The Bible

 

Psalms 23 : The 23rd Psalm

        

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1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 273


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 57, 650, 3384, 3696, 4715, 4876, 5120, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 50, 383, 485, 672


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 71, 220, 375, 482, 662, 727, 960

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 15:27

Psalms 27:4, 31:4, 34:10, 11, 92:11, 106:8, 109:21

Proverbs 4:11

Isaiah 40:11, 43:2

Jeremiah 31:25

Ezekiel 34:14

John 10:11, 14

Revelation 7:17

Bible Word Meanings

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

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

shepherd
The Writings tell us that shepherds represent those who lead and teach others, using knowledge and true ideas to help people reach the goodness of...

want
'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

restoreth
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

leadeth
The meaning of "leading" people in the Bible is pretty straightforward, though obviously it is about leading people in spiritual things, not natural ones. When...

paths
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

righteousness
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

Shadow of death
'The shadow of death' has respect to the states of people in hell, who are in the falsities of evil.

fear
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

comfort
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

table
Food and drink in the Bible represent the desire to be loving and the understanding of how to be loving, gifts that flow from the...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

oil
Oil – typically olive oil – was an extremely important product in Biblical times, for food preparation, medicinal ointment and for burning in lamps. As...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

follow
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

life
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

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The Meaning of the 23rd Psalm

We explore the comfort, protection, and safety which God promises us on our spiritual journey, especially when we're undergoing spiritual struggles.


Can You Dwell in the House of the Lord?

The Bible talks about dwelling in “the house of the Lord.” But what does that really mean?


How to Get a Home in Heaven - Swedenborg & Life

What are the houses like in heaven? And how do we get one? We explore the spiritual living conditions of the afterlife and how we can work on our heaven house right now.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 A Shepherd and His Sheep
Use oil pastels or wax crayons to make a picture of shepherd, then use a sponge (cut into the shape of a lamb) to make little lambs around him.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Blessings: Good Tidings of Great Joy
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Blessings: Unto Us a Child Is Born
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Experiencing the Twenty-third Psalm
Explore the meaning of each phrase in Psalm 23, then help children experience it using their five senses.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 Following the Lord Our Shepherd
Use magnets to picture members of a family following the Lord as the shepherd.
Project | Ages up to 10

 Lord Is My Shepherd Diorama
Make a simple diorama to help remember the Lord's unceasing care.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Memory Verse: God Meant It for Good
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Out of the Forest
A story showing how the Lord leads as described in the 23rd Psalm.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: The Lord Is My Shepherd
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Rainbow Method of Learning the 23rd Psalm
Use the colors of the rainbow to help you learn the sequence of this psalm. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Ribbon Bookmark to Embroider
Embroider a satin ribbon with the words: "The Lord is my Shepherd" and pictures of a shepherd's staff and a little lamb.
Project | Ages over 7

 Shepherd and His Sheep Diorama
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Talking with Your Child About the Twenty-Third Psalm
Article | Ages over 18

 The Good Shepherd
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 7

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

 The Lord Is My Shepherd
The Lord with His flock all around Him.
Coloring Page | All Ages

 The Lord Is My Shepherd
Print and display this lovely poster of the Twenty-third Psalm with an illustrative color border.
Picture | Ages over 7

 The Lord Is My Shepherd
"The teaching that the Lord is our Shepherd is a powerful and comforting one. The relationship between the sheep and their shepherd involves a sense of trust and security.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord Is Our Shepherd
Color picture of the Lord our Shepherd.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Lord’s Rod and Staff
This family talk explains what the Lord's rod and staff are in our lives, and how He uses them to comfort us. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Shepherd Rescuing His Sheep
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 The Stream of Providence Game
This game is about the Lord leading us toward His heavenly sheepfold. 
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 The Twenty-third Psalm
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Twenty-third Psalm Book
Illustrate the literal meaning of the psalm or its application to life. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Twenty-third Psalm Calligraphy with Illustrations
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Twenty Third Psalm
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

 Understanding the Twenty-third Psalm
An outline showing parts of the Psalm 23 with suggestions for explaining them to children.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #71

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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71. And His voice as the voice of many waters, signifies Divine truth in ultimates. This is evident from the signification of a "voice" when it is from the Lord, as being Divine truth (see Arcana Coelestia 219, 220, 3563, 6971, 8813, 8914, and above, n. 55; and from the signification of "waters," as being the truths of faith, and also the knowledges of truth (of which see n. 2702, 3058, 5668, 8568, 10238); and since the knowledges of truths are in ultimates, "the voice as the voice of many waters," because it is said of the Lord, signifies Divine truth in ultimates. (That knowledges and scientifics are of the external or natural man, because they are in the light of the world, thus in ultimates, see Arcana Coelestia 5212, and in general, New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 51.) As it is not yet known that "waters" in the Word signify the truths of faith and the knowledges of truth, I would like, since this signification may possibly appear remote, to show here briefly that this is what is meant in the Word by "waters." This, moreover, is necessary, because without a knowledge of what "waters" signify, it cannot be known what baptism signifies, nor the "washings" in the Israelitish church so frequently referred to. "Waters" signify the truths of faith, as "bread" signifies the good of love. "Waters" and "bread" have this signification because things that pertain to spiritual nourishment are expressed in the sense of the letter by such things as belong to natural nourishment; for bread and water, which include in general all food and drink, nourish the body, while the truths of faith and the good of love nourish the soul. This also is from correspondence, for when "bread" and "water" are read of in the Word, angels, because they are spiritual, understand the things by which they are nourished, which are the goods of love and the truths of faith.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 219-220; Revelation 1:15; The Apocalypse Explained 55)


[2] But I will cite some passages from which it may be known that "waters" signify the truths of faith, likewise the knowledges of truth. Thus in Isaiah:

The earth is full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

In the same:

Then with joy shall ye draw waters out of the fountains of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).

In the same:

He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure (Isaiah 33:15-16).

In the same:

The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongue faileth for thirst. I will open rivers upon the heights, and will place fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness into a pool of waters, and the dry land into a going forth of waters; that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand (Isaiah 41:17, 18, 20).

In the same:

I will pour waters upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring (Isaiah 44:3).

In the same:

Thy light shall arise in the darkness, and thy thick darkness be as the noonday; that thou mayest be like a watered garden, and like a going forth of waters, whose waters shall not prove false (Isaiah 58:10-11).

In Jeremiah:

My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves pits that hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).

In the same:

Their nobles sent their little ones for water; they came to the pits and found no waters; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded (Jeremiah 14:3).

In the same:

They have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 17:13).

In the same:

They shall come with weeping, 1 and with supplications will I lead them; I will lead them unto fountains of waters, in the way of right (Jeremiah 31:9).

In Ezekiel:

I will break the staff of bread, and they shall eat bread by weight and with carefulness; and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment; that they may want bread and water, and be desolated, a man and a brother, and pine away for their iniquities (Ezekiel 4:16-17; 12:18-19; Isaiah 51:14).

In Amos:

Behold the days come, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the Word of Jehovah. They shall wander from sea to sea, they shall run to and fro, to seek the Word of Jehovah, and shall not find it; in that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst (Amos 8:11-13).

In Zechariah:

In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8).

In David:

Jehovah is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He will lead me to the waters of rest (Psalms 23:1-2).

In Isaiah:

They shall not thirst, He will cause waters to flow out of the rock for them, and He will cleave the rock, that the waters may flow out (Isaiah 48:21).

In David:

O God, early will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth, I am weary without waters (Psalms 63:1).

In the same:

Jehovah sendeth His word, He maketh the wind to blow, that the waters may flow (Psalms 147:18).

In the same:

Praise Jehovah, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens (Psalms 148:4).

In John:

When Jesus came to the fountain of Jacob, a woman of Samaria came to draw water; Jesus said to her, Give Me to drink. If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest ask of Him, and He would give thee living water. The woman said unto Him, From whence hast Thou living water? Jesus said to her, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall not thirst for ever; and the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:7-15).

In the same:

Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38).

In Revelation:

I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Revelation 21:6).

And in another place:

The angel showed unto him a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1).

And again:

The spirit and the bride say, Come. He that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come. And he that wisheth, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).

(References: Isaiah 41:17-18; John 4:6-14; Psalms 147:18-19)


[3] These passages have been cited that it may be known that in the Word "waters" signify the truths of faith, consequently what is meant by the water of baptism, about which the Lord thus teaches in John:

Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

"Waters" here are the truths of faith, and "spirit" a life according to them (see New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 202-209seq.). Because it had not been known that "waters" signified the truths of faith, and that all things that were instituted among the sons of Israel were representative of spiritual things, it was believed that by the washings that were prescribed for them their sins were wiped away; yet this was not at all the case; those washings only represented purification from evils and falsities by means of the truths of faith and a life according to them (see Arcana Coelestia 3147 Arcana Coelestia 3147[1-10], 5954, 10237, 10240). From this it is now clear that by "the voice," which was "as the voice of many waters," is meant Divine truth; as likewise in Ezekiel:

Behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and His voice was like the voice of many waters; and the earth was enlightened by His glory (Ezekiel 43:2).

And in David:

The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters, Jehovah upon many waters (Psalms 29:3).

And in the following words in Revelation:

I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters (Revelation 14:2).

[4] I know that some will wonder why "waters" are mentioned in the Word, and not the truths of faith, since the Word is to teach man about his spiritual life; and since, if the expression the truths of faith had been used, instead of "waters," man would have known that the waters of baptism and of washings contribute nothing to the purifying of man from evils and falsities. But it is to be known, that the Word in order to be Divine, and at the same time useful to heaven and the church, must be wholly natural in the letter, for if it were not natural in the letter there could be no conjunction of heaven with the church by means of it; for it would be like a house without a foundation, and like a soul without a body, for ultimates enclose all interiors, and are a foundation for them (see above, n. 41). Man also is in ultimates, and upon the church in him heaven has its foundations. For this reason the style of the Word is such as it is; and as a consequence, when man from the natural things that are in the sense of the letter of the Word thinks spiritually, he is conjoined with heaven, and in no other way could he be conjoined with it.

-----
Footnotes:

1. The Latin has "weeping and with weeping," the Hebrew "weeping and with supplication," as also found in Apocalypse Explained 239, 483; Arcana Coelestia 3325.

-----

(References: John 4:6-14; Psalms 147:18-19; Revelation 1:15; The Apocalypse Explained 41)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 60, 67, 84, 118, 119, 126, 131, 183, 261, 275, 329, 395, 411, 419, 475, 518, 537, 594, 629, 644, 645, 854, 1033, 1076, 1215


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The Bible

 

Isaiah 58:10-11

King James Version         

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10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

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Explanation of Isaiah 58      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 58

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

1. CRY aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare unto My people their transgressions; and to the house of Jacob their sins.

VERSE 1. Divine Truth itself in heaven is signified by "voices" and "lightnings", but celestial or angelic Truth adjoined to the Divine, which is beneath or around, is signified by the "voice of a trumpet", as in Zechariah:

"Jehovah shall appear over them, and His weapon shall go forth as lightning; and the Lord Jehovih shall sound with a trumpet, and shall advance in the storms of the south." (Zechariah 9:14)

And in David:

"God ascends with noise; Jehovah with the voice of a trumpet"; (Psalm 47:5) where "noise" denotes the Truth of spiritual Good, and the "voice of a trumpet" the Truth of celestial Good. Arcana Coelestia 8815. See also the Exposition of Isaiah 27:13.

Declare unto My people their transgressions, etc. - As to the difference in meaning between "transgressions", "iniquities", and " sins", see Chapter 1:28, the Exposition.

2. Yet they seek Me daily, and the knowledge of My ways they desire, as a nation that has done justice, and has not forsaken the judgment of their God, that they might inquire of Me the judgments of justice; they delight in approaching to God.

Verse 2. That they might inquire of Me the judgments of justice, etc. - The "judgments of justice" denote divine Truths from Divine Good. Apocalypse Explained 946. See also Arcana Coelestia 612; True Christian Religion 51; Heaven and Hell 216.

3. [Saying] Wherefore have we fasted, and You seest not? have we afflicted our soul, and You dost not regard? Behold, in the day of your fasting, you find your pleasure; and all your demands you exact.

Verse 3. By "fasting" is signified to mourn by reason of a defect of Truth and of Good. Apocalypse Explained 1189.

4. Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: do not fast as in this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

Verse 4. To "smite with the fist of wickedness", signifies to smite with full power by falsities from evil. By the "fist" is signified, full power from Truth in general. It is called general [or common] Truth, because it is generally received, and is everywhere of avail or power; hence to "smite with the fist" is with full force and power, in the spiritual sense, by Truths which are from Good; and, in the opposite sense, by falsities which are from evil, - in which sense it is understood in the above passage in Isaiah. Arcana Coelestia 9025.

5. Is this, then, the fast which I choose? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it that he should bow down his head like a bulrush, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Wilt you call this a fast, a day well-pleasing to Jehovah?

6. Is not this the fast which I choose, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the bruised go free, and that you break off every yoke?

Verse 5. Wilt you call this a fast, a day well-pleasing to Jehovah? - That by "good pleasure", or what is "well-pleasing" to Jehovah, when predicated concerning men, is signified to live according to His precepts, - which is to love God and our neighbour, is evident, for it is said that His "good pleasure", or what is "well-pleasing " to Him, is "to break bread to the hungry, and to cover the naked."

By "breaking bread to the hungry", is signified from a principle of love to do Good to our neighbour, who is in the desire of Good; and by "covering the naked", is signified to instruct in Truths him who desires to be instructed. Apocalypse Explained 295.

Verses 5-7. Whereas to "put on sackcloth"· and to "roll in ashes" represented mourning over evils and falsities, it also represented humiliation, and likewise repentance; for the first principle of humiliation on man's part is to acknowledge that, of himself, he is nothing but what is evil and false; and, in like manner, of repentance, which is not effected but by humiliation, and this by confession of the heart that, of himself, he is such. That to "put on sackcloth" was a representation of humiliation, see 1 Kings 21:27-29; that it was a representative of repentance, see Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13; out that it was nothing else but a representative, thus only an external thing appertaining to the body, and not an internal thing appertaining to the heart, is evident from Isaiah:

"Is it that he should bow down his head like a bulrush, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Wilt you call this a fast, a day well-pleasing to Jehovah? Is not this the fast which I choose? - to loose the bonds of wickedness, to break bread to the hungry?" etc. Arcana Coelestia 4779.

7. Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the afflicted outcasts into your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from thine own flesh?

Verse 7. By "breaking bread to the hungry", is signified from charity to communicate and instruct those who are in ignorance, and, at the same time, in the desire of knowing Truths. To "bring the afflicted outcasts into the house"; signifies to amend and restore those who are in falsities, and thence in grief; "afflicted outcasts" denoting those who are in grief from falsities, for they who are in falsities stand without, whereas they who are in Truths are of the house, because the "house" is the intellectual mind, into which Truths only are admitted; for it is opened by Truths originating in Good. On account of which signification it is also added, "When you see the naked, that you cover him"; to be "naked" denoting to be without Truths, and to "cover the naked" is to instruct; for "garments", in the Word, signify Truths clothing, as may be seen above, Apocalypse Explained 295. Apocalypse Explained 386.

Those who press the literal sense of these words [as the only sense], believe that if they only break their bread to the hungry, and bring into their house the afflicted and wandering outcasts, and cover the naked, they shall, on that account, come into "the glory of Jehovah, or into heaven; whereas those deeds are only external, and can be done by the impious that they may merit heaven; but by the "hungry", the "afflicted", and the "naked", are signified those who are spiritually such, thus the different states of misery in which the man is who is the neighbour towards whom charity should be practised. Arcana Coelestia 3419.

8. Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and your justice shall go before you; the glory of Jehovah shall gather up your rear.

9. Then shalt you call, and Jehovah shall answer; you shalt cry out, and He shall say, Behold Me! If you remove from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of iniquity;

Verse 8. The glory of Jehovah shall gather up your rear. - What is meant by these words, see above, Chapter 52:12, the Exposition.

10. And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall be as the noon-day;

Verse 10. To "draw [or press] out the soul to the hungry", and to "satisfy the afflicted soul", signifies to teach him who desires to know what is Good and True; by the "hungry is signified one who desires Good, and by the "afflicted" he who desires Truth; and by "drawing out the soul" is signified to teach those things, thus to draw them forth from the understanding, from doctrine, and from faith; for by "soul", in this passage, is denoted the life of the understanding. That those who are in ignorance, but still in the desire of receiving Truth, will receive the understanding of Truth and of Good, is signified by "then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall be as the noon-day"; "obscurity" and "darkness" denoting the ignorance of Truth and of Good, and " light" and "noon-day" are the understanding of them. Apocalypse Explained 750.

In these words is described the exercise of charity towards the neighbour; in this case, towards those who are in ignorance, and, at the same time, In the desire of knowing Truths, and in grief on account of the falsities which occupy the mind; and that with those who are in that charity, falsities shall be shaken off, and Truths give light and shine.

Charity towards those who are in ignorance, and, at the same time, in the desire of knowing Truths, is understood by "If you draw out your soul to the hungry"; the "hungry" denoting those who desire; "soul" denoting the intelligence of Truth instructing.

That it is thus to instruct those who are in grief on account of the falsities which occupy the mind, is signified by "If you satisfy the afflicted soul."

That with those who are in such charity, ignorance shall be dissipated, and Truths shine and give light, is understood by "your light shall rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall be as the noon-day"; "obscurity" signifies the ignorance of the spiritual mind, and "darkness" the ignorance of the natural mind; "light" signifies Truth in the light, in like manner "noon-day."

In such illustration are they who from charity or spiritual affection instruct those who are in falsities from ignorance; for that charity is the receptacle of the influx of light or Truth from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 386.

11. And Jehovah shall lead you continually, and shall satisfy your soul in parched places; and He shall strengthen your bones: and you shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters deceive not.

Verse 11. He shall strengthen [or quicken] your bones; and you shalt be like a watered garden, etc. - By "bone" and "flesh" is signifIed the proprium of man, - by "bone" his intellectual proprium, and by "flesh " his will proprium, thus by "bone" his proprium as to Truth, for this is of his intellectual principle, and by "flesh" his proprium as to Good, for this is of his will, as may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 148, 149. As to what concerns the proprium in general, it is two-fold, the one infernal, the other celestial; man receives infernal proprium from hell, and celestial proprium from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; for all evil, and every false principle thence derived, flows in from hell, and all Good, and Truth thence derived, flows in from the Lord.

That this is the case, is known to man from the doctrine of faith, but scarcely one in ten thousand believes it; hence it is that man appropriates to himself, or makes his own, the evil which flows in from hell, and that the Good which flows in from the Lord, does not affect him, consequently is not imputed to him.

The reason why man does not believe that evil flows in from hell, and Good from the Lord, is, because he is in self-love, which love is attended with this principle of unbelief, insomuch that it is exceedingly indignant when it hears it asserted that everything is the effect of influx; hence, then, it is, that all man's proprium. is nothing but evil, see Arcana Coelestia 210, 215. But the ground why man believes that evil is from hell, and Good from the Lord, is, because he is not in self-love, but in love towards his neighbour and towards the Lord, for this love is ever attended with this principle of belief; hence it is that man receives from the Lord a heavenly proprium, concerning which, see Arcana Coelestia 155, 164. This proprium, in each sense, is signified by "bone" and "flesh"; and this is the groundl and reason why by "bones", in the Word, is signified Truth, and, in an opposite sense, the false principle; and by "flesh" is signified Good, and, in an opposite sense, evil. That such is the signification of "bones", may appear from the following passages:

"Jehovah shall lead you continually, and shall satisfy your soul in parched places; and He shall strengthen [or quicken] your bones: and you. shalt be like a watered garden"; (Isaiah 58:11) where "strengthening [or quickening] the bones" denotes to vivify the intellectual proprium; that is, to illustrate it with intelligence; whence it is said that "you may be as a watered garden"; that "garden" denotes intelligence, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 100, 108, 1588.

Again, in the same Prophet:

"Then you shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall bud forth like the herb"; (Isaiah 66:14) where, by "bones budding forth like the herb", the same is signified as above. Arcana Coelestia 3812.

12. And they that spring from you shall build up the old waste places; you shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shalt be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in.

Verse 12. These words treat of the church in which charity and life are the essential. To "repair the breach", is to amend falsities which have crept in by the separation of what is Good from what is True, for everything false comes from this separation: to "restore paths to dwell in", signifies Truths which are of Good, for "paths" or "ways" are Truths, and to "dwell" is predicated of Good. Arcana Coelestia 4926.

13. If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath, from doing thine own pleasure on the day of My holiness; and shalt call the Sabbath a Delight to the Holy [One] of Jehovah, honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Verse 13. To "turn away the foot from the Sabbath", denotes such things as are of the natural man; to "do his own pleasure [or will]", is to do those things which favour the lusts and evils of the loves of self and of the world; to "do his own ways, is to favour the falsities of evils; to "find his own pleasure", is to live according to the delights of those loves; and to "speak his own words", denotes to think such things. Hence it is evident that by "profaning the Sabbath" is signified to be led of themselves and of their own loves, and not of the Lord, who, in the supreme sense, is the "Sabbath."

Similar things are signified by "works" on the Sabbath day, as by "cutting wood", and "kindling a fire", and "preparing food" at that time, "gathering in the harvest", and by several other things which were forbidden to be done on the Sabbath day; by which also like things are understood, - by "cutting wood", the operating of good from themselves; by "kindling a fire", the doing of it from their own loves; and by "preparing food", teaching themselves from their own proper intelligence.

That such things are involved in the above prohibitions, no one can know but from the internal sense. It is further to be noted, that to be led of self and to be led of the Lord are two opposites; for he who is led by himself is led by his own loves, thus by hell, because the proper loves of man are from that source; but he who is led by the Lord is led by the loves of heaven which are love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour; he who is led by those loves is withdrawn from his own proper loves, and he who is led by his own proper loves is withdrawn from the loves of heaven, for they in no wise agree together; for the life of man is either in heaven or in hell, nor is it permitted to be at the same time in one and in the other.

This is meant by the Lord's words in Matthew:

"No one can serve two lords; for he will either hate the one and love the other, or he will adhere to the one and despise the other." (Matthew 6:24)

From these considerations it is evident what is signified by "doing work on the Sabbath day." When man is thus led by the Lord, and conjoined to Him, then the church and heaven are in him, which is signified by his being made to "ride upon the high places of the earth", and by his being" fed with the heritage of Jacob." Arcana Coelestia 10362; also 10360.

In the natural sense, which is that of the letter, the divine commandment to "remember the Sabbath day, and to keep it holy", signifies that six days are for man and his labours, and the seventh for the Lord and for man's rest in dependence on Him; for the word "Sabbath", in the original tongue, signifies rest.

The "Sabbath" among the children of Israel was the sanctity of sanctities, because it represented the Lord; the "six days" being significative of His labours and combats with the hells, and the "seventh" of His victory over them, and of the rest which He thereby attained; and because that "day" represented the close and period of the whole work of redemption accomplished by the Lord, it was esteemed holiness itself.

But when the Lord came into the world, and, in consequence, made all representations of Himself to cease, that day was then made a day for instruction in divine subjects, and thus also a day of rest from labours, and of meditation on matters that concern salvation and eternal life; and also a day for the exercise of love towards our neighbour. That it was made a day for instruction in divine subjects, is evident from this circumstance, that the Lord, on that day, "taught in the temple and in the synagogues"; (Mark 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31, 32; 13:10) and that He said to the man who was healed - "Take up your bed, and walk"; and to the Pharisees, that "it was lawful for His disciples on the Sabbath day to gather the ears of corn, and to eat"; [Matthew 12:1-9; Mark 2:23, to the end; Luke 6:1-6; John 5:9-19) which particulars signify, in the spiritual sense, to be instructed in doctrinals.

That that day was also made a day for the exercise of love towards our neighbour, is evident from what the Lord both "did and taught on the Sabbath day." (Matthew 12:10-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-12; 13:10-17; 14:1-6; John 5:9-19; 7:22, 23; 9:14-16)

From these and the foregoing passages it appears why the Lord said that "He is Lord also of the Sabbath"; (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5) and from His making this declaration, it follows that the "Sabbath day" was representative of Him. True Christian Religion 301.

14. Then shalt you delight yourself in Jehovah; and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob- your father: for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.

Verse 14. By "causing to ride upon the high places of the earth", is signified to give the understanding of superior or interior Truths concerning the things of the church and of heaven; and by "feeding with the heritage of Jacob", is signified to gift with all things of heaven and the church; for by the "heritage of Jacob" is understood the land of Canaan, and by that "land" is meant the church, and, in a superior sense, heaven. Apocalypse Explained 617.

That a "horse" signifies the understanding, and to "ride." means to be intelligent, see Chapter 31:1, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 58.

1. CRY aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare unto My people their transgressions; and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2. Yet they seek Me daily, and the knowledge of My ways they desire, as a nation that has done justice, and has not forsaken the judgment of their God, that they might inquire of Me the judgments of justice; they delight in approaching to God.

3. [Saying] Wherefore have we fasted, and You see not? have we afflicted our soul, and You dost not regard? Behold, in the day of your fasting, you find your pleasure; and all your demands you exact.

4. Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: do not fast as in this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5. Is this, then, the fast which I choose? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it that he should bow down his head like a bulrush, and lie down in sackcloth and ashes? Wilt you call this a fast, a day well-pleasing to Jehovah?

6. Is not this the fast which I choose, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the bruised go free, and that you break off every yoke?

7. Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the afflicted outcasts into your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from thine own flesh?

8. Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and your justice shall go before you; the glory of Jehovah shall gather up your rear.

9. Then shalt you call, and Jehovah shall answer; you shalt cry out, and He shall say, Behold Me! If you remove from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and the speaking of iniquity;

10. And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall be as the noon-day;

11. And Jehovah shall lead you continually, and shall satisfy your soul in parched places; and He shall strengthen your bones: and you shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters deceive not.

12. And they that spring from you shall build up the old waste places; you shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shalt be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of paths to dwell in.

13. If you turn your foot away from the Sabbath, from doing thine own pleasure on the day of My holiness; and shalt call the Sabbath a Delight to the Holy [One] of Jehovah, honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14. Then shalt you delight yourself in Jehovah; and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob- your father: for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 58


Other references to this text:

Arcana Coelestia 108, 149, 1458, 2708, 3812, 7711, 9050, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 50, 90, 413

True Christian Religion 467


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 71, 386, 526, 750

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 27

Scriptural Confirmations 13, 82

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John 7:38

Bible Word Meanings

soul
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hungry
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satisfy
'What satisfies' is what nourishes the soul.

light
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rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" represents a state where truth is lacking. Here's a cogent passage...

noonday
'Noon' signifies the full state of the church. 'Noon' signifies wisdom in its most luminous state. 'Noon' denotes a state of light, because the times...

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

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

bones
Bones are strong and supportive, providing a framework for our bodies and making motion and action possible. They are also the least "alive" part of...

watered
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

garden
A garden and paradise signify intellect and wisdom.

spring
'Spring' signifies the first state of a church or spiritual era, the same as 'morning.'

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 Helping Those Who Are "Sick"
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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Worship Talk | Ages over 18


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