Ezekiel 20

English: Webster's Bible         

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1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me.

2 Then came the word of the LORD to me, saying,

3 Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to inquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.

4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:

5 And say to them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up my hand to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up my hand to them, saying, I am the LORD your God;

6 In the day that I lifted up my hand to them, to bring them forth from the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:

7 Then said I to them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

8 But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken to me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them forth from the land of Egypt.

10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth from the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.

11 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man doeth, he shall even live in them.

12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.

13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man doeth, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.

14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.

15 Yet also I lifted up my hand to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;

16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but profaned my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

17 Nevertheless my eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 But I said to their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:

19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;

20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.

21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man doeth, he shall even live in them: they profaned my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

22 Nevertheless I withdrew my hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.

23 I lifted up my hand to them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;

24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.

25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments by which they should not live;

26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all the first-born, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.

27 Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.

28 For when I had brought them into the land, for which I lifted up my hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savor, and poured out there their drink-offerings.

29 Then I said to them, What is the high place to which ye go? and its name is called Bamah to this day.

30 Wherefore say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye lewd deeds after their abominations?

31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even to this day: and shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.

32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

33 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with an out-stretched arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:

34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries in which ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an out-stretched arm, and with fury poured out.

35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.

36 As I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.

37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.

38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken to me: but profane ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.

40 For on my holy mountain, on the mountain of the hight of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.

41 I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries in which ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.

42 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers.

43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings in which ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.

44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

45 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

46 Son of man, set thy face towards the south, and drop thy word towards the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.

49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 143

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 349, 566, 574, 795, 878, 925, 1260, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 278, 316, 400, 401, 543, 546, 586, ...

Conjugial Love 156

The Lord 28, 48

True Christianity 156, 468

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 97, 109, 183, 324, 376, 405, 412, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 74

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

Elders of Israel
The elders of Israel (Deut. 1:13, 15) represent celestial men.

Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

the Lord
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If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

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...

the Word
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'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...

son of man
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Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

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...

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

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the seed of
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'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

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

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Face to face
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Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

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...

'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

'Hills' signify the good of charity.

'To require of another' denotes the state when one thing is joined to another so that it cannot be separated.

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First fruits
First fruits signify that which first springs up, and afterwards grows as a child grows up to a man… and hence they signify all which...

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

'South' denotes truth in light.

Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

Forest of the south
The forest of the south, as in Ezekiel 20:46, 47, signifies those who are in the light of truths, and extinguish it.

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...

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...

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...

'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

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...

'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

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...

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...

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Apocalypse Explained # 504

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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504. It has been shown thus far what "hail" signifies; it remains to show what "fire" signifies. "Fire" signifies in the Word the good of celestial love, and "flame" the good of spiritual love; but in the contrary sense "fire" signifies the evil arising from the love of self, and "flame" the evil arising from the love of the world. It is to be noted, that all goods whatsoever derive their existence from celestial love and from spiritual love, and that all evils whatsoever derive their existence from the love of self and the love of the world; and as "fire" signifies in the Word love in both senses, so it signifies every good and every evil that springs from either of these loves. Because "fire" is predicated in the Word both of heaven and of hell, and it has not been known heretofore that "fire" signifies love, some passages shall be cited from the Word to show in clear light that in a good sense "fire" means heavenly love, and in a bad sense infernal love.

(Odkazy: Revelation 8:7)

[2] That "fire" signifies in the Word heavenly love is evident first from the signification of "the fire of the altar," as meaning heavenly love, or love to the Lord (see above, n. 496; and that "fire" not of the altar has a similar signification can be seen from the following passages. In Ezekiel:

I saw, and behold a wind of a tempest came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself in itself and a brightness round about it, and as it were the appearance of a living coal in the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst of it a likeness of four animals. The appearance of the animals was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps; the same went between the animals, so that the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. Above the firmament that was over their head was the likeness of a throne, upon which was the appearance of a man. And I saw as it were the appearance of a living coal, as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about (Ezekiel 1:4, 5, 13, 26, 27; 8:2).

"The cherubim" that were seen as animals mean the Lord in respect to Divine Providence and guard that He be not approached except through the good of love; and as this guard itself is in the heavens, and especially in the inmost or third heaven, this heaven is also signified by "the cherubim" (see above, n. 152, 277, 313, 322, 362, 462); and as they especially signify the third heaven, and the Lord is above the heavens, so the Lord was seen "upon a throne above the cherubim." So, too, the "fire that appeared in the midst of the cherubim, that had brightness round about, and out of which went forth lightning;" also "about the throne and from the loins of Him that sat on the throne, upwards and downwards," signifies evidently Divine celestial love; for the Lord is Himself Divine love, and whatever proceeds from the Lord proceeds from His Divine love; this therefore is the "fire that had brightness round about it."

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 1:4-5, 1:26-27; The Apocalypse Explained 152, The Apocalypse Explained 277, The Apocalypse Explained 313, 322, 362, 462, 496)

[3] Likewise in Daniel:

He came to the Ancient of Days; His vesture is like white snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne is a flame of fire, His wheels a glowing fire; a stream of fire issues and goes forth from Him (Daniel 7:9, 10, 13).

"The Ancient of Days" also means the Lord; here "the Son of man" means the Lord in relation to Divine truth, and "the Ancient of Days" the Lord in relation to Divine good or Divine love, and He is called "the Ancient of Days" from that most ancient time when there was a celestial church, which was in love to the Lord. That church and the heaven of those who were from it are meant by "the throne which was like a flame of fire;" but "the wheels which were like a glowing fire" signify the doctrine of celestial love: the Divine love itself proceeding from the Lord is signified by "the fire issuing and going forth from before Him."

(Odkazy: Daniel 7:9-10)

[4] It is also related by Daniel that he saw:

A man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz; His body was also like a tharshish-stone, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as torches of fire, and His arms and His feet like the splendor of brass (Daniel 10:5, 6).

That it was the Lord who was thus seen by Daniel is evident from Revelation, where He was represented before John in nearly the same way, of whom it is said:

In the midst of the seven lampstands one like unto the Son of man, girt about at the paps with a golden girdle; and His head and hairs white as white wool, as snow; and His eyes as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto burnished brass, as if made glowing in a furnace. His appearance was like the sun (Revelation 1:13-16; 2:18).

From this similarity of the description of "the Son of man" seen by John in the midst of the seven lampstands, and of "the man clothed in linen" and "the Ancient of Days" seen by Daniel, it was evidently the Lord whom they both saw. "His face appeared as lightning and His eyes as a flame of fire" to signify the Lord's Divine love; for with man the face is a representative image of the affection of his love, and especially the eyes, for from these the love shines forth, from which they sparkle as from fire.

(Odkazy: Daniel 10:5-6)

[5] Also of the One sitting on the white horse it is said:

His eyes were as a flame of fire (Revelation 19:12).

Evidently it was the Lord in respect to the Word who was there represented as sitting upon a white horse, for it is said that He who sat on the white horse is called "the Word of God," and that He is "King of kings, and Lord of lords." Because "fire" signifies the Divine love:

The Lord was seen by Moses on Mount Horeb in fire in a bush (Exodus 3:1-3).

So, too, the Lord was seen "in fire" by Moses and all the Israelitish people when He came down upon Mount Sinai, which is thus described in Moses:

And Mount Sinai was altogether on smoke because Jehovah descended upon it in fire, so that the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace (Exodus 19:18; Deuteronomy 4:36).

Here, too, the "fire" that was seen represented the Divine love.

(Odkazy: Exodus 3:2)

[6] Because "fire" signifies in the highest sense the Lord's Divine love, it was commanded that fire should burn continually on the altar, and that they should take of that fire for the incense-offerings. It was on this account that the Greeks and Romans had a perpetual fire among their religious observances, of which the vestal virgins had charge. That they worshiped fire as holy was derived from the ancient churches that were in Asia, all things of which worship were representative. Because "fire" signifies in the highest sense the Divine love, a lampstand was placed in the Tent of meeting, on which were seven lamps that burned continually, which is thus described in Moses:

Command the sons of Israel that they bring unto thee pure oil of the olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to go up continually. Aaron shall order it from evening to morning before Jehovah continually. He shall order the lamps upon the pure lampstand before Jehovah continually (Leviticus 24:2-4. Respecting this lampstand itself see Exodus 25:31-40; 37:17-24; 40:24, 25; Numbers 8:2-4).

The like is signified by the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God (Revelation 4:5).

But "the fire of the altar" signified Divine celestial love, and "the fire of the lampstand," which was a flame, signified Divine spiritual love. From this it is that the "oil," too, which produced the fire of the flame in the lamps of the lampstand, signifies the Divine love; also the "oil" that the five prudent virgins had in their lamps, and that the five foolish virgins did not have (Matthew 25:1-12).

(Odkazy: Exodus 40:24-25)

[7] Again "fire" signifies the Lord's Divine love, in the Gospels:

John said, I baptize you with water, but Jesus shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).

"Baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire" signifies the regeneration of man by means of the Divine truth and the Divine good of love from the Lord, the "Holy Spirit" meaning the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and "fire" the Divine love from which it springs.

[8] The like that is signified by "fire" is also signified by "a place for fire" in Isaiah:

Jehovah who hath His place for fire in Zion, and His oven in Jerusalem (Isaiah 31:9).

It is said "who hath His place for fire in Zion" because "Zion" signifies the church in which is celestial love; and "His oven in Jerusalem" because "Jerusalem" signifies the church in which is the truth of doctrine; celestial love is comparatively "a place for fire," and truth of doctrine is like an "oven" in which bread is prepared.

[9] Because the good of love is signified by "fire," and worship from the good of love was represented by "whole burnt-offerings," sometimes fire was sent down out of heaven and consumed the whole burnt-offering; as when a whole burnt-offering was made for the expiation of the people, which is thus described in Moses:

When the offering was made, fire went forth from before Jehovah and devoured upon the altar the whole burnt-offering and the fat; and all the people saw it, and shouted aloud and fell on their faces (Leviticus 9:24).

It is also said:

That fire from heaven devoured the whole burnt-offering of Elijah, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the waters that were round about in the trench (1 Kings 18:38).

This "fire" too, signified Divine love, and thence the acceptance of worship from the good of love:

Likewise the fire that went up out of the rock, and devoured the flesh and the unleavened cakes that Gideon brought to the angel of God (Judges 6:21).

Again, Divine love was signified by the command:

That the lamb should be roasted with fire, and not sodden with water, and that what remained until the morning should be burnt up with fire (Exodus 12:8-10).

(For the explanation of these verses see Arcana Coelestia 7852-7861.)

[10] Again the Lord's Divine love was signified by the fire in which the Lord went before the sons of Israel in the wilderness, when they were journeying; also by the fire over the Tent of meeting during the night, which is thus described in Moses:

Jehovah went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them in the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light; neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night departed from before the people (Exodus 13:21, 22; Numbers 9:15-23; Deuteronomy 1:33).

The cloud of Jehovah was upon the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the eyes of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys (Exodus 40:38; Psalms 105:32, 39).

The "cloud appearing by day, and the fire by night," represented the Lord's protection of heaven and the church; for "the tabernacle" represented heaven and the church, "cloud and fire" protection; for "the day when there was the cloud" signifies Divine truth in light, and the "night" signifies Divine truth in shade. Lest they might be hurt by too much light they were guarded by a cloud, and from being hurt by too much shade they were guarded by a shining fire.

(Odkazy: Exodus 13:21-22)

[11] That such was represented thereby can be seen in Isaiah:

Jehovah will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and over her convocations a cloud by day and a smoke and the brightness of a flame of fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a covering. And there shall be a covert for a shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a shelter and hiding place from inundation and from rain (4 :5, 6).

"The dwelling place of Mount Zion" signifies the good of the celestial church, and "her convocations" signify the truths of that good; protection lest it be hurt by too much light and by too much shade is signified by "a cloud by day," and by "a smoke and the brightness of a flame of fire by night;" therefore it is said "over all the glory shall be a covering," and that "there shall be a covert for a shade in the daytime from the heat." Lest falsities should break in because of too much light or too much shade is signified by "it shall be for a shelter and a hiding place from the inundation and from rain," "inundation and rain" meaning a breaking in of falsities.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 4:5-6)

[12] In Zechariah:

I will be unto Jerusalem a wall of fire round about, and in glory I will be in the midst of her (Zechariah 2:5).

"A wall of fire" signifies defense by Divine love, for this the hells cannot assault; "glory in the midst of her" is Divine truth therefrom in light on every side. Because "fire" signifies the Divine love, the whole burnt-offerings were called:

Offerings made by fire to Jehovah, and offerings made by fire for an odor of rest to Jehovah (Exodus 29:18; Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 10, 11; 3:5, 164:35; 5:12; 7:30; 21:6; Numbers 28:2; Deuteronomy 18:1); this signifying that they were adopted in order to represent worship from the good of love, "whole burnt-offerings" representing that worship, because in them the entire animals were burned in the fire and consumed.

(Odkazy: Leviticus 2:9-10, 2:9-11, 3:16, 4:31, 4:35)

[13] Because the Word is Divine truth itself united to Divine good, for everywhere in it there is a marriage of good and truth, therefore:

Elijah was seen to ascend up into heaven by a chariot of fire and horses of fire (2 Kings 2:11).

For the same reason the mountain was seen to be full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 6:17).

For Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord in relation to the Word; therefore the "chariot" signified doctrine from the Word, and "the horses" the understanding of the Word.

[14] Again, that "fire" signifies love is evident in David:

Jehovah maketh His angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire (Psalms 104:4).

That "He maketh angels spirits" signifies that He makes them recipients of Divine truths, consequently Divine truths; and that "He makes His ministers a flaming fire" signifies that He makes them recipients of Divine good, consequently Divine goods. (That "angels" mean in the Word the Lord in relation to Divine truth, and in a relative sense, recipients of Divine truth from the Lord, see above, n. 130, 200, 302; and that "ministers" signify recipients of the Divine good which is of Divine love, see also above, n. 155.) From this it is clear that "a flaming fire" signifies the good of love. "Fire" signifies love, because the Lord from Divine love appears in the angelic heaven as a sun, from which sun heat and light proceed; and in the heavens heat from the Lord as a sun is the Divine good of love, and light from the Lord as a sun is the Divine truth; this is why "fire" signifies in the Word the good of love, and "light" truth from good. (That the Lord from Divine love appears in the angelic heaven as a sun may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 116-125; and that light from that sun is Divine truth, and heat from that sun is Divine good, n. 126-140; also n. 567, 568.) It is from the correspondence between fire and love that in ordinary language, in speaking of the affections that belong to love, the expressions "to grow hot," "to burn," "to glow," "to boil," "to be on fire," and others of like meaning are used. Moreover, man grows warm from love of any kind, according to its degree.

(Odkazy: Heaven and Hell 567-568; The Apocalypse Explained 130, The Apocalypse Explained 155, 200, The Apocalypse Explained 302)

[15] So far respecting the signification of "fire" in the Word, when it is attributed to the Lord, or when it is predicated of heaven and the church. But when "fire" is predicated in the Word of the evil and of the hells, it signifies the love of self and of the world, and thence every evil affection and cupidity that torments the wicked after death in the hells. "Fire" has this contrary signification for the reason that Divine love, when it comes down out of heaven and falls into the societies where the evil are, is changed into a love contrary to the Divine love, and thus into various heats of cupidity and of lusts, and so into evils of every kind, and also into torments, because evils carry with them the punishments of evil. From this change of the Divine love into infernal love with the evil, the hells where the love of self and the world and hatreds and revenge prevail, appear to be as if on fire, both within and round about, although the infernal crew that is in them perceive nothing fiery. Indeed, from these loves the crew that is in such hells appear with faces inflamed and reddened as from fire.

[16] This, therefore, is the signification of "fire" in the following passages. In Isaiah:

Wickedness shall burn as a fire; it shall devour the briars and brambles, and shall kindle the thickets of the forest, that they may roll upward in the elation of smoke. And the people are become as food of the fire; a man shall not pity his brother (Exodus 9:18, 19).

In the same:

The whole people shall be for the burning, food for fire (Isaiah 9:5).

