The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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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

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.

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

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
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

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...

second
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...

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

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...

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
'Stars' signify the knowledge of truth and good. 'Stars' are frequently mentioned in the Word, and always signify goods and truths, but in an opposite...

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
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.

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,...

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

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

female
Female signifies good.

meat
'Provision' or 'meat,' as in Genesis 42:25 and Psalm 78:25, signifies support from truth and good.

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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The White Horse 8


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Arcana Coelestia #2588

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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2588. 'Abraham's wife' means, in order that spiritual truth might be joined to celestial good. This is clear from the representation of 'Sarah when a wife' as spiritual truth joined to celestial good, dealt with in 1468, 1901, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198, 2507, and from the representation of 'Abraham' as celestial good joined to spiritual truth, dealt with in 2010, 2172, 2198, 2501. Whether you say spiritual truth and celestial good, or whether you say the Lord, it amounts to the same, for the Lord is truth itself and good itself, and also the marriage itself of truth and good and of good and truth. These matters may indeed be seen from the explanation given, yet as they belong among those things that are obscure at the present day, let them be illustrated so far as possible. The subject here is the doctrine of faith, about which doctrine the Lord thought when He was a boy; that is to say, He gave thought to whether it was permissible to enter into that doctrine by means of rational conceptions and in that way form ideas for Himself regarding it. This way of thinking was a product of His love and concern for the human race, who are such that they do not believe anything which is not grasped in a rational manner by them. But He perceived from the Divine that one ought not to enter into doctrine that way, and therefore He revealed such doctrine to Himself from the Divine and at the same time also all things in the universe that are subordinate to it, that is, all things of a rational kind, and all those of a natural kind.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2011, 2172-2173)


[2] People's attitudes to matters of doctrine regarding faith have been spoken of above in 2568. There it was stated that there are two basic attitudes of mind from which people think, the negative and the affirmative; also that they think from a negative attitude who believe nothing unless they are convinced by rational considerations and by facts, and indeed by sensory evidence, whereas those people think from an affirmative attitude who believe that things are true because the Lord has said so in the Word and who thus have faith in the Lord. People who adopt the negative attitude towards the truth of anything in the Word say in their hearts that they are willing to believe when persuaded on rational grounds and by facts. But these are such as never believe, not even indeed if they were convinced by means of the evidence of their own physical senses of seeing, hearing, and touch; for they would always be producing new reasonings against such things, and in so doing they would at length completely destroy all faith and at the same time would turn the light of the rational into darkness, because they would turn it into falsities. People however who adopt the affirmative attitude, that is, who believe that things are true because the Lord has said so, are being confirmed all the time by rational considerations and by facts, and even by sensory evidence, and their ideas are being enlightened and are strengthened by these; for light comes to man through no other channel than the rational ideas and the factual knowledge which he possesses. This is so with everyone. With those who have the affirmative attitude of mind doctrine is certainly living, and of them it is said that they are healed and give birth. But with those who have the negative attitude doctrine certainly dies, and of them it is said that the womb is completely closed. All this shows what it is to enter the doctrine of faith by means of rational ideas, and what it is to enter into rational ideas from the doctrine of faith.

[3] Let these differences be illustrated by examples: The Word teaches that the first and foremost matter of doctrine is love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour. People with the affirmative attitude towards this are able to enter into whatever things of a rational, factual, and indeed sensory kind they please, each according to his ability, knowledge, and experience. Indeed the more they do so the more they are confirmed, for the whole natural order is full of what is confirmatory. But people who deny this first and foremost teaching, and who wish first of all to be convinced by means of factual and rational considerations that a thing is true, never allow themselves to be convinced because they deny in their hearts and are all the time taking their stand on some other basic idea which they believe to be essential. In the end through confirmations of that idea these people so blind themselves that they cannot even know what love to the Lord is and what love towards the neighbour is. And because they confirm themselves in notions contrary to such love they at length also confirm themselves in the idea that no other kind of love can exist that has any delight in it except self-love and love of the world. And this they do to such an extent - if not in doctrine yet in the lives they lead - that they embrace hellish love in place of heavenly love.

[4] But with those who as yet have adopted neither a negative attitude nor an affirmative one but are in a state of doubt that precedes either of these, the position has been stated above in 2568. There it was shown that those who incline towards a life of evil fall into the negative attitude, whereas those who incline towards a life good are brought into the affirmative one. Take a different example: One of the leading ideas of the doctrine of faith is that all good comes from the Lord and all evil from man or self. People with the affirmative attitude that this is so are able to confirm themselves by many rational ideas, and by facts, such as that no good can possibly flow in except from Good itself, that is, from the fountain of good, and so from the Lord, and that good cannot have its first beginnings anywhere else. Such people find these ideas enlightened for them by all things which are truly good within themselves, within others, within society in general, and indeed within the whole of creation. But people with the negative attitude confirm themselves by everything they can possibly think of in ideas to the contrary, so much so that at length they do not know what good is. And disputing among themselves as to what the highest good is, they are profoundly ignorant of the fact that it is by means of celestial and spiritual good from the Lord that every type of good beneath it is made living, and that the delight flowing from it is truly delight. Some also imagine that if good does not come from themselves it cannot possibly come from any other source.

[5] Take another example: Those who are governed by love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are able to receive the truths of doctrine and to have faith in the Word, but not so those leading a life of self-love and love of the world. Or what amounts to the same, those governed by good are able to believe but not those governed by evil. People with the affirmative attitude of mind are able to confirm this in countless ways - with rational ideas and factual knowledge. With rational ideas they are able to confirm that truth is compatible with good but not with evil, and that as all falsity resides in evil it is also the product of evil, and that if any people governed by evil nevertheless possess any truth, this is on their lips, not in their heart. And with factual knowledge they are able to confirm from many points of view that truths put evils to flight and that evils detest truths. But people with the negative attitude confirm themselves in the idea that everyone, irrespective of what he is like in character - even if he leads a life for ever hating, taking delight in revenge, and practicing deceit - is able to believe as others are able to do so. Yet while holding to this idea they themselves totally reject goodness of life from doctrine, and having rejected it believe nothing whatever.

[6] To make the matter plainer still, take yet another example: Those who adopt the affirmative attitude that the Word has been written in such a way as to have an internal sense that is not apparent in the letter are also able in many ways to confirm themselves through rational considerations, such as the following,

By means of the Word man has a link with heaven.

Correspondences exist of natural things with spiritual, though the spiritual are not very apparent.

The ideas which belong to interior thought are completely different from the material ideas which fall into the words of spoken language. While man is in the world he is able to be in heaven (for he has been born for life in both places) through the Word which is intended for both places.

With some people a certain Divine light flows into the things of the understanding and into the affections when the Word is being read.

It is necessary that something be written which has come down from heaven and thus that the nature of its existence in its origins cannot be the same as its existence in the letter.

It cannot be holy except from a certain holiness which it has within it.

A person with the affirmative attitude is also able to confirm himself by means of certain facts, such as the following,

In former times people were living in an age of representatives. The writings of the Ancient Church contained such representatives, and those of many authors among the gentiles were composed of them, so that in the Churches that style of writing was regarded as being holy, and among the gentiles as being learned (books by many of those authors could also be mentioned).

But people who adopt the negative attitude, though they do not deny all these considerations and facts, nevertheless do not believe them. They persuade themselves that the Word is such as it exists in the letter, where indeed it presents a worldly appearance, but is nevertheless spiritual. They do not have any interest however in where that spiritual element lies, but for a multitude of reasons still want it. And that of which they are persuaded they are able to confirm in many ways.

[7] To present this matter in a way that can be grasped by ordinary people, let the following known fact serve as an example: Those with the affirmative attitude that sight does not belong to the eye but to the spirit which sees objects in the world by means of the eye as an organ of its own body can find confirmation of this fact in many ways. For instance, those people may find confirmation of it in their hearing of words spoken by another, in that these spoken words ally themselves to a certain interior sight, into which those words are converted - something that could not possibly occur but for the existence of that interior sight. These people may also find confirmation of the same in the consideration that whatever they think about is seen with an interior sight, by some more clearly and by others more obscurely, as well as in the consideration that the things produced by their imagination are not unlike actual objects of sight. They may find a further confirmation in the consideration that unless it were the spirit within the body that saw the things taken in by the eye as the organ of sight, the spirit would be unable to see anything in the next life, when in fact it is destined to behold countless and astonishing sights which the eye of the body cannot possibly see. In addition confirmation may be found by these people by reflecting on how in dreams, especially those of the prophets, many things have likewise been seen, yet not with the eyes. Finally, if trained in philosophy, a person may find confirmation in the consideration that things which are more exterior cannot enter into those that are more interior, just as that which is compound cannot enter into that which is simple, so that things of the body cannot enter into those of the spirit; only the reverse is possible. Besides these many other confirmations might be introduced, till at length a person is persuaded that sight belongs to the spirit, and not to the eye except from the spirit. But people with the negative attitude either speak of everything of this kind as that which is natural and physical, or else they speak of it as that which is imaginary. And when they are told that a spirit possesses and enjoys far more perfect sight than man does in the body, they laugh at the idea and dismiss it as nonsense, for they believe that they will be living in darkness when they are deprived of the sight of the eye. But in fact quite the reverse is the case in that they then dwell in the light.

[8] These examples show what it is to enter into things of a rational and factual nature from truths, and what it is to enter into truths from things of a factual and rational nature. The first method of approach is according to order, but the second is contrary to it; and when a person acts according to order he is enlightened, but when he acts contrary to order he is made blind. This makes plain how important it is for people to know and believe truths, for truths enlighten man, but falsities make him blind. Truths open up to the rational a vast and practically unlimited field, whereas falsities provide scarcely any such opening up at all, though this is not very evident. The reason why angels have so much wisdom is that they are enveloped in truths, truth being the light itself of heaven.

[9] Those who have made themselves blind through refusing to believe anything which they do not perceive with the physical senses, till at length they have no belief at all, were in former times called 'serpents belonging to the tree of knowledge'. For they reasoned much from things as perceived by the senses and from the resulting illusions which man accepts and believes all too easily, and by such reasoning they led very many astray, see 195, 196. In the next life they are easily distinguished from other spirits by the fact that in everything which is a matter of faith they reason whether it is so. And if it is demonstrated to them a thousand times, and then another thousand, that it is so they still advance doubts of a negative kind against every confirmation that is offered, and this they would go on doing for ever. They are so blinded therefore that they are lacking in common sense, that is, they are unable to grasp what good and truth are. Yet every one of them imagines that he is wiser than anyone else in the whole universe, making wisdom consist in being able to dispose of what is Divine and to derive the origin of things from what is natural. Many who have been considered wise men in the world are pre- eminently such as these; for the more anyone with the negative attitude of mind possesses talent and knowledge, the more insane he is, more so than all others. But the more anyone with the affirmative attitude possesses talent and knowledge the wiser he is able to become. One is not by any means forbidden to develop the rational by means of factual knowledge, but one is not allowed to use it to harden oneself against the truths of faith which belong to the Word.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 195-196)


[10] Much concerning these matters occurs in the internal sense of the Word, especially in prophetical sections, where the subject is Asshur and Egypt, for 'Asshur' means reasoning, 119, 1186, and 'Egypt' knowledge, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462.

People who wish to enter into matters of doctrine regarding faith and into Divine things by means of things of a factual and of a rational nature, and who are consequently of unsound mind, are referred to in Isaiah as follows,

I will confound Egypt within Egypt, and they will fight every one against his brother, and every one against his companion, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt will be emptied out in the midst of it, and I will swallow up his plans. The waters from the sea will fail, and the river will be parched and dry; and the streams will depart, and the rivers of Egypt will diminish and become parched. Reed and rush will wither away. Every seed of the river will be dry. Jehovah has mingled in the midst of her a spirit of perversity, and they have made Egypt err in all its work, as a drunken man errs in his vomit. Isaiah 19:2-3, 5-7, 14.

In the same prophet,

Woe to the rebellious children, who depart to go down into Egypt but have not asked at My mouth, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. And the strength of Pharaoh will be shame for you, and trust in the shadow of Egypt ignominy. Isaiah 30:1-3.

In the same prophet,

Woe to those who go down into Egypt for help and rely on horses and trust in chariots because they are many, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel and do not seek Jehovah. And Jehovah will stretch out His hand; he who gives help will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all be destroyed together. And Asshur will fall by a sword, not of man; and a sword, not of man, will devour him. Isaiah 31:1, 3, 8.

In Jeremiah,

My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hollow out pits for themselves, broken pits which do not hold water. Is not Israel a slave? If he is a home-born [servant], why has he become a prey? Are you not bringing this on yourself by forsaking Jehovah your God at a time when He is leading you in the way? And now, what have you to do with the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor, or what have you to do with the way to Asshur, to drink the waters of the River? O generation, see the Word of Jehovah! Have I been a wilderness for Israel? or a land of darkness? For what reason have My people said, We will be our own masters, we will not come to You any more? Why do you go off so forcefully to change your way? You will also be put to shame by Egypt, as you were put to shame by Asshur. Jeremiah 2:13-14, 17-18, 31, 36.

In the same prophet,

Hear the word of Jehovah, O remnants of Judah, Thus said Jehovah Zebaoth, the God of Israel, If you surely set your faces to come into Egypt, and you enter to sojourn there, then it will be, that the sword of which you are afraid will overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are terrified will cleave to you there in Egypt, so that you die there. And all the men (vir) who have set their faces to come into Egypt to sojourn there will die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, and none of them will survive or escape from before the evil which I am bringing over you. Jeremiah 42:15-17, and following verses.

In Ezekiel,

And let all the inhabitants of Egypt know that I am Jehovah, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they grasp you with the hand, you will be broken, and you will tear for them every shoulder; and when they lean on you you will be broken, and you will make all their loins to be at a stand. Therefore thus said the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I am bringing a sword over you, and I will cause man and beast to be cut off from you; and the land of Egypt will be a desolation and a waste, and they will know that I am Jehovah, for [Egypt] has said, The river is mine, and I made it. Ezekiel 29:6-9, and following verses.

In Hosea,

Ephraim was like a silly dove. They called on Egypt, they went away to Asshur. When they go I will stretch My net over them. Woe to them, for they have strayed away from Me! Hosea 7:11-13.

In the same prophet,

Ephraim feeds the wind, and pursues the east wind. All the day long he multiplies lies and devastation and they make a covenant with Asshur, and oil is carried down into Egypt. Hosea 12:1.

In the same prophet,

Israel has committed whoredom beneath its God. You have taken delight in hiring yourself out on every threshing-floor. Ephraim will return to Egypt, and in Asshur they will eat what is unclean. For behold, they have gone away on account of the devastation, Egypt will gather them, Moph 1 will bury them; the nettle will possess their precious things of silver, the thorn will be in their tents. Ephraim has been stricken, their root has dried up, they will bear no fruit. Even when they bring forth I will slay the beloved fruits of their womb. My God will cast them away because they have not hearkened to Him, and they will be wanderers among the nations. Hosea 9:1, 3, 6, 16-17.

In Isaiah,

Woe to Asshur, the rod of My anger, and he is the staff, in their hand, of My indignation! He does not think what is right and his heart does not consider what is right, for it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few, for he says, Are not my princes at the same time kings? I will visit upon the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Asshur, for he has said, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have intelligence, and I will remove the boundaries of peoples and will plunder their treasures, and as a powerful man will cast down the inhabitants. Therefore the Lord, the Lord Zebaoth, will send leanness among his fat ones, and instead of his glory a burning of fire will be kindled. Isaiah 10:5, 7-8, 12-13, 16.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[11] In all these places 'Asshur' means reasoning, as has been shown, 'Egypt' and 'pharaoh' mean knowledge, and 'Ephraim' the understanding part of the mind. These and many other places elsewhere describe what man's rational comes to be like when he reasons about the truths of faith from the negative attitude of mind. Similar teaching is embodied in the incidents recorded in Isaiah 36, 37, when the Rabshakeh was sent from the king of Asshur and spoke out against Jerusalem and king Hezekiah, and the angel of Jehovah at that time struck down in the camp of the king of Asshur one hundred and eighty-five thousands. Those descriptions mean the disarray into which all that constitutes man's rationality is thrown when he reasons against Divine things, however much he may seem to himself at that time to be wise.

[12] Such reasoning is also referred to in various places as 'whoredom committed with the sons of Egypt and with the sons of Asshur', as in Ezekiel,

You committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, your neighbours, great in flesh, and multiplied your whoredom. And you committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, and were still not satisfied. Ezekiel 16:26, 28; 23:3, 5-21.

See 2466.

[13] People however who enter into things of a rational and factual kind from the doctrine of faith and by so doing are made wise are referred to in Isaiah as follows,

On that day there will be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to Jehovah at its border; and it will be for a sign and a witness to Jehovah Zebaoth in the land of Egypt, for they will cry out to Jehovah because of the oppressors, and He will send a saviour and prince to them, and He will deliver them. And Jehovah will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know Jehovah on that day and will offer sacrifice and minchah, and will make a vow to Jehovah and perform it. Isaiah 19:18-21.

In the same chapter,

On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Asshur, and Asshur will come into Egypt, and the Egyptians will serve Asshur. 2 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Asshur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom Jehovah Zebaoth will bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Asshur the work of My hands, and Israel My heritage. Isaiah 19:23-25.

This is referring to the spiritual Church, of which Israel is the spiritual element, Asshur the rational, and Egypt the factual. These three constitute all the intellectual powers of that Church, which come in that order one after another. This explains why it is said, 'On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Asshur', and 'blessed be Egypt My people, Asshur the work of My hands, and Israel My heritage'.

(References: Isaiah 19:19-21)


[14] In the same prophet,

It will be on that day, that a great trumpet will be blown, and they will come - those who are perishing in the land of Asshur, and those who are outcasts in the land of Egypt - and they will bow themselves down to Jehovah on the holy mountain, in Jerusalem. Isaiah 27:13.

In the same prophet,

Thus said Jehovah, The labour of Egypt, and the wares of Cush and of the Sabaeans, men of stature, will come over to you and will be yours. They will follow after you and bow down to you. To you they will make the supplication, God is with you only; and there is no other besides God. Isaiah 45:14.

'Cush and the Sabaeans' are cognitions, 117, 1171. In Zechariah,

Egypt will go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah Zebaoth. Zechariah 14:17-18.

In Micah,

As for me, I look to Jehovah, I wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. The day for building your walls, this is the day; and they will come even to you from Asshur and the cities of Egypt even to the River. Micah 7:7, 11-12.

[15] In Ezekiel,

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, At the end of forty years I will gather Egypt from the peoples among whom they were scattered, and I will bring back the captivity of Egypt. Ezekiel 29:13-14.

In the same prophet,

Behold, Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon, beautiful in its branches, and a shady forest, and lofty in height, and its trunk among entangled boughs. The waters caused it to grow, with its streams going around the place of its planting, and he sent out his lines of water to all the trees of the field. Therefore its height was made higher than all the trees of the field, and its branches were multiplied, and its branches were made long by many waters. In its branches all the birds of the air made their nests, and under its branches every wild animal of the field gave birth, and in its shadow dwelt all great nations. And it became beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches, for its root was in many waters. The cedars did not hide it in the garden of God, the fir trees were not equal to its branches. No tree in the garden of God was equal to it in its beauty. I made it beautiful in the mass of its branches, and all the trees of Eden which are in the garden of God envied it. Ezekiel 31:3-9.

Here the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, is described as to the nature of its rational and so of its wisdom and intelligence, for that Church used to look at things below from those which were Divine. Thus it looked at truths from goods themselves, and then from truths at what was subsidiary to these. By 'Asshur' and 'a cedar' are meant the rational, by 'entangled boughs among which were its branches' is meant factual knowledge, by 'streams' and 'waters' are meant spiritual goods, among which was its 'root', by 'the height and the length of the branches' the extent of it, by 'the garden of God' the spiritual Church, and by 'the trees of Eden' perceptions. This and the other places quoted above show what man's rational is like and what his factual knowledge is like when they are subordinate to Divine truths and serve these by confirming them.

(References: Ezekiel 31:3-8)


[16] The fact that things of a rational and factual kind serve people who have the affirmative attitude of mind as a means for making them wise was represented and meant by the command to the children of Israel to seek from the Egyptians the loan of vessels of gold and vessels of silver, and clothing, Exodus 3:22; 11:2; 12:35-36. Something similar is meant by what is said in various places in the Word about their possessing the goods, houses, vineyards, and olive-groves, and many other things, of the nations, and also by references to the very gold and silver itself seized from the nations becoming holy, as in Isaiah,

Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she will return to hiring herself out as a harlot, and will commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth on the face of the ground. And its merchandise and its harlot's hire will become holy to Jehovah; it will not be stored or hoarded, for its merchandise will be for them that dwell before Jehovah to eat to satisfaction and for ancient clothing. Isaiah 23:17-18.

'The merchandise of Tyre' stands for cognitions, 1201, which to those with the negative attitude of mind are like 'a harlot's hire' but to those with the affirmative attitude are like that which is holy. Something similar is also meant by the Lord's words,

Make friends for yourselves out of the mammon of unrighteousness, so that when you fail they may receive you into eternal habitations. If then you have not appeared faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true? Luke 16:9, 11.

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Footnotes:

1. i.e. Memphis.

2. The Hebrew of this text in Isaiah may be read in two different ways - serve Asshur or serve with Asshur. Most English versions of Isaiah prefer the second of these.

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(References: Exodus 12:36; Genesis 20:18)

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 God and the Universe
It's impossible to have a clear understanding of God when thinking from nature. God may be seen in nature when nature is viewed from spirit.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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


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