The Bible

 

Genesis 1

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Genesis 1: The Creation and Development of our Spiritual Life      

By Rev. William Woofenden

The first book of the Bible is "Genesis", which means "creation". It's a very, very ancient story - one of the oldest stories of humankind, and it's full of symbolic meaning that - still - gets to the core of what it is to be truly human.

The first three days of creation describe the development of the natural degree of man's life. They come first as a preparation for the opening of the spiritual degree of our minds. The creation of the grass, herbs, and trees took place on the third day, and constitutes the third step in regeneration. The creation of the fowl and fish was on the fifth day. Between these on the fourth day the sun, moon, and stars were created.

From the beginning man had light, for all light is from the Lord, but it was not direct light. He was not at first in the clear light of the sun, moon, and stars, which are set in the firmament. The firmament is the internal man. There is a preparation that has to be made before the internal man is opened. At first we think we see the truth and do good from ourselves. Hence only inanimate things are produced. All truth and good are from the Lord who alone is truth and goodness, and only when we come to acknowledge this can we have true love from him, true faith in Him, and true knowledge of spiritual things. These are not seen from the external or natural degree of life.

Again we should note a change of language. It was said, "Let the earth bring forth" the grass, herb, and fruit trees. Now and through the remaining days it is said that "God created." Man has a part to play in his regeneration. There must be in his mind forms into which the warmth of love and the light of faith and of spiritual truths can flow.

When the mind is so prepared, influx from the Lord can be received, with greater power. "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." It should be noted that it is the waters that are commanded to bring forth the moving creature that hath life, and that it is not the seas but the waters which are to produce the living creatures. The seas represent the gathering together of knowledges, but by the "waters" are meant the spiritual truths in the mind. So in the Lord's words to the woman of Samaria, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst" (John 4:14). In Ezekiel it is the "waters" issuing from the sanctuary that give life (Ezekiel 47:1). The Psalmist writes, "Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters" (Psalm 104:3). It is not in natural waters that the Lord lays the beams of His chambers. His chambers are the interior principles of His church; the beams give them support and strength. These are said to be laid in the waters because they rest and have their foundation in the genuine truths of the Word. So in Revelation the Word itself is described as a pure river of water of life.

The will faculty in man embraces all his affections and is the internal man. When the sun, moon, and stars—love, faith, and knowledges of spiritual truth—are set in this heaven and begin to impart their warmth and light to the external man, enabling him to think and act from these higher and purer principles, then the external man is gifted with a new life. There may be no apparent change in his outward conduct—he may already be living a moral life—but the motives that direct his acts will be wholly different. And it is the motive that gives character to the act as well as to the actor. He no longer thinks of the truths that he has learned, either natural or spiritual, as the product of his own mind nor of the good, that he does as the result of his own efforts, but thinks of them as wholly from the Lord, who alone is the source of all true light and life.

Before one recognizes clearly that all good and truth come from the Lord, he can bring forth only inanimate things, the grass, herb, and fruit tree, however good and useful these may be. But when he is enlightened by genuine love and faith, his knowledges become the basis for the development of spiritual life and God can create in him the living creatures that have life. First the fishes are created; then the fowl of the air. There is a difference between fishes and birds. The fishes, living in water, represent our affections for natural truths. The great whales, the largest of living creatures, are affections for the great general principles that control the mind. The principle may be either true or false. Of Pharaoh or Egypt it is written, "Thou art as a whale in the seas: and thou earnest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouled at their rivers" (Ezekiel 32:2) Here is pictured a ruling false principle from the natural degree of the mind — Egypt. That is, when the ruling principle is false, it will be a monster making the truths in the mind obscure like filthy or muddy waters.

Another example of the meaning of the whale in a bad sense is in the story of Jonah. When the principle is false it swallows up for a time all the truths that are in the mind. This is the whale swallowing Jonah the prophet. But Divine truth cannot be used by a false principle so as to become a part of its organic structure. Nor can the Divine truth perish. So the whale could not digest Jonah, nor could the prophet perish, but the whale vomited him up.

Spiritually there are whales trying to swallow prophets today, evil principles that try to use Divine truths to attain their ends. In the creation story, however, the whales are affections for the principles of natural truth for the sake of uses to the spiritual man. There is one source of genuine love. The creatures of the fifth day are living because they are animated by this love. Birds fly in the air above the earth. They have the power of flight and enjoy broader views. They represent affections for truth that rise above the natural. They are the thoughts that look at life from the heights of spiritual perception, ideas about the Lord, heaven, and spiritual things. Isaiah writes, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles" (Isaiah 40:31). Birds represent spiritual intelligence, the power to lift us up to understand spiritual truth in heavenly light, through which truth the Lord can impart to us something of the Divine intelligence. So at the baptism of the Lord "The heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him" (Matthew 3:16). So a new knowledge of heavenly life is given, a new perception of our possibilities, and in this higher intelligence a basis for further development is laid. This further development is pictured in the creation of the living creatures upon the earth. These are symbols of the affections. Here, too, it is said, "Let the earth bring forth" and also "And God made the beast of the earth." The creation of living animals on the earth and of man in the image and likeness of God marks the completion of the six days of creation—the six stages in regeneration. Man has first to learn what is to be believed and done and then to do it.

It is the office of the understanding to hear the Word and of the will to do it. In this way the truths are made our own, and the will and understanding make one mind. And when one begins to act from love as well as from faith, he becomes a spiritual man, who is called an image of God, and is given dominion over all things. Thus all things natural and spiritual come to be a delight to him and serviceable to him. To be an image and likeness of God one must act from impulses similar to those of God. This he cannot do until he comes into the final state of regeneration. Then he will not act from selfish motives, as does the natural man, nor from mere obedience to truth, but from love to the Lord and the neighbor. When these loves are developed and rule, to them is given the dominion over all subordinate affections and the fruits of all the growths of intelligence. These are what make man to be a man and cause him to be in the image and likeness of his Maker. Each step in the formation of a truly human character the Lord saw and pronounced good, but of the work of the sixth day it is said, "God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

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...

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.


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The Biblical creation story is about the re-creation of our minds. Learn how the first signs of life on the third day symbolize heavenly ideas taking root in our lives.


Swedenborg 101: The Basic Nature of Everything - Swedenborg and Life

In this episode, host Curtis Childs and featured guests explore what eighteenth-century Christian mystic and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg learned during his mystical explorations of the spiritual world. They delve into his life, spiritual awakening, and resulting philosophies about the relationship between this life and the afterlife.


What the 7 Days of Creation Mean - Swedenborg and Life

Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Was everything we see around us really created in seven days? Could that story in Genesis actually have something to say to each of us, right now? Join us as we discuss Swedenborg's accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.


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Is there a religious call to exploit nature? Here, Swedenborg tackles a bit of text that has led some people to believe just that.

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

 Men and Women Are Different
Studies confirm that differences between men and women extend beyond the physical body, affecting engagement on all levels of life.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 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
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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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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 10268

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 25


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 270, 701, 717


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Apocalypse Explained #717

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717. And upon his heads seven diadems, signifies Divine truths in the ultimate of order, which are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, here these truths adulterated and profaned. This is evident from the signification of "heads of the dragon," as being the true knowledges [scientifica] of the Word, which have been adulterated and profaned; that these "heads" signify insanity in spiritual things and yet craftiness in deceiving and leading astray may be seen above n. 714. Also from the signification of "diadems" (or precious stones), as being Divine truths in the ultimate of order, which are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word (of which presently); also from the signification of "seven," which means all things, and is predicated of things holy, and in the contrary sense of things profane (of which above, n. 715, here it is predicated of things profane, because of truths of the Word adulterated and thus profaned.

Thence it is clear that "the seven diadems upon the heads of the dragon" signify Divine truths in the ultimate of order, here these truths adulterated and profaned.

(References: Revelation 12:3; The Apocalypse Explained 714, 715)


[2] "Precious stones," which are "diadems," signify Divine truths in the ultimate of order, which are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, because a "stone" signifies truth, therefore "precious stones" signify Divine truths. They mean Divine truths in the ultimate of order, which are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, because these are transparent, having in them a spiritual sense, and in that sense there is the light of heaven, which makes all things of the sense of the letter of the Word to be pellucid, and to be variegated also according to the series of things in the spiritual sense from which arise modifications of heavenly light, that present such colors as appear in the heavens, and thence in precious stones of various kinds.

[3] Diadems were seen upon the seven heads of the dragon, because the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word shine wherever they are, as well with the evil as with the good, for the spiritual light that is in them is not extinguished by their being with the evil, for heaven still flows into those truths. But the evil adulterate them, and thence see nothing of the light of heaven in them, but yet believe them to be holy because they apply them to confirm the falsities of their religion, so from the faith they have in their holiness the truths still shine before them; and since this is so, and since they acquire for themselves by means of these truths communication with the heavens they are finally deprived of them, and left to their falsities in which there is no light; this is done when they are let down into hell.

[4] That the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word appear as diadems is evident from the diadems in the spiritual world. In the palaces of angels in heaven there are many things that shine with precious stones. Sometimes precious stones are also let down into the lower parts, and are presented as a gift to those who have done some good thing; they are even sold there as in the world, especially by the Jews, who also there trade in them. It is granted and permitted to the Jews to trade in precious stones in the spiritual as in the natural world, because they regard the sense of the letter of the Word as holy.

For the same reason also noble women below the heavens adorn themselves with diadems as in the world. When it is asked where those diadems in heaven and thence in the lower parts are from, it is said that they are from the Lord, and from the spiritual light that is from Him, and that they are ultimates of that light, which are called effects; also that they are representative forms of the affections of truth from good, thus that they are Divine truths in the ultimate of order, such as the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are. As this is the origin of precious stones, there are some in the world of spirits who are allowed to make diadems by inserting together truths from the sense of the letter of the Word, but these diadems are not genuine, and are not hard like crystals, because they are artificial.

[5] From this it can now be seen what "diadems or precious stones" signify in the following passages. In Isaiah:

O thou afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted, behold, I lay thy stones with stibium, and thy foundations in sapphires, and I will make thy suns a carbuncle, and thy gates into stones of ruby, and all thy border into stones of desire, and all thy sons shall be taught of Jehovah (Isaiah 54:11-13).

This is said of "the barren who did not bear," who should have many sons, by whom the Gentiles that had no Divine truths because they did not have the Word are signified; therefore they are called "afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted," "to be afflicted and tossed with tempests" is predicated of falsities by which they are infested and carried hither and thither. That when the Lord comes He will reveal to them Divine truths and instruct them, is signified by "I will lay thy stones with stibium, and thy foundations in sapphires, and I will make thy suns into a carbuncle, and thy gates into stones of rubies, and thy borders into stones of desire." It is evident that the "precious stones" here mentioned mean Divine truths in the ultimate of order, like the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, in which are internal truths, which are such truths as are in the spiritual sense of the Word; for the "foundations, gates, and borders," which were to be laid with these precious stones, signify ultimates; consequently here "stones" in general, and "sapphires," "carbuncles," and "stones of ruby," signify such truths as are in the sense of the letter of the Word, which are ultimate truths because they are for the natural and sensual man. Because the instruction of the Gentiles in Divine truths is meant by these words it is added, "and all thy sons shall be taught of Jehovah." But what "sapphire," "carbuncle," and "ruby" signify in particular need not be told here, only that "precious stones" signify in general ultimate truths.

[6] Because "the city of the New Jerusalem" signifies the doctrine of the New Church, and "the foundations of its wall" signify ultimate Divine truths, and "gates" introductory Divine truths, therefore the foundations are described by twelve precious stones, and the gates by pearls, in Revelation:

The foundations of the wall of the city the New Jerusalem were adorned with every precious stone; the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate was [one] pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass (Revelation 21:19-21).

These "twelve precious stones" constituting the foundations, and "the twelve pearls" constituting the gates signify ultimate Divine truths, which are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, upon which the doctrine of that church is founded, and by which man is introduced as by gates. The foundations are said to be "of precious stones," and the gates "of pearls," because the sense of the letter of the Word contains in it the spiritual sense, thus the light of heaven, which makes the sense of the letter of the Word to be pellucid, as those stones are from light and from fire. But of this more hereafter, when the particulars are explained.

(References: Revelation 21:18-21)


[7] The precious stones of which the breastplate of judgment called Urim and Thummim was made, which was upon the ephod of Aaron, and also those that were set upon the shoulders of the ephod have a similar signification, in Moses:

They shall make the ephod of gold, hyacinthine, purple, scarlet double-dyed, and fine twined linen, the work of the designer. Thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the sons of Israel, the work of an artificer in stone; with the engravings of a seal shalt thou engrave upon the two stones the names of the sons of Israel; thou shalt make them to be encompassed with settings of gold; and thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod. And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with the work of a designer, as the work of the ephod shalt thou make it; and thou shalt fill it with a filling of stones, there shall be four rows of stones. The first row a ruby, a topaz, a carbuncle; the second row a chrysoprase, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row a cyanus, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a tharshish, an onyx, and a jasper. The stones shall be upon the names of the sons of Israel, twelve upon their names, the engravings of a seal for every one upon his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes. This was the breastplate of judgment, the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:6-30).

What these things involve no one can know unless he knows what Aaron represented, and thus what his garments signified, and the ephod in particular (for it was because his garments were significative that they were called "the garments of holiness"); also what the "breastplate" upon the ephod, which was called "the breastplate of judgment, the Urim and Thummim," signified; also what "the twelve tribes of Israel," and "the twelve stones upon their names" signified. As to Aaron himself, he represented the Lord in relation to the priesthood, which is the Lord's celestial kingdom; while "his garments" in general represented the spiritual kingdom, for this in the heavens invests the celestial kingdom. For there are two kingdoms into which the heavens are divided, the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom. That is called the celestial kingdom where the Divine good proceeding from the Lord is received, and that is called the spiritual kingdom where Divine truth is received; therefore Divine truth is signified by "the garments of Aaron" in general, and Divine truth in ultimates by the "ephod," since this was the outmost vestment. That "garments" in general signify truths, and "the Lord's garments," which appeared bright white as the light when He was transfigured before the three disciples, signified the Divine truth proceeding from Him, and likewise "the Lord's garment divided by the soldiers," may be seen above (n. 64, 65, 195, 271, 395, 475, 476, 637). This shows that "the twelve stones in the breastplate of the ephod" signified Divine truths in ultimates, like as "the twelve sons of Israel" and "the twelve tribes;" that both of these signify in the Word the truths of the church in the whole complex may be seen above (n. 431, 657).

(References: Exodus 28:6-21, Exodus 28:30, The Apocalypse Explained 64-65, 195, 271, 395, 431, 475-476, The Apocalypse Explained 637, 657)


[8] This breastplate was composed of precious stones, under which were the names of the twelve sons of Israel, that by means of it they might receive answers from heaven, which were exhibited in the breastplate and from it by variegations of the colors shining forth from those stones, which were in accord with the representations of Divine truths in the heavens, where the Divine truths that flow down from the Lord through the heavens towards the lower parts are exhibited by variegations of colors; which shows that these "precious stones" signified Divine truths in ultimates. (But this may be seen more fully explained in the Arcana Coelestia 9856-9909; also respecting the two onyx stones that were upon the shoulders of the ephod, n. 9831-9855. That the "ephod" signified the external of the spiritual kingdom, which is Divine truth in ultimates, n. Arcana Coelestia 9824. But what is signified in particular by the "ruby," the "topaz," and the "carbuncle," see n. 9865; what by the "chrysoprase," the "sapphire," and the "diamond," n. 9868; what by the "cyanus," the "agate," and the "amethyst," n. 9870; and what by the "tharshish," the "onyx," and the "jasper," n. 9872)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9856, 9865, 9868, 9872)


[9] The "precious stones" by which the knowledge [scientia] of the cognitions of truth and good, and thus the intelligence of the king of Tyre are described, have a similar signification in Ezekiel:

King of Tyre, thou art full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond, the tharshish, the sardonyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the chrysoprase, and the emerald, and gold. Thou wast the cherub, the spreading out of him that covereth, and I have set thee, thou hast been in the mountain of the holiness of God, thou hast walked in the midst of the stones of fire (Ezekiel 28:12-14).

Because "the king of Tyre" signifies the knowledges of the truth of the church from the Word, and indeed from its literal sense, therefore it is said that "he has been in Eden the garden of God," "Eden the garden of God" signifying intelligence from the Lord through the Word, for "Eden" as the "east," means the Lord, and "the garden of God" is intelligence from Him; and because true intelligence is acquired, that is, given, solely through the knowledges of truth and good from the Word understood according to its genuine sense, therefore it is said "every precious stone was thy covering," "every precious stone" signifying the knowledges of truth and good, and "covering" signifying the external of the Word that covers its internal; the external of the Word is the sense of its letter covering the internal, which is its spiritual sense. Because man has wisdom and intelligence from this, it is said "King of Tyre, thou art full of wisdom and perfect in beauty;" "beauty" signifying intelligence, because all beauty in the heavens is according to intelligence. The sense of the letter of the Word is also meant by "the cherub, the spreading out of him that covereth," for "cherubim" signify a guard that the Lord be not approached except through the good of love, and the sense of the letter of the Word is what guards, because it covers its interiors. "The mountain of holiness" signifies the church in respect to the doctrine of love and charity; and "the stones of fire," in the midst of which he walked, signify truths from the good of love, according to which is the life. That "precious stones" here signify truths pellucid from the light of heaven, which is Divine truth, can be clearly seen from this, that "Tyre" signifies in the Word the knowledges of truth and good, which knowledges are ultimate truths, such as belong to the sense of the letter of the Word. (That "Tyre" signifies the knowledges of truth and good, may be seen above, n. 514 .)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 514)


[10] In the same:

Syria was thy trader by reason of the multitude of thy works, they gave chrysoprase for thy wares, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and ruby. The traders of Sheba and Raamah, these were thy traders by the chief of all spices, and by every precious stone and gold (Ezekiel 27:16, 22).

This, too, is said of Tyre, which signifies the knowledges of truth and good in the church from the Word (as above). Because "Syria and Sheba and Raamah" likewise signify the knowledges of truth and good, and "tradings" the acquisition of these, those regions are said to have given "precious stones in their tradings." The knowledges of truth and good are truths in ultimates such as the truths of the sense of the letter and the literal sense of the Word.

[11] In Job:

The stones thereof are the place of sapphire, and it hath dust of gold. Where shall wisdom be found, and where is the place of understanding? Gold is not given for it, neither is silver weighed for the price of it; it cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, the precious onyx and the sapphire; gold and the diamond cannot vie with it; coral and crystal shall not be mentioned with it, and the choice of wisdom is above pearls; the topaz of Ethiopia shall not vie with it. Behold, the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to depart from evil is intelligence (Job 28:6, 12, 13, 15, 16-19, 28).

Because all wisdom and understanding comes through ultimate Divine truths spiritually understood, and because these truths are signified by the precious stones here named, as "the onyx, the sapphire, the diamond, the topaz, and pearls," and because these stones being of earthly materials, although they are accounted precious in the world, are as nothing in respect to intelligence and wisdom, it is said that they are not to be valued as equal with intelligence and wisdom, nor are gold and silver. Comparisons are made with these because they are significative; otherwise they are comparatively of no account.

(References: Job 28:12-13)


[12] In David:

Thou, Jehovah, shalt arise and have compassion upon Zion, for Thy servants desire the stones thereof (Psalms 102:13, 14).

"The stones of Zion" which the servants of Jehovah desire mean Divine truths, for "Zion" upon which Jehovah will have mercy, means the church that is in celestial love.

(References: Psalms 102:13-14)


[13] In Zechariah:

Behold the stone that I have set before Joshua, the high priest, upon one stone are seven eyes; behold, I engrave the engraving of it. In that day ye shall call every man to his companion, under the vine and under the fig tree (Zechariah 3:9, 10).

This is said of the Lord's coming; and "the stone set before Joshua the priest" signifies Divine truth, which is the Word; "seven eyes in one stone" signify Divine wisdom and intelligence, which are of Divine truth, thus of the Word; seven is predicated of the holy things of the Word and of the church, and "eyes" signify intelligence and wisdom; "to engrave an engraving" signifies a representative and significative of it; "the vine and fig tree" under which they shall come signify the church and doctrine from internal and external truths; internal truths are those that are called spiritual, and external truths are those that are called natural, and the former are signified by the "vine," and the latter by the "fig tree."

(References: Zechariah 3:9-10)


[14] In Moses:

They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet as it were a work of sapphire stone, as the substance of heaven for cleanness (Exodus 24:10).

"The God of Israel" means the Lord; "a work of sapphire stone under His feet" means Divine truth in ultimates, such as the Word is in the letter, for "the sole of the foot" signifies the ultimate, which is all that the Jewish nation could see, for they were in the externals of the Word, of the church, and of worship, and not in internals; the "sapphire" signifies transparent from internal truths; "as the substance of heaven for cleanness" signifies the transparency of the angelic heaven. (But these things are explained in Arcana Coelestia 9406-9408.) Because a "precious stone" signifies Divine truth in ultimates transparent from interior truths, the luminary of the city New Jerusalem is described in Revelation as:

Like unto a precious stone, as it were a jasper stone, bright like crystal (Revelation 21:11)

Again, since "the white horse" there signifies the understanding of the Word, and "He that sat upon the horse" the Lord in relation to the Word:

There were seen upon the head of Him who sat upon the white horse many diadems, and His name is called the Word of God (Revelation 19:12, 13).

(References: Revelation 19:12-13)


[15] Thus much respecting precious stones with those who are in Divine truths; something will now be said about precious stones with those who are in infernal falsities. To them precious stones are also given while they live in the world, since they, equally, possess the knowledges of truth and good from the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter; therefore precious stones or diadems are equally ascribed to them, as here to "the dragon," upon whose heads were seen "seven diadems," for the reason that with the evil the same as with the good the Word is still the Word and its truths are truths in themselves; and when the evil pervert and falsify the truths of the Word it yet does not change their essence. For this reason, in what follows in Revelation like things were seen upon the woman sitting on the scarlet colored beast, by whom Babylon is described, of whom it is said:

A woman sat upon the scarlet colored beast full of the names of blasphemy, and it had seven heads and ten horns; she was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, and upon her forehead a name written, Babylon the great (Revelation 17:3-5).

But more about this in what follows. So again elsewhere in Revelation:

The merchants of the earth shall weep and lament over Babylon the great, for no one buyeth her merchandise anymore, the merchandise of gold and silver and precious stone and pearl, and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet. And the merchants shall say, Woe, woe, the great city! she that was arrayed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, decked with gold, precious stone, and pearls (Revelation 18:11-12, 18:16, 18:16).

[16] Because "precious stones, also purple and fine linen" signify the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, therefore it is said of the rich man:

At whose gate Lazarus was laid, that he was clothed in purple and fine linen (Luke 16:19, 20).

"The rich man" means the Jewish nation; and because it had the Word in which are Divine truths, it is said "to be clothed in purple and fine linen," and "Lazarus the pauper" means the Gentiles that did not have the Word, and thus had no truths; this evidently is why the rich man, although he was evil and was afterwards cast into hell, had "garments of purple and fine linen. "

(References: Luke 16:19-20)


[17] Like things are also said about the king of the north, who made war against the king of the south, in Daniel:

The king of the north, as a god he shall honor the fortresses upon his station, a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, silver, and precious stones, and desirable things; he shall make strongholds of fortresses with a strange god; whoso shall acknowledge him shall have great honor (Daniel 11:38, 39).

This chapter treats of the war of the king of the north with the king of the south; and "the king of the north" means those who are in knowledge [scientia] from the Word, but not in life, thus who are in so-called faith alone, but yet not in charity, since they reject charity as not contributing to salvation. But "the king of the south" means those who are in intelligence from the Word, because they are in charity; such are "the king of the south," or pertain to "the king of the south," because "the south" means light, and "light" signifies intelligence, and those who are in charity, which is the life of faith, have the light of intelligence from the Word. But "the king of the north," or those who belong to "the king of the north" are such as are described above, because the "north" means night, and also a cold light, such as is the light of winter, from which, because there is no heat in it, there is no fructification; for spiritual heat is charity, and all germination is from heat through light. The war between these kings is described because the last time of the church is treated of when everything of salvation is placed in knowledge [scientia] from the Word, and nothing in the life, and with the Jewish nation, in the traditions by which they falsified the Word; the truths of the Word become traditions when there is no life of charity, and the truths of the Word likewise become falsities when faith is separated from charity. From this it can be seen that "the king of the north" also means those who are in faith alone, that is, in faith without charity.

(References: Daniel 11:38-39)


[18] The same are meant in Daniel by "the he-goat" that fought with the ram; the same also are meant by "the dragon" in this chapter, with the difference, that "the dragon" means properly the learned who have confirmed themselves by doctrine and life in faith separated from charity, for these have poison like dragons that destroys charity. For this reason the angel Michael is also mentioned in Daniel 12:1. That those who place everything of the church in the knowledge [scientia] of cognitions from the Word, and nothing in life, pervert and falsify the truths of the Word is meant by "the king of the north shall honor a strange god whom their fathers knew not," and "shall honor him with gold, silver, precious stone, and pearls;" 1 "his god" meaning the truths of the Word falsified, since "God" when mentioned in the Word means the Lord in relation to Divine truth, thus the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and when "Jehovah" is mentioned, the Lord in relation to Divine good, thus the Divine good proceeding from the Lord is meant; therefore "a strange god whom his fathers knew not" means the truths of the Word falsified, which in themselves are falsities, and are not acknowledged by those who were previously of the church. Those truths and goods of the Word themselves, though falsified, are signified by "precious stones and desirable things," as also by "silver and gold," for the truths of the Word do not change their essence when they are with the evil. "Fortresses upon the station," and "strongholds of fortresses" signify the things of self-intelligence confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word, which is such that when it is not interiorly understood it may be so drawn as to confirm any heresies whatever. From this the signification of "the seven diadems upon the heads of the dragon" can now be seen.

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Footnotes:

1. The Hebrew as given in the text before is "desirable things."

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(References: Exodus 28:6-21, 28:30; Job 28:15-19; Revelation 12:3, Revelation 21:18-21)

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