The Bible

 

Genesis 12:1-8 : To a land that I will show you

        

Study the Inner Meaning

1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 1407, 1408, 1409, 1410, 1411, 1412, 1413, ...

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 413


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 440, 482, 796, 921, 1025, 1401, 1403, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 340, 750

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 49

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 4:26, 8:20, 11:27, 31, 13:4, 5, 7, 15, 17, 18, 15:7, 18, 17:1, 4, 8, 20, 18:1, 18, 21:33, 22:18, 24:1, 7, 35, 26:3, 4, 25, 29, 27:29, 28:4, 13, 14, 19, 33:18, 20, 34:30, 35:7, 12, 46:3, ...

Exodus 6:4, 17:15, 23:22, 24:4, 32:10

Numbers 24:9, 26:53

Deuteronomy 1:8, 11:30

Joshua 1:6, 7:2, 8:30, 22:10, 24:3

Judges 6:24

1 Samuel 7:17

2 Samuel 9, 24:25

1 Kings 18:32

2 Chronicles 20:7, 11

Ezra 3:2

Psalms 105:11

Isaiah 51:2

Jeremiah 3:18

Hosea 6:9

Zechariah 8:13

Acts of the Apostles 7:3, 4, 5

Galatians 3:8, 16

Hebrews 7:6, 11:8

Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

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...

Abram
Abram and Nahor taking to themselves wives, Sarah and Milcah (Gen 11:29), signifies marriages of evil with falsity in idolatrous worship. Abram, Nahor, and Haran,...

Country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

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

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...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

nation
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

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...

blessing
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

Families
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

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...

Five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

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

haran
'Haran,' as mentioned in Genesis 11:28, signifies inward idolatrous worship. 'Haran,' as mentioned in Genesis 12:5, signifies an obscure state. 'Haran,' as mentioned in Genesis...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

souls
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

go
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...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

Canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

Sichem
'Sichem' or 'Shechem' means the celestial aspects of love.

Moreh
'Moreh' signifies the earliest moment of the Lord's perception.

seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

builded
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

removed
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

Bethel
When Jacob had his famous dream, of a staircase leading to heaven, he named the place "Bethel," which is Hebrew for "the house of God."...

tent
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

Hai
Hai, or Ai, signifies light derived from worldly things.

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

name of the lord
Names in the Bible are not simply names; they represent the qualities of the people who bear them. So the various names of the Lord...

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.


How Do You Know God Exists?

Does God exist? See the surprising answer trees can provide!

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.


 Abraham and Lot
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Abraham and Sarah's Family
The Lord promises Abraham many descendants.
Story | Ages 2 - 8

 Abraham Leaves for the Promised Land
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 God’s Covenant with Abram
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Call of Abram
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 Call of Abram
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Call of Abram
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Call of Abram
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Lord’s State at Birth
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Tower of Babel
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 You Shall Be a Blessing
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

Commentary

 

Finding Jesus in the Life of Abraham, Part 1: Beginnings      

By Rev. Joel C. Glenn

Flight of a Honeybee, a 2010 photo by Jennifer Stein. See her work at familiarlight.com. All rights are reserved by the author.

Finding Jesus in the Life of Abraham, Part 1: Beginnings

A Sermon by Pastor Joel Christian Glenn
30 April 2017

We all know that the Word, or the Bible, is about God. That’s not hard to believe. But shortly after His resurrection Jesus pushed this idea to another level. When He appeared to two disciples on the way to Emmaus, it says, “Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). From this we can gather that all of the Scriptures are not just about God, but are about Jesus Himself. That’s a concept that is harder to grasp. Yes, there are the prophecies that are clearly about Jesus. But what about, say the story of Creation? Or the Exodus from slavery in Egypt? The many kings of Israel, both good and evil? Or all the many lists of laws and genealogies, are even those about Jesus?

The truth of the matter is that the whole of the Word is not just about Jesus, it is Jesus. Listen to these verses from the opening of the Gospel of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-4, 14)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That is a clear reference to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the eternal Word, the Word that is also embodied in the Word of God, our Old and New Testaments.

If you feel that it is hard to grasp how Jesus and the Word are one and the same, you are not alone. It is difficult to comprehend how a living, breathing, person and an apparently lifeless slab of paper can be one and the same. The Writings for the New Church acknowledge this difficulty and offer a way around it. This is from the Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture:

Few understand how the Lord is the Word, for it is generally supposed that the Lord, by means of the Word, can enlighten and teach people, and yet He cannot, on this account, be called the Word.

So as we’ve said, it makes sense that the Word is about the Lord, and it is the Lord’s way of teaching us, but that doesn’t mean He is the Word. The passage however continues:

It should be known, however, that every person is his own love, and consequently his own good and his own truth. A person is a person for no other reason than this, and there is nothing else in him that is a person. For the same reason that a person is his own good and his own truth, angels and spirits also are people; and for all good and truth proceeding from the Lord, is in its own form, a person. But the Lord is Divine Good itself and Divine Truth itself; thus He is Personhood Itself, from whom every person is a person. (Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 100)

There is a lot going on in that passage. What it all boils down to is a definition of humanity that transcends having a physical body, a definition that helps us see how a book and a person can be one and the same. As the passage said, a person is a person because of his loves, and therefore because of all his good and truth that stem from that love. In short, you are what you love, and what you love makes you human. Think of it this way: if we were to transplant your brain from your body into someone else’s, and this new person loved the same things you love and in the exact same way, and so behaved as you would behave, wouldn’t we say that it is still you, even though the body is completely different? Take that a step further and think of death. Even your brain will die, but your spirit, your spirit in which resides everything of your love, will carry on. Even though there will no longer be a shred of “you” left on this earth, you will still live on. So that’s what makes a person a person: the mind, especially the love within the mind.

If a person is a person because of what he or she loves and so thinks from that love, then anything that reveals our love or our thought reveals us. We know this instinctively from other books we encounter. Have you ever read a book that you loved immensely, and felt that in some way you were connected to the author, as if you understood each other even though you’d never met? I’m not just talking about biographies either. You can read a book that never once refers directly to its author and yet still feel connected. That can happen because the book is a kind of extension of the author, since it reveals the authors loves and ideas.

We now come to the Word. The Word, more than any other book on earth, reveals the mind of its Author. This is so deeply the case that we say that the Word is one and the same with its author, the Lord. Yet unlike with some books that engross us, the Word can feel like a tangled mess that reveals little about the true character of God, much less the inner workings of the mind of Jesus. I have here two images that can help us understand this. On one side there is a brain scan. On the other, an open copy of the Word. At first glance these pictures have little to do with each other. But think about what this brain scan really is. To you and I and most other people it reveals little. But to a trained doctor it would reveal a great deal about what is going on in a person’s mind at a given time. It is a snapshot into someone’s inner life, but one that we can only read if we have the proper training to understand it.

On the other hand we have a copy of the Word. As with the brain scan it reveals what is going on in someone’s mind at a given point. In this case it is the mind of the Lord that is being revealed. And like the brain scan, even though any particular story we might open up to reveals the Lord’s mind, we need the proper training to understand it. If we read this document correctly than we will discover the loving mind of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Every page, every sentence, contains insight into how He thinks and what it is that He loves and cares about. The purpose then of exploring the stories of the Word in light of how they reflect the life and mind of Jesus Christ is that we will then be better equipped to follow His example, not only following the path He set with His words and actions, but going deeper to follow the path He set in His mind.

With this in mind, over the next three weeks we will be looking to the story of Abraham. Even though Abraham lived thousands of years before Jesus was even born, his life perfectly reflects the inner life that Jesus experienced. When we can see this connection we will be better able to not only understand the Lord, but to understand how to model our lives on His. This week we will spend a short time getting a glimpse of how this works. Over the next two weeks we will go deeper into the story of Abraham and into the mind of Jesus. We begin with the first inkling that Abraham had that God had chosen him for a special purpose. As a side note, early on Abraham was known as Abram:

Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran….

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South. (Genesis 12:1-4, 7-9)

Prior to the moment described here Abraham did not know of Jehovah in the slightest. He was in fact an idol-worshipper like most people of His day. Yet when he heard the call from the Lord he responded and moved with his family and everything he owned into a new land. This moment may not seem significant but it is the beginning of the epic saga of the Children of Israel, and the land to which the Lord sent Abraham would one day become the Kingdom of Israel. What began as the simple travels of one man from a faraway country into the heart of the Holy Land would lead to momentous things in the future. What we see here is simply the seed being planted, but a seed that would grow to become a great nation, a nation of which the Lord said it would become a blessing for all the nations of the earth. That is the reason that God called Abraham in the first place.

What can this simple beginning tell us about the mind of Jesus? Like the Kingdom of Israel, the great works that Jesus would do needed a beginning: a seed had to be planted that would grow into something greater. That seed was planted in Jesus early childhood. Just as Abraham was called to enter into the heart of what would become the earthly Kingdom of Israel, Jesus from the very beginning was brought to the heart of His own heavenly Kingdom. That heart, the heart and soul of heaven, is childlike innocence and love. Now as with Abraham, the journey does not end there: for Abraham, many centuries would pass before his people were a great nation. And for the Lord it would take years of temptation and struggle before He could fulfill His mission. But all of it, every last bit, stemmed from that first seed planted in childhood.

It might seem odd to think that everything the Lord needed to face the hells, to put them in their place, and to conquer them was established while He was still a little boy, but it is so. It is in fact the case for each of us that something essential to our life is planted within before we are even aware. Listen to this passage from the Teachings of the New Church that speaks to how powerful our childhoods are for our later lives:

The Lord had first of all to be endowed from infancy with the heavenly things of love - the heavenly things of love consisting in love towards Jehovah and love towards the neighbour, and in innocence itself present in those loves. From these, as from the very sources of life, flows every single thing, for all other things are simply derivatives. These heavenly things are implanted in a person primarily in the state of infancy through to childhood. (Secrets of Heaven 1450)

As a child Jesus received deep stores of love and innocence. This took place before He could even talk or conceptualize these things in His mind. They were simply blessings of love that would remain with Him for the rest of His life, and indeed, to eternity.

This stage of the Lord’s life was not trivial. Without these perfectly innocent and heavenly remains sitting at the core of His being He never would have been able to face the onslaught of hell later in life. That which would later give Him strength in temptation, even on the Cross itself, had been received in childhood innocence and stored away, hidden, until such time as it would be needed. Every loving word and parable, every miracle, every demon cast out and every sickness made well, all flowed from the fountain of love, a fountain established in His youth. We all know the power of little children and their heavenly innocence. There was never a moment that that innocence of infancy dissipated. We don’t often think of the fact that while that innocence recedes and is hidden, it never leaves us.

We all have those same heavenly remnants left over from our childhood. Before we were born the Lord was with us in the womb. He has blessed us, as Jesus was blessed, so that now we have all the innocence and power of a child. As does every human being you will meet. The boss who frustrates you to no end, the spouse that drives you crazy, the acquaintance you can’t stand, all were once little children that would have been beautiful to hold and love, that were beautiful and were held and were loved. None of that goes away. It is always there, part of you, making you who you are. And any time you make an effort to show true love, you are only able to do so because love was once the only thing you knew.

So what do we do with this information? Abraham heard the call of God and left his home to dwell in a new land. Jesus felt a call from deep within His soul and left his own desires to accept the heavenly love that was welling like a fountain within Him. Can we follow the example of both Abraham and Jesus? Will you answer the call? Will you remember when times are hard that once in this life all you knew was love? That deep within your heart beats the love and innocence of childhood? That every human you ever meet has that same source of love and innocence within them? And finally will you use that love to become a blessing to those around you? Jesus answered this call. He continues to answer this call. And He calls on us to do the same. Will you answer? Amen.
(Read the next sermon in this 3-part series, about Bargaining)

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #340

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

340. And blessing, signifies the acknowledgment and glorification of the Lord on that account, and thanksgiving that from Him is every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. This is evident from the signification of "blessing," as being the Lord, when said of the acknowledgment, here the acknowledgment that to Him belong omnipotence, omniscience, providence, Divine good, and Divine truth, which are signified by "Worthy is He to receive the power, riches, wisdom, honor, and glory," and as being also glorification on that account. Moreover, "blessing," when said of the Lord, signifies thanksgiving that from Him is every good of love and truth of faith, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. Because "blessing" here signifies acknowledgment and glorification on that account, and also thanksgiving, blessing is mentioned in the last place, or as a conclusion by these angels, who were glorifying the Lord. These things are signified by "blessing," when said of the Lord, because nothing is a blessing except what is given by the Lord, for that alone is blessed because it is Divine and eternal, and contains in itself heaven and eternal happiness; all other things which have not in themselves what is Divine and eternal are not blessings, even though they may be so called (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 269, 270).

(References: Revelation 5:12; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 269-270)


[2] That "blessing" when it is mentioned in the Word, has this signification, can be seen from the places there when understood in the internal sense. But in the first place, some passages shall be quoted in which "blessed" and "blessing" are said of Jehovah, that is the Lord; also where the expression "to bless God" is used, that it may be seen that these signify the acknowledgment, glorification, and thanksgiving that from Him is every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness to those who receive. In Luke:

The mouth of Zacharias was opened, and he spoke, blessing God. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and wrought redemption for His people (Luke 1:64, 67-68).

This Zacharias said when, filled with the Spirit, he prophesied of the Lord; and "blessing God," and "blessed be the Lord God of Israel," signify the glorification and thanksgiving that He frees and delivers from hell those who receive Him; consequently it is also said, "for He hath visited and wrought redemption for His people Israel;" "redemption" signifying liberation from hell, and "His people" those who are in truths from good, thus those who receive. That "redemption" signifies liberation and deliverance from hell, see above n. 328; and that "people" signifies those who are in truths from good (n. 331).

(References: Luke 1:68; The Apocalypse Explained 328, The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[3] In the same:

Simeon took the infant Jesus in his arms, and blessed God: and said, Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples (Luke 2:28-31).

Here "to bless God" evidently means to glorify and give thanks because the Lord was to come into the world, to save all who receive Him; consequently he calls the Lord "the salvation" which his eyes saw, which He prepares for all people. Those are called "His people" who are in truths from good, thus who by means of truths receive Him, as was said above.

(References: Luke 2:28, Luke 2:30-31; Matthew 5:28)


[4] In David:

They have seen Thy goings, O God. The singers went before, the minstrels after, in the midst of the maidens playing on timbrels. Bless ye God in the assemblies, the Lord from the fountain of salvation 1 (Psalms 68:24-26).

"To bless God in the assemblies, the Lord from the fountain of salvation," signifies to glorify the Lord from spiritual truths, which are truths from good. "Assemblies" in the Word have a similar signification as "people," namely, those who are in spiritual truths, and abstractly, those truths themselves; and "fountain of salvation" signifies spiritual good, since salvation is by means of that good; spiritual good is the good of charity towards the neighbor, and spiritual truth is the truth of faith from that good. (That "assemblies" in the Word are predicated of spiritual truths, see Arcana Coel (Arcana Coelestia 6355, 7843) estia, n. 6355, 7843.) Because "to bless in the assemblies" signifies glorification from spiritual truths, and "to bless from the fountain of salvation" signifies glorification from spiritual good, therefore in the first case the name "God" is used, and in the latter "Lord;" for the name "God" is used in the Word where truths are treated of, and "Jehovah" and "Lord" where good is treated of. It is clear that glorification is what is meant by "to bless," from its immediately following after these words, "the singers went before, the minstrels after, in the midst of the maidens playing on timbrels," which signifies glorification from spiritual truths and goods, as may be seen above (n. 323, 326).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 323, The Apocalypse Explained 326)


[5] In the same:

O sing unto Jehovah a new song; sing unto Jehovah, all the earth. Bless His name; proclaim His salvation from day to day. Tell ye His glory among the nations (Psalms 96:1-3).

"To bless Jehovah" here evidently is to glorify Him and give thanks unto Him; and because all glorification of Him is from spiritual truths and from spiritual good, it is said, "Bless His name, proclaim His salvation from day to day;" "name" having reference to truths, and "salvation" to good. "To sing a song" signifies to glorify from such truths and from such goods (see above, n. 323, 326).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 323, The Apocalypse Explained 326)


[6] In Moses:

Jehovah chose the sons of Levi to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 10:8; 21:5).

Because the sons of Levi were appointed for Divine worship, and because all Divine worship is effected from spiritual good and the truths therefrom, it is said that "Jehovah chose them to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name;" "to minister" signifying worship from spiritual good, and "to bless" signifying worship from spiritual truths. That to "minister" has reference to worship from good, see above n. 155.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 155)


[7] In David:

O Jehovah, Thou hast prevented the King with the blessings of goodness. Thou hast set a crown of fine gold on his head. Glory and honor dost Thou lay upon him. For Thou settest him blessings forever (Psalms 21:3, 5-6).

"The King" here does not mean David, but the Lord, who is called "King" from the spiritual Divine that proceeds from His Divine Human; and because "blessing" signifies the acknowledgment, glorification, and thanksgiving because every good and truth, and thence heaven and eternal happiness, are from Him, it is evident what is signified by "Thou hast prevented the King with the blessings of goodness," and by "Thou settest him blessings for ever." "Blessings of goodness" signify truths from good; "a crown of fine gold" signifies the good from which truths are; "honor and glory" signify Divine good and Divine truth. (That "David" in the Word means the Lord, see above, n. 205; likewise "king" in the Psalms, n. 31; that the "crown of kings" signifies Divine good, n. 272; likewise "gold," n. 242 and that "honor and glory signify Divine good and Divine truth, n. 288)

(References: Psalms 21:1; The Apocalypse Explained 31, The Apocalypse Explained 205, The Apocalypse Explained 242, 272, The Apocalypse Explained 288)


[8] From this it can be seen what "blessed" signifies when said of the Lord, as in the following passages:

The disciples cried with a great voice, Blessed is the King that cometh in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:37-38).

The throng cried, Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9, 10; John 12:12-13).

Jesus said, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, until ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35).

The High Priest asked Jesus, Art Thou then the Christ, the Son of the blessed (Mark 14:61).

"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" signifies to be glorified because all Divine truth and Divine good are from Him. The Lord's "name" signifies everything by which He is worshiped; and as all this has reference to the good of love and the truth of faith, therefore these are signified by the Lord's "name." (That the Lord's "name" signifies everything by which He is worshiped, see above, n. 102, 135, 148, 224; and that the Lord is called "Lord" from Divine good, see Arcana Coelestia 4973, 9167, 9194)

(References: Luke 19:37, 19:38; Mark 11:9-10; The Apocalypse Explained 102, The Apocalypse Explained 135, 148, The Apocalypse Explained 224)


[9] In Moses:

Melchizedek blessed Abram, and said, Blessed be Abram to God Most High, the possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand (Genesis 14:18-20).

Here it is said, "Blessed be God Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand," signifying that to Him belong glorification and thanksgiving on that account. Those therefore who receive Divine good and Divine truth from the Lord, are called:

Blessed (Psalms 37:22; 115:15; Matthew 25:34).

[10] That "blessing" has no other meaning, when said of man, than the reception of Divine truth and Divine good, because in them are heaven and eternal happiness, can be seen from the following passages. In David:

The clean in hands and the pure in heart shall receive a blessing from before Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of our salvation (Psalms 24:4-5).

"The clean in hands" signify those that are in truths from faith, and "the pure in heart" those that are in good from love; of such it is said that they "shall receive a blessing from before Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of salvation," and "receiving a blessing" signifies the reception of Divine truth, and "receiving righteousness" the reception of Divine good. (That "righteousness" is predicated of good, see above, n. 204; and Arcana Coelestia 2235, 9857)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 204)


[11] In Moses:

Thus shall ye bless the sons of Israel, Jehovah bless thee and keep thee; Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace. Thus shall they put My name upon the sons of Israel; and I will bless them (Numbers 6:23-27).

From this, unfolded by means of the internal sense, it is evident what "blessing" as a whole involves-namely, that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, from Divine love flows in with Divine truth and with Divine good with those who receive; the Divine love, from which the Lord flows in, being meant by "the faces of Jehovah;" the Divine truth, with which the Lord flows in, by "Jehovah make His faces to shine upon thee;" and the Divine good, with which He flows in, by "Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee;" the protection from evils and falsities, which would otherwise take away the influx, by "keep thee" and "be gracious unto thee;" heaven and eternal happiness, which the Lord gives by means of His Divine truth and His Divine good, by "give thee communication and conjunction with those who receive, by "thus shall they put My name upon the sons of Israel," "the name of Jehovah" signifying the Divine proceeding, which is called in general Divine truth and Divine good, and "the sons of Israel" signifying those who are of the church, thus who receive, of whom it is therefore said, "and I will bless them." This is the internal or spiritual sense of these words, as can be seen from this, that "the faces of Jehovah" signify the Divine love; "to make them to shine" signifies the influx of Divine truth, and "to lift them up" signifies the influx of Divine good.

That these things may be better understood, the ground of these significations shall be told. The Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun; for it is His Divine love that so appears; this, therefore, is what is meant by the "face" of Jehovah; the light that proceeds therefrom is Divine truth; this, therefore, is what is meant by "making His faces to shine;" the heat that also proceeds therefrom is Divine good; this, therefore, is what is meant by "lifting up His faces," for "to lift up" signifies to reveal Himself, which is effected from Divine good by means of Divine truth. (That the Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun, and that it is His Divine love that so appears, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 116-125; and that the light therefrom is Divine truth, and the heat therefrom Divine good, n. 126-140. That "peace" signifies the heavenly delight that inmostly affects with blissfulness every good, and that it therefore signifies heaven and eternal happiness, see in the same, n. 284-290; and that "the sons of Israel" signify those who are of the church, consequently the church, (Arcana Coelestia 6426, 8805, 9340).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 126-140, The Apocalypse Explained 284-290)


[12] In Ezekiel:

I will give them the circuits of My hill as a blessing, and I will send down the rain in its time; there shall be rains of blessing. Then the tree shall yield its fruit, the land shall yield its produce (Ezekiel 34:26-27).

He who sees the Word merely in its natural sense believes no other than that "blessing" means such things as are mentioned in that sense, namely, that rain should be given to make fruitful the gardens and fields, and thus the tree should yield its fruit and the land its produce; but it is a spiritual blessing that is meant, for "rain" signifies everything Divine that flows into man from the Lord out of heaven. That truths will produce good, and that good will produce truths, is signified by "the tree shall yield its fruit, and the land its produce," "land" and also the "garden," in which there are trees, meaning the church; these and "the circuits of My hill which are to be given as a blessing," signify the internal and external with the men of the church, "circuit" signifying what is outside or below, and "hill" what is within or above, especially where charity is, for that is within. (That "hill" signifies where there is charity, see Arcana Coelestia 6435, 10438)

[13] In David:

Blessed is everyone that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in His ways. Thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands; blessed art thou, and it is good with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house; thy sons like olive plants around thy tables. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed that feareth Jehovah. Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion; that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life; peace upon Israel (Psalms 128:1-6).

Here also "to be blessed" does not mean to be blessed naturally, as that one is to eat the labor of his hands, that his wife is to be fruitful, that many sons are to be about his tables, and that this is to be in Zion and in Jerusalem, but it means to be blessed spiritually; for "those that fear Jehovah" mean those who love to do His commandments; it is therefore said, "Blessed is he that feareth Jehovah, that walketh in His ways," "to walk in His ways" signifying to do His commandments; "the labor of his hands which he shall eat," signifies the pursuit of the life according to those commandments; "the wife by the sides of the house" signifies the affection of spiritual truth in all things that he thinks and does; therefore it is added, "as a fruitful vine," for "vine" signifies the spiritual church from the affection of truth; "sons around the tables" signify the truths of good therefrom, "tables" meaning instructions; therefore it is also said, "as olive-plants," "plants" signifying truths, and "olives" goods; "Zion" signifies heaven whence these things are; and "Jerusalem" doctrine. From this it is clear what is signified by "Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion, that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life;" "peace upon Israel" signifies all spiritual good in general and in particular, "Israel" meaning the church.

[14] In the same:

Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion; for there hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life even forever (Psalms 133:3).

This treats of the marriage of good and truth and their fructification and multiplication; both are meant by "the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion," "the mountains of Zion" signifying where the goods of celestial love are; therefore it is added, "there hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life even forever."

[15] In Moses:

If ye harken to these judgments, to keep and do them, Jehovah thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and mercy; and He will love thee and bless thee. And He will bless the fruit of thy belly, and the fruit of thy ground, thy corn, and thy new wine, and thine oil, the young of thy kine and of the rams of thy flock. Thou shalt be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle. And Jehovah will take away from thee every disease, and all the evil sicknesses of Egypt which thou knowest He will not lay upon thee, but will put them upon all that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the peoples that Jehovah thy God shall deliver to thee; thine eye shall not spare them (Deuteronomy 7:12-16).

Things spiritual, thus spiritual blessings, are meant by all this; these things are what are involved in and signified by the sense of the letter, which is natural, and is for those who are in the natural world, and therefore in natural ideas; consequently from the spiritual sense of the Word what is meant in general and in particular by "being blessed" can be seen. The "fruit of the belly, and the fruit of the ground, the corn, the new wine, and oil, the young of the kine and of the rams of the flock," mean the multiplications of truth and the fructifications of good, thus spiritual blessings. (What is signified specifically by each can be seen in various places in Arcana Coelestia, and in the explanation of this prophetic book.) "There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your cattle" signifies the multiplication of truth and the fructification of good in the internal and the external man; "and Jehovah will take away every disease, and all the evil sicknesses of Egypt," signifies the removal of all evils and falsities, "the evil sicknesses of Egypt" meaning falsities arising from evils in the natural man. "Those that hate thee upon whom Jehovah will put these," are those who are against the truths and goods of the church. The dispersion of the evils and falsities that are against the truths and goods of the church, is signified by "thou shalt consume all the peoples that Jehovah thy God shall deliver to thee;" and continual shunning of them is meant by "thine eye shall not spare them." That through these things those who do the Lord's commandments are blessed, is meant by "if ye hearken to these judgments, to keep and do them, Jehovah thy God will keep unto thee the covenant and mercy; He will love thee and bless thee;" "covenant and mercy" is conjunction from love by means of these commandments; conjunction by good is meant by "covenant," and "He will love thee;" and conjunction by truth therefrom is meant by "mercy" and "He will bless thee."

(References: Luke 9:12-17)


[16] In the same:

He shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven from above, with the blessings of the deep that coucheth below, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb (Genesis 49:25).

These things are said of Joseph, who here signifies the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and "the blessings of heaven from above" mean the multiplications of truth from good in the internal or spiritual man; "the blessings of the deep that coucheth below" mean the multiplications of truth from good in the external or natural man; and "the blessings of the breasts and of the womb" signify spiritual and celestial goods.

[17] In Joel:

Who knoweth? Let him return, and Jehovah God will repent, and He will leave behind Him a blessing, a meal-offering and a drink-offering to Jehovah our God (Joel 2:14).

Because "blessing" signifies spiritual blessing, which in general has reference to good and truth proceeding from the Lord and given to man, therefore it is said, "He will leave behind Him a blessing, a meal-offering and a drink-offering to our God," "the meal-offering," which was bread, signifying good, and "the drink-offering," which was wine, signifying truth, both from the Lord, for it is said, "from our God."

[18] In Isaiah:

In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, that the Egyptians may serve with Assyria. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isaiah 19:23-25).

"Israel, Assyria, and Egypt," signify the three faculties belonging to the men of the church, namely, the spiritual, the rational, and the knowing; "Israel" the spiritual, "Assyria" the rational, and "Egypt" the knowing. Because all man's rational is formed by means of knowledges [scientifica], and both the rational and knowing faculties are from the spiritual, which is from the Lord out of heaven (for from that source is all understanding of truth and all application of knowledges [scientiarum] to truths), it is said, "there shall be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, and that the Egyptians may serve with Assyria;" and again, "Israel shall be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land." The "midst" signifies the inmost from which is the rest, that is, from which is the whole (see above, n. 313; and the "land" is the church where these things are. And as it is the spiritual by which the rational and knowing faculties are applied to genuine truths, Israel is called the "inheritance," that is, the heir of the house who possesses all things; and Assyria is called "the work of My hands," because the rational is formed from the spiritual; and Egypt is called "a blessed people," because in the knowing faculty, as in their ultimate, all things are together. From this also it is clear that "blessing" in the Word means spiritual blessing.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 313)


[19] In Zechariah:

As ye were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you that you may be a blessing (Zechariah 8:13).

These things are said of the devastated church, and of the church to be established by the Lord; "the house of Judah" and "the house of Israel" signifying the church, here in both senses; the church devastated is called "a curse," because therein are evil and falsity; but the church to be established is called "a blessing" because therein are good and truth.

[20] In David:

Salvation unto Jehovah, thy blessing upon thy people (Psalms 3:8).

"The blessing of Jehovah upon His people" signifies influx and the reception of good and truth; those are called "the people of Jehovah" who are in spiritual good (see above, n. 331).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[21] In Moses:

I will make thee into a great nation, and I will bless thee, that thou mayest become a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).

In the same:

In him there shall be a blessing for all nations of the earth (Genesis 18:18).

These things are said of Abraham, and "Abraham" means in the highest sense the Lord, and in a relative sense the Lord's celestial kingdom and the celestial church. From this it is clear what is signified by "I will make thee into a great nation, and I will bless thee, that thou mayest become a blessing," namely, that therein shall be Divine good and Divine truth; "great nation" being predicated of Divine good (see above, n. 331, and "blessing" of Divine truth; "I will bless them that bless thee [and curse them that curse thee]" signifies that those who receive will have Divine truth, and those who do not receive will have the falsity of evil; "in Thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed," and "in Him there shall be a blessing for all the nations of the earth" signifies that from the reception of Divine truth and Divine good they will have heaven and eternal happiness; "the families of the earth" signify those who are in truths from good, "families" meaning truths, and "nations" goods; "blessing" signifying that from these they will have heaven and eternal happiness.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[22] There is a like signification in the blessing of Israel and Jacob:

Blessed be everyone that blesseth thee, and cursed be everyone that curseth thee (Numbers 24:9).

Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and shall break forth towards the west, and towards the east, and towards the north, and towards the south; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed, and in thy seed (Genesis 28:14).

"Israel" and "Jacob" also mean in the highest sense the Lord, and in a relative sense the Lord's spiritual kingdom and the spiritual church; "Israel" that church internal, "Jacob" that church external. The "seed that shall be as the dust of the earth, and that shall break forth towards the west, the east, the north, and the south" signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Lord and received by those who are of that church; the consequent fructification of good is signified by "it shall break forth towards the west and the east," and the consequent multiplication of truth is signified by "it shall break forth towards the north and the south." (That these quarters have such significations, see Heaven and Hell 141-153.)

[23] That the Lord blessed the bread, wine, and fishes that He gave to the disciples and to the people (Matthew 14:15, 19, 21, 22; 15:32, 36; 26:26, 27; Mark 6:41; 8:6, 7; 14:22, 23; Luke 9:16; 22:19; 24:30), signified communication of His Divine, and thus conjunction with them by means of the goods and truths, which are signified by the "bread and wine," and also by "the fishes;" "bread and wine" signifying goods and truths in the spiritual man, and "fishes" goods and truths in the natural.

(References: Mark 8:6-7, Mark 14:22-23; Matthew 14:15-21, 14:21-22, 15:32-38, 26:26-27)


[24] In Isaiah:

He shall call His servants by another name; he that blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself by the God of truth; and he that sweareth by the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former distresses shall be forgotten (Isaiah 65:15-16).

"To bless oneself" signifies to instruct oneself in Divine truths, and to apply them to life, and "to swear" signifies to instruct oneself in Divine goods and to apply them to life. "To swear" has this signification, because an oath in the internal sense signifies confirmation in oneself and conviction that a thing is so, and this is effected from good by means of truths; from no other ground than good are truths with man confirmed and proved. Here a new church is treated of; and "to call by another name" signifies its quality in respect to truth and good.

[25] In Jeremiah:

Swear by the living Jehovah, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall thee glory (Jeremiah 4:2).

Here "to swear" and "to bless themselves" have a like signification as above, the "nations" that shall bless themselves in Jehovah signifying those who are in good.

[26] "To bless," in the contrary sense, signifies to love what is evil and false: and to be imbued with it as in Isaiah:

He that slaughters an ox smiteth a man; he that offereth frankincense, blesseth vanity; they have chosen these things also in their ways (Isaiah 66:3).

"To slaughter (or sacrifice) an ox," and "to smite a man," signify to worship God in externals, and yet to reject all truth. "To sacrifice an ox" signifies worship from those things that represented natural good, for an "ox" means natural good; "and to smite a man" signifies to reject and deny the truth, "man" in the Word meaning truth; "to offer frankincense" and "to bless vanity" signifies to worship God from such things as represented spiritual good, and yet to love evil and falsity and to be imbued with them, an "offering of frankincense" meaning the worship from spiritual good, and "vanity" the evil and falsity of evil.

-----
Footnotes:

1.  "Salvation. " In AE 439, 449, 483 it reads "Israel."

-----

(References: Luke 1:68, Luke 2:28, Luke 2:30-31; Psalms 21:1; Revelation 5:12)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 334, 344, 365, 439, 465, 625, 657

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.


 The Blessings and Responsibilities of Family
To build a home in the real sense, married partners must work together and individually toward this highest of human loves-work for it daily by resisting evils that weaken marriages.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18


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


Translate: