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Ezekiel 34

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1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn't the shepherds feed the sheep?

3 You eat the fat, and you clothe yourself with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don't feed the sheep.

4 You haven't strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor you have ruled over them.

5 They were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered.

6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was none who searched or sought.

7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:

8 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the animals of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and didn't feed my sheep;

9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:

10 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.

11 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13 I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them with good pasture; and on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel.

15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord Yahweh.

16 I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.

17 As for you, O my flock, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats.

18 Does it seem a small thing to you to have fed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet?

19 As for my sheep, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet.

20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh to them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

21 Because you thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad;

22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

23 I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24 I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken it.

25 I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil animals to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26 I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27 The tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them.

28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the animals of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.

29 I will raise up to them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more.

30 They shall know that I, Yahweh, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord Yahweh.

31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 157


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 46, 93, 415, 666, 908, 1038, 1085, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 3, 49, 243, 270, 306, 336, 383, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 86

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 28, 43

Faith 68

True Christian Religion 171, 689, 844


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 67, 280, 316, 340, 365, 388, 405, ...

Spiritual Experiences 4573

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 22, 53

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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 of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

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...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

says
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

fat
'Fat things full of marrow,' signify goods.

wool
The instruction not make clothing that mixes 'Woolen and linen' threads means, in the internal sense, that people's spiritual states of good and truth should...

Haven
'A haven, port, or harbor,' denotes the point where scientific matters terminate and commence, or where there is a conclusion of truth from scientific things.

strengthened
To 'be strengthened,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies being supported.

sick
'The sick,' as in Matthew 25:35, signify people in evil, and those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but evil.

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

back
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...

scattered
The meaning of "scatter" in the Bible is relatively literal, but it is used in regard to spiritual things, not natural ones. So to "scatter"...

shepherd
The Writings tell us that shepherds represent those who lead and teach others, using knowledge and true ideas to help people reach the goodness of...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

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

hill
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

surface
A 'surface' denotes the extreme.

hear
'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...

Require
'To require of another' denotes the state when one thing is joined to another so that it cannot be separated.

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

feeding
When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

search
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

Flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

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...

places
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

cloudy
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bring
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own
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land
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country
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good
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pasture
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justice
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judge
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sheep
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Rams
'Rams of the breed of Bashan,' as in Deuteronomy 32:14, signify celestial spiritual things.

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...

residue
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

Drunk
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

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

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

shoulder
'The shoulder' signifies all power. 'The shoulder,' as in Ezekiel 29:7, signifies the power or faculty of understanding truth. 'To dwell between his shoulders,' as...

Push
'To push' or 'to strike the people' denotes destroying falsities with truths.

horns
'A horn,' when spoken of the Lord, signifies omnipotence. 'The little horn that rose up,' as mentioned in Daniel 7:3-8, signifies the full perversion of...

save
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

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...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

david
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

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...

spoken
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peace
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evil
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dwell
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wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

woods
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

Come down
To come down (Gen. 11:5), is predicated of Jehovah, by reason of his being called the Highest. This is spoken according to appearance.

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

tree
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

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.


 Heal Me (sheet music)
Song | Ages over 11

 I Will Save My Flock
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Lost Sheep
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Good Shepherd
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Shepherds Visit
The Word is the story of ourselves. What are our "sheep", "shepherds", and the miracle of the Lord's birth in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

Ze Swedenborgových děl

 

Arcana Coelestia # 1038

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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1038. That 'this is the sign of the covenant' means a token of the Lord's presence in charity is clear from the meaning of 'a covenant' and of 'the sign of a covenant'. That the covenant means the Lord's presence in charity has been shown already at Chapter 6:18, and above at verse 9 of the present chapter; and that a covenant is the Lord's presence in love and charity is clear from the very nature of a covenant. The purpose of any covenant is conjunction, that is to say, its purpose is that people may live together in friendship or in love. This also is why marriage is called a covenant. The Lord's conjunction with man does not exist except in love and charity, for the Lord is love itself and mercy. He wills to save everyone and by His mighty power to draw them towards heaven, that is, towards Himself. From this anyone may know and conclude that it is impossible for anybody to be joined to the Lord except by means of that which He Himself is, that is, except by acting like Him, or becoming one with Him - that is to say, by loving the Lord in return, and loving the neighbour as oneself. In this way alone is conjunction brought about; this constitutes the very essence of a covenant. When conjunction results from this, it quite plainly follows that the Lord is present. The Lord is indeed present with each individual, but that presence is closer or more remote, all depending on how near the person is to love or distant from it.

(Odkazy: Genesis 6:18)


[2] Since 'the covenant' is the conjunction of the Lord with man by means of love, or what amounts to the same, the Lord's presence with man in love and charity, the covenant itself is called in the Word 'a covenant of peace', for 'peace' means the Lord's kingdom, and the Lord's kingdom consists in mutual love, in which alone peace resides, as is said in Isaiah,

The mountains will depart and the hills be removed, but My mercy will not depart from you, and the covenant of My peace will not be removed, said Jehovah, the One who takes pity on you. Isaiah 54:10.

Here mercy, which is an attribute of love, is called 'a covenant of peace'. In Ezekiel,

I will raise up over them one shepherd, and He will pasture them - My servant David. He will pasture them and He will be a shepherd to them. And I will make with them a covenant of peace. Ezekiel 34:23, 25.

Here 'David' is plainly used to mean the Lord, and His presence with a regenerate person is described by the words 'He will pasture them'.

[3] In the same prophet,

My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. And I will make with them a covenant of peace; it will be an eternal covenant with them. And I will bless 1 them and cause them to multiply, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst for evermore. And I will be their God and they will be My people. Ezekiel 37:14, 16-17.

Here similarly the Lord is meant by David. Love is meant by the 'sanctuary in their midst', the Lord's presence and conjunction in love by the promise that 'He will be their God, and they will be His people', which is called 'a covenant of peace' and 'an eternal covenant'. In Malachi,

You will know that I have sent this command to you, that it may be My covenant with Levi, said Jehovah Zebaoth. My covenant was with him, [a covenant] of life 2 and peace, and I have given them to him in fear, and he will fear Me. Malachi 2:4-5.

In the highest sense 'Levi' means the Lord, and from this the person who has love and charity; and this being so 'a covenant of life' and peace with Levi' means in love and charity.

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 37:20, 37:24, 37:26-27, Ezekiel 37:27)


[4] In Moses, in reference to Phinehas,

Behold, I am giving to him My covenant of peace, and it will be to him and his seed after him a covenant of eternal priesthood. Numbers 25:12-13.

Here 'Phinehas' is not used to mean Phinehas but the priesthood which he represented and which means love and what belongs to love, as does the entire priesthood of that Church. Everyone knows that the priesthood did not remain with Phinehas for ever. In the same author,

Jehovah your God is God Himself, a faithful God who keeps a covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and who keep His commandments, to the thousandth generation. Deuteronomy 7:9, 12.

Here the Lord's presence with man in love is clearly meant by 'the covenant', for it is said to be 'with those who love Him and keep His commandments'.

[5] Because the covenant is the conjunction of the Lord with man by means of love, it follows that it is also achieved by means of all the things allied to love, which are the truths of faith and are called commandments. For all the commandments, indeed the Law and the Prophets, are based on that single law that men ought to love the Lord above all things and the neighbour as themselves. This is clear from the Lord's words in Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-34. This is also why the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written are called 'the tablets of the covenant'. Since a covenant or conjunction is achieved by means of the laws or commandments of love it was also achieved by means of the social laws introduced by the Lord into the Jewish Church, which are called 'testimonies', as well as by the religious observances commanded by the Lord, which are called 'statutes'. All of these are called [laws] of the covenant because they have regard to love and charity. As is said of King Josiah,

The king stood upon the pillar, and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, and all his soul, to establish the words of the covenant. 1_Kings 23:7.

(Odkazy: 2 Kings 23:3; Matthew 22:34-40)


[6] From these references it is now clear what a covenant is, and that the covenant is internal, for the conjunction of the Lord with man is achieved by means of internal things, and never by means of external things separated from internal. External things are merely images and representatives of those that are internal, as the action of a person is an image representative of his thought and will, and as a charitable act is an image representative of charity present within, in intention and mind. Thus all the religious observances of the Jewish Church were images representative of the Lord, and so of love and charity, and of all things deriving from these. It is by means of the internal things of a person therefore that the covenant or conjunction is achieved. External things are no more than signs of the covenant, which also is what they are called. That internal things are the means by which the covenant or conjunction is achieved is quite clear, as in Jeremiah,

Behold, the days are coming, says Jehovah, when I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers, for they rendered My covenant invalid. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put My law in the midst of them and will write it on their hearts. Jeremiah 31:31-33.

This refers to a new Church. It is plainly stated that the covenant itself is achieved by means of internal things, and indeed within conscience on which the Law is written, the whole of which Law, as stated, is that of love.

[7] That external things do not constitute the covenant unless internal things are joined to them and so through that union act as one and the same cause, but are merely 'signs of the covenant' by means of which, as by representative images, the Lord might be called to mind, is clear from the fact that the sabbath and circumcision are called 'signs' of the covenant. That the sabbath is so called is clear in Moses,

The children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, an eternal covenant. Between Me and the children of Israel this is a sign eternally. Exodus 31:16-17.

And that circumcision is called 'a sign of the covenant' is clear in the same author,

This is My covenant which you shall keep between Me and you and your seed after you. Every male among you is to be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. Genesis 17:10-11.

For the same reason also blood is called 'the blood of the covenant', Exodus 24:7-8.

[8] The chief reason why external religious ceremonies were called signs of the covenant was so that from them people might call interior things to mind, that is, the things meant by them. All the religious observances of the Jewish Church were nothing else. For this reason they were also called signs that would serve to remind the people of interior things - for example, the practice of binding the chief commandment on the hand and of wearing frontlets, as stated in Moses,

You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. And you shall bind these words as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deuteronomy 6:5, 8; 11:13, 18.

Because it means power 'the hand' here means the will, for power is an attribute of the will; while 'frontlets between the eyes' means the understanding. Thus 'a sign' means calling to mind the chief commandment, or epitome of the Law, that it may be constantly in the will and constantly in the thought, that is, that the Lord and love may be present within the whole will and the whole thought. Such is the presence of the Lord and from Him of mutual love existing with angels. That constant presence and the nature of it will in the Lord's Divine mercy be discussed later on. And in like manner here the statement, 'This is the sign of the covenant which I give between Me and you; I have given My bow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of the covenant', means no other sign than a token of the Lord's presence in charity, and so man's remembrance of Him. But in what way the bow in the cloud provides that token and so remembrance will in the Lord's Divine mercy be discussed later on.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, give

2. literally, of lives

-----

(Odkazy: Deuteronomy 6:5-6; Ezekiel 37:26-27; Genesis 9:12-13)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 1864, 1996, 2003, 2018, 2021, 2033, 2084, 3375, 3452, 3654, 4189, 4197, 7195, 8495, 8767, 9182, 9207, 9344, 9395, 9396, 9416, 10300, 10371, 10632, 10647, 10683

The White Horse 10

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 259


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 242, 329, 388, 392, 595, 700, 701

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.


 Marriage: Covenant with the Lord
Marriage is a binding covenant between two people. When the covenant is brought before the Lord it becomes a three way covenant between husband, wife, and the Lord.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Our Covenant with God
A covenant is a promise made between two or more people. New Church teachings explain how keeping covenant joins a person with the Lord.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Receiving the Commandments
Read and reflect on a passage from the Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church. With color photograph illustration.
Activity | Ages over 15

 What Are Covenants?
God longs for partnership with humanity. The Word of God teaches actions that bring us into covenant with Him.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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


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