The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

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

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

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

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

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

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

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

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

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

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

life
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

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

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

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

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

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

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

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

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

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

beast
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

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

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

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

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

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

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

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

female
Female signifies good.

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

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

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

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

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

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

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #1057

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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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" (Matt. xxv. 34).

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

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

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

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

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

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


[3] In Isaiah:

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

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

In the same:

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

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

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


[4] In the same:

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

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

In David:

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

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

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


[5] Again:

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

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

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

In Isaiah:

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

In the same:

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

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

Continuation concerning the second kind of Profanation:-

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


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

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

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

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

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Apocalypse Explained #518

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518. And it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.- That this signifies that thence all understanding of truth perished, and through that the doctrine of the church, is evident from the signification of falling from heaven, when stated of stars, as denoting to perish, concerning which we shall speak presently; from the signification of the third part, as denoting all; concerning which above (n. 506), here all, because it is said of the understanding of truth and of doctrine, which are signified by rivers and fountains of waters; from the signification of rivers, as denoting the understanding of truth, concerning which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of fountains of waters, as denoting the Word, and doctrine from the Word, whence fountains denote the truths of the Word and doctrinals; concerning which above (n. 483).

(References: Psalms 78:44; Revelation 8:10; The Apocalypse Explained 483, The Apocalypse Explained 506)


[2] The reason why falling, when said of stars, which signify the cognitions of good and truth from the Word, as above, signifies to perish, is, that when the Divine Truth in the spiritual world, descends out of heaven to the earth where the evil are, it is turned into falsity, and when Divine Truth is falsified, it then perishes. This also is signified by the words "the stars shall fall from heaven" (Matthew xxiv. 29; Mark xiii. 25). This means, that in the last time of the church, the cognitions (cognitiones) of truth and good will perish. That when Divine Truth, in the spiritual world, descends out of heaven into the earth where the evil are, it is changed into falsity, and so perishes, may be seen above (n. 413:2, 418:1, 419:1, 489); for the Divine Truth is changed into such falsity as agrees with the evil of those into whom it flows. That this is the case, is evident from the following experience. It was granted me to see how Divine Truth is changed into falsity, when it passes deep down into hell, and I perceived that it was changed successively in its descent, and at length into the utmost falsity.

(References: Mark 13:25; Matthew 24:29; The Apocalypse Explained 413, 418-419, The Apocalypse Explained 489)


[3] The reason why rivers signify the understanding of truth, and also intelligence, is, that waters signify truths, the understanding being a receptacle and collection (complexus) of truths, as a river is of waters, and that thought from the understanding, which is intelligence, is as it were a stream of truth. From the same origin, that is, from the signification of waters, which denote truths, it is that a fountain signifies the Word, and the doctrine of truth, and that pools, lakes, and seas, signify the cognitions of truth in their entire compass.

(References: Matthew 24:29; The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483)


[4] That waters signify truths, and living waters, truths from the Lord, may be seen above (n. 71, 483), and also in the following places in this article. That rivers and streams signify the understanding of truth and intelligence, is evident from the Word where rivers and streams are mentioned, as in Isaiah,

"Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and rivers in the plain of the wilderness" (xxxv. 6).

These things are said concerning the Lord, the reformation of the Gentiles, and the establishment of the church among them. By the lame men who shall leap as a hart, are signified those who are not in genuine good, because not in the knowledges of truth and good. By the tongue of the dumb which shall sing, is signified confession of the Lord by those who are in ignorance of truth. For in the wilderness shall waters break out, signifies that there shall be truths where there was none before; and rivers in the plain of the wilderness, signifies that there shall be intelligence where there was none before; wilderness denoting where there is no truth, and the plain of the wilderness where there is no intelligence. Waters denote truths, and rivers intelligence.

(References: Isaiah 35:6)


[5] Again:

"I will open rivers upon high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the desert a pool of waters, and the dry land springs of waters" (xli. 18).

This is said of the salvation of the Gentiles by the Lord. To open rivers upon high places, denotes to impart interior intelligence; and to open fountains in the midst of valleys, denotes to instruct the external man in truths; the rest may be seen explained above (n. 483).

(References: Isaiah 41:18; The Apocalypse Explained 483)


[6] In the same:

"Behold, I do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the desert, and rivers in the wilderness. The wild beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the daughters of the owl; because I gave waters in the desert, and rivers in the wilderness, to give drink to my people, my chosen" (xliii. 19, 20).

These things also said of the Lord, and of a new church from Him, are meant by, "Behold I do a new thing; now it shall spring forth." By making a way in the desert, and rivers in the wilderness, is signified that there shall be truth, and the intelligence of truth, where they did not exist before; way denotes truth leading to heaven, and rivers denote intelligence; by giving drink to the people, is signified to instruct those who desire to be instructed. By the wild beast of the field, the dragons, and the daughters of the owl, are signified those who know truths and goods from the memory only, yet do not understand and perceive them; such are those who depending entirely upon others, speak truth without any idea of truth.

(References: Isaiah 43:19-20)


[7] Again:

"I will pour waters upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry [ground]; I will pour out my spirit upon thy seed, and [my] blessing upon thine offspring" (xliv. 3).

To pour waters upon him that is thirsty signifies to instruct those in truths who are in the affection for truth. To pour floods upon the dry [ground] signifies to give intelligence to those who are in the desire for truth from good; the signification of pouring out the spirit and blessing is similar; for by the Spirit of God is signified the Divine Truth, and by blessing, the multiplication and fructification thereof, thus intelligence. Who does not see that here and above, waters and streams, desert and wilderness, are not meant, but such things as pertain to the church? Therefore it is also here added, I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring."

(References: Isaiah 44:3)


[8] In Moses;

"Jehovah bringeth thee into a land of rivers of water, of fountains and abysses springing out of valley and mountain" (Deut. viii. 7).

The land of Canaan into which Jehovah would bring them, means the church; therefore rivers of water, fountains and depths that spring out of valley and mountain, signify such things as pertain to the church; rivers of water signify the understanding of truth, fountains doctrinals from the Word; depths that spring out of valley and mountain, the cognitions of truth and good in the natural and in the spiritual man.

(References: Deuteronomy 8:7)


[9] In Isaiah:

"Look upon Zion, and Jerusalem. There Jehovah shall be magnificent unto us, a place of rivers and streams, of breadth of spaces, a ship of oar shall not go therein, nor magnificent ship pass through it" (xxxiii [20,] 21).

Here also, by a place of rivers and streams are signified wisdom and intelligence. The signification of the rest is explained above. (See n. 514:10.)

(References: Isaiah 33:20-21; The Apocalypse Explained 514)


[10] In Joel:

"It shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine (mustum), and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall go forth out of the house of Jehovah, and shall water the stream of Shittim" (iii. 18).

This passage is also explained above (n. 433:13 and 483:5). By the fountain which shall go forth out of the house of Jehovah is signified the truth of doctrine descending from the Lord out of heaven; and by the stream of Shittim which it shall water is signified to enlighten the understanding.

(References: Joel 3:18; The Apocalypse Explained 433, The Apocalypse Explained 483)


[11] In Ezekiel:

"Waters issued out from under the threshold of the house" of God "eastward. The man (vir) brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. When I had returned, behold, upon the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. He said every living soul which creepeth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither, and they shall be healed, in order that every thing may live whither the river cometh. By the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, cometh up every tree for food, whose leaf falleth not, neither is the fruit thereof consumed; it is reborn into its months, because its waters issue out of the sanctuary" (xlvii. 1-12).

These words are also explained above (n. 422:15, 513:7); and from them it is evident that by the waters issuing out of the house of God towards the east is signified the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord and flowing in with those who are in the good of love; and that by the river, upon the banks whereof is every tree for food, and from the waters of which every soul which creepeth lives, and whence there shall be a very great multitude of fish, is signified intelligence from the reception of Divine Truth, whence are all things in man, his affections and perceptions, as well as his cognitions and scientifics, and thoughts, thence attain spiritual life.

(References: Ezekiel 47:1-12; The Apocalypse Explained 422, The Apocalypse Explained 513)


[12] In Jeremiah:

"Blessed is the man (vir) that trusteth in Jehovah; he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out his roots by the river, nor shall he see when heat cometh, but his leaf shall be green" (xvii. 7, 8).

The tree planted by the waters means the man with whom there are truths from the Lord. By spreading out his roots by the river is meant the extension of intelligence from the spiritual into the natural man. The rest may be seen explained above (n. 481:2).

Where gardens and trees are treated of in the Word, there also irrigating waters and rivers are mentioned, and for this reason, that trees signify perceptions and cognitions; while waters and rivers denote truths, and thence the understanding [of them]. For without the understanding of truths man is like a garden where there is no water, whose trees wither away.

(References: Jeremiah 17:7-8; The Apocalypse Explained 481)


[13] As in Moses:

"As the valleys are they planted, as gardens by the river, as lign aloes which Jehovah hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters" (Numbers xxiv. 6, 7).

These words are spoken of the sons of Israel, by whom the church, which was then to be planted, is signified. This church is compared to valleys that are planted, and to a garden by the river, because valleys signify the intelligence of the natural man, and a garden the intelligence of the spiritual man; and it is compared to lign aloes, and to cedar trees, because lign aloes signify those things which belong to the natural man, and cedar trees those that pertain to the rational man. Because all these live from the influx of the Divine Truth from the Lord, therefore they are said to be planted by the river and by the waters, by which is signified inflowing Divine Truth, whence there is intelligence.

(References: Numbers 24:6-7, Numbers 24:6)


[14] Since by the garden in Eden, or Paradise, are meant the wisdom and intelligence possessed by the Most Ancient people who lived before the flood, therefore where their wisdom is described, the influx of Divine Truth, and therefore of intelligence, is also described by the river which "went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became into four heads" (Genesis ii. 10, and following verses). The river from Eden denotes wisdom from love, which is Eden; to water the garden denotes to give intelligence, while the intelligence itself is described by the four rivers there treated of; as may be seen explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 107-121).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 107-121, Genesis 2:10)


[15] Again, in Ezekiel:

"Ashur was a cedar in Lebanon. The waters caused it to grow, the abyss made it high so that with its rivers it went round about his plant, and sent out his watercourses unto all the trees of the field" (xxxi. 3, 4).

Ashur signifies the rational man, or the Rational of man; similarly the cedar in Lebanon. And because the genuine Rational is perfected by the cognitions of truth and good, it is said that the waters caused it to grow, and the abyss made it high, waters denoting truths and the abyss the cognitions of truth in the natural man. The increase of intelligence is signified by its rivers running about his plant; and the multiplication of the cognitions of truth, by sending out his watercourses unto all the trees of the field.

(References: Ezekiel 31:3-4)


[16] Again, in David:

"Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt. Thou hast sent out its shoots unto the sea, and its little branches unto the river" (Psalm lxxx. 8, 11).

By the vine out of Egypt, are meant the sons of Israel, who are called a vine because they represented the spiritual church, which is signified by a vine in the Word; their tarrying in Egypt represented their first initiation into the things of the church, for Egypt signified the scientifics which serve the things of the church. When, therefore, the vine signifies the church, and Egypt, the scientific serving it, the signification in the spiritual sense of bringing a vine out of Egypt is evident. The extension of the intelligence of the church even to things scientific and rational, is signified by, "Thou hast sent out its shoots unto the sea, and its little branches unto the river." To send out its shoots unto the sea, and its little branches unto the river, denotes multiplication and extension. The sea signifies the Scientific, and the river, which is here Euphrates, the Rational.

(References: Psalms 80:8, 80:11)


[17] The extension of the church, and the multiplication of its truths, and thence of intelligence, are described by the extension of the land of Canaan to the Sea Suph (Red Sea), to the sea of the Philistines, and to the river Euphrates, in Moses:

"I will set thy bounds from the Sea Suph (Red Sea) even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert even unto the river" (Exod. xxiii. 31).

The boundaries of the land of Canaan signify the ultimates of the church, which are scientific truths, cognitions of truth, and good from the Word, and things rational. The Sea Suph (Red Sea) signifies scientific truth (scientificum verum), the sea of the Philistines, where Tyre and Sidon were, signifies the cognitions of truth and good from the sense of the letter of the Word, and by the river Euphrates is signified the Rational. For scientifics are serviceable to the cognitions of truth and good from the Word, and both these are serviceable to the Rational, and the Rational is serviceable to intelligence, and this comes to pass by means of truths conjoined to spiritual good.

(References: Exodus 23:31)


[18] Expressions similar to those concerning the church and its extension, are also used concerning the power of the Lord over all things of heaven and the church in David:

"I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers" (Psalm lxxxix. 25).

This is said of David, by whom the Lord is meant. The power of the Lord, even to the ultimates of heaven and the church, thus over the whole heaven, and over every thing of the church, is signified by setting his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. Power is signified by the hand, and the right hand, and the ultimates of heaven and the church are signified by the sea and the rivers. That the ultimates of heaven are seas and rivers has been frequently shown above. These were represented by the two seas and by the two rivers which formed the boundaries of the land of Canaan. The two seas were the sea of Egypt and the sea of the Philistines, where Tyre and Sidon were; and the two rivers were Euphrates and the Jordan. But the Jordan was the boundary between the land of Canaan interior and exterior; in the latter were the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. Similarly it is said in Zechariah:

"His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth" (ix. 10).

This also is said concerning the Lord, and similar things are meant. His dominion even to the ultimates of heaven and the church is over all things of heaven and of the church; for the ultimates are the boundaries.

(References: Psalms 89:25; Zechariah 9:10)


[19] Again, in David:

"Thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting. The rivers have lifted up, O Jehovah, the rivers have lifted up their voice; the rivers have lifted up their roaring. Jehovah on high is mightier than the voices of many mighty waters, than the waves of the sea" (Psalm xciii. 2, 3, 4).

These things also are said concerning the Lord. His dominion from eternity to eternity over heaven and earth is signified by thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting. The glorification of the Lord on account of His coming, and thence the salvation of the human race, is signified by the rivers lifting up their voice and their roaring. For the rivers, here three times mentioned, signify all things of man's intelligence, both in the internal and in the external man. The Divine Truth from Him, by means of which are power and salvation, is signified by the voices of many mighty waters, than the waves of the sea. Waters denote truths, and the voices of many mighty waters Divine truths.

(References: Psalms 93:2-4)


[20] The glorification and celebration of the Lord from joy of heart are thus described elsewhere in David:

"Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains be joyful" (Psalm xcviii. 7, 8).

These words signify the glorification of the Lord by the whole heaven. Glorification from the ultimates thereof is signified by the sea roaring and the fulness thereof. The glorification from the whole heaven is signified by let the world roar and they that dwell therein, the world signifying the whole heaven as to its truths, and they that dwell therein signifying the whole heaven as to its goods. For inhabitants, in the Word, signify those who are in the goods of heaven and the church, and thus the goods of them. The glorification of the Lord by means of the truths of intelligence, and the goods of love, is signified by the rivers clapping their hands, and the mountains being joyful. Rivers denote the truths of intelligence, and mountains the goods of love.

(References: Psalms 98:7-8)


[21] Divine Truth from the Lord, from whose reception there is intelligence, is signified by the waters from the rock in Horeb (Exod. xvii. 6), concerning which it is thus written in David:

"He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great abysses. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed" (Psalm lxxviii. 15, 16, 20).

And again:

"He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; rivers ran in the dry places" (Psalm cv. 41).

The rock there means the Lord; and the waters which flowed thence mean the Divine Truth from Him, and the rivers mean intelligence and wisdom therefrom. By giving them drink as out of great abysses, is signified to drink in and perceive the interior things of wisdom.

(References: Exodus 17:6; Psalms 78:15-16, 78:20, Psalms 105:41)


[22] So in John:

Jesus said, "If any man thirst let him come unto me, and drink." He that cometh to me, "as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow streams of living water; this spake he of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive" (vii. 37, 38, [39]).

By coming to the Lord, and drinking, is signified to receive from Him the truths of doctrine, and the faith thereof. That spiritual intelligence springs therefrom is signified by "out of his belly shall flow streams of living water," living water denoting the Divine Truth which is from the Lord alone; streams the things which are of intelligence, and the belly, thought from the memory, for to this the belly corresponds. And because streams of living water signify intelligence by means of the Divine Truth from the Lord, it is therefore added, "But this spake he of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." The spirit which they should receive from the Lord denotes the Divine Truth, and thence intelligence, wherefore also the Lord calls the spirit which they should receive, the spirit of truth (John xiv. 16-18; xvi. 7-15).

(References: John 7:37-39, 14:16-19, 14:16-18, 16:7-15)


[23] In David,

Jehovah "hath founded" the world "upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers" (Psalm xxiv. 2).

By the world is signified heaven and the church in their whole compass. The seas signify cognitions and knowledges (scientiae) which are the ultimates of the church, and specifically, the cognitions of truth and good, such as they are in the sense of the letter of the Word. The floods signify introduction by means of these into celestial intelligence. Hence the meaning of these words in the spiritual sense is evident, namely, that the interior things of heaven and the church, which are called celestial and spiritual, are founded upon the cognitions of truth and good, contained in the sense of the letter of the Word, rationally understood. It is said, "He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods," because seas and floods are in the boundaries of heaven, and were represented by the Sea Suph (Red Sea), the sea of the Philistines, the river Euphrates, and the river Jordan, which were the boundaries of the land of Canaan. And because ultimates, in the Word, signify lowest things, it is said that Jehovah hath founded and established the [world] upon them. That the earth is not founded upon the seas and floods, is evident.

(References: Psalms 24:2)


[24] Again:

"The Lord at thy right hand hath smitten kings in the day of his wrath. He hath judged among the nations, he hath filled [the earth] with the dead bodies, he hath smitten the head over much country. He shall drink of the stream in the way; therefore shall he lift up the head" (Psalm cx. 5-7).

These things are said concerning the Lord, and His combat against falsities and evils from hell, and their entire subjugation. By kings are meant falsities from hell, and by the nations are meant the evils therefrom. His Divine power is meant by "The Lord at the right hand." The subjugation and destruction of falsities and evils from the hells, is signified by His smiting them in the day of His wrath, His judging among the nations, and His filling [the earth] with dead bodies. By the head which He smote over much country, is meant the love of self, from which all evils and falsities proceed, and smiting over much country denotes total destruction and damnation. By the stream in the way, of which the head shall drink, and in consequence of which shall exalt itself, is signified the Word in the letter, to drink of it, denoting to learn something therefrom, and to lift up the head, denoting continued resistance. For none of those who are in falsities from evil, can be cast down into hell, before those things which they know from the Word are taken away from them, because all things of the Word communicate with heaven, and by that communication they lift up the head, but when those things are taken away, then they are cast down into hell. This is the meaning of those words, which no one could understand without the spiritual sense, and the knowledge therefrom of the nature of the Word.

(References: Psalms 110:5-7)


[25] Thus also in Habakkuk:

"Was Jehovah enraged with the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea? because thou didst ride upon thy horses, thy chariots salvation" (iii. 8).

These words contain a supplication that the church may be guarded and not perish. The rivers and the sea signify all things of the church, because they are the ultimates thereof, as shown above. Riding upon horses, when stated of Jehovah, that is, of the Lord, signifies the Divine Wisdom which is in the Word; and chariots signify doctrinals therefrom.

(References: Habakkuk 3:8)


[26] Again, in David:

"Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be changed, and though the mountains shake in the heart of the seas; the waters thereof shall be in tumult and be troubled, the mountains shall tremble with the swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the holy city of God, the dwelling places of the Most High, God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved" (Psalm xlvi. 2-5).

These words, in the spiritual sense, mean, that although the church with all things thereof, perish, still the Word, and the Divine Truth therein, shall not perish. For the earth signifies the church, mountains signify the goods of love, and waters, truths, and by being changed, shaken, put in tumult, troubled, and trembling, are signified the states thereof, when they perish, and falsities and evils enter in their place, consequently, the states of the church when its goods are vastated and its truths desolated. The details of this passage may be seen explained above (n. 304:17 and 405:45). That the Word shall not perish, or the Divine Truth which is for the church, is signified by the river, whose streams shall make glad the city of God, it shall not be changed. A river here has the same signification as fountain, namely the Word, because its streams, which signify truths, are spoken of. The city of God signifies the church as to doctrine, to make glad, signifies influx and reception from joy of heart, and not to be changed signifies not to perish, as to any thing.

(References: Psalms 46:2-5; The Apocalypse Explained 304, The Apocalypse Explained 405)


[27] Again, in Isaiah:

"Then the waters shall fail in the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up, the streams shall recede; the rivers of Egypt shall be minished and dried up, the reed and the flags shall wither. The paper reeds, near the stream, near the mouth of the stream, and all seed of the stream, shall wither, it shall be driven away, and be no more" (xix. 5, 6, 7).

These things are said concerning Egypt, which signifies the Scientific of the natural man. The stream signifies the cognition and perception of truth, and, in the opposite sense, the apperception of falsity. That these would perish is signified by the stream being wasted and dried up, and that thus truths would be no longer, not even natural and sensual truths, which are the lowest of all, is signified by the reed and the flags withering, the paper reeds near the stream, and all the seed of the stream withering, and being driven away, so as to be no more.

(References: Isaiah 19:5-7)


[28] Again, in the same prophet:

"I have digged, and drunk waters; and with the sole of my foot have I dried up all the rivers of Egypt" (xxxvii. 25).

These are the words of Senacherib the king of Assyria, who signifies the Rational perverted, destroying all cognition and apperception of truth; this is signified by his drying up with the sole of his foot all the rivers of Egypt. The rivers of Egypt signify the cognitions and apperceptions of truth, because Egypt signifies the natural man as to scientifics; and cognition and perception belong to the natural man, as intelligence does to the spiritual man.

(References: Isaiah 37:25)


[29] So again, in Ezekiel:

"They shall draw their swords against Egypt, that they may fill the land with the slain. And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked; and I will make the land waste, and the fulness thereof, by the hand of strangers" (xxx. 11, 12).

Egypt signifies the Scientific of the natural man, serviceable to the intelligence of the rational and spiritual man. That scientific truths are destroyed, is signified by "They shall draw their swords against Egypt," swords signifying falsities destroying truths. By the slain are signified those who perish by falsities; by making the rivers dry, is signified that there shall be no more cognition and apperception of truth. To sell the land into the hand of the wicked, and to make it waste by the hand of strangers, signifies to destroy by means of evils and falsities; for strangers denote falsities.

(References: Ezekiel 30:11-12)


[30] Again, in Zechariah:

"All the depths of the stream shall be dried up; and the pride of Ashur shall be brought down, and the staff of Egypt shall pass away" (x. 11).

All the depths of the river shall be dried up (that is the Euphrates), signifies that all subtle reasonings from [man's] own intelligence shall perish. The pride of Ashur, signifies [man's] own intelligence which pertains to the perverted Rational. The staff of Egypt shall depart away, signifies that the scientifics serviceable to such reasonings shall avail nothing.

(References: Zechariah 10:11)


[31] Again, in Isaiah:

"I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools" (xlii. 15).

I will make waste mountains and hills, signifies that the goods of love and charity will perish; and dry up all their herbs, signifies that the truths from those goods shall perish; I will make the rivers islands, and dry up the pools, signifies that intelligence and the cognition of truth shall perish.

(References: Isaiah 42:15)


[32] Again, in the same prophet:

"Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish shall stink, because there is no water, and shall die" (l. 2).

This passage is explained above (n. 342:8).

Again, in Nahum:

"He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and dryeth up all the streams" (i. 4).

And in David:

Jehovah "turneth rivers into a desert, and the water-springs into dry ground" (Psalm cvii. 33).

And in Job:

"Man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? The waters fail from the sea, and the river is wasted and dryeth up" (xiv. 10, 11).

(References: Acts of the Apostles 14:10-11; Isaiah 50:2; Job 14:10-11; Nahum 1:4; Psalms 107:33; The Apocalypse Explained 342)


[33] So far it has been shown, that rivers signify the understanding of truth and intelligence. But that in the opposite sense, rivers signify the understanding of falsity, and reasoning from [man's] own intelligence, which is in favour of falsities in opposition to truths, is evident from the following passages.

Thus in Isaiah:

"He will send messengers on the sea to a nation scattered and peeled, whose land the rivers have spoiled" (xviii. 2).

Rivers here signify the falsities of [man's] own intelligence, which have destroyed. The explanation of the rest may be seen above (n. 304:22 and 331:5).

So again:

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm thee" (xliii. 2).

To pass through the waters and through the rivers, and not to be overwhelmed, signifies that falsities, and reasonings from falsities against truths, shall not corrupt.

(References: Isaiah 18:2, Isaiah 43:2; The Apocalypse Explained 304, The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[34] In Jeremiah:

"Behold waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land, and the fulness of it" (xlvii. 2).

Waters out of the north signify the falsities of doctrine from [man's] own intelligence; these are compared to a stream overflowing the land, because a stream signifies reasoning from falsities, and by the land, is meant the church, whose destruction by falsities is compared to an inundation by a stream.

(References: Jeremiah 47:2)


[35] Again, in David:

"Had it not been Jehovah who was with us, when man rose up against us; then the waters had overwhelmed us, the river had gone over our soul; then the waters of the proud had gone over our soul" (Psalm cxxiv. 2, 4, 5).

By the waters of the proud here mentioned are signified falsities that favour the love of self and confirm it, and also falsities of doctrine from [man's] own intelligence. A river or stream signifies reasoning from these falsities against truths. It is evident therefore that these words, "Had it not been Jehovah who was with us, when man rose up against us," signify, when man from himself, from his own love and intelligence rises up and endeavours to destroy the truths of the church. For the subject treated of is Israel, by whom is signified the church. The waters that would have overwhelmed them, and the rivers that would have gone over their soul, signify falsities and reasonings from them, and consequently the destruction of spiritual life, which man receives by means of truths and a life according to them. Waters signify falsities, rivers, reasonings from them, and by overwhelming and going over the soul, is signified the destruction of spiritual life.

(References: Psalms 124:2, 124:4-5)


[36] In Isaiah:

"Behold, the Lord will bring up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks; and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow" (viii. 7, [8]).

Assyria, and the king of Assyria, in the Word, signify the Rational, here the Rational perverted. Therefore his river, which was Euphrates, means reasoning, and the waters of the river mean falsities confirmed by reasonings; these therefore are signified by the waters of the river, strong and many, which are called strong from desire, and many from falsity. The abundance of falsities from evil destroying the truths of the good of the church, is signified by the waters of the river coming up over all his channels, and going over all his banks, also, by passing through Judah and overflowing. Judah signifies the church where the Word is.

(References: Isaiah 8:7-8)


[37] So in Jeremiah:

"What hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? or what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?" (ii. 18).

By the waters of Shihor, or of Egypt, are signified false scientifics, or scientifics that confirm falsities, and by the waters of the river, are signified false reasonings from them, and thus reasonings from [man's] own intelligence. These words signify that neither the former nor the latter must be received into the mind.

(References: Jeremiah 2:18)


[38] Again, in the same prophet:

"They have stumbled and fallen toward the north by the river Euphrates. Who is this that cometh up as a stream, [whose waters] are put in commotion like streams? Egypt cometh up as a stream, and as streams his waters are put in commotion; for he saith, I will ascend, and I will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof" (xlvi. 6, 7, 8).

These words signify the destruction of the church and its truths by false reasonings from confirming scientifics. By the north are signified those with whom falsity prevails, and whence it proceeds. The river Euphrates signifies false reasonings; Egypt, confirming scientifics; the waters put in commotion signify falsities themselves; and ascending, covering the earth, destroying the city and them that dwell in it, signify the destruction of the church and of its doctrine. The earth denotes the church, city the doctrine of truth, and they that dwell in it, its goods. Similar things are signified by the Nile the river of Egypt, and by the Euphrates the river of Assyria, in other parts of the Word; as in Isaiah vii. 18, 19; xi. 15, 16; Ezek. xxix. 3, 4, 5, 10; xxxi. 15; xxxii. 2; Psalm lxxiv. 14, 15; Psalm lxxviii. 44; Exod. vii. 17-21; also by the rivers of Babylon (Psalm cxxxvii. 8). Since all spiritual temptations are caused by falsities which break into the thoughts, and infest the interior mind, thus by reasonings from them, therefore also temptations are signified by inundations of waters, and by a bursting in of streams and torrents, as in Jonah:

"Thou didst cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas; and the stream compassed me about; all thy billows and thy waves passed over me" (Jonah ii. 3).

And in David:

"The cords of death (Sheol) compassed me, and the floods of Belial made me afraid" (Psalm xviii. 4).

And in Matthew:

"The rain descended, and the streams came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock" (vii. 25).

So in Luke:

"And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, but could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock" (vi. 48).

(References: Exodus 7:17-21; Ezekiel 29:3-5, 29:10, Ezekiel 31:15, 32:2; Isaiah 7:18-19, Isaiah 11:15-16; Jeremiah 46:6-8, 46:7-8; Jonah 2:3; Luke 6:48, 6:48-49; Matthew 7:25, 7:27; Numbers 24:6-7; Psalms 18:4, Psalms 74:14-15, Psalms 78:44; Revelation 8:10)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 515, 522, 537, 538, 569, 577, 594, 629, 644, 645, 730, 741, 763, 854, 969, 995, 996, 1033, 1057, 1076, 1215

Other New Christian Commentary

Much 1

Wither 1

Glad 1

Lame 1

Lign aloes 1

Reed flags and paper reeds 1

Sandal-tree 1

Sennacherib, king of Ashur or Assyria 1

Valley of Shittim 1

world, and they that dwell therein 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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


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