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

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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 #594

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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594. Encompassed with a cloud, signifies the ultimate of the Word. This is evident from the signification of "encompassed," as being by what is outside of one, for that which is round about is also without, for it is more remote in the circumference; so here it means the ultimate. Also from the signification of a "cloud," as being Divine truth in ultimates, consequently the Word in the sense of the letter. This signification of "cloud" is evident from appearances in the spiritual world; also from the Word wherever "clouds" are mentioned. From appearances in the spiritual world, as follows: the universal angelic heaven consists solely of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord; the reception of this constitutes angels. In the highest heaven this truth appears like a pure aura which is called ether; in the next lower heaven as less pure, almost like the atmosphere that is called air; in the lowest heaven it appears like something thinly aqueous over which is a vapor like a cloud; such is the appearance of Divine truth according to degrees in its descent. There is a like appearance when angels of the higher heavens speak about Divine truths; what they say is then presented to the view of those who are in the lowest heaven under the appearance of a cloud that floats hither and thither; the more intelligent of them know from its movement and brightness and form what the angels of the higher heavens are speaking about with each other. This makes evident why a "cloud" signifies Divine truth in ultimates. As most things in the Word were taken from the appearances in the spiritual world, and thence have a like significance as they have there, so is it with "clouds."

(References: Revelation 10:1)


[2] That a "cloud" signifies in the Word the sense of the letter, which is Divine truth in ultimates, can be seen from the following passages. In the Gospels:

Jesus took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain; and He was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light. And behold, there appeared Moses and Elijah speaking with Him. While Peter was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him (Matthew 17:1-10; Mark 9:1-11).

And in Luke:

While Peter thus spake there came a cloud and overshadowed them; hence they feared as they entered into the cloud. But there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son; hear ye Him (Luke 9:34, 35).

In this transfiguration the Lord represented Divine truth, which is the Word; for the Lord, when He was in the world, made His Human Divine truth, and when He went out of the world He made His Human Divine good by uniting it with the Divine Itself, that was in Him from conception. (That the Lord made His Human Divine truth when He was in the world, and afterwards Divine good, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 303-306; and that the Lord is the Word, n. 263.) Consequently the particular things that were seen when He was transfigured signify the proceeding of Divine truth from the Lord's Divine good. The Divine good of Divine love which was in Him, and from which He had Divine truth in His Human, was represented by "His face did shine as the sun;" for the "face" represents the interiors, since these shine forth through the face; and the "sun" signifies the Divine love (see above, n. 401, 412). The Divine truth was represented by the "garments" which became as the light; "garments" in the Word signify truths, and "the Lord's garments" Divine truth (see also above, n. 64, 271, 395); this is why they appeared "as the light;" for Divine truth makes the light in the angelic heaven, and is therefore signified by "light" in the Word (respecting which see in the work on Heaven and Hell 126-140). Because it was the Word, which is Divine truth, that was represented, therefore "there appeared Moses and Elijah speaking with Him;" "Moses and Elijah" signifying the Word; "Moses" the historical Word, and "Elijah" the prophetical Word. The Word in the letter was represented by the "cloud that overshadowed the disciples, and into which they entered;" for the "disciples" represented in the Word the church, which at that time and afterwards was only in truths from the sense of the letter; and because, as has been said in the article above, revelations and responses are made by Divine truth in ultimates, and because this truth is such as is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, it came to pass that "a voice was heard out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him," meaning that He is Divine truth, or the Word.

(References: Luke 9:34-35; Mark 9:1-10; Matthew 17:1-5; The Apocalypse Explained 64, The Apocalypse Explained 271, 395, 401, 412)


[3] He who does not know that a "cloud" in the spiritual sense of the Word means the Word in the letter, cannot know what arcanum is involved in this:

That in the consummation of the age they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory (Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; 14:61, 62; Luke 21:27).

And in Revelation:

Behold, Jesus Christ cometh with the clouds and every eye shall see Him (Genesis 1:7).

And again:

I saw, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man (Numbers 14:14).

And in Daniel:

I was seeing in the night visions, and behold, there was coming with the clouds of the heavens one like the Son of man (Daniel 7:13).

He who is ignorant that "the clouds of heaven" signify the truths of the Word in the sense of the letter, cannot know otherwise than that in the consummation of the age, that is, in the end of the church, the Lord is to come in the clouds of heaven, and manifest Himself to the world; but it is well known that since the Word was given, the Lord manifests Himself through that only, for the Word, which is Divine truth, is the Lord Himself in heaven and in the church. From this it can now be seen that the manifestation here predicted signifies His manifestation in the Word; and His manifestation in the Word was effected through His opening and revealing the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, for in that sense is the Divine truth itself, such as it is in heaven, and the Divine truth in heaven is the Lord Himself there. This makes clear that "the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven with glory" signifies the revelation of Him in the sense of the letter of the Word from its spiritual sense. "The clouds of heaven" signify the things belonging to the sense of the letter, and "glory" signifies those belonging to the spiritual sense (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 1), also the revelation itself of the spiritual sense (in the small work on The White Horse); "Son of man" also signifies the Lord in relation to Divine truth (as may be seen above, n. 63, 151).

(References: Mark 14:61-62; Revelation 1:7, Revelation 14:14; The Apocalypse Explained 63, The Apocalypse Explained 151)


[4] That a "cloud" signifies Divine truth in ultimates, consequently the Word in the sense of the letter, can be seen further from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Behold, Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud, and cometh into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt are moved before Him, and the heart of the Egyptian melteth in the midst of him (19 Isaiah 19:1).

"Egypt" here does not mean Egypt, but the natural man when separated from the spiritual, which is then in falsities and evils, and through these perverts all the truths and goods of the church; that the natural man is destroyed by these falsities and evils when truth from good flows in from the Lord is described by these words of the prophet understood in the internal sense. Jehovah is said "to ride upon a light cloud" to signify that the Lord enlightens the understanding with truths; "to ride" in reference to Jehovah or the Lord, signifying to enlighten the understanding, and "a light cloud" signifying truth; that then "the idols of Egypt are moved, and the heart of the Egyptian melteth," signifies that the evils and falsities of the natural man, separated from the spiritual, then destroy the natural man; "idols" meaning falsities, the "heart" evils, and "Egypt" the natural man.

[5] In Moses:

There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth in heaven and in His magnificence upon the clouds, the abode of the God of antiquity, and underneath are the arms of the world (Deuteronomy 33:26, 27).

Here, too, "riding in heaven upon the clouds" signifies to enlighten the understanding by the influx of spiritual truth into natural truth, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word. Because Divine truth in the heavens is spiritual, and Divine truth on the earth is natural, and the latter is enlightened by the former, therefore it is said, "and in His magnificence upon the clouds;" "the abode of the God of antiquity" means Divine truth with the angels, and "the arms of the world," mean Divine truths with men; the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are what are meant by "the arms of the world," for that sense is the very strength of Divine truth, "arms" signifying strength. (That the strength of Divine truth is in the sense of the letter can be seen in the article just above.)

(References: Deuteronomy 33:26-27)


[6] In David:

God rode upon a cherub and did fly, and was borne upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His hiding place; His tent round about Him the darkness of waters, the clouds of the heavens. At the brightness before Him the clouds passed (Psalms 18:10-12).

This, too, describes the enlightenment of the Word, and thus of the church; enlightenment by the influx of Divine truth from the heavens is signified by "God rode upon a cherub and did fly;" Divine truth in ultimates which is enlightened is signified by "the wings of the wind," "the darkness of waters," and "the clouds of the heavens," these signifying the various degrees of the understanding receiving enlightenment; that the obscurities of the ultimate sense are thereby dissipated is meant by "at the brightness before Him the clouds passed."

[7] In the same:

Sing unto God, praise His name; extol Him that rideth upon the clouds (Psalms 68:4).

Here, too, "Him that rideth upon the clouds" means the Lord as to enlightenment; "clouds" meaning truths in ultimates, which are enlightened, and these are enlightened by the influx of light, which is Divine truth, from the spiritual world or heaven.

(References: Ezekiel 10:3-4)


[8] In Nahum:

Jehovah hath His way in the storm and in the tempest, and the clouds are the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3).

Truth in ultimates, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, is called "clouds, the dust of the feet of Jehovah," because it is the natural and lowest truth, into which Divine truth in heaven, which is spiritual, closes, and upon which it subsists. Divine truth in ultimates, because it is but little understood unless there is enlightenment from heaven, is a subject of discussion and controversy, and this is meant by "storm and tempest in which Jehovah hath His way," spiritual "storm and tempest" meaning discussion concerning the genuine sense, which nevertheless, with those who desire truth, the Lord enlightens by means of influx.

[9] In David:

His seed shall be to eternity, and His throne as the sun before Thee. 1 It shall be established as the moon to eternity, and as a faithful witness in the clouds (Psalms 89:36, 37).

This is said of the Lord, and the "seed that shall be to eternity" signifies Divine truth which is from Him. The "throne that shall be as the sun and as the moon" signifies heaven and the church as to the good of love and as to the truth of faith; "throne" signifying heaven and the church; "as the sun" in respect to the good of love, and "as the moon" in respect to the truth of faith. "A faithful witness in the clouds" signifies that He is Divine truth, for "witness" in reference to the Lord, signifies that which proceeds from Him, and as that is His, it witnesses respecting Him.

(References: Psalms 89:36-37)


[10] In the same:

Jehovah layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters; He maketh the cloud 2 His chariot; He walketh upon the wings of the wind (Psalms 104:3).

These few words describe heaven and the church, and at the same time doctrine from the Word. "He layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters" signifies that the Lord forms the heavens and the church from Divine truths; "waters" signify Divine truths; "Jehovah's chambers" signify the heavens and the church, and "to lay beams" signifies to form. "He maketh the clouds His chariot" signifies doctrine from ultimate Divine truths; "clouds" meaning ultimate Divine truths, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word, and a "chariot" doctrine; this is said because every doctrine of the church is to be formed from and confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word. "He walketh upon the wings of the wind" signifies the life which doctrine has from spiritual influx; "to walk" signifying to live, and in reference to the Lord life itself; "the wings of the wind" mean the spiritual things of the Word. (That "waters" signify truths, see above, n. 71, 483, 518, 537, 538.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, 518, The Apocalypse Explained 537-538)


[11] In Isaiah:

I will lay waste My vineyard, I will even command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it (Isaiah 5:6).

This means that the church shall have no understanding of Divine truth or of the Word; "vineyard" signifying the church, "clouds" the Word in the letter, and "their raining no rain," that there shall be no understanding of Divine truth from the Word.

[12] In David:

Jehovah who covereth the heavens with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains (Psalms 147:8).

"To cover the heavens with clouds" signifies to defend and preserve the spiritual things of the Word which are in the heavens, by means of natural truths such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word; "who prepareth rain for the earth" signifies instruction therefrom for the church; "who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains" signifies nourishment thereby for those who are in the good of love.

[13] The like is signified by the following words in Isaiah:

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds stream down with righteousness; let the earth open and bring forth the fruit of salvation (Isaiah 45:8).

And in Judges:

Jehovah, when Thou didst go forth out of Seir, when Thou didst march out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, yea, the clouds dropped waters (Judges 5:4).

"To go forth out of Seir, and to march out of the field of Edom," signifies, in reference to Jehovah, the enlightenment of the Gentiles by the Lord when He assumed the Human; "the earth trembling" signifies the state of the church then changed; "the heavens dropped, and the clouds dropped waters," signifies instruction, influx, and perception of Divine truth; "to drop" signifying instruction and influx; "waters" truths; "the heavens" the interior things of truth, and "clouds," the exterior, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word.

[14] In David:

The clouds poured out waters; the skies gave forth a voice, and Thine arrows went forth (Psalms 77:17).

"The clouds poured out waters" signifies that there are genuine truths from the sense of the letter of the Word; "the skies gave forth a voice" signifies influx from the heavens; "Thine arrows went forth" signifies Divine truths therefrom. In Job:

God bindeth up the waters in His clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them. He spreadeth His cloud upon His throne (Job 26:8, 9).

Here, too, "clouds" stand for truths ultimate in order, and because these contain in themselves and enclose spiritual truths that they may not be dispersed, this is described and signified by "God bindeth up the waters in His clouds, and the cloud is not rent;" because exterior truths, which are called natural, also encompass and enclose interior truths, which are called spiritual, and are proper to the angels of the heavens, this is described and signified by "He spreadeth His cloud upon His throne."

(References: Acts of the Apostles 26:8-9; Job 26:8-9)


[15] In Isaiah:

Jehovah said, I will be quiet, and I will behold in My dwelling place like clear heat upon light, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest (Isaiah 18:4);

a "cloud of dew" signifying truth bringing forth fruit from good. In the same:

Jehovah will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon her convocations a cloud by day, and a smoke and the brightness of a flame of fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a covering (Isaiah 4:5).

"The dwelling place of Mount Zion" signifies the good of the celestial church, and "her convocations" signify the truths of that good; protection lest it should be hurt by too much light or too much shade is signified by "a cloud by day and a smoke, and the brightness of a flame of fire by night," and as every spiritual good and truth is preserved from harm by natural good and truth, it is said that "upon all the glory shall be a covering," "glory" meaning spiritual good and truth.

[16] The same is signified by:

The cloud that was upon the tabernacle by day, and the fire by night (Exodus 40:36-38; Numbers 9:15-23to the end;Numbers 10:11, 12, 34;14:14;Deuteronomy 1:33).

Jehovah went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21).

The pillar of the cloud stood between the camp of the sons of Israel and the camp of the Egyptians (Exodus 14:19-21).

In David:

God led them in the daytime in a cloud, and all the night in the light of fire (Psalms 78:14).

And elsewhere in the same:

Egypt was glad when they went forth, for the dread of them had fallen upon them. He spread out a cloud for a covering, and fire to make light the night (Psalms 105:38, 39).

"There was a cloud upon the tabernacle by day, and a fire by night," because the "tabernacle" represented heaven and the church, the "cloud" the Lord's presence through Divine truth, and the "fire" His presence through Divine good, which is called the good of faith, each ultimate in order; therefore they were as coverings over the tabernacle; for this reason it is said in the passages cited above from Isaiah and David, "over all the glory shall be a covering," and "He spread out a cloud for a covering."

The like is signified by:

The cloud that covered Mount Horeb, into which cloud Moses entered (Exodus 24:15-18).

And the like by:

The cloud in which Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16, 18; 34:5).

And the like by:

The pillar of cloud that stood at the door of Moses' tent (Exodus 33:9, 10).

(References: Exodus 19:9, Exodus 33:9-10; Numbers 10:11-12; Psalms 105:38-39)


[17] So again of the "cloud" in Ezekiel:

I looked, and behold a wind of a tempest came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself in itself, and a brightness round about it (Ezekiel 1:4).

And in the same:

The cherubim stood on the right side of the house when the man entered in; and the cloud filled the inner court; and the glory of Jehovah mounted up from above the cherub upon the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Jehovah's glory (Ezekiel 10:3, 4).

The "cherubim" signify the Lord in respect to guarding, that there be no approach except through the good of love; so, too, the "cherubim" signify the heavens, in particular the inmost or third heaven, because the angels who are there receive Divine truth in the good of love, therefore it is Divine truth, which is in its essence the good of love, that guards. This Divine truth, as it comes down out of the inmost heaven into the lower heavens, and at length into the world where men are, from being pure becomes thus by degrees more dense, consequently in the lowest degree it appears like a cloud; this is why it signifies Divine truth accommodated to the apprehension of the angels who are in the lowest heaven, who are spiritual-natural, and finally to the apprehension of men in the natural world. Moreover, as Divine truth in this degree is similar to the Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word, "cloud" signifies the Word as to the sense of the letter. It was this Divine truth that filled the court like a cloud, and at length the house, at the right side of which stood the cherubim; and as this Divine truth is inwardly the spiritual that shines from heavenly light, therefore it is called "glory," and it is said that "the court was full of the brightness of Jehovah's glory." Also in Job:

When God maketh the light of His cloud to be bright (Job 37:15).

(References: Ezekiel 10:3-4)


[18] Because the higher heavens appear before the eyes of those who are in the lower heavens as covered by a light and bright cloud (for the reason that the lower angels are unable to see the higher or interior Divine otherwise than in accordance with their own quality), therefore also Divine truth in the higher heavens, or what is the same thing, the higher heavens themselves, are meant in some passages in the Word by "clouds;" for whether you say Divine truth or the heavens it is the same, since the heavens are heavens from Divine truth, and the angels there are angels from the reception of Divine truth. It is in this sense that "clouds" are mentioned in Isaiah:

Lucifer, thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will become like the Most High (14 :13, 14).

In Jeremiah:

Forsake Babylon, and let us go everyone into his own land; for her judgment hath reached even unto the heavens, and it hath lifted up itself even to the clouds (Jeremiah 51:9).

And in David:

Give ye strength unto God; His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is above the clouds (Psalms 68:34).

The same is here signified by "clouds" as:

By the waters above the expanse (Genesis 1:7).

And by the waters above the heavens (Psalms 148:4);

for clouds consist of water. That "waters" signify Divine truths may be seen above (n. 71, 483, 518).

(References: Isaiah 14:13-14, 14:14; The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, The Apocalypse Explained 518)


[19] As there are clouds that are lighter and brighter, also clouds that are denser and blacker, and lighter and brighter clouds appear beneath the heavens, but dense and black clouds are seen about many of the hells, it is evident that "clouds" in the contrary sense signify the falsities of evil which are contrary to truths from good, as in the following passages. In Ezekiel:

Egypt a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity (Ezekiel 30:18).

He shall ascend like a cloud to cover the land (Ezekiel 38:9).

Sheep scattered in the day of cloud and thick darkness (Ezekiel 34:12).

So the Last Judgment, when those who are in the falsities of evil are to perish, is called:

A day of cloud and of obscurity (Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15).

The like is signified by:

The clouds and thick darkness that appeared to the sons of Israel when the law was given from Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 4:11, 12, 15; 5:22-26);

for although Jehovah, that is, the Lord, came down upon that mountain in a bright cloud, yet it appeared before the eyes of the people, who were in the falsities of evil, as a thick dark cloud (see Arcana Coelestia 1861, 6832, 8814, 8819, 9434, 10551).

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Footnotes:

1.  Latin has "Thee," the Hebrew "Me," as found also in AE 205, 401, 684, 768.

2.  Latin has "cloud," the Hebrew "clouds," as found in AE 26, 283, 319.

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(References: Deuteronomy 4:11-12; Exodus 19:9; Isaiah 14:14; Matthew 17:1-5; Revelation 10:1)

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