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Yeremiyah 43

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1 ויהי ככלות ירמיהו לדבר אל כל העם את כל דברי יהוה אלהיהם אשר שלחו יהוה אלהיהם אליהם את כל הדברים האלה׃

2 ויאמר עזריה בן הושעיה ויוחנן בן קרח וכל האנשים הזדים אמרים אל ירמיהו שקר אתה מדבר לא שלחך יהוה אלהינו לאמר לא תבאו מצרים לגור שם׃

3 כי ברוך בן נריה מסית אתך בנו למען תת אתנו ביד הכשדים להמית אתנו ולהגלות אתנו בבל׃

4 ולא שמע יוחנן בן קרח וכל שרי החילים וכל העם בקול יהוה לשבת בארץ יהודה׃

5 ויקח יוחנן בן קרח וכל שרי החילים את כל שארית יהודה אשר שבו מכל הגוים אשר נדחו שם לגור בארץ יהודה׃

6 את הגברים ואת הנשים ואת הטף ואת בנות המלך ואת כל הנפש אשר הניח נבוזראדן רב טבחים את גדליהו בן אחיקם בן שפן ואת ירמיהו הנביא ואת ברוך בן נריהו׃

7 ויבאו ארץ מצרים כי לא שמעו בקול יהוה ויבאו עד תחפנחס׃

8 ויהי דבר יהוה אל ירמיהו בתחפנחס לאמר׃

9 קח בידך אבנים גדלות וטמנתם במלט במלבן אשר בפתח בית פרעה בתחפנחס לעיני אנשים יהודים׃

10 ואמרת אליהם כה אמר יהוה צבאות אלהי ישראל הנני שלח ולקחתי את נבוכדראצר מלך בבל עבדי ושמתי כסאו ממעל לאבנים האלה אשר טמנתי ונטה את שפרורו עליהם׃

11 ובאה והכה את ארץ מצרים אשר למות למות ואשר לשבי לשבי ואשר לחרב לחרב׃

12 והצתי אש בבתי אלהי מצרים ושרפם ושבם ועטה את ארץ מצרים כאשר יעטה הרעה את בגדו ויצא משם בשלום׃

13 ושבר את מצבות בית שמש אשר בארץ מצרים ואת בתי אלהי מצרים ישרף באש׃

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 109

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 2441, 3727, 7519

Apocalypse Revealed 53

The Lord 39, 53

True Christian Religion 93, 158

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 401, 409, 540, 811

Marriage 93

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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 Jeremiah and the Babylonians
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

From Swedenborg's Works


Apocalypse Explained #409

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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409. And every bondman, and every freeman. That this signifies the natural man and the spiritual man, is plain from the signification of bondservant, as denoting the natural man, concerning which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of a freeman, as denoting the spiritual man. The reason why the spiritual man is meant by a freeman, and the natural man by a bondservant, is, that the spiritual man is led by the Lord out of heaven, and to be led by the Lord is freedom, and the natural man obeys and serves it, for it executes what the spiritual man wills and thinks. Bondservant is mentioned in many passages in the Word, and he who does not know that by bondservant therein is meant what is subservient to, and effective of, those things that the spiritual man wills and thinks, may suppose that by a bondservant there is meant one who is in servitude, thus according to the common acceptation of bondservant; but that it is subserving and effecting which is meant, will be evident from the passages in the Word which shall presently be adduced. When servant is mentioned in the Word in this sense, then the natural man, which is meant, is no otherwise a servant than the body is the servant to its soul. And because subserving and effecting are meant by a servant, therefore also servant is not only said of the natural man respectively to the spiritual, but also of men who perform service for others, and of angels who execute God's commands, indeed of the Lord Himself, as to His Divine Human when He was in the world; it is also used of truths from good, because good acts and effects by means of truths, and because truths perform the service to good which [good] wills, and which it loves, and so forth. Moreover, servant is said of the natural man from obedience and effect, although with the regenerate the natural man is equally free and spiritual, since they act as one, like principal and instrumental; but nevertheless the natural man, with respect to the spiritual, is called a servant, because, as stated, the natural man serves the spiritual for effecting. But with those in whom the spiritual man is closed and only the natural man open, the whole man is a servant in a general sense, although, as to appearance, he is as it were free. For the outer natural man is subservient to the evils and falsities which the inner wills and thinks, for thus he is led by hell, and to be led by hell is to be altogether a servant; and such a man also becomes altogether a servant and vile slave in hell after death, for after death, the delights of every one's life are changed into corresponding [things], and the delights of evil into bondage and hideous things (as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 485-490). In this sense also servant is mentioned in the Word; but here it shall principally be shown, that by servant therein is meant what subserves and effects, and this in every respect.

(References: Heaven and Hell 485-490; Revelation 6:15)

[2] That by servant is meant what subserves and effects, is plainly evident from this consideration, that the Lord as to His Divine Human is called servant and minister, as in the following passages.

In Isaiah

"Behold my servant, on whom I recline; mine elect, in whom my soul is well pleased; I have put my spirit upon him; [he shall bring forth judgment to the nations]. Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf as my angel that I send? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the servant of Jehovah?" (xlii. 1, 19).

These words [are spoken] of the Lord, who is treated of in the whole of that chapter, and the Lord is there called a Servant as to Divine Human, because He served His Father by doing His will, as He frequently declares, by which is meant that He reduced to order all things in the spiritual world, and at the same time taught men the way to heaven. It is, therefore, the Divine Human which is meant by, "My servant on whom I recline, and by, mine elect, in whom my soul is well pleased." It is called a servant from the Divine truth, by means of which it accomplished [those things], and Elect from Divine good. That He had Divine truth by means of which He effected [all things], is meant by, "I have put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the nations." The spirit of Jehovah is the Divine truth, and to bring forth judgment to the nations denotes to instruct. The reason why He is called blind and deaf, is, that the Lord is as if He did not see and perceive the sins of men, for He leads men gently, bending and not breaking them, thus withdrawing them from evils, and leading them to good; therefore neither does He chastise and punish, as if He saw and perceived. This is meant by, "who is blind, but my servant? or deaf as my angel?" He is called blind and hence a servant from the Divine truth, and deaf and hence an angel from the Divine good; for blindness has reference to the understanding and the perception thence, and deafness to perception and the will thence; therefore here that He is as if He did not see, although He possesses the Divine truth from which He understands all things, and as if He did not will according to what He perceives, although He has the Divine good, from which He is able [to effect] all things.

(References: Isaiah 42:1, 42:19, Isaiah 53:11)

[3] In the same:

"He shall see of the labour of his soul, he shall be satisfied; by his knowledge my just servant shall justify many; therefore he hath borne their iniquities" (liii. 11).

These things are also spoken concerning the Lord, who is manifestly treated of in the whole chapter, and indeed concerning His Divine Human. His combats with the hells and His subjugation of them are signified by the labour of His soul, and by, "He hath borne their iniquities," by bearing their iniquities is not meant that He transferred them unto Himself, but that He admitted into Himself the evils which are from the hells, that He might subdue them; this therefore is meant by bearing iniquities. The consequent salvation of those who are in spiritual faith, which is [the faith] of charity, is meant by, "by his knowledge my just servant hath justified many"; knowledge signifying Divine truth, and Divine wisdom and intelligence thence; and many signifying all those who receive; for many, in the Word, is said of truths, but great of good, hence many denote all those who are in truths from good from the Lord. It is said that He hath justified them, because to justify signifies to save from the Divine good, whence also He is called just; because [the Lord] performed and carried out those things from His Divine Human, He is called the Servant of Jehovah; hence it is clear that Jehovah calls His Divine Human His servant, from its subserving and effecting.

(References: Isaiah 53:11)

[4] In the same:

Behold my servant shall act prudently, he shall be extolled and exalted, and shall be greatly praised" (lii. 13).

These also [are spoken of] the Lord, whose Divine Human is called a servant, for the same reason as was mentioned just above; the glorification of His Human is meant by, He shall be extolled, exalted, and shall be greatly praised.

In the same:

"Ye are my witnesses, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me" (xliii. 10).

By servant, here, is also meant the Lord as to His Divine Human. That the Lord Himself calls Himself a minister from His serving, is evident in the Evangelists:

"Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be first, let him be your servant, even as the Son of Man came not that he might be ministered unto, but that he might minister" (Matt. xx. 25-28; Mark x. 42-44; Luke xxii. 27).

This may be seen explained in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 218.

And in Luke:

"Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord coming shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and he drawing near will minister unto them" (xii. 37).

(References: Heaven and Hell 218; Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 52:13; Luke 12:37, Luke 22:26-27, 22:27; Mark 10:42-45, 10:42-44; Matthew 20:25-28)

[5] Because by David in the Word is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, and Divine truth serves, therefore David, where the Lord also is meant by him, is everywhere called a servant; as in Ezekiel:

"I Jehovah will be their God, and my servant David a prince in the midst of them" (xxxiv. 24).

In the same:

"David my servant shall be king over them, that they may have one shepherd" (xxxvii. 24).

These things were spoken of David, after his time, who never could be raised again to be a prince in the midst of them, and a king over them.

In Isaiah:

"I will protect this city to keep it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake" (xxxvii. 35).

In David:

"I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish continually for ever"; I have found David my servant; with the oil of my holiness have I anointed him" (Ps. lxxxix. 3, 4, 20).

The whole of this Psalm treats of the Lord, who is here meant by David. In the same:

"He chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes giving suck, he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance; he fed them in the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands" (Ps. lxxviii. 70-72; besides elsewhere).

That the Lord as to Divine truth is meant by David in the Word, may be seen above, n. 205; and also in those passages. The Lord is also called a servant in the Word where He is meant by Israel, as in Isaiah:

"Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; but I have given thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth" (xlix. 3, 6).

That the Lord, in the highest sense, is meant by Israel, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 4826; and that the Stone of Israel denotes the Lord as to Divine truth, n. 6426, there.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4286, 6426; Ezekiel 34:24, 37:24; Isaiah 37:35, Isaiah 49:3, 49:6; Psalms 78:70-72, Psalms 89:1, 89:3-4, 89:20; The Apocalypse Explained 205)

[6] Because the Lord as to Divine truth from its serving, is, in the Word, called a servant, therefore they are called servants there who are in Divine truth from the Lord, and thereby serve others, as the prophets in these passages.

In Jeremiah:

"Jehovah hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets" (xxv. 4).

In Amos:

"He hath revealed his secret unto his servants the prophets" (iii. 7).

In Daniel:

"He hath set [his laws] before us by the hand of his servants the prophets" (ix. 10).

Hence also Moses is called,

"The servant of Jehovah" (Mal. iv. 4).

And also Isaiah in his prophecy (xx. 3, lii. 13). For by the prophets is signified the doctrine of Divine truth, thus the Divine truth as to doctrine (see n. 2534, 7269). Hence also David frequently calls himself the servant of Jehovah; as in the following passages:

"I delight in thy statutes; I do not forget thy word. Thy servant meditates in thy statutes. Thou hast done good with thy servant, O Jehovah, according to thy word. Deal with thy servant according to thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. I am thy servant, instruct me, that I may know thy testimonies. Make thy faces to shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant" (Ps. cxix. 16, 23, 65, 124, 125, 135, 176).

In the same:

"Guard my soul; for I am holy; save thy servant, for I trust in Thee. Rejoice the soul of thy servant; for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thy handmaid" (Ps. lxxxvi. 2, 4, 16; besides elsewhere, as Ps. xxvii. 9; xxxi. 16; xxxv. 27; cxvi. 16; Luke i. 69).

Because the Lord as to Divine truth is meant by David in the passages adduced above, and because by David is thence meant the Divine truth, the same as by the prophets, therefore, by servant also in these passages, is meant, in the spiritual sense, what is subservient. He who does not know the spiritual sense of the Word may suppose that not only David, but also others who are spoken of in the Word, called themselves servants, because all are the servants of God, whereas when servants are mentioned in the Word, what is subservient and efficient is meant thereby in the spiritual sense. It is also for this reason that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is called "the servant of Jehovah" (Jer. xxv. 9; xliii. 10). But specifically by servant and servants, in the Word, are meant those who receive the Divine truth and who teach it, because the Divine truth serves, and Divine good acts by its means. Hence it is that servants and chosen are everywhere mentioned together; servants [denoting] those who receive the Divine truth and teach it, and the chosen those who receive the Divine good and lead [thereto]; as in Isaiah:

"I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; that my chosen may possess it, and my servants may dwell there" (lxv. 9).

In the same:

"Thou, Israel, art my servant, and Jacob whom I have chosen " (xli. 8).

In the same:

"Hear, O Jacob, my servant; Israel, whom I have chosen. Fear not, O Jacob, my servant, and thou Jeshurun, Whom I have chosen" (xliv. 1, 2).

That they are called the chosen who are in the life of charity, may be seen, n. 3755 at the end, 3900.

(References: Amos 3:7; Arcana Coelestia 2534, 3755, 3900, Arcana Coelestia 7269; Daniel 9:10; Isaiah 20:3, Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 44:1-2, Isaiah 50:10, 52:13, Isaiah 65:9; Jeremiah 25:4, 25:9, Jeremiah 43:10; Luke 1:69; Malachi 4:4; Psalms 27:9, 31:16, 35:27, Psalms 86:2, 86:4, 86:16, Psalms 116:16, Psalms 119:16, 119:16-18, 119:16-17, 119:23, Psalms 119:48, 119:65, 119:124-125, 119:135, 119:176)

[7] Now since servants in the Word are spoken of from subserving and effecting, consequently, those who serve and effect, hence it is that the natural man is called a servant, for this serves the spiritual to carry out what it wills; and hence also the spiritual man is called a free man, and also a master. This also is meant by servant and master in Luke:

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will esteem the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (xvi. 13).

This is not to be understood of servants in the world, because they can serve two masters, and yet not hate and despise one [of them]; but of servants in the spiritual sense, who are those that desire to love the Lord and themselves equally, also heaven and the world in the same manner. They are like those who wish to look with one eye upwards, and with the other downwards, or with one eye to heaven, and with the other to hell, and so to hang between both; when yet there will be more of one love than of the other; and where this is the case, that which opposes, when it does oppose, will be hated and despised; for the love of self and of the world is opposed to love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. Hence it is, that those who are in heavenly love would be willing rather to die, and be deprived of honours and wealth in the world, than be withdrawn from the Lord and heaven by their means; for they consider the latter to be everything, because it is eternal, but the former respectively nothing, because it ends with life in the world. On the contrary, however, those who love themselves and the world above all things hold the Lord and heaven in no esteem, indeed they even deny them, and when they see them in opposition to them, they hate; this clearly appears to be the case with all such in the other life. With those who love the Lord and heaven above all things, the internal or spiritual man is opened, and the external or natural man serves it; the latter then is a servant because it serves, and the former is a master because it wills; but with those who love themselves and the world above all things, the internal or spiritual man is closed, and the external or natural man open, and when the latter is open, and the former closed, [a man] then loves one master, that is, himself and the world, and hates the other, namely, the Lord and heaven. I can also testify to the same from experience; for all who have lived for themselves and the world, and not, as they ought, for God and heaven, in the other life, hate the Lord, and persecute those who are His, however they may have spoken in the world, of heaven, and also of the Lord; from which it is evident how impossible it is to serve two masters. That those words of the Lord are to be understood spiritually, is evident from the words of the Lord Himself, for He says, "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

(References: Luke 16:13)

[8] In Matthew:

"The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord" (x. 24, 25).

By this, in its universal sense, is meant, that man shall not compare himself to the Lord, and that it is sufficient for him that all that he has, he has from the Lord, and then the disciple is as his Master, and the servant as the Lord, for then the Lord is in him, and causes him to will good, and to think truth; he is called a disciple from good, and a servant from truth. It is the same in a particular sense, namely, with every man who is led by the Lord; the external or natural man with him is a disciple and servant, and the internal and spiritual man is a master and lord. When the external or natural man serves the internal or spiritual by obeying and doing, then it is also as its master and lord, for they act as one, as it is said of the principal and instrumental cause, that they act as one cause. This particular sense coincides with the universal in this, that when the spiritual and natural man act as one, then the Lord Himself acts, for the spiritual man does nothing of itself, but what it does it does solely from the Lord; for in proportion as the spiritual man is opened (for it is opened into heaven), in the same proportion [a man] does not act from himself but from the Lord; this spiritual man is the spiritual man in its proper sense.

(References: Matthew 10:24-25, Matthew 10:24, 10:26)

[9] In John:

"Ye shall know the truth; the truth maketh you free. The Jews answered, We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. The servant abideth not in the house for ever; the son abideth ever. If the son therefore maketh you free, ye shall be free indeed" (viii. 32-36).

By these words is meant, that to be free is to be led by the Lord, and to be a servant is to be led by hell. By the truth which maketh free is meant the Divine truth which is from the Lord, for he who receives this in doctrine and in life, is free, because he becomes spiritual, and is led by the Lord; wherefore it is also said, that the son abideth in the house for ever; if the son therefore maketh you free, ye shall be free indeed. By the son is meant the Lord, and also truth, as may be seen above, n. 63, 151, 166; and to abide in the house denotes [to abide] in heaven. That to be led by hell is to be a servant, is taught by these words, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." Sin is hell, because from hell.

(References: John 8:32-36; The Apocalypse Explained 63, 151, 166)

[10] That to receive the Divine truth from the Lord in doctrine and in life is to be free, the Lord also teaches in John:

"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. I no longer call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; I rather call you friends: for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and appointed you, and ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (xv. 14-16).

By friends are here meant the free, because friends are here opposed to servants. That they are not servants, but friends or freemen, who receive the Divine truth in doctrine and life from the Lord, is taught by these words, "if ye do whatsoever I command you. I no longer call you servants, but friends"; also by these words, "all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit"; to command, and to make known, has reference to doctrine, and to bear fruit has reference to life. That these are from the Lord is thus taught, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and appointed you." Almost the same was represented by the Hebrew servants, who were dismissed in freedom in the seventh year, and in the year of Jubilee (who are treated of in Exod. xxi. 2, 3; Levit. xxv. 39-41; Deut. xv. 12 et seq.; Jer. xxxiv. 9 et seq.; but concerning these see the Arcana Coelestia, n. 8973-9005). From what has been so far adduced, it is evident that those are called servants in the Word who serve and execute, and that hence the natural man is meant by a servant, because this serves its spiritual man to carry out what it wills and thinks; also that those are called free, who act from the love of truth and good, thus who act from the Lord, from whom [comes] the love of truth and good. Moreover, by servants in the Word are also meant those who are led by self and the world, and thence by evils and falsities, consequently, who [are led] by the natural man, and not at the same time by the spiritual. But concerning these servants, the Lord willing, it shall be explained elsewhere.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 8973-9005; Deuteronomy 15:12; Exodus 21:2-3; Jeremiah 34:9, 39:9; John 15:14-16; Leviticus 25:39-41; Matthew 10:24-25; Psalms 119:16-18, Psalms 119:48; Revelation 6:15)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 407, 612, 625, 650, 657, 695, 696, 1202, 1210

Other New Christian Commentary

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