The Bible


Matthew 17:24-27 : The Temple Tax


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24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 6394

Apocalypse Revealed 405

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 513, 820

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 30:12, 16

2 Kings 6:7

2 Chronicles 24:6, 9

Nehemiah 10:33

Bible Word Meanings

Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

Peter – born Simon, son of Jonah – is certainly one of the Bible's most important figures, second only to Jesus in the New Testament....

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...

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...

'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.

In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

Fish signify sensual affections which are the ultimate affections of the natural man. Also, those who are in common truths, which are also ultimates of...

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

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.

 Finding the Deeper Meaning of the Word
Lesson and activities looking at the inner meaning of the Old and New Testaments.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 How Does God Lead People?
The Bible lays out a path to happiness. By making God's truth our Guide and following Him we can hear His voice through friends, conscience, inspiring books or by reflecting on events we experience.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 How Does the Lord Lead People?
Lesson and activities looking at ways the Lord leaves us while leaving us in freedom.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Mountains Moved by Faith
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Is Transfigured
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 The Transfiguration
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 Transfiguration
Since His resurrection, the Lord appears in heaven much as He looked when He was transfigured so this is a wonderful project for children to do! 
Project | Ages 4 - 10

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

 The Transfiguration (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Transfiguration (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Transfiguration (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Transfiguration: A Wonderful Vision
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Transfiguration: One Lord, Two Prophets, Three Disciples
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Ways That the Lord Appeared to People on Earth
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12



Incorporating the New      

By Rev. Todd Beiswenger

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There's an old saying that says, "When the student is ready the master will appear." The idea is that the student must incorporate everything they've already been taught into their life before the next master will come to teach them the next steps. We see something similar in the Word, where Jesus opens the eyes of Peter, James and John to a new spiritual reality, but now they have a difficult time trying to synthesize what they've just been taught with everything they've always believed. (note - Todd offers his apologies for an error; where he mistakenly says in this audio that the "spiritual serves the natural"... he meant to say, "natural serves the spiritual.")

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6394; Matthew 17:14-20, 17:24-27; The Apocalypse Explained 64, 405)

From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #3142

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3142. 'And I have swept the house' means all things had been prepared and filled with goods. This is clear from the meaning of 'sweeping' as preparing and being filled, dealt with immediately below, and from the meaning of 'a house' as good, dealt with in 2233, 2234, 2559. And a person himself, from the good which governs him, is called a house, 3128. The reason why 'sweeping' means preparing and being filled is that nothing else is asked of anyone except to 'sweep his house', that is, to reject evil desires and resulting false persuasions. If he does this he is filled with all forms of good, for good from the Lord is constantly flowing in. It flows into 'the house', that is, into the person who has been cleansed of such things as hinder influx, that is, which turn away, or pervert, or stifle inflowing good. Hence the proverbial expression used by the ancients about sweeping or cleansing the house, and also about sweeping and preparing the way. 'Sweeping the house' was used to mean cleansing oneself of evils and thereby preparing oneself for goods to enter, while 'sweeping the way' was used to mean preparing oneself for the reception of truths; for 'a house' meant good, 3128, and 'the way' truth, 627, 2333.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)

[2] As in Isaiah,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Sweep (prepare) the way of Jehovah; make straight in the lonely place a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3.

In the same prophet,

Level out, level out, sweep (prepare) the way; remove the stumbling block from My people's way. Isaiah 57:14.

In the same prophet,

Go through, go through into the gates; sweep (prepare) the way of the people. Level out, level out the way; gather out the stones. Isaiah 62:10.

In Malachi,

Behold, I am sending My angel, and he will sweep (prepare) the way before Me; and suddenly there will come to His temple the Lord whom you are seeking. Malachi 3:1.

In these places 'sweeping the way' stands for getting oneself ready and preparing to receive truth. They refer to the Lord's coming, for which people were to prepare themselves so as to receive the truth of faith, and through that the good of charity, and through this in turn eternal salvation.

[3] In David,

You caused a vine to journey out of Egypt. You cast out the nations, and You planted it, You swept before it and caused its root to be rooted, and it filled the land. Psalms 80:8-9.

This refers in the highest sense to the Lord. 'A vine out of Egypt' is truth based on facts, 'casting out the nations' cleansing from evils, 'sweeping before it' preparing for goods to fill it. 'Sweeping the house' also means in the contrary sense the person who dispossesses himself of all goods and truths and so is filled with evils and falsities, as in Luke,

If the unclean spirit finds no rest he says, I will return to my house out of which I came. And if when he comes he finds it swept and decorated, he goes away and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. Luke 11:24-26; Matthew 12:43-45.

(References: Genesis 24:31)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3324, 3652, 3654, 3809, 3900, 4390, 4867, 4891, 8046, 9150, 9223

Heaven and Hell 603

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 277

   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

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