเธอ

8 เยรูซาเล็มได้ทำบาปอย่างใหญ่หลวง เหตุฉะนี้เธอจึงถูกไล่ออก บรรดาคนที่เคยให้เกียรติเธอก็ลบหลู่เธอ เพราะเหตุเขาทั้งหลายเห็นความเปลือยเปล่าของเธอ เออ เธอเองได้ถอนใจยิ่งและหันหน้าของเธอไปเสีย

9 มลทินของเธอก็กรังอยู่ในกระโปรงของเธอ และเธอหาได้คำนึงถึงอนาคตของเธอไม่ ดังนั้นเธอจึงได้เสื่อมทรามลงเร็วอย่างน่าใจหาย เธอก็ไม่มีผู้ใดจะเล้าโลม "ข้าแต่พระเยโฮวาห์ ขอทอดพระเนตรความทุกข์ใจของข้าพระองค์ เพราะพวกศัตรูได้พองตัวขึ้นแล้ว"

10 พวกศัตรูได้ยื่นมือของเขายึดเอาบรรดาของประเสริฐของเธอ ด้วยเธอได้เห็นบรรดาประชาชาติบุกรุกเข้ามาในสถานบริสุทธิ์ของเธอ คือคนที่พระองค์ได้ทรงห้ามไม่ให้เข้ามาในชุมนุมชนของพระองค์

11 บรรดาพลเมืองของเธอได้ถอนใจใหญ่ เขาทั้งหลายเสาะหาอาหาร และพวกเขาได้เอาของประเสริฐของตัวออกแลกอาหารกิน เพื่อจะได้ประทังชีวิต "ข้าแต่พระเยโฮวาห์ ขอทรงทอดพระเนตรและพิจารณา เพราะข้าพระองค์เป็นที่เหยียดหยามเสียแล้ว"

12 "ดูก่อน ท่านทั้งหลายที่เดินผ่านไป ท่านไม่เกิดความรู้สึกอะไรบ้างหรือ ดูเถิด จงดูซิว่ามีความทุกข์อันใดบ้างไหมที่เหมือนความทุกข์ที่มาสู่ข้าพเจ้า เป็นความทุกข์ซึ่งพระเยโฮวาห์ได้ทรงกระทำแก่ข้าพเจ้าในวันที่พระองค์ทรงกริ้วข้าพเจ้าอย่างเกรี้ยวกราดนั้น

13 พระองค์ได้ทรงส่งเพลิงลงมาจากเบื้องบนให้เข้าไปเหนือกระดูกทั้งหลายของข้าพเจ้า และเพลิงนั้นก็มีชัยชนะต่อกระดูกเหล่านั้น พระองค์ได้ทรงกางตาข่ายไว้ดักเท้าของข้าพเจ้า พระองค์ได้ทรงกระทำให้ข้าพเจ้าต้องหันกลับ พระองค์ได้ทรงกระทำให้ข้าพเจ้าโดดเดี่ยวอ้างว้าง และอ่อนระอาตลอดทั้งวัน

14 แอกแห่งการละเมิดทั้งมวลของข้าพเจ้าก็ถูกรวบเข้าโดยพระหัตถ์ของพระองค์ทรงรวบมัดไว้ แอกนั้นรัดรึงรอบคอข้าพเจ้า พระองค์ได้ทรงกระทำให้กำลังข้าพเจ้าถอยไป องค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้าได้ทรงมอบข้าพเจ้าไว้ในมือของเขาทั้งหลาย ซึ่งข้าพเจ้าไม่สามารถต่อต้านได้

15 องค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้าได้ทรงเหยียบบรรดาผู้มีกำลังแข็งแกร่งของข้าพเจ้าไว้ใต้พระบาทท่ามกลางข้าพเจ้า พระองค์ได้ทรงเกณฑ์ชุมนุมชนเข้ามาต่อสู้ข้าพเจ้า เพื่อจะขยี้ชายฉกรรจ์ของข้าพเจ้าให้แหลกไป องค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้าได้ทรงย่ำบุตรสาวพรหมจารีแห่งยูดาห์ ดั่งเหยียบผลองุ่นลงในบ่อย่ำองุ่น

16 เพราะเรื่องเหล่านี้ข้าพเจ้าจึงร้องไห้ นัยน์ตาของข้าพเจ้า เออ นัยน์ตาของข้าพเจ้ามีน้ำตาไหลลงมา เพราะผู้ปลอบโยนที่ควรจะปลอบประโลมใจข้าพเจ้าก็อยู่ไกลจากข้าพเจ้า ลูกๆของข้าพเจ้าก็โดดเดี่ยวอ้างว้าง เพราะพวกศัตรูได้ชัยชนะ"

17 มืองศิโยนได้เหยียดมือทั้งสองออก แต่ก็ไม่มีใครที่เล้าโลมเธอได้ พระเยโฮวาห์ทรงมีพระบัญชาเรื่องยาโคบว่า ให้พวกคู่อริล้อมยาโคบไว้ เยรูซาเล็มเป็นดั่งผู้หญิงเมื่อมีประจำเดือนท่ามกลางเขาทั้งหลาย

18 "พระเยโฮวาห์ทรงชอบธรรมแล้ว เพราะข้าพเจ้าได้กบฏต่อพระบัญญัติของพระองค์ ดูก่อนบรรดาชนชาติทั้งหลาย ข้าพเจ้าขอท่านได้ฟังและขอมามองดูความทนทุกข์ของข้าพเจ้า สาวพรหมจารีของข้าพเจ้า และหนุ่มๆของข้าพเจ้าตกไปเป็นเชลยแล้ว

19 ข้าพเจ้าได้ร้องเรียกบรรดาคนรักของข้าพเจ้า แต่เขาทั้งหลายได้หลอกลวงข้าพเจ้า พวกปุโรหิตและพวกผู้ใหญ่ของข้าพเจ้าก็ตายที่กลางเมือง ขณะเมื่อเขาออกหาอาหารเพื่อประทังชีวิตของตน

20 ข้าแต่พระเยโฮวาห์ โปรดทอดพระเนตร เพราะข้าพระองค์มีความทุกข์ จิตใจของข้าพระองค์มีความทุรนทุราย จิตใจของข้าพระองค์ยุ่งเหยิงเพราะข้าพระองค์มักกบฏอย่างร้ายกาจ นอกบ้านมีคนต้องคมดาบตาย ในบ้านก็เหมือนมฤตยู

21 เขาทั้งหลายได้ยินว่า ข้าพระองค์ถอนใจอย่างไร หามีผู้ใดปลอบโยนข้าพระองค์ไม่ บรรดาศัตรูของข้าพระองค์ได้ยินถึงเหตุร้ายที่ตกแก่ข้าพระองค์ เขาทั้งหลายก็พากันดีใจที่พระองค์ได้ทรงกระทำอย่างนี้ พระองค์จะทรงนำวารที่พระองค์ทรงประกาศไว้นั้นให้มาถึง และเขาทั้งหลายจะเป็นอย่างที่ข้าพระองค์เป็นอยู่นี้

22 ขอให้บรรดาการชั่วของเขาทั้งหลายมาปรากฏต่อพระพักตร์พระองค์ และขอทรงกระทำแก่เขาทั้งหลาย เหมือนที่พระองค์ได้ทรงกระทำแก่ข้าพระองค์ เพราะการละเมิดทั้งสิ้นของข้าพระองค์เถิด ด้วยความสะท้อนถอนใจของข้าพระองค์นั้นมากมายหลายครั้ง และจิตใจของข้าพระองค์ก็อ่อนเพลียเต็มทีแล้ว"

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 119


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 248, 680, 2362, 2606, 2851, 2930, 3081, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 213, 350, 543, 591, 612, 620, 652, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 64

True Christian Religion 782


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 240, 270, 357, 484, 622, 724, 750, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 58

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 59, 78

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Apocalypse Explained # 357

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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357. That "a bow" signifies doctrine combating, or doctrine by which one fights against evils and falsities, and that "arrows," "javelins," and "darts," signify the truths of doctrine which fight, can be seen from the following passages. In Zechariah:

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations. Return to the stronghold, ye bound ones of hope; and I will bend Judah for Me, and with a bow I will fill Ephraim, and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion, for Jehovah shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as lightning; and the Lord Jehovih shall blow with a trumpet, and He shall go in the storms of the south (Zechariah 9:10, 12-14).

This treats of the vastation of the Jewish Church and the establishment of a church among the Gentiles. The vastation of the Jewish Church is described by "I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war shall be cut off," which signifies that there would be no longer any truth in the doctrine nor any understanding of truth, and thus no combat or resistance against falsity, "chariot" signifying the doctrine of truth, "horse" the understanding of truth, "the bow of war" combat from doctrine against falsity; it is said "the bow of war" because doctrine combating is meant. "Ephraim" signifies the church in relation to the understanding of truth, and "Jerusalem" in relation to doctrine. The establishment of the church among the Gentiles is described by these words, "but he shall speak peace to the nations; return to the stronghold, ye bound ones of hope; and I will bend Judah for me, and with the bow I will fill Ephraim, and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion," which signifies that the church is to be established among those who are in the good of love to the Lord, and in truths therefrom, "peace" signifying that good, "Judah" those who are in that good, and "Ephraim" those who are in the understanding of truth from it; it is therefore said of Ephraim, "with the bow He will fill him," that is, with the doctrine of truth. Their illustration in truths is described by these words, "His arrow shall go forth as lightning; and the Lord Jehovih shall blow with the trumpet, and He shall go in the storms of the south;" the "arrow that shall go forth as lightning" signifies truth illustrated, thus truth from the good of love; "He shall blow with the trumpet" signifies the clear perception of good; and "the storms of the south" signify the clear understanding of truth, "the south" meaning the light of truth. This treats of the Lord, thus that these things are from the Lord.

(Odkazy: Revelation 6:2)


[2] In Moses:

The son of a fruitful one is Joseph, the son of a fruitful one by the fountain; the daughters (she walketh upon the wall), they shall embitter him, and shall shoot; and the archers shall hate him; and he shall sit in the firmness of his bow, and the arms of his hands shall be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; thence is he the shepherd, the stone of Israel (Genesis 49:22-24).

"Joseph," in the highest sense, signifies the Lord in relation to the spiritual kingdom. There are two kingdoms of heaven: one called the celestial kingdom, and the other the spiritual kingdom; the celestial kingdom is described in the prophecy respecting Judah, and the spiritual kingdom in this respecting Joseph. Those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom are in the good of love to Him, which is called celestial good; and those who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom are in the good of love to the neighbor, and thence in truths; and it is because all truths proceed from the Lord through the spiritual kingdom that Joseph is called "the son of a fruitful one, the son of a fruitful one by the fountain," "a fruitful one" signifies spiritual good, which is the good of charity, "son" signifies truth from that good, and "a fountain" signifies the Word; combat against evils and falsities is described by "the daughters shall embitter him, and shoot, and the archers shall hate him," "daughters" signifying those who are in evils and who wish by falsities to destroy goods; those who assault by evils are signified by "they shall shoot," and those who assault by the falsities of evil by "the archers" who shall hate him. The Lord's victory over them is described by these words, "and he shall sit in the firmness of his bow, and the arms of his hands shall be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; thence is he the shepherd, the stone of Israel;" "to sit in the firmness of the bow" signifies to be in the doctrine of genuine truth, and "the arms of his hands shall be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob" signifies the power they have from the Lord, "the arms of the hands" meaning power, and "the Mighty One of Jacob" the Lord, who is also called "the shepherd, the stone of Israel," from the doctrine of charity and thence of faith which is from Him. (That "Joseph" in the highest sense signifies the Lord in relation to the Divine spiritual, and in the internal sense His spiritual kingdom, see Arcana Coelestia 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417; and what else he signifies, n. 4286, 4592, 4963, 5086, 5087, 5106, 5249, 5307, 5869, 5877, 6224, 6526)

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 5086-5087)


[3] In the second book of Samuel:

David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan his son, and wrote, To teach the sons of Judah the bow (2 Samuel 1:17-18).

That lamentation treats of the combat of truth from good against the falsity from evil; for "Saul" as a king here signifies truth from good, for such truth is meant by "king" in the Word (see above, n. 31; and "Jonathan," as the son of a king, signifies the truth of doctrine; therefore he wrote the lamentation, "To teach the sons of Judah the bow," which signifies to teach them the doctrine of truth that is from good. The combat of that truth against falsities and evils is described in that lamentation by these words:

Without the blood of the slain, without the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan returned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty (2 Samuel 1:22).

"The blood of the slain" signifies the falsities conquered and dispersed; "the fat of the mighty" signifies evils conquered and dispersed. That these are conquered and dispersed by the doctrine of truth that is from good is signified by "the bow of Jonathan returned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty," "the bow of Jonathan" meaning doctrine, and "the sword of Saul" truth from good.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 31)


[4] In David:

God teacheth my hands war and placeth a bow of brass in mine arms (Psalms 18:34).

"War" here signifies war in a spiritual sense, which is war against evils and falsities; this is the war that God teaches; and "the bow of brass" signifies the doctrine of charity; God places this in the arms, that is, makes it to prevail.

[5] In Isaiah:

Who hath stirred up one from the sunrise, whom He hath called in righteousness to follow Him, hath given the nations before him, and made him to have dominion over kings, hath given them as the dust to his sword, and as stubble driven by his bow? (Isaiah 41:2).

This is said of the Lord and of His dominion over evils and falsities; the "nations that He gave before him," signify evils; and the "kings over whom He made him to have dominion," signify falsities; that He disperses evils and falsities as if they were nothing, by His Divine truth and by the doctrine therefrom, is signified by "He gave them as dust to his sword, and as stubble driven by his bow," "his sword" meaning the Divine truth, and "his bow," doctrine. That evils and falsities are dispersed as if they were nothing, is signified by "as dust," and "as driven stubble." It is said that evils and falsities are thus dispersed, but it is meant that those who are in evils and in falsities therefrom are thus dispersed in the other life.

[6] In Zechariah:

Jehovah [of Hosts] shall visit His flock, the house of Judah, and shall set them as the horse of His majesty in war. Out of him shall be the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the bow of war (Zechariah 10:3-4).

This may be seen explained in the preceding article which treats of the signification of "the horse;" "the bow of war" signifying truth combating from doctrine.

[7] In Habakkuk:

Was Jehovah displeased with the rivers? was Thine anger against the rivers? was Thy fury against the sea, that Thou dost ride upon Thine horses, Thy chariots are salvation? With bareness shall Thy bow be made bare (Habakkuk 3:8, 9).

This, too, was explained in the preceding article; "Thy bow shall be made bare" signifying that the doctrine of truth shall be laid open.

(Odkazy: Habakkuk 3:8-9)


[8] In Isaiah:

Before the swords shall they flee away, before the drawn sword, and before the bended bow; and for the grievousness of the war all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed, and the remnant of the number of the bow of the mighty of the sons of Kedar shall be few (Isaiah 21:15-17).

This treats in the spiritual sense of the knowledges of good as about to perish, and that few will remain; "Kedar," that is, Arabia, signifies those who are in the knowledges of good, and in an abstract sense such knowledges themselves. That the knowledges of truth are to perish through falsities and the doctrine of falsity, is signified by, "Before the swords shall they flee away, before the drawn sword, and before the bended bow," "sword" meaning falsity combating and destroying, and "bow," the doctrine of falsity. That the knowledges of good are to perish is signified by these words, "for the grievousness of the war all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed," "the grievousness of war" meaning assault, and "all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed" meaning vastation. And that few knowledges are to remain is described by "the remnant of the number of the bow of the mighty of the sons of Kedar shall be few," "the bow of the mighty" meaning the doctrine of truth from the knowledges that prevail against falsities.

[9] In the same:

He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; He hath made me a polished arrow; in His quiver hath He hid me (Isaiah 49:2).

This also treats of the Lord; and "sharp sword" signifies the truth dispersing falsity; "the polished arrow" truth dispersing evil; and "quiver" the Word: this makes clear what is signified by "He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword," and "He hath made me a polished arrow, and in His quiver hath He hid me," namely, that in the Lord and from Him is the Divine truth, by means of which falsities and evils are dispersed, and that in Him and from Him is the Word, where and whence these truths are.

[10] In David:

Lo, sons are an heritage of Jehovah; the fruit of the belly is His reward. As arrows in the hands of a mighty one, so are the sons of youth. Happy is the man that hath filled his quiver with them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalms 127:3-5).

"Sons that are an heritage of Jehovah," signify truths by which there is intelligence; the "fruit of the belly that is His reward," signifies the goods, by which there is happiness; "the sons of youth that are as arrows in the hand of a mighty one," signify the truths of the good of innocence; because nothing evil or false can resist these truths, it is said that they are "as arrows in the hand of a mighty one." The good of innocence is the good of love to the Lord; because these truths have such power it is said, "Happy is the man that hath filled his quiver with them," "quiver" here having a like signification as "bow," namely, the doctrine from the Word; "they shall not be ashamed when they speak with the enemies in the gate" signifies that there shall be no fear because of evils from the hells, "enemies" meaning evils, and "gate" hell (see in the work on Heaven and Hell , n. 428-429, 538-585).

[11] In the same:

The sons of Ephraim, who were armed, shooters of the bow, turned about in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God (Psalms 78:9-10).

"Ephraim" here, as above, signifies the understanding of truth, and his "sons" the truths themselves; therefore they are also called "shooters of the bow," that is, fighters against evils and falsities. That they did not resist these because they were not conjoined to the Lord, is here signified by "they turned about in the day of battle, because they did not keep the covenant of God," "covenant" meaning conjunction, and "not keeping it" meaning not to live according to the truths and goods that conjoin.

[12] From the passages cited it can be seen that a "bow" signifies the doctrine of truth combating against falsities and evils and dispersing them. That this is the signification of "bow" can be seen further from its contrary sense, in which "bow" signifies the doctrine of falsity fighting against truths and goods and destroying them; and "darts" and "arrows" its falsities themselves. In this sense "bow" is mentioned in the following passages. In David:

Lo, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may shoot in darkness at the upright in heart (Psalms 11:2).

"The wicked bend the bow" signifies that they frame doctrine; "they make ready the arrow upon the string" signifies that they apply into it falsities that appear as truths; "to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart" signifies to deceive those who are in truths from good; "bow" here meaning the doctrine of falsity, "arrow" the falsity itself; "to shoot" meaning to deceive, and "darkness" appearances; for such as these reason from appearances in the world and from fallacies, also by the application of the sense of the letter of the Word.

[13] In the same:

The wicked unsheathe the sword, and bend their bow, to cast down the miserable and needy. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken (Psalms 37:14-15).

"Sword" signifies falsity fighting against truth, and "bow" signifies the doctrine of falsity; "to cast down the miserable and the needy" signifies to pervert those who are in ignorance of truth and good; "their sword shall enter into their own heart" signifies that they shall perish by their own falsity; and "their bows shall be broken" signifies that their doctrine of falsity shall be dispersed, which also takes place after their departure from the world; then falsities destroy them, and so far as they have applied truths to falsities their doctrine is dispersed.

[14] In the same:

Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrow with a bitter word, that they may shoot in secret places at the perfect 1 (Psalms 64:3-4).

Because "sword" signifies falsity fighting against truth, it is said, "who sharpen their tongue like a sword;" and because "arrow" signifies the falsity of doctrine, it is said, "they aim their arrow with a bitter word" "to shoot in secret places at the perfect" signifies the like as "to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart," just before, namely, to deceive those who are in truths from good.

[15] In Jeremiah:

They are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous ones, who bend their tongue; their bow is a lie, neither in the truth have they prevailed in the land; for they go forth from evil to evil, neither have they known Me (Jeremiah 9:2-3).

"Adulterers, an assembly of treacherous ones," mean those who falsify the knowledges of truth and good, "adulterers" meaning those who falsify the knowledges of truth, and "treacherous ones" those who falsify the knowledges of good; of these it is said that "they bend the tongue," and that "their bow is a lie," "bow" meaning the doctrine from which principles of falsity are derived, and "lie" meaning the falsity; it is therefore also said, "neither in the truth have they prevailed in the land," that is, in the church where genuine truths are; that those who are in a life of evil and do not acknowledge the Lord are such is signified by, "for they go forth from evil to evil, neither have they known Me."

[16] In Jeremiah:

Behold, I cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the land of the north; his arrows as of a mighty one, none shall return vain. Set yourselves in array against Babylon round about, all ye that bend the bow, shoot against her, spare not the arrows; make the shooters heard against Babylon, all that bend the bow encamp against her round about; let there be no escape for her (Jeremiah 50:9, 14, 29, 42; 51:3).

This describes the total devastation of truth with those who are meant by Babylon, who are those that arrogate to themselves Divine power, and who acknowledge the Lord, indeed, but take away from Him all power to save, and who thus profane Divine truths; and as the Lord as far as possible provides that genuine truths be not profaned, these truths are wholly taken away from them, and they are imbued instead with mere falsities. "An assembly of great nations from the land of the north" signifies direful evils rising up out of hell," "great nations" meaning direful evils and "land of the north" the hell where there is nothing but falsity; "his arrows as of a mighty one, none shall return vain" signifies that thence they shall be imbued with mere falsities thence; "set themselves in array against Babylon round about, all ye that bend the bow, shoot against her, spare not the arrows" signifies devastation in relation to all doctrinals; the total devastation of truth with such is signified by "all that bend the bow encamp against her round about; let there be no escape for her."

[17] In Isaiah:

I stir up against them the Medes, who will not esteem silver, and in gold they will not delight; whose bows will dash in pieces the young men, and they will have no compassion on the fruit of the womb; so shall Babylon be, as the overturning of God, Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:17-19).

This also is said of Babylon, and the devastation of all things of the church with those who are meant by Babylon (of which just above). "The Medes" signify those who make nothing of the truths and goods of heaven and the church; therefore it is said of them, "who will not esteem silver, and in gold they will not delight," "silver" signifying truth, and "gold" good, both of the church; "their bows will dash in pieces the young men, and they will have no compassion on the fruit of the womb" signifies the doctrinals that destroy all truth and all good thence, "young men" signifying truths, and "the fruit of the womb" goods; and because all evil with such is from the love of self, and all falsity is from that evil, and because that evil and that falsity thence are condemned to hell, therefore it is said, "so shall Babylon be, as the overturning of God, Sodom and Gomorrah," "the overturning of God" signifying damnation to hell, and "Sodom and Gomorrah" signifying the evils from the love of self and the falsities therefrom. (That this is the signification of "Sodom and Gomorrah," see Arcana Coelestia 2220, 2246, 2322)

[18] In the same:

In that day every place in which there were a thousand vines for a thousand of silver shall be a place of briers and brambles. With arrow and with bow shall one come thither, because the whole land shall be a place of briers and brambles (Isaiah 7:23-24).

The church vastated in relation to every truth and good is thus described; what the church had been before, namely, that genuine truth, which are truths from good, had been there in abundance is described by "in which there were a thousand vines for a thousand of silver," "a thousand vines" meaning truths from good in abundance, "a thousand of silver" meaning that these are most highly esteemed because they are genuine, "silver" meaning truth, and a "thousand" many, thus in abundance. But what the church became when vastated in respect to every truth and good is described by these words, "With arrow and with bow shall one come thither, because the whole land shall be a place of briers and brambles," "arrow" meaning falsity destroying truth, and "bow" the doctrine of falsity, "a place of briers" signifying falsity from evil, and "a place of brambles" evil from falsity; "land" means the church.

[19] In Jeremiah:

Behold, a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth. They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no compassion; their voice resoundeth like the sea; and they ride upon horses arrayed as a man for war, against thee, O daughter of Zion (Jeremiah 6:22-23).

This, too, describes the devastation of the church by the falsities of evil; what "a people from the land of the north" signifies, and "a great nation from the sides of the earth," also what "their voice resoundeth like the sea," and "they ride upon horses" signify, was explained in the preceding article; "they lay hold on bow and spear" signifies [that they fight from false doctrine, "bow" signifying] the falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and "spear" the falsity of evil destroying good; "daughter of Zion" meaning the church.

[20] In the same:

The whole land is a waste; for the voice of the horseman and of the shooters of the bow the whole city fleeth; they have entered into the clouds, they have ascended into the rocks, the whole city is forsaken, no man dwelling therein (Jeremiah 4:27, 29).

This, too, can be seen explained in the preceding article. "The voice of the horseman and of the shooters of the bow" signifies the reasonings from falsities, and assaults upon truth; "the shooters of the bow," that is, those who hold the bow, are those who assault truths from the falsities of doctrine; therefore it is said "the whole city fleeth," and "the whole city is forsaken," "city" signifying the doctrine of the church.

[21] In Isaiah:

Jehovah hath lifted up an ensign to the nations from far, and behold the swift one shall come in haste, his arrows are sharp, and all his bows bent; the hoofs of his horses are reckoned as rock, and his wheels as a storm (Isaiah 5:26, 28).

"His arrows are sharp," and "his bows bent," signify the falsities of doctrine prepared to destroy truths. What is signified by "the nations from far" and by "the hoofs of the horses that are reckoned as rock," and by "the wheels that are like a storm," may be seen in the article just above n. 355, where they are explained.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 355)


[22] In Amos:

He that holdeth the bow shall not stand, nor shall the swift of foot deliver himself, nor shall he that rideth upon the horse cause his soul to escape, but he that is stout in his heart among the mighty shall flee naked in that day (Amos 2:15-16).

This describes self-intelligence, and thus confidence from an ability to reason from falsities against truths; "he that holdeth the bow shall not stand, nor shall the swift of foot cause himself to escape," signifies that one who knows how to reason readily and skillfully from doctrine and from the memory that belongs to the natural man, cannot provide for his salvation, nor stand in the day of judgment; the like is signified by "he that rideth upon the horse shall not cause his soul to escape;" "he that is stout in his heart shall flee [naked] in that day" signifies that he who trusts in himself because of an ability to reason from falsities shall then be deprived of all truth; "the stout in heart" meaning him who trusts in himself on that account, and "naked" signifying deprived of all truth.

(Odkazy: Amos 2:14-16)


[23] In David:

God is a righteous judge, a God that is indignant all the day; if he turn not back He will whet His sword, He will bend His bow and make it ready, and hath prepared for him the instruments of death, He maketh His arrows burning (Psalms 7:11-13).

It is here attributed to God that He is indignant with the wicked, that He whets His sword, that He bends and makes ready His bow, prepares instruments of death, and makes His arrows burning; but in the spiritual sense it is meant that man does this in respect to himself. These things are attributed to God in the sense of the letter, because that sense is natural, and is for the natural man who believes that for these reasons God is to be feared; and with him fear works as love works afterwards, when he becomes spiritual. This makes clear what these words signify, namely, that it is the evil man who is indignant with God, that he whets the sword against himself, and bends the bow and makes it ready, he prepares the instruments of death, and makes his arrows burning. "He whetteth the sword" signifies that he acquires for himself falsity, by which he combats against truths; "he bendeth the bow and maketh it ready" signifies that from falsities he frames for himself doctrine opposed to truths; and "he prepares the instruments of death, and maketh his arrows burning" signifies that from infernal love he frames for himself principles of falsity by which he destroys good and its truth.

[24] In Lamentations:

The Lord hath bent His bow like an enemy; He hath stood with His right hand as an adversary; He hath slain all things desirable to the eyes (Lamentations 2:4).

Here, too, like things are attributed to the Lord, for a like reason as above; "He bends His bow like an enemy, and stands with His right hand as an adversary" signifies that the evil man does this in respect to himself, namely, he defends evil against good, and falsity against the truths of good from doctrine that he has framed for himself out of self-intelligence and confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word; for in Lamentations the vastation of all good and all truth with the Jewish nation, from their applying the sense of the letter of the Word in favor of their own loves is treated of; "bow" here meaning the doctrine of falsity therefrom, "enemy" evil, and "adversary" falsity. That in consequence all the understanding of truth and good would perish is signified by "the Lord hath slain all things desirable to the eyes," "things desirable to the eyes" meaning all things that are of intelligence and wisdom.

(Odkazy: Lamentations 1:1)


[25] In Moses:

A fire hath been kindled in Mine anger, and it shall devour the earth and its produce, and shall set in flames the foundations of the mountains. I will empty out evils upon them; I will consume Mine arrows upon them (Deuteronomy 32:22-23).

This is in the song of Moses, which treats of the Israelitish and Jewish nation, and describes what they were in their hearts, namely, that there was nothing of the church with them because there was with them mere falsity from evil; "the earth and its produce, that is to be devoured" signifies the church, and all the truth and good therefrom, "the earth" signifying the church, and "produce" all the truth and good thereof. "The foundations of the mountains, that are to be set in flames" signify truths upon which the goods of love are based, especially the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, since these are the foundations; the "evils that are to be emptied out upon them," and the "arrows that are to be consumed upon them" signify that they shall be imbued with all evils and falsities. (What that nation was from the beginning, and also what it is at this day, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 248.)

[26] In the first book of Samuel:

The bows of the mighty are broken, but they who had stumbled have girded valor about them (1 Samuel 2:4).

This is the prophecy of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, which treats of the taking away of truth with those who are of the church, because they are in no spiritual affection of truth; also of the reception and illumination of those who are outside of the church, because they are in the spiritual affection of truth. That the doctrines of falsities that are held by those who are of the church are of no account is signified by "the bows of the mighty are broken;" and the reception and illustration of those who are outside of the church are signified by "they who had stumbled have girded valor about them;" those are said to "stumble," who are pressed by the falsities of ignorance, and "valor" is predicated of power and abundance of truth from good.

[27] In Jeremiah:

Behold, I break the bow of Elam, the beginning of his might (Jeremiah 49:35).

"Elam" means the knowledge [scientia] belonging to the natural man, and consequent confidence; his "bow" signifies the knowledge [scientia] from which as from doctrine he fights; and "the beginning of his might" signifies confidence; for knowledge [scientia] is of no avail if it does not serve the rational and the spiritual man. That "Elam" means knowledge belonging to the natural man can be seen from these passages in the Word in which "Elam" is mentioned (as Genesis 10:22; Isaiah 21:2; Jeremiah 25:24-26; 49:34-39; Ezekiel 32:24, 25).

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 32:24-25)


[28] In David:

Jehovah maketh wars to cease even to the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder; He burneth up the chariots with fire (Psalms 46:9).

Because "wars" signify spiritual combats, which are here those of falsity against the truth and against the good of the church, it is clear what is signified by "Jehovah will make wars to cease even to the end of the earth," namely, that from firsts to the ultimates of the truth of the church all combat and disagreement shall cease, "the end of the earth" signifying the ultimates of the church. That there shall be no combat of doctrine against doctrine is signified by "He shall break the bow;" that there shall be no combat from any falsity of evil is signified by "He shall cut the spear asunder;" and that everything of the doctrine of falsity shall be destroyed by "He shall burn up the chariots with fire."

[29] In the same:

In Salem is the tabernacle of Jehovah, and His abode in Zion. There brake He the strings of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and war (Psalms 76:2-3).

This treats likewise of the cessation of all combat and all disagreement in the Lord's kingdom; "Salem" where Jehovah's tabernacle is, and "Zion" where His abode is, signify His spiritual kingdom and His celestial kingdom; "Salem" the spiritual kingdom where genuine truth is, and "Zion" the celestial kingdom where genuine good is and "He shall break the strings of the bow, the shield, the sword, and war" signifies the dissipation of all the combat of the falsities of doctrine against good and truth; "the strings of a bow" meaning the principal things of doctrine.

[30] In Hosea:

In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild beast of the field and with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth; and I will break the bow and the sword and war from the earth, and I will make them to lie down securely (Hosea 2:18).

This treats of the Lord's coming and His conjunction at that time with all who are in truths from good; "the covenant with the wild beast of the field, with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the earth" signifies the conjunction with their affection of good, with the affection of truth, and with the affection of the knowledges of the truth and good of the church that they have; for "the wild beast of the field" signifies the affection of good, "the fowl of the heavens" the affection of truth, and "the creeping thing of the earth" the affection of the knowledges of truth and good. Everyone sees that no wild beast, or fowl, or creeping thing of the earth is here meant; for with these how could there be any covenant? "I will break the bow and the sword and war from the earth" signifies that because of conjunction with the Lord no combat of falsity against truth shall exist, "bow" here meaning doctrine, "sword" falsity, and "war" combat.

[31] In Ezekiel:

This is the day whereof I have spoken; then the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth, and they shall set on fire and burn the arms, both the shield and the buckler, with the bow and the arrows, and the hand staff and the spear, and they shall kindle a fire with them seven years (Ezekiel 39:8-9).

This treats of "Gog," which means those who are in external worship and in no internal worship; because such are in opposition to the spiritual affection of truth, which is to love truths because they are truths, they are in falsities in respect to doctrine, and in evils in respect to life; for no one can be reformed, that is, be withdrawn from falsities and evils except by means of truths; for this reason it is said that "the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall burn the arms, and the shield and the buckler, with the bow and the arrows, and the hand staff and the spear;" "the inhabitants of the cities of Israel" mean those who are in the affection of truth from good, that is, in the spiritual affection of truth, and thence in the doctrine of genuine truth; "to burn up the arms" signifies to extirpate falsities of every kind; the "shield" falsity destroying good; "the buckler" falsity destroying truth; "the bow with the arrows" doctrine with its falsities the "hand staff" and the "spear" signify one's own power and confidence, such as pertain to those who place the all of the church, and thence of salvation, in external worship; "they shall kindle a fire with them seven years" signifies that these falsities and evils shall be completely destroyed, "seven years" signifying all things, fullness, and completely (see above, n. 257, 300).

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Footnotes:

1.  "Perfect" ("integrum") as below, the photolithograph has "wicked" ("inpium").

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(Odkazy: Amos 2:14-16; Revelation 6:2; The Apocalypse Explained 257, 300)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 350, 370, 386, 388, 422, 433, 625, 657, 695, 724, 734, 866


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


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