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Luke 24:13-35 : The Road to Emmaus

        

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13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass therein these days?

19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1540, 2816, 3863, 4735, 4859, 5045, 5405, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 662

Divine Providence 114, 280

Doctrine of the Lord 11, 13, 35

True Christian Religion 128, 262, 777

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 286, 294


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 340, 443, 617, 677, 806, 820, 937

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Numbers 22:31

Nehemiah 8:8

Isaiah 53:10

Bible Word Meanings

furlongs
Furlongs signify progressions in a series according to thoughts proceeding from affection. Furlongs, being measured ways, signify leading truths.

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

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...

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...

answering
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...

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

word
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

chief priests
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:18, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

third
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

body
The body (Matt. 6:22), signifies the man (homo). "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree" (Deut. 21:23), signifies lest it should be...

seen
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...

angels
"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...

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...

believe
The meaning of "believe" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but runs deeper than what appears on the surface. When in the Old Testament people...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

christ
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

glory
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

bread
The idea of a “loaf” in the Bible is very closely tied to the idea of “bread,” and is often used to mean bread: Jesus...

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

sight
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...

talked
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

rose
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...

rose up
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...

hour
The Writings tell us that time and space are aspects of the physical world, but do not exist as we know them in the spiritual...

risen
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...

simon
'Simon, son of Jonah,' as in John 21:15, signifies faith from charity. 'Simon' signifies worship and obedience, and 'Jonah,' a dove, which also signifies charity.

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Commentary

 

On the Road to Emmaus      

By Joe David

Lelio Orsi's painting, Camino de Emaús, is in the National Gallery in London, England.

Each of the four gospels contains a story about Jesus appearing to His disciples after the Sunday morning when they had found the sepulcher empty. For example, see Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-19; Luke 24:13-33; John 20:19-31, and John 21.

In Luke, there’s a story of two disciples walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, a walk of about seven miles. Shortly after they leave the city they are approached by another traveler who has noticed their troubled faces and serious talk and asks them what is troubling them. Walking along together, they ask the stranger, “Haven’t you heard of the troubles in Jerusalem, how the prophet from Galilee, who we hoped would be the one to save Israel, was given up to be crucified? And strange to say, when some of the women went on the third day to anoint His body, they saw angels who told them that he was not there but was risen from the dead.”

On hearing this, the traveler chides them for not believing, and says “Don’t you see that Christ had to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” The stranger then tells the two disciples many things concerning Jesus, from the books of Moses, and the prophets, in the Old Testament. The two disciples listen with awe, but do not recognize the stranger. At length they arrive at Emmaus. The stranger appears to want to go on when the two stop, but they beg him to stop also, because it’s getting late in the day, and they want to hear more. So they all sit down to share the evening meal, and when the stranger takes up the loaf of bread and breaks it and gives them pieces, their eyes are opened and they recognize Him, and He vanishes.

One can imagine the stunned awe that came over them both as they realized that this was Jesus. They knew He was crucified, and yet He had walked and talked to them for several hours. The women were right! The angels were right! He was alive!

The New Church believes that there are internal meanings to all the stories in the Word of the Lord, the sacred scriptures, and that this internal meaning, within the literal stories about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joshua, Samuel, David, and the rest, and all the sayings of the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi, and the four gospels… this meaning is what makes the Word holy.

So what can we see here in this story? Well, that internal meaning in “Moses and the prophets” is the story of Jesus’ life in the world, from His birth in Bethlehem through all His growing years until His “death” and then His rising. Because Jesus knew that, and had certainly read the Scriptures and understood them internally, He knew for a long time how His earthly life was going to close, and that it was necessary for it to close as had been “written”, in order to save the human race. So He told the two disciples that story as they walked toward Emmaus.

More about that walk... In the Word, any mention of walking is really referring to how we live our lives from day to day. In many stories of the Word, it is said that someone walked with God. It is said that we should walk in His ways and that we should walk the straight and narrow path.

Also in this story we are told that this was a journey of sixty stadia (in the original Greek). Sixty (or other multiples of "six") represents the lifelong work of rejecting the temptations that come from our inborn selfishness. Apocalypse Explained 648. So, this journey to Emmaus means our life’s journey - as a person that is trying to follow the Lord’s teachings and become an angel.

The destination was Emmaus. In the Word any city represents a doctrine, an organized set of truths that we have put in order so that we can live according to them -- our rules of life. See Arcana Coelestia 402. They are not necessarily good, as with Jerusalem or Bethlehem, but can also be evil doctrines, e.g. Sodom or Babylon. My dictionary tells me that the name Emmaus means “hot springs”. Another universal meaning in the Word is that water means truth in its beneficial uses, but can also mean truth twisted into falsity by those in hell, in an opposite sense. See, for example, Arcana Coelestia 790. Think of the wells that Abraham dug, or the waters that Jesus promised to the woman of Samaria as they talked by Jacob’s well, or the pure river of water flowing out from under the throne in the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. In its converse sense, where water is destructive, think of the flood that destroyed all but Noah and his family, or the Red Sea that had to be parted so that the children of Israel could cross. The springs represented by Emmaus were holy truths bubbling up from the Word for us to use. And these are hot springs, and heat means love. So that's our destination, where truth and love together are flowing out for us to use, in a continual stream from the Lord.

This plain little anecdote about the disciples meeting the Lord on the road to Emmaus isn't just a story about Jesus's resurrection with a spiritual body. It is also a story of how we should be living our lives. We can be traveling toward heaven, listening to the Lord, walking in the way with him, and at the end He will break bread and have supper with us.

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Arcana Coelestia #10574

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10574. 'And he said, Cause me, I beg you, to see Your glory' means discernment on the external level of Divine Truth within. This is clear from the representation of 'Moses' here as the external aspect of the Church, worship, and the Word which was not so separate from the internal as it was with that nation, dealt with in 10563, 10571; from the meaning of 'causing to see' as discerning, dealt with in 2150, 3764, 4567, 4723, 5400; and from the meaning of 'Jehovah's glory' as the internal sense of the Word, dealt with in the Preface to Genesis 18, and in 5922, 9429. From all this it is evident that 'Moses said, Cause me, I beg You, to see Your glory' means discernment of what exists internally within the external aspects of the Word, the Church, and worship.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 33:18)


[2] This meaning of those words may also be recognized from what has gone before in this chapter, for there the subject in the internal sense is the Israelite nation and the fact that the Church could not be established among them, because they were incapable of receiving anything internal. Reception of what constitutes the Church internally consists in receiving Divine Truth from heaven, and heavenly love thereby. Since that is the subject in the internal sense, and yet Moses was insistent that Jehovah should lead them into the land of Canaan, by which the establishment of the Church is meant, Moses now says, 'Cause me to see Your glory', by which discernment on the external level of Divine Truth within is therefore meant.

[3] By 'Jehovah's glory' is meant that which is Divine but such as Moses was incapable of discerning. This is perfectly clear from what follows in the present chapter. In those verses it says that he could not see Jehovah's face, as His glory is called there, but that after He had passed through he would see His back parts, and that he would do so from the cleft of the rock, meaning that he would discern only the external things of the Church, worship, and the Word, and not the internal ones. That 'Jehovah's glory' has this kind of meaning is evident from its being stated several times that they saw Jehovah's glory, when it was in fact a cloud positioned over Mount Sinai, or else over or within the tent, that was being called such, see Exodus 16:10; 24:16-17; 40:34-35; Numbers 16:42; and elsewhere. 'The cloud' in these places, which was called 'the glory of Jehovah', means the outward form that the Church, worship, and the Word take, or the literal sense of the Word, see Preface to Genesis 18, and 4060, 4061, 5922, 6343(end), 6752, 8106, 8781, 9430, 10551.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[4] The reason why 'Jehovah's glory' means the inner substance of the Word, the Church, and worship is that Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, as it exists in heaven, constitutes Jehovah's glory; for Divine Truth emanating from the Lord is seen there as light. The Lord's appearance within that light is what is meant in the truest sense by 'Jehovah's glory'; and by the Lord's appearance one should understand all the things there which come from the Lord, which are countless and are referred to by the general terms 'celestial' and 'spiritual'. The reason why the inner substance of the Word, the Church, and worship is meant by 'Jehovah's glory' is that it dwells in that light. The outward form however dwells in the light of the world, which is why that outward form is meant in the Word by 'the cloud'. From this it is evident that the internal sense of the Word is 'the glory'.

[5] From all this it may now become clear what is meant in the following places by 'the glory of Jehovah' and by His 'light', as in Isaiah,

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen upon you. Behold, darkness is covering the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But Jehovah will arise upon You, and His glory will be seen over You. Nations will walk to Your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising. Your sun will no longer go down and Your moon will not be withdrawn, for Jehovah will be to You an everlasting light. Isaiah 60:1-3, 20.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. 'Light' here means the Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, and 'His glory' and 'the brightness of His rising' mean everything visible in that light which has regard to the Lord, and to faith in Him and love to Him. 'The darkness' and 'the thick darkness' which are 'covering the earth and the peoples' mean the dimness of faith and love, for these words are used of the Church to be established among the gentiles. From this it follows that the light and glory which will arise and be seen, and to which nations and kings will walk, means Divine Truths regarding the Lord, and regarding faith in Him and love to Him, which are derived from Him.

[6] In the same prophet,

I Jehovah have called You in righteousness, and have given 1 You as a covenant of the people 2 , a light of the nations. I am Jehovah, that is My name; My glory I will not give to another. Isaiah 42:6, 8.

This too refers to the Lord, who is called 'a light of the nations' because He is the source of all Divine Truth, and 'Jehovah's glory' because He is the object of all faith and love. In the same prophet,

Your light will break forth like the dawn; your righteousness will walk before you, the glory of Jehovah will gather you up. Isaiah 58:8.

Here the meaning is similar.

[7] In the same prophet,

Rejoice with Jerusalem, be delighted by the splendour of her 3 glory. Isaiah 66:10-11.

'Jerusalem' here as in other places means the Church, and 'the splendour of her glory' the love of truth derived from the Lord. In Zechariah,

I will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be for glory in the midst of her. Zechariah 2:5.

This as well refers to Jerusalem, meaning the Church. 'Glory in the midst of her' means the Lord Himself in respect of all the aspects of truth and good that constitute faith and love. Here it is self-evident that 'glory' is used to mean the things that belong intrinsically to Divine light.

[8] The same is so in John,

... the holy Jerusalem, having the glory of God, and its light was like a most precious stone. The glory of God will give it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations that are saved will walk in His light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honour into it. Its gates will not be shut by day, for there will be no night there. They will bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. Revelation 21:11, 23-26.

'The holy Jerusalem' here means the Church that is going to take the place of the one existing at the present day. The things that compose the Church - that is, those that constitute faith in the Lord and love to Him, which are derived from Him - are described by the light and glory there. Because 'glory' is used to mean the things that are a product of the light the words 'the glory of God will give it light' are used. Anyone who weighs these verses up, considers what they are really saying, and does not confine himself to the words alone can see that everything contained in this description serves to mean those kinds of things which compose the Church. But as for the meaning that each specific detail possesses, this the internal sense teaches; for nothing in the Word, not one syllable, is devoid of meaning.

(References: Revelation 21:10-11, 21:23-25)


[9] In Luke,

My eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light for revelation to the gentiles 4 , and the glory of Your people Israel. Luke 2:30-32.

These words occur in Simeon's prophecy regarding the Lord after His birth. 'A light for revelation to the gentiles' means Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, and 'the glory of the people Israel' everything that has been revealed by the Lord - everything regarding Himself, and regarding faith in Him and love to Him - among those who are receptive of these things. Everything that has been so revealed by Him is called 'the glory', because it is seen in heaven and in the light there, that light being Divine Truth. By 'the children of Israel' those who believe in and love the Lord should be understood.

[10] The fact that the Lord in respect of Divine Truth is 'light' and also 'glory', which is a product of the light, is evident from the Lord's own words, in John,

They delighted in the glory of men (homo) more than in the glory of God. I have come as light into the world in order that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. John 12:43, 46.

And in the same gospel,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was the true light which enlightens every person coming into the world. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father. John 1:1, 9, 14.

'The Word' means Divine Truth, and so does 'light'; and 'glory' means everything regarding the Lord that presents itself within that light.

[11] These places have been quoted from the Word because 'glory' and 'light' are mentioned together in them; and they have been quoted to make people aware that 'light' means Divine Truth that comes from the Lord, thus the Lord Himself in respect of Divine Truth, and that 'glory' means everything that is a product of the light, consequently everything that springs from the Divine Truth composing the intelligence and wisdom which angels possess, and which people in the world who receive the Lord in faith and love possess. The like is meant by 'glory' in other places, as in John,

I desire that they also may be with Me where I am, in order that they may see My glory. John 17:24.

In Luke,

Ought not the Christ to have suffered this and to enter into His glory? Luke 24:26.

In Matthew,

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory. Matthew 24:30.

[12] Here 'the clouds' is used to mean Divine Truth as it is in the light of the world, thus as it is among people there, and 'glory' to mean Divine Truth as it is in the light of heaven, thus as it is among angels. And since Divine Truth is meant by both 'the cloud' and 'the glory', both senses of the Word, the external and the internal, are meant by them, the external sense being meant by 'the cloud' and the internal by 'the glory'. Also what is seen in the light of the world is a cloud in comparison with what is seen in the light of heaven. For these meanings of 'the cloud', see Preface to Genesis 18, and 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343(end), 6752, 8106, 8443, 8781, 9430, 10551.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[13] This explains why the term 'the glory' is also used in the Word to denote the cloud, as in Exodus,

The glory of Jehovah was seen in the cloud. Exodus 16:10.

And in another place,

The glory of Jehovah dwelt over Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. But the sight of Jehovah's glory was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain before the eyes of the children of Israel. Exodus 24:16-17.

And in another place in Exodus,

The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of Jehovah filled the dwelling-place. And Moses could not enter, because the cloud dwelt over it, and the glory of Jehovah filled the dwelling-place. Exodus 40:34-35.

In Numbers,

When the congregation gathered against Moses and against Aaron, and looked towards the tent of meeting, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of Jehovah appeared. Numbers 16:42.

In the first Book of Kings,

The cloud filled the house of Jehovah, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of Jehovah. 1 Kings 8:10-11.

And in the Book of Revelation,

The temple was filled with smoke and the glory of God. Revelation 15:8.

[14] Because the Divine was seen in the form of a cloud, 'the cloud' means the Divine presence; and where the Divine presence exists, so does Divine Truth. Without Divine Truth the Divine is not seen, for the Divine resides within and constitutes it. This is the reason why in these quotations the cloud is denoted by the term 'the glory'; nor was there any other way in which that glory could be seen by the Israelite nation, on account of their interest in external things alone without anything internal, see 6832, 8814, 8819, 10551. Nevertheless cloud and glory are as distinct from each other as the light of the world and the light of heaven are, or as the literal sense of the Word and its internal sense are, or as human wisdom and angelic wisdom are.

From all this it may now be recognized that 'Moses said, Cause me, I beg You, to see Your glory' means a request that he may be shown what is Divine within. And since Moses represented the outward or external form that the Church, worship, and the Word take, discernment on the external level of Divine Truth within is meant.

-----
Footnotes:

1. Elsewhere Swedenborg renders will give; why he makes the change here is not evident to the translator.

2. The Latin means for the people but the Hebrew means of the people, which Swedenborg has in some other places where he quotes this verse.

3. The Latin means His but the Hebrew means her, which Swedenborg has in his original draft and also in another place where he quotes this verse.

4. or the nations

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(References: Exodus 33:18)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 10578, 10581, 10583, 10614

The White Horse 11

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 260


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 36


   Swedenborg Research Tools

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.


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


Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.


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