The Bible

 

Genesis 1

King James Version         

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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

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...

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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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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

 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
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 #257

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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257. Because in this prophetical book numbers are often mentioned; and as no one can know the spiritual sense of what is contained in those numbers unless he knows what the particular numbers signify; for all numbers in the Word, as well as all names, signify spiritual things; and because the number seven is often mentioned amongst others, I am desirous here of showing that seven signifies all, and all things, also what is full and complete for that which signifies all, and all things, signifies also what is full and complete. For what is full and complete is said of the magnitude of a thing, and all and all things of multitude.

That the number seven has such a signification is evident from the following passages. In Ezekiel:

"The inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall set fire to and burn the arms, the shield also and the buckler, with the bow and the arrows, and with the hand-staff, and with the spear; and they shall kindle a fire with them seven years; and they shall bury Gog and all his multitude, and they shall cleanse the land seven months" (39:9, 11, 12).

The subject here treated of is the desolation of all things in the church. The inhabitants of the cities of Israel signify all the goods of truth, to set on fire and burn signifies to consume by evils. The arms, the shield, the buckler, the bows, the arrows, the hand-staff, the spear, denote everything pertaining to doctrine; to kindle fire with them seven years denotes to consume them all and fully by evils. Gog signifies those who are in external worship, and in no internal worship; to bury them and cleanse the land denotes to destroy them all, and completely to purge the church of them.

(References: Ezekiel 39:11-12; Revelation 3:22)


[2] In Jeremiah:

"Their widows shall be multiplied more than the sand of the seas, and I will bring to them upon the mother of the youths the waster at noon-day. She who hath borne seven shall languish, she shall breathe out her soul" (15:8, 9).

By the widows which will be multiplied are signified those who are in good and desire truths, and, in the opposite sense, as in the present case, those who are in evil and desire falsities. By the mother of the youths is signified the church; by the waster at noon-day is signified the vastation of that church, however much they may be in truths from the Word. By she that hath borne seven shall languish, she shall breathe out her soul, is signified that the church, to which all truths were given because the Word was given them, should perish; for she that hath borne seven signifies those to whom all truths were given. This is specifically said concerning the Jews.

(References: Jeremiah 15:8-9)


[3] Similarly, in the first book of Samuel:

"They that were hungry ceased, so that the barren hath borne seven, and she that hath many children hath failed" (2:5).

The hungry who ceased denote those who desire the goods and truths of the church; the barren who hath borne seven signifies those who are outside the church and are ignorant of truths because they have not the Word, as the Gentiles, to whom all things will be given; she that hath many children failing signifies those who have truths, from whom they will be taken away. Again, in David:

"Render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom" (79:12).

And in Moses,

That the Jews should be punished seven times for their sins (Leviticus 26:18, 21, 24, 28);

seven times here signifying fully.

[4] In Luke:

"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him" (17:4).

Here, to forgive seven times, if he shall return seven times, denotes to forgive as often as the offender should return, and thus at all times. But lest Peter should understand seven times to be meant by these words, the Lord explains His meaning to him, as recorded in Matthew:

"Peter said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until seventy times seven " (18:21, 22).

Seventy times seven is always, without counting. In David:

"Seven times a day do I praise thee for the judgments of justice" (Psalms 119:164).

Seven times a day denotes always, or at all times.

(References: Matthew 18:21-22)


[5] Again:

"The sayings of Jehovah are pure sayings, as silver refined in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" (Psalms 12:6).

Here silver signifies truth from the Divine: purified seven times denotes that it is altogether and fully pure.

[6] In Isaiah:

"The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days" (30:26).

The light of the sun signifies Divine truth from Divine good: and that this light should be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, signifies that the Divine truth in heaven should be without any falsity, thus that it should be altogether and fully pure.

[7] In Matthew,

The unclean spirit "shall take with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and he shall dwell there" (12:45; Luke 11:26).

Here profanation is treated of, and by the seven other spirits with which the unclean spirit is said to return are signified all falsities of evil, thus a plenary destruction of good and truth.

[8] Similar is the signification of the seven times which were to pass over the king of Babylon, in Daniel,

"His heart shall be changed from man, and the heart of a beast shall be given unto him; while seven times shall pass over him" (4:16, 25, 32).

By the king of Babylon are signified those who profane the goods and truths of the Word. By his heart being changed from that of a man to that of a beast is meant that nothing spiritual, that is, truly human, should remain with him, but that instead there should be everything diabolical. By the seven times which were to pass over him is meant profanation, which is a complete destruction of truth and good.

[9] Because the terms seven, and seven times, signified all things, and also what is full, the following commands were given to the children of Israel:

Seven days their hands should be filled (Exodus 29:35).

Seven days they should be sanctified (Exodus 29:37).

Seven days Aaron should put on the garments when he was being initiated (Exodus 29:30).

Seven days they should not go out of the tabernacle when they were being initiated into the priesthood (Leviticus 8:33, 34).

Seven times expiation should be made upon the horns of the altar (Leviticus 16:18, 19).

Seven times should the altar be sanctified with oil (Leviticus 8:11).

Seven times should the blood be sprinkled before the veil (Leviticus 4:16, 17).

Seven times should the blood be sprinkled with the finger towards the east, when Aaron went in to the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:12-15).

Seven times should the water of separation be sprinkled towards the tabernacle (Num. 19:4).

Seven times should blood be sprinkled for the cleansing of leprosy (Leviticus 14:7, 8, 27, 38, 51).

The lampstand had seven lamps (Exodus 25:32, 37; 37:18-25).

Feasts should be celebrated for seven days (Exodus 34:18; Leviticus 23:4-9, 39-44; Deuteronomy 16:3, 4, 8).

Seven days of the feast there should be a burnt offering of seven bullocks and seven rams daily (Ezekiel 45:23).

Baalam built seven altars, and sacrificed seven oxen and seven rams (Num. 23:1-7, 15-18, 29, 30).

They numbered seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, and then should cause the trumpet of the jubilee to be sounded in the seventh month (Leviticus 25:8, 9).

From the signification of the number seven, it is evident what is signified

By the seven days of creation (Gen. i.).

Also by four thousand men being filled from seven loaves, and that seven basketsful of fragments remained over (Matthew 15:34-37; Mark 8:5-9).

Hence now it is clear what is signified in the Apocalypse,

By the seven churches (1:4, 11).

By the seven golden lampstands, in the midst of which was the Son of man (1:13).

By the seven stars in His right hand (1:16, 20).

By the seven spirits of God (3:1).

By the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne (4:5).

By the book sealed with seven seals (5:1).

By the seven angels to whom were given seven trumpets (8:2).

By the seven thunders which uttered their voices (10:3, 4).

By the seven angels having the seven last plagues, (15:1, 6).

By seven vials full of the seven last plagues (16:1; 21:9)

and elsewhere in the Word, where seven is mentioned.

(References: Deuteronomy 16:3-4; Genesis 1, 1:1; Leviticus 4:16-17, 8:33-34, 14:7-8, 16:18-19, 23:4-8, 25:8-9; Matthew 15:34-38; Numbers 23:29-30; Revelation 1:16, 1:20, Revelation 3:22, 10:3-4, 16:6, 21:8-27)

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Apocalypse Explained #357

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357. That "a bow" signifies doctrine combating, or doctrine by which one fights against evils and falsities, and that "arrows," "javelins," and "darts," signify the truths of doctrine which fight, can be seen from the following passages. In Zechariah:

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations. Return to the stronghold, ye bound ones of hope; and I will bend Judah for Me, and with a bow I will fill Ephraim, and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion, for Jehovah shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as lightning; and the Lord Jehovih shall blow with a trumpet, and He shall go in the storms of the south (Zechariah 9:10, 12-14).

This treats of the vastation of the Jewish Church and the establishment of a church among the Gentiles. The vastation of the Jewish Church is described by "I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war shall be cut off," which signifies that there would be no longer any truth in the doctrine nor any understanding of truth, and thus no combat or resistance against falsity, "chariot" signifying the doctrine of truth, "horse" the understanding of truth, "the bow of war" combat from doctrine against falsity; it is said "the bow of war" because doctrine combating is meant. "Ephraim" signifies the church in relation to the understanding of truth, and "Jerusalem" in relation to doctrine. The establishment of the church among the Gentiles is described by these words, "but he shall speak peace to the nations; return to the stronghold, ye bound ones of hope; and I will bend Judah for me, and with the bow I will fill Ephraim, and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion," which signifies that the church is to be established among those who are in the good of love to the Lord, and in truths therefrom, "peace" signifying that good, "Judah" those who are in that good, and "Ephraim" those who are in the understanding of truth from it; it is therefore said of Ephraim, "with the bow He will fill him," that is, with the doctrine of truth. Their illustration in truths is described by these words, "His arrow shall go forth as lightning; and the Lord Jehovih shall blow with the trumpet, and He shall go in the storms of the south;" the "arrow that shall go forth as lightning" signifies truth illustrated, thus truth from the good of love; "He shall blow with the trumpet" signifies the clear perception of good; and "the storms of the south" signify the clear understanding of truth, "the south" meaning the light of truth. This treats of the Lord, thus that these things are from the Lord.

(References: Revelation 6:2)


[2] In Moses:

The son of a fruitful one is Joseph, the son of a fruitful one by the fountain; the daughters (she walketh upon the wall), they shall embitter him, and shall shoot; and the archers shall hate him; and he shall sit in the firmness of his bow, and the arms of his hands shall be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; thence is he the shepherd, the stone of Israel (Genesis 49:22-24).

"Joseph," in the highest sense, signifies the Lord in relation to the spiritual kingdom. There are two kingdoms of heaven: one called the celestial kingdom, and the other the spiritual kingdom; the celestial kingdom is described in the prophecy respecting Judah, and the spiritual kingdom in this respecting Joseph. Those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom are in the good of love to Him, which is called celestial good; and those who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom are in the good of love to the neighbor, and thence in truths; and it is because all truths proceed from the Lord through the spiritual kingdom that Joseph is called "the son of a fruitful one, the son of a fruitful one by the fountain," "a fruitful one" signifies spiritual good, which is the good of charity, "son" signifies truth from that good, and "a fountain" signifies the Word; combat against evils and falsities is described by "the daughters shall embitter him, and shoot, and the archers shall hate him," "daughters" signifying those who are in evils and who wish by falsities to destroy goods; those who assault by evils are signified by "they shall shoot," and those who assault by the falsities of evil by "the archers" who shall hate him. The Lord's victory over them is described by these words, "and he shall sit in the firmness of his bow, and the arms of his hands shall be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; thence is he the shepherd, the stone of Israel;" "to sit in the firmness of the bow" signifies to be in the doctrine of genuine truth, and "the arms of his hands shall be strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob" signifies the power they have from the Lord, "the arms of the hands" meaning power, and "the Mighty One of Jacob" the Lord, who is also called "the shepherd, the stone of Israel," from the doctrine of charity and thence of faith which is from Him. (That "Joseph" in the highest sense signifies the Lord in relation to the Divine spiritual, and in the internal sense His spiritual kingdom, see Arcana Coelestia 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417; and what else he signifies, n. 4286, 4592, 4963, 5086, 5087, 5106, 5249, 5307, 5869, 5877, 6224, 6526)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 5086-5087)


[3] In the second book of Samuel:

David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan his son, and wrote, To teach the sons of Judah the bow (2 Samuel 1:17-18).

That lamentation treats of the combat of truth from good against the falsity from evil; for "Saul" as a king here signifies truth from good, for such truth is meant by "king" in the Word (see above, n. 31; and "Jonathan," as the son of a king, signifies the truth of doctrine; therefore he wrote the lamentation, "To teach the sons of Judah the bow," which signifies to teach them the doctrine of truth that is from good. The combat of that truth against falsities and evils is described in that lamentation by these words:

Without the blood of the slain, without the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan returned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty (2 Samuel 1:22).

"The blood of the slain" signifies the falsities conquered and dispersed; "the fat of the mighty" signifies evils conquered and dispersed. That these are conquered and dispersed by the doctrine of truth that is from good is signified by "the bow of Jonathan returned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty," "the bow of Jonathan" meaning doctrine, and "the sword of Saul" truth from good.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 31)


[4] In David:

God teacheth my hands war and placeth a bow of brass in mine arms (Psalms 18:34).

"War" here signifies war in a spiritual sense, which is war against evils and falsities; this is the war that God teaches; and "the bow of brass" signifies the doctrine of charity; God places this in the arms, that is, makes it to prevail.

[5] In Isaiah:

Who hath stirred up one from the sunrise, whom He hath called in righteousness to follow Him, hath given the nations before him, and made him to have dominion over kings, hath given them as the dust to his sword, and as stubble driven by his bow? (Isaiah 41:2).

This is said of the Lord and of His dominion over evils and falsities; the "nations that He gave before him," signify evils; and the "kings over whom He made him to have dominion," signify falsities; that He disperses evils and falsities as if they were nothing, by His Divine truth and by the doctrine therefrom, is signified by "He gave them as dust to his sword, and as stubble driven by his bow," "his sword" meaning the Divine truth, and "his bow," doctrine. That evils and falsities are dispersed as if they were nothing, is signified by "as dust," and "as driven stubble." It is said that evils and falsities are thus dispersed, but it is meant that those who are in evils and in falsities therefrom are thus dispersed in the other life.

[6] In Zechariah:

Jehovah [of Hosts] shall visit His flock, the house of Judah, and shall set them as the horse of His majesty in war. Out of him shall be the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the bow of war (Zechariah 10:3-4).

This may be seen explained in the preceding article which treats of the signification of "the horse;" "the bow of war" signifying truth combating from doctrine.

[7] In Habakkuk:

Was Jehovah displeased with the rivers? was Thine anger against the rivers? was Thy fury against the sea, that Thou dost ride upon Thine horses, Thy chariots are salvation? With bareness shall Thy bow be made bare (Habakkuk 3:8, 9).

This, too, was explained in the preceding article; "Thy bow shall be made bare" signifying that the doctrine of truth shall be laid open.

(References: Habakkuk 3:8-9)


[8] In Isaiah:

Before the swords shall they flee away, before the drawn sword, and before the bended bow; and for the grievousness of the war all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed, and the remnant of the number of the bow of the mighty of the sons of Kedar shall be few (Isaiah 21:15-17).

This treats in the spiritual sense of the knowledges of good as about to perish, and that few will remain; "Kedar," that is, Arabia, signifies those who are in the knowledges of good, and in an abstract sense such knowledges themselves. That the knowledges of truth are to perish through falsities and the doctrine of falsity, is signified by, "Before the swords shall they flee away, before the drawn sword, and before the bended bow," "sword" meaning falsity combating and destroying, and "bow," the doctrine of falsity. That the knowledges of good are to perish is signified by these words, "for the grievousness of the war all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed," "the grievousness of war" meaning assault, and "all the glory of Kedar shall be consumed" meaning vastation. And that few knowledges are to remain is described by "the remnant of the number of the bow of the mighty of the sons of Kedar shall be few," "the bow of the mighty" meaning the doctrine of truth from the knowledges that prevail against falsities.

[9] In the same:

He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; He hath made me a polished arrow; in His quiver hath He hid me (Isaiah 49:2).

This also treats of the Lord; and "sharp sword" signifies the truth dispersing falsity; "the polished arrow" truth dispersing evil; and "quiver" the Word: this makes clear what is signified by "He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword," and "He hath made me a polished arrow, and in His quiver hath He hid me," namely, that in the Lord and from Him is the Divine truth, by means of which falsities and evils are dispersed, and that in Him and from Him is the Word, where and whence these truths are.

[10] In David:

Lo, sons are an heritage of Jehovah; the fruit of the belly is His reward. As arrows in the hands of a mighty one, so are the sons of youth. Happy is the man that hath filled his quiver with them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalms 127:3-5).

"Sons that are an heritage of Jehovah," signify truths by which there is intelligence; the "fruit of the belly that is His reward," signifies the goods, by which there is happiness; "the sons of youth that are as arrows in the hand of a mighty one," signify the truths of the good of innocence; because nothing evil or false can resist these truths, it is said that they are "as arrows in the hand of a mighty one." The good of innocence is the good of love to the Lord; because these truths have such power it is said, "Happy is the man that hath filled his quiver with them," "quiver" here having a like signification as "bow," namely, the doctrine from the Word; "they shall not be ashamed when they speak with the enemies in the gate" signifies that there shall be no fear because of evils from the hells, "enemies" meaning evils, and "gate" hell (see in the work on Heaven and Hell , n. 428-429, 538-585).

[11] In the same:

The sons of Ephraim, who were armed, shooters of the bow, turned about in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God (Psalms 78:9-10).

"Ephraim" here, as above, signifies the understanding of truth, and his "sons" the truths themselves; therefore they are also called "shooters of the bow," that is, fighters against evils and falsities. That they did not resist these because they were not conjoined to the Lord, is here signified by "they turned about in the day of battle, because they did not keep the covenant of God," "covenant" meaning conjunction, and "not keeping it" meaning not to live according to the truths and goods that conjoin.

[12] From the passages cited it can be seen that a "bow" signifies the doctrine of truth combating against falsities and evils and dispersing them. That this is the signification of "bow" can be seen further from its contrary sense, in which "bow" signifies the doctrine of falsity fighting against truths and goods and destroying them; and "darts" and "arrows" its falsities themselves. In this sense "bow" is mentioned in the following passages. In David:

Lo, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may shoot in darkness at the upright in heart (Psalms 11:2).

"The wicked bend the bow" signifies that they frame doctrine; "they make ready the arrow upon the string" signifies that they apply into it falsities that appear as truths; "to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart" signifies to deceive those who are in truths from good; "bow" here meaning the doctrine of falsity, "arrow" the falsity itself; "to shoot" meaning to deceive, and "darkness" appearances; for such as these reason from appearances in the world and from fallacies, also by the application of the sense of the letter of the Word.

[13] In the same:

The wicked unsheathe the sword, and bend their bow, to cast down the miserable and needy. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken (Psalms 37:14-15).

"Sword" signifies falsity fighting against truth, and "bow" signifies the doctrine of falsity; "to cast down the miserable and the needy" signifies to pervert those who are in ignorance of truth and good; "their sword shall enter into their own heart" signifies that they shall perish by their own falsity; and "their bows shall be broken" signifies that their doctrine of falsity shall be dispersed, which also takes place after their departure from the world; then falsities destroy them, and so far as they have applied truths to falsities their doctrine is dispersed.

[14] In the same:

Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrow with a bitter word, that they may shoot in secret places at the perfect 1 (Psalms 64:3-4).

Because "sword" signifies falsity fighting against truth, it is said, "who sharpen their tongue like a sword;" and because "arrow" signifies the falsity of doctrine, it is said, "they aim their arrow with a bitter word" "to shoot in secret places at the perfect" signifies the like as "to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart," just before, namely, to deceive those who are in truths from good.

[15] In Jeremiah:

They are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous ones, who bend their tongue; their bow is a lie, neither in the truth have they prevailed in the land; for they go forth from evil to evil, neither have they known Me (Jeremiah 9:2-3).

"Adulterers, an assembly of treacherous ones," mean those who falsify the knowledges of truth and good, "adulterers" meaning those who falsify the knowledges of truth, and "treacherous ones" those who falsify the knowledges of good; of these it is said that "they bend the tongue," and that "their bow is a lie," "bow" meaning the doctrine from which principles of falsity are derived, and "lie" meaning the falsity; it is therefore also said, "neither in the truth have they prevailed in the land," that is, in the church where genuine truths are; that those who are in a life of evil and do not acknowledge the Lord are such is signified by, "for they go forth from evil to evil, neither have they known Me."

[16] In Jeremiah:

Behold, I cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the land of the north; his arrows as of a mighty one, none shall return vain. Set yourselves in array against Babylon round about, all ye that bend the bow, shoot against her, spare not the arrows; make the shooters heard against Babylon, all that bend the bow encamp against her round about; let there be no escape for her (Jeremiah 50:9, 14, 29, 42; 51:3).

This describes the total devastation of truth with those who are meant by Babylon, who are those that arrogate to themselves Divine power, and who acknowledge the Lord, indeed, but take away from Him all power to save, and who thus profane Divine truths; and as the Lord as far as possible provides that genuine truths be not profaned, these truths are wholly taken away from them, and they are imbued instead with mere falsities. "An assembly of great nations from the land of the north" signifies direful evils rising up out of hell," "great nations" meaning direful evils and "land of the north" the hell where there is nothing but falsity; "his arrows as of a mighty one, none shall return vain" signifies that thence they shall be imbued with mere falsities thence; "set themselves in array against Babylon round about, all ye that bend the bow, shoot against her, spare not the arrows" signifies devastation in relation to all doctrinals; the total devastation of truth with such is signified by "all that bend the bow encamp against her round about; let there be no escape for her."

[17] In Isaiah:

I stir up against them the Medes, who will not esteem silver, and in gold they will not delight; whose bows will dash in pieces the young men, and they will have no compassion on the fruit of the womb; so shall Babylon be, as the overturning of God, Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:17-19).

This also is said of Babylon, and the devastation of all things of the church with those who are meant by Babylon (of which just above). "The Medes" signify those who make nothing of the truths and goods of heaven and the church; therefore it is said of them, "who will not esteem silver, and in gold they will not delight," "silver" signifying truth, and "gold" good, both of the church; "their bows will dash in pieces the young men, and they will have no compassion on the fruit of the womb" signifies the doctrinals that destroy all truth and all good thence, "young men" signifying truths, and "the fruit of the womb" goods; and because all evil with such is from the love of self, and all falsity is from that evil, and because that evil and that falsity thence are condemned to hell, therefore it is said, "so shall Babylon be, as the overturning of God, Sodom and Gomorrah," "the overturning of God" signifying damnation to hell, and "Sodom and Gomorrah" signifying the evils from the love of self and the falsities therefrom. (That this is the signification of "Sodom and Gomorrah," see Arcana Coelestia 2220, 2246, 2322)

[18] In the same:

In that day every place in which there were a thousand vines for a thousand of silver shall be a place of briers and brambles. With arrow and with bow shall one come thither, because the whole land shall be a place of briers and brambles (Isaiah 7:23-24).

The church vastated in relation to every truth and good is thus described; what the church had been before, namely, that genuine truth, which are truths from good, had been there in abundance is described by "in which there were a thousand vines for a thousand of silver," "a thousand vines" meaning truths from good in abundance, "a thousand of silver" meaning that these are most highly esteemed because they are genuine, "silver" meaning truth, and a "thousand" many, thus in abundance. But what the church became when vastated in respect to every truth and good is described by these words, "With arrow and with bow shall one come thither, because the whole land shall be a place of briers and brambles," "arrow" meaning falsity destroying truth, and "bow" the doctrine of falsity, "a place of briers" signifying falsity from evil, and "a place of brambles" evil from falsity; "land" means the church.

[19] In Jeremiah:

Behold, a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth. They lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no compassion; their voice resoundeth like the sea; and they ride upon horses arrayed as a man for war, against thee, O daughter of Zion (Jeremiah 6:22-23).

This, too, describes the devastation of the church by the falsities of evil; what "a people from the land of the north" signifies, and "a great nation from the sides of the earth," also what "their voice resoundeth like the sea," and "they ride upon horses" signify, was explained in the preceding article; "they lay hold on bow and spear" signifies [that they fight from false doctrine, "bow" signifying] the falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and "spear" the falsity of evil destroying good; "daughter of Zion" meaning the church.

[20] In the same:

The whole land is a waste; for the voice of the horseman and of the shooters of the bow the whole city fleeth; they have entered into the clouds, they have ascended into the rocks, the whole city is forsaken, no man dwelling therein (Jeremiah 4:27, 29).

This, too, can be seen explained in the preceding article. "The voice of the horseman and of the shooters of the bow" signifies the reasonings from falsities, and assaults upon truth; "the shooters of the bow," that is, those who hold the bow, are those who assault truths from the falsities of doctrine; therefore it is said "the whole city fleeth," and "the whole city is forsaken," "city" signifying the doctrine of the church.

[21] In Isaiah:

Jehovah hath lifted up an ensign to the nations from far, and behold the swift one shall come in haste, his arrows are sharp, and all his bows bent; the hoofs of his horses are reckoned as rock, and his wheels as a storm (Isaiah 5:26, 28).

"His arrows are sharp," and "his bows bent," signify the falsities of doctrine prepared to destroy truths. What is signified by "the nations from far" and by "the hoofs of the horses that are reckoned as rock," and by "the wheels that are like a storm," may be seen in the article just above n. 355, where they are explained.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 355)


[22] In Amos:

He that holdeth the bow shall not stand, nor shall the swift of foot deliver himself, nor shall he that rideth upon the horse cause his soul to escape, but he that is stout in his heart among the mighty shall flee naked in that day (Amos 2:15-16).

This describes self-intelligence, and thus confidence from an ability to reason from falsities against truths; "he that holdeth the bow shall not stand, nor shall the swift of foot cause himself to escape," signifies that one who knows how to reason readily and skillfully from doctrine and from the memory that belongs to the natural man, cannot provide for his salvation, nor stand in the day of judgment; the like is signified by "he that rideth upon the horse shall not cause his soul to escape;" "he that is stout in his heart shall flee [naked] in that day" signifies that he who trusts in himself because of an ability to reason from falsities shall then be deprived of all truth; "the stout in heart" meaning him who trusts in himself on that account, and "naked" signifying deprived of all truth.

(References: Amos 2:14-16)


[23] In David:

God is a righteous judge, a God that is indignant all the day; if he turn not back He will whet His sword, He will bend His bow and make it ready, and hath prepared for him the instruments of death, He maketh His arrows burning (Psalms 7:11-13).

It is here attributed to God that He is indignant with the wicked, that He whets His sword, that He bends and makes ready His bow, prepares instruments of death, and makes His arrows burning; but in the spiritual sense it is meant that man does this in respect to himself. These things are attributed to God in the sense of the letter, because that sense is natural, and is for the natural man who believes that for these reasons God is to be feared; and with him fear works as love works afterwards, when he becomes spiritual. This makes clear what these words signify, namely, that it is the evil man who is indignant with God, that he whets the sword against himself, and bends the bow and makes it ready, he prepares the instruments of death, and makes his arrows burning. "He whetteth the sword" signifies that he acquires for himself falsity, by which he combats against truths; "he bendeth the bow and maketh it ready" signifies that from falsities he frames for himself doctrine opposed to truths; and "he prepares the instruments of death, and maketh his arrows burning" signifies that from infernal love he frames for himself principles of falsity by which he destroys good and its truth.

[24] In Lamentations:

The Lord hath bent His bow like an enemy; He hath stood with His right hand as an adversary; He hath slain all things desirable to the eyes (Lamentations 2:4).

Here, too, like things are attributed to the Lord, for a like reason as above; "He bends His bow like an enemy, and stands with His right hand as an adversary" signifies that the evil man does this in respect to himself, namely, he defends evil against good, and falsity against the truths of good from doctrine that he has framed for himself out of self-intelligence and confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word; for in Lamentations the vastation of all good and all truth with the Jewish nation, from their applying the sense of the letter of the Word in favor of their own loves is treated of; "bow" here meaning the doctrine of falsity therefrom, "enemy" evil, and "adversary" falsity. That in consequence all the understanding of truth and good would perish is signified by "the Lord hath slain all things desirable to the eyes," "things desirable to the eyes" meaning all things that are of intelligence and wisdom.

(References: Lamentations 1:1)


[25] In Moses:

A fire hath been kindled in Mine anger, and it shall devour the earth and its produce, and shall set in flames the foundations of the mountains. I will empty out evils upon them; I will consume Mine arrows upon them (Deuteronomy 32:22-23).

This is in the song of Moses, which treats of the Israelitish and Jewish nation, and describes what they were in their hearts, namely, that there was nothing of the church with them because there was with them mere falsity from evil; "the earth and its produce, that is to be devoured" signifies the church, and all the truth and good therefrom, "the earth" signifying the church, and "produce" all the truth and good thereof. "The foundations of the mountains, that are to be set in flames" signify truths upon which the goods of love are based, especially the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, since these are the foundations; the "evils that are to be emptied out upon them," and the "arrows that are to be consumed upon them" signify that they shall be imbued with all evils and falsities. (What that nation was from the beginning, and also what it is at this day, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 248.)

[26] In the first book of Samuel:

The bows of the mighty are broken, but they who had stumbled have girded valor about them (1 Samuel 2:4).

This is the prophecy of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, which treats of the taking away of truth with those who are of the church, because they are in no spiritual affection of truth; also of the reception and illumination of those who are outside of the church, because they are in the spiritual affection of truth. That the doctrines of falsities that are held by those who are of the church are of no account is signified by "the bows of the mighty are broken;" and the reception and illustration of those who are outside of the church are signified by "they who had stumbled have girded valor about them;" those are said to "stumble," who are pressed by the falsities of ignorance, and "valor" is predicated of power and abundance of truth from good.

[27] In Jeremiah:

Behold, I break the bow of Elam, the beginning of his might (Jeremiah 49:35).

"Elam" means the knowledge [scientia] belonging to the natural man, and consequent confidence; his "bow" signifies the knowledge [scientia] from which as from doctrine he fights; and "the beginning of his might" signifies confidence; for knowledge [scientia] is of no avail if it does not serve the rational and the spiritual man. That "Elam" means knowledge belonging to the natural man can be seen from these passages in the Word in which "Elam" is mentioned (as Genesis 10:22; Isaiah 21:2; Jeremiah 25:24-26; 49:34-39; Ezekiel 32:24, 25).

(References: Ezekiel 32:24-25)


[28] In David:

Jehovah maketh wars to cease even to the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder; He burneth up the chariots with fire (Psalms 46:9).

Because "wars" signify spiritual combats, which are here those of falsity against the truth and against the good of the church, it is clear what is signified by "Jehovah will make wars to cease even to the end of the earth," namely, that from firsts to the ultimates of the truth of the church all combat and disagreement shall cease, "the end of the earth" signifying the ultimates of the church. That there shall be no combat of doctrine against doctrine is signified by "He shall break the bow;" that there shall be no combat from any falsity of evil is signified by "He shall cut the spear asunder;" and that everything of the doctrine of falsity shall be destroyed by "He shall burn up the chariots with fire."

[29] In the same:

In Salem is the tabernacle of Jehovah, and His abode in Zion. There brake He the strings of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and war (Psalms 76:2-3).

This treats likewise of the cessation of all combat and all disagreement in the Lord's kingdom; "Salem" where Jehovah's tabernacle is, and "Zion" where His abode is, signify His spiritual kingdom and His celestial kingdom; "Salem" the spiritual kingdom where genuine truth is, and "Zion" the celestial kingdom where genuine good is and "He shall break the strings of the bow, the shield, the sword, and war" signifies the dissipation of all the combat of the falsities of doctrine against good and truth; "the strings of a bow" meaning the principal things of doctrine.

[30] In Hosea:

In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild beast of the field and with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth; and I will break the bow and the sword and war from the earth, and I will make them to lie down securely (Hosea 2:18).

This treats of the Lord's coming and His conjunction at that time with all who are in truths from good; "the covenant with the wild beast of the field, with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping things of the earth" signifies the conjunction with their affection of good, with the affection of truth, and with the affection of the knowledges of the truth and good of the church that they have; for "the wild beast of the field" signifies the affection of good, "the fowl of the heavens" the affection of truth, and "the creeping thing of the earth" the affection of the knowledges of truth and good. Everyone sees that no wild beast, or fowl, or creeping thing of the earth is here meant; for with these how could there be any covenant? "I will break the bow and the sword and war from the earth" signifies that because of conjunction with the Lord no combat of falsity against truth shall exist, "bow" here meaning doctrine, "sword" falsity, and "war" combat.

[31] In Ezekiel:

This is the day whereof I have spoken; then the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth, and they shall set on fire and burn the arms, both the shield and the buckler, with the bow and the arrows, and the hand staff and the spear, and they shall kindle a fire with them seven years (Ezekiel 39:8-9).

This treats of "Gog," which means those who are in external worship and in no internal worship; because such are in opposition to the spiritual affection of truth, which is to love truths because they are truths, they are in falsities in respect to doctrine, and in evils in respect to life; for no one can be reformed, that is, be withdrawn from falsities and evils except by means of truths; for this reason it is said that "the inhabitants of the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall burn the arms, and the shield and the buckler, with the bow and the arrows, and the hand staff and the spear;" "the inhabitants of the cities of Israel" mean those who are in the affection of truth from good, that is, in the spiritual affection of truth, and thence in the doctrine of genuine truth; "to burn up the arms" signifies to extirpate falsities of every kind; the "shield" falsity destroying good; "the buckler" falsity destroying truth; "the bow with the arrows" doctrine with its falsities the "hand staff" and the "spear" signify one's own power and confidence, such as pertain to those who place the all of the church, and thence of salvation, in external worship; "they shall kindle a fire with them seven years" signifies that these falsities and evils shall be completely destroyed, "seven years" signifying all things, fullness, and completely (see above, n. 257, 300).

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Footnotes:

1. "Perfect" ("integrum") as below, the photolithograph has "wicked" ("inpium").

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(References: Amos 2:14-16; Revelation 6:2; The Apocalypse Explained 257, 300)

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Apocalypse Explained 350, 370, 386, 388, 422, 433, 625, 657, 695, 724, 734, 866


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