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

2 Kings 8:11, 9:13

Psalms 148:1

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 59:8

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8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 59      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 59

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

1. BEHOLD, the hand of Jehovah is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

VERSE 1. As to the meaning of "hand" and "arm", see Chapter 5:25; and what is meant by being "short of hand", see Chapter 25:11, the Exposition.

2. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God; and your sins have hidden His faces from you, that He doth not hear.

Verse 2. Your sins have hidden His faces front you, etc. - For what is involved in these words, see Chap. 8:17; 54:8, the Exposition.

3. For your hands are polluted with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, and your tongue has meditated perverseness.

Verses 3, 7. "The hands polluted with blood, and the fingers with iniquity", signifies that in everything belonging to them there is the false and the evil of the false; the "hands" and the "fingers" signify power, and hence all things appertaining to them wherein there is any ability.

Inasmuch as these things are signified, therefore, it is also said, "Your lips have spoken falsehood, and your tongue has meditated perverseness"; "falsehood" [or lies] denoting falsities, and "perverseness" the evil of the false.

By "their feet hastening to shed innocent blood", is signified to destroy the Good of love and of charity, this being meant by "shedding innocent blood"; the Good of innocence is that from which is derived every Good and Truth of heaven and the church, as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 276-283.
From these considerations it may appear what is signified, in the general sense, by "bloods" in the plural, namely, violence offered as well to the Truths of the Word and of the church as to the Goods thereof. Inasmuch as by "shedding innocent blood" is signified to destroy the Good of love and of charity, therefore every precaution was taken that "innocent blood" might not be shed", and if it was shed, that "the land might be expiated; " (see Deuteronomy 19:10, 13; 21:1-9) for the "land" signifies the church. Apocalypse Explained 329. That the "land", or the "earth", signifies the church, see above, Chapter 24, the Exposition.

4. No one calls in justice, and no one pleads in truth: trusting in vanity, and speaking lies; conceiving mischief; and bringing forth iniquity.

Verse 4. Trusting in vanity, etc. - "Vanity" signifies the falsity of doctrine and of religion, as may appear from the following passages:

"There shall be no more any vision of vanity, nor flattering divination in the midst of the house of Israel"; (Ezekiel 12:24) a "vision of vanity" means a false revelation, See also Ezekiel 13:6-9. Arcana Coelestia 9248.

5. They hatch the eggs of the asp, and weave the web of the spider: he that eats of their eggs dieth; and when it is pressed, a viper breaks forth.

Verse 5. Speaking of evil men, who by treachery and craft seduce in things spiritual. The clandestine evils to which they craftily allure, are meant by "the eggs of the asp which they hatch"; the treacherous falsities are understood by "the web of the spider which they weave." The deadly hurt which they cause if they are received, is signified by "he that eats of their eggs dieth; and when it is pressed, a viper breaks forth." Inasmuch as the Pharisees were of such a quality, therefore they are called by the Lord, "serpents, a generation of vipers." (Matthew 23:33)

That the subtlety and malice of such could do no hurt to those whom the Lord protects, is signified by "The suckling shall play upon the hole of the viper; and upon the den of the basilisk shall the weaned child lay his hand." (Isaiah 11:8) Apocalypse Explained 581. See also Chapter 14:29, 30, the Exposition.

6. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the deed of violence is in their hands.

7. Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; devastation and destruction are in their paths.

Verses 6, 7. Their works are works of iniquity, and the deed of violence is in their hands; their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood, etc. - "Violence" means violence against charity, as may appear from many passages; the same is also signified by "shedding innocent blood." See Chapter 60:17, 18, the Exposition.

8. The Way of peace they know not; neither is there any judgment in their goings: they have perverted to themselves their paths; one that goes therein shall not know peace.

Verse 8. In this and in many other passages "peace" signifies, in the supreme sense, the Lord; in the representative sense, His kingdom and Good from the Lord therein, thus the Divine Principle which flows into Good, or into the affections of Good, and which causes, from an inmost principle, joys and happiness. Arcana Coelestia 3780.

As to "peace", see above, Chapter 9:6; 48:18, 22, the Exposition.

9. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we look for light, but behold darkness! for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness.

Verse 9. "Judgment is far from us", signifies that there is no understanding of Truth; "justice doth not overtake us", means that there is no Good of life; "we look for light, but behold darkness", signifies expectation of Truth, but behold the false; and "for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness", denotes the expectation of Goods by Truths, but behold the life of the false from evils; for "brightness" or "splendours " signify the Goods of Truth, because "light" signifies Truth, and Truth is resplendent from Good; "thick darkness" denotes the falsities of evil, and to "walk" signifies to live. Apocalypse Explained 526.

Verses 9, 10. We look for light, but behold darkness! for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind; we stumble at mid-day as in the twilight, etc. - In the Word "darkness" [tenebrae] and "thick darkness" [caligo] are named together. That "darkness" signifies the deprivation of Truth, and "thick darkness" the deprivation both of Truth and of Good, is evident from Isaiah 59:9, 10. "Judgment is far from us, neither doth justice overtake us", signifies that there is neither Truth nor Good; that "judgment" is predicated of Truth, and "justice" of Good, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 2235. To "look for light" means Truth, and "for brightness or splendours" means the Good of Truth; for the splendour of "light" [or Truth] is from Good. That "darkness" is there opposed to "light", and to "judgment", thus to Truth; and "thick darkness" to "brightness" and to "justice", thus to Good, is evident; wherefore "darkness" is the deprivation of Truth, and "thick darkness" is the deprivation both of Truth and of Good. (See also Amos 5:20; Joel 2:2) Arcana Coelestia 7111.

Here the "blind" denote those who are not in the understanding of Truths; "darkness" and "thick darkness" mean falsities. To "stumble at mid-day, as in the twilight", denotes to err in falsities, although they may be in the light from the Word. Apocalypse Explained 239.

10. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as those that have no eyes: we stumble at mid-day as in the twilight; we are among the living as dead.

11. We groan all of us like bears; and like doves we make a constant moan: we look judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.

12. For our transgressions are multiplied before You; and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us, and our iniquities we acknowledge;

13. By transgressing and lying against Jehovah, and by turning backward from our God; by speaking oppression and revolt, and by conceiving and meditating from the heart words of falsehood.

Verses 10-12. "We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as those that have no eyes", signifies that there is not any understanding of Truth; "we stumble at mid-day as in the twilight", signifies the lapsing into errors, although they are in the church where the Word is, from which they might come into the light of Truth; "we are among the living as dead", denotes that they might be in spiritual life by the Word, and yet are not, because they are in falsities. "We groan all of us like bears, and like doves we make a constant moan", signifies the grief of the natural man, and thence of the spiritual man; "we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us", denotes the hope of illustration of the understanding, and thence of salvation, but in vain. "For our transgressions are multiplied before You; and our sins testify against us", signifies by reason of falsities from evil. Apocalypse Explained 781.

14. And judgment is turned away backwards, and justice stands afar off: for truth has stumbled in the street, and rectitude cannot enter.

15. And truth is taken away; and he that shuns evil is accounted mad: and Jehovah saw it, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no judgment.

Verse 14. By "judgment" and "justice", in the Word, are meant Truth and Good. That these no longer exist, is signified by "judgment being turned away backwards, and justice standing afar off." The wandering from the Truths of doctrine, and there being thence no Truth in the life, which is Good of life, is understood by Truth has stumbled in the street, and rectitude cannot enter"; for all the Good of life is procured by Truths of doctrine, as man thereby learns how he ought to live; whereas "street" signifies where Truth leads, therefore it is said "Truth stumbles in the street." Apocalypse Explained 652.

Verses 14-16. Truth has stumbled in the street, and rectitude cannot enter, etc. - "No man" manifestly means no one intelligent, thus, in the universal sense, for no Truth; for this passage treats of the last time of the church, when there is no longer anything of Truth; wherefore it is said, "Truth has stumbled in the street; rectitude cannot enter; and Truth is taken away. That "street" is also predicated of the Truth, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 2336; in like manner "judgment", Arcana Coelestia 2335. Arcana Coelestia 3134. See also above, Chapter 41:28, the Exposition; and Arcana Coelestia 8273.

16. And He saw that there was no man; and He wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His own arm wrought salvation for Him; and His justice, it sustained Him.

Verse 16. That the Lord made His Human Divine from His own proper power, thus without the aid of any one, is evident from this, that because He was conceived of Jehovah, the Divine was in Him, and thus that the Divine was His; wherefore, when He was in the world, and made the Human in Himself Divine. He did it out of His own Divine, or out of Himself, which is described in the above words in Isaiah. The "arm" which wrought salvation for Him, is His own proper power, by which He subjugated the hells. Arcana Coelestia 5005, 9715.

How the Lord, when He was in the world, bore the iniquities of the human race, that is, fought with the hells and subjugated them, and thus acquired to Himself the Divine Power of removing them with all who are in Good, and that He thus became Merit and Justice, is described in Isaiah 59:10-20. Arcana Coelestia 9937.

He saw that there was no man. - See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 41:28.

There was no intercessor. - As to the meaning of "intercession", see Chapter 53:12, the Exposition.

17. And He put on justice as a breast-plate, and a helmet of salvation upon His head: and He put on the garments of vengeance for His clothing; and He clad Himself with zeal as with a mantle.

Verse 17. These words treat of the subjugation of the hells by the Lord. By "righteousness [or justice] as a breast-plate", is denoted His zeal of delivering the faithful from hell, and His divine love of saving the human race; and because it was zeal from Divine Love, and hence the power from which Ho fought and conquered, therefore justice is called a "breast-plate"; but by the "helmet of salvation" is signified Divine Truth from Divine Good, by which is salvation, for a "helmet" has a similar signification to the "head" with which it is clothed; and the "head", when said of the Lord, signifies the Divine Truth and the Divine Wisdom. Apocalypse Explained 557.

These things are said of the Lord, and of His combats with the hells; for when He was in the world He reduced all things in the hells and in the heavens to order, and this by Divine Truth from Divine Love. The "garments of vengeance" signify the Truths by which He fought; "zeal as a mantle" is the Divine Love from which He fought. Hence it may appear why the "mantle" is mentioned, namely, to signify the Lord's combating by Divine Truths from Divine Love. The "cloak of the ephod, with which Aaron was clothed, upon the borders whereof were pomegranates and bells", mentioned in Exodus 28:31-35, and in Leviticus 8:7-13, had a similar signification, as may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia 9911-9929. Apocalypse Explained 395.

18. According to their deserts, accordingly will He repay: fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands a recompense will He repay.

Verse 18. To the islands a recompense will He repay. - Concerning the signification of "islands", both in a good and in a bad sense, see Chapter 42:15, the Exposition.

19. And they from the west shall fear the name of Jehovah; and they from the rising of the sun, His glory: when he [the adversary] cometh in like a rushing river, the Spirit of Jehovah shall raise up a standard against him,

Verse 19. In this passage, "from the rising and from the setting of the sun" signifies all who are in the Goods and Truths of heaven and the church. Apocalypse Explained 422.

What is signified by a "name", see Chapter 4:1; 26:8, the Exposition.

That the Lord is the "Sun" of heaven, see Chapter 30:26, the Exposition.

When he [the adversary] cometh in like a rushing river, the Spirit of Jehovah shall raise up a standard against him. - The Divine Truth which was in the Lord when He was in the world, and which then was Himself, is "the Spirit of Jehovah." Arcana Coelestia 9818.

20. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn away from transgression in Jacob; says Jehovah.

Verse 20. By "Zion" is understood heaven and the church, in which the Lord rules by His Divine Truth. Apocalypse Explained 850

21. And as for Me, this is My covenant with them, says Jehovah: My spirit, which is upon you, and My words, which I have put in your mouth; they shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your seed, nor from the mouth of your seed's seed, says Jehovah; from this time forth for ever.

Verse 21. As to "covenant", see Chapter 42:6, the Exposition.

My spirit, which is upon you. - As to "the Spirit of Jehovah", see Chapter 11:2, the Exposition.

My words, which I have put in your mouth; shall not depart out of your mouth, etc. - See Chapter 51:16, 17, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 59.

1. BEHOLD, the hand of Jehovah is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

2. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God; and your sins have hidden His faces from you, that He doth not hear.

3. For your hands are polluted with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, and your tongue has meditated perverseness.

4. No one calls in justice, and no one pleads in truth: trusting in vanity, and speaking lies; conceiving mischief; and bringing forth iniquity.

5. They hatch the eggs of the asp, and weave the web of the spider: he that eats of their eggs dieth; and when it is pressed, a viper breaks forth.

6. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the deed of violence is in their hands.

7. Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed. innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; devastation and destruction are in their paths.

8. The Way of peace they know not; neither is there any judgment in their goings: they have perverted to themselves their paths; one that goes therein shall not know peace.

9. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we look for light, but behold darkness! for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness.

10. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as those that have no eyes: we stumble at mid-day as in the twilight; we are among the living as dead.

11. We groan all of us like bears; and like doves we make a constant moan: we look judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.

12. For our transgressions are multiplied before You; and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us, and our iniquities we acknowledge;

13. By transgressing and lying against Jehovah, and by turning backward from our God; by speaking oppression and revolt, and by conceiving and meditating from the heart words of falsehood.

14. And judgment is turned away backwards, and justice stands afar off: for truth has stumbled in the street, and rectitude cannot enter.

15. And truth is taken away; and he that shuns evil is accounted mad: and Jehovah saw it, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no judgment.

16. And He saw that there was no man; and He wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His own arm wrought salvation for Him; and His justice, it sustained Him.

17. And He put on justice as a breast-plate, and a helmet of salvation upon His head: and He put on the garments of vengeance for His clothing; and He clad Himself with zeal as with a mantle.

18. According to their deserts, accordingly will He repay: fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the islands a recompense will He repay.

19. And they from the west shall fear the name of Jehovah; and they from the rising of the sun, His glory: when he [the adversary] cometh in like a rushing river, the Spirit of Jehovah shall raise up a standard against him,

20. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn away from transgression in Jacob; says Jehovah.

21. And as for Me, this is My covenant with them, says Jehovah: My spirit, which is upon you, and My words, which I have put in your mouth; they shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your seed, nor from the mouth of your seed's seed, says Jehovah; from this time forth for ever.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 59


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 3780, 10422

Apocalypse Revealed 306

Heaven and Hell 287


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 365

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 45

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Related Books  (see all)


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Psalms 125:5

Proverbs 2:13, 15, 21:8

Isaiah 65:2

Luke 1:79, 19:42

Romans 3:15

Bible Word Meanings

way
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peace
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know
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judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

paths
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goeth
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 His Own Arm Brought Salvation
Because the Lord came on earth and overcame the hells two thousand years ago, our battles are easier today. He fought the hells one by one, and each time He fought, He used a truth to combat them.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18


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