Ye Assyrians, conceive chaff, bring forth stubble; your spirit, fire shall devour you. So shall the peoples be burnt for lime; thorns cut down which are kindled with fire. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire; who among us shall sojourn with the burnings of eternity (Isaiah 33:11, 12, 14).

"The Assyrians" mean those who from falsities and fallacies reason against the truths and goods of the church from self-intelligence, thus from self-love; these are here described.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 9:18-19, 33:11-12)

[17] In the same:

In the day of Jehovah's vengeance, the brooks of the land shall be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone, and the land shall become burning pitch; it shall not be quenched night or day, the smoke thereof shall go up forever (Isaiah 34:8-10).

They have become as stubble; the fire hath burnt them; they shall deliver not their soul from the hand of the flame (Isaiah 47:14).

Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; go into the place of your fire, and into the sparks that ye have kindled (Isaiah 50:11).

Their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched (Isaiah 66:24).

In Ezekiel:

I will give thee into the hand of burning men; thou shalt be for food for fire (Ezekiel 21:31, 32).

In David:

Thou shalt make them as an oven of fire in the time of Thine anger, and fire shall devour them (Psalms 21:9).

Burning coals shall overwhelm the wicked; fire shall cast them into pits, they shall not rise again (Psalms 140:10).

In Matthew:

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire. He will cleanse His floor, and gather His wheat into the garners, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:10, 12; Luke 3:9, 17).

As the tares are burned with fire, so shall it be in the consummation of the age (Matthew 13:40).

The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire (Matthew 13:41, 42, 50).

He said to them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).

Whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be subject to the hell of fire (Deuteronomy 5:22; Matthew 18:8, 9; Mark 9:45, 47).

In Luke:

The rich man in hell said, Father Abraham, send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame (Luke 16:24).

When Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them; after the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed (Luke 17:29, 30).

In Revelation:

If anyone worship the beast he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:9, 10).

The beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Revelation 19:20).

The devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:10).

Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire; and if anyone was not found written in the book of life he was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14, 15).

The unfaithful, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8).

In these passages, "fire" signifies all cupidity belonging to the love of evil, and its punishment, which is torment. To this may be added what is presented in the work on Heaven and Hell 566-575), where it is shown what is meant by "infernal fire" and by "the gnashing of teeth."

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 21:31-32; Luke 3:16-17, Luke 17:29-30; Matthew 5:22, 13:41-42, 18:8-9; Revelation 14:9-10, Revelation 20:14-15)

[18] In the article above, in which "hail" was treated of, it was said that the Divine, when it comes down out of heaven into the lower sphere where the evil are, presents an effect which is the opposite of its effect in heaven itself; that is, in heaven it vivifies and conjoins, but in the lower parts where the evil are it produces death and disjunction. This is because the Divine influx out of heaven opens, in the good, the spiritual mind, and fits it to receive; but in the evil, who have no spiritual mind, it opens the interiors of their natural mind, where evils and falsities reside, and from this they then have an aversion to every good of heaven, and hatred for truths, and a lust for every crime, and in consequence they are separated from the good, and then damned. This influx with the good, of which we are now speaking, appears in the heavens as a fire vivifying, recreating, and conjoining; but below with the evil, it appears as a devouring and wasting fire.

[19] It is because of this effect of the Divine love flowing down out of heaven, that in the Word anger and wrath are so often attributed to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, anger from fire, and wrath from the heat of fire; there is also the expression "the fire of His anger," and that "He is a consuming fire," with many other like expressions, which do not mean that the fire proceeding from the Lord is such, for in its origin it is Divine love, but that it becomes such with the evil, who by reason of its flowing into them become angry and wrathful. That this is so can be seen from the fire that appeared on Mount Sinai, when the Lord descended upon it and promulgated the law; this fire, although in its origin it was Divine love and the source of Divine truth, appeared to the Israelitish people as a consuming fire, before which they trembled greatly. (Exodus 19:18; 20:18; Deuteronomy 4:11, 12, 15, 33, 36; 5:5, 22-26); this was because the Israelitish people had no spiritual internal but only a natural internal, which swarmed with evils and falsities of every kind, and the appearance of the Lord to everyone is according to his quality. (That the sons of Jacob were such, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 248.)

(Odkazy: Deuteronomy 4:11-12, 4:32)

[20] This is why Jehovah, that is the Lord, is called in the Word "a consuming fire," as in the following passages:

Jehovah God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24).

In Isaiah:

Behold, Jehovah will come in fire and His chariots like a storm, in flames of fire. For in fire Jehovah will plead, and in His sword with all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be multiplied (Isaiah 66:15, 16).

In the same:

Thou shalt be visited with a flame of devouring fire (Isaiah 29:6).

In the same:

In the indignation of the anger of Jehovah, and in a flame of a devouring fire, in scattering, and inundation, and hailstones (Isaiah 30:30).

In David:

There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. At the brightness that was before Him the clouds passed, hail and coals of fire. Jehovah thundered out of the heavens, and the Most High gave forth His voice, hail and coals of fire (Psalms 18:8, 12, 13).

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before Him (Psalms 50:3).

In the same:

Jehovah shall rain upon the wicked snares, fire, and brimstone (Psalms 11:6).

In Ezekiel:

I will set My faces against them, that although they go out from the fire yet the fire shall devour them. And I will make the land a waste, because they have committed trespasses (Ezekiel 15:4, 6-8).

In Moses:

A fire has been kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn even unto the lowest hell, and it shall devour the earth and its produce, and shall set on fire the foundations of the mountains (Deuteronomy 32:22).

Such things appear in the spiritual world when Divine good and truth come down out of heaven towards the lower parts where the evil are who are to be separated from the good and dispersed; and these things are said because of these appearances there. And as the fire that comes down out of heaven, which in its origin is Divine love, becomes, when it is received by the evil there, a consuming fire, in the Word such fire is predicated of Jehovah. Infernal fire has no other source than the change of the Divine love into evil loves, and into direful cupidities of doing evil and inflicting injury.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 15:6, 15:7-8; Isaiah 66:15-16; Psalms 18:12-13)

[21] This was represented also by:

The fire that fell from heaven and consumed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24);

And the fire that consumed Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, because they offered incense with strange fire (Leviticus 10:1, et seq.).

"Incense offered with strange fire" signifies worship from other love than love to the Lord. Also by:

The fire that consumed the uttermost part of the camp of the sons of Israel, because of their lusts (Numbers 11:1-3).

The same was represented by:

The Egyptians that perished in the Red Sea when Jehovah looked out from the pillar of fire and of cloud towards their camp (Exodus 14:24-27).

That this fire was in its origin the Divine love, shining before the sons of Israel in their journeyings and over the tabernacle in the nighttime, has been shown above in this article; and yet Jehovah's looking out from it threw the camps of the Egyptians into utter disorder and destroyed them.

(Odkazy: Leviticus 10:1-2)

[22] It is shown in Revelation that fire appeared descending from heaven to consume the evil in the spiritual world, and was seen there by John, for he says that:

Fire came down out of heaven, and consumed Gog and Magog and their crew (Revelation 20:9; Ezekiel 38:22).

"To consume" signifies here to disperse and to cast into hell. So again it is said in Isaiah:

The light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame, and it shall burn and consume his briers and brambles in one day (Isaiah 10:17).

"Briers and brambles" signify the evils and falsities of the doctrine of the church; the destruction of these by Divine truth descending out of heaven is signified by "the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame."

[23] Because "fire" in the contrary sense, or in respect to the evil, properly signifies the love of self, and "flame" the love of the world, so also "fire" signifies every evil, as enmity, hatred, revenge, and many others, for all evils swarm forth from these two origins (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 75); consequently "fire" signifies also the destruction of man in respect to spiritual life, and thus damnation and hell. All these things are signified by "fire" because love is signified by "fire," as can be seen still further from the following passages. In Isaiah:

The peoples shall behold, and be ashamed 1 of the hatred; yea, fire shall devour thine enemies (Isaiah 26:11).

The destruction of the evil, who are here meant by "peoples" and "enemies," is described by "hatred" and "fire."

[24] In the same:

When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee; when thou goest through the fire thou shall not be scorched, neither shall the flame burn thee (Isaiah 43:2).

"To pass through waters and through rivers and not be overflowed" signifies that falsities and reasonings from falsities against truths shall not enter and corrupt, "waters" here meaning falsities, and "rivers" reasonings from falsities against truths; "to go through the fire and not be scorched, and not to have the flame burn" signifies that evils and the cupidities arising from them shall do no harm, "fire" signifying evils, and "flame" the cupidities therefrom.

[25] In the same:

The house of our holiness and our splendor, where our fathers praised Thee, is burned up with fire; and all our desirable things are laid waste (Isaiah 64:11).

"The house of holiness and splendor" signifies the celestial and the spiritual church, "the house of holiness" the celestial church, and "splendor" the spiritual church; "where our fathers praised Thee" signifies the worship of the Ancient Church, "to praise" signifying to worship, and "fathers" those who were of the Ancient Church; "to be burned up with fire" signifies that all the goods of that church were turned into evils by which the goods were consumed and destroyed; "and all our desirable things are laid waste" signifies that all truths also were consumed, "desirable things" signifying in the Word the truths of the church.

[26] In the same:

Ye shall be as an oak casting its leaves, and as a garden that hath no waters. And the strong one shall be as tow, and his work as a spark, that they may both burn together and no one quench them (Isaiah 1:30, 31).

An "oak" signifies the natural man, and "leaves" knowledges and cognitions of truth therein; "garden" signifies the rational man; so "ye shall be as an oak casting its leaves, and as a garden that hath no waters," signifies that there shall no longer be any true knowledge or rational truth. "The strong one" and "his work" signifies what is hatched out from self-intelligence; he who trusts in himself and his own intelligence is often called "strong" in the Word, for he regards himself and his work that he brings forth as strong; and as man's own [proprium] drinks in every evil and falsity and thereby destroys every good and truth, it is said, "the strong shall be as tow, and his work as a spark, and they shall both burn together;" "to be burned" signifying to perish by the falsities of evil.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 1:30-31)

[27] In Ezekiel:

Thy mother is like a vine. Now she is planted in the wilderness, in a land of drought and thirst; fire hath gone out from the rod of her branches, it hath devoured them and her fruit (Ezekiel 19:10, 12-14).

"The mother who was like a vine" signifies the Ancient Church, which was in the good of life and in the truths therefrom; "now she is planted in the wilderness in a land of drought and thirst," signifies that the church is now destitute of goods and truths, "a land of drought" meaning the church where there is no good, and "a land of thirst" where there is no truth; "fire hath gone out from the rod of her branches, it hath devoured them and her fruit," signifies that the evil of falsity has destroyed every truth and good, "fire" means evil, "the rod of the branches" the falsity of doctrine in which is evil, and "to devour them and her fruit" means to destroy truth and good; the evil of falsity is the evil that is from the falsity of doctrine.

[28] In Zechariah:

The Lord will impoverish Tyre, and smite her wealth in the sea; and she shall be devoured by fire (Zechariah 9:4).

"Tyre" signifies the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good, thus "Tyre" signifies the knowledges of truth and good that belong to the church; its devastation by falsities and evils is signified by "the Lord shall smite her wealth in the sea, and she shall be devoured by fire."

[29] In David:

Enemies have set Thy sanctuary on fire, they have profaned the tabernacle of Thy name even to the earth; they have burned all God's festal places to the earth. There is no more any prophet, neither is there with us anyone that knoweth (Psalms 74:7-9).

That cupidities arising from evil loves have destroyed the truths and goods of the church is signified by "enemies have set the sanctuary on fire, and have profaned the tabernacle of the name of Jehovah;" that they utterly destroyed all things of Divine worship is signified by "they have burned all God's festal places to the earth;" that there was no longer any doctrine of truth or understanding of truth is signified by "there is no more any prophet, neither is there with us anyone that knoweth."

[30] In Moses:

If men of Belial should impel the inhabitants of a city to serve other gods they should all be smitten with the edge of the swords, and the city with all its spoil should be burned with fire (Deuteronomy 13:14-17).

This signifies in the spiritual sense that a doctrine from which is worship that acknowledges any other god than the Lord must be destroyed, because in such doctrine there is nothing but falsities from evil cupidities. This is signified in the spiritual sense by these words, because a "city" in the Word signifies doctrine, and "to serve other gods" signifies to acknowledge and worship some other god than the Lord; "sword" signifies the destruction of truth by falsity, and "fire" the destruction of good by evil.

(Odkazy: Deuteronomy 13:13-16)

[31] In Luke:

The Lord said that He came to send fire on the earth; and what would He if it were already kindled? (Luke 12:49);

which signifies hostilities and combats between good and evil, and between truth and falsity; for before the Lord came into the world there were in the church nothing but falsities and evils, consequently there was no combat between these and truths and goods; but when truths and goods had been unveiled by the Lord, then it was possible for combats to exist, and without combats between these there can be no reformation; this therefore is what is meant by the Lord's "willing that fire be already kindled." That this is the meaning of these words can be seen from those that follow:

That He had come to give division; for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided; the father shall be divided against the son and the son against the father, the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother (Luke verses 51-53).

"The father against the son and the son against the father" means evil against truth and truth against evil; and "the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother" means the cupidity of falsity against the affection of truth, and the affection of truth against the cupidity of falsity; "in one house" means with one man.

(Odkazy: Luke 12:51-53)

[32] As "sons" signify in the Word the truths of the church, and "daughters" its goods, it can be seen what is signified by "burning sons and daughters" in Jeremiah:

They have built the high places of Topheth, in the valley of Hinnom, for burning their sons and their daughters (Jeremiah 7:31).

I will cause an alarm of war to be heard against Rabbah of Ammon; and her daughters shall be burned with fire (Jeremiah 49:2).

And in Ezekiel:

When ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire (Ezekiel 20:31).

"To burn sons and daughters with fire" signifies to destroy the truths and goods of the church by evil cupidities or by evil loves; whether or not such abominations were committed, yet they signify the destruction of the truth and good of the church by filthy abominable lusts, which are confirmed by falsities.

[33] From this the signification of "hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast unto the earth, so that a third part of the trees was burnt up," can now be seen, namely, influx out of heaven, and thence the first change before the Last Judgment; but what "tree" and "green grass" signify will be told in what follows. Like things are also said in the description of the plagues in Egypt that preceded their final destruction, which was the drowning in the Red Sea, namely:

That hail in which ran fire rained on the land of Egypt, by which every herb of the field was smitten, and every tree of the field was broken down (Exodus 9:18-35).

(Odkazy: Exodus 9:23-26)

[34] That like things are to occur before "the day of Jehovah," which is the Last Judgment, is predicted in the Prophets. In Joel:

The day of Jehovah, a day of darkness and of thick darkness; a fire devoureth before it, and after it a flame burneth (Joel 2:1-3).

In the same:

And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and fearful day of Jehovah cometh (Joel 2:30, 31).

In the same:

The fire hath devoured the habitations of the desert, and the flame hath set in flames all the trees of the field (1 :19, 20).

In Ezekiel:

Say to the forest of the south, Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee; the flame of the grievous flame shall not be quenched; wherefore all the faces from the south even to the north shall be burned therein (Ezekiel 20:46, 47).

"The forest of the south" signifies a church that can be in the light of truth from the Word, but that is now in knowledges alone without spiritual light; "the trees that the fire will devour" signify such knowledges; that evil cupidities will deprive such knowledges of all spiritual life, and that there will be no longer any truth in clearness, nor even a remnant of it in obscurity, is signified by "all the faces (of the land) from the south to the north shall be burned therein. " Now that the signification of "fire" in both senses is known, the signification in the Word of "to become warm," "to be inflamed," "to glow," "to boil up," "to be burned," "to be burnt up," also of "warmth," "flame," "glow," "burning," "conflagration," "place for fire," "coals," and the like, can be seen.


1.  Photolithograph has "pine away."


(Odkazy: Deuteronomy 13:13-16; Exodus 3:2, 9:18-32; Ezekiel 20:46-47; Joel 1:19-20, 2:30-31; Matthew 3:10-12; Revelation 8:7, Revelation 20:9-10)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 501, 506, 510, 517, 539, 576, 578, 597, 642, 825, 888, 916, 931, 955, 1126, 1131

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