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

Doctrine of the Lord 52

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the 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

Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

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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Významy biblických slov

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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...

'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...

Five also signifies all things of one part.

'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....

"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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

The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

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

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

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

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...

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' 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...

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;...

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...

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

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...

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...

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

living creatures
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four wings
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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...

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

Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

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

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

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'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

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“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...

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

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

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

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...

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A live coal from the altar (Isa. 6:6), signifies divine love, from which all purification is derived.

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

There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

'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,'...

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'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,'...

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

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

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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...

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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....

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

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,...

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....

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

'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,...

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

'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...

'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 stone
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'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...

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...

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.

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...

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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Arcana Coelestia # 9407

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9407. 'There was so to speak a work of sapphire [stone]' means that it is translucent with inner truths on that level, and that all things in it are translucent from the Lord. This is clear from the meaning of 'a work of sapphire' as the character of the literal sense of the Word when the internal sense is discerned within it, that is, when Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, as it is in heaven, shines through it. For the Word is Divine Truth emanating from the Lord. In origin it is Divine, but as it passes through the heavens it is celestial in the inmost heaven, spiritual in the second or middle heaven, spiritual-natural in the first or lowest heaven, and natural and worldly in the world; this last is its character in the sense of the letter intended for people there. From this it is evident that the sense of the letter, which is the lowest in order, contains a spiritual and a celestial level of meaning, and inmostly the Divine Himself. And since these inner levels are contained in the lowest or literal sense and are seen by those who understand the Word in a spiritual manner, that sense is represented by 'a work of sapphire', which lets rays of heavenly light through, that is, which is translucent.

[2] To give some idea of that translucence, let human speech serve to illustrate it. Such speech has its origin in the end a person has in view which he wishes to make known through speech. This end is his love; for a person has what he loves as his end in view. From that end arises the person's thought, and finally his speech. Anyone who stops to think properly about this can see and discern the truth of it. The fact that the end is the primary component of speech is clear from the general rule that all intelligence has an end within it, and devoid of the end it is not intelligence. And everyone knows that thought is a secondary component arising from the first, for nobody can speak without thinking or think without having an end in view. The fact that spoken words ensue from this, and that these are the final component, which is properly called speech, is also well known. All this being so, when a person pays attention to what another utters he pays attention not to the words the speaker uses but to the meaning conveyed by them which is present in the speaker's thought. And one who is wise pays attention to the end in view that has given rise to the thought expressed in speech, that is, he pays attention to what the speaker's aims are and what it is he loves. These three components are present in human speech, in which the spoken words serve as the outward form.

[3] This comparison enables one to gain some idea regarding the Word in the letter. For those in heaven pay attention to the Word in the letter and perceive things there in exactly the same way as anyone is accustomed to perceive a person's thought as it presents itself in spoken words, or in the inmost heaven as anyone is accustomed to perceive a person's aims or end in view. But the difference is that when someone reads the sense of the letter of the Word this is not heard or understood in heaven, only the internal sense, because in heaven they perceive solely the spiritual and celestial levels of the Word, not the natural level of it. The one sense accordingly passes over into the other, for they correspond to each other and only things which have a correspondence have been used in the writing of the Word. All this shows what to understand when reference is made to the translucent nature of the Word, meant by 'a work of sapphire'.

[4] But a person who is unable to think on a higher level of understanding, that is, on a level altogether above material things, cannot grasp any of this, not even the idea that it is possible for a sense to exist in the Word other than the one perceived in the letter. If that person is told that the letter holds within itself a spiritual sense which has to do with truth, and that this in turn holds within itself a celestial sense which has to do with good, and also that these senses shine through the literal sense, he will be taken aback at first, then dismiss the idea as nonsense, and finally ridicule it. Actual experience has shown me that this is what people are like in the Christian world at the present day, especially the learned, and that those who reason against that truth boast of being wiser than those who uphold it. Yet the learning in earliest times, which were called golden and silver ages, had consisted in speaking and in writing in ways in which no attention was be paid to the literal meaning other than to enable hidden wisdom to shine through it, as becomes perfectly clear from the oldest books, including those by gentile authors, as well as from fragments in their languages. For their knowledge was primarily the knowledge of correspondences and the knowledge of representations, which forms of knowledge at the present day are some of those which have been lost.

[5] The reason why there appeared under the Lord's feet 'so to speak a work of sapphire' and why this means the translucence of the Word in the sense of the letter is that 'stone' in general means truth, and 'precious stone' truth shining through from what is Divine and the Lord's. For the meaning of 'stone' in general as truth, see 643, 1298, 3720, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3789, 3798, 6426, 8609, 8940-8942. As for 'precious stone' being truth shining through from what is Divine and the Lord's, this was meant by the twelve precious stones in Aaron's breastplate, which was called the Urim and Thummim, 3862, 6335, 6640.

[6] Something similar occurs in Ezekiel,

Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, you were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering - ruby, topaz, diamond, tarshish, shoham, and jasper, sapphire, chrysoprase, emerald, and gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and your pipes was within you; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were perfect in your ways on the day you were created. Ezekiel 28:12-13, 15.

This refers to Tyre, by which the Church in respect of interior cognitions or knowledge of truth and good is meant, 1201. Its intelligence and wisdom as these had been in its infancy or earliest period are described by those precious stones. 'The day you were created' means the first state when they were regenerated, for 'creation' in the Word means the regeneration or new creation of a person, 16, 88.

[7] Similar things are meant by 'the precious stones' in John,

The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:19-20.

This refers to the holy Jerusalem coming down from heaven, by which a new Church among gentile nations is meant, after the present-day Church in our European world has been laid waste. 'The precious stones that are its foundations' are God's truths shining through on the lowest level of order.

[8] God's truth shining through on the lowest level of order, which is the Word in the letter, is meant by 'sapphire' in particular, as in Isaiah,

O afflicted one and storm-tossed, and receiving no comfort! Behold, I am arranging your stones with antimony, and will lay your foundations in sapphires. Isaiah 54:11.

This too refers to the Church which will take the place of the former one, meant in verse 1 of that chapter by 'her that is desolate who is going to have more sons than the previously married one'. 'Arranging stones' stands for the Church's truths, 'foundations in sapphires' for truths shining through on lowest levels.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 54:1)

[9] 'Sapphire' is used with a similar meaning in Jeremiah,

Her Nazirites were brighter than snow, they were whiter than milk. Their bones 1 were ruddier than pearls, 2 polished like sapphire. 3 Lamentations 4:7.

'Nazirites' in the representative sense meant the Lord in respect of the Divine Natural, 3301, 6437, and therefore also Divine Truth emanating from Him as it exists on its lowest levels, that is, the Word in the sense of the letter. For 'the hair', which is implied by 'Nazirites' here, and is said to be 'brighter than snow and whiter than milk', means truth on its lowest levels, 3301, 5247, 5570, 'brightness' and 'whiteness' having reference to truth, 3301, 5319. 'Bones that were ruddy' means factual knowledge of truth, or truth on its lowest level, which acts as servant to all other levels, 6592, 8005, 'ruddiness' having reference to the good of love present in truths, 3300. From all this it is evident that 'sapphire' means truth on the lowest levels which is translucent with inner truths.

[10] In Ezekiel,

Above the expanse that was above the heads of the cherubs, in appearance like a sapphire stone, there was the likeness of a throne, and above the likeness of a throne there was the appearance of a man (homo) sitting upon it. Ezekiel 1:26; 10:1.

'The cherubs' are the Lord's protection and providence, guarding against access to Him except through good, 9277 (end). 'A throne over which there was the appearance of a man' is Divine Truth emanating from the Lord's Divine Good, 5313, 6397, 9039. From this it is evident that 'a sapphire stone' means truth translucent with inner truths; that is to say, 'a stone' means truth, and 'sapphire' translucence.

[11] The reason why all things of the Word are translucent with the Lord is that Divine Truth emanating from the Lord is the one and only source of everything there. For what is primary is the one and only vital element present in the things which follow and are derived from it, because they have their being in it and come into being from it; and the Divine Truth is the Lord. Here also lies the reason why the subject in the highest sense of the Word is the Lord alone, His love, providence, kingdom in heaven and on earth, and especially the glorification of His Human.

[12] The fact that the Divine Truth is the Lord Himself is evident from the consideration that whatever emanates from someone is the someone himself. What emanates for instance from a person when he speaks or acts originates in his will and understanding; and will and understanding constitute a person's life, thus the person himself. For the human being is not a human being by virtue of the shape of face and body but by virtue of an understanding that sees what is true and a will that intends what is good. From this it becomes clear that what emanates from the Lord is the Lord; and the fact that this is Divine Truth has been shown often in what has gone before.

[13] But anyone unacquainted with the arcana of heaven may suppose that the nature of Divine Truth which emanates from the Lord is no different from that of spoken words emanating from a human being. It is not spoken words however; rather It is the Divine filling the heavens, like light and heat from the sun filling the world. This may be illustrated by means of the spheres which emanate from the angels in heaven, dealt with in 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504-1520, 1695, 2401, 4464, 5179, 6206 (end), 6598-6613, 7454, 8063, 8630, 8794, 8797. In these places it has been shown and may be seen that they are spheres of the truth of faith and the good of love received from the Lord. But the Divine sphere which emanates from the Lord and is called Divine Truth spreads everywhere; as has been stated, it fills the whole of heaven and composes all of the life there. It appears before the eyes there as light, which enlightens not only angels' sight but also their minds. That same light is in addition what composes a person's understanding in the world. This is the meaning in John,

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. He was the true light which enlightens every person coming into the world. And the world was made by Him. John 1:4, 9-10.

These words refer to Divine Truth, which in this chapter is called 'the Word'; and Divine Truth or 'the Word' - it says - is the Lord Himself.

[14] That light, which is Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, was described by the ancients as radiating rings of golden hue around the head and body of God represented as a human being. For the ancients had no thought of God except of Him in human form.

[15] When a person is governed by good, and because of good is guided by truths, this person is raised to that Divine light, and - according to the amount and essential nature of the good - to interior light. This provides him with a general enlightenment in which the Lord enables him to see countless truths and to perceive them from good. At this time that person is led by the Lord to discern and absorb those which are suitable to him. He is led to do so as regards the most specific things, in keeping with order, so far as it contributes to his eternal life. The words 'as regards the most specific things' are used because the Lord's providence reigns universally, and it does so because it is present in the most specific things. For specific things are at the same called what is universal, 1919 (end), 6159, 6338, 6482, 6483, 8864, 8865.


1. i.e. bodies

2. In other places where Swedenborg quotes this verse he has rubies or gem stones.

3. literally, sapphire their polishing


(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 6482-6483, 8864-8865; Exodus 24:10)

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Odkazy z vydaných prací:

Arcana Coelestia 9410, 9467, 9548, 9571, 9643, 9684, 9868, 9905, 10044

Apocalypse Revealed 424

Heaven and Hell 86, 603

The White Horse 10, 13

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 49, 50, 259, 262, 277, 304, 306, 307

Odkazy z nepublikovaných prací E. Swedenborga:

Apocalypse Explained 28, 108, 196, 253, 270, 329, 543, 701, 717

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