The Bible

 

Genesis 1

English: King James Version      

Study the Inner Meaning

Genesis 2 →

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 2 →

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

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

Apocalypse Explained 257

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 402


Other references to this chapter:

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

Apocalypse Revealed 200, 414

Conjugial Love 132, 156

Divine Love and Wisdom 11, 18, 287, 358

Divine Providence 123, 328

Sacred Scripture 14, 103

Heaven and Hell 137

The Last Judgment 20

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Canons of the New Church 45

Charity 91

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

De Verbo (The Word) 14

Spiritual Experiences 1973, 1974, 5605, 6110

Marriage 20, 34, 46, 48, 71

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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

Exodus 20:11

Deuteronomy 4:19, 32:4

2 Kings 19:15

2 Chronicles 2:11

Nehemiah 9:6

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

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

Proverbs 8:29

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

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

Jonah 1:9

Zechariah 12:1

Matthew 19:4

Mark 4:28, 10:6

Luke 3:38

Acts of the Apostles 4:24, 17:29

1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:38

2 Corinthians 4:6, 6:14

Colossians 3:10

1 Timothy 4:4

Hebrews 6:8, 11:3

James 3:9

2 Peter 5, 6

Revelation 4:11

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

female
Female signifies good.

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

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

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

Resources for parents and teachers

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

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

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

 The Creation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Greatest Gift
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Universe
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Two Great Lights
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9596

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

Study this Passage

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9596. 'From fine twined linen and violet and purple and twice-dyed scarlet' means the spiritual and celestial realities from which those truths are derived. This is clear from the meaning of 'fine twined linen' as truth from a celestial origin, dealt with in 9469; from the meaning of 'violet' as the celestial love of truth, dealt with in 9466; from the meaning of 'purple' as the celestial love of good, dealt with in 9467; and from the meaning of 'twice-dyed scarlet' as spiritual good or the good of truth, dealt with in 9468. Such is the order in which the spiritual and celestial realities, or the truths and forms of good, present with a person or an angel who is in the middle or second heaven follow one another. For truth from a celestial origin, meant by 'fine twined linen' comes first; then the love of or affection for truth, meant by 'violet'; after that the resulting love of or affection for good, meant by 'purple'; and finally spiritual good, meant by 'twice-dyed scarlet'.

[2] Because this is the order in which the spiritual and celestial realities follow one another 'fine twined linen' is here mentioned first; but in the case of the veil that hung between the dwelling-place and the ark, or between the holy place and the holy of holies, dealt with in verse 31 of the present chapter, it is mentioned last. The reason why 'fine twined linen' is mentioned last in the case of the veil is that 'the veil' means the intermediary uniting the inmost heaven to the middle heaven, and therefore within this intermediary it must come last, in order that - to link the two heavens - it may then be first in the second of them.

[3] But properly 'fine twined linen' means the understanding part of the mind as it exists with the spiritual man or with an angel in the Lord's spiritual heaven. The reason why the understanding part is meant by 'fine twined linen' is that with the spiritual man a new will part is implanted by the Lord within the understanding part of his mind, see 863, 875, 895, 927, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2256, 4328, 4493, 5113; and since the understanding part in the spiritual man is meant by 'fine twined linen', so too is spiritual truth meant. This is because all truth belongs to the understanding part, and all good to the will part, 3623, 9300; for the understanding part is the receiver (subjectum) or container and the truth is what belongs to it, and these two make one. From these considerations also it may be seen that the actual understanding part of the mind with those who belong to the Lord's spiritual kingdom is in the strict sense 'the dwelling-place', 9296, 9297, and that the spreading out of the curtains serves to describe it.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1043-1044, Arcana Coelestia 9296-9297)


[4] From all this what 'spreading and stretching out the heavens' means in the following places may be recognized, such as in Isaiah,

Jehovah is He who stretches out the heavens, spreads out the earth, gives breath 1 to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it. Isaiah 42:5.

In the same prophet,

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

In the same prophet,

It was I that made the earth and created man on it. It was I - My hands - that stretched out the heavens. Isaiah 45:12.

In Jeremiah,

... He who makes the earth by His power, prepares the world by His wisdom, and stretches out the heavens by His intelligence. Jeremiah 51:15.

In Zechariah,

Jehovah is He who stretches out the heavens, and founds the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. Zechariah 12:1.

(References: Jeremiah 10:20-21)


[5] 'Stretching out the heavens and spreading out the earth' is plainly similar in meaning to stretching and spreading out a dwelling-place by the use of curtains. And by this is meant regenerating a person and thereby creating or forming a new understanding in which there is a new will, which is the spiritual person's actual heaven in which the Lord dwells with that person. The fact that the regeneration or the formation of a new understanding, and of a new will within it, and so of a new person, is what 'stretching out the heavens and spreading out the earth' means is evident from actual explanations provided in the places quoted above. For they speak of Him who gives breath to the people on the earth, and spirit to those who walk on it, and also of Him who forms the spirit of man within him. 'Heaven and earth' means the Church, internal and external, see 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535, and 'the earth' in general means the Lord's kingdom and the Church, 9334; and these meanings too are plainly apparent in those places. For if 'the earth' did not have that meaning what sense could be made of 'spreading out the earth' and 'founding the earth', or 'forming the spirit of man within him 2 '?

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2117-2118)


[6] The fact that 'stretching out the heavens and spreading out the earth' here is similar in meaning to stretching and spreading out a dwelling-place by the use of curtains is clear from other places where the same idea is stated even more plainly, as in Isaiah,

Jehovah is He who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. Isaiah 40:22.

In the same prophet,

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwelling-places. Isaiah 54:2.

And in David,

Jehovah covers Himself with light, as if with a garment; He stretches out the heavens as a curtain. Psalms 104:2.

These places also show what 'the expanse' or that which is spread out means in the first chapter of Genesis,

God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let there be a distinguishing of the waters from the waters. And God made the expanse and He made a distinction between the waters that were under the expanse and the waters that were above the expanse, And God called the expanse Heaven. Genesis 1:6-8.

That first chapter describes the regeneration of a member of the celestial Church, 'the expanse' describing his new will and understanding. 'The waters under the expanse and those above the expanse' are the truths of the external man and those of the internal man. For the meaning of 'waters' as truths, see 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 8568, 9323.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, soul

2. The Latin here is in ea (in it, i.e. in the earth). But in his rough draft Swedenborg has, as in other places, in medio ejus which is usually taken to mean within him but could possibly mean in the midst of it.

-----

(References: Exodus 26:1; Jeremiah 10:20-21)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9598, 9684, 9742, 9743, 9744, 9774, 9776, 9777, 9835, 9954, 9960, 9995, 10062, 10093, 10207, 10213, 10227, 10296, 10540, 10545

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 139


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 118, 236, 277, 331, 375


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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #5113

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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5113. 'And behold, a vine before me' means the understanding part. This is clear from the meaning of 'a vine' as the understanding part of the mind as it exists in the spiritual Church, dealt with below. Because 'the cupbearer' means the sensory powers that are subject to the understanding part, and because the subject here is the flow of the understanding into the sensory powers subordinate to it, there appeared in the dream therefore a vine with shoots, blossom, clusters, and grapes, which are used to describe its flow into those powers and the rebirth of them. With regard to the understanding part as it exists in the spiritual Church, it should be recognized that when that Church is the subject in the Word, its understanding is in many instances dealt with too, for the reason that it is the understanding part which is regenerated and made the Church in the case of one belonging to that Church.

[2] There are in general two Churches - the celestial and the spiritual. The celestial Church exists with the person in whom the will part of the mind can be regenerated or made the Church, whereas the spiritual Church exists with one in whom, as stated, solely the understanding part can be regenerated. The Most Ancient Church before the Flood was a celestial one because there existed with those who belonged to it some degree of wholeness in the will part, whereas the Ancient Church after the Flood was a spiritual one because among those who belonged to it no degree of wholeness existed in the will part, only in the understanding part. This explains why, when the spiritual Church is dealt with in the Word, its understanding is dealt with in many instances too. Regarding these Churches, see 640, 641, 765, 863, 875, 895, 927, 928, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2124, 2256, 2669, 4328, 4493. As regards its being the understanding part that is regenerated in the case of those who belong to the spiritual Church, this may also be recognized from the fact that the member of that Church does not have any good from which he may perceive truth, as those who belonged to the celestial Church had. Rather, he must first learn the truth of faith and absorb it into his understanding, and so come to recognize with the aid of truth what good is. Once truth enables him to recognize what good is, he can think about it, then desire it, and at length put it into practice, in which case he now has a new will formed by the Lord in the understanding part of his mind. The Lord then uses this to raise the spiritual man up to heaven, though evil still remains in the will that is properly his own, which at this point is miraculously set aside. This is accomplished by a higher power which withholds him from evil and maintains him in good.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 640-641, 927-928, 1043-1044)


[3] In the case of the member of the celestial Church however the will part was regenerated. From earliest childhood he was absorbing the good of charity, and once he could see with perception what that good was, he was led on to perceive what love to the Lord was. Consequently all the truths of faith were seen by him in his understanding as if in a mirror. His understanding and will formed one complete mind; for those truths enabled him to perceive in his understanding that which existed as a desire in his will. This is what the wholeness of that first human being consisted in, by whom the celestial Church is meant.

[4] As regards 'the vine' meaning the understanding part in the case of the spiritual Church, this is clear from many other places in the Word, as in Jeremiah,

What have you to do with the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? Or what have you to do with the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? Yet I have planted you as a wholly choice vine, a seed of truth. How therefore have you turned from Me into the degenerate branches of a strange vine? Jeremiah 2:18, 21.

This refers to Israel, which means the spiritual Church, 3654, 4286. 'Egypt' and 'the waters of Shihor' stand for factual knowledge which leads to perversion, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462; 'Assyria' and 'the waters of the River' stand for reasoning based on this, that is, on factual knowledge, against the good of life and the truth of faith, 119, 1186. 'A choice vine' stands for the member of the spiritual Church, who is called 'a vine' because of his understanding, while 'the degenerate branches of a strange vine' stands for someone belonging to the perverted Church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[5] In Ezekiel,

A riddle and a parable about the house of Israel. A great eagle took some of the seed of the land and planted it in a seed field. It sprouted and became a spreading vine, low in height, so that its branches turned towards him and its roots were under him. So it became a vine which brought forth branches and sent out shoots towards the eagle. This vine directed its roots and sent its branches towards him in a good field by many waters. It was planted to produce a branch, that it might be a magnificent vine. Ezekiel 17:1, 3, 5-8.

An eagle' stands for rational thought, 3901,'the seed of the land' for truth known to the Church, 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940, 2848, 3038, 3310, 3373. Its becoming 'a spreading vine' and 'a magnificent vine' stands for becoming a spiritual Church, which is called 'a vine' because wine is obtained from it - 'wine' meaning spiritual good or the good of charity, the source of the truth of faith implanted in the understanding part.

(References: Ezekiel 17:2-3)


[6] In the same prophet,

Your mother was like a vine in your likeness, planted beside the waters, fruitful, and made full of branches by reason of many waters. Consequently it had strong rods as sceptres for those who had dominion, and its stature rose up among entangled boughs, so that it was seen in its height amid the multitude of its branches. Ezekiel 19:10-11.

This too refers to Israel, by whom the spiritual Church is meant, which Church is compared to 'a vine' for a similar reason to that mentioned immediately above. It is a description of its derivatives even to the final ones in the natural man, that is to say, even to factual knowledge based on sensory impressions, meant by 'entangled boughs', 2831.

[7] In Hosea,

I will be as the dew of Israel. His branches will go out, and his beauty will be like the olive's, and his odour like that of Lebanon. Those dwelling in its shadow will turn back, they will quicken the grain and will blossom as the vine; the memory of it will be as the wine of Lebanon. O Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols? Hosea 14:5-8.

'Israel' stands for the spiritual Church, the blossoming of which is compared to 'the vine', and the memory of it to 'the wine of Lebanon', because of the good of faith when that good has been implanted in the understanding part. 'Ephraim' means the understanding part as it exists in the spiritual Church, 3969.

[8] In Zechariah,

The remnant of the people will be the seed of peace; the vine will give its fruit, and the land will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew. Zechariah 8:11-12.

'The remnant of the people' stands for truths stored away by the Lord within the interior man, 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 798, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284. 'The seed of peace' stands for good there, 'the vine' for the understanding part.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 560-561)


[9] In Malachi,

I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that he does not ruin for you the fruit of the land, nor will the vine in the field fail you. Malachi 3:11-12.

'The vine' stands for the understanding part. The expression 'a vine that does not fail' is used when the understanding part is not left bereft of the truths and goods of faith; on the other hand 'an empty vine' is used when falsities exist there together with derivative evils, as in Hosea,

Israel is an empty vine, it bears fruit like itself. Hosea 10:1.

(References: Malachi 3:11)


[10] In Moses,

He will bind his ass's colt to the vine, and the foal of his she-ass to a choice vine, after he has washed his clothing in wine, and his garment in the blood of grapes. Genesis 49:11.

This is the prophecy of Jacob, who by then was Israel, regarding his twelve sons, in this case regarding 'Judah', who represents the Lord, 7881. 'The vine' here stands for the understanding part as it exists in the spiritual Church, and 'a choice vine' for the understanding part as it exists in the celestial Church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3881)


[11] In David,

O Jehovah, You caused a vine to journey out of Egypt. You cast out the nations, and You planted it. You cleared the way in front of it and caused its roots to be rooted, so that it might fill the land. The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, and the cedars of God with its branches. You sent out its shoots even to the sea, and its little branches to the Euphrates. The boar out of the forest tramples on it, and the wild animal of the fields feeds on it. Psalms 80:8-11, 13.

'A vine out of Egypt' stands in the highest sense for the Lord, the glorification of His Human being described by it and its shoots. In the internal sense 'a vine' here means the spiritual Church and the member of that Church - what he is like when the understanding and will parts of him have been made new or regenerated by the Lord. 'The boar in the forest' means falsity, and 'the wild animal of the fields' evil, which destroy the Church and faith in the Lord.

(References: Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:8-9, 80:11)


[12] In John,

The angel sent his sickle into the earth and harvested the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood went out of the winepress up to the horses' bridles. Revelation 14:19-20.

'Harvesting the vine of the earth' stands for destroying the understanding part in the Church. And since 'the vine' means that understanding part it is also said that 'the blood went out of the winepress up to the horses' bridles'; for the powers of understanding are meant by 'horses', 2761, 2762, 3217. In Isaiah,

It will happen on that day, that every place in which there have been a thousand vines, worth a thousand [shekels] of silver, will be briers and brambles. Isaiah 7:23.

In the same prophet,

The inhabitants of the land will be scorched and hardly any men (homo) left. The new wine will mourn, and the vine will languish. Isaiah 14:6-7.

In the same prophet,

They beat themselves on their breasts for the fields of unmixed wine, for the fruitful vine; for over the land of My people the them, the prickle is coming up. Isaiah 32:12-14.

In these places the subject is the spiritual Church when laid waste as regards the good and truth of faith, and so as regards the understanding part, since, as stated above, the truth and the good of faith exist in the understanding part of the mind of the member of that Church. Anyone may see that in these places 'the vine' is not used to mean the vine, nor 'the land' to mean the land, but some feature of the Church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2761-2762; Isaiah 24:6-7, 32:12-13)


[13] In the genuine sense 'the vine' means good present in the understanding part, and 'the fig' good present in the natural part; or what amounts to the same, 'the vine' means good present in the interior man, and 'the fig' good present in the exterior man. This being so, when the vine is mentioned in the Word, so also on many occasions is the fig, as in the following places: In Jeremiah,

I will completely devour them. There will be no grapes on the vine or figs on the fig tree; and its leaf has come down. Jeremiah 8:13.

In the same prophet,

I will bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, which will devour your vine and your fig tree. Jeremiah 5:17.

In Hosea,

I will lay waste her vine and her fig tree. Hosea 2:12.

In Joel,

A nation has come up over the land. It has turned My vine into a waste, and My fig tree into froth. It has stripped it completely bare and cast it aside; its branches have been made white. The vine has withered and the fig tree languishes. Joel 1:6-7, 12.

In the same prophet,

Fear not, you beasts of My fields, for the dwelling places of the wilderness have been made green; for the tree will bear its fruit, and the fig tree and the vine will give their full yield. Joel 2:12, 23.

In David,

He smote their vines and their fig trees, and broke to pieces the trees of their borders. Psalms 105:33.

In Habakkuk,

The fig tree will not blossom; neither will there be any yield on the vines. Habakkuk 3:17.

In Micah,

Out of Zion will go forth teaching, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. They will sit every one under his vine and under his fig tree, unafraid. Micah 4:1, 4.

In Zechariah,

On that day you will shout, each to his companion, under his vine and under his fig tree. Zechariah 3:10.

In the first Book of Kings,

In Solomon's time there was peace from all the border-crossings round about, and Judah and Israel dwelt with confidence, every one under his vine and under his fig tree. 1 Kings 4:24-25.

The fig tree' means the good of the natural or exterior man, see 217.

(References: Jeremiah 5:15; Joel 2:22-23, 2:22; Micah 4:2)


[14] 'The vine' may also mean an understanding part that has been made new or regenerated by means of good obtained from truth and of truth obtained from good. This is clear from the Lord's words addressed to the disciples after He instituted the Holy Supper, in Matthew,

I tell you that I shall not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom. Matthew 16:29.

The good obtained from truth and the truth obtained from good, by means of which the understanding is made new, that is, by which a person is made spiritual, is meant by 'the fruit of the vine', while making such one's own is meant by 'drinking'. For 'drinking' means making one's own, and is used in reference to truth, see 3168. The fact that this is fully accomplished only in the next life is meant by 'until that day when I drink it new with you. In My Father's kingdom'; for 'the fruit of the vine', it is quite plain, is not used to mean new wine or matured wine but something of a heavenly nature belonging to the Lord's kingdom.

(References: Matthew 26:29)


[15] Because the understanding part of the spiritual man's mind is made new and regenerated by means of truth which comes solely from the Lord, the Lord therefore compares Himself to 'the vine'. He then compares those who are secure in the truth which comes from Him and consequently is His to 'the branches', and the good produced by them to 'the fruit', in John,

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, but every one that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I him, he it is that bears much fruit; for apart from Me you cannot do anything. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:1-5, 12.

(References: John 15:1-2, 15:4-5)


[16] Because in the highest sense 'the vine' means the Lord as regards Divine Truth, and from this it means, in the internal sense, a member of the spiritual Church, 'a vineyard' therefore means the spiritual Church itself, 1069, 3220.

[17] Since 'the Nazirite' represented the celestial man - who is regenerated by means of the good of love and not, like the spiritual man, by means of the truth of faith, so that, as may be seen stated above, it is not in the understanding part but in the will part of the celestial man's mind that the regeneration takes place - the Nazirite was therefore forbidden to eat anything that came from the vine and so was forbidden to drink wine, Numbers 6:3-4; Judges 13:14. From this also it is evident that 'the vine', as has been shown, means the understanding part, which belongs to the spiritual man. For details about 'the Nazirite' representing the celestial man, see 3301. From this one may also see that nobody can possibly know why the Nazirite was forbidden anything that came from the vine, and many other things besides, unless he knows what 'the vine' means in the proper sense, and also unless he knows of the existence of a celestial Church and of a spiritual Church, and that the member of the celestial Church is regenerated in a different way from a member of the spiritual Church. The former is regenerated by means of seed implanted in the will part, the latter by seed implanted in the understanding part. These are the kinds of arcana stored away in the internal sense of the Word.

(References: Genesis 40:9-13; Joel 2:22-23; Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:11)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5114, 5117, 5461, 6296, 6363, 6367, 6375, 6376, 6432, 6854, 7233, 7975, 8194, 8521, 8622, 8764, 8806, 8904, 8945, 9052, 9277, 9320, 9404, 9596, 9670, 9818, 9960, 10105, 10137, 10261, 10402

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 139, 186


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 175, 331, 386

Other New Christian Commentary

Fig 1

Vine out of Egypt 1


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


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