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以西结书 10

Chinese: Union (Simplified)         

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1 我观,见基路伯上的穹苍之中,显出蓝宝的形状,彷佛宝座的形像。

2 主对那穿细麻衣的:你进去,在旋转的轮内基路伯,从基路伯中间将炭取满两手,撒在城上。我就见他进去。

3 进去的时候,基路伯站在殿的右边,彩充满了内院。

4 耶和华的荣耀从基路伯那里上升,停在门槛以上;殿内满了彩,院宇也被耶和华荣耀的光辉充满。

5 基路伯翅膀的响声听到外院,好像全能神说话的声音。

6 他吩咐那穿细麻衣的说:要从旋转的基路伯中间取。那就进去站在一个子旁边。

7 有一个基路伯基路伯中伸基路伯中间的那里,取些放在那穿细麻衣的人两中,那人就拿出去了。

8 基路伯翅膀,显出有人的样式。

9 我又观,见基路伯旁边有子。这基路伯旁有子,那基路伯旁有子,每基路伯都是如此;子的颜色(原文是形状)彷佛水苍玉。

10 至於的形状,都是个样式,彷佛中套

11 轮行走的时候,向方都能直行,并不掉向何方,他们也随向何方,行走的时候并不掉

12 他们全身,连背带翅膀,并周围都满了眼睛。这个基路伯的子都是如此。

13 至於这些子,我耳中见说是旋转的。

14 基路伯各有脸:第基路伯的脸,第二是人的脸,第三狮子的脸,第四鹰的脸。

15 基路伯升上去了;这是我在迦巴鲁边所见的活物。

16 基路伯行走,也在旁边行走。基路伯展开翅膀,离地上升,也不离他们旁边。

17 那些站住,这些也站住;那些上升,这些也一同上升,因为活物的灵在轮中。

18 耶和华的荣耀从殿的门槛那里出去,停在基路伯以上。

19 基路伯出去的时候,就展开翅膀,在我眼前离地上升。也在他们的旁边,都停在耶和华殿的东门口。在他们以上有以色列的荣耀。

20 这是我在迦巴鲁边所见、以色列荣耀以的活物,我就知道他们是基路伯

21 各有个脸面,翅膀翅膀有人的样式。

22 至於他们脸的模样,并身体的形像,是我从前在迦巴鲁边所见的。他们俱各直往前行。

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From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

天堂的奥秘 9457, 9509

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 322, 945

婚姻之爱 26

The Lord 52

Sacred Scripture 97

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 133


Other references to this chapter:

天堂的奥秘 308, 908, 1992, 2921, 3901, 5313, 5922, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 14, 48, 239, 240, 245, 332, 487, ...

天命 134

The Lord 39

真實的基督徒信仰 93, 157, 260


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 36, 152, 179, 208, 220, 253, 277, ...

Spiritual Experiences 255

Marriage 93

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #951

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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951. Because the seven angels that had the seven last plagues signify the manifestation of the evils and falsities that have devastated the church; and as this manifestation is made by means of the Divine truth in the Word, therefore those angels appeared clothed in linen pure and glistening white; for by this is signified genuine truth. All the angels also appear clothed according to their functions; for the garments in which they are clothed correspond to their ministries, and in general to their interiors. Angels who are wise from Divine truth appear in white garments of satin, lawn, or linen, because satin, lawn, and linen correspond to the truths in which they are. It is for this reason, also, that the garments in which Aaron and his sons ministered were linen; concerning this it is thus written in Moses:

"Thou shalt make for Aaron and his sons breeches of linen to cover the flesh of their nakedness, from the loins even to the thighs; they shall be upon them, when they enter into the tent of the assembly, and when they approach to the altar to minister in the holy place, lest they bear iniquity and die" (Exod. xxviii. 42, 43).

And in another passage:

"Aaron, when he shall enter into the holy place, shall put on the linen coat of holiness; shoes of linen shall be upon his flesh; he shall gird himself with a linen belt; and shall put on a mitre of linen" (Lev. xvi. 4).

Also:

That he should put on the same garments when he expiated the people (ver. 32).

Also:

When he took the ashes from the altar after the burnt-offering (Lev. vi. 22).

(References: Exodus 28:42-43; Leviticus 6:10, Leviticus 6:10-11, 6:11, 16:4, 16:32)


[2] Similarly the priests were to minister in the new temple, in Ezekiel:

When "the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, shall enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall put on linen garments; no woollen shall come upon them; when they shall minister in the gates of the inner court and inward, mitres of linen shall be upon their head, and breeches of linen upon their loins" (xliv. 17, 18).

The reason why they put on linen garments when they ministered holy things was, that all holy administration is effected by means of Divine truth. For the priesthood, to which Aaron and his sons were appointed, represented the Lord as to Divine good; and this ministers all things by means of Divine truth. Divine truth also defends from falsities and evils that are from hell; therefore it is also said, "lest they bear iniquity and die," which signifies, that otherwise falsities from hell would destroy them. These garments were called garments of holiness, because holiness is said of Divine truth.

Because linen garments were the garments of the ministry, therefore the priests wore an ephod of linen when they ministered, as we read concerning Samuel (1 Sam. ii. 18); concerning the priests whom Saul slew (1 Sam. xxii. 18); and also concerning David, when he went before the ark (2 Sam. vi. 14).

(References: 1 Samuel 2:18, 22:18; 2 Samuel 6:14; Ezekiel 44:15, 44:17-18)


[3] Also concerning the Lord Himself in John:

Jesus "rose up from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a linen cloth, and girded himself, and put water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the linen cloth with which he was girded" (xiii. 4, 5).

The washing of the disciples' feet represented and thence signified purification from evils and falsities by means of Divine truth from the Lord. For all purification from evils and falsities is effected by means of Divine truth from the Lord; and this is signified by the linen cloth with which He girded Himself, and with which He wiped the disciples' feet.

(References: John 13:4-5)


[4] Besides these seven angels treated of in the Apocalypse, other angels also were seen in linen garments; as

The angel who set a mark on the foreheads of the men who sighed; and went in between the wheels of the cherubs, and took coals of fire and sprinkled upon the city (Ezek. ix. 3, 11; x. 2, 6, 7).

Also:

The angel who was seen by Daniel, clothed in linen, whose loins were girt with gold of Uphaz (Daniel x. 5; xii. 6, 7).

They appeared clothed in linen, because girded for the ministry. The angel who measured the new temple, whose appearance was of brass,

Was seen to have a linen thread in his hand, and a measuring reed (Ezek. xl. 3).

By measuring the temple is there described the New Church as to its quality, which is signified by the number of the measure. And all the quality of the church is known by means of Divine truth; this was why a linen thread was in his hand.

(References: Daniel 10:5, 12:6-7; Ezekiel 9:2-4, 9:3, 9:3-4, 9:11, 10:2, 10:6-7, 40:3)


[5] Because linen signifies truth, and a girdle everything pertaining to it, for it is that which embraces and includes all things; and since, with the sons of Israel, there was no longer any truth remaining,

Therefore the prophet Jeremiah was commanded to buy himself a girdle of linen, and hide it in the cleft of a rock at the Euphrates; and at the end of many days it was marred, and profitable for nothing (xiii. 1-7).

By the girdle of linen is signified all the truth of doctrine from the Word. What is signified by its being hid in the cleft of a rock at the Euphrates, and there marred, may be seen above (n. 569).

(References: Jeremiah 13:1-7; The Apocalypse Explained 569)


[6] By linen is signified the truth of the church also in Isaiah:

"A bruised reed will he not break and smoking linen will he not quench, and he will bring forth judgment unto truth" (xlii. 3).

These words are spoken concerning the Lord. By the smoking linen which He will not quench is signified the small amount of truth from good with any one. The rest may be seen explained above (n. 627).

(References: Hosea 2:5, Hosea 2:9; Isaiah 42:3; The Apocalypse Explained 627)


[7] By linen is also signified truth from the Word, properly the truth of the sense of its letter (Hos. ii. 5, 9). It was also a statute with the sons of Israel,

"That they should not wear a garment mixed with woollen and linen together" (Deut. xxii. 11).

The reason of this was, that woollen signifies good and linen truth, and because a man by his garments also has communication with the societies of heaven; and there are societies that are in good, and societies that are in truth. And a man must not have communication with different societies at the same time, for confusion would be the result. That this was the reason of that statute, no one has hitherto known; but it has been granted me to know this from the change of my garments. For on the laying aside of a linen garment, those in the spiritual world who were in truths have complained that they could not be present; and the same, on the garment being put on again, became present.

That there is such correspondence with the very garments of man has been hitherto unknown, but still it is evident from those passages that have been adduced above, namely, from the linen garments of Aaron and his sons; from the linen ephod which the priests and David had; from the linen in which the angels appeared clothed; and from the linen with which the Lord girded Himself and wiped the disciples' feet. So also from the rest of the garments of Aaron and his sons, which were all representative; and from the signification of garments in general, as denoting truths clothing good; concerning which see above (n. 64, 65, 195, 271, 395, 475, 476, 637).

Continuation concerning the First Precept:-

(References: Deuteronomy 22:11; Hosea 2:5, Hosea 2:9; The Apocalypse Explained 64-65, 195, 271, 395, 475-476, The Apocalypse Explained 637)


[8] It is not believed in the world that the love of ruling from mere delight in ruling, and the love of possessing goods from the mere delight of possession, and not from delight in uses, conceal in themselves every kind of evil; and also a contempt and rejection of everything pertaining to heaven and the church; and this because a man from the love of self and the love of the world is stimulated to do good to the church, to his country, to society, and to his neighbour, placing honour in acting well, and looking for reward. Hence it is that such love is called by many the fire of life, and the incitement to great things. But it must be observed, that so far as these two loves regard uses in the first place, and self in the second, so far they are good. But so far as they regard self in the first place, and uses in the second, so far they are evil. For then a man does everything for the sake of self, and consequently from self; and then, in everything that he does, himself and his proprium are present; and this is intrinsically nothing but evil. But to regard uses in the first place, and self in the second, is to do good for the sake of the church, one's country, society, and the neighbour. And the goods that a man does to these for their own sake are not from man, but the Lord. The difference between these two loves is like that between heaven and hell. A man does not know that there is such a difference, because from birth and nature he is in them, and because the delight in them continually flatters and favours him. Let him, however, know that the love of ruling from the delight in so doing, and not from delight in uses, is altogether diabolical, and may be called atheistical. For in proportion as a man is in that love, in the same proportion he does not, in his heart, believe in the existence of a God; and in the same proportion he derides, in his heart, everything pertaining to the church; indeed, he hates them; and from hatred persecutes all those who acknowledge God, especially those who acknowledge the Lord. The very delight of their life is to do evil, and do wicked and crimeful deeds of every kind. In a word, they are very devils. A man does not know this while he lives in the world, but he will know that it is so, when he comes into the spiritual world, as is the case immediately after death. Hell is full of such persons; where, instead of exercising dominion, they become slaves. They appear also there, when seen in the light of heaven, to be inverted, with the head downwards and the feet upwards, because they placed rule in the first place, and uses in the second. And that which is in the first place is the head, and that which is in the second constitutes the feet; and that which is the head is loved, but that which constitutes the feet is trodden under foot.

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 947, 982, 1022, 1222

Other New Christian Commentary

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #569

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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569. Loose the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates.- That this signifies reasonings from fallacies pertaining to the sensual man, which were not received before, is evident from the signification of the angels at the river Euphrates, as denoting reasonings from fallacies which are in the sensual man, of which in what follows. And because reasonings from fallacies were not received in the church before, therefore those angels are said to be bound at that river, and are said to be four from the conjunction of falsity with evil, for this number, in the Word signifies the conjunction of good and truth, and in the opposite sense, as here, the conjunction of evil and falsity; see above (n. 283, 384, 532). In the preceding verses the sensual man, who is in the falsities of evil, and the result of the persuasions in which the sensual man is, were treated of, therefore in what now follows, reasonings from the Sensual are dealt with. And because the Sensual reasons only from such things as, in the world, are manifest to the senses, it does so from fallacies, called fallacies of the senses, when it reasons concerning spiritual things, that is, concerning the things of heaven and the church, and therefore it is here said, reasonings from fallacies pertaining to the sensual man; but concerning these fallacies and reasoning from them, more will be said in what follows.

(References: Revelation 9:14; The Apocalypse Explained 283, 384, The Apocalypse Explained 532)


[2] The subject here treated of is the state of the church at its very end, and such state exists when the men of the church, having become sensual, reason from the fallacies of the senses; and when they reason from these concerning the things of heaven and the church, then they absolutely believe nothing, because they understand nothing. It is a thing known in the church, that the natural man does not perceive the things of heaven, unless the Lord flows in and enlightens him, and this takes place by means of the spiritual man; much less can the sensual man [understand and believe], because this is the ultimate of the Natural, to which the things of heaven, called spiritual things, are altogether in thick darkness. Genuine reasonings concerning spiritual things exist from the influx of heaven into the spiritual man, and thence through the rational into the knowledges (scientiae) and cognitions that are in the natural man, by which the spiritual man confirms itself. This method of reasoning concerning spiritual things is according to order. But the reasonings of the natural man and still more of the sensual man concerning spiritual things are altogether contrary to order; for the natural man, and still less the sensual man, cannot flow into the spiritual man, and from itself see any thing there, since physical influx does not exist. But the spiritual man can flow into the natural, and thence into the sensual, for spiritual influx does exist. But upon this subject more may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 51, 277, 278).

(References: The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 51, 277-278)


[3] From these considerations it is clear that the meaning of the things which now follow, is that at the very end of the church man speaks and reasons concerning spiritual things, or concerning the things of heaven and the church, from the corporeal Sensual, and thus from the fallacies of the senses, consequently, that although he then speaks in favour of Divine things, yet he does not think in favour of them. For man can, from the body, speak differently from what he thinks in his spirit, and the spirit, which thinks from the corporeal Sensual, cannot do otherwise than think contrary to Divine things; but still from the corporeal Sensual he can speak in favour of them, and especially because Divine things are the means of acquiring honours and gain. Every man has two memories, a natural memory and a spiritual memory, and he can think from both, from the natural memory when he speaks with men in the world, but from the spiritual memory when he speaks from his spirit. A man, however, rarely speaks with another from his spirit, but only with himself, which is to think. Sensual men cannot speak or think from their own spirit with themselves otherwise than in favour of nature, consequently in favour of things corporeal and worldly, because they think from the Sensual, and not from the Spiritual, they are even altogether ignorant of what the Spiritual is, because they have closed their spiritual mind, into which heaven flows by virtue of its light.

[4] But let us proceed to explain the signification of the words, the voice which was heard from the horns of the golden altar, saying to the sixth angel, that he should loose the four angels that were bound at the river Euphrates. The river Euphrates signifies the Rational, and therefore reasoning also. The reason of this signification of that river is, that it divided Assyria from the land of Canaan, and by Assyria, or Ashur, is signified the Rational, and by the land of Canaan, the Spiritual. There were three rivers which formed the boundaries of the land of Canaan, in addition to the sea, namely, the river of Egypt, the river Euphrates, and the river Jordan. The river of Egypt signified the knowledge (scientia) of the natural man; the river Euphrates signified the Rational pertaining to man, and derived from knowledges (scientiae) and cognitions, and the river Jordan signified entrance into the internal or spiritual church. For the regions on the other side Jordan where the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh had inheritances allotted to them, signified the external or natural church, and because that river was between those regions and the land of Canaan, and afforded a passage, therefore it signified entrance from the external church which is natural, into the internal church which is spiritual. This was the reason that baptism was there instituted, for baptism represented the regeneration of man, by means of which the natural man is introduced into the church, and becomes spiritual.

[5] From these considerations the signification of those three rivers in the Word is clear. All the places too which were outside the land of Canaan, signified such things as pertain to the natural man, whereas those which were within the land of Canaan signified such things as pertain to the spiritual man, thus those which pertain to heaven and the church. Those two rivers, therefore, the river of Egypt, or the Nile, and the river of Assyria, or Euphrates, signified the terminations of the church, and also introductions into the church. Cognitions also and knowledges (scientiae), which are signified by the river of Egypt, introduce, for without cognitions and knowledges (scientiae), no one can be introduced into the church, nor have a perception of those things which pertain to the church. For the spiritual man, by means of the rational, sees its spiritual things in knowledges, as a man sees himself in a mirror, and acknowledges itself in them, that is, its own truths and goods, and moreover confirms its spiritual things by cognitions and scientifics, both by those which are known from the Word, and those which are known from the world.

[6] But the river of Assyria, or the Euphrates, signified the Rational, because by means of it man is introduced into the church. By the Rational is meant the thought of the natural man from cognitions and knowledges, for a man who is imbued with knowledges (scientiae) is able to see things in a series, from primaries and mediates the ultimate, which is called the conclusion, consequently, he can analytically arrange, reflect upon, separate, conjoin things, and at length form conclusions upon them, even to that ulterior end and at length to the ultimate which forms the use that he loves. This then is the Rational, which is given to every man according to uses, which are the ends that he loves.

Because everyone's Rational is according to the uses of his love, therefore it is the interior thought of the natural man from the influx of the light of heaven; and because man by rational thought is introduced into spiritual thought, and becomes a church, therefore that river signifies the Natural introducing.

[7] It is one thing to be rational, and another thing to be spiritual; every spiritual man is also rational, but the rational man is not always spiritual; the reason is, that the Rational, that is, the thought thereof, is in the natural man, but the Spiritual is above the Rational, and by means of the Rational passes into the Natural, into the cognitions and scientifics of its memory.

[8] But it must be observed, that the Rational does not introduce any one into the Spiritual, but it is so said, only because it appears to be the case. For the Spiritual flows into the Natural by means of the Rational, and thus introduces. For the Spiritual is the inflowing Divine, it is the light of heaven, which is the proceeding Divine Truth. This [light] flows through the higher mind called the spiritual mind, into the lower mind called the natural mind, and conjoins this to itself, and by means of that conjunction causes the natural mind to form one with the spiritual. Introduction is thus effected. Since it is contrary to Divine order for man by his Rational to enter into the Spiritual, therefore in the spiritual world there are angelic guards to prevent this taking place. It is therefore evident, what is signified by the four angels bound at the river Euphrates, and afterwards what is meant by loosing them. By the angels bound at the river Euphrates, is signified guard lest the Natural of man should enter into the spiritual things of heaven and the church, for were this the case there would be nothing but errors and heresies, and at length negation.

[9] In the spiritual world there are also ways that lead to hell, and those that lead to heaven, likewise, ways which lead from spiritual things to natural, and thence to things sensual; and also in those ways guards are placed, lest any one should go in a contrary direction, for he would thence lapse into heresies and errors, as just stated. Those guards are placed by the Lord in the beginning when the church is being established, and are also maintained lest the man of the church, from his own reason or understanding, should introduce himself into the Divine things of the Word, and thence of the church. But in the end, when the men of the church are no longer spiritual, but natural, and many utterly sensual, and there being no way from the spiritual man into the natural with the man of the church, then those guards are removed, and the ways are opened, and being opened, they go in a contrary order, which is brought about by reasonings from fallacies. Hence it comes to pass that the man of the church can speak with the mouth in favour of Divine things, while in heart he thinks contrary to them, or he can speak in favour of them from the body, and think contrary to them from the spirit; for reasoning concerning Divine things from the natural and sensual man produces this effect. The signification of the four angels bound at the river Euphrates and of their being loosed is now evident from these things.

[10] That the river Euphrates signifies the Rational, by means of which there is a way from the spiritual man into the natural, is clear from the following passages in the Word.

Thus in Moses:

"Jehovah made a covenant with Abraham, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates" (Gen. xv. 18).

These words, in the sense of the letter, describe the extension of the land of Canaan, but in the internal sense, the extension of the church from its first to its final boundary; its first boundary is the Scientific, which is of the natural man, the other boundary is the Rational, which is of the thought. The Scientific which is of the natural man, is signified by the river of Egypt, or the Nile, and the Rational, which is of the thought, by the river of Assyria, or Euphrates; to these two the spiritual church, signified by the land of Canaan, extends itself, and similarly the spiritual mind of the man of the church. The Scientific and the Rational are both in the natural man, one limit of which is the scientific and cognitive [faculty] (scientificum et cognitivum), and the other is the intuitive and thinking [faculty] (intuitivum et cogitativum), and into these limits the spiritual man flows when it flows into the natural man. The conjunction of the Lord with the church by means of these is signified by the covenant which Jehovah established with Abraham. But these things are signified by the above words in the internal sense, while in the highest sense the union of the Divine Essence (Divine Essentiae) with the Human of the Lord is meant. These words are explained according to that sense in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 1863-1866).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1863, Genesis 15:18)


[11] So in Zechariah:

"His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth" (ix. 10).

Similarly in David (Psalm lxxii. 8).

These things are said concerning the Lord and His dominion over heaven and earth. By dominion from sea even to sea, is signified the extension of things natural, and by dominion from the river even to the ends of the earth, is signified the extension of things rational and spiritual; see also above (n. 518).

(References: Psalms 72:8; The Apocalypse Explained 518; Zechariah 9:10)


[12] So in Moses:

"The land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land" (Deut. i. 7, 8).

And again:

"Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours; from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be" (Deut. xi. 24).

So in Joshua:

"From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea, the going down of the sun, shall be your coast" (i. 4).

In these passages the extension of the church from one boundary to the other is described, one of which pertains to the cognitive and scientific [faculty] and is signified by Lebanon and the sea, and the other pertains to intuition and thinking [faculty], and is signified by the river Euphrates. The extension of the land of Canaan denotes the extension of the church, for by the land of Canaan in the Word, is signified the church. The river is twice mentioned, namely, the great river, the river Euphrates, because by the great river is signified the influx of things spiritual into things rational, and by the river Euphrates, the influx of things rational into things natural, thus by both, the influx of things spiritual through the Rational into things natural.

(References: Deuteronomy 1:7-8, 11:24; Joshua 1:4)


[13] So in Micah:

"This is the day in which they shall come even to thee from Assyria, and unto the cities of Egypt, and thence from Egypt even to the river, and to sea from sea, and from mountain to mountain" (vii. 12).

The establishment of the church among the Gentiles by the Lord is described by these words. "This day" signifies the Lord's coming; the extension of the church among them from one end to the other is signified by "they shall come from Assyria, and unto the cities of Egypt, and from Egypt to the river." The extension of truth from one end to the other is signified by to sea from sea, and the extension of good by from mountain to mountain.

(References: Micah 7:12)


[14] In David:

"Thou hast caused a vine to go forth out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the nations and planted it, thou hast sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river" (Psalm lxxx. 8, 11).

By the vine which God caused to go forth out of Egypt are meant the sons of Israel, also the church is signified, for a vine signifies the spiritual church, which church was also signified by the sons of Israel. And because the church is called a vine, it is therefore said, "Thou hast planted it; thou hast sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river," by which is described the extension of the spiritual things of the church, the sea denoting one extremity thereof, and the river, which means the Euphrates, denoting the other. By the Euphrates, which was the fourth river that went out of Eden (Gen. ii. 14), is also signified the Rational, for the garden in Eden, or Paradise, signifies wisdom. The signification of the three other rivers may be seen explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 107-121).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 107-121, Genesis 2:14; Psalms 80:8, 80:11)


[15] Because the river Euphrates signifies the Rational, therefore, it signifies, in the opposite sense, reasoning. Reasoning here means thought, and argumentation from fallacies and falsities, but by the Rational are meant thought and argumentation from knowledges (scientiae) and truths. For every Rational is trained by knowledges (scientiae), and formed by truths, wherefore he who is led by truths, or whom truths lead, is called a rational man. But a man who is not rational can reason, for by various reasonings he can confirm falsities, and also induce the simple to believe them, and this is principally done through the fallacies of the senses, concerning which more will be said below.

[16] This reasoning is signified by the river Euphrates in the following passages:

"Now what hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? or what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?" (Jeremiah ii. 18).

These words signify, that spiritual things must not be investigated by means of the scientifics (scientifica) of the natural man, nor by reasonings therefrom, but by means of the Word, thus out of heaven from the Lord. For those who are in spiritual affection, and thought thence, see the scientifics of the natural man, and the reasonings therefrom, as it were, below them, but no one can see spiritual things from the latter, for lower things may be viewed on all sides from higher ground, but not conversely. To investigate spiritual things by means of the scientifics of the natural man, is signified by "what hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor?" And by reasonings therefrom is signified by "what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?" Egypt and its river signify the scientifics of the natural man, and Assyria and its river signify reasonings from them.

(References: Jeremiah 2:18)


[17] So again, in Isaiah:

"In that day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, in the passages of the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard" (vii. 20).

These words refer to the state of the church at its end, when the Lord was about to come. That reasonings from falsities, would then deprive the men of the church of all wisdom and spiritual intelligence, is described by the above words. Such reasonings are signified by "by the king of Assyria, in the passages of the river," that is, the Euphrates. The deprivation of spiritual wisdom, and of intelligence thence, is signified by the hair of the head and of the feet being shaved with a razor that is hired, and by the beard being consumed. For hairs signify natural things into which spiritual things operate, and wherein they close, therefore in the Word they signify the ultimates of wisdom and intelligence, the hair of the head signifies the ultimates of wisdom, the beard signifies the ultimates of intelligence, and the hair of the feet, the ultimates of knowledge (scientia). Without these ultimates, things prior can no more exist than a column without a base, or a house without a foundation. That those who have deprived themselves of intelligence by reasonings from fallacies and from falsities, appear bald in the spiritual world, may be seen above (n. 66).

(References: Isaiah 7:20; The Apocalypse Explained 66)


[18] Again, in the same prophet:

"Behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river strong and many, the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks; he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over" (viii. 7, 8).

These words signify, that in the church the Word generally and in all its details, will be falsified by reasonings based on fallacies and falsities. The waters of the river, strong and many, the king of Assyria, signify reasonings from pure fallacies and falsities. He shall come up over all his channels, and over all his banks, signifies, that the Word generally and in all its details will be falsified. By Judah, which he shall overflow and pass through, is signified the church where the Word is, thus the Word.

(References: Isaiah 8:7-8; Jeremiah 46:2, Jeremiah 46:6, 46:10)


[19] So again, in Jeremiah:

"Against the army of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who was by the river Euphrates, which Nebuchadnezzar smote. They have stumbled and fallen toward the north by the bank of the river Euphrates" (xlvi. 2, 6).

These words signify the destruction of the church and its truths by false reasonings from scientifics; by the river Euphrates are signified false reasonings. By Egypt and the army thereof are signified confirmatory scientifics; by the north where they stumbled and fell, is signified whence those falsities arise. This passage also is more fully explained above (n. 518:38).

(References: Jeremiah 46:2, 46:6, Jeremiah 46:10; The Apocalypse Explained 518)


[20] Again, in the same prophet:

Jehovah told the prophet to go and buy a linen girdle and put it upon his loins, but not to put it in water; then that he should go to the river Euphrates and hide the girdle there in a hole of the rock; and he went and hid it by the Euphrates. "After the end of many days, Jehovah said, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence"; and he went and took it, "and behold the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. As the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, that they might be unto me for a name, for a praise, and for a glory, but they did not hear" (xiii. 1-7, 11).

These things represented the quality of the Israelitish and Jewish church and its subsequent state. The girdle of linen which the prophet put upon his loins signifies the conjunction of the church with the Lord by means of the Word; for a prophet signifies doctrine from the Word, and the girdle upon the loins of the prophet signifies conjunction. The falsifications of the Word through evils of life and by falsities of doctrine, and the reasonings thence which favour them, are signified by the girdle being marred in the hole of the rock at Euphrates. For the conjunction of the Lord with the church is by means of the Word, and when this is perverted by reasonings which favour evils and falsities, then there is no longer conjunction, and this is meant by the girdle being profitable for nothing. That this was done by the Jews, is evident from the Word both of the old and of the new testament; from the Word of the new testament, that they had perverted all things written in the Word concerning the Lord, and also all the essentials of the church, and that they had falsified them by their traditions.

(References: Jeremiah 13:1-7, 13:11)


[21] So again, in Jeremiah:

"When thou hast made an end of reading this book, thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates; and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again" (li. 63, 64).

By the book of the prophet which he read, is specifically meant that Word which was in that book, but in general, the whole Word. By his casting it into the midst of Euphrates, is signified, that the Word, in process of time through the reasonings which favour evils, would be falsified by those who are meant by Babylon, Babylon denoting those who adulterate the Word.

(References: Jeremiah 51:63-64)


[22] Again, in Isaiah:

"Jehovah shall devote the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with the vehemence of his wind shall he shake his hand over the river Euphrates, and shall smite it into the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod. Then there shall be a high way for the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria; like as it was to Israel when he came up out of the land of Egypt" (xi. 15, 16).

These words signify that all falsities, and reasonings therefrom, shall be dissipated before those who are in truths from good from the Lord, or who belong to the church, and that they shall, as it were, pass safely through the midst of them. This is the case in the spiritual world with those whom the Lord defends. The same thing is here meant by the drying up of the Sea Suph (Red Sea) before the sons of Israel; those who shall pass through under the protection of the Lord are signified by the remnant of the people which shall be left from Assyria, those left from Assyria denoting those who have not perished by reasonings from falsities. The meaning of the following passage in the Apocalypse is similar:

"The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings who are from the east might be prepared" (xvi. 12).

These words will be more fully explained below in their proper place.

(References: Isaiah 11:15-16; Revelation 16:12)


[23] From these things, it is now evident, that the river Euphrates signifies the Rational, by means of which the spiritual mind enters into the natural [mind], and that, in the opposite sense it signifies reasoning from fallacies and from falsities. It must however be observed, that reasonings are in the same degree as the thoughts, for they descend from them; thus there are reasonings from the spiritual man, which however must be called rather conclusions from reasons and from truths; there are reasonings from the natural man, and also from the sensual man. Reasonings from the spiritual man are rational, therefore they must be called rather conclusions from reasons and from truths, because they are from the interior and from the light of heaven; but reasonings from the natural man concerning spiritual things are not rational, however much they may appear to be so in moral and civil matters, which appear before the eyes, for they are from natural light alone. But reasonings from the sensual man concerning spiritual things are irrational, because they are from fallacies, and thence from false ideas. It is this last class of reasonings that is now here treated of in the Apocalypse.

(References: Revelation 9:14)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 565, 570, 575, 577, 627, 632, 654, 951, 995


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


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