The Bible

 

Amos 4

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous   Next →

1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

2 The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.

3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.

4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

5 And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

← Previous   Next →

   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Amos 4      

By Joe David and Helen Kennedy

In chapter 4 of the Book of Amos, verses 1-3 talk about people who pervert the truths of the church. They will fall into falsities in outermost things.

Fish are lower things, so it follows that fishhooks (verse 2) would mean being caught and held fast in natural or lower things.

Verses 4-6 talk about things of worship such as tithes and sacrifices. These look similar to genuine worship, but are only in outermost things. We can tell because ‘teeth’ (verse 6) represent ultimates or outermost things (Secrets of Heaven 6380), so it follows that “cleanness of teeth” would mean outermost things that look good but only imitate genuine worship. The Lord exhorts, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Verses 7-8. Some things true will remain, when the rest are false, in consequence of which truths will have no power. This can be seen where the Lord says, “I made it rain on one city; I withheld rain from another city... where it did not rain the part withered.” Again the Lord exhorts, “Yet you have not returned to me.”

Verse 9. Afterward all things of the church are falsified, shown in how blight attacked the gardens, vineyards, fig tree and olive trees. The last three represent spiritual, natural and celestial things, or all the things of spiritual life. “Yet you have not returned to me,” says the Lord.

Verses 10-11. The Lord explains the devastating things he allowed to happen: plague in Egypt, death of young men by swords, stench in the camps, Sodom and Gomorrah. This is because they are profaned by sensual knowledges - profanation meaning the mixing of good and evil together (Secrets of Heaven 1001:2).

This extends to all things of the church, the church being the Lord’s kingdom on earth (Secrets of Heaven 768:3).

With profanation “as soon as any idea of what is holy arises, the idea of what is profane joins immediately to it” (Secrets of Heaven 301).

Now there is hardly anything left. “Yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord again.

Verses 12-13. Because people adamantly remain in their profane ways, they are warned, “Prepare to meet your God!”. This is the God powerful and mighty, “who forms mountains, and creates the wind,” and even more close to home, “Who declares to man what his thought is.” As intimately a knowing as that is, the Lord’s love for all humanity is contained in His exhortations for them to turn themselves to Him.

See, for example, Luke 6:44-45, and True Christian Religion 373.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 204


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 382, 1069, 1453, 2165, 2220, 2799, 2842, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 336, 439, 474, 496, 502, 862

The Lord 49


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 403, 405, 513, 532, 556, 560, 608, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 19:24

Exodus 9:3

Leviticus 7:12, 13, 22:18, 26:23

Numbers 21:33, 28:3

Deuteronomy 21, 42

Ruth 1:1

2 Kings 8:1, 13:7

Job 9:7, 24:4

Psalms 89:36

Proverbs 22:7

Isaiah 1:1, 11, 9:12, 28:1, 45:7, 56:12

Jeremiah 3:3, 5:3, 10:13, 14:3, 16:16, 46:18, 50:40

Ezekiel 20:39, 34:16

Hosea 9:15, 11:5, 12:6

Joel 1:4

Amos 2:7, 8, 3:1, 3, 9, 10, 5:5, 8, 11, 27, 6:7, 7:1

Micah 1:3, 2:2, 3:2

Haggai 2:17

Zechariah 3:2

Matthew 23:23

Word/Phrase Explanations

hear
'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...

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...

kine
'The heifer whereby labor has not been done,' as mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:3, signifies the innocence of the external self, which is in ignorance. 'The...

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

Samaria
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

poor
In most cases, those described as "needy" in the Bible are those who lack true knowledge of the Lord and his teachings, but have a...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

needy
In most cases, those described as "needy" in the Bible are those who lack true knowledge of the Lord and his teachings, but have a...

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...

masters
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

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

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

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...

sworn
The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...

holiness
The Bible describes many things as being holy, or sacred. The Ark of the Covenant is one very holy object. The inmost chamber of the...

days
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...

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

Go out
To go out to meet, as in Genesis 14:17, signifies to submit themselves. To go out, as in Genesis 28:10, signifies to live more remotely....

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...

breaches
A breach (Gen. 38:29) signifies the infraction and perversion of truth, by separation from good. A breach signifies falsity of doctrine, and the stroke of...

palace
'A palace,' as in Psalm 144:12, represents the understanding in which truths have a beautiful form. They have a beautiful form when they are from...

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...

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...

