The Bible


Ezekiel 28

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

2 Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: Thus saith the Lord God: Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said: I am God, and T sit in the chair of God in the heart of the sea: whereas thou art a man, and not God: and hast set thy heart as if it were the heart of God.

3 Behold thou art wiser than Daniel: no secret is hid from thee.

4 In thy wisdom and thy understanding thou hast made thyself strong: and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures.

5 By the greatness of thy wisdom, and by thy traffic thou hast increased thy strength: and thy heart is lifted up with thy strength.

6 Therefore, thus saith the Lord God: Because thy heart is lifted up as the heart of God:

7 Therefore behold, I will bring upon thee strangers the strongest of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy beauty.

8 They shall kill thee, and bring thee down: and thou shalt die the death of them that are slain in the heart of the sea.

9 Wilt thou yet say before them that slay thee: I am God; whereas thou art a man, and not God, in the hand of them that slay thee?

10 Thou shalt die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.

11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre:

12 And say to him: Thus saith the Lord God: Thou wast the seal of resemblance, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou wast in the pleasures of the paradise of God: every precious stone teas thy covering: the sardius, the topaz, and the jasper, the chrysolite, and the onyx, and the beryl, the sapphire, and the carbuncle, and the emerald: gold the work of thy beauty: and thy pipes were prepared in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou a cherub stretched out, and protecting, and I set thee in the holy mountain of God, thou hast walked in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day of thy creation, until iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise, thy inner parts were filled with iniquity, and thou hast sinned: and I cast thee out from the mountain of God, and destroyed thee, O covering cherub, out of the midst of the stones of fire.

17 And thy heart was lifted up with thy beauty: thou best lost thy wisdom in thy beauty, I have cast thee to the ground: I have set thee before the face of kings, that they might behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thy iniquities, and by the iniquity of thy traffic: therefore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, to devour thee, and I will make thee as ashes upon the earth in the sight of all that see thee.

19 All that shall see thee among the nations, shall be astonished at thee: thou art brought to nothing, and thou shalt never be any more.

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

21 Son of man, set thy face against Sidon: and thou shalt prophesy of it,

22 And shalt say: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I come against thee, Sidon, and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall execute judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.

23 And I will send into her pestilence, and blood in her streets: and they shall fall being slain by the sword on all sides in the midst thereof: and they shall know that I am the Lord.

24 And the house of Israel shall have no more a stumblingblock of bitterness, nor a thorn causing pain on every side round about them, of them that are against them: and they shall know that I am the Lord God.

25 Thus saith the Lord God: When I shall have gathered together the house of Israel out of the people among whom they are scattered: I will be sanctified in them before the Gentiles: and they shall dwell in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob.

26 And they shall dwell therein secure, and they shall build houses, and shall plant vineyards, and shall dwell with confidence, when I shall have executed judgments upon all that are their enemies round about: and they shall know that I am the Lord their God.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Apocalypse Revealed 406

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 151

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 113, 114, 273, 1069, 1201, 1551, 1588, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 90, 206, 239, 254, 540, 606, 759, ...

Divine Love and Wisdom 325

The Lord 28

Sacred Scripture 45, 97

Faith 54

True Christian Religion 219, 260, 467, 773

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 110, 131, 236, 242, 268, 277, 294, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 23, 27, 41, 58

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 2:8, 28:13

Exodus 14:4, 17, 18

Numbers 33:55

Deuteronomy 8:17

Joshua 19:28, 29, 30

2 Kings 14:10

Psalms 62:11, 82:7

Proverbs 16:18

Ecclesiastes 7:29

Isaiah 5:16, 14:13, 14, 23:4, 25:12, 26:5, 31:3, 66:16

Jeremiah 12:14, 25:22, 32:37

Ezekiel 5:17, 10:18, 11:17, 20:41, 21:14, 16, 26:1, 27:1, 27, 28:5, 17, 29:3, 9, 30:4, 10, 11, 31:8, 12, 32:12, 19, 30, 34:25, 27, 36:23, 28, 37:25, 38:23, 39:13

Daniel 5:11, 11:36, 37

Hosea 11

Amos 1:9

Obadiah 3

Zechariah 9:2, 3

Matthew 11:21

Luke 10:13

Acts of the Apostles 12:22

2 Thessalonians 2:4

Word/Phrase Explanations

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,' 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
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...

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...

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...

'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...

‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

'Tyre,' as in Ezekiel 27:13-14, represents people with knowledge of celestial and spiritual things.

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

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...

'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

Throughout the Word, a distinction is made between wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge. 'Wisdom' means from good, 'intelligence' is from truth, and 'knowledge' is in a...

'Money' relates to truth.

'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

In Jeremiah 20:4-5, 'wealth,' 'labor,' 'precious things,' and 'all the treasures of the kings of Judah' signify the knowledges of faith.

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...

'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...

Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

'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...

In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

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

'The uncircumcised,' as in Ezekiel 31:18, signifies people lacking the good of charity.

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

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

A garden and paradise signify intellect and wisdom.

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...

A covering of precious stones (Ezek. 28:4, 13) signifies the truths of intelligence.

'Sardine stone,' because it is red, indicates aspects of the good of love, or the goods of the Word in extremes

'Topaz,' as in Exodus 28:17, represents the good of celestial love.

'Pyropus' or 'sardine stone' signifies good.

'Beryl,' as in Daniel 10:6, signifies the good of charity and faith. Beryl is a sparkling precious stone.

'Precious stones,' in application to the Word, symbolizes the Divine truth of the Word in its literal sense which the Divine truth in its spiritual...

'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

'Pipes' signify the joys of the affection of the knowledges of good and truth.

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

'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

'Hills' signify the good of charity.

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

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

Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

'The days of the perfect' signifies the states of people who are in good and truths from good.

'To set a way,' as in Genesis 30:36, signifies being separated.

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

The creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis means the new creation of the celestial church called 'Man'.

To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

'Merchandise' signifies the knowledges of good.

In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

“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...

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...

'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

Ashes as in ('Ezekiel 27:30') signify what is condemned; because fire from which they are derived signify infernal love. Ashes of the furnace ('Exodus 9:8')...

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

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

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...

'Honor' signifies the good of love. 'To honor,' as mentioned in Isaiah 24:15, signifies worship and adoration. 'To honor thy father and thy mother,' as...

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

'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

'Pestilence' denotes the vastation of good and truth.

Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

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...

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...

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...

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

'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...

'Pain' signifies repugnant things arising from interior falsities, because what is repugnant is painful.

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

The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

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"...

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

Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

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

“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

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

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

'A shrub' signifies the knowledges of truth.

'A vine' signifies spiritual good and truth. 'A vine' or 'vineyard' signifies the church where the Word, and the Lord in it, is known, or...

From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #10227

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10227. 'The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel when they give [the offering] of Jehovah' means that all equally, however much ability they possess, should attribute to the Lord all forms of truth springing from good. This is clear from the meaning of 'the rich' as one who is affluent in truths and forms of good, and in cognitions or knowledge of them, dealt with below; from the meaning of 'the poor' as one who is not affluent in them, also dealt with below; from the meaning of 'not giving more and not giving less' as all equally; from the meaning of 'half a shekel' as all forms of truth springing from good, dealt with in 10221; and from the meaning of 'giving to Jehovah' as attributing to the Lord, for 'Jehovah' in the Word means the Lord, see the places referred to in 9373. From these meanings it is evident that 'the rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel when they give [the offering] of Jehovah' means that all equally, however much ability they possess, should attribute to the Lord all forms of truth springing from good.

