The Bible

 

约拿书 3

Chinese: NCV (Simplified)         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 约拿遵命

2 起来!到尼尼微城去,向其中的居民宣告我所吩咐你的话。”

3 约拿就动身,照耶和华的尼尼微去了,这尼尼微是一座极的城(“是一座极的城”或译:“在面前是一座城”),要才能走完。

4 尼尼微人悔改得救约拿进城,走了一天,就宣告:“再过四十尼尼微就要毁灭了。”

5 尼尼微人信了(“信了”或译:“信服”),就宣告禁食,从到小,都穿上麻衣。

6 这事传到尼尼微那里,他就起来,离开宝座,脱去袍,披上麻衣,在炉灰中。

7 他又传谕全尼尼微:“臣有令:‘人、畜、牛、,都不准尝什么,不准吃,也不准

8 不论畜,都要披上麻衣;各要恳切呼求,悔改,离开恶行,摒弃手中的强暴。

9 或者回心意,不发烈怒,使我们不致灭亡。’”

10 见他们所作的,就是悔改离开恶行,意,不把所的灾祸降在他们身上了。

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   Study the Inner Meaning
Chapter summary

Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 3      

By Joe David

In the third chapter of the Book of Jonah, Jonah finally reaches Nineveh, and starts preaching repentance and reformation to the people there. And... they listen! Even the King of Assyria listens!

The inner meaning of the story is pretty close to the surface here, and there's important symbolism. Swedenborg summarizes the chapter's meaning in this one sentence:

"The nations, hearing from the Word of God about their sins, and that they would perish, were converted after repenting, and were heard by the Lord, and saved." (The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 213)

Rev. George McCurdy, in his exegesis of this chapter, offers this summary:

The great city of Nineveh has many spiritual representations. The world saw Nineveh as a mighty nation, but in the eyes of the Lord, it represented the shallowness and weakness (death) of false doctrines, contrived beliefs confirmed by the proprium (self love), the fallacies of the senses, and the unenlightened understanding that spawns spiritual ignorance.

The Lord’s mercy and love for all prompted Him not only to send His message to Nineveh, but to ensure that it would be preserved for eternity. Jonah’s call to "arise and go" preach to Nineveh is a call for spiritual renewal. It is a call for repentance. The fasting, sackcloth, and ashes symbolize a call to be aware that "where there is no truth, there is no church."

Where the Word is closed, and not loved, there is a loss of conjunction with the Divine resources. The fasting of man and beast symbolizes a need for the spiritual and natural appetites to come to the Lord for that "bread which comes down from heaven." The Ninevites giving up their natural food and drink represents their turning away from "as-of-self" concepts and reminds all who read and hear the Word of the Lord to rely on heavenly manna.

"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance…" (Isaiah 55:2)

The king sitting in ashes and mourning represents a sorrowful attitude toward "the remains of the fire of self-love." Repentance involves self-examination, making oneself guilty for the sins and evils committed, asking the Lord for His help, and desiring to attain a new life.

As we mull over this concept, think about the Lord’s preaching on earth. As He went about His mission, He often used these words: "You have heard it said of old… but I say unto you…" Putting aside human traditions and taking on the Lord’s teachings is an ongoing effort. Jonah was told to preach the words of the Lord. He was not to make things up from his memory. He was to be a true and faithful prophet of the Lord’s ways.

Here's a link to an interesting (audio) sermon on this chapter, by Rev. Todd Beiswenger.

Rev. Martin Pennington suggests two explanatory passages from Swedenborg's theological writings:

"Forty days means a period of temptation combats or severe change." (Arcana Coelestia 730)

"A fast represents those who are in a state of unhappiness when good is no longer joined to the truths." (Arcana Coelestia 9182[10])

Other references of interest listed by Rev. McCurdy include:

"As ‘forty’ signified what is full or complete… forty signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx… for this reason it was said by Jonah to the Ninevites that ‘the city would be overthrown after forty days" (Jonah 3:4) (Arcana Coelestia 9437[2])

"By being clothed in sackcloth is signified mourning on account of the vastated truth in the church; for garments signify truths; and therefore, to be clothed in sackcloth, which is not a garment, signifies mourning that there is no truth; and where there is no truth, there is no church." Jonah 3:5-6 is cited. (Apocalypse Revealed 492)

"…the rite of putting sackcloth on the loins to testify…mourning may be seen from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word, as in… Jonah 3:5-8… for a sign representative of mourning over the evil on account of which Nineveh was to perish; thus over destroyed good." (Arcana Coelestia 4779[2])

"From the signification of garments it is also manifest why they rent their garments, when any one spoke against the Divine truth of the Word… and why, on account of transgressions against Divine truths, they put off their garments, and put on sackcloth." Jonah 3:5, 6, and 8 are cited. (Apocalypse Revealed 166)

"That ‘ashes’ denote falsity, may be confirmed from passages where another word for ‘ashes (cinis)’ is used, for these ashes have a like origin…" Jonah 3:6 is cited. (Arcana Coelestia 7520)

"…by ‘ashes’ in the opposite sense, namely, what is condemned that remains after the burning from the fire of self love. This is signified by ‘the ashes’ which they carried on the head, and in which they rolled themselves when bewailing their sins." Jonah 3:6 is cited. (Arcana Coelestia 9723)

"In the spiritual sense by kings those who are in truths are signified, by the great ones those who are in goods, by the rich those that are in the knowledge of good, by the mighty they that are in erudition, by servants they that are in such things from others, and thus from memory, and by freemen they that are in such things from themselves…" Jonah 3:7 is cited. (Apocalypse Revealed 337)

"The interior good and also the interior evil…are signified by ‘man,’ are those which are of the intention or end, for the intention or end is the inmost of man; but the exterior good and also the exterior evil which are signified by ‘beast,’ are those which are of the thought, and of the consequent action when nothing stands in the way…By ‘beast,’…in respect to the external or natural man, a man is nothing else than a beast, for he takes delight in the like cupidities and pleasures, as also in the like appetites and sense…Therefore… from a holy rite it was commanded by the king of Nineveh, that both man and beast were to fast, and were to be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:7, 8)." (Arcana Coelestia 7523)

"… in the spiritual world a man’s affections appear at a distance like beasts… and beasts, viewed in themselves, are nothing but forms of natural affections… By man and beasts together is signified man as to spiritual and natural affection, in the following passages… Jonah 3:7, 8…" (Apocalypse Revealed 567)

"Here ‘webs’ and ‘garments’ are predicated of things of the understanding, that is, of the thought; ‘iniquity’ and ‘violence,’ of things of the will, that is, of works. In Jonah 3:8… the ‘evil way’ is predicated of falsities, which are of the understanding; and ‘violence,’ which are of the will." (Arcana Coelestia 623[2])

"…the ‘wrath of anger’ is attributed to Jehovah, and consequently ‘repentance.’" (Arcana Coelestia 588[2])

"…the Word is such in the sense of the letter, it may be evident that it cannot be understood without doctrine. But let examples illustrate this. It is said that Jehovah repenteth (Jonah 3:9; 4:2), and it is also said that Jehovah repenteth not (Num. 23:19…): without doctrine these statements do not agree." (Teachings Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51)

"In these passages (Jonah 3:9,10) Jehovah is said to have ‘repented,’ when yet it cannot be that He repents, because He knows all things before He does them; from which it is evident that by ‘repenting’ is signified mercy." (Arcana Coelestia 10441[2-4])

Finally, here's a link to Rev. McCurdy's study guide for the Book of Jonah, which is available for free as a .pdf, for your use.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 213


Other references to this chapter:

天堂的奥秘 588, 623, 4779, 7520, 7523, 9437, 9723, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 166, 337, 492, 567

Sacred Scripture 51

真實的基督徒信仰 226


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 408, 637, 650

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

出埃及记 33:6

撒母耳记上 6:5

撒母耳记下 12:22

列王記上 21:27, 29

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历代志下 20:3

以斯帖记 4:1, 3

箴言 28:13

以赛亚书 1:16, 58:6

耶利米书 1:7, 17, 6:26, 18:7, 28:8, 42:10

约珥书 2:13, 14

阿摩司书 5:15, 7:3, 6

约拿书 1:1, 2, 15, 4:2

西番雅书 2:3

马太福音 11:21, 12:41

路加福音 11:32

Word/Phrase Explanations

约拿
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

起来
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

尼尼微
'Nineveh' signifies the falsities of doctrinal matters, also the Gentiles, or the falsities originating in the fallacies of the senses, in the obscurity of an...


The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

耶和华
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...


'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...


The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...


The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...


The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...


A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

一天
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...


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...

四十
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...


The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

宝座
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...


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...


A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...


To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...


The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...


Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

我们
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,...


To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

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.


 Beauty for Ashes
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 How the Lord Saved Jonah
A retelling of the story for young children with beautiful color illustrations. 
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Jonah
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Gourd
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Jonah and the Gourd (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah and the Gourd (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Gourd (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Jonah and the Great Fish
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah Goes to Nineveh
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: Divine Providence and Evil
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Prophet Jonah
This article shows how the Lord tried to teach Jonah to be merciful and kind when Jonah disobeyed the Lord because of his hatred toward the Assyrians. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

The Bible

 

路加福音 11:32

Chinese: NCV (Simplified)         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

32 审判的时候,尼尼微人要和这世代的人一同起来,他们要定这个世代的罪,因为尼尼微人听了约拿所传的就悔改了。你看,这里有一位是比约拿更大的。

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

天堂的奥秘 9857

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

约拿书 3:5

Word/Phrase Explanations

尼尼微
'Nineveh' signifies the falsities of doctrinal matters, also the Gentiles, or the falsities originating in the fallacies of the senses, in the obscurity of an...

起来
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

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.


 Asking, Seeking, Knocking
One of the things the Lord taught people while He was on earth was how to pray. One way He did this was to tell His disciples a parable about a man who wanted to borrow three loaves of bread
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Blessed Are Those…
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Blessed Are Those Who Hear the Word of God
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Blessings: Power of the Lord's Word
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Giving Good Gifts to Our Children
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Good Gifts for Our Children
One of the most wonderful things about being parents is that the Lord inspires us to turn away from evil through our love for our children.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: Hearing the Lord
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Seeds of Truth
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Ten Blessings
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Prayers for Children: Seeds of Truth
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: Hearing the Lord
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Power of the Lord's Word
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Father of All
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Scribes and Pharisees
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Scribes and Pharisees
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10


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