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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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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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)
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 Ezekiel’s Vision (6-8 years)
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 Ezekiel’s Vision (9-11 years)
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 Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel
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Apocalypse Explained # 280

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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280. And the third animal had a face like a man, signifies the appearance in ultimates of the Divine guard and providence in respect to wisdom. This is evident from the signification of "the face of a man," as being the affection of truth, "face" signifying affection, and "man" the recipient of Divine truth; and because man's rational is from this, "man" signifies wisdom; for man was created that he might be rational and wise; by this he is distinguished from the brute animals; for this reason "man" in the Word signifies wisdom. "Man" signifies both the affection of truth and wisdom, because the affection of truth and wisdom act as one; for he who is in the spiritual affection of truth, that is, who is affected by truth, or who loves truth because it is truth, is conjoined to the Lord, since the Lord is in His own truths, and is His truth with man; from this man has wisdom, and from this it is that man is a man. Some suppose that man is a man by reason of his face and body, and that by these he is distinguished from beasts, but they are in an error; man is a man by reason of his wisdom, consequently so far as anyone is wise so far is he a man. Those, therefore, who are wise, appear in heaven and in the light of heaven as men, with a brightness and beauty according to their wisdom; while those who are not wise-which is true of those who are in no spiritual affection, but merely in natural affection, in which man is when he loves truth not because it is truth but because he thence receives glory, honor, and gain-these in the light of heaven appear not as men but as monsters in various forms (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 70, 72, 73-77, 80; and what wisdom is, and what non-wisdom is, n. 346-356).

(Odkazy: Revelation 4:7)

[2] That "man" in the Word signifies the affection of truth and wisdom therefrom, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Lord, how long? He said, until cities be devastated that they may be without inhabitant, and the houses that there may be no man in them, and the ground be devastated to a waste. Jehovah shall remove man, and forsaken places shall be multiplied in the midst of the land (Isaiah 6:11-12).

These things were not said of the devastation of the earth, that there should no longer be cities and houses therein, or that in these there should be no inhabitant or man, but they were said of the devastation of good and truth in the church; "cities" signifying the truths of doctrine; "inhabitant" the good of doctrine; "houses" the interiors of man which are of his mind; and "man" the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom therefrom. This is signified by "the houses shall be devastated, that there may be no man in them." The "land" that shall be devastated to a waste signifies the church. From this it is clear what is signified by "removing man," and by "multiplying the forsaken places in the midst of the land;" "a forsaken place" signifying where there is no good because there is no truth.

[3] In the same:

I will make a man [virum hominem] more rare than pure gold; and [the son of] man6 than the gold of Ophir (Isaiah 13:12).

A [son of] "man" [virum hominem] signifies intelligence, and "man" [hominem] wisdom, and that these were about to be at an end is signified by their being "made rare." Intelligence is distinguished from wisdom by this, that intelligence is the understanding of truth such as the spiritual man has, and wisdom is the understanding of truth such as the celestial man has, whose understanding is from the will of good. From this it is clear what is here signified by [son of] "man" [virum hominem], and what by "man" [hominem].

[4] In the same:

The inhabitants of the earth shall be burnt up, and few men shall be left (Isaiah 24:6).

The "inhabitants of the earth" signify the goods of the church, and these are said "to be burnt up" when the loves of self and of the world begin to rule; that the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom therefrom will then be at an end is signified by "few men will be left."

[5] In the same:

The highways have been laid waste; he that passeth through the way hath ceased; he hath made void the covenant, he hath rejected the cities, he regardeth not man (Isaiah 33:8).

This treats of the devastation of the church; "the highways that are laid waste" and "he that passeth through the way who hath ceased" signify that the goods and truths which lead to heaven are no more; "he hath made void the covenant" signifies no conjunction then with the Lord; "he hath rejected the cities" signifies that they spurn doctrine; "he regardeth not man" signifies that he makes no account of wisdom.

[6] In Jeremiah:

I saw the earth, when lo, it was void and empty; and towards the heavens, and their light was not. I saw, when lo there was no man, and all the fowl of the heavens were fled away (Jeremiah 4:23, 25).

This evidently does not mean the earth, that it was void and empty, nor the heavens that there was no light thence nor that there was not a man on the earth, nor that all the fowl of heaven were fled; what is really meant can be seen only from the spiritual sense of the Word. In that sense "earth" signifies the church; that it was "void and empty" signifies that there is no good and truth in the church; the "heavens," where there is no light, signify the interiors of man's mind which are the receptacles of the light of heaven; (the "light" that is not there is Divine truth and wisdom therefrom); therefore it is said, "I saw and lo there was no man"; the "fowl of heaven which were fled away" signify the rational and the intellectual.

[7] In the same:

Behold the days come, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast (Jeremiah 31:27).

"The house of Israel and the house of Judah" signify the church in respect to truth and in respect to good; "the seed of man and the seed of beast" signify the spiritual affection of truth and the natural affection of truth; for where "man and beast" are mentioned in the Word the spiritual and the natural or the internal and the external, are signified (see Arcana Coelestia 7424, 7523, 7872).

[8] In Zephaniah:

I will take away man and beast; I will take away the fowl of the heavens and the fishes of the sea; I will cut off man from the surfaces of the earth (Zephaniah 1:3).

"To take away man and beast" means to take away the spiritual affection of truth and the natural affection of truth; "to take away the fowl of the heavens and the fishes of the sea" means to take away spiritual truths and natural truths; and "to cut off man from the surfaces of the earth" means to cut off the affection of truth and wisdom.

[9] In Ezekiel:

Ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, ye are man; I am your God (Ezekiel 34:31).

The "flock of the pasture" signifies spiritual good and truth; the "pasture" is the reception of these from the Lord; it is therefore said, "ye are man, I am your God," "man" standing for the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom.

[10] In the same:

Behold, I am with you, and I will look unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown; then I will multiply man upon you, the whole house of Israel; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be builded. I will cause man to walk upon you, My people Israel. Thus the Lord Jehovah hath said, Because ye say, Thou hast been a devourer of man and a bereaver of thy peoples, therefore thou shalt devour man no more, and thy sword shall not bereave any more; the desolate cities shall be full of the flock of man (Ezekiel 36:9-14, 38).

The restoration of the church is here treated of; "Israel" signifies the spiritual church, or the church that is in spiritual good, which is the good of charity; this church is here called "man" from the spiritual affection of truth that makes the church; therefore it is said, "I will multiply man upon you, the whole house of Israel, and I will cause man to walk upon you, My people Israel." "The flock of man," of which "the desolate cities shall be full," signifies spiritual truths of which the doctrines of the church shall be full; "the sword which shall not bereave any more" signifies that falsity shalt no longer destroy truth.

[11] In the same:

Thy mother is a lioness, she lay down among lions; one of her whelps rose up, it learned to tear the prey, it devoured men (Ezekiel 19:2, 3, 8).

"Mother" means the church, here the church perverted; the falsity of evil destroying truth is signified by "the lioness lying down among lions;" "her whelp which learned to tear the prey and devoured men" signifies the primary falsity of their doctrine, which destroyed truths and consumed every affection of them. These things were said of the princes of Israel, by whom primary truths are signified, but here, in a contrary sense, primary falsities.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 19:2-3, Ezekiel 19:6)

[12] In Jeremiah:

Hazor shall become an abode of dragons, a waste even forever; a man [vir] shall not dwell there, nor a son of man [hominis] sojourn in her (Jeremiah 49:33).

The church that is in falsities and in no truths is here treated of; "Hazor" signifies the knowledges of truth; the knowledges of falsity are signified by "an abode of dragons;" that there is there no truth and no doctrine of truth is signified by "a man [vir] shall not dwell there, nor the son of man [hominis] sojourn in her," "man" meaning truth, and "the son of man" a doctrine of truth.

[13] In Revelation:

He measured the wall of the holy Jerusalem, a hundred and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is that of an angel (Revelation 21:17).

That this signifies, that "the wall of the holy Jerusalem was a hundred and forty-four cubits, and that this was the measure of a man, which is that of an angel," no one can understand unless he knows what is signified by "the holy Jerusalem," by its "wall," by the number "one hundred and forty-four," likewise by "man," and by "angel." "The holy Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine; "wall" signifies truth protecting; the number "one hundred and forty-four" signifies all truths from good in the complex; "man" signifies the reception of these from affection, and "angel" signifies the same; it is therefore said, "the measure of a man, which is that of an angel;" "measure" signifying quality. From this it is clear how these words are to be spiritually understood. (These things may be seen more clearly explained in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 1 .)

[14] Because "man" signifies the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom therefrom, "man" also signifies the church, because the church with man is a church from the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom therefrom. This makes clear what is meant by "Man" in the first chapters of Genesis, namely, the church that was the first of this earth and the most ancient; this is what is meant by "Adam," or "Man. " The establishment of this church is described in the first chapter by the creation of heaven and earth; its intelligence and wisdom by paradise; and its fall by the eating of the tree of knowledge.

[15] But in the highest sense, by "man" is meant the Lord Himself, since from Him are heaven and the church, and the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom with each one of those who constitute heaven and the church; therefore in the highest sense the Lord alone is man; and men in both worlds, spiritual and natural, are men so far as they receive from the Lord truth and good, thus so far as they love truth and live according to it. And from this also it is that the whole angelic heaven appears as one man, and also each society there; and moreover, that the angels appear in a perfect human form. (See further on this in the work on Heaven and Hell 59-67, 68-72, 73-77, 87-102)

[16] It was on this account that the four cherubim, which signify the guard and providence of the Lord that the higher heavens be not approached except through the good of love, were seen as men, although they each had four faces; and that the Lord was seen above them as a Man. That the four cherubim were seen as men is evident in Ezekiel:

This was the appearance of the four animals; they had the likeness of a man, but each one had four faces (Ezekiel 1:5-6).

Likewise the two cherubim upon the mercy-seat were in face like men. That the Lord was seen above the four cherubim as a man is also stated in the same prophet:

Above the expanse which was over the head of the cherubim was as it were the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne, and upon the likeness of the throne a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above (Ezekiel 1:26).

(Odkazy: Exodus 25:18-20; Ezekiel 19:6; Revelation 4:7)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 276, 297, 304, 315, 370, 405, 546, 554, 579, 589, 600, 676, 695, 768, 817, 846

Other New Christian Commentary

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