The Bible

Matthew 7

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

← Matthew 6   Matthew 8 →

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 34, 44, 367, 794, 922, 1011, 1017, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 8, 166, 376, 400, 409, 433, 495, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 114

Conjugial Love 118, 453, 523, 531

Divine Providence 128, 230, 250, 330

Doctrine of the Lord 9

Sacred Scripture 51

Doctrine of Life 2, 30, 39, 73, 91, 93, 104

Heaven and Hell 471, 534

The Last Judgment 59

True Christian Religion 106, 226, 347, 375, 376, 381, 411, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 119, 127


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 108, 109, 186, 195, 212, 231, 250, ...

Charity 118

De Verbo (The Word) 5, 15

Divine Love 17

Divine Wisdom 11

Scriptural Confirmations 6, 14, 68, 87

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 6:5, 8:21

Exodus 21:25

Deuteronomy 4:29, 13:1, 2

Judges 1:7

1 Samuel 20, 27

1 Kings 3:5

1 Chronicles 28:9

2 Chronicles 15:2

Job 13:16

Psalms 6:9, 16:11, 86:5, 101:4, 119:115

Proverbs 8:17, 10:25, 12:7, 14:12, 20:11

Isaiah 28:17, 29:13

Jeremiah 14:14, 23:16, 27:15, 29:13, 14, 34:17, 50:29

Ezekiel 13:11, 12

Hosea 8:2

Obadiah 1:15

Word/Phrase Explanations

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

Judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

Measure
'To measure' signifies knowing and exploring the quality of something.

Mote
'A mote' signifies a lesser falsity from evil.

Brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Beam
A beam signifies the falsity of evil. (Gen. 19 18; 2 Kings 6:2, 5, 6; Habakkuk 2:11; Matt. 7 3, 5). A beam of a...

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...

say
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...

first
Why would it be insulting for a man to refer to his married partner as his “first wife”? Because it implies there will be a...

see
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...

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...

holy
The Bible describes many things as being holy, or sacred. The Ark of the Covenant is one very holy object. The inmost chamber of the...

Pearls
'Pearls' signify knowledges of truth, and truths themselves, and 'the one pearl of great price,' in Matthew 13:45, 46, signifies the knowledge and acknowledgment of...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

swine
'Swine' or 'hogs' correspond to the life of greed and its delight.

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...

feet
Our feet are the lowest and most utilitarian parts of our bodies, and in the Bible they represent the lowest and most utilitarian part of...

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

Rend
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

ask
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

seek
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

Knock
Behold I stand at the door and knock,' as in Revelation 3:20, signifies the perpetual presence and operation of the Lord with a person.

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

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...

son
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

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...

serpent
Serpents in the Bible represent reasoning that is based on what we know through our senses. This is the lowest and most outward mode of...

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...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

much
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

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...

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

the law
Jews at the time of Jesus had a number of ways to break down and describe the books of the Old Testament. Among the more...

prophets
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

way
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...

leadeth
The meaning of "leading" people in the Bible is pretty straightforward, though obviously it is about leading people in spiritual things, not natural ones. When...

destruction
'To go into perdition,' as in Revelation 17:8, signifies being rejected.

life
According to Swedenborg, the Lord is life itself, and we are recipients of life. This is true even of the most evil spirits, who loved...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

sheep
It’s pretty easy for most people to read the Bible and get a sense for what “sheep” means without any help. They are simple, peaceful,...

clothing
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

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

Gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

Thorns
'Thorns, briers, brambles, and thistles' signifies falsities of evil because of their stings or prickles.

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...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

cast
For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

Works
Works, emeralds, purple broidered work, fine linen, coral, and agate, (Ezek. 27:16), signify knowledges of good.

knew
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 9:17: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

Sayings
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

built
To build something generally means to put together a variety of simpler pieces to make a useful and more complex structure, as to build a...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

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

Rock
'A rock' signifies the Lord regarding the divine truth of the Word.

Rain
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

winds
In the Bible, the wind represents the power of the Lord working on us through the heavens. The Lord is love itself, and by extending...

Sand
'Sand,' as in Matthew 7:27, signifies faith separate from charity.

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Scribes
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:17, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

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.


 Answers to Prayers
We need to learn about the Lord's way of answering prayers.
Article | Ages over 15

 Build a House on the Rock
Use blocks or small cardboard boxes to build a house on sand and sprinkle with water to see what happens. Then build the house on a rock.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Build on the Rock
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 By Their Fruits
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Choosing Heaven or Hell
A lesson and activities exploring how our choices lead us towards heaven or hell, day by day.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Correspondences of Mineral Kingdom
Illustrations of places in the Word that mention minerals.
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Doing Is Living
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Dramatize Giving Good Things to Those Who Ask
Dramatize and discuss the examples given by the Lord of a parent giving good gifts to a child. The Lord gives these examples to reassure us that He also will give us what will help us most. 
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Entering the Narrow Way
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 First Remove the Plank
Activity | Ages over 15

 Foundations for My Life
Reflect on beliefs or attitudes that are like “foundations” for your life. These are the constants that help you weather the storms of life.
Activity | Ages over 13

 Fruit of the Vine
Talk about grapes and other fruit that grows on a vine. Consider making "a grape vine" of good deeds with "grape" beads to put on a green cord.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Golden Rule
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Golden Rule and Prayer Crossword Puzzle
Crossword puzzle about the Golden Rule and the Lord's Prayer.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Hear and Do
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Hearing and Doing
It is important to do what the Lord teaches as well as listen to Him.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Helping Out
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 House Built on the Rock and Sand
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 House Built on the Rock Demonstration
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 House Built on the Rock Diorama
Color the pieces of the diorama, then cut them out and assemble it. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 House Built on the Rock Rebus
Younger children will enjoy "reading" the pictures with help from an older child or adult. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 House Built on the Rock (sheet music with hand motions)
Song | Ages up to 10

 How the Word Enlightens
The Lord wants to help everyone see spiritual things more clearly but the quality and extent of an individual’s enlightenment depends on his or her own spiritual development. Enlightenment is affected by the questions we ask the Lord and the reasons we are seeking answers.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Illustrate the Parable of the House Built on the Rock
Illustrate the parable by picturing both the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Judgment
When the Lord says “judge not,” the meaning is that we are not to judge falsely, or from a selfish motive, or based only on external appearances. And instead of looking for faults in others, we should concentrate on removing the evils and falsities within ourselves. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 15

 Memory Verse: I Will Build My Church
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Looking for the Good in Others
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Pathways to Heaven and Hell
Contrast the paths to heaven and to hell by picturing some of things that might be seen along these paths by someone who can see clearly in the spiritual world.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Adults: Dealing with Other People with True Charity
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Adults: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Children: Being Kind to Other People
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Children: King of Kings
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Children: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Teens: Friendship and Judgment
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: Keeping the Sabbath
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: I Will Build My Church
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Way to Heaven
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Song: The House Built on a Rock (3-5, 6-8 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Stormy Weather
Identify and write about some of the false ideas that may distort our thinking and challenge our commitment to the Lord.
Activity | Ages over 15

 The Golden Rule
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The House Built on a Rock
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The House Built on the Rock (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The House on the Rock
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The House on the Rock with Quote
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord's First Parable
The sermon on the mount ended with the parable of the house built on the rock and the house built on the sand.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sermon on Mount--The House Built on the Rock
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Sermon on the Mount
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 Sermon on the Mount (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Tolerance and Judgment
Loving the neighbor is intending and doing good to all, but wisely loving others takes a variety of forms depending on others' actions.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Two Houses
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Wings of Truth
Lesson and activities exploring how truth can uplift, protect, and free us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 You Are the Man!
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #9144

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

Study this Passage

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9144. 'And catches hold of thorns' means which spreads into falsities. This is clear from the meaning of 'catching hold of', when said of anger that arises from an affection for evil, as spreading into and thus setting alight; and from the meaning of 'thorns' as falsities, dealt with below. But something must be stated first about what is implied in all this. The loves present with a person are the fires of his life, 9055. Evil loves - self-love and love of the world - are consuming fires; they consume the forms of good and the truths which true life comprises. Those fires compose the life of a person's will, and the light from those fires composes the life of his understanding. As long as the evil fires are kept shut up in the will, the understanding dwells in light and consequently discerns what is good and true. But when those fires spill out their light into the understanding the light previously there is dispelled and the person's discernment of what is good and true is dimmed. The situation grows worse, as self-love and love of the world, which those fires are, take hold more and more, so that eventually they smother and snuff out all truth, and good along with it.

[2] When those loves are attacked fire breaks out of the will into the understanding and produces a flame there. This flame is what is called anger. This is why a person is said to flare up, blaze up, and be inflamed, when he is angry. This flame assails the truths and forms of good present in the understanding and not only hides them but also consumes them. Furthermore, and this is an arcanum, when that evil fire bursts out of the will into the understanding part of the mind, this part is closed above and opened below, that is, closed where it looks towards heaven and opened where it looks towards hell.

[3] So it is that whenever an evil person blazes up in anger evils and falsities that produce the flame are entering in. It is like a fibre in the body. If it is pricked with the point of a needle it instantly pulls itself in and closes up, and in so doing prevents the wound from going any deeper and harming life where it exists essentially. Also, when presented in a visual shape falsity appears as something pointed. An evil person's state when he is angry is also similar to smoke which on a touch of fire bursts into flame; for falsity arising from evil and present in the understanding is like smoke, and anger is like smoke that has been set alight. They also correspond to one another. So it is that in the Word 'smoke' means falsity and 'its flame' means anger, as in David,

Smoke went up out of His nose, and fire out of His mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from Him. Psalms 18:8.

And in Isaiah,

Wickedness burns like a fire, it devours brier and thorn, and kindles the entangled boughs of the wood; and they rise in a column of smoke, 1 through the wrath of Jehovah Zebaoth. Isaiah 9:18-19.

'Smoke' here is falsity which, when set alight, gives rise to anger. For the meaning of 'smoke' as falsity, see 1861.

[4] From all this one may now see what is meant in the internal sense by 'When fire breaks out and catches hold of thorns, and a stack of grain is consumed, or standing grain ... ', namely, If an affection for evil bursts out into anger and spreads into falsities belonging to evil cravings, and consumes the truths and forms of the good of faith ... Anyone who stops to think can see that there is some reason for this law that lies hidden on a more internal level and is not apparent. For nowhere else is a law laid down regarding fire catching hold of thorns and then consuming a stack of grain or standing grain; such an occurrence is extremely rare. But it is an everyday occurrence for the fire of wickedness and of anger to seize on and set alight the falsities of cravings and thereby to consume the Church's truths and forms of good.

[5] The fact that 'thorns' are the falsities of cravings is clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

Over the land of My people the thorn, and the prickle, is coming up. Isaiah 32:13.

'The land' is the Church, 'the thorn or the prickle' falsities and the evils stemming from them. In the same prophet,

[As to] your spirit, a fire will devour you. Thus will the people be burnt into lime; [they will be like] thorns cut down which are burned in the fire. Isaiah 33:11-12.

'Thorns which are burned in the fire' stands for falsities which catch fire and consume truths and forms of good.

[6] In Ezekiel,

No more will there be for the house of Israel a pricking brier and a painful thorn. Ezekiel 28:24.

'A pricking brier' stands for falsity belonging to the cravings of self-love, 'thorn' for falsity belonging to the cravings of love of the world. In Hosea,

Their 2 mother has committed whoredom. Therefore I am hedging up your way with thorns, and she will not find her paths. Hosea 2:5-6.

'Ways' and 'paths' stand for truths, and 'thorns' for falsities instead of them.

[7] In the same prophet,

The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. Thistle and thorn will grow up on their altars. Hosea 10:8.

'Thistle and thorn' stands for evil and falsity laying waste the forms of good and the truths of worship. In David,

They have surrounded me like bees, they quench as it were a fire of thorns. 3 Psalms 118:12.

'A fire of thorns' stands for a craving for evil. In Matthew,

By their fruits you will know them. Do people gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16.

'Gathering grapes from thorns' stands for obtaining forms of the good of faith and of charity from the falsities of cravings, 'grapes' being those forms of good, see 1071, 5117, 6378.

[8] In Mark,

Some seed fell among thorns; but the thorns grew up and choked it, so that it did not bear fruit. Those who are sown among the thorns are the ones who hear the word; but the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the cravings entering in that are centred on other things, choke the word, so that it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:7, 18-19.

Here an explanation is given of what is meant by 'being sown among thorns', and so of what is meant by 'thorns'. The same things are meant by 'sowing among thorns' and 'reaping thorns' in Jeremiah,

Thus said Jehovah to the man of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns. Jeremiah 4:3.

They have sown wheat and reaped thorns. Jeremiah 12:12-13.

(References: Jeremiah 12:13)


[9] The falsities of cravings, meant by 'thorns', are falsities that support worldly concerns and worldly desires; for these falsities more than others catch fire and flare up because they are the product of bodily cravings that a person feels. For this reason they also close the internal man, leaving the person wholly devoid of wisdom so far as salvation of the soul and eternal life are concerned.

[10] The crown woven from thorns which was placed on the Lord's head when He was crucified, and when He was hailed as King of the Jews and He said, 'Behold the Man!', 4 John 19:2-3, 5, represented God's truth as it was at that time in the Jewish Church, namely truth smothered by the falsities of cravings. 'The King of the Jews', as they hailed Him then, meant God's truth. 'King' in the Word means the truth from God, see 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148; and 'the Anointed', who is the Messiah in Hebrew and the Christ in Greek, has a similar meaning, 3004, 3008, 3009, 3732(end). In the highest sense 'Judah' is used to mean the Lord in respect of Divine Good, in the internal sense the Lord in respect of the Word, and so in respect of teachings drawn from the Word, 3881. And when, after such a crown had been placed on His head, the Lord said, 'Behold the Man!', He meant, 'Behold Divine Truth as it is in the Church at the present day!' For 'Man' is Divine Truth going forth from the Lord in heaven. So it is that heaven is the Grand Man, owing both to influx and to correspondence, as has been shown at the ends of a number of chapters, see 1276, 1871, 2996, 2998, 3624-3649, 3741-3750, 7396, 8547, 8988. So it is also that the Lord's celestial Church was called Man, 478, 479, this Church being the one that the Jews represented, 6363, 6364, 8770. All this shows what was meant by 'the crown of thorns', and by being hailed 'King of the Jews', also what was meant by 'Behold the Man' as well as by the inscription over the cross, 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews', John 19:19-20. It meant the way in which Divine Truth or the Word was regarded and was treated by the Jews, among whom the Church existed. All the things that the Jews did to the Lord when He was about to be crucified were signs of the states of those belonging to the Church so far as God's truth or the Word was concerned, see 9093(end). That the Lord was the Word is clear in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. John 1:1, 14.

'The Word' is Divine Truth.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, they raise themselves with a raising of smoke

2. The Latin means Your but the Hebrew means Their, which Swedenborg Has in another place where he quotes this verse.

3. i.e. a fire consuming thorns

4. The words Behold the Man (Ecce Homo) are generally thought to have been spoken by Pilate. The Greek at John 19:5 states simply And he said, Behold the Man.

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(References: Arcana Coelestia 478-479, 3008-3009, 6363-6364; Exodus 22:6)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9348

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 24


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 946

Other New Christian Commentary

Catch 1


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


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