Bethel
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

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

multiply
'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.

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

tithes
'Tithes,' as in tenths, signifies goods and truths stored up from the Lord in a person’s interior self. These goods are called remains. When these...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

leaven
Leaven' signifies evil and falsity, which should not be mixed with good and true things. In Leviticus 2:11, it says, 'no meat offering which ye...

proclaim
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

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....

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

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...

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

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

want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

places
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

returned
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...

Rain
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

months
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

Harvest
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

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

rained
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

withered
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

water
'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...

satisfied
'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

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

blasting
Blasting and mildew (Amos 4:9) signifies evil and falsity in the ex­tremes, or from the sensual corporeal principle.

Mildew
'Mildew' signifies being unreceptive of the good of love and faith.

gardens
'Olive yards,' as in Amos 4:9, signify the celestial aspects of the church.

vineyards
'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...

fig
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...

fig trees
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...

Olive
'An olive,' as in Isaiah 17:6, signifies celestial remains. 'An olive' signifies love and charity, because 'the olive tree' signifies the celestial church, and so...

devoured
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...

sent
'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
'Pestilence' denotes the vastation of good and truth.

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

slain
'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...

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...

horses
'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

camps
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

Nostrils
'A blast of the breath of the nostrils' signify the same thing as 'his anger and wrath.'

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

Sodom
'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.

Gomorrah
'Sodom' signifies the evil of self-love, and 'Gomorrah,' the falsity derived from it.

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...

mountains
In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

declareth
To "declare" something means to say it formally, publicly and with emphasis; you might say what you think, but you only declare things you're sure...

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

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

Hosts
When the divine power of good or omnipotence is being discussed in the Word, then says 'Jehovah Zebaoth,' or 'Jehovah of hosts,' and also 'Lord,'...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

The Bible

 

Isaiah 45:7

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 45      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 45

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation.)

1. THUS says Jehovah to His Anointed, to Cyrus, whom I hold by the right hand, to subdue nations before Him; and I will loose the loins of kings: I will open before Him the two-leaved doors; and the gates shall not be shut:

2. I will go before You, and make the crooked places straight: the folding gates of brass will I break in pieces, and the bars of iron will I cut in sunder:

VERSE 1. By "Cyrus", in a representative sense, is understood the Lord. His Omnipotence and Omniscience from Divine Good by Divine Truth, by virtue of which in the world He subjugated all the hells, and afterwards keeps them subjugated for ever, is signified by "whom I hold by the right hand, to subdue nations before Him, and I will loose the loins of kings", likewise by "I will open before Him the two-leaved doors, and the gates shall not be shut."

By "the nations which should be subdued before Him", are signified the hells as to evils, and by "the kings whose loins He should loose", are signified the hells as to falsities; by "the doors which will be opened before Him, and the gates which shall not be shut", is understood that from Omniscience all things are manifested to Him, and that from Omnipotence He has the power of saving. Apocalypse Explained 298.

Verses 1-3.Here the Lord as to His Divine Human is treated of, who, in the representative sense, is "Cyrus." To "open before Him the doors", is to give access to the Divine Itself; hence it is that He also, as to His Human, is called "God", and in this passage the "God of Israel." Arcana Coelestia 8989.

By "opening the doors, that the gates may not be shut"; is signified perpetual admission; by "nations" and "kings" are meant they who are in Goods and in Truths, and, abstractedly, Goods and Truths, as was said above.

By "treasures of darkness" and by "hidden riches of secret places", is signified interior intelligence and wisdom from heaven; for the things which enter by the "gate" which is open from heaven, concerning which we have spoken above, come in secretly, and affect all things which are with man, whence arises the spiritual affection of Truth, whereby things which were before unknown are revealed. Apocalypse Explained 208.

By "Koresh." [Hebrew] or by "Cyrus" are understood those who serve as instruments for the restoration of the church, who are consequently sent before; but that they are only instruments is here clearly stated. Cyrus is before called "Shepherd", who will do the [Lord's] will; thus the instrumental is designated by the same name as the principal cause, as elsewhere, when the Angel of GOD MESSIAH is called "Jehovah", because JEHOVAH GOD spoke by him, Yea, this mode of speaking extends further, as when it is said that "Jehovah kills", (Exodus 4:24; 32:10) and that "He does evil", as in verse 7 of this chapter, and similar things; this is so said because they are mere instruments which have such things in themselves as to produce such effects [ut fiat]; here Cyrus is called the "Anointed of Jehovah" from a similar cause. To "take hold of His right hand", is to effect this; to "subdue nations before Him", namely, to obedience, [signifies] that they may be prepared for His coming, thus to "open the doors", etc. "I will go before You" involves what is similar, that GOD MESSIAH alone will effect this; "making crooked things straight" signifies perverse doctrine, which, about the time of the coming of GOD MESSIAH, is perverse [crooked]; for the world is then compared to a "desert" and to a "desolate place"; the "folding gates of brass" are those things which are natural, and which have perverted man; the "bars of iron" are corporeal things, which have made the way of Truth "crooked." (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 115.)

