The Bible

Genesis 1

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

Genesis 2 →

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.

Genesis 2 →

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

waters
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

third
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

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

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

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

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

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.

stars
'The learned,' or 'wise,' who 'shall shine as the stars,' are people who are in good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sea
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,...

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
Female signifies good.

Meat
'Meat,' as in Genesis 40:17, signifies celestial good, because 'the meat of the angels' are nothing but the goods of love and charity, which not...

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

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

Resources for parents and teachers

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

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

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

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #893

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

Study this Passage

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893. Verse 13 And it happened in the six hundred and first year, at the beginning, on the first of the month, that the waters dried up from over the earth, and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and saw out, and behold, the face 1 of the ground was dry.

'It happened in the six hundred and first year' means a finishing point. 'At the beginning, on the first of the month' means a starting point. 'The waters dried up from over the earth' means that falsities were not at that time apparent. 'And Noah removed the covering of the ark, and saw out' means the light, once falsities had been removed, shed by the truths of faith, which he acknowledged and in which he had faith. 'And behold, the face 1 of the ground was dry' means regeneration.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, the faces

[893a] 1 That 'it happened in the six hundred and first year means a finishing point is clear from the meaning of the number six hundred, dealt with at Chapter 7:6, in 737, as a beginning, and in particular in that verse as the beginning of temptation. The end of it is specified by the same number, with a whole year having now passed by. It took place therefore at the end of a year, and this also is why the words are added 'at the beginning, on the first of the month', meaning a starting point. In the Word any complete period is specified either by a day, or a week, or a month, or a year, and even by a hundred or a thousand years - for example, 'the days' mentioned in Genesis 1, which meant stages in the regeneration of the member of the Most Ancient Church. For in the internal sense day and year mean nothing else than a period of time; and meaning a period of time they also mean a state. Consequently a year stands in the Word for a period of time and for a state, as in Isaiah,

To proclaim the year of Jehovah's good pleasure, and the day of vengeance for our God; to comfort all who mourn. Isaiah 61:2.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. In the same prophet,

The day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redeemed had come. Isaiah 63:4.

Here too 'day' and 'year' stand for a period of time and for a state. In Habakkuk,

Your work, O Jehovah, in the midst of the years make it live, in the midst of the years do You make it known. Habakkuk 3:2.

Here 'years' stands for a period of time and for a state. In David,

'You are God Himself, and Your years have no end. Psalms 102:27.

This statement, in which 'years' stands for periods of time, means that time does not exist with God. The same applies in the present verse where 'the year' of the flood in no way means any one particular year but a period of time that is not determined by a specific number of years. At the same time it means a state. See what has been said already about 'years' in 482, 487, 488, 493.

1. This paragraph is not numbered in the Latin.

-----

(References: Arcana Coelestia 487-488, Genesis 7:6)


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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 1332, 1988, 2075, 2103, 2109, 2111, 2199, 2213, 2636, 2649, 2726, 2788, 2838, 3016, 3176, 3251, 3281, 3298, 3390, 3405, 3419, 3462, 3469, 3498, 3703, 3785, 3824, 3827, 3830, 3941, 4010, 4060, 4168, 4283, 4334, 4387, 4548, 4616, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 137

Other New Christian Commentary

Beginning 1


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

From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #3941

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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3941. 'Reuben went in the days of the wheat harvest' means faith in regard to its state of love and charity. This is clear from the representation of 'Reuben' as faith, which is the first stage of regeneration, dealt with in 3862, 3866; from the meaning of 'days' as states, dealt with in 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785; and from the meaning of 'wheat' as love and charity, dealt with below - 'wheat harvest' therefore meaning a developing state of love and charity. Jacob's four sons by the servant-girls have portrayed the various means by which the external man is joined to the internal man. Now his remaining four sons portray the actual joining together of good and truth, on account of which reference is made first of all to 'dudaim', by which that joining together or conjugial relationship is meant. The reason why 'wheat harvest' means a developing state of love and charity is that 'the field' means the Church and so the things that constitute the Church, while the seeds sown in it mean the germs of good and truth. And what springs up from those seeds, such as wheat, barley, and many other crops, are the fruits of love and charity, and also of faith. The states of the Church so far as those things are concerned are therefore compared to seedtime and harvest, and are also actually called seedtime and harvest, as in Genesis 8:22 - see 932.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 487-488, 3861)


[2] That 'wheat' means the things which constitute love and charity may also be seen from the following places: In Moses,

Jehovah causes him to ride over the heights of the land and He feeds [him] with the produce of the fields, causes him to suck honey out of the crag, and oil out of the stony rock - butter from the cattle, and milk from the flock, with the fat of lambs and rams, the breed 1 of Bashan, and of goats, with the kidney-fat of wheat; and of the blood of the grape you drink unmixed wine. Deuteronomy 32:13-14.

This refers in the internal sense to the Ancient Church and its state when it was established, every aspect of love and charity, and every aspect of faith there, being described by means of things that have spiritual meanings. 'The kidney-fat of wheat' means the celestial side of love and charity. And because 'fat' or 'fatness' means that which is celestial, 353, and 'wheat' means love, the two words are therefore linked together in various places in the Word, as also in David,

O that My people were obedient to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! He would feed them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock I will satisfy you. Psalms 81:13, 16.

And elsewhere in the same author,

Jehovah is the one who makes peace your border; with the fat of wheat He satisfies you. Psalms 147:14.

[3] That 'wheat' means love and charity is evident in Jeremiah,

Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trampled down the portion of My field, they have rendered the portion of My field into a lonely wilderness. On all the hills in the wilderness those who cause devastation have come, for the sword of Jehovah is devouring from one end of the land even to the other end of the land. There is no peace for any flesh. They have sown wheat and reaped thorns. Jeremiah 12:10, 12-13.

'Vineyard' and 'the field' stand for the Church, 'a lonely wilderness' for the vastation of it, 'a devouring sword' for the vastation of truth, 'no peace' for the absence of good stirring the affections, 'sowing wheat' for forms of good which are the product of love and charity, 'sowing thorns' for evils and falsities which are the result of self-love and love of the world. For 'vineyard' means the spiritual Church, 1069; 'the field' the Church as regards good, 2971; 'wilderness' vastation, 1927, 2708; 'a devouring sword' vastation of truth, 2799; 'peace' good that stirs the affections, 3780.

[4] In Joel,

The field has been laid waste, the ground has been mourning because the grain has been laid waste, the new wine has failed, the oil languishes. Farmers have been put to shame, vinedressers have wailed over the wheat and over the barley, because the harvest of the field has perished. Gird yourselves and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar. Joel 1:10-11, 13.

It is evident to anyone that here the state of the Church when it has been vastated is what is described, and this being so, that 'the field' and 'the ground' mean the Church, 'the grain' its good, and 'the new wine' its truth, 3580, while 'wheat' means celestial love, 'barley' spiritual love. And since the state of the Church is the subject, the call to 'gird yourselves and lament, O priests, and wail, O ministers of the altar' is used.

[5] In Ezekiel,

The Spirit of Jehovah addressing the prophet, Take for yourself wheat and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them into a single vessel, and make them for yourself into bread. With human excrement you shall make a cake before their eyes. Thus shall the children of Israel eat their unclean bread. Ezekiel 4:9, 12-13.

This refers to the defilement of good and truth. 'Wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, spelt' stands for different kinds of good and of truth derived from good. 'Bread' or a cake made from these together with human excrement stands for the defilement of them all.

[6] In John,

I saw, and behold, a black horse, and the one seated on it held a balance in his hand I heard a voice from the midst of the four living creatures saying, A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenices of barley for a denarius; but do no harm to oil and wine. Revelation 6:5-6.

This too refers to the vastation of good and truth. 'A choenix of wheat for a denarius' stands for a scarcity of love, 'three choenices of wheat for a denarius' for a scarcity of charity.

[7] In Ezekiel,

Judah and the land of Israel, they were your merchants. Wheat of minnith and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm, they exchanged for your tracings. Ezekiel 27:17.

This refers to Tyre, which means the cognitions of good and truth. The goods of love and charity, and the happiness they bring, are meant by 'wheat of minnith and pannag, and honey, oil, and balm'. 'Judah' means the celestial Church, 'the land of Israel' the spiritual, which are the source of those goods. 'Tracings' means acquisitions.

[8] In Moses,

A land of wheat and barley, and of the vine and of the fig and of the pomegranate, a land of olive oil and honey. Deuteronomy 8:8.

This is a description of the land of Canaan, which in the internal sense means the Lord's kingdom, 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607, 3038, 3705. Forms of good which are the product of love and charity in that kingdom are meant by 'wheat and barley', forms of good which are the product of faith by 'the vine and the fig'.

[9] In Matthew,

Whose fan is in His hand, and He will purge His threshing-floor and gather His wheat into the granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17.

John the Baptist referred in this way to the Lord. 'Wheat' stands for the goods of love and charity, 'chaff' for those things which do not have any good at all within them. In the same gospel,

Let both grow together until the harvest; and at the time of harvest I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to burn them but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:30.

'Weeds' stands for evils and falsities, 'wheat' for goods. These are comparisons, but all comparisons in the Word are made through the use of things that carry a spiritual meaning.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, sons

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(References: Genesis 30:14-16)


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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 7605, 9139, 9146, 9995, 10184

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 218


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 365

Other New Christian Commentary

Wheat 1

Tares 1

Thorns 1

Wheat of minnith, and pannag honey, oil, and balsam 1

Wheat and barley 1

Wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and vetches 1


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


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