The Bible


Ezequiel 5:1

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1 E tu, ó filho do homem, toma uma espada afiada; como navalha de barbeiro a usarás, e a farás passar pela tua cabeça e pela tua barba. Então tomarás uma balança e repartirás os cabelos.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 128

Other references to this verse:

Arcanos Celestes 2788, 2799, 3301, 9806

Apocalipse Revelado 47

Doutrina Do Senhor 15, 28

Doutrina de Escritura Santa 16, 35

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 66, 577, 908

De Verbo (The Word) 10, 25

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

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From Swedenborg's Works


Apocalypse Explained #66

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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66. Verse 14. And His head and hairs white, signifies the Divine in firsts and in ultimates. This is evident from the signification of "head," when it refers to the Lord, of whom these things are said, as being the Divine in firsts (of which presently); and from the signification of "hairs," as being the Divine in ultimates (of which also presently); and from the signification of "white," as being what is pure. (That "white" [album] and "bright white" [candidum] mean what is pure, see Arcana Coelestia 3301, 3993, 4007, 5319.) "Head," in reference to the Lord, is the Divine in firsts, because the head is the highest part of man, and in it are his firsts, which are called the beginnings, from which are derived all things that have place in the body; for in the head are the understanding and the will, from which, as from their firsts or beginnings, flow the remaining things that relate to man's outer life, such as speech and all actions. But "hairs," in reference to the Lord, mean the Divine in ultimates, because hairs are ultimate things, for they grow out of the outmost parts of man, and first things terminate in them; when, therefore, "head" and "hairs" are mentioned firsts and ultimates are meant.

(References: Revelation 1:14)

[2] Anyone who knows that in spiritual things also "head" signifies first things and "hairs" ultimates, and that first things and ultimates signify all things (as shown in n. 41), can know many arcana of the internal sense where "head" and "hairs" are mentioned; as that:

A Nazarite should not shave the hair of his head, for this, as it is said, was the Nazariteship of God upon his head, and when the days were accomplished, he was to shave it off and consecrate it (Numbers 6:1-21);

also that:

The strength of Samson was in his locks, and when they were shaven off he became weak, and when they grew again he came into his strength (Judges 16:13-31 tothe end);

also that:

Forty-two children were torn in pieces by bears because they mocked Elisha, calling him bald-head (2 Kings 2:23-24);

as also that:

Elijah was clothed with a garment of hair (2 Kings 1:8);

And John the Baptist with camel's hair (Mark 1:6);

furthermore, what "head," "hairs," "beard," and "baldness" signify wherever they are mentioned in the Word.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 41)

[3] That a Nazarite should not shave his hair, because this, as is said, was the Nazariteship of God upon his head; and that when the days were accomplished he should shave it off and consecrate it, was for the reason that the Nazarite represented the Lord in firsts and in ultimates, and His Divine in ultimates was His Human, which He made Divine even to the flesh and bones, which are ultimates. That He made it Divine even to the flesh and bones is evident from the fact that He left nothing in the sepulcher, and that:

He said to the disciples that He had flesh and bones, which a spirit hath not (Luke 24:39-40).

And when the Divine Itself is Divine even in ultimates, then it governs all things from firsts by means of ultimates (as can be seen from what was shown above, n. 41; especially from what was cited from the Arcana Coelestia, namely, that interior things flow in successively into exterior things, even into what is extreme or outmost, and there have existence and subsistence, n. 634, 6239, 6465, 9215, 9216; that they not only flow in successively, but also form what is simultaneous in the ultimate, in what order see n. 5897, 6451, 8603, 10099; that therefore all interior things are held together in connection from the first by means of the ultimate, n. 9828, and in the work on Heaven and Hell 297; that from this the ultimate is more holy than the interiors, n. 9824; and therefore in ultimates there is strength and power, n. 9836). These then are the reasons why the Nazariteship was instituted. The Nazarite was finally to consecrate his hair by putting it into the fire of the altar, because it represented the Divine holiness, and the "fire of the altar" signified that holiness (n. 934, 6314, 6832).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9215-9216; The Apocalypse Explained 41)

[4] From this it can be seen, moreover, why the strength of Samson was in his hair (Judges 16:13-31to the end), for it is said that:

He was a Nazarite from his mother's womb (Judges 13:7; 16:17).

Moreover, for the same reason:

It was not lawful for the high priest and his sons, nor for the Levites, to shave the head and make themselves bald (Leviticus 10:6; 21:5, 10; Ezekiel 44:20).


With the Israelitish people to cut off the beard (which had a like signification) was disgraceful (2 Samuel 10:4, 5).

The forty-two children were torn in pieces by the bears because they mocked Elisha, calling him bald-head, for the reason that Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord in respect to the Word, which is Divine truth, the sanctity and strength of which are in ultimates from firsts, as was said just above. Because "baldness" thus signified the deprivation of these, this took place. "Bears," moreover, signify truth in ultimates. (That Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord in respect to the Word, see Arcana Coelestia 2762, 5247.) From this it is clear also why Elijah had a hairy garment and John one of camel's hair; for John the Baptist, like Elijah, represented the Lord in respect to the Word; for this reason also he was called Elijah (see Arcana Coelestia 7643, 9372).

(References: 2 Samuel 10:4-5)

[5] When these things are understood, it can be known what is signified in the Word by "head," "hairs," "beard," and "baldness," as in Isaiah:

In that time shall the Lord shave by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hairs of the feet, He shall also consume the beard (Isaiah 7:20).

In the same prophet:

On all heads baldness, every beard cut off (Isaiah 15:2).

In Jeremiah:

Truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth. Cut off thine hair and cast it away (Jeremiah 7:28-29).

In Ezekiel:

Take a razor and pass it over the head and beard (Ezekiel 5:1).

Shame shall be upon every face, and baldness upon all heads (Ezekiel 7:18).

Every head was made bald (Ezekiel 29:18).

In Amos:

I will bring up baldness upon every head (Amos 8:10).

In David:

God shall bruise the head of His enemies, the hairy scalp of him that goeth on in his guilt (Psalms 68:21).

In these passages and in others, by "cutting off the hair of the head," "shaving the beard," and inducing baldness, is signified to deprive of all truth and good; since he that is deprived of ultimates is also deprived of things prior, for prior things have existence and subsistence in ultimates, as was said above. Moreover, in the world of spirits there are seen some that are bald, and I have been told that they are such as have abused the Word, and have applied the sense of the letter, which is Divine truth in ultimates, to wicked purposes, and therefore have been deprived of all truth. These are most malignant. Many of them are of the Babylonish body. Angels, on the contrary, appear with becoming hair.

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 60, 69, 364, 417, 555, 569, 918

   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.