The Bible

Genesis 1

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

Genesis 2 →

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2 →

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, ...

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 246, 300, 476, 478, 480, 670, 709, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

True Christian Religion 20, 34, 46, 48, 364, 490


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 229, 294, 401, 513, 526, 527, 555, ...

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 23, 25, 28

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 2:3, 7, 16, 19, 5:1, 2, 6:1, 21, 8:17, 9:1, 2, 3, 6, 11:7

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

Job 12:7, 9, 26:8, 38:8

Psalms 8:4, 7, 19:2, 24:2, 33:6, 7, 9, 74:16, 95:5, 104:6, 14, 19, 25, 115:15, 16, 121:2, 136:5, 7, 9, 148:4, 7

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Isaiah 40:26, 45:7, 61:11

Jeremiah 4:23, 10:12, 31:35

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

Beginning
In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

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...

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

heaven
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...

Earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

form
A person who has yet to be regenerated is called 'a void and an empty earth', and also 'ground where no good or truth has...

Void
A 'void', or 'Vacuity' denotes a person's state before regeneration. From Arcana Coelestia 7: "The first state is the state which precedes, both the state...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

Face of the deep
The face of the deep (Gen. 1:2) signifies the lust of the unregenerate man, and the falsities thence originating.

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

spirit
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

Spirit of God
'The spirit of God,' as in Genesis 1:2, signifies the divine mercy of the Lord. 'The spirit of God' is His emanation. 'The spirit of...

Face of the waters
The face of the water (Gen. 1:2) signifies the knowledges of good and truth.

waters
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

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...

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...

saw
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...

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...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

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...

evening
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

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

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

Firmament
The firmament, as in Genesis 1, signifies the internal man. The firmament of heaven is mutual love.

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

under
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...

Gathered together
'The waters were gathered together' signifies falsities collected.

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...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

Grass
Grass signifies the scientific principle. Just as green grass serves animals for support, scientific truth serves men for spiritual nourishment. ‘Grass’ is scientific truth, and...

Herb
Every herb in the Word signifies some species of scientifics. 'Herb bearing seed,' as mentioned in Genesis 1:29, signifies every truth which regards use. 'Green...

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

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

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

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...

third
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...

Third day
'The third day' signifies the end of a state of preparation for reception, and so an end of purification, as in Exodus 19:16. 'The third...

signs
The Bible often speaks of signs and miracles as things that convinced people of the Lord's leading. Swedenborg divides the two, identifying "signs" as things...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

give
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...

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...

Great lights
Great lights, as in luminaries, signify love and faith, and are called in Genesis 1:14-17, the sun, moon, and stars.

stars
'The learned,' or 'wise,' who 'shall shine as the stars,' are people who are in good.

over
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

fourth
'The fourth watch' signifies the first state of the church at break of day, when good begins to act by truth.

life
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...

fowl
"Birds" mean rational concepts in the external man and intellectual concepts in the internal man.

Fly
To fly, when spoken of the Lord, signifies to foresee and to provide. To fly, when predicated of the Lord, also signifies omnipresence. To fly...

Open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

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...

Fruitful
To be fruitful is predicated of goodnesses, and to be multiplied, of truths.

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

fill
There are two ways something can be filled: It can be filled with something bad against the wishes of its owner, or it can be...

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...

cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

beast
"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...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

Make
'To make,' as in Hosea 8:11, refers to good. In the opposite sense it refers to evil. To make heaven, and earth, and the sea,...

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

Image
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

Fish
Fish signify sensual affections which are the ultimate affections of the natural man. Also, those who are in common truths, which are also ultimates of...

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

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...

female
Female signifies good.

Meat
'Meat,' as in Genesis 40:17, signifies celestial good, because 'the meat of the angels' are nothing but the goods of love and charity, which not...

green
The color green is almost exclusively used in connection with plants in the Bible (the exceptions include two stomach-turning references to moldy plagues in Leviticus),...

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

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.


 Animals and Plants in Heaven
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Celebrating the Seven Days of Creation
Offers a wide array of ideas for play time, art projects, field trips, and more.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 Correspondences of Light
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that talk about light. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Creation Chain
Make a paper chain with the names (or pictures) of the people in your family and other things that the Lord has made. Or make a paper chain that illustrates several things in creation that depend on one another. 
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Creation Diorama
A great family project to build and display in your home.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Creation Mobile
Assemble this lovely mobile to remind you of all the Lord's precious gifts to us.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Creation Poem with Hand Motions
A lovely poem about creation with hand motions.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 Creation | Seas to Trees Pop-up
Color cut-and-fold pop-up project showing dry land rising out of the water and then growing a tree illustrating Genesis 1:9-13. Sample activity from Creation: reflection of God, Level C, ages 11-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Creation Sequencing Cards
Children can color and cut out these cards, then practice putting them in order from day 1-7.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Creation Story (circle book project)
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Creation | The First Day - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: light and darkness game and song, separate light and darkness collage, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse. Sample lesson from Creation: reflection of God, Level A, ages 3-6.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 6

 Creation | The First Day - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: light and darkness experiment with accompanying video, let there be light folding paper project, scripted story discussion, coloring page, and a memory verse. Sample lesson from Creation: reflection of God, Level B, ages 7-10.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Creation | The First Day - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: living in the dark--group blindfold games, video and discussion on the bible, creation and a can of peaches, scripted story discussion, and an illustrated quotation card. Sample Lesson from Creation: reflection of God, Level C.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Family Worship: The Story of Creation
Ideas for reading and discussing the story of creation in Genesis 1. Includes suggestions for extending the experience such as going for a nature walk.
Religion Lesson | Ages 3 - 15

 God Said What? The Creation Story
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: Giving Thanks for Creation
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Life Is Eternal
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Overview of Creation Reflection of God Levels A, B, C for ages 3-14
Overview of Creation: reflection of God, Levels A, B, C for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Giving Thanks for Creation
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Summary of Creation and Thankfulness
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Sun and the Fruit of Creation
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Thankfulness
A Thanksgiving "wreath" to color and display.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Thanking the Lord for Creation
How can your words and actions show the Lord that you appreciate His creation?
Activity | Ages over 15

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Creation: A General View
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Creation: The Fifth and Sixth Days
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Creation: The First Four Days
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Days of Creation Collage Book or Mural
Ideas from an art teacher for making a creation book or mural.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 The Fifth Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fifth Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The First Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The First Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Fourth Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Fourth Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Meaning of the Tree of Life
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Purpose of Creation
Birth brings a person into the natural world, but God's ultimate purpose is that a person be born again into heavenly life, the life of the spirit.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Second Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Second Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Seven Days of Creation
An illustrated story of the seven days of creation.
Story | Ages 3 - 7

 The Sixth Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Sixth Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Story of Creation
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Story of Creation: Family Worship Ideas
Detailed notes on the seven days of creation.
Article | Ages over 18

 The Third Day of Creation
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Third Day of Creation
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Word Made Flesh
Like Genesis, the Gospel of John begins with creation. While Genesis describes the creation of natural light, John describes a second creation into spiritual light.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Using the Lord’s Creation
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Where Did Everything Come From?
Grandpa explains to Annika and Peter where everything came from.
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Why Are We Here?
Lesson and activities to explore why we were created - what God intends for us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

The Bible

Mark 10:6

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

← Mark 10:5    Full Chapter    Mark 10:7 →

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 162, 3875, 4434

Heaven and Hell 372


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 555, 725

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 1:27, 5:2

Word/Phrase Explanations

beginning
In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

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

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...

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

female
Female signifies good.

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.


 As a Little Child
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Baptizing a Baby
This illustrated talk gives children a lovely introduction to baptism. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Correspondences of Children
Illustrations of three times children are mentioned in the Word. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 How to Strengthen Your Marriage
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Little Children
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Little Children in Heaven
The Lord loves little children. When they die, He takes them straight to heaven to be cared for by angel mothers.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: Children in Heaven
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Obeying the Lord
We really come to belong to the Lord by wanting Him to lead and teach us and by obeying what He commands.
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 10

 Prayers for Children: Baptism
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Teens: Love of Children
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: Children in Heaven
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Love of Children
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Kingdom of Heaven
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Little Children
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord Is Our Heavenly Father
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Lord Our Heavenly Father
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord with Children Diorama
Make figures for the Lord and several children out of pipe-cleaners, then set them up in a diorama.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The True Way to Heaven
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #4434

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

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4434. 'And his soul clung to Dinah, [the daughter of Jacob]' means the inclination to be joined to it. This is clear from the meaning of 'the soul clinging' as an inclination. It is evident that an inclination to be joined is meant because things connected with conjugial love imply in the internal sense the joining together of truth and good, and of good and truth. The reason why things connected with conjugial love imply in the internal sense that spiritual joining together is that conjugial love has its origin in the marriage of truth and good and of good and truth, see 2618, 2727-2729, 2737, 2803, 3132. Consequently the adulteration of good is meant by an act of adultery, and the falsification of truth by an act of whoredom described in the Word, 2466, 2729, 2750, 3399. From these considerations it may be seen that all the details mentioned in this chapter concerning Shechem and Dinah mean nothing else in the internal sense than the joining of truth, represented by 'Shechem', to the affection for truth, represented by 'Dinah', so that the words 'his soul clung to Dinah' mean the inclination to be joined to this affection.

[2] Since the subject in the whole of this chapter is Shechem's love towards Dinah and how he sought to make her his wife, and since things connected with conjugial love mean spiritual joining together, let it now be established from the Word that marriages and things that have a connection with marriages do not imply anything else: In John,

Let us be glad and exult, and let us give glory to Him, for the time of the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Wife has made herself ready. Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7, 9.

In the same book,

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. One of the seven angels spoke to me, saying, Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. He carried me away in the spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:2, 9-10.

It is quite evident that betrothal and marriage in these places mean nothing other than the joining of the Lord to the Church, which is effected by means of truth and good. For 'the holy city' and 'the new Jerusalem' mean nothing other than the Church - 'city' meaning the truth of the Church, see 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216, and 'Jerusalem' the spiritual Church, 402, 2117, 3654.

[3] In Malachi,

Judah has acted faithlessly, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has profaned the holiness of Jehovah, for he loved and married the daughter of a foreign god. Jehovah was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have acted faithlessly. Malachi 2:11, 14-15.

'Loving and marrying the daughter of a foreign god' means joining oneself to falsity instead of truth, which is 'the wife of one's youth'.

(References: Malachi 2:14)


[4] In Ezekiel,

You took your sons and your daughters whom you had borne to Me, and sacrificed them so as to be devoured. Was the matter of your acts of whoredom a small one? You are your mother's daughter who loathes her husband and her sons, and you are the sister of your sisters who loathed their husbands and their sons. Ezekiel 16:20, 45.

This refers to the abominations of Jerusalem which, because they were the product of evils and falsities, are described in this chapter by means of the kind of things that are the direct opposite of marriages, that is to say, acts of adultery and of whoredom. 'The husbands' whom they loathed are goods, 'the sons' truths, and 'the daughters' the affections for these.

[5] In Isaiah,

Sing, O barren one that did not bear; resound with singing and cry out for joy, O one that has not been in travail, for the sons of her that is desolate will be more than the sons of her that is married. You will not remember any more the reproach of your widowhood, for your Maker is your Husband, 1 Jehovah Zebaoth is His name, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth He is called. For Jehovah has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth when she is put away, said your God. All your sons are taught by Jehovah, and much is the peace of your sons. Isaiah 54:1, 4-6, 13.

Since 'a marriage' means the joining together of truth and good and of good and truth, one may see what is meant by husband and wife, sons and daughters, widows, women who have been put away, and by bearing, giving birth, being desolate, and being barren; for all these expressions have some connection with marriage. The meaning in the spiritual sense of each of these expressions has been shown many times in the explanatory sections.

(References: Isaiah 54:5-6)


[6] In the same prophet,

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest. You will no more be called Deserted, but your land will be named Married, for Jehovah will take His pleasure in you, and your land will be married. Forasmuch as a young man will marry a virgin, your sons will marry you; and there will be the joy of a bridegroom over a bride, your God will rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:1, 4-5.

Anyone unacquainted with the internal sense of the Word may suppose that such imagery in the Word is simply an employment of comparisons like many of those used in everyday speech, and that this is the reason why the Church is compared to a daughter, a virgin, and a wife, and so why matters of faith and charity are compared to things which have some connection with marriage. But in the Word everything is representative of that which is spiritual or celestial, and it is a real correspondence; for the Word has come down from heaven, and because it has come down from there it is in origin something Divinely celestial and spiritual, to which everything in the sense of the letter corresponds. Consequently things connected with the heavenly marriage, which is good and truth joined together, pass into those that correspond to them, and so into those which have some connection with marriages on earth.

[7] This also explains why the Lord likened the kingdom of heaven - that is, His kingdom in heaven and His kingdom on earth, which is the Church - to a certain king, who arranged a wedding for his son and invited many to it, Matthew 22:2 and following verses, and also to ten virgins who took lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom, Matthew 25:1 and following verses. The Lord also referred to those who belong to the Church as 'the sons of the wedding',

Jesus said, Can the sons of the wedding mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. Matthew 9:15.

(References: Matthew 22:2-14, 25:1-13)


[8] For the same reasons the affection for good and the affection for truth are called 'the joy and gladness of a bridegroom and bride', for heavenly joy is the product of those affections and resides within them, as in Isaiah,

Your sons will marry you; and there will be the joy of a bridegroom over a bride, Jehovah your God will rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5.

In Jeremiah,

The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, and the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those that say, Give thanks 2 to Jehovah, for Jehovah is good. Jeremiah 33:11.

In the same prophet,

I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land will turn into a waste. Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9; 25:10.

And in John,

The light of a lamp will not shine in Babylon any more, and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will not be heard in it any more. Revelation 18:23.

[9] Since marriages on earth correspond through truly conjugial love to the heavenly marriage which is that of good and truth, the laws laid down in the Word concerning betrothals and marriages correspond completely to the spiritual laws of the heavenly marriage, such as the law that men were to marry one wife only, Mark 10:2-8; Luke 16:18; for in the case of the heavenly marriage the situation is that no good can be joined to any but its own truth, or truth to any but its own good. If joined to any truth other than its own, good could not possibly be held together but would be torn apart and so would perish. In the spiritual Church 'wife' (uxor) represents good and 'man' (vir) represents truth, but in the celestial Church 'husband' (maritus) represents good and 'wife' (uxor) truth. Furthermore - and this is an arcanum - they not only represent those things but also in actual fact correspond to them.

[10] The laws also concerning marriages which have been laid down in the Old Testament have in a similar way a correspondence with the laws of the heavenly marriage, such as those in Exodus 21:7-11; 22:15-16, 17; 34:16; Numbers 36:6; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; 22:28-29; and also the laws about the forbidden degrees of affinity, Leviticus 18:6-20. In the Lord's Divine mercy these will be dealt with individually in some other place. The fact that the degrees and laws of marriages have their origin in the laws of truth and good which belong to the heavenly marriage and with which they correlate is evident in Ezekiel,

The priests the Levites shall not take as wives for themselves a widow or a woman that has been put away, but virgins from the seed of the house of Israel; only a widow who is the widow of a priest may they take. Ezekiel 44:22.

This refers to the holy city, the new Jerusalem, and to the heavenly Canaan which clearly mean the Lord's kingdom and His Church. Consequently 'the Levites' do not mean Levites, nor do 'a widow and a woman who has been put away' mean a widow and one put away, but the kind of things they correspond to.

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Footnotes:

1. In both the Latin and the original Hebrew the words meaning Maker and Husband are plural at this point.

2. literally, Confess

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(References: Exodus 22:16-17; Genesis 34:3)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4437, 4439, 4449, 4450, 4457, 4462, 4466, 4989, 5194, 6432, 6433, 7863, 8809, 8904, 8974, 9182, 10001

The White Horse 11

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 260


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 400, 443

Other New Christian Commentary

Marriage 1

Love 1

Cling 1

Children of the bridechamber 1


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


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