The Bible

 

Matthew 25

American Standard Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

2 And five of them were foolish, and five were wise.

3 For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them:

4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 Now while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

6 But at midnight there is a cry, Behold, the bridegroom! Come ye forth to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Peradventure there will not be enough for us and you: go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

10 And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour.

14 For [it is] as [when] a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey.

16 Straightway he that received the five talents went and traded with them, and made other five talents.

17 In like manner he also that [received] the two gained other two.

18 But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and maketh a reckoning with them.

20 And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22 And he also that [received] the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents.

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter;

25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own.

26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter;

27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest.

28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.

30 And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:

32 and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats;

33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in;

36 naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink?

38 And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, [even] these least, ye did it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me.

46 And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Matthew 25      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Matthew 25 and the previous chapter, Matthew 24, are the only two chapters in the four gospels for which Swedenborg offered verse by verse explanations. It's great that we have these, because we get some assurance that the methods that he used in his exegesis of Genesis, Exodus, and Revelation can also be applied to the gospels.

The commentary on Matthew 25 is divided into chunks associated with explanations of chapters in Genesis, in the middle of "Arcana Coelestia". For chapter 25, it starts in Arcana Coelestia 4635-4638. Here's an excerpt from no. 4636:

* * * *

"The Lord used this parable to describe His own coming. This is clear from every detail in it as well as from the final sentence where He says, 'Watch therefore, for you do not know the day, nor the hour, in which the Son of Man will be coming' - words similar to those used in Chapter 24.... It has been shown already that His coming is the close of the age or the final period of the Church."

Next, in Arcana Coelestia 4637, there's a strong clear attestation to the power and importance of the internal sense of the Word:

"Consequently anyone who does not know this cannot make anything else out of the Lord's parables than ordinary comparisons which hold nothing deeper within them, as with this particular parable concerning the ten virgins. He makes nothing more out of it if he does not know what 'virgins' means in the internal sense, and also what ten, five, lamps, vessels, oil, those who sell, a wedding feast, and every other detail mean. And the same is true with all other parables. As has been stated, the details mentioned by the Lord in them look, in the outward form they take, like ordinary comparisons, but in their internal form their nature is such that they fill the whole of heaven. This is because the internal sense is contained within every detail, and that sense is such that its spiritual and celestial content spreads like light and flame throughout the heavens in all directions. That sense is utterly superior to the sense of the letter, flowing from every phrase and every word, indeed from every tiny letter."

* * * *

(Swedenborg's exegesis of the chapter continues in 4662-4664, 4807-4810, 4954-4959, and 5063-5071. It's well worth the read!)

Also, we'll append the commentary on this chapter that Rev. John Clowes wrote back in the 1850's:

Verses 1, 2, 3, 4. That in the last time of the old church and the first of the now, they who are of the church will receive spiritual truths, and some will be in truths wherein is the good of love and charity, and some in truths wherein is no good of love and charity.

Verse 5. That by reason of delay, they will be sluggish in the things of the church, and will cherish doubt.

Verse 6. But that at the last time of the old church and the first of the new, there will be a change, for then will be the judgement, namely, acceptance and rejection.

Verses 7, 8. And then all will prepare themselves, and they who are in truths without the good of love and charity will be willing to have good communicated from others to their empty truths.

Verse 9. But this is impossible, since no good can then be communicated but the good of merit.

Verse 10. Wherefore the application is preposterous, because none can be received into heaven but those who are principled in good and thence in truth.

Verse 11. Nevertheless, they who are in truths without good, are willing to enter from faith alone without charity, and from works in which is no life of the Lord, but only the life of self.

Verse 12. But they are rejected, because they are not in any charity towards their neighbour, nor by it in conjunction with the Lord.

Verse 13. Therefore the life ought to be regulated according to the precepts of faith, because the time of acceptance, and the state, is unknown to man.

Verses 14, 15. For the Lord gives to all who are in the church the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, with the faculty of perceiving them.

Verses 16, 17, 18. And by these knowledges and this faculty, some procure to themselves much intelligence and wisdom, and others procure some, and others none.

Verses 19-23. Wherefore at the Lord's coming, they who had procured much intelligence and wisdom, and they who had procured some, are accepted of the Lord, and gifted by Him with dominion over all evils and falsities, and admitted to conjunction of life with Himsel{ign20}

Verses 24-31. But they who had procured none are then deprived of the truths which they had possessed in the memory only, and not in the life, and become principled in mere falsities separated from all good and truth.

Verses 24, 25. For not having joined charity to faith, they think harshly of the Divine Mercy, and act from mere natural fear, which obscures the knowledges of heavenly truth.

Verses 26, 27. Whereas they ought rather, by those knowledges, to have procured to themselves charity, and thus have attained conjunction of life with the Lord.

Verses 28, 29. Therefore those knowledges are taken away from them, and conferred on those who apply them to the reformation of their lives.

Verse 30. And they who have lived in faith alone without charity, are deprived of all the truths of faith, and all the goods of charity, having their lot with those who are in mere evils and falsities.

Verse 31. For when Divine Truth shall appear in its light, through the angelic heaven, then shall be the judgement.

Verse 32. And then shall the goods and evils of all be made manifest in the Light Divine, and there shall be a separation of what is good from what is evil, or of those who are in charity and thence in faith, from those who are in faith alone, and not in charity.

Verse 33. And this separation will be according to truths derived from good with the good, and according to falsities derived from evil with the evil, thus every one will be arranged according to his life.

Verse 34. Then shall they who are in charity and thence in faith be received amongst those in heaven who are in truth; derived from good.

Verses 35, 36. Since they are in the affection of good and truth, because proceeding from the Lord, and are averse from what is evil and false, because proceeding from themselves, and thus are in humiliation grounded in self-acknowledgment, and thence in all the offices of charity.

Verses 37, 38, 39. And yet if they had seen the Lord Himself in all the offices of charity, every one would have done them, but not from love to Him, but from fear, nor for the sake of Him, but for the sake of themselves.

Verse 40. Nevertheless the truth is that the Lord is present with those who are in the good of love and charity because He is in that good itself.

Verse 41. But they who are in faith and not in charity, will then avert themselves from all good and truth, and convert themselves to what is evil and false, and remain in the craving of infernal evil.

Verses 42, 43. Since they have never been in the affection of good and truth because proceeding from the Lord, nor averse from what is evil and false because proceeding from themselves, nor in humiliation grounded in self-acknowledgement, nor in any offices of charity thence derived.

Verse 44. And yet in the external form they have done those offices, but not from a principle of love to the Lord, but from fear, thus not for the sake of Him, but of themselves.

Verse 45. For they who are not in the affection of good and truth from the Lord, are not influenced by love to the Lord, but by self-love.

Verse 46. All such therefore will be everlastingly tormented by the concupiscences of evil, but they who are in the good of charity, will have life from that good, because it is from the Lord, who is the life itself.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Apocalypse Explained 716, 875

Doctrine of Faith 64

The Last Judgement (Continuation) 16


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 1017, 1861, 2130, 2335, 2349, 2360, 2371, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 17, 20, 23, 32, 99, 101, 158, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 84

Conjugial Love 21, 41, 44, 117, 120

Divine Providence 17, 101, 210, 227, 324, 328

Doctrine of the Lord 25

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 17

Doctrine of Life 2, 61

Doctrine of Faith 61, 68

Worlds in Space 171

Heaven and Hell 349, 471, 570, 575

The Last Judgement 49, 69

The Last Judgement (Continuation) 10

True Christian Religion 199, 413, 440, 462, 483, 527, 536, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 21, 90, 107, 119


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 5, 63, 98, 112, 118, 122, 130, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 5

Divine Wisdom 11

An Invitation to the New Church 30

Spiritual Experiences 697, 5955

Spiritual Experiences (Interim Diary) 4749, 4776

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 33

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 7:16

Job 15:6, 24:7, 10, 31:19, 32

Psalms 45:15

Proverbs 14:31, 19:17

Isaiah 32:6, 58:7

Ezekiel 20:38, 34:17

Daniel 12:2

Zephaniah 3:8

Zechariah 14:5

Bible Word Meanings

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

bridegroom
On a human level, a bride represents the affection for what is true, and the bridegroom represents the affection for what is good. Most references...

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

oil
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

lamps
The light of a lamp' signifies illumination from the Lord. A lamp,' as in Revelation 22, signifies natural light from self-derived intelligence. 'A lamp' signifies...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

going
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

Enough
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

marriage
When the Bible talks about marriage, marrying, and weddings, it is also talking on a deeper level about the spiritual marriage of good and truth,...

door
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Watch
'Watching' denotes a course of life according to the teachings of faith.

hour
The Writings tell us that time and space are aspects of the physical world, but do not exist as we know them in the spiritual...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

gained
Gain denotes every false principle derived from evil, which perverts the judgment of the mind.

over
'Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

reaping
'To reap' signifies executing judgment. 'Reaping' denotes the reception of truth in good.

sow
'To sow,' as in Isaiah 28:24, signifies learning. 'To sow beside all waters,' as in Isaiah 32:20, relates to people who allow themselves to be...

reap
'To reap' signifies executing judgment. 'Reaping' denotes the reception of truth in good.

sowed
'To sow,' as in Isaiah 28:24, signifies learning. 'To sow beside all waters,' as in Isaiah 32:20, relates to people who allow themselves to be...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

coming
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

Outer darkness
'Outer darkness,' as in Matthew 8:12, denotes the more dreadful falsities which immerse the people who are in the church, because these people darken the...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

glory
Glory, wisdom, and thanksgiving signify the Lord's divine spiritual principle. Honor, virtue and might signify his divine celestial principle, as in Revelation 7:12.

angels
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

sit
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

prepared
In general, when something is "prepared" in the Bible it means that it is in the proper spiritual order, which happens when our hearts and...

foundation
A foundation signifies truth on which heaven and the church, and its doctrines are founded.

Foundation of the world
The foundation of the world signifies the institution of the church.

world
The term "world" has both general and more specific meanings in the Bible, including the relatively literal sense of the natural, physical world. In more...

hungry
'Hunger,' or 'famine,' signifies evils of life. 'Hunger,' or 'famine,' signifies desiring good from affection, because 'bread,' in the internal sense, is the good of...

sick
'The sick,' as in Matthew 25:35, signify people in evil, and those who acknowledge that in themselves there is nothing but evil.

visited
The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

prison
'To be in prison,' as in Revelation 2:10, signifies being infested by evils from hell, because this is like being bound in prison, because they...

righteous
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

least
The idea of "least" is not addressed directly in Swedenborg, but a central idea is relatively clear from several references to Matthew 25:40: And the...

punishment
Punishment' is the consummation of evil, because after punishment, reformation succeeds. This is why it says in Deuteronomy 25:3, 'that no more than forty stripes...

life
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

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What is life in the afterlife like? Is it very different from our life in this world? We take a look at what's similar and what's different with regard to religion, jobs, relationships, and more!

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Dramatize the Parable of Talents
Let children act out the story as you read the parable. Props may include silver “talents” and little sacks, a bathrobe for the master, and a pot of dirt to bury one of the talents.
Activity | Ages 4 - 6

 For Reflection: Becoming a Good and Faithful Servant
How can we work on becoming good and faithful servants of the Lord?
Activity | Ages over 15

 Friendships: Men and Women
Getting to know a variety of men or women helps us learn about the opposite sex and ultimately helps us learn what qualities we care about and will want in the person we marry.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 How to Love One Another
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Idealism and Realism in Love Truly Conjugial
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 I Was Hungry - Level A
A complete lesson on Feeding the 5000 with scripted discussion and multiple activities to choose from. Activities include a play, a fingerprint project, a coloring picture and a memory verse. Sample lesson from the Youth Journey Program Hands of Love Inherit the Kingdom, Level A, ages 3-6.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 I Was Hungry - Level B
A complete lesson on Feeding the 5000 with scripted discussion and multiple activities to choose from. Activities include a play, a folding paper project, a coloring picture and a memory verse. Sample lesson from the Youth Journey Program Hands of Love Inherit the Kingdom, Level B, ages 7-10.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 I Was Hungry - Level C
A complete lesson on Feeding the 5000 with scripted discussion and multiple activities to choose from. Activities include a video "Helping Others Helps God" to watch and discuss, an activity on three Biblical stories that involve food, and a "Read, Reflect, Respond" card to take home. Sample lesson from the Youth Journey Program Hands of Love Inherit the Kingdom, Level C, ages 11-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Memory Verse: Believe in Me
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Parable of the Talents
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Our Daily Work
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Overview of Five Parables of Heaven Levels A, B, C Ages 3-14
Overview of the Youth Journey Program Five Parables of Heaven featuring the parables of the Sower, Pearl of Great Price, Wise and Foolish Virgins, Workers in the Vineyard and The Great Supper. For ages 3-14, Levels A, B and C.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Overview of Hands of Love Levels A B C for ages 3-14
Overview of the Youth Journey Program Hands of Love Inherit the Kingdom, Levels A, B and C, for ages 3-14 for Sunday schools, camps, classrooms and families.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Prayers for Children: The Lord's Supper
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Teens: Using Our Talents
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: Using Our Talents
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Serving the Lord Bookmark
Meditate on a verse from the Word and let it inspire you in a spiritual task. Cut out the color picture bookmark to keep or share.
Activity | Ages over 15

 The Church
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Parable of the Talents
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Parable of the Talents
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Parable of the Talents
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Responsibility of the Lord's Servants
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Ten Virgins
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Widow Feeds Elijah - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: make a model of the Lord's bounty (mobius strip), put others first to win cooperative games, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 The Widow Feeds Elijah - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: a look at mistakes and habits, discussion about heaven and hell, scripted story discussion, and a meditation and task on a verse from the Word.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Trying to Entomb the Lord
This story teaches us that the Lord Jesus, who came to earth and touched us with His great love and wisdom, is more than just a man. He is our God, and He has all power. 
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Using Our Gifts from the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Using Our Talents
Use these 5 decorative "talents" to picture or write about ways you can use the abilities the Lord has given you.
Activity | Ages 8 - 12

 Using Our Talents
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 What Does the Parable of the Talents Mean?
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Works of Charity
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

Commentary

 

Explanation of Matthew 25      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Matthew 25 and the previous chapter, Matthew 24, are the only two chapters in the four gospels for which Swedenborg offered verse by verse explanations. It's great that we have these, because we get some assurance that the methods that he used in his exegesis of Genesis, Exodus, and Revelation can also be applied to the gospels.

The commentary on Matthew 25 is divided into chunks associated with explanations of chapters in Genesis, in the middle of "Arcana Coelestia". For chapter 25, it starts in Arcana Coelestia 4635-4638. Here's an excerpt from no. 4636:

* * * *

"The Lord used this parable to describe His own coming. This is clear from every detail in it as well as from the final sentence where He says, 'Watch therefore, for you do not know the day, nor the hour, in which the Son of Man will be coming' - words similar to those used in Chapter 24.... It has been shown already that His coming is the close of the age or the final period of the Church."

Next, in Arcana Coelestia 4637, there's a strong clear attestation to the power and importance of the internal sense of the Word:

"Consequently anyone who does not know this cannot make anything else out of the Lord's parables than ordinary comparisons which hold nothing deeper within them, as with this particular parable concerning the ten virgins. He makes nothing more out of it if he does not know what 'virgins' means in the internal sense, and also what ten, five, lamps, vessels, oil, those who sell, a wedding feast, and every other detail mean. And the same is true with all other parables. As has been stated, the details mentioned by the Lord in them look, in the outward form they take, like ordinary comparisons, but in their internal form their nature is such that they fill the whole of heaven. This is because the internal sense is contained within every detail, and that sense is such that its spiritual and celestial content spreads like light and flame throughout the heavens in all directions. That sense is utterly superior to the sense of the letter, flowing from every phrase and every word, indeed from every tiny letter."

* * * *

(Swedenborg's exegesis of the chapter continues in 4662-4664, 4807-4810, 4954-4959, and 5063-5071. It's well worth the read!)

Also, we'll append the commentary on this chapter that Rev. John Clowes wrote back in the 1850's:

Verses 1, 2, 3, 4. That in the last time of the old church and the first of the now, they who are of the church will receive spiritual truths, and some will be in truths wherein is the good of love and charity, and some in truths wherein is no good of love and charity.

Verse 5. That by reason of delay, they will be sluggish in the things of the church, and will cherish doubt.

Verse 6. But that at the last time of the old church and the first of the new, there will be a change, for then will be the judgement, namely, acceptance and rejection.

Verses 7, 8. And then all will prepare themselves, and they who are in truths without the good of love and charity will be willing to have good communicated from others to their empty truths.

Verse 9. But this is impossible, since no good can then be communicated but the good of merit.

Verse 10. Wherefore the application is preposterous, because none can be received into heaven but those who are principled in good and thence in truth.

Verse 11. Nevertheless, they who are in truths without good, are willing to enter from faith alone without charity, and from works in which is no life of the Lord, but only the life of self.

Verse 12. But they are rejected, because they are not in any charity towards their neighbour, nor by it in conjunction with the Lord.

Verse 13. Therefore the life ought to be regulated according to the precepts of faith, because the time of acceptance, and the state, is unknown to man.

Verses 14, 15. For the Lord gives to all who are in the church the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, with the faculty of perceiving them.

Verses 16, 17, 18. And by these knowledges and this faculty, some procure to themselves much intelligence and wisdom, and others procure some, and others none.

Verses 19-23. Wherefore at the Lord's coming, they who had procured much intelligence and wisdom, and they who had procured some, are accepted of the Lord, and gifted by Him with dominion over all evils and falsities, and admitted to conjunction of life with Himsel{ign20}

Verses 24-31. But they who had procured none are then deprived of the truths which they had possessed in the memory only, and not in the life, and become principled in mere falsities separated from all good and truth.

Verses 24, 25. For not having joined charity to faith, they think harshly of the Divine Mercy, and act from mere natural fear, which obscures the knowledges of heavenly truth.

Verses 26, 27. Whereas they ought rather, by those knowledges, to have procured to themselves charity, and thus have attained conjunction of life with the Lord.

Verses 28, 29. Therefore those knowledges are taken away from them, and conferred on those who apply them to the reformation of their lives.

Verse 30. And they who have lived in faith alone without charity, are deprived of all the truths of faith, and all the goods of charity, having their lot with those who are in mere evils and falsities.

Verse 31. For when Divine Truth shall appear in its light, through the angelic heaven, then shall be the judgement.

Verse 32. And then shall the goods and evils of all be made manifest in the Light Divine, and there shall be a separation of what is good from what is evil, or of those who are in charity and thence in faith, from those who are in faith alone, and not in charity.

Verse 33. And this separation will be according to truths derived from good with the good, and according to falsities derived from evil with the evil, thus every one will be arranged according to his life.

Verse 34. Then shall they who are in charity and thence in faith be received amongst those in heaven who are in truth; derived from good.

Verses 35, 36. Since they are in the affection of good and truth, because proceeding from the Lord, and are averse from what is evil and false, because proceeding from themselves, and thus are in humiliation grounded in self-acknowledgment, and thence in all the offices of charity.

Verses 37, 38, 39. And yet if they had seen the Lord Himself in all the offices of charity, every one would have done them, but not from love to Him, but from fear, nor for the sake of Him, but for the sake of themselves.

Verse 40. Nevertheless the truth is that the Lord is present with those who are in the good of love and charity because He is in that good itself.

Verse 41. But they who are in faith and not in charity, will then avert themselves from all good and truth, and convert themselves to what is evil and false, and remain in the craving of infernal evil.

Verses 42, 43. Since they have never been in the affection of good and truth because proceeding from the Lord, nor averse from what is evil and false because proceeding from themselves, nor in humiliation grounded in self-acknowledgement, nor in any offices of charity thence derived.

Verse 44. And yet in the external form they have done those offices, but not from a principle of love to the Lord, but from fear, thus not for the sake of Him, but of themselves.

Verse 45. For they who are not in the affection of good and truth from the Lord, are not influenced by love to the Lord, but by self-love.

Verse 46. All such therefore will be everlastingly tormented by the concupiscences of evil, but they who are in the good of charity, will have life from that good, because it is from the Lord, who is the life itself.


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