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;
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;
By Rev. Peter M. Buss Sr.
"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 ; 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 ; Apocalypse Explained 365 ).
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.
340. And blessing, signifies the acknowledgment and glorification of the Lord on that account, and thanksgiving that from Him is every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. This is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being the Lord, when said of the acknowledgment, here the acknowledgment that to Him belong omnipotence, omniscience, providence, Divine good, and Divine truth, which are signified by "Worthy is He to receive the power, riches, wisdom, honor, and glory," and as being also glorification on that account. Moreover, "blessing," when said of the Lord, signifies thanksgiving that from Him is every good of love and truth of faith, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. Because "blessing" here signifies acknowledgment and glorification on that account, and also thanksgiving, blessing is mentioned in the last place, or as a conclusion by these angels, who were glorifying the Lord. These things are signified by "blessing," when said of the Lord, because nothing is a blessing except what is given by the Lord, for that alone is blessed because it is Divine and eternal, and contains in itself heaven and eternal happiness; all other things which have not in themselves what is Divine and eternal are not blessings, even though they may be so called (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 269, 270).
 That "blessing" when it is mentioned in the Word, has this signification, can be seen from the places there when understood in the internal sense. But in the first place, some passages shall be quoted in which "blessed" and "blessing" are said of Jehovah, that is the Lord; also where the expression "to bless God" is used, that it may be seen that these signify the acknowledgment, glorification, and thanksgiving that from Him is every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive.
The mouth of Zacharias was opened, and he spoke, blessing God. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and wrought redemption for His people (Luke 1:64, 67-68).
This Zacharias said when, filled with the Spirit, he prophesied of the Lord; and "blessing God," and "blessed be the Lord God of Israel," signify the glorification and thanksgiving that He frees and delivers from hell those who receive Him; consequently it is also said, "for He hath visited and wrought redemption for His people Israel;" "redemption" signifying liberation from hell, and "His people" those who are in truths from good, thus those who receive. That "redemption" signifies liberation and deliverance from hell, see above n. 328; and that "people" signifies those who are in truths from good (n. 331).
(References: Luke 1:68)
 In the same:
Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms, and blessed God: and said, Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples (Luke 2:28-31).
Here "to bless God" evidently means to glorify and give thanks because the Lord was to come into the world, to save all who receive Him; consequently he calls the Lord "the salvation" which his eyes saw, which He prepares for all people. Those are called "His people" who are in truths from good, thus who by means of truths receive Him, as was said above.
 In David:
They have seen Thy goings, O God. The singers went before, the minstrels after, in the midst of the maidens playing on timbrels. Bless ye God in the assemblies, the Lord from the fountain of salvation 1 (Psalms 68:24-26).
"To bless God in the assemblies, the Lord from the fountain of salvation," signifies to glorify the Lord from spiritual truths, which are truths from good. "Assemblies" in the Word have a similar signification as "people," namely, those who are in spiritual truths, and abstractly, those truths themselves; and "fountain of salvation" signifies spiritual good, since salvation is by means of that good; spiritual good is the good of charity towards the neighbor, and spiritual truth is the truth of faith from that good. (That "assemblies" in the Word are predicated of spiritual truths, see Arcana Coelestia 6355, 7843. Because "to bless in the assemblies" signifies glorification from spiritual truths, and "to bless from the fountain of salvation" signifies glorification from spiritual good, therefore in the first case the name "God" is used, and in the latter "Lord;" for the name "God" is used in the Word where truths are treated of, and "Jehovah" and "Lord" where good is treated of. It is clear that glorification is what is meant by "to bless," from its immediately following after these words, "the singers went before, the minstrels after, in the midst of the maidens playing on timbrels," which signifies glorification from spiritual truths and goods, as may be seen above (n. 323, 326).
 In the same:
O sing unto Jehovah a new song; sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Bless His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day. Tell ye His glory among the nations (Psalms 96:1-3).
"To bless Jehovah" here evidently is to glorify Him and give thanks unto Him; and because all glorification of Him is from spiritual truths and from spiritual good, it is said, "Bless His name, proclaim His salvation from day to day;" "name" having reference to truths, and "salvation" to good. "To sing a song" signifies to glorify from such truths and from such goods (see above, n. 323, 326).
 In Moses:
Jehovah chose the sons of Levi to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 10:8; 21:5).
Because the sons of Levi were appointed for Divine worship, and because all Divine worship is effected from spiritual good and the truths therefrom, it is said that "Jehovah chose them to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name;" "to minister" signifying worship from spiritual good, and "to bless" signifying worship from spiritual truths. That to "minister" has reference to worship from good, see above n. 155.
 In David:
O Jehovah, Thou hast prevented the King with the blessings of goodness. Thou hast set a crown of fine gold on his head. Glory and honor dost Thou lay upon him. For Thou settest him blessings forever (Psalms 21:3, 5-6).
"The King" here does not mean David, but the Lord, who is called "King" from the spiritual Divine that proceeds from His Divine Human; and because "blessing" signifies the acknowledgment, glorification, and thanksgiving because every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness, are from Him, it is evident what is signified by "Thou hast prevented the King with the blessings of goodness," and by "Thou settest him blessings for ever." "Blessings of goodness" signify truths from good; "a crown of fine gold" signifies the good from which truths are; "honor and glory" signify Divine good and Divine truth. (That "David" in the Word means the Lord, see above, n. 205; likewise "king" in the Psalms, n. 31; that the "crown of kings" signifies Divine good, n. 272; likewise "gold," n. 242 and that "honor and glory signify Divine good and Divine truth, n. 288)
(References: Psalms 21:1)
 From this it can be seen what "blessed" signifies when said of the Lord, as in the following passages:
The disciples cried with a great voice, Blessed is the King that cometh in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:37-38).
The throng cried, Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9, 10; John 12:12-13).
Jesus said, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, until ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35).
The High Priest asked Jesus, Art Thou then the Christ, the Son of the blessed (Mark 14:61).
"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" signifies to be glorified because all Divine truth and Divine good are from Him. The Lord's "name" signifies everything by which He is worshiped; and as all this has reference to the good of love and the truth of faith, therefore these are signified by the Lord's "name." (That the Lord's "name" signifies everything by which He is worshiped, see above, n. 102, 135, 148, 224; and that the Lord is called "Lord" from Divine good, see Arcana Coelestia 4973, 9167, 9194)
 In Moses:
Melchizedek blessed Abram, and said, Blessed be Abram to God Most High, the possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand (Genesis 14:18-20).
Here it is said, "Blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand," signifying that to Him belong glorification and thanksgiving on that account. Those therefore who receive Divine good and Divine truth from the Lord, are called:
Blessed (Psalms 37:22; 115:15; Matthew 25:34).
 That "blessing" has no other meaning, when said of man, than the reception of Divine truth and Divine good, because in them are heaven and eternal happiness, can be seen from the following passages.
The clean in hands and the pure in heart shall receive a blessing from before Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of our salvation (Psalms 24:4-5).
"The clean in hands" signify those that are in truths from faith, and "the pure in heart" those that are in good from love; of such it is said that they "shall receive a blessing from before Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of salvation," and "receiving a blessing" signifies the reception of Divine truth, and "receiving righteousness" the reception of Divine good. (That "righteousness" is predicated of good, see above, n. 204; and Arcana Coelestia 2235, 9857)
 In Moses:
Thus shall ye bless the sons of Israel, Jehovah bless thee and keep thee; Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace. Thus shall they put My name upon the sons of Israel; and I will bless them (Numbers 6:23-27).
From this, unfolded by means of the internal sense, it is evident what "blessing" as a whole involves-namely, that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, from Divine love flows in with Divine truth and with Divine good with those who receive; the Divine love, from which the Lord flows in, being meant by "the faces of Jehovah;" the Divine truth, with which the Lord flows in, by "Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee;" and the Divine good, with which He flows in, by "Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee;" the protection from evils and falsities, which would otherwise take away the influx, by "keep thee" and "be gracious unto thee;" heaven and eternal happiness, which the Lord gives by means of His Divine truth and His Divine good, by "give thee communication and conjunction with those who receive, by "thus shall they put My name upon the sons of Israel," "the name of Jehovah" signifying the Divine proceeding, which is called in general Divine truth and Divine good, and "the sons of Israel" signifying those who are of the church, thus who receive, of whom it is therefore said, "and I will bless them." This is the internal or spiritual sense of these words, as can be seen from this, that "the faces of Jehovah" signify the Divine love; "to make them to shine" signifies the influx of Divine truth, and "to lift them up" signifies the influx of Divine good.
That these things may be better understood, the ground of these significations shall be told. The Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun; for it is His Divine love that so appears; this, therefore, is what is meant by the "face" of Jehovah; the light that proceeds therefrom is Divine truth; this, therefore, is what is meant by "making His faces to shine;" the heat that also proceeds therefrom is Divine good; this, therefore, is what is meant by "lifting up His faces," for "to lift up" signifies to reveal Himself, which is effected from Divine good by means of Divine truth. (That the Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun, and that it is His Divine love that so appears, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 116-125; and that the light therefrom is Divine truth, and the heat therefrom Divine good, n. 126-140. That "peace" signifies the heavenly delight that inmostly affects with blissfulness every good, and that it therefore signifies heaven and eternal happiness, see in the same, n. 284-290; and that "the sons of Israel" signify those who are of the church, consequently the church, (Arcana Coelestia 6426, 8805, 9340).
 In Ezekiel:
I will give them the circuits of My hill as a blessing, and I will send down the rain in its time; there shall be rains of blessing. Then the tree shall yield its fruit, the land shall yield its produce (Ezekiel 34:26-27).
He who sees the Word merely in its natural sense believes no other than that "blessing" means such things as are mentioned in that sense, namely, that rain should be given to make fruitful the gardens and fields, and thus the tree should yield its fruit and the land its produce; but it is a spiritual blessing that is meant, for "rain" signifies everything Divine that flows into man from the Lord out of heaven. That truths will produce good, and that good will produce truths, is signified by "the tree shall yield its fruit, and the land its produce," "land" and also the "garden," in which there are trees, meaning the church; these and "the circuits of My hill which are to be given as a blessing," signify the internal and external with the men of the church, "circuit" signifying what is outside or below, and "hill" what is within or above, especially where charity is, for that is within. (That "hill" signifies where there is charity, see Arcana Coelestia 6435, 10438)
 In David:
Blessed is everyone that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in His ways. Thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands; blessed art thou, and it is good with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house; thy sons like olive plants around thy tables. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth Jehovah. Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion; that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life; peace upon Israel (Psalms 128:1-6).
Here also "to be blessed" does not mean to be blessed naturally, as that one is to eat the labor of his hands, that his wife is to be fruitful, that many sons are to be about his tables, and that this is to be in Zion and in Jerusalem, but it means to be blessed spiritually; for "those that fear Jehovah" mean those who love to do His commandments; it is therefore said, "Blessed is he that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in His ways," "to walk in His ways" signifying to do His commandments; "the labor of his hands which he shall eat," signifies the pursuit of the life according to those commandments; "the wife by the sides of the house" signifies the affection of spiritual truth in all things that he thinks and does; therefore it is added, "as a fruitful vine," for "vine" signifies the spiritual church from the affection of truth; "sons around the tables" signify the truths of good therefrom, "tables" meaning instructions; therefore it is also said, "as olive-plants," "plants" signifying truths, and "olives" goods; "Zion" signifies heaven whence these things are; and "Jerusalem" doctrine. From this it is clear what is signified by "Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion, that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life;" "peace upon Israel" signifies all spiritual good in general and in particular, "Israel" meaning the church.
 In the same:
Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion; for there hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life even forever (Psalms 133:3).
This treats of the marriage of good and truth and their fructification and multiplication; both are meant by "the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion," "the mountains of Zion" signifying where the goods of celestial love are; therefore it is added, "there hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life even forever."
 In Moses:
If ye harken to these judgments, to keep and do them, Jehovah thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and mercy; and He will love thee and bless thee. And He will bless the fruit of thy belly, and the fruit of thy ground, thy corn, and thy new wine, and thine oil, the young of thy kine and of the rams of thy flock. Thou shalt be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle. And Jehovah will take away from thee every disease, and all the evil sicknesses of Egypt which thou knowest He will not lay upon thee, but will put them upon all that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the peoples that Jehovah thy God shall deliver to thee; thine eye shall not spare them (Deuteronomy 7:12-16).
Things spiritual, thus spiritual blessings, are meant by all this; these things are what are involved in and signified by the sense of the letter, which is natural, and is for those who are in the natural world, and therefore in natural ideas; consequently from the spiritual sense of the Word what is meant in general and in particular by "being blessed" can be seen. The "fruit of the belly, and the fruit of the ground, the corn, the new wine, and oil, the young of the kine and of the rams of the flock," mean the multiplications of truth and the fructifications of good, thus spiritual blessings. (What is signified specifically by each can be seen in various places in Arcana Coelestia, and in the explanation of this prophetic book.) "There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle" signifies the multiplication of truth and the fructification of good in the internal and the external man; "and Jehovah will take away every disease, and all the evil sicknesses of Egypt," signifies the removal of all evils and falsities, "the evil sicknesses of Egypt" meaning falsities arising from evils in the natural man. "Those that hate thee upon whom Jehovah will put these," are those who are against the truths and goods of the church. The dispersion of the evils and falsities that are against the truths and goods of the church, is signified by "thou shalt consume all the peoples that Jehovah thy God shall deliver to thee;" and continual shunning of them is meant by "thine eye shall not spare them." That through these things those who do the Lord's commandments are blessed, is meant by "if ye hearken to these judgments, to keep and do them, Jehovah thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and mercy; He will love thee and bless thee;" "covenant and mercy" is conjunction from love by means of these commandments; conjunction by good is meant by "covenant," and "He will love thee;" and conjunction by truth therefrom is meant by "mercy" and "He will bless thee."
(References: Luke 9:12-17)
 In the same:
He shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven from above, with the blessings of the deep that coucheth below, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb (Genesis 49:25).
These things are said of Joseph, who here signifies the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and "the blessings of heaven from above" mean the multiplications of truth from good in the internal or spiritual man; "the blessings of the deep that coucheth below" mean the multiplications of truth from good in the external or natural man; and "the blessings of the breasts and of the womb" signify spiritual and celestial goods.
 In Joel:
Who knoweth? Let him return, and Jehovah God will repent, and He will leave behind Him a blessing, a meal-offering and a drink-offering to Jehovah our God (Joel 2:14).
Because "blessing" signifies spiritual blessing, which in general has reference to good and truth proceeding from the Lord and given to man, therefore it is said, "He will leave behind Him a blessing, a meal-offering and a drink-offering to our God," "the meal-offering," which was bread, signifying good, and "the drink-offering," which was wine, signifying truth, both from the Lord, for it is said, "from our God."
 In Isaiah:
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, that the Egyptians may serve with Assyria. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isaiah 19:23-25).
"Israel, Assyria, and Egypt," signify the three faculties belonging to the men of the church, namely, the spiritual, the rational, and the knowing; "Israel" the spiritual, "Assyria" the rational, and "Egypt" the knowing. Because all man's rational is formed by means of knowledges [scientifica], and both the rational and knowing faculties are from the spiritual, which is from the Lord out of heaven (for from that source is all understanding of truth and all application of knowledges [scientiarum] to truths), it is said, "there shall be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, and that the Egyptians may serve with Assyria;" and again, "Israel shall be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land." The "midst" signifies the inmost from which is the rest, that is, from which is the whole (see above, n. 313; and the "land" is the church where these things are. And as it is the spiritual by which the rational and knowing faculties are applied to genuine truths, Israel is called the "inheritance," that is, the heir of the house who possesses all things; and Assyria is called "the work of My hands," because the rational is formed from the spiritual; and Egypt is called "a blessed people," because in the knowing faculty, as in their ultimate, all things are together. From this also it is clear that "blessing" in the Word means spiritual blessing.
 In Zechariah:
As ye were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you that you may be a blessing (Zechariah 8:13).
These things are said of the devastated church, and of the church to be established by the Lord; "the house of Judah" and "the house of Israel" signifying the church, here in both senses; the church devastated is called "a curse," because therein are evil and falsity; but the church to be established is called "a blessing" because therein are good and truth.
 In David:
Salvation unto Jehovah, thy blessing upon thy people (Psalms 3:8).
"The blessing of Jehovah upon His people" signifies influx and the reception of good and truth; those are called "the people of Jehovah" who are in spiritual good (see above, n. 331).
 In Moses:
I will make thee into a great nation, and I will bless thee, that thou mayest become a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).
In the same:
In him there shall be a blessing for all nations of the earth (Genesis 18:18).
These things are said of Abraham, and "Abraham" means in the highest sense the Lord, and in a relative sense the Lord's celestial kingdom and the celestial church. From this it is clear what is signified by "I will make thee into a great nation, and I will bless thee, that thou mayest become a blessing," namely, that therein shall be Divine good and Divine truth; "great nation" being predicated of Divine good (see above, n. 331, and "blessing" of Divine truth; "I will bless them that bless thee [and curse them that curse thee]" signifies that those who receive will have Divine truth, and those who do not receive will have the falsity of evil; "in Thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," and "in Him there shall be a blessing for all the nations of the earth" signifies that from the reception of Divine truth and Divine good they will have heaven and eternal happiness; "the families of the earth" signify those who are in truths from good, "families" meaning truths, and "nations" goods; "blessing" signifying that from these they will have heaven and eternal happiness.
 There is a like signification in the blessing of Israel and Jacob:
Blessed be everyone that blesseth thee, and cursed be everyone that curseth thee (Numbers 24:9).
Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and shall break forth towards the west, and towards the east, and towards the north, and towards the south; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed, and in thy seed (Genesis 28:14).
"Israel" and "Jacob" also mean in the highest sense the Lord, and in a relative sense the Lord's spiritual kingdom and the spiritual church; "Israel" that church internal, "Jacob" that church external. The "seed that shall be as the dust of the earth, and that shall break forth towards the west, the east, the north, and the south" signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Lord and received by those who are of that church; the consequent fructification of good is signified by "it shall break forth towards the west and the east," and the consequent multiplication of truth is signified by "it shall break forth towards the north and the south." (That these quarters have such significations, see Heaven and Hell 141-153.)
 That the Lord blessed the bread, wine, and fishes that He gave to the disciples and to the people (Matthew 14:15, 19, 21, 22; 15:32, 36; 26:26, 27; Mark 6:41; 8:6, 7; 14:22, 23; Luke 9:16; 22:19; 24:30), signified communication of His Divine, and thus conjunction with them by means of the goods and truths, which are signified by the "bread and wine," and also by "the fishes;" "bread and wine" signifying goods and truths in the spiritual man, and "fishes" goods and truths in the natural.
 In Isaiah:
He shall call His servants by another name; he that blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself by the God of truth; and he that sweareth by the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former distresses shall be forgotten (Isaiah 65:15-16).
"To bless oneself" signifies to instruct oneself in Divine truths, and to apply them to life, and "to swear" signifies to instruct oneself in Divine goods and to apply them to life. "To swear" has this signification, because an oath in the internal sense signifies confirmation in oneself and conviction that a thing is so, and this is effected from good by means of truths; from no other ground than good are truths with man confirmed and proved. Here a new church is treated of; and "to call by another name" signifies its quality in respect to truth and good.
 In Jeremiah:
Swear by the living Jehovah, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall thee glory (Jeremiah 4:2).
Here "to swear" and "to bless themselves" have a like signification as above, the "nations" that shall bless themselves in Jehovah signifying those who are in good.
 "To bless," in the contrary sense, signifies to love what is evil and false: and to be imbued with it as in Isaiah:
He that slaughters an ox smiteth a man; he that offereth frankincense, blesseth vanity; they have chosen these things also in their ways (Isaiah 66:3).
"To slaughter (or sacrifice) an ox," and "to smite a man," signify to worship God in externals, and yet to reject all truth. "To sacrifice an ox" signifies worship from those things that represented natural good, for an "ox" means natural good; "and to smite a man" signifies to reject and deny the truth, "man" in the Word meaning truth; "to offer frankincense" and "to bless vanity" signifies to worship God from such things as represented spiritual good, and yet to love evil and falsity and to be imbued with them, an "offering of frankincense" meaning the worship from spiritual good, and "vanity" the evil and falsity of evil.