The Bible

 

Exodus 23:14-19 : The Three Annual Festivals

Study the Inner Meaning

        

14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.

15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)

16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 9285, 9286, 9287, 9288, 9289, 9290, 9291, ...


Other references to this text:

Arcana Coelestia 1001, 2342, 2405, 2788, 3519, 4262, 7906, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 623, 939


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 329, 412, 661, 725, 865

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 12:10, 15, 13:3, 4, 22:28, 34:17, 18

Leviticus 23:6, 9, 10, 17, 34, 39

Numbers 15:21, 18:12, 13, 28:26

Deuteronomy 14:21, 16:1, 26:10

1 Kings 9:25

Nehemiah 10:36

Psalms 42:3

Proverbs 3:9

Ezekiel 44:30, 46:9, 48:13, 14

Micah 6:6

Luke 2:41

Bible Word Meanings

three
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...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

unleavened
For something to be “unleavened” means that it's been made without yeast. Since yeast is what makes bread rise and take on its airy texture,...

Unleavened bread
'Unleavened bread' signifies the holiness of love, or the holy of holies, so, pure love. The baking of unleavened bread is purification.

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

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

commanded
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

Abib
The Passover, and the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt, happened during the month Abib, in the Hebrew calendar. Abib signifies the beginning of a...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

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

harvest
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

ingathering
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

gathered
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

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

lord
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

blood
The internal meaning of “blood” is a little tricky, because Swedenborg gives two meanings that seem quite different. In most cases, Swedenborg links blood with...

leavened
Leaven' signifies evil and falsity, which should not be mixed with good and true things. In Leviticus 2:11, it says, 'no meat offering which ye...

fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

first
In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

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

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

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

seethe
'To seethe' signifies destroying truths and goods by falsities.

kid
'A kid' signifies the truth of the church. 'A kid,' as in Isaiah 11:6, signifies the genuine truth of the church and also innocence and...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

mother's
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

milk
Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

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.


 Feast of Ingathering
Color the pictures of the Children of Israel celebrating this feast, then attach the pictures together to display.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: Our Guardian Angels
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Quotes: The Lord's Fruitful Harvest
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Thanking the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Significance of Thanksgiving
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

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

Commentary

 

Three Feasts      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

A loaf of homemade bread.

The Children of Israel were told to keep three feasts each year - the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of first fruits, and the feast of ingathering. Should we still do that?

In Exodus 23:14-16, Moses receives the instructions about these feasts. Those three verses in Exodus comprise our brief story. Their inner meaning is explained in Arcana Coelestia 9286-9296.

There are three feasts. In the Word, the number three represents a completeness, a sense of things being covered from beginning to end. Our thankfulness to the Lord is supposed to keep going - to endure.

The first feast, of unleavened bread, stands for worship, for our thankfulness for the Lord's action in our minds to get rid of false ideas. That enables us to start to receive good loves.

The second feast, of first fruits, relates to the planting of true ideas in that "soil" of initial loves for doing good.

The third feast, of harvest, or ingathering, stands for the time when, by applying our true ideas, we receive real good - loves of the neighbor and of the Lord - that become the middle of our lives. This is the state of rebirth, where we have - by working through the year (our lives), and enduring in thankfulness, allowed the Lord to get rid of our false ideas, and push our evil loves to the periphery, so that good can work, and be fruitful.

These feasts, then, represent the progress of our spiritual lives. In some manner, we need to keep them.

The Bible

 

Micah 6:6

Study the Inner Meaning

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6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Micah 6      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

In Micah 6:1-4, the Lord speaks of all that He has done for Israel, getting them out of Egypt where they were slaves. In Micah 6:5, he relates how He protected them from Balak, king of Moab (in Numbers 22-24).

Then, in Micah 6:6-8, the Lord asks, rhetorically, how the people should worship Him: “With calves of a year old?” and then goes on with a reference to the idol Moloch, “shall I give my firstborn for my transgression?” Obviously these external acts do no good at all without internal repentance and a stopping of any transgressions.

Then He answers the question. Micah says, “He has told thee oh man, what is good,” and continues the stirring, familiar words; "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God". 1

Micah 6:9 is about humility. It's a really important idea that started to be a problem for humankind all the way back in the story of the Garden of Eden. To eat of the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil” is to take to oneself the right/ability to decide which is which, and not listen to what God says about it. To walk “humbly” is to listen to God. That’s the meaning of “hear ye the rod and who has appointed it.”

Micah 6:10-11 points out that there is still some falsification with these people. The lean ephah is a cheating on the amount of liquid in a pitcher, and liquids refer to truth. Stones are used as weights to balance a scale that weighs out a purchase of food, and deceitful stones will cheat the buyer. Food means a form of good.

In Micah 6:12, 13, the rich mean people who, because they know a lot about natural things, believe they are also wise about spiritual things. 2 Here they are wicked and love the life of evil and falsity, nor can they be changed.

Then, in Micah 6:14-16, the chapter ends with a list of the problems such people will face. To eat, in the good sense, is to take in good. However, the gifts given by people who are immersed in evils and falsities turn out to be false gifts. People try to get things that will make them happy, but it doesn’t happen. Olives and their oil mean good, and grapes and their juice mean truth. 3

What are the laws of Omri? Omri was one of the wickeder kings of Israel, and Ahab was the wickedest king of all. To follow them means desolation and reproach.

In some ways, this chapter is a lot like many others in the books of the prophets. And yet, for centuries it has stood out, because it contains one of the Word's most powerful, concise, statements of how we should live: "Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God."

-----
Footnotes:

1. See Arcana Coelestia 2895
2. See Heaven and Hell 365.
3. Regarding olives and olive oil, seeArcana Coelestia 986. For the signification of grapes their juice, Apocalypse Explained 918.

-----

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 220


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 922, 2180, 2906, 9409, 10143

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:  (see all)



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 23:15

Psalms 116:12

Proverbs 15:8, 21:3

Mark 12:33

Hebrews 10:4, 11

Bible Word Meanings

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

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

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

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

calves
Calves of the lips (Hos 14:2) are confessions from the affection of truth.

old
'Old waste places' signify the celestial aspects of faith.

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.


 He Has Shown You (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14

 Lifeline to the Lord
God reveals Himself to humankind in His Word.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Memory Verse: I Am the Vine
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

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

 Natural Charity
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Not So Difficult to Go to Heaven Poster
Make a poster that illustrates or "advertises" this idea. You might picture someone rejecting what he knows to be unjust or someone "living the life of heaven" by finding ways to make the world a better place.
Project | Ages 15 - 17

 The Life After Death--Introduction
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

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

 The Prophet Micah (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 What Are Covenants?
God longs for partnership with humanity. The Word of God teaches actions that bring us into covenant with Him.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 What Does the Lord Require?
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 What Does the Lord Require of You?
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 What Is Charity?
New Church teachings extend the idea of charity, making it more than compassionate actions towards others.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 What You Can Give the Lord
But what can you do or give to the Lord that will truly make Him happy? Micah gave the answer to this question, the same answer that all the angels in heaven understand and practice.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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