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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...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 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.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Ezekiel’s Vision (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Ezekiel’s Vision (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 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 # 279

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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279. And the second animal like a calf, signifies the appearance in ultimates of Divine good in respect to protection. This is evident from the signification of a "calf," or "bullock," as being the good of the natural man, and specifically his good of innocence and charity; and because it is the good of the natural man it also is the good of the lowest heaven, for this heaven is spiritual natural (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 29-31); and as this good is there, there is a guard or protection that the higher heavens be not approached except through the good of love and charity; this is why one cherub was like a calf. That this appearance was in ultimates, see just above n. 278. A "calf" or "bullock" signifies the good of the natural man, because animals from the herd signified the affections of good and truth in the external or natural man; and those from the flock signified the affections of good and truth in the internal or spiritual man. Those from the flock were lambs, she-goats, sheep, rams, and he-goats; those from the herd were oxen, bullocks, and calves.

(Odkazy: Revelation 4:7; The Apocalypse Explained 278)


[2] That "bullocks" and "calves" signify the good of the natural man is evident from the passages of the Word where they are mentioned. First from the description of the feet of the cherubim in Ezekiel:

Their foot was straight and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf's foot, and they sparkled like the appearance of burnished brass (Ezekiel 1:7).

Their foot thus appeared "straight" because the cherubim represented the Divine guard of the Lord, and the feet and the soles of the feet represented the same in ultimates or in the spiritual natural heaven and the natural world; for "feet" in general signify the natural; a "straight foot" the natural in respect to good; "the sole of the foot" the ultimate of the natural; "burnished brass" also signifies good in the natural. From this it is clear that good in the natural is signified by a "calf," and that in this is the ultimate good that guards and protects lest the heavens be approached except through the good of love and charity. (That "feet" signify the natural, see Arcana Coelestia 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 5327, 5328; that that which is to the right signifies good from which is truth, n. 9604, 9736, 10061; therefore a "straight foot" signifies the natural in respect to good. That "palms," "soles," and "hoofs," signify the ultimates in the natural, see n. 4938, 7729; and that "burnished brass" signifies natural good, see above, n. 70

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 5327-5328; The Apocalypse Explained 70)


[3] In Hosea:

Return ye to Jehovah; say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and accept good, and we will pay back the bullocks of our lips (Hosea 14:2).

What it is to "pay back the bullocks of the lips" no one can know unless he knows what "bullocks" and what "lips" signify; they mean evidently confession and thanksgiving from a good heart; but it is thus expressed because "bullocks" signify external good, and "lips" doctrine; therefore "paying back the bullocks of the lips" signifies to confess and give thanks from the goods of doctrine. (That "lips" signify doctrine, see Arcana Coelestia (Arcana Coelestia 1286), n. 1286, 1288.)

[4] In Amos:

Ye cause the habitation of violence to draw near; they lie upon beds of ivory, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall (Amos 5:3, 4).

Here those who have an abundance of the knowledges of good and truth and yet lead an evil life are treated of; "to eat the lambs out of the flock" signifies to imbibe the knowledges of internal good or of the spiritual man; and "to eat the calves out of the midst of the stall" signifies to imbibe the knowledges of external good or of the natural man; and "to cause the habitation of violence to draw near" is to live a life contrary to charity.

(Odkazy: Amos 6:3-4)


[5] In Malachi:

Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise and healing in His wings; that ye may go forth, and grow up as fatted calves (Malachi 4:2).

The "Sun of righteousness that shall arise to them that fear the name of Jehovah" signifies the good of love; and "healing in His wings" signifies the truth of faith; therefore "to go forth, and grow up as fatted calves," signifies the increase of all good, "fatted" and "fat" also signifying good.

[6] In Luke:

The father said of the prodigal son who returned penitent in heart, Bring forth the first robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it, that we may eat and be glad (Luke 15:22, 23).

He who is acquainted only with the sense of the letter believes that no deeper meaning is contained in this than appears in that sense, when yet every particular involves heavenly things; as that they should "put on him the first robe," that they should "put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet," that they should "bring forth the fatted calf, that they might eat and be merry." By "the prodigal son" those who are prodigal of spiritual riches, which are the knowledges of truth and good, are meant; "his returning to his father, and his confession that he was not worthy to be called his son," signifies penitence of heart and humiliation; "the first robe with which he was clothed," signifies general and primary truths; "the ring on the hand" signifies the conjunction of truth and good in the internal or spiritual man; "the shoes on the feet" signify the same in the external or natural man, and both signify regeneration; "the fatted calf" signifies the good of love and charity; and "to eat and be glad" signifies consociation and heavenly joy.

(Odkazy: Luke 15:22-23)


[7] In Jeremiah:

I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, who have not established the words of the covenant which they made before Me, that of the calf, which they cut in twain that they might pass between the parts thereof, the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the royal ministers and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf, I will even give them into the hands of their enemies, that their carcass may be for food to the bird of the heavens (Jeremiah 34:18-20).

What is meant by "the covenant of the calf," and by "passing between its parts," no one can know without knowing what a "covenant" signifies, and a "calf," and its being "cut in twain;" then what is meant by "the princes of Judah and Jerusalem," by "the royal ministers," "the priests," and "the people of the land." Some heavenly arcanum is evidently meant; and it can be understood when it is known that a "covenant" means conjunction; a "calf" good, a "calf cut in twain" good proceeding from the Lord on the one hand, and good received by man on the other, whence is conjunction; and that "the princes of Judah and of Jerusalem, the royal ministers, the priests, and the people of the land," mean the goods and truths of the church; and that "to pass between the parts" means to conjoin. When these things are known, the internal sense of these words can be seen, namely, that there was no conjunction by the goods and truths of the church with that nation, but disjunction.

[8] Like things are involved in the "covenant of the calf" with Abram, of which in Genesis:

Jehovah said to Abram, Take to thee an heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle dove, and a young pigeon. And he took him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each part over against the other; but the birds divided he not. And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses; and Abram drove them away. And the sun was at its going down, and a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and lo, a terror of great darkness fell upon him. And in that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram (Genesis 15:9-12, 18).

The "terror of great darkness" that fell upon Abram signified the state of the Jewish nation, which was in the greatest darkness in respect to the truths and goods of the church. This state of that nation is what is described in the prophet by "the covenant of the calf which they cut into two parts, between which they passed." Since a "calf" signifies the good of the natural man and its truth, which is knowledge [scientificum]; and since the natural man and its knowledge [scientificum] is signified by "Egypt," therefore in the Word Egypt is called a "she-calf," and a "he-calf;" moreover, when they applied the knowledges [scientifica] of the church to magical and idolatrous purposes they turned the calf into an idol; this was why the sons of Israel made to themselves a he-calf in the wilderness, and worshiped it, and also why they had a calf in Samaria.

[9] That Egypt was called a he-calf and a she-calf can be seen in Jeremiah:

A very fair she-calf is Egypt; destruction cometh out of the north, her hirelings in the midst of her are like he-calves of the stall (Jeremiah 46:20-21).

Respecting the calf that the sons of Israel made to themselves in the wilderness, see Exodus 32; and respecting the "calf of Samaria" (1 Kings 12:28-32), about which is the following in Hosea:

They have made a king, but not by Me; they have made princes, and I knew it not; of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. Thy calf, O Samaria, hath forsaken thee. For it was from Israel; the workman made it, and it is not God; the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces (Hosea 8:4-6).

This treats of the corrupt explanation of the Word, when the sense of its letter is turned to favor self-love, and the principles of religion derived therefrom. "They have made a king, but not by Me, and they have made princes, and I knew it not," signifies doctrines from self-intelligence, which in themselves are falsities, but which they make to appear as truths; for "king" signifies truth, and in a contrary sense, falsity; "princes" signify primary truths, or falsities, which are called principles of religion. "To make idols of their silver and their gold" signifies to pervert the truths and goods of the church, and still to worship them as holy, although as they are from self-intelligence they are destitute of life; "silver" is the truth, and "gold" the good, which are from the Lord; "idols" signify worship from doctrine that is from self-intelligence; "the workman made it, and it is not God," signifies that is from the selfhood [ex proprio], and not from the Divine; "to be broken in pieces" signifies to be dispersed; which makes clear what is signified by the "calf of Samaria." Because "calves" signified the good of the natural man, calves were also sacrificed (see Exodus 29:11, 12 seq.; Leviticus 4:3, 13; 8:15 seq.; 9:2; 16:3; 23:18; Numbers 8:8 seq.; 15:24; 28:19, 20; Judges 6:25-29; 1 Samuel 1:25; 16:2; 1 Kings 18:23-26, 33); for all the animals that were sacrificed signified the goods of the church of various kinds.

(Odkazy: Exodus 29:11-12, 32:1; Leviticus 8:14; Numbers 28:19-20; Revelation 4:7)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 276, 297, 370, 600, 1038

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 The Prodigal Son
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