The Bible

 

Matthew 3:1-12 : John the Baptist (Gospel of Matthew)

        

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1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 794, 1017, 1861, 2371, 2708, 3301, 3540, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 315, 350, 378, 400, 553, 749, 839, ...

Doctrine of the Lord 15, 30, 51

Doctrine of Life 93, 104

Heaven and Hell 570

True Christian Religion 113, 144, 468, 483, 668, 677, 684, ...


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 183, 374, 376, 395, 475, 504, ...

Marriage 113

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 6, 13, 33, 67

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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Bible Word Meanings

john the baptist
Jesus as a man in the Bible represents Divine Truth, the pure and perfect expression of the Lord's infinite love. That truth is contained within...

john
Jesus as a man in the Bible represents Divine Truth, the pure and perfect expression of the Lord's infinite love. That truth is contained within...

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

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...

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

prepare
In general, when something is "prepared" in the Bible it means that it is in the proper spiritual order, which happens when our hearts and...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

make
'To make,' as in Hosea 8:11, refers to good. In the opposite sense it refers to evil. To make heaven, and earth, and the sea,...

paths
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....

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

leathern girdle
'The leathern girdle' which John the Baptist wore signifies an external band that receives and contains interior things.

saw
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...

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",...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

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...

vipers
'Viper' signifies mortal hatreds and also extremely deceitful people.

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...

Abraham
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

cast
For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

ghost
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

Fan
A fan, referred to in Matthew 3:12, signifies the separation of falsities from goods.

floor
The floor, as in Matthew 3:12, signifies the world of spirits which is between heaven and hell, and where the separation of evils and falsities...

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

Garner
A garner, granary, or barn, as in as in Matthew 3:12 and 8:30, signify where there is a collection of the good.

chaff
Chaff is mentioned in Matthew 3:12 signifies falsity of every kind, derived from an in­fernal origin.

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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.


 Baptism of the Lord
Use felt tip markers to draw a picture of John baptizing the Lord in the Jordan River. Then dip a paintbrush in water and go over the picture to give the effect of watercolor. 
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Dove Poster or Mobile
The dove symbolizes purification by Divine truth. Make a poster or mobile with the color picture of a dove and truths which can help us "clean up" our lives.
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 Flight into Egypt
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 God Is a Divine Man
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Jesus Comes to John the Baptist
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 John the Baptist
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Lord's Baptism
Put together this project to make a picture of the Lord that can be moved to show Him going into the waters of the Jordan to be baptized. 
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Quotes: The Promise of Baptism
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Dove
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 The Lord’s Baptism
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord’s Baptism (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Lord’s Baptism (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord’s Baptism (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 You Are My Beloved Son (sheet music)
Sheet music for a beautiful song about the Lord’s baptism.
Song | Ages over 11

Commentary

 

The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand      

By Rev. William Woofenden

"Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 3:3
Additional readings: Isaiah 1:1-20

In the childhood of the human race, before men had departed from right ways of life, heaven was near to them. They could be led directly by the Lord, for their hearts and minds were open to him. Of this Golden Age of the human race it is written, "Man walked with God." But we have all read in the history of the human race as revealed in the Scripture the account of how many departed from the way of life and, following the devices of his own heart, closed his mind to the direct reception of goodness and truth from the Lord, until finally he reached a state in which all true knowledge of God and heaven was lost.

Then the Lord came to bring salvation to mankind, and preparation for His reception was made through John the Baptist, the messenger sent in fulfillment of a prophecy given centuries before. John’s message is our text: "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And when John was put to death, and the Lord began His active ministry in the world, the words of our text were also His first message. For He came to make clear the way of life, and wrong ideas held possession of the minds of men then, as they do of many minds today.

It is not by chance that this first message turns our thoughts to heaven. The purpose of our creation is that we may so live that we shall find our homes in heaven. Belief in heaven had been lost, along with the knowledge about it. And today belief in heaven is for the most part vague, and many think that eternal life does not mean personal existence in the spiritual world, but only the persistence of one’s influence in this world. Great men like Homer, Plato, Moses, Shakespeare, Gladstone, Lincoln, Pasteur, and many others perpetuate themselves in the influence they exert in the minds of living men. This, they say, is what is meant by immortality, by everlasting life. But we should realize that this type of everlasting life is open to the evil as well as to the good. A Diocletian may be remembered forever as well as the beloved Apostle. We need to know the truth that men and women, as individuals, live forever after death in the spiritual world.

But this is not the implication of the text which I have chosen for consideration this morning." The kingdom of heaven is at hand." We know that heaven is not in some remote part of the natural sky, that we cannot say, "Lo, here, or Lo, there" (Luke 17:21). But we are still apt to think of it as far away. We are also inclined to think of it as remote in time. We speak commonly of the "future" world. In the thought of some even, it lies at the indefinitely remote time, when they expect a general resurrection along with others; death is the gateway of heaven, but heaven still seems too distant to be of much practical and present interest.

But the truth is that heaven is far away neither in space nor in time. It is here, it is now, it is "at hand." We live in it now, or we may do so. It is a present reality, the most real and the most important element of the life we are now living. When we speak of heaven, and of living for heaven, we are not, as some charge, setting our hearts on something far away, and despising the real world in which we now are. If one lives for a far-off heaven — and no doubt some have lived so — he may be careless of this world’s joys and sorrows, of opportunities for usefulness, keeping his eyes fixed on some vision of the future. But we may live for heaven and still live thoroughly in the present. We ought to value heaven as the most real of present realities. The Gospel is true: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

We are taught in the New Church that heaven is essentially a state of human feeling, thought and life, a state in which love to the Lord and love to the neighbor are the ruling motives. We are taught that no outward paradise which could be made by human or by Divine skill would be a heaven if those affections were absent from the heart, that there is no real or lasting satisfaction except in the exercise of these affections. It follows that we can come into heaven in this world, and live in heaven while we live on earth, for we may learn here to love the Lord and one another, and to find our chief enjoyment in the exercise of these heavenly loves.

But this is an abstract way of speaking. Concretely, heaven is not merely a heavenly state in ourselves; it is the great world of human beings who are living in that state, those people in whose hearts are heavenly affections, whose minds are bright with spiritual light, and whose hands are busy with heavenly works. There are many such people in this world. There are countless more who have gone from the earth to the spiritual world, and are there living the same good life under freer and happier conditions. All these people are heaven.

When we have love to the Lord and the neighbor in ourselves, we are brought spiritually near to those in like affections, both of this world and of the spiritual world. It is not a figure of speech when we say that heaven is about us when we are in heavenly states. It is a literal and positive fact. Heaven is so really around us at such times that if it were granted to us, as it was to Elisha’s servant and to others in Bible days to have our spiritual eyes opened, we should see the angels who are our companions and the beautiful land in which they dwell. Among them we should see and recognize some who were dear to us on earth, who still love and help us, and there would be some whom we had not known before but who would from the first glance seem to us as old friends, because they have similar desires and thoughts. And we should recognize them as the source of our happiness.

The Lord created the world and all things in it. All things in the world were made for man to use and enjoy, from the very materials of the earth to all the myriad things of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, the beast of the field, the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea. For man’s needs of food, clothing, shelter, for gratification of his senses, and the improvement of his mind these things were made. All these were created and given to man for blessings. But they are subject to one important condition: man must indeed labor to make these things of service to himself, but he must also use them in the service of others. Only so can he have any security or peace. The world of nature and of human beings is not for one man, or a few men, or a nation to control or exploit. Indeed we cannot rightly claim sovereignty over ourselves. We need the guidance of the Lord. And whatever under the Divine Providence we have been able to acquire, whether of material wealth, or of skill, or of learning, we did not acquire it by our unaided efforts. Our daily knowledge of the happenings in the world, our libraries, our schools are made possible by the labor of mind and body of other men and women, great or humble, living or dead. We depend on others and they on us, and life and security today, as always, depend upon the honesty and good will of the community in which we live.

Yet we should also realize that behind the labors and sufferings and the honesty and good will of men stands the Lord. Through His power alone man achieves progress. It is a law of the Divine Providence that man must act in freedom according to reason. This applies to the life of nations as well as to the life of individuals. But the Lord is present and operative always.

For infinitely wise and good reasons, the Lord does not draw the veil aside for us and allow us to see the heavenly world. Some argue that if only they could see heaven, they would believe in it. But to see that world as an outward, objective reality would destroy our freedom. We should be lured by its outward attractiveness, and it would be less possible for us to come into its true spirit.

When we are living in selfish and evil affections, we are in hell. Not only is hell within us at such times but it is also about us, not by a figure of speech, but actually. We are breathing its poisoned atmosphere and, if our eyes were opened, we should see the forms and faces of those who find their life in evil and who exult in influencing others to evil. Why, at least then, does the Lord not draw the veil aside and show us the terribleness of evil? The sight might for the moment frighten us, but we should be less able to shun evil freely because it is evil, and our power to escape permanently from it would be greatly lessened.

If we are tempted to question the Lord’s Providence in not revealing to us more openly the conditions of the good and evil in the spiritual world, we do well to remember His words, "They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them….If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:29-31).

The Lord said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). We should seek those good things which endure forever, and should not sacrifice them for the sake of money or health or life itself. To acquire love to the Lord and to the neighbor is the only thing worth living for. Our business dealings should have as their motive the love of use, of service to others. The most necessary thing in making a home is having in it the sunshine of heaven. The only absolute requirement for our happiness as we go to and fro in the ways of the world is that heaven shall go with us. This is to live for heaven, and yet to live must fully in the present. This is the practical meaning of living for heaven.

It may be stated still more simply. Heaven is not heaven from locality, neither is it heaven from anything which belongs to the angels as their own. It is heaven from what is received from the Lord into the lives and hearts of the angels. To be near the Lord, not in place merely, but in heart, to feel the protection and peace of His presence is heaven. Heaven is being near to the Lord and keeping near to Him. There is no other heaven for men or angels.

"The kingdom of heaven is at hand." When John first spoke this message, the kingdom of heaven was in a special sense at hand, because the Lord had come to live with men and to make Himself accessible to them. A power to heal and bless went forth from the Lord during His life on earth. Men obsessed felt his saving power and sat at His feet clothed and in their right mind.

At the Transfiguration Peter said, "Lord, it is good for us to be here" (Matthew 17:4, Mark 9:5, Luke 9:33). In following the Lord, in hearing His Word and in doing His work, they were tasting of heaven. But we need to note that the mere physical nearness of the Lord did not make heaven. Some cried out with fear at His approach. It was not heaven to them. It was not heaven to those who followed Him to accuse and to betray Him. His presence was a blessing only to those who in some measure drew near to Him in spirit.

Even in the Lord’s coming on earth the kingdom of heaven was not forced on me. It was made accessible to them; it was brought within their reach.

It is brought within our reach. Just as there is no royal road to knowledge, there is no royal road to heaven. We must cease to do evil before we can learn to do well. Repentance, the willingness to recognize and acknowledge our faults and weaknesses and to struggle to overcome them opens the door. Heavenly life comes into the soul when selfish desires are replaced by kindly thoughts and the desire to serve. The Lord tell us to seek these heavenly virtues now, not for the sake of honor for ourselves, but that we may be really kind and helpful to others, that our lives may have something of the Lord’s love in them. Then we shall find that life here makes one with heavenly life, and that our Heavenly Father is the Source of happiness in both alike.

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #376

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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376. It has thus far been shown that "oil" signifies celestial good, which is the good of love to the Lord; it shall now be shown that "wine" signifies spiritual good, which is the good of charity towards the neighbor and the good of faith; and as this good in its essence is truth, it is said in the general explanation that "the oil and the wine hurt not," which signifies that there must no harm be done to the internal or spiritual sense of the Word in respect either to good or to truth, or what is the same, that there must no harm be done to the goods and truths which are in the internal or spiritual sense of the Word. The good of charity and the good of faith in their essence are truth, because that good is implanted by the Lord in man's intellectual part by means of the truths that are called the truths of faith, and when man lives according to these truths they become goods; for by means of truths a new will is formed in that part, and whatever proceeds from the will is called good. This will, moreover, is the same as conscience, and conscience is a conscience of truth, for it is formed by truths of every kind from the doctrine of the church, and from the sense of the letter of the Word (but on this subject see further in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 130-138; and the extracts from the Arcana Coelestia 139-141). From this now it is that "wine" signifies truth.

(References: Revelation 6:6; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 139-141)


[2] Furthermore, there are goods and truths internal and external; internal goods and truths are signified by "the oil and the wine" that must not be hurt; but external goods and truths are signified by "wheat and barley." External goods and truths are those that are in the sense of the letter of the Word, while internal goods and truths are those that are in the internal or spiritual sense of the Word; or external goods and truths are such as are in the lower heavens with the angels there, that is, in the ultimates of heaven, while internal goods and truths are such as are in the higher heavens with the angels there, that is, in the third and second heavens. These goods and truths are genuine goods and truths themselves, but the former are truths and goods because they correspond, thus are correspondences; internal goods and truths have immediate communication with the angels of heaven, while external goods and truths have not an immediate but a mediate communication through correspondences. This is why the Jews, because they were only in the sense of the letter and had no knowledge of the signification of things in the spiritual sense, were unable to do harm to the spiritual sense in respect either to good or to truth, and consequently were unable to do harm to genuine goods and truths. So the Christian Church at this day is unable to do harm to the genuine goods and truths which are in the spiritual sense of the Word, for it has been ignorant of that sense, and at the same time ignorant of genuine goods and truths.

[3] The spiritual sense of the Word was not disclosed to Christians, because genuine goods and truths, such as are in the higher heavens, lie concealed in the spiritual sense of the Word; and so long as these goods and truths were unperceived and unknown that sense could not be opened, since these goods and truths could not be seen. In the Christian churches genuine goods and truths have not been perceived and known for the reason that those churches have been divided, in general, into the Papal and the Evangelical; and those in the Papal Church are utterly ignorant of truths, because they do not depend upon the Word, thus upon the Lord who is the Word, that is, Divine truth, but upon the pope, from whose mouth scarcely anything proceeds except what is from the love of ruling, and that love is from hell; therefore with them scarcely a single truth of the church exists; while in the Evangelical churches faith alone has been assumed as the essential means of salvation, and as a consequence the good of love and charity has been rejected as nonessential, and where good is rejected no truth which is truth in itself can exist, since all truth is from good; for the Lord flows into man's good, and by means of good illustrates him and gives him the light to perceive truths, therefore without that light, which is man's very spiritual life, there is no truth, however much it may sound like truth because it is from the Word; it is truth falsified by the ideas that are held in respect to it; for from faith separate from charity, or from truths without good, no other result can follow. This is why the spiritual sense of the Word could not be disclosed to the Christian churches, for if it had been disclosed, they would have falsified and perverted it by ideas from fallacies, and thus would have profaned it. This also is why no one will ever hereafter be admitted into the spiritual sense of the Word unless he is in genuine truths from good, and no one can be in genuine truths from good unless in heart he acknowledges the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, for from Him is every good and thence every truth. The spiritual sense of the Word is at this day opened, and therewith also genuine truths and goods are disclosed, because the Last Judgment has been accomplished by the Lord, and thus all things in the heavens and in the hells have been reduced to order; and for this reason it can be provided by the Lord that no harm can be done to genuine truths and goods, which are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and this could not have been provided before (see in the small work on The Last Judgment 73).

[4] That "wine" signifies spiritual good, or the good of charity and the good of faith, which in its essence is truth, can be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:

Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no silver; come ye, buy and eat; buy wine and milk without silver and without price (Isaiah 55:1).

Anyone can see that this does not mean that wine and milk may be bought without silver, "wine and milk" therefore signify things spiritual, namely, "wine" spiritual good, which in its essence is truth, as was said above, but "milk" the good of that truth. That these are given by the Lord freely to those who are ignorant of truth and good, and yet in a desire for these, is signified by "he that hath no silver, come ye, buy and eat; buy without silver;" "to buy" signifies to acquire for oneself, and "to eat" signifies to make one's own, which is done by application as from oneself. Those who are ignorant of truth and good, and yet are in a desire for them, are evidently meant, for it is said, "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters," "to thirst" signifying to desire, and "waters" signifying truths, here the Word where truths are.

[5] In Joel:

It shall come to pass in that day, the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; all the water-courses of Judah shall flow with waters (Joel 3:18).

This treats of the Lord's coming, and of the new heaven and the new church from Him. It is well known that the mountains in the land of Canaan, or in Judea, did not then drop down sweet wine, nor the hills flow with milk, nor the water-courses of Judah flow with waters more than before, therefore these words must mean something else than new wine, milk, and waters, or than mountains, hills, and water-courses, namely, "that the mountains shall drop down sweet wine" [mustum] or wine [vinum], means that from the good of love to the Lord there shall be genuine truth; "the hills shall flow with milk" means that from the good of charity towards the neighbor there shall be spiritual life; and "all the water-courses of Judah shall flow with waters" means that from the particulars of the Word there shall be truths. (For "Judah" signifies the Lord's celestial kingdom, and also the Word, see Arcana Coelestia 3881 Arcana Coelestia 3881[1-11], 6363; therefore "its water-courses" signify the particulars of the Word; that "mountains" signify the good of love to the Lord, n. Arcana Coelestia 795, 4210, 6435, 8327, 8758, 10438, 10608; and "hills" the good of charity towards the neighbor, n. 6435, 10438; and this because in heaven those who are in the good of love to the Lord dwell upon mountains, and those who are in the good of charity towards the neighbor dwell upon hills, n. Arcana Coelestia 10438, and Heaven and Hell, n. 188.)

[6] In Amos:

Behold the days come, that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that draweth forth seed; and the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and all the hills shall dissolve. I will bring back the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities; and they shall inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof, and they shall make gardens and eat the fruit of them. Then will I plant them upon their ground (Amos 9:13-15).

This chapter treats first of the vastation of the church, and then of its restoration by the Lord; and "the people Israel" do not mean that people, but those with whom the church was to be established; and "the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that draweth forth the seed," signifies that he who receives good and truth shall also perform uses, or bear fruit, thus that with the man of the church the two shall be present at the same time; "the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and all the hills shall dissolve," signifies, as just above, that from the good of love to the Lord and from the good of charity towards the neighbor there shall be truths in abundance, "sweet wine" here, or "wine," meaning truth; that "the captivity of the people Israel shall be brought back" signifies the restoration of the church among the Gentiles, for "captivity" means spiritual captivity, in which those are who are remote from goods and truths, and yet in a desire for them (see Arcana Coelestia 9164). "The waste cities that they shall build" signify the doctrinals of truth and good from the Word, before destroyed and at that time to be restored; "the vineyards which they shall plant," and "the wine of which they shall drink," signify all things of the church from which there is intelligence, "a vineyard" signifies the spiritual church, and therefore "vineyards" signify all things of the church; "wine" signifies the truth of the church in general, and "to drink it" signifies to be instructed and become intelligent, thus intelligence; and "the gardens which they shall make, and the fruit of which they shall eat," signifies wisdom, "gardens" meaning all things of intelligence, and their "fruit" signifying the goods of life, thus "to eat their fruit" signifies the appropriation of good, thus wisdom, for wisdom comes when truths are committed to the life; and because this is what is meant, therefore it is said of Israel, "I will plant them upon their ground."

[7] In Moses:

He bindeth his foal to the vine, the son of his she-ass unto the noble vine; he washeth his vesture in wine, and his covering in the blood of the grapes. His eyes are red with wine, and his teeth white with milk (Genesis 49:1, 12).

This is in the prophecy of Israel the father respecting Judah, by whom here Judah is not meant, but the Lord in relation to the celestial kingdom; and "wine" and the "blood of grapes" mean the Divine truth. (What the rest signifies, and that "wine" signifies Divine truth, because this has reference to the Lord, see Arcana Coelestia 6375-6381.)

(References: Genesis 49:11-12)


[8] In the same:

Jacob brought of his venison to his father Isaac, and he did eat; and he brought him wine, and he drank. And Isaac blessed him, saying, God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatnesses of the earth, and plenty of corn and new wine (Genesis 27:25, 27-28, 37).

Those who do not know that the Word is spiritual in its particulars may suppose that by "Isaac" here is meant Isaac, and by "Jacob" Jacob, and therefore that by "the fatnesses of the earth," and "the corn and new wine," no other and deeper things are meant; but "Isaac" here represents the Lord, and "Jacob" the church; thence the "fatnesses of the earth" mean the celestial things that are of the good of love; and "corn and new wine" every good and truth of the church. (But these words may also be seen explained in Arcana Coelestia (Arcana Coelestia 3570), n. 3570, 3579, 3580.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3579-3580, Genesis 27:26-28)


[9] In the same:

If ye shall harken to My commandments, I will give rain to your land in its time, the former rain and the latter rain; and thou shall gather in thy corn, and thy new wine, and thy fresh oil (Deuteronomy 11:13-14).

These blessings of the earth were promised to the sons of Israel if they would hear and do the commandments of Jehovah, and the blessings followed because with them the church was representative, and the things that were said and commanded by Jehovah corresponded to things spiritual, thus these blessings of the earth to the blessings of heaven. The blessings of heaven, to which the blessings of the earth correspond, all have reference to the things that are of the good of love and the truth of faith; these blessings therefore are signified by "the former rain and the latter rain," for "rain" in particular signifies Divine truth flowing in out of heaven, from which all things of the church and heaven with man are born, grow, and are brought forth; therefore "the corn, new wine, and oil, which they should gather in," signify every good and truth of the external and internal man.

[10] In the same:

Thus Israel dwelt securely, alone by the fountain of Jacob, in a land of corn and new wine; yea, his heavens shall drop down dew (Deuteronomy 33:28).

This was the conclusion of the blessings of the sons of Israel by Moses, which were all prophetical, and every son or every tribe of Israel signified something of the church (as in Genesis 49); and here "Israel" signifies the church itself; and "to dwell securely, alone by the fountain of Jacob," signifies to live without infestation from evils and falsities, and to be led by the Lord alone through Divine truth, the "fountain of Jacob" meaning Divine truth and the Word; and "to live in a land of corn and new wine" signifies in every good and truth of the church; and "yea, his heavens shall drop down dew," signifies influx out of heaven.

[11] In the same:

He made him ride upon the high places of the earth, and gave him butter of the herd, and milk of the flock, with the fat of lambs, and of rams, the sons of Bashan, and of he-goats, with the fat of the kidneys of wheat; and thou drinkest the blood of the grape, unmixed wine (Deuteronomy 32:13-14).

These things are said of the Ancient Church, which was the church previous to the Israelitish Church, and was in the good of charity and in truths of faith. The goods of every kind, in which it was, are meant by these things, namely, the "butter of the herd," the "milk of the flock," "the fat of lambs," "the fat of rams," "the fat of goats," "the fat of the kidneys of wheat;" and spiritual truths are meant by "the blood of the grape" and "unmixed wine."

[12] In Jeremiah:

They shall come and sing aloud in the height of Zion, and shall flow together unto the good of Jehovah, to the corn, and to the new wine, and to the fresh oil, and to the sons of the flock and of the herd (Jeremiah 31:12).

"Corn," "new wine," and "fresh oil," signify goods and truth of every kind (what these mean in particular, see above, n. 374). In Isaiah:

Jehovah hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength, Surely I will no longer give thy corn to be food for thine enemies, and the sons of the alien shall not drink thy new wine for which thou hast labored; but they that gather it shall eat it and praise Jehovah, and they that bring it together shall drink it in the courts of holiness (Isaiah 62:8-9).

This is said of Jerusalem, which signifies the church in relation to doctrine; therefore "the corn that shall no longer be given as food for the enemies, and the new wine that the sons of the alien shall not drink" signify in general the good and truth of the church, which shall no longer be consumed by evils and falsities; "enemies" here meaning evils, and "the sons of the alien" falsities, and "to eat," or "to have food given them," and "to drink," mean to consume. That goods and truths will remain with those who receive them, and thence make use of them, is signified by "they that gather it shall eat it," and "they that bring it together shall drink it;" worship from these is signified by "praising Jehovah," and "drinking in the courts of holiness."

(References: Isaiah 62:7-9; The Apocalypse Explained 374)


[13] In the same:

Gladness is taken away, and exultation from Carmel; and in the vineyards there is no singing aloud, no shouting for joy; the treader treadeth not out the wine in the wine-vats; I have made the vintage-shouting to cease (Isaiah 16:10).

This describes the taking away of the heavenly enjoyment that is from good and its truths, because good and truth itself is taken away; the good of the church is meant by "Carmel," and its truths by "vineyards" and by "treading out the wine in the wine-vats;" the enjoyments thereof that are taken away are meant by "gladness," "exultation," "singing aloud," "shouting," and "vintage-shouting," for it was a custom to sing in the vineyards, and in the winepresses when the grape was trodden into wine, that enjoyments from truths, which were signified by "wine," might be represented.

[14] In Jeremiah:

With more than the weeping of Jazer I will weep for thee, O vine of Sibmah; thy shoots are passed over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer; upon thy autumn fruits, and upon thy vintage the devastator is fallen. Whence gladness and exultation is gathered out of Carmel, and out of the land of Moab; and I have caused the wine to cease in the wine-vats; none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting (Jeremiah 48:32-33).

This also treats of the taking away of the heavenly enjoyment that is from the good of love and the truths thence, for all heavenly enjoyment is in these and from these. Lamentation over it is meant by "weeping" [flere fletum]; deprivation of it is meant by "gladness and exultation is gathered out of Carmel," likewise by "the devastator falling upon it," "the wine failing," and "the shouting being no shouting;" the good that was taken away, for which there was lamentation, is meant by "the autumn fruits;" and the truths of good that were taken away are meant by "the vintage," and by "the wine in the wine-vats." That truths were banished, and that they perished through knowledges [scientifica] is meant by "the vine of Sibmah," and by its "shoots that have gone over the sea, even to the sea of Jazer," "sea" signifying the knowing faculty [scientificum].

[15] In Lamentations:

The infant and the suckling faint in the broad places of the city. They say to their mothers, Where is the corn and the wine? when they faint as one pierced in the broad places of the city, when their soul is poured out upon their mother's bosom (Lam. 2:11-12).

These words contain a lamentation over the Jewish Church, that every good and truth thereof has perished; and the lamentation is described by "the infant and the suckling who faint in the broad places of the city, and say to their mothers, Where is the corn and the wine?" The "infant and the suckling" signify those who are in the good of innocence, and in an abstract sense, the good of innocence itself; by this good every good of the church is meant, since it is the essential of all its goods (see in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 276-283, 285, 288, 341, 382). "The broad places of the city" signify the truths of doctrine; "mothers" all things of the church; "corn and wine" all the good and truth of the church in general. It is said that "they faint as one pierced in the broad places of the city, when their soul is poured out upon their mother's bosom," because "one pierced" signifies those who perish spiritually from the deprivation of truth, and "soul" signifies spiritual life. (That "the broad places of the city, in which they faint," signify the truths of doctrine, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2336; and that "the mother, into whose bosom the soul is poured out," signifies the church, n. 2691, 2717, 3703, 4257, 5581, 8897)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2336)


[16] In Zephaniah:

Their wealth shall be for plunder, and their houses for a waste, that they may build houses but not inhabit them, and plant vineyards but not drink the wine thereof (Zephaniah 1:13).

The "wealth that shall be for plunder" signifies spiritual wealth, which is the knowledges of good and truth; "the houses that shall be for devastation" signify the things of the church in man; that from these when devastated one profits nothing and receives nothing, even though he listens to them, and sees them in the Word, is signified by "building and not inhabiting, and planting vineyards and not drinking the wine thereof," "houses" meaning the goods of the church, and "vineyards" with "wine" its truths.

[17] Like things are meant in Micah:

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

In Amos:

Vineyards of desire shall ye plant, but ye shall not drink the wine of them (Amos 5:11).

And in Hosea:

The threshing-floor and the wine-vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall dissemble unto them. They shall not pour forth wine to Jehovah, and these shall not be agreeable unto Him (Hosea 9:2, 4).

The "threshing-floor and the wine-vat" signify the same as "corn and wine," because corn and wine are there collected; that they will not profit by what they hear is signified by "they shall not feed them, and the new wine shall dissemble unto them;" and that thence their worship is not accepted is signified by "they shall not pour forth wine to Jehovah, and these (that is, the offerings) shall not be agreeable unto Him."

[18] In Joel:

Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine which is cut off from your mouth. The field is devastated, the ground mourned, for the corn was devastated, the new wine was dried up, the fresh oil languisheth; the husbandmen were ashamed; the vine-dressers howled (Joel 1:5, 10-11).

What these words signify in the spiritual sense, may be seen above n. 374, where they are explained; "wine" and "sweet wine" meaning the truth of the church, and "vine-dressers" those who are in truths and teach them. This treats of a devastated church, in which goods and truths have perished.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 374)


[19] In Ezekiel:

Damascus was thy trader in the multitude of thy works, in the multitude of all riches, in the wine of Heshbon 1 and the wool of Zachar (Ezekiel 27:18).

This is said of Tyre, which signifies the church in relation to the knowledges of good and truth; and "Damascus," which was a city in Syria, signifies the concordant knowing faculty [scientificum]; and the "tradings" referred to in this chapter signify the acquisition and communication and also the use of these. Because "Damascus" signifies the concordant knowing faculty, it is called a "trader in the multitude of all works and riches," "works" by which uses are effected, signifying the knowledges of good, and "riches" the knowledges of truth; and as the knowledges of truth and good are in the natural man, for therein is everything pertaining to cognition and knowing that is perceptible, therefore it is said "in the wine of Heshbon and the wool of Zachar," the "wine of Heshbon" signifying natural truth, and the "wool of Zachar" natural good.

[20] In Isaiah:

A malediction shall devour the earth; the new wine shall mourn, the vine shall languish, all the glad of heart shall sigh. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of voidness shall be broken down; every house shall be shut, that no one come in (Isaiah 24:6-7, 9-10).

These words describe the perversion of the church, which takes place when falsity rules in place of truth, whence there is no longer any good; for man has good by means of truths. "The earth that the malediction will devour" signifies the church, "malediction" meaning its perversion; the "new wine that will mourn," and the "vine that will languish," signify all truth of the church, "to mourn" and "to languish" signifying deprivation of it; that there shall no longer be any heavenly enjoyment and blessedness is signified by "all the glad of heart shall sigh, they shall not drink wine with a song;" that they shall turn away from all things that agree with truths is signified by "strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it," "strong drink" signifying the things that are from truths and agree with them. But that the doctrine of falsity shall be destroyed is signified by "the city of voidness shall be broken down," "city" meaning doctrine, and "a void" falsity; and that there shall no longer be any good or wisdom with man is signified by "every house shall be shut, that no one come in," which takes place when there is no truth, but only falsity.

[21] In Amos:

Who drink out of bowls of wine, and anoint themselves with the firstfruits of the oils; but they are not grieved for the breach of Joseph (Amos 6:6).

This and what precedes in that chapter describes those who are in external worship without internal, such as the Jews were formerly and still are; the "bowls of wine out of which they drink" are the externals of truth from which is worship; and the "firstfruits of the oils with which they anoint themselves" are the externals of good, from which also is worship; "Joseph" signifies the internal of the church or its spiritual; not being affected because this perishes is signified by "they are not grieved for his breach." (That external worship without internal is no worship, see Arcana Coelestia 1094, 1175, 7724; that the Jews were formerly and still are in external worship without internal, n. 1200, 3147, 3479, 8871; that "Joseph" signifies the spiritual church, thus also the spiritual of the church, n. 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417)

[22] In Zechariah:

I will render the house of Judah mighty and I will save the house of Joseph; on this account they shall be as the mighty Ephraim, and their heart shall be glad as if with wine (Zechariah 10:6-7).

"The house of Judah" signifies the Lord's celestial church, and the "house of Joseph" the Lord's spiritual church; and "to render mighty their houses" signifies to multiply with them truths from good, for all might is of truth from good; therefore it is said, "they shall be as the mighty Ephraim;" "Ephraim" signifying the understanding of truth from good, which is called mighty from its multiplication; heavenly enjoyment therefrom is signified by "their heart shall be glad as if with wine," "wine" meaning truth from good from which that enjoyment comes. (That truths have all power from good, see in the work o n Heaven and Hell 228-233; and also above, n. 209, 333; that "Judah" in the Word signifies the Lord's celestial kingdom, Arcana Coelestia 3881 Arcana Coelestia 3881[1-11], 6363; and "Ephraim" the intellectual of the church, n. 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 209, The Apocalypse Explained 333)


[23] In Daniel:

Belshazzar king of Babylon, and his magnates, and his wives, and his concubines, drank wine out of vessels of the temple of Jerusalem, and praised the gods of silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone. Therefore there was written on the wall, Numbered, weighed, and divided. And then he [Nebuchadnezzar] was driven out from the sons of man, and his dwelling was with the wild asses (Daniel 5:2-5, 21).

In the internal sense this describes the profanation of good and truth, which also is meant by "Babel" or "Babylon;" for "to drink wine out of the vessels of the temple of Jerusalem" signifies to draw the truths of the church from the Word, "to drink wine" meaning to draw truths, and "the vessels of the temple of Jerusalem" meaning the truths that belong to the doctrine of the church from the Word; and "to praise the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone" signifies worship from the love of self and the world; for these gods signify idolatrous worship of every kind, and profanation; that it was therefore written on the wall, "numbered, weighed, divided" signifies separation from all things of heaven and the church. That afterwards "the king was driven out from the sons of man, and his dwelling was with the wild asses" signifies separation from all truth, and the allotment of his life with the infernals, "sons of man" meaning the truths of the church, "wild asses" those who are in dire falsities like those in the hells, and "dwelling" meaning the allotment of the life.

(References: Daniel 5:24-25)


[24] In Joel:

They have cast a lot upon My people; for they have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, which they drank (Joel 3:3).

"To cast lots upon the people" signifies to dissipate the truths of the church, "to cast a lot" signifying to dissipate, and "people" signifying the church in relation to truths, thus also the truths of the church; "to give a boy for a harlot" signifies to falsify truth, "boy" meaning the truth of the church, and "harlot" falsity; and "to sell a girl for wine, which they drank" signifies to pervert the good of the church by truth falsified, "girl" meaning the good of the church, and "wine" truth falsified.

[25] Because "wine" signified the truth of the church that is from good, it was commanded that, with the sacrifices upon the altar, a meal-offering and a drink-offering should be offered, and the meal-offering was bread, and the drink-offering wine; these signified worship of the Lord from the good of love, and from the truths therefrom; for all worship is from these. (On the drink-offerings, the portions of wine with them at the different sacrifices, see Exodus 29:40, 41; Leviticus 23:13, 18; Numbers 6:1-4, 15, 17; 15:4-7, 10, 24; 28:7-10, 24, 31; 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 27, 28, 31, 34, 38, 39; and besides Genesis 35:14) This makes clear what is signified in Joel:

The meal-offering and the drink-offering was cut off from the house of Jehovah; the priests, the ministers (of the altar), mourned (Joel 1:9);

namely, that worship from the good of love, and from the truths therefrom, had perished. Who cannot see that the meal-offering and the drink-offering, which were bread and wine, were not pleasing to Jehovah in worship, unless they had signified such things as are of heaven and the church?

(References: Exodus 29:40-41; Numbers 29:27-28, 29:38-39)


[26] From this it can now be seen what the bread and wine in the Holy Supper involve, namely, the bread, the good of love to the Lord from the Lord, and the wine, the good of faith, which in its essence is truth. (But on the Holy Supper and the bread and wine of it, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 210-222.) Because "wine" signifies the good of faith, which in its essence is truth, when the Lord instituted the sacrament of the supper, He said:

I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this product of the vine until that day when I will drink it with you new in My Father's kingdom (Matthew 26:29).

I say unto you, I will not drink of the product of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come (Luke 22:18).

"The product of the vine," that is, "wine," which the Lord "would drink with them new in His Father's kingdom," or "when the kingdom of God should come," means that all Divine truth in heaven and the church would then be from His Divine Human; He therefore calls it "new," and also He calls it "the new testament in his blood" (Luke 22:20); for "the Lord's blood" has a like signification as "wine" (see above, n. 30, 328, 329). And as everything Divine, since the Lord has risen, proceeds from Him, He says that He will drink it with them when the kingdom of God shall come, and it came when He reduced all things to order in the heavens and in the hells. That the kingdom of God came at the same time with the Lord and that it is from Him can be seen from Matthew 3:2; 4:8; 10:7; 12:28; 16:28; Mark 1:14, 15; 9:1; Luke 1:32, 33; 9:11, 27, 60; 10:11; 16:16; 17:20, 21; 23:42, 51; John 18:36. Now, because "bread" signifies the good of love, and "wine" the good of faith, which in its essence is the truth from that good, and in the highest sense, "bread" signifies the Lord in respect to Divine good, and "wine" the Lord in respect to Divine truth, and because there is a correspondence between spiritual things and natural, (and such a correspondence that when "bread" and "wine" are in man's thought, the good of love and the good of faith are in the angels' thoughts), and because all things of heaven and the church have reference to the good of love and the good of faith, therefore the Lord instituted the Holy Supper in order that by means of it there might be a conjunction of the angels of heaven with the men of the church.

(References: Luke 1:32-33, Luke 17:20-21; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 4:17; The Apocalypse Explained 30, The Apocalypse Explained 328, 329)


[27] Because such things are meant by "bread and wine" in heaven, therefore:

Melchizedek, king of Salem, going out to meet Abram, brought out bread and wine; and he was a priest to God Most High. And he blessed Abram (Genesis 14:18-19).

"Melchizedek" here represents the Lord in relation to Divine good and in relation to Divine truth, as priest in relation to Divine good, and as king to Divine truth; therefore he "brought out bread and wine," "bread" signifying Divine good, and "wine" Divine truth; or when applied to man, "bread" signifying the good of love to the Lord, and "wine" the good of faith, which is from the reception of Divine truth.

[28] The "wine" spoken of by the Lord in the following passages has a like signification:

They do not put new wine into old wine-skins, else the skins burst, and the wine is spilled; but they put [new] wine into fresh wine-skins, and both are preserved (Matthew 9:17).

And no man having drunk old wine straightway desireth new; for he saith, The old is more useful (Luke 5:39).

This comparison, like all others in the Word, is from correspondences, "wine" signifying truth, "old wine" the truth of the old or Jewish Church, and "wine-skins" things that contain, "old wine-skins" the statutes and judgments of the Jewish Church, and "fresh wine-skins" the precepts and commandments of the Lord. That the statutes and judgments of the Jewish Church, which related especially to sacrifices and representative worship, are not in agreement with the truths of the Christian Church is meant by "they do not put new wine into old wine-skins, else the wine-skins burst and the wine is spilled; but they put [new] wine into fresh wine-skins, and both are preserved together." That those who have been born and educated in the externals of the Jewish Church cannot be brought immediately into the internals belonging to the Christian Church is signified by "no man having drunk old wine straightway desireth new; for he saith, "The old is more useful."

(References: Luke 5:37-39)


[29] The same is signified by "the water turned into wine at Cana of Galilee," thus described in John:

At the wedding in Cana of Galilee, when the wine failed, there were six water-pots of stone set there, according to the cleansing of the Jews. Jesus said, Fill the water-pots; and they filled them to the brim. Then he said unto them Draw out now, and bear unto the ruler of the feast; and they bare it. While the ruler of the feast tasted the water that was made wine, he calleth the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man setteth on first the good wine; and when they have had enough, the inferior; thou hast kept the good wine until now (John 2:1-10).

It should be known that all the miracles done by the Lord, as well as all the miracles by Him spoken of in the Old Testament, signified, that is, contained within them, such things as belong to heaven and the church, and that thence His miracles were Divine (see Arcana Coelestia 7337, 8364, 9051). So with this miracle; here, as elsewhere in the Word, "a wedding" signifies the church; "in Cana of Galilee" means among the Gentiles; "water" the truth of the external church, such as was the truth of the Jewish Church from the sense of the letter of the Word, and "wine" the truth of the internal church, such as is the truth of the Christian Church; therefore the Lord's "making the water wine" signifies that of the truths of the external church He will make truths of the internal church by opening the internal things that have lain concealed in them. "The six water-pots of stone, set there according to the cleansing of the Jews," signify all these truths in the Word, and thence in the Jewish Church and its worship; these were all representative and significative of things Divine in the Lord and from the Lord, which contained things eternal. For this reason there were "six water-pots of stone, set for the cleansing of the Jews;" the number "six" signifies all, and is predicated of truths; "stone" signifies truth, and "the cleansing of the Jews" purification from sins; thus all things of the Jewish Church are signified, since that church regards purification from sins as its all, for so far as anyone is purified from sins, so far he becomes a church. "The ruler of the feast" means those who are in the knowledges of truth; his saying to the bridegroom, "every man setteth on first the good wine; and when men have had enough, the inferior; thou hast kept the good wine until now," signifies that every church has its beginning in truths from good, but falls away into truths not of good, but that now, at the end of the church, truth from good, or genuine truth, is granted, namely by the Lord.

[30] It is because "wine" signifies the truth of the church, and "oil" the good of the church, that the Lord says, in the parable of the man who was wounded by thieves:

That the Samaritan poured oil and wine into his wounds (Luke 10:33-34);

where "the man wounded by thieves" means those who are infested and have their conscience hurt by evil men, who are "robbers;" and "the Samaritan" means the Gentiles that are in the good of charity; therefore "his pouring into his wounds oil and wine" signifies the spiritual things that heal a man thus injured, "oil" meaning the good of love, and "wine" the good of faith, or truth. What the rest signifies, namely, "that he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and told them to take care of him," may be seen above (n. 375

(References: Hosea 7:4-5; Isaiah 1:21-22; Psalms 104:15; The Apocalypse Explained 375; Zechariah 9:15-17)


[8]), where they are explained. That "wine" signifies the truth of the church can be seen not only from the passages cited, but also from others in the Word (as Isaiah 1:21, 22; 25:6; 36:17; Hosea 7:4, 5, 14; 14:5-7; Amos 2:8; Zechariah 9:15, 17; Psalms 104:14-16).

[31] As most things in the Word have also a contrary sense, so, too, has "wine," and in that sense it signifies truth falsified, and also falsity, as in the following passages. In Isaiah:

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, to the flower of his fading adornment, which is on the head of the valley of the fat ones frenzied with wine; the crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, they shall be trampled under the feet; these go astray through wine, and through strong drink they err; the priest and the prophet go astray through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they err through wine, 2 they go astray among the seeing, they waver in judgment (Isaiah 28:1, 3, 7).

This is said of those who are insane in things spiritual because they believe themselves to be intelligent of themselves, and glory in it; the state of such is here described by pure correspondences; those who are insane in things spiritual or in truths are meant by "the drunkards," and those who thence believe themselves intelligent by "Ephraim," and hence glorying in intelligence or learning is meant by the "crown of pride;" for those who are in falsities of doctrine and have confirmed themselves in them, when they are illustrated and see truths, in the other life become like drunkards. The learned who have confirmed themselves in falsities become such, and to confirm oneself in falsities is to confirm from oneself and not from the Lord. This makes clear what is signified by "woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim;" "the flower of the fading adornment that is on the head of the valley of the fat ones frenzied with wine" signifies the truth of the church destroyed even as it is born by the glorying of the self-intelligence that is of the natural man separated from the spiritual, when falsity is seen instead of truth, "the flower of the adornment" meaning truth as it is born declining or perished; "the head of the valley of the fat ones" means the intelligence of the natural man; "frenzied with wine" means those who see falsity in place of truth; "the crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, they shall be trampled under the feet," signifies that this intelligence shall utterly perish; "these go astray through wine, and through strong drink they err," signifies through falsities and through such things as are from falsities; "the priest and the prophet go astray through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are gone astray through strong drink," signifies that such are those who ought to be in the doctrine of good and truth, and in a sense abstracted from persons that such is their doctrine itself; "they go astray among the seeing, they waver in judgment," signifies that they do not see the truths of intelligence. That these words have such a signification no one can see except from the spiritual sense; without that it could not be known that "crown" and "head" signify intelligence, that "drunkards" signify those who are insane in things spiritual, that "Ephraim" signifies here man's own understanding, or that which is from himself, that "valley" signifies the lower things of the mind, which are natural and sensual, and that "priest and prophet" signify the doctrine of good and truth.

[32] In the same:

Linger ye, wonder, be astounded, and cry out; they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink; for Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed up your eyes; the prophets and your heads, the seers hath He covered (Isaiah 29:9-10).

This is said of those who can see nothing of truth when they hear or read it from the Word; those who are such are called "drunken but not with wine," and "they stagger, but not with strong drink," "wine" signifying in particular the truth of the spiritual and thus of the rational man, and "strong drink" the truth of the natural man therefrom. Because such are meant it is said, "Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed up your eyes," "the spirit of deep sleep" meaning no perception, and the "eyes closed up" no understanding. "The prophets and your heads [the seers] hath He covered," signifies those who are in the doctrine of truth and were wise and intelligent thence; "prophets" signify those who are in the doctrine of truth, and in an abstract sense, doctrine itself, "heads" signify the wise, and in an abstract sense, wisdom, and "seers" signify the intelligent, and in an abstract sense, intelligence. Wonder at such gross stupidity is described by "Linger ye, wonder, be astounded," and lamentation over it by "cry out." Such are those who are in a life of evil, and at the same time in the principles of falsity, however learned they are believed to be; for a life of evil shuts out the perception of good by which thought has life and light, and the principles of falsity shut out the understanding of truth, on which account they see from the sensual man only, and not at all from the spiritual.

[33] In the same:

The dogs are strong of soul, they know not satiety; and they are shepherds who know not intelligence. Come, I will take wine and we will be drunk with strong drink (Isaiah 56:11-12).

This is said of those who care for nothing but worldly and earthly things, which close the internal spiritual man. These, from having no perception of good and no understanding of truth, are called "dogs strong of soul, they know not satiety," that is, they are unable to receive good, "to know" here signifies to be able, and "satiety" reception of good, for satiety is predicated of food, by which spiritual nourishment is signified. That they have no understanding of truth is meant by "they are shepherds who know not intelligence;" those are called "shepherds" who believe themselves able to instruct others, for "to feed" means to instruct; and because such persons love falsities and things falsified, it is added, "Come, I will take wine, and we will be drunk with strong drink."

[34] In Jeremiah:

Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine. Behold I fill all the inhabitants of this land, and the kings sitting for David upon his throne, and the priests and the prophets, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with drunkenness (Jeremiah 13:12-13).

Here, too, "wine" signifies falsity, and "every bottle that shall be filled with wine" signifies the mind of man, since the mind is a recipient of truth or of falsity, as a bottle is of wine; "the kings sitting for David upon his throne" signify those who would otherwise be in Divine truths, "priests" those who would be in Divine goods, "prophets," those who would be in doctrine, "the inhabitants of Jerusalem" all who are of the church; and "the drunkenness with which they shall be filled" signifies insanity in spiritual things.

[35] In the same:

I am become like a drunkard, and like a man into whom wine hath passed, because of Jehovah, and because of the words of His Holiness. For the land is full of adulterers (Jeremiah 23:9-10).

This is a lamentation over the adulteration of good and falsification of truth in the church, which is signified by "the land is full of adulterers;" these are meant by "adulteries," and the church by "land." Insanity in spiritual things through reasonings from evils against Divine goods and from falsities against Divine truth is signified by, "I am become like a drunkard, and like a man into whom wine has passed, because of Jehovah, and because of the words of His Holiness;" "to become like a drunkard and like a man into whom wine hath passed" signifies confusion of mind and insanity by reasoning from evils and falsities; "because of Jehovah" signifies because of Divine goods, and "because of the words of his holiness" signifies because of Divine truths.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2465, Genesis 19:32-33, 19:32-35; Isaiah 19:11-12, 24:20; Joel 1:5-6, 1:7; Leviticus 10:8-9)


[36] In Isaiah:

Hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken but not with wine (Isaiah 51:21).

The "drunken but not with wine," mean here those who are in falsities from ignorance of truth. That:

Noah drank of the wine and was drunken, and therefore lay naked in the midst of his tent (Genesis 9:21);

means in the spiritual sense, something entirely different from the meaning in the letter; likewise:

Lot's being made drunken by his daughters, and their then lying with him (Genesis 19:32-34).

What is meant by the drunkenness of Noah in the spiritual sense may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 1070-1081); and what by the drunkenness of Lot (n. 2465 end). "Drunkenness" also elsewhere in the Word signifies insanity in spiritual things, and lapsing into errors (Isaiah 19:11, 12, 14; Jeremiah 25:27; Joel 1:5-7; Jeremiah 51:7; Leviticus 10:8, 9).

[37] That "wine" in a contrary sense signifies falsity, is also evident from Isaiah:

Woe unto them that rise early in the morning, that follow strong drink; to them that delay until twilight till wine inflames them. But they do not look upon the work of Jehovah, and they see not the working of His hands. Woe to the wise in their own eyes, and the intelligent before their own faces. Woe unto the mighty in drinking wine, and to men of strength to mingle strong drink (Isaiah 5:11-12, 21-22).

This is said of those who frame for themselves doctrinals from self-intelligence not from the Lord, or from Him out of the Word, which consequently are mere falsities. "Woe unto them who rise early in the morning, who follow strong drink, to them who delay until twilight till wine inflame them; but they do not look upon the work of Jehovah, and they see not the working of His hands" signifies therefore the perverted states of those who believe that they are illustrated of themselves, whence they are in falsities of doctrine, and care not for the Word, from which they might know goods and truths of life and of doctrine. "To rise early in the morning," and "to delay until twilight" signifies to be illustrated; and "to follow strong drink," and "to be inflamed with wine" signifies to hatch out doctrinals of themselves; "not to look upon the work of Jehovah," and "not to see the working of His hands" signifies not to care for the Word, or the goods of life and the truths of doctrine there disclosed; "the work of Jehovah" is predicated of the goods of life, and "the working of His hands" of the truths of doctrine, both from the Word; because such persons are meant, therefore it is said, "Woe to the wise in their own eyes, and the intelligent before their own faces;" "the wise in their own eyes" signifying those who are wise from their own intelligence, and "the intelligent before their own faces" signifying those who are intelligent from their own affection, "eyes" signifying the understanding, and "face" affection. And "woe unto the mighty in drinking wine, and to men of strength to mingle strong drink," signifies unto such as aspire after great things, and are ingenious in confirming the falsities that favor the loves of self and their own principles; "the mighty" are those who aspire to great things; "men of strength" those who are ingenious, and seem to themselves to be intelligent; "to drink wine" means to imbibe falsities, and "to mingle strong drink" means to confirm them. Such are all those who are in the love of self, and who seek after the reputation for learning, for such are in what is their own, and cannot be elevated above it; therefore their own thought is in the corporeal sensual, by which no truth is seen, and no spiritual good is perceived. But those who are not in the love of self, and who seek intelligence for the sake of the uses of life, are elevated by the Lord from what is their own into the light of heaven, and though not themselves aware of it, are illustrated.

[38] In Hosea:

Whoredom and new wine have taken up the heart. My people ask the wood, and their rod answereth them; for the spirit of whoredom hath led them astray, and they have committed whoredom under their God. Ephraim is joined to idols; their wine is gone; in whoring they commit whoredom (Hosea 4:11-12, 17-18).

This treats of those who falsify truths; the falsification of truth is signified by "whoredom," and the falsity therefrom by "new wine." This makes clear what is signified by "whoredom and new wine have taken up the heart; the spirit of whoredoms hath seduced them, they have committed whoredom under their God, and the wine hath departed, in whoring they commit whoredom," namely, that such falsify Divine truths, and consequently have no truth at all, "to commit whoredom under their God" signifies to falsify Divine truths, and "the wine hath departed" signifies that consequently they have no truth at all; "Ephraim, who is joined to idols" signifies those who are in self-intelligence, and the "idols to which he is joined" signify the falsities of religion. "My people ask the wood, and their rod answereth them" signifies that they consult their self-love, and favor it from self-intelligence; for "wood" or an idol of wood, which they ask, signifies self-love, and "the rod that answers" signifies power from what is one's own, thus intelligence.

[39] In Revelation:

Babylon is fallen is fallen, the great city, because of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom she hath made all nations to drink. If anyone worshipeth the beast he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which hath been mingled unmixed in the cup of the anger [of God]; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:8-10);

I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed whoredom, and they that dwell in the earth were made drunk from the wine of her whoredom (Revelation 17:1-2).

For of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom have all nations drunk, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her (Revelation 18:3).

"The wine of the anger of God" signifies the falsity of evil, and "the wine of whoredom" signifies truth falsified; what the rest means will appear in the explanation of it, likewise what these words mean in Revelation:

Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the wrath of God's anger (Revelation 16:19);

"The wine of God's anger" having the same meaning as "the chalice, or cup, of God's anger."

(References: Daniel 5:24-25; Genesis 19:32-35, 27:25-28, Genesis 49:11-12; Isaiah 62:7-9; Joel 1:9-11; Revelation 6:6)


[40] In Jeremiah:

Babylon hath been a cup of gold in the hand of Jehovah, making the whole earth drunken; the nations have drunk of her wine, therefore the nations are mad (Jeremiah 51:7).

And in David:

There is a cup in the hand of Jehovah, and He hath mingled the wine, hath filled it with mixture, and hath poured out; but the lees of it all the wicked of the earth shall suck out and drink (Psalms 75:8).

As the "meal-offering" and the "drink-offering," which were bread and wine, signify worship from the good of love and the truths of faith, so in a contrary sense, the "meal-offering" and "drink-offering" signify worship from the evils that are of the love of evil, and from the falsities of faith; this was signified by the "meal-offering" and "drink-offering" that were offered to idols and to the gods (Isaiah 57:6; 65:11; Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19; Ezekiel 20:28; Deuteronomy 32:38). From the signification of "wine" it can be seen what "vineyard," "vine," its "branches," and "grapes" signify in the Word, namely, that "a vineyard" signifies the spiritual church, that is, the church that is in the truths and goods of doctrine from the Lord, "a vine" the doctrine itself, its "branches" truths from which doctrine is formed, and "the grapes" which are the fruit of vineyards and of vines, the goods of charity and the goods of faith (but of these elsewhere).

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Footnotes:

1. Hebrew has "Helbon. "

2. In AC 6377 we read "strong drink."

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