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 Judgment 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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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 #526

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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526. And the third part of them was darkened.- That this signifies that all those things were changed into falsities of evil, and into the evils of falsity, is evident from the signification of darkness which denotes falsities, and hence of being darkened which denotes to be changed into falsities. The reason why it denotes to be changed into the falsities of evil and the evils of falsity is, that it is said the third part of the sun was darkened, the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; and the sun signifies the good of love, the moon, the good and truth of faith, and the stars, the cognitions of good and truth. Therefore the third part of the sun being darkened, signifies that the good of love was changed into evil, and the falsity thence, which is the falsity of evil. For good is changed into evil, and thence falsity, but the truth of faith, signified by the moon, is changed into falsity, and thence evil, which is the evil of falsity. The evil of falsity is the falsity of doctrine, from which proceeds evil of life, and the falsity of evil is evil of life, from which proceeds falsity of doctrine.

(References: Revelation 8:12)


[2] The reason why darkness signifies falsity, is, that light signifies truth, and falsity is the opposite of truth, as darkness is of light. Moreover, when a man does not possess the light of life, which is the Divine Truth, the shadow of death is then in him, which is falsity. For man, from his proprium, is in every evil, and the falsity therefrom, and he can be removed from them only by means of the truths of the church; where therefore there are no truths, there the falsities of evil are. That truths are the only means by which man can be removed from evils, purified and reformed, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 24).

(References: The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 24)


[3] That darkness in the Word, signifies falsities of various kinds, is evident from the following passages.

In Joel:

"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come" (ii. 31).

By the sun being turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, is signified the same as by the third part of the sun and the third part of the moon being darkened, namely, that at the end of the church the falsity of evil will be in the place of the good of love, and the evil of falsity in the place of the truth of faith. Similar things are signified elsewhere also in the Word, where mention is made of the darkening of the sun and moon.

(References: Joel 2:31)


[4] Thus in Isaiah:

"For the stars of the heavens, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (xiii. 10; xxiv. 21, 23).

In Ezekiel:

"When I shall extinguish thee, I will cover the heavens; and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine. All the luminaries of light in the heavens will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land" (xxxii. 7, 8).

Again, in Joel:

"The day of Jehovah is near in the valley cut off. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining" (iii. 14, 15).

In the same:

"The day of Jehovah cometh, a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of cloud, and obscurity, the earth quaketh before him, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining" (ii. 1, 2, 10).

And in the Evangelists:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven" (Matt. xxiv. 29; Mark xiii. 24, 25).

These things are said concerning the last time of the church, when there are no longer any spiritual good and truth, or good and truth of heaven and the church, but only evil and falsity. That the goods and truths of the church, which are called the goods of love and the truths of faith, are changed into evils and falsities, is signified by the sun and moon being obscured and darkened, and the stars not giving their light. The last judgment, which then follows, is signified by the day of Jehovah great and terrible; and because this takes place when the church is in darkness and thick darkness, therefore it is also called a day of darkness, and of thick darkness, and also a day of cloud and obscurity, as also in the following passages.

(References: Ezekiel 32:7-8; Isaiah 13:10, 24:21, 24:23; Joel 2:1-2, 2:10, Joel 3:14-15; Mark 13:24-25; Matthew 24:29)


[5] In Amos:

"Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah! what to you is the day of Jehovah? It is a day of darkness and not light. Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light? even thick darkness, and no brightness in it?" (v. 18, 20).

And in Zephaniah:

"The day of Jehovah, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of clouds and gloominess" (i. 14, 15).

And in Isaiah:

"In that day he shall look into the land, which behold is darkness and sorrow, and the light becomes darkened in the ruins thereof" (v. 30).

And again:

"He shall look unto the earth; and, behold, distress and thick darkness, the gloom of straitness; and driven with thick darkness" (viii. 22).

And again:

"Behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the people" (lx. 2).

So in Jeremiah:

"Give glory to Jehovah your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the mountains of twilight, then shall we look for light, but he will turn it into the shadow of death, and make it thick darkness" (xiii. 16).

These passages also relate to the last time of the church, when the Lord shall come into the world, and judgment be accomplished; because at that time there is no longer any good of love, or truth of faith, but evil of falsity, and the falsity of evil, that day is therefore called a day of darkness and of thick darkness.

(References: Amos 5:18, 5:20; Isaiah 5:30, 8:22, Isaiah 60:2; Jeremiah 13:16; Zephaniah 1:14-15)


[6] The same is signified by the darkness over all the land from the sixth hour to the ninth, when the Lord was crucified (Matt. xxvii. 45; Mark xv. 33; Luke xxiii. 44-49). By the darkness over all the land was represented, that in the entire church there was nothing but evil and the falsity thence and the falsity and the evil thence. The three hours also signify what is full and absolute; for all the details related in the Evangelists concerning the passion of the Lord, contain in them interior things of heaven, and signify celestial Divine things, and these can be made evident only by means of the internal spiritual sense.

(References: Luke 23:44-49; Mark 15:33; Matthew 27:45)


[7] That falsity is signified by darkness, is still further evident from the following passages.

Thus in Isaiah:

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness" (v. 20).

To put darkness for light, and light for darkness, signifies to call falsity truth, and truth falsity; that darkness denotes falsity and light truth, is clear, for good and evil are first mentioned, afterwards therefore, truth and falsity.

(References: Isaiah 5:20)


[8] So in John:

"And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, for their works were evil" (iii. 19).

The Lord here calls Himself the light because He was the Divine Truth itself when in the world; therefore light signifies the Lord as to Divine Truth, and also Divine Truth from the Lord; and because darkness is opposed to light, therefore the darkness which men loved rather than the light, signifies the infernal falsity, which is the falsity of evil. That the falsity of evil is here meant by darkness, is evident from the words, for their works were evil. The falsity of evil exists from evil works or evils of the life; for as good conjoins to itself truth, so evil conjoins to itself falsity, the one is from the other.

(References: John 3:19)


[9] Similar things are signified by light and by darkness in the following passages in John:

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (i. 4, 5).

Again:

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (viii. 12).

And again:

Jesus said, "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me may not abide in darkness" (xii. 35, 46).

In these passages darkness signifies infernal falsity. For light of which darkness is the opposite, signifies Divine truth. Light signifies Divine Truth, because light in the heavens in its essence, is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord; see in the Heaven and Hell (n. 126-140). Since the Divine Truth is the light in the heavens, it follows that the falsity of evil, which is the falsity in the hells, is darkness; it does not indeed appear as darkness to those who are in the hells, for they do see one another, but the light (lumen) by which they see is like that from ignited charcoal, and such light, when the light of heaven flows into it, becomes complete darkness. For this reason the caverns and dens in which [the infernals] are, appear, to those who are in the heavens, like gloomy caves.

(References: Heaven and Hell 116-140; John 1:4-5, John 8:12, 12:35, 12:46)


[10] From these considerations it is evident why darkness signifies the falsities of evil, and why the Lord said that those who are cast into hell should be cast into outer darkness (Matt. viii. 12; xxii. 13; xxv. 30).

So in David:

"The enemy persecuteth my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to sit in darkness, as the dead of the world" (Psalm cxliii. 3).

Here, by the enemy who persecuteth his soul, is signified, in the spiritual sense, evil; therefore his being made to sit in darkness, signifies to be in falsities.

(References: Matthew 8:12, 22:13, Matthew 25:30; Psalms 143:3)


[11] So in Isaiah:

"Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us; we look for light, but, behold darkness; for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness" (lix. 9).

By judgment is far from us, is signified that there is no understanding of truth; neither doth justice overtake us, signifies that there is no good of life; we look for light, but, behold, darkness, signifies expectation of truth, but behold falsity; and for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness, signifies the expectation of goods by truths, but behold the life of falsity from evils. For brightness signifies the goods of truth, because light signifies truth, and truth is resplendent from good; thick darkness signifies the falsities of evil, and to walk signifies to live.

(References: Isaiah 59:9)


[12] So in Luke:

"But this is your hour, and the power of darkness" (xxii. 53).

This the Lord said to the chief priests, the rulers of the temple, and the elders who took Him by means of Judas. The power to do this wickedness the Lord calls the power of darkness, because they were in the falsities of evil, in falsities concerning the Lord, and in evils against Him; by darkness is here also meant hell, because such falsities of evil are there.

(References: Luke 22:53)


[13] So again:

The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye is clear, thy whole body also shall be full of light; but if thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed, therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp doth give thee light" (xi. 34, 35, 36; Matt. vi. 22, 23).

The eye here signifies the understanding, and the pure or single eye, the understanding of truth from good; but the evil eye signifies the understanding of falsity from evil; the body which is said to be either full of light or darkness, signifies the whole man. It may then be concluded that the signification of these words in their series, is, that the whole man is of such a nature as the quality of his understanding from the will. For every man is his own good and his own truth, because he is his own love or his own affection, therefore his nature is entirely such as that of his understanding from the will. For all truth is of the understanding, and all good of the will; the body being only obedience, because it is the effect from an efficient cause, and the efficient cause is the understanding from the will; the quality therefore of the one is according to the quality of the other, since every effect derives all that it has from the efficient cause. That care must be taken, lest truth once perceived in the understanding and received into the will, be turned into falsity, which is done from evil, is meant by, "Take heed, therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness," for falsities consequently become worse; therefore it is said in Matthew in the passage already quoted, "If, therefore, the light which is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness."

(References: Luke 11:34-36; Matthew 6:22-23, 6:23)


[14] Darkness also signifies the falsities of evil in the prophet Isaiah:

"Sit thou silent, and enter into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for they shall call thee no more the mistress of kingdoms" (xlvii. 5).

Here, the daughter of the Chaldeans signifies the falsification of truth, and hence darkness signifies the falsities of evil, since evil falsifies truth. The falsity of evil was also signified by the thick darkness, which was over all the land of Egypt, during three days, while the children of Israel had light in their dwellings (Exod. x. 21, 22, 23); also by the darkness in Gen. xv. 12, 17, and in many other passages.

(References: Exodus 10:21-23; Genesis 15:17; Isaiah 47:5)


[15] It has been shown so far, that darkness, in the Word, signifies the falsities of evil; that darkness also signifies falsities not of evil, such as were the falsities of religion with the upright Gentiles, originating in ignorance of the truth [shall now be shown]. That these falsities are also called darkness, is clear from the following passages:

In Isaiah:

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined" (ix. 2).

And in Matthew:

"The people which sat in darkness saw great light; to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up" (iv. 16).

And in Luke:

The dayspring from on high hath appeared "to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death" (i. 78, 79).

Again, in Isaiah:

"And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise in darkness, and thy thick darkness be as the noon day (lviii. 10).

Again:

"He shall say to the bound, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves" (xlix. 9).

Again, in the same prophet:

"And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness and out of darkness" (xxix. 18).

And again:

"And I will bring the blind by a way that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight (xlii. 16).

And in Micah:

"When I sit in darkness, Jehovah shall be a light unto me" (vii. 8).

In these passages, darkness signifies the falsities of ignorance, such as formerly existed, and at this day exist, with the upright Gentiles. These falsities are altogether distinct from the falsities of evil, for the latter contain in themselves evil, because they are from evil, while the former contain in themselves good, for they have good for an end. Those therefore who are in those falsities can be instructed in truths, and also when instructed they receive truths in the heart, because the good, which is in their falsities, loves the truth, and also conjoins itself with the truth when it is heard. The case is different with the falsities of evil; these are averse to, and reject all truth, because it is truth, and does not therefore agree with evil.

(References: Genesis 15:12, 15:17; Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 29:18, 42:16, Isaiah 49:9, 58:10; Luke 1:78-79; Matthew 4:16; Micah 7:8)


[16] In the Word, darkness also signifies mere ignorance arising from the deprivation of truth; as in David (Psalm xviii. 29; Psalm cxxxix. 11, 12). Darkness also signifies natural light (lumen naturale), for this, in comparison with spiritual light, is like darkness; wherefore also the angels, when they look down into the natural light of man, such as is in the natural cognition of men, regard it as darkness, and the things which are in it, as in darkness; this light (lumen), is signified by the darkness mentioned in Genesis (i. 2-5). And because the sense of the letter of the Word is natural, therefore this also in the Word is called a cloud, and also darkness, in comparison with the internal sense, which is the light of heaven, and is called glory.

(References: Genesis 1:2-5; Psalms 18:28, 18:29, 139:11-12; Revelation 8:12)

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Isaiah 24:21

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21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 24      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 24

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation)

1. BEHOLD, Jehovah empties the earth, and makes it waste; He overturns the face thereof, and scatters the inhabitants thereof.

VERSE 1. By the "earth", when mentioned in the Word, is not meant the universal globe, but the church, and specifically that region where the church is, as formerly the land of Canaan, when the Jewish church was there, and in Europe, where the Christian church now is. Arcana Coelestia 566, 662.

The reason why by the "earth" is signified the church, is, because very frequently by the "earth" is meant the land of Canaan, and in that land was the church. The heavenly Canaan is nothing else. And also when the "earth" is named, the angels who are spiritual do not think of the earth, but of the human race upon the earth, and of its spiritual state; and its spiritual state is the state of the church. In the opposite sense, when the "earth" is spoken of as being perverted and destroyed, it signifies condemnation. Apocalypse Revealed 285.

Verses 1, 2. Behold, Jehovah empties the earth; - and it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest, etc. - Here the "earth" stands for the church, which is "emptied and made void, and its face overturned, or perverted, and its inhabitants scattered", etc., when there is no longer any interior truths and goods, which are signified by the "priest" and the "people"; nor exterior goods and truths, which are the "servant" and the "handmaid"; which happens when external things rule over internal. Arcana Coelestia 2567.

Verses 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 18, 19, 20. Behold, Jehovah empties the earth, and makes it waste; He overturns the faces thereof, etc. - what by the "earth", or land, is not understood the earth, but the church, must be evident to every one. The reason why the church is thus described, is, because the earths or lands in the spiritual world, upon which angels and spirits dwell, undergo such changes according to the changes of the state of the church with the inhabitants thereof, even so as "to be moved." The reason why it is said that "Jehovah empties the earth, and makes it waste", likewise that " in emptying it shall be emptied, and in spoiling it shall be spoiled", is, because the earths or lands there, when the church is devastated with those who dwell upon them, altogether change their appearance. The paradises with their flowerets, verdures, and the like, with which they before flourished, disappear, and instead thereof appearances most unpleasant take place, as sands and rocky places, also heaths full of thickets and briers, with other things of a like nature, corresponding to the falsities and evils which devastated the church. The devastation thereof as to the Good of love and charity, is signified by "emptying the earth", and the desolation thereof as to the Truth of doctrine and of faith is signified by "making it waste" and by "spoiling it"; and the change itself by "overturning the faces thereof." "The earth mourns, it withers: the world languishes, it withers: the earth also is polluted under her inhabitants; therefore has a curse devoured the earth", signifies that there shall not anything grow there or flourish, but that it shall be barren, and filled with things useless; by reason whereof the earth is said to "mourn", to "languish", and to be "devoured with a curse." Whereas these things take place when they that dwell there have no longer any concern for the holy things of the church, therefore it is said, "For they have transgressed the laws, they have surmounted the statute, they have broken the everlasting covenant." Inasmuch as the earths or lands in the spiritual world are sometimes inundated, sometimes violently shaken, and also here and there cleave asunder and open towards hell; which is beneath and lifts itself up, and as this takes place according to the quantity and quality of the falsities and evils which are loved, and the consequent falsification and denial of the Goods and the Truths of the church, therefore it is said that "The floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth are shaken; the earth is utterly shattered to pieces; and the earth reels as a drunkard." These things also actually take place in the spiritual world, when the state of the church is there changed into the contrary. From these considerations it may appear whence it is that, by the "earth", here and elsewhere in the Word, is understood the church. Apocalypse Explained 697. See also Arcana Coelestia 1066.

2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master: as with the handmaid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer; so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the usurer, so with the giver of usury:

Verse 2. [These words, which express the relationships in civil life, involve the insubordination and confusion which result when "the face of the earth is overthrown", or when the church, as in the Bible version, is "turned upside down", and all its principles are in disorder and confusion. In which case what is external rules over what is internal, and all the relationship between higher and lower principles is destroyed. This is the case at the end of a church, and especially at the period of its judgment. The same also depicts the states of the unregenerate mind, when no distinction is made between internal and external principles, and when the due subordination of the latter to the former is not considered and established; in which state nothing of heaven can be received into the mind.]

The "buyer" signifies those who procure the knowledges of Truth and Goodness. (Arcana Coelestia 2967)

The "seller", those who communicate these knowledges, (Arcana Coelestia 5886)

The "lender" denotes those who instruct others; and the "borrower", those instructed. (Arcana Coelestia 9209 9174)

A "usurer" signifies those who do good for the sake of gain: and a "non-usurer", those who do good from charity. Arcana Coelestia 9210.

3. The earth shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for Jehovah has spoken this word.

Verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 21, 23. The earth shall be emptied, etc.

From all these verses in which the "earth" is mentioned, it is very evident that by the "earth" is not understood the earth but the church. Let all the particulars in these verses be well considered, and this will be evident. He who is in a spiritual idea when the "earth" is named, does not think of the earth itself, but of the nations there and of their quality. Those who are in heaven think still more of the earth as being the church, and this because they are spiritual.

In this chapter, the church, as being destroyed, is treated of. Its destruction as to the Good of love and the Truth of faith, which make the church, is signified by "Jehovah emptying the earth, and laying it waste", by its being "violently moved", by its "languishing", by its being "devoured by a curse", by being "polluted or profaned", by "the floodgates from on high being opened", by its being "broken down", by its "foundations moved", by its "reeling like a drunkard", etc. All these things cannot be said of the earth, nor of any nation, but of the church. Apocalypse Explained 304.

Verses 3, 4, 10, 11, 12. The earth shall be utterly emptied; the earth is also polluted under her inhabitants, etc. - Here also the devastation of the church is treated of. "The earth, which shall be emptied, confounded, and polluted", is the church; "city" is the Truth of doctrine; "house" the Good thereof; "the wine, over which there is an outcry in the streets", is the Truth of doctrine falsified, over which there is contest and indignation. Apocalypse Explained 223.

4. The earth mourns, it withers; the world languishes, it withers : the lofty people of the land do languish.

5. The earth is also polluted under her inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, they have surmounted the statute, they have broken the everlasting covenant.

Verses 4, 5. The earth mourns; the lofty people of the land do languish. The earth is also polluted under her inhabitants, etc. - The desolation of the church as to its Truths and Goods, on account of the pride of self-derived intelligence, and the profanation of its Truths which are from Good, are thus described. The desolation is described by "mourning" and "languishing."

The church, as to truths and goods, by the "earth" and the "world."

The pride of self-derived intelligence, by "the lofty people of the land"; and the profanation of its truths which are from Good, by "the earth being polluted or profaned under her inhabitants." Apocalypse Explained 741.

Verse 5. They have broken the everlasting covenant.

The Word is the real and very covenant which the Lord makes with man, and man with the Lord; for the Lord came down as the Word, that is, as the Divine Truth; and, specifically; the precepts of the Decalogue are the covenant of conjunction between the Lord and man, and consequently the principal medium of his salvation. True Christian Religion 730.

6. Therefore has a curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are punished: therefore are the inhabitants of the earth burnt up, and few are the men that are left.

Verses. 6, 7, 9, 10. Therefore has a curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are punished; - the new wine mourns, etc.

- The perversion of the church is described in these words; which perversion. takes place when the false rules in the place of Truth, in consequence of which there is no longer any Good, since good is acquired by means of truths. By "the land which the curse has devoured" is signified the church; the "curse" denoting the perversion thereof. By "the new wine which shall mourn", and "the vine which shall languish", is signified all the Truth of the church; to "mourn" and to "languish" denoting its deprivation. That there shall no longer be any celestial delight and blessing, is signified by "All the glad in heart do sigh; with a song they shall no more drink wine." That they shall be averse from all things which agree with Truths, is signified by "The strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it; "strong drink" here signifying what is derived from truths, and in agreement therewith. But that the doctrine of what is false shall be destroyed, is signified by "The city of emptiness is broken down;", the "city" signifying doctrine, and "emptiness" the false. And that good and wisdom shall be no longer with man, is signified by "Every house is shut up; so that no one can enter"; which takes place when there is no Truth, but only what is false. Apocalypse Explained 376.

Verse 6. Therefore are the inhabitants of the earth burnt up, and few are the men that are left.

- By "the inhabitants of the earth" are signified the goods of the church, which are said to be "burnt up", when the loves of self and of the world begin to reign; that in such case the spiritual affection of truth and wisdom thence derived would cease is signified by "few men being left." Apocalypse Explained 280. See also Arcana Coelestia 477, 4287.

7. The new wine mourns; the vine languishes; all that were glad of heart do sigh.

8. The joy of the tabrets ceases; the noise of them that exult is no more; the joy of the harp ceases:

9. With a song they shall no more drink wine; the strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.

Verses.7-9. The new wine mourns; the wine languishes, etc.

- Treating of the devastation of the spiritual church, or of the Good and Truth of that church. Spiritual Good, which should cease, is signified by "the new wine mourning", and "the joy of the tabrets ceasing" and that its Truth was to cease, is signified by "the vine languishing", and "the joy of the harp ceasing"; for by "new wine" is signified spiritual Good, and the joy thereof by the "tabret"; and by the "vine" is signified spiritual Truth, and the joy thereof by the "harp."

Inasmuch as it is the affection of those things which should cease, it is therefore said - "All the glad in heart do sigh; the noise of them that exult is no more"; "gladnesses" and "mirths", in the Word, signifying spiritual gladnesses and mirth, all which are from the affections of Truth and Good.

It is added, "With a song they shall no more drink wine"; because by "singing" is signified testification of gladness from the affection of Truth, and by "wine" is signified Truth itself. Apocalypse Explained 323.

Verses 7, 9. All that were glad of heart do sigh. With a song they shall no more drink wine: the strong drink [sicera] shall be bitter to them that drink it.

- By "the glad of heart sighing", and by "not drinking wine with a song", is signified that all internal beatitude of mind and all felicity of heart will perish, on account of the destruction of the Truth of spiritual Good. By "strong drink being bitter to those "who drink it", is signified that the Truth of Good is become unpleasant from its falsification and its adulteration. Apocalypse Explained 618

10. The city of emptiness is broken down: every house is shut up, so that no one can enter.

Verses 10, 11. By "the city of emptiness" is signified the doctrine in which is not Truth but falsity. By a "house [shut up]" is signified the good of the will, and hence of the life [destroyed]. By "an outcry in the streets over wine" is signified lamentation over the defect of Truth, and its being mixed with falsity; "wine" signifies the Truth of the church from the Word; hence it is said "in the streets", because a "street" also signifies Truth, and where the lamentation is made. ", Joy" and "gladness" are mentioned, because "joy" is predicated of delight from the affection of Good, and "gladness" of delight from the affection of Truth. That those delights will cease, is signified by "all joy being commixed [or desolate, see note], and by "the gladness of the earth being banished"; the "earth" signifies the church. Apocalypse Explained 652.

11. There is an outcry in the streets over wine; all joy is desolate; the gladness of the earth is banished.

12. The remnant in the city is desolation; the gate is battered down by devastation.

Verses 10-12. "The city of emptiness being broken" means also the human mind deprived of Truth; "every house shut up" signifies without good; that a "house" signifies what is good, see Arcana Coelestia 2233.

By "the outcry over wine in the streets" is signified a state of the false; that "outcry" is predicated of falsities, see Arcana Coelestia 2240; that "wine" is Truth, over which there is an outcry, because it does not exist, see Arcana Coelestia 1071; that "streets" are what lead to truths, see Arcana Coelestia 2336.

"The gladness which is desolate" is predicated of Truth, and "the joy of the earth banished" of Good.

Hence it is evident what is signified by "the remnant of the city being desolation", and by "the gate being battered down by devastation"; the "gate" is said to be devastated when nothing but evils and falsities prevail. Arcana Coelestia 285l.

Verses 11, 12, 13. There is an outcry in the streets over wine, etc. By these words is described mourning over the devastation of the church as to celestial Good, and as to spiritual Good, which, in its essence, is Truth derived from celestial Good. This devastation is compared to "the shaking of the olive-tree", and to "the gleanings when the vintage is finished." Apocalypse Explained 919.

13. For thus shall it be in the inmost of the land, in the midst of the peoples; as the shaking of the olive, as the gleanings when the vintage is finished.

Verse 13. These things are said concerning the church devastated as to Good and as to Truth, and in which there is nothing but the evil and the false. "In the inmost of the land", denotes evil being through the whole of the church; and "in the midst of the peoples", denotes the false being through the whole thereof. Therefore the church is compared with "the shaking of the olive-tree," and with "the gleanings that are left when the vintage is finished"; the "olive-tree" signifying the Good of the church, the "vintage" the Truth thereof; and the "shakings" and "gleanings" thereof signify devastation. Apocalypse Explained 313

14. These shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of Jehovah, they shall shout aloud from the sea.

15. Wherefore in the fires, glorify you Jehovah; in the islands of the sea, the name of Jehovah the God of Israel.

Verses 14, 15. In this chapter the devastation of the church is treated of, and in these verses the institution of a New Church among the Gentiles is signified, whose joy is described by "lifting up the voice", and by "singing for the majesty of Jehovah", and by "shouting aloud from the sea, or from the west"; for by the "sea", when thereby the west is understood, is signified the natural principle, because those who, in the spiritual world, dwell in the western quarter, are in natural good, but in the eastern quarter are those who are in celestial good; and since the Gentiles, amongst whom the church would be, were in natural good, therefore it is said, "In the fires [urim], glorify you Jehovah; in the islands of the sea, the name of Jehovah the God of Israel"; by which is signified that they would worship the Lord from goods and truths in the natural man, for the term "Urim" signifies fire, and a focus by which is signified the good of love belonging to the natural man; and "the islands of the sea" signify the knowledges of Truth and Good which are of the natural man; and to " glorify", or to " honour", signifies to adore. By "Jehovah "and" the God of Israel" is understood the Lord, who is called "Jehovah" where Good is treated of, and "the God of Israel" where Truth is treated of; wherefore it is said, "In the fires [urim] , glorify you Jehovah", that is, from Good; and "in the islands of the sea, the name of the God of Israel," that is, from Truths. Hence it is evident that by "the islands of the sea" are signified the truths of the natural man. Apocalypse Explained 406.

16. From the uttermost part of the earth we have heard songs, Glory to the just! But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very, treacherously.

17. The terror, the pit, and the snare, are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!

Verse 16. My leanness. - See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 17:4.

Verse 17. The terror, the pit, and the snare, are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!

-"Terror" denotes disturbance and commotion of mind, whence it sticks or hesitates between evils and goods, and thence between falsities and truths. The "pit" signifies the false, induced by reasonings grounded in the fallacies of the senses, to favour the delights of the love of self and of the world, The "snare" signifies the enticement and the deception of evil thence derived; that a "snare", in the spiritual sense, is enticement and deception by the delights of the loves of self and of the world, thus the enticement and deception of evils, and this by reasonings grounded in the fallacies of the senses which favour those delights, is evident to everyone, for ensnarings and entrappings are from no other source. Neither do the diabolical crew assault anything else with man except those his loves which they render delightful by every method, until he is taken, and when he is taken, the man reasons from falsities against truths, and from evils against goods; and in such case he is not content herewith, but also takes delight in ensnaring and enticing others to falsities and evils. The reason why he also takes this delight, is, because in such a case he becomes one of the diabolical crew. Inasmuch as a "snare" a "gin", a "net" signifies such things, they also signify the destruction of spiritual life, and thereby perdition, since in those loves, as was said above, all evils originate. For in the love of self, originate contempt of others in comparIson to self, and presently a scornful look and abusive speech, afterwards enmity if they do not favour, at length the delight of hatred, the delight of revenge, thus the delight of tyrannical behaviour, yea, of cruelty. This love, in the other life, rises to such an excess that unless the Lord favours it, and gives to those who are influenced by it dominion over others, they not only despise Him, but treat with scorn the Word which speaks of Him, and, at length, from hatred and revenge they act against Him. And, so far as they cannot effect their purposes against Him, they practise them with fierceness and cruelty against all who profess Him. Hence it is evident what is the origin of such qualities in the diabolical crew, that is, that it is from self-love; wherefore a "snare", as it signifies the delight of the love of self and of the world, signifies also the destruction of the spiritual life and perdition, for the all of faith and love to the Lord and the all of love towards the neighbour is destroyed by the delight of the love of self and the world where it has dominion; see what was cited, Arcana Coelestia 9335.

That these loves are the origin of all evils, and that hell is from them and in them, and that those loves are fires there, is at this day unknown in the world, when yet it might be known from this consideration that those loves are opposite to love towards the neighbour and to love to God, and that they are opposite to humiliation of heart, and that from them alone exists all contempt, all hatred, all revenge, and all fierceness and cruelty, as every considerate person may know. Arcana Coelestia 9348.

18. And it shall be, that whoso flees from the voice of the terror, shall fall into the pit; and whoso ascends from the midst of the pit, shall be taken in the snare: for the floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth are shaken.

19. The earth is grievously shaken; the earth is utterly shattered to pieces; the earth is violently moved.

Verse 18. In this and in other passages of the Word, they who are in the false and evil are described as fleeing and in fear of being slain. Such fear is their ruling affection, because there is no one to defend them; everyone who is in the evil and the false bears hatred towards his neighbour, and hence each of them is desirous to slay another. That they who are principled in evil and the false are afraid of all others, may best appear from the case of evil spirits in another life. Such as have deprived themselves of all charity, wander about and flee hither and thither; whithersoever they go, if it be to any societies of other spirits, they are immediately discovered as to their evil nature and qualities, in consequence of the perception prevalent in another life, and are not only driven away, but likewise severely punished, even to the destruction of life, were it possible; for the evil spirits are particularly delighted in punishing and tormenting one another, and their highest satisfaction consists therein. And what has heretofore been an arcanum, all this is grounded in the very nature of evil and the false, inasmuch as whatsoever any person wishes for another returns upon himself; for evil and the false have within them the punishment of evil and the false, consequently the fear of punislunent. Arcana Coelestia 390, 391.

Verses 18, 19, 20. The floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth are shaken, etc.

- That these things are not said of the earth, but of the church, must be evident to everyone; for who can understand that "the foundations of the earth are shaken", that "the earth is moved and reels as drunkard", and also that "it 'moveth this way and that, like a lodge"? But when, instead of the earth the church is thought of, these expressions are easily understood. That the change and perversion thereof is signified, is evident from its being said, "For her transgression is heavy upon her; and she shall fall, and not rise again." And by "the floodgates which are opened from on high", is understood an inundation of evil and the false. Apocalypse Explained 400. See also, as to "floodgates", Arcana Coelestia 767.

20. The earth reels like a drunkard; and moveth this way and that, like a lodge for the night: for her transgression is heavy upon her; and she shall fall, and not rise again.

21. And it shall be in that day, that Jehovah shall visit the host of the high [ones] that are on high; and on earth the kings of the earth.

Verse 20. See Chapter 19:14, and Chapter 28:1-8, the Exposition.

Verses 21, 23. Jehovah shall visit the host of the high [ones] that are on high, etc.

- To "visit" signifies to destroy, because visitation precedes judgment, (see above, Chapter 10:3, the Exposition), when they are destroyed who are in evils and thence in falsities.

By the host of the high [ones] that are on high", are signified all the evils which originate in the love of self; the "host" denoting all evils; by "the kings of the earth " are signified falsities of every kind; the "earth", or land, denoting the church.

Hence it may appear what is signified by "Jehovah shall visit the host of the high [ones] that are on high; and on earth the kings of the earth. The reason why it is said "The host of the high [ones] that are on high", is because they who are principled in the love of self, in the spiritual world, seek high places. (See Chapter 2:12-17, Expositlon.)

By "the moon then being confounded", and "the sun being ashamed, is signified there being no more reception of divine Truth and of divine Good; the "moon" and the "sun" signifying the Truth of faith and the Good of love, which are said to be "confounded and ashamed" when they are no more received, but instead thereof what is false and evil. Apocalypse Explained 401.

22. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners for the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and, after many days, they shall be visited.

Verse 22. They shall be gathered together, as prisoners. - [or as the bound] for the pit, etc.

- The "prisoners, or the "bound in the pit", are those who are in vastations, or those who are in temptations, All that locality [in the world of spirits] nearest under the sole of the foot and around, is called "the house of the prison, where all those are kept who are in vastation, that is, those who have been in false doctrines, and in evil of life from false principles, and yet in good as to their intentions. Such cannot be received into heaven before they have put off these false principles, and also the delight of life which they thence derived. They who are there are let into temptations, for false principles and the delights thence derived can only be cast out by temptations. The place where they are, or rather the state in which they are is signified in general by "the house of the prison", and the places themselves by "pits." They who are in vastations are called "bound", not that they are in any bond [or chains], but because they are not in liberty as to their former [prioresJ thoughts and affections. That such are signified in the Word by the "bound", and by "those who are in prison", is evident from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:

"I will give You for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house." (Isaiah 42:6, 7)

Where the Lord and His advent are treated of. "To open the blind eyes, and to bring out the prisoners from the prison", etc., signifies those who are in ignorance of what is Good and True, but who nevertheless desire to know and to be imbued therewith. Arcana Coelestia 5037.

As to vastations in the other life, see Arcana Coelestia 1106 to 1113.

After many days, they shall be visited. - [These words signify that, after having passed through all the states necessary for their purification, they will be delivered by the Lord and elevated to His kingdom.]

23. And the moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall be ashamed; for Jehovah of Hosts shall reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients [shall be] glory.

Verse 23. And the moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall be ashamed, etc. - By the "moon" and the "sun" are here also understood idolatrous worship, and also the false of faith and the evil of love [or a false faith and an evil love]. By "mountain " and by "Jerusalem "is understood heaven and the church; and by "ancients", or elders, are understood truths from Good, wherefore it is also said that "before them is glory", for by "glory" is signified Divine Truth in heaven. Apocalypse Explained 270.

The moon shall be confounded, etc. - [As the destruction of the earth or of the entire church is the subject of this chapter, so the heavens, or specifically the "moon" and the "sun", are also exhibited as being confounded and ashamed, because the "earth" signifies the church as to lts externals, and the "heavens" the church as to its internals. (See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 1:2.) The moon is said to be "confounded", or more literally to "blush", and the sun to be "ashamed", which are, expressions predicable of the human countenance, because the "face" also corresponds to the interiors; and as all things in heaven and in the church are regarded by the Lord as represented by a "man", or as having relation to the human form, (see Chapter 1:2, note.)

Therefore the moon is said to "blush" when divine Truth is not received by the men of the church; but instead thereof fallacies and falsities; and the sun of heaven is said to be "ashamed" when the divine Good is not received, but instead thereof evil.

In other passages describing the ruin of the church, the moon is said not to cause its light to shine", and the sun to be "darkened." See above, Chapter 13:10, the Exposition; see also Joel 2:10; Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12.

As to the peculiar terms employed in this passage of Isaiah to denote the "sun" and the "moon", see the note, P: 257.

---
Isaiah Chapter 24

1. BEHOLD, Jehovah empties the earth, and makes it waste; He overturns the face thereof, and scatters the inhabitants thereof.

2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master: as with the handmaid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer; so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the usurer, so with the giver of usury:

3. The earth shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for Jehovah has spoken this word.

4. The earth mourns, it withers; the world languishes, it withers : the lofty people of the land do languish.

5. The earth is also polluted under her inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, they have surmounted the statute, they have broken the everlasting covenant.

6. Therefore has a curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are punished: therefore are the inhabitants of the earth burnt up, and few are the men that are left.

7. The new wine mourns; the vine languishes; all that were glad of heart do sigh.

8. The joy of the tabrets ceases; the noise of them that exult is no more; the joy of the harp ceases:

9. With a song they shall no more drink wine; the strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.

10. The city of emptiness is broken down: every house is shut up, so that no one can enter.

11. There is an outcry in the streets over wine; all joy is desolate; the gladness of the earth is banished.

12. The remnant in the city is desolation; the gate is battered down by devastation.

13. For thus shall it be in the inmost of the land, in the midst of the peoples; as the shaking of the olive, as the gleanings when the vintage is finished.

14. These shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of Jehovah, they shall shout aloud from the sea.

15. Wherefore in the fires, glorify you Jehovah; in the islands of the sea, the name of Jehovah the God of Israel.

16. From the uttermost part of the earth we have heard songs, Glory to the just! But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very, treacherously.

17. The terror, the pit, and the snare, are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!

18. And it shall be, that whoso flees from the voice of the terror, shall fall into the pit; and whoso ascends from the midst of the pit, shall be taken in the snare: for the floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth are shaken.

19. The earth is grievously shaken; the earth is utterly shattered to pieces; the earth is violently moved.

20. The earth reels like a drunkard; and moveth this way and that, like a lodge for the night: for her transgression is heavy upon her; and she shall fall, and not rise again.

21. And it shall be in that day, that Jehovah shall visit the host of the high [ones] that are on high; and on earth the kings of the earth.

22. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners for the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and, after many days, they shall be visited.

23. And the moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall be ashamed; for Jehovah of Hosts shall reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients [shall be] glory.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 24


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 411, 566, 1066, 3355, 3448, 5037

Apocalypse Revealed 20, 53, 285, 704, 899

Doctrine of the Lord 4

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 14

True Christian Religion 198


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 304, 401, 526

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 41

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