The Bible

 

Genesis 1

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

Genesis 1: The Creation and Development of our Spiritual Life      

By Rev. William Woofenden

The first book of the Bible is "Genesis", which means "creation". It's a very, very ancient story - one of the oldest stories of humankind, and it's full of symbolic meaning that - still - gets to the core of what it is to be truly human.

The first three days of creation describe the development of the natural degree of man's life. They come first as a preparation for the opening of the spiritual degree of our minds. The creation of the grass, herbs, and trees took place on the third day, and constitutes the third step in regeneration. The creation of the fowl and fish was on the fifth day. Between these on the fourth day the sun, moon, and stars were created.

From the beginning man had light, for all light is from the Lord, but it was not direct light. He was not at first in the clear light of the sun, moon, and stars, which are set in the firmament. The firmament is the internal man. There is a preparation that has to be made before the internal man is opened. At first we think we see the truth and do good from ourselves. Hence only inanimate things are produced. All truth and good are from the Lord who alone is truth and goodness, and only when we come to acknowledge this can we have true love from him, true faith in Him, and true knowledge of spiritual things. These are not seen from the external or natural degree of life.

Again we should note a change of language. It was said, "Let the earth bring forth" the grass, herb, and fruit trees. Now and through the remaining days it is said that "God created." Man has a part to play in his regeneration. There must be in his mind forms into which the warmth of love and the light of faith and of spiritual truths can flow.

When the mind is so prepared, influx from the Lord can be received, with greater power. "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." It should be noted that it is the waters that are commanded to bring forth the moving creature that hath life, and that it is not the seas but the waters which are to produce the living creatures. The seas represent the gathering together of knowledges, but by the "waters" are meant the spiritual truths in the mind. So in the Lord's words to the woman of Samaria, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst" (John 4:14). In Ezekiel it is the "waters" issuing from the sanctuary that give life (Ezekiel 47:1). The Psalmist writes, "Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters" (Psalm 104:3). It is not in natural waters that the Lord lays the beams of His chambers. His chambers are the interior principles of His church; the beams give them support and strength. These are said to be laid in the waters because they rest and have their foundation in the genuine truths of the Word. So in Revelation the Word itself is described as a pure river of water of life.

The will faculty in man embraces all his affections and is the internal man. When the sun, moon, and stars—love, faith, and knowledges of spiritual truth—are set in this heaven and begin to impart their warmth and light to the external man, enabling him to think and act from these higher and purer principles, then the external man is gifted with a new life. There may be no apparent change in his outward conduct—he may already be living a moral life—but the motives that direct his acts will be wholly different. And it is the motive that gives character to the act as well as to the actor. He no longer thinks of the truths that he has learned, either natural or spiritual, as the product of his own mind nor of the good, that he does as the result of his own efforts, but thinks of them as wholly from the Lord, who alone is the source of all true light and life.

Before one recognizes clearly that all good and truth come from the Lord, he can bring forth only inanimate things, the grass, herb, and fruit tree, however good and useful these may be. But when he is enlightened by genuine love and faith, his knowledges become the basis for the development of spiritual life and God can create in him the living creatures that have life. First the fishes are created; then the fowl of the air. There is a difference between fishes and birds. The fishes, living in water, represent our affections for natural truths. The great whales, the largest of living creatures, are affections for the great general principles that control the mind. The principle may be either true or false. Of Pharaoh or Egypt it is written, "Thou art as a whale in the seas: and thou earnest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouled at their rivers" (Ezekiel 32:2) Here is pictured a ruling false principle from the natural degree of the mind — Egypt. That is, when the ruling principle is false, it will be a monster making the truths in the mind obscure like filthy or muddy waters.

Another example of the meaning of the whale in a bad sense is in the story of Jonah. When the principle is false it swallows up for a time all the truths that are in the mind. This is the whale swallowing Jonah the prophet. But Divine truth cannot be used by a false principle so as to become a part of its organic structure. Nor can the Divine truth perish. So the whale could not digest Jonah, nor could the prophet perish, but the whale vomited him up.

Spiritually there are whales trying to swallow prophets today, evil principles that try to use Divine truths to attain their ends. In the creation story, however, the whales are affections for the principles of natural truth for the sake of uses to the spiritual man. There is one source of genuine love. The creatures of the fifth day are living because they are animated by this love. Birds fly in the air above the earth. They have the power of flight and enjoy broader views. They represent affections for truth that rise above the natural. They are the thoughts that look at life from the heights of spiritual perception, ideas about the Lord, heaven, and spiritual things. Isaiah writes, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles" (Isaiah 40:31). Birds represent spiritual intelligence, the power to lift us up to understand spiritual truth in heavenly light, through which truth the Lord can impart to us something of the Divine intelligence. So at the baptism of the Lord "The heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him" (Matthew 3:16). So a new knowledge of heavenly life is given, a new perception of our possibilities, and in this higher intelligence a basis for further development is laid. This further development is pictured in the creation of the living creatures upon the earth. These are symbols of the affections. Here, too, it is said, "Let the earth bring forth" and also "And God made the beast of the earth." The creation of living animals on the earth and of man in the image and likeness of God marks the completion of the six days of creation—the six stages in regeneration. Man has first to learn what is to be believed and done and then to do it.

It is the office of the understanding to hear the Word and of the will to do it. In this way the truths are made our own, and the will and understanding make one mind. And when one begins to act from love as well as from faith, he becomes a spiritual man, who is called an image of God, and is given dominion over all things. Thus all things natural and spiritual come to be a delight to him and serviceable to him. To be an image and likeness of God one must act from impulses similar to those of God. This he cannot do until he comes into the final state of regeneration. Then he will not act from selfish motives, as does the natural man, nor from mere obedience to truth, but from love to the Lord and the neighbor. When these loves are developed and rule, to them is given the dominion over all subordinate affections and the fruits of all the growths of intelligence. These are what make man to be a man and cause him to be in the image and likeness of his Maker. Each step in the formation of a truly human character the Lord saw and pronounced good, but of the work of the sixth day it is said, "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

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

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgement 20

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


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

Related 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

Bible Word Meanings

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
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

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

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

earth
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...

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" represents a state where truth is lacking. Here's a cogent passage...

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 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.

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
In the Word, “light” in the highest sense represents Divine Truth: knowledge, ideas, understanding that come to us from the Lord. In lesser degrees...

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.

day
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...

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 room' or 'place' denotes state.

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

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,...

grass
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...

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
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

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...

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
"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...

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.

great
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;...

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;...

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...

life
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

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...

living
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

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.

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...

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

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

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

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...

male
Because of their understanding of spiritual marriage, the people of the Most Ancient church perceived 'male and female' as two faculties in the spiritual self:...

male and female
Because of their understanding of spiritual marriage, the people of the Most Ancient church perceived 'male and female' as two faculties in the spiritual self:...

female
Female signifies good.

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

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...

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.


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The Biblical creation story is about the re-creation of our minds. Learn how the first signs of life on the third day symbolize heavenly ideas taking root in our lives.


Swedenborg 101: The Basic Nature of Everything - Swedenborg and Life

In this episode, host Curtis Childs and featured guests explore what eighteenth-century Christian mystic and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg learned during his mystical explorations of the spiritual world. They delve into his life, spiritual awakening, and resulting philosophies about the relationship between this life and the afterlife.


What the 7 Days of Creation Mean - Swedenborg and Life

Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Is there a religious call to exploit nature? Here, Swedenborg tackles a bit of text that has led some people to believe just that.

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

 Men and Women Are Different
Studies confirm that differences between men and women extend beyond the physical body, affecting engagement on all levels of life.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 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

 Qualities of the Lord
Look at colored pictures of stories from the Word. Using a word bank, identify the quality of the Lord shown in each picture.
Project | Ages 9 - 14

 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
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Apocalypse Explained #1057

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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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" (Matthew 25:34).

Jesus praying said, "Father, because thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).

Jesus said, "The blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, shall be required of this generation" (Luke 11:30).

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" (12:1).

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: Luke 11:50; Matthew 15:34)


[3] In Isaiah:

"Attend to me, O Jacob and Israel, my hand hath founded the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens" (48:12, 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" (51:13).

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)


[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" (51:16, 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 89:11).

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)


[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 24:2, 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?" (40:21).

In the same:

"The foundations of the earth are corrupted" (24:18).

Likewise in Isaiah 58:12; Jeremiah 31:37; Micah 6:2; Psalms 18:8, 16; 82:5; and elsewhere).

Continuation concerning the second kind of Profanation:-

(References: Isaiah 63:12; Psalms 18:7, 18:15, 24:2-3; 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: Revelation 17:8)

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Apocalypse Explained 1052, 1116, 1141


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Translation by Isaiah Tansley. Many thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.

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Apocalypse Explained #304

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304. (5:3) And no one in heaven, neither upon the earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look thereon. That this signifies manifestation, that no one knows and perceives, of himself, anything concerning the state of the life of all in general and of each in particular, is evident from the signification of, "And no one was able to open the book, neither to look thereon," as denoting that no one knows and perceives of himself the states of the life of all in general and of each in particular (concerning which see just above, n. 303): and from the signification of, in heaven, neither upon the earth, nor under the earth, as denoting not only that there is no one anywhere, but also that there is not anything [of such knowledge and perception]; for by, in heaven, upon the earth, and under the earth, are meant the three heavens; and by all therein heaven in the aggregate is meant; and because heaven is heaven from the Divine truth, that flows in from the Lord, and is received by the angels, and not at all from any intelligence proper to the angels, for this is not intelligence, therefore the same words signify that no one has any [knowledge or perception] whatever from himself. (That the angels in heaven, just as men in the world, have a proprium, which viewed in itself is nothing but evil, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 592.) And because evil does not receive anything of intelligence and wisdom, it follows, that angels just as men understand nothing at all of truth from themselves, but solely from the Lord. The reason why the angels are of such a quality, is, that all angels are from the human race, and that every man retains his proprium after death; and they are withheld from the evils of their proprium, and are kept in goods by the Lord. (That all the angels are from the human race, and none created such from the beginning, may be seen in the small work concerning the Last Judgment 14-22; and that all are withheld from evil, and kept in good by the Lord, in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 166.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 303)


[2] The reason why in heaven, upon the earth, and under the earth, signifies the three heavens, is because the angels, who are in the third or highest heaven, dwell upon mountains; and those who are in the second or middle, upon hills; and those who are in the first or ultimate heaven, in plains and valleys under them. For in the spiritual world, where spirits and angels dwell, there are earths, hills, and mountains, just as in the natural world where men are. As to appearance there is such a similitude that they do not at all differ. Therefore men after death scarcely know but that they are yet living upon earth, and when they are permitted to look into our earth, they see nothing dissimilar. Besides the angels who are in the ultimate heaven, call that heaven, where the angels of the third heaven dwell, because it is high above them, but where they themselves dwell, they call earth. The third or highest heaven also, which is upon mountains, appears to those who are below, or upon the earth, only as the highest region of the atmosphere does before us, covered with a light and shining cloud, thus as heaven appears before us. Hence it may be seen what is specifically meant in this place, by, in heaven, upon the earth, and under the earth. (But more may be seen concerning these things in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, where appearances in heaven are treated of, n. 170-176: and concerning the habitations and mansions of the angels, n. 183-189.)

[3] Because men have not known that there are similar appearances of earth in both worlds, the natural and the spiritual, therefore, when they have read the Word, they have simply perceived that by the heaven and the earth there, are meant the heaven visible before our eyes, and the earth inhabited by men; hence has arisen an opinion concerning the destruction of heaven and earth, and concerning the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, at the day of the Last Judgment; when, yet, by the heaven and the earth are there meant the heaven and the earth where spirits and angels are, and, in the spiritual sense, the church with angels and with men; for the church is equally with angels as with men, as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 221-227). It is said, in the spiritual sense, because an angel is not an angel, nor is a man a man, from the human which both have, but from heaven and the church with them. Hence it is that by the heaven and by the earth, where angels and men dwell, the church is signified; by heaven the internal church, and also the church with the angels and by earth the external church, and also the church with men. But it can hardly be believed, that by the earth in the Word is meant the church, because it is not yet known that in the particulars of the Word there is a spiritual sense. As a result of this a material idea adheres to, and keeps the thought fixed on the most obvious meaning of a word, I therefore wish by some passages thence to illustrate and confirm it.

[4] In Isaiah:

"Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it void, and he shall overturn the faces thereof; in emptying, the earth shall be emptied, and in spoiling it shall be spoiled: the habitable earth shall mourn and be confounded, the world shall be confounded; the earth shall be profaned under its inhabitants, wherefore a curse shall devour the earth, and the inhabitants of the earth shall be burnt up, and few men left. A shout over the wine in the streets, the gladness of the earth shall be banished; there shall be in the midst of the earth as the shaking of the olive, as the gleanings when the vintage is done. From the end of the earth we have heard songs, Glory to the just. The floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth are moved; in breaking the earth is broken, in rending the earth is rent asunder, in moving the earth is moved; in tottering the earth shall totter as a drunkard; and it shall be moved to and fro as a veil; but it shall be in that day, Jehovah shall visit upon the host of the height in the height, and upon the kings of the earth who are upon the earth" (24:1, 2 [3], 4-6, 11, 13, 16, [18], 19-21, 23).

Here it is quite evident, that by the earth is not meant the earth but the church. The particulars shall be gone through and considered. He who is in a spiritual idea does not think of the earth itself when the earth is named, but of the people there, and of their quality; much more so those in heaven: who, because they are spiritual, have a perception of the church. The subject treated of in this passage is the church destroyed. Its destruction as to the good of love and the truth of faith, which constitute it, is described by Jehovah emptying the earth and making it void, by the earth in emptying being emptied, in spoiling being spoiled, by mourning and being confounded, by being profaned and a curse devouring it, by the flood-gates from on high being opened and the foundations thereof being moved, by being broken, rent asunder, and put in motion, by staggering as a drunkard. These things can be said neither of the earth, nor of any nation, but of the church.

(References: Isaiah 24:3-6, 24:18-21)


[5] In the same:

"Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners out of it. I will put the heaven in commotion, for the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light, the sun shall be darkened in its rising, and the moon shall not make her light to shine. I will make a man more rare than pure gold; wherefore I will move the heavens, and the earth shall be shaken out of its place" (13:9, 10, 12, 13).

That the earth here denotes the church is evident from each particular understood in the spiritual sense. The subject here treated of is its end, when truth and good, or faith and charity, are no more. For by the stars and constellations which shall not give their light, are signified the knowledges of truth and good; by the sun being darkened in its rising, is signified love; by the moon not causing her light to shine, is signified faith; by a man being made more rare than pure gold, is signified intelligence and wisdom: hence it is plain what is signified by, "Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh to lay the land desolate. I will move the heavens, and the earth shall be shaken out of its place." The day of Jehovah denotes the final end of the church, when judgment takes place. The earth denotes the church. It is evident that the earth itself is not shaken out of its place, but that the church is removed where love and faith are not. To be shaken out of its place, signifies to be removed from a former state.

(References: Isaiah 13:9-10, 13:12-13)


[6] In the same:

"Behold, the Lord, as an inundation of hail, a storm of slaughter, as an inundation of mighty waters, shall cast down to the earth with the hand; I have heard a consummation and decision from the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth upon the whole earth" (28:2, 22).

These words were spoken of the day of judgment upon those who were from the church. The day of judgment, when there is an end of the church, is meant by, "I have heard a consummation and decision from the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth upon the whole earth": wherefore it is said, that, "as an inundation of hail, a storm of slaughter, as an inundation of mighty waters he shall cast down to the earth with the hand." By hail and an inundation of it falsities are signified which destroy the truths of the church: by slaughter, and a storm of it, evils are signified, which destroy the goods of the church; by the mighty waters the falsities of evil are signified. That an inundation or flood signifies immersion into evils and falsities, and hence the destruction of the church, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 660, 705, 739, 756, 790, 5725, 6853; the same, by casting down to the earth or a violent pouring down of rain.

[7] In the same:

"The earth shall be [turned] into burning pitch; from generation to generation it shall be waste" (34:9, 10).

By burning pitch is signified every evil springing from the love of self, by which the church entirely perishes and is vastated; therefore it is said, the earth shall be [turned] into burning pitch; from generation to generation it shall be waste. Who cannot see that such things are not said of the earth itself?

(References: Isaiah 34:9-10)


[8] In the same:

"The earth mourneth and languisheth; Lebanon hath blushed and faded away" (33:9).

Here also the earth denotes the church, which is said to mourn and to languish when falsities begin to be seized upon and acknowledged as truths; therefore it is said, Lebanon hath blushed and faded away. Lebanon signifies the same as the cedar, that is, the truth of the church.

[9] In Jeremiah:

"The lion is come out of his thicket, and the destroyer of the nations is gone forth from his place to lay waste thy land; thy cities shall be destroyed. I beheld the earth, when, lo, it is empty and void; and towards the heavens, when, lo, they have no light. I beheld the mountains, when, lo, they are moved, and all the hills are overturned. Jehovah said, The whole land shall be a waste. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black" (4:7, 23, 24, 27, 28).

Here also the vastation of the church is treated of; this takes place when truth and good are no longer, but in their place falsity and evil. This vastation is described by the lion coming out of his thicket, and the destroyer of the nations going forth from his place; the lion and the destroyer of the nations signifying falsity and evil vastating. The mountains that are moved, and the hills that are overturned, signify love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour. The reason that these are signified by mountains and hills is, that those who are in love to the Lord dwell upon mountains in heaven, and those who are in charity towards the neighbour, upon hills, as may be seen in what has been stated above, and also in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 188, and the notes there, letter c. By the heavens where no light was, which were black, are signified the interiors of the men of the church, which, when they, are closed by evils and falsities, do not admit the light from heaven, but instead thereof darkness from hell. From these considerations it is evident what is signified by the lion and the destroyer of the nations reducing the earth to desolation: also by, "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was empty and void"; as also by "the whole land shall be a waste; for this shall the earth mourn," namely, that the earth is not understood, but the church.

(References: Jeremiah 4:23-24, 4:27-28)


[10] In the same:

"How long shall the earth mourn, and the herb of every field [wither], for the wickedness of them that dwell therein the beasts are consumed, and the birds. The whole earth is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. The spoilers are come upon all the hills in the desert; for the sword of Jehovah is devouring from the end of the earth even to the end of the earth. They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns" (12:4, 11-13).

That the earth here signifies the church is evident, from its being said that the earth shall mourn, and the herb of every field [shall wither], and that the beasts and the birds are consumed for the wickedness of them that dwell therein, and because no man layeth it to heart. By the herb of every field is signified every truth and good of the church, and by the beasts and birds are signified the affections of good and truth; and because the church is signified by the earth, and it is here treated of as vastated, it is therefore said, "the spoilers are come upon all the hills in the desert; for the sword of Jehovah is devouring from the end of the earth to the end of the earth; they have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns." By the hills in the wilderness upon which the spoilers came, are signified the things of charity; the desert denotes where there is no good, because there is no truth by the sword of Jehovah is signified falsity destroying truth from the end of the earth to the end of the earth, signifies all things of the church; by sowing wheat and reaping thorns, is signified to take from the Word the truths of good, and to turn them into falsities of evil; wheat denoting the truths of good, and thorns denoting the falsities of evil.

[11] In Isaiah:

"Upon the land of my people shall come up the thorn and briar: the palace shall be deserted; the multitude of the city shall be forsaken" (32:13, 14).

The thorn and the briar which shall come upon the earth, signify falsity and evil; the palace that shall be deserted, signifies where good dwells; and the multitude of the city which shall be forsaken, signifies where there are truths; for a city signifies the doctrine of truth.

(References: Isaiah 32:13-14)


[12] In the same:

"All the earth shall become a place of briars and thorns: on the other hand, all the mountains which shall be weeded with the hoe, there shall not come thither the fear of briars and thorns; but there shall be the sending forth of the ox, and the treading of the sheep" (7:24, 25).

Briars and thorns signify falsity and evil; hence it is evident what is signified by all the earth shall become a place of briars and thorns. By the mountains which shall be weeded with the hoe, are signified those who do goods from the love of good; that falsity and evil shall not be with them, but both spiritual and natural good, is signified by the fear of briars and thorns not coming thither, but there shall be the sending forth of the ox, and the treading of the sheep; or thither shall the oxen be sent, and there the sheep shall tread; the ox signifying natural good, and the sheep spiritual good.

(References: Isaiah 7:24-25)


[13] In Ezekiel:

"Thy mother is a lioness; she lay down among lions; one of her whelps rose up, he has devastated the cities; the earth is desolated and the fulness thereof, by the voice of his roaring" (19:2, 3, 7).

By mother is signified the church; by a lioness and lions, the power of evil and of falsity against good and truth; by the roaring of the lion is signified the lust of destroying and desolating; by the cities which he laid waste, is signified doctrine with its truths; hence it is evident what is signified by, the earth was desolated, and the fulness thereof, namely, the whole church.

(References: Ezekiel 19:2-3)


[14] In the same:

"They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their waters with astonishment, that the earth may be devastated from its fulness, for the violence of all them that dwell therein; and the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the earth shall be a desolation" (12:19, 20).

Things similar to those above are here signified by the earth and by the cities that shall be laid waste and shall become a desolation; that is, by the earth is signified the church, and by cities doctrine with its truths; therefore it is said, for the violence of all them that dwell therein. Because those things are signified it is premised that they shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their waters with astonishment. Bread and water in the Word signify every good of love and truth of faith (see Arcana Coelestia 9329). And by eating and drinking are signified instruction and appropriation (n. 3168, 3513, 3832, 9412).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9323; Ezekiel 12:19-20)


[15] In David:

"I called upon Jehovah, and cried unto my God. Wherefore the earth shook and trembled, and the foundations of the mountains quaked and shook when he was wroth" (Psalms 18:6, 7).

Here the earth is for the church, which is said to shake and tremble when it is perverted by the falsification of truths; and in this case the foundations of the mountains are said to quake and to be moved, for the goods of love, which are founded upon the truths of faith, vanish. For mountains denote the goods of love (as above), and their foundations denote the truths of faith; hence also, it is evident that the earth denotes the church.

(References: Psalms 18:6-7)


[16] In the same:

"The earth is Jehovah's and the fulness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein; and he hath founded it upon the seas, he hath established it upon the rivers" (Psalms 24:1, 2).

The earth and the world stand for the church, and fulness stands for all things thereof; the seas upon which He hath founded it, denote the knowledges of truth in general; the rivers denote doctrinals. Because upon the former and the latter the church is founded, it is therefore said, that He would found it upon the seas, and establish it upon the rivers. That this cannot be predicated of the earth and the world, is evident to any one.

(References: Psalms 24:1-2)


[17] In the same:

"Shall we not fear, when the earth shall be moved, and when the mountains shall be shaken In the heart of the seas; when the waters thereof shall roar and be troubled? Let the nations rage, let the kingdoms be moved; when he uttereth his voice, the earth melteth away" (Psalms 46:2, 3, 6).

It is evident that by the earth is meant the church, because it is said to be removed and to melt, also that the mountains shall be shaken in the heart of the seas; the waters thereof also shall be troubled, and let the nations rage, and the kingdoms be moved. By mountains are signified (as above) the goods of love, which are said to be shaken in the heart of the seas, when the essential knowledges of truth are perverted; by waters are signified the truths of the church, which are said to be troubled when they are falsified; by nations are signified the goods of the church, and, in an opposite sense, the evils thereof; and by kingdoms, the truths of the church, and, in an opposite sense, its falsities; also those who are in the former and the latter.

(References: Psalms 46:2-3, 46:8)


[18] In the same

"O God, thou hast forsaken us, thou hast been angry; restore rest to us. Thou hast made the earth to tremble, thou hast broken it in pieces; heal the breaches thereof, for it shaketh" (Psalms 60:1, 2).

That these things are said of the church and not of the earth is evident; for it is said, "Thou hast made the earth to tremble, thou hast broken it in pieces: heal the breaches thereof, for it shaketh"; and because the earth signifies the church, here the church vastated, therefore it is said, "O God, thou hast forsaken us, thou hast been angry; restore rest to us."

(References: Psalms 60:1-2)


[19] In the same:

"When I take the appointed time, I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved; I will bear up the pillars of it" (Psalms 75:2, 3).

Here, also, the earth is for the church, which is said to be dissolved when truths fail, through which there is good. Because truths support the church, they are called its pillars, which God will bear up: that the pillars of the earth are not borne up is evident. Because the restoration of the church is here described, it is therefore said, "When I take the appointed time, I will judge uprightly." The truths of the church, which are here called the pillars of the earth, are also called the bases of the earth (1 Sam. 2:8); and the foundations of the earth, in Isaiah:

"Do ye not understand the foundations of the earth? It is he that dwelleth upon the circle of the earth, that bringeth the princes to nothing; and maketh the judges of the earth as vanity" (40:21-23).

By the princes who are brought to nothing, and by the judges of the earth whom He maketh as vanity, are signified the things that are from one's own intelligence, and from one's own judgment.

(References: Psalms 75:2-3)


[20] In Jeremiah:

"A tumult cometh even to the end of the earth. Thus said Jehovah, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great wind shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth. And the slain of Jehovah shall be in that day from the end of the earth even unto the end thereof" (25:31-33).

By the end of the earth, and by the sides of the earth, are signified where the ultimates of the church are, and where evils and falsities begin; and from the end of the earth to the end thereof, signifies all things of the church. Hence it may be known what is signified by a tumult shall come to the end of the earth, and a great wind shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth, and by the slain of Jehovah shall be in that day from the end of the earth unto the end thereof. By the slain are signified those with whom the truths and goods of the church are extinguished; as may be seen, n. 4503.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4503)


[21] In Isaiah:

"The isles saw, they feared; the ends of the earth trembled, they drew near, and came. I will make the desert a pool of waters, and the dry land a spring of waters" (41:5, 18).

The establishment of the church amongst the Gentiles is so described, they being signified by the isles and the ends of the earth for islands and the ends of the earth in the Word signify those who are farther apart from the truths and goods of the church, because they have not the Word, and consequently they are in ignorance. That the church shall be established among them, is signified by, "I will make the desert a pool of waters, and the dry land a spring of waters." It is called a desert where there is not yet good, because there is not truth, from which it is also called the dry land. A pool of waters, and a spring of waters, signify good, because they signify truth; for all spiritual good, which is the good of the church, is procured by truths.

[22] In the same:

"Woe to the land shadowed with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Cush. Go, ye ambassadors, to a nation trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled" (18:1, 2).

What the land shadowed with wings, and the land which the rivers have spoiled, signify, no one can know, unless he knows that the earth denotes the church, and that rivers denote falsities; the land shadowed with wings is the church that is in thick darkness as to Divine truths (that these are signified by wings may be seen above, n. 283). Beyond the rivers of Cush signifies, as to knowledges themselves from the sense of the letter of the Word, which are falsified; the nation trodden down, to which the ambassadors should go, whose land the rivers have spoiled, signifies those out of the church who are in falsities from ignorance; rivers denoting truths of doctrine, and, in an opposite sense, falsities; that the ambassadors should go to them, signifies that they should be invited, in order that the church may be with them.

(References: Isaiah 18:1-2; The Apocalypse Explained 283)


[23] In the same:

"In the wrath of Jehovah Zebaoth the earth is darkened" (9:19).

The earth darkened signifies the things of the church in thick darkness or in falsities; for the falsities of evil are said to be in thick darkness, but truths in the light.

[24] In the same:

"Jehovah shall remove man, and deserts shall be multiplied in the midst of the earth" (6:12).

Man whom Jehovah shall remove, signifies a wise man, and abstractedly wisdom (as may be seen above, n. 280). Deserts shall be multiplied in the midst of the earth, signifies, that there is nothing altogether good, because there is nothing true; the midst of the earth denoting where truth is in the greatest light; therefore when the light is not there, thick darkness pervades the whole; then, there is nowhere any truth.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 280)


[25] In the same:

Jehovah "shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the impious" (11:4).

The rod of the mouth of Jehovah which shall smite the earth, signifies truth in ultimates, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word; and the breath of the lips with which He shall slay the impious, signifies the truth in the spiritual sense of the Word. These are said to smite the earth, and to slay the impious, when they are condemned thereby; for every one is judged by truths, and is condemned by them.

[26] In the same:

"The earth is at rest, and is quiet. Hell hath stirred up on thy account the Rephaim, all the powerful of the earth. They that see thee shall say, Is this the man that moveth the earth, that maketh the kingdoms to tremble; he hath made the world into a desert, and destroyed the cities thereof? Thou hast destroyed thy land; thou hast slain thy people. Prepare slaughter for his sons, that they may not rise again and possess the earth, and the faces of the earth be filled with cities. I shall break Asshur in my land, and upon my mountains shall I tread him under foot" (14:7, 9, 16, 17, 20, 21, 25)

These things are said concerning the king of Babel, by whom is signified the destruction of truth through the love of ruling over heaven and earth, to which the truths of the Word, or the things of the church, serve as means. In this place it is treated concerning their damnation. The dead (Rephaim) whom hell has stirred up, are those who are in the direful persuasion of falsity, and who are thence called the powerful of the earth: to move the earth, to make the kingdoms tremble, to make the world into a desert, and to destroy the cities thereof, signifies to pervert all things of the church. The earth and the world denote the church; the kingdoms denote the truths which constitute it; and the cities denote all things of doctrine. Hence it is evident what is signified by, thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people. By Asshur who shall be broken in the earth, and be trodden under foot upon the mountains, is signified reasoning from falsities against truths; to be broken is to be dissipated; and to be trodden under foot is to be altogether destroyed. The mountains upon which [this is said to be done], signify where the good of love and charity reigns, for there, or with those [who are there], all reasoning from falsities is dissipated or destroyed.

(References: Isaiah 14:16-17, 14:20-21)


[27] In the same:

"Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; from the land of Kittim it shall come plainly to them. Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish; the girdle is no more. Behold the land of the Chaldeans; Asshur hath founded it into heaps. Jehovah will visit Tyre, that she may return to the hire of whoredom, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the faces of the world" (23:1, 10, 13, 17).

That neither the ships of Tarshish, Tyre, the land of Kittim, the land of the Chaldeans, nor Asshur, are here meant, is evident from the particulars in this chapter; but by the ships of Tarshish are meant the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good, also by Tyre; by the land of Kittim, what is idolatrous; by the land of the Chaldeans, the profanation and destruction of truth; and by Asshur, reasoning from falsities. Hence it is evident that, howl, ye ships of Tarshish, because Tyre is devastated, signifies that there are no longer any knowledges of truth; it shall come plainly to them from the land of Kittim, signifies what is idolatrous thence; the girdle is no more, signifies that there is no longer a coherence of truth with good. Behold the land of the Chaldeans, signifies that thus there is profanation and destruction of truth; Asshur hath founded it into heaps, signifies that reasoning from falsities has destroyed it; to return to the hire of whoredom, and to commit fornication with all the kingdoms upon the faces of the world, signifies falsification of all the truths of the whole church.

[28] In the same:

The king of Asshur "shall go through Judah; he shall overflow and pass over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the shakings of his wings shall be the fulness of the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel" (8:8).

Here, also, the king of Asshur signifies reasoning from falsities against truths. "He shall go through Judah, he shall overflow and pass over," signifies that it shall destroy the good of the church. To overflow is said of falsities, because they are signified by waters. "He shall reach even to the neck," signifies that thus there shall be no longer a communication of good and truth; and "the shakings of his wings shall be the fulness of the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel," signifies that falsities shall be against all the truths of the Lord's church. That the breadth of the earth signifies the truths of the church, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 197, and that hence, in an opposite sense, it signifies falsities; therefore the shakings of his wings signify reasonings from falsities against truths. Fulness signifies all; thus, the fulness of the breadth of the earth all the truths of the church.

(References: Isaiah 8:8)


[29] In the same:

"In that day shall the shoot of Jehovah be for gracefulness and glory, and the fruit of the earth for magnificence and an ornament to the remains of Israel" (4:2).

The shoot of Jehovah which shall be for gracefulness and glory, signifies the truth of the church; and the fruit of the earth which shall be for magnificence and for an ornament, signifies the good of the church; Israel signifies the spiritual church that the shoot and the fruit of the earth shall not be for gracefulness, glory, magnificence, and ornament, is evident; but the truth and good of the church shall be. When it is said the truth and good of the church, the truth of faith and the good of love are meant; for all truth is of faith, and all good is of love.

[30] In the same:

"Thou hast added to the nation, O Jehovah; thou art glorified, thou hast removed all the ends of the earth" (26:15).

The nation to which Jehovah has added, signifies those who are in the good of love, whom He has adjudged to Himself; the ends of the earth which He has removed, signify the falsities and evils that infest the church, and from which He has purified them.

[31] In the same:

"Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty, they shall behold the land of remotenesses" (33:17).

To see the king in his beauty, denotes genuine truth, which is from the Lord alone; to behold the land of remotenesses, signifies the extension of intelligence and wisdom.

[32] In the same:

"I have given thee for a covenant of the people, to restore the earth. Sing, O heavens, and exult, O earth; and resound, ye mountains, with a song" (49:8, 13).

The Lord and His Advent are here treated of; the establishment of the church by Him is described by, "I have given thee for a covenant of the people, to restore the earth," to restore the earth denoting to re-establish the church; that the Lord did not restore the earth to the Jewish people is known, but that He established the church among the Gentiles. The joy in consequence is described by, "Sing, O heavens, exult, O earth, and resound, ye mountains, with a song." By the heavens are meant the heavens where are angels who are in the interior truths of the church; by the earth is meant the church among men; and by the mountains, those who are in the good of love to the Lord.

[33] In Jeremiah:

"The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the earth mourneth, the pastures of the desert are dried up" (23:10).

Adulterers signify those who adulterate the goods of the church: therefore it is said, "The land is full of adulterers, and because of the curse the earth mourneth"; the pastures of the desert which are dried up signify no spiritual nourishment in such a church; desert being predicated where there is no good, because no truth.

[34] In the same:

"A drought is upon her waters, that they may be dried up; for it is a land of graven things" (50:38).

A drought upon the waters, that they may be dried up, signifies that truths no longer [exist], waters denoting truths, "for it is a land of graven things," signifies the church destroyed by falsities which are from man's own intelligence, which they call truths; graven things signify those falsities.

[35] In Ezekiel:

"The end cometh upon the four quarters of the earth; the earth is full of the judgment of bloods, and the city is full of violence" (7:2, 23).

"The end cometh upon the four quarters of the earth," signifies the last time and the last state of the church, when its end is; the four quarters denote all the truths and goods thereof, and, in an opposite sense, all the falsities and evils thereof, thus all things of the church. "The earth is full of the judgment of bloods," signifies that it is filled with evils of every kind; bloods denote the evils which offer violence to the goods of love and charity, and entirely destroy them. "The city full of violence," signifies the doctrine of that church acting in a similar way.

[36] In the same:

"All the luminaries of light in heaven will I make dark over thee, and will set darkness upon thy earth" (33:8).

By the luminaries of light in the heavens are meant the sun, moon, and stars; and by the sun is signified love, by the moon faith thence, and by the stars the knowledges of good and truth: hence it is evident what is signified by, "I will make them dark over thee"; namely, that they should no longer exist; hence, also, it is evident what is signified by, "I will set darkness upon thy earth"; namely, that there are falsities in the church, darkness denoting falsities, and earth denoting the church.

(References: Ezekiel 32:8)


[37] In the same

"Prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains and hills and rivers and valleys, Behold, I am with you, and I will look back unto you, that ye may be tilled and sown" (36:6, 9).

By the land of Israel is meant the church; the mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys, signify all things of the church, from the first to the last things thereof; mountains denote the goods of love to the Lord; hills denote the goods of charity towards the neighbour; these are the first things of the church. The rivers and valleys denote the truths and goods which are the last things of the church. That these things are signified is evident from what has been stated in this article; namely, that those dwell upon mountains in heaven who are in the good of love to the Lord, those upon hills who are in charity towards the neighbour, and those in plains and valleys who are in goods and truths, in the ultimate heaven; rivers denote the truths of doctrine there; to inseminate them, is signified by, "I will look back unto you, that ye may be tilled and sown."

[38] In Hosea:

"In that day, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn and the new wine and the oil, and they shall hear Jezreel; and I will sow him unto me in the earth" (2:21-23).

That these things are to be spiritually understood, and not naturally according to the sense of the letter, is evident; for it is said, that these shall hear Jezreel; and I will sow him unto me in the earth; wherefore by the heavens are meant the heavens where the Lord is; and by the earth, the church where, also the Lord is; by the corn, now wine, and oil, are signified all things of spiritual nourishment, which are the goods of love and charity, and the truths of faith.

[39] In Malachi:

"He shall not destroy for you the fruit of the earth, neither shall the vine in the field be barren for you; all nations shall proclaim you blessed, and ye shall be a land of well-pleasing" (3:11, 12).

These things are said of those with whom and in whom the church exists; and because by the fruit of the earth and the vine in the field, are signified the goods and truths of the church - by the fruit the goods, and by the vine the truths thereof - therefore they are called a land of well-pleasing.

(References: Malachi 3:11-12)


[40] In David:

"Let thy good Spirit lead me into the land of uprightness. Make me to live, O Jehovah, for thy name's sake" (Psalms 143:10, 11).

The land of uprightness stands for the church in which is what is right and true; and because the spirit of Jehovah signifies the Divine truth, and every one thereby receives spiritual life, it is therefore said, "Let thy good Spirit lead me," and, "O Jehovah; make me to live."

(References: Psalms 143:10-11)


[41] Because the earth signifies the church, and where the church is there is heaven, it is therefore called the land of the living and the land of life. The land of the living in Isaiah:

"I said, I shall not see Jah in the land of the living" (38:11).

And in Ezekiel:

"Who caused terror in the land of the living" (32:23-27).

The land of life in David:

"Unless I had believed to see good in the land of life" (Psalms 27:13).

[42] In Moses:

"It shall be an entire and just stone, the ephah shall be entire and just, that thy days may be prolonged upon the earth" (Deuteronomy 25:15).

The prolongation of days upon the earth does not signify the long duration of life in the world, but the state of life in the church, thus in heaven; for to prolong is said of good and its increase, and day signifies the state of the life; and because a stone entire and just, which was a weight, and an ephah entire and just, which was a measure, signify truth and good and their quality, and both together signify justice - the stone truth, and the measure good - and because not to deceive by weight and measure is to be just, therefore the life of the church shall be theirs, and afterwards life in heaven, which is meant by their days upon the earth being lengthened.

[43] The same is signified by this precept of the Decalogue:

"Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be prolonged upon the earth" (Exodus 20:12).

The reason why they have heaven and the happiness there, who honour father and mother, is, because in heaven no other father is known but the Lord, for by Him all there have been regenerated. And in heaven by mother is meant the church, and in general, the kingdom of the Lord. That those who worship the Lord and seek His kingdom, will have life in heaven, is evident; also that many of those who honour father and mother in the world, do not live there long.

[44] In Matthew:

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (5:5).

The inheritance of the earth does not signify the possession of the earth, but the possession of heaven and blessedness there the meek signify those who are in the good of charity.

[45] In Isaiah:

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name God-with-us; butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good; for before the child shall know to refuse the evil and to choose the good, the land shall be deserted which thou scornest before her two kings. It shall come to pass in that day, by reason of the abundance of giving milk, he shall eat butter; for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land" (7:14-16, [21], 22).

That these things are spoken of the Lord and His Advent is known; the butter and honey which He shall eat, signify the goods of love; butter, the good of celestial and spiritual love; honey, the good of natural love; by these it is meant that He would appropriate to Himself the Divine even as to the Human, to eat signifying to appropriate. That the earth shall be deserted before He knows to refuse the evil and to choose the good, signifies, that there would not be anything of the church remaining in the whole world when He would be born; and because those, where the church was, rejected every Divine truth, and perverted all things of the Word, and explained it in favour of self, it is therefore said concerning the earth, that is, the church, "which thou scornest before her two kings." Kings signify the truths of heaven and of the church; two kings, the truth of the Word in the internal or spiritual sense, and the truth of the Word in the external or natural sense. Milk signifies the truth through which good comes; and because butter signifies the good thence, therefore by reason of the abundance of giving milk, butter shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land, signifies that every truth shall be of good.

(References: Isaiah 7:21-22)


[46] In Matthew:

"In the consummation of the age, all the tribes of the earth shall mourn" (24:30).

The consummation of the age which is treated of in that chapter, is the last time of the church, when the judgment takes place; all the tribes of the earth signify all the truths and goods of the church, which are said to mourn when they are no more.

[47] In Luke:

"And then shall there be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, the sea and the waves roaring; men expiring for fear, and for expectation of those things that are coming upon the whole earth; for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." That day "as a snare shall come upon all who sit upon the face of the whole earth" (21:25, 26, 35).

It is also treated there concerning the last time of the church, when the judgment takes place, and by the earth and the world there are meant the church. The distress of nations upon the earth, the fear and expectation of those things coming upon the earth, also upon all who sit upon the face of the whole earth, does not signify upon those who are in the earths in the natural world, but upon those who are in the spiritual world. That there are earths also there, may be seen in what was premised to this article; and that the Last Judgment was accomplished there, may be seen in the small work concerning the Last Judgment. What is signified by the sun, moon, and stars, in which the signs are, was mentioned above, namely, that the sun signifies love, the moon faith thence, and the stars the knowledges of good and truth; the sea and waves roaring, signifies the reasonings and fightings of truth from the sense of the letter of the Word, wrongly and perversely applied. The powers of the heavens, which shall be shaken, signify the Word in the sense of the letter, because this sense is the foundation of the spiritual truths which are in the heavens. (As may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, in the article which treats of the Conjunction of Heaven with Man by means of the Word, n. 303-310.)

(References: Luke 21:25-26)


[48] In Isaiah:

"Sing, ye heavens; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; resound with singing, ye mountains, O forest and every tree therein; for Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob. I am Jehovah that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself" (44:23, 24).

"Sing, ye heavens: shout, ye lower parts of the earth; resound with singing, ye mountains, O forest and every tree therein," signify all things of heaven and of the church, as well the internal as the external, which all have reference to good and truth. Things internal are signified by the heavens, things external by the lower parts of the earth; mountains denote the goods of love, the forest denotes natural truth, and the trees therein denote the knowledges of truth. Because such things are signified it is said, "For Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob"; by Jacob in the Word is signified the external church, and by Israel the internal church. To stretch forth the heavens and to spread abroad the earth, signifies the church on all sides, which is stretched forth and spread abroad by the multiplication of truth and the fructification of good, with those who belong to the church.

(References: Isaiah 44:23-24)


[49] In Zechariah:

"Jehovah, who spreadeth abroad the heavens, and foundeth the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him" (12:1).

Here also by the heavens and by the earth is signified the church on all sides, thus as to its interiors and exteriors; therefore also it is said, "formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him."

[50] In Jeremiah:

"The gods that have not made the heaven and the earth, let them perish from the earth and from under the heavens." Jehovah "that maketh the earth by his power, that prepareth the world by his wisdom, and that spreadeth abroad the heavens by his intelligence. At the voice which he giveth forth a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the end of the earth" (10:11-13:51:15, 16).

Because the heavens and the earth signify the church (as above), therefore it is said, "Jehovah that maketh the earth by his power, that prepareth the world by his wisdom, and spreadeth abroad the heavens by his intelligence"; and therefore it is also said, "At the voice which he giveth forth a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the end of the earth." By the voice which Jehovah gives forth, is signified Divine truth proceeding from Him; by the multitude of waters in the heavens are signified truths in abundance, for waters signify truths; and by the vapours which He causeth to ascend from the end of the earth, are signified the last truths of the church; vapours denote those truths, and the end of the earth is the last of the church. And because gods signify the falsities of doctrine and of worship, which destroy the church, it is therefore said, The gods that have not made the heaven and the earth, let them perish from the earth and from under the heavens."

(References: Jeremiah 51:15-16)


[51] In David:

"Jehovah who by intelligence, maketh the heavens. Stretcheth forth the earth above the waters" (Psalms 136:5, 6).

Because heaven and earth signify the church, and the church is formed by truths, and the truths of the church constitute intelligence, it is therefore said, "Jehovah maketh the heavens by intelligence, and stretcheth forth the earth above the waters," waters denoting the truths of the church.

(References: Psalms 136:5-6)


[52] In Isaiah:

"Thus saith Jehovah God, that createth the heavens, and stretcheth them out, that spreadeth forth the earth and the products thereof, that giveth life to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein" (42:5).

By creating the heavens and spreading forth the earth and the products thereof, is signified to form the church and to reform those who are in it, the products denoting all things of the church; therefore it is said, that giveth life to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein. That to create denotes to reform, may be seen above, n. 294.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 294)


[53] In the same:

"Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds flow down with justice; let the earth open itself, and fructify salvation. I have made the earth, and created man upon it. Thus said Jehovah who createth the heavens; God himself who formeth the earth and maketh it and prepareth it; not in secret have I spoken, in a place of darkness of the earth" (45:8, 12, 18, 19).

That by the heavens and the earth are here meant all things of the church, the internals as well as the externals thereof, is evident; for it is said, "Drop down, ye heavens, and let the clouds flow down with justice; let the earth open itself, and fructify salvation." The reason why the heavens signify the interior things of the church, is, that the interior things of the mind of the spiritual man, are the heavens with him. (That heaven is with the man, with whom the church is, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 30-57.) By creating the heavens, and forming the earth, and making and preparing it, is signified fully to establish the church.

(References: Isaiah 45:18-19)


[54] In the same:

"Behold, I that create new heavens and a new earth, neither shall the former be remembered" (65:17).

By creating new heavens and a new earth, is signified to establish a new church as to its interiors and exteriors, both in the heavens and on the earths (as was said above).

[55] In the same:

"Who hath heard such a thing? shall the earth bring forth in one day? shall a nation be born at once? For as the new heavens and the new earth which I shall make, shall stand before me, so shall your seed and your name stand" (66:8, 22).

Because the earth signifies the church, therefore, it is said, shall the earth bring forth in one day? shall a nation be born at once? By bringing forth and birth, and by generating and generation in the Word, are signified spiritual birth and generation, which are of faith and love, thus reformation and regeneration; what the new heavens and new earth signify has been mentioned above.

[56] In Jeremiah:

"I have made the earth, man and the beast that are upon the faces of the earth, and I give it to him who is right in my eyes" (27:5).

By man and the beast which are upon the faces of the earth, are signified the affections of truth and good in the spiritual and the natural man (see n. 280: and in the Arcana, Coelestia, n. 7424, 7523, 7872); and because those affections with men constitute the church in them, it is therefore said "I have made the earth, man and the beast that are upon the faces of the earth, and I give it to him who is right in my eyes." That God does not give the earth solely to those who are right in His eyes, but also to those who are not right, is known; not the church, however, except to those who are right; right signifies truth and the affection thereof.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 280)


[57] In Isaiah:

"The heavens shall vanish like smoke, and the earth shall wax old as a garment, and the dwellers therein shall die in like manner" (51:6).

The heavens which shall vanish away, and the earth which shall wax old like a garment, signify the church; this successively falls away and at length is desolated, but not so the visible heaven and the habitable earth; wherefore it is said, "and the dwellers therein shall die in like manner," to die signifying to die spiritually. The same is signified by

"The heavens and earth shall pass away" (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17).

[58] In the Apocalypse:

"Four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth" (7:1).

By the four corners of the earth, and the four winds of the earth, are signified all the truths and goods of the church in the aggregate; for the same things are signified by them as the four quarters of heaven. (That these signify those things may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, "On the Four Quarters in Heaven," n. 141-153.) To hold them [the four winds], signifies that they [that is, truths and goods], may not flow-in because they are not received; wherefore it is said, that the wind shall not blow upon the earth. The earth also signifies the church in other parts of the Apocalypse (as 10:2, 5, 6, 8; 12:16; 13:13; 16:2, 14; 20:8, 9, 11; 21:1), besides many other places in the Word, too numerous to be adduced.

(References: Revelation 7:3, Revelation 10:5-6, 20:8-9)


[59] As the earth signified the church, and especially the land of Canaan, because the church was there, and because the church which was there was a representative church, therefore all things that were there were representative, and all that was said to them by the Lord signified the spiritual or interior things of the church, and this even in regard to the land itself and its products; as in these words in Moses:

If thou keep the precepts, "Jehovah will lead thee into a good land, into a land of rivers of water, of fountains, of depths springing out of valley and mountain; a land of wheat, of barley, of the vine, of the fig, of the pomegranate; a land of the olive, of oil, of honey; a land where thou shalt eat bread without scarceness; it shall lack nothing; a land where the stones are iron, and from the mountains shall be digged copper, and thou shalt eat, and shalt be satisfied in this good land" (Deuteronomy 8:1, 7-10).

By these are described all things of the church, both interior and exterior; but to expound what each particular signifies, would be tedious, and does not belong to this place.

(References: Deuteronomy 8:6-10)


[60] On account of the land signifying the church, it was therefore among the blessings, that if they lived according to the precepts, the earth should give its produce, the evil beasts should cease out of the earth, nor should the sword pass through the land (Leviticus 26:3, 4, 6). That the earth should give its produce, signifies that in the church there should be good and truth; that the evil beasts should cease, signifies that the evil affections and lusts, which destroy it, should no longer exist; that the sword should not pass through the land, signifies that falsity should not cast out truth.

(References: Leviticus 26:3-4)


[61] Because the earth signified the church, it was also appointed that

The seventh year should be kept as the Sabbath of the earth,

and that there should be no labour upon it (Leviticus 25:1-8). And therefore it is also said that

The land was polluted on account of the evils, and that on account of the abominations it would spew them forth (Leviticus 18:1-28).

And because the land signified the church, the Lord therefore spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind man, and said,

"Go wash thee in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:6, 7, 11, 15).

And therefore the Lord, when the Scribes and Pharisees asked Him concerning the woman taken in adultery, stooped down, and wrote twice on the ground (John 8:6, 8), signifying that the church was full of adulteries, that is, full of the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth; therefore also the Lord said to them,

"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her; but they went out one by one, beginning from the elders, even unto the last" (vers. 7, 9).

(References: John 8:4, John 8:7, 8:9, 9:6-7; Leviticus 18:25-28, 18:26, Leviticus 18:28)


[62] Because most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, so also has the earth, which, in that sense, signifies the church vastated, which takes place when the good of love and the truth of faith no longer exist, but instead thereof evil and falsity; and because these condemn man, by the earth in that sense is also signified damnation, as in the following places (Isaiah 14:12; 21:9; 25:12; 26:19, 21; 29:4; 47:1; 63:6; Lamentations 2:2, 10; Ezekiel 26:20; 32:24; Num. 16:29-33; 26:10), and elsewhere.

(References: John 8:4, John 8:6-9; Leviticus 18:26, Leviticus 18:28; Psalms 46:8; Revelation 7:3)

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Translation by Isaiah Tansley. Many thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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