The Bible


Ezekiel 32

English: Young's Literal Translation         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 And it cometh to pass, in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first of the month, hath a word of Jehovah been unto me, saying,

2 `Son of man, lift up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and thou hast said unto him: A young lion of nations thou hast been like, And thou [art] as a dragon in the seas, And thou comest forth with thy flowings, And dost trouble the waters with thy feet, And thou dost foul their flowings.

3 Thus said the Lord Jehovah: And -- I have spread out for thee My net, With an assembly of many peoples, And they have brought thee up in My net.

4 And I have left thee in the land, On the face of the field I do cast thee out, And have caused to dwell upon thee every fowl of the heavens, And have satisfied out of thee the beasts of the whole earth.

5 And I have put thy flesh on the mountains, And filled the valleys [with] thy hugeness,

6 And watered the land with thy flowing, From thy blood -- unto the mountains, And streams are filled from thee.

7 And in quenching thee I have covered the heavens, And have made black their stars, The sun with a cloud I do cover, And the moon causeth not its light to shine.

8 All luminaries of light in the heavens, I make black over thee, And I have given darkness over thy land, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah,

9 And I have vexed the heart of many peoples, In My bringing in thy destruction among nations, Unto lands that thou hast not known.

10 And I have made many peoples astonished at thee, And their kings are afraid at thee with trembling, In My brandishing My sword before their faces, And they have trembled every moment, Each for his life -- in the day of thy fall.

11 For thus said the Lord Jehovah: A sword of the king of Babylon entereth thee,

12 By swords of the mighty I cause thy multitude to fall, The terrible of nations -- all of them, And they have spoiled the excellency of Egypt, And destroyed hath been all her multitude.

13 And I have destroyed all her beasts, From beside many waters, And trouble them not doth a foot of man any more, Yea, the hoofs of beasts trouble them not.

14 Then do I cause their waters to sink, And their rivers as oil I cause to go, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.

15 In My making the land of Egypt a desolation, And desolated hath been the land of its fulness, In My smiting all the inhabitants in it, And they have known that I [am] Jehovah.

16 A lamentation it [is], and they have lamented her, Daughters of the nations do lament her, For Egypt, and for all her multitude, they lament her, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.'

17 And it cometh to pass, in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth of the month, hath a word of Jehovah been unto me, saying,

18 `Son of man, Wail for the multitude of Egypt, And cause it to go down, It -- and the daughters of honourable nations, Unto the earth -- the lower parts, With those going down to the pit.

19 Than whom hast thou been more pleasant? Go down, and be laid with the uncircumcised.

20 In the midst of the pierced of the sword they fall, [To] the sword she hath been given, They drew her out, and all her multitude.

21 Speak to him do the gods of the mighty out of the midst of sheol, With his helpers -- they have gone down, They have lain with the uncircumcised, The pierced of the sword.

22 There [is] Asshur, and all her assembly, Round about him [are] his graves, All of them [are] wounded, who are falling by sword,

23 Whose graves are appointed in the sides of the pit, And her assembly is round about her grave, All of them wounded, falling by sword, Because they gave terror in the land of the living.

24 There [is] Elam, and all her multitude, Round about [is] her grave, All of them wounded, who are falling by sword, Who have gone down uncircumcised unto the earth -- the lower parts, Because they gave their terror in the land of the living, And they bear their shame with those going down to the pit.

25 In the midst of the wounded they have appointed a bed for her with all her multitude, Round about him [are] her graves, All of them uncircumcised, pierced of the sword, For their terror was given in the land of the living, And they bear their shame with those going down to the pit, In the midst of the pierced he hath been put.

26 There [is] Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude, Round about him [are] her graves, All of them uncircumcised, pierced of the sword, For they gave their terror in the land of the living,

27 And they lie not with the mighty, Who are falling of the uncircumcised, Who have gone down to sheol with their weapons of war, And they put their swords under their heads, And their iniquities are on their bones, For the terror of the mighty [is] in the land of the living.

28 And thou, in the midst of the uncircumcised art broken, And dost lie with the pierced of the sword.

29 There [is] Edom, her kings, and all her princes, Who have been given up in their might, With the pierced of the sword, They with the uncircumcised do lie, And with those going down to the pit.

30 There [are] princes of the north, All of them, and every Zidonian, Who have gone down with the pierced in their terror, Of their might they are ashamed, And they lie uncircumcised with the pierced of the sword, And they bear their shame with those going down to the pit.

31 Then doth Pharaoh see, And he hath been comforted for all his multitude, The pierced of the sword -- Pharaoh and all his force, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.

32 For I have given his terror in the land of the living, And he hath been laid down in the midst of the uncircumcised, With the pierced of the sword -- Pharaoh, and all his multitude, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah!'

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 155

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 31, 42, 290, 1151, 1186, 1201, 1808, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 49, 51, 52, 53, 285, 312, 413, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 78

The Lord 28

Sacred Scripture 14

Faith 54

Heaven and Hell 119

True Christian Religion 198

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 72, 131, 304, 357, 372, 388, 401, ...

Canons of the New Church 27

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 5, 58

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 52, 74

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 10:21, 22, 15:14

Deuteronomy 32:41

Job 41:23

Proverbs 30:30

Ecclesiastes 9:12

Isaiah 13:10, 14:9, 10, 16, 17, 25, 19:19, 34:3

Jeremiah 25:26, 43:8, 46:1, 12, 26, 49:34

Ezekiel 8:1, 12:13, 19:3, 25:12, 26:16, 17, 20, 27:2, 13, 28:7, 10, 21, 23, 29:1, 30:1, 31:1, 32:1, 2, 12, 16, 17, 18, 35:8, 38:6, 39:4

Nahum 3:18

Matthew 24:29

Revelation 6:12, 8:12, 16:6, 18:10

Word/Phrase Explanations

'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

The children of Israel represent 'lamentation' by various things which signified some evil of the church among them for which they were punished. When they...

'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

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...

'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

In the Hebrew language, the same word is used for both 'whale' and 'dragon,' and both have a similar spiritual significance, as in Jeremiah 51:34.

Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the 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...

Spread out
In Genesis 9:27, 'God spreading out Japheth' signifies his enlightenment. In a literal sense 'to spread out' signifies extending the borders, but in a spiritual...

To cast the net on the right side,' as in John 21:6, signifies teaching the good of life.

A congregation is a group of people with common loves, interests, and purposes. It often refers to a church group. In the Word it is...

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...

When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

Fowl signify spiritual truth; a bird, natural truth; and a winged thing, sensual truth. Fowl signify intellectual things. Fowl signify thoughts, and all that creeps...

Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

In Isaiah 40:12 'to weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in scales,' signifies that the celestial aspects of love and charity are...

'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

'The moon' signifies the Lord in reference to faith, and thus faith in the Lord. 'The moon' signifies spiritual good or truth. 'The moon' signifies...

'The learned,' or 'wise,' who 'shall shine as the stars,' are people who are in good.

'The two luminaries' denote love and faith in the internal self.

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...

"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

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...

As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

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

The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

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...

“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

Babylon was an ancient city built on the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. It once was the capital of a great empire...

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...

A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

Mighty,' as in Revelation 19:18, signify people who are educated about doctrine derived from the Word. By extension, 'mighty' signifies education or learning derived from...

'A spoiler,' as in Jeremiah 48:32, signifies evil and its derivative falsity.

"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

'A hoof' signifies truth in the ultimate degree, or sensory truth. 'The hooves of horses' signify the lowest intellectual principles. 'The hooves of the horses,'...

In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

Fifteen, as in Genesis 7:20, signifies so few as to be scarce anything.

In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

go down
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

"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,"...

the daughters of
The daughters of Rabbah' signify people who are in natural good and falsify the truths of the church.

A pit,' or 'well which has no water,' as in Jeremiah 2:13, signifies doctrines which have no truths.

'The uncircumcised,' as in Ezekiel 31:18, signifies people lacking the good of charity.

'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

'Hell,' as mentioned in Jonah 2:3, signifies the earth below.

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

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...

A grave, as in Psalm 88:5, signifies hell. ‘To come forth out of the grave,’ as in John 5:29, signifies to come forth out of...

'Sides' signify the interior or middle between the inmost and the extremes. The word 'rib' is used to mean sides, they denote truths, but sides...

'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

Elam, mentioned in Isaiah 21:1, signifies faith originating in charity, consequently, the internal church. Elam, in Jeremiah 49:34, (Jer. 49:34), signifies the falsification of doctrine....

Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

A bed of ivory (Amos 6:4) are doctrines apparently from rational truths.

War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

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...

The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

Bones are strong and supportive, providing a framework for our bodies and making motion and action possible. They are also the least "alive" part of...

To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

'Edom' or 'Idumea,' as in Isaiah 34:5, signifies those who are in evil and in falsities thence derived.

'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

To be ashamed (Gen 2:25) signifies to be in evil

To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

Forces denote the power of truth.




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Meeting of three kings in Potsdam and Charlottenburg, 1709, by Samuel Theodor Gericke

The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and knowledge. In the Bible, kings represent things in the understanding: true things by those kingdoms that are good or friendly; false things (that are taken to be true) by bad or unfriendly ones.  

The land of Canaan  represents the internal mind, where thoughts about good and evil, life, God and heaven take place. In the highest sense it represents heaven itself, and the three kings of the united kingdom of Israel in that land - Saul, David, and Solomon - represent the Divine truth of the the Bible as it is understood in its literal, its internal spiritual, and its inmost celestial senses, respectively.


To a person who has been operating in life pretty much as he or she pleases, the idea of a king of truth ruling in ones life can seem oppressive, just as Samuel described. But to the person who has accepted the need for spiritual regeneration, while this rule of truth may sometimes feel difficult, it is accepted as necessary. They acknowledge the Lord, as He reveals Himself in the Bible, as their King. At first this King may seem moody or ineffectual, as was Saul, but as the person works at understanding truth and putting it into effect in life, the King becomes more powerful and pleasing - represented by David. And in the end, the King is seen to be wise, as was Solomon.


The nations and tribes around Canaan, from Egypt to Babylon, or the Nile to the Euphrates, represent areas of the external mind that sometimes are allied to the internal, and sometimes at war with it. The kings of these nations all represent truth, or at least ideas they believe to be true and operates as truth for them, even if it is false.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1728, 5068; The Apocalypse Explained 31 [1,3,7])