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Ezekiel 11

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1 And the spirit lifted me up, and brought me into the east gate of the house of the Lord, which looketh towards the rising of the sun: and behold in the entry of the gate five and twenty men: and I saw in the midst of them Jezonias the son of Azur, and Pheltias the son of Banaias, princes of the people.

2 And he said to me: Son of man, these are the men that study iniquity, and frame a wicked counsel in this city,

3 Saying: Were not houses lately built? This city is the caldron, and we the flesh.

4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, thou son of man.

5 And the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said to me: Speak: Thus saith the Lord: Thus have you spoken, O house of Israel, for I know the thoughts of your heart.

6 You have killed a great many in this city, and you have filled the streets thereof with the slain.

7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Your slain, whom you have laid in the midst thereof, they are the flesh, and this is the caldron: and I will bring you forth out of the midst thereof.

8 You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, saith the Lord God.

9 And I will cast you out of the midst thereof, and I will deliver you into the hand of the enemies, and I will execute judgments upon you.

10 You shall fall by the sword: I will judge you in the borders of Israel, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

11 This shall not be as a caldron to you, and you shall not be as flesh in the midst thereof: I will judge you in the borders of Israel.

12 And you shall know that I am the Lord: because you have not walked in my commandments, and have not done my judgments, but you have done according to the judgments of the nations that; are round about you.

13 And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pheltias the son of Banaias died: and I fell down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice: and said: Alas, alas, alas, O Lord God: wilt thou make an end of all the remnant of Israel?

14 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

15 Son of man, thy brethren, thy brethren, thy kinsmen, and all the house of Israel, all they to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said: Get ye far from the Lord, the land is given in possession to us.

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because I have removed them far off among the Gentiles, and because I have scattered them among the countries: I will be to them a little sanctuary in the countries whither they are come.

17 Therefore speak to them: Thus saith the Lord God: I will gather you from among the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries wherein you are scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

18 And they shall go in thither, and shall take away all the scandals, and all the abominations thereof from thence.

19 And I will give them one heart, and will put a new spirit in their bowels: and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh:

20 That they may walk in my commandments, and keep my judgments, and do them: and that they may be my people, and I may be their God.

21 But as for them whose heart walketh after their scandals and abominations, I will lay their way upon their head, saith the Lord God.

22 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and the wheels with them: and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.

23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood over the mount that is on the east side of the city.

24 And the spirit lifted me up, and brought me into Chaldea, to them of the captivity, in vision, by the spirit of God: and the vision which I had seen was taken up from me.

25 And I spoke to them of the captivity all the words of the Lord, which he had shewn me.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Conjugial Love 26

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 134


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 1250, 2921, 3813, 4503, 5922, 8408, 8427, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 501, 629, 832, 883, 945

Divine Providence 134

The Lord 28, 39, 49, 52

Life 86

True Christian Religion 93, 143, 157, 705


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 422, 577, 652, 746, 926, 946, 1045, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 58

Marriage 93

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 22, 52

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 17:8

Deuteronomy 4:27, 12:30, 28:36, 30:3, 6

2 Kings 18:12, 21:2, 9

1 Chronicles 28:9

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Psalms 36:5, 139:2

Proverbs 6:15, 10:24

Isaiah 60:21

Jeremiah 1:13, 24:5, 7, 29:10, 30:22, 31:33, 32:39, 42:16, 17, 52:10

Lamentations 4:13

Ezekiel 2:2, 3:4, 12, 14, 5:6, 8, 15, 7:3, 8, 8:3, 6, 9:3, 8, 10:19, 11:1, 24, 14:3, 11, 18:31, 20:23, 34, 41, 24:3, 6, 28:25, 33:24, 34:13, 36:26, 37:1, 23, 27, 40:6, 43:2

Hosea 14:9

Zechariah 8:7, 14:4

Acts of the Apostles 1:12

2 Corinthians 3:3

Hebrews 4:13

Word/Phrase Explanations

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
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...

rising
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...

entry
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...

five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything or fullness, because it is ten twice. 'Twenty,' as in Genesis 18:31, like all numbers occurring in...

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

saw
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...

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

people
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

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...

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

Wicked
'The wicked' or 'unrighteous' denotes being not in truth of faith.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

built
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

caldron
There is an interesting relationship between facts and truth. It's necessary to have facts if we want to know the truth, but facts on their...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

saith
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...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

filled
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

streets
The phrase 'in the streets and synagogues' in Matthew 6:2, 5, and Luke 8:26-27, refers to a representative rite amongst the Jews to teach in...

Slain
'A multitude of slain' relates to people who perish from falsities, and 'a great number of carcasses,' of people who perish from evils, as in...

feared
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

borders
A border as in Isaiah 54:12 signifies the scientific and sensual principle. "And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand-breath round about."...

walked
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

judgments
'Ordinances' in the prophets, signify changes relative to spiritual and celestial things, both in general and particular, which are also compared to the changes of...

Nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

died
'The soul going forth' and 'dying,' as in Genesis 35:18, signifies the extreme of temptation, which is when the old self dies and the new...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

cried
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

Loud
In Revelation 5:2, 'a loud' or 'great voice' signifies divine truth from the Lord, in its power or virtue.

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'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...

brethren
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

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,...

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

Jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

removed
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

gentiles
'The time of the heathen,' as mentioned in Ezekiel 30:3, signifies the heathen, or wickedness.

scattered
The meaning of "scatter" in the Bible is relatively literal, but it is used in regard to spiritual things, not natural ones. So to "scatter"...

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

Gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

one
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...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

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

stony
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

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

way
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...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

cherubims
A Cherub has as its first definition in the dictionary, “A winged heavenly creature.” Cherubim is the plural of cherub. In the Word, the words...

wings
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

wheels
'Wheels,' as in Exodus 14:25, signify the power of proceeding and divine intelligence. 'Wheels,' as in Isaiah 5:28, signify the doctrine of natural truth. 'Wheels,'...

stood
'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

mount
'Mount Olivet' signifies the celestial church, or celestial good, which comes from love towards the Lord, and divine love.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

chaldea
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

Spirit of God
'The spirit of God,' as in Genesis 1:2, signifies the divine mercy of the Lord. 'The spirit of God' is His emanation. 'The spirit of...

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.


 A Little Sanctuary
Why does the Lord allow parents to feel so helpless at times, when they’re trying to participate in something that is so important to Him?
Article | Ages over 18

The Bible

 

Ezekiel 37:27

English: Douay-Rheims         

Study the Inner Meaning

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27 And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 160


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 1038, 3305, 3881, 6804, 8309, 9481, 9594

Apocalypse Revealed 350, 883


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 433, 701

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14, 22, 89

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Ezekiel 11:20, 36:28

2 Corinthians 6:16

Revelation 21:3

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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.


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

 New Beginnings
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Valley of Dry Bones
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #652

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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652. Verse 8. And their bodies shall be upon the street of the great city, signifies their extinction by the evils and falsities of doctrine. This is evident from the signification of "bodies" as being that the good of love and the truth of doctrine signified by "the two witnesses" have been extinguished; for "to be killed" signifies to be extinguished, here spiritually, because it refers to those who have wholly destroyed these things in themselves. In like manner the Lord is said "to have been slain" and "to be dead," to signify that the Divine proceeding from Him, which is Divine good and Divine truth, has been rejected, that is, the Lord has been slain and is dead with those by whom that has been rejected (see above, n. 83. This is evident also from the signification of "the street of the great city," as being the truth and good of doctrine, and in the contrary sense the falsity and evil of doctrine; for "street" signifies truth leading, and in the contrary sense falsity leading (of which presently); and "city" signifies doctrine (of which above, n. 223. It is said "great city," because "great" is predicated of good, and in the contrary sense of evil, as "many" is predicated of truth, and in the contrary sense of falsity (see above, n. 223, 336, 337). This now makes clear that "the bodies of the two witnesses upon the street of the great city" signifies the extinction of the good of love and charity and of the truth of doctrine and faith by the falsities and evils of doctrine. As the evils and falsities of doctrine are signified, it is next said "which great city is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt," "Sodom" signifying the evils of the love, and "Egypt" the falsities therefrom, each pertaining to doctrine, by which the church at its end is destroyed (concerning which in the following articles).

(References: Revelation 11:8; The Apocalypse Explained 83, The Apocalypse Explained 223, The Apocalypse Explained 336-337)


[2] "Street" signifies the truth of doctrine, and in the contrary sense the falsity of doctrine, because in the spiritual sense a "way" signifies truth leading to good, and in the contrary sense falsity leading to evil (see above, n. 97; and streets are ways in a city, and as a "city" signifies doctrine, so a "street" signifies the truth and the falsity of doctrine. Moreover, in the spiritual world there are cities, and streets in them, as in the cities of the world; and what each one is in respect to the affection of truth and intelligence therefrom is known there merely from the place where he dwells and from the streets in which he walks. Those who are in a clear perception of truth dwell in the southern quarter of the city and also walk there; those who are in a clear affection of the good of love dwell in the eastern quarter and also walk there; those who are in an obscure affection of the good of love dwell in the western quarter and also walk there; and those who are in an obscure perception of truth dwell in the northern quarter and also walk there. But in the cities where those live who are in the persuasion of falsity from evil the reverse is true. This makes clear why it is that a "street" signifies truth or falsity leading.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 97)


[3] That "streets" have this signification can be seen from the following passages. In Jeremiah:

Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see, I pray, and know, and seek in the open places thereof if ye can find a man that doeth judgment, that seeketh truth; then will I pardon her (Jeremiah 5:1).

Because "the streets of Jerusalem and the open places thereof" signify the truths of doctrine, according to the states of affection and perception of those who are of the church, and because "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine it is said, "Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see and know, and seek in the open places thereof;" and because "judgment" is predicated of truths, since all judgment comes from laws and precepts, which are truths, and because "truth" signifies the truth of doctrine and of faith it is said, "if ye can find a man that doeth judgment and that seeketh truth."

The "open places" mean particularly the corners of the city, thus the quarters where the dwelling places are; and as each one in the cities in the spiritual world has his dwelling place in accordance with his affection of good and his perception of truth, clear or obscure, therefore "open places" signify truths and goods according to each one's affection and perception.

[4] In Isaiah:

Judgment hath been rejected backward, and justice hath stood afar off; for truth hath stumbled in the street, and rectitude cannot enter (Isaiah 59:14).

"Judgment and justice" signify in the Word truth and good; that these no longer exist is signified by "judgment hath been rejected backward, and justice has stood afar off;" that they have wandered away from the truths of doctrine, and consequently there is no truth in the life, which is the good of life, is signified by "truth hath stumbled in the street, and rectitude cannot enter," for all good of life is acquired by means of the truths of doctrine, for it is by them that a man learns how he ought to live. Because "street" signifies where truth leads, it is said "truth hath stumbled in the street."

[5] In Nahum:

The chariots raged in the street, they ran to and fro in the open places (Nahum 2:4).

Because "chariots" signify the doctrinals of truth, and "streets" and "open places" what is in accord with each one's affection and perception, as above, it is said "the chariots raged in the streets, they ran to and fro in the open places," "to rage" signifying to call falsities truths, and "to run to and fro" signifying to wander off.

[6] In the book of Judges:

In the days of Jael the ways ceased, they that go in footpaths went in crooked paths, they ceased, the open places ceased in Israel (Judges 5:6, 7).

This is in the Song of Deborah and Barak, which treats of the desolation of truth in the church, and afterwards of its restoration; the desolation is described by "the ways ceased, they that go in footpaths went in crooked paths, they ceased, the open places ceased in Israel;" "ways and paths" having the same signification as "streets and open places," namely, truths of doctrine leading, and "to go in crooked ways" signifies to wander away from truths.

(References: Judges 5:6-7)


[7] In Isaiah:

The city of emptiness shall be broken down, every house shall be shut that no one may enter; a cry over the wine in the streets; every joy shall be mixed, the gladness of the earth shall be banished (Isaiah 24:10, 11).

"The city of emptiness" signifies doctrine in which there is falsity and no truth; "house" signifies the good of the will and thus of the life; thence is evident what is signified by "the city of emptiness shall be broken down, every house shall be shut that no one may enter;" "a cry over the wine in the streets" signifies lamentation on account of the lack of truth and the mingling of truth with falsity, "wine" signifying the truth of the church from the Word; therefore it is said "in the streets," because "street" too signifies truth, and where truth is sought. "Joy and gladness" are mentioned, because "joy" is predicated of the delight that is from the affection of good, and "gladness" of the delight that is from the affection of truth; that these delights will cease is signified by "every joy shall be mixed, the gladness of the earth shall be banished," the earth signifying the church.

(References: Isaiah 24:10-11)


[8] In Jeremiah:

How is the city of glory forsaken, the city of my joy! Therefore her young men shall fall in the streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off (Jeremiah 49:25, 26; 50:30).

"The city of glory" signifies the doctrine of Divine truth, and "the city of joy" signifies the delight from the affection of good and truth therein; "young men" signify those who are made intelligent by means of truths; and that the understanding of truth would perish is signified by "the young men shall fall in the streets;" "men of war" signify truths combating against falsities; that there will be no defense of truth against falsities is signified by "all the men of war shall be cut off."

(References: Jeremiah 49:25-26)


[9] In Ezekiel:

You have multiplied your slain in this city, so that you have filled the streets thereof with the slain (Ezekiel 11:6).

The "slain" mean in the Word those who are destroyed by falsities; for the "sword," by which they are slain, signifies falsity destroying truth; "city" signifies here, as above, the doctrine of truth; thence appears what is signified by "the slain in the city;" "to fill the streets with the slain" signifies to lay waste the truth by falsities.

[10] In Lamentations:

They that did eat delicacies are laid waste in the streets; and they that were brought up in crimson have embraced dunghills. The form of the Nazirites is darker than blackness, they are not recognized in the streets. They have wandered about blind in the streets, they are polluted with blood. They have hunted our steps so that we cannot go in the streets (Lamentations 4:5, 8, 14, 18).

Here, too, "streets" signify the truths of doctrine leading to the good of life, or truths according to which one must live. This treats of the church where the Word is, and its devastation in respect to truths; therefore "they that did eat delicacies are laid waste in the streets" signifies that those who have imbibed genuine truths from the Word have no longer any truths, "delicacies" meaning genuine truths from the Word; "they that were brought up in crimson have embraced dunghills" signifies that those who had imbibed genuine goods from the Word have nothing but the falsities of evil, "crimson" signifying the genuine good of the Word, in particular the celestial love of truth, and "dunghills" signifying the falsities of evil; "the form of the Nazirites is darker than blackness, they are not recognized in the streets," signifies that Divine truth is in such obscurity that it is apparent to no one; "the Nazirites" represent the Lord in relation to Divine truth, and therefore signify Divine truth from the Lord; "they have wandered about blind in the streets, they are polluted with blood," signifies that the truths of the Word are no longer seen because they have been falsified, "the blind" signifying those who do not see truths. "They have hunted our steps, so that we cannot go in the streets," signifies leading astray, so that it is not known how to live, "to hunt the steps" signifying to lead astray by falsities, and "to go" signifying to live, therefore "to go in the streets" signifies to live according to truths.

[11] In Zephaniah:

I will cut off the nations, their corners shall be laid waste; I will make desolate their streets, that none may pass through; their cities shall be laid waste, that there may be no man nor inhabitant (Zephaniah 3:6).

The "nations that shall be cut off," signify the goods of the church; the "corners that shall be laid waste" signify the truths and goods of the church in the whole complex (that this is the signification of "corners" see above, n. 417; the "streets that shall be made desolate, that no one may pass through," signify the truths of doctrine; for the "cities that shall be laid waste, that there may be no man nor inhabitant," signify doctrinals, "man" and "inhabitants" meaning in the Word in the spiritual sense all who are in truths and goods, thus in an abstract sense, truths and goods.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 417)


[12] In Zechariah:

I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, whence Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth. There shall yet old men and women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and the streets shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof (Zechariah 8:3-5).

This is said of the Lord's coming, and of the New Church to be established by Him; "Zion" means the church in respect to the good of love, and "Jerusalem" the church in respect to the truths of doctrine, therefore Jerusalem is called "the city of truth;" "the old men and women who shall dwell in the streets of Jerusalem" mean those that are intelligent and wise through the truths of doctrine; "the boys and girls playing in the streets, of whom the streets of the city shall be full," signify the affections of truth and good and their delights, in which those shall abound who live in the truths of doctrine.

[13] In Jeremiah:

According to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to shame, altars to burn incense to Baal (Jeremiah 11:13).

"According to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah," signifies that there were as many falsities as doctrinals, "cities" signifying doctrinals, and "gods" falsities of religion; "according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to shame" signifies that there were as many kinds of worship as there were falsities of doctrine, "streets" here signifying the falsities of doctrine, and "altars" worship; worship from falsities is what is meant, because the altars meant were altars of incense, for it is said, "altars to burn incense to Baal," and "incense" signifies spiritual good, which in its essence is truth from good, and in the contrary sense falsity from evil.

(That this is the signification of "incense" and its "altar," see above, n. 324, 491, 492, 567.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 324, The Apocalypse Explained 491-492, The Apocalypse Explained 567)


[14] In the same:

Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The sons gather wood and the fathers kindle the fire, the women knead dough to make cakes to the queen of the heavens, and to pour out drink-offerings to other gods; I will make to cease in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness (Jeremiah 7:17, 18, 34).

What these words signify in the spiritual sense may be seen fully explained above n. 555; also that "the cities of Judah" signify the doctrinals of the church, and "the streets of Jerusalem" its truths of doctrine.

(References: Jeremiah 7:17-18; The Apocalypse Explained 555)


[15] In the same:

Have ye forgotten the evils which they did in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? (Jeremiah 44:9)

"The land of Judah" signifies the church in respect to good, but here in respect to evil; and "the streets of Jerusalem" signify the truths of doctrine, but here its falsities of doctrine.

[16] In Ezekiel:

With the hoofs of his horses Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall trample down all thy streets; he shall slay thy people with the sword, and he shall bring down the pillars of strength to the earth; they shall make a spoil of thy wealth (Ezekiel 26:11, 12).

"Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon" signifies the profanation of truth and its consequent destruction; "to trample down all thy streets with the hoofs of his horses" signifies that all the truths of the church will be destroyed by the fallacies of the sensual man; "he shall slay the people with the sword" signifies that truths will be destroyed by falsities; that thus also all worship from truths will be destroyed is signified by "he shall bring down the pillars of strength to the earth," for "pillars" signify holy worship from truths, and because all power is of truth from good they are called "pillars of strength;" that knowledges of truth will also be destroyed is signified by "they shall make a spoil of thy wealth." (That "wealth" and "riches" mean the knowledges of truth, see above, n. 236.)

(References: Ezekiel 26:11-12; The Apocalypse Explained 236)


[17] In the same:

Thou hast built thee an eminent place and hast made thee an exalted place in every street, upon every head of the way thou hast made thee thy eminent place, and thou hast made thy beauty abominable (Ezekiel 16:24, 25, 31).

"Eminent place" and "exalted place" with the ancients signified heaven; from this came the practice of sacrificing upon high mountains, or in place of these upon places built up high, therefore worship from evils and from the falsities of doctrine is signified by "making an eminent and an exalted place in every street, and upon every head of the way;" and as that worship became idolatrous it is said that "they made their beauty abominable," "beauty" meaning truth and intelligence therefrom; for everyone in the spiritual world is beautiful according to truths from good, and intelligence therefrom.

(References: Ezekiel 16:24-25)


[18] In Amos:

Lamentations shall be in all the streets, and they shall say in all the open places, Alas, alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning (Amos 5:16).

"Lamentations shall be in all the streets, and they shall say in all the open places, Alas, alas!" signifies grief because truth and good are everywhere laid waste; "and they shall call the husbandman to mourning" signifies the grief of the men of the church on this account, "husbandman" signifying the man of the church, because a "field" signifies the church in respect to the implantation of truth.

[19] In David:

Our garners are full, affording food on food; our flocks are thousands and ten thousands in our streets; our oxen are laden, there is no breach nor fleeing away, nor outcry in our open places (Psalms 144:13, 14).

"Garners which are full of food" signify the doctrinals from the Word, thus the Word itself, wherein are all truths of doctrine which furnish instruction and spiritual nourishment; "flocks are thousands and ten thousands in the streets" signifies spiritual goods and truths, "thousands of flocks" goods, and "ten thousands" truths; "oxen laden" signify natural goods and their affections; "no breach" signifies their coherence; "no fleeing away" signifies no loss of any of these; "no outcry in the open places" signifies no lamentation anywhere over the lack of these.

(References: Psalms 144:13-14)


[20] In Job:

God, who giveth rain upon the faces of the earth, and who sendeth waters upon the faces of the streets (Job 5:10).

"To give rain upon the faces of the earth" signifies the influx of Divine truth into all things with those who are of the church; and "to send waters upon the faces of the streets" signifies Divine influx into the truths of doctrine, that man may be rendered spiritual thereby.

(References: Acts of the Apostles 5:10)


[21] In Isaiah:

In its streets they have girded themselves with sackcloth, upon its roofs and in its streets he shall howl, flowing down in weeping (Isaiah 15:3).

This is said of the city Ar in the land of Moab, which signifies the doctrine of those who are in truths from the natural man; grief over their falsities of doctrine, from the first to the last, is signified by "they have girded themselves with sackcloth, upon its roofs and in its streets he shall howl," "roofs" meaning interior things, and "streets" exterior things with such. In Jeremiah:

Upon all the roofs of Moab and in its streets, lamentation everywhere (Jeremiah 48:38).

The signification here is similar, as above.

[22] In Daniel:

Know and perceive that from the going forth of the Word even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem, even to Messiah the prince; after sixty and two weeks it shall be restored and built, street and ditch, but in straitness of times (Daniel 9:25).

He who knows not the spiritual sense of the Word may think that by "Jerusalem" here Jerusalem is meant, and that it is to be restored and built; also that "the street and ditch" which it is said will be restored and built mean a street and ditch of that city; but "Jerusalem" means the church that is to be established by the Lord, and "street and ditch" mean the truth of doctrine; "street" truth, and "ditch" doctrine. What is there signified by the number of weeks is not to be explained in this place.

[23] This makes evident that "the street of the New Jerusalem" has a like signification in the following passages in Revelation:

The twelve gates were twelve pearls and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass (Revelation 21:21).

And afterwards:

He showed me a pure river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; in the midst of the street thereof and of the river on either side was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits (Revelation 22:1, 2).

But these passages will be explained hereafter.

(References: Revelation 22:1-2)


[24] In Isaiah:

Thy sons have fainted, they lay at the head of all the streets, as an antelope in a net (Isaiah 51:20).

This, too, is said of Jerusalem, that is, the church vastated in respect to doctrine, "sons" meaning those who are in the truths of doctrine; "to faint and to lie at the head of all the streets" signifies to be deprived of all truth, "head or beginning of the streets" signifying entrance to truth, thus all truth.

[25] In Lamentations:

The infant and the suckling faint in the streets of the city. Lift up thy hands to the Lord respecting the souls of thine infants, who have fainted from famine at the head of all the streets (Lamentations 2:11, 19).

"Infant and suckling" signify innocence, and also the goods and truths that are first born and made alive by knowledges from the Word with men who are regenerating, and which, being the first, are faultless and blameless; entire lack of these is signified by "they have fainted in the streets of the city, and at the head of all the streets;" it is said "from famine," because "famine" signifies loss, lack, and ignorance of knowledges, and at the same time desire for them (see above, n. 386.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 386)


[26] In Nahum:

Her infants were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets, and over her honorable ones they cast a lot, and all her great ones were bound with chains (Nahum 3:10).

Here also "infants" mean the truths that are firstborn and vivified, and "to be dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets" signifies to be scattered and to perish; "honorable ones" signify the goods of love; "to cast a lot over them" signifies dispersion of these; "great ones" signify the truths of good; and "to be bound with chains" signifies to be tied by falsities so that truth cannot come forth. This is said of "the city of bloods" which signifies the doctrine in which the truths of the Word are falsified.

[27] In Jeremiah:

Death cometh up through our windows, it cometh into our palaces, to cut off the infant from the street, the young men from the open places (Jeremiah 9:21).

"Death" means here spiritual death, which takes place when falsity is believed to be truth and truth to be falsity, and the life is in accordance therewith; "windows" signify the thoughts from the understanding, "palaces" the interior and thus the more sublime things of the human mind; this makes clear what is signified by "death cometh up through the windows and cometh into our palaces;" "infant" signifies here as above the truths that are firstborn through knowledges from the Word; "young men" signify truths acquired, from which comes intelligence; and "streets and open places" signify the truths of doctrine and the truths of life which lead to intelligence and wisdom; this makes clear what is signified by "cutting off the infant from the street, the young men from the open places."

[28] In the same:

I am full of the anger of Jehovah, I am weary with holding in; pour out upon the infant in the street, and upon the assembly of young men; for even the man with the woman shall be taken, the old man with him that is full of days (Jeremiah 6:11).

Here "the infant in the street" and "the young men" have a similar signification as above; "man [vir] and woman" signify truth conjoined to good and intelligence therefrom; and "old man" and "one full of days" signify wisdom.

[29] As "street" signifies the truth of doctrine leading, and in the contrary sense falsity, "the clay of the streets," "the mire," and "dung" signify the falsity of the love of evil, in the following passages. In Isaiah:

Their carcass has become as the dung of the streets (Isaiah 5:25).

He shall make him to be trodden down like the clay of the streets (Isaiah 10:6).

In Micah:

She shall be trodden down like the mire of the streets (Mic. Micah 7:10).

In David:

I will beat them small as the dust before the faces of the wind, I will spread them out as the mire of the streets (Psalms 18:42).

All this, too, is from the appearances in the spiritual world; in the cities there in which falsities from evil reign the streets appear full of dung, mire and clay. This makes evident what is signified by:

The Lord's commanding the seventy whom He sent out to preach the Gospel, Into whatever city ye enter and they receive you not, go out into the streets thereof and say, Even the dust of your city that cleaveth unto us do we shake off from us 1 (Luke 10:10, 11).

(References: Luke 10:10-11)


[30] Because "the streets of a city" signify the truths of doctrine, according to which one should live, it was customary to teach and to pray in the streets. Thus in the second book of Samuel:

Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice (2 Samuel 1:20).

In Matthew:

When thou doest alms sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the open places that they may have glory of men. And when thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets where they may be seen of men (Matthew 6:2, 5).

And in Luke:

Then shall ye begin to say, We did eat before Thee and drink, and Thou didst teach in our streets; but He shall say, I tell you I know you not whence ye are (Luke 13:26, 27).

(References: Luke 13:26-27)


[31] Furthermore, from the signification of "street," as meaning the truth of doctrine, it is also evident why the Lord said in the parable that:

The master of the house commanded his servants to go out quickly into the streets and open places of the city and bring in the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind (Luke 14:21).

"The poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind," do not mean such in a natural sense, but such in a spiritual sense, that is, such as had not the Word, and were therefore in ignorance of truth and in lack of good, but still desired truths by means of which they might obtain good; such were the Gentiles with whom the church of the Lord was afterwards established.

[32] Because "the street of a city" signified either truth or falsity teaching and leading, therefore:

The angels that came to Sodom said that they would lodge all night in the street (Genesis 19:2).

And for the same reason it was commanded that:

If the sons of Israel observed that those in any city served other gods they should smite the inhabitants of the city with the sword, utterly destroying the city, and they should bring all the spoil of it into the midst of the street, and burn the city and all the spoil with fire (Deuteronomy 13:14, 16, 17).

"Other gods" signify the falsities of worship, "the sword" the destruction of falsities by truths; "spoil" the falsification of truth; and "fire" the punishment of the love of evil and its destruction.

(References: Deuteronomy 13:13, Deuteronomy 13:15-16, 13:16-17)


[33] From these passages cited from the Word it can be seen what is signified by "the bodies of the two witnesses were cast forth upon the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt," and afterwards that "they were not suffered to be placed in sepulchers;" for it was a custom with the Jewish and Israelitish nation to cast out the slain that were enemies into the ways and streets, and not to bury them, as a sign of their hatred of such; but still this represented that by such enemies infernal evils and falsities that could not be raised again to life were meant, that is, those who were in infernal evils and falsities.

[34] This is evident in Jeremiah:

The prophets prophesy, saying, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; by sword and by famine shall these prophets be consumed, and the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem, and there shall be no one to bury them (Jeremiah 14:15, 16).

A "prophet" means the doctrine of truth, here the doctrine of falsity, because they prophesied falsities; and as "streets" signified where falsities are, it is said that "they were to be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem."

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Footnotes:

1.  The Greek has "against you."

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(References: Deuteronomy 13:13, Deuteronomy 13:15-16; Jeremiah 14:15-16)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 648, 653, 659, 684, 695, 704


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.


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