1. THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH, AND WHAT IS MEANT BY THE NEW JERUSALEM.
It is written in the Apocalypse:
I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride before her husband. The city had a wall, great and high, which had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, in which were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The city itself lieth four-square, and the length is as great as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it were equal. And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is, of an angel. And the wall of it was of jasper; and the city itself was pure gold, like unto pure glass; and the foundations of the wall of the city were of every precious stone. The twelve gates were twelve pearls. And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were pellucid glass. The glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp of it was the Lamb. The nations which were saved shall walk in the light of it; and the Kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it. (21:1, 2, 12-24.)
The man who reads these things, understands them only according to the sense of the letter; namely, that the visible heaven and earth will perish, and a new heaven will exist, and that the holy city Jerusalem, answering to the measures above described, will descend upon the new earth; but the angels understand these things altogether differently; namely, what man understands naturally, they understand spiritually; and as the angels understand, so they signify; and this is the internal or spiritual sense of the Word. In the internal or spiritual sense, "a New Heaven and a New Earth" means a New Church, both in the heavens and on the earth, which will be more particularly spoken of hereafter. "The city Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven" signifies its heavenly doctrine; "the length," "the breadth," and "the height," which are equal, signify all the goods and truths of that doctrine in the aggregate. By "the wall" of it is meant the truths which protect it; "the measure of the wall," which is "a hundred forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel," signifies all those protecting truths in the aggregate, and their quality. "The twelve gates" of pearl mean introductory truths; "the twelve angels at the gates" signify the same. "The foundations of the wall" which are "of every precious stone," mean the knowledges on which that doctrine is founded. "The twelve tribes of Israel," and "the twelve apostles," mean all things of the church in general and in particular. The city and its streets being of "gold like unto pure glass," signifies the good of love from which the doctrine and its truths are pellucid. "The nations" who are saved, and "the kings of the earth" who bring glory and honor into it, mean all of the church who are in goods and truths. "God" and "the Lamb" mean the Lord as to the Divine itself and the Divine Human. Such is the spiritual sense of the Word, to which the natural sense, which is that of the letter, serves as a basis; but still these two senses, the spiritual and the natural, form a one by correspondences. It is not the design of the present work to show that there is such a spiritual meaning in the afore-mentioned passages, but the proof of it may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, in the following places: In the Word by "land" [earth] the church is signified, particularly when it is applied to the land of Canaan (n. 662, 1066-1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 9325, 9643). Because by "land" in the spiritual sense is meant the nation dwelling therein, and its worship (n. 1262), "the people of the land" signify those who are of the spiritual church (n. 2928). "A New Heaven and a New Earth" signify something new in the heavens and on earth, as to goods and truths, thus as to those things that relate to the church in each (n. 1733, 1850, 2117-2118, 3355, 4535, 10373). What is meant by "the first heaven and the first earth" which passed away, may be seen in Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed, from beginning to end, but particularly n. 65-72.
"Jerusalem" signifies the church as to doctrine (n. 402, 3654, 9166). "Cities" signify doctrines which are of the church and religion (n. 402, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493). "The wall of a city" signifies the truth of doctrine defending (n. 6419). "The gates of a city" signify truths introducing to doctrine, and through doctrine to the church (n. 2943, 4477, 4492, 4493). "The twelve tribes of Israel" represented, and thence signified, all the truths and goods of the church in general and in particular, thus all things of faith and love (n. 3858, 3926, 4060, 6335). The same is signified by "the Lord's twelve apostles" (n. 2129, 3272, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397). When it is said of the apostles, that "they shall sit upon twelve thrones, and judge the twelve tribes of Israel," it signifies that all are to be judged according to the goods and truths of the church, thus by the Lord from whom they are (n. 2129, 6397). "Twelve" signifies all things in the aggregate (n. 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, 3858, 3913). Also "a hundred forty-four" signifies the same because that number is the product of twelve multiplied by twelve (n. 7973); "twelve thousand" has also the same signification (n. 7973). All numbers in the Word signify things (n. 482, 487, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 6175, 9488, 9659, 10217, 10253). Numbers multiplied into each other have the same signification as the simple numbers from which they arise by multiplication (n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973). "Measure" signifies the quality of a thing as to truth and good (n. 3104, 9603, 10262). "The foundations of a wall" signify the knowledges of truth on which doctrinals are founded (n. 9643). "Quadrangular" or "square" signifies what is perfect (n. 9717, 9861). "Length" signifies good and its extension, and "breadth" truth and its extension (n. 1613, 9487). "Precious stones" signify truths from good (n. 114, 9863, 9865). What "the precious stones" in the Urim and Thummim signify, both in general and in particular (n. 3862, 9864, 9866, 9891, 9895, 9905). What the "jasper" of which the wall was built signifies (n. 9872). "The street of the city" signifies the truth of doctrine from good (n. 2336). "Gold" signifies the good of love (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9510, 9874, 9881). "Glory" signifies the Divine truth, such as it is in heaven, and the intelligence and wisdom thence (n. 4809, 5068, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429[1-7], 10574). "Nations" signify those in the church who are in good, and, in the abstract sense, the good of the church (n. 1059, 1159, 1258, 1261, 1285, 1416, 1849, 4574, 7830, 9255, 9256). "Kings" signify those in the church who are in truths, and thence abstractly the truth of the church (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 4575, 5044). The rites at the coronation of kings, involve such things as are of the Divine truth, but the knowledge of these things is at this day lost (n. 4581, 4966).