Ezekiel 38

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1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

2 Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal:

4 and I will turn you around, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords;

5 Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

6 Gomer, and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes; even many peoples with you.

7 Be prepared, yes, prepare yourself, you, and all your companies who are assembled to you, and be a guard to them.

8 After many days you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, on the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them.

9 You shall ascend, you shall come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your hordes, and many peoples with you.

10 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: It shall happen in that day, that things shall come into your mind, and you shall devise an evil device:

11 and you shall say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to those who are at rest, who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;

12 to take the spoil and to take the prey; to turn your hand against the waste places that are [now] inhabited, and against the people who are gathered out of the nations, who have gotten livestock and goods, who dwell in the middle of the earth.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions of it, shall tell you, Have you come to take the spoil? have you assembled your company to take the prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great spoil?

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and tell Gog, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In that day when my people Israel dwells securely, shall you not know it?

15 You shall come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you, and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army;

16 and you shall come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall happen in the latter days, that I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you, Gog, before their eyes.

17 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Are you he of whom I spoke in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for [many] years that I would bring you against them?

18 It shall happen in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils.

19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

20 so that the fish of the sea, and the birds of the sky, and the animals of the field, and all creeping things who creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the surface of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

21 I will call for a sword against him to all my mountains, says the Lord Yahweh: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

22 With pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him, and on his hordes, and on the many peoples who are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and sulfur.

23 I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 161

Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 776, 1151, 1154, 1691, 2446, 2447, 2906, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 290, 331, 336, 399, 405, 436, 452, ...

The Lord 4, 28

True Christianity 689

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 342, 355, 400, 405, 503, 504, 513, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 53, 74

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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,' 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...

'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...

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...

“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...

'Magog' signifies people in external natural worship.

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...

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...

'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

Jaws,' in Isaiah 30:28, signify thoughts from the sensory bodily principle, and so: thoughts from fallacies.

Forces denote the power of truth.

'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

'A horseman' signifies intelligence, or one who is intelligent. 'A horseman,' as mentioned in Revelation 9:16, signifies reasonings concerning faith alone. 'A horseman' can also...

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

A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...

'A shield' signifies defense which is trusted against evils and falsities. In respect to the Lord, it signifies defense, and in respect to people, confidence...

Shield and helmet
'A shield and helmet' are things that pertain to spiritual war. 'The habitation of Shiloh,' as in Psalm 78:60-61, signifies the church which is principled...

‘Gomer’ denotes those who are in outward worship.

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

'Togarmah,' as in Ezekiel 27:14, signifies people in internal worship.

'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...

Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

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...

A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

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...

'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...

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...

The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

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

Go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

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...

'A wall' signifies truth in outer extremes. 'A wall,' as in Revelation 21, signifies the divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and so, the truth...

In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

'Spoil of gold, and silver, and cattle' signifies falsified truths.

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

'Inhabit' refers to good.

The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

'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...

Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

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Dedan (Gen. 10) signifies the knowledges of celestial things of an inferior order, such as consist in ritual observances. Dedan, in Jer. 49:8 signifies rituals...

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'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...

'Money' relates to truth.

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

'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

'To ride' signifies being elevated regarding the intellectual part of the mind. To ride upon a cherub,' as in Psalm 18:9, 10, denotes the Lord’s...

'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

Latter days
Latter days,' as in Jeremiah 48:47, signify the advent of the Lord.

As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

'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...

Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

“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...

The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

'A blast of the breath of the nostrils' signify the same thing as 'his anger and wrath.'

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 sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

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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...

Creeping things
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A 'surface' denotes the extreme.

'To tremble,' as in Jeremiah 10:10, relates to the church when falsities are believed and called truths.

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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...

'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

'Pestilence' denotes the vastation of good and truth.

Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

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

'To overflow,' as in Daniel 11:40, signifies immersion in falsities and evils.

The phrase 'stones of hail' are falsities.

'Sulpher' or 'brimstone' signifies lust originating in self-love and the love of the world.

'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

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Apocalypse Explained # 1100

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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1100. And a hold of every unclean and hateful bird, signifies where there are nothing but falsities from the falsified truths of the Word. This is evident from the signification of a "hold," as being where the falsifiers are, thus hell (as above); also from the signification of "every unclean and hateful bird," as being falsities from the falsified truths of the Word; for "birds" signify things rational and intellectual, thoughts, ideas, and reasonings, thus truths or falsities, and "unclean" means what flows forth from a filthy love, and especially from the love of having dominion, for this constitutes uncleanness in hell; and "hateful" signifies what flows forth from a false principle, thus from a religious principle confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word falsified. It is from correspondence that "birds" signify such things as pertain to man's thought, both spiritual and infernal, thus both truths and falsities, for these pertain to thought. That this is from correspondence is evident from the birds seen in the spiritual world, where all things that appear before the eyes and the other senses are correspondences. All sorts of animals of the earth, also flying things of heaven, both beautiful and unbeautiful, are seen there, and they appear from the affections and thoughts of angels or of spirits, the animals from affections, and the flying things from thoughts. It is known to everyone there that these are correspondences; and they know also to what affections and thoughts they correspond. That they are correspondences of affections and thoughts is made to appear most clearly; since they are instantly dissipated when the spirit or the angel goes away or stops thinking about the matter. As birds are correspondences of thoughts both rational and not rational, thus of both verities and falsities, therefore they have this signification in the Word, for all things of the Word are correspondences.

(Odkazy: Revelation 18:2)

[2] That "birds" signify thoughts that are from truths, both rational and spiritual, can be seen from the following passages. In David:

Let them praise the name of Jehovah, the wild beast and every beast, creeping thing and winged bird (Psalms 148:5, 10).

That "the wild beast and beast" signify the affections of the natural man, both of truth and of good, and in the contrary sense the cupidities of falsity and evil, may be seen above (n. 522, 650, 781); therefore "winged bird" signifies thoughts. This is why it is said that they should praise Jehovah, for it is man who must praise from affections and thoughts, thus from goods and truths.

(Odkazy: The Apocalypse Explained 522, 650, 781)

[3] In Hosea:

In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild beast of the field, and with the bird of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth; and I will break the bow and the sword and the war from the earth (Hosea 2:18).

This is said of the Lord's coming and of the state of heaven and the church from Him. "In that day" means the Lord's coming; "the covenant" that He will then make signifies conjunction with those who believe in Him; therefore, "the wild beast of the field and the bird of heaven" cannot mean wild beasts and birds, but must mean the things to which they correspond, which are the affections of good and truth and consequent thoughts. That there will then be no infestation from falsities and evils from hell is signified by "the bow, the sword, and the war, shall be broken in the earth."

[4] In David:

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands, Thou hast put all things under his feet, flocks and herds, yea, the beasts of the fields, the birds of heaven, and the fish of the sea (Psalms 8:6-8).

This treats of the Lord, of whom it is here said that "He shall have dominion over all the works of Jehovah's hands," which does not mean terrestrial things, such as flocks, herds, beasts, birds, and fishes. For what have these things to do with His dominion, which is in the heavens, and from the heavens over men on the earth, whom He will lead to life eternal? Therefore the spiritual things of the church are what are meant, "flock" signifying in general all things spiritual with man, "herd" all things natural with him that correspond to things spiritual, "beasts of the fields" affections of good in the natural man that pertain to the church (for "field" signifies the church), "birds of heaven" signify the thoughts of the rational man, and "fishes of the sea" knowledges.

[5] In Ezekiel:

I will take of the shoot of a high cedar, in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it, that it may lift up the bough and bear fruit and become a magnificent cedar; that under it may dwell every bird of every wing, in the shades of its branches shall they dwell (Ezekiel 17:22-23).

This means the establishment of a new church by the Lord; its establishment anew or from its first rise is meant by "the shoot of a high cedar," "cedar" here as elsewhere in the Word signifies the spiritual rational church, such as was the church with the ancients after the flood. "To plant a shoot in the mountain of the height of Israel" signifies in spiritual good, which is the good of charity, "the mountain of the height of Israel" signifying that good; "to become a magnificent cedar" signifies the full establishment of that church; "that under it may dwell every bird of every wing" signifies that there will be rational truths of every kind in that church; "to dwell in the shade of its branches" signifies these terminated in natural truths, since these cover and guard rational truths that are from a spiritual origin.

[6] In the same:

Ashur a cedar in Lebanon, which has become high. In his branches have all the birds of the heavens built their nests, and under his branches all the beasts of the field have brought forth, and in his shade have dwelt all great nations (Ezekiel 31:3, 5-6).

Here, too, "cedar" signifies the spiritual rational church, since "Assyria" signifies the rational; and as "cedar" signifies the church, it follows that "the birds of the heavens that have built their nests in its branches," and "the beasts of the field that have brought forth under them," mean rational thoughts respecting the truths of the church, and the affections of them; and this being the meaning it is added, "In his shade have dwelt all great nations."

[7] In Daniel:

Nebuchadnezzar in a dream saw a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great; and it grew and became strong, and the height thereof reached even unto heaven, and the sight thereof unto the end of the earth; the leaf thereof was beautiful, and the flower thereof much; and in it was food for all. The beast of the field had shade under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in the branches of it, and all flesh was nourished by it. But a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven, crying out, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaf, and scatter his flower; let the beast flee away from under it, and the birds from his branches (Daniel 4:10-14, 20-21).

Here, too, "tree" signifies the church called Babylon in its beginning and progress, and here that church in the knowledges of truth and good. Its beginning and progress is described in the words, "it became great and strong, the leaf thereof was beautiful, and the flower thereof much, and in it was food for all;" its affections of good and thoughts of truth are signified by "the beast of the field that had shade under it, and the birds that dwelt in its branches." That it lifted up its dominion over the holy things of the church and of heaven, is meant by "a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven, and cried out, Hew down the tree and cut off his branches." That "beast and bird" here signify affections and thoughts is evident from its being said, when the tree was cut down, "let the beast flee away from under it, and the birds from his branches."

[8] "The birds of heaven" have a similar signification in the Gospels:

Jesus said, The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, and it becometh a tree, so that the winged things of heaven come and build nests in the branches thereof (Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:31-32; Luke 13:19).

"A tree from a grain of mustard seed" signifies a man of the church, and also a church beginning from a very little spiritual good by means of truth; for if only a very little spiritual good takes root with a man it grows like a seed in good ground. And as a "tree" thus signifies a man of the church, it follows that "the winged things of heaven" that made nests in its branches signify the knowledges of truth and thoughts therefrom. Anyone can see this is not a mere comparison, for if it were, what would be the need of such things in the Word and of like things in the Prophets?

(Odkazy: Luke 13:18-19)

[9] So again in David:

Jehovah sendeth forth fountains into the streams, they go between the mountains. They give drink to every wild beast of the fields; the wild asses quench their thirst; by them the bird of the heavens dwells, from among the boughs they utter their voices. The trees of Jehovah are satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted, where the birds make their nests; as to the stork her house is in the fir trees (Psalms 104:10-12, 16-17).

Such things as these also would not have been said in the Divine Word unless each particular of them had been a correspondence of things spiritual and celestial, and consequently holy. For otherwise why should it be said that "streams from fountains go between the mountains, and give drink to every wild beast of the field; that the wild asses quench their thirst, and by them the bird of the heavens dwells, and utters its voice among the boughs, and the stork in the fir trees"? But when by "fountains" truths of the Word are understood, by "rivers" intelligence therefrom, by "mountains" goods of love, by "wild beast of the fields" affections of truth, by "wild asses" the rational, and by "birds of the heavens" thoughts from Divine truths, then the Word is the holy Divine; otherwise it would be merely human.

[10] In Job:

Ask, I pray, the beasts, and they shall teach thee, or the birds of heaven, and they shall tell thee, and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who doth not know from all these that the hand of Jehovah doeth this? (Job 12:7-9).

Evidently "beasts, birds of heaven, and fishes of the sea," do not mean here beasts, birds, and fishes, for these cannot be asked, or teach, or tell, or declare "that the hand of Jehovah doeth this;" but these signify the things that pertain to man's intelligence, "beasts" meaning his affections, "birds of heaven" his thoughts, and "fishes of the sea" cognitions and knowledges [cognitiones et scientifica]. From these man can teach that the hand of Jehovah doeth it. Unless the things of man's intelligence were signified by "beasts, birds, and fishes," it could not be asked, "Who doth not know from all these?"

(Odkazy: Acts of the Apostles 12:7-9)

[11] In Ezekiel:

Son of man, Say to the bird of every wing, and to every wild beast of the field, Gather yourselves and come, gather yourselves from every side to a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel. And I will give My glory among the nations (Ezekiel 39:17, 21).

This describes the establishment of the church among the nations, and the invitation and calling to it, for it is said, "So will I give my glory among the nations;" therefore "the bird of every wing," and "every wild beast of the field," signify all who are in the affection of good and the understanding of truth.

[12] So in Revelation:

An angel standing in the sun cried out with a great voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and be gathered together to the supper of the great God (Revelation 19:17).

Here "birds flying in the midst of heaven" cannot mean birds, but men who are rational and spiritual; for they are invited to the supper of the great God.

[13] In Jeremiah:

I beheld the mountains, and lo they were moved, and all the hills were overturned; I beheld, when lo there was no man, and all the birds of heaven were flown away. I beheld when Carmel was a wilderness, and all its cities were desolated (Jeremiah 4:24-26).

This was said of the devastation of the church as to all its good and truth. "Mountains and valleys" signify celestial and spiritual loves; and "to be moved and overturned" signifies to perish. For in the spiritual world, when there no longer exists in spirits any celestial or spiritual love, the mountains are actually moved and the hills overthrown upon which they dwelt. "All the birds were flown away" signifies that there was no longer any knowledge and consequent thought of truth; "there was no man" signifies no understanding of truth; "Carmel was a wilderness" signifies a church destitute of good and truth; and "its cities desolated" signifies that there were no longer any doctrinals of truth.

[14] In the same:

The habitations are laid waste, so that no man passeth through, neither do they hear the voice of cattle; from the bird of the heavens even to the beast they have flown away, they have gone; for I will make Jerusalem heaps, a habitation of dragons (Jeremiah 9:10-11; 12:9).

Here, too, the devastation of the church is described. "The habitations that are laid waste, so that no man passeth through," signify the doctrinals of the church which were from the Word, in which now there is no good or truth; "the voice of cattle which they do not hear," signifies good of charity and truth of faith, of which there is none; "the birds of the heavens and even the beasts are flown away, they have gone" signifies that there is no longer any thought of truth from the knowledge of it, nor any affection of good. This evidently does not mean the flying away of the birds of heaven and the going away of the beasts of the earth, but the vastation of the church as to doctrine, for it is added, "I will make Jerusalem into heaps, a habitation of dragons," "Jerusalem" signifying the church as to doctrine, and "making it into heaps, and into a habitation of dragons," its devastation.

[15] In Hosea:

There is no truth and no mercy, and no knowledge of God in the land. Therefore the land shall mourn for the wild beast of the field, and for the bird of the heavens; yea, the fishes of the sea shall be gathered together (Hosea 4:1, 3).

Evidently "the wild beast of the field, the bird of the heavens, and the fishes of the sea," have the same signification here as above, for here, too, the devastation of the church is treated of, for it is said, "there is no truth, no mercy, and no knowledge of God in the land," and "the land" signifies the church.

[16] In Zephaniah:

I will consume man and beast, I will consume the bird of the heavens and the fishes of the sea, I will cut off man from the faces of the land (Zephaniah 1:3).

"To consume man and beast" signifies to destroy spiritual and natural affection; "to consume the birds of the heavens and the fishes of the sea" signifies to destroy the perceptions and knowledges of truth; and as these signify things pertaining to the church it is said, "I will cut off man from the faces of the land," "man" signifying everything of the church.

[17] In David:

God said, I know every bird of the mountains, and the wild beast of My fields is with Me (Psalms 50:11).

In Ezekiel:

There shall be a great earthquake upon the land of Israel, and the fishes of the sea, and the bird of the heavens, and the wild beast of the field, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man who is upon the faces of the earth shall tremble before Me (Ezekiel 38:19-20).

Here "the bird of the heavens and the wild beast of the field" have the same signification as above. "Earthquake" signifies a change of state of the church.

[18] In Isaiah:

Woe to the land shadowed with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Cush. The bird of the mountains and the beasts of the earth shall be left, but the bird shall loathe it, and every beast of the earth shall despise it (Isaiah 18:1, 6).

This treats of the establishment of the church with the nations and the devastation of the Jewish church; therefore "the bird and beast of the earth" signify the knowledges of truth and the affections of good.

[19] In the same:

I am God, and there is no God besides, and there is none like Me, calling a bird from the east, a man of counsel from a land far off (Isaiah 46:9, 11).

The "bird" called from the east signifies the truth of the Word, which is said to be "from the east" because it is from the good of love, "the east" being the good of love. Otherwise, what could be meant by "God shall call a bird from the east, and a man of counsel from a land far off"? "A man of counsel" means a man who is intelligent from truths that are from the good of love.

[20] In Hosea:

Ephraim, as a bird shall his glory fly away, from the birth and from the belly and from conception (Hosea 9:11).

In the same:

I will not return to destroy Ephraim. They shall go after Jehovah. With honor shall they come as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove from the land of Assyria (Hosea 11:9-11).

"Ephraim" signifies the understanding of the truths of the church; and this is why he is compared to a bird, and it is said, "as a bird shall his glory fly away." Also in Hosea (Hosea 7:12) he is compared to a bird, for a "bird" signifies everything pertaining to the understanding, including the knowing, the thinking, and the reasoning faculties; while everything that is delightful and pleasurable, thus that pertains to the will and affection, is signified by "beast and wild beast." "The bird from Egypt" signifies the knowing faculty, which pertains to the natural man; and "the dove from Assyria" the rational faculty, since "Egypt" signifies the knowing faculty, and "Assyria" the rational faculty. Here a church to be established by the Lord is treated of.

[21] As most things of the Word have also a contrary sense, so have birds, and in that sense they signify fallacies from the sensual man, also reasonings from falsities against truths, and also falsities themselves, worse and more noxious according to the genera and the species of unclean birds; rapacious birds signifying especially the falsities that destroy truths. In many passages of the Word it is said that men "should be given for food to birds and wild beasts," which signifies that they would altogether perish by fallacies, falsities, consequent reasonings, cupidities of evil, and in general by evils and falsities from hell. This is signified by "being given for food to the birds of heaven and the beasts of the earth" in the following passages. In Jeremiah:

The carcass of this people shall be for food to the bird of the heavens, none shall frighten them away (Jeremiah 7:33).

In the same:

I will visit upon you in four kinds, with the sword to kill, and with dogs to drag about, and with the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy (Jeremiah 15:3).

In the same:

They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, that their carcass may become food for the birds of the heavens and the beast of the earth (Jeremiah 16:4; 19:7; 34:20).

In Ezekiel:

Upon the faces of the field thou shalt fall, thou shalt not be brought together nor gathered; I have given thee for food to the wild beast of the earth and the bird of heaven (Jeremiah 29:5).

Upon the mountains of Israel thou shalt fall; I have given thee for food to the bird of the heavens of every wing and to the wild beast of the field (Jeremiah 39:4).

This is said of Gog. In David:

The nations have come into Thine inheritance, they have defiled the temple of Thy holiness; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps, the carcass of Thy servants have they given for food to the bird of the heavens, the flesh of Thy saints to the wild beast of the earth (Psalms 79:1-2).

(Odkazy: Ezekiel 29:5, 39:4)

[22] Because of this signification of "the birds of the heavens and the wild beasts of the earth," and because the nations of the land of Canaan signified the evils and the falsities of the church, it was customary for the Jewish nation to expose the carcasses of their enemies after their slaughter to the wild beasts and birds, by which they were devoured. This is why it was formerly regarded as horrible and profane, and is still so regarded, to leave dead men upon the face of the earth unburied, even after a battle. Also this is the signification in the Word of "not being buried," and of "bones drawn out of the graves and cast forth." Infernal falsities are signified also by:

The birds that came down upon the carcasses, that Abram drove away (Genesis 15:11).

Also by the birds in Revelation (Revelation 19:21);

Also by the birds that devoured that which was sown on the hard way (Matthew 13:3, 4; Mark 4:4; Luke 8:5).

In Daniel:

In the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the meal offering to cease. At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation (Daniel 9:27).

This is said of the total devastation of the Jewish church which was when the Lord was born. Its devastation by horrible falsities is signified by "the bird of abominations"; that falsity is here meant by "bird" is clearly evident. It is to be known that there are many kinds of falsities, and that each of them is signified by its own kind of bird; and these are enumerated in Moses (Leviticus 11:13; and Deuteronomy 14:11-20), and are mentioned in various parts of the Word, as the eagle, the kite, the woodpecker, the raven, the screech owl, the spoonbill, the heron, the owl, the horned owl, the dragon, and others.

(Continuation respecting the Athanasian Faith)

(Odkazy: Matthew 13:3-4)

[23] About God and about Divine things, which are called in heaven celestial and spiritual, and in the world ecclesiastical and theological, there is thought from light; there is also thought not from light about them. Those have thought not from light who know about these things but do not understand them. Such are all those at the present day who wish the understanding to be kept under obedience to faith, holding even that a thing must be believed and not understood, and claiming that intellectual faith is not true faith. But these are such as are not interiorly in the genuine affection of truth, and consequently are in no enlightenment; and many of them are in the pride of self-intelligence, and in the love of ruling over the souls of men by means of the holy things of the church, not knowing that truth wishes to be in the light, since the light of heaven is the Divine truth, and that a truly human understanding is moved by that light and sees from it, and that when the understanding does not see from that light it is the memory that has faith and not the man; and such faith is blind, because without an idea from the light of truth; for the understanding is the man, and the memory introduces. If what is not understood must be believed a man might be taught like a parrot to speak and to remember, even that there is holiness in the bones of the dead and in sepulchers, that carcasses perform miracles, that man will be tormented in purgatory if he does not consecrate his wealth to idols or to monasteries, that men are gods because heaven and hell are in their power, with other like things which man must believe from a blind faith and from a closed understanding, and thus from the light of both extinguished. But be it known that all the truths of the Word, which are the truths of heaven and of the church, can be seen by the understanding, in heaven spiritually, in the world rationally; for a truly human understanding is the sight itself of these truths, for it is separated from what is material, and when separated it sees truths as clearly as the eye sees objects; it sees truths as it loves them, for as it loves them it is enlightened. The angels have wisdom in consequence of seeing truths; when, therefore, it is said to any angel that this or that must be believed although it is not understood, the angel answers, Do you think that I am insane, or that you are God whom I am to believe if I do not see? It may be falsity from hell.

(Odkazy: Revelation 18:2)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 1095

Other New Christian Commentary

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