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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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Swedenborg

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
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...

bring
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own
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land
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country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

pasture
Plants in the Bible generally represent facts, knowledge that can be gleaned from the world. Plants that can serve animals as food represent facts that...

justice
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

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
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

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 # 9836

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9836. 'Two shoulders joined together shall it have at its two ends, and it shall be joined together' means an everlasting preservation of good and truth on every side by all exertion and power through a total uniting together. This is clear from the meaning of 'shoulders' as all the force and power, dealt with in 1085, 4931-4937, though the expressions 'placing on the shoulders' and 'carrying on them', used below in reference to the two shoham stones on which the names of the sons of Israel were engraved, mean an everlasting preservation of good and truth (for all forms of good and truths in their entirety are meant by 'the names of the sons of Israel', a subject dealt with further on); from the meaning of 'joined together' as a total uniting; and from the meaning of 'the two ends', or to the right and to the left, as on every side, dealt with in 8613.

(Odkazy: Exodus 28:7)


[2] The implications of all this are that the ephod, as has been shown above, represented the outermost part of the Lord's spiritual kingdom. Thus the shoulder-pieces, on which the two shoham stones with the names of the sons of Israel had been placed, represented the everlasting preservation of good and truth; and the joining together of the ephod on the shoulders, and also in front of the breast and behind the back, represented a total uniting. This helps to make clear what is meant by the details stated further on regarding the shoulder-pieces and the engravings on them, namely the everlasting preservation of the good and truth present by all exertion and power, thus the preservation of the heavens. The stones with the names of the sons of Israel had been placed on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, which represented the outermost part of the spiritual kingdom, because all preservation is dependent on the condition of what exists on last and lowest levels. For everything within terminates and forms a base for itself there on which to rest and remain in existence. Things on last and lowest levels resemble the soles and the upper parts of the feet on which the entire body stands; they are also like the hands and arms through which the body exercises its powers. Furthermore the strength of the body is concentrated there. This also explains why the hands and arms, the soles and feet too, correspond to the last and lowest parts of heaven. The fact that power and might reside in things which are last and lowest was represented in the Ancient Church by Nazirites and the hair on their head, in which their might resided, as is evident from Samson in Judges 14-16, and also their holiness, 3301. Regarding the hair, which on those men's heads was their Naziriteship, that it corresponds to the lowest levels of good and truth, or good and truth on lowest levels, see 3301, 5247, 6437.

(Odkazy: Judges 14:1, 15:1, 16:1)


[3] The residing of power in last and lowest things, and also the preservation in these of more internal ones in their proper condition, are matters which may be understood by people who know what the situation is with things in the natural order which follow one another in sequence and consequently exist together with one another. Things which follow in sequence finally come together on the last and lowest level, where they exist side-by-side in the same order. This being so, the things existing together with one another, which are last and lowest, serve those following one another in sequence, which are prior and higher, as corresponding supports on which they rest and are thereby preserved.

[4] 'The shoulders' means all the force and power exerted in offering resistance, breaking, or impelling. This is clear in Ezekiel,

You push with side and shoulder, and butt with your horns all the weak sheep, until you have scattered them abroad. Ezekiel 34:21.

In the same prophet,

Egypt has been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of you by the hand, you were broken, and you tore open their whole shoulder. 1 Ezekiel 29:6-7.

'Tearing open the whole shoulder' stands for depriving of all the power to grasp truths, 'Egypt' being the perverted factual knowledge which causes such deprivation.

[5] In Zechariah,

They refused to listen, and turned 2 a stubborn shoulder. Zechariah 7:11.

'Turning a stubborn shoulder' stands for offering resistance. In David,

They thought a wicked deed, [but] they did not prevail; for You will set a shoulder against them. Psalms 21:11-12.

'Setting a shoulder against them' too stands for offering resistance, and so stands for power. The fact that 'shoulder' means power is evident from representatives in the next life, where those who offer resistance are seen setting an opposing shoulder.

[6] Placing onto the shoulders and carrying on them means preserving everlastingly in a state of good and truth through all exertion and power. This is clear in Isaiah,

The nations will bring your sons in their bosom, and carry your daughters on their shoulder. Isaiah 49:22.

This refers to a new Church. 'Sons' means truths, and 'daughters' forms of good; and 'carrying on the shoulder' stands for preserving them. The preservation of good in its proper condition was also represented by the action of the children of Israel, who carried their dough on their shoulder when they were going out of Egypt, Exodus 12:34; and by that of the sons of Kohath, who carried holy things 3 on their shoulder, Numbers 7:9. This explains why the Lord, who spoke by means of correspondences, said that when the lost sheep was found the owner placed it on his shoulder, rejoicing, Luke 15:5. 'The sheep that was lost and found' is good as it resides with someone who comes to his senses.

[7] Since 'carrying on the shoulder' had this meaning it is also said of those who love and preserve gold and silver that they carry them on their shoulder, Isaiah 46:7. Carrying also means holding something in its proper state or condition, see 9500. All this shows what was meant by the engraving of the names of the sons of Israel on the two shoham stones and the placement of them on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, and by the injunction that 'Aaron shall bear (or carry) them on his two shoulders for a remembrance', verse 12. 'Carrying on the shoulder', when it has reference to subjection, means servitude, see Genesis 49:15; Psalms 81:6; Isaiah 9:4; 10:27; Matthew 23:4; Zephaniah 3:9. But when it has reference to dominion it means supreme power, Isaiah 9:6; 22:22.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, you dug through for them all the shoulder

2. literally, gave

3. literally, the works of the holy place (or of holiness)

-----

(Odkazy: Exodus 28:7)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9848, 9849, 9850, 9855, 9887, 9917, 9996, 10028, 10044, 10107, 10186, 10236, 10547

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 47, 279


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 41, 66, 196, 328, 346, 365, 395, 408, 417, 431, 440, 449, 567, 593, 717, 822

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.


 The Lord Is Our Shepherd
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6


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


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