The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

Next →

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.

Next →

   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
"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.

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

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
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

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...

second
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...

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

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...

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
'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...

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
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.

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,...

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
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

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...

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.

meat
'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #1057

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

1057. They whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. That this signifies that they are those who do not acknowledge the Lord's Divine power over heaven and earth, but as transferred to some vicar, and from him to his vicars, is evident from the signification of names not written in the book of life, as denoting those who are not received in heaven (concerning which see n. 199, 222, 299). And because those who do not acknowledge the Lord's Divine power over heaven and earth are not received in heaven, therefore these are they who are meant; and from the signification of the foundation of the world, as denoting from the establishment of the church. By the foundation of the world, in the literal or natural sense, is meant the creation of the world; but in the internal spiritual sense the establishment of the church is meant. For the spiritual sense treats of spiritual things; and the natural sense of the natural things that pertain to the world. Hence it is that by the creation of heaven and earth, in the first chapter of Genesis, in the spiritual sense, is described the new creation or establishment of the first and Most Ancient Church on this earth. That this is described by the creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, where the things in that chapter are explained. Moreover, by creating, in the Word, is signified to reform, and by Creator, the Lord as Reformer and Saviour. That to create signifies to reform, and that by the creation of heaven and earth in the first chapter of Genesis is described, in the spiritual sense, the establishment of the Most Ancient Church, may be seen above (n. 294, 739).

(References: Genesis 1:1; Revelation 17:8; The Apocalypse Explained 199, 222, 294, 299, The Apocalypse Explained 739)


[2] The establishment of the church is also meant by the foundation of the world in these passages in the Word:

"The king shall say to them on the right hand, Come and possess as a heritage the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. xxv. 34).

Jesus praying said, "Father, because thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world" (John xvii. 24).

Jesus said, "The blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, shall be required of this generation" (Luke xi. 30).

That the establishment of the church is meant by the foundation of the world, is evident from the passages in the Word where it is said to found the earth, the founding of the earth, and the foundation of the earth, by which is not meant the foundation or creation of the earth, but the establishment or creation of the church upon the earth. As in Zechariah:

"Jehovah who stretcheth out the heavens, and layeth the foundations of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him" (xii. 1).

Here by stretching out the heaven, and founding the earth, is not meant the stretching out of the visible heaven, and founding the habitable earth, but the church as to its internals, which are called spiritual, and as to its externals, which are called natural. To found the latter and stretch out the former is to establish; therefore it is also said, forming the spirit of man in the midst of him, which signifies his reformation and regeneration.

(References: John 17:24; Luke 11:50; Matthew 15:34, 25:34; Zechariah 12:1)


[3] In Isaiah:

"Attend to me, O Jacob and Israel, my hand hath founded the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens" (xlviii. 12, 13).

By founding the earth with the hand, and spanning the heavens with the right hand, are signified similar things to those explained just above, as is evident from the preceding and following parts of the chapter, where the establishment of a new church by the Lord is treated of.

In the same:

"Hast forgotten Jehovah thy Maker, who stretcheth out the heavens, and foundeth the earth" (li. 13).

Here also by the heavens and the earth is signified the church as to its internal or spiritual things, and as to its external or natural things and by stretching out and founding is signified to establish.

(References: Isaiah 48:12-13, 51:13)


[4] In the same:

"I will put my words into thy mouth, and with the shadow of my hand will I cover thee, to plant the heavens, and to found the earth, and to say unto Zion, Thou art my people; awake, awake, arise, O Jerusalem" (li. 16, 17).

Here by planting the heavens and founding the earth, is evidently meant to establish the church; for this is said unto the prophet, that the word should be put in his mouth, and that he should be covered with the shadow of the hand to plant the heavens and to found the earth. By a prophet the earth cannot be founded, but the church. Therefore also it is added, "To say unto Zion, thou art my people;" also, "Awake, awake, arise, O Jerusalem." For by Zion and by Jerusalem, in the Word, is meant the church.

In David:

"The heaven and the earth are thine; the world and the fulness thereof thou hast founded them" (Psalm lxxxix. 11).

Here in like manner by heaven and the earth is signified the church, by the world the church as to good; and by the fulness thereof are signified all the goods and truths of the church.

(References: Isaiah 51:16-17; Psalms 89:11)


[5] Again:

"Jehovah hath founded the earth and the world upon the seas, and established them upon the rivers. Who shall ascend into the mountain of Jehovah, and who shall stand in the place of his holiness?" (Psalm xxiv. 2, 3).

That the establishment of the church is described by founding the earth and the world upon the seas, and establishing them upon the rivers, may be seen above (n. 304, 518, 741). That the establishment of the church is signified, is evident from what follows here, namely, who shall ascend into the mountain of Jehovah, and who shall stand in the place of His holiness? By the mountain of Jehovah is understood Zion; whereby is signified, where the Lord reigns by means of Divine truth; and by the place of [His] holiness is meant Jerusalem, where the temple was, by which is signified the church as to doctrine. From these things it is evident, that by the foundation of the world is signified the establishment of the church. For the same is meant by the world, as by heaven and the earth. And it is said, "To found the earth;" because by the earth is signified the church on earth, and upon this heaven is founded as to its holy things.

Hence, also, it is evident what is signified by the foundations of the earth in the following passages.

In Isaiah:

"Have ye not known, have ye not heard, hath it not been declared to you from the beginning, have ye not understood the foundations of the earth?" (xl. 21).

In the same:

"The foundations of the earth are corrupted" (xxiv. 18).

Likewise in Isa. lviii. 12; Jer. xxxi. 37; Micah vi. 2; Ps. xviii. 8, 16; lxxxii. 5; and elsewhere).

Continuation concerning the second kind of Profanation:-

(References: Isaiah 24:18, 40:21, Isaiah 58:12, 63:12; Jeremiah 31:37; Micah 6:2; Psalms 18:7, 18:15, 24:2-3, 82:5; The Apocalypse Explained 74, The Apocalypse Explained 304, 518)


[6] The reason why profaners of this kind are stupid and foolish in spiritual things, but cunning and ingenious in worldly things is, that they make one with the devils in hell.

And because, as said above, they are merely sensual, and thence are in their own proprium, which draws its delight of life from the unclean effluvia exhaled from effete things in the body, and exhaled from dunghills, from these also arise their conceit and pride when things are in their delight.

[7] That it arises from these is evident from their delights, after death, when they live as spirits; for then in preference to the most fragrant odours they love the rank stenches that arise from the air discharged from the belly, and from latrines, which smell to them more fragrant than thyme. By the breath and touch of these the interiors of the mind are closed, and the exteriors belonging to the body are opened, whence arise their eagerness in worldly matters, and their dulness in spiritual things. In a word, the love of domination by means of the holy things of the church corresponds to filth, and the delight of it to an unspeakable stench, which to the angels is most horrible. Such is the exhalation from their hells when they are opened, but because of the oppression that arises, and on account of swooning that sometimes follows, they are kept closed.

(References: Matthew 25:34; Revelation 17:8)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 1052, 1116, 1141

Other New Christian Commentary

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #222

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

222. And I will write upon him the name of my God. That this signifies their quality according to Divine truth implanted in the life is evident from the signification of writing upon any one, when it is said to be done by the Lord, as denoting to implant in the life, concerning which we shall speak presently, also from the signification of name, as denoting the quality of their state (concerning which see above n. 148); and from the signification of God, as denoting Divine truth proceeding from the Lord in heaven, and thus the Lord in heaven (see n. 220); for the Lord is above the heavens, for He appears to those who are in heaven as a Sun (as may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell. n. 116-125). The Divine proceeding from the Sun of heaven, which is called Divine truth, and which constitutes heaven in general and in particular, is what in the Word is meant by God; hence it is that the angels are called gods, and that the term for God, in the Hebrew tongue, is Elohim, in the plural. From these considerations it is clear why the Lord here says, "the name of my God;" also above, "I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God" (n. 219), and in what follows, "I will write upon him the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God" (n. 223).

The reason why writing upon any one denotes to implant in the life is, that to write is to commit anything to paper from the memory, thought and mind, in order that it may remain; therefore, in the spiritual sense it signifies that which will remain in the life of man, inscribed and implanted in him. Thus the natural sense of this expression is turned into the spiritual sense; for it is natural to write upon paper, or in a book, but it is spiritual to inscribe on the life, which is done when it is implanted in faith and love; for love and faith constitute the spiritual life of man.

(References: Heaven and Hell 116-125; Revelation 3:12; The Apocalypse Explained 148, The Apocalypse Explained 219, 220, 223)


[2] Because to write signifies to implant in the life, therefore also it is said of Jehovah, or the Lord, that He writes, and that He has written in a book, by which is meant what is inscribed by the Lord on man's spirit, that is, in his heart and soul, or, what is the same, in his love and faith. As, in David:

"My bone was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret; upon thy book were all the days written when they were formed, and not one of them is wanting" (Ps. cxxxix. 15, 16).

Again:

"Let them be blotted out of the book of lives, and not be written with the just" (lxix. 28).

In Daniel:

"The people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" (xii. 1).

In Moses:

"Blot me, I pray out of the book which thou hast written. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book" (Exod. xxxii. 32, 33).

In the Apocalypse:

"A book written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals," which no one was able to open but the Lamb only (v. 1).

Again:

"All whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb" shall worship the beast (xiii. 8; xvii. 8).

And again:

"I saw that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (xx. 12, 13, 15).

And again:

And none shall enter into the New Jerusalem except "those that are written in the Lamb's book of life" (xxi. 27).

From these passages it is not to be understood that the persons referred to are written in a book, but that all the things of faith and love are inscribed on man's spirit (as is evident from what is said upon this subject in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 461-469).

(References: Daniel 12:1; Exodus 32:32-33; Heaven and Hell 461-469; Psalms 69:28, 139:15-16; Revelation 5:1, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12-13, 20:15, 21:27)


[3] That to write, in the Word, signifies to inscribe and implant in the life, is also evident from other passages where it is mentioned; as in Jeremiah:

"I will put my law in the midst of them, and will write it on their heart" (xxxi. 33).

To put the law in the midst of them, denotes Divine truth in them, in the midst, signifies inwardly in man (as may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 1074, 2940, 2973); and to write it on their heart, is to impress it upon the love, for the heart signifies the love (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 7542, 9050, 10,336). In Ezekiel:

"The prophet saw the roll of a book written within and without, and there were written thereon lamentations, mourning and woe" (ii. 9, 10; iii. 1-3).

By the roll of a book written within and without is signified the state of the church at that time, thus the quality of the life of those who belonged to the church; therefore the roll of the book here mentioned has a signification similar to that of the book of life mentioned above; and because their life was destitute of the goods of love and truths of faith, it is said, that "There was written thereon, lamentations, and mourning and woe."

By the law being written upon tables of stone, and with the finger of God (Exod. xxxi. 18; Deut. iv. 13; ix. 10),

was signified that it must be impressed on the life (Arcana Coelestia, n. 9416); for by the law, in the strict sense, the ten precepts of the Decalogue are meant, but in a broad sense, the whole Word (see Arcana Coelestia, 6752, 7463). By stone is signified truth, and there it signifies Divine truth (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10,376). The same is signified by

The words of the law being written upon the twelve stones taken out of Jordan (Deut. xxvii. 2-4, 8; Josh. iv. 3, and the following verses).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 643, 1074, 1298, Arcana Coelestia 2940, 2973, Arcana Coelestia 3720, Arcana Coelestia 6426, 6752, Arcana Coelestia 7463, 7542, Arcana Coelestia 8609, 9050, 9416, Arcana Coelestia 10336, 10376; Deuteronomy 4:13, 9:10, 27:2-4, 27:8; Exodus 31:18; Ezekiel 2:8-10, Ezekiel 2:9-10, 3:1-3; Jeremiah 31:33; Joshua 4:3, 4:3-9)


[4] In Ezekiel:

"Son of man, take thee one stick and write upon it, For Judah, and for the sons of Israel, his companions: and take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel, and his companions. Afterwards join them one to another into one stick, that they may both be one in my hand" xxxvii. 16, 17).

