9372. 'And He said to Moses' means something concerning the Word in general. This is clear from the representation of 'Moses' as the Word, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'He said', which includes all that follows in the present chapter, thus things concerning the Word in general, 9370. The fact that Moses represents the Word may be recognized from what has often been shown already regarding Moses, for instance in the Preface to Genesis 18, and in 4859 (end), 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805, which please see. At present Moses represents the Word in general, because what follows says in reference to him, that he alone was to come near Jehovah, verse 2, and also that he was called from the middle of the cloud, went into it, and went up the mountain, verses 16, 18.
 In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect of God's truth or the Word; but the chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. The fact that Moses does so may be seen in the explanations referred to just above; the fact that Elijah and Elisha do so may be seen in the Preface to Genesis 18, and in 2762, 5247 (end); and the fact that John the Baptist does so is clear from His being 'the Elijah who is to come'. Anyone who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord in respect of the Word cannot know what it is that all the things said about him in the New Testament imply and mean. Therefore to lay bare this arcanum and at the same time the truth that Elijah as well as Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, meant the Word, let some of the things recorded regarding John the Baptist be introduced here, such as these words in Matthew,
After John's messengers went away Jesus began to speak about John, saying, What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A person clothed in soft garments? Behold, those who wear soft garments are in kings' houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one of whom it has been written, Behold, I send My angel before your face, who will prepare your way before you. Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not been raised up one greater than John the Baptist; but one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to believe it, he is the Elijah who is to come. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:7-15; Luke 7:24-28.
No one can know how to understand these things unless he knows that this John represented the Lord in respect of the Word, and unless he knows from the internal sense what is meant by 'the wilderness' in which he lived, also what is meant by 'a reed shaken by the wind' and by 'soft garments in kings' houses'; then what is meant by the statement that he was 'more than a prophet', and that 'among those born of women' there was none greater than he, and yet 'one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he'; and finally the announcement that he was 'the Elijah'. For without some deeper meaning all this sounds like a mere comparison and not anything more profound.
Arcana Coelestia 2135)
 It sounds altogether different however when the Lord in respect of the Word, or one representing the Word, is understood by John. Then 'the wilderness of Judea' in which John lived means the state in which the Word resided at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely in the wilderness, that is, in obscurity so great that the Lord was not acknowledged at all and nothing whatever was known about His heavenly kingdom, even though all the prophets prophesied about Him and about His kingdom which would last forever. The fact that 'the wilderness' means such obscurity, see 2708, 4736, 7313. The Word is therefore compared to 'a reed shaken by the wind' when it is explained at will; for 'a reed' in the internal sense is truth on its last and lowest level, which is what the Word is in the letter.
 The Word on the lowest level or in the letter looks to human sight to be rough and dull, but in the internal sense it is soft and shining. This is meant by the words that they did not see 'a person clothed in soft garments. Behold, those who wear soft garments are in kings' houses'. The fact that such things are meant by these words is evident from the meaning of 'garments' or clothes as truths, see 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093, as a result of which angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining, in keeping with the truths springing from good that reside with them, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216; and also from the meaning of 'kings' houses' as the places where angels dwell, and in the universal sense as the heavens. For 'houses' are so called by virtue of good, 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997, and the word 'kings' is used in regard to truth, 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148. Therefore angels are called the children of the kingdom, the king's children, and also kings, by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord.
Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)
 The Word is greater than any doctrinal teachings in the world and greater than any truth in the world. This is meant by the words, 'What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet' and 'among those born of women there has not been raised up one greater than John the Baptist'. For 'a prophet' in the internal sense means doctrinal teachings, 2534, 7269, and 'those born of women' are truths, 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257.
 The Word in its inward sense or as it exists in heaven is in a degree above the Word in its outward sense or as it exists in the world and as John the Baptist taught it. This is meant by the statement that 'the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he'; for the Word perceived in heaven possesses wisdom so great that it surpasses all human understanding. Prophecies concerning the Lord and His Coming, and things representative of the Lord and His kingdom were brought to an end when the Lord came into the world. This is meant by the words that 'all the prophets and the law prophesied until John'.
 The Word was represented by John as it had been by Elijah. This is meant by the statement that he is 'the Elijah who is to come', and also by the following in Matthew,
The disciples asked Jesus, Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? He answering said, Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things. I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not acknowledge him but did to him whatever they wished. In the same way too will the Son of Man suffer at their hands 1
. And they understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13.
'Elijah has come, and they did not acknowledge him but did to him whatever they wished' means that the Word indeed taught them that the Lord was going to come, but that they were nevertheless unwilling to have a right understanding of this; they interpreted it as support for their own dominion and in so doing eliminated what was of God within it. The fact that much the same would happen to God's truth itself is meant by the words 'In the same way too will the Son of Man suffer at their hands', 'the Son of Man' being the Lord in respect of God's truth, see 2803, 2813, 3704.
 All this now shows how to understand the prophecy regarding John in Malachi,
Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrifying day of Jehovah comes. Malachi 4:5.
The Word on the lowest level or as it is in the outward form seen by people in the world is also described by 'the garments' John the Baptist wore and by 'the food' he ate, in Matthew,
John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea had a garment of camel hair and a skin girdle around his waist; his food was locusts and field honey. 2
Matthew 3:1, 3, 4.
Much the same is said of Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8, that he was a hairy man, and wore a girdle of skin around his loins. When it has reference to the Word 'a garment' or piece of clothing means God's truth there in its lowest form; 'camel hair' means true factual knowledge such as is seen there by people in the world; 'a skin girdle' means the outward connecting bond, holding all the interiors in order; 'food' means spiritual nourishment derived from cognitions or knowledge of truth and good obtained from the Word; 'locusts' means the lowest or most general truths, and 'field honey' the pleasantness of them.
 The origin of these meanings of 'garments' and 'food' lies in representatives in the next life. There all are seen wearing clothes in accord with their truths derived from good; and also food there is represented in accord with their desires to have knowledge and wisdom. So it is that 'a garment' or piece of clothing means truth, see the places referred to above in this paragraph, while 'food' means spiritual nourishment, 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; 'a girdle' means a bond gathering the interiors together and holding them within itself, 9341 (end), 'skin' means what is external, 3540, so that 'a skin girdle' means an external bond; 'hair' means the lowest or most general truths, 3301, 5569-5573, 'camel' means factual knowledge in general, 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156, consequently 'camel hair' means true factual knowledge obtained from the Word; 'locust' means truth nourishing the outermost levels, 3301(end), 3
and 'honey' its pleasantness, 5620, 6857, 8056, the words 'field honey' being used because 'the field' means the Church, 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295. A person who does not know that such things are meant cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were clothed in that manner; yet anyone with correct ideas about the Word can think that such clothing was a sign of something peculiar to those prophets.
 Since John the Baptist represented the Lord in respect of the Word, he also said of himself - when he spoke about the Lord, who was the Word itself - that he was not Elijah, nor the Prophet, and that he was not worthy to untie the latchet of the Lord's shoe, in John,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory. Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. He confessed, and did not deny, I am not the Christ. They therefore asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? But he said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? He answered, No. Therefore they said to him, Who are you? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said. They said therefore, Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who will come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to untie. When he saw Jesus he said, Behold, the Lamb of God who bears away the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me comes a Man (Vir) who was before me; for He was prior to me. John 1:1, 14, 19-30.
From these words it is evident that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was God's truth or the Word itself, he said that he himself was not anything; for when the light itself makes its appearance the shadow disappears, that is, the representative disappears when the image itself makes its appearance. Representatives had regard only to what they represented, namely holy things and the Lord Himself, and no regard whatever to the person who represented them, see 665, 1097 (end), 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806. The person who does not know that representatives vanish as shadows do at the presence of the light cannot know why John said that he was not Elijah or the Prophet.
 All this now makes plain what was meant by Moses and Elijah, who were seen in glory, and who spoke to the Lord, when He was transfigured, about His departure which He was about to complete in Jerusalem, Luke 9:29-31. That is to say, the Word was meant by them - the historical section of the Word by 'Moses' and the prophetical part by 'Elijah' - the subject of which everywhere in the internal sense is the Lord, His Coming into the world, and His Departure from the world. This explains why it says that Moses and Elijah 'were seen in glory', for 'the glory' is the inward sense of the Word, and 'the cloud' the outward sense, see Preface to Genesis 18, and 5922, 8427.
1. literally, from them
2. i.e. wild honey, honey found in the field
3. This reference is incorrect; possibly 7643 (end) is intended, or 9331 (end).
Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)