The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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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.

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   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

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




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
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

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...

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

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...

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

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
'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...

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 proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

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...

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...

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 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...

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

seas
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,...

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
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

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...

Third
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

lights
'The two luminaries' denote love and faith in the internal self.

signs
'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

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...

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...

greater
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

stars
'Stars' signify the knowledge of truth and good. 'Stars' are frequently mentioned in the Word, and always signify goods and truths, but in an opposite...

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...

fourth
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

Fowl
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

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.

whales
'A whale,' as in Jeremiah 51:34, signifies people who possess the universal aspects of the knowledges of faith, as known, and apply them to evil...

winged
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

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.

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...

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...

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

air
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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.

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

Commentary

 

Resurrection, the first      

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'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 of resurrection, which is salvation and eternal life. There is only one resurrection to life. A second does not happen, and is not mentioned anywhere in the Word.

(References: Apocalypse Revealed 851; Revelation 20:5-6)

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #295

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

Study this Passage

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295. And by thy will they are, and were created. That this signifies that by means of the Divine good they are, and by means of the Divine truth they exist, is evident from the signification of will, when said of the Lord, as being Divine love; and from the signification of are, or being (esse), as being the good of love, in this case, the Divine good of the Divine love received (concerning which we shall speak presently); and from the signification of they were created, or being created, as being the Divine truth also received, thus those who are reformed by it. The reason why to be created signifies to exist is that those alone are said to exist who are reformed, for in them is life, and they have intelligence and wisdom; whereas those who are not reformed have not life in them but spiritual death, neither have they intelligence and wisdom, but insanity and folly, hence they cannot be said to exist. Everything which appears to any of the senses may indeed be said to exist, but it cannot be said of man spiritually, unless he be in good and truth; for man was created that he might be alive, intelligent and wise; consequently, when he is dead, he is insane and foolish, and so far as this is the case with him, he does not exist. There are two things which constitute man, namely good and truth, and both are from the Lord; good is the being (esse) of life, but truth is the manifestation (existere) of life therefrom, for all truth exists from good, because it is the form of good, and hence the quality of good; and whereas good is the being (esse) of life, and truth is the manifestation (existere) of life therefrom, and by being created is signified to exist, it is therefore said, "by thy will they are, and were created." This, then, is the spiritual content of these words.

(References: Revelation 4:11)


[2] The reason why will, when said of the Lord, denotes Divine love is, that the essential Divine, from which all things exist, is the Divine love; hence the Lord appears before the angels as a Sun, fiery and flaming, the ground and reason of which is, that love, in the spiritual world, appears as fire; this is why fire in the Word, when said of the Lord, of heaven, or of the church, signifies love. From that Sun in the heavens proceed heat and light; and the heat there is Divine good proceeding, and the light is Divine truth proceeding. (These things are more fully shown in the work, Heaven and Hell, concerning the Sun of heaven, n. 116-125; and concerning heat and light in heaven, n. 126-140). And because the essential Divine from which all things exist is Divine love, therefore will also, when said of the Lord, denotes Divine love, for what love itself wills is the good of love; the truth which is called the truth of faith being only a means that good may exist, and that the truth of faith may afterwards exist from good. From this origin man possesses will and understanding; the will is the receptacle of the good of love with him, and the understanding is the receptacle of the truth of faith with him; the understanding is the means by which the will may be reformed, and by which afterwards the will may appear in form, such as it is by means of the understanding. Hence also it is evident that the will is the being (esse) of man's life, and the understanding is the manifestation (existere) of life therefrom. (But these things may also, be seen more fully shown in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, where the will and understanding are treated of, n. 28-35).

(References: Heaven and Hell 116-125, 126-140; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 28-35)


[3] Because the will of man is his love, and the will of God is the Divine love, it is plain what is meant in the spiritual sense by doing the will of God, and the will of the Father, viz., that it is to love God above all things and the neighbour as oneself. And because to love is to will, so also it is to do, for what a man loves that he wills, and what he wills he also does. Hence, by doing the will of God, or of the Father is meant to do His precepts, or to live according to them, from the affection of love or charity.

This is what is meant by the will of God and of the Father in the following passages.

In John:

"God heareth not sinners; but if any man worshippeth God, and doeth his will, him he heareth" (ix. 31).

In Matthew (that he who does the will of the Father who is in the heavens, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens):

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in the heavens" (vii. 21).

Again:

"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so upon the earth" (vi. 10).

And again:

"It is not the will of the Father that one of the little ones should perish" (xviii. 14).

That it's not being His will that one of the little ones should perish, denotes love, is evident. It is said "The will of your Father" because the Father denotes the Divine good. In John:

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (xv. 7),

The reason why it is said that whatsoever they should will and ask, should be done to those who abide in the Lord, and in whom His words abide, is that in such case they will nothing but what the Lord gives them to will, and this is good, and good is from Himself.

(References: John 9:31, John 15:7; Matthew 6:10, 7:21, 18:14)


[4] The will of the Lord is called His good pleasure in the Old Testament, and in like manner signifies the Divine love; and to do His good pleasure, or His will, signifies to love God and the neighbour, thus to live according to the Lord's precepts, because this is to love God and the neighbour. And this also descends from the Lord's love; for no one can love the Lord and the neighbour, except from the Lord, for this is the very essential good pertaining to man, and all good is from the Lord. That good pleasure has this signification is clear from the following passages. In Isaiah:

"In mine anger I smote thee, but in my good pleasure have I had mercy on thee" (lx. 10).

By smiting in anger is signified temptation; and by having mercy in good pleasure is signified deliverance, from love (having mercy, is doing good to the needy from love).

(References: Isaiah 60:10)


[5] In David:

"My prayer is unto thee, O Jehovah, in the time of thy good pleasure; O God, in the greatness of thy mercy answer me, in the truth of thy salvation" (Ps. lxix. 13).

The time of the good pleasure of Jehovah signifies acceptance from love; time signifies the existing state when said of men, but perpetually existing when said of Jehovah, thus His love, because this is perpetual. Hearing and help springing from love by the proceeding Divine which is Divine truth is signified by in the greatness of thy mercy answer me, in the truth of thy salvation.

(References: Psalms 69:13)


[6] In Isaiah:

"Jehovah said, In the time of good pleasure have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee" (xlix. 8).

By the time of good pleasure, or will, also here is signified the Divine love; and to answer signifies to bring aid, and to benefit.

(References: Isaiah 49:8)


[7] In the same:

"To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah, to comfort all that mourn" (lxi. 2).

Here the subject is the advent of the Lord, and by the year of his good pleasure is signified the time and state of the members of the church, when they must be aided from love; therefore it is also said, to comfort all that mourn.

(References: Isaiah 61:2)


[8] In David:

"Thou wilt bless the just; with good pleasure wilt thou compass him as with a shield" (Ps. v. 12).

Here good pleasure manifestly means the Divine love, from which the Lord protects every one; His protection from love is signified by, thou wilt compass him as with a shield.

(References: Psalms 5:12)


[9] Again:

Jehovah "opening his hand and satisfying every living thing with good pleasure" (Ps. cxlv. 16).

Here by opening the hand is signified to gift with good; and by satisfying every living thing with good pleasure is signified, from love to enrich with Divine truth all who receive life from Him.

(References: Psalms 145:16)


[10] In Moses:

"Of the precious things of the earth and of the fulness thereof, and for the good pleasure of him who dwelleth in the bush, let them come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the head of the Nazarite of his brethren; of Naphtali, satisfied with the good of pleasure and the blessing of Jehovah " (Deut. xxxiii. 16, 23).

By Joseph, in the highest sense, is signified the Lord as to the spiritual Divine, in the internal sense the spiritual kingdom, and, in the external sense, salvation, fructification of good and multiplication of truth (as may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417). Hence it is evident what is signified by the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, and the good pleasure of him that dwelleth in the bush, belonging to Joseph. The precious things of the earth denote the spiritual goods and truths pertaining to the church, the earth denoting the church; the good pleasure of him that dwelleth in the bush is the Lord's Divine love of truth, the bush in which the Lord also appeared before Moses signifies that Divine love. The head of Joseph signifies the wisdom pertaining to the internal man, and the crown of the head of the Nazarite of his brethren signifies the intelligence and knowledge (scientia) belonging to the external man. Naphtali, so called from strugglings, signifies temptations, and consolation and benediction from the Divine love after them, which are meant by being satisfied with the good pleasure and the blessing of Jehovah.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3969, 3971, 4669, Arcana Coelestia 6417; Deuteronomy 33:16, 33:23)


[11] In Isaiah:

"Wilt thou call this a fast, and a day of the good pleasure of Jehovah? Is it not to break thy bread to the hungry, and when thou seest the naked that thou cover him?" (lviii. 5, 7).

That by the good pleasure of Jehovah, when said of men, is signified to live according to His precepts, which is to love God and the neighbour (as said above), is evident; for it is said that His good pleasure is that they should break their bread to the hungry and cover the naked. By breaking bread to the hungry is signified from love to do good to the neighbour who desires good; and by covering the naked is signified to instruct in truths him who desires to be instructed.

(References: Isaiah 58:5, 58:7)


[12] In David:

"I have desired to do thy good pleasure (or thy will), my God, and thy law is in my bowels" (Ps. xl. 8).

Again:

"Teach me to do thy good pleasure; let thy good spirit lead me in the land of uprightness" (Ps. cxliii. 10).

And again:

"Bless ye Jehovah, all ye his hosts; ye his ministers who do his good pleasure" (Ps. ciii. 21).

To do the good pleasure of Jehovah God signifies to live according to His precepts; this is His good pleasure, or will, because from Divine love He wills that all may be saved, and by this they are saved. The word good pleasure, in the Hebrew tongue, also signifies will; for whatever is done according to the will is well pleasing, and the Divine love wills no other than that the love which is from Himself may be with angels and men, and His love is with them, when they love to live according to His precepts. That this is to love the Lord, He himself teaches in John (xiv. 15, 21, 23, 24; xv. 10, 14; xxi. 15, 16).

(References: John 14:15, 14:21, 14:23-24, John 15:10, 15:14, 21:15-17; Psalms 40:8, Psalms 103:21, 143:10)


[13] That will signifies love in the opposite sense, namely, the love of evil and the love of falsity, is evident in John:

As many as received Jesus, "to them gave he power to become the sons of God, to them that believe in his name; who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (i. 12, 13).

To believe in the name of the Lord signifies to live according to the precepts of His doctrine. (That the name of the Lord signifies all those things by which He is worshipped, consequently all those things that appertain to love and faith, may be seen above, n. 102, 135.) Who are not [born] of bloods signifies those who are not in a life contrary to good and truth; nor of the will of the flesh signifies those who are not in the love of evil; who are not [born] of the will of man (vir) signifies those who are not in the love of falsity. (That flesh, when said of man, denotes his voluntary proprium, consequently evil, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 148, 149, 780, 999, 3813, 8409, 10,283; and that man (vir) denotes the intellectual proprium of man, which is falsity, may be seen, n. 4823).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 148-149, 780, 999, 3813, Arcana Coelestia 4823, Arcana Coelestia 8409, 10283; John 1:12-13; Revelation 4:11; The Apocalypse Explained 102, 135)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 287, 297, 315


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


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