Verse 2. I will make the crooked places straight, etc. - The "crooked being made straight" denotes the evil of ignorance turned into Good, for "length" and the "things of length" are predicated of Good; the "rough ways" (Chapter 40:4) being made smooth, denote that the falsities of ignorance shall be turned into Truths, for "way" is predicated of Truth. Arcana Coelestia 3527.

The bars of iron will I cut asunder. - The "bars" [or staves] with which the ark carried signify power, and also the "bars" with which the gates of cities were fastened, as is evident from the following passages:

"The sword falls upon his cities, and consumes his bars." (Hosea 11:6) "For your sake have I sent to Babylon, and will cast down all her bars." (Isaiah 43:14) "The folding gates of brass will I break in pieces, and the bars of iron will I cut in sunder." (Isaiah 45:2) Arcana Coelestia 9496.

3. And I will give unto You the treasures of darkness, and the hidden riches of secret places: that You mayest know that I am Jehovah, who calls You by Your name, the God of Israel.

4. For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have even called You by Your name: I have surnamed You, though You have not known Me.

Verse 3. The "treasures of darkness" and the "hidden riches of secret places", are such things as are of heavenly intelligence and wisdom which are hidden from the natural man. Arcana Coelestia 10227

Spiritual "riches", in respect to the good, are nothing else but Goods and Truths with which they are gifted and enriched by the Lord. "Wealth" and "riches", in respect to the evil, are nothing else but evils and falsities which they have acquired to themselves. Such things are also signified by "wealth" in the Word. Arcana Coelestia 1694.

Verses 3, 4. That You mayest know that I am Jehovah, who calls You by Your name; - for the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, etc..."I have called You by Your name" denotes that He knew the quality of the state of the church; for "Jacob" and "Israel" are the church, - "Jacob" the external church, and "Israel" the internal church. Apocalypse Explained 148. See also Arcana Coelestia 3441.

As to the "name" of the Lord, see above, Chapter 26:8, the Exposition.

5. I am Jehovah, and there is none else; beside Me there is no God: I have girded You, though You have not known Me:

Verse 5. That the Lord JESUS CHRIST is the ONE only GOD of heaven and earth, or that He is JEHOVAH in His Humanity, see above, Chapter 1:2, the Exposition.

I have girded You, etc. - What is meant by "girding" and by "girdle", when predicated of the Lord, see Chapter 11:5, 6, the Exposition.

6. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else;

Verse 6. From the rising of the sun, and from the west, etc. - See Chapter 41:25; 43:5, 6, the Exposition.

7. Forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil: I, Jehovah, do all these.

Verse 7. [These words imply] that GOD MESSIAH is the only Former of the new man; a comparison is taken from the sun, that GOD MESSIAH, as a Sun, "forms wisdom and light", that is, intelligence; and He "creates darkness", that it may serve "light" for everything useful; for without "darkness" there can be no reformation; but it is the conformation [of light with darkness] which makes that which is beautiful. It is said comparatively, and it is understood, that without a mixture of shade with light, nothing appears, yea, no colour, no distinction, consequently, no beauty. It is similar as to "peace", by which is understood Good; for no Good is given but in "peace which reigns", etc. etc. It is also the case with "evil" in respect to Good; which [evil], however, GOD MESSIAH does not form, but "creates", that hence Good may be "formed", etc. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 116.)

