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UHoseya 14:7


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7 Baya kubuya abahlala emthunzini wakhe, baphile njengengqolowa, batyatyambe njengomdiliya, isikhumbuzo sawo sibe njengewayini yaseLebhanon.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Hosea 14      

By Helen Kennedy

At the outset of this chapter, Hosea says:

O Israel, return to the Lord your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;
Take words with you, And return to the Lord. (Hosea 14:1)

Plainly, the Lord exhorts us to return to Him when our wrongdoing has made us turn away.

"Take words with you," is an interesting phrase. It means that we should listen to our conscience - the voice within us that urges us to repent.

The next line,“Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously” shows very clearly what the Lord will do if the people ask Him.

Next, we have this: "For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips". We need to pay attention to detail, not only what we do but also how we speak.

“We will not ride on horses”, in verse (3), shows us to stop thinking we can escape by running away, using intelligent rationales to justify wrong acts.

“Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods,’” shows us to stop thinking that the things we do in the world and from ourselves are the only path to follow. Instead believe the truth that God is the only source of salvation.

“For in You the fatherless finds mercy” is saying that the Lord leaves no one without protection, and abandons no one.

“I will heal their backsliding,” in verse (4) means that God has the ability to keep people from returning to their old ways. “I will love them freely,” shows that He gives His love freely and without reservation.

“For My anger has turned away,” means the sinners’ perception of the Lord will clear and people will see He was never angry, only loving.

“I will be like the dew to Israel,” in verse (5) signifies that His instruction will be gentle like dew on the grass in the morning.

“Grow like the lily,” means the errant one will change, and will grow in purity like the lily;

“Lengthen his roots. . .” like roots growing in the ground the Lord work is in the dark and unseen.

“Branches shall spread” in verse (6) means good and truth will spread into the open and be seen, like the branches on a tree.

“Beauty shall be like an olive tree,” the beauty of the olive tree is in its bearing fruit.

“Fragrance like Lebanon,” like an aroma rising up, the ones who reform will be grateful;

“Those who dwell under his shadow shall return” in verse (7) means those in the dark of false thinking about salvation will be brought into full sunlight.

“They shall be revived like grain and grow like the vine,” explains that where good can flourish like grain in the sunlit field or be abundant like grapes on the vine.

“Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon“ means that this new life emanates a good scent, like the aroma of a good wine. In spiritual terms it means the person can now think through or understand why it is so important to live with good and truth joined together (Apocalypse Explained 730:15).

“What have I to do anymore with idols?” in verse (8) explains that as people are renewed they will no longer depend on their own idols of false thinking and reasoning.

“I have heard and observed Him” because they have heard the Lord speaking in His Word.

“I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in me” means that like trees that bear fruit, they will have perceptions that lead them to the life the Lord wants for them.

“Who is wise? Let him understand these things,” in verse 9 means those who accept the Lord will have wisdom to see the good paths they are to follow.

“Who is prudent? Let him know them,” explains that those being renewed will use the new thinking the Lord is giving them.

“For the ways of the Lord are right,” means they will understand that only the Lord knows the way to heaven.

“The righteous walk in them,” explains that those who are prudent will follow the Lord’s leading.

“But transgressors stumble in them,” signifies that wrongdoers will find the way to heaven difficult, and will stumble and fall away.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 197

Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 1069, 3580, 5113, 6377

Apocalypse Revealed 278, 316

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 376

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

  Bible Study Videos:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Psalms 52:10

INgoma yazo iiNgoma 4:11

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.

 Olive Tree and Branch
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

From Swedenborg's Works


Apocalypse Revealed #316

Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers translation)      

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316. "And do not harm the oil and the wine." This symbolizes the Lord's provision that they not violate and profane the goods and truths concealed inwardly in the Word.

Oil symbolizes the goodness of love, and wine the truth springing from that goodness. Thus the oil here symbolizes sacred goodness, and the wine sacred truth. The Lord's provision that these not be violated and profaned is symbolized by the people's being told not to harm them. For this instruction came from the midst of the four living creatures, thus from the Lord (no. 314). Whatever the Lord says He also provides. That this is something He provides may be seen in nos. 314 and 255 above.

That oil symbolizes the goodness of love - this we will see in nos. 778, 779 below.

That wine symbolizes the truth springing from that goodness is clear from the following passages:

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes..., buy wine and milk without money... (Isaiah 55:1)

It shall come to pass in that day that the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills flow with milk... (Joel 3:18, cf. Amos 9:13-14)

Joy is taken away... from Carmel, and in the vineyards there will be no singing... No treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease. (Isaiah 16:10, cf. Jeremiah 48:32-33)

Carmel symbolizes the spiritual church, because it had vineyards there.

(References: Apocalypse Revealed 778-779; Hosea 14:5-7; Psalms 104:14-16; Revelation 6:6; Zechariah 9:15-17)

[2] ...wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth... The vinedressers have wailed... (Joel 1:5, 10-11)

Almost the same images occur in Hosea 9:2-3.

He washes his clothing in wine, and His vesture in the blood of grapes. His eyes are red with wine... (Genesis 49:11-12)

The subject is the Lord, and the wine symbolizes Divine truth. That is why the Lord instituted the Holy Supper, in which the bread symbolizes the Lord in respect to Divine good, and the wine the Lord in respect to Divine truth; and in their recipients the bread symbolizes a sacred goodness, and the wine sacred truth, received from the Lord. Therefore He said,

I say to you, that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you... in My Father's kingdom. (Matthew 26:29, cf. Luke 22:18)

Because bread and wine have these symbolic meanings, so too Melchizedek, going to meet Abram, brought out bread and wine, he being a priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram (Genesis 14:18-19).

(References: Amos 5:11; Isaiah 24:6-7, 24:9, 24:11; Lamentations 2:11-12; Micah 6:15; Zephaniah 1:13)

[3] The grain offering and drink offering used in sacrifices had similar symbolic meanings, as described in Exodus 29:40, Leviticus 23:12-13, 18-19ff. The grain offering was an offering of wheat flour, thus taking the place of bread, and the drink offering was an offering of wine.

It can be seen from this what these words of the Lord symbolize:

Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins... But they put the... wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. (Matthew 9:17, cf. Luke 5:37-38)

New wine is the Divine truth in the New Testament, thus in the New Church, and the old wine is the Divine truth in the Old Testament, thus in the old church.

A similar idea is symbolized by these words of the Lord at the wedding in Cana of Galilee:

Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now! (John 2:1-10)

(References: Luke 5:37; Numbers 15:2-15, 28:6-7, 28:18-31, 28:18, 29:1-7)

[4] Something similar is symbolized by the wine in the Lord's parable concerning the man wounded by thieves, on whose wound the Samaritan poured oil and wine (Luke 10:33-34); for the man wounded by thieves means people whom the Jews wounded spiritually by evils and falsities, and to whom the Samaritan brought aid by pouring oil and wine on their wounds, that is, by teaching them goodness and truth, and as far as possible, healing them.

Sacred truth is symbolized by wine and new wine also elsewhere in the Word, as in Isaiah 1:21-22; 25:6; 36:17.

(References: Amos 2:8; Hosea 7:4-5, 7:14, Hosea 14:6-8; Psalms 104:14-15, Psalms 104:15; Zechariah 9:15, 9:17)

[5] Because of this, a vineyard in the Word symbolizes a church that possesses truths from the Lord.

That wine symbolizes sacred truth can be seen also from its opposite meaning, in which it symbolizes truth falsified and profaned, as in the following places:

Harlotry, wine, and new wine have taken hold of the heart... Their wine is gone, they commit harlotry continually. (Hosea 4:11, 18)

Harlotry symbolizes the falsification of truth, and so, too, do the wine and new wine here. the hand of Jehovah a cup, and He mixed it with wine; He filled it with the mixture and poured it out, and its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth, sucking, drink. (Psalms 75:8)

Babylon was a golden cup in Jehovah's hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they are deranged. (Jeremiah 51:7)

Babylon has fallen..., because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication... If anyone worships the beast..., he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed with undiluted wine in the cup of the wrath (of God). (Revelation 14:8-10)

(Babylon has made) all the nations (drink) of the wine... of her fornication. (Revelation 18:3)

...great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath. (Revelation 16:19)

...the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (Revelation 17:1-2)

(References: Hosea 4:17-18; Jeremiah 2:7)

[6] The wine that Belshazzar, the king of Babylon, and his lords and wives and concubines drank from the vessels of the Temple in Jerusalem, while they praised the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone (Daniel 5:2-4) - that wine symbolized nothing else but the sacred truth of the Word and church profaned, which is why the writing then appeared on the wall, and the king that very night was slain (Daniel 5:25, 30)

Wine symbolizes truth falsified also in Isaiah 5:11-12, 21-22; 28:1, 3, 7; 29:9; 56:11-12.

The drink offering that they poured out as an offering to idols has the same symbolic meaning in Isaiah 65:11; 57:6; Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19; Ezekiel 20:28; Deuteronomy 32:38.

It is owing to its correspondence that wine symbolizes sacred truth, and in an opposite sense, truth profaned. For when a person reads "wine" in the Word, angels - who apprehend everything spiritually - have just this interpretation of it. Such is the correspondence between the natural thoughts of people and the spiritual thoughts of angels. The case is the same with the wine in the Holy Supper. That is why the Holy Supper occasions an introduction into heaven (no. 224 at the end).

(References: Hosea 14:5-7; Jeremiah 13:12-13, 13:12, 23:9-10; Revelation 6:6)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 295, 360, 379, 632, 635, 649, 653, 721, 762, 778, 829

True Christian Religion 367

Other New Christian Commentary
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.

 Jesus' First Sign at Cana
Each of the seven "signs" in the Gospel of John reveals something about the Lord. On a deeper level the signs also show the miracles the Lord can do in our lives.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Four Horsemen
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 General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.