The Bible

 

Joel 1

Italian: Giovanni Diodati Bible (1649)         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 La parola del Signore, la quale fu indirizzata a Gioele, figliuolo di Petuel.

2 UDITE questo, o vecchi; e voi, tutti gli abitanti del paese, porgete l’orecchio. Avvenne egli mai a’ dì vostri, o mai a’ dì de’ padri vostri, una cotal cosa?

3 Raccontatela a’ vostri figliuoli; e raccontinla i vostri figliuoli a’ lor figliuoli, e i lor figliuoli alla generazione seguente.

4 La locusta ha mangiato il rimanente della ruca, e il bruco ha mangiato il rimanente della locusta, e il grillo ha mangiato il rimanente del bruco.

5 Destatevi, ubbriachi, e piangete; e voi bevitori di vino tutti, urlate per lo mosto; perciocchè egli vi è del tutto tolto di bocca.

6 Perciocchè è salita contro al mio paese, una nazione possente e innumerabile; i suoi denti son denti di leone, ed ha de’ mascellari di fiero leone.

7 Ha deserte le mie viti, e scorzati i miei fichi: li ha del tutto spogliati, e lasciati in abbandono; i lor rami son divenuti tutti bianchi.

8 Lamentati, come una vergine cinta di un sacco per lo marito della sua fanciullezza.

9 L’offerta di panatica, e da spandere, è del tutto mancata nella Casa del Signore; i sacerdoti, ministri del Signore, fanno cordoglio.

10 I campi son guasti, la terra fa cordoglio; perciocchè il frumento è stato guasto, il mosto è seccato, l’olio è venuto meno.

11 Lavoratori, siate confusi; urlate, vignaiuoli, per lo frumento, e per l’orzo; perciocchè la ricolta de’ campi è perita.

12 La vite è seccata, e il fico langue; il melagrano, ed anche la palma, e il melo, e tutti gli altri alberi della campagna son secchi; certo la letizia è seccata d’infra i figliuoli degli uomini.

13 Cingetevi di sacchi, e piangete, o sacerdoti; urlate, ministri dell’altare; venite, passate la notte in sacchi, ministri dell’Iddio mio; perciocchè l’offerta di panatica, e da spandere, è divietata dalla Casa dell’Iddio vostro.

14 Santificate il digiuno, bandite la solenne raunanza, radunate gli anziani, e tutti gli abitanti del paese, nella Casa del Signore Iddio vostro, e gridate al Signore:

15 Ahi lasso! l’orribil giorno! perciocchè il giorno del Signore è vicino, e verrà come un guasto fatto dall’Onnipotente.

16 Non è il cibo del tutto riciso d’innanzi agli occhi nostri? la letizia, e la gioia non è ella recisa dalla Casa dell’Iddio nostro?

17 Le granella son marcite sotto alle loro zolle; le conserve son deserte, i granai son distrutti; perciocchè il frumento è perito per la siccità.

18 Quanto hanno sospirato le bestie! e quanto sono state perplesse le mandre de’ buoi, perciocchè non vi è alcun pasco per loro! anche le gregge delle pecore sono state desolate.

19 O Signore, io grido a te; perciocchè il fuoco ha consumati i paschi del deserto, e la fiamma ha divampati tutti gli alberi della campagna.

20 Anche le bestie della campagna hanno agognato dietro a te; perciocchè i rivi delle acque son seccati, e il fuoco ha consumati i paschi del deserto.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Joel 1 - Revised      

Joel Chapter 1, the Internal Sense.
From Swedenborg's work, "The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms"

(Verse 1) The Word has been perverted by false worship,

(2) when instead the Word should have been obeyed by everyone in the Church,

(3) and communicated to everyone who holds false beliefs that arise from evil loves.

(4) Instead, the spiritual things of the Church have been destroyed by sensualism.

(5) Now, remorse should be awakened, because of this loss of faith,

(6) a faith which has been destroyed by the lust of worshipping false gods,

(7) depriving the Church of spiritual truth and good.

(8) The Church should return to the Lord

(9) with inward mourning and contrition

(10) over the loss of good and truth in the natural and spiritual man -

(11) especially people who seek the good of the Church and who desire its genuine doctrine: for the Church is about to perish.

(12) Spiritual truth, its good, its knowledge, and its delights, which constitute the Church, are perverted.

(13) Only by repentance can communion with the Lord be renewed.

(14) The Church can only remove the evil and falsity by acknowledging and worshipping the Lord,

(15) for the end of the Church is near, when it will be judged.

(16) Good works are not being done, nor are there any people who delight in spiritual things.

(17) Natural good has been subordinated to evil, and the truth and good of the Word are rejected.

(18) Wherefore there is no good in the Church,

(19) and our hearts must be turned again to the Lord: for the love of self has corrupted all things in the church.

(20) Although truth is desired, it has been misappropriated to ourselves.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 2606, 10325

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 198


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 368, 488, 566, 1072, 1992, 2708, 3580, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 241, 315, 316, 334, 424, 435, 492, ...

The Lord 4

Dottrina sulla Sacra Scrittura 87

True Christian Religion 82, 252


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 278, 374, 375, 376, 403, 458, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56, 58

Marriage 82

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 55

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 10:2, 14, 15

Numbers 28:4, 7, 14

Deuteronomy 16:11, 14, 28:38

1 Kings 17:7

2 Chronicles 6:28

Psalms 104:21

Isaiah 13:6, 22:12, 24:11, 32:11, 12

Jeremiah 3:9, 9:9, 12:4, 14:2, 4, 36:9, 48:33

Ezekiel 7:5, 7, 10, 12, 27:31

Hosea 4:1, 5:1

Joel 2:1, 2, 3, 12, 14, 15, 17, 25

Amos 4:9

Obadiah 1:15

Zephaniah 7

Malachi 2:3, 3:11

Revelation 9:7

Word/Phrase Explanations

parola
'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...

signore
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...

figliuolo
'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...

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

padri
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

generazione
To “generate” something is to create it, and that idea underpins the meaning of a “generation” of people – it is a group that was...

locusta
'Locusts' signify falsities in the extremes, which consume the truths and goods of the church in a person. 'The locusts' which John the Baptist ate...

mangiato
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...

grillo
Caterpillars, mentioned in Joel 1:4, signify the evil of the sensual man.

vino
Wine played a key role in the ancient world, where safe, reliable water sources were scarce. It could be stored for long periods of time;...

Urlate
'To wail and howl,' as in Micah 1:8, signifies the grief of the angels of heaven and the people of the church, where the church...

bocca
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

nazione
'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...

denti
'Tooth,' as in Exodus 21:24, denotes the exterior understanding, and natural truth.

Leone
'A lion' signifies the good of celestial love and the truth from that good.

fichi
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

vergine
'Virgins,' as in Revelation 14:4, signify people who love truths because they are truths, so from a spiritual affection. 'Virgin' signifies the church as a...

sacco
'A sack' in Genesis 42:25, means a receptacle, and here 'a receptacle' on the natural level, because it is a story about the truths and...

offerta
It was customary in the representative Ancient Church, and later in the Jewish Church, when people went to the judges, and at a later time,...

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

sacerdoti
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

ministri
People in the Word who operate the details of charity are called 'ministers.'

cordoglio
In a general sense, mourning in the Bible represents a state of grief over the lack of desires for good and true ideas about life....

i campi
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

frumento
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

melagrano
'Pomegranates,' as in Exodus 28:34, signify the scientific ideas of good and truth, which are doctrinal matters from the Word in the memory, which is...

alberi
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

altare
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

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

anziani
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

giorno
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...

onnipotente
'Shaddai,' as in Genesis 43:14, signifies temptation, and consolation after temptation. This is because the ancients called the one and only God by various names...

occhi
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

sotto
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

bestie
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

gregge
'A herd,' as mentioned in Genesis 32:7, denotes exterior or natural good, and also not good things.

deserto
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

fiamma
A flame signifies spiritual good, and the light of it truth from that good. A flame of fire, as in Revelation 1:14, signifies spiritual love,...

acque
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #374

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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374. (v. 6) A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny. That thereby is signified, that the genuine good of the church is of no account with them, and also the genuine truth, is clear from the signification of measure (choenix), which was the measure for wheat and barley among the Greeks, as denoting the quality of estimation, for by measure in the Word, as was said in the article above, is signified the quality of a thing as to good and as to truth. From the signification of wheat, as denoting the good of the church in general, concerning which we shall speak presently; from the signification of barley, as denoting the truth of that good, which will be also treated of presently; and from the signification of a penny, which is the price of estimation, as denoting as if it were of no account. This piece of money, because it was the smallest of all, consequently, signifies the least price, but here as if it were of no price. The reason is, because by the red horse, spoken of above, is signified the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good, and by the black horse, the understanding of the Word destroyed as to truth (see above, n. 364, and 372); and when the understanding of the Word as to good and truth is destroyed, then the genuine good and genuine truth of the church are estimated as it were at nothing. The reason why it is estimated here at a penny, is, because some piece of money must be assumed, in order that some price may be expressed in the sense of the letter. Because it is said that a balance was in the hand of him that sat on the horse, and that he measured the wheat and the barley, therefore that piece of money, which was the least of all, is taken for the price of estimation; and because there was no longer any understanding of the Word as to good and as to truth, therefore, by a penny, in the spiritual sense, is here signified [that the estimation is] as it were of no account.

(References: Revelation 6:6; The Apocalypse Explained 364, 372)


[2] The reason why it is said a measure of wheat and three measures of barley, is, because the number one is said of good, and three of truths. And by one, when it is said of good, is signified what is perfect, thus also what is genuine; and by three, when said of truths, is signified what is full, thus also what is genuine; hence it is that a measure of wheat, and three measures of barley, signify the genuine good and the genuine truth of the church. The reason why wheat signifies good, and barley the truth thereof, is, because all things of the field signify the things of the church; and the things of the field, as crops of various kinds, serve for food; and things that are for the food and nourishment of the body, signify, in the spiritual sense, such things as nourish the soul or mind, all of which have relation to the good of love, and the truth of faith; hence wheat and barley especially have such a signification, because bread is made from them. (That foods of every kind signify spiritual food, thus the things pertaining to knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom, consequently the good and truth from which these are, may be seen, n. 3114, 4459, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, 5915, 8408, 8562, 9003; of bread in general, in the small work concerning the New Jerusalem, n. 218; that field signifies the church. n, 2971, 3766, 9139.) That wheat and barley signify such things, is from correspondence, as may be seen from the things that appear in the spiritual world, where all appearances are correspondences. Plains, fields, crops of various kinds, and also loaves appear there; whence it is known that they correspond, and, consequently, that they have a signification according to correspondences.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2971, 3114, 3766, 4459, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, 5915, 8408, 8562, 9003, 9139; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 218)


[3] That wheat and barley signify the good and truth of the church, wheat the good thereof, and barley the truth, is evident from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned, as from the following. In Jeremiah:

Jehovah "who hath dispersed Israel, shall gather him together, and shall guard him as a shepherd doth his flock; for Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob, and hath liberated him out of the hand of him that was stronger than he; hence shall they come and sing in the height of Zion, and they shall flow together to the good of Jehovah, to the wheat, to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the sons of the flock and of the herd; and their soul shall become as a watered garden" (xxxi. 10-12).

The establishment of a new church is here treated of. By Israel and Jacob is signified that church; by Israel the spiritual internal church, and by Jacob the external, for every church is internal and external. The establishment of it is described by, "Jehovah shall gather him together, and shall guard him as a shepherd doth his flock; for he hath redeemed Jacob, and liberated him out of the hand of him that was stronger than he." By redeeming is signified to reform (as may be seen above, n. 328); by the hand of him that was stronger than he, is signified from the evil and falsity which before had possession; their internal joy, or joy of heart, arising from celestial good and the truths thence, is signified by, "hence shall they come and sing in the height of Zion, and they shall flow together to the good of Jehovah, to the wheat, to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the sons of the flock and of the herd." To sing in the height of Zion signifies internal celestial joy, or such as exists in the Lord's celestial kingdom, to sing denoting that joy (see above, n. 326); height denoting what is internal, and Zion the celestial kingdom. Wheat signifies the good of the natural man; new wine, the truth thereof; oil, the good of the spiritual man; the sons of the flock signify spiritual truths, and the sons of the herd natural truths; because these are signified, they are called the goodness of Jehovah. That hence they have intelligence and wisdom, is signified by, "their soul shall become as a watered garden"; for by a garden in the Word is signified intelligence, and being watered its increase continually; that wheat, new wine, oil, the sons of the flock and herd, are not meant here, is evident, for it is said that Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob, and that their soul shall become as a watered garden.

(References: Jeremiah 31:10-12; The Apocalypse Explained 326, 328)


[4] In Joel:

"The field is wasted, the land hath mourned; for the corn is wasted; the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. The husbandmen were ashamed; the vine-dressers howled over the wheat and over the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished" (i. 10-12).

These things are not said concerning a field and its barrenness, but concerning the church and its vastation; therefore by field, land, corn, new wine, and oil, are not meant these things, but by the field and by land, the church; by the field, the church as to the reception and increase of truth and good, and by the earth, the church as to the nation therein; by corn, good of every kind in the external man; by new wine, the truth also therein; by oil, the good of the internal man; by the husbandmen who were ashamed, and the vine-dressers who howled over the wheat and over the barley, are signified those who are of the church, and by the wheat and barley are signified the good and the truth thereof; and by the harvest of the field which, consequently, perished, is signified all worship from them.

(References: Joel 1:10-11, 1:10-12)


[5] In Jeremiah:

"The spoilers are come upon all the hills in the wilderness; for the sword of Jehovah shall devour from the end of the earth even to the end of the earth; there is no peace to any flesh. They have sown wheat, and reaped thorns" (xii. 12, 13).

These things also are said concerning the church and its vastation. By the hills in the wilderness upon which the spoilers are said to come, is signified that all the good of charity has perished through evils and falsities; hills in the Word signify where the good of charity resides, and, in an abstract sense, that good itself. The wilderness signifies where it exists no more, because there is no truth; and spoilers signify evils and falsities whereby good and truth perish. By the sword of Jehovah devouring from the end of the earth even to the end of the earth, is signified falsity destroying all things of the church; by the sword devouring, falsity destroying, and from the end of the earth even to the end of the earth, are signified all things of the church. By, "there is no peace to any flesh," is signified that there is no longer internal rest on account of the dominion of evil and falsity; by, "they have sown wheat, and reaped thorns," is signified that instead of the goods of truth there are evils of falsity, wheat denoting the goods of truth, and thorns denoting the evils of falsity.

(References: Jeremiah 12:12-13)


[6] In the same:

Ishmael, who was of the seed of the kingdom, slew Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land, and all the Jews who were with him, and the Chaldeans, also the men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria; "but ten men were found among them who said unto Ishmael, Slay us not; for we have things hid in the field, wheat and barley, and oil and honey. So he forbare, and slew them not" (xli. 1-8).

By these historical statements, in the internal sense, is described the condemnation of those who profane holy things; for by Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon made governor over the land, and by the Jews who were with him, also by the Chaldeans, and the men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, are meant those who profane, and, in an abstract sense, profanations of every kind. For the king of Babylon signifies the profanation of good and truth, their condemnation is signified by their being slain, for by, to be slain, is signified to be slain spiritually (see n. 315); but by the ten men, who said to Ishmael, "Slay us not; for we have things hid in the field, wheat and barley, and oil and honey," are meant those who have not profaned the holy things of the church, because inwardly they possess good and truth; for those who profane have inwardly nothing of good and truth, but only outwardly when they speak and preach, whereas, those who do not profane have good and truth inwardly, and this is meant by their saying, that they had things hid in the field, wheat, barley, oil, and honey; wheat and barley signify the goods and truths of the external man, oil signifies the good of the internal man, and honey, the delight thereof; by ten men are signified all those who are of such a description, the number ten signifying all men and all things; by his forbearing and not slaying them, is signified that they were not profane, thus not condemned; by Ishmael are represented those who are in the genuine truths of the church; this is also signified by the seed of the kingdom from which he was. Such are the things involved in these historical statements, the historical parts of the Word possessing an internal sense as well as the prophetical parts.

(References: Jeremiah 41:1-8; The Apocalypse Explained 315)


[7] In Moses:

"Jehovah thy God bringeth thee unto a good land, a land of rivers of water, of fountains and depths that issue out of valley and mountain; a land of wheat and barley, and of vine, and fig-tree, and pomegranate; a land of olive oil and honey" (Deut. viii. 7, 8).

In the sense of the letter the land of Canaan is thus described, but in the spiritual sense the Lord's church, this being signified by the land of Canaan according to this sense; and all the kinds of good and truth pertaining to the church are recounted. The reason why the land is called a land of rivers of water, is, because rivers of water signify the doctrinals of truth. By fountains and depths issuing out of valley and mountain, are signified interior and exterior truths from the Word; by fountains the interior truths thence, and by depths the exterior truths. The latter are said to issue out of the valley, because a valley signifies what is lower and exterior, where such [truths] are; and the former are said to issue out of the mountain, because a mountain signifies what is higher and interior, where such [truths] are. By a land of wheat and barley, and of vine and fig-tree, and pomegranate, is signified the church as to good and truth of every kind; wheat and barley signifying good and truth from a celestial origin; the vine and fig-tree, good and truth from a spiritual origin; and the pomegranate, the knowledges of good and truth. And by a land of olive oil and honey, is signified the church as to the good of love and its delight. He who does not know the spiritual sense of the Word believes simply that the land of Canaan alone is described by these words, in which case the Word would be only natural and not spiritual, and yet the Word in its internal is everywhere spiritual, and it is spiritual when by the above words are understood the spiritual things that are signified, namely, goods and truths of every kind. But what is specifically signified by rivers, fountains, depths, a valley, a mountain, the vine, the fig-tree, the pomegranate, the olive, oil, and honey, is shown in the Arcana Coelestia, all the passages of which it would take too long to adduce; yet several of them have been pointed out, and will be pointed out, in this work upon the Explanation of the Apocalypse; these may be consulted in their proper places.

(References: Deuteronomy 8:7-8)


[8] In Job:

"If I have eaten the strength of the earth without silver, or have caused the soul [of the owners] thereof to expire, let the thorn come forth instead of wheat, and the wild vine instead of barley" (xxxi. 38-40).

To eat the strength of the earth without silver, signifies to appropriate to oneself the good of the church without the truth, the earth denoting the church, and silver denoting truth; and to cause the soul [of the owners] thereof to expire, signifies thus to make void spiritual life. "Let the thorn come forth instead of wheat, and the wild vine instead of barley," signifies that evil is regarded as good, and falsity as truth; wheat denoting good, the thorn evil, barley truth, and the wild vine falsity; for good can only be procured by truths.

(References: Job 31:39-40)


[9] In Isaiah:

"I have heard a consummation and decision from the Lord Jehovih of hosts upon the whole earth. Will the ploughman plough all day to sow, will he open and harrow his ground? When he hath made plain the faces thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fennel, and cast in the measured wheat and the appointed barley and the appointed spelt? Thus he is instructed to judgment, his God doth teach him" (xxviii. 22, 24-26).

By these words, in the spiritual sense, there is described the church with the Jewish and Israelitish nation as being altogether destroyed, and that it was to no purpose to learn and know the Word, but that the good and truth thereof may be applied to the use of life; hence and not otherwise intelligence [can be received] from the Lord. That the church with that nation was altogether destroyed, is meant by, "I have heard a consummation and decision from the Lord Jehovih of hosts upon the whole earth," consummation and decision denoting complete destruction, and the whole earth denoting the whole church, that is, everything thereof; its being to no purpose to learn and know the Word, is signified by, "Will the ploughman plough all day to sow? will he open and harrow his ground?" to plough for sowing denoting to learn, and to harrow the ground denoting to deposit in the memory. That the good and truth of the Word should be applied to the use of life, is signified by, "When he hath made plain the faces thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fennel, and cast in the measured wheat and the appointed barley and the appointed spelt?" When he hath made plain the faces of the ground, and scattered the fennel, signifies when he has prepared by the Word; the measured wheat and the appointed barley and the appointed spelt, signify to apply good and truth to the use of life; wheat denoting good, barley truth, and spelt knowledges; that hence, and in no other way, is there intelligence from the Lord, is signified by, "Thus he is instructed to judgment, his God doth teach him"; judgment signifying intelligence, and his God doth teach him, signifying that it is from the Lord.

(References: Isaiah 28:22, 28:24-26)


[10] In Moses:

"Jehovah made him ride upon the high places of the earth, and he fed him with the produce of the fields; he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flint of the rock; butter of the herd and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, and rams of the sons of Bashan, and of goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou drinkest the pure blood of grapes" (Deut. xxxii. 12-14).

These things are said of the Ancient Church established by the Lord after the deluge, which was in intelligence and wisdom, because in the good of charity and in the faith thence. Their wisdom and intelligence from the Lord, is signified by, "Jehovah made them to ride upon the high places of the earth, and fed them with the produce of the fields"; the celestial and spiritual goods which they receive by truths, are described by, "He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flint of the rock; butter of the herd and milk of the flock, with the fat of lambs, and of rams of the sons of Bashan, and of goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou drinkest the pure blood of grapes"; wheat signifies here all good in general, and the blood of grapes, also pure wine, all the truth thence.

(References: Deuteronomy 32:13-14)


[11] In David:

"O that my people had hearkened unto me, and, Israel had walked in my ways! I should have fed them with the fat of wheat; and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied them" (Ps. lxxxi. 13, 14, 16).

By the fat of wheat, and by honey out of the rock, with which they would be fed and satisfied, are signified good of every kind from celestial good and the delight thereof from the Lord; for by fat is signified celestial good; by wheat, good of every, kind; by honey, the delight of good; and by a rock, the Lord. That they will possess these things if they live according to the Lord's precepts, is meant by its being said, "O that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!" ways in the Word signifying truths and also precepts, and to walk signifying to live.

(References: Psalms 81:13, 81:16)


[12] In the same:

"Praise Jehovah, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. For he strengtheneth the bars of thy gates; he blesseth thy sons in the midst of thee. He maketh thy borders peace, and filleth thee with the fat of wheat" (Ps. cxlvii. 12-14).

By Jerusalem and Zion is meant the church; by Jerusalem, the church as to the truths of doctrine, and by Zion the church as to the goods of love; who maketh thy border peace, signifies all things of heaven and the church, for border signifies all those things; "He filleth thee with the fat of wheat," signifies with every good of love and with wisdom, fat signifying the good of love, and wheat all things therefrom, which being from good are also goods; because these things are signified, therefore it is said, "the fat of wheat."

(References: Psalms 147:12-14)


[13] In Hosea:

"Jehovah said" unto the prophet, "Go again, love a woman beloved of her companion, and an adulteress, according to the love of Jehovah toward the sons of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of grapes. And I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for a homer of barley, and a half homer of barley" (iii. 1, 2).

The quality of the Jewish and Israelitish church as to doctrine and worship was represented by this, namely, that by vain traditions they had falsified all things of the Word, although they worshipped it as holy. A woman beloved of her companion, and an adulteress, whom the prophet was to love, signifies a church of such a quality, a woman the church, and being loved by her companion and an adulteress, the falsification of truth and the adulteration of good; "according to the love of Jehovah toward the sons of Israel, who look to other gods," signifies falsities of doctrine and evils of worship, these things being signified by looking to other gods; loving flagons of grapes, signifies the Word in the sense of the letter alone, for wine signifies truths of doctrine from the Word, grapes the goods of it from which are truths, and a flagon signifies that which contains, thus the ultimate sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, which they apply to their own falsities and evils; that he bought her to him for fifteen pieces of silver, signifies at a very small price, fifteen denoting very little; the homer of barley and the half homer of barley signify so little of good and truth, as to be scarcely any.

(References: Hosea 3:1-2)


[14] In Matthew:

John [said] concerning Jesus, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire; whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather the wheat into the garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable" (iii. 11, 12).

By baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire, is signified to reform the church, and to regenerate the man of the church by means of Divine truth and Divine good; to baptize signifies to reform and regenerate; the Holy Spirit, the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; and fire, the Divine good of His Divine love; by the wheat which He will gather into the garner, and by the chaff which He will burn with fire unquenchable, are signified good of every kind, which is of heavenly origin, that it shall be preserved to eternity, consequently, those who are in that [good]; and falsity of every kind, which is of infernal origin, that it shall be destroyed, consequently, those who are in it; and because wheat, a garner, and chaff are mentioned, a fan and a floor are also mentioned, and by the fan is signified separation, and by the floor, where the separation takes place.

(References: Matthew 3:11-12)


[15] In the same:

Jesus said, "The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder coming said unto him, Master, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? Then he said unto them, An enemy hath done this. And the servants said, Wilt thou therefore that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up at the same time the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn" (xiii. 24-30).

What these words involve is very evident from the spiritual sense, the particulars there being correspondences; for the Lord when He was in the world, spoke by pure correspondences, because from the Divine. The Last Judgment is here treated of, when the good shall be separated from the evil, and the good will come into heaven, and the evil into hell. The good seed in the field, which the man sowed, signifies the truths of the church, which are from good; the field signifies the church, where those are; and sowing signifies influx and reception, thus also instruction; the man who sowed the seed, denotes the Lord through the Word, in which are all the truths of the church; his enemy coming and sowing the tares while men slept, and then going his way, signifies that with natural men the falsities of evil flow in from hell, and are received; for to sleep signifies to live the natural life without the spiritual (as may be seen above, n. 187); the enemy signifies hell, and the tares signify the evils of falsity. What the remaining portions even to the end signify, is evident from what is adduced in the small work concerning the Last Judgment (n. 70); for they involve mysteries which are there laid open; here we need say only, that wheat signifies the good of truth, and thence those who are in good by means of truth; and that by tares are signified the evil of falsity, and thence those who are in evil by means of falsities. That these things are said concerning the Last Judgment, is clear from what follows in the same chapter, where it is said:

"He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the seed are the sons of the kingdom; the tares are the sons of the wicked one; the enemy is the devil; the harvest is the consummation of the age" (verses 38, 39);

the consummation of the age denotes the last time of the church, when Judgment takes place. From these passages adduced from the Word, it is evident that wheat signifies the good of the church in general, and barley the truth thereof.

(References: Joel 1:10-12; Matthew 13:24-30, 13:37-39, 13:38-39; The Apocalypse Explained 187; The Last Judgment 70)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 368, 375, 376, 403, 405, 411, 619, 625, 657, 1153


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


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