What these things signify no one can know unless he knows what was represented by Judah, and what by Joseph. By Judah was represented the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and by Joseph his spiritual kingdom; and by writing for them upon two sticks of wood, was signified the state of the love, and thence of the life of both. Their conjunction into one heaven was signified by joining them one to another into one piece, that they might be one in my hand. The signification of this is similar to that of the Lord's words,

"Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd" (John x. 16).

The reason why the writing was to be upon wood was, because wood signifies good, and it is good which conjoins. (But these things will be clearer from what is shown in the Arcana Coelestia, namely, that the spiritual kingdom before the Lord's coming was not like it was after his coming, n. 6372, 8054: that the spiritual especially were saved by the coming of the Lord into the world, and that they were then conjoined with those who were of His celestial kingdom into one heaven, n. 2661, 2716, 2833, 2834, 3969, 6854, 6914, 7035, 7091, 7828, 7932, 8018, 8159, 8321, 9684. That there are two kingdoms, the celestial and the spiritual, and three heavens, and that they are conjoined into one heaven, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 20-28, and 29-40. That by Judah, in the representative sense, is signified the Lord's celestial kingdom, Arcana Coelestia, n. 3654, 3881, 5583, 5603, 5782, 6363: that by Joseph is signified the Lord's spiritual kingdom, n. 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417: that by Ephraim is signified the Intellectual of the spiritual church, 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296: that by wood is signified the good of love, n. 643, 3720, 8354.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 643, Arcana Coelestia 2661, 2716, 2833-2834, Arcana Coelestia 3654, Arcana Coelestia 3720, 3881, 3969, 3971, Arcana Coelestia 4669, 5354, 5583, 5603, 5782, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296, 6363, 6372, 6417, Arcana Coelestia 6854, 6914, 7035, 7091, Arcana Coelestia 7828, 7932, 8018, 8054, 8159, Arcana Coelestia 8321, 8354, Arcana Coelestia 9684; Ezekiel 37:16-17, 37:19; Heaven and Hell 20-28, 29-40; John 10:16)


[5] In Isaiah:

"This one shall say, I am of Jehovah; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall write with his hand unto Jehovah, and surname himself by the name of Israel" (xliv. 5).

These things are said concerning the Lord and His Divine Human. By Jacob and by Israel, where the Lord is treated of, is signified His human; and that it was also Jehovah is meant by one saying, "I am of Jehovah," and by subscribing with his own hand unto Jehovah. (That, in the highest sense, Israel and Jacob denote the Lord, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 4286, 4570, 6424.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4286, 4570, Arcana Coelestia 6424; Isaiah 44:5)


[6] In Jeremiah:

"Jehovah the hope of Israel, all that forsake me shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Jehovah, and I shall be healed" (xvii. 13, 14).

To be written in the earth, is to be condemned on account of the state of the life, because by earth is signified what is condemned (as may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 2327, 7418, 8306).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2327, Arcana Coelestia 7418, Arcana Coelestia 8306; Jeremiah 17:13-14)


[7] Hence it, is evident what is signified by the Lord's writing with his finger on the earth, as recorded in John:

"The Scribes and Pharisees brought unto Jesus a woman taken in adultery; they said, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act." They asked whether, according to the law of Moses, she should be stoned. "Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the earth, and rising said, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the earth." These things being heard they went out one after another, and Jesus was left alone, and the woman to whom he said, "Where are thine accusers; hath no man condemned thee? And he said, Go and sin no more" (viii. 3-11).

By the Lord writing on the earth, is signified the same as above in Jeremiah, where it is said, "They that depart from me shall be written in the earth," namely, that they were equally condemned on account of adulteries; therefore Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

That the Lord twice wrote on the earth in the temple, signified, in the spiritual sense, their condemnation for adulteries. For the Scribes and Pharisees were those who adulterated the goods and falsified the truths of the Word, consequently of the church; and adulteries in the spiritual sense are adulterations of good and falsifications of truth (as may be seen above, n. 141, 161); therefore also He called that nation an adulterous and sinful generation (Mark viii. 38).

(References: Ezekiel 2:8-10, Ezekiel 37:19; John 8:2-11; Mark 8:38; Revelation 3:12; The Apocalypse Explained 141, The Apocalypse Explained 161)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 202, 223, 224, 299, 313, 352, 483, 806, 898, 1057, 1224

Other New Christian Commentary

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


Translate: