The Bible

 

Matthew 2:1-12 : The Visit of the Wise Men

        

Study the Inner Meaning

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 113, 117, 1171, 2135, 3249, 3762, 4262, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 277, 913

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 23

True Christian Religion 205


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 72, 242, 324, 422, 433, 449, 491, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 2, 41

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 31, ...

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Numbers 24:17

Joshua 5:14

2 Samuel 2

1 Chronicles 11:2

Psalms 72:10, 78:71

Isaiah 40:11, 60:6

Jonah 4:6

Micah 5:1, 2

Bible Word Meanings

bethlehem
There is a strong relationship between Ephrath and Bethlehem in the Bible; they might be two different names for the same town, or it’s possible...

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

jews
It would be simple to think that when the Bible mentions "Jews" it is simply talking about the descendants of the tribe of Judah, the...

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

star
'Stars' signify the knowledge of truth and good. 'Stars' are frequently mentioned in the Word, and always signify goods and truths, but in an opposite...

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

worship
To adore, in the Word, signifies to acknowledge and believe.

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

troubled
The Bible often talks of people being "troubled." The internal meaning is pretty straightforward; it indicates a state of spiritual turmoil, usually due to the...

chief priests
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:18, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

scribes
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:18, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

christ
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...

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...

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

the least
'Tittle' or 'the least' in the Word represents heavenly things.

least
The idea of "least" is not addressed directly in Swedenborg, but a central idea is relatively clear from several references to Matthew 25:40: And the...

governor
"Rulers" or "governors" in the Bible represent the most basic, most essential true ideas that guide us in life, ideas that spring directly from the...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

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...

went before
To "go before" in the Bible means either to lead or to prepare, depending on context. When it is said of the Lord or things...

rejoiced
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...

joy
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...

worshipped
'Worship,' as in Revelation 13:12, signifies acknowledging something to be sacred in the church.

opened
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

treasures
'Treasure,' as in Matthew 13:44, signifies divine truth in the Word.

gifts
The gift which Abraham gave to the sons of the concubines which he had, as in Genesis 25:6, signifies lots in the Lord's spiritual kingdom....

and frankincense
'Perfumes, ointment, and frankincense,' as in Revelation 18:13, signify spiritual aspects of worship.

frankincense
Frankincense was one of the three gifts presented by the wise men, sometimes called the magi, to Jesus. The three gifts - gold, frankincense, and...

and myrrh
In Genesis 37:25, 'spices, resin, and myrrh' signify interior natural truths joined to good in the natural level. Among the ancients, they used things with...

myrrh
Myrrh is a perfume and medicine made from the resin from a genus of thorn trees. In the Word, is represents our early knowledges about...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

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...

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.


 Adoration of the Wise Men
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Adoration of the Wise Men
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Angels in the Christmas Story
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Behold, the Star
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Birth of the Lord
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Childhood of Jesus
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Christmas Star
Gives directions for assembling four large triangles into a beautiful star. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Correspondences of Gold
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that mention gold. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Fall Down and Worship Him
Think about your day tomorrow, and prioritize your various activities by thinking about what the Lord wants you to do.
Activity | Ages over 15

 Five Christmas Scenes
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Flee to Egypt
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Flight into Egypt
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Flight into Egypt Silhouette
"Cut out the pieces to show the silhouettes of Mary and Joseph taking the young Child to Egypt, then assemble on a large piece of blue paper and add stars by using glitter or small star stickers. "
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Following the Star
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Follow the Star Dramatization
This simple dramatization of the story of the wise men following the star to find the baby Lord includes a script and an illustration of Mary, Joseph, and the young Child.
Activity | Ages 3 - 7

 Gifts for the Lord
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Gifts of the Wise Men
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 His Star Still Shines
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Jesus' Childhood
People are born without a set purpose and develop a purpose as they learn and choose a pathway. Jesus was born with an identity and a purpose; He had to discover His identity and become true to it.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Joy in the Coming of Our Lord
Like the star that led the wise men, the truth will lead us to the Lord and make us happy. But the real joy in our lives will be when we come to the Lord offering gifts to Him, as the wise men did.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Lacing Star
Print this star onto card stock, punch holes around the edge, then use yarn with sparkly (metallic) strands to “sew” around the edge of the star to make it sparkle.
Project | Ages 4 - 8

 Making Christmas Star Cookies
Ideas for decorating rolled cookies cut in the shape of stars. 
Project | Ages over 7

 Memory Verse: The Guiding Star
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Pop-up Crèche Card for Christmas
A lovely project to color and assemble. Designed by Eudora Sellner Walsh.
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Quotes: Prophecies of the Advent
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Guiding Star
Teachings from the Lord's Word for Christmas about the guiding star.
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Unto Us a Child Is Born
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Using Our Talents
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Scroll of Angelic Appearances in Christmas Story
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Show and Tell the Gifts of the Wise Men
Read about the three gifts in Matthew 2. Then show everyone some gold, frankincense and myrrh. Discuss ways we can give these symbolic gifts to the Lord.
Activity | All Ages

 Signs at Christmas
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Star of Wonder
Four ways to picture the star in the dark of night.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Star Out of Jacob
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Star Out of Jacob with Quote
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Story of the Wise Men Scene Boxes
Paint four sides of a box to show 4 different scenes from the story of the wise men.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Story of the Wisemen Stained Glass Windows
Make stained glass windows depicting the star of wonder, the three wise men following the star or the wise men presenting their gifts before the Lord.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Strange Gifts
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Christmas Star
As we think about stars at Christmas time, let us invite the Lord into our hearts and minds so that His Christmas star will light the way to heaven for us.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Flight into Egypt
Angels came to Joseph in a dream to help protect the baby Lord. Angels can help protect us too. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 1, for ages 6-7.
Religion Lesson | Ages 6 - 7

