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Ezekiel 1

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1 Now it happened in the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

2 In the fifth [day] of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,

3 the word of Yahweh came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Yahweh was there on him.

4 I looked, and behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with flashing lightning, and a brightness around it, and out of its midst as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire.

5 Out of its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. This was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.

6 Everyone had four faces, and each one of them had four wings.

7 Their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like burnished brass.

8 They had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and the four of them had their faces and their wings [thus]:

9 their wings were joined one to another; they didn't turn when they went; each one went straight forward.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side; and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side; the four of them also had the face of an eagle.

11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above. Two wings of each one touched another, and two covered their bodies.

12 Each one went straight forward: where the spirit was to go, they went; they didn't turn when they went.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: [the fire] went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

14 The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 Now as I saw the living creatures, behold, one wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces of it.

16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like a beryl: and the four of them had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel.

17 When they went, they went in their four directions: they didn't turn when they went.

18 As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and the four of them had their rims full of eyes all around.

19 When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.

20 Wherever the spirit was to go, they went; there was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

22 Over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the awesome crystal to look on, stretched forth over their heads above.

23 Under the expanse were their wings straight, the one toward the other: each one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies.

24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of an army: when they stood, they let down their wings.

25 There was a voice above the expanse that was over their heads: when they stood, they let down their wings.

26 Above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and on the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man on it above.

27 I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it all around, from the appearance of his waist and upward; and from the appearance of his waist and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.

28 As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh. When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke.

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 9457, 9509

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 322, 945

Conjugial Love 26

The Lord 52

Sacred Scripture 97

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 124


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 49, 425, 908, 934, 1042, 1992, 2162, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 14, 49, 239, 245, 466, 614, 629, ...

Divine Providence 134

Doctrine of the Lord 48

True Christian Religion 157, 260


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 69, 70, 77, 239, 253, 277, 279, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 60

Spiritual Experiences 255

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 22, 52

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Word/Phrase Explanations

thirtieth
'Thirty' has a twofold significance because it is is the product of five and six, and also three and ten. From five multiplied by six,...

fourth
'The fourth watch' signifies the first state of the church at break of day, when good begins to act by truth.

month
'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...

fifth
Five also signifies all things of one part.

river
'Rivers' signify truths in abundance serving the rational self, and so, the understanding, for the purpose of doctrine and life. 'Rivers' or 'floods' signify temptations....

heavens
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

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

saw
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...

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

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

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

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

son
'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...

chaldeans
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...

Stormy wind
'A stormy wind' and 'an overflowing shower,' as in Ezekiel 13:11-13, signify the desolation of falsity.

Wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

North
'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...

great
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;...

cloud
In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

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

four
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

living
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

living creatures
Animals in general represent our spiritual activity, the things we do on a spiritual level. This can mean forming thoughts, ideas, intellectual concepts; it can...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

four wings
By the four wings, as of a fowl, on the back of the third beast, signifies confirmations of falsity.

wings
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

feet
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

calf
Calves of the lips (Hos 14:2) are confessions from the affection of truth.

brass
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.

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

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

turn
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...

face
“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...

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

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

eagle
Eagle wings, referred to in Daniel 7:3, signify rational principles grounded in man's proprium.

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

touched
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

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

go
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...

burning
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...

coals
Coals of fire being scattered over the cities (Ezek. 10:1, 7), signify that men were to be left to their wild lusts, rather than they...

lightning
'Lightning' is the radiance and brilliance of God's truth.

returned
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...

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

wheels
'Wheels,' as in Exodus 14:25, signify the power of proceeding and divine intelligence. 'Wheels,' as in Isaiah 5:28, signify the doctrine of natural truth. 'Wheels,'...

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

Beryl
'Beryl,' as in Daniel 10:6, signifies the good of charity and faith. Beryl is a sparkling precious stone.

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

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

stood
'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

expanse
The firmament, as in Genesis 1, signifies the internal man. The firmament of heaven is mutual love.

stretched
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

heard
'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...

noise
'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,...

noise of their wings
'The voice of wings,' as in Revelation 9:9, signifies rationalizations, because 'to fly' signifies perceiving and instructing.

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

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

almighty
'Shaddai,' as in Genesis 43:14, signifies temptation, and consolation after temptation. This is because the ancients called the one and only God by various names...

throne
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

sapphire
'Precious stones,' in application to the Word, symbolizes the Divine truth of the Word in its literal sense which the Divine truth in its spiritual...

Sapphire stone
A sapphire stone is the quality of the literal sense of the Word, when the internal sense is perceived in it.

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

day
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...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

fell
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...

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

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 Ezekiel's Vision
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
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 Ezekiel’s Vision (3-5 years)
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 Ezekiel’s Vision (6-8 years)
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 Ezekiel’s Vision (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel
Project | Ages 7 - 17

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Apocalypse Explained # 239

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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239. And blind and naked, signifies that they are without the understanding of truth, and without the understanding and will of good. This is evident from the signification of "blind," as being those who are without the understanding of truth (of which presently); and from the signification of "naked," as being those who are without the will of good, and thus without the understanding of it (of which presently). That those who are in the doctrine of faith alone and of justification by faith are without the understanding of truth, can be seen from this, that faith alone, or faith apart from charity, has its seat altogether in the memory, with nothing of it in the understanding; those, therefore, who are in it withdraw the understanding from matters of faith, saying that these must be believed, and that the understanding has nothing to do with matters of faith; thus they can say whatsoever they wish, even if most false, provided they know how to adduce something in proof of it from the sense of the letter of the Word, the spiritual sense of which they know nothing about; in this there lurks something like the decree of the popes, which is that all should hang on their mouth; thus persuading the people that they know and see, when yet they see nothing. Those, therefore, who do not see, that is, understand the things they believe, are "blind." And in consequence of this also they are unable to perfect the life by means of the things pertaining to faith; for the understanding is the way to man's life; by no other way can man become spiritual. All who are in heaven see truths with the understanding, and thus receive them; but what they do not see with the understanding they do not receive; and if anyone says to them that they must have faith, although they do not see or understand, they turn away, saying, "How can this be? I believe what I see or understand; but I am unable to believe what I do not see or understand; such things may be falsities that destroy spiritual life."

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 1:5-6; Revelation 3:17)


[2] That those who are in the doctrine of faith alone and justification by faith are without the understanding of good, because they are without the will of good, can be seen from this, that they know nothing whatever about charity towards the neighbor, consequently nothing about good; for all spiritual good is from charity, and there is nothing without charity; consequently those who separate faith from charity, saying that charity contributes nothing to salvation, but only faith, are altogether ignorant of what good is because they are ignorant of what charity is, and yet spiritual good and the affection of it that is called charity is the spiritual life of man, and without it there is no faith. From this it is clear that such are without the understanding of good. And this is in consequence of their being without the will of good, for the reason that they declare themselves to be righteous [just] or to have been made righteous [justified] when they have faith; and by "justified" they mean not to be condemned on account of anything that they think and will, since they have been reconciled to God; consequently they believe, because it follows by connection with their principle, that the evil equally with the good are saved if only they receive faith, even if this should be in the last hours of life. The mysteries of this doctrine consist in this, that they speak of progressive steps of justification that are not from anything of man's life, or from his affection of charity, but are from mere faith in the reconciliation of God the Father through the Son, which faith they call confidence or trust, and saving faith itself; not knowing that where there is nothing of charity there can be nothing of spiritual life. That which is interiorly perceived or is manifest in their confidence, still has nothing in it derived from spiritual affection, but only from natural thought about happiness or about escape from damnation.

[3] Moreover, those who know nothing about the good of charity have no will of good, and those who know nothing about this good know nothing about evil, for good discloses evil, consequently such persons cannot examine themselves, see their evils, and thus shun them and reject them. They therefore relax all restraints on their thought and their will, only being careful on account of the laws, the loss of fame, of honor, of gain, and of life, to avoid evil doings. And for this reason when such persons become spirits and these fears are taken away from them, they associate themselves with devils, for they think and will as devils do, because they so thought in the world; for it is the spirit in man that thinks. But it is otherwise with those who have lived a life of charity.

(Odkazy: Exodus 25:22)


[4] Again, those who believe that they have been justified by faith alone, are of the opinion that they are led by God, and therefore that what they do is good, saying, that all good is from God, and nothing from man, and that otherwise good would be meritorious. They do not know that there ought to be reception on man's part, and that reception is not possible unless man gives heed to his thoughts and intentions, and thence to his deeds; and then refrains from evils and does good, which is done when he has regard for the truths that he knows from the Word, and lives according to them. Unless man does this, there is nothing reciprocal, and therefore no reformation: and of what other use are the precepts of the Lord in the Word? That man is able to do this is also from the Lord, for every man has this faculty from the Lord's Divine presence, and His will that there be reception. In a word, unless man receives in the understanding and will, that is, in the thought and affection, or what is the same, in faith and love, there is no reception on his part, consequently no conjunction with the Lord. Everyone knows that the Lord is continually present with good, and desires to be received, but He cannot flow in when all restraints on the thoughts are cast off; He can flow in only when the thoughts and intentions which are from lust are held in check by truths from the Word.

[5] That the Lord is continually present with good, and desires to be received, He teaches in the following words of this chapter, where he says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone will hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). "Opening the door" is reception on man's part, as has just been said. The Lord teaches the same elsewhere in the Word.

As in John:

He that loveth Me keepeth My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My words (John 14:23-24).

In Matthew:

He that is sown in the good earth, this is he that heareth the Word and understandeth it, who beareth fruit and bringeth forth (Matthew 13:23).

In Mark:

Those are they that were sown upon the good ground, such as hear the Word and receive, and bear fruit (Mark 4:20).

As it is reception by man that conjoins him to the Lord, and thus makes him spiritual, so when the Lord said these things He cried saying:

He that hath ears to hear let him hear (Matthew 13:9; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8).

[6] That "the blind" signify those who are in no understanding of truth, and that "the naked" signify those who are in no understanding of good, because they are in no will of good, is evident from many passages in the Word, which I will here cite, so also that it can be seen that the Word in its bosom is spiritual, while in the letter it is natural, consequently that the sense of the letter of the Word, which is natural, has a spiritual sense treasured up within it. That "the blind" signify those who are in no understanding of truth, is clear from the following passages in Isaiah:

And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness, and out of darkness (Isaiah 29:18).

In this passage, the restoration of the church is treated of, and "the deaf who shall hear the words of the book" mean those who are willing to obey truths, and thus to live a life of good, but are not able because they have not the Word, and "the blind whose eyes shall see in thick darkness, and in darkness," means that those who are in no understanding of truth because in ignorance, are then to understand. It plainly does not refer to the deaf and blind.

[7] In the same:

Behold your God will come for vengeance, for the retribution of God will He come, and will save you; then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened; waters shall break out in the wilderness, and rivers in the plain of the desert (Isaiah 35:4-6).

These things are said of the Lord's coming, that then those will be saved who believe in Him. That those who are in no understanding of truth will then understand, is signified by "the eyes of the blind shall be opened;" and that those who are in no perception and will of good shall then obey and live in good, is signified by "the ears of the deaf shall be opened;" therefore it is said "waters shall break out in the wilderness, and rivers in the plain of the desert;" "wilderness" signifying where there is no good because there is no truth, "waters" truths, and "rivers" intelligence derived from truths.

[8] In the same:

I will give thee for a covenant to the people, for a light of the nations, to open the blind eyes, to lead forth him that is bound out of prison. I am Jehovah; that is My name; and My glory will I not give to another (Isaiah 42:6-8).

These things also are said of the Lord, and of the establishment of a church by Him among the Gentiles. That those who before have been in ignorance are then to understand truths is signified by "the blind eyes which He will open;" and that they are to be led out of ignorance and falsities is signified by "He will bring him that is bound out of prison. " That the Divine Itself would assume a human is meant by "I am Jehovah; that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another."

[9] In the same:

I will cause the blind to go in a way that they have not known; I will lead them into paths that they have not known; I will make their darkness light (Isaiah 42:16).

Here also "the blind" are those who are in no understanding of truth; the truths and goods of truth that they are to receive are signified by "they will be caused to go a way and into paths that they have not known;" the dispersion of the falsity of ignorance and illustration are signified by "I will make their darkness light."

[10] In the same:

I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth; everyone that is called by My name. I have created him; I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears (Isaiah 43:5-8).

These things also are said of the establishment by the Lord of a church among the Gentiles; "to bring seed from the east, the west, the north, and the south," means all of whatsoever religion; for "east" and "west" signify where the good of love is clear and obscure; and "north" and "south" where the truth of faith is in obscurity and where it is in clearness. Here those who are in obscurity from ignorance are meant, for it is said, "Bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth;" those who receive truths are called "sons" and those who receive goods are called "daughters;" "from far," and "from the end of the earth," signify those who are remote from the truths and goods of the church. That all will be received and reformed by the Lord who acknowledge Him, is signified by "I have created, have formed, and have made everyone called by My name." These are here meant by "the blind who have eyes," and by "the deaf who have ears."

[11] In the same:

Hoping 1 for light, but we behold darkness; in thick darkness we walk, we grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as they that have no eyes, we stumble in the noonday as in twilight, among the living we are as dead (Isaiah 59:9, 10).

Here likewise "the blind" stand for those who are in no understanding of truth; "darkness" and "thick darkness" mean falsities; "to stumble in the noonday as in twilight" is to go astray in falsities, although able to be in light from the Word.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 59:9-10)


[12] In the same:

His watchmen are all blind; and they are shepherds who know not to understand (Isaiah 56:10, 11).

Here again "the blind" stand for those who do not understand truths, although they have the Word; "the blind" evidently signify such, for it is said "they know not" and "know not to understand."

(Odkazy: Isaiah 56:10-11)


[13] In Jeremiah:

I bring them from the land of the north, among them the blind and the lame; with weeping they shall come, and with prayers I will bring them; I will lead them to the fountains of waters in the way of straightness (Jeremiah 31:8, 9).

"The land of the north" is where the falsity of ignorance prevails; those who are in it are called "blind;" that these are to be led to truths is meant by "I will lead them to fountains of waters in the way of straightness."

(Odkazy: Jeremiah 31:8-9)


[14] In Lamentations:

Jehovah hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath devoured the foundation's thereof, because of the sins of her prophets, the iniquities of her priests; they have wandered as blind men in the streets, they were polluted with blood, the things that they cannot, they touch with their garments (Lamentations 4:11, 13, 14).

"Zion" is the church; the "fire that will devour her foundations" is the love of self which will disperse all the knowledges of truth; the sins of the prophets," and "the iniquities of the priests," are the perversions of those who teach what is true and good; that they will on this account understand nothing of truth is signified by their "wandering as blind men in the streets." The "blood with which they were polluted" is the falsification of the truth and the adulteration of the good in the Word; the profanation of good and of truth therefrom by evils and falsities is meant by "the things that they cannot, they touch with their garments."

(Odkazy: Lamentations 4:13-14)


[15] In Zechariah:

In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment and the horseman with madness; I will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness (Zechariah 12:4). "Horse" signifies the intellectual "horseman" one that is intelligent. This makes clear what is signified by "smiting every horse with astonishment," "every horse of the peoples with blindness," "the horseman with madness." (That "horse" signifies the intellectual, in The small work on The White Horse 1.)

(Odkazy: The White Horse 1-6)


[16] In David:

Jehovah looseth the bound, Jehovah openeth [the eyes of] the blind (Psalms 146:7-8).

Those are called "bound" who are in falsities and long to be loosed from them; "the blind" are those who on this account are not in the understanding of truth; "to open their eyes" is to make them understand.

[17] In John:

Isaiah said, He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they may not see with their eyes and understand with the heart (John 12:39-40).

"To blind the eyes that they may not see with their eyes" signifies evidently not to understand truths.

(Odkazy: John 12:40)


[18] In the same:

Jesus said, For judgment came I unto this world, that they who see not may see, and that they who see may become blind. They said, Are we blind then? Jesus said, If ye were blind ye would not have sin; but now ye say, We see, therefore your sin remaineth (John 9:39-41).

"They who see not" mean those who are outside of the church and do not know truths because they have not the Word, thus the Gentiles; but "they who see" mean those who are within the church and have the Word, thus the Jews; of these it is said that "they shall become blind;" but of the former, that "they shall see." It is said that "their sin remaineth" because they say that they are not blind but see, for the reason that they are in the church where the Word is, and yet are not willing to see and acknowledge truths, nor, consequently, the Lord. On this account the Scribes and Pharisees among the Jews were called by the Lord:

Blind guides of the blind (Matthew 15:14; Luke 6:39).

Also blind guides, fools, and foolish (Matthew 23:16-17, 19, 24).

[19] In John:

Jesus seeth a man blind from birth. He said to the disciples, while I am in the world I am the light of the world. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said, Go and wash thee in the pool of Siloam. He went away therefore and washed himself, and came seeing (John 9:1, 5-7).

Why the Lord did this no one understands unless he knows the internal or spiritual sense of the Word; in that sense, by "a man blind from birth" those are meant who are born outside of the church and who therefore could not know anything about the Lord, or be taught out of the Word. "The clay that the Lord made from spittle on the ground" signifies reformation by means of truths from the sense of the letter of the Word; "the ground" is the church where the Word is; "clay" is the ultimate Divine forming; "anointing the eyes of the blind with it" is to give thereby the understanding of truth; "the pool of Siloam" also signifies the Word in the letter; "to be washed there" is to be purified from falsities and evils. That this is what is meant by it has been hitherto concealed. (That "ground" signifies the church, see Arcana Coelestia 566, 10570; that "clay" signifies good from which is truth, thus good forming, n. 1300, 6669; that "the pool of Siloam" signifies the Word in the sense of the letter, is evident in Isaiah 8:6; and that "the pools" that were in Jerusalem in general signify this, Isaiah 22:9, 11)

[20] In Mark:

Jesus cometh to Bethsaida; where they bring to Him a blind man and beseech Him to touch him. And He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and spitting on his eyes, He asked him if he saw aught. And looking up, he said, I see trees as men 2 walking. After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up; then he was restored, and saw all clearly (Mark 8:22-27).

What these words involve cannot be known except from the internal or spiritual sense of the Word; he who does not understand this sees nothing except that these things were done, and his thought about it will perhaps be merely sensual; but all things that the Lord spoke and all things that He did in the world contained spiritual things in order from things highest to the ultimates, thus in fullness as do all miracles and the accounts of them. The "blind" whom the Lord restored to sight signified the spiritually blind, who are those that do not know and understand truths. The blind man here was "led out of the town" of Bethsaida, because "Bethsaida" signified damnation, on account of its not receiving the Lord; "spitting on his eyes" has the same signification as "making clay of the spittle," before; that He then touched his eyes signifies that he was illustrated from the Divine; then the blind man at first "saw trees as men walking," which signifies common and obscure perception of truth from the sense of the letter, "trees" signifying knowledges, and "to walk" signifying to live. "His seeing all clearly" after he was touched by the Lord, signifies that after instruction and illustration from the Lord he understood truths; this meaning is in these words and this meaning is perceived by the angels. (That the town "Bethsaida" signifies damnation on account of its not receiving the Lord, is clear from Matthew 11:21, and Luke 10:13; that "touch" signifies communication and transference, but here illustration, because the eyes were touched, see above, n. 79. That "trees" signify knowledges, see Arcana Coelestia 2722, 2972, 7692; that "to walk" signifies to live, see n. 519, 1794, 8417, 8420; and above, n. 97.)

(Odkazy: Mark 8:22-25; The Apocalypse Explained 79, 97)


[21] Moreover, by all "the blind" whom the Lord healed those were meant who are in ignorance, and who receive Him and are illustrated by Him through the Word; and in general all the Lord's miracles signify such things as are of heaven and the church, thus spiritual things; from this it is that His miracles were Divine, for it is Divine to act from firsts and to present these in ultimates. From this it is clear what was signified by "the blind" whom the Lord healed (about whom see Matthew 9:27-31; 12:22; 20:29-34; 21:14; Mark 10:46-52 to end; Luke 7:21-23; 18:35-43).

[22] As "the blind" signify those who are not in the knowledges of truth, and who therefore are not in any understanding of truth, therefore it was among the laws and statutes given to the sons of Israel:

That no one blind of the sons of Aaron or of the Levites should approach to offer the bread of his God, that is, to offer sacrifice (Leviticus 21:18).

Also that anything blind should not be offered (Leviticus 22:22; Deuteronomy 15:21).

Likewise that a stumbling-block should not be placed before one blind (Leviticus 19:14).

And that he should be cursed who made the blind to go astray from the way (Deuteronomy 27:18).

These laws were enacted because the church instituted among the sons of Israel was a representative church, in which all things represented spiritual things because they corresponded to them. Therefore also the following curse is pronounced upon those who do not keep the commandments, in Moses:

If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of thy God, to observe to do all His commandments. Jehovah shall smite thee with madness and blindness and astonishment of heart; that thou mayest grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in thick darkness (Deuteronomy 28:15, 28-29).

This also means that those shall be smitten with spiritual blindness and astonishment who do not hearken to the voice of the Lord by doing those things that He has commanded in the Word. Spiritual blindness of the eyes and spiritual astonishment of the heart mean no understanding of the truth and no will of good; "to grope at noonday" is to be such in the church, where the light of truth is given through the Word. (That "noonday" signifies where truth is in light, see Arcana Coelestia 9642; and in the work on Heaven and Hell 148, 149, 151.)

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Footnotes:

1.  For "hoping" the Hebrew has "we hope."

2.  For "trees as men" the Greek has "men as trees."

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(Odkazy: Heaven and Hell 148-149; John 12:40; Mark 8:22-25; Revelation 3:17)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 226, 242, 243

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 Quotes: Healing Our Blindness
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Man Born Blind
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Man Born Blind
In what way might a person who bases their thinking only on the material world be "blind?" Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." Explore ways in which revealed truth gives spiritual sight.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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