The Bible

 

Genesis 1

King James Version         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

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

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

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


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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

Bible Word Meanings

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

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

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

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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

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

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" represents a state where truth is lacking. Here's a cogent passage...

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

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

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

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

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

light
In the Word, “light” in the highest sense represents Divine Truth: knowledge, ideas, understanding that come to us from the Lord. In lesser degrees...

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

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

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

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

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

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

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

fruit
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

tree
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

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

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

lights
'The two luminaries' denote love and faith in the internal self.

signs
'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

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

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

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

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

greater
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

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

fourth
The number "four" in the Bible represents things being linked together or joined. This is partly because four is two times two, and two represents...

life
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

fowl
Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

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

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

whales
'A whale,' as in Jeremiah 51:34, signifies people who possess the universal aspects of the knowledges of faith, as known, and apply them to evil...

living
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

winged
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

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

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

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

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

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

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

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

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

air
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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

male
Because of their understanding of spiritual marriage, the people of the Most Ancient church perceived 'male and female' as two faculties in the spiritual self:...

male and female
Because of their understanding of spiritual marriage, the people of the Most Ancient church perceived 'male and female' as two faculties in the spiritual self:...

female
Female signifies good.

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

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

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Resources for parents and teachers

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Qualities of the Lord
Look at colored pictures of stories from the Word. Using a word bank, identify the quality of the Lord shown in each picture.
Project | Ages 9 - 14

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

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

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

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

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9408

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9408. 'And it was like the substance of the sky for clearness' means the translucence of the angelic heaven. This is clear from the meaning of 'the sky (or heaven)' as the angelic heaven, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'clearness' or purity of substance, when said of the sky, as translucence. What the translucence of the angelic heaven is when the Word is the subject must be stated briefly. The angelic heaven is said to be translucent when God's truth shines through; for the whole of heaven is nothing other than a receptacle of God's truth. Each angel is an individual recipient of it, so that all the angels or heaven as a whole is a general recipient. This explains why heaven is called 'God's dwelling-place' and also 'God's throne'. For 'dwelling-place' means God's truth emanating from the Lord and received in the inmost heaven, which in comparison is good, 8269, 8309; and 'throne' means God's truth emanating from the Lord and received in the middle heaven, 5313, 6397, 8625, 9039. Since that which shines through, out of the sense of the letter of the Word, is God's truth as it exists in the heavens, it is the angelic heaven that shines through. For the Word is Divine Truth adjusted to all the heavens, and as a consequence of this it joins the heavens to the world, that is, angels to men, 2143, 7153, 7381, 8920, 9094 (end), 9212 (end), 9216 (end), 9357, 9396. From all this it is evident what the words 'the translucence of the angelic heaven' are used to mean.

[2] The reasons why in the internal sense 'the sky (or heaven)' means the angelic heaven lie with correspondence and also with the appearance. So it is that where the words 'heavens' and 'heavens of heavens' occur in the Word the angelic heavens are meant in the internal sense. For the ancients had no other idea of the visible sky than this, that the inhabitants of heaven lived there and that the stars were their dwelling-places. At the present day too, simple people - especially young children - have the same idea. So it is also that people look upwards to the sky or heaven when they worship God. This action too arises from correspondence; for a sky with stars appears in the next life, but this is not the sky seen by people in the world. Instead it is a sky that takes on an appearance which accords with the spirits and angels' state of intelligence and wisdom. The stars in it are cognitions or knowledge of goodness and truth, and the clouds which are sometimes seen in the sky vary in meaning according to their colours, translucence, and movements, the blue of the sky being truth transparent with good. All this goes to prove that by 'heavens' the angelic heavens are meant. But by the angelic heavens God's truths are meant, because angels are recipients of God's truth emanating from the Lord.

[3] Similar things are meant by 'heavens' in David,

Praise Jehovah, heavens of heavens, and waters that are above the heavens! Psalms 148:4.

In the same author,

Make melody to the Lord who rides above the heaven of the heaven of old. Psalms 68:33.

In the same author,

By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the spirit 1 of His mouth. Psalms 33:6.

In the same prophet,

The heavens recount His glory, and the firmament declares the works of His hands. Psalms 19:1.

In the Book of Judges,

O Jehovah, when You went forth from Seir, the earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, the clouds indeed dropped water. Judges 5:4.

In Daniel,

The horn of the he-goat grew right on towards the host of the heavens, and cast down to the earth some of the host, and of the stars, and trampled on them. Daniel 8:10.

In Amos,

The Lord Jehovih, who builds His steps in the heavens ... Amos 9:6.

In Malachi,

If there is food in My house I will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing for you. Malachi 3:10.

In Isaiah,

Look out from the heavens, and see from the dwelling-place of Your holiness and of Your glory. Isaiah 63:15.

In Moses,

Blessed by Jehovah is the land of Joseph, in regard to the precious things of heaven, to the dew. Deuteronomy 33:13.

In Matthew,

Jesus said, You shall not swear by heaven, for it is God's throne. He who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by Him who sits on it. Matthew 5:32; 23:22.

(References: Matthew 5:34; Psalms 68:32-33)


[4] In these and very many other places 'heavens' means the angelic heavens. And since the Lord's heaven on earth is the Church, the Church too is meant by 'heaven', as in the following places: In John,

I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away. Revelation 21:1.

In Isaiah,

Behold, I am creating new heavens and a new earth; therefore the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. 2 Isaiah 65:17.

In the same prophet,

The heavens will vanish away like smoke, and the earth will grow old like a garment. Isaiah 51:6.

In the same prophet,

I clothe heaven with darkness, and I make sackcloth its covering. Isaiah 50:3.

In Ezekiel,

I will cover the heavens, and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. And all the bright lights in heaven I will make dark, and I will put darkness over the land. Ezekiel 32:7-8.

In Matthew,

After the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29.

What the meaning is of 'sun', 'moon', 'stars', and 'in the heavens', see 4056-4060.

In Isaiah,

O Jehovah God of Israel, You are God alone over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Isaiah 37:16.

In the same prophet,

[I am] Jehovah who makes all things, who spreads out the heavens Alone, who stretches out the earth by Myself. Isaiah 44:24.

In the same prophet,

Jehovah who created the heavens, who formed the earth, and made it, and prepared it, did not create it an emptiness. Isaiah 45:18.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4056)


[5] In the internal sense 'heaven and earth' in these and other places means the Church, the internal Church being meant by 'heaven' and the external Church by 'earth', see 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 (end), 3355 (end), 4535. From all this it is evident that by creation in the earliest chapters of Genesis, where it says, In the beginning God created heaven and earth, Genesis 1:1, And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, Genesis 2:1, a new Church is meant. For creation there describes regeneration, which is also called the new creation, as has been shown and may be seen in the explanations of those chapters.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2117-2118; Exodus 24:10)

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Apocalypse Explained 270, 701, 717


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Isaiah 44:24

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24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

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Explanation of Isaiah 44      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 44

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation.)

1. BUT hear now, O Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

VERSES 1-6. These words imply that GOD MESSIAH gives to the regenerate man spiritual and celestial gifts.

By "Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen", are understood all the regenerate. "Fear you not, O My servant Jacob", etc., are words of exhortation that man may not despair in temptations, and that he may thus be supported, wherefore he is here called "Jeshurun", [see note, p 451.] and not Israel. "Waters upon the thirsty" are spiritual gifts and comforts; the "thirsty" and the "dry" are predicated of him who is in temptation; "your seed" is everything which is sown, as in a field, in the man who is about to be regenerated; the "blessing" is the increase, and the "offspring" are the things which are hence horn; hence the "grass" or the "new creature", as he is then called; the regenerate are compared to " trees by the water-brooks." Verse 5 treats of the quality of the new man, that is, when he has put on the new man, namely, that he shall be called by the name of "Jacob", who in the supreme sense is the MESSIAH, as shown above, and "written in the book of life"; he "writes with his own hand to be Jehovah's, and surnames himself by the name of Israel", because by the divine Mercy of GOD MESSIAH he has sustained temptations, (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 110.)

Verse 1. Israel, whom I have chosen. - That the Jews were chosen to form a representative or a typical church, and were not chosen, in the sense of salvation, above other nations, see above, Chapter 14:1, the Exposition.

2. Thus says Jehovah, your Maker, and your Former from the womb, who will help you: Fear you not, O My servant Jacob; and you, O Jeshurun, whom I have chosen:

Verses 2, 24. The Lord, in many parts of the Word, is called "Creator", "Maker", and "Former from the womb", and also "Redeemer", by reason that He creates man anew, reforms, regenerates, and redeems. It may be supposed that the Lord is so called because He creates man and forms him in the womb, but still it is a spiritual creation and formation which is there understood; for the Word is not only natural, but also spiritual. Apocalypse Explained 710.

The Lord is called "Maker and Former from the womb", because He regenerates man, and from being natural makes him spiritual. Because regeneration is effected by Truth and Good, therefore it is said that He will "pour out waters upon the thirsty", etc.; for by "waters" is meant Truth. Arcana Coelestia 8013.

As to the process of "regeneration", see Chapter 8:3, the Exposition.

3. For I will pour out waters upon the thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground: I will pour out My spirit upon your seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.

4. And they shall spring up among the grass; as the willows beside the water-brooks.

Verse 3. To "pour out waters upon the thirsty", signifies to instruct those in Truths who are in the affection of Truth; to "pour out streams upon the dry ground", means to give intelligence to those who, by virtue of Good, are in the desire of Truth. The like is signified by "pouring out the spirit and the blessing"; for by the "Spirit of God" is understood the Divine Truth, and by "blessing" the multiplication and fructification thereof, thus intelligence. Who does not see that in this passage, and in those above quoted, "waters" and "rivers", "desert" and "wilderness", are not understood, but such things as appertain to the church? Apocalypse Explained 518. See also in this chapter, verse 27.

Verses 3, 4. By the "Spirit of Jehovah" is signified the Divine Truth, and by "blessing" the multiplication and fructification thereof; hence intelligence by scientific Truth is understood by "springing up among the grass. Apocalypse Explained 507.

As to "grass", see Chapter 35:7; and for the signification of "willows", both in a good and in a bad sense, see Chapter 15:7, the Exposition.

5. One shall say, I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall write with his hand to be Jehovah's, and shall surname himself by the name of Israel.

Verse 5. These things are said concerning the Lord, and concerning His Divine Human.

By "Jacob" and by "Israel", where the Lord is treated of, is denoted His Human, and that it was also Jehovah, is understood by "One saying, I am Jehovah's", and by "writing with his hand to be Jehovah 's." In the supreme sense "Israel" and "Jacob" denote the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 222. See also

Arcana Coelestia 4286, 4570.

The reason why "writing" upon any one denotes to implant in the life, is, because to write is to commit anything to paper from the memory, thought, and mind, in order that it may endure or remain; wherefore, in the spiritual sense, it signifies that which is to remain in the life of man, being inscribed and implanted in him; thus the natural sense of this expression is turned into the spiritual sense, for it is natural to write upon paper or in a hook, but it is spiritual to inscribe on the life, which is done when it is imprinted in the faith and love, for love and faith make the spiritual life of man Inasmuch as to "write" signifies to implant in the life, therefore also it is said of Jehovah, or of the Lord, that "He writeth" and "has written in a book", whereby is understood what is inscribed by the Lord on the spirit of man, that is, in his heart and soul. or what is the same, in his love and faith, as in David:

"Let them be blotted out of the book of lives, and let them not be written with the just." (Psalm 69:28)

Again:

"There shall not enter any into the New Jerusalem, but those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27)

In these and in other passages of similar import, it is not understood that they are written in a book, but that all things appertaining to faith and love are inscribed on the spirit of man. The same is also evident from Jeremiah:

"I will give My law in the midst of them, and will write it upon their heart." (Jeremiah 31:33)

To "give the law in the midst of them" denotes divine Truth in them; "in the midst" signifies within or inwardly in man; and to "write it upon the heart" is to impress it upon the love, for the "heart" signifies the love.

Again,

"They who recede from Me shall be written in the earth", etc. (Jeremiah 17:13, 14)

To be "written in the earth" is to be condemned on account of the state of life, inasmuch as by "earth" here is signified what is condemned. Hence it is evident what is meant by "the Lord's writing twice with His finger on the earth", when the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Him the woman taken in adultery, (John 8:2-11) namely, the same as in Jeremiah, - [utter condemnation of the sin of adultery; the opposite is to have "one's name written. in heaven", (Luke 10:12) which is salvation.] Apocalypse Explained 222.

6. Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God.

Verse 6. That the Lord, as the "First", contains all things in connection by the "Last" or Ultimate, can be evident from the Word and from Man. The Word in last principles is its literal sense, and the Word in the first is the Lord; and the Word in its interiors is its internal sense, which is perceived in the heavens, and which takes those who are there look to "one end, who is the Lord. Man in last principles is the church upon earth, - Man in first principles is the Lord; Man in interior principles is Heaven; for the church and heaven are before the

Lord as one Man, which is therefore called the greatest or Grand Man. There is a continual connection between them, and according to this connection is the influx of all things from the Lord through the heavens to the church on earth. By the "heavens" are understood the angels who are there; and by the "church" the men, that is, the true men of the church; and by "Man" in first principles, or as the "First", is the Lord as to His Divine Human. That from the "First" by the "Last" all things are kept in connection, and stand together, is understood by the Lord's words in the Apocalypse:

"These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive again." 2:8.
Arcana Coelestia 10044.

7. And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, from the time that I appointed the ancient people? the signs, and the things that shall come, let them declare unto them.

Verse 7. The signs. - See Chapter 41:23, note.

8. Fear you not, neither be you afraid: have I not told it unto you from the first, and have declared it? and you are My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.

Verse 8. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock: I know not any. - By the "Rock" here also is understood the Lord as to Divine Truth. - Apocalypse Explained 411. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 16:1.

9. The formers of a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things which they most desire shall not profit: and they are their own witnesses; they see not, they know not; so that they shall be ashamed.

Verses 9-20. By the whole of this description of the "graven image" is understood the formation of doctrine from self-derived intelligence, and all things, as to every particular of the description, signify the particular things of such formation. To what purpose else would such a prolix description of the formation alone of a "graven image " be given in the divine Word? That there is nothing but what is false, because from self derived intelligence, is understood by "'The formers of a graven image are all of them emptiness [or vanity]", and by " the things which they most desire being of no profit"; also by their having no knowledge and intelligence, and by not saying "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" The self-derived intelligence from which the false of doctrine is formed is described by "the fashioning of iron with the tongs", and by "working it in the coals with the strength of his arm"; to "fashion iron with the tongs", and to " work it in the coals", denoting to forge out falsities which favour the loves of man's proprium. The conjoining of falsities to falsities by fallacies, from which they appear as Truths, is described by "He stretches out the line; he marks it out with a rule; he makes it with tools; he marks it out with the compass; and he makes it according to the form of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may abide in the house."

By "the form of a man" is signified the appearance of Truth; by "the beauty of a man " the appearance of Intelligence thence derived; and by "abiding in the house" is understood the appearance of spiritual life thence derived. That there is thence no life of intelligence, or of the perception of Truth and of Good, is signified by "They know not, neither do they understand", also by "their eyes not seeing, and their hearts not understanding. "The particular exposition of everything contained in this description would be too prolix; it is sufficient that everyone may see that something more interior and more wise is signified than the formation only of a "graven image." Let it be known that such heavenly wisdom is contained in this description as is ineffable, in which wisdom are the angels when it is read by man, although man thinks of nothing else but of a graven image and its formation; for as many as are the expressions in the above passage, so many are the correspondences, and hence so many arcana of wisdom. Apocalypse Explained 587. See also Arcana Coelestia 10406.

10. Who has formed a god, and cast a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11. Behold, all his associates shall be ashamed; and the workmen themselves are of men: they shall assemble all of them; they shall stand; they shall fear, and be ashamed together.

12. He fashions iron with the tongs; he works it in the coals, find forms it with sharp hammers; and he works it with the strength of his arm: yea, he is hungry, and has no strength; he drinks no waters, and he is faint.

13. He fashions wood, he stretches out the line; he marks it out with a rule; he makes it with tools; he marks it out with the compass; and he makes it according to the form of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may abide in the house.

Verses 10, 12. In this passage is described the formation of doctrine from the proprium, both in the intellect and love.

By "forming a god" is understood doctrine from the intellect, which is of the proprium; and by "casting a graven image", doctrine from the love, which is of the proprium, By" fashioning iron with the tongs, and working it in the coals", is signified the false, which he calls Truth, and the evil, which he calls Good; "iron" denoting the false, and a "fire of coals" the evil of the love of the proprium.

By "He forms it with sharp [or pointed] hammers" is signified by ingenious reasonings, grounded in falsities, which appear to cohere; by "the strength of his arm with which he so works it" is signified from the proprium; by "hungering" is understood the deprivation of Good, and by "not drinking" the deprivation of Truth; and by "his strength failing" and by being "wearied" is meant until nothing of Good and of Truth remains. Who forms any other idea, if he sees the Word merely from the sense of the letter, but that the formation of a "graven image" is here described? Nevertheless, he may see that such description of the formation of a "graven image " does not involve anything spiritual, also that it is superfluous to say that "he hungers until he has no strength, nor drinks until he is faint"; whereas not only in this, but in all passages of a similar nature in the Word, the formation of a religion and doctrine of what is false is described by "idols", "sculptured and molten images", which, that they signify the falsities of religion and of doctrine, originating in the intellect and love which are grounded in the proprium, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia; Arcana Coelestia 8869, 8932, 8941. Apocalypse Explained 386.

Verses 12, 13. He fashions iron, etc.; - he fashions Wood, etc. - [The process of forming idols out of "iron" and out of "wood" is here minutely described. An "idol" fashioned or framed out of iron, signifies falsities, or false doctrines respecting Truth in the literal sense of the Word, to which Truth "iron" corresponds, (Apocalypse Explained 70, 131, 411, 1147)

Such false doctrines as are signified by "idols made of iron" are framed when the appearances of the literal sense of the Word are taken for genuine Truths, as that God is angry, that from vengeance He punishes, that He casts into hell, that He leads into temptation, that He does evil, etc. They who frame their doctrines out of the mere appearances of Truth in the letter of the Word, and not from the literal sense rightly understood, make idols out of iron; and the process of their formation here depicted corresponds to the cupidities and the ingenious reasonings of the merely natural mind, by which such doctrines are forged, as a smith forges iron into various forms. To "fashion wood" into an idol, signifies to frame false doctrines as to good works, to which "wood" in one sense corresponds. (Apocalypse Revealed 459) "Idols of wood", or false doctrines relating to good works, are of various kinds, originating chiefly in the false doctrine of "Salvation of Faith only." Such "idols of wood", or such falsities, endeavour to prove, amongst other false principles, that good works do not contribute to salvation, that they are necessarily meritorious, that they derogate from Christ's merits, and that they are merely moral acts, necessary for man's life in the world, but not to be considered as conducive to his eternal life in heaven. The fallacious and ingenious reasonings" by which such doctrines are framed and maintained, are denoted by the process by which the workman makes the idol, "stretching out his line, marking it out with his rule, applying his compass", etc., - so as to make such doctrines into "the form of a man", or into the appearance of Truth itself. As to the signification of "idols" of gold, of silver, of brass, of stone, and of wood, see above, Chapter 2:20, the Exposition.]

14. He hews down cedars for himself, and he takes the box and the oak; and he chooses for himself from among the trees of the forest: he plants the ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

15. That it may be to a man for fuel: and he takes thereof, and warms himself; yea, he kindles it, and baketh bread: he also forms a god, and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and bows down thereto.

Verse 14. As to the meaning of "cedars" and "oaks", both in a good and in a bad sense, see above, Chapter 2:12-17, the Exposition.

16. A part thereof he burns in the fire; and on a part thereof [he prepareth] flesh, and eats: he roasts roast, that he may be satisfied; he also warms himself, and says, Ah! I am warm; I have seen the fire.

Verses 16, 19. In the Word what is "roasted" is distinguished from what is "boiled." By what is "roasted" is signified Good, because by fire; and by what is "boiled" is understood Truth, because by water. From this it is evident what is understood in the spiritual sense by "the broiled or roasted fish"; (Luke 24:42, 43) and what by "the fish on the fire of coals", when the Lord , appeared to His disciples, concerning which we read in John :

"As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and "bread; Jesus then cometh, and takes bread, and giveth to them, and fish likewise." (John 21, 13)

By the "fish "is signified, the Truth of the natural principle; (see Arcana Coelestia 991) but by the "fire of coals", Good;thus by the "fish laid thereon" is signified. the Truth of spiritual Good in the natural principle. He who does not believe that there is an internal sense in the Word, cannot believe otherwise than that when the Lord appeared to the disciples there was no arcanum involved in the circumstance, but that a fish was on the fire of coals, and that the Lord gave it to the disciples to eat. Because by what is "roasted by fire" is signified the Good which is of celestial and spiritual love, therefore, in the opposite sense, by what is "roasted by fire" is signified the evil which is of the love of self and of the world, as in Isaiah:

"A part thereof he burns in the fire; and on a part thereof [he prepares] flesh, and eats; he roasts roast, that he may be satisfied", etc. (Isaiah 44:16, 19)

The subject here treated of is concerning the worshippers of a graven image. By a "graven image" is understood the false of evil, which is thus described; to "roast roast", and to "roast flesh", is to operate or to work out evil from filthy love.That " fire", in the opposite sense, is the evil of self-love and of worldly love, or of the cupidities which arise from those loves, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 1297, 1861. Arcana Coelestia 7852.

Verse 16. He warms himself, and says, Ah! I am warm; I have seen the fire. - [To "warm one's self by a fire of coals", (John 18:18) as Peter and the servants of the Sanhedrin did, when Jesus was about to be crucified, signifies to warm one's self by the excited fires of self-love. "Ah! I have seen the fire", implies gladness at the ascendancy of selfish purposes either of dominion or of gain, when false doctrines, denoted by these "idols", so prevail as to secure these objects and ends of selfish and worldly love.]

17. And the residue thereof he makes a god, [even] his graven image: he bows down to it, and worships it; and he prays unto it, and says, Deliver me; for you art my god!

18. They know not, neither do they understand: for He has besmeared their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand:

19. Neither doth he lay it to his heart; neither has he knowledge nor understanding to say, Part of it I have burned in the fire; I have also baked bread on the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and I have eaten: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I bow myself down to the stock of a tree?

Verses 17, 18. These words denote that in "idols" [or false doctrinesJ there are no Truths and Goods; for all things which proceed from self-intelligence, are inwardly not Truths and Goods, but falsities and evils, for they proceed from man's proprium, which is radically evil. Arcana Coelestia 8869.

20. He feeds on ashes: a deluded heart has caused him to err; so that he cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

21. Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel; for you art My servant: I have formed you; you art a servant unto Me: O Israel, you shalt not be forgotten by Me.

Verse 20. "Ashes" signify the falsities derived from the evil of lusts. The reason why "ashes" signify the falsities of lusts, is, because ashes are from combustibles, and what is combustible, as also "fire" itself in the Word, in the good sense, signifies the Good of heavenly affections; but, in the opposite sense, the evil of infernal lusts. Arcana Coelestia 7519.

[Hence it appears that when the maker of idols is said to "feed upon ashes", all those who frame false doctrines, and who believe in them, will eventually, if these "idols" are not rejected, have their minds imbued and fed with mere falsities from evil.]

A deluded heart has caused him to err, so that he cannot deliver his own soul. - "Heart" signifies the life of love, and "soul" the life of faith; to "go astray" from these things is to incline to what is evil and false. Arcana Coelestia 9050.

He cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, is there not a lie in my right hand?

And in David:

"You have exalted the right hand of his enemies." (Psalm 89:42)

Again,

"Whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of a lie." (Psalm 144:8, 11)

The reason why by the "right hand", when predicated of the evil, signifies the false, and thence ratiocination and combat against Truth, is, because the quarters with those who are in evil, are opposite to the quarters which are with those who are in Good, so that to the right of the former Truths are in dense darkness, but falsities, as it were, in the greatest light. That the quarters in the spiritual world with those who are in evil, are opposite to the quarters which are with those who are in Good, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 151, 152; and the reason thereof, n. 122, 123. Apocalypse Explained 298.

22. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed you.

Verse 22. "Transgressions" and also "sins" are here mentioned, on account of the marriage of Goodness and Truth in every minute particular of the Word; for "transgression" [praevaricatio]; signifies evil against Truth, which is a less evil, and "sin" is evil, against Good, which is a greater evil. Hence it is that both are mentioned, as in Isaiah 44:22; and in Ezekiel 18:24; 21:29; and in David:

"Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered." (Psalm 32:1) Arcana Coelestia 6563.

23. Sing, O you heavens, for Jehovah has done it; shout, O you lower parts of the earth: burst forth into singing, O you mountains; you forest, and every tree therein! for Jehovah has redeemed Jacob, and has glorified Himself in Israel.

24. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb: I am Jehovah, who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads forth the earth by Myself;

Verse 23. The subject treated of in this passage is concerning the Lord, His advent, and salvation by Him; and because these things were about to come, therefore mention is made of a "new song." The joy thence arising is described not only by singing, playing, making a loud noise, jubilating, clapping, but also by various musical instruments, whose sounds are in agreement therewith; it is likewise said that "the rivers, the sea, the field, the forest, the trees therein, Lebanon, the wilderness, the mountains", etc., should rejoice, exult, jubilate, sing, clap the hands, and, cry aloud together. The reason why similar things are predicated of those objects is, because they signify such things as appertain to the church, and consequently such as appertain to the man of the church; the "rivers" things appertaining to intelligence, the "sea" things appertaining to science, which are in agreement with Truths and Goods, the "field" the Good of the church, "forests" the Truths of the natural man, the "trees" knowledges, "Lebanon" Truth and Good spiritual, the "wilderness " the desire of Truth that Good may be thence attained, and the "mountains" the Goods of love. All these things are said to "sing", to "make a loud noise", to "jubilate", to "cry aloud", and "clap the hands", when they are derived from heaven, for then heavenly joy is in them, and thereby in man; for man is not in heavenly joy unless the Truths and Goods which are with him, are derived from heaven, - the joy of the heart, which is truly joy, being from thence, and consequently the joy of the man with whom these things are.

From these considerations it may appear why the like is predicated concerning them as concerning man, namely, because joy is in them, and thereby in man. Such joy is in every spiritual and celestial Good, and thence in those with whom those Goods are; for heaven flows in with its joy, that is, the Lord through heaven, into the Goods, and thence into the Truths, which are from Him with man, and thereby into the man, and not into the man deprived of them, or empty. Those Goods, and the Truths thence derived, are what exult, jubilate, make a loud noise, sing, play, and thus rejoice, by virtue of influx out of heaven, and thence cause the same in the heart of man. Inasmuch as there are various affections of Good and of Truth, and as each expresses itself by a sound agreeable to its quality, therefore in the Word various kinds of "instruments" are mentioned, especially in David, by which similar affections are signified. He who knows the internal sense of the Word, and, at the same time, the sounds of the "instruments" which are there named, may know what particular affection as there signified and described. The angels know this from the mention of them alone, and, at the same time, from the thing described in the expressions made use of when man reads the Word. Apocalypse Explained 326.

Verses 23, 24. Sing, O you heavens, etc. - "Sing, O you heavens; shout, O you lower parts, of the earth: burst forth into singing, O you mountains; you forest, and every tree therein!" signify all things of heaven and of the church, as well internal as external, all which have reference to Good and to Truth. Things internal are signified by the "heavens", things external by the "lower parts of the earth"; the "mountains" denote the Goods of love, the "forest" natural Truth and the "trees" therein the knowledges of Truth. By reason of such significations. It is said "For Jehovah has redeemed Jacob, and has glorified Himself in Israel"; by "Jacob", in the Word, is signified the external church, and by "Israel" the internal. To "stretch out the heavens" and to "spread forth the earth", signifies the church on all sides, which is expanded and extended by the multiplication of Truth and by the fructification of Good with those who are of the church. Apocalypse Explained 304.

Verses 24, 26. Jehovah, your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb, etc. - These words also treat concerning the advent of the Lord, who is "Jehovah your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb." He is called "Redeemer" by virtue of His liberating from hell, and "Former from the womb" by virtue of His regenerating man. The prediction by the prophets concerning Him, and concerning the salvation of men, is understood by "establishing the word of His servant, and performing the counsel of His messengers." That they who are of His church shall be saved, and instructed in the Truths of celestial doctrine, is understood by His "saying to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall he built"; "Jerusalem" denoting the church, and the "cities of Judah" the Truths of celestial doctrine. That the falsities which destroy the church shall be shaken off, is understood by "I will raise up the waste places thereof." That Jerusalem and Judah are not here literally meant, is evident, inasmuch as the Lord said that "Jerusalem should be destroyed", which came to pass accordingly. Apocalypse Explained 433.

25. Who frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes the diviners mad; who rejects wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

26. Who establishes the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers: who says to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built; and her waste places I will raise up;

Verses 25, 26. These words treat of the rejection of a church whose doctrine is from man's self-intelligence; and they also treat of the establishment of a New Church, whose doctrine is from the Lord. The doctrine from man's self-intelligence is understood by "frustrating the tokens of the liars, by rejecting wise men backward, and by making their knowledge foolish." The doctrine which is from the Lord is understood by "saying to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built." Apocalypse Explained 223.

Verses 26, 27. Jehovah says to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, etc. - The restoration of the church and of doctrine is signified by being "inhabited" and by being "built." The dissipation of the evils and falsities which are from the hells, and protection from them, is signified by "drying up the deep", and by "making dry the rivers." Apocalypse Explained 538.

27. Who says to the deep, Be you dry; and I will dry up your rivers;

Verse 27. These words signify the dissipation of evils and falsities; for where "waters" signify Truths, "drying up" signifies a state of no Truth, or without Truth, as at verse 3 of this chapter:

"I will pour out waters upon the thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground"; "waters" and "streams" signify Truth, and "dry ground" where there is no Truth. Arcana Coelestia 8185. See also Chapter 11:15, 10, the Exposition.

28. Who says to Cyrus, My shepherd! and he shall perform all My pleasure: who to Jerusalem, You shalt be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.

Verse 28. That "Cyrus" is a representative or type of Jehovah in His Divine Human, or of the Lord Jesus Christ, see Chapter 45:1, the Exposition.

To the temple, Your foundation shall be laid. - As to the "Temple", and its important signification, see Chapter 6:1, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 44

1. BUT hear now, O Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

2. Thus says Jehovah, your Maker, and your Former from the womb, who will help you: Fear you not, O My servant Jacob; and you, O Jeshurun, whom I have chosen:

3. For I will pour out waters upon the thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground: I will pour out My spirit upon your seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.

4. And they shall spring up among the grass; as the willows beside the water-brooks.

5. One shall say, I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall write with his hand to be Jehovah's, and shall surname himself by the name of Israel.

6. Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God.

7. And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, from the time that I appointed the ancient people? the signs, and the things that shall come, let them declare unto them.

8. Fear you not, neither be you afraid: have I not told it unto you from the first, and have declared it? and you are My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.

9. The formers of a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things which they most desire shall not profit: and they are their own witnesses; they see not, they know not; so that they shall be ashamed.

10. Who has formed a god, and cast a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11. Behold, all his associates shall be ashamed; and the workmen themselves are of men: they shall assemble all of them; they shall stand; they shall fear, and be ashamed together.

12. He fashions iron with the tongs; he works it in the coals, find forms it with sharp hammers; and he works it with the strength of his arm: yea, he is hungry, and has no strength; he drinks no waters, and he is faint.

13. He fashions wood, he stretches out the line; he marks it out with a rule; he makes it with tools; he marks it out with the compass; and he makes it according to the form of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may abide in the house.

14. He hews down cedars for himself, and he takes the box and the oak; and he chooses for himself from among the trees of the forest: he plants the ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

15. That it may be to a man for fuel: and he takes thereof, and warms himself; yea, he kindles it, and baketh bread: he also forms a god, and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and bows down thereto.

16. A part thereof he burns in the fire; and on a part thereof [he prepareth] flesh, and eats: he roasts roast, that he may be satisfied; he also warms himself, and says, Ah! I am warm; I have seen the fire.

17. And the residue thereof he makes a god, [even] his graven image: he bows down to it, and worships it; and he prays unto it, and says, Deliver me; for you art my god!

18. They know not, neither do they understand: for He has besmeared their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand:

19. Neither doth he lay it to his heart; neither has he knowledge nor understanding to say, Part of it I have burned in the fire; I have also baked bread on the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and I have eaten: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I bow myself down to the stock of a tree?

20. He feeds on ashes: a deluded heart has caused him to err; so that he cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

21. Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel; for you art My servant: I have formed you; you art a servant unto Me: O Israel, you shalt not be forgotten by Me.

22. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed you.

23. Sing, O you heavens, for Jehovah has done it; shout, O you lower parts of the earth: burst forth into singing, O you mountains; you forest, and every tree therein! for Jehovah has redeemed Jacob, and has glorified Himself in Israel.

24. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb: I am Jehovah, who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads forth the earth by Myself;

25. Who frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes the diviners mad; who rejects wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

26. Who establishes the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers: who says to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built; and her waste places I will raise up;

27. Who says to the deep, Be you dry; and I will dry up your rivers;

28. Who says to Cyrus, My shepherd! and he shall perform all My pleasure: who to Jerusalem, You shalt be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 44


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 25, 50, 248, 2586, 4918, 7091, 7673, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 281, 285, 535, 613, 880, 962

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100, 120

Doctrine of the Lord 34, 64

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 13, 21, 83, 188, 294, 637, 782


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 223, 304, 433, 710

Canons of the New Church 43

Divine Wisdom 3

Marriage 13, 21, 83

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14, 17, 19, 89, 96

Related New Christian Commentary

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