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Amos 2

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1 säger HE EN: Eftersom Moab har trefalt förbrutit sig, ja, fyrfalt, skall jag icke rygga mitt beslut: eftersom han har förbränt Edoms konungs ben till aska.

2 Därför skall jag sända en eld mot Moab, och den skall förtära Keriots palatser; och Moab skall omkomma under stridslarm, under härskri vid basuners ljud,

3 Och jag skall utrota ur landet den som är domare där, och alla dess furstar skall jag dräpa jämte honom säger HE EN.

4 säger HE EN: Eftersom Juda har trefalt förbrutit sig, ja, fyrfalt, skall jag icke rygga mitt beslut: eftersom de hava förkastat HE ENS lag och icke hållit hans stadgar, utan låtit förleda sig av sina lögngudar, dem som ock deras fäder vandrade efter.

5 Därför skall jag sända en eld mot Juda, och den skall förtära Jerusalems palatser.

6 säger HE EN: Eftersom Israel har trefalt förbrutit sig, ja, fyrfalt, skall jag icke rygga mitt beslut: eftersom de sälja den oskyldige för penningar och den fattige för ett par skor.

7 Ty de längta efter att se stoft på de armas huvuden, och de vränga de ödmjukas sak. Son och fader gå tillsammans till tärnan och ohelga så mitt heliga namn.

8 På pantade kläder sträcker man sig invid vart altare, och bötfälldas vin dricker man i sin Guds hus

9 Och dock var det jag som förgjorde för dem amoréerna, ett folk så högrest som cedrar och så väldigt som ekar; jag förgjorde deras frukt ovantill och deras rötter nedantill.

10 Det var jag som förde eder upp ur Egyptens land, och som ledde eder i öknen i fyrtio år, så att I intogen amoréernas land.

11 Och jag uppväckte somliga bland edra söner till profeter och somliga bland edra unga män till nasirer. Är det icke så, I Israels barn? säger HE EN.

12 Men I gåven nasirerna vin att dricka, och profeterna bjöden I: »Profeteren icke.»

13 Se, därför skall jag låta ett gnissel uppstå i edert land, likt gnisslet av en vagn som är fullastad med kärvar.

14 Då skall ej ens den snabbaste finna någon undflykt, den starkaste har då intet gagn av sin kraft, och hjälten kan icke rädda sitt liv.

15 Bågskytten håller då icke stånd, den snabbfotade kan icke rädda sitt liv, ej heller kan ryttaren rädda sitt.

16 Ja, den som var modigast bland hjältarna skall på den dagen fly undan naken, säger HE EN.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Amos 2      

By E. Taylor and Helen Kennedy

In the Book of Amos, chapter two begins with the Lord declaring his anger against the people of Moab, Judea, and Israel. They have committed various wrongs against the Lord and the church, despite His efforts to guide them, and the chapter goes on to suggest that the Lord is losing faith in His people.

Verses 1-8 of this chapter describe the specific ways in which people can destroy or misuse the good and truth of the Word.

Verses 1-3 discuss the Moabites specifically. They represent people who corrupt the good and truth of the church, meaning they would twist what they learned from the Word to suit their own selfish purposes. Bones represent natural truths that we can use as a framework to support all higher knowledge that we learn, so the fact that people were ‘burning bones’ means they destroyed their own foundation to gain spiritual knowledge. In verse 3, the Lord says that he will cut off the judge and the prince, meaning that the Moabites’ failure to determine what is good (like the judge), and lead a life based in truth (like the prince) will not stand against the real spiritual principles of the Lord.

Verses 4-5 are about people who destroy celestial things from the Word, by turning their hearts away from the Lord. The people of Judea had believed they were the Lord’s chosen people for so many generations at this point that they grew complacent, and no longer felt they needed to obey the Lord’s commandments.

Verses 6-8 tell what can happen when people pervert spiritual truths from the church, and turn them into falsities. Swedenborg writes that most of the images from these verses - silver, shoes, dust, wine - can all represent either falsity, or only the most external type of truth. The Israelites were turning to these falsities and to their own greed, instead of using the Lord’s truths to help the poor and the meek.

In verses 9-11, the Lord reminds the children of Israel of everything he has done to prepare them for salvation. He fought for them and delivered them from Egypt, lifted up their leaders and prophets, and provided them with the truths they would need in order to be regenerated.

He also shows that He has the strength to punish them, because He’s already overcome the Amorites, who symbolize evil in general (Secrets of Heaven 6306).

Verses 12-16 describe how the Israelites perverted the knowledge the Lord tried to give them. Instead of trusting what the Lord had taught them, they turned to their own self-righteousness for guidance. Since they thought they had all the answers, they corrupted the Nazarites and silenced the prophets. Without a proper understanding of the Lord’s teachings, the people were no longer equipped to fight against evils or to grow spiritually.

At face value, this chapter depicts the Lord as an angry god who will punish those who disobey him. What seems to be anger is actually the Lord fiercely protecting us, and calling us to follow Him. This chapter reminds us to turn our hearts toward the Lord, and to live according to the truths of the Word.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 202

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Caelestia 348, 1857, 3881, 6306, 6377, 9489, 10303

Apocalypse Revealed 316

The Lord 4

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 315, 355, 357, 376, 532, 633, 783

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 75

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

2 Mosebok 22:25, 26

3 Mosebok 18:21

4 Mosebok 6:2, 3, 13:32, 32:13

5 Mosebok 2:7, 8:2, 9:1, 2

Josua 24:8

Domarboken 13:7

1 Samuelsboken 3:20

2 Konungaboken 26, 17:19, 25:9

2 Krönikeboken 14

Job 18:16

Psaltaren 33:16

Predikaren 9:11

Jesaja 3:14, 15, 5:24, 10:1, 2, 15:1, 30:10

Jeremia 2:6, 16:19, 17:27, 39:8, 48:1

Hesekiel 25:8

Hosea 8:14, 12:3

Amos 1:4, 14, 3:1, 4:1, 5:11, 7:13, 8:4, 6, 9:1

Mika 2:6

Sefanja 8

Sakaria 11:5

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From Swedenborg's Works


Apocalypse Explained #315

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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315. As it were slain. That this signifies as yet acknowledged by few, is evident from the signification of being slain, when said of the Lord, as denoting His not being acknowledged; in the present case, its being acknowledged by few that His Human is Divine, for it is said, "A lamb standing as it were slain"; and by the lamb is signified the Lord as to the Divine Human (as was shown just above, n. 314). The case is similar with what was said concerning the Lord (i. 18), "and was dead," by which is signified that [He was] rejected (concerning which see above, n. 83). By being slain, in the spiritual or internal sense, is not meant to be slain as to the body but as to the soul; and a man is slain as to the soul when he is no longer in any good of faith, for then he has no spiritual life, but instead thereof death, which is called spiritual death; but when "slain" is mentioned concerning the Lord, it does not signify this, because the Lord is Life itself, and gives to every one spiritual life; but it means either that He is rejected, or that He is not acknowledged; for, with those who do not acknowledge Him, He is as it were no one, and especially with those who deny Him. The Lord Himself is indeed acknowledged in the church, and also His Divine, but, as to the Human, as a man only, and not as God; hence it is that His Divine Human is not acknowledged; this, therefore, is what is meant by a lamb standing, as it were slain. But that the Lord even as to the Human is God, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 280-310), and will be seen at the end of this work, where it will be clearly shown.

(References: Revelation 1:18, 5:6; The Apocalypse Explained 83, 280-310, The Apocalypse Explained 314)

[2] Those who think from the sense of the letter of the Word only, and not at the same time from the doctrine of genuine truth, suppose that by being slain in the Word is meant being slain as to the body; but that to be slain as to the soul is meant, will appear from the passages which will be adduced presently. For it is acknowledged that the Word in its bosom is spiritual, although in the sense of the letter it is natural; and to be slain spiritually is to perish as to the soul, as is the case with those who do not receive the life of heaven, which is called life eternal, and also simply life, and who thus have instead thereof death, which is damnation. And because this is confessed, it follows that by being slain in the Word is meant to perish from falsities and evils. But the Lord is said spiritually to be slain, when the truth is denied and the good is rejected, these being from Him; among these also He is not acknowledged; for he who denies and rejects those things that are from Him, also denies and rejects Him, for the Lord is with man in His own truths and goods.

[3] But here His Divine Human is treated of; that it is not as yet acknowledged, is known. I will mention the reasons: One is, that the pontifical nation has transferred to its own Primate all Divine power, which is the Lord's even as to the Human, they being unwilling to hear that it was Divine, because from His Human. The other reason is, that those who are not of that nation have made faith alone the only means of salvation, and not a life of charity; and those who do this, can perceive the Lord's Human only as the human of another man; therefore also they remain blindly in the doctrine of the Trinity from the creed of Athanasius, and cannot be enlightened.

[4] That to be slain in the Word signifies to be spiritually slain, is evident from the following passages:

In Isaiah:

"Thou as an abominable shoot, the raiment of the slain, thrust through with the sword: for thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people. Prepare slaughter for his sons" (xiv. 19-21).

These [things are said] concerning Babel, by which is signified the profanation of good and truth, and thence the destruction of the church. It is compared with the raiment of the slain who are thrust through with the sword, because the raiment of the slain signifies abominable falsity, defiling and destroying the things of the church, which are therefore said to be thrust through with the sword, because a sword signifies falsity destroying truth. Hence it is said, "Thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people." By the land is meant the church, and by the people those therein who are in truths, whom to slay is to destroy by falsities. Prepare slaughter for his sons, signifies that their falsities are to be destroyed, his sons denoting falsities.

(References: Isaiah 14:19-21)

[5] In Jeremiah:

"The slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from the end of the earth unto the end of the earth" (xxv. 33).

By the slain of Jehovah being from the end of the earth unto the end of the earth, are signified those with whom all the truths of the church are destroyed by falsities; the slain of Jehovah signify those with whom they are destroyed; and from the end of the earth unto the end of the earth, signifies all things of the church.

(References: Jeremiah 25:33)

[6] In the same:

"Therefore deliver up their sons to the famine, and cause them to flow down upon the hands of the sword, that men may become rare, slain with death, their young men smitten with the sword in war" (xviii. 21).

To give sons to the famine, and to cause them to flow down upon the hands of the sword, signifies to extinguish the truths of the church through a lack of the knowledges of truth, and through falsities; sons denote truths, a famine denotes the lack of knowledges, and the sword denotes falsity destroying truth. "That men may become rare, slain with death," signifies that there is no affection of truth, and hence no wisdom; men signify the affection of truth, and hence wisdom (as may be seen above n. 280). "Their young men smitten with the sword in war," signifies, because truths have been destroyed by the assaults of falsity; young men denote truths, the sword denotes falsity destroying, and war denotes the assault thereof.

(References: Jeremiah 18:21; The Apocalypse Explained 280)

[7] In Ezekiel:

"Go ye through" Jerusalem, "and smite, neither let your eye spare, slay ye to perdition the old man, the young man, and the virgin, and the infant; but draw not near against any man upon whom is the sign" (ix. 5, 6).

These words were spoken by the man clothed in linen garments, or by an angel to other angels, and were heard by the prophet. It is not meant by this that they should pass through Jerusalem, and should smite and slay old men, young men, maidens, and infants unto perdition; but by Jerusalem is meant the church as to doctrine, and that it is altogether vastated as to all the goods and truths which constitute it. By an old man is meant wisdom belonging to good; by a young man, intelligence belonging to truth; by a maiden, the affection thereof; and by an infant, every rising good and truth, specifically the good of innocence, by means of which all things of the church with man are born. By the man (vir) upon whom was the sign, and to whom they should not come near, is signified truth from good.

(References: Ezekiel 9:5-6)

[8] In the same:

"Hence they shall stone them with stone, they shall cleave them asunder with swords, they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire" (xxiii. 47).

These things are said concerning Samaria and Jerusalem, which are there called Aholah and Aholibah; by which are signified the spiritual and the celestial churches, in the present case, those churches devastated by falsities and evils. To stone with stone, and to cleave asunder with swords, signify the destruction of truth by falsities; for stoning signified punishment and death, on account of violence offered to the Divine truth, similarly the cleaving asunder by swords. To slay sons and daughters, signifies to destroy all truths and goods, sons denoting truths, and daughters goods. And to burn houses with fire, signifies to destroy all things of love and charity, by the evils of the love of self and of the world; houses denote the interior [things] of man, thus those of his love; here that [those things are] destroyed, fire denoting love in both senses.

(References: Ezekiel 23:47)

[9] In Jeremiah:

"They lay on the earth, the boy and the old man in the streets; my virgins and my, young men have fallen by the sword; Thou hast slain in the day of thine anger, Thou hast not spared" (Lam. ii. 21).

Here also it treats of the church devastated. To lie on the ground and in the streets, signifies, destroyed by evils and falsities. The boy and the old man, the virgins and the young men, have fallen by the sword, signify, here as above, all goods and truths together with intelligence and wisdom. Their extinction is signified by, "Thou hast slain in the day of thine anger, Thou hast not spared"; the day of anger signifies the last state of the church, when judgment takes place. It is ascribed to Jehovah that He slew, that is, extinguished those things; but it is man himself who does this. It is the character of the sense of the letter to ascribe to Jehovah what is of the man himself (as may be seen, n. 2447, 5798, 6071, 6991, 6997, 7533, 7632, 7643, 7677, 7679, 7710, 7926, 8227, 8282, 8483, 8632, 9010, 9128, 9306, 10,431).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2447, Arcana Coelestia 5798, 6071, 6991, 6997, 7533, 7632, 7643, 7679, 7710, 7877, 7926, 8227, 8282, 8483, 8632, 9010, 9128, Arcana Coelestia 9306, 10431; Lamentations 2:21)

[10] In Amos:

"I will cut off the judge out of the midst of Moab, and all his princes will I slay with him" (ii. 2, 3).

By Moab, in the Word, are meant those who adulterate the goods of the church; by the judge who shall be cut off and by the princes who shall be slain, are signified the good that is adulterated, and the truths that are thence falsified, a judge denoting good, and a prince denoting truth.

(References: Amos 2:3)

[11] In Zechariah:

"There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds, that their eminence is devastated. Thus said Jehovah my God, Feed the sheep of the slaughter, which their possessors slay. I have fed the sheep of the slaughter for your sakes, O miserable of the flock" (xi. 3-5, 7).

By the sheep of the slaughter, which their possessors slay, are signified those who are in good, and are seduced by falsities of doctrine; they are called sheep who are in the good of charity; shepherds denote those who teach truths, and thereby lead to good.

(References: Zechariah 11:3-5, 11:7)

[12] In David:

"We are slain every day; we are reputed as a flock of the slaughter. Awake, O Lord! forsake us not for ever" (Ps. xliv. 22, 23).

"We are slain every day," signifies, that of ourselves we are perpetually falling into falsities, and are seduced by them, especially in the time when falsities rule; hence it is evident what a flock of the slaughter signifies. That we may be elevated out of them by the Lord is signified by, "Awake, O Lord! forsake us not for ever."

(References: Ezekiel 28:7-8; Psalms 44:22-23)

[13] In Ezekiel:

"They shall draw the swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring [thee] down to the pit, and thou shalt die by the death of the slain" (xxviii. 7, 8).

These things are spoken of the prince of Tyre, by whom is signified intelligence from the knowledges of truth, here those extinguished by falsities. To draw swords upon the beauty of thy wisdom, signifies its extinction by falsities; to bring down to the pit, signifies immersion in them; and to die by the death of the slain, signifies destruction and damnation; the slain signify those with whom all truth is extinguished (as may be seen, n. 4503, 9262), and death signifies damnation.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4503, Arcana Coelestia 9262; Ezekiel 28:7-8)

[14] In Isaiah:

"Hath he smitten him according to the stroke of him that smiteth him? Is he slain according to the slaughter of his slain? " (xxvii. 7).

These things are said concerning Jacob and Israel, by whom the church is signified; by Jacob the external church, and by Israel the internal. The temptations of those who belong to the church are thus described, which are signified by, "Hath he smitten him according to the stroke of him that smiteth him?" And that they should not yield, and thus perish in temptations, is signified by, "Is he slain according to the slaughter of the slain?" the slaughter of the slain signifies perdition by falsities.

(References: Isaiah 27:7)

[15] Slaughter signifies perdition and damnation also elsewhere in the same:

"In the day of the great slaughter, the towers shall fall" (xxx. 25).

The day of the great slaughter signifies the Last Judgment, when the wicked are condemned and perish; towers signify the doctrines of falsity.

(References: Isaiah 30:25)

[16] In the same:

"I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant" (xiv. 30).

These things are said respecting Philistea, by which is signified truth without good, or faith without charity. To kill the root with famine, signifies to perish entirely from having no good; the root denotes everything from which a thing lives; therefore it is also said, he shall slay thy remnant; by remnant are signified all the remains of the church.

(References: Isaiah 14:30)

[17] In Jeremiah:

"I have heard the voice of the daughter of Zion; she sigheth and spreadeth her hands, for my soul is wearied by the slayers" (iv. 31).

Thus is described the grief of the church falling from truths into falsities. The daughter of Zion denotes the church, "She sigheth and spreadeth the hands," signifies grief; "For my soul is wearied by the slavers," signifies by the falsities which extinguish spiritual life, slayers denoting those falsities.

(References: Jeremiah 4:31)

[18] In Isaiah:

"Behold, Jehovah going forth out of his place to visit the iniquity of the earth; then shall the earth reveal her bloods, and shall no longer hide her slain" (xxvi. 21).

This is said of the day of visitation or judgment, when the iniquities of all shall be uncovered, which is meant by, "Then the earth shall reveal her bloods, and shall no longer hide her slain the earth signifies the church, here the evil who are therein bloods denote the evils that have destroyed the goods thereof and the slain denote the falsities that have destroyed the truths thereof; hence, whether it be said that the slain signify falsities, or those who are in falsities, it is the same thing because they are in falsities, and falsities in them, and the falsities in them destroy. The same is signified by the slain elsewhere in Isaiah:

"What will ye do in the day of visitation and of desolation? They shall fall down under the slain" (x. 3, 4).

Also in the Apocalypse:

"The blood of the prophets and of saints was found in Babylon, and of all that were slain on the earth" (xviii. 24).

What is signified by these words will be seen in what comes after.

(References: Isaiah 10:3-4, Isaiah 26:21; Revelation 18:24)

[19] In Isaiah:

"I will visit evil upon the world. Every one found shall be thrust through; and every one gathered together shall fall by the sword" (xiii. 11, 15).

This also is said of Babylon. "Every one found shall be thrust through," signifies that they shall perish by evil; and "Every one gathered together shall fall by the sword," signifies [that they shall perish] by falsity.

(References: Isaiah 10:3-4, Isaiah 13:11, 13:15)

[20] In Matthew:

"In the consummation of the age they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you" (xxiv. 9).

In John:

"They shall cut you off from the synagogues; yea, the hour cometh that any one who killeth you, will think that he offereth holy worship to God" (xvi. 2, 3).

These things were said to the disciples; and by the disciples, in the spiritual-representative sense, are meant all the truths and goods of the church; hence it is evident, what is meant in that sense by, "they shall kill them," namely, that they shall then destroy the truths and goods of the church.

(References: John 16:2, John 16:2-3; Matthew 24:9)

[21] In Mark:

"In the consummation of the age "the brother shall deliver the brother to death, the father the children; the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall slay them" (xiii. 12).

The consummation of the age is the last time of the church, when falsities shall destroy truths, and evils shall destroy goods. By brother, father, and children are not meant here, a brother, a father, and children, but falsity and truth, also good and evil. That the brother shall deliver the brother to death, signifies that falsity shall destroy good, specifically that faith alone shall destroy charity, for faith in the Word is called the brother of charity. That the father shall deliver the children to death, signifies that the good of the church shall perish by the falsities of evil; father denoting the good of the church, and children denoting the falsities of evil. That the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall slay them, signifies that the falsities of evil shall assault the goods and truths of the church, and destroy them.

(References: Mark 13:12)

[22] In Luke:

The man who planted a vineyard "sent a servant, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard; but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant; and beating him also, they sent him away empty. Again he sent a third, and wounding him they cast him forth. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. But they said, This is the heir; come, let us kill him; and casting him out of the vineyard, they killed him" (xx. 10-16; Mark xii. 2-9).

These things are said concerning the church instituted amongst the Jews, and thereby is described the perversion and falsification of every truth they possessed from the Word, by traditions and by applications to themselves. Every particular there contains a spiritual sense; for whatever the Lord spake, He spake also spiritually, because from the Divine. By the vineyard which the man planted, is signified the church which is in truths; by the servants whom he sent thrice, is meant the Word given to them, through Moses and the prophets; "thrice" is mentioned, because three signifies what is full and complete that they beat them, wounded, and sent them away empty from the vineyard, signifies that they falsified and perverted the truths that are there; to send them away empty from the vineyard, signifies that they deprived the Word of its goods and truths. By the beloved son is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, who is also thence called the Word; that they cast Him out of the vineyard and killed Him, signifies not only [that they killed] Him, but also all Divine truth which is from Him (as may be seen also above, n. 83).

(References: Luke 20:10-16; Mark 12:2-9; The Apocalypse Explained 83)

[23] In Daniel:

"After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself" (ix. 26).

By the Messiah also is meant the Lord as to Divine truth (as may be seen in n. 3008, 3009). That He shall be cut off, signifies not only Himself, but also all Divine truth with that people; but not for Himself, signifies that it should revive with those who are in the New Church, in like manner as was said above in the first chapter of the Apocalypse: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore" (v. 18).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3008-3009; Daniel 9:26; John 16:2-3; Revelation 1:18, Revelation 5:6)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 312, 328, 329, 337, 374, 547, 579, 589, 643, 651, 676, 807, 833, 1194

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