(References: Ezekiel 27)

[2] The implications of all this are that everyone possesses the ability to understand and be wise; but the reason why one person may be wiser than another is that they are not alike in attributing to the Lord all that constitutes understanding and wisdom, that is, all forms of truth and good. Those who attribute them all to the Lord are wiser than any others, because all forms of truth and good constituting wisdom flow in from heaven, that is, from the Lord there. The attribution of them all to the Lord opens the inner levels of a person's mind towards heaven. For that attribution involves the acknowledgement that no truth or good at all come from self; and in the measure that this is acknowledged self-love departs, and along with it the thick darkness resulting from falsities and evils. In the same measure also the person attains innocence, love to the Lord, and faith in Him. As a result of this the person is linked to the Divine, who then flows in, bringing enlightenment. All this shows why it is that one person may have more wisdom, another less, and also why 'the rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less', meaning that all equally possess the ability to be wise. The ability to be wise, it is true, does not exist with all in equal measure; nevertheless all equally possess the ability, for each is able to be wise.

[3] The ability to be wise should not be taken to mean an ability to use knowledge to engage in reasoning about truths and forms of good, and so an ability to prove anything you like. Rather, it is an ability to observe what is true and good, to choose what is appropriate, and to apply this to functions performed in life. Those who attribute everything to the Lord are able to do these things, whereas those who do not attribute everything to Him but to themselves only know how to reason about truths and forms of good. Nor do they see anything apart from what they derive from others; and this they see not with the power of reason, only with the workings of the memory. Since they are incapable of looking around inside actual truths they stand out of doors, affirming whatever they receive, whether true or false. The more expertly people can use their knowledge to do this, the wiser than others the world believes them to be. But the more they attribute all things to themselves, thus the more they love the things they think as a result of their own efforts, the more insane they are; for they affirm falsities more than truths and evils more than forms of good. They receive light from no other source than the illusions and appearances which exist in the world, and therefore from their own inferior light, called natural illumination, separated from the light of heaven. And when that illumination has been separated, then so far as the truths and forms of good which belong to heaven are concerned there is thick and total darkness.

[4] The fact that riches and wealth mean matters of understanding (or intelligence) and wisdom, and therefore cognitions or knowledge of truth and good as well, which also are called spiritual wealth and riches, is clear from places in the Word where they are mentioned, as in Isaiah,

I will visit upon 1 the fruit of the pride of the king of Asshur, for the reason that he has said, By the power of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding. Therefore I will remove the boundaries of the peoples, and will plunder their treasures. My hand will find, like a nest, the wealth of the peoples. Isaiah 10:12-14.

This refers in the internal sense to those who trust in their own intelligence and believe that true wisdom comes not from heaven but from themselves. 'The king of Asshur' means reasoning, at this point as a result of self-intelligence, 1186; and 'plundering the treasures and the wealth of the peoples as a consequence' means destroying those things that constitute the truths of intelligence and wisdom.

[5] In the same prophet,

A prophecy regarding the beasts of the south. They carry their wealth on the shoulders of asses, and their treasures on the backs of camels, to Egypt. Isaiah 30:6-7.

'The beasts of the south' are those who, though they are within the Church and so dwell in the light of truth from the Word, read the Word solely for the sake of possessing knowledge and not for the sake of rendering useful services in life. For 'the south' means where the light of truth is, thus where the Word exists, 3195, 3708, 5672, 9642; 'an ass' means knowledge, as does 'a camel', and 'Egypt' too. For this meaning of 'an ass', see 5492, 5741, 7024; 'a camel', 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; and 'Egypt', the places referred to in 9391. The fact that these prophetic words must be understood in a spiritual sense becomes clear from the consideration that no one without that sense knows what is meant by 'the beasts of the south', by 'carrying their wealth on the shoulders of asses, and their treasures on the backs of camels', or by carrying them 'to Egypt'.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4516)

[6] In the same prophet,

I will give you the treasures of darkness, and the secret wealth of concealed places, that you may know that it is I, Jehovah. Isaiah 45:3.

'The treasures of darkness, and the secret wealth of concealed places' are such things as belong to heavenly intelligence and wisdom, which are hidden from the natural man.

[7] In Jeremiah,

The sin of Judah has been written with a pen of iron. O My mountain in the field, I will give for spoil your resources and all your treasures. Jeremiah 17:1, 3.

Judah is called 'a mountain in the field' because that which was representative of the celestial Church existed there, 'mountain' being the love which the celestial Church possesses, 6435, and 'the field' the Church itself, 2971, 3766, 7502, 9139, 9295. 'The resources' and 'the treasures' which would be given for spoil are all of the Church's truths and forms of good that would be reduced to nothing.

[8] In the same prophet,

On account of your trust in your works and in your treasures, you also will be taken. Jeremiah 48:7.

'Treasures' here also stands for the matters of doctrine and the cognitions or knowledge that the Church possesses.

(References: Jeremiah 50:37-38)

[9] In the same prophet,

O sword against its horses and against its chariots, and against the mixed crowd who are in its midst! O sword against its treasures, in order that they may be looted! A drought on its waters, in order that they may dry up! Jeremiah 50:36-38.

These words are directed against the Chaldeans, by whom one should understand people whose worship is external devoid of internal, thus people who claim with their lips to believe the truths of the Word but in their heart reject them. By 'sword' falsity engaged in conflict against truths is meant, 2799, 4499, 6353, 7102, 8294; by 'horses' the power of understanding, 2760-2762, 3217, 5321; and by 'chariots' matters of doctrine, 5321, 8215. By 'treasures' which would be looted are meant the Church's truths and forms of good, which would be perverted and ruined through the application of them to the evils of self-love and love of the world; and by 'a drought on the waters, in order that they may dry up!' deprivation and destruction of the truths of faith, 'water' meaning the truth of faith, see 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 8568, 9323.

(References: Jeremiah 50:37-38)

[10] Who can fail to see that the literal meaning is not the real meaning that these words possess? For is there anything holy, anything of the Church, anything of heaven, or any sense in the idea of a sword against horses, against chariots, against a mixed crowd, against treasures, or in the idea of a drought over waters, in order that they may dry up? From all this and from all else in the Word it may be seen plainly that a spiritual sense, different from the natural, lies within every detail and that without this sense the Word cannot be called holy, and that in very many places is not even intelligible.

[11] In the same prophet,

O Babel, you who dwell on many waters, great in treasures, ... Jeremiah 51:13.

'Babel' means those who possess the Word and consequently all the Church's truths and its forms of good, but who apply them to self-love and in so doing profane them, 1326. The same thing was also represented by the action of the king of Babel, who took all the vessels of the temple, which were made of gold and silver, drank from them, and at the same time praised the gods of gold and silver, Daniel 5:2-4ff. This explains why Babel is spoken of as 'dwelling on many waters, great in treasures', 'waters' meaning truths and in the contrary sense falsities, 2702, 3058, 4976, 8568, 9323. A further description occurs in the Book of Revelation, in which the riches of Babylon are listed in Chapter 18, where they are called its 'merchandise'.

(References: Daniel 5:2; Revelation 18:1)

[12] In Ezekiel,

I will bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar. By means of the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. They will seize your wealth and despoil your merchandise. Ezekiel 26:7, 11-12.

'Tyre' is used to mean the Church in respect of cognitions or knowledge of goodness and truth, 1201, 'Nebuchadnezzar' the king of Babel to mean that which is profane and lays waste, 1327(end), which happens when the truths and forms of good which the Word contains serve, through wrong application, as means to lend support to the evils of self-love and love of the world. For in these circumstances the evils of those loves exist inwardly, in the heart, while the holy things of the Church are on the lips. 'The hoofs of his horses' are the outermost levels of the natural, that is, levels of knowledge consisting solely of sensory impressions, 7729; 'streets' are the truths of faith, 2336; and 'wealth' and 'merchandise' are cognitions of goodness and truth.

[13] Since cognitions of goodness and truth are meant by 'Tyre', 1201, wherever Tyre is referred to in the Word various kinds of merchandise and riches are also referred to, as in the same prophet,

Tarshish was your trader through the vastness of all your wealth - in silver, iron, tin, and lead. Damascus was your trader because of the vastness of all your wealth. Through the vastness of your wealth and your trading you have enriched all the kings of the earth. Ezekiel 27:1-end.

In the same prophet,

By your wisdom and by your intelligence you have gained wealth for yourself; [you have gained] gold and silver in your treasuries. By the vastness of your wisdom you have increased your wealth. Ezekiel 28:4-5.

This too refers to Tyre, from which it is plainly evident that 'wealth and riches' in the Word is used to mean spiritual wealth and riches, which are cognitions of goodness and truth, thus which are the means to wisdom.

(References: Ezekiel 27, Ezekiel 27:12, 27:18, 27:33)

[14] Also in Zechariah,

Tyre gathers silver like the dust, and gold like the mud of the streets. Behold, the Lord will make it poor and hurl 2 its wealth into the sea. Zechariah 9:3-4.

And in David,

The daughter of Tyre will offer you a gift, daughter of the king; the rich of the people will entreat your face. Psalms 45:12.

The Church in respect of the affection for truth is described here; and it is called 'the daughter of the king', for 'the daughter' means the Church in respect of affection, 2362, 3963, 6729, 9055(end), and 'the king' means truth, 1672, 2015, 2069, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 6148. This is why it says that the daughter of Tyre will offer her a gift, and that the rich of the people will entreat her face, 'the rich of the people' meaning those who are affluent in truths and forms of good.

[15] In Hosea,

Ephraim said, Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself. Hosea 12:8.

Nor are 'I have become rich' and 'I have found wealth for myself' used to mean an enrichment with worldly riches and wealth, but with heavenly ones; for 'Ephraim' is used to mean the Church's power of understanding, which receives light when the Word is read, 5354, 6222, 6238, 6267.

[16] In John,

To the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans [write], Because you say, I am rich, and have become enriched, and have no need - when you do not know that you are wretched, and miserable, and needy, and blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified in fire that you may be enriched, and white garments that you may put on. Revelation 3:14, 17-18.

This refers to the Church which supposes that everything composing the Church consists in bare knowledge alone and which consequently considers itself superior to others, when in fact knowledge is no more than the means with which to correct and improve one's life. Anyone therefore who possesses knowledge without a life led in accord with it is wretched, miserable, needy, blind, and naked. 'Buying gold purified in fire' means acquiring real good for oneself from the Lord, and buying 'white garments' means acquiring real truths springing from that good for oneself from the Lord.

'Gold' means the good of love, see the places referred to in 9874.

'Garments' means the truths of faith, 4545, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9814, 9952.

[17] In Jeremiah,

I Jehovah give to each according to his ways, according to the fruits of his works. As a partridge collects but does not lay, [so is he who] acquires riches but not by means that are just 3 . In the midst of his days he will leave them behind; at the end of his days he will become a fool. Jeremiah 17:10-11.

This refers to those who acquire knowledge for themselves without any use for it in view other than to make themselves rich, that is, possessors of knowledge, when in fact life is what it is intended to serve. All this is meant by 'gathering as a partridge and yet not laying' and by 'acquiring riches but not by means that are just'.

[18] In Luke,

Any one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33.

Anyone who does not know that 'possessions' in the internal sense are spiritual riches and wealth, which consist of cognitions or knowledge derived from the Word, cannot possibly have any other idea than that if he is to be saved he will have to strip himself of all his wealth. But that is not the meaning of those words; 'possessions' there is used to mean everything that is the product of self-intelligence. For no one can be wise by virtue of what is his own, only by virtue of what is the Lord's. Therefore 'renouncing all one's possessions' means attributing no intelligence or wisdom at all to oneself; and whoever fails to do this cannot be taught by the Lord, that is, be His disciple.

[19] Since possessions, riches, wealth, silver, and gold mean the things that constitute intelligence and wisdom, the Lord also compares the kingdom of heaven to treasure hidden in a field, Matthew 13:44; and He says that people should provide themselves treasure that does not fail in heaven; for where the treasure is, there the heart is, Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:33-34.

[20] Those who do not know that by 'the rich' they should understand people who possess cognitions or knowledge of truth and good, thus people who have the Word, and that by 'the poor' they should understand people who do not possess them but nevertheless desire them, cannot have any other idea than that in Luke 16 one who was rich and another who was poor in the ordinary sense of those words are meant by the rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and the poor one who was laid at his porch. But in that parable 'the rich man' is used to mean the Jewish nation, who had the Word, the 'purple' in which he was clothed meaning real good, 9467, and 'fine linen' real truth, 5319, 9469, 9596, 9744. And 'the poor man' laid at the porch is used to mean those who are outside the Church and do not have the Word but who nevertheless desire the truths and the good things of heaven and the Church.

(References: Luke 16:19-31)

[21] From all this too it is evident that those who have the Word, consequently Divine Truths, should be understood by 'the rich', as also in Mary's 4 prophecy in Luke,

God has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. Luke 1:53.

'The hungry' are those who elsewhere are called 'the poor', thus those who have no bread and water and so are wanting food and drink, that is, those who have no knowledge of goodness and truth and yet desire them. By 'bread and water' in the Word goodness and truth are meant, 9323; and by 'hungering and thirsting', thus by 'wanting food and drink', the desire for them is meant.

[22] Such people are also meant elsewhere by 'the poor', as in Luke,

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven 5 . Blessed are you who are hungry, for you will be satisfied. Luke 6:20-21.

In the same gospel,

The householder told his servant to go out into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. Luke 14:21.

In the same gospel,

To the poor the gospel will be preached. Luke 7:22.

In Matthew,

The poor hear the gospel. Matthew 11:5.

In Isaiah,

Then the firstborn of the poor will feed, and the needy will lie down with confidence. Isaiah 14:30.

In the same prophet,

The needy of men (homo) will exult in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:19.

In Zephaniah,

I will leave in your midst a wretched and poor people, who will hope in the name of Jehovah. They will feed and rest, with none making them afraid. Zephaniah 3:12-13.

And in Isaiah,

The poor and the needy are seeking water, but there is none; their tongue is parched with thirst. I, Jehovah, will hearken to them. I will open streams on the sloping heights, and I will place springs in the midst of valleys. Isaiah 41:17-18.

[23] 'The poor and the needy seeking water' are those who desire cognitions or knowledge of goodness and truth, 'water' meaning truth. This desire is described by the statement that their tongue is parched with thirst, and the abundance which they are going to have by the promise that streams will be opened on sloping heights, and springs in the midst of valleys. From all this it is again evident that heavenly realities, which belong to the truth of faith and the good of love, are meant by earthly objects, that is, by the waters, streams on sloping heights, and springs in valleys; that these objects compose the literal sense of the Word, whereas those realities compose the spiritual sense; and that the Word is Divine by virtue of the spiritual sense, and not so without it.

[24] Another reason why wealth and riches mean such things as constitute intelligence (or understanding) and wisdom lies in correspondence. Among angels in heaven everything looks as though it is gleaming with gold, silver, and precious stones; and this is owing to the intelligent understanding of truth and wise discernment of good they possess. For the inner abilities which angels possess present themselves in this visual manner through objects that correspond to these abilities. Among spirits too who are below the heavens riches make their appearance in accordance with the state of reception of truth and good from the Lord.


1. i.e. I will punish

2. literally, strike

3. literally, make riches but not with judgement

4. The Latin has Elisabeth's.

5. The words in the second part of this sentence come from the parallel passage in Matthew 5:3.


(References: Exodus 30:5, 30:15; Ezekiel 27)

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Arcana Coelestia 10406

Heaven and Hell 365

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 107, 158, 220

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 118, 131, 193, 236, 453

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