The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: 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

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
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

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" is a state where truth is lacking.

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...

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

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' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

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 proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

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 dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

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,...

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

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
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...

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...

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;...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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
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...

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

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...

female
Female signifies good.

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 #355

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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355. (v. 2) And I saw, and behold a white horse. That this signifies the understanding of truth from the Word, is clear from the signification of a horse as denoting the Intellectual; and from the signification of white, which is said of truth. (That a horse signifies the Intellectual is evident from what is adduced and shown in the small work concerning the White Horse; and that white is said of truth, may be seen above, n. 196.) It is said that a white horse was seen when the Lamb opened the first seal, and a red horse when He opened the second, a black horse when He opened the third, and a pale horse when He opened the fourth; and because a horse signifies the Intellectual, specifically as to the Word, it may hence appear that the understanding of truth from the Word, and its quality with the men of the church, are here described by horses. Whether it is said that it is described, or those who are therein, amounts to the same thing; for men, spirits, and angels, are the subjects concerned. Hence it can be known that in this chapter, and in those immediately following, in the internal or spiritual sense, the Word is described as to the understanding. This is also evident from the ninth verse of this chapter, where, after those four horses were seen, and then the fifth seal was opened, it is said,

"I saw the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God";

and also from the nineteenth chapter of this book, where it is said:

The name of him that sat upon the white horse is called the Word of God (verse 13).

That by a horse the Intellectual is signified, and the understanding of truth from the Word by a white horse, may be seen shown in the small work above cited concerning the White Horse; but in it because only a few passages were adduced from the Word, to confirm that the horse signifies the Intellectual, I desire here to adduce further passages in order that there may be a full confirmation.

(References: Revelation 6:2, Revelation 6:9, 6:13; The Apocalypse Explained 196)


[2] In Ezekiel:

"Gather yourselves from all around to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you. Ye shall be filled at my table with horse and chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war. So will I give my glory among the nations" (xxxix. 17, 20, 21).

The calling together of all to the Lord's kingdom is here treated of, and specifically the establishment of the church with the Gentiles; for the spiritual captivity in which the nations were, is treated of, and their liberation from it. By the sacrifice which should be sacrificed, is signified all worship by which the Lord is worshipped. By being filled at my table, is signified with all spiritual food, which being the understanding of truth from the Word and from doctrine thence, it is said, with horse and chariot; horse signifying the understanding of truth from the Word, and chariot signifying doctrine thence. And it is also said, "with the mighty man, and with every man of war"; and by a mighty man is signified truth from good, which destroys evil, and by a man of war is signified truth from good, which destroys falsity. Unless such things were signified, what purpose would be served that they should be filled with horse and chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war?

(References: Ezekiel 39:17, 39:20-21)


[3] Also in the Apocalypse:

"Gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them" (xix. 17, 18).

In the preceding passages the Word and its spiritual sense are there treated of; here, they are now invited to learn truths, and to perceive goods. And by the supper of the great God is signified instruction in truths, and thence the perception of good from the Lord; and by the flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses, and of them that sit on them, are signified truths of every kind, which are from good; flesh signifies good; kings signify Divine truths in general; captains, the same specifically; mighty men, natural truths; horses, intellectual truths; and they that sit on them, spiritual truths. That the flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses, and of them that sit on them, is not meant here is evident to every one.

(References: Revelation 19:17-18)


[4] In Habakkuk:

"Was Jehovah displeased with the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou ridest upon thy horses? Thy chariots [are] salvation. Thou hast trodden the sea with thy horses, the mud of many waters" (iii. 8, 15).

Who does not see that by horses here are not meant horses; for it is said of Jehovah, that He rideth upon His horses, and that He treadeth the sea with His horses, and that His chariots are salvation? But this is said, because by riding upon horses is signified that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is in the understanding of His Word in its spiritual sense; and because thence is the doctrine of truth, which teaches the way of salvation, it is added, Thy chariots are salvation, chariots signifying doctrine; and by treading the sea with horses, is signified that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is in the understanding of His Word in its natural sense; for the sea there signifies it, and in general all things of the natural man, and for the natural man; and because Divine truths are there in their ultimate, it is therefore added, the mud of many waters, mud signifying the ultimate from which and in which [are truths], and waters signifying truths.

(References: Habakkuk 3:8, 3:15)


[5] In Zechariah:

"I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war shall be cut off; on the contrary he shall speak peace to the nations" (ix. 10).

The Lord's advent is here treated of, and the establishment of the church amongst the gentiles. That there would then be nothing of the church remaining with the Jews, 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," by which is signified that there would be no longer any truth in doctrine, nor understanding of truth; and thence no combat and resistance against falsity. By Ephraim is signified the church as to the understanding of truth, and by Jerusalem the church as to the doctrine of truth; by chariot the doctrine itself, and by horse the understanding itself; and by the bow of war combat and resistance against falsity. The establishment of the church with the gentiles is signified by, "He shall speak peace to the nations," the nations signifying all those who are in the good of love to the Lord (see above, n. 331); peace signifies that good, and thence all things of the church. (That Ephraim signifies the church as to the understanding of truth, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6237, 6267, 6296; and that Jerusalem signifies the church as to doctrine, in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 6; and above, n. 223.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3969, Arcana Coelestia 5354, Arcana Coelestia 6222, 6234, 6237, 6267, 6296; The Apocalypse Explained 223, The Apocalypse Explained 331; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 6; Zechariah 9:10)


[6] In the same:

"And in that day, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and the horseman with madness; and I will open mine eye upon the house of Judah, but every horse of the people will I smite with blindness" (xii. 4).

The devastation of the former church, and the establishment of a new, are the subjects here treated of. The devastation of the former church is described by, "In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment, and the horseman with madness; and every horse of the people will I smite with blindness." That by horse is here signified the understanding of truth with the men of the church, and by the horseman, the affection of spiritual truth, whence comes the understanding thereof, is evident; what otherwise would the purpose be that the horse should be smitten with astonishment, and the horse of the people with blindness? Astonishment is said of the understanding when it has no perception of good, and blindness of it when it has no perception of truth. By the house of Judah is signified the church with those who are in the good of love to the Lord, and thence in the doctrine of truth from the Word (see above, n. 119, 211); therefore it is said, "I will open mine eye upon it," by which is signified to enlighten them that they may see truths.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 119, The Apocalypse Explained 211; Zechariah 12:4)


[7] In the same:

"In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah" (xiv. 20).

Here also the Lord's advent is treated of, and the invitation of all to the church; and by the bells of the horses are signified scientifics and knowledges, and thence preachings which are from the understanding of truth. And because all understanding of truth is from the Lord, and hence the knowledges and the preachings themselves, therefore it is said, "There shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah." Because bells signify such things, therefore also there were bells of gold upon the borders of Aaron's robe around about (Exod. xxviii. 33-35).

(References: Exodus 28:33-35, 28:34-35; Zechariah 14:20)


[8] In Moses:

"Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an asp upon the path, biting the heels of the horse, and the rider of it shall fall backwards; I wait for thy salvation, O Jehovah" (Gen. xlix. 17, 18).

This is a prophetic declaration of the father of Israel, concerning the tribe of Dan, by which tribe are signified the ultimate things of the church, thus those who are in the ultimates of truth and good, who are called sensual; for there are in the church those who are spiritual, and those who are natural, and the natural are interior, middle, and ultimate. The ultimate are the sensual who do not elevate themselves, as to the thought, beyond the sense of the letter of the Word. These are meant by Dan; their quality is described by this prophetic declaration, namely, that Dan is a serpent upon the way, an asp upon the path, biting the heels of the horse, and the rider of it shall fall backwards. By the serpent upon the way, and the asp upon the path, is signified the Sensual as to truth and good; by the heels of the horse are signified the ultimates of the understanding of truth and good; and by the rider, reasoning therefrom; and because the Sensual, viewed in itself, does not see truths, because it does not apprehend things spiritual, and thence easily slips into falsities unless continually withheld from them by the Lord, therefore it is said, "And the rider of it shall fall backwards; I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah." (That by Dan are signified the ultimates of the church, may be seen, n. 1710, 6396, 10,335; that by a serpent is signified the Sensual, which is the ultimate of the understanding, n. 6398, 6949, 8624, end, 10,313, and above, n. 70; that by way is signified truth, n. 627, 2333, 10,422, and above, n. 97; and that by the heel is signified the ultimate Natural, or the Natural Corporeal, n. 259, 4938, and following numbers. What the Sensual is, and the quality of sensual men in both senses, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 50.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 259, 627, Arcana Coelestia 1710, Arcana Coelestia 2333, Arcana Coelestia 4938, Arcana Coelestia 6396, 6398, Arcana Coelestia 6949, Arcana Coelestia 8624, Arcana Coelestia 10313, 10335, Arcana Coelestia 10422, Genesis 49:17-18; The Apocalypse Explained 70, 97; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 50)


[9] In Zechariah:

"I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, when behold, four chariots going out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. To the first chariot were red horses; to the second chariot black horses; to the third chariot white horses; and to the fourth chariot grisled horses, strong. The angel said, These are the four winds of heaven, going forth from standing near the Lord of the whole earth. The black horses which are therein going forth into the land of the north; and the white went forth after them; and the grisled went forth into the land of the south. And the strong went forth, and sought to go that they might wander on the earth. And he said, Behold, these that go forth to the land of the north, have caused my spirit to rest in the land of the north. And they that are afar shall come and shall build in the temple of Jehovah" (vi. 1-8, 15).

This prophetic declaration cannot be understood by any one, unless he knows what chariots and horses signify, and what red, black, white, grisled, and strong signify; also what the land of the north and the land of the south signify. The church to be propagated among those who as yet were in no light of truth, because they had not the Word, is here treated of. By the north is meant the obscure [idea] of truth which they possessed; by the south, a clear [idea] of truth; by horses is meant their understanding; by red, black, white, and grisled are meant the quality thereof in the beginning, and the quality thereof afterwards; by red, the quality of their understanding as to good in the beginning; by black, the quality of their understanding as to truth in the beginning; and by white, the quality of their understanding as to truth afterwards; and by grisled, its quality as to truth and good at the last; by the strong is meant its quality as to the power of resisting evils and falsities. From these things it is now evident what is signified by the black horses going forth to the land of the north, and the white going forth after them, and by, "They have caused my spirit to rest in the land of the north," namely, that those who, from the good of life, are in the affection of knowing the truths of the church, receive and understand. No others are enlightened. Enlightenment and reception with those are meant by, They have caused my spirit to rest in the land of the north"; by the grisled going forth into the land of the south, and the strong to wander on the earth, is signified that those who, from the good of life, are in the affection of knowing the truths of the church, come into the light, and that they resist evils and falsities, and constitute the church. Hence it is that those four [kinds of] horses are called the four spirits of the heavens, going forth from standing near the Lord of the whole earth. Winds signify all Divine truths, and the going forth from standing near the Lord of the whole earth, signifies that they all proceed from Him. (That winds signify all Divine truths, may be seen, n. 9642, and in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 141-153; and that to go forth, signifies to proceed, in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 5337, 7124, 9303.) By them that are afar, who shall build in the temple of Jehovah, are signified those who previously were remote from the truths and goods of the church, who shall come into the church. (That these are signified by them that are afar, may be seen, n. 4723, 8918; and that by the temple of Jehovah is signified the church, n. 3720); moreover, that by the north is signified an obscure [idea] of truth, and that by the south, a clear [idea] of truth, thus also those who are in an obscure and in a clear [idea] of truth, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 148-151.)

What is signified by red and black, in both senses, will be seen in the explanations at verses 4 and 5 of this chapter, and what by white may be seen above (n. 196). By the mountains of brass, from between which the chariots and horses went forth, is signified the good of love in the natural man; this is said, because the nations who are here treated of, before they were enlightened, were not in spiritual good, but in natural good. (That by a mountain is signified the good of love, may be seen, n. 795, 4210, 6435, 8327, 8758, 10,438; and by brass natural good, may be seen above, n. 70.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 795, Arcana Coelestia 3720, Arcana Coelestia 4210, Arcana Coelestia 4723, Arcana Coelestia 5337, Arcana Coelestia 6435, Arcana Coelestia 7124, Arcana Coelestia 8327, Arcana Coelestia 8758, Arcana Coelestia 8918, Arcana Coelestia 9303, Arcana Coelestia 9642, Arcana Coelestia 10438; Heaven and Hell 141-153, 148-151; Revelation 6:4-5; The Apocalypse Explained 70, The Apocalypse Explained 196; Zechariah 6:1-8, 6:15)


[10] In Job:

"God hath made her forget wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding. What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider" (xxxix. 17, 18).

These things are said of a bird, by which is signified intelligence from the proprium, which, strictly, is no intelligence; for man from himself sees nothing but falsities, and not truths; and intelligence is from truths, and not from falsities. Therefore it is said concerning her, "God hath made her to forget wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding," and that when she lifteth up herself on high, "she scorneth the horse and his rider," that is, the understanding of truth, and also the intelligent [man].

(References: Job 39:17-18)


[11] In David:

"The strong in heart have become a prey, they have slept their sleep. Before thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and the horse have fallen asleep" (lxxvi. 5, 6).

By the strong in heart are signified those who are in truths from good; by their becoming a prey and having slept their sleep, is signified that from evils they have lapsed into falsities; by the rebuke of the God of Jacob, is signified the inversion of their state by themselves; and by both the chariot and the horse having fallen asleep, is signified that their intellectual was laid asleep, because it had become merely natural. That by watching is signified to procure for oneself spiritual life, and by sleeping to have natural life without spiritual, may be seen above (n. 187).

(References: Psalms 76:5-6; The Apocalypse Explained 187)


[12] In Ezekiel:

"Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, traded with the soul of man and with vessels of brass. They of Bethogarma traded with horses, horsemen, and mules" (xxvii. 13, 14).

The subject here treated of is Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges (cognitions) of truth and good pertaining to the external and internal church. By Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, are signified those who are in external worship; and by those of Bethogarma, those who are in internal worship; therefore it is said that the latter gave in the tradings of Tyre horses, horsemen, and mules; and that the former traded with the soul of man and vessels of brass; and by the soul of man is signified the truth of faith as to knowledge (cognition); and by vessels of brass are signified the truths of natural good; and by horses, horsemen, and mules, is signified the understanding of truth and good; by horses, the understanding of truth; by horsemen, intelligence; and by mules, the Rational. (That by a mule is signified the Rational, may be seen, n. 2781, 5741, 9212.) Every one can see that by the tradings of Tyre enumerated in this chapter and elsewhere, are not meant tradings in such things, as vessels of brass, horses, and mules, and many others; but that spiritual tradings are meant, which are effected by the knowledges (cognitions) of truth and good. For the Word is Divine, and treats of Divine, and not of earthly things; therefore it contains spiritual things that pertain to heaven and the church, expressed in the ultimate sense, which is the sense of the letter, by the natural things that correspond to them. (That to trade and to follow merchandise, signifies, in the Word, to procure and communicate knowledges of truth and good, may be seen, n. 2967, 4453; and that to buy and sell signifies the same, 2967, 4397, 4453, 5371, 5374, 5406, 5410, 5426, 5886, 6143, 7999, 9039.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2781, 2967, Arcana Coelestia 4397, 4453, Arcana Coelestia 5371, 5374, 5406, 5410, 5426, Arcana Coelestia 5741, 5886, 6143, Arcana Coelestia 7999, Arcana Coelestia 9039, 9212; Ezekiel 27:13-14)


[13] In Isaiah:

"Who led them through the deeps, as a horse in the wilderness they stumbled not. As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of Jehovah led him" (lxiii. 13, 14).

In this chapter the Lord, His combats with the hells, and His subjugation of them, are treated of; but here of those who are in love and faith towards Him. They are compared to a horse in the wilderness, and to a beast in the valley, because by a horse is signified the understanding of truth, and by a beast the affection of good; for all comparisons in the Word are from correspondences.

(References: Isaiah 63:13-14)


[14] In the Apocalypse:

"I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon it was called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses" (xix. 11, 13, 14).

That by the white horse is signified the understanding of the Word, also by the white horses upon which those sat who followed, is manifest. For He that sat on the white horse was the Lord as to the Word; for it is said, and "He that sat upon it was called the Word of God"; and in verse 16, "He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords." The Lord is called the Word, because the Word signifies the Divine truth proceeding from Him. But these things in the Apocalypse may be seen more fully explained in the small work concerning the White Horse, n. 1; and whence it is that the Lord is called the Word, n. 14. Since chariots and horses signify doctrine from the Word and the understanding thereof, and as all the doctrine of truth and the understanding thereof are out of heaven from the Lord, therefore it is said of Him that He rides upon the Word, upon the clouds, upon heaven, upon a cherub, also that He causes to ride, as in the following passages. In David:

"Gird thy sword upon the thigh, O Mighty, in thy glory and thy majesty mount up. And ride upon the Word of truth and of the meekness of justice" (Ps. xlv. 3, 4).

These things are said concerning the Lord.

In the same:

"Sing unto God, praise his name; extol him that rideth upon the clouds" (Ps. lxviii. 4).

In Isaiah:

"Behold, Jehovah rideth upon a cloud, and cometh into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence" (xix. 1).

In David:

"Sing praises unto the Lord, who rideth upon the heaven of the heaven of old" (Ps. lxviii. 32, 33).

And again:

God "rode upon a cherub, he did fly, and was carried upon the wings of the wind" (Ps. xviii. 10).

In Habakkuk:

"Thou didst ride, O Jehovah, upon thine horses, thy chariots are salvation. Thou hast trodden the sea with thy horses" (iii. 8, 15).

In Isaiah:

"Then shalt thou delight in Jehovah; and I will cause thee to ride in the high places of the earth" (lviii. 14).

In Moses:

"So Jehovah alone did lead him, and made him to ride upon the high places of the earth" (Deut. xxxii. 12, 13).

And in Hosea:

"I will make Ephraim to ride" (x. 11).

In these passages, by riding is signified to give intelligence and wisdom, because by a chariot is signified the doctrine of truth, and by horses the understanding of it.

(References: Deuteronomy 32:12-13; Habakkuk 3:8, Habakkuk 3:15; Hosea 10:11; Isaiah 19:1-2, Isaiah 19:1, Isaiah 58:14; Jeremiah 6:22-23; Psalms 18:10, Psalms 45:3-4, Psalms 68:4, 68:32-33; Revelation 6:16, Revelation 19:11-16, 19:11, 19:13-14, 19:16; The White Horse 1, 14)


[15] In Isaiah:

"Then shall they bring all your brethren out of all nations a gift unto Jehovah upon horses, and upon the chariot, and in covered waggons upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to Jerusalem the mountain of my holiness" (lxvi. 20).

The establishment of the New Church by the Lord is here treated of; therefore it is not meant that they will bring their brethren upon horses, and upon the chariot, and in covered waggons upon mules and upon swift beasts, to Jerusalem; but it is meant that all those who are in good, are to be instructed in Divine truths, and being thereby made intelligent and wise, are to be introduced into the church. For by brethren are signified all those who are in good; by horses is signified the understanding of truth; by chariots, the doctrine of truth; by covered waggons, the knowledges of truth; by mules, the internal Rational which is spiritual; and by swift beasts, the external Rational which is natural; and by Jerusalem is signified the church, in which is the doctrine of Divine truth, which is called the mountain of holiness from the love of truth. From the signification of chariots and horses it is evident why it was, that

Elijah and Elisha were called the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof; and that the mountain was seen by the boy of Elisha full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings ii. 11, 12; vi. 17; xiii. 14).

The reason is that both Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord as to the Word, and chariots signify doctrine from the Word, and riders intelligence. (That Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord as to the Word may be seen, n. 7643, 8029, 9372.)

(References: 2 Kings 2:11-12, 6:17, 13:14; Arcana Coelestia 7643, Arcana Coelestia 8029, Arcana Coelestia 9372; Isaiah 66:20)


[16] That chariots and horses signify doctrine and the understanding thereof, is still further evident from the opposite sense, in which chariots and horses signify the doctrines of falsity, and false scientifics from the Intellectual perverted. For most things in the Word have an opposite sense, from which it may be seen what the same signify in the genuine sense. That chariots and horses in that sense signify such things, is evident from the following passages: In Ezekiel:

"Behold, I will bring against Tyrus, the king of Babylon from the north, with horse and with chariot, and with horsemen, he shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee; by reason of the voice of the horsemen, and of the wheel, and of the chariot, thy walls shall be shaken. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets; he shall slay the people by the sword" (xxvi. 7, 8, 10, 11).

By Tyrus is signified the church as to the knowledges (cognitions) of truth; and by the king of Babylon, the destruction of truth by falsities and profanation; by the north from which he shall come, is signified, whence is every falsity, specifically, hell whence it arises; by chariot, horses, and horsemen, are signified the doctrinals of falsity and reasonings from them; by the daughters whom he shall slay in the field with the sword, are signified the affections of truth which shall be extinguished by falsities; for daughters denote the affections of truth, the field denotes the church where those [affections are]; the sword denotes the combat of falsity against truth; and to slay denotes to extinguish. Hence it is evident what is signified by "their dust shall cover thee by reason of the abundance of his horses," dust denoting the evil of falsity. By the walls which shall be shaken by reason of the voice of the horseman, of the wheel, and of the chariot, are signified protecting truths, which in general are, that there is a God, and that the Word is Divine, and that there is a life eternal. These walls or these truths are said to be shaken by reason of the voice of the horseman, of the wheel, and of the chariot, when they come into doubt through false doctrines, and through reasonings from them. By the hoofs of the horses with which he shall tread down all the streets, are signified the outermost things of the natural man, which are called sensual things, from which are all falsities; the streets which shall thereby be trodden down denote the truths of the doctrine of the church, which are altogether destroyed; by the people who shall fall by the sword, are signified all those who are in truths, and abstractedly all truths.

(References: Ezekiel 26:7-8, 26:10-11)


[17] In Jeremiah:

"O sword against the liars, that they may become foolish, O sword against the mighty, that they may be dismayed, O sword against her horses and against her chariots, O sword against her treasures, that they may be plundered; let there be drought upon her waters, that they may be dried up, because it is a land of graven images" (l. 36-38).

By the sword is signified the combat of truth against falsity, and of falsity against truth, and thence vastation; here it signifies vastation. By the liars, and by the mighty men, are signified falsities, and reasonings therefrom; similar things are signified by horses and chariots; by the treasures which shall be plundered, are signified all things of doctrine; by the drought upon the waters, that they may be dried up, is signified the desolation of truth, drought denoting desolation, and waters denoting truths; and because all falsities are from one's own intelligence, therefore it is said, because it is the land of graven images; land there signifies heresy, and graven images signify the things from one's own intelligence. (That these are signified by graven images, molten images, and idols, may be seen, n. 8869, 8941, 10,406, 10,503.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 8869, Arcana Coelestia 8941, Arcana Coelestia 10406, Arcana Coelestia 10503; Jeremiah 50:36-38)


[18] In the same:

"Behold, as a cloud he shall come up, and his chariots as a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thoughts of iniquity abide in the midst of thee? The whole land shall be a desolation. The whole city hath fled for the voice of the horseman and bowmen; they have entered the clouds, and gone up into the rocks; the whole city is deserted" (iv. 13, 14, 27, 29).

Here the vastation of the church by the falsities of evil is described; the falsities are signified by the cloud; and the lust of reasoning from falsities against truths, by the horses that are swifter than eagles; and the doctrinals of falsity are meant by the chariots that are as a whirlwind. That, consequently, everything of the church and everything of its doctrine shall perish, is signified by the whole land shall be a desolation, and the whole city shall flee for the voice of the horseman and bowmen; the land denotes the church, and a city its doctrine; the voice of the horseman and bowmen denotes reasoning from them and assault, and to flee denotes to perish. That afterwards absolute falsity, and the faith of falsity would reign, is signified by, "They have entered the clouds, and gone up into the rocks"; clouds denoting falsities, and rocks the faith thereof. That the devastation of the church and its doctrine was thus described, is evident; for it is said, "Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. How long shall thoughts of iniquity abide in the midst of thee? The whole land shall be a desolation, the whole city deserted."

(References: Jeremiah 4:13-14, 4:27, 4:29)


[19] In the same:

"Behold a people coming from the land of the north, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth. Their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses" (vi. 22, 23; l. 41, 42).

Here also the devastation of the church by the falsities of evil is described; the land of the north, and the sides of the earth, denote whence those things are; the land of the north, whence falsities are, and the sides of the earth, whence evils are. For by the north is signified what is remote from truths, and by the sides of the earth what is remote from goods, therefore nation is said of the latter, and people of the former; for by nation are meant those who are in evils, and by people those who are in falsities (see above, n. 331). Their reasoning is signified by their voice roaring as the sea, and their riding upon horses.

(References: Jeremiah 6:22-23, Jeremiah 50:41-42; The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[20] In Ezekiel:

"Thou shalt come from thy place out of the sides of the north; thou and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses. And thou shalt go up against my people Israel, as clouds to cover the land" (xxxviii. 15, 16).

These things are said concerning Gog, by whom is signified external worship without any internal. The sides of the north signify here, as above, what is removed from goods and truths, and thus whence the falsities of evil are; and because they thence reason and attack the truths of the church, and extinguish them, it is said, "All of them riding upon horses; and thou shalt go up against my people Israel, as clouds to cover the land." Riding upon horses denotes reasonings; going up against the people Israel, and covering the land, signify to attack the truths of the church, and to extinguish them; clouds denote the falsities of evil.

(References: Ezekiel 38:15-16)


[21] In Daniel:

"At the time of the end the king of the south shall contend with" the king of the north, "therefore as a whirlwind the king of the north shall rush in against him, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into, and shall overflow and penetrate the countries" (xi. 40).

The subject treated of in this chapter is the combat of the king of the north with the king of the south; and by the king of the north is meant falsity from evil, and by the king of the south, truth from good; therefore it is evident, that the things mentioned in this chapter do not tell of any future war between two kings, but of the combats of falsity from evil against truth from good. The chariots and horsemen with which the king of the north shall rush in, denote the assaults of truth from the falsities of evil; the many ships with which also they rush in denote scientifics and doctrinals of falsity; the destruction of the church thereby is signified by, he shall enter into, and shall overflow and penetrate the countries. (That ships signify scientifics and doctrinals in both senses, may be seen, n. 1977, 6385; and that to overflow signifies immersion in falsities and evils, n. 660, 705, 739, 756, 790, 5725, 6853.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 660, 705, 739, 756, 790, Arcana Coelestia 1977, Arcana Coelestia 5725, Arcana Coelestia 6385, Arcana Coelestia 6853; Daniel 11:40)


[22] In Jeremiah:

"By thee will I disperse the nations, and by thee will I destroy the kingdoms, and by thee will I disperse the horse and his rider, and by thee will I disperse the chariot, and him that is carried therein" (li. 20, 21).

And in Haggai:

"I will overthrow the throne of the kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariot and those who ride in it; and the horses and their riders shall come down, [every] man by the sword of his brother" (ii. 22).

These things are said concerning the destruction of falsity and evil; and not concerning the destruction of any nation and kingdom; for by nations are signified evils, and by kingdoms in like manner as by peoples, falsities. It is also prophetical, and not historical. Hence it is plain what is signified by the horse and the rider, and by the chariot and him that is carried in it; namely, that by the horse and the rider are signified the Intellectual perverted, and reasoning thence; and by the chariot and him that is carried therein, the doctrine of falsity, or heresy, and those who are therein.

(References: Haggai 2:22; Jeremiah 51:20-21)


[23] In Nahum:

"Woe to the city of bloods! the whole is filled with lying and rapine; the voice of the whip, and the voice of the rattling of the wheel, and the horse neighing and the chariot jumping, the horseman making to ascend, and the glittering of the sword, and the glittering of the spear, and the multitude of the slain, and the heap of carcases, because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot selling the nations by her whoredoms, and families by her witchcrafts" (iii. 1-4).

The subjects here treated of are the violence offered to Divine truth, and the destruction thereof by the falsities of evil; for these are signified by the city of bloods, concerning which the things following are said (see above, n. 329). Therefore it is also said, the whole is filled with lying and rapine; a lie denoting falsity, and rapine denoting violence offered thereby; and because wars signify spiritual combats of truth against falsity, and of falsity against truth, therefore everything pertaining to war, as a whip, a horse, a chariot, a sword, and a spear, signifies various things pertaining to that warfare; what, however, each specifically signifies need not be shown in this place, only what the horse, the horseman, and the chariot signify. The voice of the rattling of the wheel signifies reasonings from falsities and evils; the horse neighing, and the chariot jumping, signify the lust to destroy truths, the horse denoting the Intellectual perverted, and chariot the doctrine of falsity, from which [it arises]. To neigh and to jump denotes to be carried away by lust and the delight attached to it, and the horseman making to ascend, denotes assault; hence it is said, "The multitude of the slain, and the heap of carcases," those being called slain who perish from falsities, and carcases those who perish from evils, and hence also it is said, "Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, that selleth the nations by her whoredoms, and families by her witchcrafts." By whoredoms are signified falsifications of truth, by a harlot heresy, by selling the nations is signified to become estranged from goods, and by selling families by witchcraft is signified to become estranged from truths; nations denoting goods, families the truths thence, and witchcrafts the falsities of evil whereby [they are estranged].

(References: Nahum 3:1-4; The Apocalypse Explained 329)


[24] In Habakkuk:

"I stir up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadths of the land, whose horses are swifter than leopards, and sharper than the wolves of the evening, that their horsemen may spread themselves; whence their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. They shall come all for violence; they shall all scoff at kings, and the rulers shall be a derision unto them" (i. 6, 8-10).

By the Chaldeans are meant those who profane truths and so vastate the church, therefore they are called a nation bitter and hasty, marching through the breadths of the land; the breadths of the land denoting the truths of the church (as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 197). Their lust and dexterity in perverting truths, and destroying them by reasonings from falsities altogether remote from truths, are signified by, "whose horses are swifter than leopards, and sharper than the wolves of the evening, that their horsemen may spread themselves; whence their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat." Lust is signified by their horses being swifter than leopards; and dexterity by the horses being sharper than the wolves of the evening; and both by their flying as an eagle. Because the lust and dexterity are to destroy truths, therefore it is said, they shall come all for violence; their mocking at truths and goods is signified by their scoffing at kings, and the rulers being a derision unto them; kings signifying truths, and lords and rulers signifying goods.

(References: Habakkuk 1:6, 1:8-10)


[25] In David:

"These in the chariot, and those in horses; but we will glory in the name of our God" (Ps. xx. 7, 8).

In the same:

"A king is not saved by the multitude of an army; a horse is a vain thing for safety" (Ps. xxxiii. 16, 17).

In the same:

Jehovah "delighteth not in the strength of the horse; his pleasure is not in the thighs of a man" (Ps. cxlvii. 10).

By glorying in the chariot and in horses, and by Jehovah not delighting in the strength of a horse, are signified all things from one's own intelligence, from which proceed absolute falsities; and by the thighs of a man are signified those things that are from his own will, from which proceed absolute evils.

(References: Psalms 20:7, 20:7-8, Psalms 33:16-17, Psalms 147:10)


[26] 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 deliver his soul. But the strong in his heart shall flee away naked in that day" (ii. 15, 16).

Man's own intelligence is also described here, and confidence arising from the faculty of speaking and reasoning from falsities. By him that holdeth the bow not standing, and by the swift of foot not delivering himself, is signified that he who knows how to reason readily from the doctrine of falsity, and from the knowledge and memory of the natural man, shall not on that account be preserved; the same is signified by, he that rideth upon the horse shall not deliver his soul. By the strong in heart who shall flee away naked in that day, is signified, that he who trusts in his falsities shall be without any truth; by the strong in heart is meant him who trusts in his falsities, and by the naked is meant him who is without any understanding of truth (see above, n. 240).

(References: Amos 2:15-16; The Apocalypse Explained 240)


[27] In Isaiah:

"The Lord Jehovih, the Holy One of Israel saith, In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not. But ye said, No; but upon the horse we will flee; and therefore ye shall flee; and we will ride upon the swift, and therefore shall they that pursue you be made swift" (xxx. 15, 16).

Trust in the Lord and trust in self are here treated of; trust in the Lord in these words, the Lord Jehovih, the Holy One of Israel, said, "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength"; trust in self in these words, "But ye said, No; but upon the horse we will flee, and we will ride upon the swift." By fleeing upon the horse and riding upon the swift, are signified to covet and to love the things of their own understanding, and of the thought and reasoning thence. That falsities will then break in upon, and take possession of them, is signified by, therefore ye shall flee, and therefore shall they that pursue you be made swift; swiftness and haste signifying what is done from lust or from love.

(References: Isaiah 30:15-16)


[28] In Zechariah:

Jehovah shall set Judah "as the horse of his glory in war; out of him the corner, out of him the nail, and out of him the bow of war. And they shall be as mighty men treading down the mire of the streets; and they shall fight because Jehovah is with them, and them that ride upon horses shall they make ashamed" (x. 3-5).

By the house of Judah is signified the Lord's celestial kingdom, or the heaven and church which are in love to the Lord. Concerning this it is said that it shall be as the horse of glory in war, by which is signified the understanding of Divine truth combating against evils and falsities, which it shall destroy. By horse is signified the understanding; by glory, the Divine truth; and by war, the combat against falsities and evils, and their destruction. By the corner, the nail, and the bow of war, which [shall come] out of Judah, are signified truths; by the corner, truth protecting; by the nail, truth strengthening; and by the bow of war, truth combating from doctrine. By their being as mighty men treading down the mire of the streets, is signified the power of dissipating and destroying falsities, the mire of the streets signifying falsities; by their making ashamed them that ride upon horses, is signified the annihilation of reasonings, argumentations, and confirmations that are from man's own understanding; that this shall be accomplished by the Lord, and not by them, is meant by, "they shall fight because Jehovah is with them."

(References: Zechariah 10:3-5)


[29] In Hosea:

"Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon the horse; we will say no more to the work of our hands, Our God" (xiv. 3).

Intelligence from the proprium is also here treated of, and that it will not save. By Asshur is signified the Rational, in this case, what is from the proprium; by riding upon the horse is signified the reasoning of the understanding from the proprium; and by the work of the hands is signified the proprium itself.

(References: Hosea 14:3)


[30] In Ezekiel:

"Aholah played the harlot, and she doted on her lovers, the Assyrians her neighbours, clothed in purple, horsemen riding upon horses" (xxiii. 5, 6, 12, 23).

Aholah, which here is Samaria, signifies the church where truths are falsified; her whoredoms, treated of in this chapter, signify falsifications. The Assyrians signify reasonings by which [truths are falsified]; and because by riding upon horses is signified to reason from falsities that are from one's own intelligence, therefore it is said, she doted on the Assyrians, horsemen riding upon horses. By the purple in which they were clothed, is signified falsity appearing like truth, which is effected principally by the application of the sense of the letter of the Word to principles of falsity.

(References: Ezekiel 22:5-6, 22:12, 22:23, Ezekiel 23:5-6, 23:12, Ezekiel 23:23)


[31] In Jeremiah:

"The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan; the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighings of his strong ones; and they have come, and have devoured the land, and its fulness; and them that dwell therein" (viii. 16).

What is meant by Dan has been stated above in the present article, namely, truth in its ultimate; this is the truth in the church which is contained in the sense of the letter of the Word. Those who remain in this alone, and do not read it from the doctrine of genuine truth, which should direct and enlighten, may be carried away into all kinds of errors; those who are carried away into errors or falsities are meant here by Dan; the confirmation of falsities thence, by the snorting of his horses; and the falsifications of truth, by the sound of the neighings of his strong ones. They are called strong, from their confidence, from the sense of the letter of the Word, that falsity is truth. That hence the church is vastated as to its truths and goods, is signified by, "the whole land trembled"; and "they have come, and have devoured the land and its fulness, and them that dwell therein"; the land denoting the church, its fulness denoting truths, and they that dwell therein denoting goods.

(References: Jeremiah 8:16)


[32] In Isaiah:

"He hath lifted up a sign to the nations from afar, and hath hissed unto him from the end of the earth, and, behold! the swift shall come quickly, whose arrows are sharp, and all his bows bent; the hoofs of his horses are accounted as the rock, and his wheels as the whirlwind" (v. 26, 28).

Here also the subject treated of is those who are in ultimates as to the understanding of truth, and as to the perception of good. Those ultimates are called sensual things, which are the ultimates of the natural man (concerning which see the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 50); from these, separated from the spiritual man, stream forth all the evils and falsities in the church and in its doctrine. The evils thence, are signified by the nations which shall come from far; and the falsities, by him who comes from the end of the earth; afar off, and the end of the earth, signifying those things that are remote from the truths and goods of the church. By the arrows which are sharp, and by the bows which are bent, are signified falsities of doctrine prepared to destroy truths; and by the hoofs of the horses which are accounted as the rock, and by his wheels which are as the whirlwind, are signified the ultimates of truth, such as they are in the sense of the letter of the Word, and arguments and confirmations of falsity thereby. The hoofs of the horses denote the ultimates of the understanding - here of the understanding perverted, because separated from the understanding of the spiritual man - which, because from the sense of the letter of the Word, it is said, are accounted as the rock; and the wheels denote argumentations and confirmations thereby, which, because they appear strong, are said to be like a whirlwind.

(References: Isaiah 5:26, 5:28; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 50)


[33] In the book of Judges:

"My heart is toward the legislators of Israel. Meditate, ye that ride on white asses, and sit upon Middim, and who walk upon the way. The stars from their courses fought against Sisera. Then were the feet of his horses bruised, the prancing of his strong ones pranced together" (v. 9, 10, 20, 22).

These words are contained in the song of Deborah and Barak; in which the subjects treated of are the combat of truth against falsity, and the victory of the former. By the legislators of Israel are signified the truths of the church; by riding upon white asses, and sitting upon Middim, are signified the perception of good, and the understanding of truth; white asses signify the Rational as to good, and Middim the Rational as to truth; and to walk upon the way, and to meditate, signify the life of truth; the stars from their courses fighting against Sisera, signify the knowledges of truth, and combat from them against the falsities of evil; the feet of the horses which were bruised, and the prancing of the horses which pranced together, signify that the falsities that are from the ultimate Natural, or Sensual, and the arguments thence, are destroyed.

(References: Judges 5:9-10, 5:20, 5:22)


[34] In Amos:

"Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plough with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of justice into wormwood" (vi. 12).

Shall horses run upon the rock? signifies, is there any understanding of truth? shall one plough with oxen? signifies, is there any perception of good? That these things are signified is evident, for it follows, for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of justice into wormwood. To turn judgment into gall, signifies to turn truth into falsity; and to turn the fruit of Justice into wormwood, signifies [to turn] good into evil.

(References: Amos 6:12)


[35] In David:

"Thou hast laid oppression upon our loins. Thou hast caused a man to ride over our head; we went through the fire and the waters; but thou hast brought us out into broadness" (Ps. lxvi. 11, 12).

Spiritual captivity, and deliverance thence, are thus described. Spiritual captivity takes place when the mind is shut up so as not to perceive good and understand truth; deliverance from it denotes, when the mind is opened. By the oppression upon the loins, is signified that there is no perception of the good of love, for the loins and thighs signify the good of love; by making a man to ride over our head, is signified, that there is no understanding of truth; by a man here is signified intelligence from self, which is no intelligence; and the same [is signified] by the head. Because these things are signified, therefore, it is said, we went through the fire and the waters; through the fire denoting through the evils from the love of self, and through the waters denoting through falsities; deliverance thence is meant by, "But thou hast brought us out into broadness," breadth signifying truth, as shown above.

(References: Psalms 66:11-12)


[36] In Isaiah:

"Woe to them that go down into Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in the chariot, but do not look unto the Holy One of Israel, and seek Jehovah; for Egypt is man, and not God; and his horses flesh, and not spirit" (xxxi. 1, 3).

By Egypt in the Word is signified the Scientific which is in the natural man, and hence also the natural man; and because the natural man, with the Scientific therein, has no understanding, but only thought from the memory, which is a species of imagination from the objects of sight and hearing, and because it is beneath the Spiritual, in which reside all the goods and truths of heaven and the church, hence by Egypt in most passages is signified a false Scientific; for when the spiritual man does not flow in, the scientifics of the natural man are turned into absolute falsities, and his thoughts into confirmations of falsity, and reasonings from them against truths. Hence it is evident what is signified by the horses of Egypt, and the chariots thereof, namely, that false scientifics [are signified] by horses, and doctrinals, whence proceed reasonings against truths, by chariots. Those, therefore, who are of such a quality, do not seek truth from any other source than from themselves, for the proprium of every one resides in the natural man, and not in the spiritual; wherefore instead of truths they seize upon falsities, and instead of goods evils; and the latter they call goods, and the former they call truths, and they trust in themselves, because in their own proprium. These things are signified by, "Woe to them that go down into Egypt; and stay on horses, and trust in the chariot, because it is great; and in horsemen because they are very strong." Horses here denote false scientifics; and chariots denote the doctrinals thence; and horsemen denote reasonings from them against truths; therefore it is also said, "Egypt is man, and not God; and his horses flesh, and not spirit"; by which is signified, that what is in them is merely natural, and not spiritual, nor, consequently, anything of life. Man signifies the natural man, and flesh the proprium thereof; God and spirit signify the Divine spiritual man, and hence life; and because they trust in themselves and not in the Lord, it is said, they do not look unto the Holy One of Israel, and seek Jehovah.

(References: Isaiah 31:1, 31:3)


[37] From these considerations it may now be seen what is signified by the horses, the chariots, and the armies of Pharaoh, in Moses:

"I will get me honour upon Pharaoh and upon his army, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians pursued" the sons of Israel, "and the horses of Pharaoh went after them, his chariots and his horsemen, into the midst of the sea. And Jehovah took off the wheels of their chariots, that they led them with difficulty. And when Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, the waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, together with the whole host of Pharaoh" (Exod. xiv. 17, 23, 25, 27, 28).

And in the same:

"Moses and the children of Israel sang this song unto Jehovah; In singing I will sing unto Jehovah, because in exalting he hath exalted himself; the horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea, and his chariots and his host" (Exod. xv. 1, 4, 19, 2 1).

What is signified by the horses and chariots of Pharaoh or Egypt has been shown above. By the host thereof are signified all falsities in general and in particular; and by the sea are signified damnation and hell, where all are in the proprium, because in the natural man separate from the spiritual, and thence in evils and falsities of every kind.

The same is signified by the horses of Egypt, in these [words] in Moses:

"If ye shall say, I will set over me a king, in setting thou shalt set over thee a king whom Jehovah thy God shall choose; only he shall not multiply to himself horses, nor shall he bring back the people into Egypt, that he may multiply horses" (Deut. xvii. 14-16).

These things are said concerning a king, because the Lord is represented as to Divine truth by kings, and hence by kings are signified truths from good from the Lord (see above, n. 31). And because truths from good reside in the spiritual man, as said above, and the scientifics of the natural man serve it as servants do their lord, hence it is said,

"Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor shall he bring back the people into Egypt, that he may multiply horses";

by which is signified, provided that from a spiritual man he does not become natural, and lead himself, and trust in his own proprium and not in the Lord, thus lest the truths of the spiritual man should serve the Natural, instead of the scientifics of the natural man serving the spiritual; for the latter is according to order, but the former contrary to order. Similar things are signified by the horses of Egypt elsewhere in the Word (as Jer. xlvi. 4, 9; Ezek. xvii. 15; xxiii. 20).

(References: Deuteronomy 17:14-16; Exodus 14:17-18, 14:17, 14:23, 14:25, 14:27-28, 15:1, 15:4, 15:19, 15:21; Ezekiel 17:15, Ezekiel 23:5-6, Ezekiel 23:12, 23:20, 23:23; Isaiah 19:1-2; Jeremiah 46:4, 46:9; Psalms 20:7-8; Revelation 19:11-18; The Apocalypse Explained 31)

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Psalms 68:33

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33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 318


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 219, 6971, 9408, 9926

Apocalypse Revealed 37, 298


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 261, 355

The White Horse - Appendix 1

Other New Christian Commentary

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Psalms 66:1, 2

Word/Phrase Explanations

Heavens
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

Voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

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 Blessed Be the Lord Door Handle Sign
This decorative door handle sign reminds you to store up your good experiences for those spiritual famine times. Read and reflect on a passage from the Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church.
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 Blessings: Give Glory to God
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Blessings: The Lord on the White Horse
Blessings to say at mealtime.
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