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 Judgment 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

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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...

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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 #9340

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9340. 'And I will set your boundary from the Sea Suph even to the Sea of the Philistines' means the full range of truths from factual ones to interior truths of faith. This is clear from the meaning of 'setting the boundary from one place to another', when it refers to spiritual truths, as the full range; from the meaning of 'the Sea Suph' as truths on the levels of the senses and of factual knowledge, which are the lowest levels of the human mind (the Sea Suph was the final boundary of the land of Egypt, and 'Egypt' means factual knowledge in both senses, that is, true factual knowledge and false, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 2588, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 6004, 6015, 6125, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 6750, 7779 (end), 7926, 8146, 8148; in this instance true factual knowledge is meant since the subject is the full range of spiritual matters of faith among the children of Israel, who represented the spiritual Church, 4286, 4598, 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 8805); and from the meaning of 'the Sea of the Philistines' as interior truths of faith. The reason why these truths are meant by 'the Sea of the Philistines' is that the sea where Tyre and Sidon lay was the boundary of the land of Philistia, and 'Tyre and Sidon' means cognitions or knowledge of truth and good, 1201, while 'the land of Philistia' means the knowledge of interior matters of faith, 1197, 2504, 2726, 3463.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[2] Since 'the land of Canaan' represented the Lord's kingdom, which is heaven and the Church, all places in the land therefore meant such things as form part of the Lord's kingdom, or heaven and the Church, which things are called celestial and spiritual, and are connected with the good of love to the Lord and the truths of faith in Him. For this reason the seas and rivers which were boundaries meant the final limits there, and therefore 'from sea to sea' or 'from river to river' meant the full range of those things, as may be seen in 1585, 1866, 4116, 4240, 6516. From all this it becomes clear that 'the boundary from the Sea Suph even to the Sea of the Philistines' means the range of spiritual things, which are matters of truth, from external ones to internal, thus truths ranging from factual ones to interior truths of faith. But the range of celestial things, which are aspects of the good of love, is described next by the words 'from the wilderness even to the River'. The fact that places belonging to the land of Canaan, including seas and rivers, mean such things in the Word, has been shown in explanations everywhere.

[3] What the full range of truths from factual ones to interior truths of faith is must be stated briefly. Truths which exist in the external man are called factual ones, but truths which exist in the internal man are called interior truths of faith. Factual truths reside in a person's memory, and when they are brought out from there they pass into the person's immediate awareness. But interior truths of faith are truths of life itself which are inscribed on the internal man, but few of which show up in the memory. These however are matters which will in the Lord's Divine mercy be spoken of more fully elsewhere. Factual truths and interior truths of faith were meant in Genesis 1:6-7 by the waters under the expanse and the waters above the expanse, 24; for the first chapter of Genesis deals in the internal sense with the new creation or the regeneration of a member of the celestial Church.

(References: Genesis 1:1)


[4] The reason why 'Philistia', which also bordered on the land of Canaan as far as Tyre and Sidon, meant the interior truths of faith was that there also the representative Ancient Church had existed, as is evident from the remnants of Divine worship among them which are alluded to in historical sections and prophetical parts of the Word in which the Philistines and the land of Philistia are the subject, such as - in the prophetical parts - Jeremiah 25:20; Jeremiah 47:1-end; Jeremiah 47:Ezekiel 16:27, 57; 25:15-16; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:5; Zechariah 9:6; Psalms 56:1; 1 60:8; 83:7; 108:9. The situation with the Philistines was the same as it was with all the nations in the land of Canaan, in that they represented the Church's forms of good and its truths, and also evils and falsities. When the representative Ancient Church existed among them they represented celestial things which were aspects of good and spiritual things which were matters of truth. But when they fell away from true representative worship they began to represent devilish things which were aspects of evil and hellish things which were matters of falsity. This is the reason why 'Philistia', like all the other nations belonging to the land of Canaan in the Word, means either forms of good and truths, or else evils and falsities.

[5] The fact that interior truths of faith are meant by 'the Philistines' is clear in David,

Glorious things are to be spoken in you, O city of God. I will mention Rahab and Babel among those who know Me; also Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia. The latter was born here. 2 Psalms 87:3-4.

'The city of God' means teachings presenting the truth of faith that are drawn from the Word, 402, 2268, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493, 5297; 'Tyre' means cognitions or knowledge of truth and good, 1201, and so does 'Ethiopia', 116, 117. From this it is evident that 'Philistia' means knowledge of the truths of faith.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493)


[6] In Amos,

Are you not like the children of the Ethiopians to Me, O children of Israel? Did I not cause Israel to come up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir? Amos 9:7.

This refers to the corruption and destruction of the Church after it had been established. 'The children of the Ethiopians' here are those in possession of cognitions of goodness and truth, which they use to substantiate evils and falsities, 1163, 1164. 'The children of Israel from the land of Egypt' are those who had been brought to spiritual truths and forms of good by means of factual truths, 'the children of Israel' being people in possession of spiritual truths and forms of good, thus in the abstract sense spiritual truths and forms of good, see 5414, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833, 5879, 5951, 7957, 8234, and 'the land of Egypt' being factual truth, as shown above. The same is meant by 'the Philistines from Caphtor' and by 'the Syrians from Kir', to whom they are therefore likened. 'The Philistines from Caphtor' are people who had been brought to interior truths by means of exterior ones, but who perverted them and used them to substantiate falsities and evils, 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413, 3762, 8093, 8096, 8099, 8313, whereas 'the Syrians from Kir' are those who were in possession of cognitions of goodness and truth, which they likewise perverted, 1232, 1234, 3051, 3249, 3664, 3680, 4112.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1163-1164, Arcana Coelestia 1197-1198, 3412-3413)


[7] In Jeremiah,

... because of the day that is coming to lay waste all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that is left, for Jehovah is laying waste the Philistines, the remnants of the island of Caphtor. Jeremiah 47:4.

The subject in Jeremiah 47 is the laying waste of the Church's truths of faith, interior truths of faith being meant by 'the Philistines' and exterior truths by 'the remnants of the island of Caphtor'.

[8] In Joel,

What have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the borders of Philistia? Swiftly I will return your recompense upon your own head, inasmuch as you have taken My silver and My gold, and My good and desirable treasures you have carried into your temples. Joel 3:4-5.

'All the borders of Philistia' stands for all the interior and the exterior truths of faith; 'carrying silver and gold, and good and desirable treasures into their temples' stands for perverting truths and forms of good, and profaning them by putting them together with evils and falsities. For the meaning of 'silver and gold' as truths and forms of good, see 1551, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 8932.

(References: Joel 3:4, 3:6)


[9] In Obadiah,

At that time those in the south will be the heirs of the mountain of Esau, and of the plain of the Philistines, and they will become the heirs of the field of Ephraim; but Benjamin [will be the heir] of Gilead. Obad. verse 19.

This refers to the establishment of the Church; but spiritual things are implied by the names. 'Those in the south' are people who dwell in the light of truth, 1458, 3195, 3708, 5672, 5962; 'the mountain of Esau' is the good of love, 3300, 3322, 3494, 3504, 3576; 'the plain of the Philistines' is the truth of faith, 'the plain' being also that which constitutes matters of doctrine about faith, 2418; 'Ephraim' is the Church's power of understanding, 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267; 'Benjamin' is the Church's spiritual-celestial truth, 3969, 4592, 5686, 5689, 6440; and 'Gilead' is the corresponding exterior good, 4117, 4124, 4747.

(References: Obadiah 1:19)


[10] In Isaiah,

He will gather the outcasts of Israel, and will assemble the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. They will fly down onto the shoulder of the Philistines towards the sea, together they will plunder the sons of the east. Isaiah 11:12, 14.

Here 'Israel' and 'Judah' are not used to mean Israel and Judah; rather, 'Israel' means those who are governed by the good of faith, and 'Judah' those who are governed by the good of love. 'Flying down onto the shoulder of the Philistines' stands for receiving and taking into possession interior truths of faith; and 'plundering the sons of the east' stands for receiving and taking into possession interior forms of the good of faith, for 'the sons of the east' are people who are governed by forms of the good of faith and with whom cognitions or knowledge of good exists, 3249. 3762. For the meaning of 'plundering' as receiving and taking into possession, see what has been shown in 6914, 6917, regarding the plundering of the Egyptians by the children of Israel.

[11] Since 'the land of Philistia' meant knowledge of the interior truths of faith, and since Abraham and Isaac represented the Lord, and the sojourning of these two in places meant instruction received by the Lord in the truths and forms of the good of faith and love, which belong to God's wisdom, therefore - to provide a figurative representation of this - Abraham was commanded to sojourn in Philistia, Genesis 20:1-end, and so too was Isaac, Genesis 26:1-24. Therefore also Abimelech king of the Philistines made a covenant with Abraham, Genesis 21:22-end, and also with Isaac, Genesis 26:26-end. Regarding all this, see the explanations to those chapters.

-----
Footnotes:

1. i.e. in the superscription or heading of this Psalm

2. i.e. in the city of God, see 1164:7.

-----

(References: Exodus 23:31; Genesis 20, 21:22-24, 21:22-34, 26:26-35)

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Isaiah 28:13

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13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

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Explanation of Isaiah 28      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 28

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

1. Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of their glorious beauty! to those that are at the bead of the fat valley, that are overcome with wine!

VERSE 1. They are called "drunkards" in the Word, who believe nothing but what they comprehend [by the senses], and in this spirit inquire into the mysteries of faith; the consequence is, that they must needs fall into errors, inasmuch as they are under the guidance only of things sensual, scientific, or philosophical in their inquiries. The thinking principle of man is merely terrestrial, corporeal, and material, inasmuch as it is formed of things terrestrial, corporeal, and material, which continually adhere thereto, and in which the ideas of thought are founded and terminated; therefore to think and reason from those things concerning things divine, is to plunge into errors and perverse opinions, and it is as impossible for a man thence to obtain faith, as it is for "a camel to pass through the eye of a needle." The error and insanity thence derived are called, in the Word, "drunkenness"; nay, even souls or spirits in another life, who reason concerning the truths of faith, and against them, become like drunk persons, and behave in like manner; concerning whom, by the Divine Mercy of the Lord, more will be said hereafter. Spirits are manifestly discerned whether they be principled in a faith grounded in charity or not. They who are principled in faith grounded in charity, do not reason concerning the truths of faith, but say that they are so, and likewise confirm them, so much as they are able, by the things of sense, of science, and of analytical reasoning; but as soon as any thing obscure intervenes, which they do not clearly apprehend, this they lay aside, nor ever suffer such a thing to lead them into doubt, urging that there are very few things which they can comprehend; and, therefore, that it is a great folly to think a thing not to be true because they do not comprehend it; these are they who are principled in charity but they, on the other hand, who are not principled in faith grounded in charity, are disposed only to reason whether a thing be true, and to know how it is true, urging that unless they know how it is so, they cannot possibly believe that it is so.

By this circumstance alone they are instantly discovered to be principled in no faith, and the proof thereof is, because they not only doubt about all things, but even in their hearts deny them; and when they are instructed how the case is, still they continue obstinate and raise fresh scruples and objections, and would do so, if possible, to all eternity; and they who thus remain doubtful heap up errors upon errors. Arcana Coelestia 1072.

Verses 1, 3, 7. Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, etc.

- These things are said of those who are insane in spiritual things, in consequence of believing that they are intelligent from themselves, and therein glorying; the state of such is described in this passage by mere correspondences. They who are insane with respect to things spiritual, or truths, are understood by "drunkards", and they who thence behave themselves intelligent by "Ephraim", and the glorying of their intelligence or erudition by the "crown of pride"; for they who are in falsities of doctrine, and have confirmed themselves therein, when they are enlightened, and see truths in the other life, become as it were "drunkards"; such is the case of the learned who have confirmed themselves in falsities, which is to confirm from self and not from the Lord; hence it is evident what is signified by " Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim." By "the fading flower of glorious beauty, of those that are at the head of the fat valley, that are overcome with wine", is signified the truth of the church perishing in its birth, from the glorying of self-derived intelligence, which is of the natural man separated from the spiritual, in which case man sees "the false in the place of truth; the "fading flower of glorious beauty denotes truth in its birth falling or perishing; the "head of the valley" denotes the intelligence of the natural man; their being "overcome with wine" signifies their seeing the false in the place of truth.

"The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under feet", signifies that that intelligence shall entirely perish.

"These also have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled", signifies falsities and the things thence derived; by "the priest and the prophet who have erred through strong drink, and are swallowed up with wine, and have reeled through strong drink", is signified that they who ought to be in the doctrine of Good and Truth are of such a quality, and, abstractedly from persons, that then doctrine is of such a quality; and by their "erring in vision and stumbling in judgment", is signified their not seeing the truths of intelligence.

That such things are signified by these words, no one can see except from the spiritual sense, without which it could not be known, that the "crown" and the "head" signify intelligence, that "drunkards" signify those who are insane in things spiritual, that Ephraim signifies the understanding, - in the present case, self-derived, or originating in the proprium of man, that "valley" signifies the inferior or lower things of the mind, which are natural and sensual and that a "priest" and "prophet" signify the doctrine of Good and Truth. Apocalypse Explained 370.

Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of their glorious beauty! etc.

- "Drunkards" stand for those who reason from falsities. see Arcana Coelestia 1072; "Ephraim" for the intellectual principle of the church, - in this case perverted, Arcana Coelestia 5354, 6222; (see also above, Chapter 7:2, the Exposition.) "glory" signifies Divine Truth, Arcana Coelestia 4809, 9222.

Hence it is evident that a "flower" or "blossom" is the scientific by which Truth [is acquired]. That "flowers" or "blossoms" signify such things, is because blossoms are the germinations which precede, and in their manner produce fruits and seeds. That trees and plants blossom before they bear fruit, is known. The case is similar with man as to intelligence and wisdom. The scientifics of Truth precede, and in their manner produce those things which are of wisdom with man; for they serve his rational mind with objects, and thus with the means of becoming wise. Hence it is that the scientifics of Truth are like blossoms, and the good of life, which is the good of wisdom, is like fruit.

Since all things in the spiritual world relate to such things as are with man, by reason that heaven resembles one man, and corresponds to all things, even to the most minute, which are with man, wherefore all things which are in the natural world, according to their agreement with such things as are with a man, correspond, represent, and signify. (Arcana Coelestia 9496)

Hence now it is evident whence it is that "blossoms" and "flowers" signify the scientifics of Truth, and, in general, truths; and "fruits" and "seeds", goods. Arcana Coelestia 9553.

Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim! they have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled, etc.

- That to the "drunken with wine and with strong drink" signifies to be insane and infatuated in regard to spiritual things, may indeed be seen without being confirmed from other passages in the Word; but inasmuch as many people do not see this, by reason that they do not think spiritually but sensually, and thus materially, of everything in the Word, when they read it, I will adduce some passages from the Word to prove that being made "drunk" signifies to be insane or infatuated in regard to things of a spiritual, that is, of a theological nature, which are the following:

"They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink." (Isaiah 29:9)

"Hear, you afflicted, you drunken, but not with wine." (Isaiah 51:21)

"Babylon is a cup of gold in the hand of Jehovah, making all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of the wine thereof; therefore the nations are mad." (Jeremiah 51:7)

"Babylon shall be an hissing: when they are heated, I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may exult, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not awake", (Jeremiah 51:37, 39)

"Babylon is fallen, is fallen, because she made all nations drunk of the wine of her whoredom." (Revelation 14:8)

"Let every bottle be filled with wine; behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, the priests and the prophets, with drunkenness." (Jeremiah 13:12, 13)

"You shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of devastation and desolation." (Ezekiel 23:32, 33)

"O daughter of Edom, unto you also the cup shall pass; you shalt be drunken, and shalt be uncovered." (Lamentations 4:21)

"You also shalt be made drunken. (Nahum 3:11)

"Drink you, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, to rise no more." (Jeremiah 25:27)

Apocalypse Revealed 721. See also above, Chap, Isaiah 5:11, 12, 21, 22, the Exposition.

As to the enormous sin of drunkenness, in a literal sense, see above Chap, Isaiah 19:14, the Exposition.

2. Behold, a mighty one, a strong one from the Lord! like a storm of hail, like a tempest of slaughter, like ta flood of mighty waters overflowing, He shall cast them to the earth with His hand.

3. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

4. And the fading flower of their glorious beauty, which is upon the head of the fat valley, shall be as the early fruit before the summer; which one looks at, and while it is yet in his hand, he swallows it.

Verses 2, 22 Speaking of the day of Judgment upon those who are of the said church. The day of Judgment, when the church is at its end, is understood by "I have heard a consummation and decision, from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts, upon the whole earth; "wherefore it is said, that "like a storm of hail, like a tempest of slaughter, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing. He shall cast them to the earth with His hand."

By "hail" and the "storm" thereof, are signified falsities which destroy the truths of the church; by "slaughter" and its "tempest", are signified evils which destroy the goods of the church; by "mighty waters" are signified the falsities of evil.

That an "inundation" and a "flood" signify immersions into evils and falsities, and hence the destruction of the church, may be seen in. Arcana Coelestia 660, 705; also above, Chapter 8:7, 8, the Exposition.

The same is signified by "casting down to the earth", or by a violent pouring down of rain. Apocalypse Explained 304.

5. In that day shall Jehovah of Hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the remnant of His people:

Verse 5. A "crown of glory" [or of adornment] signifies wisdom which is of Good from the Divine; a "diadem of beauty" signifies intelligence which is of Truth from that Good. This crown and this diadem are predicated of the divine things which are with "the [residue of]people", or the church. Arcana Coelestia 9930. See also Apocalypse Explained 272.

That "residue" or "remnant" signifies the remains of what is Good and True, or of those who are in what is Good and True at the period of Judgment, see above, Chapter 1:9; 4:2, 3, the Exposition.

6. And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment; and for strength to them that turn the battle from the gate.

Verse 6. In that day shall Jehovah be for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment; and for strength to them that turn the battle front the gate.

- These things are said concerning those who are not in the conceit of self-derived intelligence, which is treated of in this chapter, and is understood in verse 1 by " the crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim." That they who are not in that conceit shall be in intelligence from the Lord, is signified by "Jehovah shall be for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment"; "judgment" denoting the understanding of Truth, thus intelligence.

"Jehovah shall be for strength to them that turn the battle from the gate" signifies that the Lord gives power to those who defend the Word and doctrine from the Word, and who endeavour to preserve them from being violated; a "city" denoting doctrine, and the "gate", that which gives entrance thereto, denoting natural truths. Hence it was that the elders "sat to judge in the gates of the city." Apocalypse Explained 734.

For strength to them that turn the battle from the gate. - As to the meaning of "gates", see Chapter 60:11, 18, the Exposition.

7. But these also have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed up with wine; they have reeled through strong drink; they have erred in vision, they have stumbled in judgment:

8. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness; no place [is clean].

Verses 7, 8. "Wine" and "strong drink", by which they err, signify truths mixed with falsities; the "priest" and the "prophet" signify those who teach goods and truths, and, in an abstract sense, the goods and truths of the church; the "seeing", amongst whom they err, signify those who are about to see truths: to "stumble in judgment" signifies insanity.

"Tables" signify all things which should nourish the spiritual life, for by "tables" is understood the food which is upon them, and "food" means all truths and goods, because they are what nourish the spiritual life; here, therefore, by "tables full of vomit", are signified the same things falsified and adulterated. Apocalypse Explained 235.

9. Whom should He teach knowledge? and whom should He make to understand doctrine? Those that are weaned from the milk, that are withdrawn from the breasts.

10. For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Verses 9, 10. [These words imply, in their literal sense, that children should be taught at the earliest period of life, and that they should be trained for heaven, as the end of their birth into the world. In the spiritual sense, to be "weaned" is to be separated, - in relation to the Lord, from His infirm Human, and in relation to man, from his proprium. (Arcana Coelestia 2647, 2649)

Such as are thus separated from their proprium, are capable of receiving instruction in spiritual and divine things, or in the Truths of the Word. "Precept upon precept, line upon line", etc., implies the successive and gradual process of instruction; as in the building of a house one line or layer of stones is laid upon another, so in the building up of the mind the knowledges of Truth and Good are acquired in successive order.]

11. Therefore with a stammering lip and in another tongue will He speak unto this people.

Verse 11. "Stammerers" signify those who with difficulty can apprehend [and pronounce] the Truth of the church. Arcana Coelestia 4551. See also the Exposition of Isaiah 32:4.

12. To whom He said, This is the rest which you shall give unto the weary; and this is the refreshment: but they would not hear.

Verse 12. To be "weary" denotes a state of temptation-combat. Arcana Coelestia 3318. See also 3321.

13. Therefore shall the Word of Jehovah be indeed unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: but they will go on, and fall backward; and be broken, and ensnared, and caught.

14. Wherefore hear you the word of Jehovah, you scornful men, who rule this people in Jerusalem:

Verse 13. But they will go on, and fall backward; and be broken, and ensnared, and caught. - To "fall backward", is to avert themselves from what is Good and True; to be "broken", signifies to dissipate Truths and Goods; to be "ensnared", is to be allured by the love of self and of the world; to be "caught", is to be carried away by those loves. Arcana Coelestia 9348.

As to the meaning of "going or falling backwards", see Chapter 1:4; of "snares", "nets", and "traps", see Chapter 24:17, the Exposition.

15. Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death; and with hell have we made a vision: the overflowing scourge, when it passes through, shall not reach us; for we have made a lie our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.

Verse 15. In this passage "death" denotes damnation, since death is damnation, it is also hell; wherefore hell, in the Word, is commonly called "death", as in Isaiah:

"Hell will not confess You; nor will death praise You." (Isaiah 38:18, 19) Apocalypse Explained 186.

Verses 15, 18. "make a covenant with death", signifies conjunction with the false from hell, whence man dies spiritually; to "make a vision with hell", signifies divination, as it were, prophetic, from hell. Apocalypse Explained 701. See also Arcana Coelestia 8908.

The overflowing scourge. - As to what may be understood by this term, in a spiritual sense, see Chapter 8:7, 8, the Exposition.

16. Wherefore thus says the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a firm foundation: he that believes [in Him] shall not hasten [to flee].

Verse 16. And in Jeremiah:

"They shall not take of you a stone for a corner, or a stone of foundations"; (Jeremiah 51:26)

So in Zechariah:

"Out of Judah a corner, out of him the nail, out of him the bow of war." (Zechariah 10:4)

Again, in David:

"The stone which they rejected is become the head of the corner." (Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10, 11; Luke 20:17)

The "stone of the corner" signifies all Divine Truth upon which heaven and the church is founded, thus every foundation; and inasmuch as the "foundation" is the ultimate upon which a house or temple rests, therefore it signifies all things. It is on account of this signification of the "corner-stone", as denoting all Divine Truth upon which the church is founded, that it is said - "I will lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a firm foundation"; and it is called " a stone for the corner", and "a stone of foundations"; and inasmuch as the "cornerstone" signifies all Divine Truth upon which the church is founded, therefore it also signifies the Lord as to His Divine Human, because all Divine Truth proceeds from that.

The "builders" or architects who "rejected that stone", as we read in the Evangelists, denote those who are of the church, in this case of the Jewish church, which rejected the Lord, and with Him all Divine Truth; for with them there remained nothing but vain traditions grounded in the literal sense of the Word, by which the essential truths of the Word were falsified and its goods adulterated. That "ultimates" signify all things, and what the ground of this signification is, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia 634, 5897, 6239. Apocalypse Explained 417.

He that believes [in Him] shall not hasten [to flee]. - See the note, p. 296.

17. And I will lay judgment to the line, and justice to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of a lie; and the hiding-place the waters shall overwhelm.

18. And your covenant with death shall be abolished; and your vision with hell shall not stand: when the overflowing scourge passes through, by it shall you be trodden down;

19. As soon as it passes through, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night; and it shall be a terror to understand the report [thereof].

Verse 17. [This is another mode of expressing the process of exploration and of judgment which takes place after death, in the world of spirits, when "all refuges of lies shall be swept away", and every "hiding-place" of iniquity will be exposed and condemned.]

20. For the bed is shorter than that [one] can stretch himself [on it]; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself [in it].

Verse 20. A "bed" signifies doctrine. The ground and reason of this is from correspondences; for, as the body rests on its bed, so does the mind rest in its doctrine, But by a "bed" is signified the doctrine which everyone acquires to himself, either from the Word, or from his proper intelligence, for therein the mind reposes, and, as it were, sleeps. The beds in which they lie in the spiritual world are of no other origin. Everyone's bed there is conformable to the quality of his science and intelligence; - the wise have magnificent beds, the foolish have mean ones, and they who are in falsities have filthy ones. This is the signification of a "bed" in Luke:

"I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left." (Luke 17:34)

Speaking of the Last Judgment. "Two in one bed" means two in one doctrine, but not in similar life. In John:

"Jesus says unto the sick man, Rise, take up your bed, and walk; and he took up his bed, and walked." (John 5:8, 9)

And in Mark:

"Jesus said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, your sius be forgiven you; and He said unto the Scribes, Whether is it easier to say, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, take up your bed, and walk? Then He said, Arise, take up your bed, and walk: and he took up his bed, and went forth from them." (Mark 2:5, 9, 11, 12)

That here something is signified by " bed", is evident, because Jesus said "Whether is it easier to say, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Take up your bed, and walk?" By "taking up his bed, and walking", is signified to meditate in doctrine; it is so understood in heaven. Doctrine is also signified by a "bed" in Amos:

"As the shepherd takes out of the mouth of the lion, so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, in the corner of a bed, and in the extremity of a couch." (Amos 3:12) "In the corner of a bed, and in the extremity of a couch", means what is more remote from the truths and goods of doctrine. "Bed", " couch", and "bedchamber" have a similar signification in other places, as in Isaiah 28:20; 57:2, 7, 8; Ezekiel 23:41; Amos 6:4; Micah 2:1; Psalms 4:4; 36:4; 41:3; Job 17:13; Leviticus 15:4, 5. Apocalypse Revealed 137.

[By "the bed being shorter than that one can stretch himself all it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it", is implied that doctrines founded in fallacious reasonings find ill false principles, prevent the growth and extension of the rational mind, and obstruct the process of regeneration; and that they have no power to enlighten the mind with heavenly Truth, or to warm it with heavenly Love.]

21. For as in Mount Perazim, Jehovah will arise; as in the valley of Gibeon, shall He be wroth: that He may do His work, His strange work; and effect His operation, His strange operation.

Verse 21. [These events, representative of Judgment, are recorded in 2 Samuel 5:20, 21, where David defeated the Philistines, and executed, as it were, a judgment upon them. The term "Perazim", in Hebrew, means a tearing or breaking asunder, which involves the idea of Judgment. "As in the valley of Gibeon" refers to Josh. 10:10, when the Amorites were destroyed, which also represented the process of Judgment. The "destruction of the Philistines at Perazim " signifies judgment upon all who are in faith, or in the knowledges of Truth, separate from charity; (see above, Chapter 14:28, 29, the Exposition.) and the "slaughter of the Amorites" represented the judgment upon all who are in evils and falsities, and especially upon those who are in the falsities of evil. See Arcana Coelestia 1857, 6859.] ."

His strange work. - [Judgment is said to be the Lord's" strange work", to indicate that the process of Judgment, in the sense of condemnation, is not effected by the Lord, but by the evils and. falsities which proceed from the wicked themselves. "For the Lord has no pleasure in the death of the wicked." (Ezekiel 18:23, 32) "This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." ((John 3:19)

See above. Chapter 1:24, the Exposition.)

22. Wherefore, be you not mockers, lest your bonds be strengthened: for a consummation and decision have I heard, from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts, on the whole earth.

Verses 22, 24, 25, 26. These words, in their spiritual sense, describe the state of the church with the Jewish and Israelitish nation, that it was altogether destroyed, and that it was to no purpose to learn and to know the Word, but in order to apply the Good and Truth thereof to the use of life, and that by this menus, and no other, could intelligence be communicated from the Lord. That the church with that nation was altogether destroyed, is understood by "the consummation and decision being heard from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts upon the whole earth"; "consummation and decision" denoting plenary destruction, and the "whole earth" the entire church, that is, everything appertaining thereto. It being to no purpose merely to learn and know the Word, is signified by "Doth the ploughman plough the whole day that he may sow ? doth he open and harrow his ground?" to "plough for sowing" denoting to learn, and to "harrow the land" to deposit in the memory. That the Good and Truth of the Word should be applied to the use of life, is signified by "When he has made the face thereof even, doth not he cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and sow the wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed [place], and the spelt in the border thereof?" The "making even the face of the earth, and scattering the cummin", denotes preparation by the Word; "the wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed[place], and the spelt in their border", denote the application of the Good and Truth of the Word to the use of life; "wheat" signifying Good, "barley" Truth, and "spelt" kuowledges. That by this means, and no other, can intelligence be communicated from the Lord, is signified by "For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him." "Judgment " signifies intelligence; "his God teaching him" denotes that it is from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 374.

23. Give you ear, and hear My voice; attend, and hearken unto My speech.

24. Doth the ploughman plough the whole day that he may sow? doth he open and harrow his ground?

25. When he has made the face thereof even, doth not he cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and sow the "wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed [place], and the spelt in the border thereof?

26. For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him.

Verses 23-26. These words appear as comparisons, but tbey are real correspondences, by which is described the reformation and regeneration of the man of the church; wherefore also it is said - "For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him." To "instruct him to judgment", is to give him intelligence; for by "judgment" is signified the intelligence of Truth, n. 2235; and to "teach him", when from God, is to give him wisdom. Hence it may appear what is meant by "ploughing", "harrowing", "scattering abroad fitches", "sowing cummin", "storing up wheat, barley, and spelt", namely, that" ploughing" denotes implanting Truth in Good; "fitches" and "cummin " denote scientifics, since these are the first things which are learnt that a man may receive intelligence. That "'wheat" signifies the Good of love of the internal man , see n. 7005. That "ploughing" signifies, not from comparison, but from correspondences, the first thing of the church in general, and also in particular, with everyone who is regenerated, or who becomes a church, is evident from these words in Moses:

"You shalt not sow your vineyard intermixedly; you shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together; you shalt not wear a garment mixed with wool and linen together." (Deuteronomy 22:9-11)

These words involve that the states of Good and of Truth ought not to be coufounded: for a "vineyard" denotes: the church as to Truth, but a "field " the church as to Good; to "plough with an ox" denotes to prepare by Good; to "plough with an ass", to prepare by Truth.

"Wool" also denotes Good, but "linen" Truth. The case is this: all they are in a state of Good who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom; but they are in a state of Truth who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom; he who is in the one cannot be in the other.

Who cannot see that the above words in Moses have a deeper signification than they appear to have; for otherwise what of evil could there have been in "sowing a vineyard intermixedly", in "ploughing with an ox and an ass together", and in "wearing a garment mixed with wool and linen together"? Arcana Coelestia 10669.

27. The fitches are not beaten out with the threshing-sledge, nor is the wheel of the cart made to turn about upon the cummin: but the fitches are beaten out with the staff: and the cummin with a rod;

28. Bread [corn] is bruised; but not for ever will he continue to thresh it, nor to break it with the wheel of his cart, nor to bruise it [with] his horsemen.

29. This also proceeds from Jehovah of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and great in wisdom.

Verses 27-29. [It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted these verses, but it is not difficult, from the doctrine of correspondences, to see the spiritual meaning of them. A "threshing-floor" denotes, as is evident from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned, something in relation to the church, and specifically the Good of Truth, and also the Truth of Good; (Arcana Coelestia 6537) and the mind where these things are prepared for the nourishment of the soul, is, as it were, a "threshing-floor." For, on a threshing-floor, wheat is in a state of preparation to become bread for the nourishment of the body. The various kinds of implements here mentioned were all used for threshing by the Jews, each implement being adapted to its specific purpose. The process of the understanding whilst meditating on the various scientifics and knowledges of what is Good and True from the Word, is here depicted. The various kinds of knowledge represented by the "fitches", "cummin", etc., require a specific process of the understanding to convert them into spiritual food, as the various kinds of grain require to be threshed by different implements. But this process of threshing is only a means to an end. It is not sufficient fully to understand the knowledge of what is True and Good; it must be loved and practised also; and the object of the divine Text is to teach the necessity of this in order to salvation, and in order to show that it is man's duty to acknowledge that the entire work is the Lord's. (Verse 29.) That "horsemen", in verse 28, have relation, by correspondence, to the understanding, see Chapter 31:1, the Exposition.]

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Isaiah Chapter 28

1. Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of their glorious beauty! to those that are at the bead of the fat valley, that are overcome with wine!

2. Behold, a mighty one, a strong one from the Lord! like a storm of hail, like a tempest of slaughter, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, He shall cast them to the earth with His hand.

3. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

4. And the fading flower of their glorious beauty, which is upon the head of the fat valley, shall be as the early fruit before the summer; which one looks at, and while it is yet in his hand, he swallows it.

5. In that day shall Jehovah of Hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the remnant of His people:

6. And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment; and for strength to them that turn the battle from the gate.

7. But these also have erred through wine, and through strong drink they have reeled; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink; they are swallowed up with wine; they have reeled through strong drink; they have erred in vision, they have stumbled in judgment:

8. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness; no place [is clean].

9. Whom should He teach knowledge? and whom should He make to understand doctrine? Those that are weaned from the milk, that are withdrawn from the breasts.

10. For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

11. Therefore with a stammering lip and in another tongue will He speak unto this people.

12. To whom He said, This is the rest which you shall give unto the weary; and this is the refreshment: but they would not hear.

13. Therefore shall the Word of Jehovah be indeed unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: but they will go on, and fall backward; and be broken, and ensnared, and caught.

14. Wherefore hear you the word of Jehovah, you scornful men, who rule this people in Jerusalem:

15. Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death; and with hell have we made a vision: the overflowing scourge, when it passes through, shall not reach us; for we have made a lie our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.

16. Wherefore thus says the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a firm foundation: he that believes [in Him] shall not hasten [to flee].

17. And I will lay judgment to the line, and justice to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of a lie; and the hiding-place the waters shall overwhelm.

18. And your covenant with death shall be abolished; and your vision with hell shall not stand: when the overflowing scourge passes through, by it shall you be trodden down;

19. As soon as it passes through, it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass through, by day and by night; and it shall be a terror to understand the report [thereof].

20. For the bed is shorter than that [one] can stretch himself [on it]; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself [in it].

21. For as in Mount Perazim, Jehovah will arise; as in the valley of Gibeon, shall He be wroth: that He may do His work, His strange work; and effect His operation, His strange operation.

22. Wherefore, be you not mockers, lest your bonds be strengthened: for a consummation and decision have I heard, from the Lord Jehovih of Hosts, on the whole earth.

23. Give you ear, and hear My voice; attend, and hearken unto My speech.

24. Doth the ploughman plough the whole day that he may sow? doth he open and harrow his ground?

25. When he has made the face thereof even, doth not he cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and sow the "wheat in the principal [place], and the barley in its appointed [place], and the spelt in the border thereof?

26. For his God doth instruct him to judgment, and doth teach him.

27. The fitches are not beaten out with the threshing-sledge, nor is the wheel of the cart made to turn about upon the cummin: but the fitches are beaten out with the staff: and the cummin with a rod;

28. Bread [corn] is bruised; but not for ever will he continue to thresh it, nor to break it with the wheel of his cart, nor to bruise it [with] his horsemen.

29. This also proceeds from Jehovah of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and great in wisdom.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 28


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 9163, 9348

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Isaiah 6:9, 10, 8:15

Bible Word Meanings

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...


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