Jeremiah 50

English: Webster's Bible         

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1 The word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

3 For out of the north there cometh a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell in it, they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.

4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping; they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.

5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces towards it, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

6 My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting-place.

7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth from the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks.

9 For lo, I will raise and cause to come against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.

10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.

11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of my heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

12 Your mother shall be greatly confounded; she that bore you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.

14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon on every side: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.

15 Shout against her on every side; she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do to her.

16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.

17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

18 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.

19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.

22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.

23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.

25 The LORD hath opened his armory, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her store-houses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe to them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, encamp against it on every side; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do to her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.

30 Therefore her young men shall fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.

31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.

32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all around him.

33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.

34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he will thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall be sottish: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.

38 A drouth is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the isles, shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.

41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the borders of the earth.

42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands became feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan to the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.

46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 1368

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 116

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 289, 468, 583, 1186, 1326, 1813, 2025, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 52, 173, 241, 281, 298, 299, 336, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 120

The Lord 4, 34, 38, 39, 40, 53

Sacred Scripture 51, 79

Heaven and Hell 365

The Last Judgment 54

True Christian Religion 45, 83, 93, 158, 188, 294, 637, ...

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 131, 275, 278, 304, 328, 355, 357, ...

The White Horse - Appendix 1

Marriage 45, 83, 93

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 19, 51, 98

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

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

Babylon was an ancient city built on the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. It once was the capital of a great empire...

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

Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

Jeremiah, in the Book of Jeremiah 1:1 and what follows, represents the Lord. (Arcana Coelestia 2838 [2]). In Jeremiah 13:7, he signifies the state of...

The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

To "declare" something means to say it formally, publicly and with emphasis; you might say what you think, but you only declare things you're sure...

'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

Bel (Isa. 46:1) signifies the profanation of truth.

Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

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

'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...

Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

'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...

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

City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

Zion, in 1 Kings 8:1 and Revelation 14:1 signifies heaven and the church where the Lord alone is worshipped. (Apocalypse Revealed 612). Zion, in the...

“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

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

To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

The Writings tell us that shepherds represent those who lead and teach others, using knowledge and true ideas to help people reach the goodness of...

In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

'Hills' signify the good of charity.

The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

Foes, or adversaries, denote the falsities of evil. Foes, or adversaries, when predicate of the Lord, signifies to avert falsities derived from evil.

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...

He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

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

Go forth
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...

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...

A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...

The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

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...

In the Word, arrows stand for truths which defend person from falsity. In Arcana Coelestia 2709, it says this when discussing Genesis 21:20: "And he...

Mighty,' as in Revelation 19:18, signify people who are educated about doctrine derived from the Word. By extension, 'mighty' signifies education or learning derived from...

Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

'Spoil of gold, and silver, and cattle' signifies falsified truths.

'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

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

'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

'Inhabit' refers to good.

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

'Plagues' signify evils of love, and falsities of faith. 'The plagues of Egypt' signify the falsities and lust which cause the church to perish. In...

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

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

'To shout from the top of the mountain,' as in Isaiah 42:11, signifies worship from the good of love.

Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

A foundation signifies truth on which heaven and the church, and its doctrines are founded.

'To be avenged seventy and seven fold' denotes damnation.

'To jubilate' or 'make a joyful noise' signifies worship from the delight of good.

Cut off
To be cut off, as in Genesis 41:36, signifies to perish.

'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

'The first and the last' signifies that the Lord is the only God.

When the divine power of good or omnipotence is being discussed in the Word, then says 'Jehovah Zebaoth,' or 'Jehovah of hosts,' and also 'Lord,'...

When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

'Sharon, Bashan, and Carmel' signify the church regarding the knowledges of good and truth from the natural sense of the Word.

The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

'Mount Olivet' signifies the celestial church, or celestial good, which comes from love towards the Lord, and divine love.

Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

Mount Gilead, as in Genesis 31:21, 23, as a boundary, in a spiritual sense, signifies the first good, which is that of things pertaining to...

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

In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

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

To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

"Catching" is used in a variety of ways in the Bible, both positive and negative. Thieves get caught; the Egyptians caught up with the Children...

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

'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

'Slaughter' signifies perdition and damnation. 'Slaughter' and 'a storm of slaughter,' signifies evils which destroy the goods of the church. 'The day of great slaughter'...

The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

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

'A temple' represents heaven and the church. The sacred place where the ark was, represents the inmost, or third heaven, and the church among people...

'To repay' denotes making amends by truth.

Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

Swedenborg tell us that in terms of measurement, height relates to the desire for good and breadth relates to the knowledge of truth. Following that,...

War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

To 'stumble' denotes being scandalized or offended, and falling, as a result, from truths into falsities.

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...

Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

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...

Jehovah is called 'the redeemer,' because He took on a human nature.

It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

Mighty men
'Mighty men,' as in Lamentations 1:15, denotes people who are in the good of love.

'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

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

In Jeremiah 20:4-5, 'wealth,' 'labor,' 'precious things,' and 'all the treasures of the kings of Judah' signify the knowledges of faith.

'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

'Withering and drying up,' as in Ezekiel 17:10, referring to the east wind, signifies when there is no good or truth.

Wild beasts of the desert
'Wild beasts of the desert,' 'doleful creatures,' 'owls,' 'satyrs,' 'wild beasts of the islands,' and 'dragons,' as in Isaiah 13:21-22, signify when the interior aspects...

Wild beasts
'Wild beasts' denote affections and lusts.

Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

To “generate” something is to create it, and that idea underpins the meaning of a “generation” of people – it is a group that was...

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

The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

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

The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Often translated as “edge,” “border,” “boundary,” “outskirts,” “far places” and other ways, this term is used in the Bible for the farthest reaches of an...

'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

'To ride' signifies being elevated regarding the intellectual part of the mind. To ride upon a cherub,' as in Psalm 18:9, 10, denotes the Lord’s...

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

To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

'To travail in birth' signifies conceiving and bringing forth the elements of spiritual life.

The land of Jordan,' as in Psalm 42:6, signifies what is lowly, consequently, what is distant from the celestial, as the external parts of a...

'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

'A voice crying,' and 'the voice of a cry,' are common expressions in the Word, and are applied whenever there is a noise or disturbance,...

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Arcana Coelestia # 3708

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3708. 'And you will break forth towards the sea, and towards the east' means infinite extension of good, while 'towards the north, and towards the south' means infinite extension of truth - thus every state of good and truth. This is clear from the meaning of 'breaking forth' as extension, here infinite extension since it has reference to the Lord; from the meaning of 'the sea' or the west as good which is as yet obscure and so at only an initial stage; from the meaning of 'the east' as bright and so perfected good; from the meaning of 'the north' as truth which is still shrouded in obscurity; and from the meaning of 'the south' as truth bathed in light.

[2] Many references are made in the Word to the sea or west, the east, the north, and the south. But because nobody up to now has known that, as with every other single expression, these possessed an internal sense in which they did not mean things to do with the world, as they do in the sense of the letter, but spiritual and celestial things, and that in the highest sense those expressions meant Divine things belonging to the Lord Himself, what else could people have known therefore other than that west, east, north, and south are used in the Word simply to mean the four quarters? What else other than that 'breaking forth' towards those four quarters means a multiplying? But the fact that they do not mean the four quarters or the multiplying of any group of people, but states of good and truth, and the extension of these, may become clear from all the places in the Word, especially those in the Prophets, where reference is made to them. For what west, east, north, or south are is totally unknown in heaven. There the Sun, which is the Lord - unlike the sun of this world which rises and sets, reaching its highest point at midday and its lowest at night - is visible all the time, though how visible depends on the states of those receiving its light; for the light from it holds wisdom and intelligence within it, see 1619-1632, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3190, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3339, 3341, 3485, 3636, 3643. Consequently it is visible to each individual according to the wisdom and intelligence existing with him. Among those with whom good and truth are present - which are warmth and light, but of the celestial and spiritual kind - the sun is as it is when rising and at midday; but among those with whom good and truth are not present the sun is as it is when setting and at night. From this it is evident that in the internal sense of the Word 'east, south, west, and north' means states of good and truth.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 3222-3223)

[3] It should be recognized that the Word does not use only the four quarters, as indicated, to describe states of good and truth. It also uses both the annual seasons or states of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and the daily times or states of morning, midday, evening, and night. These are used for a similar purpose; but when the subject is the extension of good and truth, the four quarters are employed to describe it. What each one means specifically however may be seen from the places where they are mentioned in the Word. 'East' means the Lord and also the good of love and charity, which comes from the Lord, as shown already in 101, 1250, 3249, and 'south' means the truth bathed in light, in 1458, 3195.

[4] But what 'west' and what 'north' mean in the genuine sense, and what they mean in the contrary sense, may be seen from the following places: In Isaiah,

Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Do not withhold. Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth. Isaiah 43:5-6

This refers to a new spiritual Church, meant here by Jacob and Israel. 'Bringing the seed from the east and gathering from the west' stands for people governed by good; 'saying to the north, Give up; and to the south, Do not withhold' stands for those governed by truth.

[5] In David,

The redeemed of Jehovah will speak, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy and gathered together out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the sea. They wandered in the wilderness, in a desolate way; they did not find an inhabited city. 1 Psalms 107:2-4.

This refers to people who are without knowledge of good and truth. 'From the east and from the west' stands for those without knowledge of good, 'from the north and from the sea' for those without knowledge of truth. Those without knowledge of good are referred to as 'wandering in the wilderness', and those without knowledge of truth as doing so 'in a desolate way'. And those without knowledge of both are referred to as their not finding an inhabited city - 'a city' meaning doctrinal teaching consisting of truth, see 402, 2449, 2943, 3216, and 'a habitation' being used in reference to good, 268, 2451, 2712.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 2268)

[6] In Isaiah,

Behold, these will come from afar, and behold, those from the north and from the west, and those from the land of Sinim. Isaiah 49:12.

'The north' stands for people in obscurity as regards truth, 'the west' for those in obscurity as regards good. They are said 'to come from afar' because they are remote from the light which flows from the Lord.

[7] In Amos,

Behold, the days are going to come in which I will send a famine on the land. And they will wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east they will run to and fro to seek the Word of Jehovah, and will not find it. Amos 8:11-12.

'A famine' stands for a lack and absence of cognitions, 1460, 3364. 'Wandering from sea to sea' stands for searching for the place where cognitions may be found - 'seas' meaning cognitions in general, 28, 2850. 'Running to and fro from the north even to the east' stands for going from those cognitions that are in obscurity to cognitions that are in the light. As regards cognitions being meant, this is evident because the words 'to seek the Word of God and will not find it' are used.

[8] In Jeremiah,

Proclaim these words towards the north, and say, Return, backsliding Israel; I will not cause My face to fall upon you, for I am merciful. In those days the house of Judah will go to the house of Israel, and together they will come out of the north land over the land I gave as a heritage to your fathers. Jeremiah 3:12, 18.

This refers to the restoration of the Church from among the gentiles. 'The north' stands for people without knowledge of truth but who lead a good life. It is evident that neither the north nor the north land is meant here for the reason that Israel did not exist any longer.

[9] In the same prophet,

The living Jehovah who caused the children of Israel to come up out of the north land. Jeremiah 16:15.

'North' in a similar way stands for being without knowledge of truth. In the same prophet,

Behold, I am bringing them from the north land, and I will gather them from the furthest parts of the earth, among them the blind one and the lame. Jeremiah 31:8.

The 'north land' stands for no knowledge of good because of no knowledge of truth. Now because the land of Canaan represented the Lord's kingdom - and therefore also represented good, see above in 3705 - and places within that land, such as Zion and Jerusalem, represented inmost good to which truth was joined, the places which lay away from that land consequently represented obscurity so far as good and truth were concerned. Everything that lies in obscurity is called 'the north land' and also 'the furthest parts of the earth'.

[10] In addition to this, since all good that flows in with light from the Lord is confined within man's obscurity, the north is also called 'an assembly' as in Isaiah,

You said in your heart, I will go up the heavens, above the stars of God I will raise my throne, and I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the furthest parts of the north. Isaiah 14:13.

In the same prophet,

Wail, O gate; cry, O city; you have melted away, O Philistia, all of you, for smoke comes from the north, and not a solitary person in the assemblies. Isaiah 14:31.

In David,

Great is Jehovah and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, the mountain of His holiness - the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, the furthest parts of the north, the city of the great King. Psalms 48:1-2.

And again in the same author,

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours. The world and the fullness of it You have founded; the north and the right hand 2 You have created. Psalms 89:11-12.

'The north' here stands for those who are more remote from the light of good and truth, 'the right hand' for those who are closer to them. For the latter are on the Lord's right hand, see 1274, 1276.

[11] In Zechariah,

He saw four chariots coming out between two mountains of bronze. The horses coupled to them were reddish, black, white, and mottled - strong ones. The angel said, These are the four winds of heaven, which go forth from standing before the Lord of the whole earth, the black horses going into the north land; and the white have gone out after them, and the mottled have gone out into the south land. Those going towards the north land have caused My spirit to rest on the north land. Zechariah 6:1-8.

'Chariots coming out between two mountains of bronze' stands for matters of doctrine concerning good. For 'chariots' means matters of doctrine, as will be shown elsewhere, while 'a mountain' means love, see 795, 1430, 2722, and two mountains therefore two kinds of love - celestial love, which is love to the Lord, and spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbour. 'Bronze' is good originating in those loves as it exists within the natural, 425, 1551; 'horses' things of the understanding, and so an understanding of matters of doctrine concerning good, 2760-2762, 3217; 'the south land' stands for people who possess cognitions of good and truth, 1458, 3195, 'the north land' for those who are without knowledge of good and truth but who lead a good life, as upright gentiles do among whom, when a new Church is established, God's Spirit is said to rest.

[12] In Jeremiah,

Jehovah who brought up and led back the seed of the house of Israel out of the land towards the north and out of all the lands to where I have driven them, so that they might dwell on their own land. Jeremiah 23:8.

'Out of the land towards the north' stands for away from the obscurity that is due to a lack of knowledge about what is good and true. In the same prophet,

Can one break iron, iron from the north, and bronze? Jeremiah 15:12.

'Iron' stands for natural truth, 425, 426, 'bronze' for natural good, 425, 1551. These are said to come 'from the north' because they derive from the natural which, though lying in obscurity compared with other degrees, serves as the outer limit of these. It is evident without explanation that this prophetic utterance does not mean the use of iron and bronze from the north, for what would be Divine about that, indeed what connection would it have with what goes before and after if no more than iron and bronze from there were meant?

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 425-426)

[13] In Matthew,

I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:29.

'Many from the east and from the west' stands for those who possess cognitions and lead a good life, and also for those who are in obscurity and have no knowledge of such cognitions; and so it stands for people inside the Church and those outside it. It has been stated above that states of good are meant by the east and the west. 'Reclining with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' means being with the Lord, see 3305 (end). And the Prophets in a similar way speak of people coming from east and west who are going to be with the Lord in His kingdom or Church, as in Isaiah,

From the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you. Isaiah 43:5.

Elsewhere in the same prophet,

They will fear the name of Jehovah from the west, and His glory from the east. Isaiah 59:19.

Elsewhere in the same,

From the rising of the sun and from its setting they will know that there is none besides Me; I am Jehovah and there is no one else. Isaiah 45:6.

Elsewhere in the same,

I will stir up one from the north, and he will come; from the rising of the sun he will call on My name. Isaiah 41:25.

[14] In addition one may see that east, west, south, and north have these meanings from the following: The Construction of the Tabernacle; The Children of Israel when they were encamped and when they journeyed; The Description of the Land of Canaan; also, The Description of the New Temple, New Jerusalem, and New Land:


Everything in it was positioned according to the four quarters, see Exodus 38 - what went on the east and west sides, and what on the south and north, is stated in Exodus 26:18, 20, 22, 27; 27:9, 12, 13; and the requirement that the lampstand was to be placed towards the south across from the table, the table itself being on the north side, Exodus 26:35; 40:22.

(Odkazy: Exodus 27:11-13, 27:14, Exodus 38:9-13)


Here also positions were determined according to the four quarters. That is to say, they encamped around the Tent of Meeting, with the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun towards the east; the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad towards the south; the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin towards the west; and the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali towards the north, Numbers 2:1- end. In addition to this, the Levites encamped with the Gershonites towards the west, the Kohathites towards the south, the Merarites towards the north; and Moses, Aaron and his sons in front of the Tabernacle towards the east, Numbers 3:23-38. In this way the heavenly order which in the Lord's kingdom exists in accordance with states of good and truth was represented. Towards the south side also they were to sound the call for them to begin their journeys, Numbers 10:6. And even as they took up specific positions when they encamped, so they did when they journeyed, Numbers 2:34.

(Odkazy: Numbers 2)


First Moses described its border lands - those indeed in the south, those in the west, those in the north, and those in the east, Numbers 34:2-12, as they were again described when the land had been apportioned to the tribes by lot, in Joshua 15 Chapters-19 of Joshua. From these circumstances, and also from the most ancient people who dwelt in the land of Canaan, all places in that land became representatives and meaningful signs determined by their position, distance, and boundaries in relation to the four quarters, 1607, 1866.

(Odkazy: Joshua 16:1, 17:1, 18:1)


These also are described in Ezekiel in relation to the four quarters. The structure of the city, for example, started from the south. When dealing with the gateway to the building he says that its sides faced towards the east, towards the north, and towards the south, Ezekiel 40:2, 6, 19, 20-46. When dealing with the measurement of the Temple, he says that its doors looked towards the north and the south, Ezekiel 41:11, while the outer court looked towards the north, the east, the south, and the west, Ezekiel 42:1, 4, 11, 16-19. He also says that the glory of Jehovah the God of Israel came in from the way of the east, Ezekiel 43:1-2, 4. The gates to the outer court are dealt with in Ezekiel 44:1-2, 4; 46:1, 9, 10, 19, 20; and the boundaries of the Holy Land in Chapter 47 - towards the north in verses 15-17, towards the east in verse 18, towards the south in verse 19, towards the west in verse 20; while Chapter 48 specifies in relation to the four quarters the territories allotted to each tribe. And in the description of the Holy Jerusalem it is said that the gates were on the east, north, south, and west, Revelation 21:13. From these references it is quite evident that the four quarters of the world in relation to which those holy things, or representatives of what is holy, were arrayed do not mean in the internal sense the four quarters but states of good and truth within the Lord's kingdom.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 40:19-46, 41:1-2, 41:4, 42:10-11, 42:17-20, 43:2, 44:1, 44:2, 44:9-10, 44:19-20, 47:5-17, 47:15-17, 47:18, 47:19, 47:20, 48:1)

[18] In the contrary sense 'the north' and 'the west' mean falsity and evil, as may be seen from the following places: In Jeremiah,

The word of Jehovah came to me a second time, saying, What do you see? I said, I am seeing an open pot with it's face towards the north. And Jehovah said, From the north evil will be opened over all the inhabitants of the land. Lo, I am calling all the families of the north to come. Jeremiah 1:13-15.

In the same prophet,

Set up a standard towards Zion; assemble, stay not, for I am bringing evil from the north, and a great destruction. Jeremiah 4:6.

In the same prophet,

The sound of crashing; behold, it is coming, and a great commotion out of the land of the north to reduce the cities of Judah into a waste. Jeremiah 10:22.

In the same prophet,

In Tekoa sound the trumpet, for evil stares from the north, and great destruction. Behold, a people coming from the land of the north, a mighty nation will be stirred up from the furthest parts of the earth. Jeremiah 6:1, 22.

In the same prophet,

I took the cup from Jehovah's hand and made all the nations drink it - Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and its kings, Pharaoh king of Egypt, and the whole western crowd; all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the west, dwelling in the wilderness, and all the kings of the north, far and near. Jeremiah 25:17-26.

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 25:17-20, 25:24, 25:26)

[19] In the same prophet,

The swift will not flee away, nor the strong man escape. Northwards on the bank of the River Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. Who is this coming up like a river? Egypt comes up like the river, for he said, I will go up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city and those who dwell in it. But that day is to the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth a day of vengeance - for the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth holds a sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates. A very beautiful heifer is Egypt, but destruction from the north has come. The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame; she has been delivered into the hand of a people from the north. Jeremiah 46:6-10, 20, 24.

In the same prophet,

Thus said Jehovah, Behold, waters rising out of the north which are like a deluging stream, and they will deluge the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. Jeremiah 47:2.

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 46:6-8, 46:10)

[20] In the same prophet,

[The word which] Jehovah spoke against Babel: There will come up against her a nation from the north, which will make her land a desolation so that none may dwell in it. Jeremiah 50:1, 3.

In the same prophet,

Behold, I am stirring up and bringing up against Babel an assembly of great nations out of the north land, and they will array themselves against her; from there she will be taken. Behold, a people coming out of the north, a mighty nation, and many kings will be stirred up from the furthest parts of the earth. Jeremiah 50:9, 41.

In the same prophet,

Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, will sing over Babel, because those who lay waste will come out of the north. Jeremiah 51:48.

In Ezekiel,

Say to Gog, You will come out of your place from the furthest parts of the north, you and many peoples with you. You will come up against My people Israel, like a cloud to cover the land. Ezekiel 38:14-16.

In the same prophet,

Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince. I will make you turn back and will split you into six, and make you come up from the furthest parts of the north and bring you onto the mountains of Israel. On the mountains of Israel you will fall. On the surface of the field you will fall. Ezekiel 39:1-2, 4-5.

In Zechariah,

Ho! Flee from the land of the north, says Jehovah, for like the four winds of the heavens I will spread you abroad. Ho, Zion! escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babel. Zechariah 2:6-7.

[21] These quotations show what 'the north' means in the contrary sense, namely falsity which is the source of evil, or falsity which is the result of evil. Because falsity which is the source of evil originates in reasoning about Divine things and against Divine things, which reasoning is based on factual knowledge belonging to the natural man, it is called 'a people from the north out of Egypt' - 'Egypt' meaning such factual knowledge, see 1164, 1165, 2588 (end). And because falsity which is the result of evil originates in worship which to outward appearance is holy but interiorly is unholy, it is called 'a nation from the north out of Babel' - 'Babel' meaning such, see 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, as well as that which lays waste, 1327. Both types of falsity - that which is the source of evil, and that which is the result of evil - are said to come out of Gog, for 'Gog' is worship consisting in external observances devoid of anything internal, which is idolatrous worship, as at all times was that of the Jews. That 'Gog' means such worship, see 1151.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, 1321-1322)

[22] Out of the obscurity in which the natural man dwells either truth can arise or falsity can do so. When anyone allows himself to be enlightened by means of the Word from the Lord his obscurity is turned into brightness, for the internal path is opened and so influx and communication from the Lord by way of heaven takes place. But when he does not allow himself to be enlightened by means of the Word from the Lord, but by his own intelligence, his obscurity is turned into darkness and so into falsity, for the internal path is closed and no influx and communication from the Lord by way of heaven takes place, apart from such as enables him to be seen outwardly to be human, when he thinks and so speaks from evil and falsity. This is why 'the north' means truth with those who allow themselves to be enlightened, falsity with those who do not. For the former come up from obscurity, that is, they are raised up to light, but the latter go down from obscurity, that is, remove themselves from light. The former are accordingly brought into [the light of] the south, the latter into [the gloom of] Tartarus.

[23] The fact that 'the north' means the thick darkness of falsity and 'the south' the light of truth is quite evident in Daniel where the ram and the he-goat are the subject, and also where the king of the south and the king of the north are. Referring to the ram and the he-goat it is said that the ram butted with his horns towards the west and towards the north and towards the south, so that none of the beasts could stand before him, and that a he-goat came from the west across the surface of the whole earth, and out of one of his horns there came forth a [little] horn which grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the glorious [land], Daniel 8:4-5, 9. And referring to the king of the south and the king of the north in the place where 'the king of the south' means those possessing cognitions of truth, and 'the king of the north' those who are governed by falsity, it is said that

After some years they will make an alliance, as a result of which the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to negotiate equitable terms but her arm will not gain strength. One will rise from that stem who will enter into the fortress of the king of the north and will prevail and will carry [the gods] they have captured into Egypt. The king of the south will come into the kingdom and fight with the king of the north, and the king of the north will return and raise a multitude greater than the former. Many will stand up against the king of the south. The king of the north will come and take the fortified city and destroy much. The king of the south will be stirred up to battle with a great army, but he will not stand, for they will devise plots against him. After that he will return, but it will not be as previously. The people consisting of those who know their God will stand firm. At length, at the time of the end, the king of the south will clash with him; therefore the king of the north will rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen. In the glorious land many will fall. But rumours will terrify him from the east and from the north, so that he goes forth with great fury. He will come to his end, with none to help him. Daniel 11:1-end.

The fact that 'the king of the south' means those who dwell in the light of truth, 'the king of the north' those who first dwell in shade and then in the thick darkness of falsity, may become clear from the details in that chapter. So it is a description of how the state of the Church is in course of time perverted. They are called kings of the south and of the north because 'kings' in the internal sense of the Word means truths, and in the contrary sense falsities, 1672, 2015, 2069, while 'kingdoms' means things that belong to truth, and in the contrary sense those that belong to falsity, 1672, 2547.


1. literally, city of habitation

2. i.e. the south


(Odkazy: Daniel 11, 11:6-45; Exodus 38:9-13; Genesis 28:14)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4060, 4769, 4818, 5215, 5643, 5672, 7679, 9042, 9340, 9341, 9648, 9653, 9684, 9685, 9758, 9760, 9927, 10061, 10105, 10134, 10179, 10189, 10227

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 246

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 130, 179, 277

Other New Christian Commentary

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