 The Gold of the Wisemen
Gold stands for loving the Lord. This was the first gift that the wise men gave the Lord because it is essential for worshiping the Lord. You can give the Lord the gift of spiritual gold - the gift of love. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Guiding Star [salt crystal star]
Paint a beautiful guiding star and then use salt crystals on wet paint to make a starry sky for the background.
Project | Ages over 7

 The Innocence of Love
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Come into the World
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

 The Lord Comes into the World (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Lord Comes into the World (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord Comes into the World (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Murder of the Innocents and the Flight into Egypt
Within each one of us the Lord’s wonderful Providence keeps what is most important safe from harm. In time, this protection makes it possible for us to prepare ourselves to become angels in heaven.
Worship Talk | Ages 15 - 17

 The Slaughter of the Innocents
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Star of Bethlehem
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Three Gifts of the Wise Men
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Visit of the Wise Men
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

 The Visit of the Wise Men (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Visit of the Wise Men (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Visit of the Wise Men (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Wise Men
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wise Men
Two project ideas for picturing the wise men.  
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 The Wise Men
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Wise Men
The wise men brought gifts to the baby Lord. How are we to search for the Lord? What gifts should we bring Him?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

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

 The Wise Men
A story for young children with color illustrations.
Story | Ages 4 - 10

 The Wisemen Diorama
Print this project onto thick paper (such as cover stock). Then color the wise men, the camels, and the background scene of Bethlehem and assemble a diorama with the wise men looking at the star. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wisemen Present Gifts
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wisemen Rejoice to See the Star
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Wise Men Worship the Lord
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Christmas Initial Letters
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Christmas Scenes
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Kings from the East
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Three Wise Men
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
Lesson and activities comparing what the Lord wills to what He permits so that people can be free to make heavenly or hellish choices in their lives.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Why the Lord Was Taken into Egypt
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Wise Men Follow the Star
At the time of the Lord’s birth a beautiful star appeared in the night sky. It was a star of heavenly light and only people whose spiritual eyes had been opened could see it. Far away from Bethlehem, in the land to the east, this special star was seen by some wise men. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 2, for ages 7-8.
Religion Lesson | Ages 7 - 8

 Wise Men from the East
Presents a dramatic word-picture of the wise men's journey and a message for us all: If you wish to be wise, and to be made happy with an exceeding great joy, follow the Lord's star.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Wisemen See Star
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Wisemen's Gift Ornaments
Make ornaments for your tree by printing pictures of wise men's gifts on stiff paper (such as cover stock). Then color the gifts, cut them out, and display on your tree.
Project | Ages up to 10

Commentary

 

Departing into Our Own Country Another Way      

By Rev. Michael D. Gladish

The wise men are warned in a dream, not to return to Herod.

As the Christmas season winds down, there is with most of us a mix of emotions – some gratitude, some sadness, perhaps a little wistfulness, a blend of inspired, happy memories and much food for thought. In addition there is the hope and promise of a new year with all its important possibilities for natural and spiritual growth. Where will we be a year from now, and what will we have learned? How will we feel, and who will be sharing their feelings with us? Why will we make the particular decisions that take us into the next new year?

In Psalm 20, David offers a beautiful prayer of blessing for all who trust in the Lord:

"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you; may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion; may He remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah. May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose... May the Lord fulfill all your petitions." (Psalms 20:1-5).

The prayer, of course, does not stop there, but goes on to acknowledge the power of the Lord and our need to trust Him if we are to receive these blessings. So as we read in the Heavenly Doctrines, the whole Psalm really is about redemption and salvation by the Lord. He is the one who provides for all our needs, and He has done so, at least initially, by coming into the world to bring the hells under control, to restore order in the heavens, and to establish His church on earth (True Christian Religion 84).

The fact is, the Lord HAS answered us in the day of trouble; the name, that is, the pure love and wisdom of the God of Jacob HAS defended us. He HAS sent us help from the sanctuary of heaven so that the desires of our hearts could be granted, our petitions fulfilled. The theme of the 20th Psalm is carried further in the 37th Psalm,

"Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalms 37:1-4).

It's not as if the Lord will give us anything we want, but if we want what He wants, and we take delight in that, He will bring it to pass, as He actually gives us the desires that fill our hearts. In the Christmas story we read of many whose inmost desires were fulfilled by the Lord's coming: Zacharias and Elizabeth were given a son in their old age; Mary was granted to be the mother of the Lord; the shepherds the wise men, Simeon and Anna all saw the fulfillment of ancient prophecies in their lives. But then what? How did these characters respond to these events in the days and years afterward? What became of them and what did they DO as a result of their extraordinary experiences?

It's at least interesting that hardly anything is said about any of them after the Lord's birth. But what little is said shows the impact it had on them. Simeon in his old age declared that his whole life had been fulfilled, saying, "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word" (Luke 2:29). Anna, although very old as well, "spoke of Him to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38). Mary appears from time to time as a background figure in her role as mother, but, significantly, she is only quoted twice in all the Gospels after the birth story (Matt. 12:46, John 2:5), and on both occasions she seems bewildered by the whole experience – although she followed Jesus all the way to the cross (John 19:26). Zacharias and Elizabeth simply drop out of the picture. As for the shepherds, after they visited the infant Lord at the manger they "returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen," but that's all we know.

It's only in the story of the wise men who came from the east to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem to worship this Child that we are given any slight indication of how this event really affected their lives. And although it is slight it is important, for in the few words that are said, with an appreciation of their spiritual implications, we can see the most vital issue of the Lord's birth coming to life in simple human terms: – "Then, being warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."

What a simple sentence this is, but how full of meaning! Every word is expressive, every phrase instructive. It is something we can easily remember and reflect on as we, like the wise men, return to our normal lives after the very special events of this season. And it is something that may give us encouragement as we ponder the questions posed a few minutes ago: Where are we going in our lives? How are we getting there? Why? And who's going with us?

There has been a lot of scholarly speculation about who the wise men were and where they came from, and what exactly led them to Bethlehem. There was a television program years ago about astronomical research into the star and the Magi, who were supposed to have been Babylonian astrologers, taking note of a unique alignment of planets in the night sky.

The Writings tell us that they were students of the ancient Word, men who knew and understood the spiritual meaning of the prophecies foretelling the Advent thousands of years before it took place. The star represented their knowledge, indeed their insights about this. They may or may not have been studying the night sky and they may or may not have had royal status. But what we do know is that they found the Messiah, and it changed their lives, for "being warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."

Let's consider this statement phrase by phrase: – first, that they were warned in a dream. Most translations say they were Divinely warned, or warned by God, but there's no such reference in the original Greek. They were simply warned in a dream. The "warning" part is a big Greek word derived from a root that has to do with the practical uses of life, including the transaction of business, particularly the consulting and deliberation that has to do with business. So it is a word with a very pragmatic focus, and when it refers to someone being acted on, rather than someone taking action, it carries the sense of warning, caution, or advice given after very careful thought.

So how do you suppose the wise men were warned? Did God suddenly appear to them in a blaze of light and tell them what to do? No. The word suggests a lot of deep thought and careful reflection. These men were wise because they used their heads. They knew the teachings of the ancient Word and they spent serious time reflecting on their meaning. So they were able to be enlightened in the practical business of their daily lives.

The same principle applies to us. We're not likely to be jolted out of some complacent passivity by a lightning bolt of revelation saying "Do this," or "Don't do that." We, too, if we want to be wise, need to dedicate real time and effort to the study of Divine revelation. Then the Lord can teach us without imposing on our freedom, and lead us according to our own determination.

But we read that the wise men were warned "in a dream." What does this mean? Well, dreams normally occur at night, when we are asleep, and this represents a state of obscurity, a state of mind in which we don't have much clarity or control. But to be warned in a dream is to be enlightened; it is to get a clear, purposeful message in an otherwise obscure, confusing state. It is, perhaps, like seeing a lighthouse through a fog at sea. And as in the case of a lighthouse the wise men were not especially told what to DO, but what to avoid, what NOT to do. This makes perfect sense in our own lives, too, because when we are in states of darkness or obscurity the first and most important thing we can do is to step away from what is harmful or disorderly, or as the Writings put it, shun evils as sins against the Lord. Only when we do that are we in a position to receive anything genuinely good from Him without corrupting it in one way or another.

So what was the warning to the wise men? Of course! "...that they should not return to Herod," the epitome of self-love and the love of the world. Now this is interesting. The wise men were wise because of their dedication to the Word. But they had come to a place – Jerusalem – which at that time represented a religion corrupted by evils and falsities. And it's not hard to see how this represents at least some of the temptations any wise person might encounter on his – or her – journey to find the Lord, for despite the wisdom we all have we are all born into natural and selfish loves, and if we're not careful these loves will drag us down. Sure, they guide us to the Lord, but not for HIS sake. They always want to know "What's in it for ME?" or "What am I going to get out of it?" That said, it's worth noting that while they were in the sphere of such loves and the falsities that went with them the wise men couldn't even see the star. But when they left Herod and continued to Bethlehem the star appeared again. Surely this experience taught them a valuable lesson, and it shows us, too, how self-interest or love of the world can corrupt our thinking.

So when we come to see the Lord, and really appreciate all that He stands for, like the wise men we cannot turn back. We cannot go back to the selfish attitudes or any of the old falsities represented by the place where Herod ruled. Rather, as we read, the wise men "departed into their own country another way," and so must we.

Here again, a single word carries a lot of nuances: in the original Greek "depart" is based on a root meaning to lift up or hold high. From this we get the sense of upholding or continuing, that is, carrying on in a certain way. It also suggests strength and endurance, as when someone holds up or holds out for something. With all this in mind the word in this case describes not only the return of the wise men but actually their continuation in the strength of their profound experience. Their perseverance. Their determination.

This is important as we think about what can happen in our own lives. When we see the Lord for ourselves in any particular situation; when we see His love, His wisdom, or what He wants for us, and we recognize that and acknowledge it, then we have a special responsibility to apply it in our daily lives, that is, to uphold it and continue in it with real determination. In fact, it is very dangerous for us not to do this, since we run the risk of profanation, which is a permanent, inseparable mingling of goodness and truth with evil and falsity in our minds, leading to an impossibly conflicted life. So, just as the wise men risked being killed if they went back to Herod, our own spiritual lives are threatened if we go back to the loves of self and the world after we have come to see the Lord in our lives. "No one having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).

But the Word goes on to say. "They departed into their own country...." This, too, is an important concept because the Greek word for country here really means any particular place, use, function or position that is properly our own. Of course it means "country," too, but the point is that we can easily relate to the phrase when we know its whole meaning as describing the opportunities and responsibilities the Lord has given each one of us according to our individual skills, insights and loves. Like the wise men we can go back to our jobs, our functions, our uses, our personal relationships; we can go back to whatever positions we hold in life and carry on – but completely changed and with a whole new perspective.

So we read that the wise men went back "another way." And we too must go back "another way." Now of course a way literally is a road or path, but it is also a spiritual life determined by our understanding of what is true and good. So it has to do with what we call doctrine, our way of thinking about what the Lord presents to us. And the truth is, when we come to see the Lord in our lives, and all the potential that He represents, we begin to think differently about everything. We speak differently, we make our daily decisions differently, we live differently; we go in strength and confidence, and with determination into our own country another way. In fact, if the vision of the Lord in His Divine Humanity does not change our lives, especially our inner lives, our attitudes and thought processes, we are in real danger. But if it does, and being warned in a dream that we should not return to Herod, we return instead to our proper places, our special uses, inspired and determined more than ever to live according to the truths of His Word, then surely in this and in every New Year He will answer us in the day of trouble, He will defend us, He will help us and strengthen us; He will remember our offerings and our sacrifices. He will give us the desires of our hearts; He will fulfill all our purpose, and He will, as David said, fulfill all our petitions.

(References: True Christian Religion 571)

The Bible

 

Isaiah 60:6

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 60      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 60

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

1. ARISE, be you enlightened; for your light is come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen, upon you.

VERSES 1, 2, 3, 20. The advent of the Lord is here treated of. "Light" is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, and "His glory and the brightness of His rising" are all things which appear in that light concerning the Lord, and concerning Faith in Him and Love to Him, "Darkness which shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples", are the obscure things of faith and of love; for the establishment of the church among the Gentiles or nations is the subject treated of. Hence it follows that by the "light" and "glory" which shall arise, and which shall be seen, and according to which they shall walk, are divine Truths concerning the Lord, and concerning faith in Him and love to Him from Him. Arcana Coelestia 10574. See also Arcana Coelestia 5922.

In these verses the Lord is treated of, and the nations are said to "come unto Him", and to "acknowledge Him as their God"; and, what is wonderful, the nations or Gentiles adore one only God under a human form; wherefore when they hear concerning the Lord, they receive and acknowledge Him; nor can the New Church be established amongst others. Arcana Coelestia 9256.

2. For, behold! darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples: but upon You shall Jehovah arise, and His glory shall be seen upon You.

Verses 2, 3. These things are said concerning the Lord. The Divine in Him is understood by "Jehovah shall arise upon You, and His glory shall be seen upon You"; the Divine Good of the Divine Love by "Jehovah shall arise upon You, and the Divine Truth from that Good by "His glory shall be seen upon You." "Nations" signify those who are in Goods, and "kings" those who are in Truths from Good; concerning the former it is said, "they shall come or walk to Your light", whereby is signified a life according to Divine Truth; and concerning the latter, "they shall walk to the brightness of Your rising", whereby is signified the life of intelligence from Divine Good; to "walk" denoting to live; "light", the Divine Truth; and the "brightness of His rising", the Divine Truth from the Divine Good, whence intelligence is derived. Apocalypse Explained 422.

3. And the nations shall come to Your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising.

Verses 3, 5, 11, 12, 6, 22. The Lord is here treated of. By the "nations" are understood all who are in the Good of Love to Him, and by "kings" all who are in Truths of Faith in Him; hence it is evident who are meant by "the nations who shall walk to Your light", and by "the host of the nations who shall be brought", and who by "the kings that shall walk to the brightness of Your rising"; and also what is understood by "You shalt suck the milk of the nations [or Gentiles], and the breast of kings"; "milk" is the delight from the Good of love, in like manner the "breasts", because from them is milk. The multiplication of Truth and the fructification of Good is described, in verse 22, by "a little one becoming a thousand, and a small one a strong nation"; but by "the nations which shall be devastated " are understood all who are in evils. Apocalypse Explained 175.

4. Lift up, thine eyes round about, and see; all of them are gathered together, they come unto you: your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.

Verse 4. Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. - As to what is understood in the spiritual sense by these words, see above, Chapter 49:17, 22, 23, the Exposition.

5. Then shalt you behold, and shalt overflow [with joy]; and your heart shall be astonished, and dilated: when the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto you; when the wealth of the nations shall come unto you.

Verses 5, 6. When the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto You, etc. - These words treat of the Lord and of the divine, celestial, and spiritual things in His Natural [principle]. The "abundance of the sea" signifies the immense abundance of natural Truth; the "multitude of camels" denotes the abundance of common scientifics; "gold and frankincense" are Goods and Truths, which are "the praises of Jehovah"; "from Sheba" is from the celestial things of love and faith; as may be seen, n. Arcana Coelestia 113-117.

"The queen of Sheba coming to Solomon at Jerusalem, with very great riches, and with camels carrying spices; and very much gold, and precious stones", (1 Kings 10:1, 2) represented the wisdom and intelligence which the Lord [in the process of His glorification] acquired, who, in the internal sense, is "Solomon"; "the camels carrying spices, gold, and precious stones", signify those things which belong to wisdom and intelligence in the natural man. Arcana Coelestia 3048.

These words also treat of the Lord's spiritual kingdom. The "dromedaries of Midian and Ephah" signify doctrinals; the doctrinals of Good are "gold"; the doctrinals of Truth are "frankincense"; both are "the praises of Jehovah." Hence it may be seen what "Midian" and "Ephah" signify, namely, "Midian" signifies those who are in the Truths of Faith, and as "Ephah" (Genesis 25:4) was a son of Midian, derivations from the Truths of Faith are signified by him, [or by "the land of Ephah."] No one is admitted into the Lord's kingdom, but those who are in the Good of Faith; for the Good of Faith is the Good of life. The life of Faith remains, but not the doctrine or Truth of Faith, except so far as it forms one with the life; nevertheless, those who are in the Truth of Faith, that is, who profess Faith, and call it the essential [of religion], because they have been so taught to believe, and are, notwithstanding, in the Good of life; that is, who in heart are Christians, and not in mouth only, are in the spiritual kingdom of the Lord; for anyone can be easily persuaded to believe that Faith is the essential, when he has been thus taught by masters, and when in his juvenile age he has been imbued with that opinion, and because those who are esteemed most learned, and who are the heads of the church, thus teach. Arcana Coelestia 3242.

6. A multitude of camels shall cover you; the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all of them from Sheba shall come: gold and frankincense shall they bring; and they shall show forth the praises of Jehovah.

Verse 6. The advent of the Lord is here treated of.

By "the multitude of camels, and the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah"; are signified knowledges of Truth and of Good in abundance; "all from Sheba, who shall come", signifies from the knowledges of genuine Truth and Good; "Sheba" denoting such knowledges, as may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 1171, 3240.

By "the gold and frankincense which they shall bring", is signified worship from spiritual Good, which is derived from celestial Good, - "gold" signifying celestial Good, and "frankincense" spiritual Good; on account of such worship being meant, it is therefore said "They shall show forth the praises of Jehovah", by which is signified the preaching of the Gospel concerning the Lord, also the worship of Him. Apocalypse Explained 324.

Verses 6, 9. A multitude of camels shall cover you; - the islands shall trust in Me, etc.

- By "a multitude of camels" are understood all who are in the kuowledges of Truth and of Good, see Arcana Coelestia 3048, 3071; by "Sheba", whence they shall come, is understood where the knowledges themselves are, see Arcana Coelestia 1171, 3240; by "the gold and frankincense which they shall bring", are understood Goods and Truths derived from Good, which thence are grateful, - by "gold" the Goods, and by "frankincense" the Truths, see Arcana Coelestia 9993, 10177.

By "the islands which shall trust in Him", are understood the nations which are in divine worship, but more remote from the Truths of the church, see Arcana Coelestia 1158; by "the ships of Tarshish" are understood common knowledges of Truth and of Good, in which are contained many particular knowledges, see Arcana Coelestia 1977, 6385; by "the sons whom they shall bring from afar", are understood Truths more remote, see Arcana Coelestia 8613, 9487; "sons" denote Truths, as above, and "from afar" denotes which are more remote; by "their silver and their gold with them", are signified the knowledges of Truth and of Good which they possess.

Similar things are understood by what is written in Matthew, that "the wise men who came from the East to the place where the Lord was born, offered gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh"; (Matthew 2:11) they offered those things because they signified Goods and Truths; interior and exterior, which are gifts grateful to God. Apocalypse Explained 242.

7. All the cattle of Arabia shall be gathered unto you; unto you shall the rams of Nebaioth minister: they shall ascend with good pleasure on Mine altar; and I will glorify the house of My glory.

Verse 7. The subject here treated of is concerning the advent of the Lord, and these words have reference to the Lord Himself. By "all the cattle of Arabia which shall be gathered together", and by "the rams of Nebaioth which shall minister", are signified all spiritual Goods, external and internal; by "cattle" are understood external Goods, and by "rams" internal Goods; and by "Arabia " and "Nebaioth" things spiritual. "They shall ascend with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory", signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, in which these things will be; the "altar" denoting His Divine Human as to Divine Good, and the "house of glory" the same us to Divine Truth, That the Lord as to His Divine Human is here understood appears from the former part of this chapter, where it is said, "Jehovah shall arise upon You, and His glory shall be seen upon You"; as also by what follows, where the Lord is described as to the Divine Wisdom, with which He was to be filled as to His Humanity. Inasmuch as the "altar", in a supreme sense, signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, therefore it also signifies heaven and the church; for the angelic heaven, properly considered, is from the Divine which proceeds from the Divine Human of the Lord, whence it is that the angelic heaven in its whole complex is as one Man, and is, therefore, also called the Grand Man, concerning which see what is shown in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 59-86; and concerning the like circumstance with respect to the church, see n. 57 in the same work; and inasmuch as all worship is from the Lord, for it is the Divine which is communicated to man from the Lord, in which the Lord Himself is present, hence by the "altar" is signified, in general, the all of worship which proceeds from the Good of love, and by the "temple" the worship which proceeds from the Truths derived from that Good; for all worship is either from Love or from Faith, or from Good or from Truth. Worship from the Good of love is such as exists in the celestial kingdom of the Lord; and worship from Truths derived from that Good, which Truths are also called Truths of Faith, is such as exists ill the spiritual kingdom of the Lord; concerning which see also what is further shown in the same work, n. 20-28. Apocalypse Explained 391.

The cattle of Arabia. - In respect to "Arabia" and " Kedar", see Chapter 21:11, 13, 14, the Exposition.

Verses 7, 8. All the cattle of Arabia, - the rams of Nebaioth, etc. Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows? - The illustration of the nations by the Lord's coming is here treated of.

By "all the cattle of Arabia which shall be gathered together", are signified all the knowledges of Truth and of Good; by "the rams of Nebaioth which shall minister", are signified Truths, which lend the life by virtue of spiritual affection. By, "flying like a cloud, and like doves to their windows", is denoted the investigation and examination of the Truth, from the sense of the letter of the Word; hence also by "flying" is signified circumspection; for by a " cloud" is meant the sense of the letter of the Word, by "doves" the spiritual affection of Truth, and by "windows" the Truth in the light. That such a sense is contained in these words, may appear from the signification, in the spiritual sense, of "the cattle of Arabia", of "the rams of Nebaioth", of a "cloud", of "doves." and of "windows." Apocalypse Explained 28.

8. Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows?

9. Verily the islands shall trust in Me; and the ships of Tarshish among the first: to bring your sons from afar; their silver and their gold with them: to the name of Jehovah your God, and to the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.

Verses 8, 9. These things are said concerning the Lord, and by them is signified that they who are in simple Truth and Good would receive and acknowledge Him, who are such as perceive the Truths of the Word in a natural manner, which is according to the sense of the letter, and do them. By the "islands" are signified those who are in this kind of perception of the Word; and by the "ships of Tarshish", in the beginning, are denoted the Goods which they bear and do; for "Tarshish" signifies the natural man as to knowledges of Good, inasmuch as in Tarshish was gold and silver, and the ships carried these things thence, (1 Kings 10:22) and in the beginning the "gold", by which is signified Good; and Truths being from Good, it is therefore also said, "To bring your sons from afar." And inasmuch as by "islands" and the "ships of Tarshish" are signified the knowledges of Truth and of Good appertaining to the natural man, it is therefore said, "Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows?"-"clouds" signifying the Truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, "doves" the Goods therein, and "windows" Truths from Good in light. That "ships" signify the knowledges of Truth and of Good from the Word, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 1977, 6385; and that "windows" signify Truths in light, and thence what is intellectual, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 655, 658, 3391. Apocalypse Explained 406.

10. And the sons of the alien shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister unto you: for in My wrath I smote you, but in My good pleasure have I had mercy on you.

Verse 10. "Strangers" and the "sons of the alien" denote those who do not acknowledge the Lord, and are unwilling to acknowledge Him, whether they be out of the church or within it, thus who are in evils, and in the falsities of evil; for those who do not acknowledge the Lord must needs be in evils and the falsities of evil, for from the Lord is every Good and every Truth of Good. That this is the signification of "strangers", in a bad sense, is abundantly evident from the Word. (See (Jeremiah 2:25; 51:51; see also above, Chapter 1:7, the Exposition.) But when "strangers" and the "sons of the alien" are said to "build up the walls of Jerusalem", and to be "the husbandmen and the vinedressers of the people of Israel", (Isaiah 61:5) they denote those in the church who are in mere externals of worship without internals, and who are, consequently, reduced to the performance of menial services in the church. (See Chapter 61:5, 6, the Exposition.) Arcana Coelestia 10287.

In My wrath I smote you, but in My good pleasure have I had mercy on you. - To "smite in wrath", signifies temptation; "in good pleasure to have mercy", signifies deliverance from a principle of love. Apocalypse Explained 205.

11. And your gates shall be open continually; by day and by night they shall not be shut: to bring unto you the wealth of the nations, and that their kings may be brought.

12. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly devastated.

Verses 11, 12, 18. The subject here treated of is concerning the Lord, and concerning the church about to be established by Him; and by the above particulars is described the perpetual admission of those who are in Good and thence in Truths.

By "the gates being open continually, and not shut by day and by night", is understood perpetual admission; by "the host of the nations [or Gentiles] are signified those who are in Good, and by "kings" those who are in Truths; and that all should serve the Lord, is understood by its being said that "the nation and the kingdom which will not serve You shall perish." That "nation" or "nations" signify those who are in Good, may be seen above, 11. 275; and that "kings signify those who are in Truths, n. 31. Apocalypse Explained 208.

13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto you; the fir-tree, the pine, and the box together; to adorn the place of My sanctuary, and I will make the place of My feet glorious.

14. And the sons of them that afflicted you shall come bending before you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet: and they shall call you, The City of Jehovah; The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 13. The "glory of Lebanon", or the "cedar", is spiritual Good and Truth; the "fir-tree", the "pine", and the "Lox" are natural Goods and Truths which correspond. The "place of My sanctuary" is heaven and the church, and also the Word; the "place of My feet" is heaven, the church, and the Word in ultimates; that it is also the Word is, because heaven is heaven from the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord; in like manner the church; and the Divine Truth which makes the church and heaven is the Word. Hence it was that the inmost of the Tabernacle where the Ark was, in which the Law was deposited, was called the "Sanctuary"; the "Law" is the Word. Arcana Coelestia 9406.

See further as to the meaning of the "cedar", "fir-tree", "box", etc., Chapter 41:19, the Exposition.

I will make the place of My feet glorious. - By "the place of the feet" of the Lord, in the general sense, are understood all things of heaven and the church, inasmuch as the Lord as a Sun is above the heavens; but, in a particular sense, by "the place of His feet" is signified the church; for the church of the Lord is with men in the natural world, and the natural principle is the ultimate into which the Divine [sphere] closes, and upon which it as it were subsists. Hence it follows that the church on earth is also called "the footstool of the Lord"; as in Isaiah:

"The earth is the stool of My feet." (Isaiah 66:1)

See also Matthew 5:35. Apocalypse Explained 606.

15. Instead of your being forsaken and bated, so that no one passed through you, I will make you an eternal magnificence, a joy of perpetual generations.

Verses 15, 16. I will make you an eternal magnificence, etc. - Here "Zion" and "Jerusalem" are treated of, which are the celestial church, "Zion" its internal, and "Jerusalem " its external. To "suck the milk of the Gentiles", signifies the insinuation of celestial Good; to "suck the breast of kings", denotes the insinuation of celestial Truth. Everybody can see that there is a sense hidden in these words which does not appear in the letter, and that it is holy, because it is the divine Word; otherwise, what would be the meaning of "sucking the milk of, the Gentiles, and the breasts of kings"? The sense which is hidden, and which is holy, cannot possibly appear, unless it be known what is meant by "sucking", by "milk", by "Gentiles", by "breasts", and by "kings." Arcana Coelestia 6745.

16. And you shalt suck the milk of the nations; yea, you shalt suck the breast of kings: and you shalt know that I Jehovah am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Verse 16. "Kings" denote Truths grounded in Good from the Lord, as may be seen above, n. 31; and "breasts" denote that Good, which is the Good of spiritual love. That the "breast" signifies the Good of spiritual love is from correspondence with heaven; for the whole heaven corresponds to all things of man, - the inmost or third heaven corresponds to the head, the middle or second to the breast, and the ultimate or first to the feet. On account of such, correspondence heaven is also called the Grand Man, and because the inmost or third heaven corresponds to the head, therefore by the "head" is signified the Good of celestial love, which is the Good of love to the Lord; the reason is, because that Good reigns in and makes that heaven; and because the middle or second heaven corresponds to the breast, therefore by the "breast" is signified the Good of spiritual love, which is the Good of neighbourly love, by reason that this Good reigns in and constitutes that heaven; and because the ultimate or first heaven corresponds to the feet, therefore by "feet" is signified the Good of natural love derived from spiritual, which is the Good of faith; the reason is, because that Good reigns in and constitutes that heaven. Apocalypse Explained 65.

Verses 16, 17. By "breasts" are signified the affections of what is Good and True, both because they belong to the province of conjugial love and because thereby infants are nourished hence it is that the "breasts" signify the conjunction of conjugial love with the love of infants. To "suck the breasts of kings", is to suck Good out of Truth, for by " "kings" are signified primary Truths. (See Arcana Coelestia 1672, 2015)

That by the milk of the nations [or Gentiles]", and by "the breast of lungs", something recondite, which is spiritual, is signified, must be evident; for otherwise they would be words without sense. That they signify what is good and True, is evident from those things which follow, namely:

"Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver"; for "brass" is natural Good, (Arcana Coelestia 425) "gold" is celestial Good; (Arcana Coelestia 113) "iron" is natural Truth and "silver" is spiritual Truth, (1551.) Arcana Coelestia 6432. See also 643, 1551.

17. Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver; and instead of wood, brass; and instead of stones, iron: and I will make your government peace, and your exactors righteousness.

18. Violence shall no more be heard in your land; nor devastation and destruction within your borders: but you shalt call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

Verses. 17, 18. The subject treated of in this chapter is concerning the advent of the Lord, and the New Heaven and the New Church to be then established; and by the above words is understood that they shall be spiritual and not natural as before, namely, they who are conjoined to the Lord by the Good of love; and that there shall be no more dissension or disagreement between the internal or spiritual man, and the external or natural man. That they shall be spiritual, and not natural as before, is understood by "Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver; and instead of wood, brass; and instead of stones, iron"; "brass iron and stones " signifying things natural, and "gold, silver, and iron in the place thereof", denoting things spiritual - "gold" spiritual Good, "silver" the Truth of that Good, and "iron" spiritual-natural Truth. That the Lord will rule by the Good of love, is signified by "I will make your government peace, and thine exactors justice"; "government" denoting rule, "peace" the Lord, and "justice" Good from the Lord. That there will be then no more disagreement between the spiritual and the natural man, is signified by "violence shall no more be heard in the land, devastation and destruction [confractio] in your borders"; by violence is meant dissension: by"land, the internal spiritual man, inasmuch as in that man the church is, which, in general, is signified by "land." or "earth"; by "devastation and destruction which shall be no more", is denoted that there shall be no longer any evils and falsities; and by "in your borders", is signified in the natural man; for in the things appertaining to the natural man, spiritual things are terminated. The reason why "devastation" and "destruction" signify evils and falsities is, because evils devastate the natural man, and falsities destroy [or break him up]. Apocalypse Explained 305.

Verse 18. You shalt call your walls Salvation, etc. - That "walls" signify the Truths of Faith defending, see Chapter 26:1, the Exposition.

19. The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you: for Jehovah shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God shall be your glory.

Verses 19, 20. By the "sun" here is signified the love which is merely natural, and by the "moon" the natural lumen thence derived; but by the "sun" and "moon" last mentioned, is understood the Sun and Moon of the angelic heaven; and by that "Sun" is signified the Divine Love of the Lord, and by the "Moon" the Divine Truth. This may appear from its being first said, "The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you"; and afterwards, "Your Sun shall no more go down; neither shall your Moon withdraw itself." From these considerations it is now evident what the "sun" and "moon" signify in both senses. Apocalypse Explained 401.

By "the sun and the moon which shall shine no longer", is understood the love of self, and one's own intelligence; and by "the Sun and the Moon which shall set no more", are understood love from the Lord to the Lord, and intelligence and also faith from Him. Apocalypse Revealed 919.

20. Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be fulfilled.

Verse 20. Treating concerning the Lord, and the New Heaven and the New Earth, that is, concerning the Church to be established by Him. That the Good of love to the Lord should not perish, nor the Good of charity towards their neighbour, in those who belong to that church, is understood by "Your Sun shall no more go down; neither shall your Moon withdraw itself:" for the Lord appears to those who are in the Good of love to Him as a Sun, and to those who are in Truths from the Good of charity towards their neighbour as a Moon; hence by "your Sun" is signified the Good of love to the Lord, and by "your Moon" the Good of charity, which, in its essence, is Truth from Good. That they shall be to eternity in Truths from the Good of love, and in Truths from the Good of charity, is understood by "Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be fulfilled"; the "everlasting light" is said of those who are in the Good of love to the Lord, and the "fulfilment of the days of mourning" of those who are in the Good of charity towards their neighbour, or in Truths originating in that Good; for "mourning", in the ancient churches, represented grief all account of the loss or deprivation of Truth and of Good; that "they shall be fulfilled" signifies that they shall be ended, and that they shall be in Truths from Good. From these considerations it may appear what is signified, in the opposite sense, by "the sun being darkened at his rising", and by "the moon not causing her light to shine", as may be seen in Isaiah 13:10, the Exposition. Apocalypse Explained 401.

21. And your people shall be all just; for ever shall they possess the land: the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I maybe glorified.

Verse 21. As to "just" and also as to "justice", see Chapter 57:1, the Exposition.

The work of My hands. - All things which are done by the Lord are called "the works of His hands", which are properly His works, and in themselves are Goods and Truths, as in the above passage; see also Chap, Isaiah 64:8. But "the works of man's hands" are from his proprium, hence from what is evil and false, as may be manifest from this fact, that it was prohibited to "build an altar and a temple of hewn stones, or to move an iron tool upon them." (Exodus 20:25; Joshua 8:30, 31; 1 Kings 6:7) Apocalypse Revealed 457. See also above, as to "hewn stones", Chapter 9:10, the Exposition.

22. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I Jehovah will hasten it in its time.

Verse 22. By these words is signified the multiplication of Truths and the fructification of Goods. Apocalypse Explained 175.

---
Isaiah Chapter 60.

1. ARISE, be you enlightened; for your light is come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen, upon you.

2. For, behold! darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples: but upon You shall Jehovah arise, and His glory shall be seen upon You.

3. And the nations shall come to Your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising.

4. Lift up, thine eyes round about, and see; all of them are gathered together, they come unto you: your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.

5. Then shalt you behold, and shalt overflow [with joy]; and your heart shall be astonished, and dilated: when the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto you; when the wealth of the nations shall come unto you.

6. A multitude of camels shall cover you; the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all of them from Sheba shall come: gold and frankincense shall they bring; and they shall show forth the praises of Jehovah.

7. All the cattle of Arabia shall be gathered unto you; unto you shall the rams of Nebaioth minister: they shall ascend with good pleasure on Mine altar; and I will glorify the house of My glory.

8. Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows?

9. Verily the islands shall trust in Me; and the ships of Tarshish among the first: to bring your sons from afar; their silver and their gold with them: to the name of Jehovah your God, and to the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.

10. And the sons of the alien shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister unto you: for in My wrath I smote you, but in My good pleasure have I had mercy on you.

11. And your gates shall be open continually; by day and by night they shall not be shut: to bring unto you the wealth of the nations, and that their kings may be brought.

12. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly devastated.

13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto you; the fir-tree, the pine, and the box together; to adorn the place of My sanctuary, and I will make the place of My feet glorious.

14. And the sons of them that afflicted you shall come bending before you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet: and they shall call you, The City of Jehovah; The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15. Instead of your being forsaken and bated, so that no one passed through you, I will make you an eternal magnificence, a joy of perpetual generations.

16. And you shalt suck the milk of the nations; yea, you shalt suck the breast of kings: and you shalt know that I Jehovah am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

17. Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver; and instead of wood, brass; and instead of stones, iron: and I will make your government peace, and your exactors righteousness.

18. Violence shall no more be heard in your land; nor devastation and destruction within your borders: but you shalt call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

19. The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you: for Jehovah shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God shall be your glory.

20. Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be fulfilled.

21. And your people shall be all just; for ever shall they possess the land: the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I maybe glorified.

22. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I Jehovah will hasten it in its time.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 60


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 113, 117, 1171, 3048, 3242, 3268, 9881, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 277, 629, 913

True Christian Religion 780


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 242, 324, 491

Canons of the New Church 43

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 45

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Related Books  (see all)


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 25:4

Deuteronomy 32:43

Psalms 67:4, 72:10

Jeremiah 6:20

Matthew 2:11

Bible Word Meanings

camels
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

cover
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

Dromedaries of Midian and Ephah
The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah (Isa. 60:6) signify doctrinals.

midian
'Simran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Jishbak, and Shuah,' as in Genesis 25:2, represent the general divisions of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, in the heavens and in...

ephah
The Bible uses a somewhat dizzying array of unfamiliar measurement, leaving translators a choice between being accurate and confusing or inaccurate and clear. Since they...

Sheba
'Sheba, Havilah, Sabthah, Regmah, and Sabthecha,' the sons of Cush, as in Genesis 10:7, were several nations which were did not have internal worship, but...

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

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

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.


 Glory to God in the Highest
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Making and Using Candles at Christmastime
Here are several ways to make or decorate candles. Suggestions for incorporating candlelight into your Christmas celebration include saying evening prayers by candlelight throughout December and lighting the whole house by candlelight on Christmas Eve. 
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Prophecies of the Advent
Teaching Support | Ages over 15


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