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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

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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.
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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Arcana Coelestia # 9873

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9873. All this now makes clear what the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of judgement served to mean, namely all the kinds of good and truth of heaven in their proper order. Heaven is divided into two kingdoms, the celestial and the spiritual. The good of the celestial kingdom was represented by the first two rows, which were on the right side of the breastplate, and the good of the spiritual kingdom by the next two rows, which were on the left side. The internal good of the celestial kingdom is the good of love to the Lord; this is the good that is meant by the celestial love of good. The external good of the celestial kingdom however is the good of mutual love; this is the good that is meant by the celestial love of truth. But the internal good of the spiritual kingdom is the good of charity towards the neighbour; this is the good that is meant by the spiritual love of good. And the external good of the spiritual kingdom is the good of faith; this is the good that is meant by the spiritual love of truth. These kinds of good and truth in this order constitute the heavens, see 9468, 9473, 9680, 9683, 9780.

[2] From this it is now evident what the twelve stones, which were called the Urim and Thummim, represented. But in what way the Divine Truths which were answers were made known by means of them will be stated below in 9905. The fact that the good of love occupied the first place there and the truth of faith the last is clear from the first stone's being a ruby and the last's being a jasper, thus from the first stone's being red in colour, and the last's being white, both of them translucent. For the meaning of 'red' as the good of love, see 3300, 9467; and for that of 'white' as the truth of faith, 3301, 3993, 4007, 5319.

[3] Much the same as is meant by the stones in the breastplate was also meant by the materials used in weaving the ephod. The ephod was woven from violet, purple, twice-dyed scarlet, and fine linen, as is evident from verse 6 of the present chapter, and 'violet' meant the truth of celestial love, 'purple' the good of celestial love, 'twice-dyed scarlet' the good of spiritual love, and 'fine linen' the truth of spiritual love, 9833. The reason why much the same was meant is that 'the ephod' meant heaven on last and outermost levels, in the same way as 'the breastplate' does, 9824. But the kinds of good and truth are listed in a different order there, because 'the ephod' meant the spiritual heaven, whereas 'the breastplate' means all heaven from first to last. And since the dwelling-place along with the tent also represented heaven, 9457, 9481, 9485, 9615, the material from which its curtains and veils were woven were likewise violet, purple, double-dyed scarlet, and fine twined linen, see the previous Chapters, Revelation 26:1, 26:31, 26:36; 27:16, and 9466-9469.

(Odkazy: Exodus 26:1, 26:31, 26:36, 27:16)


[4] In addition it should be recognized that in the general sense SAPPHIRE means the external part of the celestial kingdom and SHOHAM the external part of the spiritual kingdom. And because these two stones had this meaning they were the middle stones belonging to the secondary rows, that is to say, the sapphire was the middle stone in the second row, and the shoham the middle stone in the fourth row. The stones belonging to the second row meant the external good of the celestial kingdom, which has been called the celestial love of truth, and the stones belonging to the fourth row meant the external good of the spiritual kingdom, which has been called the spiritual love of truth, see what has been stated about them above in this paragraph 9873.

[5] The fact that 'sapphire' means the external part of the celestial kingdom is evident from places in the Word where it is mentioned, such as in the Book of Exodus,

Seventy of the elders saw the God of Israel, and under His feet there was so to speak a work of sapphire, and it was like the substance of the sky for clearness. Exodus 24:10.

The external part of the celestial kingdom is so described, because the words 'under His feet', meaning what is external, are used, and where 'the God of Israel', who is the Lord, is, there heaven is. 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.

The subject in this chapter is the celestial kingdom. The foundations which will be laid in sapphires, are the external things there; for foundations lie underneath.

[6] In Jeremiah,

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

Nazirites represented the celestial man, which is why it says 'polished like sapphires', 'polished' referring to what is external. 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.

Here also 'sapphire' is used to describe the external part of the celestial kingdom; for what is above the expanse or round about is outside, that which is inmost being the one 'sitting upon a throne'.

[7] Just as sapphire stone means the external part of the celestial kingdom, so shoham stone means the external part of the spiritual kingdom. Therefore also this was the stone which was placed on the two shoulder-pieces of the ephod with the names of the sons of Israel inscribed on them, which are dealt with in verses 9-14 of the present chapter; for the ephod represented the external part of the spiritual kingdom, 9824. Since shoham and sapphire in the general sense meant the external parts of two heavens, they were placed in the middle of the sets of three stones forming the second and fourth rows, as stated above. For the middle includes the whole, as is also true of the robe, which in the general sense has represented the spiritual kingdom, because it comes in the middle, as shown above in 9825. Because those two stones include everything meant by all the other stones in those rows, it says in Job,

Wisdom cannot be compared with the gold of Ophir, with the precious shoham and the sapphire. Job 28:16.

-----
Footnotes:

1. i.e. bodies

2. In other places Swedenborg has rubies or gem stones.

3. literally, sapphires their polishing

-----

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 28:16; Exodus 28:20)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9912, 9993, 10007, 10129, 10199, 10252, 10333

Apocalypse Revealed 915

The White Horse 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 26


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 39, 110, 242, 253, 268, 277, 330, 431

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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