The Bible

 

1 Samuel 15

King James Version         

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1 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of The LORD.

2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.

6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.

8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.

14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.

31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 1679


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 587, 922, 1928, 2180, 2799, 2830, 4111, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 779

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 375, 395

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 3:12, 6:6, 15:19, 16:7, 21:14

Exodus 9:27, 10:17, 17:14, 23:2

Leviticus 27:29

Numbers 10:29, 14:41, 23:19, 24:7, 20

Joshua 6:18, 8:12, 10:22, 39, 15:24, 55

Judges 1:7, 16, 17:2

Ruth 3:10

1 Samuel 1:19, 8:6, 9:21, 27, 10:1, 8, 22, 26, 13:12, 14, 14:48, 15:11, 35, 16:1, 17:20, 18:8, 22:19, 23:21, 25:2, 30, 26:21, 27:8, 10, 28:14, 17, 18

2 Samuel 3:10, 7:15, 12:9, 20, 18:18, 23:35

1 Kings 11:9, 11, 14:6, 20:34

2 Kings 7:1

1 Chronicles 10:13

2 Chronicles 26:10

Esther 3:1

Job 34:24

Proverbs 21:3, 28:13, 29:25

Isaiah 1:11

Jeremiah 7:22, 18:10

Ezekiel 24:14

Hosea 6:6, 8:13, 13:11

Amos 5:22

Matthew 23:12

Mark 12:33

John 43

Acts of the Apostles 13:22

Galatians 1:10

Titus 2

Bible Word Meanings

samuel
'Samuel' signifies the Word.

said
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...

saul
Saul was the first king of Israel, anointed by Samuel when the people insisted on having a king. Like all the kings, both good and...

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

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

sent
'To send' signifies revealing.

anoint
Oil in the Bible represents the Lord’s love, so anointing someone (or something) with oil was a way to make that person (or object) a...

israel
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...

hearken
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

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

words
'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...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

hosts
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

egypt
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

smite
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.

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

Woman
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

infant
The infants in the street,' in Jeremiah 9:21, signify truth beginning to grow.

suckling
To 'suckle' denotes taking in good, because 'a nurse,' or 'one who suckles' signifies implanting good. To 'suckle,' as in Genesis 21:7, signifies implanting the...

camel
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

ass
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

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

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

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

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

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

down
"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,"...

amalekites
Amalek, or the Amalekites, signifies those who are in false principles.

kindness
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

smote
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

Havilah
'Sheba, Havilah, Sabthah, Regmah, and Sabthecha,' the sons of Cush, as in Genesis 10:7, were several nations which were did not have internal worship, but...

comest
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Shur
'Shur,' or 'Assyria,' signifies the Lord's state when He first received instruction in matters of doctrine regarding charity and faith.

Edge of the sword
The edge of the sword (Gen. 34:26) signifies what is false and evil in a state of combat.

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

sheep
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

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

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

following
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

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

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

rose
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

early
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

meet
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

carmel
'Sharon, Bashan, and Carmel' signify the church regarding the knowledges of good and truth from the natural sense of the Word.

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

gilgal
Gilgal signifies the doctrine of natural truth, serving for introduction into the church.

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

hear
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

the rest
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

say
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...

own
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...

sight
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...

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

tribes
In general, 'the twelve tribes' signify every aspect of the doctrine of truth and good, or of faith and love. Truth and good, or faith...

anointed
Oil in the Bible represents the Lord’s love, so anointing someone (or something) with oil was a way to make that person (or object) a...

spoil
'Spoil of gold, and silver, and cattle' signifies falsified truths.

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

rams
'Rams of the breed of Bashan,' as in Deuteronomy 32:14, signify celestial spiritual things.

sin
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...

stubbornness
signifies confirmation against the goods and truths of the Word.

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

Idolatry
There are three universal kinds of idolatry; the first is grounded in self-love, the second in the love of the world, and the third in...

feared
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

worship
To bow, as in Genesis 18:2 signifies to humble.

return
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

day
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...

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

neighbour
'The neighbor' is not only an individual person, but also people collectively, as a less or greater society, our country, the church, the Lord’s kingdom,...

honour
'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...

elders
Elders are mentioned in the Bible mainly in two ways: First the elders of Israel: and second the 24 elders seated about the throne of...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

before
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...

ramah
'Ramah' denotes things that pertain to spiritual truth derived from celestial truth.

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

gibeah
Gibeah, as in 2 Samuel 6, signifies the natural or ultimate principle of the church. Gibeah, Ramah, and Bethaven, as in Hosea 5:8, denote those...

see
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...

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

mourned
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....

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Sacred Scripture #51

Sacred Scripture (Dole translation)      

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51. 1. The Word is not understandable without a body of teaching. This is because in its literal meaning the Word is entirely made up of correspondences, to allow spiritual and heavenly matters to be gathered within it in such a way that each word can be their container and support. That is why in many passages the literal meaning is not made up of bare truths but of clothed truths, which we may call semblances of truth. Many of them are adapted to the comprehension of ordinary people who do not raise their thoughts above what they can see with their eyes. There are other passages where there seem to be contradictions, though there are no contradictions in the Word when it is seen in its own light. Then too, there are places in the prophets where we find collections of personal names and place-names that make no sense to us - see the examples in §15 above.

Since that is what the literal meaning of the Word is like, it stands to reason that it cannot be understood without a body of teaching.

(References: Teachings about the Sacred Scripture 15)


[2] Some examples may serve to illustrate this. It says that Jehovah repents (Exodus 32:12, 14; Jonah 3:9; 4:2). It also says that Jehovah does not repent (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29). Without a body of teaching, these statements do not agree.

It says that Jehovah visits the iniquities of the parents on the children to the third and fourth generation (Numbers 14:18), and it says that parents will not be put to death for their children and children will not be put to death for their parents, but each will die in his or her own sin (Deuteronomy 24:16). Seen in the light of a body of teaching, these statements do not disagree but agree.

[3] Jesus said,

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives, those who seek find, and to those who knock it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8; 21:21-22)

In the absence of a body of teaching, people would believe that everyone’s request is granted, but a body of teaching yields the belief that we are given whatever we ask if we ask it not on our own behalf but on the Lord’s. That is in fact what the Lord tells us:

If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

(References: Matthew 21:22)


[4] The Lord says “Blessed are the poor, because theirs is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). Without a body of teaching, we might think that heaven belongs to the poor and not to the rich. A body of teaching instructs us, though, that this means those who are poor in spirit, for the Lord said,

Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. (Matthew 5:3)

[5] The Lord says,

Do not judge, or you will be judged; with the same judgment you pass [on others] you yourself will be judged. (Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:37)

In the absence of a body of teaching, this could be used to support the assertion that we should not say that an evil act is evil or judge that an evil person is evil. A body of teaching, though, tells us that it is permissible to pass judgment if we do so in an upright, righteous way. In fact, the Lord says,

Judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

[6] Jesus says,

Do not be called teacher, because one is your Teacher: Christ. You should not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, and he is in the heavens. You should not be called masters, because one is your Master: Christ. (Matthew 23:8-10)

In the absence of a body of teaching, it would turn out that it was wrong to call anyone a teacher or a father or a master; but from a body of teaching we come to know that this is permissible in an earthly sense but not in a spiritual sense.

[7] Jesus said to the disciples,

When the Son of Humanity sits on the throne of his glory, you will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

These words could lead us to believe that the Lord’s disciples will be passing judgment, when quite the contrary, they cannot judge anyone. So a body of teaching unveils this mystery by explaining that only the Lord, who is omniscient and knows the hearts of all, will judge and can judge, and that his twelve disciples mean the church in the sense of all the true and good principles that it has received from the Lord through the Word. A body of teaching leads us to the conclusion that these principles will judge everyone, which follows from what the Lord says in John 3:17-18; 12:47-48.

[8] People who read the Word without the aid of a body of teaching do not know how to make sense out of what it says in the prophets about the Jewish nation and Jerusalem, namely, that the church will abide in that nation and that its seat will be in that city forever. Take the following statements, for example.

Jehovah will visit his flock, the house of Judah, and transform them into a glorious war horse; from Judah will come the cornerstone, from Judah the tent peg, from Judah the battle bow. (Zechariah 10:3-4)

Behold, I am coming to dwell in your midst. Jehovah will make Judah his inheritance and will again choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 2:10-12)

On that day it will happen that the mountains will drip with new wine and the hills will flow with milk; and Judah will abide forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. (Joel 3:18, 20)

Behold, the days are coming in which I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humankind, and in which I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. This will be the covenant: I will put my law in their midst and I will write it on their heart, and I will become their God and they will become my people. (Jeremiah 31:27, 31, 33)

On that day ten men from every language of the nations will take hold of the hem of a man of Judah and say, “We will go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.” (Zechariah 8:23)

There are other passages of the same nature, such as Isaiah 44:24, 26; 49:22-23; 65:18; 66:20, 22; Jeremiah 3:18; 23:5; 50:19-20; Nahum 1:15; Malachi 3:4. In these passages the subject is the Lord’s Coming and what will happen at that time.

(References: Isaiah 44:21, 44:24-26, 65:9; Joel 3:18-20; Zechariah 2:10, 2:12, 10:6-7)


[9] However, it says something very different in any number of other passages, of which I will cite only the following:

I will hide my face from them. I will see what their posterity is, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom there is no faithfulness. I have said, “I will cast them into the most remote corners, I will make them cease from human memory, ” for they are a nation devoid of counsel, and they have no understanding. Their vine is from the vine of Sodom and the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall; their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the venom of dragons and the cruel gall of poisonous snakes. All this is hidden with me, locked away in my treasuries. Vengeance and retribution belong to me. (Deuteronomy 32:20-35)

These words were spoken about that nation, and there are similar statements elsewhere, as in Isaiah 3:1-2, 8; 5:3-6; Deuteronomy 9:5-6; Matthew 12:39; 23:27-28; John 8:44; and all through Jeremiah and Ezekiel. All the same, these statements that seem to contradict each other turn out to be in agreement in the light of a body of teaching, which tells us that Israel and Judah in the Word do not mean Israel and Judah but the church in each of two senses - one in which it lies in ruins and the other in which it is to be restored by the Lord. There are other contrasts like this in the Word that enable us to see that the Word cannot be understood apart from a body of teaching.

(References: Isaiah 5:3, 5:6)

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Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 96, 902

Divine Love and Wisdom 221, 377

Divine Providence 172, 256

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 76

The Last Judgement (Continuation) 82


   Parallel Passages:

True Christian Religion 226


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