The Bible

 

Isaiah 61:11

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 61      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 61

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

1. The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives; and to the bound the opening of the prison;

2. To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

VERSE 1. In respect to "Jehovih", as distinguished from " Jehovah", see above, Chapter 3:15, note and Exposition.

The Divine Truth which was in the Lord when He was in the world, and which was then Himself, is here "the Spirit of Jehovih." Arcana Coelestia 9818.

Jehovah has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, etc. - These things are said concerning the Lord.

By "the poor, to whom Jehovah anointed Him to preach good tidings", are signified those who are in few Truths, and yet desire them, that their souls may be thereby sustained; by "the broken-hearted", are understood those who are thence in grief; by "the captives, to whom He should proclaim liberty", are denoted those who are secluded from Truths, and thence from Goods, to whom Truths shall be opened, whereby they shall be imbued with Goods; by "them that are bound, and him that is deprived of eyes", are signified those to whom it was denied to see Truths; thus the Gentiles are understood, who afterwards received Truths from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 811.

Verses 1, 2. He has sent Me, - to proclaim the year oj the good pleasure of Jehovah, etc. - That these things are said concerning the Lord and His advent, may be seen in Matthew 5:3, and following verses; and in Luke 4:16-22. The advent itself is understood by "the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah", and by "the day of vengeance of our God."

By "the poor, to whom the Lord should evangelize or preach good tidings", likewise by "the captives, the bound, and the blind", are understood the Gentiles, who are called such because they were in ignorance of Truth, by reason of their not having the Word. The Gentiles are also understood, in Matthew, by "the poor, who hear the Gospel." Apocalypse Explained 612.

By "the year of good pleasure" is signified the time and state of the men of the church when they require aid from Love; wherefore it is also said, "to comfort all that mourn." Apocalypse Explained 295.

3. To impart [gladness] to the mourners of Zion; to give them a crown, instead of ashes; the oil of gladness, instead of sorrow; the mantle of praise, instead of the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called the Trees of Justice, the Plantation of Jehovah, to glorify Himself.

Verse 3. The oil of gladness, instead of sorrow, etc. - As "oil" is here mentioned, and as, in the first verse of this chapter, the Lord is said to be "anointed to preach good tidings", etc., it may be well to explain what is signified by "oil", as used in the holy things of worship, and what is meant by "anointing." That in ancient times "they anointed stones which were set up as statues", appears from Genesis 28:18, 19, 22. That "they also anointed warlike arms, targets, and shields." (2 Samuel 1:21; Isaiah 21:5)

That "they were commanded to prepare holy oil, with which they were to anoint all the holy things of the church", and that with it "they anointed the altar and all the vessels thereof, as also the Tabernacle and all things appertaining to it." (Exodus 30:22-28; 40:9-11; Leviticus 8:10-12; Numbers 7:1, 10)

That with it "they anointed those who exercised the priestly office, and their garments." (Exodus 29:7, 29; 30:30, 31; Leviticus 8:12; Psalm 133:1-3)

That with it "they anointed the prophets." (1 Kings 19:15, 16)

That with it "they anointed kings", and that therefore kings were called "Jehovah's anointed." (1 Samuel 10:1, 15:1, 16:3, 6, 12; 1 Kings 1:34, 35; 19:15, 16; 2 Kings 9:3; 23:30; Lamentations 4:20, Psalm 2:2, 6; 45:1, 7)

The reason why unction with the holy oil was commanded is, because "oil" signified the Good of Love, and represented the Lord, who, as to His Humanity, is the Real and Only "Anointed of Jehovah", anointed not with oil, but with the Divine Good itself of Divine Love; wherefore He is also named "Messiah" in the Old Testament, and "Christ" in the New, (John 1:41; 4:25) and "Messiah" and "Christ" signify the Anointed.

Hence it is that "priests", "kings", and all things appertaining to the church were anointed, and when they were anointed they were called, "holy"; not that in themselves they were holy, but because they thereby represented the Lord as to His Divine Humanity. This is the reason why it was a sacrilege to hurt a king, because he was the "anointed of Jehovah." - (1 Samuel 24:6, 10; 26:9)

Moreover it was a received custom for people to anoint themselves and others, to testify "joyfulness of mind and benevolence, but with common oil, and not with "holy oil." That " it was not lawful to anoint themselves or others with the holy oil", see Exodus 30:32, 33. Apocalypse Revealed 779.

4. And they shall build up the wastes of old times; they shall restore the former desolations; and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

Verse 4. "Wastes" here and elsewhere signify evils; "desolations" denote falsities; to "build is applied to the former, but to "restore" [or erect] to the latter. Arcana Coelestia 153.

The desolations of many generations. - That " generations" are predicated of Faith, does not appear from the sense of the letter, which is historical, but, in the internal sense, the things of Faith are understood by "generations", as in Isaiah:

"You shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in"; (Isaiah 58:12) where all things signify the things of Faith, - "old waste places" the celestial things of Faith, and the "foundations of many generations" the spiritual things of Faith, which from ancient times had been fallen. Arcana Coelestia 613.

5. And strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen and your vine-dressers.

Verses 5, 6. In the Jewish church the internal church was represented by "Judah" and "Israel", -by "Judah" the celestial church, and by "Israel" the spiritual, and by "Jacob" the external church; but those who placed worship in externals only were represented by the nations or Gentiles whom they called "strangers" and "aliens", who should be their servants, and perform menial services in the church, as in Isaiah:

"Strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen", etc. Those, who placed worship in externals only are called "the sons of the alien", who should serve in the fields and vineyards, but celestial men are here called "the priests of Jehovah", and spiritual men "the ministers of our God."

Again, in the same Prophet:

"The sons of the alien shall build up your walls"; (Isaiah 60:10) where, in like manner, the menial services of such as are in mere externals of worship, without internals, are represented. Arcana Coelestia 1097.

6. But you shall be named the Priests of Jehovah; the Ministers of our God shall you be called: the wealth of the nations shall you eat, and in their glory shall you boast.

Verse 6. Priests are called "ministers" because they represented the Lord as to the Good of love, and hence they who are in the Good of love are, in the Word, called "priests", as may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 2015; 6148; from this circumstance also it is that they are called "the ministers of God." Hence it is that the function of Aaron and his sons is called, a "ministry", as likewise that of the Levites the "'priests"; and that to enter into the tent of the assembly, and officiate in the ministry, as also to approach the altar, and there officiate in the ministry, is called to "minister", as may be seen in Exodus 28:35; 31:10; Numbers 8:15, 19, 24, 25, 26.

And in Jeremiah:

"My covenant shall become void with the Levites the priests, My ministers". (Jeremiah 33:21)

That "Aaron" represented the Lord as to the Good of love, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 9806, 9966; that the "priests", in general, signified the same, see Arcana Coelestia 2015.

That hence by the "priesthood", in the Word, is signified the Divine Good of the Lord's Divine Love, see Arcana Coelestia 9806, Apocalypse Explained 155.

"The wealth of the nations shall you eat", signifies to appropriate Goods to themselves; "in their glory shall you boast", means to enjoy Truths; thus, to have joy and felicity from what is Good and True.

That "nations", in a good sense, signify Goods, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 1259; and, that "glory" is Truth from the Lord, is shown in n. 9429. Arcana Coelestia 9809.

7. Instead of your shame, there shall be double; and instead of ignominy, they shall rejoice in their portion: for in their land they shall possess double; and everlasting gladness shall be unto them.

8. For I Jehovah love judgment; I hate robbery by iniquity: and I will give them the reward of their work in truth, and an everlasting covenant will I make with them;

Verse 7. That to "receive double" is predicated of retribution and of remuneration, and signifies much, may be seen above, Chapter 40:1, 2, the Exposition.

Verse 8. For I Jehovah love judgment; - and I will give them the reward of their work in truth, and an everlastlnq covenant will I make with them- By the "judgment" which Jehovah loves, is understood Truth in faith, in affection, and in act; for man has judgment from Truth, as well when he thinks and wills it, as when he speaks and acts according to it; and whereas this is signified by "judgment", therefore it is said "I will give them the reward of their work in truth", that is, heaven, according to the faith and affection of Truth in act; and whereas there is conjunction with the Lord, from whom reward comes, therefore it is also said, "I will make with them an everlasting covenant"; for by "covenant", in the Word, is signified conjunction by love, -and by "an everlasting covenant" conjunction by the love of Good and Truth; for this love conjoins, inasmuch as it is of the Lord Himself, because it proceeds from Him. Apocalypse Explained 695.

"I hate robbery by iniquity", signifies that anyone should wish to justify himself by his own works. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 150.)

9. And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a seed which Jehovah has blessed.

Verse 9. These words also are spoken concerning the church to be established by the Lord. By "the seed which shall become known among the nations", is signified the Divine Truth which will be received by those who are in the Good of life; and by "the offspring in the midst of the peoples", is signified life according thereto. By" those who see them acknowledging that they are the seed", is understood illustration that it is genuine Truth which they receive; "which Jehovah has blessed", denotes that it is from the Lord. Such is the signification of these words in the sense abstracted from persons, but, in the strict sense, they are understood who will receive Divine Truth from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 768.

10. I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah; my soul shall exult in my God: for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of justice; as the bridegroom decks himself with a priestly crowd, and as the bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Verse 10. To "rejoice in Jehovah", signifies in the Divine Good; to "exult in God", signifies in the Divine Truth : for the Lord is called "Jehovah" from Divine Good, and "God" from Divine Truth, and all spiritual joy is from Him, To be "clothed with the garments of salvation", means to instruct and gift with Truths; and to "cover with the robe of justice", signifies to fill with all Truth derived from Good, - "robe" denoting all Truth, because it denotes Truth in general, and "justice" is predicated of Good. Apocalypse Explained 395.

As the bridegroom decks himself with a priestly crowd [or head-dress], and as the bride adorns herself with her jewels. - To "put on the crown" is to put on wisdom, and to "adorn herself with jewels" denotes with the knowledges of Truth. Again:

"As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." (Isaiah 62:5)

That the Lord is understood, in the supreme sense, by the "Bridegroom", and the church by the "bride", is evident in the Evangelists; as when the disciples of John inquired concerning fasting, Jesus said, "So long as the Bridegroom is with them, the sons of the bride-chamber cannot fast; the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast." (Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19, 20; Luke 5:34, 35)

There the Lord calls Himself the "Bridegroom", and the men of the church He calls the "sons of the bride-chamber"; by "fasting" is signified mourning on account of a deficiency of Truth and Good. So again in Matthew:

"The kingdom of the heavens is like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went forth to meet the Bridegroom"; (Matthew 25:1) where also by the "Bridegroom" is understood the Lord, by "virgins" the church, and by "lamps" are signified the Truths of faith. Apocalypse Explained 1189.

11. For as the earth puts forth her shoots, and as a garden makes its seeds to spring forth: so shall the Lord Jehovih cause justice to spring forth, and praise, before all the nations.

Verse 11. As a garden makes its seeds to spring forth, so shall the Lord Jehovih cause justice to spring forth, etc. - The man of the church is, as to intelligence, like a "garden", when he is in the Good of love from the Lord, because the spiritual heat which vivifies him is love, and spiritual light is intelligence; hence, that from these two things, namely, heat and light, gardens in the world flourish, is known. It is, similar in heaven, where there appear paradisical gardens, with fruit-bearing trees, according to their wisdom derived from the Good of love from the Lord; and around those who are in intelligence, and not in the Good of love, no garden appears, but only grass; whereas about those who are in faith separate from charity, there does not even appear grass, but sand. Apocalypse Revealed 90.

As to the further meaning of a "garden", see above, Chapter 51:3; 58:11, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 61.

1. The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives; and to the bound the opening of the prison;

2. To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3. To impart [gladness] to the mourners of Zion; to give them a crown, instead of ashes; the oil of gladness, instead of sorrow; the mantle of praise, instead of the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called the Trees of Justice, the Plantation of Jehovah, to glorify Himself.

4. And they shall build up the wastes of old times; they shall restore the former desolations; and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

5. And strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen and your vine-dressers.

6. But you shall be named the Priests of Jehovah; the Ministers of our God shall you be called: the wealth of the nations shall you eat, and in their glory shall you boast.

7. Instead of your shame, there shall be double; and instead of ignominy, they shall rejoice in their portion: for in their land they shall possess double; and everlasting gladness shall be unto them.

8. For I Jehovah love judgment; I hate robbery by iniquity: and I will give them the reward of their work in truth, and an everlasting covenant will I make with them;

9. And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a seed which Jehovah has blessed.

10. I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah; my soul shall exult in my God: for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of justice; as the bridegroom decks himself with a priestly crowd, and as the bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11. For as the earth puts forth her shoots, and as a garden makes its seeds to spring forth: so shall the Lord Jehovih cause justice to spring forth, and praise, before all the nations.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 61


Other references to this verse:

Apocalypse Revealed 90

True Christian Religion 467


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 20, 46

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Related Books  (see all)


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 1:11

Isaiah 45:8, 62:1, 2

Bible Word Meanings

earth
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

To
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

spring
'Spring' signifies the first state of a church or spiritual era, the same as 'morning.'

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

righteousness
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

nations
'A nation,' as in Genesis 21:18, signifies the spiritual church which should receive the good of faith. Nation from afar,' as in Jeremiah 5:17, signifies...

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.


 Beauty for Ashes
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
In the process of trying to be a person who is growing spiritually, there will be mourning. We will see things that are not the way they should be - in ourselves and in the world around us. This sermon examines ways in which we can be comforted?
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

Commentary

 

Explanation of Isaiah 61      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 61

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

1. The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives; and to the bound the opening of the prison;

2. To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

VERSE 1. In respect to "Jehovih", as distinguished from " Jehovah", see above, Chapter 3:15, note and Exposition.

The Divine Truth which was in the Lord when He was in the world, and which was then Himself, is here "the Spirit of Jehovih." Arcana Coelestia 9818.

Jehovah has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, etc. - These things are said concerning the Lord.

By "the poor, to whom Jehovah anointed Him to preach good tidings", are signified those who are in few Truths, and yet desire them, that their souls may be thereby sustained; by "the broken-hearted", are understood those who are thence in grief; by "the captives, to whom He should proclaim liberty", are denoted those who are secluded from Truths, and thence from Goods, to whom Truths shall be opened, whereby they shall be imbued with Goods; by "them that are bound, and him that is deprived of eyes", are signified those to whom it was denied to see Truths; thus the Gentiles are understood, who afterwards received Truths from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 811.

Verses 1, 2. He has sent Me, - to proclaim the year oj the good pleasure of Jehovah, etc. - That these things are said concerning the Lord and His advent, may be seen in Matthew 5:3, and following verses; and in Luke 4:16-22. The advent itself is understood by "the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah", and by "the day of vengeance of our God."

By "the poor, to whom the Lord should evangelize or preach good tidings", likewise by "the captives, the bound, and the blind", are understood the Gentiles, who are called such because they were in ignorance of Truth, by reason of their not having the Word. The Gentiles are also understood, in Matthew, by "the poor, who hear the Gospel." Apocalypse Explained 612.

By "the year of good pleasure" is signified the time and state of the men of the church when they require aid from Love; wherefore it is also said, "to comfort all that mourn." Apocalypse Explained 295.

3. To impart [gladness] to the mourners of Zion; to give them a crown, instead of ashes; the oil of gladness, instead of sorrow; the mantle of praise, instead of the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called the Trees of Justice, the Plantation of Jehovah, to glorify Himself.

Verse 3. The oil of gladness, instead of sorrow, etc. - As "oil" is here mentioned, and as, in the first verse of this chapter, the Lord is said to be "anointed to preach good tidings", etc., it may be well to explain what is signified by "oil", as used in the holy things of worship, and what is meant by "anointing." That in ancient times "they anointed stones which were set up as statues", appears from Genesis 28:18, 19, 22. That "they also anointed warlike arms, targets, and shields." (2 Samuel 1:21; Isaiah 21:5)

That "they were commanded to prepare holy oil, with which they were to anoint all the holy things of the church", and that with it "they anointed the altar and all the vessels thereof, as also the Tabernacle and all things appertaining to it." (Exodus 30:22-28; 40:9-11; Leviticus 8:10-12; Numbers 7:1, 10)

That with it "they anointed those who exercised the priestly office, and their garments." (Exodus 29:7, 29; 30:30, 31; Leviticus 8:12; Psalm 133:1-3)

That with it "they anointed the prophets." (1 Kings 19:15, 16)

That with it "they anointed kings", and that therefore kings were called "Jehovah's anointed." (1 Samuel 10:1, 15:1, 16:3, 6, 12; 1 Kings 1:34, 35; 19:15, 16; 2 Kings 9:3; 23:30; Lamentations 4:20, Psalm 2:2, 6; 45:1, 7)

The reason why unction with the holy oil was commanded is, because "oil" signified the Good of Love, and represented the Lord, who, as to His Humanity, is the Real and Only "Anointed of Jehovah", anointed not with oil, but with the Divine Good itself of Divine Love; wherefore He is also named "Messiah" in the Old Testament, and "Christ" in the New, (John 1:41; 4:25) and "Messiah" and "Christ" signify the Anointed.

Hence it is that "priests", "kings", and all things appertaining to the church were anointed, and when they were anointed they were called, "holy"; not that in themselves they were holy, but because they thereby represented the Lord as to His Divine Humanity. This is the reason why it was a sacrilege to hurt a king, because he was the "anointed of Jehovah." - (1 Samuel 24:6, 10; 26:9)

Moreover it was a received custom for people to anoint themselves and others, to testify "joyfulness of mind and benevolence, but with common oil, and not with "holy oil." That " it was not lawful to anoint themselves or others with the holy oil", see Exodus 30:32, 33. Apocalypse Revealed 779.

4. And they shall build up the wastes of old times; they shall restore the former desolations; and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

Verse 4. "Wastes" here and elsewhere signify evils; "desolations" denote falsities; to "build is applied to the former, but to "restore" [or erect] to the latter. Arcana Coelestia 153.

The desolations of many generations. - That " generations" are predicated of Faith, does not appear from the sense of the letter, which is historical, but, in the internal sense, the things of Faith are understood by "generations", as in Isaiah:

"You shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in"; (Isaiah 58:12) where all things signify the things of Faith, - "old waste places" the celestial things of Faith, and the "foundations of many generations" the spiritual things of Faith, which from ancient times had been fallen. Arcana Coelestia 613.

5. And strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen and your vine-dressers.

Verses 5, 6. In the Jewish church the internal church was represented by "Judah" and "Israel", -by "Judah" the celestial church, and by "Israel" the spiritual, and by "Jacob" the external church; but those who placed worship in externals only were represented by the nations or Gentiles whom they called "strangers" and "aliens", who should be their servants, and perform menial services in the church, as in Isaiah:

"Strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen", etc. Those, who placed worship in externals only are called "the sons of the alien", who should serve in the fields and vineyards, but celestial men are here called "the priests of Jehovah", and spiritual men "the ministers of our God."

Again, in the same Prophet:

"The sons of the alien shall build up your walls"; (Isaiah 60:10) where, in like manner, the menial services of such as are in mere externals of worship, without internals, are represented. Arcana Coelestia 1097.

6. But you shall be named the Priests of Jehovah; the Ministers of our God shall you be called: the wealth of the nations shall you eat, and in their glory shall you boast.

Verse 6. Priests are called "ministers" because they represented the Lord as to the Good of love, and hence they who are in the Good of love are, in the Word, called "priests", as may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 2015; 6148; from this circumstance also it is that they are called "the ministers of God." Hence it is that the function of Aaron and his sons is called, a "ministry", as likewise that of the Levites the "'priests"; and that to enter into the tent of the assembly, and officiate in the ministry, as also to approach the altar, and there officiate in the ministry, is called to "minister", as may be seen in Exodus 28:35; 31:10; Numbers 8:15, 19, 24, 25, 26.

And in Jeremiah:

"My covenant shall become void with the Levites the priests, My ministers". (Jeremiah 33:21)

That "Aaron" represented the Lord as to the Good of love, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 9806, 9966; that the "priests", in general, signified the same, see Arcana Coelestia 2015.

That hence by the "priesthood", in the Word, is signified the Divine Good of the Lord's Divine Love, see Arcana Coelestia 9806, Apocalypse Explained 155.

"The wealth of the nations shall you eat", signifies to appropriate Goods to themselves; "in their glory shall you boast", means to enjoy Truths; thus, to have joy and felicity from what is Good and True.

That "nations", in a good sense, signify Goods, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 1259; and, that "glory" is Truth from the Lord, is shown in n. 9429. Arcana Coelestia 9809.

7. Instead of your shame, there shall be double; and instead of ignominy, they shall rejoice in their portion: for in their land they shall possess double; and everlasting gladness shall be unto them.

8. For I Jehovah love judgment; I hate robbery by iniquity: and I will give them the reward of their work in truth, and an everlasting covenant will I make with them;

Verse 7. That to "receive double" is predicated of retribution and of remuneration, and signifies much, may be seen above, Chapter 40:1, 2, the Exposition.

Verse 8. For I Jehovah love judgment; - and I will give them the reward of their work in truth, and an everlastlnq covenant will I make with them- By the "judgment" which Jehovah loves, is understood Truth in faith, in affection, and in act; for man has judgment from Truth, as well when he thinks and wills it, as when he speaks and acts according to it; and whereas this is signified by "judgment", therefore it is said "I will give them the reward of their work in truth", that is, heaven, according to the faith and affection of Truth in act; and whereas there is conjunction with the Lord, from whom reward comes, therefore it is also said, "I will make with them an everlasting covenant"; for by "covenant", in the Word, is signified conjunction by love, -and by "an everlasting covenant" conjunction by the love of Good and Truth; for this love conjoins, inasmuch as it is of the Lord Himself, because it proceeds from Him. Apocalypse Explained 695.

"I hate robbery by iniquity", signifies that anyone should wish to justify himself by his own works. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 150.)

9. And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a seed which Jehovah has blessed.

Verse 9. These words also are spoken concerning the church to be established by the Lord. By "the seed which shall become known among the nations", is signified the Divine Truth which will be received by those who are in the Good of life; and by "the offspring in the midst of the peoples", is signified life according thereto. By" those who see them acknowledging that they are the seed", is understood illustration that it is genuine Truth which they receive; "which Jehovah has blessed", denotes that it is from the Lord. Such is the signification of these words in the sense abstracted from persons, but, in the strict sense, they are understood who will receive Divine Truth from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 768.

10. I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah; my soul shall exult in my God: for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of justice; as the bridegroom decks himself with a priestly crowd, and as the bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Verse 10. To "rejoice in Jehovah", signifies in the Divine Good; to "exult in God", signifies in the Divine Truth : for the Lord is called "Jehovah" from Divine Good, and "God" from Divine Truth, and all spiritual joy is from Him, To be "clothed with the garments of salvation", means to instruct and gift with Truths; and to "cover with the robe of justice", signifies to fill with all Truth derived from Good, - "robe" denoting all Truth, because it denotes Truth in general, and "justice" is predicated of Good. Apocalypse Explained 395.

As the bridegroom decks himself with a priestly crowd [or head-dress], and as the bride adorns herself with her jewels. - To "put on the crown" is to put on wisdom, and to "adorn herself with jewels" denotes with the knowledges of Truth. Again:

"As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." (Isaiah 62:5)

That the Lord is understood, in the supreme sense, by the "Bridegroom", and the church by the "bride", is evident in the Evangelists; as when the disciples of John inquired concerning fasting, Jesus said, "So long as the Bridegroom is with them, the sons of the bride-chamber cannot fast; the days will come, when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast." (Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19, 20; Luke 5:34, 35)

There the Lord calls Himself the "Bridegroom", and the men of the church He calls the "sons of the bride-chamber"; by "fasting" is signified mourning on account of a deficiency of Truth and Good. So again in Matthew:

"The kingdom of the heavens is like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went forth to meet the Bridegroom"; (Matthew 25:1) where also by the "Bridegroom" is understood the Lord, by "virgins" the church, and by "lamps" are signified the Truths of faith. Apocalypse Explained 1189.

11. For as the earth puts forth her shoots, and as a garden makes its seeds to spring forth: so shall the Lord Jehovih cause justice to spring forth, and praise, before all the nations.

Verse 11. As a garden makes its seeds to spring forth, so shall the Lord Jehovih cause justice to spring forth, etc. - The man of the church is, as to intelligence, like a "garden", when he is in the Good of love from the Lord, because the spiritual heat which vivifies him is love, and spiritual light is intelligence; hence, that from these two things, namely, heat and light, gardens in the world flourish, is known. It is, similar in heaven, where there appear paradisical gardens, with fruit-bearing trees, according to their wisdom derived from the Good of love from the Lord; and around those who are in intelligence, and not in the Good of love, no garden appears, but only grass; whereas about those who are in faith separate from charity, there does not even appear grass, but sand. Apocalypse Revealed 90.

As to the further meaning of a "garden", see above, Chapter 51:3; 58:11, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 61.

1. The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, because Jehovah has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives; and to the bound the opening of the prison;

2. To proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3. To impart [gladness] to the mourners of Zion; to give them a crown, instead of ashes; the oil of gladness, instead of sorrow; the mantle of praise, instead of the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called the Trees of Justice, the Plantation of Jehovah, to glorify Himself.

4. And they shall build up the wastes of old times; they shall restore the former desolations; and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

5. And strangers shall stand up and feed your flocks; and the sons of the alien shall be your husbandmen and your vine-dressers.

6. But you shall be named the Priests of Jehovah; the Ministers of our God shall you be called: the wealth of the nations shall you eat, and in their glory shall you boast.

7. Instead of your shame, there shall be double; and instead of ignominy, they shall rejoice in their portion: for in their land they shall possess double; and everlasting gladness shall be unto them.

8. For I Jehovah love judgment; I hate robbery by iniquity: and I will give them the reward of their work in truth, and an everlasting covenant will I make with them;

9. And their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a seed which Jehovah has blessed.

10. I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah; my soul shall exult in my God: for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of justice; as the bridegroom decks himself with a priestly crowd, and as the bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11. For as the earth puts forth her shoots, and as a garden makes its seeds to spring forth: so shall the Lord Jehovih cause justice to spring forth, and praise, before all the nations.

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #6148

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

6148. 'Only the ground of the priests he did not buy' means that the internal obtained for itself from the natural every capacity to receive good, because every such capacity came from itself. This is clear from the representation of 'Joseph', about whom these things are said, as the internal, dealt with already; from the meaning of 'the ground' as the receptacle of truth, dealt with above in 6135-6137, at this point the capacity to receive good, for the capacity of something is its inherent ability to receive, which causes a receptacle to be a receptacle (that capacity comes from good, that is, from the Lord through good, for if the good of love did not flow in from the Lord no one would ever have the capacity to receive truth or good. That inflow of the good of love from the Lord causes everything present inwardly in a person to be of a receptive nature. The truth that the capacity to receive good comes from the natural is meant by the fact that the ground lay in Egypt, since 'Egypt' means the natural in respect of factual knowledge, 6142); from the meaning of 'the priests' as good, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'not buying' as not taking those capacities to itself - not in the way that it made truths and forms of the good of truth, together with their receptacles, its own, which came about through periods of desolation and sustainment - for the reason that those capacities came from itself, from the internal. All these meanings serve to show that 'only the ground of the priests he did not buy' means that the internal obtained for itself from the natural every capacity to receive good, because every such capacity came from itself.

[2] The implications of all this are that a person's capacities to receive truth and good come directly from the Lord; he obtains them without any help at all from himself. A person's capacity to receive goodness and truth is maintained in him unceasingly; and from that capacity he possesses understanding and will. But a person does not receive them if he turns to evil. The capacity to receive does, it is true, remain, but its access to thought and sensitivity is blocked, on account of which his capacity to see what is true and have a sensitive awareness of what is good perishes. And it perishes to the extent that he turns to evil and in faith and life becomes firmly settled in it. The fact that a person contributes nothing whatever to his capacity to receive truth and good is well known from the Church's teaching that nothing at all of the truth of faith and nothing at all of the good of charity comes from man but from the Lord. Yet a person can destroy that capacity residing with him. From all this one may now see how one should understand the idea that the internal obtained for itself from the natural every capacity to receive good, because every such capacity came from itself. The expression 'from the natural' is used because the inflow of good from the Lord is effected by the Lord through the internal into the natural; and once the capacity to receive has been obtained from there, the inflow takes place, for now there is reception, see 5828.

[3] So far as the meaning of 'the priests' as forms of good is concerned, it should be recognized that there are two realities which go forth from the Lord - goodness and truth. Divine Good was represented by priests, and Divine Truth by kings; and this is why 'the priests' means forms of good and 'the kings' truths. Regarding the attribution of Priesthood and Kingship to the Lord, see 1728, 2015 (end), 3670. In the representative Ancient Church those two offices of priest and king existed jointly in one personage, the reason for this being that goodness and truth which go forth from the Lord are united; and they are also joined together in heaven among the angels.

[4] A personage in the Ancient Church in whom the two offices existed joined together was called Melchizedek, a name meaning king of righteousness. This may be seen from the following statement about Melchizedek who came to Abraham, 1

Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; and he was a priest to God Most High. And he blessed Abraham. Genesis 14:18-19.

His representation of the Lord in both offices is evident from the fact that he was a king and at the same time a priest, and from the fact that he was allowed to bless Abraham and offer him bread and wine, which even at that time were the symbols of the good of love and the truth of faith. His representation of the Lord in both offices is further evident in David,

Jehovah has sworn and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek. Psalms 110:4.

These words were spoken in reference to the Lord. 'After the manner of Melchizedek' means that He is both King and Priest, that is, in the highest sense that Divine Good and Divine Truth go forth together from Him.

(References: Genesis 4:18-19)


[5] Because a representative Church was going to be established also among the descendants of Jacob, they too were to have a single personage to represent jointly Divine Good and Divine Truth, which go forth from the Lord united. But on account of the wars and the idolatry of that people the two were in fact divided right from the start; those who ruled over the attended to sacred duties were referred to as the priests, who belonged to the seed of Aaron and were the Levites. At a later time the two functions were joined together in a single person, as they were in Eli and Samuel. Yet because the nature of the people was such that the representative Church could not be established among them, only a representative of the Church, on account of the practice of idolatry prevalent among them, the two functions were allowed to be separated. The Lord was then represented in respect of Divine Truth by kings and in respect of Divine Good by priests. The separation took place because the people desired it, not because the Lord took any pleasure in it, as is clear from the Word of Jehovah to Samuel,

Obey the voice of the people in all that they have said to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them; and show them the right of the king. 1_Samuel 8:7-end; 1_Samuel 8:12:19, 12:20.

(References: 1 Samuel 8:7-22, 12:19-20)


[6] The reason why the two functions were not meant to be separated was that Divine Truth separated from Divine Good condemns all people, whereas Divine Truth united to Divine Good saves them. Judged by Divine Truth a person is condemned to hell, but Divine Good brings him out of there and raises him into heaven. Salvation comes of mercy and so sprigs from Divine Good; but damnation exists when a person rejects mercy and so casts Divine Good away from himself, as a consequence of which he is left to be judged by Truth. As regards 'kings' representing Divine Truth, see 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068.

[7] 'The priests' represented the Lord in respect of Divine Good, and for that reason good is meant by them. This becomes clear from the internal sense of all that was prescribed regarding the priesthood when Aaron was chosen, and after him the Levites, such as these prescriptions:

The High Priest alone should enter the Holy of holies and minister there. [Leviticus 16.]

Things holy to Jehovah were to be for the priest. Leviticus 23:20; 27:21.

They were not to have any portion or inheritance in the land, but Jehovah would be their portion and inheritance. Numbers 18:20; Deuteronomy 10:9; 18:1.

The Levites were given to Jehovah instead of the firstborn, and they were given by Jehovah to Aaron. Numbers 3:9, 12-13, Numbers 3:40-end; Numbers 3:8:16-19.

The high priest and the Levites were to be in the middle of the camp when they pitched it and when they were journeying. Numbers 1:50-54; 2:17; 3:23-38; 4:1-end.

No one from the seed of Aaron who had a blemish in himself was to approach to offer burnt offerings or sacrifices. Leviticus 21:17-20.

And there are many other prescriptions besides these, such as those in Leviticus 21:9-13, and elsewhere.

(References: Leviticus 21:17-21; Numbers 3:40-51, 4, 8:16-19)


[8] In the highest sense all these prescriptions relating to the priests represented the Lord's Divine Good and therefore in the relative sense the good of love and charity. Aaron's vestments however, called 'vestments of holiness', represented Divine Truth from Divine Good. These matters will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with in the explanations of what appears in Exodus.

[9] Since truth is meant by 'kings' and good by 'priests', 'kings and priests' are mentioned together many times in the Word, as in John, Jesus Christ has made us kings and priests to His God and Father. Revelation 1:6; 5:10.

By virtue of the truth of faith we are said to have been made 'kings', and by virtue of the good of charity to have been made 'priests', so that the truth and good residing with those who abide in the Lord have been joined together, in the way they are in heaven, as stated above. This is what is meant by 'being made kings and priests'.

(References: Revelation 1:5-6)


[10] In Jeremiah,

It will happen on that day, that the heart of the king and of the princes will perish, and the priests will be dumbfounded and the prophets left wondering. Jeremiah 4:9.

In the same prophet,

The house of Israel is ashamed, they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets. Jeremiah 2:26.

In the same prophet,

The kings of Judah, the princes, the priests, and the prophets, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 8:1.

In these places 'kings stands for truths, 'princes' for first and foremost truths, 1482, 1089, 5044, 'priests' for forms of good, and 'prophets' for those who teach, 2534.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2089)


[11] Quite apart from this it should be recognized that Joseph did not buy the ground of the priests. The fact that this was representative of the consideration that the whole of a person's capacity to receive truth and good comes from the Lord is evident from a similar law in Moses regarding the fields belonging to the Levites,

The field of the country surrounding the cities of the Levites shall not be sold, for it is their eternal possession. Leviticus 25:34.

The meaning here in the internal sense is that no one ought to lay any claim to the good of the Church, which is the good of love and charity, because that good is from the Lord alone.

-----
Footnotes:

1. At this time the patriarch's name was still Abram.

-----

(References: Genesis 47:22)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6151, 6167, 6371, 6410, 6432, 6508, 6651, 6742, 6745, 6775, 6782, 7351, 7524, 8142, 8330, 8625, 8770, 8832, 8904, 9093, 9144, 9146, 9167, 9212, 9293, 9341, 9372, 9391, 9406, 9429, 9477, 9503, 9548, 9670, 9809, 9930, 9942, 9954, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 854

The White Horse 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 126, 155, 236


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Say "No" To Having a King


Word or Phrase Explanations:

High-priest


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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.


 The Birth of Samuel
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


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


Translate: