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Sacred Scripture # 79

Sacred Scripture (Dole translation)      

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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.

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Apocalypse Revealed # 629

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

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629. "And give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come." This symbolizes an acknowledgment and confession that all the Word's truth which makes the church a church comes from the Lord, and that everyone will be judged in accordance with it.

To give glory to Him means, symbolically, to acknowledge and confess that every truth comes from the Lord, as may be seen in no. 249 above; and because every truth that makes the church a church is drawn from the Word, it is the Word's truth that is meant. "For the hour of His judgment has come" means symbolically that everyone will be judged in accordance with the Word's truth. This is the symbolic meaning because to give glory to Him means, symbolically, to acknowledge and confess that the Word's truth all comes from the Lord, and we are told next, "for the hour of His judgment has come," the word "for" entailing this as the cause.

That everyone will be judged by the Word's truth may be seen in 233, 273 above. And that the church is founded on the Word, and that its character is such as its understanding of the Word, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture, nos.76-79.

It is apparent from this that the spiritual meaning of these words is as stated. It is as stated because angels in heaven perceive glory to mean nothing else than Divine truth; and because all Divine truth comes from the Lord, they perceive giving glory to Him to mean an acknowledgment and confession that all truth comes from Him. For all glory in the heavens springs from no other origin, and to the extent that any society in heaven is governed by Divine truth, to the same extent everything in it is radiant, and the angels are surrounded by a commensurate glorious radiance.

(Odkazy: Revelation 14:7; Teachings about the Sacred Scripture 76-79)


[2] That glory means Divine truth can be seen from the following passages:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of Jehovah... The glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it...." (Isaiah 40:3, 5)

...shine, for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon you... Jehovah will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1-2 to the end)

I will... give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles..., and My glory I will not give to another... (Isaiah 42:6, 8)

For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it... And I will not give My glory to another. (Isaiah 48:11)

They shall fear... His glory from the rising of the sun... The Redeemer will come to Zion... (Isaiah 59:19-20)

...your light shall break forth like the morning...; the glory of Jehovah shall gather you. (Isaiah 58:8)

...He will come to gather all nations and tongues, that they may... see My glory. (Isaiah 66:18)

(Jehovah said,) "I live, and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah." (Numbers 14:21)

The whole earth is full of His glory! (Isaiah 6:1-3)

In the beginning was the Word..., and the Word was God... In Him was life, and the life was the light of men... That was the true Light... And the Word became flesh..., and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father... (John 1:1, 4, 9, 14)

These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory... (John 12:41)

And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with... glory. (Matthew 24:3, 30)

The heavens shall declare the glory of God... (Psalms 19:1)

Then the nations shall fear the name of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth Your glory, because (He) built up Zion, (and) He appeared in His glory. (Psalms 102:15-16)

...the glory of God (will illuminate the Holy Jerusalem) and the Lamb is its light. And the nations (which) are saved shall walk in its light... (Revelation 21:23-25)

...the Son of Man (will come) in His glory...(to) sit on the throne of His glory. (Matthew 25:31, cf. Mark 8:38)

That the glory of Jehovah filled and covered the Tabernacle: Exodus 40:34-35, Numbers 14:10-12; 16:19; 16:42.

That it filled the house of Jehovah: 1 Kings 8:10-11.

And so on elsewhere as in Isaiah 24:23; Ezekiel 1:28; 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18-19; 11:22-23; Luke 2:32; 9:26; John 2:11; 7:18; 17:24.

(Odkazy: Isaiah 6:3, 60; Leviticus 9:23-24; Revelation 14:7, 21:23-24)

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Apocalypse Revealed 249, 612, 674, 754, 804, 812, 897, 919, 921

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.


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