The Bible

Matthew 2:1-12 : The Story 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

Sacred Scripture 23

True Christian Religion 205


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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, ...

Other 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

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 by following this link.


 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 (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

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)

From Swedenborg's Works

Apocalypse Explained #433

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)

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433. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. That this signifies love to the Lord, and that all who are in that love are in heaven, and come into heaven, is evident from the representation and consequent signification of Judah and his tribe, as denoting love to the Lord, concerning which we shall speak presently; from the signification of twelve thousand, as denoting all and all things, see above (n. 430); here, all who are in that love; and from the signification of the sealed, as denoting those who are distinguished and separated from those who are in evil, consequently those who are in good; also see above (n. 427). That they denote those who are in heaven, and come into heaven, follows as a consequence, for they were sealed in their foreheads, that is, were separated from the evil; for they are those of whom it is said in the Apocalypse,

"A Lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. These are they who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These were bought from among men, the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb" (xiv. 1, 3, 4).

Here by the mount Zion is signified heaven, where there is love to the Lord. For all who are signified by the twelve thousand out of every tribe, or by the hundred and forty and four thousand sealed in their foreheads, are they who acknowledge the Lord and love Him; therefore the first tribe named is the tribe of Judah, and by that tribe is signified love to the Lord. For, as was stated above (n. 431), the representation of heaven is according to the order in which the tribes are named, and from the first name, or the first tribe mentioned, flow the determinations and significations of those that follow, with variety.

(References: Revelation 7:5, 14:1, 14:3-4; The Apocalypse Explained 427, 430, 431)


[2] Moreover, no one is admitted into heaven but by the Lord, for the whole heaven is His, therefore no one can be there, or come there, unless he acknowledge Him and love Him. To love Him is not merely to love Him as to person, but to live according to His precepts. This the Lord teaches in unmistakable words:

"At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. If a man love me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings" (John xiv. 20-24).

It is said that they love the Lord, who do and observe His commandments and words, because His commandments and words signify Divine truths, and all Divine Truth proceeds from Him, and that which proceeds from Him is Himself; wherefore, when man lives the Divine Truth, then the Lord is in him, and he in the Lord; it is therefore said, "ye in me and I in you," and that He will come and make His abode with him. This, then, is to love the Lord. To love is also to be conjoined, for love is spiritual conjunction, and conjunction is effected by the reception of Divine Truth in doctrine and in life.

(References: Isaiah 49:1; John 14:20-21, 14:23-24)


[3] Before it is shown from the Word that Judah, or the tribe named from Judah, signifies love to the Lord, the signification of Judah in the Word in every sense shall be explained. In the highest sense, Judah signifies the Lord as to celestial love; in the internal sense, the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and the Word; and in the external sense, doctrine from the Word such as relates to the celestial kingdom. And because in the highest sense the Lord as to celestial love is signified, and in the internal sense the celestial kingdom, therefore love to the Lord is also signified, for this love with man is reciprocal and reigns in the Lord's celestial kingdom. There are two kingdoms into which the whole heaven is distinguished, the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom. The celestial kingdom consists of those who are in love to the Lord, and the spiritual kingdom, of those who are in love towards the neighbour. It is therefore evident, what is meant by celestial love, and spiritual love. Concerning these kingdoms, see Heaven and Hell (n. 20-28). The Jews and Israelites represented these two kingdoms, the Jews, the celestial kingdom, and the Israelites, the spiritual kingdom. Judah also signifies the Word, because the Lord is the Word, and He assumed the Human in that tribe, in order that He might be the Word as to the Human also. In agreement with this fact it is said in John,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (i. 1, 14).

The Word signifies the Lord as to Divine Truth proceeding from His Divine Love. Those, therefore, are in the love of the Lord, who love the Divine Truth in the Word, by doing it.

(References: Heaven and Hell 20-28; Jeremiah 32:30-35; John 1:1, 1:14)


[4] That the Lord, as to celestial love, is signified by Judah, also love to the Lord, and similarly the Word, is clear from the following passages.

In Moses:

"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father's sons shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall be the obedience of the people. He binds his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washeth his garment in wine, and his vesture in the blood of the grapes: his eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk" (Gen. xlix. 8-12).

By Judah are here described, in the spiritual sense, the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and the Lord Himself as to celestial love. Celestial love is the love of the Lord received in the celestial kingdom, and spiritual love is the love of the Lord received in the spiritual kingdom. The signification of the above words is as follows: Thy brethren shall praise thee, signifies that the celestial church surpasses the rest; for the brethren or tribes named from the sons of Jacob, who were his brethren, signify the church. Thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies, signifies that the infernal and diabolical throng shall be expelled and kept back, enemies denoting those who are from hell. Thy father's sons shall bow down before thee, signifies the submission of all the truths of the church; to bow down is to submit themselves, the father's sons denoting all truths of the church, for all the truths of the church are implanted in those who are in love to the Lord, and are therefore in the celestial kingdom. Judah is a lion's whelp, signifies innocence with innate powers; for love to the Lord, considered in itself, is innocence, signified by whelp; innate powers are signified by a lion. From the prey, my son, thou art gone up, signifies the liberation of many from hell. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion, signifies the good of love, and truth thence in its power; for to stoop down, when stated of a lion, is to put himself into a powerful attitude. Who shall rouse him up? signifies that he is safe wherever he is, and that he cannot be moved by the hells. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, signifies that power shall not depart from the good of celestial love; nor a law-giver from between his feet, signifies that the truths of the Word shall not [depart] from its ultimate sense; until Shiloh come, signifies the coming of the Lord, and tranquillity of peace at that time. And unto him shall be the obedience of the people, signifies truths from Him, and conjunction by means of them. He binds his foal unto the vine signifies the external church, and the truths thereof from the Lord; and his ass's colt unto the choice vine, signifies the internal church, and truths thereof from the Lord. He washeth his garment in wine, signifies the external or natural Human of the Lord, which is Divine Truth from His Divine Love; and his vesture in the blood of the grapes, signifies the Lord's internal or rational Human which is Divine Good from His Divine Love. His eyes shall be red with wine, signifies that the internal or rational Human is nothing but good; and his teeth white with milk, signifies that the external or natural Human is nothing but the good of truth. From the particulars in this description, it is evident that Judah does not mean Judah, but something eminently celestial, as described above. But these things are explained more in detail in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 6363-6381).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6363-6381, Genesis 49:8-12)


[5] In Ezekiel:

"Thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah and for the sons of Israel his companions; then take one stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and of all the house of Israel. And afterwards join them one to another into one stick, that they may both be one in mine hand. Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and of the tribes of Israel his companions, and will put it, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick. I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations, whither they be gone, and will gather them from every side, and bring them into their own land; and will make them into one nation upon the land in the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. David my servant shall be king over them, and shall be as one shepherd to them all; they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their sons, and their sons' sons for ever; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place, them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (xxxvii. 16-27).

No one can know what these words signify, unless he know the signification of Judah and Israel, and of Joseph and Ephraim. That Judah and Israel are not meant, nor Joseph and Ephraim, is evident; for it is said that the tribes of Israel dispersed among the nations shall be gathered together and brought into the land of Canaan, and that David shall be their king and prince for ever, and that he shall dwell with them for ever. Who does not know that the tribes of Israel cannot be gathered together, and that David will not be king over them any more? Therefore it must be known what is signified in the spiritual sense by Judah, by the sons of Israel, also by Joseph and Ephraim, by David, and by the land of Canaan. By Judah, in the spiritual sense, is signified the Lord's celestial kingdom; by the sons of Israel, the Lord's spiritual kingdom; by Joseph and Ephraim, and by the tribes of Israel that are dispersed and are to be gathered together, are meant those who are beneath those kingdoms, because they are neither celestial nor spiritual, but natural, and yet are in the good of life according to their religion.

(References: Ezekiel 37:16-17, 37:19, Ezekiel 37:21-22, 37:24-27)


[6] These also are meant by the Lord where He says in John,

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd" (x. 16).

For these were not in heaven before the Lord's coming, but were taken there by Him after He had glorified His Human; the reason of this was, that the proceeding Divine could not previously reach them. When this is known, and also that David means the Lord as to Divine Truth proceeding from His Divine Human, the signification of the details in a series in the previous passage may be known. The reason why these things were written upon two pieces of wood, and the two pieces afterwards joined into one, was, that wood signifies the good of life, and all conjunction in heaven is brought about by means of good, and according to it. That wood signifies the good of life, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 643, 2784, 3720, 8354).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 643, Arcana Coelestia 2784, Arcana Coelestia 3720, Arcana Coelestia 8354; John 10:16)


[7] In Isaiah,

when the Lord "shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth, then the envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines towards the sea" (xi. 12-14).

These things were said concerning the salvation of the nations, which are also signified by the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, for it is said that the Lord shall set up an ensign for the nations. By the outcasts of Israel are meant those who are not in truths, but yet in the desire of learning them; and by the dispersed of Judah are meant those who are in the good of life, and by means of that in love to the Lord, for those who love to do good, love the Lord, the Lord being in that good, because it is from Him. Ephraim means the Intellectual, in this case, in harmony with the good of love; and that they shall no longer be at enmity with each other, is meant by, "At that time the envy also of Ephraim shall depart; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." That they shall be separated from those who are in faith apart from charity, is signified by, "They shall fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines towards the sea." The Philistines towards the sea denote those who separate faith from charity or from the good of life, the sea signifying the ultimate of heaven where it ceases (desinit); and to fly upon the shoulder denotes to reject, and to separate themselves.

(References: Isaiah 11:12-14)


[8] In Zechariah:

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just and faithful. I will bend Judah for me, I will fill the bow Ephraim, and I will raise up thy sons, O Zion" (ix. 9, 13).

These things are said concerning the coming of the Lord and the establishment of a church by Him with those who are in the good of love and in the truths of doctrine thence. The daughter of Zion, and the daughter of Jerusalem, signify the church with them. Thy King who cometh just and faithful, is the Lord, from whom are the good of love and the truth of doctrine. I will bend Judah for me, I will fill the bow Ephraim, signifies that the church is to be established with those who are in the good of love to the Lord, and in the truths of doctrine thence. Judah here means those who are in the good of love to the Lord; and Ephraim, truths of doctrine; for Ephraim signifies the Intellectual of the church, and a bow, the doctrine of truth. That a bow signifies doctrine may be seen above (n. 357:1), where these things are also explained. Such are denoted by the sons of Zion. That the Jewish nation is not here meant by Judah, nor Ephraim by Ephraim, is evident; for the Lord's church was not established with the Jewish nation, for it was not received by them, and the tribe of Ephraim did not then exist.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 357; Zechariah 9:9, 9:13)


[9] In the same:

"Jehovah of hosts will visit his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as the horse of his glory in the battle. Out of him the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the bow of war. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will cause them to dwell. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as with wine" (Zech. x. 3-7).

By the house of Judah is here also meant the Lord's celestial kingdom, which consists of those who are in love to Him, and by Ephraim are meant those who are in the truths of doctrine thence. For all those who are in His celestial kingdom are in truths of doctrine, because they have truths, as it were, implanted in and inscribed on their hearts, as may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 25, 26). The remainder of this passage is explained above (n. 355:28, 376:22).

(References: Heaven and Hell 25-26; The Apocalypse Explained 355, The Apocalypse Explained 376; Zechariah 10:3-4, 10:6-7)


[10] In the same:

"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee. And many nations shall be joined to Jehovah in that day, and shall be my people. Jehovah shall make Judah a heritage for himself, his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again" (ii. 10-12).

That the Jewish nation is not meant here by Judah, nor Jerusalem by Jerusalem, is also very evident; for the subject is the coming of the Lord, at which time that nation altogether fell away, and Jerusalem was afterwards destroyed. And yet it is said, that "Jehovah shall make Judah a heritage for himself, his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again." Judah therefore means those who are in love to the Lord, and Jerusalem the church as to doctrine with them.

(References: Zechariah 2:10-12)


[11] So in Nahum:

"Behold, upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that proclaimeth peace! Keep thy feasts, O Judah, perform thy vows; for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; every one shall be utterly cut off" (i. 15).

These words also refer to the Lord. His coming, is meant by, "Behold, upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!" By keeping their feasts, and performing their vows, is signified to rejoice at His coming, and to worship Him; by the wicked no more passing through Judah, and every one being utterly cut off, is signified that evil shall not be with them, because they are in the Lord. These things could not have been said of the Jewish nation, but they are said of those who are in love to the Lord. It is therefore evident that such are meant by Judah.

(References: Nahum 1:15)


[12] In Malachi:

"Behold, I send my messenger, who shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord shall suddenly come to his temple. Then shall the meat-offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to Jehovah, according to the days of an age, and according to the former years" (iii. 1, 4).

That these words relate to the coming of the Lord, and that by the messenger who should be sent to prepare the way before Him is meant John the Baptist, is known in the church. That the meat offering of Judah and Jerusalem shall then be pleasant to Jehovah, signifies that then there shall be acceptable worship from the good of love to the Lord. The meat-offering, of Judah signifies that worship. That the worship of the Jewish nation and of Jerusalem was not acceptable is plain, for they did not acknowledge the Lord, but rejected Him altogether. According to the days of an age, and according to the former years, signifies according to the worship in the ancient churches. The Most Ancient Church which was before the flood, and was in love to the Lord, is signified by "the days of an age," or of eternity, and the Ancient Church which existed after the flood, and was a spiritual church, is meant by "the former years."

(References: Malachi 3:1, 3:4)


[13] In Joel:

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine (mustum), and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of Jehovah, and shall water the stream of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence of the sons of Judah, whose innocent blood they have shed in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem unto generation and generation" (iii. 18-20).

Here also the subject is the coming of the Lord, and the new heaven and the new earth at that time. The mountains shall drop down new wine (mustum), signifies that all truth shall be from the good of love. That mountains signify the good of love, see above (n. 405); and that wine (vinum) and new wine (mustum) signify truth, see also above (n. 376). The hills shall flow with milk, signifies spiritual life from the good of charity towards the neighbour. All the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, signifies that from the particulars of the Word there shall be truths productive of intelligence. A fountain shall come forth from the house of Jehovah, and water the river of Shittim, signifies that out of heaven from the Lord shall come the truth of doctrine, which will enlighten those who are in cognitions and knowledges. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, signifies that false principles, and the evils of the love of self, both of them from the natural man, shall be destroyed. For the violence of the sons of Judah, whose innocent blood they have shed in their land, signifies on account of the falsified truths, and adulterated goods of the Word, which they have corrupted and destroyed. Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem unto generation and generation, signifies that the Word, and the doctrine of genuine truth thence, shall remain to eternity with those who are in love to the Lord. It is therefore evident also, that Judah is not meant there by Judah, nor Jerusalem by Jerusalem.

(References: Joel 3:18-20; The Apocalypse Explained 376, 405)


[14] In the same prophet:

"O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of the Philistines, speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head; because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things. The sons also of Judah, and the sons of Jerusalem, have ye sold unto the sons of the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their borders" (Joel iii. 4-6).

Tyre and Zidon, and the Philistines, mean those who have falsified the truths and goods of the Word; my silver and my gold, signify those truths and goods, and to carry them into their temples, signifies to falsify and profane them; to sell the sons of Judah, and the sons of Jerusalem to the sons of the Grecians, signifies to pervert and falsify all the truths and goods of the Word; the sons of Judah denote the goods of the Word, the sons of Jerusalem, its truths, and the sons of the Grecians, falsities; to remove them far from their borders, signifies far from truths themselves. He who does not know the spiritual sense of the Word, may suppose that those who were in Tyre and Zidon, and in Philistia, sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the Grecians, but this is a prophecy in which the nations indicated signify things of the church.

(References: Joel 3:4-6)


[15] In Jeremiah:

"In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance unto your fathers" (iii. 18).

The subject of this passage is also the coming of the Lord, and the new church from Him. His coming is meant by the words "in those days," and the new church, by the house of Judah, and the house of Israel. The church formed of those who are in love to the Lord, is signified by the house of Judah, and the church formed of those who are in charity towards the neighbour, and called the spiritual church, by the house of Israel. They shall come together out of the land of the north to the land which I gave for an inheritance to their fathers, signifies that they shall come out of the ignorance and the falsities, in which they then were, into the cognitions and light of the truth of the church. The land of the north signifies a state of ignorance, and what is false in religion, and the land given for an inheritance to their fathers signifies the church which is in the cognitions and light of truth. These things are said concerning the Gentiles, out of whom a new church was to be formed; because it is well known that the house of Judah and the house of Israel did not come out of the land of the north when the Lord was in the world; for the Jews were in the land of Canaan at that time, and the Israelites had been scattered abroad.

(References: Jeremiah 3:18)


[16] In the same prophet:

"Behold, the days come, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign a king and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days shall Judah be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our Justice" (Jerem. xxiii. 5, 6; xxxiii. 15, 16).

The subject here is clearly the Lord, the Branch of David who shall reign a king and shall be called Jehovah our justice. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, signifies that those will be saved who are in love to Him, and in charity towards the neighbour, as stated above. It is evident that Judah was not saved, and that Israel was neither recalled, nor could be recalled, so as to dwell safely, that is, without infestation from evils and falsities.

(References: Jeremiah 23:5-6, Jeremiah 23:6, Jeremiah 33:15-16, 33:16)


[17] In the same prophet it is said:

"And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, that he may feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon Mount Ephraim and Gilead. In those days, and in that time, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found" (Jerem. l. 19, 20). Here, also, the subject is the establishment of the church among the Gentiles by the Lord, and these are meant by Israel, who shall be brought again to his habitation, and also by Judah, whose sins, it is said, shall not be found. That they shall be led by the Lord, and instructed in the good of charity, is meant by the words, And they shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and on Mount Ephraim and Gilead.

(References: Jeremiah 50:19-20)


[18] Again, in Zechariah:

"In that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; and I will open mine eye upon the house of Judah. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a furnace of fire among wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall dwell again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. Jehovah also shall save the tents of Judah first" (xii. 4, 6, 7).

The subject here is the devastation of the former church; and the establishment of a new church by the Lord. The devastation of the former church is described by the words, in that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness. For horse signifies the understanding of truth with man, and a rider, intelligence, as may be seen above (n. 355). The house of Judah signifies the church with those who are in the good of love to the Lord; concerning this it is said that the Lord shall open His eye upon it. That evils from hell shall be dispersed by them and with them, and also falsities, is signified by the words, in that day will I make the governors of Judah like a furnace of fire among wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left. That that church shall be safe from the infestation of evils and falsities, is signified by, "and Jerusalem shall dwell again in her own place, even in Jerusalem;" and that the Lord shall utterly save those who are in love to Him, is signified by, Jehovah shall save the tents of Judah first.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 355; Zechariah 12:4, 12:6-7)


[19] Again, in Isaiah:

"The word" of Jehovah "concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Jehovah shall be established at the head of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and we will go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and let us walk in his paths" (ii. 1-3).

These things also are said of the new church to be established by the Lord. By the mountain of Jehovah, which shall then be established at the head of the mountains, is meant Zion, and it signifies the celestial church, and love to the Lord, which they possess who belong to that church. That this is the chief thing of the church, and that it shall increase and gain strength, is signified by its being at the head of the mountains, and exalted above the hills. That those who are in good shall acknowledge the Lord, and enter the church, is signified by all nations flowing to that mountain, for nations signify those who are in celestial good, which is the good of love to the Lord, and peoples, those who are in spiritual good, which is the good of charity towards the neighbour. Of the latter it is said, And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. That nations signify those who are in celestial good, and people, those who are in spiritual good, see above (n. 331).

(References: Isaiah 2:1-3; The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[20] Again, in the same prophet:

"Jehovah, thy Redeemer, and thy Former from the womb, that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the waste places thereof" (Isaiah xliv. 24, 26).

Here again the subject is the coming of the Lord, who is "Jehovah thy Redeemer and thy Former from the womb." He is called Redeemer from the fact of His liberating from hell; and He is called the Former from the womb because He is the regenerator of man. The prediction of the prophets concerning Him, and concerning the salvation of man, is meant by the words He confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers. That those who are of His church are to be saved and to be instructed in the truths of heavenly doctrine, is meant by the words, That saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited, and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built. Jerusalem denotes the church, and the cities of Judah, the truths of heavenly doctrine. That the falsities, which destroy the church, shall be shaken off, is meant by, I will raise up the waste places thereof. It is a well-known fact that the Lord did not say Jerusalem should be inhabited and that the cities of Judah should be built, but that Jerusalem should be destroyed, and this actually came to pass.

(References: Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 44:24-26, 44:26)


[21] Again, in the same prophet:

"I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; in order that mine elect may possess it, and my servants may dwell there" (Isaiah lxv. 9).

Here Jacob and Judah, do not mean a people from Jacob, and a nation from Judah, but the church to be established by the Lord. By Jacob is meant the church which is in the good of life; and by Judah, the church which is in the good of love to the Lord, therefore Jacob means the external church, and Judah, the internal church. By seed are meant charity and faith, and by mountains the goods of love. Those who are in charity are called the elect, and those who are in truths from the good of love are called servants, it is therefore said, "In order that mine elect may possess it, and my servants may dwell there."

(References: Isaiah 65:9)


[22] Again, in Ezekiel:

"Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy traders; they traded in the wheat of Minnith and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm" (xxvii. 17).

These words were spoken of Tyre, which signifies the church as to the cognitions of truth and good, and, therefore, the cognitions of truth and good of the church are signified by Tyre. Its merchandize and tradings are here treated of, and they describe how those cognitions are procured, in the present case, those which are procured from Judah and from the land of Israel. And because by Judah is signified the good of love, and by Israel, truth from that good, therefore its tradings are said to be wheat of Minnith and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm, because by wheat of Minnith and pannag, are signified the truths and goods of the church of every kind. Honey signifies the good of love in the natural man; oil, the good of love in the spiritual man; and balm, the truths that are grateful from good. See above (n. 375:35), where these words are more fully explained. What the various nations mentioned in that chapter signify is evident from the commodities named therein when understood in the spiritual sense, and therefore, also what is meant by Judah, and Israel, for the commodities there named indicate it.

(References: Ezekiel 27:17; The Apocalypse Explained 375)


[23] That Judah does not mean the Jewish nation is also evident in Ezekiel (xlviii.), where the subject is the new land to be distributed among the twelve tribes of Israel, for they also are named there, and the precise portion of the land each should possess. Much is there said concerning the tribe of Judah, and it is said that the sanctuary should be in the midst of it (verses 8-22). From this it is perfectly clear that the tribes there named do not mean those tribes, for eleven of them were dispersed, and became Gentiles (gentes) from whom they could not be distinguished, for they were led away into perpetual exile. It is also evident that by the land there mentioned is not meant land, but the church, and consequently by the tribes there named are meant such things as pertain to the church, while Judah means the celestial church, or the church which is in love to the Lord, in which, therefore, is the sanctuary.

(References: Ezekiel 48:1, 48:8-22)


[24] Judah and Israel have a similar signification in David:

"Judah became his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion" (Psalm cxiv. 2).

Sanctuary signifies, in the highest sense, the Lord Himself, and in a relative (respectivus) sense, the worship of Him from the good of love. Israel signifies the truth of the church from that good; and because all power belong to truths from good, or to good by means of truths, therefore it is said that Israel became His dominion. Since Judah signifies the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and Israel His spiritual kingdom, as stated above, and since the celestial kingdom constitutes the priesthood of the Lord in heaven, and the spiritual kingdom the royalty of the Lord, as may be seen in Heaven and Hell (n. 24, 226), therefore the Lord in the Word is called a King, and in the evangelists, the King of the Jews (Matt. ii. 2; John xviii. 33-37; xix. 19). And by the Lord, as King of the Jews, is meant the Lord as to Divine Truth, proceeding from the Divine Good of His Divine Love. Kings therefore in the Word signify truths from good, see above (n. 31).

(References: Heaven and Hell 24, Heaven and Hell 226; John 18:33, 18:33-37, 18:37, 19:19; Matthew 2:2; Psalms 114:2; The Apocalypse Explained 31)


[25] In Jeremiah:

"Behold, the days are coming, in which I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast; and in which I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days; I will give my law in the midst of them, and write it upon their heart, and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (xxxi. 27, 31, 33).

Here also by the days are coming is meant the coming of the Lord. It is not therefore meant that a new covenant will then be made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, but with a new church to be established by the Lord, meant by the house of Israel, and by the house of Judah, in whose midst the law was to be given, and written on their heart. That this did not take place with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, is well known, for they entirely rejected the Lord's covenant, as they do at this day. A covenant signifies conjunction with the Lord by means of love to Him, and they have the law or Divine Truth in them from this conjunction, both in doctrine and in life, and this is meant by the law in their midst, and written on their heart. To sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast, signifies to reform those who are of a new church, by means of the truths and goods of intelligence and affection; for seed denotes truth, man, intelligence, and beast the good of affection. That beast has this signification, will be shown in what follows.

(References: Jeremiah 31:27, 31:31, 31:33, 31:33-34)


[26] In Zechariah:

"Many peoples and numerous nations shall come to seek Jehovah of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before Jehovah. In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you" (viii. 22, 23).

He who does not know that a Jew means those who are in love to the Lord and thence in truths of doctrine, may be easily led to believe that these things were said concerning the Jews, and their introduction into the land of Canaan, and that all others who wish to be saved will then take hold of the skirt of their raiment, praying to be allowed to go with them. But when it is seen that these things, are not said concerning any introduction into the land of Canaan and to Jerusalem there, and that a Jew does not mean those who are of that nation, but that Jerusalem means a new church to be established by the Lord, and a Jew, every one who is in the good of love to the Lord, and the skirt of a Jew, truth from that good, then the signification of all the details related in that chapter, and of these words in particular, may be apprehended. For the subject is the gathering together of the Gentiles and their coming to the church, a Jew meaning those who acknowledge the Lord and love Him, while taking hold of his skirt signifies the desire of knowing truth from Him; ten men out of all the languages of the nations mean all of any religion whatsoever, ten men signifying all, and the languages of the nations, their religious principles.

(References: Zechariah 8:22-23)


[27] From these things it is clear, how far removed those are from the truth who believe that in the end of the times the Jews will be converted to the Lord and taken to the land of Canaan. These also believe that by land, Jerusalem, Israel, and Judah, in the Word, are meant the land of Canaan, the city of Jerusalem, the Israelitish people, and the Jewish nation. But those who have hitherto held such a belief are to be excused, because they have known nothing of the spiritual sense of the Word, and have therefore been ignorant of the fact that the land of Canaan signifies the church, Jerusalem, the church as to doctrine, Israel, those who are of the spiritual church, and Judah, those who are of the celestial church. Also that when their introduction into the land of Canaan is spoken of by the prophets, the introduction of the faithful into heaven and into the church is meant. This introduction also took place, when the Lord came into the world, for then all those who had lived in the good of charity, and worshipped God under a human form, were taken to heaven. These were retained under heaven until the coming of the Lord, and were taken to heaven after the Lord had glorified His Human. These are they who are meant in many passages in the prophetic Word, where the captivity of the sons of Israel and Judah, and their return to their land, are spoken of. Those also are meant here who, after His coming, were to be introduced into the church, and thence into heaven, from the earth, not only where the Christian religion is received, but also everywhere else. Both the former and the latter are meant by Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem, where introduction into the land of Canaan is spoken of, as in the following passages: Isaiah x. 21, 22; xi. 11, 12; xliii. 5, 6; xlix. 10-26; lvi. 8; lx. 4; lxi. 1, 5, 9; Jer. iii. 12-20; xvi. 15, 16; xxiii. 7, 8; xxx. 2-11; xxxi. 1-14, 23-40; xxxiii. 6-18; Ezek. xvi. 60-62; xx. 40-42; xxxiv. 11-16; xxxvii. 21-28; xxxix. 21-29; Hosea iii. 5; Joel ii. 18-27; ii. 32; Amos ix. 12-15; and elsewhere.

(References: Amos 9:12-15; Ezekiel 16:60-62, 20:40-42, Ezekiel 34:11-16, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Ezekiel 39:21-29; Hosea 3:5; Isaiah 10:21-22, 11:11-12, Isaiah 43:5-6, Isaiah 49:10-26, Isaiah 56:8, 60:4, 61:1, 61:1-5, 61:5, 61:9; Jeremiah 3:12-20, Jeremiah 16:15-16, Jeremiah 23:7-8, 30:2-11, 31:1-14, 31:23-40, Jeremiah 33:6-18; Joel 2:18-27, 2:32)


[28] Let the two following passages serve as examples of those by which the Jews persuade themselves, and from which also Christians believe, that the Jewish nation will return to the land of Canaan, and be saved in a special manner.

Thus in Isaiah:

"Then they shall bring all your brethren out of all nations an offering unto Jehovah upon horses, and on chariots, and covered wagons, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to Jerusalem, the mountain of my holiness. For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall stand before me, so shall your seed and your name stand" (lxvi. 20, 22).

What these words particularly signify, may be seen above (n. 355:15, 405:26), where they are explained. The new heaven and new earth mean the heaven and the church of those who should be saved by the Lord after the glorification of His Human, as stated above.

(References: Isaiah 66:20, 66:22; The Apocalypse Explained 355, The Apocalypse Explained 405)


[29] In the same prophet:

"I will lift up my hand towards the nations, and set up my standard towards the peoples; and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon the shoulder. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their princes thy nursing mothers; they shall bow their faces towards the earth before thee, and lick up the dust of thy feet" (xlix. 22, 23).

The subject throughout the whole of this chapter is the coming of the Lord, and also the salvation of those who receive Him, as is evident from verses 6-9. The salvation of the Jews is therefore not the subject, much less their restoration to the land of Canaan. That the Jewish nation is not meant in the passages here quoted, is also evident from this fact, that it was a very bad nation, and idolatrous in heart, and that they were not introduced into the land of Canaan on account of goodness and uprightness of heart, but because of the promise made to their fathers; and further, that they possessed no truths and goods of the church, but only falsities and evils, and that they were therefore cast out and expelled from the land of Canaan; this is evident from all those passages in the Word, in which that nation is referred to.

(References: Isaiah 49:6-9, Isaiah 49:22-23)


[30] What kind of nation that was, and that it was about to become a very bad nation, is described by Moses in his song, in these words:

"I will hide my faces from them, I will see what their posterity shall be; for they are a generation of perverseness, sons in whom is no faithfulness. I said, I would scatter them into the outermost corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from man. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? To me belong vengeance, and retribution" (Deut. xxxii. 20-35).

The quality of the church among the Jews is described in these words, namely that it was in abominable falsities from evil. The quality of the church with them is meant by their vine being of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah, a vine signifying the church. The falsities from evil which existed among them, are meant by their grapes being grapes of gall, their clusters bitter, their wine the poison of dragons and the cruel venom of asps; for grapes signify the goods of the church, but grapes of gall and clusters of bitterness signify evils from abominable falsities. Their falsities themselves are meant by their wine being the poison of dragons and cruel venom of asps; for wine (vinum) signifies truth from the Word, but the poison of dragons and the venom of asps signify the monstrous falsity which exists from the falsified truths of the Word. That nation is similarly described in other parts of the Word, as in Deuteronomy, the book of Judges, the Prophets, and in Jer. v. 20-31; vii. 8-34; ix. 2-26; xi. 6-17; xiii. 9-27; xix. 1-15; xxxii. 30-35; xliv. 2-24. That the Jewish nation was idolatrous in heart, is evident from the passages quoted above, and also from many others, as in Jeremiah:

"According to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem, have ye set up altars to burn incense unto Baal" (ii. 28, and xi. 13).

(References: Deuteronomy 32:20-35; Jeremiah 2:28, Jeremiah 5:20-31, 7:8-34, 9:2-26, 11:6-17, 11:13, 13:9-27, Jeremiah 19, Jeremiah 32:30-35, Jeremiah 44:2-24)


[31] That they were not introduced into the land of Canaan because of any goodness and uprightness of heart, but because of the promise made to their fathers, is clear in Moses:

"Not for thy justice, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land; but that he may establish the word which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Know, therefore, that Jehovah, thy God, giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy justice; for thou art a stiff-necked people" (Deut. ix. 5, 6).

(References: Deuteronomy 9:5-6)


[32] That they possessed no truths and goods of the church but falsities and evils, is evident from the Word, where their whoredoms and adulteries are treated of; as in Jer. iii. 1 to the end; Ezek. xxiii. 1 to the end. Whoredoms and adulteries, in the Word, mean the falsifications of truth, and the adulterations of good (n. 141, 161); therefore they were called by the Lord an adulterous generation (Matt. xii. 39; Mark viii. 38); and He also said that they were full of hypocrisy, iniquity, and impurity (Matt. xxiii. 27, 28); and that they had falsified the Word by their traditions (Matt. xv. 1-6; Mark vii. 1-14). And in plain terms in John:

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it" (viii. 44).

A lie means falsity from evil; the devil, the extinction of all good; a murderer, the extinction of all truth. Father means both those who are of hell and those of that generation who had previously lived, even from the earliest times. To speak of his own, is to speak from what is innate.

(References: Ezekiel 23; Jeremiah 3; John 8:44; Mark 7:1-14, 8:38; Matthew 12:39, 15:1-6, 23:27-28; The Apocalypse Explained 141, 161)


[33] That thus everything of the church among them was destroyed, and that they were therefore rejected, is evident in Isaiah:

"The Lord Jehovah of hosts doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the staff and the stay, the whole staff of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the diviner, and the old man. For Jerusalem hath stumbled, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against Jehovah, to rebel against the eyes of his glory" (iii. 1, 2, 8).

By taking away the whole staff of bread, and the whole stay of water, is signified all the good of love, and the truth of faith, from which spiritual life exists; for bread denotes the good of love, and water, the truth of faith, and a staff and a stay denote powers, and thence everything pertaining to spiritual life. To take away the mighty man and the man of war, signifies all resistance against evils and falsities; to remove the judge and the prophet, signifies all the good and truth of doctrine; to remove the diviner and the old man, signifies all intelligence and wisdom. Their tongue and their doings are against Jehovah, to rebel against the eyes of his glory, signifies that everything in their doctrine and their life is altogether contrary to Divine Truth. Tongue denotes doctrine, doings denote the life, and the eyes of the glory of Jehovah, the Divine Truth; to rebel is to be against it.

(References: Isaiah 3:1-2, 3:8)


[34] In the same prophet:

"What could have been done more to my vineyard? Judge between me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore I looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes; and I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard; I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down; and I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or digged but there shall come up briars and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it" (Isaiah v. 3-6).

The vineyard here means the church with the Jewish nation. I looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes, signifies, that instead of the goods of truth pertaining to the church with them there were evils of falsity. By taking away the hedge thereof that it may be eaten up, and breaking down the wall, that it may be trodden down, are signified its destruction as to goods and truths, so that evils and falsities break in, which are the thorns and briars that should come up. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it, signifies that they are no longer receptive of truth and good, through the Word out of heaven.

(References: Isaiah 5:3-6)


[35] The destruction of the church with that nation, is also treated of in Isaiah (vii. 17-19), and following verses; in Jeremiah (i. 15); and in many other places. That nation was also cast out of the land of Canaan because of these things, first the Israelitish nation, and afterwards the Jewish nation; and for the reason that the land of Canaan signifies the heavenly Canaan, which is heaven and the church. The character of each of those nations is fully unfolded in the internal sense in Exodus (xxxii. and xxxiii.), where the golden calf, which they made for themselves, is described, and on this account Jehovah threatened to consume them, and raise up from Moses another generation. All these things are explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 10,393-10,512, and n. 10,523-10,557).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 10393-10512, Arcana Coelestia 10523-10557; Exodus 32:1, 33:1; Isaiah 7:17-19; Jeremiah 1:15)


[36] The character of the Jewish nation is also described in the internal sense in Genesis (xxxviii.), where the subject is their origin from a Canaanitish woman, and from whoredom with a daughter-in-law. For there were three stocks of that nation, one from the Canaanitish woman whom Judah took to himself for a wife, and two from Tamar, who was the daughter-in-law of Judah, with whom he lay as with a harlot. These things are also explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 4813-4930).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4813-4930, Genesis 38:1)


[37] Their character is also portrayed in Judas Iscariot, for he represented the Jewish nation, as to the church. For the twelve disciples of the Lord represented the church of the Lord in general, and each one of them some universal essential of it, Judas Iscariot representing it as it was with the Jews.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 301-303, Arcana Coelestia 665, 934, 939-940, 1097, 1167, 1200, 1361, 1861, 2520, Arcana Coelestia 3147, 3373, 3398, 3479, 3480, 3654, Arcana Coelestia 3732, 3769, 3858, 3862, 3881, 3926, 3939, 4060, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4289, 4290, 4292, 4293, 4299, 4307, 4311, 4314, 4316-4317, 4429, 4433, 4444, 4500, 4503, 4603, 4680, 4750-4751, Arcana Coelestia 4815, 4818, 4820, 4825, 4832, 4844, 4847, 4865, 4868, 4874, 4899, 4903, 4911, 4912, 4913, 5057, 5583, 5603, 5782, 5998, 6304, 6306, 6335, 6337, 6362, Arcana Coelestia 6363, 6364, 6589, 6637, 6640, 6832, 6877, 7048, 7051, 7248, 7401, 7439, 7836, 7891, 8301, Arcana Coelestia 8588, 8770, 8788, 8806, 8814, 8819, 8871, 8882, 9320, 9373, 9377, 9380, 9434, 9962, 10149, Arcana Coelestia 10396, 10401, 10407, 10430, 10445, 10453, 10454-10457, 10461, 10462, 10492, 10493, 10498, 10499-10500, 10500, Arcana Coelestia 10526, 10531, 10535, 10549-10551, 10551, 10559-10561, 10566, 10570, 10575, 10602, 10603-10604, 10629, 10632, 10694, 10698, 10701, 10707, Genesis 49:8-12)


[38] In addition to the above, the following particulars concerning this nation may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia. A representative church was instituted with the Jewish nation, but there was no church in that nation itself (n. 4899, 4912, 6304). Therefore, as to the nation itself, there was a representative of a church, but not a real church (n. 4281, 4288, 4311, 4500, 6304, 7048, 9320, 10,396, 10,526, 10,531, 10,698). The Israelitish and Jewish nation was not elected, but received, in order to represent a church, because of the obstinacy with which their fathers and Moses persisted in desiring it (n. 4290, 4293, 7051, 7439, 10,430, 10,535, 10,632). Their worship was merely external, void of all internal worship (n. 1200, 3147, 3479, 8871). They knew nothing of the internal things of worship, neither were willing to know (n. 301-303, 3479, 4429, 4433, 4680, 4844, 4847, 10,396, 10,401, 10,407, 10,694, 10,701, 10,707). In what way they regard the internal things of worship, of the church, and of the Word (n. 4865). Their interiors, which pertain to thought and affection, were filthy, full of the love of self and of the world, and of avarice (n. 3480, 9962, 10,454-10,457, 10,462-10,66, 10,575). Therefore, the interior things of the church were not disclosed to them, for they would have profaned them (n. 2520, 3398, 3479, 4289). The Word was entirely closed to them, and still remains so (n. 3769). They see the Word from without, and not from within (n. 10,549-10,551). When, therefore, they were in worship their internal was closed (n. 8788, 8806, 9320, 9380, 9377, 9962, 10,396, 10,401, 10,407, 10,492, 10,498, 10,500, 10,575, 10,629, 10,694). Yet that nation, above all others was of such a character that it could be in a holy external, while the internal was closed (n. 4293, 4311, 4903, 9373, 9377, 9380). Their state at such a time (n. 4311). They were preserved on account of the Word in the original tongue and because they could be kept in such a state (n. 3479). Their holy external was miraculously elevated into heaven by the Lord, and thus the interior things of worship, of the church, and of the Word, were there perceived (n. 3480, 4307, 4311, 6304, 8588, 10,493 [10,499], 10,500, 10,602). In order to effect this, they were constrained by external means to observe strictly the rituals and statutes in external form (n. 3147, 4281, 10,149). Because they could be in a holy external apart from the internal, therefore the holy things of heaven and the church could be represented by them (n. 3479, 3881, 4208, 6306, 6589, 9377, 10,430, 10,500, 10,570). They themselves were not affected by the holy things which they represented (n. 3479); for it matters not what the quality of the person is who represents, because representation regards the thing represented, and not the person representing, (n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 43307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7408, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806). That that nation was worse than other nations; their character described from the Word of both Testaments (n. 4314, 4316, 4317, 4444, 4503, 4750, 4751, 4815, 4820, 4832, 5057, 5998, 7248, 8819, 9320, 10,454-10,457, 10,462-10,466). The tribe of Judah went more astray than the rest of the tribes (n. 4815). How cruelly they treated the nations from delight (n. 5057, 7248, 9320). That nation was idolatrous in heart, and above all others worshipped other gods (n. 3732, 4208, 4444, 4825, 5998, 6877, 7401, 8301, 8871, 8882). Their worship, viewed with respect to that nation itself, was also idolatrous, being external without any internal (n. 4281, 4825, 8871, 8882). They worshipped Jehovah only as to the name (n. 6877, 10,559-10,561, 10,566); and solely on account of the miracles (n. 4299). They think erroneously who believe that the Jews are to be converted at the end of the church, and brought back into the land of Canaan (n. 4847, 7051, 8301). Many passages adduced from the Word concerning this fact, which are to be understood according to the internal sense, thus differently from what appears in the letter (n. 7051). The Word as to the external sense, was changed on account of that nation, but not as to the internal sense (n. 10,453, 10,461, 10,603, 10,604). Jehovah appeared to them from Mount Sinai, according to their quality, in a consuming fire, in a thick cloud, and in smoke, as of a furnace (n. 1861, 6832, 8814, 8819, 9434). The Lord appears to every one according to his quality, as a vivifying and recreating, fire to those who are in good, and as a consuming fire to those who are in evil (n. 934, 1861, 6832, 8814, 8819, 9434, 10,551). One origin of this nation was from a Canaanitess, and the two other origins from whoredom with a daughter-in-law (n. 1167, 4818, 4820 [4825], 4874, 4899, 4913). That such origins signified the nature of their conjunction with the church, namely, that it was as with a Canaanitess, and with whoredom with a daughter-in-law (n. 4868, 4874, 4899, 4911, 4913). Concerning their state in another life (n. 939, 940, 5057). Because that nation, although of such a nature and character, represented the church, and because the Word was written amongst that nation, and concerning it, therefore Divine celestial things were signified by their names, as by Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Ephraim, Joseph, and the rest. Judah in the internal sense signifies the Lord as to celestial love, and His celestial kingdom (n. 3654, 3881, 5583, 5603, 5782, 6363). The prophecy of Israel concerning Judah (Genesis xlix. 8-12), in which the Lord is treated of, explained (n. 6362-6381). The tribe of Judah and Judea, signify the celestial church (no. 3654, 6364). The twelve tribes represented, and thence signified, all things of love and faith in the aggregate (n. 3858, 3926, 4060, 6335); therefore also heaven and the church (n. 6337, 6637, 7836, 7891). Their signification is according to the order in which they are named (n. 3862, 3926, 3939, 4603, and following numbers, also n. 6337, 6640). The twelve tribes were divided into two kingdoms, that the Jews might represent the celestial kingdom, and the Israelites the spiritual kingdom (n. 8770, 9320). The seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, signify the goods and truths of the church (n. 3373, 10,445).

(References: Genesis 49:8-12; Isaiah 44:24-26; Jeremiah 23:5-6)

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