He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
By Mr. Brian P. David
The 23rd Psalm is one of the best-known and most-loved literary works in the world, and it may well be the best poem ever written. It is also a fine example of the power of figurative language: We read deep things into the vision of ourselves as sheep, led to green pastures and good water by a kind shepherd. It’s empowering to feel the confidence to go fearlessly into the valley of the shadow of death, and to feel the love and caring of a table prepared by the Lord and a cup so full it overflows.
What people don’t know, however, is that this language actually has precise internal meanings, and that when we see them there is an even deeper beauty in the poem. That’s because what it actually describes is the path to heaven, and the fierce desire the Lord has to lead us there.
The first step is to let the Lord be our shepherd – to accept His teaching and His leadership. The green pastures and the still waters represent the things He will teach us for the journey. Then He begins working inside is, setting our spiritual lives in order, so that we desire to do what’s good and to love one another. That’s represented by restoring our souls and leading us in the paths of righteousness.
But we will still face challenges. We still live external lives, out in the world, and we are subject to desires that arise in those externals, in our bodily lives. That’s the valley of the shadow of death. But the rod and staff represent truth from the Lord on both external and internal levels, ideas that can defend us against those desires.
And if we keep following, the Lord will prepare a table for us – a place inside us that he can fill with love (the anointing oil) and wisdom (the overflowing cup). Thus transformed, we can enter heaven, with love for others (“goodness”) and love from the Lord (“mercy”) and can love and be loved to eternity.
One of many beautiful things about this is the fact that it is the Lord who really does all the work. In the whole text, the only action taken by the sheep is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Other than that, they follow the Lord, trust the Lord, accept the blessings of the Lord. And that is really true! In external states (in the valley) we might seem to be doing the work ourselves, but internally, spiritually, we simply need to give ourselves to the Lord and let Him bless us.
The underlying idea here is that the Lord created us so that He could love us, in loving us wants us to be happy, knows that our greatest happiness will come from being conjoined to Him in heaven, and Himself wants nothing more than to be conjoined to us. So everything He does, in every moment of every day for every person on the face of the planet, is centered on the goal of getting that person to heaven. He wants each and every one of us in heaven more than we are capable of imagining. We just need to cooperate.
375. And the oil and the wine hurt thou not, signifies that it is provided that the internal or spiritual sense of the Word should suffer no harm either in respect to good or in respect to truth. This is evident from the signification of "oil," as being the good of love (of which presently); from the signification of "wine," as being the truth of that good, for every good has its truth, that is, every truth is of good, therefore such as the good is such is the truth; also from the signification of "to hurt," as being to do injury to these. That the internal or spiritual sense of the Word in respect to good and in respect to truth is what is here signified in particular by "oil and wine" is evident from this, that "wheat and barley" signify good and truth, equally with "oil and wine," but "wheat and barley" signify the good and truth of the church in general, thus good and truth in the sense of the letter of the Word; for the goods and truths that are in that sense of the Word are goods and truths in general, the sense of the letter enclosing the spiritual sense, and thus spiritual goods and truths; therefore "wheat and barley" signify the goods and truths of the church in general, which are of the sense of the letter of the Word; while "oil and wine" signify the goods and truths of the internal or spiritual sense of the Word. The latter are interior goods and truths, but the former exterior.
(References: Revelation 6:6)
 That there are interior and exterior goods and truths, the former in the spiritual or internal man, the latter in the natural or external, can be seen from what is said and shown in the work on Heaven and Hell, namely, that there are three heavens, and that the inmost or third heaven is in inmost goods and truths, or in those of the third degree; and the middle or second heaven in lower goods and truths, or in those of the second degree; and the ultimate or first heaven is in ultimate goods and truths, that is, in those of the first degree. Ultimate goods and truths or those of the first degree are such as are contained in the sense of the letter of the Word; consequently those who remain in that sense and from it frame doctrine for themselves and live according to such doctrine, are in ultimate goods and truths. These do not see interior things, because they are not purely spiritual, like the angels of the higher heavens, but spiritual-natural; yet they are in heaven, although in the ultimate heaven, since the goods and truths that they have derived from the sense of the letter of the Word, and which are with them, contain in them interior goods and truths belonging to the spiritual sense of the Word, for the two correspond and by correspondence make a one.
 For example: He that believes from the sense of the letter of the Word that God is angry, that He condemns and casts into hell those who live ill, although this is in itself not true, since God is never angry, and never condemns man or casts him into hell, yet with those who live well and who so believe because the Word in the letter says so, this is accepted by the Lord as truth, because the truth lies concealed internally within it, and although they themselves do not see it, it is manifest to the interior angels. Take as another example, one who believes that he will enjoy a long life if he loves father and mother, according to the commandment of the Decalogue, if he loves them for this reason, and lives well, he is accepted just the same as if he had believed the truth itself, for he does not know that "father and mother" mean in the highest sense the Lord and His kingdom, "father" the Lord, and "mother" His kingdom, and that "prolongation of days" or "length of life" signifies happiness to eternity. It is the same in a thousand other instances. This has been said that it may be known what is meant by the exterior goods and truths and by the interior goods and truths of the Word, since "wheat and barley" signify exterior goods and truths, that is, those that are of the sense of the letter of the Word; while "oil and wine" signify interior goods and truths, that is, those that are of the spiritual sense of the Word.
 "Wheat and barley" signify exterior goods and truths, or the goods and truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, because they are the harvest of the field and do not serve for food until made into bread, and "bread" in the Word signifies interior goods; consequently "wheat and barley" signify such things as these goods are made out of, that is, the goods and truths of the sense of the letter of the Word. But that "oil and wine" signify interior goods, which are the goods of the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, can be seen from their signification in the Word, as will be evident from what follows. It is said that these "must not be hurt," because they are not to be profaned; for they would be profaned if they were known and were believed and were afterwards denied, or also if the life were contrary to them; and to profane interior goods and truths is to conjoin oneself with heaven and with hell at the same time, which is a total destruction of spiritual life. For not only do such goods and truths as are believed remain, but also the evils and falsities that succeed in their place by denial or by a life contrary to them; thence there is a conjunction of the good and truth that are of heaven with the evils and falsities that are of hell, and the two cannot be separated, but must be torn asunder, and when torn asunder everything of spiritual life is destroyed. In consequence of this, profaners, after death, are not spirits in a human form as others are, but they are mere phantoms, and seem to themselves to fly hither and thither without any thought; and at length they are separated from others and cast down into the lowest hell of all; and as they do not appear in a human form like the other spirits, they are no longer called he or she, but it, that is, not man. (But more may be seen on the profanation of good and truth in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 169, 172.)
 Because such a lot awaits those who profane the interior goods and truths of heaven and the church, therefore the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, in which these are contained, was not opened to the Jews, since if it had been opened they would have profaned it; neither was it opened to Christians, since they also if it had been opened would have profaned it; and for this reason it has been hidden from both Jews and Christians that there is any internal or spiritual sense within the sense of the letter of the Word, which is the natural sense; and that they might remain ignorant of it, it was provided that the knowledge of correspondences, which was the chief knowledge of the ancients, should be lost so entirely that it should be unknown what correspondence is, and therefore what the spiritual sense of the Word is. For the Word is written by pure correspondences, therefore without a knowledge of correspondences it could not be known what the internal sense is. This was provided by the Lord lest the genuine goods and truths themselves, in which the higher heavens are, should be profaned.
 But the internal or spiritual sense of the Word is at this day opened, because the Last Judgment has been accomplished, and therefore all things in the heavens and in the hells have been reduced to order, and thus the Lord can provide that no profanations take place. That the internal or spiritual sense of the Word would be opened when the Last Judgment had been accomplished was foretold by the Lord in Revelation (respecting which see in the small work on The White Horse). That the internal or spiritual sense of the Word would then suffer no harm is also signified by the soldiers having divided the Lord's garments and not the tunic, which was without seam, woven from the top throughout (John 19:23, 24). For the Lord's "garments" signify the Word; the "garments that were divided" the Word in the letter; the "tunic" the Word in the internal sense; and the "soldiers" those who should fight in behalf of the truths and goods of the church. (That such are signified by the "soldiers," see above, n. 64 at the end; and that "garments" in the Word signify truths, "clothing" good, and the Lord's "garments" Divine truth, thus the Word, see also above, n. 64, 195)
(References: John 19:23-24)
 That "oil" signifies the good of love, can be seen especially from the anointings among the sons of Israel, or in their church, which were effected by oil; for by oil all things of the church were inaugurated, and when they had been inaugurated they were called holy, as the altar and its vessels, the tent of meeting and all things therein, likewise those who officiated in the priesthood and their garments, and also the prophets and afterwards the kings. Anyone can see that it is not oil itself that makes holy, but it is that which is signified by "oil," which is the good of love to the Lord from the Lord; this is signified by "oil;" consequently when persons or things were anointed, from that moment they became representative, for the oil induced a representation of the Lord and of the good of love from Him. For the good of love to the Lord from the Lord is the holy itself of heaven and the church, since through it everything Divine flows in; consequently the things of heaven and the church, which are called things spiritual, are so far holy as they are grounded in this holy.
 The reason of the representation of holiness by oil is this: the Lord alone in respect to the Divine Human is the Anointed of Jehovah, for the Divine good itself of the Divine love was in Him from conception, and from that His Human when He was in the world was Divine truth itself, and this He then also made Divine good of the Divine love by uniting it with the Divine Itself in Himself. And as all things that belonged to the church represented things Divine from the Lord, and in the highest sense the Lord Himself (since the church instituted with the sons of Israel was a representative church), so "oil," which signified the Divine good of the Divine love was employed to induce representations; and afterwards the things or persons that were anointed were regarded as holy, not that there was from this any holiness in them, but the holiness was thereby represented in heaven when they were worshiping. This has been said that it may be known that "oil" signifies the good of love.
 But that this may be made clearer, I will explain the particulars in order, namely:
1. In ancient times they anointed with oil the stones set up for statues;
2. Also arms of war, as bucklers and shields;
3. Afterwards, the altar and all its vessels, and the tent of meeting and all things therein;
4. And besides, those who officiated in the priesthood, and their garments;
5. Also the prophets;
6. And finally, the kings, who were therefore called "the anointed."
7. It was also a custom commonly received to anoint themselves and others with oil, to testify gladness of mind and good will.
8. From this it is evident that "oil" in the Word signifies good; the "oil of holiness," which was prepared for anointing those things that were to be used in worship in the church, signifying the Divine good of the Divine love; and "oil" in general, good and its enjoyment.
 1. As to the first point, "that they anointed stones set up for statues," is evident from the book of Genesis:
Jacob rose up in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a statue, and poured oil on the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel. And he said, If I shall come again to my father's house in peace, this stone which I have set up for a statue shall be God's house (Genesis 28:18-22).
Stones were thus anointed because "stones" signified truths, and truths without good have no spiritual life, that is, no life from the Divine; but when the stones were anointed with oil, they represented truths from good, and in the highest sense, Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord, who is thence called "the Stone of Israel." The stones themselves set up were called "statues," and were accounted holy, and from this arose the use of statues among the ancients, and afterwards in their temples. As this stone then set up by Jacob was representatively sanctified, therefore Jacob called the name of the place Bethel, and said that this stone should be "God's house," Bethel meaning "God's house," and "God's house," signifies the church in respect to good, and in the highest sense the Lord in respect to His Divine Human (John 2:19-22). (The remainder may be seen explained in the Arcana Coelestia; and further, that statues were set up by the ancients for a sign, for a witness, and for worship, n . 3727; that at first they were holy boundaries, n. 3727; that afterwards they were used in worship, n . 4580; what they signified, n. 4580, 10643. That "stones" signify truths, and "the Stone of Israel" the Lord in respect to Divine truth, n. 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 9388, 9389, 10376. That the pouring of oil upon the head of a statue or anointing it, was done to induce the representative of truth from good, and that it might thus be used for worship, n. 3728, 4090.)
 2. "That they anointed the arms of war, as bucklers and shields," is evident from Isaiah:
Rise up, ye princes, anoint the shield (Isaiah 21:5).
Also in the second book of Samuel:
The shield of the heroes was polluted; the shield of Saul was not anointed with oil (2 Samuel 1:21).
Arms of war were anointed because they signified truths fighting against falsities, and truths from good are what prevail against falsities, but not truths without good; therefore the arms of war represented the truths by which the Lord Himself with man fights against the falsities from evil which are from hell. (That "the arms of war" signify truths fighting against falsities, see Arcana Coelestia 1788, 1758, 2686, and above, n. 131, 367; and that "wars" in general signify spiritual combats, n. 1664, 2686, 8273, 8295; and "enemies" evils and falsities, and in general the hells, n. 2851, 8289, 9314)
 3. "That they anointed the altar and all its vessels, and the tent of meeting, and all things therein," is evident from Moses:
Jehovah said to Moses, Thou shalt anoint the altar, and sanctify it (Exodus 29:36).
In the same:
Thou shalt make the oil of anointing of holiness, wherewith thou shalt anoint the tent of meeting, and the ark of the Testimony, and the table, and all the vessels thereof, and the lampstand and all the vessels thereof, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt-offering, and all the vessels thereof, and the lavers, and the base. Thus shalt thou sanctify them, that they may be holy of holies; whosoever shall touch them shall sanctify himself (Exodus 30:25-29; 40:9-11; Leviticus 8:10-12; Numbers 7:1).
The altars and the tent of meeting, with all things therein, were anointed that they might represent the Divine and holy things of heaven and the church, consequently the holy things of worship; and these they could not have represented unless they had been inaugurated by something significative of the good of love, for it is through the good of love that the Divine enters, and through it is present; the same is true in worship, without the good of love the Divine neither enters nor is present. (That the altar was the chief representative of the Lord, and thence of worship from the good of love, see Arcana Coelestia 2777, 2811, 4489, 4541, 8935, 8940, 9 388, 9389, 9714; and that the tent with the ark was the chief representative of heaven where the Lord is, n. 9457, 9481, 9485, 9594, 9596, 9632, 9784)
(References: Arcana Coelestia 9388-9389)
 4. "That they anointed those who officiated in the priesthood, and their garments," is evident from Moses:
Take the oil of anointing, and pour it upon the head (of Aaron), and thou shalt anoint him (Exodus 29:7; 30:30).
Put upon Aaron the garment of holiness, and thou shalt anoint him and sanctify him, that he may minister unto Me in the priesthood; and his sons thou shalt anoint as thou didst anoint their father, and it shall be that their anointing shall be to them a priesthood of an age throughout their generations (Exodus 40:13-15).
In the same:
Moses poured of the oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him to sanctify him. And afterwards he took of the oil of anointing, and of the blood that was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, upon his garments, upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him, and sanctified Aaron, his garments and his sons, and his sons' garments with him (Leviticus 8:12, 30).
Aaron and his sons were anointed, and their very garments, that they might represent the Lord in respect to the Divine good, and as to Divine truth therefrom; Aaron, the Lord in respect to Divine good, and his sons the Lord in respect to Divine truth therefrom; and, in general, that the priesthood might represent the Lord in respect to His work of salvation. Their garments were anointed (Exodus 29:29) because "garments" represented spiritual things investing. (That Aaron represented the Lord in respect to Divine good, see Arcana Coelestia 9806; that his sons represented the Lord in respect to Divine truth proceeding from Divine good, n. 9807; that the priesthood in general represented the Lord in respect to His work of salvation, n. 9809; that the garments of Aaron and his sons represented things spiritual, n. 9814, 9942, 9952.)
(References: Leviticus 8:6)
 Because inauguration to representation was effected by anointing, and Aaron and his sons represented the Lord and what is from Him, therefore to Aaron and his sons the holy things of the sons of Israel were given, which were gifts given to Jehovah, and were called "heave-offerings;" and it is said that they were "the anointing" or "for the anointing," that is, were a representation or for a representation of the Lord, and of the Divine things that are from Him, as is evident from these passages in Moses:
The wave-breast and the heave-shoulder have I taken from among the sons of Israel. This is the anointing of Aaron and the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings by fire to Jehovah, which He commanded 1 to give them in the day that He had anointed them from among the sons of Israel (Leviticus 7:34-36).
And elsewhere in the same:
Jehovah spoke unto Aaron, Behold, I have given thee the charge of Mine heave-offerings as to all the hallowed things of the sons of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, for the statute of an age. Every gift of theirs, even to every meal-offering of theirs, even to every sacrifice of sin and guilt of theirs, every wave-offering of the sons of Israel. All the fat of the pure oil, and all the fat of the new wine, and of the corn, the firstfruits of them, which they shall give unto Jehovah, to thee have I given them. Likewise everything devoted in Israel, every opening of the womb, thus every heave-offering of things holy. Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part in the midst of them; I am thy part and thine inheritance in the midst of the sons of Israel (Numbers 18:8-20).
From this it is evident that the anointing is a representation, since by anointing they were inaugurated to represent, also that it was signified by it that all inauguration into the holiness of heaven and the church is by means of the good of love which is from the Lord, and that the good of love is the Lord with them; because this is so, it is said that Jehovah is "his part and his inheritance."
(References: Leviticus 7:34-35)
 5. "That they anointed the prophets also," is evident from the first book of Kings:
Jehovah said unto Elijah, Anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha anoint to be prophet instead of thee (1 Kings 19:15-16).
And in Isaiah:
The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon me; therefore hath Jehovah anointed me to preach good tidings unto the poor (Isaiah 61:1).
The prophets were anointed because the prophets represented the Lord in respect to the doctrine of Divine truth, consequently in respect to the Word; for the Word is the doctrine of Divine truth. (That the prophets represented and thence signified doctrine from the Word, see Arcana Coelestia 2534, 7269; in particular, Elijah and Elisha, n. 2762, 5247 (Arcana Coelestia 9372) at the end, 9372.) That it is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human who is here represented, thus that it was He by whom Jehovah anointed, the Lord Himself teaches in Luke (Luke 4:18-21).
 6. That they afterwards anointed kings, and that these were called "the anointed of Jehovah," is evident from many usages in the Word (as 1 Samuel 10:1; 15:1; 16:3, 6, 12; 24:6, 10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23; 2 Samuel 1:16; 2:4, 7; 5:3; 19:22; 1 Kings 1:34, 35; 19:15, 16; 2 Kings 9:3; 11:12; 23:30; Lamentations 4:20; Habakkuk 3:13; Psalms 2:2, 6; 20:6; 28:8; 45:7; 84:9; 20, 38, 51; 132:17 elsewhere). Kings were anointed that they might represent the Lord in relation to judgment from Divine truth; therefore in the Word "kings" signify Divine truths (see above, n. 31. Kings were called "the anointed of Jehovah," and it was therefore sacrilege to do harm to them, because "anointed of Jehovah" means the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, although, in the sense of the letter the term is applied to the king anointed with oil; for the Lord, when He was in the world, in respect to His Human was the Divine truth itself, and in respect to the very esse of His life, which with man is called the soul from the father, was the Divine good itself of the Divine love; for He was conceived of Jehovah, Jehovah in the Word meaning the Divine good of the Divine love, which is the esse of the life of all; consequently the Lord alone was the Anointed of Jehovah in very essence and in very deed, since there was in Him the Divine good of the Divine love, and the Divine truth proceeding from that good itself in His Human while He was in the world (see above, n. 63, 200, 228, 328; and in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 293-295, 303-305). Moreover, earthly kings were not "the anointed of Jehovah," but were so called because they represented the Lord, who alone was "the Anointed of Jehovah," therefore because they were anointed it was sacrilege to harm the kings of the earth. But the anointing of the kings of the earth was an anointing with oil, while the anointing of the Lord in respect to the Divine Human was accomplished by the Divine good itself of the Divine love; and this is what the "oil" signified and the "anointing" represented. For this reason the Lord was called the Messiah and Christ, Messiah in the Hebrew signifying anointed, and Christ the like in Greek (John 1:41; 4:25).
 From this it can be seen, that when "the anointed of Jehovah" is mentioned in the Word, in a representative sense the Lord is meant. As in Isaiah:
The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me; therefore hath Jehovah anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the poor; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken in heart, to proclaim liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61:1).
That the Lord in respect to the Divine Human is He whom Jehovah anointed, is evident in Luke, where the Lord openly declares it in these words:
There was delivered to Jesus the book of the prophet Isaiah. And He unrolled the book, and found the place where it was written, The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the accepted year of the Lord. After that, rolling up the book, He gave it to the minister, and sat down. But the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began to say unto them, Today hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears (Luke 4:17-21).
Know therefore, and perceive, that from the going forth of the Word even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem, even to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks (Daniel 9:25).
"To build Jerusalem" means to establish the church, "Jerusalem" meaning the church; "Messiah the Prince," that is, the Anointed, means the Lord in respect to the Divine Human.
(References: Revelation 17:12)
 In the same:
Seventy weeks are determined to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies (Daniel 9:24).
"To seal up vision and prophet" means to conclude and fulfill the things said in the Word respecting the Lord; "anointing the holy of holies" meaning the Lord's Divine Human, in which was the Divine good of the Divine love, or Jehovah.
 "The anointed of Jehovah" means the Lord also in the following passages. In David:
The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers took counsel together against Jehovah and against His anointed. I have anointed My king upon Zion, the mountain of My holiness (Psalms 2:2, 6).
"The kings of the earth" are falsities, and the "rulers" are evils from the hells, against which the Lord fought when He was in the world, and which He conquered and subdued; "the anointed of Jehovah" is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human from which He fought; "Zion, the mountain of holiness upon which he is said to have been anointed as a king," is the celestial kingdom, which is in the good of love; this kingdom is the inmost of heaven and the inmost of the church.
 In the same:
I found David My servant; with the oil of holiness have I anointed him (Psalms 89:20).
"David" here as also elsewhere means the Lord (see above, n. 205); "the oil of holiness with which Jehovah anointed him" means the Divine good of the Divine love; that it is the Lord who is here meant by David is clear from what there precedes and what follows, for it is said:
Thou spoke in vision of thy Holy One, I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall call Me, My Father. Also I will make him the firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. His seed will I establish forever, and his throne as the days of the heavens (Psalms 89:19, 25-27, 29 besides other passages).
Likewise elsewhere in the same:
In Zion will I make the horn of David to bud; I will set in order a lamp for Mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his diadem flourish (Psalms 132:17-18).
That here, too, the Lord is meant by "David" is evident from the preceding verses, where it is said:
We have heard of Him in Ephrathah; we have found Him in the fields of the forest. We will go into His tabernacles; we will bow ourselves down at His footstool. Thy priests shall be clothed with righteousness, and Thy saints shall shout for joy; for Thy servant David's sake turn not back the faces of Thine anointed (Psalms 132:6-10).
From this it can be seen that the Lord in respect to His Divine Human is here meant by David, "the anointed of Jehovah."
 In Jeremiah:
They chased us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was captured in their pits; of whom we had said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations (Lamentations 4:19-20).
Here, also, "the anointed of Jehovah" means the Lord, for this treats of assault upon Divine truth by falsities and evils, which is the signification of "they chased us upon the mountains, and laid wait in the wilderness;" "the breath of the nostrils" means heavenly life itself which is from the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 9818).
 From this it can now be known why it was so sacrilegious to do harm to the anointed of Jehovah, as appears from the Word. Thus, in the first book of Samuel:
David said, Jehovah forbid that I should do this word unto my lord, the anointed of Jehovah, and put forth my hand against him, for he is the anointed of Jehovah (1 Samuel 24:6, 10).
David said to Abishai, Destroy him not; for who shall put forth his hand against the anointed of Jehovah and be guiltless? (1 Samuel 26:9).
In the second book of Samuel:
David said unto him who said that he had slain Saul, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thou hast said, I have put to death the anointed of Jehovah (2 Samuel 1:16).
Abishai said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the anointed of Jehovah? (2 Samuel 19:21).
That Shimei was therefore slain by command of Solomon (1 Kings 2:36-46, to the end).
 7. "That it was a commonly received custom to anoint themselves and others with oil, to testify gladness of mind and good will," is evident from the following passages. In Amos:
Who drink out of bowls of wine, and anoint themselves with the first fruits of oils, but they are not grieved for the breach of Joseph (Amos 6:6).
Thou shalt tread the olive, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil (Micah 6:15);
meaning, thou shalt not be glad. In Moses:
Thou shalt have olive-trees in all thy border, but thou shalt not anoint thee with the oil (Deuteronomy 28:40).
These words have a like signification. In Isaiah:
To give them a tiara instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:3).
Thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (Psalms 45:7).
In the same:
My horn shalt Thou exalt like that of a unicorn; I shall grow old in fresh oil (Psalms 92:10).
In the same:
Wine gladdeneth the heart of man, to make the face bright with oil (Psalms 104:15).
Jesus said to Simon, I entered into thine house, and My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment (Luke 7:44, 46).
But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast (Matthew 6:17-18).
 "To fast" signifies to mourn, because they fasted when they mourned, and as they then refrained from expressions of gladness, they also then abstained from anointing themselves with oil, as in Daniel:
I Daniel was mourning three weeks; I ate not the bread of desires, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither was I anointed with anointing, until three weeks of days were fulfilled (Daniel 10:2-3).
From this it is clear that it was a custom to anoint themselves and others with oil; not with the "oil of holiness" with which priests, kings, the altar, and the tabernacle were anointed, but with common oil, because this oil signified the gladness and satisfaction that are from the love of good, while "the oil of holiness" signified the Divine good; of this it is said:
Upon the flesh of man shall it not be poured, and in quality thereof ye shall not make any like it; it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever shall prepare any like it, or whosoever shall put any of it upon a stranger, shall be cut off from his people (Exodus 30:32-33, 38).
 8. From this it is evident that "oil" in the Word signifies good; the "oil of holiness," which was prepared for anointing the things that were used in worship in the church signifying the Divine good of the Divine love, and "oil" in general, good and its enjoyment, as can be seen from other passages in the Word where "oil" is mentioned, as from the following.
 In David:
Behold how good and how lovely it is for brethren to dwell together! It is like the good oil upon Aaron's head, that cometh down upon the beard, Aaron's beard; that cometh down upon the hem of his garments; like the dew of Hermon that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion; there Jehovah hath commanded the blessing of life even to eternity (Psalms 133:1-3).
What these words signify no one can know unless he knows what is signified by "brethren," by "the oil upon Aaron's head," by "his beard," and "the hem of his garments," and by "the dew of Hermon," and "the mountains of Zion. " "Brethren" here signify good and truth, for these are called "brethren" in the Word; therefore "Behold how good and how lovely it is for brethren to dwell together" signifies that in the conjunction of good and truth is every heavenly good and delight, for every heavenly good and delight is from the conjunction of good and truth. "The oil upon the head that cometh down upon the beard, Aaron's beard, that cometh down upon the hem of his garments," signifies that from that conjunction is the good and delight of heaven, from inmosts to ultimates, "head" signifying the inmost, "beard" the ultimate; "to come down upon the hem of his garments" signifies the influx and conjunction of celestial good and spiritual good. (That in the Word good and truth are called "brethren," see Arcana Coelestia, n. Arcana Coelestia 367, 3160, 9806; that "head" signifies the inmost, n. 4938, 4939, 9656, 9913, 9914; "beard" the ultimate, n. 9960; "the hem of the garments" the influx and conjunction of celestial and spiritual good, thus of good and truth, n . 9913, 9914; and this is said of Aaron, because he represented the Lord in respect to Divine good, since every good and every conjunction of good and truth is from Him, n. 9806, 9946, 10017.) "The dew of Hermon" signifies Divine truth, and "the mountains of Zion" signify Divine good; therefore "like the dew of Hermon that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion" signifies the conjunction of truth and good, which is here treated of; and as angels and men have all their spiritual life from that conjunction, it is added, "there Jehovah hath commanded the blessing of life to eternity." (That "dew" signifies the Divine truth, see Arcana Coelestia 3579, 8455; that "mountains" signify Divine good, and why, n. Arcana Coelestia 795, 4210, 6435, 8327, 8758, 10438, 10608; and that "Zion" signifies the church where the good of love is, n. 2362, 9055 at the end.) From this it is clear what is the nature of the Word in its spiritual sense, notwithstanding its sound in the letter.
 In Ezekiel:
I entered into a covenant with thee, that thou mightest be Mine; and I washed thee with waters, yea, I washed away thy bloods from upon thee, and I anointed thee with oil; and I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skins. Thou didst eat fine flour, honey, and oil, whence thou didst become exceeding beautiful, and didst prosper even to a kingdom (Ezekiel 16:8-10, 13).
These things are said of "Jerusalem," which signifies the church, therefore these particulars signify the spiritual things pertaining to the church. These things evidently were not said of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, namely, that Jehovah "washed them with waters," "washed away their bloods" "clothed them with broidered work, and shod them with badgers skins;" but "to wash with waters" signifies to reform and purify by means of truths; "to wash away bloods" signifies to remove the falsities of evil; "to anoint with oil" signifies to gift with the good of love; "to clothe with broidered work," and "to shoe with badgers' skins," signify to instruct in the knowledges of truth and good from the sense of the letter or the ultimate sense of the Word; "to eat fine flour, honey, and oil," signifies to make truth and good one's own; "to become beautiful thereby" signifies to become intelligent; "and to prosper even to a kingdom" signifies thus to become a church, "kingdom" meaning the church.
 In Jeremiah:
Jehovah hath ransomed Jacob. Therefore they shall come and sing aloud in the height of Zion, and shall flow together unto the goodness of Jehovah; to the corn, and to the new wine, and to the fresh oil, and to the sons of the flock and of the herd; and their soul shall become as a watered garden (Jeremiah 31:11-12);
"new wine and fresh oil" signifying truth and good. (What the remainder signifies see just above, n. 374.)
 In Joel:
Exult, ye sons of Zion, and be glad in Jehovah your God; for He hath given you the former rain in righteousness, so that the threshing-floors are full of pure grain, the presses overflow with new wine and fresh oil (Joel 2:23-24).
Here, too, "new wine and oil" signify the truth and good of the church, for "sons of Zion," to whom these things are said, signify those who are of the church; "the former rain in righteousness" signifies Divine truth flowing into good, from which is there conjunction, fructification, and multiplication; and "floors full of pure grain" signify consequent fullness.
 In the same:
The field was devastated, the ground mourned; for the corn was devastated, the new wine was dried up, the fresh oil languisheth (Joel 1:10).
This signifies the devastation of all things of the church which have reference in general to the good of love and the truth of faith; "field," and also "ground," mean the church, "field" the church from the reception of truth, and "ground" the church from the perception of good; "corn" means everything of the church, "new wine" truth, and "fresh oil" good.
[ 31 ] In Isaiah:
I will sing to my beloved a song of my friend. My beloved had a vineyard in a horn of the son of oil, which he fenced, and gathered out the stones, and planted it with a noble vine; and he waited for it that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes (Isaiah 5:1-2
"The vineyard that the beloved had in a horn of the son of oil" signifies the spiritual church which has truths from the good of love, thus most excellent; for "vineyard" signifies the spiritual church, or the church that is in truths from good; its inauguration is meant by "the horn of oil," for inaugurations were performed by oil out of a horn; and "the son of oil," means truth from good; "beloved" means the Lord, because He it is who establishes churches, therefore it is said of Him, "which he fenced and gathered out the stones, and planted with a noble vine," "a noble vine" meaning spiritual truth from the celestial, or truth from the good of love; the "grapes that he waited for that it should bring forth" signify the goods of charity, which are the goods of life; and the "wild grapes that it brought forth" signify the evils that are contrary to the goods of charity, that is, the evils of life.
 In Hosea:
In that day, I will listen to the heavens, and they shall listen to the earth; and the earth shall listen to the corn and the new wine and the fresh oil; and these shall listen to Jezreel. And I will sow her unto Me in the earth (Hosea 2:21-23).
This is said of a new church to be established by the Lord; and "to listen to" means to obey and to receive; obedience and reception following and succeeding in order are thus described. That the heavens will receive from the Lord is meant by "I will listen to the heavens;" that the church will receive from the heavens, thus from the Lord through the heavens, is meant by "the heavens shall listen to the earth;" that good and truth will receive from the church is meant by "the earth shall listen to the corn and the new wine and the fresh oil;" "new wine" meaning truth, and "oil" good; and that those who are of the church with whom there are good and truth will receive therefrom is meant by "these shall listen to Jezreel." Evidently the earth, its corn, new wine, and oil is not meant, but the church with its goods and truths, for it is said, "I will sow Jezreel unto me in the earth."
 In Isaiah:
I will give in the wilderness the cedar of shittah, and the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir, the pine and the box tree (Isaiah 41:19).
This is said of the establishment of the church among the Gentiles by the Lord; and "the wilderness" and "the desert" signify where there was before no good because no truth; "the cedar of shittah," "myrtle," and "oil tree" signify spiritual and celestial good; and "the fir," "the pine," and "the box tree" signify good and truth therefrom in the natural; for every tree in the Word signifies something pertaining to the good and truth of the church; and "the cedar of shittah," "the myrtle," and "the oil tree" signify such things of the church as are in the spiritual or internal man; while "the fir," "the pine," and "the box tree" signify such things of the church as are in the natural or external man.
 In David:
[Jehovah is] my shepherd; I shall not want. He will make me to lie down in pastures of the tender herb; He will lead me to the waters of rest. Thou wilt arrange a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; my head wilt thou make fat with oil; my cup will overflow (Psalms 23:1-2, 5).
This means, in the internal sense, that he who trusts in the Lord is led into all the goods and truths of heaven, and overflows with the enjoyments thereof; "my shepherd" means the Lord; "the pastures of the tender herb" signify the knowledges of truth and good; "the waters of rest" signify the truths of heaven therefrom; "table" signifies spiritual nourishment; "to make fat the head with oil" signifies wisdom which is from good; "my cup will overflow" signifies intelligence which is from truths, "cup" signifying the like as "wine." "The pastures of the tender herb" and "the waters of rest," seem to be mentioned as if they were comparisons, because the Lord is called a shepherd, and the flock of the shepherd is led into pastures of herbs and to limpid waters; but still these are correspondences.
 In Ezekiel:
Judah and the land of Israel were thy traders in the wheats of Minnith and Pannag, and in honey, and oil, and balsam (Ezekiel 27:17).
This is said of Tyre, which signifies the church in relation to the knowledges of truth and good; thus "Tyre" signifies the knowledges of truth and good of the church; and "Judah" and "the land of Israel," who "were traders" signify the church, "Judah" the church in relation to good, and "the land of Israel" the church in relation to truths from good; and "to trade" signifies to acquire to oneself and to communicate to others. "Wheats of Minnith and Pannag" signify goods and truths in general; and "honey, oil, and balsam," goods and truths in particular, "honey" and "oil" goods; and "balsam" truths which are grateful from good, for all truths that are from good are perceived in heaven as fragrant, and consequently as grateful; and this is the reason that the oil of anointing was prepared from various fragrant things (respecting which see Exodus 35:22-33); and also the oil for the lamps (respecting which see Exodus 27:20-21).
 In Moses:
Jehovah fed him with the increase of the fields, He made him to suck honey out of the cliff, and oil out of the flint of the rock (Deuteronomy 32:13).
This treats of the Ancient Church; "to suck oil out of the flint of the rock" means to be imbued with good through the truths of faith; "honey" means natural good and delight; "oil" spiritual good and delight; and "cliff" and "flint of the rock" mean the truth of faith from the Lord. If spiritual things were not meant by these words, what meaning could there be in "sucking honey out of the cliff, and oil out of the flint of the rock"?
(References: Exodus 30:22-33)
 In Habakkuk:
The fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be produce in the vines; the labor of the olive shall dissemble, and the fields shall yield no food (Habakkuk 3:17).
Here fig tree, vine, olive, and fields, are not meant, but heavenly things, to which they correspond. "The fig tree" corresponds to and thence signifies natural good; "the vine" corresponds to spiritual good, which in its essence is truth; the "olive," as the fruit from which oil is derived, corresponds to the good of love in act; and "fields" correspond to all things of the church; "produce" and "foods" thence signify all things pertaining to spiritual nourishment; from which it is clear what these things signify in their order.
 In Hosea:
Ephraim feedeth on wind; they make a covenant with Assyria and oil is carried down into Egypt (Hosea 12:1).
This has no meaning unless it is known what is meant by "Ephraim," by "Assyria," and "Egypt." Man's own intellect [intellectuale proprium], which by reasonings from knowledges perverts and adulterates the goods of the church, is here described. "Ephraim" means the intellect, "Assyria" reasoning, and "Egypt" the knowing faculty; therefore "to carry down oil into Egypt" means to pervert the goods of the church by reasonings from knowledges.
 In Zechariah:
I saw a lamp stand of gold; two olive-trees by it, one at the right side of the bowl, and the other at the left side thereof. These are the two sons of oil that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zechariah 4:2-3, 14).
"Two olive-trees" and "two sons of oil" mean the good of love to the Lord and the good of charity towards the neighbor; the latter at his left hand, the former at his right.
 Likewise in Revelation:
The two witnesses shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty 2 days.
These are the two olive-trees, and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth (Revelation 11:3-4);
the "two olive-trees" and "two lampstands" mean these same goods, which are called "the two witnesses" because they are from the Lord; but more respecting these when they are explained.
(References: Zechariah 4:11)
 Because "oil" signified the good of love to the Lord, and the good of charity towards the neighbor:
The Lord likened the kingdom of the heavens to ten virgins, of whom five had oil in the lamps, and five had not; therefore the latter were called foolish, and the former prudent (Matthew 25:1-11).
"The ten virgins" signify all who are of the church; and "five" signify some or a part of them, for such is the signification of the numbers "ten" and "five" in the Word; and "virgin" or "daughter" signifies the church; "oil" signifies the good of love to the Lord and the good of charity towards the neighbor; and "lamps" signify the truths that are called the truths of faith. From this the meaning of these words in the spiritual sense can be seen, namely, that the virgins that had no oil in their lamps, and consequently were not admitted into heaven, are those who know truths from the Word, or from the doctrine of the church, and yet are not in the good of love and charity, that is, do not live according to these truths; while the virgins who had oil in their lamps, and were received into heaven, are those who are in the good of love and charity, and thence in truths from the Word or from the doctrine of the church; which makes clear why the latter virgins are called "prudent," and the former "foolish."
 Because "oil" signified the good of love and charity, and "wine" signified truth:
The Lord says of the Samaritan, who as he journeyed saw in the way a man wounded by thieves, that he poured oil and wine into his wounds, and then set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and told them to care for him (Luke 10:33-35).
In the spiritual sense these things are thus perceived: "the Samaritan" means the Gentiles that were in the good of charity towards the neighbor; "the man wounded by thieves" means those who are infested by those from hell, who are thieves because they injure and destroy man's spiritual life; the "oil and wine that he poured into his wounds" mean things spiritual that heal man, "oil" good, and "wine" truth; that "he set him on his own beast" signifies that he did this according to his intelligence so far as he was able, "horse," and likewise "beast of burden" signifying the intellect; that "he brought him to an inn and told them to care for him" signifies to bring to those that are well instructed in the doctrine of the church from the Word, and who are better able to heal him than one who is still in ignorance. Thus are these words understood in heaven, and from them it is evident that the Lord when He was in the world spoke by pure correspondences, thus for the world and for heaven at the same time.
 Because "oil" signified the good of love and charity, and by this those are healed who are spiritually sick, therefore it is said of the Lord's disciples:
That they anointed many with oil and healed them (Mark 6:13).
(Furthermore, what is specially signified by "the oil prepared for the lamps," and what by "the oil prepared for anointings" see Arcana Coelestia 9778-9789, and n. 10250-10288, where they are explained.) From this it can now be seen that "oil" signifies celestial good and spiritual good, that is, the good of love to the Lord, and the good of charity towards the neighbor; "the oil of anointing" the good of love to the Lord from the Lord, and the "oil for the lamps" the good of charity towards the neighbor from the Lord.