Apocalypse Explained #484

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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484. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.- That this signifies a state of blessedness from the affection of truth, after falsities have been removed by temptations, is plain from the signification of wiping away the tear from the eyes, which denotes to take away grief of mind on account of falsities and from falsities. And because, when that grief ceases after the temptations which they have undergone, blessedness by means of truths from good follows, therefore this also is signified. For all the blessedness which the angels enjoy comes by means of truths from good, or through the spiritual affection for truth, the spiritual affection for truth being from good,

because good is its cause.

[2] The reason why all the blessedness of angels is from this source is, that Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord makes heaven in general and in particular, therefore those who are in Divine truths are in the life of heaven, consequently in eternal blessedness. The reason why the tear from the eyes signifies grief of mind on account of falsities, and from falsities is, that the eye signifies the understanding of truth, and hence tears signify grief because there is no understanding of truth, and therefore because of falsities. The signification of tears in the following passage in Isaiah is similar:

"He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord Jehovih will wipe away the tear from off all faces" (25:8).

These words signify that the Lord by His coming, will remove evils and falsities with those who live from Him, so that there shall be no grief of mind on account of them, or from them. Death signifies evil, for evil is the cause of spiritual death; and the term "tear" is used in reference to falsity.

[3] It must be observed that both the shedding of tears (lacrimatio) and weeping (fletus), signify grief on account of falsities, and from falsities; but the shedding of tears, denotes grief of mind, and weeping, denotes grief of heart, on account of falsities. Grief of mind is grief of thought and understanding, which pertain to truth, and grief of heart is grief of the affection or will, which pertains to good; and because the marriage of truth and good exists everywhere in the Word, therefore both weeping and tears are mentioned in the Word when grief on account of the falsities of doctrine, or religion, is referred to. That weeping is grief of heart, is evident from this fact, that weeping bursts forth from the heart, and breaks out into lamentations through the mouth; and that the shedding of tears is grief of mind, is clear from this fact, that it issues forth from the thought through the eyes. In the act both of weeping and of shedding tears water comes forth, but bitter and alkaline, and this is occasioned by the influx into man's grief from the spiritual world, where bitter water corresponds to the want of truth on account of falsities, and consequently to grief; wherefore with those who are in truths there is grief on account of falsities. From these considerations it is evident that the reason why tears are mentioned in the Word when weeping is named, is, that the marriage of Good and Truth exists in every detail of the Word.

[4] In confirmation of this I will quote only the following passages.

In Isaiah:

"I will bewail Jazer the vine of Sibmah with weeping. I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh" (16:9).

In Jeremiah:

"My soul shall weep in secret places, and mine eye shall run down with tears" (13:17).

And again:

"O that mine eyes were a spring of tears, that I might weep day and night" (9:1).

In Lamentations:

"She shall weep sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks" (1:2).

In Malachi:

"To cover the altar of Jehovah with tears, with weeping, and with sighing" (2:13).

In David:

"They that sow in tears; and with weeping he beareth the measure of seed" (Psalm 126:5, 6).

In Jeremiah:

"Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears" (31:15, 16).

And in the same:

Let the mourning women "hasten and take up a lamentation for us, and let our eyes run down with tears" (9:18).

In these words wailing is put for weeping, because it is the voice of weeping.

Again in David:

"I am weary with my groaning; all the night wash I my bed; I moisten my couch with my tears" (Psalm 6:6).

By washing the bed is meant weeping, which is of the mouth, because it is said of groaning, whereas to moisten the couch, which is yet a similar thing, is said of tears. These passages are quoted in order to show that when two similar expressions occur in the Word, especially in the prophets, they are not vain repetitions, but that one has reference to good, and the other to truth.

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Translation by Isaiah Tansley. Many thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.