The Bible


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

Study the Inner Meaning


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

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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 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' signify good.

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!...

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...

'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

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...

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...

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....

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...

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

'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...

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...

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

'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

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...

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...

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

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

'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...

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",...

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

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...

'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...

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

'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

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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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)

From Swedenborg's Works


Apocalypse Explained #638

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638. Verse 4. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, signifies the good of love to the Lord and of charity towards the neighbor, and the truth of doctrine and of faith from which are heaven and the church. This is evident from the signification of an "olive yard," "olive tree," and "olive," as being, in a broad sense, the Lord's celestial kingdom and thus the celestial church; which is distinguished from other churches in this, that those from whom that church exists are in love to the Lord and in love towards the neighbor. This is why "olive tree" and "olive" signify each of these loves, that is, the good of each love. (That "olive tree" and "olive" signify that church, or those goods of the church, will be seen in what follows.) This is evident also from the signification of a "lampstand," as being in a broad sense the Lord's spiritual kingdom, and thus the spiritual church, and as the chief thing of that church is truth of doctrine and truth of faith, so these also are signified by the "lampstands." (That this is the meaning of a "lamp stand" in the spiritual sense, see above, n. 62

(References: Revelation 11:4)

[2] It is said that "the two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands" (which yet are four), because "two" signifies conjunction and thence a one. For there are two things that make a one, namely, good and truth; good is not good except it be from truth, and truth is not truth except it be from good; consequently it is only when these two make a one that they have being and existence. This conjunction into one is called the heavenly marriage, and heaven and the church are from that marriage. It is similar with the celestial good, which is signified by "the two olive trees," and with the spiritual good, which is signified by "the two lampstands." For the good in the Lord's celestial kingdom is the good of love to the Lord, and the truth of that good is called the good of love towards a brother and companion; while the good in the Lord's spiritual kingdom is the good of charity towards the neighbor, and the truth of that good is called the good of faith. But a just idea of these things can scarcely be had unless it is known what celestial good is, and what spiritual good is, and what the difference between them is. This makes clear why it is that "the two witnesses" are called "two olive trees and two lampstands." (That "two" signifies conjunction into one, or the heavenly marriage, see above, n. 532, at the end .)

[3] An "olive tree" signifies the celestial church, because "trees" in general signify perceptions and knowledges, and every church is a church from the knowledges of truth and good, and according to their perception; and "oil" signifies the good of love (see above, n. 375; so an "olive yard" and "olive tree" signify the church in which that good reigns. There are three trees that especially signify the church, namely, the "olive tree," the "vine," and the "fig tree," the "olive tree" signifying the celestial church, "the vine" the spiritual church, and the "fig tree" the external, celestial and spiritual church.

[4] That such is the signification of "the two olive trees and the two lampstands" anyone can see and conclude from this, that they are called "witnesses," and thus are what bear witness of the Lord, that is, acknowledge and confess Him; also from what is said of them in what follows, that "the beast killed them," and afterwards that "the spirit of life from God entered into them," which could not be said of olive trees and lampstands, unless these signified such things as are from the Lord with the angels of heaven and with the men of the church, and bear witness of the Lord, that is, cause angels and men to bear witness of Him. For angels and men cannot from themselves bear witness of the Lord, but the good and truth that are with them from the Lord do this, that is, the Lord Himself from His good and truth with them.

[5] In many passages in the Word gardens and forests, also olive yards and vineyards and also trees of many kinds, as the olive tree, the vine, the fig tree, the cedar, the poplar, and the oak are mentioned; but no one has known heretofore that each of these signifies something spiritual belonging to heaven and the church, except that a "vineyard" signifies the church; but not only does a "vineyard" signify the church but also an "olive yard," and a "forest of cedar" or "Lebanon," and even trees, such as the "olive tree," the "vine," the "fig tree," the "cedar;" and it is because these signify the church and the spiritual things belonging thereto that they are so often mentioned in the Word.

[6] In respect to gardens and forests: "gardens or paradises" signify in particular the intelligence and wisdom which the men of the church have; and "forests or groves" signify the intelligence of the natural man, which regarded in itself is knowledge serviceable to the intelligence of the spiritual man; but an "olive yard" and "vineyard" signify the church, "olive yard" the celestial church, or the church that is in the good of love to the Lord, and "vineyard" the spiritual church, or the church that is in the good of charity towards the neighbor, and thence in the truths of faith. The "olive" and "vine" have a like signification; and this because "oil" signifies the good of love to the Lord, and "wine" the good of charity towards the neighbor and the good of faith; while a "fig tree" signifies the church both celestial and spiritual, but external. These things have these significations from representatives in the spiritual world, and thus from correspondence; for in the inmost heaven, where the Lord's celestial kingdom is, and where love to the Lord reigns, the paradises and forests consist of olive yards and fig trees; but in the second heaven they consist of vineyards and many kinds of fruit bearing trees; in like manner in the lowest heaven, but with the difference that in this heaven the trees are not so noble. Such things exist in the heavens, because they correspond to the wisdom, intelligence, love, charity, and faith of the angels who are in those heavens. From this it can now be seen why "the witnesses" are called "olive trees," namely, because "olive trees" mean all who constitute the Lord's celestial church, that is, who are in the good of love to the Lord, and in the good of love towards a brother and companion.

[7] That such is the signification in the Word of "olive yards," "olive trees," and "olives," can be seen from the following passages. In Zechariah:

Two olive trees near the lampstand, one on the right side of the bowl and the other near its left side; and two olive berries; these are the two sons of the olive tree standing by the Lord of the whole earth (Zechariah 4:3, 11, 12, 14).

This treats of the foundation of the house or temple by Zerubbabel; and the "house" or "temple" signifies the church, therefore a "lampstand" was seen by the prophet, and "near it two olive trees," almost the same as what was seen by John here in Revelation; and the "two olive trees" and "olive berries" signify celestial goods, which are the goods of love to the Lord and of love towards a brother and companion; the former good is signified by "the olive tree seen at the right side of the bowl," and the latter by "the olive tree seen near the left side." The truths of this good are meant by "the sons of the olive tree standing by the Lord of the whole earth," "to stand by Him" signifying to be and to exist from Him.

(References: Zechariah 4:11-12)

[8] Because these goods are signified by "olive trees":

The cherubim in the midst of the house or temple were made of olive wood, likewise the doors to the adytum, and the door posts (1 Kings 6:23-33).

For the "cherubim," as well as the doors and posts to the adytum of the temple, signified the guard that there be no approach to the Lord except through the good of love; the "adytum" signified where the Lord is, and "olive wood" the good of love, because "the olive yard," "the olive tree," and "the olive" signify the celestial things that are of love.

[9] Because "the olive yard" and "the olive tree" signified a church that is in love to the Lord:

The oil of holiness with which all the holy things of the church were anointed was made of olive oil and spices mixed with it (Exodus 30:23, 24).

For all things of the church are holy Divine things just so far as they are derived from love to the Lord; therefore by means of that oil a representation of the Lord and of heaven and the church was established. (See an explanation of these things in Arcana Coelestia.)

(References: Exodus 30:23-24, 30:23-25)

[10] For the same reason:

Pure olive oil was beaten for the light in the Tent of meeting, which was lighted up every evening (Exodus 27:20; Leviticus 24:2).

That "light" or the "lamp stand" there signified the Lord's spiritual church, and the "fire" kindled in the lamps signified spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor; the "pure olive oil beaten" from which was the fire has a similar signification (respecting which see Arcana Coelestia on that passage).

(References: Exodus 27:20-21)

[11] That "olive tree" and "olive" signify the good of love is evident also from the following passages. In Hosea:

I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and he shall infix his roots as Lebanon; his branches shall spread; and his honor shall be as that of the olive, and his odor as that of Lebanon (Hosea 14:5, 6).

This is said of the spiritual church, which is signified by "Israel;" "to be to him as the dew" signifies the existence and spiritual new birth of that church; the first state of its new birth or regeneration is signified by "he shall blossom as the lily," "lily" signifying the blossoming that precedes the fruit; the second state of regeneration is signified by "he shall infix his roots," which state is its existence in the natural, for there the roots are fixed; the third state is signified by "his branches shall spread," which signifies the multiplication of knowledges and of cognitions; the fifth 1 state, which is the state of fruit bearing, is signified by "his honor shall be as that of the olive," the "olive" signifying the good of love, of which "honor" is predicated (that "honor" is predicated of the good of love, see above, n. 288, 345); and the sixth 2 state, which is the state of intelligence and wisdom, is signified by "his odor as that of Lebanon," "odor" signifying perception, and "Lebanon" rationality, from which are intelligence and wisdom.

(References: Hosea 14:5-6)

[12] In David:

I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for an age and forever (Psalms 52:8).

It is said "like a green olive tree in the house of God," because a "green olive tree" signifies the good of love springing up by means of the truth of the Word; and the "house of God" signifies the church.

[13] In the same:

Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine on the sides of thy house; thy sons like olive plants around thy tables; thus shall the man be blessed that feareth Jehovah (Psalms 128:3, 4).

In the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, this refers to a wife and sons, and the enjoyments arising from marriage and prolification, but in the internal sense, which is the sense of the spirit of the Word, "wife" signifies the affection of truth, and "sons" the truths themselves springing therefrom; for every truth in which there is life is born from the affection of truth; and because a "wife" signifies that affection she is compared to a fruitful vine, since a "vine" signifies the church, and a "fruitful vine" the church in respect to the affection of truth. A "house" signifies the spiritual mind, and its "sides" signify all things in the natural man; "sons" signify the truths that are born from that spiritual affection, and these are compared to "olive plants," because through truths the goods of love and charity, which are olive trees, are brought forth; "around the tables" signifies the enjoyments arising from spiritual appropriation and nourishment.

(References: Psalms 128:3-4)

[14] In Moses:

It shall be when Jehovah thy God hath brought thee into the land, He shall give thee great and good cities which thou buildedst not, and houses full of every good thing which thou filledst not, and cisterns hewn out which thou hewedst not, vineyards and olive yards which thou plantedst not (Deuteronomy 6:10, 11).

The meaning of these words in the spiritual sense is altogether different from their meaning in the historical sense; for in the spiritual sense "the land of Canaan," into which they were to be brought, signifies the church; therefore "cities," "houses," "cisterns," "vineyards," and "olive yards" signify such things as belong to the church; "great and good cities" signify the doctrinals, which teach the goods of love and charity; "houses full of every good thing" signify all things of wisdom; "cisterns hewn out" signify all things of intelligence in the natural man, which are cognitions and knowledges; "vineyards and olive yards" signify all things of the church in respect to truths and goods.

(References: Deuteronomy 6:10-11)

[15] It is related of Noah:

That he sent forth a dove out of the ark, which returned to him about the time of evening, bearing in its mouth the leaf of an olive plucked off, so that he knew that the waters were abated (Genesis 8:10, 11).

This describes in the spiritual sense the regeneration of the man of the church, signified by "Noah and his sons;" here the "dove" sent out a second time signifies the second successive state, which is the state when, falsities having been removed, spiritual good begins to spring forth through truths; for a "leaf" signifies truth, and "olive" the good springing forth therefrom, and "waters" signify falsities. (This may be seen more fully explained in Arcana Coelestia 870-892.)

(References: Genesis 8:10-11)

[16] In Zechariah:

His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before the faces of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be cloven asunder, a part thereof toward the east and toward the sea with a valley exceeding great, and a part of the mountain shall withdraw toward the north, and a part of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:4).

What this signifies has been explained above n. 405, where it was shown that "the Mount of Olives" signifies the Divine love. For the Mount of Olives was on the east of Jerusalem, and "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to doctrine; and every church and every truth of doctrine is illuminated and receives light from the Lord in the east; and the east in heaven is where the Lord appears as a sun; and as the "sun" signifies the Divine love, so the "east" and "the Mount of Olives," which was on the east of Jerusalem, have the same signification. Because that mountain, as has been said, signified the Lord's Divine love, the Lord was accustomed to stay on it, as in the Gospels:

That Jesus every day was teaching in the temple, and every night He went out and lodged in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37; 22:39; John 8:1);

That upon that mountain He spoke with His disciples about the Last Judgment (Matthew 24:3, et seq.; Mark 13:3, et seq.);

And that He went therefrom to Jerusalem and suffered; besides many other things (Matthew 21:1; 26:30; Mark 11:1; 14:26; Luke 19:29, 37; 21:37; 22:39; John 8:1).

All these things took place because "the Mount of Olives" signified the Divine love; and things significative, because they were representative of heaven and the church, were what at that time conjoined the Lord with heaven and the world. Moreover, the angels of the inmost or third heaven dwell in the east upon mountains, where olive trees abound more than all other trees.

[17] In Jeremiah:

Jehovah called thy name a green olive tree, beautiful with fruit of form; at the voice of a great tumult He hath kindled a fire upon it, and they have broken its branches; for Jehovah of Hosts, who planted thee, hath spoken evil against thee, because of the wickedness of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah (Jeremiah 11:16, 17).

Here the house of Judah and Israel is called "a green olive tree, beautiful with fruit of form," because "the olive tree" and its "fruit" signify the good of love, and "green" and "beautiful in form" signify the truth of that good, from which comes intelligence; for "the house of Judah" signifies the church in respect to the good of love, and "the house of Israel" the church in respect to the truth of that good; "to call its name" signifies its quality; the destruction and vastation of that church by the love of evil is described by "Jehovah hath kindled a fire upon it, and hath broken its branches," "fire" signifying the love of evil, and "branches" truths, which are said "to be broken" when they perish by reason of that love. This is attributed to Jehovah because of the appearance that all evil of punishment 3 seems to be from God, because He is omnipotent and does not avert it; for it is not known that to avert the evil of punishment would be contrary to order, for if it were averted evil would increase until there would be no good remaining.

(References: Jeremiah 11:16-17)

[18] In Isaiah:

So shall it be in the midst of the land, in the midst of the peoples, as the beating of an olive tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done (Isaiah 24:13).

This, too, is said of the vastation of the church in respect to celestial good, and in respect to spiritual good; celestial good is the good of love to the Lord, and spiritual good is in its essence truth from that good; celestial good is signified by the "olive tree," and spiritual good which is the truth from celestial good is signified by the "vintage;" vastation is signified by the "beating" and "gleanings" after the consummation.

[19] In Moses:

Thou shalt plant vineyards and cultivate them, but the wine thou shalt not drink, for the worm shall devour it; thou shalt have olive trees in all thy border, but thou shalt not anoint thee with the oil, because thy olive shall be shaken off (Deuteronomy 28:39, 40).

A "vineyard" signifies the spiritual church, and an "olive tree" the celestial church, so a "vineyard" signifies also the truth of the church, and an "olive tree" its good; therefore "to plant a vineyard and cultivate it and not drink the wine" signifies that although the church is established and truths of doctrine are taught, still truths will neither affect nor perfect, "wine" signifying the truth of doctrine; "for the worm shall devour it" signifies that falsities will destroy; "thou shalt have olive trees in all thy border" signifies that there will be the goods of love from the Lord through the Word and preachings from the Word throughout the church; "not to anoint with oil" signifies no enjoyment, nevertheless, of any good, or any joy therefrom; "thy olive shall be shaken off" signifies that that good will perish. This has reference to the curse if they should worship other gods, and should not keep the statutes and judgments.

(References: Deuteronomy 28:39-40)

[20] In Micah:

Thou shalt tread the olive but shalt not anoint thee with oil, and the new wine but thou shalt not drink wine (Mic. Micah 6:15).

In Amos:

I have smitten with blasting and mildew your many gardens and your vineyards; and the palmerworm hath devoured your fig trees and your olive trees; yet have ye not returned unto Me (Amos 4:9).

"Gardens" signify such things as belong to spiritual intelligence; "blasting and mildew" signify evil and falsity in what is most external, or from the corporeal-sensual; "vineyards" signify the spiritual or interior truths of the church; "fig trees" exterior goods and truths, which are also called moral; but "olive trees" the goods of the church; and the "palmerworm" signifies falsity destroying good.

[21] In Habakkuk:

The fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be produce on the vines, the labor of the olive yard shall dissemble, and the field shall yield no food (Habakkuk 3:17).

Here, too, the "fig tree" signifies the externals of the church, "vines" its internals; the "olive yard" its goods; and the "field" the church itself with man.

[22] In the first book of Samuel:

The king shall take your fields and your vineyards and your olive yards, and shall give them to his servants (1 Samuel 8:14).

Here, too, "fields," "vineyards," and "olive yards" have the same signification. The right of the king is here treated of, by which is meant and described the dominion of the natural man over the spiritual, namely, that it will destroy all the truths and goods of the church, and make them serve the natural man, and thus evils and falsities.

[23] In the book of Judges:

Jotham said unto the citizens of Shechem, who had made Abimelech king, The trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Shall I make my fatness to cease, which God and men honor in me, and go to move myself over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Shall I make my sweetness to cease, and my good produce; and go to move myself over the trees? And the trees said unto the vine, Come thou, reign over us. But the vine said unto them, Shall I cause my new wine to cease, that maketh glad God and men, and go to move myself over the trees? And all the trees said unto the thorn bush, Come thou, reign over us. And the thorn bush said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me for a king over you, come and put your trust in my shadow, but if not, let anger 4 go out from the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon (Judges 9:7-15).

These words of Jotham signify that the citizens of Shechem were not willing to have celestial good, which is the "olive tree," nor the truth of that good, which is the "vine," nor moral good, that is, external celestial and spiritual good, which is the "fig tree," to reign over them, but the evil of falsity, which appeared to them as good, which is the "thorn bush;" the fire from this is the evil of lust; the "cedars of Lebanon" are things rational which are from truths. From the passages quoted above it can be seen that in most places the olive tree and the vineyard are mentioned together, which is done because of the marriage of good and truth in every particular of the Word; for "olive tree" and "oil" signify the good of the church, and "vineyard" and "wine" the truth of that good. (That "oil" signifies the good of love, and the delight of heaven therefrom, may be seen above, n. 375; and that "wine" signifies the good of charity and truth of faith, n. 376)


1. The Latin has "fifth" for "fourth."

2. The Latin has "sixth" for "fifth."

3. The Latin has "almost" for "of punishment;" "paene" for "poenae."

4. The Hebrew has "fire," as is also found in Arcana Coelestia 9277.

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