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Ezekiel 38:12

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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.

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Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 161


Další odkazy Swedenborga k tomuto verši:

Arcana Coelestia 6049, 7051

Apocalypse Revealed 859, 862

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

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

inhabited
'Inhabit' refers to good.

people
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...

gathered
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
'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...

livestock
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,...

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...

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

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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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