The Bible

 

Genesis 1

King James Version         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

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

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgement 20

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


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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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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Apocalypse Explained #340

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340. And blessing, signifies the acknowledgment and glorification of the Lord on that account, and thanksgiving that from Him is every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. This is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being the Lord, when said of the acknowledgment, here the acknowledgment that to Him belong omnipotence, omniscience, providence, Divine good, and Divine truth, which are signified by "Worthy is He to receive the power, riches, wisdom, honor, and glory," and as being also glorification on that account. Moreover, "blessing," when said of the Lord, signifies thanksgiving that from Him is every good of love and truth of faith, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. Because "blessing" here signifies acknowledgment and glorification on that account, and also thanksgiving, blessing is mentioned in the last place, or as a conclusion by these angels, who were glorifying the Lord. These things are signified by "blessing," when said of the Lord, because nothing is a blessing except what is given by the Lord, for that alone is blessed because it is Divine and eternal, and contains in itself heaven and eternal happiness; all other things which have not in themselves what is Divine and eternal are not blessings, even though they may be so called (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 269, 270).

(References: Revelation 5:12; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 269-270)


[2] That "blessing" when it is mentioned in the Word, has this signification, can be seen from the places there when understood in the internal sense. But in the first place, some passages shall be quoted in which "blessed" and "blessing" are said of Jehovah, that is the Lord; also where the expression "to bless God" is used, that it may be seen that these signify the acknowledgment, glorification, and thanksgiving that from Him is every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. In Luke:

The mouth of Zacharias was opened, and he spoke, blessing God. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and wrought redemption for His people (Luke 1:64, 67-68).

This Zacharias said when, filled with the Spirit, he prophesied of the Lord; and "blessing God," and "blessed be the Lord God of Israel," signify the glorification and thanksgiving that He frees and delivers from hell those who receive Him; consequently it is also said, "for He hath visited and wrought redemption for His people Israel;" "redemption" signifying liberation from hell, and "His people" those who are in truths from good, thus those who receive. That "redemption" signifies liberation and deliverance from hell, see above n. 328; and that "people" signifies those who are in truths from good (n. 331).

(References: Luke 1:68; The Apocalypse Explained 328, 331)


[3] In the same:

Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms, and blessed God: and said, Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples (Luke 2:28-31).

Here "to bless God" evidently means to glorify and give thanks because the Lord was to come into the world, to save all who receive Him; consequently he calls the Lord "the salvation" which his eyes saw, which He prepares for all people. Those are called "His people" who are in truths from good, thus who by means of truths receive Him, as was said above.

(References: Luke 2:28, Luke 2:30-31; Matthew 5:28)


[4] In David:

They have seen Thy goings, O God. The singers went before, the minstrels after, in the midst of the maidens playing on timbrels. Bless ye God in the assemblies, the Lord from the fountain of salvation 1 (Psalms 68:24-26).

"To bless God in the assemblies, the Lord from the fountain of salvation," signifies to glorify the Lord from spiritual truths, which are truths from good. "Assemblies" in the Word have a similar signification as "people," namely, those who are in spiritual truths, and abstractly, those truths themselves; and "fountain of salvation" signifies spiritual good, since salvation is by means of that good; spiritual good is the good of charity towards the neighbor, and spiritual truth is the truth of faith from that good. (That "assemblies" in the Word are predicated of spiritual truths, see Arcana Coel (Arcana Coelestia 6355, 7843) estia, n. 6355, 7843.) Because "to bless in the assemblies" signifies glorification from spiritual truths, and "to bless from the fountain of salvation" signifies glorification from spiritual good, therefore in the first case the name "God" is used, and in the latter "Lord;" for the name "God" is used in the Word where truths are treated of, and "Jehovah" and "Lord" where good is treated of. It is clear that glorification is what is meant by "to bless," from its immediately following after these words, "the singers went before, the minstrels after, in the midst of the maidens playing on timbrels," which signifies glorification from spiritual truths and goods, as may be seen above (n. 323, 326).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 323, The Apocalypse Explained 326)


[5] In the same:

O sing unto Jehovah a new song; sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Bless His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day. Tell ye His glory among the nations (Psalms 96:1-3).

"To bless Jehovah" here evidently is to glorify Him and give thanks unto Him; and because all glorification of Him is from spiritual truths and from spiritual good, it is said, "Bless His name, proclaim His salvation from day to day;" "name" having reference to truths, and "salvation" to good. "To sing a song" signifies to glorify from such truths and from such goods (see above, n. 323, 326).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 323, The Apocalypse Explained 326)


[6] In Moses:

Jehovah chose the sons of Levi to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 10:8; 21:5).

Because the sons of Levi were appointed for Divine worship, and because all Divine worship is effected from spiritual good and the truths therefrom, it is said that "Jehovah chose them to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name;" "to minister" signifying worship from spiritual good, and "to bless" signifying worship from spiritual truths. That to "minister" has reference to worship from good, see above n. 155.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 155)


[7] In David:

O Jehovah, Thou hast prevented the King with the blessings of goodness. Thou hast set a crown of fine gold on his head. Glory and honor dost Thou lay upon him. For Thou settest him blessings forever (Psalms 21:3, 5-6).

"The King" here does not mean David, but the Lord, who is called "King" from the spiritual Divine that proceeds from His Divine Human; and because "blessing" signifies the acknowledgment, glorification, and thanksgiving because every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness, are from Him, it is evident what is signified by "Thou hast prevented the King with the blessings of goodness," and by "Thou settest him blessings for ever." "Blessings of goodness" signify truths from good; "a crown of fine gold" signifies the good from which truths are; "honor and glory" signify Divine good and Divine truth. (That "David" in the Word means the Lord, see above, n. 205; likewise "king" in the Psalms, n. 31; that the "crown of kings" signifies Divine good, n. 272; likewise "gold," n. 242 and that "honor and glory signify Divine good and Divine truth, n. 288)

(References: Psalms 21:1; The Apocalypse Explained 31, The Apocalypse Explained 205, The Apocalypse Explained 242, 272, The Apocalypse Explained 288)


[8] From this it can be seen what "blessed" signifies when said of the Lord, as in the following passages:

The disciples cried with a great voice, Blessed is the King that cometh in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:37-38).

The throng cried, Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9, 10; John 12:12-13).

Jesus said, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, until ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35).

The High Priest asked Jesus, Art Thou then the Christ, the Son of the blessed (Mark 14:61).

"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" signifies to be glorified because all Divine truth and Divine good are from Him. The Lord's "name" signifies everything by which He is worshiped; and as all this has reference to the good of love and the truth of faith, therefore these are signified by the Lord's "name." (That the Lord's "name" signifies everything by which He is worshiped, see above, n. 102, 135, 148, 224; and that the Lord is called "Lord" from Divine good, see Arcana Coelestia 4973, 9167, 9194)

(References: Luke 19:37, 19:38; Mark 11:9-10; The Apocalypse Explained 102, The Apocalypse Explained 135, 148, The Apocalypse Explained 224)


[9] In Moses:

Melchizedek blessed Abram, and said, Blessed be Abram to God Most High, the possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand (Genesis 14:18-20).

Here it is said, "Blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand," signifying that to Him belong glorification and thanksgiving on that account. Those therefore who receive Divine good and Divine truth from the Lord, are called:

Blessed (Psalms 37:22; 115:15; Matthew 25:34).

[10] That "blessing" has no other meaning, when said of man, than the reception of Divine truth and Divine good, because in them are heaven and eternal happiness, can be seen from the following passages. In David:

The clean in hands and the pure in heart shall receive a blessing from before Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of our salvation (Psalms 24:4-5).

"The clean in hands" signify those that are in truths from faith, and "the pure in heart" those that are in good from love; of such it is said that they "shall receive a blessing from before Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of salvation," and "receiving a blessing" signifies the reception of Divine truth, and "receiving righteousness" the reception of Divine good. (That "righteousness" is predicated of good, see above, n. 204; and Arcana Coelestia 2235, 9857)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 204)


[11] In Moses:

Thus shall ye bless the sons of Israel, Jehovah bless thee and keep thee; Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace. Thus shall they put My name upon the sons of Israel; and I will bless them (Numbers 6:23-27).

From this, unfolded by means of the internal sense, it is evident what "blessing" as a whole involves-namely, that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, from Divine love flows in with Divine truth and with Divine good with those who receive; the Divine love, from which the Lord flows in, being meant by "the faces of Jehovah;" the Divine truth, with which the Lord flows in, by "Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee;" and the Divine good, with which He flows in, by "Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee;" the protection from evils and falsities, which would otherwise take away the influx, by "keep thee" and "be gracious unto thee;" heaven and eternal happiness, which the Lord gives by means of His Divine truth and His Divine good, by "give thee communication and conjunction with those who receive, by "thus shall they put My name upon the sons of Israel," "the name of Jehovah" signifying the Divine proceeding, which is called in general Divine truth and Divine good, and "the sons of Israel" signifying those who are of the church, thus who receive, of whom it is therefore said, "and I will bless them." This is the internal or spiritual sense of these words, as can be seen from this, that "the faces of Jehovah" signify the Divine love; "to make them to shine" signifies the influx of Divine truth, and "to lift them up" signifies the influx of Divine good.

That these things may be better understood, the ground of these significations shall be told. The Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun; for it is His Divine love that so appears; this, therefore, is what is meant by the "face" of Jehovah; the light that proceeds therefrom is Divine truth; this, therefore, is what is meant by "making His faces to shine;" the heat that also proceeds therefrom is Divine good; this, therefore, is what is meant by "lifting up His faces," for "to lift up" signifies to reveal Himself, which is effected from Divine good by means of Divine truth. (That the Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun, and that it is His Divine love that so appears, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 116-125; and that the light therefrom is Divine truth, and the heat therefrom Divine good, n. 126-140. That "peace" signifies the heavenly delight that inmostly affects with blissfulness every good, and that it therefore signifies heaven and eternal happiness, see in the same, n. 284-290; and that "the sons of Israel" signify those who are of the church, consequently the church, (Arcana Coelestia 6426, 8805, 9340).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 126-140, The Apocalypse Explained 284-290)


[12] In Ezekiel:

I will give them the circuits of My hill as a blessing, and I will send down the rain in its time; there shall be rains of blessing. Then the tree shall yield its fruit, the land shall yield its produce (Ezekiel 34:26-27).

He who sees the Word merely in its natural sense believes no other than that "blessing" means such things as are mentioned in that sense, namely, that rain should be given to make fruitful the gardens and fields, and thus the tree should yield its fruit and the land its produce; but it is a spiritual blessing that is meant, for "rain" signifies everything Divine that flows into man from the Lord out of heaven. That truths will produce good, and that good will produce truths, is signified by "the tree shall yield its fruit, and the land its produce," "land" and also the "garden," in which there are trees, meaning the church; these and "the circuits of My hill which are to be given as a blessing," signify the internal and external with the men of the church, "circuit" signifying what is outside or below, and "hill" what is within or above, especially where charity is, for that is within. (That "hill" signifies where there is charity, see Arcana Coelestia 6435, 10438)

[13] In David:

Blessed is everyone that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in His ways. Thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands; blessed art thou, and it is good with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house; thy sons like olive plants around thy tables. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth Jehovah. Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion; that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life; peace upon Israel (Psalms 128:1-6).

Here also "to be blessed" does not mean to be blessed naturally, as that one is to eat the labor of his hands, that his wife is to be fruitful, that many sons are to be about his tables, and that this is to be in Zion and in Jerusalem, but it means to be blessed spiritually; for "those that fear Jehovah" mean those who love to do His commandments; it is therefore said, "Blessed is he that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in His ways," "to walk in His ways" signifying to do His commandments; "the labor of his hands which he shall eat," signifies the pursuit of the life according to those commandments; "the wife by the sides of the house" signifies the affection of spiritual truth in all things that he thinks and does; therefore it is added, "as a fruitful vine," for "vine" signifies the spiritual church from the affection of truth; "sons around the tables" signify the truths of good therefrom, "tables" meaning instructions; therefore it is also said, "as olive-plants," "plants" signifying truths, and "olives" goods; "Zion" signifies heaven whence these things are; and "Jerusalem" doctrine. From this it is clear what is signified by "Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion, that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life;" "peace upon Israel" signifies all spiritual good in general and in particular, "Israel" meaning the church.

[14] In the same:

Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion; for there hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life even forever (Psalms 133:3).

This treats of the marriage of good and truth and their fructification and multiplication; both are meant by "the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion," "the mountains of Zion" signifying where the goods of celestial love are; therefore it is added, "there hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life even forever."

[15] In Moses:

If ye harken to these judgments, to keep and do them, Jehovah thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and mercy; and He will love thee and bless thee. And He will bless the fruit of thy belly, and the fruit of thy ground, thy corn, and thy new wine, and thine oil, the young of thy kine and of the rams of thy flock. Thou shalt be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle. And Jehovah will take away from thee every disease, and all the evil sicknesses of Egypt which thou knowest He will not lay upon thee, but will put them upon all that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the peoples that Jehovah thy God shall deliver to thee; thine eye shall not spare them (Deuteronomy 7:12-16).

Things spiritual, thus spiritual blessings, are meant by all this; these things are what are involved in and signified by the sense of the letter, which is natural, and is for those who are in the natural world, and therefore in natural ideas; consequently from the spiritual sense of the Word what is meant in general and in particular by "being blessed" can be seen. The "fruit of the belly, and the fruit of the ground, the corn, the new wine, and oil, the young of the kine and of the rams of the flock," mean the multiplications of truth and the fructifications of good, thus spiritual blessings. (What is signified specifically by each can be seen in various places in Arcana Coelestia, and in the explanation of this prophetic book.) "There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle" signifies the multiplication of truth and the fructification of good in the internal and the external man; "and Jehovah will take away every disease, and all the evil sicknesses of Egypt," signifies the removal of all evils and falsities, "the evil sicknesses of Egypt" meaning falsities arising from evils in the natural man. "Those that hate thee upon whom Jehovah will put these," are those who are against the truths and goods of the church. The dispersion of the evils and falsities that are against the truths and goods of the church, is signified by "thou shalt consume all the peoples that Jehovah thy God shall deliver to thee;" and continual shunning of them is meant by "thine eye shall not spare them." That through these things those who do the Lord's commandments are blessed, is meant by "if ye hearken to these judgments, to keep and do them, Jehovah thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and mercy; He will love thee and bless thee;" "covenant and mercy" is conjunction from love by means of these commandments; conjunction by good is meant by "covenant," and "He will love thee;" and conjunction by truth therefrom is meant by "mercy" and "He will bless thee."

(References: Luke 9:12-17)


[16] In the same:

He shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven from above, with the blessings of the deep that coucheth below, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb (Genesis 49:25).

These things are said of Joseph, who here signifies the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and "the blessings of heaven from above" mean the multiplications of truth from good in the internal or spiritual man; "the blessings of the deep that coucheth below" mean the multiplications of truth from good in the external or natural man; and "the blessings of the breasts and of the womb" signify spiritual and celestial goods.

[17] In Joel:

Who knoweth? Let him return, and Jehovah God will repent, and He will leave behind Him a blessing, a meal-offering and a drink-offering to Jehovah our God (Joel 2:14).

Because "blessing" signifies spiritual blessing, which in general has reference to good and truth proceeding from the Lord and given to man, therefore it is said, "He will leave behind Him a blessing, a meal-offering and a drink-offering to our God," "the meal-offering," which was bread, signifying good, and "the drink-offering," which was wine, signifying truth, both from the Lord, for it is said, "from our God."

[18] In Isaiah:

In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, that the Egyptians may serve with Assyria. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isaiah 19:23-25).

"Israel, Assyria, and Egypt," signify the three faculties belonging to the men of the church, namely, the spiritual, the rational, and the knowing; "Israel" the spiritual, "Assyria" the rational, and "Egypt" the knowing. Because all man's rational is formed by means of knowledges [scientifica], and both the rational and knowing faculties are from the spiritual, which is from the Lord out of heaven (for from that source is all understanding of truth and all application of knowledges [scientiarum] to truths), it is said, "there shall be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, and that the Egyptians may serve with Assyria;" and again, "Israel shall be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land." The "midst" signifies the inmost from which is the rest, that is, from which is the whole (see above, n. 313; and the "land" is the church where these things are. And as it is the spiritual by which the rational and knowing faculties are applied to genuine truths, Israel is called the "inheritance," that is, the heir of the house who possesses all things; and Assyria is called "the work of My hands," because the rational is formed from the spiritual; and Egypt is called "a blessed people," because in the knowing faculty, as in their ultimate, all things are together. From this also it is clear that "blessing" in the Word means spiritual blessing.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 313)


[19] In Zechariah:

As ye were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you that you may be a blessing (Zechariah 8:13).

These things are said of the devastated church, and of the church to be established by the Lord; "the house of Judah" and "the house of Israel" signifying the church, here in both senses; the church devastated is called "a curse," because therein are evil and falsity; but the church to be established is called "a blessing" because therein are good and truth.

[20] In David:

Salvation unto Jehovah, thy blessing upon thy people (Psalms 3:8).

"The blessing of Jehovah upon His people" signifies influx and the reception of good and truth; those are called "the people of Jehovah" who are in spiritual good (see above, n. 331).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[21] In Moses:

I will make thee into a great nation, and I will bless thee, that thou mayest become a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).

In the same:

In him there shall be a blessing for all nations of the earth (Genesis 18:18).

These things are said of Abraham, and "Abraham" means in the highest sense the Lord, and in a relative sense the Lord's celestial kingdom and the celestial church. From this it is clear what is signified by "I will make thee into a great nation, and I will bless thee, that thou mayest become a blessing," namely, that therein shall be Divine good and Divine truth; "great nation" being predicated of Divine good (see above, n. 331, and "blessing" of Divine truth; "I will bless them that bless thee [and curse them that curse thee]" signifies that those who receive will have Divine truth, and those who do not receive will have the falsity of evil; "in Thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," and "in Him there shall be a blessing for all the nations of the earth" signifies that from the reception of Divine truth and Divine good they will have heaven and eternal happiness; "the families of the earth" signify those who are in truths from good, "families" meaning truths, and "nations" goods; "blessing" signifying that from these they will have heaven and eternal happiness.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[22] There is a like signification in the blessing of Israel and Jacob:

Blessed be everyone that blesseth thee, and cursed be everyone that curseth thee (Numbers 24:9).

Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and shall break forth towards the west, and towards the east, and towards the north, and towards the south; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed, and in thy seed (Genesis 28:14).

"Israel" and "Jacob" also mean in the highest sense the Lord, and in a relative sense the Lord's spiritual kingdom and the spiritual church; "Israel" that church internal, "Jacob" that church external. The "seed that shall be as the dust of the earth, and that shall break forth towards the west, the east, the north, and the south" signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Lord and received by those who are of that church; the consequent fructification of good is signified by "it shall break forth towards the west and the east," and the consequent multiplication of truth is signified by "it shall break forth towards the north and the south." (That these quarters have such significations, see Heaven and Hell 141-153.)

[23] That the Lord blessed the bread, wine, and fishes that He gave to the disciples and to the people (Matthew 14:15, 19, 21, 22; 15:32, 36; 26:26, 27; Mark 6:41; 8:6, 7; 14:22, 23; Luke 9:16; 22:19; 24:30), signified communication of His Divine, and thus conjunction with them by means of the goods and truths, which are signified by the "bread and wine," and also by "the fishes;" "bread and wine" signifying goods and truths in the spiritual man, and "fishes" goods and truths in the natural.

(References: Mark 8:6-7, Mark 14:22-23; Matthew 14:15-21, 14:21-22, 15:32-38, 26:26-27)


[24] In Isaiah:

He shall call His servants by another name; he that blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself by the God of truth; and he that sweareth by the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former distresses shall be forgotten (Isaiah 65:15-16).

"To bless oneself" signifies to instruct oneself in Divine truths, and to apply them to life, and "to swear" signifies to instruct oneself in Divine goods and to apply them to life. "To swear" has this signification, because an oath in the internal sense signifies confirmation in oneself and conviction that a thing is so, and this is effected from good by means of truths; from no other ground than good are truths with man confirmed and proved. Here a new church is treated of; and "to call by another name" signifies its quality in respect to truth and good.

[25] In Jeremiah:

Swear by the living Jehovah, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall thee glory (Jeremiah 4:2).

Here "to swear" and "to bless themselves" have a like signification as above, the "nations" that shall bless themselves in Jehovah signifying those who are in good.

[26] "To bless," in the contrary sense, signifies to love what is evil and false: and to be imbued with it as in Isaiah:

He that slaughters an ox smiteth a man; he that offereth frankincense, blesseth vanity; they have chosen these things also in their ways (Isaiah 66:3).

"To slaughter (or sacrifice) an ox," and "to smite a man," signify to worship God in externals, and yet to reject all truth. "To sacrifice an ox" signifies worship from those things that represented natural good, for an "ox" means natural good; "and to smite a man" signifies to reject and deny the truth, "man" in the Word meaning truth; "to offer frankincense" and "to bless vanity" signifies to worship God from such things as represented spiritual good, and yet to love evil and falsity and to be imbued with them, an "offering of frankincense" meaning the worship from spiritual good, and "vanity" the evil and falsity of evil.

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Footnotes:

1. "Salvation. " In AE 439, 449, 483 it reads "Israel."

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(References: Luke 1:68, Luke 2:28, 2:30-31; Psalms 21:1; Revelation 5:12)

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Apocalypse Explained 334, 344, 365, 439, 465, 625, 657


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