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Sacred Scripture # 79

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79. There are many passages in the prophets about our understanding of the Word, passages about the church, where it tells us that the church exists only where the Word is properly understood, and that the quality of a church depends on the quality of the understanding of the Word among its members. There are also many passages in the prophets that describe the church among the Israelite and Jewish people, a church that was utterly destroyed and annihilated by the distortion of the Word’s meaning or message, for this is exactly what destroys a church.

[2] The name Ephraim in the prophets, especially in Hosea, symbolizes both true and false understandings of the Word, because Ephraim in the Word means the understanding of the Word in the church. It is because the understanding of the Word makes a church that Ephraim is called “a precious child, and one born of delights” (Jeremiah 31:20), “the firstborn” (Jeremiah 31:9), “the strength of Jehovah’s head” (Psalms 60:7; 108:8), “powerful” (Zechariah 10:7), and “filled with a bow” (Zechariah 9:13); and the children of Ephraim are called “armed” and “bow-shooters” (Psalms 78:9). The bow means a body of teaching from the Word fighting against what is false.

So too, Ephraim was transferred to the right of Israel and blessed, and accepted in place of Reuben (Genesis 48:5, 11, and following; [1 Chronicles 5:1]). And therefore Ephraim, together with his brother Manasseh, was exalted over all by Moses in his blessing of the children of Israel in the name of their father Joseph (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).

(Odkazy: Genesis 48:11-15; Hosea 1:1)


[3] The prophets, especially Hosea, also use “Ephraim” to describe what the church is like when its understanding of the Word has been lost, as we can see from the following:

Israel and Ephraim will stumble. Ephraim will be desolate. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment. I will be like a lion to Ephraim: I will tear them and leave; I will carry them off and no one will rescue them. (Hosea 5:5, 9, 11, 14)

What shall I do to you, Ephraim? Your holiness goes away like a cloud at dawn and like the morning dew that falls. (Hosea 6:4)

(Odkazy: Hosea 1:1, Hosea 5:11-14)


[4] They will not dwell in the land of Jehovah: Ephraim will go back to Egypt and will eat what is unclean in Assyria. (Hosea 9:3)

The land of Jehovah is the church, Egypt is the preoccupation of the earthly self with mere facts, and Assyria is rationalizing based on those facts; all of which lead to distortion of the Word in regard to the way it is understood. That is why it says that Ephraim will go back to Egypt and will eat what is unclean in Assyria.

[5] Ephraim feeds on the wind and chases the east wind. Every day he increases lies and devastation. He makes a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried down into Egypt. (Hosea 12:1)

To feed on the wind, chase the east wind, and increase lies and devastation is to distort what is true and in this way destroy the church.

[6] Much the same is also meant by Ephraim’s whoredom, since whoredom means distortion of the way the Word is understood - that is, distortion of its genuine truth. See the following passages:

I know Ephraim; he has committed whoredom in every way and Israel has been defiled. (Hosea 5:3)

I have seen something foul in the house of Israel: Ephraim has committed whoredom there, and Israel has been defiled. (Hosea 6:10)

Israel is the church itself and Ephraim is the understanding of the Word that is the source of the church and that determines its quality, so it says that Ephraim has committed whoredom and Israel has been defiled.

[7] Since the church among Jews had been completely destroyed because of its distortions, it says of Ephraim,

Am I to give you up, Ephraim? Am I to hand you over, Israel? Like Admah? Shall I make you like Zeboiim? (Hosea 11:8)

Since the book of the prophet Hosea, from the first chapter to the last, is about the distortion of the Word and the consequent destruction of the church, and since whoredom means the distortion of truth in the church, the prophet was commanded to represent that state of the church by taking a whore as his wife and fathering children by her (chapter 1); and also by forming a relationship with a woman who was committing adultery (chapter 3).

(Odkazy: Hosea 1:2-9, 3:2-3)


[8] These instances have been presented so that readers may know and be assured from the Word that the quality of a church depends on the quality of the understanding of the Word in it - outstanding and priceless if its understanding comes from genuine truths from the Word, but in ruins, actually filthy, if it comes from distortions.

For further evidence that Ephraim means the understanding of the Word, and in its opposite sense a distorted understanding leading to the destruction of the church, you may check some other passages that deal with Ephraim: Hosea 4:17-18; 7:1, 11; 8:9, 11; 9:11-13, 16; 10:11; 11:3; 12:1, 8, 14; 13:1, 8, 14; Isaiah 17:3; 28:1; Jeremiah 4:15; 31:6, 18; 50:19; Ezekiel 37:16; 48:5; Obadiah verse 19; Zechariah 9:10.

(Odkazy: Hosea 11:12, 13:12)

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Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 44, 297, 360, 571, 629, 740

Divine Providence 172, 256

Sacred Scripture 114


   Parallel Passages:

True Christian Religion 247


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

Bible

 

Genesis 48:11

English: King James Version         

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11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.

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Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 6255


Další odkazy Swedenborga k tomuto verši:

Arcana Coelestia 4286, 6262, 6263, 6264

Sacred Scripture 79

True Christian Religion 247

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 37:33, 35, 45:26

Psalms 128:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

said
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...

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

face
“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...

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

seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Israel Blesses Joseph’s Two Sons
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Joseph's Sons
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Joseph's Sons Blessed - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: learn a blessing song (video demonstration), make a movable picture of Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, learn the Lord Blesses Me action rhyme (video demonstration), scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph's Sons Blessed - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: learn a blessing song (video demonstration), make a movable picture of Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, make blessing bracelets and learn how the Lord blesses us with His truth and His love, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph's Sons Blessed - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: act out scenarios in pairs to practice behaving with integrity, explore Joseph's character, read and reflect on a door handle sign about living in harmony with your higher self, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Joseph's Sons Blessed - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: share your blessings with a blessing jar, explore ways you can walk the path of integrity using Micah 6:8, experiment with different ways of walking physically and discuss the implications of walking with God, read and reflect on a door handle sign about living in harmony with your higher self, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Joseph Welcomes His Family
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Overview of Joseph a Man of Integrity Levels A B C D for Ages 3-18
Overview of the Youth Journey Program "Joseph: a man of integrity", Levels A, B, C, and D for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18


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