By New Christian Bible Study Staff
Islands' signify the natural mind, or the natural human, regarding truths and falsities.
People who are steeped in the internal sense of the Word, such as angels, do not know what islands are, because they no longer have any concept of such places. Instead they have a perception of more remote worship, like the gentiles outside the church.
(참조: Arcana Coelestia 1158)
When 'islands' are contrasted to 'earth' or 'mountains,' they signify the truths of faith, because they are in the sea. They signify doctrinal things which are rituals.
(참조: Arcana Coelestia 1158)
'Islands,' In Ezekiel 27:6, signify those in the church who are in a natural state, but are nevertheless rational.
Islands' signify those who are in truths, and 'people from afar,' as in Isaiah 49:1, signify those who are in goods, and abstractedly truths and goods, both in the natural self.
'Islands' signify peoples who are more remote from the worship of God, but will still consent to it.
(참조: Apocalypse Revealed 34)
2967. 'Current with the merchant' means in conformity with their state. This becomes clear from the meaning of 'a merchant', and, from this, of 'current with the merchant'. In the Word 'a merchant' means people who possess cognitions of good and truth, while 'merchandise' means those cognitions themselves. Consequently 'silver current with the merchant' means truth to the extent that it can be received, or what amounts to the same, in conformity with each individual's state and ability. For the embodiment of some arcanum within this added phrase may be seen by anyone. The specific meaning of 'a merchant' and of 'merchandise' is dealt with below, but the general meaning of the whole phrase is this: Everyone who is being reformed and regenerated has charity and faith conferred on him from the Lord; but each individual receives these according to his ability and his state. For the evils and falsities which a person absorbs from earliest childhood make it impossible for one individual to receive what is given in the same way as any other receives it. Those evils and falsities must first undergo vastation before a person can be regenerated. The amount of celestial and spiritual life left following vastation determines how far what is then left can be enlightened with truth and enriched with good.
 It is the remnants, that is, the goods and truths from the Lord stored away in a person, that receive life at that time. The goods and truths acquired in the period from early childhood to when reformation takes place are with one person more, with another less. They are preserved in his internal man, and cannot be brought out until his external man has been brought into a state of correspondence with the internal, which is effected chiefly by means of temptations, and by many kinds of vastation. Indeed until bodily desires which are contrary to goods and truths - as is the nature of desires which constitute self-love and love of the world - become dormant, celestial and spiritual desires that belong to the affection for good and truth cannot enter in. This is the reason why each individual is reformed in conformity with his state and ability. This is also the Lord's teaching in the parable about a man who went away on a journey,
He called his servants and delivered to them his riches. To the first he gave five talents, to the second two, and to the third one, to each according to his own ability. He who received the five talents traded with them and earned five talents more. So too he who received the two earned two more. Matthew 25:14-17, and following verses.
The same teaching also occurs in the parable about the ten servants to whom he gave ten pounds to trade with, Luke 19:12-13, and following verses.
 As regards 'a merchant' meaning those who possess cognitions of good and truth and 'merchandise' meaning those cognitions themselves, this is clear from the places which have just been quoted from Matthew and Luke, and also from the following: In Ezekiel,
Say to Tyre, one that dwells upon the entrances of the sea, she that is the trader of the peoples to many islands: Tarshish was your merchant because of the abundance of all riches; silver, iron, tin, and lead they exchanged for your wares. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were your traders in the souls of men - and they gave vessels of bronze for your commerce. The sons of Dedan were your traders, many islands were the merchandise of your hand. Syria was your merchant in the multitude of your handyworks; Judah and the land of Israel, they were your traders. Wheat of minnith and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm, they exchanged for your commerce. Damascus was your merchant in the multitude of your handyworks because of the multitude of all riches - in the wine of Helbon and the wool of Zahar. And Dan and Javan exchanged yarn for your wares. Dedan was your trader in chariot-cloaks. 1 The Arab and all the princes of Kedar were the merchants of your hand in lambs, in rams and goats; in these they were your merchants. The traders of Sheba and Raamah, they were your traders in the best of every spice. Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the traders of Shebah; Asshur, Chilmad, was your trader. These were your traders in choice wares. Ezekiel 27:3, 12-13, 15-24.
These verses refer to Tyre, by which - as may be seen in 1201 and as is evident from all the specific details contained in these verses - cognitions of truth are meant. The tracings and merchandise, and also the wares, mentioned there have no other meaning, for which reason Tyre is described as 'one that dwells upon the entrances of the sea' - 'waters' meaning cognitions and 'the sea' a gathering together of these, 28. Tyre is also called 'the trader of the peoples to many islands', that is, extending even to those whose worship is more remote - 'islands' meaning more remote forms of worship, see 1158. What Tarshish means is explained in 1156, while 'silver, iron, tin, and lead' from there means truths in their own order even to the last, which are sensory truths - what 'silver' means being explained in 1551, 2048, 'iron' in 425, 426.
What 'Javan, Tubal and Meshech' means is explained in 1151-1153, 1155, while 'the souls of men' and 'vessels of bronze' from those places mean things that have to do with natural life - 'soul' meaning all life that comes from the Lord, 1000, 1040, 1436, 1742; 'vessels of bronze' the natural goods which receive that life, 425, 1551. What 'Dedan' means is explained in 1172, 'Syria' in 1232, 1234. 'Judah and the land of Israel were your traders in wheat of minnith and pannag, honey, oil, and balm' means celestial and spiritual things from the Word. The rest of the nations and their merchandise that are mentioned mean different genera and species of truth and good, and so the cognitions that exist with those meant by 'Tyre'.
(참조: Arcana Coelestia 425-426)
 On such cognitions wisdom and understanding rest, as is quite clear in the same prophet where the following is stated,
Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, By your wisdom and by your intelligence you have gained riches for yourself and gained gold and silver in your treasuries. By the vastness of your wisdom, by your trading, you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up on account of your riches; therefore, behold, I am bringing strangers - the terrible of the nations - upon you. Ezekiel 28:2, 4-7.
Here it is quite evident that the commodities with which they traded mean cognitions of good and truth since there is no other source from which wisdom and intelligence may be derived. Hence the statement, 'By your wisdom and by your intelligence you have gained riches for yourself and gained gold and silver in your treasuries'. But when cognitions are sought for the selfish purpose of becoming pre-eminent, and of gaining either reputation or riches, they have no life, and those people who possess them are deprived of such altogether. In this life they are deprived of them by embracing falsities instead of truths and evils instead of goods, and in the next life too they are deprived altogether of those things that are true. This is why it is said, 'Because your heart is lifted up on account of your riches, therefore I am bringing strangers (meaning falsities) - the terrible of nations (meaning evils) - upon you'. And elsewhere in the same prophet,
Tyre is like [a city] destroyed in the midst of the sea. When your wares came out of the seas you satisfied many peoples; with the multitude of your riches and of your commerce you enriched the kings of the earth. Now you are broken by the seas, in the depths of the waters; your commerce and all your company have sunk in the midst of you. The merchants among the peoples hiss at you. 2 Ezekiel 27:32-34, 36.
And in Isaiah,
The prophecy concerning Tyre. The inhabitants of the island are silent, O merchant of Sidon passing over the sea; they have replenished you. On the great waters the seed of Shihor, the harvest of the river, was her revenue and was the merchandise of nations. Who has purposed this against Tyre crowning itself, whose merchants were princes? Isaiah 23:2-3, 8.
This refers to the vastation of Tyre.
(참조: Isaiah 23:1-3)
 Merchandise and wares are in a similar way spoken of in reference to Babylon, these being adulterated cognitions of good, and falsified cognitions of truth. In John,
Babylon has given all nations drink from the wine of the fury of her whoredom, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her; and the merchants of the earth, have grown rich from the abundance of her luxuries. The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, since no one buys their wares any more, wares of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, etc. The merchants in these things who were made rich by her will stand far off for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning. Revelation 18:3, 11-12, 15.
'Babylon' means worship, the external features of which seem holy but the interior features are unholy, see 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306, 1326. From this it is evident what its merchandise and wares mean.
 That 'a merchant' means one who acquires to himself cognitions of truth and good, and from these intelligence and wisdom, is clear from the Lord's words in Matthew,
The kingdom of heaven is like a trader seeking fine pearls, who, having found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46.
'A fine pearl' is charity or the good of faith.
(참조: Revelation 18:11)
 That all cognitions of good and truth come from the Lord is taught in Isaiah,
Thus said Jehovah, The labour of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush and of the Sabaeans, men of stature, will come over to you and will be yours. They will follow after you, they will come over in chains and bow down to you. To you they will make the supplication, God is with you only, and there is no other besides God. Isaiah 45:14.
This refers to the Lord's Divine Human.
 From all these places one may now see what is meant by acting as a merchant, or buying and selling, namely acquiring cognitions of good and truth for oneself, and by means of these cognitions acquiring good itself. This good is acquired from the Lord alone, as is clear in the same prophet,
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1-2.
Here 'buying' stands for acquiring for oneself, 'wine' stands for spiritual truth, 1071, 1798, 'milk' for spiritual good, 2184. Anyone may see that here 'coming to the waters' does not mean coming to the waters, nor that 'buying' means buying, nor 'money' money, nor 'wine and milk' wine and milk, but that each of these means something corresponding to it in the internal sense. For this is the Divine Word, in which all the expressions used - though fashioned out of things perceptible in the natural world and out of man's sensory impressions - have Divine spiritual and celestial things corresponding to them. In this and no other way is the Word Divinely inspired.