The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

Next →

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.

Next →

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

female
Female signifies good.

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

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

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

Resources for parents and teachers

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

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

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

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #725

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

725. The reason why a male child signifies the doctrine of truth for the church which is called the New Jerusalem, is, that son signifies truth as we have just shown above, and a male child truth of doctrine from the Word, consequently the doctrine of genuine truth which is for the church. It means doctrine for the church which is called the New Jerusalem, because the woman who brought forth the male child, means that church, as also shown above. The doctrine of truth which is for the church, is also signified by male in the following passages.

In Moses:

"God created man into his image; into the image of God created he him, male and female created he them" (Gen. i. 27):

"Male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name man (homo), in the day in which they were created" (Gen. v. 2).

What is involved in the things that are related in the first chapter of Genesis concerning the creation of heaven and earth, paradise, and the eating of the tree of knowledge (scientia), no one can know except from the spiritual sense, for these particulars are in the form of history; still they are holy, because all the particulars contained in them are interiorly, and in their bosom, spiritual.

(References: Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:2; Revelation 12:5, Revelation 18:16-17)


[2] The subject there described is the establishment of the Most Ancient Church, which was the most excellent of all the churches on this earth; its establishment is meant by the creation of heaven and earth, its intelligence and wisdom are meant by the garden of Eden, and its decline and fall by eating of the tree of knowledge. It is therefore evident that man, who is called Adam and Eve, means that church, for it is said, Male and female created He them, and called their name Man; and as that church is meant by both, it follows that male means its truth, and female its good. So also male means doctrine, and female life, since the doctrine of truth is also the doctrine of love and of charity, thus the doctrine of life; and the life of good is also the life of love and of charity, thus a life of doctrine, that is, a life according to doctrine. These two are meant by male [and female], and, taken together and conjoined in marriage, they are called Man, and they also make the church, which, as said above, is meant by man. Again, Adam was so called from a word that means ground, and ground, from its reception of seeds, signifies the church as to truths of doctrine, for in the Word seeds signify truths; while Eve is from a word that means life, "Because she was to be the mother of all living" (Gen. iii. 20). These two, doctrine and life, taken together and conjoined as it were in marriage, are called Man (homo), and also make the church, because man is man from the understanding of truth and from the will of good, consequently from the doctrine of life, since this is of the understanding and from the life of doctrine, because this is of the will. The case is similar with the church, for the church is in man, and is the man himself.

(References: Genesis 3:20)


[3] That these two, which are signified by male and female, are not to be two but one, the Lord teaches in the Evangelists;

"Jesus said, Have ye not read, that He who made them from the beginning of creation made them male and female, and they two shall be one flesh? Therefore, they are no more two but one flesh" (Matt. xix. 4-6; Mark. x. 6-8).

This also, as is the case with every part of the Word, is to be understood not only naturally, but also spiritually; and unless it is understood spiritually no one can know what is signified by male and female, or husband and wife, being no more two but one flesh, as is also said in Gen. ii. 24. Here, as above, male and female signify, in the spiritual sense, truth and good, consequently also the doctrine of truth, which is the doctrine of life, and the life of truth, which is the life of doctrine. These must not be two but one, since truth does not become truth in man without the good of life, nor does good become good with any one without the truth of doctrine; for good becomes spiritual good only by means of truths, and spiritual good is good, but not natural good, without it. When these are one, then truth is of good and good is of truth, and this oneness is meant by one flesh. The case is similar with doctrine and life; these also make a man of the church one, when the doctrine of life and the life of doctrine are conjoined in him, for doctrine teaches how he must live and act, and the life lives it and does it. From these things also it is evident, that a male child signifies the doctrine of love and of charity, consequently, the doctrine of life.

(References: Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:6, 10:8; Matthew 19:4-6)


[4] Since the truth of doctrine, or the doctrine of truth, is signified by a male, therefore a law was made that every male opening the womb should be holy to Jehovah (Exod. xiii. 12, 15; Deut. xv. 19; Luke ii. 23). For from the marriage of truth and good, meant in the spiritual sense by the marriage of man and woman, as said above, truths and goods are born, and these are consequently signified in that sense by sons and daughters, truths by sons, and goods by daughters. And as every man is reformed and regenerated by means of truths - for without truths man does not know what good is, and what its nature is, nor, consequently, the way to heaven - this is the reason why the truth which is born first from the marriage of truth and good was sanctified to Jehovah. This truth which is first born is also the doctrine of truth, for that which is first is the all in what follows, thus it is all truth, and all truth is doctrine. But it must be carefully observed that the first-born signifies truth that belongs to the good of charity, it therefore signifies the good of charity in its own form and in its own quality, therefore truth; for the form of good and the quality of good are truth. The reason why this is signified by the first-born, is, that from the good of love, which is signified by the womb and the child therein, nothing else can be born but the good of charity; and this good does not become good until it is formed and qualified, that is until it is in the form in which its quality resides, and its form is called truth, but still is good in form.

(References: Deuteronomy 15:19; Exodus 13:12, 13:15; Luke 2:23)


[5] From what has been said above, it is evident why it was that every male should appear three times in the year before the face of the Lord Jehovah (Exod. xxiii. 17; xxxiv. 23; Deut. xvi. 16), namely, at the three feasts, which signified everything of regeneration from first to last. And as everything of regeneration is effected by means of truths of doctrine that become those of life from the Lord, therefore all the males, by whom truths were signified, had to present themselves before the Lord, that they might be cleansed by Him and afterwards led by Him. By three times in the year, is also signified continually, and by the face of Jehovah, the Divine Love by which man is led. And this was done because Jerusalem signified the church as to doctrine, and thus also the doctrine of the church.

(References: Deuteronomy 16:16; Exodus 23:17, 34:23)


[6] Since burnt-offerings and sacrifices signified celestial and spiritual things, burnt-offerings celestial things, and sacrifices spiritual things; therefore the law was given, that burnt-offerings should be of males that were without blemish, either from the flock or from the herd; but sacrifices might be either of males or females (Levit. i. 2, 3; iii. 1, 6). The reasons were, that celestial things are those that pertain to love to the Lord, thus to the marriage of good and truth, but spiritual things are those that pertain to charity towards the neighbour, thus not to the marriage but to the consanguinity of truth with good; and truths and goods in consanguinity are like sisters and brothers, but in marriage truths and goods are like husband and wife. This is why burnt-offerings were of males that were without blemish, which signify genuine truths from the Word, or from doctrine from the Word, which have been conjoined to the good of love to the Lord, this good being signified by the altar and its fire. The sacrifices were either of males or females, because males signify truths, and females goods, not conjoined by marriage but by consanguinity; and as both of these, like brothers and sisters, are from one parent, worship from truths was accepted equally as from goods, that is, from males equally as from females.

(References: Leviticus 1:2-3, 3:1, 3:6)


[7] Since all spiritual nourishment is from truths that are from good, therefore there was a law that a male among the priests should eat the holy things (Levit. vi. 18, 29; vii. 6). The reason of this statute was, that males signify truths of doctrine, which are doctrinals (as above) and priests the goods of love, which are goods of the life; and their eating of the holy things that belonged to Aaron and his sons, signified spiritual nourishment.

(References: Leviticus 6:18, 6:29, 7:6)


[8] In Moses:

When they draw near "unto a city to fight against it, thou shalt invite it to peace"; if it accept not, "thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword, but the women, the little ones, the beasts, and the booty, thou shalt take" (Deut. xx. 10-14).

Every male in a city that did not accept, peace was to be smitten with the edge of the sword, but not the women, the little ones, and beasts, because a city signifies doctrine, and a city of the Gentiles in the land of Canaan, doctrine of falsity, similarly the males of that city; and not to accept peace signifies not to agree with the truths and goods of the church, which were signified by the sons of Israel. The edge of the sword, with which the males were to be smitten, signifies truth destroying falsity. And because falsities alone fight against truths and goods, and destroy them, but not evils without falsities; therefore the women, the little ones, and the beasts, which as belonging to the Gentiles signified evils, were not smitten, since evils can be subdued, amended, and reformed by means of truths.

(References: Deuteronomy 20:10-14)


[9] In Jeremiah:

"Cursed be the man who brought glad tidings to his father, saying, A male child is born to thee, in gladdening he hath made him glad; let that man be as the cities that Jehovah overthrew" (xx. 15, 16).

This is said of those who are in a devastated church, in which nothing but falsities are accepted and rule; therefore Cursed be the man who brought glad tidings to his father, saying, A male child is born to thee, signifies he who acknowledges falsity and proclaims it as truth, thus the doctrine of falsity in place of the doctrine of truth; in gladdening he made him glad, signifies acceptance from affection for falsity. Let that man be as the cities that Jehovah overthrew, signifies that it shall be with the doctrines that are from mere falsities, which the Lord exterminated from the church, and destroyed as it was with the cities of the Canaanitish race which He destroyed; comparison is made with cities, because cities also signify doctrines.

(References: Jeremiah 20:15-16)


[10] In Ezekiel:

"Thou didst take the vessels of thine adorning, of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest thee images of a male with which thou hast committed whoredom" (xvi. 17).

This treats of the abominations of Jerusalem, which signify falsifications and adulterations of the Word, resulting from the application of it to the desires of corporeal and worldly loves. Vessels of adorning from the gold and silver of the Lord, signify knowledges of good and truth, which are the goods and truths of the sense of the letter of the Word. These are called vessels, because they contain in themselves spiritual truths and goods, and vessels of adorning, because they are the manifestations (apparentiae), and thus the forms of interior things; those things which are of gold signify those that are from good, and those of silver those that are from truth. Thou madest to thee images of a male with which thou hast committed whoredom, signifies falsities appearing as truths of doctrine, which are falsified, images of a male denoting appearances of truth which are nevertheless falsities, and to commit whoredom denoting to falsify.

(References: Ezekiel 16:17)


[11] In Malachi:

"Cursed be the defrauder in whose flock is a male, and he voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a blemished thing" (i. 14).

A male in the flock signifies genuine truth of doctrine from the Word; a blemished thing signifies what is falsified; and to vow and sacrifice signifies to worship, thus from things falsified when the truth is known; that such a worship, being fraudulent worship, is infernal, is signified by Cursed be the defrauder. From what has been now shown from the Word concerning the signification of a male, and concerning the signification of a son, it is evident that the male child, which the woman encompassed with the sun, and upon whose head was a crown of twelve stars, brought forth, signifies the doctrine of truth, thus the doctrine of love and charity for the church which is called the New Jerusalem, and which is treated of in the twenty-first chapter of this book.

(References: Malachi 1:14; Revelation 12:5, 18:16-17)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 723, 758

Other New Christian Commentary

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

Commentary

 

Birds      

← Previous   Next →

Photo by Brita Conroy

"Birds" mean rational concepts in the external man and intellectual concepts in the internal man.


Translate: