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.

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(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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #3969

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3969. 'And she said, God has taken away my reproach. And she called his name Joseph, saying, May Jehovah add to me another son' in the highest sense means the Lord as regards the Divine Spiritual, in the internal sense the spiritual kingdom or the good of faith, and in the external sense salvation, also fruitfulness and multiplication. This is clear from the representation of 'Joseph' in the Word, dealt with below, also from the meaning of 'God has taken away my reproach', as well as 'May Jehovah add to me another son', for the name Joseph was derived from the verbs 'to gather up' and 'to add'. 'God has taken away my reproach' means that Rachel was now no longer barren, and so no longer 'dead', as she spoke of herself to Jacob in verse 1 above; see 3908. For 'Rachel' represents the affection for interior truth, that is, the interior man as regards truth, 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819. The interior man is so to speak dead as regards truth and good if the exterior or natural man does not correspond to it as regards goods and truths, see 3493, 3620, 3623. They must be so joined each to the other that they are not two but together form one man.

(References: Genesis 30:24)


[2] But the two cannot become joined together until the natural or external man has been prepared, that is, until it has received and acknowledged the general truths which have been meant by Jacob's ten sons by Leah and the servant-girls, and until the good of the natural man has been joined to the truths in that man, which joining together was meant by Jacob's last son by Leah, namely Zebulun, who was so called from the expression 'dwelling together', 3960, 3961. After this joining together has taken place the interior man and the exterior man enter into the heavenly marriage spoken of in 3952. The reason they do not enter it until then is a very deep arcanum, for it is the good of the interior man which in that case joins itself to the good of the exterior man, and through that exterior good to the truth in the exterior man. At the same time the good of the interior man joins itself through the affection for truth in that interior man to the good of the exterior man and also to the truth there, and so joins itself directly and indirectly. concerning this direct and indirect linking together, see 3314, 3573, 3616. Since the interior man is only then joined to the exterior, and until this joining together has taken place the interior man is seemingly non-existent and so seemingly dead, as stated above, the phrase 'God has taken away my reproach' is therefore used. This then is what is meant by 'the reproach' which God is said to have 'gathered up', that is, to have taken away, meaning to have released her from it.

[3] But the words which follow - 'May Jehovah add to me another son', from which Joseph received his name - mean a second arcanum, which is this: 'Joseph' represents the Lord's spiritual kingdom and so the spiritual man, for that kingdom exists within every spiritual man. There are two things which constitute the spiritual man - charity and faith, or what amounts to the same, good and truth. Charity from which faith, or good from which truth springs, is the thing that Joseph represents. And faith which has charity within it, or truth which has good within it, is the thing that the second son means - that Benjamin represents, dealt with at Genesis 35:16-18. So Joseph means the celestial-spiritual man, and Benjamin the spiritual-celestial. The nature of the difference between them may be seen from what has been said fairly often already about good from which truth springs and truth that has good within it. This then is what is meant by Rachel's second utterance 'May Jehovah add to me another son'. But these arcana cannot be seen except by those who are governed by charity from which faith springs, for interiorly those people are dwelling in the light of heaven, which light also includes intelligence within it. But those arcana cannot be seen by those who are dwelling solely in the light of the world, for that light does not include intelligence except insofar as it holds the light of heaven within itself. To angels who dwell in the light of heaven these arcana belong among the most ordinary things they know.

[4] From these considerations one may now see that the words 'God has taken away my reproach' and 'May Jehovah add to me another son' in the highest sense mean the Lord as regards the Divine Spiritual, and in the internal sense the Lord's spiritual kingdom or the good of faith, for such good is the spiritual as this exists in that kingdom. But the reason why those words in the external sense mean salvation, also fruitfulness and multiplication, is that these come as the product of that good, 3971. But what the Lord's spiritual kingdom is may become clear from what has been stated and shown many times already about that kingdom, that is to say, it consists of those who are governed by charity and from charity by faith. This kingdom is distinct and separate from the Lord's celestial kingdom, for the celestial kingdom consists of those who are governed by love to the Lord and from that love by charity. The latter constitute the third or inmost heaven, whereas the spiritual constitute the second or interior heaven.

[5] The reason why the name God is used first, in 'God has taken away my reproach', then Jehovah, in 'May Jehovah add to me another son', is that God has regard to the ascent from truth up to good but Jehovah to the descent from good down to truth. The spiritual man is governed by the good of faith, that is, by the good from which truth springs; but prior to his becoming spiritual he is governed by the truth of faith, that is, by truth that has good within it. For the name God is used when truth is the subject, but Jehovah when good is the subject, 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822, 3921.

[6] The fact that 'Joseph' represents the Lord's spiritual kingdom, or the spiritual man, and so represents the good of faith, becomes clear also from those places in the Word where his name is mentioned, as in the prophecy of Jacob, who by then was Israel,

The son of a fruitful one is Joseph, the son of a fruitful one beside a spring; O daughters, he trails over the wall; and the archers will exasperate him and shoot at him and hate him. And he will sit in the strength of his bow, and the arms of his hands will be made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel. By the God of your father, and he will assist you; and with Shaddai, and he will bless you with the blessings of heaven from above, with the blessings of the deep lying beneath, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father will prevail over the blessings of my ancestors, even to the desire of the everlasting hills. They will be upon the head of Joseph and upon the crown of the head of the Nazirite among his brothers. Genesis 49:22-26.

These prophetic utterances in the highest sense contain a description of the Lord's Divine Spiritual, in the internal sense a description of His spiritual kingdom. What each detail entails will in the Lord's Divine mercy be discussed in the explanation of that chapter.

[7] Similarly in the prophecy of Moses,

For Joseph he said, Blessed by Jehovah is his land, of the precious things of heaven, of the dew, of the deep also lying beneath, and of the precious things of the fruits of the sun, and of the precious things of the produce of the months, and of the precious things of the mountains of the east, and of the precious things of the everlasting hills, and of the precious things of the earth and of its fullness; and the good pleasure of Him dwelling in the bramble bush. They will come upon the head of Joseph and upon the crown of the head of the Nazirite among his brothers. Deuteronomy 33:13-17.

[8] Because 'Israel' represents the Lord's spiritual Church, 3305, 3654,

Jacob, who by then was Israel, said to Joseph,

Your two sons who were born to you in the land of Egypt, before I came to you in Egypt, will be mine. Ephraim and Manasseh will be as Reuben and Simeon. May the angel who has redeemed me from every evil bless the boys, that in them my name may be called, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and may they increase into a multitude in the midst of the earth. Genesis 48:5, 16.

There are two things which constitute the spiritual Church - the understanding and the will, the understanding being represented by 'Ephraim' and the will by 'Manasseh'. From this one can see why Joseph's two sons were adopted by Jacob, by then Israel, and acknowledged as his own. Ephraim is also mentioned often in the Word, especially the prophetical part, in which places that name means the ability which the spiritual Church possesses to understand what is true and what is good.

[9] In Ezekiel,

Jehovah said, Son of man, take a stick and write on it, For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions. And take another stick and write on it, For Joseph - the stick of Ephraim and of the whole house of Israel, his companions and join them together, one to the other into one stick for you, that both may be one in your 1 hand. Thus said the Lord Jehovih, I, behold, I am taking the stick of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim and of the tribes of Israel his companions, and I will add them to the stick of Judah, and make them into one stick, and they will be one in My hand. And I will make them into one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king to them all, and they will no longer be two nations, nor will they ever be divided into two nations again. Ezekiel 37:16-17, 19, 22.

This refers to the Lord's kingdom, to the celestial and to the spiritual - 'Judah' being the celestial kingdom, 3654, 3881, 3921 (end), and 'Joseph' the spiritual. It is also said that those kingdoms will not be two but one - they were actually made one by the Lord's Coming into the world.

[10] By the Lord's Coming the spiritual were saved, see 2661, 2716, 2833, 2834. It is those who are spiritual that the Lord is speaking about in John,

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice, and there will be one Bock and one shepherd. John 10:16.

This is what is meant by 'the two sticks', the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph, which will be joined into one, and will be one in the Lord's hand, like one nation, even as they are one in the Lord's kingdom. For celestial angels constitute the third heaven, which is the inmost heaven, but spiritual angels the second, which is the interior heaven, and in that kingdom they are one because one flows into the other, namely the celestial heaven into the spiritual. The spiritual kingdom is so to speak the groundwork on which the celestial is based, and in this way the two are made firm and stable. For the Divine celestial within the third or inmost heaven is love to the Lord, the celestial-spiritual in that heaven being charity. The latter, namely charity, is the chief thing in the second or interior heaven where spiritual angels are. This shows the nature of influx and also how things are made firm and stable by means of influx. 'Wood' means good, both the good which belongs to love to the Lord and the good which belongs to charity towards the neighbour, 2784, 2812, 3720. For this reason the command was given to write Judah and Joseph on the two sticks which were to be made one.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2833-2834)


[11] In Zechariah,

I will make the house of Judah powerful, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will restore them, 2 for I have had compassion on them, and they will be as though I had not forsaken them, for I am Jehovah their God and I will answer them. Zechariah 10:6.

This too refers to the two kingdoms, the celestial and the spiritual, 'Judah' being the celestial kingdom and 'Joseph' the spiritual. Also referred to is the salvation of the spiritual.

[12] In Amos,

Thus said Jehovah to the house of Israel, Seek Me and you will live. Seek Jehovah and you will live, lest like fire He invades the house of Joseph and it devours and there is nobody quenching it. Hate evil, and desire good, and establish judgement in the gate; it may be that Jehovah God Zebaoth will have compassion on the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:4, 6, 15.

Here also those who are spiritual are meant by 'Joseph'. 'The house of Israel' means the spiritual Church, 3305, 3654, 'Joseph' the good of that Church. Hence the statement 'Jehovah said to the house of Israel, Seek Me and you will live, lest like fire He invades the house of Joseph'.

[13] In David,

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock. You who are seated on the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up Your might and come to save us. Psalms 80:1-2.

Here similarly 'Joseph' means the spiritual man, 'Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh' being three essentials of that Church.

(References: Psalms 80:1-3)


[14] In the same author,

Raise a song, and sound the timbrel, the sweet harp with the lyre; blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the festival, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, a judgement to the God of Jacob. [As] a testimony for Joseph He appointed it, when He went out against the land of Egypt. I heard a language that I did not know. Psalms 81:2-5.

From each individual word or term used here it is evident that 'Joseph' means the spiritual Church or spiritual man. For there are in the Word terms which present spiritual realities and terms which present celestial ones, and these terms occur consistently throughout the Word. In this quotation terms that present spiritual realities are used - 'a song', 'the timbrel', 'the harp with the lyre', and 'blowing the trumpet at the new moon, at the festival, on a feast day'. From this also it is evident that the subject is the spiritual Church meant by 'Joseph'.

[15] In Ezekiel,

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, This is the boundary by which you will inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel, the portions for Joseph. Ezekiel 47:13.

This refers to the Lord's spiritual kingdom, and therefore the phrase 'the portions for Joseph' is used. The Lord's Divine spiritual is that which is also called His kingship, for the Lord's kingship is Divine Truth, but His priesthood Divine Good, 2015, 3009, 3670. The Lord's kingship itself is that which 'Joseph' represents, in that he was made king in the land of Egypt. That representation will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with when that chapter is reached.

[16] As regards the Lord's Divine spiritual, or Divine Truth, which is represented in the highest sense by 'Joseph', it does not exist within the Lord but flows from the Lord; for the Lord is nothing else than Divine Good. But Divine Truth proceeds from Divine Good. To use a comparison, it is like the sun and the light of the sun. Light does not exist within the sun but proceeds from the sun. Or it is like fire. Light does not exist in fire but proceeds from it. And in the Word Divine Good itself is compared to the sun and also to fire, and is actually called sun and fire. The Lord's celestial kingdom receives its life from the good which proceeds from the Lord, but the spiritual kingdom receives its life from the truth derived from that good. For this reason in the next life the Lord is seen as the Sun by those who are celestial, but as the Moon by those who are spiritual, see 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 3636, 3643. For both warmth and light proceed from the sun. Its warmth is comparable to the good of love, which is also called celestial and spiritual warmth, its light to the truth flowing from it, which is also referred to as spiritual light, see 3636, 3643. But the celestial warmth and the spiritual light which proceed from the Lord as the Sun in the next life, include within them the good of love and the truth of faith, and so include wisdom and intelligence, 1521-1523, 1542, 1619-1632, 2776, 3138, 3190, 3195, 3222, 3223, 3339, 3485, 3636, 3643, 3862. For things which proceed from the Lord are living.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3222-3223)


[17] From this one may see what the Divine Spiritual is; in what the spiritual kingdom and the celestial kingdom have their origins; and also that the spiritual kingdom is the good of faith, which good is charity, flowing in from the Lord directly, and also indirectly through the celestial kingdom. In the Word the Divine Spiritual which proceeds from the Lord is called the Spirit of truth, and is holy truth. The Divine Spiritual does not belong to any spirit but is the Lord's, who imparts it through a spirit sent by Him, as becomes clear from the Lord's own words in John,

When He the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak. He will also declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive from what is Mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-14.

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Footnotes:

1. The Latin means my but the Hebrew means your.

2. literally, I will cause them to dwell

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(References: Genesis 30:24)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3971, 3987, 4607, 4669, 5113, 5307, 5444, 5584, 5586, 5600, 5689, 5922, 6241, 6417, 6427, 6583, 6854, 6945, 9199, 9277, 9325, 9340, 9404, 9670, 9671, 9684, 9780, 10283

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 23, 121, 186, 304, 306, 307


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 28, 39, 163, 193, 222, 237, 295, 316, 336, 355, 357, 376, 386, 440, 475

Other New Christian Commentary

Joseph 1

Reproach of Rachel taken away 1

Timbrel 1

Wood 1

Sticks 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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


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