The Bible

 

Matthew 5:1-12 : The Beatitudes

        

Study the Inner Meaning

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1017, 2371, 2658, 3863, 8002, 9263, 9818

Apocalypse Revealed 209, 285, 323, 526, 956

Conjugial Love 482

Divine Providence 33

The Lord 49

Sacred Scripture 51, 57

Life 17, 84

Heaven and Hell 357

True Christian Religion 96, 156, 226, 440


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 118, 122, 304, 386, 612, 695, 746, ...

Spiritual Experiences 1325

Marriage 96

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 6, 12, 20, 30, 68, 81, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

2 Kings 22:20

Psalms 17:15, 24:3, 4, 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34, 41:2, 119:28, 126:5

Proverbs 2:21, 11:17, 12:20, 21:21

Isaiah 51:1, 57:15, 61:2

Jeremiah 15:15, 31:25

Word/Phrase Explanations

seeing
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...

multitudes
'A multitude' relates to truths.

into a mountain
'To be taken up into a mountain,' as in Revelation 21:10, signifies being taken up into the third heaven, because it says 'in the spirit.'...

disciples
A disciple in Matthew 10:41 signifies charity and at the same time, faith from the Lord. It disciple signifies the truth of life, and a...

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

poor
"The Word talks frequently about aiding the poor and needy. People in possession of external truths who have not yet been brought to internal truths...

spirit
'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'...

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...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

hunger
'Hunger,' or 'famine,' signifies evils of life. 'Hunger,' or 'famine,' signifies desiring good from affection, because 'bread,' in the internal sense, is the good of...

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...

filled
'To be satiated,' as in Revelation 19:21, signifies being nourished by lusts, and taking them in with delight.

see
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...

persecuted
There are only a few references to "persecution" in Swedenborg, but they say it means "to harrass and slander out of hatred," and it generally...

revile
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...

persecute
There are only a few references to "persecution" in Swedenborg, but they say it means "to harrass and slander out of hatred," and it generally...

say
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...

rejoice
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

glad
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

reward
A "reward" in the Bible represents something that brings people together, or brings spiritual states together, and binds them. It's easy to see this in...

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.


What is Meant by The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth?

What did Jesus mean by this phrase? Chelsea digs into Swedenborg's writings and the Bible for insights about the importance of humility in our earthly lives.


The Difference Between Grace and Mercy

Grace and mercy are mentioned a lot in the Bible and both come from God, but what's the difference? We dig into the spiritual difference between these two divine auras and how we can open ourselves up to them.

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.


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

 Attitudes for Heavenly Happiness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

 Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
In the process of trying to be a person who is growing spiritually, there will be mourning. We will see things that are not the way they should be - in ourselves and in the world around us. This sermon examines ways in which we can be comforted?
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Blossoming from the Lord
When we perform acts that agree with the Lord’s teachings in the Word, the Lord will guide them and be in them. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Cleaning Up Our Act
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

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

 Does the Lord Forgive?
Lesson and activities looking at the Lord's love and mercy in forgiving us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Echo the Ten Blessings
Help children learn the Ten Blessings by echoing (repeating) each line or finishing each line for you.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 He Makes His Sun Rise on the Evil and the Good
Illustrate the sun shining or the rain falling and being received by two very different kinds of plants: a thorny bush and a fruit tree.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

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

 Inspirational Quotation - Let Your Light Shine
Poster showing a lighthouse with the Lord's words telling us to let our light shine.
Picture | Ages over 8

 Let Your Light Shine
Take turns lighting a candle as you "give glory to the Lord" for letting you help Him touch the lives of people around you.
Activity | Ages 11 - 17

 "Let your light shine…" Calligraphy
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Loving One Another
This sermon shows that someone who really cares about others will seek to understand the truth so that he may serve in intelligent ways. When this happens, greater blessings are achieved for all. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Loving Others
The Lord wants us to love everyone but the way we love friends will be different than the way we love those who harm us or others.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Matching Quotes with the Ten Blessings
Match each of the Ten Blessings with a quotation from the Old Testament.
Activity | Ages 11 - 17

 Memory Verse: Being a Good Neighbor
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Ten Blessings
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Peace Like a River
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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

 Protecting Marriage
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Quotes: The Ten Blessings
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

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

 Separation and Divorce
Marriage is a civil and spiritual covenant. Spiritual laws about divorce and remarriage are not always in agreement with what civil law permits.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Simplicity
In order for us to receive the Lord's words, we must be simple - simple in the sense of being single-minded, looking to one source of truth, and in having our internal and external thoughts agree. 
Article | Ages 15 - 17

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

 Ten Blessings Vocabulary Discovery
Explore the meaning of vocabulary used in the Ten Blessings to help you understand what the Lord is teaching us.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 The Blessings of Adversity
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Kingdom of Heaven Is Within
When we think of blessings we do not usually think of sadness, difficulty or want. We usually think of happiness, peace and plenty. Indeed the word blessing means happiness. Why, then, does the Lord seem to say the opposite in the Sermon on the Mount? 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord and His Disciple, Simon Peter
Four scenes about the Lord and Peter from the gospels of Matthew and John, and two later scenes from the book of Acts.
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 The Lord's Sermon on the Mount
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord’s Ten Blessings
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Meaning of the Ten Blessings
When the Lord gave the Sermon on the Mount, He was teaching people the steps leading to a heavenly life. The words He spoke then can still teach us how to follow Him into eternal happiness. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sermon on the Mount
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 Sermon on the Mount (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Ten Blessings
The Ten Blessings from the Sermon on the Mount in a color border.
Picture | Ages over 15

 The Ten Blessings (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Ten Blessings Word Search
Find key words of the Ten Blessings in this word search.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

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

 What Is Heaven Like?
Emanuel Swedenborg visited heaven. His vivid accounts describe the nature of angels and the communities they live in.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Why Did the Lord Come on Earth?
A lesson and activities exploring the reasons Jesus came on earth and what He accomplished.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 You Are As Happy As You Choose To Be
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

Commentary

 

The Beatitudes      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

This fresco was created by Franz Xaver Kirchebner in the Parish church of St. Ulrich in Gröden, Italy, which was built in the late 18th century.

These verses, the opening phrases of the Sermon on the Mount, hold some of the Bible’s most beautiful and best-loved poetry. Part of its beauty, though, lies in the fact that the meaning is not quite clear. What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? What does it mean to “inherit the earth” or to be called “the children of God.” The fact that there are many possibilities causes us to linger over the phrases, pondering them.

Understood in the internal sense, these blessings show the spiritual states of the various people who could be receptive of the Lord and the new church he was launching. On a deeper level it shows that states within ourselves that can lead each of us to the Lord and to a deeper understanding of His truth today.

The “poor in spirit” are those who know little about spiritual things, but want to learn. Those that “mourn” are those who want to be good, but see no desire for good in their church. The “meek” are those who love to care for and serve others. To “hunger and thirst after righteousness” shows a desire to rise up, to learn about what’s good and to come to desire it.

The “merciful” are those who love their fellow people. The “pure in heart” are those who love only what is good. “Peacemakers” are those who are in harmony with the Lord, gaining knowledge from Him and wanting what He wants. And to be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” means acting out of love and care for others, even though you are condemned by others for it.

There’s something of a progression there, from those who simply want to learn to those who actively want to be good people to those who actually are good and acting out of love for others. None of it, though, describes those who are learned in the Jewish traditions, or even necessarily observant in terms of ritual; they are, rather, those who sense that it is possible to be a good person and are willing to make the effort.

And they are promised their rewards! The “kingdom of heaven” is the understanding the angels have of the Lord; “comfort” represents ideas that lead to the good of life; “inheriting the earth” is a state of loving others and being loved by them in return. The overall message is simple: If we truly wish to be good people, and are willing to let the Lord teach us how to be good people, we will end up filled with love and wisdom from Him. And that’s what we need to focus on: The desire to be good, and openness to ideas from the Lord. It’s not about ritual and intellectual “correctness”; it’s about ideas that lead us to be good.

But what of being reviled and persecuted? This depicts temptation, when the hells attack our newborn good desires and true understanding. They cause us to doubt our ability to be truly good and question the ideas that are leading us. And they can do it in many ways, reminding us of the fun we’ll be missing or reminding us of all the bad things we’ve ever done to render us hopeless. They will even attack the Bible and the ideas that come to us through it from the Lord; that’s represented by the idea that people also attacked the prophets.

These states, however, are blessed in their own way; only by battling these evils, which are rooted inside us, can we finally fully embrace the good life we have been striving for. That’s why it is pictured last, and that's why it leads to the “great reward” in heaven.

The Bible

 

Isaiah 57:15

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 57      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 57

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

1. THE just perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and the men of holiness are taken away, and none understands; for on account of evil is the just taken away.

2. He enters into peace; they rest upon their beds, [each] walking in his uprightness.

VERSE 1. Mention is frequently made in the Word of "a just one", of "justice", and of "justifying", but what is specifically signified by these expressions is not yet known. The reason why it is not known is, because hitherto it has been unknown that by every single expression in the Word are signified such things as are of the internal church and of heaven, thus which are of the internal man; for in the internal man is the internal of the church and heayen; also that those interior things in the Word differ from its exterior things, which are of the letter, as spiritual things differ from natural, or celestial things from earthly, - the difference of which is so great that before the natural man there scarcely appears a likeness, although, there is full concordance. Inasmuch as this has been unknown, it could not be known what is signified by "just", by "justice", and by being "justified", in the spiritual and celestial sense, in the Word. It is believed by those who are considered as oracles in the church, that he is just and justified who is acquainted with the Truths of faith derived from the doctrine of the church and from the Word, and hence is in trust or confidence that he is saved by the justice of the Lord, and that the Lord had justice in consequence of fulfilling all things of the law; and that He had merit because He endured the cross, and thereby expiated and redeemed man. By this Faith alone man is believed to be justified; and it is believed further that "these" are they who in the Word are called "just." But there are no others who are called "just", in the Word, except those, who from the Lord are in the Good of charity towards the neighbour, for the Lord alone is just, because alone "Justice"; therefore man, so much as he receives of Good from the Lord, that is, so much of the Lord as he has appertaining to him, and according to its quality, so much he is just, and justified. The Lord being made "Justice'" consisted in His making His Human [principle] Divine by His own proper power of his Divine [principle], appertaining to the man who receives it, is the "justice" of the Lord appertaining to him, and is the essential Good of charity towards the neighbour; for the Lord is in the Good of love, and by it in the Truth of faith, because the Lord is Divine Love itself. The Good of charity towards the neighbour is exterior good, which is signified by "just"; and the Good of love to the Lord is interior good, which is signified by "innocence." That the Good of love towards the neighbour from the Lord is what is "just" in a proper sense, may be manifest from the passages in the Word where mention is made of "just", and of "justice", and of being "justified", as in Matthew:

"Then shall the just answer, saying, When saw we You hungry, and fed You? or thirsty, and gave You drink?" etc. (Matthew 25:37-40, 46)

In this passage they are called "just" who have performed the Goods of charity towards the neighbour, which are there recounted; and that the Goods of charity are the Lord appertaining to them, is said manifestly, "Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these Myy brethren, you have done it to Me."

And in Isaiah:

"The just perishes, and no man lays it to heart", etc. (Isaiah 57:1) Arcana Coelestia 9262.

Verses 1, 2. These words signify that the faithful are separated from the evil, and thus have "peace" in themselves. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 141.)

Verse 2. He enters into peace. - See Chapter 9:6; 32:17, 18, the Exposition.

They rest upon their beds, [each] walking in his uprightness. - As to the signification of a "bed", both in a good and in a bad sense, see Chapter 28:20, the Exposition.

3. But as for you, draw near hither, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and of her who has committed whoredom.

Verses 3 to the middle of 13 describe the unfaithful, who place hope in themselves and trust in their works. (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 141.)

Verse 3. For the signification of "sorcery" or witchcraft, see Chapter 47:9, 12, the Exposition.

The seed of the adulterer. - Adulteries are most profane, and from hell; but marriages are most holy, and from Heaven. Adulterers cannot come into heaven, and in their hells they live in filth and in excrements; when anyone commits adultery on earth heaven is closed against him, and he then holds in aversion the Goods and Truths of the Word and of the church, and hates the worship of the Lord; and this because the love of adultery is derived from the marriage of the evil and the false, which is infernal. To "commit adultery and whoredom", in a spiritual sense, signifies the perversion of the Truths and the adulteration of the Goods of the Word; hence it is that "adulteries" and "whoredoms" are so often mentioned in the Word, especially in the Prophets (see Hosea throughout), and the Jews were said to "commit adultery with stones and stocks",

(Jeremiah 3:9) and also "with idols", (Ezekiel 23:37) which can only be understood in a spiritual sense. Arcana Coelestia 9961, 2733-2755, 10175.

Verses 3, 4. Draw near hither, you sons of the sorceress, etc. - By "the sons of the sorceress" and "the seed of the adulterer", are signified falsities from the Word, when falsified and adulterated; by the "sons of the sorceress", falsities from the falsification of the Word, and by the "seed of the adulterer", falsities from the adulteration thereof. The Word is said to be falsified when the Truths thereof are perverted, and to be adulterated when the Goods thereof are in like manner perverted; likewise when the Truths are applied to the loves of self.

By "sons of transgression" and "the seed of falsehood", are signified falsities flowing from those former falsities; by "sporting themselves", is denoted the delight, derived from falsification; by "making wide the mouth", is meant the delight of the thoughts therein originating, and by "drawing out the tongue", the delight of teaching and propagating them. Apocalypse Explained 768.

4. Against whom do you sport yourselves? Against whom make you a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? Are you not the sons of transgression, the seed of falsehood?

Verses 4, 5. Are you not the sons of transgression, the seed of falsehood? slaying the sons in the rivers, etc. - The "sons of transgression" denote the falsities which destroy the Truths of faith; they are therefore also called the "seed of falsehood", for "falsehood", or a lie, is the false. (Arcana Coelestia 8908)

And therefore it is said of them that "they inflame themselves with idols [gods] under every green tree", by which words, in the internal sense, is meant worship grounded in falsities; for "idols" [gods] denote falsities; (Arcana Coelestia 4402, 4544) and a "green tree" signifies the perceptivity of the false, derived from a perverse understanding; (Arcana Coelestia 2722) hence, therefore, it is also said, "You slay the sons in the rivers", by which words is meant the extinction of the Truths of faith by falsities; for to "slay" is to extinguish, and "those that are born", or the "sons", are the Truths of faith, and "rivers" denote falsities, Arcana Coelestia 9156.

5. Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree; slaying the sons in the rivers under the cliffs of the rocks?

Verse 5. No one can know what these things signify without the internal sense. In this sense, by being "inflamed with idols [gods] under every green tree", is signified to worship God from every false principle which occurs; to be "inflamed with idols [gods]" denotes ardent worship; "every green tree" is every false principle which occurs, for "tree" signifies knowledges and perceptions, - in the present case, knowledges and perceptions of what is false.

By "slaying the sons in the rivers under the cliffs of the rocks", is signified to extinguish Truths by falsities from self-derived intelligence; "sons" denote Truths, "rivers" self-derived intelligence, "cliffs of the rocks" denote falsities, and by the expression "under the cliffs of the rocks" is signified from the sensual principle, in which is the lowest natural lumen; for they who are in this lumen only, stand under the craggy [or broken places] of rocks, and do not see any Truth, and if it is spoken they have no perception thereof. In such a station have I seen them in the spiritual world; whence it is evident that to "slay the sons" is not here understood by those words, but to extinguish Truths. Apocalypse Explained 411.

Verses 5, 6, 9. Worship from evils and falsities which are from hell, is here treated of "Gods" [or idols], in the internal sen so, are falsities; for those who worshipped other gods, called upon them indeed by name, but, nevertheless, it was the falsities from evils which they worshipped. That "strange gods", in the Word, are falsities, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 4402; a "green tree" is everything relating to the perception, knowledge, and confirmation of the false, Arcana Coelestia 2272, 2972; "green" is the sensitive principle; to be "inflamed" is the ardour of worship, for "fire", from which inflaming comes, is love in both senses, Arcana Coelestia 5215, 6832. To "pour forth a drink-offering is worship from the falsities of evil. To "offer a gift to the king in oil" is to worship Satan from evils; a "gift in oil" is a meat-offering, or an oblation [minchah]; to "increase perfumes" is to multiply incense, by which adoration is signified; wherefore it is also said, "You have debased yourself to hell." Arcana Coelestia 10137.

6. In the smooth [things] of the valley is your portion; these, these are your lot: even to these have you poured out, a drink-offering, you have offered a meat-offering. Can I receive comfort in these things?

Verse 6. That what is "smooth" is predicated, in a good sense, of what is True, and, in the opposite sense, of what is false, may be proved from the following passages:

"Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree; in the smooth [things] of the valley is your portion"; (Isaiah 57:5, 6) where to be "inflamed" is said of evil, and "the smooth [things] of the valley" of what is false. Again:

"Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongue they speak smooth things [flatter]"; (Psalm 5:9) "their throat an open sepulchre" is predicated of evil; "the tongue speaking smooth things" is said of the false. (See also Psalm 55:21) Arcana Coelestia 3527.

See above, Chapter 30:10:

"Speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits; "where it is evident that "smooth things" signify falsities. See the Exposition.

7. Upon a high and lofty mountain have you placed your bed: even thither have you gone up to offer sacrifice.

Verse 7. And in Hosea:

"They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills." (Hosea 4:13)

In these passages, by "worship upon mountains and hills", is signified worship from evils find falsities. Hence also it was that the Gentiles in Greece fixed Helicon in a high mountain, and Parnassus in a hill below it, and believed that the gods and their goddesses dwelt there; this they derived from the ancients in Asia and especially in the land of Canaan, which was not far remote, with whom all worship consisted of representatives. Apocalypse Explained 405.

8. And behind the door and the door-post have you placed your memorial: for [departing] from Me, you have discovered yourself [to another]; you have ascended, and enlarged your bed; you have made [a covenant] with them; you love their bed; you have provided a place for it.

Verse 8. [It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted this clause of the verse, but from the correspondence of "writing on the door-posts and on the gates", as mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:9; 11:20, we may in some degree see the signification of these words. In the spiritual sense "the door" and the "door-post" signify natural Goods and Truths, by which there is an introduction to spiritual things; (Arcana Coelestia 7847) but, in a bad sense, they signify false and evil principles, which lead to idolatries, and to all kinds of perversion of what is Good and True.

To "write on the door-posts" has a similar signification to the "binding of the commandments as a sign upon the hand, and as frontlets between the eyes", (Deuteronomy 6:8) because the angels regard everything in relation to the human form, (Arcana Coelestia 7847) which was a memorial to the people of Israel that they should always keep the divine precepts both in their understanding and in their life. Thus to "place the memorial of idols behind the door and the door-post", is to have the life so immersed in idolatries, or in the perversions of what is Good and True from the Word, that is, in evils an d falsities, as to admit nothing into the mind, which is the "house", but what is in harmony with such a state of sinful depravity.]

These words signify idolatry, and worship founded in false doctrines; for all worship grounded in false doctrine is idolatry. Hence it is that a "bed", which corresponds to doctrine, is so often mentioned in these verses. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 28:20.

9. You have offered a gift to the king in oil, and have increased your perfumes; and you have sent your messengers far off, and have debased yourself to hell.

10. You art wearied in the length of your way; you have not said, I despair: you have found the life of your hand; wherefore you have not become weak.

11. And whom have you dreaded and been afraid of, that you should lie, and have not remembered Me, and laid it to your heart? Is it not that I have been silent even of old, and you dost not fear Me?

12. I will declare your justice and your works, which do not profit you.

Verse 9. You have sent your messengers far off, etc. - What is meant by being "far off", see Chap, Isaiah 5:26, 28; and what by being "near", see Chapter 34:1, the Exposition.

Verse 12. Is it not that I have been silent even of old, and you dost not fear Me?-For the signification of the "fear of God", in the internal sense, when mentioned in the Word, see Isaiah 11:3, the Exposition.

13. When you cry out, let the collection [or thine idols] deliver you; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them off: but he who trusts in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit the mountain of, My holiness;

Verse 13. But the wind shall carry them [the idols] all away, etc. As to "winds" and "tempests" in the spiritual world, at the period of Judgment, see Chapter 17:13, the Exposition.

He who trusts in.Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit the mountain of My holiness. - For as much as a "mountain" signifies the Good of love, and, in the supreme sense, the Divine Good, and from the Divine Good proceeds the Divine Truth, therefore the "mountain of Zion" was above Jerusalem, and by the "mountain of Zion", in the Word, is signified the church which is in the Good of love to the Lord; and by "Jerusalem", the church which is in Truths from that Good, or the church as to doctrine. Hence also Jerusalem was called the "mountain of holiness", and the "hill"; for by the "mountain of holiness" is signified spiritual Good, which in its essence is Truth from Good, in like manner as by a "hill", as may appear from the above passage. Apocalypse Explained 405.

That to "possess the land", meaning Canaan, signifies heaven, see Arcana Coelestia 2658, 9338.

14. And it shall be said, Cast up, cast up; sweep the way; remove the stumbling block from the way of My people.

Verse 14. Sweep the way; remove the stumbling block from the way of My people. - The reason why to "sweep" denotes to prepare and to be filled is, because nothing else is required of man but to "sweep the house", that is, to reject the lusts of evils and the persuasions of what is false thence originating; in this case he is filled with good things, for Good from the Lord continually flows in, but into the "house", or into man, purged from such things as impede influx, that is, which either reflect, or pervert, or suffocate the inflowing Good. Hence it was a customary formula of speaking with the ancients to "sweep or purge the house", also to "sweep and prepare the way"; and by "sweeping the house" was meant to purge themselves from evil, and thus to prepare themselves for the entrance of Goods; whereas to "sweep the way" meant to prepare themselves for the reception of Truths; for by the "house" was signified Good, see Arcana Coelestia 3128, and by "way" Truth, see n. Arcana Coelestia 627, 2333; as in Isaiah:

"The voice of one proclaiming in the wilderness, Sweep you [prepare] the way of Jehovah! make straight in the desert a highway for our God!" (Isaiah 40:3)

Again, in the same Prophet:

"Cast up, cast up; sweep [prepare] the way; remove the stumbling block from the way of My people." (Isaiah 57:14)

Again:

"Pass through, pass through the gates; cast up, cast up the way, gather out the stones." (Isaiah 62:10)

So in Malachi,

"Behold, I send My angel, and he shall sweep [prepareJ the way before Me; and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to the temple." (Malachi 3:1)

In these passages, to "sweep the way" denotes to make themselves ready, and to prepare to receive Truth. The subject here treated of is concerning the coming of the Lord, for whom they were to prepare themselves, in order to receive the Truth of faith, and thereby the Good of charity, and thus eternal salvation.

So in David:

"You have caused a vine to come forth out of Egypt; You have driven out the nations, and planted it; You have swept before it, and have caused its root to be rooted, and it has filled the land"; (Psalm 80:8, 9),

speaking, in the supreme sense, of the Lord; the "vine out of Egypt" is Truth from scientifics; to "drive out the nations" is to purge from evils; to "sweep before it" is to make ready that Goodnesses may fill.

To "sweep the house" also, in an opposite sense, is applied to man, to signify one who deprives himself of all things Good and True, and who is thereby filled with things evil and false, as in Luke:

"The unclean spirit, if he doth not find rest says I will return to my house whence I came forth. And if he cometh and finds it swept and adorned, then he departs and takes seven other spirits worse than himself; and entering in, they dwell there." (Luke 11:24-26; see also Matthew 12:43-45) Arcana Coelestia 3142.

15. For thus says the High and Lofty One, inhabiting eternity, and whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him also that is contrite and of a humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Verse 15. That by what is "high" is signified what is Divine, is, because by "high and lofty" is understood heaven where the Divine [Being] is; hence in the Word it is said of Jehovah, or the Lord, that He "dwells on high", and He Himself is called the "Highest", as in Isaiah:

"Jehovah is exalted; yea, He dwells on high. (Isaiah 33:5)

Again:

"Thus says the High and Lofty [One], inhabiting eternity, and whose name is holy: I dwell in the high and holy place. [Isaiah 57:15)

And In David:

"Jehovah sent from high and snatched me out." (Psalm 18:16)

Hence Jehovah is called the "Highest." (Deuteronomy 32:8; Daniel 4:17, 32, 34)

Inasmuch as "high" signified heaven, and the Divine [Being] therein, therefore divine worship, by those who were of the representative church, was instituted on mountains and high places. On that account also [it was performed] in the heights, which they likewise built for themselves, and of which mention is made in the historical and prophetical parts of the Word throughout, as in Ezekiel:

"You have built to yourself an eminence, and have made to yourself what is high in every street; upon every head of a way you have built thine eminence:" (Ezekiel 16:21, 25, 31)

The reason why the Divine [Being] was signified by "high" is, because by the "starry heaven" was understood the angelic heaven, and it was also believed that it was there; but the wiser amongst them knew that heaven was not on high, but where the Good of love is and this within in man, wherever he was. That "high things" denote the interiors, or the Goods which are there, see Arcana Coelestia 450, 1735. Arcana Coelestia 8153.

16. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always angry: for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.

Verse 16. That to "contend" [litigate], in the Word, signifies contention or litigation concernIng Truths, and, in general, for Truths against falsities, and also defence and liberation from falsities, is evident from the following passages, as in Jeremiah:

"A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for Jehovah has a controversy [or disputation] with the nations: He will enter into judgment with all flesh; He will deliver the impious to the sword. Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest shall be raised up from the sides of the earth." (Jeremiah 25:31, 32)

The perverse state of the church is thus prophetically, described; the "noise" is the contention for falsities against Truths, and for evils against Goods; the "earth" is the church; the "controversy of Jehovah against the nations" is the contention of the Lord for Truths against falsities, and for Goods; against evils, thus also their defence; "nations" are falsities and evils; the "sword" is the false combating and conquering; "great tempest" is the false ruling; the "sides of the earth" are where falsities burst forth from evil.

Again, in the same Prophet:

"Jehovah shall contend for their cause, that He may give rest to the earth"; (Jeremiah 50:34) where to "contend for their cause" denotes to defend Truths against falsities, and to liberate the "earth" denotes the church, which has rest when it is in Good and thence in Truths.

Again:

"You, O Lord, have pleaded the causes of my soul; You have liberated my life"; (Lamentations 3:58) where to "plead the causes of the soul" denotes to defend and liberate from falsities. Arcana Coelestia 9024.

17. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and I smote him: hiding Myself, and I was angry; but he went on perversely in the way of his heart.

Verse 17. For the iniquity of his covetousness [or lucre] was I angry. What is meant by "lucre", see Chapter 56:11, the Exposition.

By "anger", when said of the Lord, see Chapter 9:12, 17, 21, the Exposition.

18. I have seen his ways, and I will heal him; and I will lead him, and will restore consolations to him, and to his mourners.

Verses 18, 19. That to "heal", when predicated of the Lord, signifies that He alone preserves from evils, is evident from the signification of healing, which is to cure and also to preserve from evils; for when "diseases" signify evils, to "heal" signifies healing and preservation from them, as is evident from many passages, as in Jeremiah:

"Heal me, O Jehovah, that I may be healed; save me, that I may be saved." (Jeremiah 17:14)

And in David:

"You have turned all his bed in his sickness; I said, Jehovah, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against You." (Psalm 41:3, 4)

And in Isaiah:

"By His wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) Arcana Coelestia 8365.

19. I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, says Jehovah; and I will heal him.

Verse 19. The "fruit of the lips" signifies doctrine. Arcana Coelestia 1286. As to the further signification of the "lips", see Chapter 6:5-7, the Exposition.

20. But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

Verse 20. By the "troubled sea", which is here predicated of the wicked, are signified reasonings from falsities; and by the "waters which cast up mire and dirt", are signified the falsities themselves, from which are evils of life and falsities of doctrine. Apocalypse Explained 275. See also Arcana Coelestia 6669.

21. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.

Verse 21. That they have "peace" who are in Good and thence in Truths, and not those who are in evils and thence in falsities, is evident from the above passage. Apocalypse Explained 365. What the nature of true "peace" is, see Chapter 9:6; 48:18, 22, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 57.

1. THE just perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and the men of holiness are taken away, and none understands; for on account of evil is the just taken away.

2. He enters into peace; they rest upon their beds, [each] walking in his uprightness.

3. But as for you, draw near hither, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and of her who has committed whoredom.

4. Against whom do you sport yourselves? Against whom make you a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? Are you not the sons of transgression, the seed of falsehood?

5. Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree; slaying the sons in the rivers under the cliffs of the rocks?

6. In the smooth [things] of the valley is your portion; these, these are your lot: even to these have you poured out, a drink-offering, you have offered a meat-offering. Can I receive comfort in these things?

7. Upon a high and lofty mountain have you placed your bed: even thither have you gone up to offer sacrifice.

8. And behind the door and the door-post have you placed your memorial: for [departing] from Me, you have discovered yourself [to another]; you have ascended, and enlarged your bed; you have made [a covenant] with them; you love their bed; you have provided a place for it.

9. You have offered a gift to the king in oil, and have increased your perfumes; and you have sent your messengers far off, and have debased yourself to hell.

10. You art wearied in the length of your way; you have not said, I despair: you have found the life of your hand; wherefore you have not become weak.

11. And whom have you dreaded and been afraid of, that you should lie, and have not remembered Me, and laid it to your heart? Is it not that I have been silent even of old, and you dost not fear Me?

12. I will declare your justice and your works, which do not profit you.

13. When you cry out, let the collection [or thine idols] deliver you; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them off: but he who trusts in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit the mountain of, My holiness;

14. And it shall be said, Cast up, cast up; sweep the way; remove the stumbling-block from the way of My people.

15. For thus says the High and Lofty One, inhabiting eternity, and whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and with him also that is contrite and of a humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

16. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always angry: for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.

17. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and I smote him: hiding Myself, and I was angry; but he went on perversely in the way of his heart.

18. I have seen his ways, and I will heal him; and I will lead him, and will restore consolations to him, and to his mourners.

19. I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is near, says Jehovah; and I will heal him.

20. But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 57


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 795, 8153

The Lord 49

True Christian Religion 156

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  PDF Resources


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 15:13, 40:34, 35

Job 22:29

Psalms 34:19, 51:19, 113:5, 138:6

Isaiah 18:4, 61:1, 63:15, 66:2

Lamentations 3:41

Matthew 5:3, 12:20

Luke 1:49

Ephesians 2:21

1 Peter 5:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

saith
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...

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

eternity
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

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...

To
‘To grieve at heart’ is in reference to love, and ‘to repent,’ to wisdom, as in Genesis 6:6.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...


Translate: