The Bible

 

Genesis 1

King James Version         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

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

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgement 20

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


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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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Isaiah 65:17

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17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

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Explanation of Isaiah 65      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 65

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

1. I AM sought by those who asked not for Me; I am found by those who did not inquire after Me: I said, Behold Me! behold Me! unto a nation that was not called by My name.

VERSE 1. I said, Behold Me! unto a nation that was not called by My narne. - What is meant by being "called by a name", see above, Chapter 4:1; 26:8, the Exposition.

2. I have spread out My hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts;

Verses 2, 3. To "offer incense upon bricks", is to worship from things feigned and false [that is, from false doctrines], wherefore they are said to "'walk after their own thoughts." This is evident from the signification of "bricks" in the Word; for a "stone" signifies Truth, hence a "brick", because it is made by man, signifies what is false; for a brick is artificially made into a stone. This signification of "bricks" may be seen confirmed by consulting Isaiah 9:9, 10 (see the Exposition); Isaiah 65:2, 3; Nahum 3:14; Ezekiel 4:1. Arcana Coelestia 1296.

3. a people that provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens, and burning incense upon bricks;

Verses 3, 4. To "provoke Jehovah to anger before His faces, signifies to sin against the Truths and Goods of the Word, and to recede from the worship therein commanded; the "faces of Jehovah" are the things revealed in the Word.

By "sacrificing in gardens, and offering incense upon bricks", is understood worship from falsities of doctrine, which are from self-derived intelligence; "gardens" signify intelligence, in this case self-derived, and "bricks" denote the falsities from that intelligence; and to "sacrifice" and "offer incense" is worship. That the ancients performed divine worship in "gardens" and in "groves", according to the signification of the trees therein, but that this was prohibited with the Israelitish nation, lest they should frame to themselves a worship from the proprium, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia 2722, 4552.

To "sit in sepulchres", signifies to be in filthy loves; to "pass the night in waste places." is to remain and to live in falsities, - "waste places" denoting where there are no Truths; and to "eat the flesh of swine", signifies to appropriate to themselves infernal evils, Apocalypse Explained 324. See also Apocalypse Explained 659.

As to the meaning of a "garden", see above, Chapter 1:30, 31; 51:3; 58:11; 61:11, the Exposition. For the signification of "bricks", see Chapter 9:9, 10, the Exposition.

4. that sit among the graves, and lodge in the secret places; that eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

5. that say, Stand by yourself, come not near to me, for I am holier than you. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burns all the day.

Verse 4. By "sepulchres" or "tombs" are signified things unclean, consequently, also, infernal; hence it is evident why "the possessed by devils", in Matthew 8:28, were "in the tombs", namely, because they who possessed them had, during their abode in the world, been in falsities derived from evil, or in knowledges derived from the Word, which they had made dead by applying them to confirm evils, and also to destroy the genuine Truths of the church, especially the Truths concerning the Lord, the Word, and concerning the life after death, which dead knowledges are in the Word called "traditions."

Hence it was that they who were possessed by such were "in the tombs", and the devils were afterwards "cast out into the swine, which ran headlong into the sea."

The reason why they were "cast out into the swine" was because, whilst they had lived in the world, they were in filthy avarice, for such avarice corresponds to "swine"; the reason why "they ran headlong into the sea" was, because, the "sea" signifies hell. Apocalypse Explained 659.

Who eat the flesh of swine. - [That "swine's flesh" was, on account of the above correspondence, forbidden to be eaten, see Leviticus 11:7. Hence also it is that an unconverted and unregenerate man is said to be, as in the case of the prodigal son, a " feeder of swine." See Luke 15:15.]

In whose vessels is the sop of abominable things" -[This "sop (or these pieces) of abominable things" signify the infernal falsities which correspond to the evils denoted by "the flesh of the swine", which "abominable things" mean the frauds and illicit gains of all kinds, together with the lies attending these evils, which minister to the cupidities of avarice, signified specifically by "swine's flesh."]

Verse 5. These are the words of such as justify themselves; for they think themselves holier than those who have faith in God Messiah. That the things which turn away the face from God Messiah are expressed here by "smoke in the nose" and by "fire" [is evident]. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 135.)

6. Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, yea, I will recompense into their bosom,

7. your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, says Jehovah, that have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills; therefore will I first measure their work into their bosom.

Verses 6, 7. The "bosom" signifies love, for the things of the "bosom" or "breast" correspond to love; the "heart" is there, which corresponds to celestial love, and also the "lungs", which correspond to spiritual love; and since the "bosom" hence corresponds to love, by it is also signified the proprium, for "man's proprium is that which is of his love; thus to "requite into their bosom " signifies into themselves. Arcana Coelestia 6960.

The iniquities of your fathers, etc. - That by "father", when mentioned in the Word, is signified Good, and, in the supreme sense, the Lord Himself, see above, Chapter 51:2, the Exposition; and, in the opposite, that by "father" is meant evil, is evident from Chapter 60:7.

[To "offer incense upon the mountains" is worship from self-love, that is, with a view to honour, gain, and power, or to some earthly advantage, and not with a view to heavenly Good and the salvation of the soul. That "mountains " and "high hills", where they offered worship in opposition to the divine command, signified the evils of self-love, and the love of the world, see above, Chapter 2:12-17, the Exposition; which worship is said to "blaspheme (or disgrace) the Lord."]

8. Thus says Jehovah, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sake, that I may not destroy them all.

Verse 8. That "grapes", in the Word, signify charity and the things of charity, and that "wine" signifies faith thence derived, may appear from the following passages: - Isaiah 5:1, 2, 4 (see the Exposition); also Isaiah 65:8, where the "cluster" signifies charity, and the "new wine" the Goods of charity and the Truths thence derived; see also (Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 9:10; Micah 7:1. Arcana Coelestia 1071. See also Arcana Coelestia 5117.

["Destroy it not" signifies that, at the period of Judgment in the world of spirits, those who as "remains" have any charity in them are to be separated from the evil like the "sheep" from the "goats", and saved. As to "remains" or "remnants", see above, Chapter 1:9, the Exposition.]

9. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

10. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

Verse 9. By "Jacob" and by "Judah" are not here understood a people out of Jacob, and a nation out of Judah, but the church to be established by the Lord, - by "Jacob" the church which is in the Good of life, and by "Judah" the church which is in the Good of love to the Lord; consequently, by "Jacob" the external church, and by "Judah" the internal church.

By "seed" is meant charity and faith; and by "mountains" are understood the Goods of love. They who are in charity are called the "elect", and they who are in Truths from the Good of love are called "servants"; wherefore it is said that "the elect shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there." Apocalypse Explained 433. See also Apocalypse Explained 405.

By "Judah an inheritor of My mountains"; in the supreme sense, is understood the Lord; and, in a representative sense, those who are in love to Him, thus in the Good both of love to the Lord, and of charity to the neighbour. That "mountains" signify these Goods, has been frequently shown. Arcana Coelestia 3654.

Mine elect shall possess it. - Those are called the "elect" who, after a separation is made between the good and the evil, are elevated into heaven; those who have done evil are rejected, but those who have done good are elected. In this sense the "elect" are mentioned in Isaiah 65:9, 15, 22. (Swedenborg's Dicta Probantia, p. 82.)

Verses 9, 10. By "Jacob" and by" Judah" are not understood the people of Jacob and Judah; but the celestial church both external and internal, - by "Jacob" the external, and by "Judah" the internal.

The internal Good of that church is signified by "the fold [or habitation] for the flock"; and the external by "the resting-place for the herd"; "Sharon" is the internal where that Good is; and "the valley of Achor" is the external.

That "Sharon" is the internal of the celestial church, is evident from those passages where "Sharon" is named, as in Isaiah 33:9; 35:2. (See the Exposition.)

That "the valley of Achor" is the external of that church, may be seen from Hosea 2:15, [where Achor is called "a door of hope", which door is as the external of a house in relation to its internal.]

In Hosea we read that "Israel, Ephraim, and Judah shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Jehovah, and shall not find Him"; (Hosea 5:5-6) where also "flocks" and "herds" signify the interior and the exterior things with those who are understood by "Israel", "Ephraim", and "Judah." What otherwise could be meant by "their going with their flocks and her to seek Jehovah"? Arcana Coelestia 10610.

11. But you that forsake Jehovah, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune [Gad], and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny [Meni];

Verse 11. To "forsake Jehovah", is to be in evils of life; to "forget the mountain of holiness", is to be in things opposed to love and charity, for the "mountain of holiness" signifies love to the Lord. Arcana Coelestia 3052.

Who prepare a table for Gad. - By "Gad" is understood, in the spiritual sense, the Good of life, for each of the twelve "tribes" had, its own spiritual signification; the Good of life is also use, and, in the natural sense, good works. There are three things which cannot be separated, namely, love, wisdom, and the use of Life, or charity, faith, and good works; for if one is separated, the others fall to the ground, as may be seen in the work on the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and Wisdom 241, 297, 316.

That by "Gad" is signified the use of life, which is also called "fruit", is evident from his being named from a term which in Hebrew signifies a "troop", or a "heap"; (see Genesis 30:10, 11) and also from the benediction of Israel his father; (Genesis 49:19) and from his benediction by Moses; (Deuteronomy 33:20, 21) and also from his inheritance; (Numbers 32:1, to the end) and also from his signification in an opposite sense, as in Isaiah 65:11; (Jeremiah 49:1, 2.

By "Gad", therefore, in a good sense, are signified works proceeding from Good, or from genuine love to the Lord and the neighbour; but by "Gad", in the opposite sense, are signified works merely external, which are not of charity, but of faith only; thus by "Gad", in a bad sense, are signified those who place the whole of salvation in works only, as the Pharisee did who is mentioned in the Lord's parable. (Luke 18:11, 12)

In a word, by "Gad", in this case, are represented those who call that Truth which is not Truth, and from that which is not Truth do works; hence their works are as though they were true, for works are nothing else than the will and the understanding in act; that which saves such persons is the intention of doing good, and something of innocence in ignorance. To "prepare a table for Gad, in this passage, is to be in works only. Apocalypse Revealed 352. See also Arcana Coelestia 6405.

By a "table" is signified the receptacle of heavenly things, as "the Lord's table", which heavenly things are the Good of love and the Good of faith; thus the Lord says, "You shall eat and drink upon My table in My kingdom." (Luke 22:30. See also Psalm 23:4-6)

But a "table", in the opposite sense, signifies the receptacle of such things as are in hell, as in Isaiah:

"For all tables are full of vomit", etc.; (Isaiah28:7, 8) and also in Isaiah 65:11. Arcana Coelestia 9527.

[To "prepare a table, therefore, for Gad", is, in worship, to place salvation in external works only, separate from charity and faith, and, by the apostle called "dead works", which are the works of the Pharisee, done "to be seen of men", (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16) and not for the glory of God, and for the purpose of eternal life.]

Who fill a drink-offering for Meni. - To "fill and pour forth a drink-offering" is, in a bad sense, to worship from the falsities of evil. (See above, Chapter 57:5, 6, 9, the Exposition.)

To "prepare a table for Gad", - is to place justice [or justification] in works; for "Gad" signifies a troop or a heap, which is involved in his name.

"Meni" is explained by "to number"; it was also an idol, which signifies the same; for a heap is applicable to a "table", and a number to a "libation" or a "drink-offering." (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 156.)

12. I will destine you to the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, you did not answer; when I spake, you did not hear; but you did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not.

Verse 12. To "number" here answers to Meni (for this is from the term Manah, "to number", from which Meni is derived), and it expresses the law of retaliation [jus talionis]; to "bow down to the slaughter" answers to "the table of Gad", because they have not acknowledged the justice of Messiah. The words confirm this [signification]. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 156.)

To the sword. - The "sword." here signifies the devastation of Truth; for a " sword" in the Word signifies, in the internal sense, the Truth of Faith combating, and also the devastation of Truth; and, in the opposite sense, the False combating, and the punishment of the False, as may be seen proved by many passages in Arcana Coelestia 2799.

13. Therefore thus says the Lord Jehovah, Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame;

14. behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit.

Verses 13, 14. By being" hungry" and "thirsty" [as said of those who are not the Lord's servants] is understood to be deprived of the Good of love, and of the Truths of faith, - by being "hungry", to be deprived of the Good of love; and by being "thirsty", of the Truths of faith.

By "eating" and "drinking" is signified the communication and appropriation of Goods and Truths; and by "the servants of the Lord Jehovih", are meant those who receive Goods and Truths from the Lord. Hence it is evident what is meant by "Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty."

That the former will have eternal happiness, but the latter unhappiness, is understood by " Behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed; behold, My servants shall sing from joy of heart, but you shall cry from sorrow of heart", etc. Apocalypse Explained 386.

Verses 13, 15. The Lord Jehovih -That the name "Jehovih", when mentioned in the Word, is applied to the Lord in respect to temptations and judgment, see Chapter 3:15, the Exposition and note.

15. And you shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen; and the Lord Jehovah will slay you; and he will call his servants by another name:

Verse 15. His servants shall be called by another name. - To "call by a new name", and "by another name", denotes to give another state of life, namely, a state of spiritual life. Apocalypse Explained 148.

16. so that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

Verse 16. By "blessing himself" is signified to instruct himself in divine Truths, and to apply them to life; and by "swearing" is signified to instruct himself in divine Goods, and to apply them to life. The reason why this is signified by "swearing" is, because an "oath", in the internal sense, denotes confirmation with man, and conviction of a thing's being so, and this is effected from Goods by Truths; confirmation and conviction of Truths with man being from no other source than from Good. The subject here treated of is concerning a New Church; and by "calling them by another name", is signified the quality thereof as to Truth and Good. Apocalypse Explained 340.

[To "bless himself in the earth [or land]", is to receive the Truths and Goods of the church; for the church is signified by the "earth." See Chapter 24, the Exposition. ]

Inasmuch as the church instituted with the sons of Israel was a representative church, in which all things that were commanded were natural things, which represented, and thence signified, things spiritual, therefore it was granted them to "swear by Jehovah", and "by His name", likewise "by the holy things of the church", by which was represented, and thence signified, internal confirmation, and also verity, as may appear from the above words, and also in Jeremiah:

"Swear by the living Jehovah, in verity, in judgment, and in justice." (Jeremiah 4:2) Apocalypse Explained 608.

What is meant by "swearing", when predicated of Jehovah, and also of man, see Chapter 45:23, the Exposition.

17. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18. But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

Verses 17, 18. By "creating new heavens an a new earth" is not understood the visible heaven and habitable earth, but a New Church, internal and external, - "heaven" denoting the internal of the church, and "earth" its external. What the internal of the church is, and what the external, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 246. Wherefore it is said "Behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy"; "Jerusalem" denoting the church, "rejoicing" its delight from Good, and "joy" its delight from Truth. Similar things are signified by "the new heavens and the new earth" in Isaiah 66:22; and in the Apocalypse, Chapter 21:1; and also by these words in Genesis:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; and the earth was void and empty, and darkness upon the faces of the abyss; and the Spirit of God moved itself upon the faces of the waters, And God said, Let there be light! and there was light. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." (Genesis 1:1, 2, 3, 27)

Treating of the establishment of the first church on this earth. The reformation of the men of that church, as to their internal and as to their external, is understood by "the creation of heaven and earth" in this chapter. That there was no church before, because men were without Good and Truth, is signified by "the earth being void and empty"; and that they were before in dense ignorance, and also in falsities, is meant by "the darkness upon the faces of the abyss"; their first illumination is signified by "the Spirit of God moving itself upon the faces of the waters", and by "God's saying, Let there be light! and there was light." By the "Spirit of God" is signified Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and by "moving itself upon the faces of the waters" is meant illustration; the same is signified by "light"; and by "light being made" is signified the reception of Divine Truth.

That "God created man in his own image", signifies that he was the love of Good and of Truth, and corresponded to heaven as its likeness; for the love of Good and of Truth is an image of God, and hence also the angelic heaven is an image of God, wherefore, in the sight of the Lord, it is as One Man, as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 59-102.

That "He created them male and female" signifies that He reformed them as to Truth and as to Good; "male" denotes Truth, and "female" Good. From these considerations it is evident that it is not the creation of heaven and earth [in a literal sense], but the "new creation", or reformation of the men of the first church, which is described in that and in the following chapter; and that similar things are there understood by "the creation of heaven and earth", as by "the creation of the new heavens and new earth", in the passages above adduced from the Prophet. Apocalypse Explained 294.

Verses 17, 18, 19, 25. Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, etc. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; - they shall not do evil in all the mountain of My holiness, etc. - Treating also of the Lord's advent, and of the church to be established by Him, which was not established among those who were in Jerusalem, but among those who were out of it; wherefore this church is meant by the "Jerusalem " which shall be unto the Lord a "rejoicing", and whose "people" shall be unto Him a "joy"; also where "the wolf and the lamb shall feed together", and where "they shall not do evil." It is likewise said here; as in the Apocalypse, that "the Lord will create new heavens and a new earth", and also that "He will create Jerusalem"; which things have a similar signification. Arcana Coelestia 1289.

19. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and I will joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

Verse 19. The voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. - What "the voice of weeping shall no more be heard", signifies that there shall be no evil; "nor the voice of crying", that there shall be no false [principle]. Arcana Coelestia 2240.

That "crying", in the Word, is said of grief and the fear of falsities from hell, and the consequent fear of devastation by them, is evident from the above words. (Arcana Coelestia 1294)

What is meant by an "outcry", by "howling", and by "weeping", see Chapter 5:7; 15:3, the Exposition.

20. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that bath not fulfilled his days: for the youth shall die, the son of a hundred years; and the sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed.

Verse 20. That in this passage the term "hundred" signifies a full state, or fulness, as to the subject of which it is predicated, is evident, for it is said- "There shall be no more an infant of days, nor an old man that has not fulfilled his days; and a youth, and a sinner, the son of a hundred years", that is, when their state is full. That all "numbers", in the spiritual sense, signify things, may be seen above, Chapter 4:1, the Exposition. That a "hundred" signifies a full [or complete] state, may be demonstrated from various passages, as in Matthew:

"Every one who has left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life"; (Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:29, 30),

where "hundred-fold" denotes what is full, or "the good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over", spoken of in Luke 6:38.

So again in Luke:

"Other seed fell on good ground, and springing up, brought forth fruit a hundred-fold"; (Luke 8:8)

where "hundred" also denotes what is full, which number would not have been mentioned, unless it had that signification. The term "hundred" also signifies the fulness of remains. Arcana Coelestia 2636.

[When, therefore, it is said that "there shall be no more an infant (or suckling) of days, and an old man that has not fulfilled his days", it is meant that in that happy state of the church which is here described, there will he a full state of innocence, signified by "the infant fulfilling his days"; and also a full state of wisdom, by "the old man fulfilling his days"; thus both the "infant" and the "old man", taken together, involve a full state of the innocence of wisdom; for "days" and "years" signify states of the spiritual life.

When it is said that "the youth, the son of a hundred years, shall die", it is implied that a full state of intelligence, signified by the "youth", shall also exist in the church; for to "die", in this passage, does not, we apprehend, signify the "death of sin", which is damnation, but the "death unto sin", or the death of those corporeal and sensual things which are contrary to heavenly intelligence, that is, contrary to Truth from Good, which is spiritual intelligence.

Thus Swedenborg says, in his exposition of Psalm 116:15:

"Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of His saints";

the death of the saints does not signify damnation, but the separation and removal of unclean spirits, thus regeneration and resurrection.

The case is similar with man, who, as to the body, must die that he may rise again, and as to his self hood, which in itself is infernal; for, unless the former and the latter die, man has not the form of heaven." (Apocalypse Explained 899)

"The sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed", signifies that all evil states or specifically the false of evil, when it has come to a full state, denoted by a hundred years, "shall be accursed", that is, entirely separated from what is Good and True, or from heaven, and condemned to hell which is to be "accursed"; for a "curse" signifies disjunction, or aversion from Good. (Arcana Coelestia 379, 1423, 3530)

It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted this verse, but in Arcana Coelestia 2636 adduced above.]

The sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed. - To be "accursed", signifies to be turned away from what is celestial to what is corporeal, and thus to be separated from heaven. The Lord curses none, but is merciful to all. Arcana Coelestia 245, 379, 592, 3584.

21. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

Verses 21, 22. Everyone knows what is signified by these words in the sense of the letter, but inasmuch as the Word, in its bosom, is spiritual, spiritual things also are thereby understood, namely, such things as appertain to heaven and the church, for these are spiritual things.

By "building houses, and inhabiting them, is signified to fill the interiors of the mind with the Goods of heaven and of the church, and thereby to enjoy celestial life; "houses" denoting the interiors of the mind, and to "inhabit" signifies celestial life thence derived.

By "planting vineyards and eating the fruit thereof", is signified to enrich themselves with spiritual Truths, and to appropriate to themselves the Goods thence derived; "vineyards" denoting spiritual Truths, "fruit" the Goods thence derived, and to "eat" signifies to receive, perceive, and appropriate them; for all Good is appropriated to man by Truths, namely, by a life according to them.

Hence it may be evident what is signified by "they shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat"; "another" signifies the false and evil which destroy Truth and Good; for when Truths and Goods perish with man, falsities and evils enter.

Thus also in Jeremiah:

"Build you houses, and inhabit them; and plant gardens, and eat you the fruit of them"; (Jeremiah 29:5, 28) which words are to be understood in like manner. Apocalypse Explained 617.

22. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people; and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their, hands.

Verse 22. As the days of a tree are the days of My people, etc. That a "tree" signifies a man, is plain from these passages in the Word:

"All the trees of the field shall know that Jehovah have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish." (Ezekiel 17:24)

"Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord; he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season." (Psalm 1:1, 3; (Jeremiah 17:8)

"Praise the Lord, you fruitful trees." (Psalm 148:9)

"The trees of the Lord are full of sap." (Psalm 104:16)

"The axe is laid unto the root of the trees; wherefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down." (Matthew 3:10; 7:16-20)

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:43, 44) True Christian Religion 468.

A man himself, with regard to all his constituent parts, is like a tree; in its seed there lie hid, as it were, an end, and intention, and purpose of producing fruits, in which respect the "seed" corresponds to man's will, which, as was observed, contains those three things; afterwards, the seed from its interior parts springs forth from the earth, and clothes itself with branches, buds, and leaves and thus provides itself with means adapted to its ends, which are fruits; and in this a "tree" corresponds with the man's understanding. Lastly, when the proper season arrives, and it is allowed free power of exertion and determination, it blossoms and produces "fruits", and in this it corresponds with the man's good works. Here it is evident that the "fruit" of the tree, in respect to essence, is of the "seed"; in respect to form, of the "branches" and "leaves"; and in respect to act, of the "wood " of the tree. True Christian Religion 374.

[The "days of the Lord's people" being, therefore, "as the days of a tree", implies that the regeneration of man is from the correspondence between things natural and spiritual, represented in the growth of a tree, - its buds, blossoms, leaves, and fruit.]

And Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. - That by the "elect" are not meant any who are predestined or chosen above others, but those who are in Good, and that it is very dangerous to believe in the doctrine of "predestination", see Chapter 14:1, the Exposition.

23. They shall not labour in vain, nor shall they bring forth for destruction; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, they and their offspring with them.

Verse 23. They are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, they and their offspring with them. - By "the seed of the blessed of Jehovah", are so understood - those who will receive divine Truth from the Lord, and by "their offspring", are understood those who live according thereto; but, in the sense abstracted from persons, which is the genuine spiritual sense, by "seed" is understood divine Truth, and by "offspring" a life according thereto, according to what was shown above.

The reason why by "offspring" are understood those who live according to divine Truth, and, in the abstract sense, that life itself, is, because in the original tongue, the expression "offspring" [prognatus] is derived from a word which signifies "to go forth" and "to proceed", and that which goes forth and proceeds from the divine Truth received, is a life according to it. Apocalypse Explained 768.

24. And it shall be that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Verse 24. Before they call, I will answer. - To "answer" signifies to reciprocate and to be conjoined. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 36:21.

25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: but dust shall be the bread of the serpent.

They shall not do evil nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness, says Jehovah.

Verse 25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; they shall not do evil, etc. - See above, Chapter 11:5, 6, the Exposition.

Dust shall be the bread of the serpent. - As "dust" signifies damnation, it was said to the serpent, "Upon your belly shalt you go, and dust shalt you eat all the days of your life." (Genesis 3:14)

By the "serpent" is signified the infernal evil with those who pervert the Truths of the Word, and thereby deceive artfully and craftily. In like manner in Isaiah "Dust shall be the bread of the serpent"; (Isaiah 65:21) from which it is evident that "dust" signifies what is accursed; and that to "cast dust upon the head", as in Revelation 18:19, is to testify condemnation. Apocalypse Explained 1175.

As to "dust", in a bad sense, see Chapter 2:10-21, 34:8-10; and, in a good sense, see Chapter 40:12, the Exposition.

They shall not do evil nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness. - The "mountain of holiness" is heaven, and specifically the inmost heaven. Apocalypse Explained 314.

---
Isaiah Chapter 65.

1. I AM sought by those who asked not for Me; I am found by those who did not inquire after Me: I said, Behold Me! behold Me! unto a nation that was not called by My name.

2. I have spread out My hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts;

3. a people that provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens, and burning incense upon bricks;

4. that sit among the graves, and lodge in the secret places; that eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

5. that say, Stand by yourself, come not near to me, for I am holier than you. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burns all the day.

6. Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, yea, I will recompense into their bosom,

7. your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, says Jehovah, that have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills; therefore will I first measure their work into their bosom.

8. Thus says Jehovah, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sake, that I may not destroy them all.

9. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

10. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

11. But you that forsake Jehovah, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny;

12. I will destine you to the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, you did not answer; when I spake, you did not hear; but you did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not.

13. Therefore thus says the Lord Jehovah, Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame;

14. behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit.

15. And you shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen; and the Lord Jehovah will slay you; and he will call his servants by another name:

16. so that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

17. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18. But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and I will joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

20. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that bath not fulfilled his days: for the youth shall die, the son of a hundred years; and the sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed.

21. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

22. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people; and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their, hands.

23. They shall not labour in vain, nor shall they bring forth for destruction; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, they and their offspring with them.

24. And it shall be that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: but dust shall be the bread of the serpent.

They shall not do evil nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness, says Jehovah.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 65


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 1066, 1488, 3355, 4535, 9408, 10373

Apocalypse Revealed 254, 285, 880

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 62, 64

The Last Judgement 2, 67

True Christian Religion 107, 773, 781, 782


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 294, 304

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 14, 23

Marriage 107

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 47, 48

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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.


 All Things New
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: A New Understanding
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Promise of Peace and Safety in the Lord’s Kingdom
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Quotes: The Holy City
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Wolf and the Lamb Shall Feed Together
This project illustrates a prophecy about a wolf and a lamb peacefully feeding together (Isaiah 65:25). 
Project | Ages 4 - 10


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