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

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

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 #9340

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

Study this Passage

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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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Arcana Coelestia 9341, 9346, 9348, 9384, 9390, 9404, 9458, 9525, 9755, 9779, 9789, 9808, 9818, 9842, 10038, 10095, 10144, 10148, 10153, 10156, 10212, 10216, 10229, 10231, 10248, 10280, 10283, 10284, 10355, 10370, 10372, 10400, 10416, 10442, 10732

The White Horse 8


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Other New Christian Commentary

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Apocalypse Explained #240

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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240. But that naked signifies those who are without the understanding of truth because without the will of good, is evident also from those passages in the Word where the terms naked and nakedness are mentioned, which shall be adduced below. The reason why these terms have such a signification is that garments signify truths of the understanding. He who is without truths is also without good, for all spiritual good is procured by means of truths, and without them, or except by them, spiritual good cannot exist; spiritual good is charity. Naked and nakedness signify the deprivation of intelligence and love, thus of the understanding of good and of the will thereof; also for the reason that garments cover the body and the flesh, and by body and flesh is signified good, hence by garments are signified those things that cover good.

(References: Revelation 3:17)


[2] There is the understanding of truth and the understanding of good; the understanding of truth is the understanding of those things that belong to faith, and the understanding of good is the understanding of those things that belong to love and charity. There is also the will of truth and the will of good; the will of truth pertains to those who, belong to the Lord's spiritual kingdom, but the will of good to those who belong to His celestial kingdom. The latter, because they are in love to the Lord and thence in mutual love, which with them is charity towards the neighbour, have truths inscribed on their hearts, and hence do them; and what proceeds from the heart is from the will of good; for the heart denotes the will of good; but those who are in love towards the neighbour, which love is charity, have not truths inscribed on their hearts, but on the memory, and thence on the intellectual mind, and that which thence proceeds from affection, is the will of truth. It is thus that the spiritual angels are distinguished from the celestial angels; the latter appear naked in heaven, but the former clothed.

The reason why the celestial angels appear naked is that they have no need of the memory in order to retain truths, nor of the understanding in order to comprehend them, because they have them inscribed on the heart, that is, on the love and will, and thence see them. And the reason why the spiritual angels appear clothed is that they have truths inscribed on the memory, and thence on the understanding, and truths thus inscribed correspond to garments, therefore they all appear clothed according to their intelligence. (That the angels are thus clothed, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 177-182.) From these considerations it is evident that naked signifies in one sense those who are in celestial good, and in the other, those who are not in good because not in truths.

(References: Heaven and Hell 177-182)


[3] But these things may be better seen from those passages, in the Word where naked and nakedness are mentioned, such as the following. In Isaiah:

Jehovah said to the prophet, "Put off the sackcloth from upon thy loins, and put off thy shoe from upon thy foot. And he did so. Then Jehovah said, Like, as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years; so shall the king of Assyria lead the captivity of Egypt, and the crowd of Cush that is to be carried off, the boys and the old men, naked and unshod, and their buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt" (xx. 2-4).

No one can see what is stored up in these words concerning the church and heaven, unless he knows their spiritual sense; for in every detail of the Word something pertaining to heaven and the church is contained, because the Word is spiritual: it shall therefore be explained. By the prophet is here meant the doctrine of the church; by putting off sackcloth from upon his loins, or by making the loins naked, is meant to reveal filthy loves. By the usual sackcloth of the prophet are here meant the covering garments, and by the loins are signified those loves. By putting off the shoe from upon his foot, or unshoeing the soles of the foot, is signified to reveal the filthy things of nature. By the king of Assyria leading the captivity of Egypt, and the crowd of Cush that is to be carried off, is meant that the perverted Rational would confirm evils and falsities by scientifics (scientifica) and fallacies. By boys and old men are meant by all things, both in general and in particular. By naked and barefoot is meant that they are deprived of all truth and of all good. By their buttocks uncovered are meant the evils of self-love; by the nakedness of Egypt the falsities therefrom. It is therefore clear what is here treated of concerning the church and heaven, namely, that the perverted Rational, which denies God, and attributes all things to nature, confirms itself by scientifics and by fallacies, until it is deprived of all understanding of truth and will of good. (That by prophet in the Word is meant doctrine, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 2534, 7269; by the loins are signified the loves in each sense, n. 3021, 4280, 5059; by the feet are signified the natural things pertaining to man, and by the soles of the feet those which are in the ultimates, n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952; by shoes are signified the same things as to the covering of them, n. 1748, 2162, 6844; by the king of Assyria is signified the Rational in both senses, n. 119, 1186; by Egypt is signified the Scientific (scientificum) of the natural man, also, in both senses, good and evil, n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 5700, 5702, 6015, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 7296, 9340, 9391; by Cush are signified the fallacies of the senses, n. 1163, 1164, 1166.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 119, Arcana Coelestia 1163-1164, 1164-1165, 1166, Arcana Coelestia 1186, Arcana Coelestia 1462, 1748, Arcana Coelestia 2162, Arcana Coelestia 2534, Arcana Coelestia 3021, Arcana Coelestia 3147, Arcana Coelestia 3761, Arcana Coelestia 3986, Arcana Coelestia 4280, Arcana Coelestia 4835, 4938-4952, Arcana Coelestia 5059, Arcana Coelestia 5700, 5702, Arcana Coelestia 6015, Arcana Coelestia 6651, 6679, 6683, Arcana Coelestia 6692, Arcana Coelestia 6844, Arcana Coelestia 7269, 7296, Arcana Coelestia 9340, 9391; Isaiah 20:2-4)


[4] In Ezekiel:

"When I passed by thee, and saw thee, I covered thy nakedness, and I washed thee and clothed thee. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot. Thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare. Thou hast committed fornication with the sons of Egypt and with the sons of Asshur. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land unto Chaldea; wherefore thy nakedness is revealed by thy whoredoms; therefore they shall stone thee with stones, and shall cut thee in pieces with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with fire" (xvi. 6, and following verses).

Jerusalem is here treated of, by which is meant the church as to doctrine; and by these and many other expressions in the same chapter, the quality of the church in the beginning, and what it became when it declined from good and truth, is described. Its quality when established by the Lord, thus its quality in the beginning, is described by, "when I passed by thee, and saw thee, I covered thy nakedness, I washed thee and clothed thee." To cover nakedness signifies to remove the evils of the will and the falsities of the understanding; to wash signifies to purify from evils, and to clothe signifies to instruct in truths. But the quality of the church when it declined from good and from truth, is described in what follows. Thou didst trust in thy beauty, signifies intelligence from the proprium, and that the church was delighted with it. By committing whoredom is signified that thus it imbued falsities; by committing fornication with the sons of Egypt and with the sons of Asshur, are signified falsifications confirmed by scientifics and rational things therefrom. By multiplying fornication unto Chaldea, is signified even to the profanation of truth. Hence it is clear what is signified by wherefore thy nakedness is revealed by thy whoredoms; namely, that the church by falsities and falsifications would be deprived of all understanding of truth. By they shall stone thee with stones, is signified that the church would perish by falsities. By they shall cut thee in pieces with their swords, is signified that the church would perish altogether by the falsifications of truth. And by they shall burn thy houses with fire is signified that it would wholly perish by infernal loves: houses denote everything pertaining to man, and fire denotes infernal loves. From these considerations it is clear what pertaining to heaven and the church is contained in those words, and that this appears solely from the spiritual sense. (That washing signifies to purify from evils and falsities, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 3147, 10,237, 10,240, 10,243; that to clothe signifies to instruct in truths, n. 1073, 2576, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10,536; that beauty signifies intelligence, n. 3080, 4985, 5199, in this case intelligence from the proprium. That to commit whoredom denotes to be imbued with falsities, see above, n. 141: that Egypt denotes the Scientific, and Asshur the Rational, may be seen just above. That Chaldea denotes the profanation of truth, Arcana Coelestia, n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306, 1307, 1308, 1321, 1322, 1326: that to stone with stones signifies to perish by falsities, n. 5156, 7456, 8575, 8799: that sword signifies falsity fighting against truth and destroying it, n. 2799, 4499, 7102, hence to cut in pieces with swords denotes to perish altogether by falsifications of truth; that fire signifies infernal love, n. 1861, 5071, 6314, 6832, 7575, 10,747; and that a house signifies the whole man, and the things pertaining to him, thus which pertain to his understanding and his will, n. 710, 2231, 2233, 2559, 3128, 3538, 4973, 5023, 6690, 7353, 7848, 7910, 7929, 9150; hence it is evident what is signified by they shall burn thy houses with fire.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 710, Arcana Coelestia 1073, Arcana Coelestia 1182, Arcana Coelestia 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321-1322, 1326, Arcana Coelestia 1861, Arcana Coelestia 2231, 2233, Arcana Coelestia 2559, 2576, Arcana Coelestia 2799, Arcana Coelestia 3080, 3128, Arcana Coelestia 3147, Arcana Coelestia 3538, Arcana Coelestia 4499, Arcana Coelestia 4973, 4985, 5023, Arcana Coelestia 5071, 5156, 5199, 5248, 5319, Arcana Coelestia 5954, Arcana Coelestia 6314, Arcana Coelestia 6690, Arcana Coelestia 6832, Arcana Coelestia 7102, Arcana Coelestia 7353, 7456, 7575, 7848, 7910, 7929, Arcana Coelestia 8575, 8799, Arcana Coelestia 9150, 9212, 9216, Arcana Coelestia 9952, Arcana Coelestia 10237, Arcana Coelestia 10240, 10243, 10536, 10747; Ezekiel 16:6; The Apocalypse Explained 141)


[5] In Hosea:

"Contend with your mother, that she may put away her whoredoms and her adulteries, lest peradventure I strip her naked and make her as a desert, as a land of dryness, and slay her with thirst; and her sons will I not pity, because they are the sons of whoredoms" (ii. 2-4).

The subject here treated of is also the church fallen into falsities and evils; the mother with whom they would contend signifies the church. Whoredoms and adulteries signify falsities and evils therefrom; to make her as a wilderness and set her as a land of dryness signifies the deprivation of good and of truth. To slay her with thirst signifies a total defect of truth; her sons signify all the falsities thereof, in general, therefore they are called sons of whoredoms. (That mother signifies the church, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 289, 2691, 2717, 3703, 4257, 5581, 8897; that desert signifies where there is no good because no truth, n. 2708, 4736, 7055; that a dry land signifies where there is no truth is, because water signifies the truth of faith, n. 2702, 3058, 5668, 8568, 10,238; that to be slain with thirst, signifies to perish from defect of truth, n. 8568 at the end. That sons signify affections of truth, and truths in general, n. 2362, 3963, 6729, 6775, 6778, 9055; thus, in the opposite sense, affections of falsity and falsities in general. Hence it may be evident that by stripping her naked is signified, her being without good and truth.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 289, Arcana Coelestia 2362, Arcana Coelestia 2691, 2702, 2708, 2717, Arcana Coelestia 3058, Arcana Coelestia 3703, Arcana Coelestia 3963, Arcana Coelestia 4257, Arcana Coelestia 4736, Arcana Coelestia 5581, 5668, Arcana Coelestia 6729, 6775, 6779, Arcana Coelestia 7055, Arcana Coelestia 8568, Arcana Coelestia 8897, 9055, Arcana Coelestia 10238; Hosea 2:2-4)


[6] In Lamentations:

"Jerusalem hath sinned a sin; therefore all that honoured her, despise her, because they have seen her nakedness" (i. 8).

In Ezekiel:

Aholah, which is Samaria, committed whoredom with the Egyptians, and with the sons of Asshur; they uncovered her nakedness, her sons and her daughters have they taken, and at length they have slain her with the sword: "therefore will I give thee into the hand of those whom thou hast hated, that they may deal with thee from hatred, and take away all thy labour, and leave thee naked and bare, that the nakedness of thy whoredoms may be uncovered" (xxiii. 4, 8, 9, 10, 18, 28, 29).

The subject treated of in this chapter is Samaria, which is called Aholah, and Jerusalem, which is called Aholibah, the church being signified by both. By Samaria, where the sons of Israel were, is signified the church in which were no truths, but falsities, and by Jerusalem, the church where there were no goods, but evils. What is signified by committing whoredom with the Egyptians and with the sons of Asshur, and what by slaying her sons and daughters with the sword, was explained above; hence it is clear, that by leaving her naked and bare is signified to be without good and truth.

(References: Ezekiel 23:4, 23:8-10, 23:18, 23:28-29; Lamentations 1:8)


[7] In Isaiah:

"The Lord will make bald the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and Jehovah will make naked their buttocks" (iii. 17).

The daughters of Zion signify the celestial church and the things of that church, but, in this case, perverted. By the crown of the head, which shall be made bald, is signified intelligence of which it shall be deprived; and the buttocks, which shall be made naked, signify the love of evil and of falsity.

(References: Isaiah 3:17)


[8] In Nahum:

"Woe to the city of bloods, wholly in a lie, and full of rapine; because of the multitude of her whoredoms I will uncover thy skirts over thy faces, and will make nations see thy nakedness, and kingdoms thy lightness" (iii. 1, 4, 5).

The city of bloods signifies the doctrine of falsity which offers violence to the good of charity.

(References: Nahum 3:1, 3:4-5)


[9] In Habakkuk:

"Woe unto him that maketh his companion to drink, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakednesses. Drink thou also, that thy foreskin may be uncovered" (ii. 15, 16).

To make a companion drink, and make him drunken, signifies to impart falsities until he does not see truth: to look on their nakednesses, denotes to cause the falsities of the understanding and the evils of the will to appear. The foreskin which would be uncovered, denotes filthy loves. (That to drink denotes to be instructed in truths, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 3069, 3772, 4017, 4018, 8562, 9412; hence, in the opposite sense, it denotes to impart falsities; that to be made drunken denotes to become insane from falsities, thus not to see truths, n. 1072; that the foreskin signifies corporeal and terrestrial loves, n. 4462, 7045.) Hence it is evident what is signified by the fact that

Noah drank wine and was drunken, so that he lay naked in the midst of his tent, and that Ham laughed at the nakedness of his father, but that Shem and Japheth covered his nakedness, and turned away their faces that they might not see the nakedness of their father (Gen. ix. 21-23).

(But these things may be seen explained in Arcana Coelestia where they are treated of.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1072, Arcana Coelestia 3069, Arcana Coelestia 3772, Arcana Coelestia 4017-4018, Arcana Coelestia 4462, Arcana Coelestia 7045, Arcana Coelestia 8562, Arcana Coelestia 9412, Genesis 9:21-23; Habakkuk 2:15-16)


[10] In Lamentations:

"The cup also shall pass over unto thee, O daughter of Edom: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt be naked" (iv. 21).

Here, by being drunken and naked are signified the same things as above. (But who in particular are signified by Edom may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 3322, 8314.)

In Isaiah:

Daughter of Babel and Chaldea, "sit upon the earth. Take the millstones, and grind meal; uncover thy hair, uncover thy thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, and also thy shame shall be seen" (xlvii. 1-3).

By the daughter of Babylon and Chaldea are meant those, who profane the goods and truths of the church. To grind meal signifies to falsify truths; to uncover the hair and the thigh signifies to be deprived of the understanding of truth, and the will of good; to pass over the rivers, and to uncover her nakedness have also a similar signification.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3322, Arcana Coelestia 8314; Isaiah 47:1-3; Lamentations 4:21)


[11] Because nakedness signified the deprivation of the understanding of truth and of the will of good, it was therefore commanded that Aaron and his sons should not ascend by steps upon the altar, lest their nakedness should be uncovered thereon (Exod. xx. 26). Also that

They should make for them breeches of linen to cover the flesh of their nakedness, and that they should be upon them when they entered the tent of the assembly, and when they came near to the altar, and that otherwise they should bear iniquity and die (Exod. xxviii. 42, 43).

From these considerations it is clear what is signified by the words in the following verse of this chapter: "I counsel thee to buy of me white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." And also in the following words of this book of the Apocalypse: "Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (xvi. 15).

(References: Exodus 20:26, 28:42-43; Revelation 16:15)


[12] Moreover, by the naked, in the Word, are also meant those who are not in truths and thence not in good, because they are ignorant of truths, but yet desire them. This is the case with those who are within the church where those who teach are in falsities; also those who are out of the church, and have not the Word, and hence neither know truths nor anything concerning the Lord. These are described in the following passages. In Isaiah:

"This is the fast that I have chosen, to break bread with the hungry, and when thou seest the naked that thou cover him" (lviii. 6, 7).

In Ezekiel:

"Let him give his bread to the hungry, and cover the naked with a garment" (xviii. 7).

And in Matthew:

"I was naked, and ye clothed me" (xxv. 36, 38).

To cover with a garment, and to clothe, signify to instruct in truths. (That garments denote truths, may be seen above, n. 195. That naked also signifies the good of innocence, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 165, 8375, 9960; and in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 179, 180, 280.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 165, Arcana Coelestia 8375, Arcana Coelestia 9960; Ezekiel 18:7; Heaven and Hell 179-180, 280; Isaiah 58:6-7; Matthew 25:36, 25:38, 25:43; Revelation 3:17; The Apocalypse Explained 195)

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