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 Christian Religion 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.

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...

'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,...

'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

'Sheba, Havilah, Sabthah, Regmah, and Sabthecha,' the sons of Cush, as in Genesis 10:7, were several nations which were did not have internal worship, but...

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...

Elishah, Tarshish, Kitthin, and Dodanium (Gen. 10:4) signify so many several doctrinals respecting ritual observances, and derived from external worship prevailing with Javan.

'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...

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...

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
Creeping things (Gen. 6:7) signifies pleasures as well cor­poreal as sensual. Creeping things, in a proper sense, are what were the vilest of all which...

A 'surface' denotes the extreme.

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

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...

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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Arcana Coelestia # 3240

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3240. 'And Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan' means the derivatives from the first division. This is clear from the representation of 'Jokshan' and his sons 'Sheba and Dedan' dealt with below. Since they are mere names here and they mean states and derivatives of the Lord's spiritual Church, something about what they are in general must be stated. The celestial Church differs from the spiritual Church in that in those who belong to the celestial Church and who are called celestial, love - that is to say, the good and truth of love - is present; but in those who belong to the spiritual Church and who are called spiritual, faith - that is to say, the good and truth of faith - is present. Good as it exists with those who are celestial consists in love to the Lord, and truth as it exists with them in love towards the neighbour. But good as it exists with those who are spiritual consists in charity towards the neighbour, and truth as it exists with them in faith insofar as this is doctrine concerning charity. From this it may be seen that good and truth are present in the Lord's spiritual kingdom, as they are in His celestial kingdom, yet are considerably different.

[2] It should be recognized in addition that the inhabitants of those kingdoms are distinguished from one another by means of good and truth for the reason that some are governed more by good, others more by truth. And it is from this that derivatives arise, that is to say, derivatives of good and derivatives of truth. The derivatives of good in the Lord's spiritual kingdom are those which are represented by the sons of Jokshan, who are referred to in this verse, but the derivatives of truth there are those which are represented by the sons of Midian, who are referred to in the next verse. Now because there are two categories of spiritual people - those governed more by good and those governed more by truth - two varieties of doctrine therefore exist among them, namely matters of doctrine concerning charity and matters of doctrine concerning faith. Matters of doctrine concerning charity exist for the sake of those governed by the good of faith, who are meant here by the sons of Jokshan. But matters of doctrine concerning faith exist for the sake of those governed by the truth of faith, who are meant by the sons of Midian. Sheba and Dedan are those who constitute the first category, that is, people in the Lord's spiritual kingdom who are governed by the good of faith and with whom matters concerning charity exist. This explains why Sheba and Dedan mean the cognitions of celestial things, or what amounts to the same, those with whom such cognitions exist, that is, with whom matters of doctrine concerning charity exist, for matters of doctrine are cognitions, and that which is celestial with the spiritual man is charity. For Sheba and Dedan mean those cognitions, as has been shown in Volume One, in 117, 1168, 1171, 1172, though there they are the great-grandsons of Ham, and are called the sons of Raamah. It should be realized however that Ham, like Japheth and Shem also, never was an actual person, but that those who belonged to the Church after the Flood called Noah were distinguished as regards goods and truths into three groups, and these groups were referred to by those names, 736, 1062, 1065, 1140, 1141, 1162, and in various other places. Nevertheless there were nations which were so called, but these were descended from different individuals, as is evident here from Sheba and Dedan who were descended from Jokshan, Abraham's son by Keturah.

[3] As regards 'Sheba' meaning those with whom cognitions of celestial things exist- thus those governed by the good of faith - this is clear from the places introduced in 117, 1171. 'Dedan' has a similar meaning, as is clear from the texts quoted in 1172, as well as from the following: In Isaiah,

The prophecy concerning Arabia. In the forest in Arabia you will spend the night, O bands of Dedanites. To the thirsty bring water; O inhabitants of the land of Tema, meet with his bread the fugitive, for they will flee before the swords, before the drawn sword. Isaiah 21:13-15.

'Spending the night in the forest in Arabia' stands for being made desolate as regards good. For 'Arabia' means those with whom celestial things exist, that is, the goods of faith, so that 'speeding the night there in the forest' is when goods exist no longer, and therefore means desolation, which is also described by 'fleeing before the swords, before the drawn sword'. Celestial things, that is, the goods of faith - or what amount to the same, the works of charity - which are theirs, are meant by 'bringing water to the thirsty, and with bread meeting the fugitive'.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1140-1141, 1171-1172)

[4] In Jeremiah,

I took the cup from Jehovah's hand and made all the nations to whom Jehovah sent me drink it - Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and its kings and its princes, to turn them into a desolation; Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; all the kings of Tyre and all the kings of Sidon; Dedan and Tema, and Buz, and all who have cut the corners [of their hair] all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media, and all the kings of the north. Jeremiah 25:17-19, 22-23, 25-26.

This also refers to the desolation of the spiritual Church, different elements of which Church are mentioned in order and are meant by Jerusalem, the cities of Judah, Egypt, Tyre, Sidon, Dedan, Tema, Buz, Zimri, Elam, and Media.

[5] In Ezekiel,

Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, and all its young lions will say to you, Have you come to seize the spoil? Have you assembled your company to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, and to take cattle and possessions, and seize great spoil? Ezekiel 38:13.

This refers to Gog who means external worship separated from internal, which is idolatrous, 1151. 'Sheba and Dedan' stands for the internal aspects of worship, namely the goods of faith, 'Tarshish' for corresponding external worship. The silver, gold, cattle, possessions, and spoil which Gog - or external worship separated from the internal - wishes to 'carry away' are the cognitions of good and truth, which those who are meant by Sheba and Dedan fight for and defend, and who are on that account called 'young lions'. In the proper sense 'Sheba' is those with whom cognitions of good exist, 'Dedan' those with whom cognitions of truth derived from good are present.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3241, 3268, 4448, 7975, 8521, 9277, 9293, 9404, 9670, 9688, 10177, 10199, 10252, 10254

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 26, 140

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 242, 324, 331, 406

Other New Christian Commentary

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

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Arcana Coelestia # 1140

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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1140. This chapter, and the next as far as Eber, continue the most ancient style; yet here it lies between the style of made-up history and that of true history. For by Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan, nothing else was meant nor is meant than, in the abstracted sense, the Ancient Church as to the varieties of its worship; that is to say, Shem is used to mean internal worship, Japheth to mean external worship corresponding to this, Ham to mean corrupted internal worship, and Canaan to mean external worship separated from internal. Noah and his sons never were actual persons but varieties of worship so named because all other differing forms of worship, that is, every specific difference, could be traced back to them as to the basic differences. Consequently nothing else was meant by Noah than the Ancient Church in general, as the parent incorporating all the rest. Indeed the names in this chapter, apart from Eber and his descendants, are used to mean just so many nations- just so many nations as constituted the Ancient Church, a Church that was spread abroad widely throughout areas surrounding the land of Canaan.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3240, 3325, 3662, 9960

Other New Christian Commentary

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