[It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted this verse in any of the works printed by himself; but from the rough notes adduced above, and from other passages in his writings, it appears, as a most general Truth, that all things, both "light" and "darkness", "good" and "evil": come from God, who, indeed, is the only Source of all existence; whether good or evil. This most general Truth is implanted in children, before they have learned to think and to make any discrimination in their ideas, and who consequently believe that evil, such as the evil of temptation, the evil of punishment, and of anger, etc., is inflicted by God, and consequently comes from Him. This most general Truth was believed by the Jews, and in general by the simple and the uninstructed in the church at the present day. From this cause it is that in order that the Word may be adapted to all states of mental development, even to the states of early childhood, its divine Truth in ultimates is clothed in many cases in a cloud of great obscurity, as in this verse, in which "darkness" as well as "light", "evil" as well as "good", are ascribed to Jehovah. For the human mind is, at first, in a kind of chaos, (Genesis 1:1, 2) in which light and darkness, good and evil, are, as it "were, mixed together, and both indiscriminately ascribed to God. But by the process of instruction and regeneration, these elements gradually become distinguished by the mind, when it is seen that only what is Good and True call come from God, and that all evil and falsity arise from the perversion of these things, as they are received by human minds in a perverse state; and that the Word in the letter ascribes, according to the appearance, all things, whether good or evil, to the Lord. Moreover, it should be observed that there is, by creation, a "darkness" which is the absence of "light", but not the opposite to "light", or opposed, in the sense of hostility, to "light; and that there is an "evil" which is the absence of Good, but not necessarily the opponent, in the sense of hostility, to Good. This is the necessary condition of the Finite, as contrasted with the Infinite; and in this sense God may be said to "create darkness and evil." Thus there is the evil of ignorance in the minds of children and of the uninstructed; - this evil is denoted by "the crooked places", (see verse 2 of this chapter, and Exposition; also Chapter 40:4) which, when the mind is instructed in Truths, can be "made straight", or converted into genuine Good; and there is also the darkness of ignorance, denoted by "the rough places", which, by instruction, can be "made smooth, or be converted into Truths from Good. This darkness must be well distinguished from the "darkness" of evil as opposed to Good, and from the "darkness" of negative and false reasonings as opposed to Truth. See Chapter 8:21, 22, note.]

8. Drop down, O you heavens, from above; and let the clouds shower down justice: let the earth open, and let them bring forth the fruit of salvation; and let justice spring up together: I, Jehovah, will create it.

Verses 8, 12, 18, 19. That by the "heavens" and the "earth" are here understood all things of the church, as well the internals as the externals thereof, is evident, for it is said "Drop down, O you heavens, from above; and let the clouds shower down justice: let the earth open, and let them bring forth the fruit of [or fructify] salvation", The reason why the "heavens" signify the interior things of the church is, because the interior things, which appertain to the mind of the spiritual man, are the heavens appertaining to man. That "heaven" appertains to man, with whom the church is, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 30-57.

By "creating the heavens, and forming the earth, and making and preparing it", is signified fully to establish the church. Apocalypse Explained 304.

By "the heavens dropping doum from above, and the clouds showering down justice", are signified instruction, influx, and perception of divine Truth. Apocalypse Explained 594.

9. Woe unto him that strives with his Former! a potsherd with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that forms it, What makes you? or shall your work [say of you], He has no hands?

Verse 9. A potsherd with the potsherds of the earth. - See above. Chapter 30:10, J1, 12, 14, the Exposition.

"He has no hands" signifies no power. Arcana Coelestia 878.

That the "hand", the "arm", and the "shoulder" correspond to power, see Chapter 25:11, the Exposition.

10. Woe unto him that says to his father, What begets you? or to the woman, What do you bring forth?

Verse. 10. These words treat of reformation, that it is from the Lord, and not from man. Apocalypse Explained 721.

11. Thus says Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Former: Ask of Me signs concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands command you Me.

12. I have made the. earth, and I have created man upon it: My hands, even Mine, have stretched out the heavens; and all the host of them I have commanded,

Verses 11, 13. The subject here treated of is also concerning the advent of the Lord, and the establishment of the church from Him. The Lord is understood by "Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Former", "who is called the "Holy One of Israel" from Divine Truth, and his "Former" from the establishment of the church thereby; and "Israel" denotes the church; therefore by "His sons concerning whom they asked signs", are understood those who are in Truths from the Lord; and by "the work of His hands", is understood their formation, and the establishment of the church with them. "I have raised Him up in justice, and I will make straight all His ways", signifies that to Him appertain Divine Good and Divine Truth; for "justice", in the Word, is predicated of Good, and "ways "of Truths leading, - in this case, Divine Truths, because predicated of the Lord. "He shall" build My city, and dismiss [or release] My captives", signifies that He shall restore the doctrine of Truth, and that He shall liberate those who are in falsities from ignorance; for a "city" signifies the doctrine of Truth, and "captivity" the falsities of ignorance, in which the Gentiles were, and thereby in spiritual captivity. "Not for price, nor for reward", signifies gratis from Divine Love. Apocalypse Explained 706.

As to "captivity" and "captives", see Chapter 61:1, the Exposition.

13. I have raised Him up in justice, and I will make straight all His ways: He shall build My city, and dismiss My captives; not for price, nor for reward, says Jehovah of Hosts.

14. Thus says Jehovah, The labour of Egypt, find the merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to You, and they shall be Thine: they shall come after You; in bonds shall they come over; they shall bow down unto You, and shall pray unto You, [saying] In You only is God; and there is none else; there is no God else.

Verse 13. By "the justice in which Jehovah has raised Him up", is signified the Good of love; and by "His ways, which He will make straight", are signified Truths proceeding from that Good.

By "the city which He shall build", is signified the doctrine of the church; and by "the captives whom He shall dismiss", are signified the opening and revelation of divine Truths with those who were heretofore secluded from them. That the Lord will do these things gratis, is signified by "not for price, nor for reward." Apocalypse Explained 811.

Jehovah of Hosts. - For the signification of the phrase "Jehovah of Hosts", when mentioned in the Word, see Chapter 1:9, 24, the Exposition.

Verse 14. These things are said concerning the Lord, who is treated of in the whole of this chapter.

By "the labour of Egypt", and by "the merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans", is signified the delight of natural love, arising from the acquisition of the knowledges of Truth and of Good; those knowledges themselves are signified by the "Sabeans", who are called "men of stature [or length]" from Good; for "length" signifies Good and the quality thereof, and "breadth" Truth and its quality. That they would accede to the church, and acknowledge and adore the Lord, is signified by "they shall come over to You, and they shall be Thine; they shall bow down unto You." That the natural man with them should serve the spiritual, and thereby the Lord, is signified by "in bonds shall they come over"; for they are said to "come in bonds" with whom the cupidities appertaining to the natural man are restrained. That they shall acknowledge the Lord alone to be God, is understood by "they shall pray unto You, [saying] In You only is God; and there is no God else." Apocalypse Explained 654.

15. Verily, You art a God that hidest Yourself, O God of Israel, the Saviour!

Verses 14, 15. In You only is God; and there is none else; verily, You art a God that hides Yourself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. - From these passages, and from many others of similar import, it clearly appears that the LORD our Saviour is JEHOVAH Himself who is at once the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Regenerator; for it was JEHOVAH who came into the world and accomplished the work of redemption, without which neither man nor angel could have been saved. Hence it is that the divine commandment, "You shalt have no other Gods before Me", enjoins that no other GOD is to be worshipped than the Lord JESUS CHRIST. True Christian Religion 294.

That the Lord JESUS CHRIST is "JEHOVAH GOD", see Chapter 1:2, the Exposition.

Verse 15. ["That hides Yourself" refers to the assumption of the Humanity, in which, during His life in the world, GOD, being clothed with the infirmities of our fallen nature, was, as it were, hidden; but after He had become fully glorified, He brought Himself fully out to view as the "Father of Eternity "]

16. They are ashamed, they are confounded, all of them: together shall they go in to disgrace, the makers of idols.

17. But Israel shall be saved in Jehovah with an eternal salvation: you shall not be ashamed, neither shall you be confounded, to the ages of eternity.

Verse 16. That the "makers of idols" (or of deceptions), or those who frame from self-derived intelligence false doctrines, will, from their evils and falsities at the time of Judgment, be disgraced and confounded, see Chapter 24:21, 23, 40:18-20, the Exposition.

18. For thus says Jehovah, who created the heavens; God Himself who formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He has created it not to be empty, He has formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah, and there is none else.

19. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I have not said to the seed of Jacob, Seek you Me in vain: I am Jehovah, who speaks justice; who declares things that are right.

Verse 18. By "heavens" and by "earth", and by creating, signified to reform the church as well in internals as in externals; by" creating it not to be empty" is signified that it is not without Truth and Good, in which they are who are reformed, - the want of the principles is "emptiness"; by "He has formed it to be inhabited, is signified that they should live according to Good and Truth, and from them, for to " inhabit " signifies to live. Apocalypse Explained 294.

20. Assemble yourselves, and come; draw near together, you that are escaped from among the nations: they know nothing that carry about the wood of their graven image, and that pray to a god which cannot save.

21. Declare it, and bring them near; and let them take counsel together: who has made this known from ancient times? who has declared it from the first? Is it not I, Jehovah? there is no other God but Me: a just God, and a Saviour; there is none beside Me!

Verse 20. They know nothing that carry about the wood of their graven image, and that pray to a god which cannot save. - [To "carry about the wood of their graven image", etc., is to live and to worship according to false doctrine, and thus to be in evil.]

22. Look unto Me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.

Verse 22. As to what is meant by the ends or extremities of the earth, see above Chapter 42:10, 11; 43:5, 6, the Exposition.

23. By Myself have I sworn; justice is gone forth from My mouth; the word, and it shall not be revoked: that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear:

Verse 23. Treating concerning the advent of the Lord. By "every knee shall bow", is signified that all who are in natural Good from spiritual, shall worship Him, - the "knee" signifying the conjunction of natural. Good with spiritual; hence it is evident that "bending the knees" signifies acknowledgement, thanksgiving, and adoration, from spiritual Good and delight in the natural man.

By "every tongue shall swear", is meant that all shall confess Him who are in Good from religion; to "swear", denoting to confess, and the "tongue" the religion according to which they live. Apocalypse Explained 455.

It is said in the Word that Jehovah God, or the Lord, "swears", but this is only according to the sense of the letter, for it is not suitable to God Himself, or the Divine Truth, to swear; but when God, or the Divine Truth, wills to have anything confirmed before men, then that confirmation, descending into a natural sphere, falls into an oath, or into the usual form of an oath in the world. Hence it is evident that, although God never swears, still, in the sense of the letter of the Word, which sense is natural, it is said that He does "swear." It was allowed to the ancients, who were in the representatives and significatives of the church, to "swear by Jehovah God", that they might testify the Truth; and by that "oath" was signified that they thought what was True, and willed what was Good. This was especially allowed the sons of Jacob, inasmuch as they were altogether external and natural men, and not internal and spiritual; and merely external or natural men are willing to have Truth confirmed and testified by oaths, but internal or spiritual men are unwilling to admit of such confirmation, yea, they hold oaths in aversion, and think of them with horror, especially of those which have God for their object, and the holy things of heaven, and the church, being content to say, and to have it said that such a thing is true, or that it is so, according to the Lord's words, - "You shalt not swear at all"; also; "Let your discourse be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay", etc. Inasmuch as to "swear" is not of the internal or spiritual man, and as the Lord, when He came into the world, taught men to be internal and spiritual, and for this end, after having abrogated the externals of the [Jewish] church, He opened its internals, therefore, also, He prohibited "swearing by God, and by the holy things of heaven and the church." (See Matthew 5:33-37)

The holy things by which men are not to swear, are there mentioned, namely, "heaven", "earth", "Jerusalem", and the "head"; and by "heaven" is meant the angelic heaven, wherefore it is called "the throne of God"; by "earth" is meant the church, wherefore it is called, "God's footstool"; by "Jerusalem is meant the doctrine of the church, wherefore it is called "the city of the great King"; and by the "head" is meant intelligence thence derived, wherefore it is said, "You canst not make one hair white or black", by which is signified that man of himself cannot understand anything. Apocalypse Explained 608. See also Arcana Coelestia 2842 Arcana Coelestia 2842[1-10], 9166, and Heaven and Hell 271.

24. Only in Jehovah, said He to me, are justice and strength! to Him they shall come; they shall be ashamed, all who were incensed against Him.

Verse 24. By "all who were incensed against Jehovah shall be ashamed", is signified that all who are in evils and falsities shall recede from them. To be "angry against Jehovah", signifies to be in falsities from evil. Apocalypse Explained 693. See also Arcana Coelestia 357.

For the further meaning of "anger", when mentioned in the Word, see above, Chapter 42:24, 25, the Exposition.

25. In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Verse 25. By the "seed of Israel" are signified the things which belong to the church, or charity and faith; for these make the church with man. Arcana Coelestia 10248.

---
Isaiah Chapter 45

1. THUS says Jehovah to His Anointed, to Cyrus, whom I hold by the right hand, to subdue nations before Him; and I will loose the loins of kings: I will open before Him the two-leaved doors; and the gates shall not be shut:

2. I will go before You, and make the crooked places straight: the folding gates of brass will I break in pieces, and the bars of iron will I cut in sunder:

3. And I will give unto You the treasures of darkness, and the hidden riches of secret places: that You mayest know that I am Jehovah, who calls You by Your name, the God of Israel.

4. For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have even called You by Your name: I have surnamed You, though You have not known Me.

5. I am Jehovah, and there is none else; beside Me there is no God: I have girded You, though You have not known Me:

6. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else;

7. Forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil: I, Jehovah, do all these.

8. Drop down, O you heavens, from above; and let the clouds shower down justice: let the earth open, and let them bring forth the fruit of salvation; and let justice spring up together: I, Jehovah, will create it.

9. Woe unto him that striveth with his Former! a potsherd with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that forms it, What makest you? or shall your work [say of you], He has no hands?

10. Woe unto him that says to his father, What begettest you? or to the woman, What dost you bring forth?

11. Thus says Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Former: Ask of Me signs concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands command you Me.

12. I have made the. earth, and I have created man upon it: My hands, even Mine, have stretched out the heavens; and all the host of them I have commanded,

13. I have raised Him up in justice, and I will make straight all His ways: He shall build My city, and dismiss My captives; not for price, nor for reward, says Jehovah of Hosts.

14. Thus says Jehovah, The labour of Egypt, find the merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to You, and they shall be Thine: they shall come after You; in bonds shall they come over; they shall bow down unto You, and shall pray unto You, [saying] In You only is God; and there is none else; there is no God else.

15. Verily, You art a God that hides Yourself, O God of Israel, the Saviour!

16. They are ashamed, they are confounded, all of them: together shall they go in to disgrace, the makers of idols.

17. But Israel shall be saved in Jehovah with an eternal salvation: you shall not be ashamed, neither shall you be confounded, to the ages of eternity.

18. For thus says Jehovah, who created the heavens; God Himself who formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He has created it not to be empty, He has formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah, and there is none else.

19. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I have not said to the seed of Jacob, Seek you Me in vain: I am Jehovah, who speaks justice; who declares things that are right.

20. Assemble yourselves, and come; draw near together, you that are escaped from among the nations: they know nothing that carry about the wood of their graven image, and that pray to a god which cannot save.

21. Declare it, and bring them near; and let them take counsel together: who has made this known from ancient times? who has declared it from the first? Is it not I, Jehovah? there is no other God but Me: a just God, and a Saviour; there is none beside Me!

22. Look unto Me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.

23. By Myself have I sworn; justice is gone forth from My mouth; the word, and it shall not be revoked: that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear:

24. Only in Jehovah, said He to me, are justice and strength! to Him they shall come; they shall be ashamed, all who were incensed against Him.

25. In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 45

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


  PDF Resources


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 1:3

2 Kings 19:25

Psalms 74:16

Isaiah 44:24

Lamentations 3:38

Amos 6, 4:13

Word/Phrase Explanations

form
Forming from the womb, as in Isaiah 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5, signifies the reformer. For references to the Lord as Reformer and Regenerator, see Doctrine...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

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

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" represents a state where truth is lacking. Here's a cogent passage...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

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

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...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 For Reflection: Mixed Up Priorities
The Lord is the one and only great "I AM". But how easy it is for each of us to think "I am it"! Using quotations from the Word, reflect on giving glory to the Lord, and not to ourselves.
Activity | Ages over 15

Commentary

 

Go      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

← Previous   Next →

Journey of the Three Magi to Bethlehem, by Leonaert Bramer

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 the physical space between to get from one physical place to another physical place. In the spiritual world, however, the "places" we inhabit and the “distances” between them are spiritual realities, which means they are reflections of our thoughts and affections. "Going" from one place to another, then, is a change in spiritual state ᾢ exploring different thoughts and embracing different feelings.

Since the Bible is a spiritual book, "going" there also indicates a change or progression in spiritual state, from one mode of thinking and feeling to another mode of thinking and feeling.

Obviously, this makes the precise meaning of "go" in the Bible highly dependent on context: Who is going? Where are they going? Why are they going there? Are they following someone or something? Those questions are crucial to the precise meaning.

Used on its own, though, "going" represents the normal progression of life, moving through spiritual states as the Lord intends. This has its roots in early Biblical times, when people were nomadic and moved from place to place in a regular progression of life.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1293, 2684, 2858, 3335, 3685, 3976, 4882, 7105, 8109; Heaven and Hell 590; The Apocalypse Explained 787 [2])


Translate: