The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version      

Study the Inner Meaning

Genesis 2 →

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 2 →

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

Great lights
Great lights, as in luminaries, signify love and faith, and are called in Genesis 1:14-17, the sun, moon, and stars.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

female
Female signifies good.

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

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

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

Resources for parents and teachers

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

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

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

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9340

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

Study this Passage

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


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

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

(References: Genesis 1:1)


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

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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493)


[6] In Amos,

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

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

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


[7] In Jeremiah,

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

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

[8] In Joel,

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

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

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


[9] In Obadiah,

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

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

(References: Obadiah 1:19)


[10] In Isaiah,

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

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

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

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Footnotes:

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

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

-----

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

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

The White Horse 8


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 140, 195, 235, 240, 278, 340, 386, 388, 573, 946

Other New Christian Commentary

Kaphtor 1

Kir 1


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Arcana Coelestia #3708

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3708. 'And you will break forth towards the sea, and towards the east' means infinite extension of good, while 'towards the north, and towards the south' means infinite extension of truth - thus every state of good and truth. This is clear from the meaning of 'breaking forth' as extension, here infinite extension since it has reference to the Lord; from the meaning of 'the sea' or the west as good which is as yet obscure and so at only an initial stage; from the meaning of 'the east' as bright and so perfected good; from the meaning of 'the north' as truth which is still shrouded in obscurity; and from the meaning of 'the south' as truth bathed in light.

[2] Many references are made in the Word to the sea or west, the east, the north, and the south. But because nobody up to now has known that, as with every other single expression, these possessed an internal sense in which they did not mean things to do with the world, as they do in the sense of the letter, but spiritual and celestial things, and that in the highest sense those expressions meant Divine things belonging to the Lord Himself, what else could people have known therefore other than that west, east, north, and south are used in the Word simply to mean the four quarters? What else other than that 'breaking forth' towards those four quarters means a multiplying? But the fact that they do not mean the four quarters or the multiplying of any group of people, but states of good and truth, and the extension of these, may become clear from all the places in the Word, especially those in the Prophets, where reference is made to them. For what west, east, north, or south are is totally unknown in heaven. There the Sun, which is the Lord - unlike the sun of this world which rises and sets, reaching its highest point at midday and its lowest at night - is visible all the time, though how visible depends on the states of those receiving its light; for the light from it holds wisdom and intelligence within it, see 1619-1632, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3190, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3339, 3341, 3485, 3636, 3643. Consequently it is visible to each individual according to the wisdom and intelligence existing with him. Among those with whom good and truth are present - which are warmth and light, but of the celestial and spiritual kind - the sun is as it is when rising and at midday; but among those with whom good and truth are not present the sun is as it is when setting and at night. From this it is evident that in the internal sense of the Word 'east, south, west, and north' means states of good and truth.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3222-3223)


[3] It should be recognized that the Word does not use only the four quarters, as indicated, to describe states of good and truth. It also uses both the annual seasons or states of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and the daily times or states of morning, midday, evening, and night. These are used for a similar purpose; but when the subject is the extension of good and truth, the four quarters are employed to describe it. What each one means specifically however may be seen from the places where they are mentioned in the Word. 'East' means the Lord and also the good of love and charity, which comes from the Lord, as shown already in 101, 1250, 3249, and 'south' means the truth bathed in light, in 1458, 3195.

[4] But what 'west' and what 'north' mean in the genuine sense, and what they mean in the contrary sense, may be seen from the following places: In Isaiah,

Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Do not withhold. Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth. Isaiah 43:5-6

This refers to a new spiritual Church, meant here by Jacob and Israel. 'Bringing the seed from the east and gathering from the west' stands for people governed by good; 'saying to the north, Give up; and to the south, Do not withhold' stands for those governed by truth.

[5] In David,

The redeemed of Jehovah will speak, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy and gathered together out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the sea. They wandered in the wilderness, in a desolate way; they did not find an inhabited city. 1 Psalms 107:2-4.

This refers to people who are without knowledge of good and truth. 'From the east and from the west' stands for those without knowledge of good, 'from the north and from the sea' for those without knowledge of truth. Those without knowledge of good are referred to as 'wandering in the wilderness', and those without knowledge of truth as doing so 'in a desolate way'. And those without knowledge of both are referred to as their not finding an inhabited city - 'a city' meaning doctrinal teaching consisting of truth, see 402, 2449, 2943, 3216, and 'a habitation' being used in reference to good, 268, 2451, 2712.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2268)


[6] In Isaiah,

Behold, these will come from afar, and behold, those from the north and from the west, and those from the land of Sinim. Isaiah 49:12.

'The north' stands for people in obscurity as regards truth, 'the west' for those in obscurity as regards good. They are said 'to come from afar' because they are remote from the light which flows from the Lord.

[7] In Amos,

Behold, the days are going to come in which I will send a famine on the land. And they will wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east they will run to and fro to seek the Word of Jehovah, and will not find it. Amos 8:11-12.

'A famine' stands for a lack and absence of cognitions, 1460, 3364. 'Wandering from sea to sea' stands for searching for the place where cognitions may be found - 'seas' meaning cognitions in general, 28, 2850. 'Running to and fro from the north even to the east' stands for going from those cognitions that are in obscurity to cognitions that are in the light. As regards cognitions being meant, this is evident because the words 'to seek the Word of God and will not find it' are used.

[8] In Jeremiah,

Proclaim these words towards the north, and say, Return, backsliding Israel; I will not cause My face to fall upon you, for I am merciful. In those days the house of Judah will go to the house of Israel, and together they will come out of the north land over the land I gave as a heritage to your fathers. Jeremiah 3:12, 18.

This refers to the restoration of the Church from among the gentiles. 'The north' stands for people without knowledge of truth but who lead a good life. It is evident that neither the north nor the north land is meant here for the reason that Israel did not exist any longer.

[9] In the same prophet,

The living Jehovah who caused the children of Israel to come up out of the north land. Jeremiah 16:15.

'North' in a similar way stands for being without knowledge of truth. In the same prophet,

Behold, I am bringing them from the north land, and I will gather them from the furthest parts of the earth, among them the blind one and the lame. Jeremiah 31:8.

The 'north land' stands for no knowledge of good because of no knowledge of truth. Now because the land of Canaan represented the Lord's kingdom - and therefore also represented good, see above in 3705 - and places within that land, such as Zion and Jerusalem, represented inmost good to which truth was joined, the places which lay away from that land consequently represented obscurity so far as good and truth were concerned. Everything that lies in obscurity is called 'the north land' and also 'the furthest parts of the earth'.

[10] In addition to this, since all good that flows in with light from the Lord is confined within man's obscurity, the north is also called 'an assembly' as in Isaiah,

You said in your heart, I will go up the heavens, above the stars of God I will raise my throne, and I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the furthest parts of the north. Isaiah 14:13.

In the same prophet,

Wail, O gate; cry, O city; you have melted away, O Philistia, all of you, for smoke comes from the north, and not a solitary person in the assemblies. Isaiah 14:31.

In David,

Great is Jehovah and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, the mountain of His holiness - the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, the furthest parts of the north, the city of the great King. Psalms 48:1-2.

And again in the same author,

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours. The world and the fullness of it You have founded; the north and the right hand 2 You have created. Psalms 89:11-12.

'The north' here stands for those who are more remote from the light of good and truth, 'the right hand' for those who are closer to them. For the latter are on the Lord's right hand, see 1274, 1276.

[11] In Zechariah,

He saw four chariots coming out between two mountains of bronze. The horses coupled to them were reddish, black, white, and mottled - strong ones. The angel said, These are the four winds of heaven, which go forth from standing before the Lord of the whole earth, the black horses going into the north land; and the white have gone out after them, and the mottled have gone out into the south land. Those going towards the north land have caused My spirit to rest on the north land. Zechariah 6:1-8.

'Chariots coming out between two mountains of bronze' stands for matters of doctrine concerning good. For 'chariots' means matters of doctrine, as will be shown elsewhere, while 'a mountain' means love, see 795, 1430, 2722, and two mountains therefore two kinds of love - celestial love, which is love to the Lord, and spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbour. 'Bronze' is good originating in those loves as it exists within the natural, 425, 1551; 'horses' things of the understanding, and so an understanding of matters of doctrine concerning good, 2760-2762, 3217; 'the south land' stands for people who possess cognitions of good and truth, 1458, 3195, 'the north land' for those who are without knowledge of good and truth but who lead a good life, as upright gentiles do among whom, when a new Church is established, God's Spirit is said to rest.

[12] In Jeremiah,

Jehovah who brought up and led back the seed of the house of Israel out of the land towards the north and out of all the lands to where I have driven them, so that they might dwell on their own land. Jeremiah 23:8.

'Out of the land towards the north' stands for away from the obscurity that is due to a lack of knowledge about what is good and true. In the same prophet,

Can one break iron, iron from the north, and bronze? Jeremiah 15:12.

'Iron' stands for natural truth, 425, 426, 'bronze' for natural good, 425, 1551. These are said to come 'from the north' because they derive from the natural which, though lying in obscurity compared with other degrees, serves as the outer limit of these. It is evident without explanation that this prophetic utterance does not mean the use of iron and bronze from the north, for what would be Divine about that, indeed what connection would it have with what goes before and after if no more than iron and bronze from there were meant?

(References: Arcana Coelestia 425-426)


[13] In Matthew,

I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:29.

'Many from the east and from the west' stands for those who possess cognitions and lead a good life, and also for those who are in obscurity and have no knowledge of such cognitions; and so it stands for people inside the Church and those outside it. It has been stated above that states of good are meant by the east and the west. 'Reclining with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' means being with the Lord, see 3305 (end). And the Prophets in a similar way speak of people coming from east and west who are going to be with the Lord in His kingdom or Church, as in Isaiah,

From the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you. Isaiah 43:5.

Elsewhere in the same prophet,

They will fear the name of Jehovah from the west, and His glory from the east. Isaiah 59:19.

Elsewhere in the same,

From the rising of the sun and from its setting they will know that there is none besides Me; I am Jehovah and there is no one else. Isaiah 45:6.

Elsewhere in the same,

I will stir up one from the north, and he will come; from the rising of the sun he will call on My name. Isaiah 41:25.

[14] In addition one may see that east, west, south, and north have these meanings from the following: The Construction of the Tabernacle; The Children of Israel when they were encamped and when they journeyed; The Description of the Land of Canaan; also, The Description of the New Temple, New Jerusalem, and New Land:

THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TABERNACLE

Everything in it was positioned according to the four quarters, see Exodus 38 - what went on the east and west sides, and what on the south and north, is stated in Exodus 26:18, 20, 22, 27; 27:9, 12, 13; and the requirement that the lampstand was to be placed towards the south across from the table, the table itself being on the north side, Exodus 26:35; 40:22.

(References: Exodus 27:11-13, 27:14, Exodus 38:9-13)


[15] THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WHEN THEY WERE ENCAMPED AND WHEN THEY JOURNEYED

Here also positions were determined according to the four quarters. That is to say, they encamped around the Tent of Meeting, with the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun towards the east; the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad towards the south; the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin towards the west; and the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali towards the north, Numbers 2:1- end. In addition to this, the Levites encamped with the Gershonites towards the west, the Kohathites towards the south, the Merarites towards the north; and Moses, Aaron and his sons in front of the Tabernacle towards the east, Numbers 3:23-38. In this way the heavenly order which in the Lord's kingdom exists in accordance with states of good and truth was represented. Towards the south side also they were to sound the call for them to begin their journeys, Numbers 10:6. And even as they took up specific positions when they encamped, so they did when they journeyed, Numbers 2:34.

(References: Numbers 2)


[16] THE DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND OF CANAAN

First Moses described its border lands - those indeed in the south, those in the west, those in the north, and those in the east, Numbers 34:2-12, as they were again described when the land had been apportioned to the tribes by lot, in Joshua 15 Chapters-19 of Joshua. From these circumstances, and also from the most ancient people who dwelt in the land of Canaan, all places in that land became representatives and meaningful signs determined by their position, distance, and boundaries in relation to the four quarters, 1607, 1866.

(References: Joshua 16:1, 17:1, 18:1)


[17] THE DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW TEMPLE, NEW JERUSALEM, AND NEW LAND

These also are described in Ezekiel in relation to the four quarters. The structure of the city, for example, started from the south. When dealing with the gateway to the building he says that its sides faced towards the east, towards the north, and towards the south, Ezekiel 40:2, 6, 19, 20-46. When dealing with the measurement of the Temple, he says that its doors looked towards the north and the south, Ezekiel 41:11, while the outer court looked towards the north, the east, the south, and the west, Ezekiel 42:1, 4, 11, 16-19. He also says that the glory of Jehovah the God of Israel came in from the way of the east, Ezekiel 43:1-2, 4. The gates to the outer court are dealt with in Ezekiel 44:1-2, 4; 46:1, 9, 10, 19, 20; and the boundaries of the Holy Land in Chapter 47 - towards the north in verses 15-17, towards the east in verse 18, towards the south in verse 19, towards the west in verse 20; while Chapter 48 specifies in relation to the four quarters the territories allotted to each tribe. And in the description of the Holy Jerusalem it is said that the gates were on the east, north, south, and west, Revelation 21:13. From these references it is quite evident that the four quarters of the world in relation to which those holy things, or representatives of what is holy, were arrayed do not mean in the internal sense the four quarters but states of good and truth within the Lord's kingdom.

(References: Ezekiel 40:19-46, 41:1-2, 41:4, 42:10-11, 42:17-20, 43:2, 44:1, 44:2, 44:9-10, 44:19-20, 47:5-17, 47:15-17, 47:18, 47:19, 47:20, 48:1)


[18] In the contrary sense 'the north' and 'the west' mean falsity and evil, as may be seen from the following places: In Jeremiah,

The word of Jehovah came to me a second time, saying, What do you see? I said, I am seeing an open pot with it's face towards the north. And Jehovah said, From the north evil will be opened over all the inhabitants of the land. Lo, I am calling all the families of the north to come. Jeremiah 1:13-15.

In the same prophet,

Set up a standard towards Zion; assemble, stay not, for I am bringing evil from the north, and a great destruction. Jeremiah 4:6.

In the same prophet,

The sound of crashing; behold, it is coming, and a great commotion out of the land of the north to reduce the cities of Judah into a waste. Jeremiah 10:22.

In the same prophet,

In Tekoa sound the trumpet, for evil stares from the north, and great destruction. Behold, a people coming from the land of the north, a mighty nation will be stirred up from the furthest parts of the earth. Jeremiah 6:1, 22.

In the same prophet,

I took the cup from Jehovah's hand and made all the nations drink it - Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, and its kings, Pharaoh king of Egypt, and the whole western crowd; all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the west, dwelling in the wilderness, and all the kings of the north, far and near. Jeremiah 25:17-26.

(References: Jeremiah 25:17-20, 25:24, 25:26)


[19] In the same prophet,

The swift will not flee away, nor the strong man escape. Northwards on the bank of the River Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. Who is this coming up like a river? Egypt comes up like the river, for he said, I will go up, I will cover the earth, I will destroy the city and those who dwell in it. But that day is to the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth a day of vengeance - for the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth holds a sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates. A very beautiful heifer is Egypt, but destruction from the north has come. The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame; she has been delivered into the hand of a people from the north. Jeremiah 46:6-10, 20, 24.

In the same prophet,

Thus said Jehovah, Behold, waters rising out of the north which are like a deluging stream, and they will deluge the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. Jeremiah 47:2.

(References: Jeremiah 46:6-8, 46:10)


[20] In the same prophet,

[The word which] Jehovah spoke against Babel: There will come up against her a nation from the north, which will make her land a desolation so that none may dwell in it. Jeremiah 50:1, 3.

In the same prophet,

Behold, I am stirring up and bringing up against Babel an assembly of great nations out of the north land, and they will array themselves against her; from there she will be taken. Behold, a people coming out of the north, a mighty nation, and many kings will be stirred up from the furthest parts of the earth. Jeremiah 50:9, 41.

In the same prophet,

Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, will sing over Babel, because those who lay waste will come out of the north. Jeremiah 51:48.

In Ezekiel,

Say to Gog, You will come out of your place from the furthest parts of the north, you and many peoples with you. You will come up against My people Israel, like a cloud to cover the land. Ezekiel 38:14-16.

In the same prophet,

Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince. I will make you turn back and will split you into six, and make you come up from the furthest parts of the north and bring you onto the mountains of Israel. On the mountains of Israel you will fall. On the surface of the field you will fall. Ezekiel 39:1-2, 4-5.

In Zechariah,

Ho! Flee from the land of the north, says Jehovah, for like the four winds of the heavens I will spread you abroad. Ho, Zion! escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babel. Zechariah 2:6-7.

[21] These quotations show what 'the north' means in the contrary sense, namely falsity which is the source of evil, or falsity which is the result of evil. Because falsity which is the source of evil originates in reasoning about Divine things and against Divine things, which reasoning is based on factual knowledge belonging to the natural man, it is called 'a people from the north out of Egypt' - 'Egypt' meaning such factual knowledge, see 1164, 1165, 2588 (end). And because falsity which is the result of evil originates in worship which to outward appearance is holy but interiorly is unholy, it is called 'a nation from the north out of Babel' - 'Babel' meaning such, see 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, as well as that which lays waste, 1327. Both types of falsity - that which is the source of evil, and that which is the result of evil - are said to come out of Gog, for 'Gog' is worship consisting in external observances devoid of anything internal, which is idolatrous worship, as at all times was that of the Jews. That 'Gog' means such worship, see 1151.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, 1321-1322)


[22] Out of the obscurity in which the natural man dwells either truth can arise or falsity can do so. When anyone allows himself to be enlightened by means of the Word from the Lord his obscurity is turned into brightness, for the internal path is opened and so influx and communication from the Lord by way of heaven takes place. But when he does not allow himself to be enlightened by means of the Word from the Lord, but by his own intelligence, his obscurity is turned into darkness and so into falsity, for the internal path is closed and no influx and communication from the Lord by way of heaven takes place, apart from such as enables him to be seen outwardly to be human, when he thinks and so speaks from evil and falsity. This is why 'the north' means truth with those who allow themselves to be enlightened, falsity with those who do not. For the former come up from obscurity, that is, they are raised up to light, but the latter go down from obscurity, that is, remove themselves from light. The former are accordingly brought into [the light of] the south, the latter into [the gloom of] Tartarus.

[23] The fact that 'the north' means the thick darkness of falsity and 'the south' the light of truth is quite evident in Daniel where the ram and the he-goat are the subject, and also where the king of the south and the king of the north are. Referring to the ram and the he-goat it is said that the ram butted with his horns towards the west and towards the north and towards the south, so that none of the beasts could stand before him, and that a he-goat came from the west across the surface of the whole earth, and out of one of his horns there came forth a [little] horn which grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the glorious [land], Daniel 8:4-5, 9. And referring to the king of the south and the king of the north in the place where 'the king of the south' means those possessing cognitions of truth, and 'the king of the north' those who are governed by falsity, it is said that

After some years they will make an alliance, as a result of which the daughter of the king of the south will come to the king of the north to negotiate equitable terms but her arm will not gain strength. One will rise from that stem who will enter into the fortress of the king of the north and will prevail and will carry [the gods] they have captured into Egypt. The king of the south will come into the kingdom and fight with the king of the north, and the king of the north will return and raise a multitude greater than the former. Many will stand up against the king of the south. The king of the north will come and take the fortified city and destroy much. The king of the south will be stirred up to battle with a great army, but he will not stand, for they will devise plots against him. After that he will return, but it will not be as previously. The people consisting of those who know their God will stand firm. At length, at the time of the end, the king of the south will clash with him; therefore the king of the north will rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen. In the glorious land many will fall. But rumours will terrify him from the east and from the north, so that he goes forth with great fury. He will come to his end, with none to help him. Daniel 11:1-end.

The fact that 'the king of the south' means those who dwell in the light of truth, 'the king of the north' those who first dwell in shade and then in the thick darkness of falsity, may become clear from the details in that chapter. So it is a description of how the state of the Church is in course of time perverted. They are called kings of the south and of the north because 'kings' in the internal sense of the Word means truths, and in the contrary sense falsities, 1672, 2015, 2069, while 'kingdoms' means things that belong to truth, and in the contrary sense those that belong to falsity, 1672, 2547.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, city of habitation

2. i.e. the south

-----

(References: Daniel 11, 11:6-45; Exodus 38:9-13; Genesis 28:14)


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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4060, 4769, 4818, 5215, 5643, 5672, 7679, 9042, 9340, 9341, 9648, 9653, 9684, 9685, 9758, 9760, 9927, 10061, 10105, 10134, 10179, 10189, 10227

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 246


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 130, 179, 277

Other New Christian Commentary

Break forth, to 1

North 1

West 1


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


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