Exodus 23

English: Young's Literal Translation         

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1 `Thou dost not lift up a vain report; thou dost not put thy hand with a wicked man to be a violent witness.

2 `Thou art not after many to evil, nor dost thou testify concerning a strife, to turn aside after many to cause [others] to turn aside;

3 and a poor man thou dost not honour in his strife.

4 `When thou meetest thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou dost certainly turn it back to him;

5 when thou seest the ass of him who is hating thee crouching under its burden, then thou hast ceased from leaving [it] to it -- thou dost certainly leave [it] with him.

6 `Thou dost not turn aside the judgment of thy needy one in his strife;

7 from a false matter thou dost keep far off, and an innocent and righteous man thou dost not slay; for I do not justify a wicked man.

8 `And a bribe thou dost not take; for the bribe bindeth the open-[eyed], and perverteth the words of the righteous.

9 `And a sojourner thou dost not oppress, and ye -- ye have known the soul of the sojourner, for sojourners ye have been in the land of Egypt.

10 `And six years thou dost sow thy land, and hast gathered its increase;

11 and the seventh thou dost release it, and hast left it, and the needy of thy people have eaten, and their leaving doth the beast of the field eat; so dost thou to thy vineyard -- to thine olive-yard.

12 `Six days thou dost do thy work, and on the seventh day thou dost rest, so that thine ox and thine ass doth rest, and the son of thine handmaid and the sojourner is refreshed;

13 and in all that which I have said unto you ye do take heed; and the name of other gods ye do not mention; it is not heard on thy mouth.

14 `Three times thou dost keep a feast to Me in a year;

15 the Feast of Unleavened things thou dost keep; seven days thou dost eat unleavened things, as I have commanded thee, at the time appointed [in] the month of Abib; for in it thou hast come forth out of Egypt, and ye do not appear [in] My presence empty;

16 and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of thy works which thou sowest in the field; and the Feast of the In-Gathering, in the outgoing of the year, in thy gathering thy works out of the field.

17 `Three times in a year do all thy males appear before the face of the Lord Jehovah.

18 `Thou dost not sacrifice on a fermented thing the blood of My sacrifice, and the fat of My festival doth not remain till morning;

19 the beginning of the first-fruits of thy ground thou dost bring into the house of Jehovah thy God; thou dost not boil a kid in its mother's milk.

20 `Lo, I am sending a messenger before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee in unto the place which I have prepared;

21 be watchful because of his presence, and hearken to his voice, rebel not against him, for he beareth not with your transgression, for My name [is] in his heart;

22 for, if thou diligently hearken to his voice, and hast done all that which I speak, then I have been at enmity with thine enemies, and have distressed those distressing thee.

23 `For My messenger goeth before thee, and hath brought thee in unto the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, and I have cut them off.

24 `Thou dost not bow thyself to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their doings, but dost utterly devote them, and thoroughly break their standing pillars.

25 `And ye have served Jehovah your God, and He hath blessed thy bread and thy water, and I have turned aside sickness from thine heart;

26 there is not a miscarrying and barren one in thy land; the number of thy days I fulfil:

27 My terror I send before thee, and I have put to death all the people among whom thou comest, and I have given the neck of all thine enemies unto thee.

28 `And I have sent the hornet before thee, and it hath cast out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee;

29 I cast them not out from before thee in one year, lest the land be a desolation, and the beast of the field hath multiplied against thee;

30 little [by] little I cast them out from before thee, till thou art fruitful, and hast inherited the land.

31 `And I have set thy border from the Red Sea, even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River: for I give into your hand the inhabitants of the land, and thou hast cast them out from before thee;

32 thou dost not make a covenant with them, and with their gods;

33 they do not dwell in thy land, lest they cause thee to sin against Me when thou servest their gods, when it becometh a snare to thee.'

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Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 737, 1001, 1444, 1736, 1754, 1925, 2342, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 44, 81, 344, 444, 567, 578, 623, ...

True Christian Religion 299

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 130, 313, 329, 388, 412, 518, 650, ...

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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Galeed, a heap and a witness, mentioned in Genesis 31:47, signifies quality on the part of good of the divine natural principle.

Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

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...

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

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'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

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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...

'Vineyard and branch,' as in Psalm 80:15, signifies the spiritual church represented by the sons of Israel.

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'Maids' denote external affections serving the internal.

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'Make mention' denotes communication.

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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...

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"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

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To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

The Passover, and the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt, happened during the month Abib, in the Hebrew calendar. Abib signifies the beginning of a...

'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

First fruits
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'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

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the Lord
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Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

'Fat things full of marrow,' signify goods.

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In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

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...

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 is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

'To seethe' signifies destroying truths and goods by falsities.

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Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

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'A messenger' signifies communication.

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'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

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goeth before
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The Hivites' represent those who were in idolatry, but in which there was something of good.

To bow, as in Genesis 18:2 signifies to humble.

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'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

'The sickness prior to death means a movement towards regeneration, so the next stage towards it. A person is by nature in a state of...

"Sarai was barren, she had no child" (Gen 11:30), signifies that evil and falsity were not productive.

As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

'Hornets,' as mentioned in Exodus 23:28, signify falsities of a tormenting and destructive kind, striking with formidable terror, or the dread of those who are...

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...

To be fruitful is predicated of goodnesses, and to be multiplied, of truths.

A 'hem,' 'skirt,' or 'border' signifies the extremes, or the natural principle.

Red sea
'The Red sea' signifies hell and damnation, or temptation.

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

The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

'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...

'Rivers' signify truths in abundance serving the rational self, and so, the understanding, for the purpose of doctrine and life. 'Rivers' or 'floods' signify temptations....

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

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...

Resources for parents and teachers

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 Feast of Ingathering
Color the pictures of the Children of Israel celebrating this feast, then attach the pictures together to display.
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Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18



Ox, young      

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'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 2184, 4244)

Ze Swedenborgových děl


Arcana Coelestia # 9325

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9325. 'None will suffer miscarriage or be barren in [your] land' means that forms of good and truths will develop in their proper order, in continuous progression. This is clear from the meaning of 'none will suffer miscarriage or be barren' as the process of regeneration in its proper order, and therefore the development of forms of good and of truths in their proper order, in continuous progression, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'in the land' as in the Church. In the Word 'the land' or 'the earth' means the Church, see 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 (end), 2571, 2928, 3355, 3368, 3379, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732; and the reason why 'the land' means the Church is that it implies the land of Canaan, where the Church existed, indeed where it had existed since most ancient times, 3686, 4447, 4454, 4516, 4517, 5136, 6306, 6516, 8317. In the spiritual world furthermore, when a land is spoken of no one envisages a land but what the people and their religion in a land are like. Consequently when 'the land' is mentioned in the Word and it implies the land of Canaan, the Church is envisaged. All this goes to show what a new heaven and a new earth is used to mean in the prophetical parts of the Word, namely the internal Church and the external Church, 1850, 3355, 4535; for there are internal people and there are external people.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 1066-1067, 2117-2118, Arcana Coelestia 4516-4517)

[2] The reason why 'none will suffer miscarriage or be barren in the land' means that forms of good and truths will develop in their proper order, in continuous progression, is that all things connected with childbirth are used in the internal sense of the Word to mean such things as are connected with spiritual birth, thus such as are connected with regeneration, 2584, 3860, 3868, 3905, 3915. The things connected with spiritual birth or regeneration are the truths of faith and forms of the good of charity; for through these a person is conceived and born anew. It is evident from a large number of places in the Word that such things are meant by 'births', and plainly so from the Lord's words to Nicodemus,

Jesus said to him, Truly, truly I say to you, Unless a person is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said, How can a person be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly I say to you, Unless a person has been born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, but that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. Nicodemus said, How can these things happen? Jesus answered, Are you a teacher in Israel, and do not know these things? John 3:3-6, 9-10.

'Being born through water and the Spirit' means being born again through the truths of faith and the good of love, see the places referred to in 9274.

[3] The origin of this meaning of 'births' in the Word lies in the correspondence of marriages on earth with the heavenly marriage, which is the marriage of goodness and truth. Regarding this correspondence, see 2727-2759. But scarcely anyone at the present day knows, and perhaps scarcely anyone is willing to recognize that truly conjugial love comes down from that marriage; for earthly and bodily things are before people's eyes, and those things have a dampening and smothering effect when they think about such correspondence. Furthermore, since that is the source of truly conjugial love, 'births' and 'generations' in the internal sense of the Word mean things connected with new birth and generation effected by the Lord. So it is also that father, mother, sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandsons, and many more who are the product of marriages, mean forms of good and truths, and derivations from them, dealt with many times in explanatory sections.

[4] From all this it now becomes clear that 'none will suffer miscarriage or be barren in the land' means that forms of good and truths will develop in their proper order, in continuous progression. The fact that 'one suffering miscarriage' and 'one who is barren' mean instances of miscarriage and barrenness in a spiritual sense, that is, the perversions of goodness and truth, and also the destruction and total rejections of them, is evident from the following places: In Hosea,

Ephraim, when I saw it reaching as far as Tyre, was planted in a beautiful [place]; and Ephraim must lead out its sons to the killer. Give them, O Jehovah, a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. On account of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house. Hosea 9:13-15.

Unless people know what it is that 'Ephraim', 'Tyre', 'the killer', 'sons', 'a miscarrying womb', and 'dry breasts' mean in the internal sense, they cannot have any knowledge at all of what those prophetic statements imply. 'Ephraim' is the Church's power of understanding, which is an understanding enlightened in regard to the truths and forms of the good of faith obtained from the Word, see 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267; 'Tyre' is the cognitions or knowledge of truth and good, 1201; and from this it is evident what 'Ephraim, when I saw it reaching as far as Tyre, was planted in a beautiful place' means. 'A killer' is one who deprives another of spiritual life, that is, the life provided by truth and good, 3607, 6767, 8902; 'sons' are the truths of faith, 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257; and from this it is evident what 'Ephraim must lead out its sons to the killer' means. 'Breasts' are affections for goodness and truth, 6432, so that 'dry breasts' are the absence of affections, and desires to pervert instead; and from this it is evident what 'a miscarrying womb' means, namely a perversion of goodness and truth. Things connected with spiritual life are clearly meant by all these words, for it says, 'On account of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house', 'out of Jehovah's house' meaning out of the Church and out of heaven, 2233, 2234, 3720, 5640.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)

[5] In Malachi,

I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that he does not ruin for you the fruit of the land, nor will the vine in the field miscarry for you. All the nations will declare you blessed, and you will be a land of delight. Malachi 3:11-12.

The prophecy that the vine in the field would not miscarry means that the truths and forms of the good of faith among those who are within the Church will develop in their proper order; for 'the vine' is the spiritual Church's truth and good, 1069, 6375, 6376, 9277, and 'the field' is the Church, 2971, 3766, 7502, 9139, 9295. 'A land of delight' is a Church pleasing to the Lord; for everyone within the Church who has been regenerated through truth and good is an embodiment of the Church. From this it is evident what it is that 'you will be a land of delight' means, 'a land' being the Church, see above.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 6375-6376)

[6] In Moses,

If you hear My judgements, to keep and do them, you will be blessed above every people; none will be unfruitful or barren among you, or among [your] beasts. Jehovah will take away all sickness from you, and all the evil diseases of Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:12, 14-15.

'None will be unfruitful or barren' stands for not being devoid of the life provided by truth and good; thus it is a promise that spiritually they will have life. Since 'barrenness' had such a meaning, women in the ancient Churches did not think of themselves as being alive if they were barren. This was so with Rachel, who spoke of herself to Jacob - see 3908 - in the following words,

Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob [any children]; and she said to Jacob, Give me sons; if you do not, I am dead. Genesis 30:1.

(Odkazy: Deuteronomy 7:15)

[7] 'The barren' also means those who are without good because they do not possess truths, yet have a desire for truths in order that they may be governed by good, as with upright nations outside the Church. An example of this meaning occurs in Isaiah,

Sing, O barren one that did not bear; resound with singing and cry out with joy, O one that has not been in travail, for the sons of her that is desolate will be more than the sons of her that was married. Isaiah 54:1.

In David,

Jehovah lifts one who is crushed out of the dust, He raises the needy one from the dunghill, to set him with the princes of His people. He causes the barren one of the house to dwell as a joyful mother of children. Psalms 113:7-9.

[8] In Hannah's prophetic utterance after she had given birth to Samuel,

The full have been hired out [for bread], and the hungry have ceased [to be hungry], till she who was barren has borne seven, while the one who has many children has become feeble. 1 Samuel 2:5.

In these places 'the barren' is used to mean gentile nations who are being summoned to the Church, and to whom the Church is transferred when the old Church has come to an end, that is, when those who formerly belonged to the Church no longer possess faith because they do not have any charity. This old Church is meant by 'the one who has many children has become feeble' and by 'her that was married', while the new one among gentile nations is meant by 'her that is barren and desolate who will have many more sons' and by 'the barren one of the house [who dwells as] a joyful mother of children'. 'Bearing seven' means being regenerated completely, for 'seven' in this prophetic utterance does not mean seven but to completion, 9228. From all this it is evident what the following words spoken by the Lord serve to mean,

The days will come in which they will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the breasts which have not nursed! Luke 23:29.

This refers to the close of the age, which is the final period of the Church.

[9] In the second Book of Kings,

The men of Jericho said to Elisha, Behold, the city's situation is good, but the water is bad and the land barren. Then Elisha told them to put salt in a new dish and to throw the salt from it into the source of the water. And the water was healed, and no more death or barrenness came from it. 2 Kings 2:19-21.

No one can know what this description holds within it except from the internal sense; for all the miracles described in the Word hold within them the kinds of things that happen within the Lord's kingdom, that is, within the Church, 7337, 7465, 8364, 9086. A person needs to know therefore what 'Elisha' represented, what 'the city of Jericho' meant, what 'bad water and barren land' meant, what 'a new dish and salt in it' meant, and also what 'the source of the water' into which they were to throw the salt meant. 'Elisha' represented the Lord in respect of the Word, see 2762. 'Water' means the truths of faith, 28, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668, 6346, 7307, 8137, 8138, 8568, and therefore 'bad water' means truths devoid of good, while 'barren land' means the Church's good which as a consequence is not alive. 'A new dish' or new vessel means factual knowledge and cognitions of goodness and truth, 3068, 3079, 3316, 3318. 'Salt' means truth's desire for good, 9207. 'The source of the water' means the human natural which receives the cognitions or knowledge of truth and good and is improved by truth's desire for good.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 8137-8138)

[10] From all this it is evident what that miracle held within it, namely the improvement of the Church and its life by the Lord's Word and by truth's desire for good from there. The improvement is brought about when the human natural receives truths from the Word as a result of such a desire. The reason why the miracle took place at the city of Jericho was that this city was located not far from the Jordan, and 'the Jordan' means that with a member of the Church which first receives truths, which is the natural, 1585, 4255. The human natural is the first to receive truths from the Lord which are present in the Word, but it is regenerated last; and when it has been regenerated the whole person has been regenerated. This was meant by the Lord's words to Peter when He washed the disciples' feet,

Jesus said, He who has been washed has no need except to wash his feet, and the whole person is clean. John 13:10.

'The feet' are those things that belong to the human natural, and in general are the natural, see 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952, 5327, 5328. The natural or external man must be in agreement with the spiritual or internal man if a person is to be regenerated. Thus a person has not been regenerated until the natural has been, see 2850, 3167, 3286, 3321, 3470, 3493, 3508, 3509, 3518, 3573, 3576, 3579, 3620, 3623, 3671, 3882, 3969, 4353, 4588, 4612, 4618, 5168, 5326, 5373, 5651, 6299, 6454, 7442, 7443, 8742-8747, 9043, 9046, 9061.

(Odkazy: Arcana Coelestia 3508-3509, Arcana Coelestia 5327-5328, Arcana Coelestia 7442-7443; Exodus 23:26)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9326, 9334, 9345, 9348, 9433, 9595, 9643, 9674, 10033, 10038, 10042, 10044, 10061, 10137, 10208, 10217, 10238, 10248, 10287, 10300, 10373, 10406, 10439, 10446, 10507, 10526, 10530, 10545, 10559, 10570, 10634, 10640, 10676

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 5, 186

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 29, 175, 242, 381, 388, 475, 946

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