The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

True Christianity 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:




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Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

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2 Peter 5, 6

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Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Face 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.

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...

saw
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

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

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

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

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

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

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

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

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...

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.

seas
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

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

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

fruit
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
'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
'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
'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

light
'The two luminaries' denote love and faith in the internal self.

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
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;...

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

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

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
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

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...

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:...

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

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...

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

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Does God Want us to Dominate Nature? - Swedenborg Minute

Is there a religious call to exploit nature? Here, Swedenborg tackles a bit of text that has led some people to believe just that.

Swedenborg 101: The Basic Nature of Everything - Swedenborg and Life

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 (Whitehead translation)      

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526. And the third part of them was darkened, signifies that all these were changed into the falsities of evil and into the evils of falsity. This is evident from the signification of "darkness," as being falsities, and thus "to be darkened" means to be changed into falsities. It means a change both into the falsities of evil and into the evils of falsity, because it is said that "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 knowledges of good and truth; therefore "the third part of the sun was darkened" signifies that the good of love was changed into evil and into falsity from evil, which is the falsity of evil; for good is changed into evil and into falsity therefrom, but the truth of faith, which is signified by the "moon," is changed into falsity and into evil therefrom, which is the evil of falsity. The evil of falsity is the falsity of doctrine out of which comes evil of life, and the falsity of evil is the evil of life out of which comes the falsity of doctrine.

[2] Darkness signifies falsity because light signifies truth, and falsity is the opposite of truth as darkness is of light; moreover, when the light of life, which is the Divine truth, is not with man, the shadow of death is with him, which is falsity; for man from what is his own (proprium) is in every evil and in falsity from the evil, and he is removed from these only by means of the truths of the church; consequently where there are no truths there are the falsities of evil. (That it is only by means of truths that man is removed from evils, is purified, and is reformed, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 24.)

[3] That "darkness" signifies in the Word falsities of various kinds can be seen 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 cometh (Joel 2:31).

"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood," has a similar signification as "the third part of the sun and the third part of the moon were darkened," namely, that at the end of the church there will be the falsity of evil in the place of the good of love, and evil of falsity in the place of truth of faith.

[4] Elsewhere in the Word where the darkening of the sun and moon is spoken of there is a like meaning, as in Isaiah:

For the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not make their light to shine; the sun shall be darkened in its rising, and the moon shall not make bright her light (1 Isaiah 13:10; 24:21, 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 luminaries of light in the heavens will I make dark over thee, and I will set darkness upon thy land (Ezekiel 32:7, 8).

In Joel:

The day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision; the sun and the moon have been darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their brightness (Joel 3:14, 15).

In the same:

The day of Jehovah cometh, a day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and obscurity. Before Him the earth trembled, the sun and the moon were darkened, and the stars withdrew their brightness (Joel 2:1-2, 10).

In the Gospels:

Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven (Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24, 25).

This is said of the last time of the church, when there is no longer any spiritual good or truth, or the good and truth of heaven and the church, but 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 shall be obscured and darkened, and the stars shall not give their light;" the Last Judgment that then follows is meant by "the day of Jehovah great and terrible;" and as this comes when the church is in darkness and in thick darkness, that day is also called "a day of darkness and thick darkness," and also "a day of cloud and obscurity," as also in the following passages.

(References: Ezekiel 32:7-8; Joel 3:14-15; Mark 13:24-25)


[5] In Amos:

Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah. What to you is the day of Jehovah? It is darkness, and not light. Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light? Even thick darkness, and no brightness to it? (Isaiah 5:18, 20).

In Zephaniah:

The day of Jehovah, a day of wasteness and devastation, a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of clouds and of gloominess (Zephaniah 1:14, 15).

In Isaiah:

In that day he shall look upon the land, which behold is darkness and distress, and the light shall grow dark in its ruins (Isaiah 5:30).

In the same:

He shall look unto the earth, and behold distress and darkness dimmed with straitness and driven with thick darkness (Isaiah 8:22).

In the same:

Behold, darkness covereth the earth, and thick darkness the peoples (Isaiah 60:2).

In Jeremiah:

Give glory to Jehovah your God before He causeth darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the mountains of twilight; then shall ye look for light, but He will turn it into the shadow of death, He will make it thick darkness (13 Jeremiah 13:16).

This is said of the last time of the church, when the Lord is to come into the world, and judgment is to be accomplished; because there will then be no longer any good of love or truth of faith, but the evil of falsity and the falsity of evil, that day is called "a day of darkness and of thick darkness."

(References: Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:14-15)


[6] The same is signified by:

The darkness that came over all the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour when the Lord was crucified (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-49).

"The darkness over all the land" represented that in the whole church there was nothing but evil and falsity therefrom, and falsity and evil therefrom; moreover, the three hours signify what is full and complete; for each and all things related in the Gospels respecting the Lord's passion have stored up in them arcana of heaven, and signify Divine celestial things, which can be laid open only by means of the internal spiritual sense.

[7] That "darkness" signifies falsity is further evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness (Amos 5:20).

"To put darkness for light and light for darkness" signifies to call falsity truth and truth falsity; it is clear that "darkness" means falsity and "light" truth, for good and evil are first spoken of, therefore what follows must be respecting truth and falsity.

[8] In John:

This is the judgment, that the Light hath come into the world, and men have loved the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil (John 3:19).

The Lord here calls Himself the Light because He was the Divine truth itself when in the world; therefore "the Light" signifies the Lord in relation to Divine truth, also Divine truth from the Lord; and as darkness is opposed to light, "the darkness that men loved rather than the light" signifies infernal falsity, which is the falsity of evil. That the falsity of evil is here signified by "darkness" is evident from its being said, "because their works were evil." The falsity of evil springs from evil works, or the evils of life; for as good joins to itself truth, so evil joins to itself falsity; for the one belongs to the other.

[9] "Light" and "darkness" have a similar signification in the following passages in John:

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. And the light appeareth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:4, 5).

In the same:

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 (Revelation 8:12).

In the same:

Jesus said, Walk while ye have the Light, that darkness overtake you not; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. I have come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me may not abide in darkness (John 12:35, 46).

In these passages "darkness" signifies infernal falsity; for the "light" to which darkness is opposed, signifies Divine truth. "Light" signifies Divine truth because light in the heavens is in its essence Divine truth proceeding from the Lord (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 116-140). Now as Divine truth is the light in the heavens, it follows that the falsity of evil, which is the falsity in the hells, is darkness. This darkness is not indeed darkness to those who are in the hells, for they see one another; but the light by which they see is like the lumen from burning coal, and this lumen, when the light of heaven flows into it, becomes mere darkness. For this reason also the caverns and dens in which they are appear to those in heaven like gloomy caves.

(References: John 1:4-5, 8:12)


[10] From this it can be seen why "darkness" signifies the falsities of evil, and why the Lord says:

That those who are in hell are to be cast into outer darkness (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).

In David:

The enemy pursueth my soul; he hath crushed my life down to the earth; he hath made me to sit in darkness, like the dead of the world (Psalms 143:3).

"The enemy who pursueth his soul" signifies in the spiritual sense evil; consequently "to make me to sit in darkness" signifies falsities.

[11] In Isaiah:

Judgment is far from us, and righteousness doth not overtake us; we wait for light, but behold darkness; for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness (Isaiah 59:9).

"Judgment is far from us" signifies that there is no understanding of truth; "righteousness doth not overtake us" signifies that there is no good of life; "we wait for light, but behold darkness," signifies waiting for truth, but behold falsity; "for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness," signifies waiting for goods through truths, but behold a life of falsity from evils; for "brightness" signifies the goods of truth, because "light" signifies truth, and truth is bright from good; "thick darkness" signifies the falsities of evil, and "to walk" signifies to live.

[12] In Luke:

But this is your hour and the power of darkness (Luke 22:53).

The Lord said this to the chief priests, the captains of the temple, and the elders, who seized Him by the aid 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 respecting the Lord and in evils against Him; here also "darkness" means hell, because such falsities of evil are there.

[13] In the same:

The lamp of the body is the eye; when therefore thine eye is pure thy whole body also shall be light; but when the eye is evil thy body also shall be dark. Take heed, therefore, that the light that is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be light, having no part dark, the whole shall be light, as when a lamp by its flashing doth give thee light (Luke 11:34-36; Matthew 6:22, 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" that is either light or dark, means the whole man. From this the signification of these words in series can be concluded, namely, that the whole man is such as is his understanding from the will; for every man is his truth and his good, because he is his love or affection; therefore he is throughout wholly such as he is in respect to his understanding from his will; for all truth is of the understanding, and all good is of the will; for the body is a mere obedience, since it is the effect of an effecting cause, and the effecting cause is the understanding from the will; therefore such as is the quality of the one such is that of the other, for the effect has its all from its effecting cause. That heed must be taken that truth once perceived in the understanding and received into the will be not turned into falsity, which is done from evil, is meant by "take heed, therefore, that the light that is in thee be not darkness," for from this falsities become worse; therefore in Matthew, in the passages just referred to, it is said:

If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:23).

(References: Matthew 6:22-23)


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

Sit thou silent and enter into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for they shall no longer call thee the mistress of kingdoms (Isaiah 47:5).

"The daughter of the Chaldeans" signifies the falsification of truth, therefore "darkness" signifies the falsities of evil, since evil falsifies truth:

The thick darkness of darkness that was over all the land of Egypt for three days, while in the dwellings of the sons of Israel there was light (Exodus 10:21-23);

signifies also the falsity of evil. Likewise the "darkness" in Genesis (Genesis 15:17), and in many other passages.

[15] It has been shown thus far that "darkness" signifies in the Word the falsities of evil. "Darkness" signifies also falsities not of evil, such as were the falsities of religion among the upright Gentiles, which falsities were with them because of their ignorance of the truth; that these falsities were also called "darkness" is evident from the following passages:

This people walking in darkness have seen a great light; those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light become bright (Isaiah 9:2).

In Matthew:

A people sitting in darkness saw a great light; and to those sitting in the region and shadow of death a light hath arisen (Matthew 4:16).

In Luke:

The dayspring from on high appeared to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death (Luke 1:78, 79).

In Isaiah:

If thou shalt draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, thy light shall arise in the darkness, and thy thick darkness be as the noonday (Isaiah 58:10).

In the same:

He shall say to the bound, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Be revealed (49 Isaiah 49:9).

In the same:

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 in 1 darkness (Isaiah 29:18).

In the same:

And I will lead the blind in a way that they have not known. I will make darkness into light before them, and crooked things into straightness (Isaiah 42:16).

In Micah:

When I sit in darkness Jehovah shall be a Light unto me (Micah 7:8).

In these passages "darkness" signifies the falsities of ignorance, such as existed, and as exist at this day among the upright Gentiles. These falsities are altogether distinct from the falsities of evil, which have evil stored up in them because they are from evil, while the former have good stored up in them because they have good as an end. Those, therefore, who are in these falsities can be instructed in truths, and they also when instructed receive truths in the heart, for the reason that good, which is in their falsities, loves truth, and also conjoins itself to truth when it is heard. It is otherwise with the falsities of evil; these are averse to all truth and cast it off because it is truth, and thus is not in agreement with evil.

(References: Genesis 15:12; Luke 1:78-79)


[16] Again, "darkness" signifies in the Word mere ignorance from lack of truth (as in David, Psalms 18:29; 139:11, 12). "Darkness" signifies also natural lumen, for this in comparison with spiritual light is like darkness; therefore also when angels look down into man's natural lumen, such as is in man's natural cognition, they regard it as darkness, and the things that are in it as in darkness; this light is signified by "darkness" in Genesis 1:2-5. And as the sense of the letter of the Word is natural, that sense also is called in the Word "a cloud," and also "darkness," in comparison with the internal spiritual sense, which is the light of heaven, and is called "glory."

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Footnotes:

1.  Latin "in," Hebrew "out of," which we also find in n. 152, 239; Arcana Coelestia 212, 897, 2393.

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(References: Psalms 18:28, 139:11-12)

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Token      

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'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1039, Genesis 9:12, 9:13, 9:17)


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