The Bible

 

Luke 1:26-38 : The Annunciation to Mary

        

Study the Inner Meaning

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2798, 2921, 3305, 3421, 5313, 9229, 10248

Apocalypse Revealed 56, 173, 294, 373, 481, 504, 520, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 44, 120

Conjugial Love 82

The Lord 19, 29, 40, 42

True Christian Religion 82, 88, 92, 93, 98, 111, 112, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 253, 328, 376, 677, 815, 852, 1069, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 30, 38, 216

Canons of the New Church 17, 39, 40, 43

De Domino 38

Justification 10, 13

Spiritual Experiences 4332

Marriage 82, 88, 92, 93, 98, 111, 112

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 13

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Judges 5:24, 6:12, 16

Ruth 3:11

2 Samuel 7:12, 13, 16, 23:5

1 Chronicles 17:12

Psalms 2:7, 45:7, 132:11

Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 49:1, 5

Jeremiah 23:5

Daniel 2:44, 7:14

Obadiah 1:21

Micah 4:7

Word/Phrase Explanations

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

angel
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

Gabriel
Gabriel signifies an angelic society in heaven that is made up of people who teach from the Word, particularly about the Lord’s advent.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

galilee
Galilee was the northernmost province of Biblical Judea, a hilly area relatively remote from the center of Jewish culture in Jerusalem and bordered by foreigners...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

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

Fear not
Fear not, as in Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:5, 12; Matthew 17:5, 7; 28:10, etc., signifies resuscitation to life, and at the same time adoration from...

son
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

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...

highest
'Highest' denotes the 'inmost,' because interior things, with person who is in space, appear as higher things, and exterior things as lower. But when the...

over
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

ever
“Age” is used in slightly different ways in natural language, and those differences are reflected in the word’s spiritual meanings. All the variations, though, reflect...

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

ghost
'The seven spirits' in Matthew 12:45 signify all falsities of evil, and as a result, a total extinction of goodness and truth. 'The seven spirits'...

Son of God
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

Resources for parents and teachers

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


 Angel Appears to Joseph
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angel Appears to Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angel Appears to Zacharias
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angelic Appearances at the Time of the Advent
A sermon about the angel Gabriel's appearances to different people and how this pictures aspects of the preparation we must do for the Lord's birth in our own lives. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Angel with Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angel with Zacharias
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Annunciation
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

 Call His Name Jesus
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Christmas Joy and Happiness
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Elizabeth Greets Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 His Name Is John
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 His Name Will Be Called: The Development of the Lord in Our Lives
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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

 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Mary and Elizabeth
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Mary's Song of Praise
Mary's song of praise, often called the Magnificat, in a color border.
Picture | Ages over 15

 Mary Visits Elizabeth
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Naming John the Baptist
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Our Savior
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Picture of the Angel Gabriel
Project | Ages up to 10

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

 Quotes: Good Tidings of Great Joy
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

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

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

 The Angel Appearing to Mary
Use oil pastels and watercolors to show the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

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

 The Angel Appears to Mary
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Angel Appears to Mary Mobile
Make a simple mobile to show the angel Gabriel coming to tell Mary that she would give birth to a Son and should name Him Jesus.
Project | Ages 3 - 8

 The Angel's Promise to Mary
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Annunciation
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Birth of John
Zacharias and Elizabeth were very good people who wanted a child very much. The Lord answered their prayers. John was born to help prepare people to learn from the Lord. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Introductory Level, for ages 5-6.
Religion Lesson | Ages 5 - 6

 The Birth of John the Baptist
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Birth of John the Baptist
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Magnificat
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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

 The Mother of the Lord
Imagine what it must have been like to suddenly see an angel and be told such great news.
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Name Mary
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Savior
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Spread of the Lord's Word
We can be like the shepherds and others who have spread the good news as we learn about the Lord and find ways to tell people. Maybe this Christmas you can share your enjoyment of the story of the Lord’s birth with a friend or neighbor. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 5, for ages 10-11.
Religion Lesson | Ages 10 - 11

 Understanding the Virgin Birth
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Zacharias and the Angel
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Zacharias’s Dumbness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Zacharias Sees Angel
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

Commentary

 

You Shall Bear a Son      

By Rev. Eric Carswell

The Annunciation, 1898, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
By Henry Ossawa Tanner - http://freechristimages.org/biblestories/annunciation.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4864374

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

What amazing words these must have been to Mary, a young woman, when she first heard them. Just minutes before she had probably been engaged in some mundane task of daily life in her mother's home, perhaps grinding flour or baking bread, maybe weaving or spinning wool into yarn. If she was like most young women who are shortly to be married, her mind would have been turned to her future life with Joseph, what their home would be like, the children they would have and the life that they would lead together. Happy images of the future would have filled her thoughts. She would have had her hopes, dreams and expectations--images of how her life would be as the future wife of Joseph.

Suddenly with the appearance of the angel Gabriel, her visions of the future contained a new and dramatically different element. The angel told her that she was highly favored and blessed among women, that the Lord was with her and that she would soon conceive and bring forth a son whose name would be Jesus. This child would be given the throne of Mary's ancient forebear, King David, and reign forever.

Mary voiced the question of how this would take place. She knew the order of natural conception and knew that the angel's message did not fit into this order. In explanation the angel Gabriel told her of the greatest miracle of all time saying, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

We are called to believe that miracles do occur. Some people are troubled by the idea of miracles based on their picture of cause and effect in this world. They have accepted that the only causes are natural ones, the laws of physics and so on. For such a person the idea of Jesus being born without a natural father is fantastic beyond belief.

But we are called to believe that miracles have and do occur. There are forces that attack this belief. We have grown up in a culture that has a strong sense of natural order. Science today is capable of explaining so many events that previously were mysteries. It is capable of explaining them by means of fundamental laws of nature. For some this sense of natural law can become so strong that the Lord's active presence within creation vanishes. For some there is no Divine intervention within this system. All is fixed and moves along with changes taking place by mere random accident. But it could be noted that according to natural law most changes result in more chaos, not less chaos. Changes tend toward the break down of a higher order into a lower one.

Think of the example of a person quickly typing out a document on a computer. You would expect that errors would be introduced into the typing. What is the likelihood that the errors would improve the original document? It’s possible, but rather unexpected. But the argument for pure natural evolution is that given enough time and the forces of natural selection life as we now know it has developed. Asserting that human life came about purely by random accidents starting with the genetic code of the most primitive life millions of years ago seems akin to saying that given enough time and enough typed copies a simple child’s nursery rhyme could evolve into a Shakespearean play without any plan or higher thought being involved.

We are called to believe that miracles do occur. However, the Writings for the New Church have taught us that we are not to expect to see the miracles of the Old and New Testaments performed today in the same way they were performed in the time those books were written. We read:

The reason miracles are not done at this day, as before, is that miracles compel, and take away free will in spiritual things; and from being spiritual, they make a person natural. All in the Christian world . . . can become spiritual; and they become spiritual solely from the Lord through the Word; and the faculty for this would perish if they were brought to believe through miracles. (True Christian Religion 501)

Partially based on statements such as this, a person can come to a pattern of thinking that does not believe in the Lord’s ability to affect things for good in a miraculous way even today. A person could believe in God, but still tend to view the progression of his or her life as following laws of a machine-like system. Anything that does not fit into this fixed system is believed to be a miracle that would take away spiritual freedom--the very freedom that the Lord was born into the world to reestablish.

Perhaps, though, it is too easy for us to become too limited in our view. So limited that we block out a sight of the miracles that can occur within our own lives without taking away our spiritual freedom. Perhaps it is too easy for this limited point of view to block out a sense of the Lord's presence, a sense of the Holy Spirit's presence. How does the Lord reach out to touch our lives?

What of Mary's life? The events surrounding the first Christmas were a major intervention within her life. The same is true of her husband to be, Joseph. Both of them could have denied the possibility of a miraculous conception and this state of denial would have been far more damaging than that of Zacharias's. Could the Lord's birth ever have taken place if Mary was not willing to accept the angel's words? Her firstborn was to have a continuing effect throughout her whole life. His presence was not without many events that brought a sense of awe and wonder to both Mary and Joseph. We know of at least one event that showed that raising Jesus was not always easy. At age 12, they spent three anxious days searching for Him, only to find Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of teachers, listening and asking questions.

In addition to the way in which Jesus' birth and life intervened in Joseph and Mary's life, think of the way His presence affected the disciples. Many of them were happily going about their daily jobs when they were called to leave all behind and follow Him. While this intervention sometimes involved something of the miraculous, it also involved an element of free will. Just as Joseph and Mary could have resisted the words of the angel announcing that the Lord would be born, so also the disciples could have heard the Lord call them to follow and shook their heads and returned to their work. There were many, many others who were influenced in this same way. Many others who heard the Lord's words calling to them and had their lives profoundly influenced by what He said.

The Lord comes to each of us in our lives many times each day. While we may not have anything occur in our lives that an objective observer would call miraculous, it is not true that our lives will follow some pre-established route, set by our inborn nature and directed by compelling experience of the natural world. The Lord's first birth represents the way in which He comes in any age to anyone who will receive Him. Just as the words of the angel Gabriel would have been a dramatic intervention within the happy normalcy of the future that Mary would have envisioned, so also the Lord can come to us announcing the conception of a future for us that is far different from the one our natural mind would envision. The Lord comes to us offering and promising a far different set of reactions to daily events from the ones we presently have--a different perspective, a far greater patience in some areas and a stronger resolve and commitment in others. He comes to us bringing light to areas of thoughts that we had resigned ourselves to being in deep darkness and bringing warmth to much that we might otherwise have done from need or duty.

The angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin, whose name was Mary. Ancient prophecies had promised that the Messiah would be born as the child of a young woman. Several hundred years after this prophecy was given, a Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint, introduced a new element of the miraculous by using a word in this prophecy that was not the general one for a young woman, but rather the distinctive Greek term for "virgin." When the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, the gospel of Matthew records that he quoted this prophecy according to the way it is presented in the Septuagint. The Writings for the New Church make it quite clear that this seemingly added idea is correct and even essential in our understanding of the Lord's advent.

There are two distinct reasons for the importance of a belief in the virgin birth. One reason has to do with the essential need for Jesus to be born with a natural mother but without a natural father if He was going to become our Savior and Redeemer. It was crucial for the work of Jesus that He not derive from His birth any of the internal evils that are passed on through the soul provided by the natural father in any natural conception. His soul and life came directly from the infinite God. His developing mind and life were the ever more perfect manifestation in human form of the Father and creator, our Lord and God. But it was important that He take on a natural mind at first empty of any experience and knowledge as you and I were born with. It was important that He take on the hereditary inclinations to evil that birth to a natural mother brought to His life.

The second reason for believing in the virgin birth exists because of the representation of the term virgin and what this says about how the Lord comes to us in our lives. We are told that a virgin represents someone who willing to have his or her life affected by truth. In this story, Mary represents a state of mind in each of our lives that is not controlled by self interest nor committed to a determined course of action. It is a state of mind that is open to new possibilities.

The Lord comes to us to each of us bringing the promise of a new conception of life just as the angel Gabriel came to the virgin Mary. He comes promising a rebirth or regeneration of life that is radically different from the one we come by naturally. It is not to the hustle and bustle of established life that He appears, but rather to those states of mind that, like the virgin Mary, look forward to something new and different and most importantly are willing to receive the conception of this new life. The life that comes to us naturally, apart from any presence of the Lord, is like a child conceived of a human father and mother. Without the Lord's presence, this life cannot have any other basis than self-interest and worldly concern. Experience may teach us to broaden this self-interest and to temper these concerns, but apart from the Lord's advent within our lives they will never rise above this level. The Lord is born within each of our lives within the states of mind that are willing to be affected by what the Word teaches--by the states of mind that are willing to rise above the prompting of our natural inclinations to be self-serving and natural in our interests, thoughts and actions. He is born within the states of mind that are willing to turn outward to recognize and serve the needs of those around us. He is born within the states of mind that are willing to recognize that natural things exist to serve the needs of mankind and creation as a whole and have their proper uses as well as their abuses.

Our preparation for the celebration of Christmas, more than any other event of the season, tends to turn people outward to others. It is a time that can help us to recognize the community of caring people that we live in. And it is a time that can remind us that many are in need--there are many people who can use our help. This help may be a matter of providing food, clothing and shelter for those have not been able to or have not yet come to be provident enough to provide them for themselves. It can be a matter of giving a hand to someone who could use some help with a job, sharing some burden with them. Christmas is a time when we give gifts that symbolize and love and friendship for others. The most lasting gifts are those that we give when we recognize the spiritual needs of others—when we recognize that, by our words and actions, we can help the Lord bring loving warmth to another person's life. We, by our words and actions, can bring the light of greater understanding to another person's life. We have the capability of helping others receive far greater blessings in life than they might otherwise. Our preparation for and celebration of Christmas can remind us of how a truly Christian life is one of wisely giving and of serving. The state of mind that receives this reminder is the one imaged by the virgin, Mary.

The Lord comes to each of us in our lives, just as the angel Gabriel came to Mary. He comes telling of events that can take place, if we are willing, which far exceed anything we might picture ourselves. He promises us a new life, born within our own, but not taking its source from us. He promises the presence of the Holy Spirit within this new life. He comes with a miraculous intervention in the natural course of events. The words of the angel Gabriel to Mary are also words to us with the promise of a new life that will profoundly affect what we care about, think and do each day throughout the year. These words are the promise of a new life for each of us.

After the close of this service you are invited to take the sacrament of the Holy Supper. This act of worship represents our desire to receive the Lord’s gifts of love and wisdom within our lives, represented by our eating of the bread and drinking of the wine. There is a powerful reminder of the words of the angel Gabriel in The True Christian Religion description of this sacrament

...the Holy Supper for those who approach it worthily is a kind of guarantee and seal put on their adoption as sons of God ... the Lord is then present and introduces into heaven those who are born of Him, that is, who are regenerated. (True Christian Religion 728)

As the angel Gabriel said to Mary, so the Lord would say to us, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1573; Isaiah 7:1-15; Luke 1:26-38)

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #852

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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852. Having the name of His Father written on their foreheads, signifies such truths according to the acknowledgment of His Divine from love. This is evident from the signification of "the name of His Father," as being the Divine of the Lord (of which presently), also from the signification of "written on the foreheads," as being full acknowledgment. "The name of the Father written on the forehead" means the full acknowledgment of the Divine of the Lord, because the Lord turns towards Himself all who acknowledge His Divine, and looks at them in the forehead, while they on the other hand look at the Lord with the eyes; and this for the reason that the "forehead" signifies love, and the "eye" the understanding of truth; therefore to be looked at by the Lord in the forehead signifies to be looked at by the Lord from the good of love; and on the other hand their looking at the Lord with the eyes signifies to look from truths from that good, consequently from the understanding of truth. (That all who are in the heavens are turned to the Lord, and look with the face towards Him as a Sun, see above, n. 646; and in the work on Heaven and Hell 17, 123, 142, 272; also that the Lord sees angels in the forehead, and on the other hand angels see the Lord with the eyes, because the forehead corresponds to the good of love, and the eyes correspond to the understanding of truth, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 145, 251; and that the forehead corresponds to the good of love see above, n. 427.)

(References: Revelation 14:1; The Apocalypse Explained 427, 646)


[2] One who does not know what the Word is in the sense of the letter might think that when "God and the Lamb" are mentioned, and here "the Lamb and the Father," two are meant, and yet the Lord alone is meant by the two. It is the same in the Word of the Old Testament, where mention is made of "Jehovah," "the Lord Jehovih," "Jehovah of Hosts," "Lord," "Jehovah God," "God" in the plural and in the singular, "the God of Israel," "the Holy one of Israel," "the King of Israel," "Creator," "Savior," "Redeemer," "Shaddai," "Rock," and so on; and yet by all these names only one is meant, and not many; for the Lord is named variously according to His Divine attributes. So again, in the Word of the New Testament, where "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit," are mentioned as three; and yet by these three names one only is meant; for "Father" means the Lord as to the Divine Itself which He had as the soul from the Father; "the Son" means the Divine Human; and "the Holy Spirit" the Divine proceeding; thus the three are one, the same as "the Lamb" and "the Father" are here.

[3] That when the Lord mentioned the Father He meant the Divine in Himself, and thus Himself, can be seen from many passages in the Word of both Testaments; but I will here quote a few from the Word of the Gospels, from which it can be seen that by "the Father" the Lord meant the Divine in Himself, which was in Him as the soul is in the body; and that when He mentioned the Father and Himself as two He meant Himself by both, for the soul and the body are one, the soul belonging to its body, and the body to its soul. That the Divine which is called "the Father" was the Divine Itself of the Lord from which His Human existed, and from which it was made Divine, is clearly evident from His conception from the Divine Itself. In Matthew:

The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy bride, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn Son (Matthew 1:20, 25).

And in Luke:

The angel said to Mary, Behold, thou shalt conceive in the womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. But Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man? And the angel answered and said, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; therefore that Holy Thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:31, 32, 34, 35).

From this it is evident that the Lord from conception is Jehovah God; and to be Jehovah God from conception is to be so as to the life itself, which is called the soul from the Father, from which the body has life. From this it is clearly evident that it is the Lord's Human that is called the Son of God, for it is said "the Holy Thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

(References: Luke 1:31-32, 1:34-35)


[4] That it is the Lord's Human that is called "the Son of God" can be seen further from the Word of both the Old and New Testaments in many passages. But this subject, God willing, shall be particularly discussed elsewhere; here only such passages will be quoted as testify that by "the Father" the Lord meant the Divine in Himself, thus Himself, as follows. In John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 2, 14).

Evidently "the Word" means the Lord as to the Divine Human, for it is said that "the Word became flesh, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father." It is also evident that the Lord is God even as to the Human, that is, that the Lord's Human is also Divine, for it is said, "the Word was with God, and God was the Word;" and this Word became flesh. "The Word" means the Lord as to Divine truth.

(References: John 1:1-2, John 1:3)


[5] In the same:

My Father worketh even until now, therefore also I work. But the Jews sought to kill Him, because He said that God was His own Father, making Himself equal with God. But Jesus answered and said, The Son can do nothing of Himself except what He seeth the Father doing; for whatever things He doeth these also the Son doeth in like manner. As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you that the hour is coming when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. As the Father hath life in Himself so also gave He to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:17-27).

That "the Father" means here the Divine in the Lord, which was His life, as the soul of the father is in every man, and that "the Son" means the Human, which lived from the Divine Itself which was in Him, and thus became Divine, consequently that Father and Son are one, is evident from these words of the Lord, namely, that "the Son doeth like things as the Father," that the Son like the Father "raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them," that the Son like the Father "hath life in Himself," and that "they that hear the voice of the Son shall live;" from all which it is clearly evident that the Father and the Son are one as soul and body are; as well as from the fact that "the Jews sought to kill Him because He said that God was His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

(References: John 5:17-26)


[6] In the same:

All that which the Father giveth to Me shall come unto Me. Everyone that hath heard from the Father and hath learned, cometh unto Me. Not that anyone hath seen the Father save He who is with the Father, He seeth the Father. I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. As the living Father hath sent Me I also live by the Father (John 6:37, seq .).

Here the Lord says of His Human that it came down out of heaven, and that everyone has life through Him, because the Father and He are one; and that the life of the Father is in Him, as the soul from a father is in the son.

[7] In the same:

To my sheep I give eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are one. And the Jews were indignant that He made Himself God. He said, Say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of My Father believe Me not; but if I do, believe the works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in the Father (John 10:28-38).

Here the Lord speaks of the Father as of another, saying, "No one shall pluck the sheep out of my Father's hand," also, "If I do not the works of My Father believe Me not, but if I do, believe the works;" and yet that they might not believe that the Father and He were two He saith, "The Father and I are one;" and that they might not believe that they were one merely by love, He adds, "that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in the Father." From this it is clear that by "the Father" the Lord meant Himself, or the Divine in Himself from conception; and that by "the Son whom the Father sent" He meant His Human, for this was sent into the world by being conceived of God the Father and born of a virgin.

[8] In the same:

Jesus cried out and said, He that believeth in Me believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me, and He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in darkness (John 12:44-46).

From this also it is clear that by "the Father" the Lord meant Himself, and by "the Son whom the Father sent" His Divine Human, for He says, "He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me," also "he that believeth in Me believeth not in Me but in Him that sent Me;" and yet He says that they are to believe in Him (verse John 12:34, and elsewhere (John 12:36), (John 12:44-46)).

[9] In the same:

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He came forth from God and returned to God, said, He that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me (John 13:3, 20).

As the Father and He were one, and the Lord's Human was Divine from the Divine in Himself, therefore all things of the Father were His, which is meant by "the Father had given all things into His hands;" and because they were one He says, "He that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me;" "Coming forth from the Father and returning to the Father" means to be conceived and thus to exist from Him, and to be united to Him like the soul to the body.

[10] In the same:

I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one cometh to the Father but through Me. If ye have known Me ye have known My Father also; and henceforth ye have known Him and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you and thou dost not know Me, Philip? He that seeth Me seeth the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The Father that abideth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me, that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 14:6-11).

Here it is plainly declared that the Father and He are one, and that the union is like the union of soul and body; thus that it is such a union that he who seeth Him seeth the Father. This union is further confirmed in this chapter. And as the union was such, and as no one can approach the soul of man but only the man himself, the Lord says:

That they should go to Him and should ask the Father in His name, and that He would give to them (John 16:23, 24).

(References: John 16:23-24)


[11] This union is also meant by:

He went forth from the Father and came into the world, and again He leaves the world and goeth to the Father (John 16:5, 10, 16, 17, 28.)

As the Father and He were one He also says:

All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine, and therefore the Paraclete, which is the Holy Spirit, was to receive from the Lord what He should speak (John 16:13-15).

And elsewhere:

Father, Thou hast given Me authority over all flesh, that to everyone whom Thou hast given Me I may give eternal life. This is life eternal, that they may know Thee the only God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine (John 17:2, 3, 10).

Here, too, it is plainly declared that all things of the Father are the Lord's, as all things of the soul are man's; for man and the soul are one, as life and the subject of life are one. That even as to the Human the Lord is God is evident from these words of the Lord, "that they may know Thee the only God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."

(References: John 16:7, John 16:16-17, John 17:2-3)


[12] As "the Father" and "the Son of God" are one, the Lord says that:

When He cometh to judgment He will come in the glory of His Father (Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26);

And in His own glory (Matthew 25:31);

And that He hath all authority in the heavens and on the earth (Matthew 28:18).

[13] That "the Son of God" means the Lord's Divine Human is also made manifest in other passages in the Word; also in passages in the Old Testament. As in Isaiah:

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, upon whose shoulder is the government; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Mighty, the Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

And in the same:

A virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Son, and His name shall be called God-with-us (Isaiah 7:14).

Evidently "a Child born" and "a Son given" here mean the Lord as to the Divine Human. And that the Lord is God also as to it, thus that His Human is Divine, is clearly said, for it is said that "His name shall be called God," "God-with-us," "the Father of Eternity."

[14] Many other passages besides these might be quoted to prove, that by "the Father" in the Word the Lord meant His Divine which was the life or soul of His Human, and not another separate from Himself. Nor indeed could He have meant any other. Thus the Divine and the Human in the Lord, according to the doctrine of the Christian world, are not two but one person, altogether like soul and body; as is declared in clear terms in the Athanasian Creed. And as God and Man in the Lord are not two but one Person, and thus are united like soul and body, it follows that the Divine which the Lord had from conception was what He called "the Father," and the Divine Human was what He called "the Son;" consequently that they were both Himself. From these things it can now be seen that "the name of the Father written on their foreheads" means the Lord as to His Divine.

(References: John 1:3, John 5:17-26, John 16:7, 16:13-17; Revelation 14:1)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 848, 1046

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.


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