The Bible

 

Luke 19:29-44 : Jesus' Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem (Gospel of Luke)

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29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.

31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.

33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?

34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.

36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Luke 19      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1-10. That the Gentiles, who are out of the Church, are accepted of the Lord, and have conjunction with Him in charity and the good of life.

Verses 3-4. Because, notwithstanding their deficiency in the knowledges of truth from the Word, they are desirous to know the truth, and by that desire are elevated into the truths and goods of the external Church.

Verses 5-6. And are thus acknowledged by the Lord, and declared to be the members of His Church and kingdom, which declaration they receive with joy.

Verse 7. Still it appears contrary to order, that the Divine Truth should be imparted to those who are in disorder of life.

Verses 8-9. Until it is seen, that the Gentiles, who are out of the Church, are principled in charity, and that by charity they are capable of being saved, and thus of being received within the Church.

Verse 10. Since the Lord operates charity, faith, freewill, repentance and regeneration with every one, inasmuch as He wills the salvation of all.

Verses 11-13. For the Lord is willing to communicate to all the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, with the faculty of perceiving them.

Verse 14. And this, notwithstanding the force of hereditary and actual evil on the part of man, which is opposed to the Divine Love and Wisdom.

Verse 15. Every one therefore, sooner or later, must give an account of his application of those knowledges.

Verses 16-21. On which occasion it becomes manifest, that some procure, to themselves much intelligence and wisdom, and others procure some, and others none.

Verses 20-27. And that they who procure none are deprived of the truths which they possessed in the memory only, and not in the life.

Verse 21. Since they think harshly of the Divine mercy, and accuse it of expecting more from man than he has the ability to perform.

Verses 22-23. Whereas this their idea of the Divine mercy ought to have led them to exert themselves the more in procuring charity and the good of life.

Verses 24-26. And inasmuch as they have not made the use of the knowledges which they possessed, therefore those knowledges are taken away from them, since it is an eternal law, that they who are in the good of charity shall sooner or later be enriched with truths, whereas they who are in falsities derived from evil in the other life are deprived of all truths.

Verse 27. At the same time they are deprived of all spiritual life.

Verses 28-30. That the Lord from His Divine love, and by His Divine truth, explores the principles of the natural man as to truth, requiring them to be separated from all that is evil and false, and to receive influx of life from Himself.

Verse 31. And if the persuasions of the natural man oppose, they are to be overcome by teaching the necessity of such an influx to restore order.

Verses 32-34. Which necessity is accordingly taught, and is acknowledged by the natural man.

Verses 35-36. So that truths in every complex are submitted to the Lord.

Verses 37-38. And all, who are principled in what is good and true, exalt the Divine Human principle of the Lord, and His Divine operation, as the source of every blessing.

Verses 39-40. Which doctrine is taught, not only in the spiritual and internal sense of the Word, but also in its natural and literal sense.

Verses 41-42. The rejection therefore of this doctrine by the Jewish nation excites the tenderness of the Lord's love, that, if possible, they might receive it, but reception is now become impossible.

Verses 43-44. Inasmuch as through rejection of the Lord at his advent, they were immersed in evils and falsities of every kind, so that the representatives of a Church no longer existed amongst them.

Verses 45-46. For they made gain of holy things, and thus defiled all worship by perversion of what is holy.

Verses 47-48. And when the Lord would have instructed them in the things concerning himself and his kingdom, they opposed all his love and wisdom, yet not without caution, since there were still some remains of the affection of truth in the lower principles.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2242, 2701, 2781, 5291, 5323, 5480, 6588, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 81, 166, 336, 493, 618, 809, 839, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 64

True Christian Religion 782


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 102, 195, 340, 365, 405, 638, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 13

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 28:52, 32:29

2 Samuel 15:30

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Isaiah 6:9, 11, 29:3, 59:8, 65:12

Jeremiah 6:6, 13:17, 14:17

Lamentations 3:48, 49

Ezekiel 4:2

Daniel 9:26

Micah 3:12

Habakkuk 2:11

Zechariah 9:9

Bible Word Meanings

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...

bethany
Bethany was a village on the Mount of Olives about two miles from Jerusalem, near its sister village Bethphage. It plays a small but significant...

olives
'Olives' signify good.

disciples
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...

go
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...

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

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

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...

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

said
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...

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

upon
'Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

rejoice
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

Loud
In Revelation 5:2, 'a loud' or 'great voice' signifies divine truth from the Lord, in its power or virtue.

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

seen
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...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

glory
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

highest
'Highest' denotes the 'inmost,' because interior things, with person who is in space, appear as higher things, and exterior things as lower. But when the...

pharisees
The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish church at the time of the New Testament. The name comes from a root that means "separate",...

multitude
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jeremiah 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

visitation
The end time of the church and each individual, is called 'the visitation,' and precedes judgment. 'Visitation' is nothing but an exploration of the quality...

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.


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Commentary

 

Weeping at Easter

     

By Rev. Peter M. Buss Sr.

Before entering Jerusalem for the last time, Jesus wept over its future. This painting by Enrique Simonet, is called "Flevit super Illam", the Latin for "He Wept Over It". It is in the Museum of Malaga.

"And as they drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that belong to your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'" (Luke 19:41,42 ).

"'Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.... For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?" ( Luke 23:28,31).

Jesus wept over Jerusalem. The women wept over Him, and He told them to weep for themselves and for their children. Grief at a moment of triumph, grief at a moment of desolation.

There is irony in the Palm Sunday story, for over its rejoicing hangs the shadow of the betrayal, trial and crucifixion. Was the angry crowd that called for His crucifixion the same multitude that hailed Him as King five days earlier? Why did the Lord ride in triumph, knowing the things that would surely come to pass? He did so to announce that He, the Divine truth from the Divine good, would rule all things; to give us a picture which will stand for all time of His majesty. And then the events of Gethsemane and Calvary let us know the nature of that majesty - that indeed His kingdom is not of this world.

Can we picture the scene on Palm Sunday? The multitudes were rejoicing and shouting, and then they saw their King weeping. This was not a brief moment, but a sustained weeping, which caused the writer of the gospel to hear of it. Did their shouting die down as they watched His grief, did they wonder when He pronounced doom upon the city they lived in? "Your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children with you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another because you did not know the time of your visitation." Then, perhaps, as He rode on, the cheering resumed, and the strange words were forgotten.

There is yet another irony; for the people shouted that peace had come. "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Yet when Jesus wept, He said to the city, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes."

This grand panorama speaks of the world inside each human being. It is in our minds, in the spiritual sense of the Word, that Jesus rides in triumph. When we see the wonder of His truth, sense its power over all things, we crown Him. All the events of Palm Sunday tell of those times when we acknowledge that the Lord, the visible God, rules our minds through the Word which is within us. It is a time of great rejoicing. Like the multitudes of Palm Sunday, we feel that this vision will sweep all that is evil away, and the Lord will easily reign within us as our King and our God.

Such happy times do come to us, and we can rejoice in them, and hail our Lord and King with jubilation. "Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!" Peace comes through conjunction with the Lord whom we have seen (Apocalypse Explained 369:9, 11). Yet the Lord Himself knows that there are battles to come from those who know no peace. This too He warns us of in His Word. In the natural Jerusalem of the Lord's day the rulers had used falsity to destroy the truth, and they brought much grief upon the Christians. In the spiritual Jerusalem in our minds there are false values which would destroy peace. Before we get to heaven there is going to be a battle between our vision of the Lord and our self love which will abuse the truth to make that happen.

So the Lord wept, out there on the mount of Olives, as He looked down upon the city. His weeping was a sign of mercy, for He grieves over the states in us which will hurt us and which are opposed to our peace. (Arcana Coelestia 5480; Apocalypse Explained 365 [9]; cf. 365:11, 340). Yet His grief is an active force, it is mercy, working to eliminate those states. Jesus promised that Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed - not a single stone left standing. It is true that the natural Jerusalem was razed to the ground, but this is not what He meant. He promises us - even as He warns us of the battles to come - that He will triumph, and that our Jerusalem - our excuses for doing evil - will not stand. They will be decimated by His Word. (Cf. Arcana Coelestia 6588 [5]; Apocalypse Explained 365 [9]).

He wept from mercy, and He promised an end to weeping, for "His tender mercies are over all His works."

On Good Friday there was surely cause for weeping. Picture this scene: The women were following the cross, lamenting. Jesus must have been bleeding from the whipping, and scarred by the crown of thorns. He was surrounded by people who enjoyed seeing someone die. Those who called Him their enemy were satisfied that they had won.

His followers were desolate. Never had they imagined that the dream He had fostered would end this way, or the Leader they loved would be treated so terribly. They felt for Him in what they were sure was His suffering. They wept for Him.

Then perhaps the crowds that insulted Him were stilled as He turned to the mourners. Out of His infinite love He spoke. "'Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.'" He did not think of His approaching agony, He grieved for those He loved. He would triumph. It was upon them that suffering would come. What clearer picture can we have of the goal which brought our God to earth than that sentence? He came because evil people and evil feelings bring misery to His children. He came to give them joy after their weeping, to give them consolation and hope, and finally to give them the certainty that there should be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying.

The women of that time did indeed face physical sorrow. It is heartbreaking to learn of the persecutions of the Christians, to think of people killed because they worship their God; of children being taken from them, of good people subject to the mercy of those who know no mercy. Indeed it must have seemed that the Lord was right in saying that it would have been better had they never borne children who would suffer so for their faith. "For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!'"

But the real reason the Lord came down to earth was that within physical cruelty there is a far greater hurt. There are plenty of people walking this earth who wouldn't think of murdering someone else, but who regularly enjoy taking away something far more precious - his ability to follow his Lord.

That was why the Lord spoke those words, "Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." The daughters of Jerusalem represent the gentle love of truth with sincere people all over the world. Their children are the charity and faith which comes from the love of truth. These are the casualties of evil, especially when it infests a church. These are the things that cause internal weeping, a sorrow of the spirit that is the more devastating because it is silent.

"Daughters of Jerusalem," He called them. Our innocent love of the truth grows up together with our justification for being selfish. In fact, it is ruled by self justification, as the daughters of Jerusalem were ruled by a corrupt church. When those women tried to break loose from the Jewish Church they were persecuted. When our innocent love of the truth seeks to lead us to follow the Lord we suffer temptations in our spirits. The hells rise up and tempt us with all the selfish and evil delights we have ever had, and we indeed weep for ourselves.

You see, it is not the truth itself that suffers! "Weep not for Me," Jesus said. The truth is all powerful. It is our love for that truth which is tempted. It is our charity and our faith - the children of that love - which suffer.

"For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never nursed.'" Doesn't it seem to us at times that the people who have no truths, who have no ideals, are the ones that are happy? In fact this is a prophecy that those who are outside of the Church and find it afresh will have an easier time than those who bring the falsities of life into the battle.

On Palm Sunday, when Jesus wept, He said that Jerusalem would be destroyed. As I have said, He was actually promising the destruction of evil in us. On Good Friday He gave the same assurance: "Then they will begin 'to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"' These apparently harsh words are ones of comfort, for they promise that as the Lord's truth triumphs in us, heaven will draw nearer. When that happens the hells who tempt us will be unable to bear the presence of heaven, and will cover themselves over and hide.

"For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?" The listeners knew what that meant: if when He was among them they rejected His truth, what will they do when the memory of His presence and His miracles have dried up? In the internal sense the green wood is truth that is still alive from a love for it. Even when we see the ideals of the Word, we are going to struggle with temptation. But when that wood dries out, when we can't sense the life and power of truth, the battle becomes very much harder.

In both these images - His weeping on Palm Sunday, His sad warning to the women to weep for themselves and for their children, the Lord is preparing us to fight for what we believe. How does He prepare us? By assuring us, not only of the trials to come, but of the certainty of victory now that He has revealed His might. There is such wonder, such hope for eternal happiness in the true Christian religion. Yet no worthwhile love will ever be ours to keep until it has faced its challenges. There must be a time of weeping: our merciful Lord weeping over our struggles and giving us strength from mercy; our dreams and hopes weeping when we fear they are lost. Through the trial we express our commitment to our dreams, and He delivers us.

Less than twenty four hours before His arrest the Lord spoke again about weeping. At the Last Supper He said, "Most truly I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice." But He did not stop there. "And you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."

When He was crucified and rose again, they must have thought that now His words were fulfilled. Now they had found the joy which no one could take from them. Perhaps when they suffered at the hands of persecutors and found joy among fellow-Christians they thought the same. And finally, when they had fought their private battles, and from His power overcome the enemy within, they knew what He really meant.

"Jesus wept over the city." "Weep for yourselves and for your children." Our love of the truth will be threatened and with it our hope for true faith and true charity. It was to that end that He came into the world and rode in triumph and drank of the cup of rejection and apparent death - to be able to turn our sorrow into joy. Therefore He could also say, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Amen.

(References: Luke 19:29-44, 23:24-38)

The Bible

 

Isaiah 29:3

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3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 29      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 29

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation)

1. WOE to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add year to year; let the festivals go round.

VERSES 1-4. [The term "Ariel", in Hebrew, signifies the lion of God, and is an appellation given to the city Jerusalem to signify the Lord in His Divine Human, and also the doctrine of celestial Truth, The "city" itself signifies the doctrine of spiritual Truth, but when called "Ariel" it denotes as above. The doctrine of celestial Truth is the doctrine of love to God and of charity to the neighbour, whereas the doctrine of spiritual Truth is the doctrine of Faith. The subject, therefore, treated of in these verses, is specifically the destruction of the celestial doctrine of the church, and the judgment upon those who have perverted it. This perversion consists chiefly in removing love and goodness, embodied in good works, from the church as the essential means of salvation, as is done by the doctrine of Justification by Faith only, or of Faith separate from Charity. It is also perverted by reducing the good of the church to what is merely moral, and thus depriving it of a spiritual principle, derived from love and charity, as the means of salvation. The doctrine of celestial Truth is also perverted by these who assume what is good in the external, as a means of promoting the merely selfish interests of the natural man, and not for the sake of securing the eternal interests of the soul. A "woe" is consequently pronounced upon all such as pervert and destroy this most holy doctrine, which is called the "Lion of God" because of its great power, signified by a "Lion", in removing, when properly applied, everything evil and false from the church, and from the human mind. The Lord, as "the Lion of the tribe of Juda, opens the seals of the book", [Revelation 5:5) and executes Judgment, which is effected by this celestial doctrine of His Divine Truth. See above, Chapter 21:8, the Exposition.]

Verse 1. Add year to year, let the festivals go round. - [This celestial doctrine will perish successively, not all at once, and it will perish although external worship (the festivals) continues to be observed at the appointed times. It is entirely destroyed when external worship is separated from internal, as was the case with the Pharisees, described in Matthew 23, and with those of the church at this day who are in external good, without internal or spiritual good, See Chapter 1:11-19, the Exposition.]

2. Yet will I distress Ariel; and there shall be mourning and sorrow: and it shall be unto Me as Ariel.

3. And I will encamp against you round about; and I will lay siege against you with a mound; and I will erect forts against you.

Verses 2, 3. [It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted these verses and explained them; but from correspondences their meaning may be easily seen. "Ariel" thus perverted, or rather those who have perverted this celestial doctrine, will be besieged and destroyed, at the period of Judgment, by every species of falsity from evil, denoted by "encamping", by "laying siege with a mound", and by "erecting forts against her." See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 1:8.]

4. And you shalt be brought low; you shalt speak out of the earth: and out of the dust shall your speech feebly sound; and your voice shall come out of the ground, like as of one that has a familiar spirit: and out of the dust shall your speech mutter.

Verse 4. [That to "speak out of the dust, and the voice coming out of the ground, like as of one that has a familiar spirit", signifies communication with the hells, and influx thence, may be seen above, Isaiah 8:19, 20, the Exposition.]

5. But the multitude of your strangers shall be like the small dust; and the multitude of the terrible ones like the chaff that passes away: yea, it shall be suddenly, in a moment.

Verse 5. [The dispersion of false principles of doctrine, denoted by "strangers", and of the falsities of evil, signified by the "terrible ones", is here described. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 1:7.]

6. From Jehovah of Hosts you shalt be visited with thunder, and with earthquake, and with a great voice; with storm, and with tempest, and with the flame of devouring fire.

Verso 6. "Devouring fire" is the fire of cupidities which arises from the love of self and of the world, because it is this fire which consumes man and devastates the church. This also was represented by "the fire from before Jehovah" which consumed the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, because they had "put strange fire into their censers." (Leviticus 10:1, 2)

To "put strange fire into their censers", is to perform worship from some other love than from that which is heavenly. That such "strange fire" is the love of self and of the world, and the cupidities hence arising, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 1297, 1861, 5071. Arcana Coelestia 9434.

As to the meaning of "storms" and "tempests", by which the wicked, at the time of Judgment, are taken away, see above, Chapter 17:13, the Exposition.

7. And as a dream, a vision of the night shall be the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel; even all that fight against her and her ramparts, and they that distress her.

8. It shall be as when a hungry man dreameth, and lo! he eats: but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: and as when a thirsty man dreameth, and lo! he drinketh; but he awaketh, and lo! he is faint, and his soul craveth: thus shall it be with the multitude of all the nations which fight against Mount Zion. "

Verses 7, 8. [These words imply that, in this perverted state of the church, at the period of its judgment, what is false will appear as true, and that there will be no spiritual nourishment for the soul.]

Verse 8. These things are said concerning those who are in falsities from evil, and yet suppose them to be truths from good. The false from evil combating against the goods of the church, are signified by "The multitude of all the nations which fight against Mount Zion; "multitude" being predicated of truths; "nations" signifying evils; and "Mount Zion", the church as to the good of love. The belief that evils are good, when notwithstanding they are evils of the false, is signified by "It shall be as when a hungry man dreameth, and lo! he eats; but he awaketh, and his soul is fasting"; the "hungry dreaming as if he were eating", signifies the opinion and erroneous faith conerning good; to "dream" denoting such opinion and erroneous faith, and to be "hungry, and as if he were eating", denoting, as it were, desire for good, and to be nourished thereby; but when "he awaketh", signifies when it is discovered what good is; "his soul is fasting", signifies that there is no understanding of good. Similar things are said concerning truth, which are signified by "When the thirsty man dreameth, and lo! he drinketh; but he awaketh, and lo! he is faint, and his soul craveth"; to be "thirsty, and as If he were drinking whilst he dreameth", signifying the opinion and faith, as it were, of Truth; but when "he awaketh, and lo! he is faint, and his soul craveth", signifies that still it is not Truth but the false; the "soul" there signifying the faith of the false, by reason of Truth not being understood, for both evil and the false, as well as Good and Truth, are predicated of faith and understanding, when they are of the thought alone; for man can think so as it were to understand, and thence believe that evil is good, as well as that the false is true. Such are all those who are in falsities of doctrine, and have faith only in their teachers and books, and never think whether what they are taught may not be falsities and evils, but believe them to be truths and goods, because they can be confirmed; not knowing that the false and evil may be equally confirmed as Truth and Good. Apocalypse Explained 750.

9. Stand you amazed, and wonder; be you astonished, and cry out! they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

10. For Jehovah has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep: and He has closed up your eyes, the prophets; and your heads, the seers has He covered,

Verses 9, 10. Speaking of those who see nothing at all of the Truth when they hear and read it from the Word. Such persons are said to be "drunken, but not with wine; and to stagger, but not with strong drink"; "wine" signifying specifically the Truth of the spiritual and hence of the rational man; and "strong drink", the Truth of the natural man thence derived. Because such are understood, it is therefore said, "Jehovah has poured out" upon you the spirit of deep sleep; and He has closed up your eyes; the "spirit of deep sleep" denoting no perception, and the "eyes closed" denoting no understanding of Truth. "The prophets, and your heads, the seers has He covered", signifies those who were in the doctrine of Truth, and thence wise and intelligent; "prophets" signifying those who are in the doctrine of Truth, and, abstractedly, doctrine itself; the "heads", the wise, and, abstractedly, wisdom; and the "seer", the intelligent, and, abstractedly, intelligence. Wonder at the greatness of their stupidity is described by "Stand you amazed, and wonder; be you astonished"; and lamentation on all account thereof, by a "cry out!" Such are they who are in a life of evil, and at the same tirne in principles of the false, howsoever learned they are supposed to be; for a life of evil shuts out the perception of Good, from which the life and light of thought is derived, and principles of the false shut out the understanding of Truth, whence they see only from the sensual man, and nothing from the spiritual. Apocalypse Explained 376.

Prophets are here called "eyes", and seers are called "heads", because by eyes is signified the understanding of Truth as to doctrine, and by "seers" intelligence, the same as by "heads." Apocalypse Explained 577.

Verses 10, 11. By "prophets" are meant those who teach Truth and by them that see, or the "seers", are meant those who see Truth who are said to be "covered" when they know nothing of Truth, and see nothing of Truth. Inasmuch as in old times they were called prophets who taught, therefore also they were called "seeing" [or seers], because to "see" signifies to understand, see Arcana Coelestia 2150, 2325.

That they were called "seeing" [or seers], may be seen, 1 Samuel 9:9; 2 Samuel 24:11; they were also called "men of God", from the signification of man [vir], see Arcana Coelestia 158, 265; that they were called "men of God", may be seen, 2 Kings 1:9-16.

That by "prophets", in an Internal sense, are signified those who teach, appears from Jeremiah 23, throughout, and from Ezekiel 13 throughout, where the subject particularly treated of is concerning "prophets".

The same appears also from many other places where mention is made of "prophets." Hence also by "false prophets" are signified those who teach what is false as in Matthew;

"In the consummation of the age, many false prophets shall arise, and shall seduce many; false Christs shall arise, and false prophets shall glve great signs, and shall deceive, if possible, even the elect; (Matthew 24:11, 24)

where, by "false prophets", are meant those who teach what is false. The same is understood by the "false prophet" in the Revelation. (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)

Hence also it may appear how much the internal sense of the Word is obscured by the ideas which are conceived from the representatives of the Jewish church; for wheresoever "prophet" is mentioned in the Word there instantly occurs the idea of prophets such as existed at that time, which idea is a great hindrance to the perception of what is signified by them. But in proportion to man's increase in wisdom, the Idea conceived from those representatives is more easily removed as for example, where mention is made of "temple", they who think from a deeper ground of wisdom do not perceive the temple which was at Jerusalem, but the temple of the Lord; so in the case of the "mountain of Zion", or of "Zion" itself, they have no perception of that which was at Jerusalem, but of the Lord's kingdom, and where "Jerusalem" occurs, they do not think of that city which was in the tribe of Benjamin and Judah, but of the holy and heavenly Jerusalem. Arcana Coelestia 2534.

11. So that all the vision is to you as the words of a sealed book; which, if it is given to one that knows letters, saying, Read this, I pray you: he says, I cannot; for it is sealed.

12. Or should the book be given to one that knows not letters, saying, Read this, I pray you: he says, I know not letters.

Verses 11, 12. [The "Book" or the Word is sealed, when its genuine doctrines and its interior truths are not understood by the church. To "know letters", or to be learned, is to know the science of correspondences, according to which the Word is inspired and written, which science constituted. the learning of ancient times. Unless this science is understood, the Word is, for the most part, as a "sealed book"; but it is opened by this science, as by the "key of knowledge". The intelligence of the church as to everything spiritual and heavenly can thus be immensely increased, and genuine truths can be seen in clear light by the rational mind. The blessings to the Church of the New Jerusalem, arising from the discovery of the spritual sense of the Word, will be great indeed!]

13. Wherefore Jehovah says, Forasmuch as this people draw near [to Me] with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips but have removed their heart far from Me; and their fear of Me is taught by the precept of men:

14. Therefore, behold, I will again deal with this people", in a manner so wonderful astonishing, that the wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the understanding of their intelligent shall be hid.

15. Woe unto them that deeply conceal their counsel from Jehovah; whose works are in the dark, and who say, Who seeth us? and who knows us?

Verse 13. In respect to external worship when sopnrato from internal, see above, Chapter 1:11-19, the Exposition.

Their fear of me, etc. - As to what understood in the Word by "fearing God", see above, Chapter 11:3, Exposition.

16. Your perverseness is as if the potter should be esteemed as the clay. Shall the work say of the maker of it, He has not made me? and shall the thing formed say of the former of it, He has no understanding?

Verse 16. That a "potter's vessel" signifies, in a good sense, what is true and in a bad sense, what is false, may be proved from the Word. When a man himself forms the "vessel", it signifies what is false; but when the Lord forms it in man, it signifies Truth. Hence it is that in the Word a "potter's vessel" signifies either what is false or what is true, and the "potter" is the former. The Lord Himself, from the formation of man by truths, is called in the Word a "Potter", as in Isaiah:

"O Jehovah, Our Father! we are the clay, and You our Potter; and all we are the work of Thine hands." (Isaiah 64:8; and Isaiah 29:16)

In a bad sense, as in Psalm 2:9:

"As a potter's vessel shalt You break them in pieces."

By the "potter's vessel is signified what is false from man's own or self-intelligence, and not from the Word. (See also Isaiah 30:10-14; 45:9) Apocalypse Explained 177.

17. Shall it not be but a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

Verse 17. "Lebanon" [as a forest] signifies the truths of the church in the natural man, consequently the church as to the rational understanding of Good and Truth. (Apocalypse Explained 654, 730.)

As a "fruitful field", it signifies the Good and Truth of faith. (Apocalypse Explained 328)

The "cedars" and "firs of Lebanon" signify the internal and the external truths of the spiritual church. Apocalypse Explained 405.

18. And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book; and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity; and out of darkness.

Verse 18. The restoration of the church is here treated of. By "the deaf who will hear the words of the book", are understood those who will obey truths and hence lead a good life; and by "the blind whose eyes will see out of obscurity and darkness", are understood those who are not in the understanding of Truth, because in ignorance, who will then understand. That the deaf and the blind [in a literal sense] are not understood, is evident. Apocalypse Explained 239.

To "open the eyes of the blind", is to instruct those who as yet are ignorant of truths, and nevertheless desire them, who are signified by the Gentiles. Apocalypse Explained 152.

19. The miserable shall increase their joy in Jehovah, and the needy amongst men shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 19. By the "miserable" and "needy" are here also signified those with whom there is a defect of Truth and Good, and who nevertheless are in the desire of those principles. Concerning these it is said that "they shall increase their joy in Jehovah, and shall exult in the Holy One of Israel", and not concerning those who are miserable and needy as to worldly wealth. Apocalypse Explained 238.

The needy amongst men shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. In this and in other passages where "the Holy One of Israel" is mentioned, the Lord with respect to His Divine Humanity is signified. True Christian Religion 93.

20. For the terrible one ceases, the scoffer is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21. Who cause a man to offend in a word, and lay snares for him that reproveth in the gate, and with emptiness turns aside the just.

Verses 20, 21. That "the terrible [or violent] one" is he who offers violence to charity, is signified by "causing a man to offend [or to sin] in a word", and by "laying snares for him that pleads in the gate", etc. Arcana Coelestia 6353.

22. Therefore thus says Jehovah to the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Jacob shall not now be ashamed; his face shall not now turn pale.

Verse 22. Jacob shall not now be ashamed; his face shall not now turn pale. - By "Jacob" are understood those who are of the church: and by "his face not turning pale" is signified that they shall not be in evils and falsities, but in Goods and Truths. That "paleness" signifies the absence and deprivation of spiritual life, which is when there is no Good and Truth, but evil and the false, is grounded in this circumstance, that when a man is deprived of vital heat, he then becomes pale and an image of death, as is the case in extreme terror, and in like manner when he dies; but when a man is spiritually dead, then his face either becomes red like a coal fire, or pale like a corpse. In such a manner do the infernals appear, when viewed in the light of heaven. Apocalypse Explained 381.

23. But when he seeth his children, the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name, and they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

Verse 23. "The Holy One of Jacob and the God of Israel" is the Lord. "His children" signify the regenerate, who will have the intelligence of Good and of Truth, as is explained in verse 24. Arcana Coelestia 489.

24. They also that erred in spirit shall know intelligence, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

Verse 24. By "spirit" is signified the understanding, and by " heart" the will. "Spirit" is literally the breath, for spirit, breath, and wind are expressed by one term in Hebrew, Hence by "loving God with all the heart and with all the soul", is meant with all the love and with all the understanding. That the term "spirit" signifies the understanding or Intelligence, may be seen from many passages, as from this, "They that erred in spirit shall know intelligence." Divine Love and Wisdom 383.

---
Isaiah Chapter 29

1. WOE to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add year to year; let the festivals go round.

2. Yet will I distress Ariel; and there shall be mourning and sorrow: and it shall be unto Me as Ariel.

3. And I will encamp against you round about; and I will lay siege against you with a mound; and I will erect forts against you.

4. And you shalt be brought low; you shalt speak out of the earth: and out of the dust shall your speech feebly sound; and your voice shall come out of the ground, like as of one that has a familiar spirit: and out of the dust shall your speech mutter.

5. But the multitude of your strangers shall be like the small dust; and the multitude of the terrible ones like the chaff that passes away: yea, it shall be suddenly, in a moment.

6. From Jehovah of Hosts you shalt be visited with thunder, and with earthquake, and with a great voice; with storm, and with tempest, and with the flame of devouring fire.

7. And as a dream, a vision of the night shall be the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel; even all that fight against her and her ramparts, and they that distress her.

8. It shall be as when a hungry man dreameth, and lo! he eats: but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: and as when a thirsty man dreameth, and lo! he drinketh; but he awaketh, and lo! he is faint, and his soul craveth: thus shall it be with the multitude of all the nations which fight against Mount Zion. "

9. Stand you amazed, and wonder; be you astonished, and cry out! they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

10. For Jehovah has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep: and He has closed up your eyes, the prophets; and your heads, the seers has He covered,

11. So that all the vision is to you as the words of a sealed book; which, if it is given to one that knows letters, saying, Read this, I pray you: he says, I cannot; for it is sealed.

12. Or should the book be given to one that knows not letters, saying, Read this, I pray you: he says, I know not letters.

13. Wherefore Jehovah says, Forasmuch as this people draw near [to Me] with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips but have removed their heart far from Me; and their fear of Me is taught by the precept of men:

14. Therefore, behold, I will again deal with this people", in a manner so wonderful astonishing, that the wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the understanding of their intelligent shall be hid.

15. Woe unto them that deeply conceal their counsel from Jehovah; whose works are in the dark, and who say, Who seeth us? and who knows us?

16. Your perverseness is as if the potter should be esteemed as the clay. Shall the work say of the maker of it, He has not made me? and shall the thing formed say of the former of it, He has no understanding?

17. Shall it not be but a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

18. And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book; and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity; and out of darkness.

19. The miserable shall increase their joy in Jehovah, and the needy amongst men shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

20. For the terrible one ceases, the scoffer is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21. Who cause a man to offend in a word, and lay snares for him that reproveth in the gate, and with emptiness turns aside the just.

22. Therefore thus says Jehovah to the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Jacob shall not now be ashamed; his face shall not now turn pale.

23. But when he seeth his children, the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name, and they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

24. They also that erred in spirit shall know intelligence, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 29


Other references to this verse:

Apocalypse Revealed 862

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Related Books  (see all)


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Isaiah 1:8

Luke 19:43

Bible Word Meanings

Siege
'To lay siege' means bringing distress by evils and falsities.


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