The Bible

 

Genesis 1

King James Version         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgement 20

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


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Bible Word Meanings

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

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

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

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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

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

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" represents a state where truth is lacking. Here's a cogent passage...

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

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

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

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

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

light
In the Word, “light” in the highest sense represents Divine Truth: knowledge, ideas, understanding that come to us from the Lord. In lesser degrees...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

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

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

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

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

fruit
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

tree
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

greater
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

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

fourth
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

life
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

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

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

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

whales
'A whale,' as in Jeremiah 51:34, signifies people who possess the universal aspects of the knowledges of faith, as known, and apply them to evil...

living
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

winged
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

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

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

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

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

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

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

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

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

air
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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

male
Because of their understanding of spiritual marriage, the people of the Most Ancient church perceived 'male and female' as two faculties in the spiritual self:...

male and female
Because of their understanding of spiritual marriage, the people of the Most Ancient church perceived 'male and female' as two faculties in the spiritual self:...

female
Female signifies good.

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

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

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

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Our Bodies Connect to God's Design of the Universe

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

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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.

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

 

Arcana Coelestia #23

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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23. Nothing is more common in the Word than for the word 'day' to be used to mean the particular time at which events take place, as in Isaiah,

The day of Jehovah is near. Behold, the day of Jehovah comes. I will make heaven tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, on the day of My fierce anger. Its time is close at hand, and its days will not be prolonged. Isaiah 13:6, 9, 13, 22.

And in the same prophet,

Her antiquity is in the days of antiquity. On that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. Isaiah 23:7, 15.

Since 'day' stands for the particular time it also stands for the state associated with that particular time, as in Jeremiah, Woe to us, for the day has declined, for the shadows of evening have lengthened! Jeremiah 6:4

And in the same prophet,

If you break My covenant that is for the day and My covenant that is for the night, so that there is neither daytime nor night at their appointed time. Jeremiah 33:20, 25.

Also,

Renew our days as of old. Lamentations 5:21.

(References: Genesis 1:5, 1:8)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 931, 2103, 2111, 2199, 2649, 2726, 2788, 2838, 3016, 3176, 3251, 3281, 3298, 3390, 3419, 3462, 3498, 3613, 3703, 3785, 3830, 3941, 4010, 4060, 4334, 4387, 4548, 4616, 4780, 4850, 5089, 5122, 5159, 5194, 5292, 6093, 6176, 6337, ...


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 137


   Swedenborg Research Tools


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

The Bible

 

Isaiah 23:7

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 23      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 23

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

1. THE burden of Tyre. Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no one entering in: from the land of Chittim it is made manifest unto them.

VERSES 1, 2. Tyre and Zidon were the ultimate borders of Philistia, and were near the sea; whence by "Tyre" are signified interior knowledges, and by "Zidon" exterior knowledges, and this of things spiritual, which also appears from the Word, as in Jeremiah:

"Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Zidon every helper that remains; for Jehovah will spoil the Philistines, the remains of the island of Caphtor"; (Jeremiah 47:4),

where by the "Philistines" are signified the sciences of the knowledges of faith and charity; by "Tyre" the interior knowledges, and by Zidon the exterior knowledges of things spiritual.

So in Joel:

"What have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Zidon, and all the borders of Philistia? Because you have taken My silver and gold, and have carried into your temples My desirable good things"; (Joel 3:4, 5),

where "Tyre and Zidon" manifestly denote knowledges, and are called the "borders of Philistia"; for "silver and gold, and desirable good things, are knowledges.

So in Ezekiel:

"The princes of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, who have gone down with the slain. He shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised, with the slain with the sword, Pharaoh and all his company"; (Ezekiel 32:30, 32),

where the "Zidonians ' signify exterior knowledges, which, without internal, are nothing but mere scientifics; wherefore they are mentioned together with "Pharaoh", or Egypt, by whom are signified scientifics.

So in Zechariah:

"Hamath also shall have its border thereby; Tyre and Zidon, for he was very wise"; (Zechariah 9:2) speaking of Damascus; "Tyre and Zidon" denote knowledges.

So in Ezekiel:

"The inhabitants of Zidon and of Arvad were your mariners: your wise ones, O Tyre, that were in you, were your pilots"; (Ezekiel 27:8),

where "Tyre" denotes interior knowledges, wherefore her wise ones are called "pilots"; and "Zidon" denotes exterior knowledges, wherefore her inhabitants are called "mariners " [rowers], for such is the relation of interior knowledges to exterior.

So in Isaiah:

"The inhabitants of the island are silent; the merchants of Zidon, they that pass over the sea, have replenished you. And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, was her revenue; and she was the mart of the nations. Be you ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea has spoken, even the fortress of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth children; neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins"; (Isaiah 23:2-4),

where "Zidon" denotes exterior knowledges, which, having nothing internal in them, are called "the seed of Sihor", "the harvest of the river, her revenue", "a mart of the nations", and also "the sea", and "the fortress of the sea".

It is said that "she does not travail, nor bring forth"; which expressions, in the literal sense, seem without meaning, but in the internal sense they have a clear signification, as is the case with other passages in the Prophets.

Because "Zidon" signifies exterior knowledges, it is called "they that are round about Israel", or the spiritual church; (Ezekiel 28:24, 26) for exterior knowledges are like things that are around. Arcana Coelestia 1201.

As to the knowledges of Truth and Good, and their indispensable necessity to the regeneration and salvation of man, see above, Chapter 17:1, the Exposition.

Verses 1-3. Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! for it [TyreJ is laid waste, etc. - The holy things of the church, which are here described, no one can know except from the internal sense. Every one knows that the holy things of heaven and the church are everywhere in the Word, and that it is from this that the Word is holy. In the sense of the letter the subject treated of is concerning the merchandise of Tyre and Zidon, which are not holy, without a more interior sense, which is holy.

But what, in this sense, is signified by the "merchandise of Tyro", will be evident when explained. The "ships of Tarshish" are the doctrinals of Truth and Good. "Tyre and Zidon" are the knowledges of Good and Truth; "no house, and no one entering in", signifies that there is no longer any Good, into which Truth can be implanted. "The inhabitants of the island who are silent", are the more remote goods; "the seed of Sihor" is scientific truth"; the harvest of the river [or the Nile], her revenue", is the good which is hence out of the church. Arcana Coelestia 9295.

Ships of Tarshish. - As to the spiritual signification of the "ships of Tarshish" see also above, Chapter 2:12-17, the Exposition.

Verses 1-5. The burden of Tyre; - the inhabitants of the island are silent; the merchants of Zidon, they that pass over the sea, have replenished you etc. - By "Tyre" and "Zidon" are signified the knowledges of Good and Truth, wherefore it is said "The merchants of Zidon, they that pass over the sea"; a "merchant" denoting one who procures to himself those knowledges and communicates them. That they procured to themselves nothing of Good and Truth thereby, is signified by "The sea has spoken, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth children; neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins"; for to "travail" and to "bring forth is to produce something from knowledges; "young men" are truths, and "virgins" goods. That thence the use of knowledges and of sciences would perish, is signified by these words, "As at the tidings out of Egypt, so shall they be seized with pain at the tidings of Tyre. Apocalypse Explained 275

Verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! for it [Tyre] is laid waste, so that there is no house, no one entering in: from the land of Chittim it is made manifest unto them, etc. - The desolation of Truth in the church is described in these words; for by the "ships of Tarshish" are signified the knowledges of Good from the Word, and by "Tyre" the knowledges of Truth thence. That there is no good in consequence of there being no truths, is signified by "Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! for Tyre is laid waste, so that there is no house, no one entering in." That falsities then enter, until there are no more any goods of Truth and truths of Good in the natural man, is signified by "From the land of Chittim it is made manifest unto them, the inhabitants of the island are silent; the merchants of Zidon, they that pass over the sea, have replenished you." The "land of Chittim" signifies falsities; the "inhabitants of the island", the goods of Truth in the natural man, as was explained above; the "merchants of Zidon" signify knowledges from the Word; ''passing over the sea" means which are in the natural man; " who [that is, the merchants of Zidon] have replenished you", signifies those who have enriched you therewith. The devastation of Truth and of Good in the natural man is further described by "Be you ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea has spoken, even the fortress of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth children; neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins." By "Zidon", as well as by "Tyre, are signified the knowledges of Good and Truth in the church; By. "the sea, and the fortress of the sea", is signified the whole natural man, by I have not travailed, nor brought forth", is signified that there is not anything of the church conceived or generated; by "young men. are signified the affections of Truth, and by "virgins" the affections of Good. That this was the case in consequence of knowledges from the Lord, and confirming scientifics being applied to falsities and evils, is signified by "As at the tidings out of Egypt, so shall they be seized with pain at the tidings of Tyre." "Egypt signifies scientifics; "Tyre", knowledges from the Word, - in the present case, devastated by falsities and evils to which they are applied; and inasmuch as there is lamentation on account thereof, it is therefore said that "they shall be seized with pain. That all Good and Truth in the natural man would thus perish, is signified by "Pass you over to Tarshish; howl, O you inhabitants of the Island!" "Tarshish" signifies the interior goods and truths in the natural man; the "inhabitants of the island", the exterior goods and truths in the same; and to "howl", signifies grief by reason of devastation. Apocalypse Explained 406.

2.The inhabitants of the island are silent; the merchants of Zidon, they that pass over the sea, have replenished you.

3. And by great waters the seed of Sichor, the harvest of the river [Nile], was her revenue; and she was the mart of the nations.

Verse 2. The merchants of Zidon, etc. - The Lord likened the kingdom of heaven to a "merchant man", (Matthew 13:45) to teach us that "merchants", when mentioned in the Word, are those who procure to themselves the knowledges of Truth and Good, and thence intelligence and wisdom. By "pearls" are signified knowledges, and also truths themselves; and by "the pearl exceedingly precious", is signified the acknowledgement of the Lord. And by "the man selling all that he had", is signified to alienate all things which are of self-love; and by "buying it" is signified to procure to himself that divine Truth. Apocalypse Explained 480. See also Arcana Coelestia 2967, 5886; Apocalypse Revealed 726, 916.

Verses 2, 14. They that pass over the sea have replenished you; - your stronghold is laid waste, etc. - By the "ships of Tarshish " are understood doctrinals from the Word, for those ships carried "gold" and "silver", by which are signified goods and truths, and the knowledges thereof from the Word; and because by "Tyre" is signified the church as to the knowledges of Truth and Good, - in this passage, devastated, hence it is said "Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! for Tyre is laid waste. By "the inhabitants of the island" are understood those who are in the goods of life, according to their doctrinal principles. By "the merchants of Zidon" are signified those who are in Truths from the Word, concerning which it is said, that", they have replenished you." By "your stronghold", or fortress, is signified doctrine from the Word, which guards or protects [like a fortress]; and by its being laid waste is signified that there is no perception of it, and hence no Truth, for truths are falsified by ideas not just concerning them: Apocalypse Explained 514.

4. Be you ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea has spoken; even the fortress of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth children; neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins.

5. As at the tidings out of Egypt, so shall they be seized with pain at the tidings of Tyre.

6. Pass you over to Tarshish; howl, O you inhabitants of the island!

7. Is this your joyous [city], whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall bear her far away to sojourn.

Verse 4. The sea has spoken even the fortress of the sea, saying, I have travailed; etc. - By "the sea, and the fortress of the sea", is signified the natural principle, where the knowledges signified by Tyre and Zidon" are. That not any have been reformed by those knowledges, is signified by "I have not travailed, nor brought forth children"; and that there is consequently no understanding of Truth and no affectIon of Truth, is signified by "neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins." Apocalypse Explained 865.

8. Who has counselled this against Tyre, the crowning [city], whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honoured of the earth?

9. Jehovah of Hosts has counselled it; to pollute the pride of all [her] beauty; to make contemptible all the honoured of the earth.

10. Pass through your land, like a river, O daughter of Tarshish; the girdle is no more.

11. He has stretched out His hand over the sea; He has shaken the kingdoms: Jehovah has commanded concerning Canaan, that they should destroy her strong places.

Verse 8. Who has counselled this against Tyre, the crowning [city], whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honoured of the earth!

Again in Ezekiel:

"All the ships in the sea were for the trading of your trading; Tarshish was your trader in silver, iron, tin and lead; they gave your markets. Javan, Tubal, and Meshch, these were your merchants, with the soul of man and vessels of brass they gave your trading. The sons of Dedan were your merchants; many islands, the merchants of your hand. Syria was your trader with chrysoprasus. But your wealth and your tradings, your markets, and they who trade your trading, shall fall into the heart of the seas in the day of your fall." (Ezekiel 27:1, to the end.)

Who cannot see that by the "tradings" and "merchandise" there mentioned are not understood tradings and merchandise, for what has the Word, which in itself is divine and celestial and teaches man concerning God, heaven, and the church, concerning eternal life, and the like, in common with such things?

Hence it may be evident to every one that all the particular things there mentioned signify things spiritual, which appertain to heaven and the church, not only the names of the places with which the tradings were transacted, but also the particular merchandise thereof. But to expound all the particulars in the spiritual sense would be too prolix in this place; it is sufficient for the present purpose that it be known that the "tradings" there mentioned signify the acquisitions and communications of the knowledges of Truth and Good, and that the "merchandise", or wares, signify those knowledges themselves which are multifarious. Apocalypse Explained 840.

The crowning city. - A "crown" signifies wisdom, intelligence, and eternal felicity, as may be seen from those passages in the Word where "crown" is mentioned. Apocalypse Explained 125, 152, 195.

[It hence follows that Tyre is called a "crowning city", because all intelligence and wisdom come from the knowledge of revealed Truth, or the Word, and from their right application.]

Verses 1, 10, 13, 17. Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! from the land of Chittim it is made manifest unto them, etc. - That neither the ships of Tarshish, nor Tyre, nor the land of Chittim, nor the land of the Chaldeans, nor the Assyrian, are here understood, may appear from every particular thing contained in this chapter. But by the "ships of Tarshish" are understood the knowledges of Truth and Good, and likewise by "Tyre", by the "land of Chittim", what is idolatrous; by the "land of the Chaldeans", the profanation and destruction of Truth; and by the "Assyrian", ratiocination from falsities.

Hence it is evident what is signified by the "ships of Tarshish howling because Tyre is devastated", namely, that there are no more any knowledges of Truth.

That "it shall be made manifest unto them from the land of Chittim", signifies that what is idolatrous is from thence.

"The girdle is no more" signifies that there is no more coherence of Truth with Good. "To the land of the Chaldeans", signifies that so there is profanation and destruction of Truth.

"The Assyrian has laid the foundation into heaps", signifies that ratiocination from falsities has destroyed. To "return to her meretricious gain", and to "commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth that are upon the face of the ground", signifies falsification of all the Truths of the church. Apocalypse Explained 304.

12. And He bath said, You shalt rejoice no more, O you oppressed virgin, the daughter of Zidon! Arise, pass over to Chittim; even there you shalt have no rest.

Verse 12. O you oppressed virgin, the daughter of Zidon! - As to the meaning of "daughter" and "virgin", see above, Chapter 16:2. Exposition.

The girdle is no more. - For the spiritual signification of a "girdle", see Chapter 3:18-25; 11:5, the Exposition.

13. Behold the land of the Chaldeans! this is not a people; the Assyrian has laid the foundation into heaps: they raised the watchtowers, they set up the palaces thereof; this people has reduced her to a ruin.

14. Howl, you ships of Tarshish: for your stronghold is laid waste.

Verse 13. Behold the land of the Chaldeans! this is not a people.

"The land of the Chaldeans: this is not a people", signifies falsities.

"The Assyrian has founded it [into heaps]" for reasonings; "watchtowers" here signify phantasies. Arcana Coelestia 1368.

15. And it shall be in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: at the end of seventy years it shall be to Tyre as the song of a harlot.

16. Take the harp, go about the city, O harlot forgotten; strike sweetly the harp; multiply the song, that you mayest be remembered.

Verses 15, 10. At the end of seventy years it shall be to Tyre as the song of a harlot, etc.

By "Tyre" is signified the church as to the knowledges of spiritual Truth and Good, as was said above - in this case, the church in which those knowledges are falsified. A "harlot" signifies the falsification of Truth, as may be seen above, Apocalypse Explained 141;. and by "taking the harp, going about the city, playing sweetly", etc., the exultation and boasting of the false over the destruction of Truth. Apocalypse Explained 323.

As to the spiritual signification of a "harlot" and of "fornication", so often mentioned in the Prophets, see above, Chapter 1:21, the Exposition.

Verses 15, 17. Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one King, etc. - That all numbers in the Word are significative, and that they signify things, see Arcana Coelestia 1963, 1988; and that numbers multiplied signify the same with the simple ones from which they are compounded, see Arcana Coelestia 5291, 5335.

Thus "seventy" the same as "seven" [only in greater fulness]. That "seventy" denotes an entire period, thus a full state, is evident from the following passages.

"Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one King: at the end of seventy years it shall be unto Tyre as the song of a harlot; and it shall be at the end of seventy years that Jehovah will visit Tyre." (Isaiah 24:15, 17)

"Seventy years" denote an entire period from beginning to end, [In this case, the entire period of the devastation of Tyre.]

"According to the days of one King" signifies the state of Truth within the church; for " days" are states, Arcana Coelestia 6505, and "King" is Truth, Arcana Coelestia 1672, 2015.

Everyone who well considers this passage, may see that by "Tyre" is not meant Tyre, and that without the internal sense it cannot be understood what it is for "Tyre to be forgotten, or to be given to oblivion seventy years", and what it is for this to be "according to the days of one King."

See also Jeremiah 25:11, 12; 29:10; and Daniel 9:24; where it is plain that "seventy years" and "seventy weeks" signify a full or complete state of the subject treated of, [and not seventy years or weeks in a literal sense.] Arcana Coelestia 6508.

As to the spiritual signification of the number "seven" see above Chapter 4:1, the Exposition.

["One King" does not signify any one given king, but the number "one", like the number "seventy", has its spiritual meaning, and signifies what is perfect, entire, and genuine. (Apocalypse Explained 374)

Thus "Tyre shall be forgotten, or given to oblivion seventy years according to the days of one King", implies that Tyre, or that state of the church which perverts the knowledges of what is True and Good from the Word, would be destroyed as to the states of all genuine Truth; "days": signifying states, "one" what is genuine and perfect, and "King" Truth.

That the number "one" does not signify numerically one, is evident from what is said in Psalm 27:4 :

"One [thing] have I desired", etc., which is a genuine or perfect state of worship, denoted by the things which follow, namely, - "That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple."

Again, when the Lord says, "One [thing] you lack", (Mark 10:21), He did not mean simply one thing, but a perfect state of love to God and of charity to his neighbour, denoted by the things which follow, namely, "That he should sell what he had", that is, renounce his proprium and deny himself; "give to the poor", a life of charity; and "come and follow Him", to acknowledge and worship the Lord; - by which his state would become one, that is, genuine and perfect.]

17. And it shall be at the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre: and she shall return to her meretricious gain; and she shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth that are upon the face of the ground.

Verses 17, 18. And it shall be at the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, etc.

"Tyre", in the Word, is the church as to the knowledges of Truth and Good, the "meretricious gain" denotes the same knowledges applied to evils and falsities by perversion; her ''merchandise" is the selling thereof; to "commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth", denotes with all the truths of the church.

The reason why it is said that "her merchandise and her meretricious gain shall at length be holy to Jehovah", is because thereby are signified knowledges of Truth and Good by them applied to falsities and evils, and man, by the knowledges themselves, viewed in their true nature and quality; may become wise; for knowledges are the means of becoming wise, and they are also the means of becoming insane, when they are falsified by applications to evils and falsities.

Similar things are signified where it is said that "they should make to themselves friends of the unjust mammon"; (Luke 16:9) and by its being commanded that "the sons of Israel should borrow from the Egyptians gold, silver, and raiment, and take them away with them"; (Exodus 3:21, 22; 12:35, 36) for by the "Egyptians" are signified scientifics of every kind, which they applied to falsify truths. Apocalypse Explained 141.

The knowledges of what is True and Good from the Word, signified by "Tyre", are called "meretricious gain" when they are taught for for the sake of gain, honour and fame; for in this way they are, as it were, sold, and are not taught for the sake of Truth itself. This, in the Word, is called "meretriciousness and whoredom." To "commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth", is thus to act with all the truths of the church; "upon the faces of the ground", signifies wheresoever the church is." Arcana Coelestia 10570.

18. But her merchandise and her meretricious gain shall be holy to Jehovah: it shall not be treasured up, nor shall it be kept in store; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, for food sufficient, and for clothing [as of] old.

Verse 18. But her merchandise and her meretricious gain shall be holy to Jehovah, etc. - The "merchandise" and "meretricious gain" are the knowledges of what is Good and True from the Word applied to evil uses. That these knowledges should be given to the good who apply them to good uses, is meant by "her merchandise being for them that dwell before Jehovah, for food sufficient, and for clothing themselves as of old." The case is this: the knowledges of what is Good and True, with the evil, are applied to evil uses; and the same knowledges, with the good, are, applied to good uses. The knowledges are the same, but the application of them to uses makes their quality, whether good or bad, with each individual. These knowledges, as spiritual treasures, are like worldly riches, which by one person are applied to good uses, and by another to evil uses. Hence it is that riches, with each person, are of such a nature as the uses to which they are applied. From this it is clear that the same knowledges, like the same riches, which were in the possession of the evil, can be in the possession of the good, and be made subservient to good uses. Hence it may be seen what was represented by the command that "the sons of Israel should borrow of the Egyptians vessels of gold and of silver", etc., (Exodus 11:2, 3) and should thus spoil or rob them. Such robbing would never have been commanded by Jehovah, unless it had represented in the spiritual world such things, namely, the taking away, at the time of Judgment, of the treasures of knowledge from the evil, and transferring them to the good. Thus the Lord says, in respect to the wicked servant" Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him that has ten talents; for unto everyone that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has." (Matthew 25:28, 29) Arcana Coelestia 7770.

The merchandise of Tyre shall before them that dwell before Jehovah, for food sufficient, etc. - By the "merchandise of Tyre" are signified the knowledges of Good and Truth of every kind; to "dwell before Jehovah" signifies to live from the Lord; to have "food sufficient" signifies to receive, perceive, and appropriate the knowledges of Good sufficiently for the nourishment of the soul; to "clothe himself as of old" [or, with what is ancient], signifies to imbibe the knowledges of genuine Truth; for to cover is predicated of truths, because "garments" signify truths, "clothing" good, and "old" [or ancient] is predicated of what is genuine, inasmuch as genuine Truths were with the ancients. Apocalypse Explained 617. See also above, in respect to "the kings of antiquity", Chapter 19:11, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 23.


1. THE burden of Tyre. Howl, O you ships of Tarshish! for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no one entering in: from the land of Chittim it is made manifest unto them.

2. The inhabitants of the island are silent; the merchants of Zidon, they that pass over the sea, have replenished you.

3. And by great waters the seed of Sichor, the harvest of the river [Nile], was her revenue; and she was the mart of the nations.

4. Be you ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea has spoken; even the fortress of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth children; neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins.

5. As at the tidings out of Egypt, so shall they be seized with pain at the tidings of Tyre.

6. Pass you over to Tarshish; howl, O you inhabitants of the island!

7. Is this your joyous [city], whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall bear her far away to sojourn.

8. Who has counselled this against Tyre, the crowning [city], whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honoured of the earth?

9. Jehovah of Hosts has counselled it; to pollute the pride of all [her] beauty; to make contemptible all the honoured of the earth.

10. Pass through your land, like a river, O daughter of Tarshish; the girdle is no more.

11. He has stretched out His hand over the sea; He has shaken the kingdoms: Jehovah has commanded concerning Canaan, that they should destroy her strong places.

12. And He bath said, You shalt rejoice no more, O you oppressed virgin, the daughter of Zidon! Arise, pass over to Chittim; even there you shalt have no rest.

13. Behold the land of the Chaldeans! this is not a people; the Assyrian has laid the foundation into heaps: they raised the watchtowers, they set up the palaces thereof; this people has reduced her to a ruin.

14. Howl, you ships of Tarshish: for your stronghold is laid waste.

15. And it shall be in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: at the end of seventy years it shall be to Tyre as the song of a harlot.

16. Take the harp, go about the city, O harlot forgotten; strike sweetly the harp; multiply the song, that you mayest be remembered.

17. And it shall be at the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre: and she shall return to her meretricious gain; and she shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the earth that are upon the face of the ground.

18. But her merchandise and her meretricious gain shall be holy to Jehovah: it shall not be treasured up, nor shall it be kept in store; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, for food sufficient, and for clothing [as of] old.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 23


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 23

Apocalypse Revealed 606, 759


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 40

Bible Word Meanings

antiquity
Antiquities, as in Ezekiel 36:10, 11, signify the most ancient church. Beginnings signify the ancient church. The house of Israel, and people Israel, signify the...

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...

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

sojourn
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

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 Prophecies of the Lord’s Coming
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