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

Commentary

Resurrection, the first

Previous Word Next Word

'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

Arcana Coelestia #5044

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous    Next →

5044. 'And the governor of the prison-house gave' means the truth governing in a state of temptations. This is clear from the meaning of 'the governor (or the prince)' as the primary and so governing truth, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'the prison-house' as the laying waste of falsity, and therefore temptation, dealt with above in 5038, 5039, 5043. What the truth governing in a state of temptations is must first be discussed. With all who are undergoing temptations truth from the Lord is flowing in, and this truth rules and governs their thoughts, uplifting them every time they are given to doubt and also to feelings of despair. This truth is what that governing truth is, and it is the kind of truth which they have learned from the Word and from doctrine and which they themselves have confirmed. Other kinds of truth may also be called on at such times, but these do not govern those persons interiorly. Sometimes the truth governing them does not make itself clearly visible in their understanding but lies obscured, yet continues to govern. For the Lord's Divine flows into that governing truth and in so doing keeps the interior parts of the mind within its domain, so that when it comes out into the light the person undergoing temptation receives comfort from it and is uplifted by it.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 5038-5039)


[2] Not the actual truth but an affection for it is what the Lord uses to govern those undergoing temptations; for the Divine does not flow into anything except that which is regarded with affection. Truth that has been implanted and become rooted in a person interiorly has been implanted and become rooted there through affection. Absolutely nothing grows there without affection. Truth that has been implanted and become rooted through affection sticks in the mind, and it is recollected through an affection for it. Furthermore when that truth is recollected it also manifests the affection attached to it, an affection which in that person is a reciprocal one. This being what goes on in a person who undergoes temptations, no one is therefore allowed to experience any spiritual temptation until he reaches adult years and so has acquired some truth by means of which he may be governed. Without that truth he goes under, in which case his latter state is worse than his former one. From all this one may see what is implied by the truth governing in a state of temptations, meant by 'the governor of the prison-house'.

[3] The reason 'a prince (or a governor)' means a primary truth is that 'a king' in the internal sense means the truth itself, 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4789, 4966, and consequently because 'princes' are the king's chief subjects the primary features of that truth are meant by them. For this meaning of 'princes', see 1482, 2089; yet because those two paragraphs have not shown that meaning from other places in the Word, let some be introduced here: In Isaiah,

To us a boy is born, to us a son is given, on whose shoulder will be the government 1 - the prince of peace, increasing government 2 and peace [to which] there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7.

This refers to the Lord. 'The government upon his shoulder' means all Divine Truth in the heavens originating in Him, for the heavens are distinguished into separate principalities in keeping with the varieties of truth derived from good, which also explains why angels are called principalities. 'Peace' means the state of bliss in the heavens which inmostly affects what is good and true, 3780. This is why the Lord is called 'the prince of peace' and why it speaks of Him 'increasing government and peace to which there will be no end'.

[4] In the same prophet,

The princes of Zoan are foolish, the wise counsellors of Pharaoh. How do you say to Pharaoh, I am a son of the wise, a son of the kings of old? The princes of Zoan have become fools, the princes of Noph deluded, and they have led Egypt astray, the corner-stone of the tribes. Isaiah 19:11, 13.

This refers to Egypt, by which the Church's factual knowledge is meant, 4749, and so natural truth, which is the last and lowest degree of order. For the same reason Egypt is here called 'the corner-stone of the tribes', for by 'the tribes' are meant all aspects of truth in their entirety, 3858, 3862, 3926, 3939, 4060. Here however 'Egypt' is factual knowledge that perverts the truths known to the Church, and so is truths in the lowest degree of order that have been falsified, meant by 'the princes of Zoan and the princes of Noph'. The reason Egypt calls itself 'a son of the kings of old' is that the factual knowledge which existed in that land had its origin in the truths known to the Ancient Church. Actual truths are meant by 'kings', as shown above, and the truths known to the Ancient Church by 'the kings of old'.

[5] In the same prophet,

Asshur does not think what is right and his heart does not consider what is right, for his heart is to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few, for he says, Are not my princes kings? Isaiah 10:7-8.

'Asshur' stands for reasoning about Divine truths which gives rise to falsities, and so stands for perverted reason, 1186. Truths falsified in this way, that is, falsities, which are the product of reasoning and look altogether like truths, are meant when Asshur says 'Are not my princes kings?' As long as a person's mind is fixed on the historical sense of the letter he cannot see or consequently believe that 'Asshur' means reasoning, and that 'princes who are kings' means major falsities which are regarded as supreme truths. Still less can he believe this if he refuses to entertain the idea that there is something holier and more universal within the Divine Word than that which is seen in the literal sense. Yet in the internal sense 'Asshur' is used to mean in the Word nothing else than reason and reasoning, and 'kings' to mean actual truths, 'princes' the primary features of truth. Also, those in heaven have no knowledge as to what or who 'Asshur' may be, besides which angels put away from themselves the idea of a king or a prince; and when they detect this idea residing with man they transfer it to the Lord and then perceive that which goes forth from the Lord and which is the Lord's in heaven, namely His Divine Truth going forth from His Divine Good.

[6] In the same prophet,

Asshur will fall by the sword, not of man (vir), and a sword, not of man (homo), will devour him. Also his rock will pass away by reason of terror, and his princes will be dismayed by the ensign. Isaiah 31:8-9.

This too refers to Egypt, by which the Church's factual knowledge once it has been perverted is meant. Reasoning based on known facts regarding Divine truths which leads to perversion and falsification is meant by 'Asshur', those perverted and falsified truths being 'his princes'. 'The sword by which Asshur will fall' is falsity engaged in conflict with truth and bringing about the devastation of it, 2799, 4499.

In the same prophet,

The strength of Pharaoh will become shame for you, and trust in the shadow of Egypt ignominy, when his princes will be in Zoan. Isaiah 30:3-4.

'Princes in Zoan' stands for truths that have been falsified, and so stands for falsities, as above.

[7] In the same prophet,

The spoon-bill and the duck will possess it, and the owl and the raven will dwell in it; and he will stretch over it the line of emptiness, and the plumb-line of a waste place. Let them call its nobles who are not there a kingdom, and all its princes will be nothing. Isaiah 34:11-12.

'The spoon-bill', 'the duck', 'the owl', 'the raven' stand for varieties of falsity which arise when Divine truths in the Word are rendered valueless. The desolation and laying waste of truth is meant by 'the line of emptiness and the plumb-line of a waste', while the falsities, which are primary truths so far as the people described here are concerned, are meant by 'its princes'. In the same prophet,

I will render the princes of holiness profane, and I will give Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reproaches. Isaiah 43:28.

'Rendering the princes of holiness profane' refers to holy truths. The annihilation of the truth known to the Church - the internal Church and the external - is meant by 'giving Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reproaches', 'Jacob' being the external Church and 'Israel' the internal, see 4286.

[8] In Jeremiah,

There will enter through the gates of this city kings and princes seated on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes. Jeremiah 17:25.

Anyone who understands the Word at this point according to its historical sense cannot know that anything deeper and holier lies hidden within these words than the idea that kings and princes will enter through the gates of the city in chariots and on horses, from which he gathers that the duration of the kingdom is meant. But one who is aware of what is meant by 'city' in the internal sense, and what is meant by 'kings', 'princes', 'the throne of David', and 'riding in chariots and on horses' sees deeper and holier matters in this description. For 'the city', which is Jerusalem, means the Lord's spiritual kingdom, 2117, 3654; 'kings' Divine Truths, as shown above; 'princes' the primary features of truth; 'the throne of David' the Lord's heaven, 1888; and 'riding in chariots and on horses' the existence in the Church of a spiritual understanding, 2760, 2761, 3217.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2760-2761)


[9] In the same prophet,

O sword against the Chaldeans and against the inhabitants of Babel, and against its princes and against its wise men! O sword against the liars! O sword against its horses and against its chariots! Jeremiah 50:35-37.

'Sword' stands for truth engaged in conflict with falsity, and for falsity in conflict with truth and laying it waste, 2799, 4499. 'The Chaldeans' stands for those who profane truths, and 'the inhabitants of Babel' for those who profane good, 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1307, 1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, 1327 (end). 'Princes' stands for falsities, which to such people are primary truths. 'Horses' stands for the Church's possession of understanding, and 'chariots' for its doctrinal teaching, the laying waste of these being meant by 'a sword against its horses and against its chariots'.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1307-1308, 1321-1322, 1326-1327)


[10] In the same prophet,

How in His anger the Lord covers the daughter of Zion with a cloud! The Lord has swallowed up - He has not spared - all the dwelling-places of Jacob. He has destroyed in His wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has cast them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and her princes. The gates have sunk into the ground; He has broken in pieces her bars; her king and princes are among the nations. Lamentations 1:1, 2, 9.

'The daughter of Zion and Judah' stands for the celestial Church, in this case for that Church when it has been destroyed. 'The kingdom' stands for the truths of doctrine there, 2547, 4691, 'king' for truth itself, and 'princes' for the primary features of this truth.

(References: Lamentations 2:1-2, 2:9)


[11] In the same prophet,

Our skins have been blackened like an oven because of the storms of famine; they have ravished women in Zion, virgins in the cities of Judah. Princes have been hung up by their hands. Lamentations 5:10-12.

'Princes hung up by their hands' stands for the fact that truths have been made profane, for being hung up represented the damnation brought about by profanation. And because being hung up represented that profanation the command was also given that when the people went whoring after Baalpeor and worshipped their gods, the princes were to be hung up before the sun, Numbers 25:1-4, since 'to go whoring after Baalpeor and to worship their gods' was to make worship profane.

In Ezekiel,

The king will mourn, and the prince will be wrapped in stupidity, and the hands of the people of the land will be all atremble; I will deal with them in their way. Ezekiel 7:27.

Here likewise 'the king' stands for truth in general, and 'the prince' for the primary features of it.

[12] In the same prophet,

The prince who is in the midst of them will be carried on the shoulder under darkness and will go forth; they will dig through the wall to lead out through it; he will cover his face, so that with the eye he does not see the earth. Ezekiel 12:12.

Here it is quite evident that 'the prince' does not mean a prince but truth known to the Church. When the words 'will be carried on the shoulder under darkness' are used in reference to it, the meaning is that total power is used to bear away among falsities, 'darkness' meaning falsities. 'Covering the face' means that truth is completely out of sight; 'so that with the eye he does not see the earth' means that nothing of the Church is visible, 'earth' or 'land' meaning the Church, see 661, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 4535. In Hosea,

The children of Israel will sit many days with no king and no prince, and no sacrifice, and no pillar, and no ephod, and no teraphim. Hosea 3:4.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 662, 1068, Arcana Coelestia 2117-2118, Arcana Coelestia 2928, 3355, 4447)


[13] And in David,

All glorious is the king's daughter within, in her clothing with gold interweavings; in embroidered robes she will be led to the king. Instead of your fathers will be your sons; you will set them as princes in the whole earth. Psalms 45:13-14, 16.

'The king's daughter' means the Lord's spiritual kingdom. It is called His spiritual kingdom by virtue of the Lord's Divine truth, which in this instance is described by means of 'clothing consisting of gold interweavings and of embroidered robes'. 'Sons' are the truths of that kingdom which are derived from the Lord's Divine, which are going to be 'the princes', that is, the primary features of it.

'The prince' who is described - he and his possession in the New Jerusalem and in the new land - in Ezekiel 44:3; 45:7-8, 17; 46:8, 10, 12, 16, 18; 48:21, means, in general, truth that is derived from the Lord's Divine. For 'the New Jerusalem' in these places, 'the New Temple', and 'the new land' are used to mean the Lord's kingdom in heaven and on earth, which kingdom is described here in Ezekiel by means of representatives such as figure elsewhere in the Word.


-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, principality or princely rule

2. literally, multiplying the principality or princely rule

-----

(References: Genesis 39:22; Psalms 45:13-16)


Go to section / 10837  

← Previous    Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5043, 5047, 5082, 5236, 5290, 5313, 5321, 5323, 5619, 5922, 6015, 6087, 6125, 6148, 6410, 6413, 6432, 6508, 6524, 6651, 6659, 6742, 6745, 6766, 7351, 7524, 8142, 8314, 8330, 8491, 8712, 8904, 9093, 9139, 9144, 9146, 9212, 9222, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 121, 148, 200


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 29, 63, 236, 365

Other New Christian Commentary

Doubt 1

Governor 1

Garment 1

Hang 1

Cord of formlessness, and the stone of the void 1

Plummet, or plumb line of emptiness 1

Government 1


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


Translate: