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Arcana Coelestia#9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(参照: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(参照: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(参照: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(参照: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

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 John the Baptist
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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Arcana Coelestia#4581

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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4581. 'And he poured out a drink-offering onto it' means the Divine Good of Truth. This is clear from the meaning of 'a drink-offering' as the Divine Good of Truth, dealt with below. But first one must say what the good of truth is. The good of truth is that which elsewhere has been called the good of faith, which is love towards the neighbour, or charity. There are two universal kinds of good, the first being that which is called the good of faith, the second that which is referred to as the good of love. The good of faith is the kind of good meant by 'a drink-offering', and the good of love the kind meant by 'oil'. The good of love exists with those whom the Lord brings to what is good by an internal way, while the good of faith exists with those He brings to it by an external way. The good of love exists with members of the celestial Church, and likewise with angels of the inmost or third heaven, but the good of faith with members of the spiritual Church, and likewise with angels of the middle or second heaven. Consequently the first kind of good is called celestial good, whereas the second kind is called spiritual good. The difference between the two is, on the one hand, willing what is good out of a will for good and, on the other, willing what is good out of an understanding of it. The second kind of good therefore - spiritual good or the good of faith, which is the good of truth - is meant by 'a drink-offering'; but the first - celestial good or the good of love - is meant in the internal sense by 'oil'.

[2] Nobody, it is true, can see that such things as these were meant by 'oil' and 'a drink-offering' unless he does so from the internal sense. Yet anyone may see that things of a holy nature were represented by them, for unless those holy things were represented by them what else would pouring out a drink-offering or pouring oil onto a stone pillar be but some ridiculous and idolatrous action? It is like the coronation of a king. What else would the ceremonies performed on that occasion be if they did not mean and imply things of a holy nature - placing the crown on his head; anointing him with oil from a horn, on his forehead and on his wrists; placing a sceptre in his hand, as well as a sword and keys; investing him with a purple robe, and then seating him on a silver throne; and after that, his riding in his regalia on a horse, and later still his being served at table by men of distinction, besides many other ceremonies? Unless these represented things of a holy nature and were themselves holy by virtue of their correspondence with the things of heaven and consequently of the Church, they would be no more than the kind of games that young children play, though on a grander scale, or else like plays that are performed on the stage.

[3] But all those ceremonies trace their origin back to most ancient times when ceremonies were holy by virtue of their representation of things that were holy and of their correspondence with holy things in heaven and consequently in the Church. Even today they are considered holy, though not because people know their spiritual representation and correspondence but through the interpretation so to speak they put on symbols in common use. If however people did know what the crown, oil, horn, sceptre, sword, keys, purple robe, silver throne, riding on a white horse, and eating while men of distinction act as the servers, all represented and to what holy thing each corresponded, they would conceive of those things in an even holier way. But they do not know, and surprisingly do not wish to know; indeed that lack of knowledge is so great that the representatives and the meaningful signs included within such ceremonies and within every part of the Word have been obliterated from people's minds at the present day.

[4] The fact that 'a drink-offering' means the good of truth, or spiritual good, may be seen from the sacrifices in which drink-offerings were used. When sacrifices were offered they were made either from the herd or from the flock, and they were representative of internal worship of the Lord, 922, 923, 1823, 2180, 2805, 2807, 2830, 3519. To these the minchah and the drink-offering were added. The minchah, which consisted of fine flour mixed with oil, meant celestial good, or what amounted to the same, the good of love - 'the oil' meaning love to the Lord and 'the fine flour' charity towards the neighbour. But the drink-offering, which consisted of wine, meant spiritual good, or what amounted to the same, the good of faith. Both these therefore, the minchah and the drink-offering, have the same meaning as the bread and wine in the Holy Supper.

(参照: Arcana Coelestia 922-923)


[5] The addition of a minchah and a drink-offering to a burnt offering or to a sacrifice is clear in Moses,

You shall offer two lambs in their first year, each day continually. One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the second you shall offer between the evenings; and a tenth of fine flour mixed with beaten oil, a quarter of a hin, and a drink- offering of a quarter of a hin of wine, for the first lamb; and so also for the second lamb. Exodus 29:38-41.

In the same author,

You shall offer on the day when you wave the sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest a lamb without blemish in its first year as a burnt offering to Jehovah, its minchah being two tenths of fine flour mixed with oil, and its drink-offering wine, a quarter of a hin. Leviticus 23:12-13, 18.

In the same author,

On the day when the days of Naziriteship are completed he is to offer his gift to Jehovah, sacrifices and also a basket of unleavened [loaves] of fine flour, cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, together with their minchah and their drink-offerings. Numbers 6:13-17.

In the same author,

Upon the burnt offering they shall offer a minchah of a tenth [of an ephah] of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil, and wine as the drink-offering, a quarter of a hin - in one way upon the burnt offering of a ram, and in another upon that of a bull. Numbers 15:3-11.

In the same author,

With the continual burnt offering you shall offer a drink-offering, a quarter of a hin for a lamb; in the holy place pour out a drink-offering of wine to Jehovah. Numbers 28:6-7.

Further references to minchahs and drink-offerings in the different kinds of sacrifices are continued in Numbers 28:7-end; Numbers 28:29:1-end.

(参照: Numbers 6:13-15, 6:17, 15:3-5, 15:11, 28:7-31, 29)


[6] The meaning that 'minchah and drink-offering' had may be seen in addition from the considerations that love and faith constitute the whole of worship, and that in the Holy Supper 'the bread' - described in the quotations above as fine flour mixed with oil - and 'the wine' mean love and faith, and so the whole of worship, dealt with in 1798, 2165, 2177, 2187, 2343, 2359, 3464, 3735, 3813, 4211, 4217.

[7] But when people fell away from the genuine representative kind of worship of the Lord and turned to other gods and poured out drink-offerings to these, 'drink-offerings' came to mean things that were the reverse of charity and faith, namely the evils and falsities that go with the love of the world; as in Isaiah,

You inflamed yourselves among the gods under every green tree. You have also poured out a drink-offering to them, you have brought a minchah. Isaiah 57:5-6.

'Inflaming oneself among the gods' stands for cravings for falsity - 'gods' meaning falsities, 4402 (end), 4544. 'Under every green tree' stands for the trust in all falsities which leads to those cravings, 2722, 4552. 'Pouring out a drink-offering to them' and 'bringing a minchah' stand for the worship of those falsities. In the same prophet,

You who forsake Jehovah, who forget My holy mountain, who set a table for Gad, and fill a drink-offering for Meni. Isaiah 65:11.

In Jeremiah,

The sons gather pieces of wood, and the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to other gods. Jeremiah 7:18.

[8] In the same prophet,

We will surely do every word that has gone out of our mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to her, as we did, we and our fathers, and our princes in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 44:17-19.

'The queen of heaven' stands for all falsities, for 'the hosts of heaven' in the genuine sense means truths, and in the contrary sense falsities, and so in the same way do 'king' and 'queen'. 'Queen' accordingly stands for all [falsities] and 'pouring out drink-offerings to her' means worshipping them.

[9] In the same prophet,

The Chaldeans will burn the city, and the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense to Baal and poured out drink-offerings to other gods. Jeremiah 32:29.

'The Chaldeans' stands for people whose worship involves falsity. 'Burning the city' stands for destroying and laying waste those whose doctrines teach falsity. Upon the roofs of the houses burning incense to Baal' stands for the worship of what is evil, 'pouring out drink-offerings to other gods' for the worship of what is false.

[10] In Hosea,

They will not dwell in Jehovah's land, but Ephraim will return to Egypt, and in Assyria they will eat what is unclean. They will not pour libations of wine to Jehovah. Hosea 9:3-4.

'Not dwelling in Jehovah's land' stands for not abiding in the good of love. 'Ephraim will return to Egypt' stands for the Church when its understanding will come to be no more than factual and sensory knowledge. 'In Assyria they will eat what is unclean' stands for impure and profane desires that are the product of reasoning. 'They will not pour libations of wine to Jehovah' stands for no worship based on truth.

[11] In Moses,

It will be said, Where are their gods, the rock in which they trusted, who ate the fat of the sacrifices, [who] drank the wine of their drink-offering? Let them rise up and help them! Deuteronomy 32:37-38.

'Gods' stands for falsities, as above. 'Who ate the fat of the sacrifices' stands for their destruction of the good belonging to worship, '[who] drank the wine of their drink-offering' for their destruction of the truth belonging to it. A reference to 'drink-offerings of blood' also occurs in David,

They will multiply their pains; they have hastened to another, lest I pour out their drink-offerings of blood, and take up their names upon My lips. Psalms 16:4.

By these 'drink-offerings' are meant profanations of truth, for in this case 'blood' means violence done to charity, 374, 1005, and profanation, 1003.

(参照: Genesis 35:14)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4582, 4728, 4763, 4876, 4973, 5038, 5044, 5068, 5164, 5313, 5321, 5323, 5619, 5922, 6015, 6125, 6148, 6377, 6410, 6432, 6651, 6742, 6745, 7351, 7524, 8142, 8330, 8904, 9093, 9144, 9146, 9167, 9212, 9293, 9341, 9372, 9391, 9393, ...

The White Horse 12

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 121, 218, 221, 261


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 31, 126, 176, 236, 242, 324, 329


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


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