The Bible

 

John 20:19-31 : Christ Appears to the Disciples in an Upper Room, and Doubting Thomas

     

Study the Inner Meaning

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 96, 2397, 2628, 2724, 2798, 2921, 3006, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 12, 81, 343, 520, 618, 839, 962

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 32, 120

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

Divine Providence 230, 324

The Lord 19, 20, 35, 41, 51

Faith 10

Heaven and Hell 287, 461

True Christian Religion 140, 146, 153, 188, 298, 303, 337, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 286


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 53, 102, 130, 183, 254, 365, 419, ...

Canons of the New Church 39, 43

Divine Wisdom 6

Miracles and Signs 18

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 5, 14, 64

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




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the first
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first
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day of
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Week
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doors
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shut
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disciples
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fear
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jews
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came
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midst
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saith
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peace
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hands
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Side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

Glad
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

the Lord
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father
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send
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holy
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sins
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remit
'To forgive seven times' signifies forgiving at all times.

retain
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one
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twelve
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called
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see
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hand
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Put
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believe
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eight
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days
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reach
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my lord
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God
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blessed
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many
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signs
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written
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Book
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christ
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son
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son of god
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life
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name
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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.


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Commentary

 

Two Meetings in Jerusalem after the Resurrection      

By Joe David

The risen Jesus appears to the disciples in the upper room. 22.4.2010: Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Emilio Romagna, Italy.

Late on the first Easter Sunday, after the Lord had risen from the sepulcher, ten of the disciples gathered for the evening in the upper room of a house in Jerusalem (John 20). They were afraid and probably confused. Since their leader had been crucified by the Roman power, as organized by their own Jewish leaders, they feared that now his followers might also be hunted down and punished. They closed and locked the doors. Were any of the women there? The story does not say, but Peter and John were, who saw and talked with the angels that morning, and the stories of the women were known. Some time must have been spent wondering and perhaps arguing - was He really alive? How could they know it was really Him? This kind of thing, coming back to life after you’re dead, this doesn’t happen in this real world, there must be some mistake!

Then two of the followers, not of the twelve, but the two that had gone to the village of Emmaus, came in, excited and bursting with their news. They had seen Him! They had walked with Him for seven miles and He had told them wondrous things! They had only recognized Him when He broke bread and ate with them. "Don’t doubt us, it really was Jesus!"

And then as they all talked and argued, there He was, standing with them in the room. "Peace be unto you," He said, and He showed them His hands and feet and His side, where he was wounded. He calmed them, and told them that just as he had come down to mankind, so they must go out and teach to all people all the true things that He had taught in the years He was with them.

It was these truths about how to live one’s life that were saving, not the disciples themselves. These saving truths have the power to remit or retain sins, because they were from the Lord, the disciples only transmitted them from the Lord to those who would listen and take them to heart. Then He breathed on them - representing His holy spirit - so that they would not only want to pass these truths on to people, but would also be given the words to say whenever the times came. And then He was gone again.

Thomas was not there that night. We don’t know why. And Thomas, when he heard the story, just could not swallow it. "Except I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe", he said. (John 20:25.)

The next verse tells us that the next Sunday they gathered again, and that Thomas was present this time. As before, the Lord was suddenly there, saying again, "Peace be unto you", and then directly to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger… and reach hither thy hand… and be not faithless but believing". Now Thomas's response was, "my Lord and my God". It seems as if the Lord came this time just to convince Thomas, because it was Thomas who needed Him.

I think He does work this way. I am reminded of another story, from the gospel of Mark (Mark 9:17-27) where a father comes to Jesus with a young son who is possessed by a devil, and asks Jesus to cure him, and is asked in turn: "Do you believe I can do this?" In Mark 9:24 the father responds. Crying out, he said with tears, "I believe, help thou my unbelief."

I think many people have this conflict between lingering doubts and a desire to have the doubts taken away. If we carry on and make our decisions in life as if the doubts were indeed gone, then indeed they will lose their strength and actually will be gone.

These are the only details given of these two meetings in Jerusalem. Chronologically the next post-Easter stories are the ones that take place in Galilee.

John does go on to say at the end of his gospel "...many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God...." (John 20:30-31). Perhaps there were more post-Easter stories that weren't written down, but the ones we do have are strong. For the disciples who were involved, there was an unstoppable impact from the life and teachings of the Lord, and His crucifixion, and physical death, and now - in these stories - His resurrection. Hearing the Lord's charges to them, these Galilean fishermen and their colleagues launch out into the wide world, and work to achieve the Great Commission, enduring hardships and persecution, and succeeding - probably beyond their wildest dreams!

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #684

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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684. It is said that "The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's," and this signifies that Divine Good and Divine Truth are received, when the evil have been separated from the good and cast into hell; for then both the higher and lower heavens can be in enlightenment, and thence in the perception of good and truth, which could not be the case, so long as the evil were conjoined with the good, because so long as that conjunction exists, the interiors of the angels, who are in the lower heavens, cannot be opened, but only the exteriors; and the Lord does not reign with spirits and men in externals separated from internals, but in internals, and from these in externals. For this reason before the interiors of the angels of the ultimate heaven were opened, which are spiritual and celestial, that heaven did not become the kingdom of the Lord as it did after the separation of the evil from them.

(References: Revelation 11:15)


[2] It is said, "the kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's," and Lord here means the same as Jehovah in the Old Testament, and Father in the New, namely, the Lord as to the Divine itself and also as to the Divine Good; and Christ means the same as God in the Old Testament, and Son of God in the New, namely, the Lord as to the Divine Human and also as to the Divine Truth. For "Christ" has a signification similar to that of Anointed, Messiah, and King; and Anointed, Messiah, and King, mean the Lord as to the Divine Truth, and also as to the Divine Human when He was in the world, for then the Lord, as to His Human, was Divine Truth. The signification therefore of the Anointed of Jehovah is similar; for the Divine itself, which is called Jehovah and Father, and was in its essence the Divine Good of the Divine Love, anointed the Divine Human, which is called the Son of God, and which in its essence, while it was in the world, was Divine Truth; for anointing signified that the Divine Human of the Lord proceeded from His very Divine, and consequently was the Divine Truth from His Divine Good.

[3] It is evident therefore that the Lord alone, as to the Divine Human, was essentially the Anointed of Jehovah, but that kings and priests were called representatively the anointed of Jehovah, for the oil with which the anointing was performed, signified the Divine Good of the Divine Love. Now, because the Divine Truth with the Lord was that which was anointed by the Divine Good, therefore Christ, and similarly Messiah and Anointed, and also King, signify the Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good of the Divine Love of the Lord. That this is the case is evident from passages in the Word where Christ, Messiah, and Anointed are mentioned.

[4] That Christ is the Messiah or Anointed is evident in John:

Andrew "findeth his brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, when interpreted, Christ" (i. 42).

And in the same:

The woman of Samaria said, "I know that Messiah cometh, who is called Christ" (iv. 25).

From these passages it is evident that the Lord is called Christ because he was the Messiah, whose coming was predicted in the Word of the Old Testament; for Anointed is "Christ" in the Greek tongue, and "Messiah" in the Hebrew, and a King is one anointed. It is for this reason that the Lord was called King of Israel, and King of the Jews, which He also confessed before Pilate. "The King of the Jews," therefore, was written upon the cross (Matt. xxvii. 11, 29, 37, 42; Luke xxiii. 1-4, 35-40).

And in John:

"Nathanael said, Thou art the Son of God, the King of Israel" (i. 49).

(References: John 1:41, John 1:45, 1:48, John 1:49, 4:25; Luke 23:1-4, 23:35-40; Matthew 27:11, 27:29, 27:37, 27:41, 27:42)


[5] And because Anointed, Messiah, Christ, and King are synonymous terms, so also has Son of God the same meaning, and each of these names in the spiritual sense signifies the Divine Truth; that King has this signification may be seen above (n. 31, 553, 625). Son of God also has the same meaning, because sons, in the Word, signify truths, and thus Son of God signifies Divine Truth; that sons signify truths may be seen above (n. 166).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 31, 166, The Apocalypse Explained 553, The Apocalypse Explained 625)


[6] The signification of Christ and Messiah is also similar. That Christ signifies the Divine Truth, is evident in Matthew:

"Be not ye called Rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ" (xxiii. 8).

Rabbi and teacher signify one who teaches truth, thus, in the abstract, the doctrine of truth, and, in the highest sense, the Divine Truth, which is Christ; that the Lord alone is the Divine Truth, is therefore meant by, be not ye called Rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ.

(References: Matthew 23:8)


[7] In the same:

"See that no one seduce you; for many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall seduce many. If any one say to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not, for there will arise false Christs and false prophets" (xxiv. 4, 5, 23, 24; Mark xiii. 21-23).

This must not be understood as meaning that there will arise those who will call themselves the Christ or Christs, but those who will falsify the Word, and say that this or that is Divine Truth when it is not. Those who confirm falsities from the Word are meant by false Christs, and those who propagate falsities of doctrine are meant by false prophets. For these two chapters treat of the successive vastation of the church, thus of the falsification of the Word, and at length of the profanation of truth therefrom. But these things may be seen further explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 3353-3356, and n. 3897-3901).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3353-3356, Arcana Coelestia 3897-3901; Mark 13:21-23; Matthew 24:4-5, Matthew 24:23-24)


[8] And because the Son of God also signifies the Divine Truth, as just said, therefore He is sometimes called Christ the Son of God (as in Matt. xxvi. 63; Mark xiv. 61; Luke iv. 41; xxii. 66 to the end; John vi. 69; xi. 26, 27; xx. 31). In a word, the Lord, when He was in the world, was called Christ, Messiah, Anointed, and King, because in Him alone was the Divine Good of the Divine Love, from which proceeds the Divine Truth, and this was represented by anointing. For the oil with which anointing was performed signified the Divine Good of the Divine Love, and the king who was anointed, the Divine Truth; therefore kings, when they were anointed, represented the Lord, and were called the anointed of Jehovah. But yet the Lord alone as to His Divine Human, was the Anointed of Jehovah since the Divine Good of the Divine Love was in Him, and this was Jehovah and the Father from whom the Lord had the esse of life. For it is well known that He was conceived of Jehovah, consequently it was from the Divine Good of the Divine Love, which was in Him from conception, that the Lord was Divine Truth as to His Human as long as He was in the world. From this it is evident that the Lord alone was essentially the Anointed of Jehovah, but that kings were representatively called the anointed of Jehovah. For this reason then the Lord, as to His Divine Human, was called Messiah and Christ, that is, Anointed.

(References: John 6:69, John 11:26-27, John 20:31; Luke 4:41, 22:66-71; Mark 14:61, 14:61-62; Matthew 26:63)


[9] This is also evident from the following passages.

In Isaiah:

"The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon me, therefore Jehovah hath anointed me to declare good tidings to the poor, he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to preach liberty to the captives, to the bound, to the blind, to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah, and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all that mourn" (lxi. 1, 2).

This plainly is said of the Lord; it means that the Lord Jehovih anointed His Divine Human to declare good tidings to the poor, and sent it to bind up the broken hearted, and so on, for these things the Lord performed from His Human. But the particulars of this passage may be seen explained above (n. 183, 375:15, 612).

(References: Isaiah 61:1-2; The Apocalypse Explained 183, The Apocalypse Explained 375, The Apocalypse Explained 612)


[10] In the same:

"Why have the nations raised a tumult, and the peoples meditated vanity? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers consulted together against Jehovah and against his anointed. I have anointed my king upon Zion, the mountain of my holiness. I will declare the decree, Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee; ask of me and I will give the nations for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, for his anger will kindle shortly; blessed are all they that trust in him" (Psalm ii. 1, 2, 6-8, 12).

That the Anointed of Jehovah means here the Lord as to the Divine Human is clear, for it is said, "Jehovah hath said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, kiss the Son lest ye perish, blessed are all they that trust in him." This, in the sense of the letter, is indeed said of David, but David, in the Word, means the Lord as to the Divine Truth, or as King, as may be seen above (n. 205). It is also evident that the Lord's coming, and after that a last judgment by Him, and finally His sovereignty over all things of the world are there treated of.

(References: Psalms 2:1-2, 2:6-8, 2:12; The Apocalypse Explained 205)


[11] The spiritual things which lie hidden, and are signified in the particulars of this passage are as follows: The nations have raised a tumult, and the peoples have meditated vanity, signifies the state of the church and of the former heaven that was to pass away, nations denoting those who are in evils, and peoples those who are in falsities, as may be seen above (n. 175, 331:10, 625). The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers consulted together against Jehovah, and against His Anointed, signifies the falsities of the church and its evils, as being altogether opposed to the Divine Good and the Divine Truth, and thus opposed to the Lord, the kings of the earth denoting the falsities of the church, and the rulers its evils, while Jehovah denotes the Lord as to the Divine itself, thus as to the Divine Good, and Anointed the Lord as to the Divine Human, thus as to the Divine Truth.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 331, The Apocalypse Explained 625)


[12] I have anointed my king upon Zion, the mountain of my holiness, signifies the Human of the Lord as to Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good of His Divine Love, and thence His sovereignty over all things of heaven and the church, Zion and the mountain of holiness denoting heaven and the church, consequently also all things of heaven and the church. I will declare the decree signifies an arcanum of the Divine Will and Providence. Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, signifies the Lord as the Anointed, Messiah, Christ, and King, thus as to His Human conceived and afterwards born of the Divine itself or Jehovah; this day signifies what is decreed from eternity, and looks therefrom to the conjunction and union accomplished in time.

[13] Ask of me, and I will give the nations for thine inheritance and the ends of the earth for thy possession, signifies His sovereignty and dominion over all things of heaven and the church, which shall be His. Kiss the Son signifies conjunction with the Lord by love, to kiss signifying conjunction from love; lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way, signifies lest evils come upon you and ye be condemned, for to be angry, when stated of the Lord, signifies the turning away of men from Him, consequently their anger and not the Lord's; and evils are what turn themselves away, and then become angry. For his anger will kindle shortly signifies the Last Judgment, and the casting down of the evil into hell. Blessed are all they that trust in him signifies salvation by love to the Lord and faith in Him.

[14] Again:

"Thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured upon thy lips. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one, in thy glory and thine honour; and in thine honour mount, ride upon the word of truth, and of the meekness of justice, and thy right hand shall teach thee wonderful things; thy darts are sharp, the peoples shall fall under thee, the enemies of the king from the heart. Thy throne, O God, for an age and to eternity; a sceptre of rectitude is the sceptre of thy kingdom; Thou hast loved justice and hated evil; therefore God hath anointed thee, thy God, with the oil of joy above thy companions, with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, all thy garments; the daughters of kings are among thy precious women; the queen standeth at thy right hand in best gold of Ophir" (Psalm xlv. 2-9).

That these things also are said of the Lord is evident from all the particulars of that Psalm, and consequently that it is Himself of whom it is said, "God hath anointed thee, thy God, with the oil of joy, with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, all thy garments." What these things signify is evident from their connection, as follows. That He has Divine Wisdom, and that the doctrine of Divine Truth is from Him, is signified by, Thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured upon thy lips; to be fair signifies to be wise, the sons of men signify those that are intelligent in Divine truths, and lips signify doctrinals.

(References: Psalms 45:2-9)


[15] His Omnipotence from the Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good, and thence the destruction of falsities and evils, and the subjugation of the hells is signified by, gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty One, in thy glory and thine honour, and in thine honour mount, ride upon the word of truth, thy right hand shall teach thee wonderful things; thy darts are sharp, the people shall fall under thee, the enemies of the king from the heart. Sword signifies truth combating against falsity, and destroying it; a chariot just as word of truth signifies the doctrine of truth; to ride signifies to instruct and combat; the right hand signifies omnipotence; darts signify truths combating, peoples those who are in falsities of evil, and the enemies of the king those who are opposed to truths, thus the hells.

[16] That thence the sovereignty and dominion would be His to eternity, is signified by Thy throne, O God, for an age and to eternity; a sceptre of rectitude is the sceptre of thy kingdom, sceptre of rectitude denoting the Divine Truth to which belongs power and sovereignty. That as He delivered the good from damnation by destroying the evil, so therefore did the Divine itself unite itself to His Human is signified by, Thou hast loved justice and hated evil, therefore God hath anointed thee, thy God, with the oil of joy above thy companions. To love justice and to hate evil signifies to deliver the good from damnation by destroying the evil; to anoint with the oil of joy signifies to unite Himself by victories in temptations, God, thy God, signifies the reciprocal union of the Human with the Divine and of the Divine with the Human.

[17] Divine truths united to Divine goods are signified by, He hath anointed with myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, all thy garments; myrrh signifies good of the ultimate degree, aloes good of the second, and cassia good of the third degree, as also do those three spices when mixed with the oil of olive, out of which the oil of holiness for anointing was made (Exod. xxx. 23, 24), and that oil signified the Divine Good of the Divine Love, and the garments which were anointed signified Divine truths.

(References: Exodus 30:23-25, 30:23-24)


[18] That those who have spiritual affections for truth form His kingdom is signified by, the daughters of kings are amongst thy precious women, daughters of kings denoting the spiritual affections for truth, which are called precious when truths are genuine. And that heaven and the church are in His protection and are conjoined to Him, because in love to Him from Him, is signified by, the queen standeth at thy right hand in best gold of Ophir, queen signifying heaven and the church, at thy right hand signifying in His protection from conjunction with Him, and best gold of Ophir the good of love to the Lord.

[19] In the same:

"I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn to David my servant, I will establish thy seed even to eternity, and I will build up thy throne to generation and generation. Thou hast spoken in vision to thine Holy One, and hast said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people; I have found David my servant, with the oil of my holiness have I anointed him, with whom my hand shall be established; mine arm also shall strengthen him. I will beat down his enemies before him, and will smite them that hate him. I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers; he shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation; also I will make him my first-born, high above the kings of the earth; and my covenant shall be steadfast for him, and I will establish his seed to eternity, and his throne as the days of the heavens. Once have I sworn by my holiness I will not lie unto David, his seed shall endure to eternity, and his throne as the sun before me, as the moon it shall be established to eternity, a faithful witness in the clouds" (Psalm lxxxix. 3, 4, 19-21, 23, 25-29, 35-37).

That by David here is not meant David, but the Lord, as to His kingship, which is the spiritual Divine, and is called the Divine Truth, is evident from all that is here said of David, namely, that his seed and throne shall be as the days of the heavens, and as the sun and the moon to eternity, that he shall set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers, and that he shall call Jehovah Father, and shall be [His] first-born, high above the kings of the earth, with other things that could not be said of David, and his sons, and his throne. That by David in the Word is meant the Lord, may be seen above (n. 205).

(References: Psalms 89:3-4, 89:19-21, 89:23, 89:25-29, 89:35-37; The Apocalypse Explained 205)


[20] But to proceed to particulars. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn to David my servant, signifies the union of His Divine with the Human, to make a covenant signifying to be united, to swear signifying to confirm the union, while chosen is said of good, and servant of truth. I will establish thy seed even to eternity, and I will build up thy throne to generation and generation, signifies the Divine Truth, and heaven and the church from Him, seed denoting the Divine Truth and those who receive it, and throne, heaven and the church.

[21] Thou hast spoken in vision to thine Holy One, signifies a prophetic interior truth (arcanum) concerning the Lord. I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people, signifies the Divine Truth through which the Divine Good performs all things, which is called a help upon one that is mighty, and, elsewhere, the right hand of Jehovah Divine majesty and power therefrom is signified by the exaltation of one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant, with the oil of holiness have I anointed him, signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human and union with the Divine itself, which union is called, in the Word of the New Testament, glorification. This union is meant by being anointed with the oil of holiness, for the oil of holiness signifies the Divine Good of the Divine Love, and to be anointed signifies to be united to the Divine Truth, which was of the Lord's Human in the world.

[22] With whom my hand shall be established, mine arm also shall strengthen him, signifies omnipotence therefrom, the hand denoting the omnipotence of truth from good, and the arm the omnipotence of good by means of truth. I will beat down his enemies before him, and will smite them that hate him, signifies combat with victory against falsities and evils, thus against the hells. I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers, signifies the extension of His dominion and kingdom over all things of heaven and the church; for seas and rivers are the ultimates of heaven, and the ultimates signify all things.

[23] He shall cry unto me, thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation, signifies the Divine Human which is the Son of God, who was conceived of Him, and afterwards born, and because the Lord's Human had Divine Truth and Divine Power therefrom it is also called God and the Rock of salvation. Also I will make him my first-born, high above the kings of the earth, signifies, that He is above all the good and truth of heaven and the church, because the goods and truths therein are from Him; and my covenant shall be steadfast for Him, signifies eternal union; I will establish his seed to eternity, and his throne as the days of the heavens, has the same signification here as above, days of the heavens denoting the states of the whole heaven, which are from His Divine.

[24] Once have I sworn by my holiness, I will not lie unto David, signifies eternal confirmation, because from the Divine, concerning the Lord, and concerning the union of His Human with the Divine itself; his seed shall endure to eternity, and his throne as the sun before me, as the moon it shall be established to eternity has the same signification as above, where seed and throne are named. It is said as the sun and moon, because eternity as to the Divine Good is stated of the sun, and as to the Divine Truth of the moon, for these are signified by the sun and the moon. A faithful witness in the clouds, signifies acknowledgment and confession from the Word concerning the Divine in the Human of the Lord; that this is a witness in the clouds, may be seen above (n. 10, 27, 228, 392, 649).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 10, 27, The Apocalypse Explained 228, The Apocalypse Explained 392, The Apocalypse Explained 649)


[25] In the same:

"O Jehovah, remember David, all his affliction who sware unto Jehovah, and vowed to the mighty one of Jacob, surely I will not enter within the tent of my house, nor go up upon the couch of my bed, until I find out a place for Jehovah, habitations for the mighty one of Jacob. Lo, we have heard of him in Ephratah, we found him in the fields of the wood; we will enter into his habitations, we will bow down ourselves at his footstool. Arise, Jehovah, to thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priests be clothed with justice, and let thy saints shout for joy; for thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of thine anointed." In Zion "will I make the horn of David to bud, I will set a lamp for mine anointed, his enemies will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown flourish" (Psalm cxxxii. 1-3, 5-10, 17, 18).

Here also David and Anointed or Christ do not mean David, but the Lord as to the Divine Human, for it is said, that his habitations, that is, of the Mighty One of Jacob, are found in Ephratah, which is Bethlehem, and that they would bow themselves down at his footstool; but that this is so will appear better from the explanation of the details in their order.

(References: Psalms 132:1-3, 132:5-10, 132:17-18)


[26] Who sware to Jehovah, and vowed to the mighty one of Jacob, signifies irrevocable affirmation before the Lord, who is called Jehovah, from the Divine in primaries, and the Mighty One of Jacob, from the Divine in ultimates, in which the Divine power is in its fulness. Surely I will not enter within the tent of my house, nor go up upon the couch of my bed, signifies not to enter into and know the things which pertain to the church and its doctrine, the tent of the house denoting the holy things of the church, and the couch of a bed, its doctrine; until I find out a place for Jehovah, habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob, signifies, before I shall know of the coming of the Lord, and the interior truths (arcana) concerning the union of His Human with the Divine; these things are, in the highest sense, the place of Jehovah, and the habitations of the Lord's Divine Human.

[27] Lo, we have heard of him in Ephratah, we found him in the fields of the wood, signifies in the spiritual sense of the Word, and also in the natural; for Ephratah and Bethlehem signify the spiritual-natural, and the fields of the wood the natural, both pertaining to the Word, for there the Lord is found. We will enter into his habitations, we will bow down ourselves at his footstool, signifies that He is there found, for He is the Word. His habitations here mean the things of the spiritual sense of the Word, and are thus the heavens, since these are in the spiritual sense of the Word; and his footstool denotes the things of the natural sense of the Word, thus also the church, since in the church Divine truths are in their ultimates, which to the spiritual things of the Word and of the heavens, thus to the Lord Himself who dwells therein, serve as a footstool.

[28] Arise, Jehovah, to thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength, signifies the union of the Divine itself, with the Human in the Lord, and peace therefrom to all in heaven and the church, the rest of Jehovah denoting that union, and the ark of his strength heaven and the church. Let thy priests be clothed with justice, and let thy saints shout for joy, signifies worship thence from love with those who are in celestial good, and worship from charity with those who are in spiritual good; for priests denote those who are in the celestial kingdom of the Lord, while those who are in the spiritual kingdom are called saints.

[29] For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed, signifies that they may be enkindled by love and enlightened by the light of truth, when Divine Truth has been united with Divine Good in the Lord, thus the Divine itself with the Human and the Human with the Divine. For David as a servant signifies the Human of the Lord as to Divine Truth, and Anointed signifies the same united with Divine Good, and His face signifies Divine Love and enlightenment therefrom. In Zion will I make the horn of David to bud, signifies the power of Divine Truth from Him in heaven and in the church. I will set a lamp for mine anointed, signifies the enlightenment of Divine Truth from the union of the Divine and the Human in the Lord, lamp denoting Divine Truth as to enlightenment. His enemies will I clothe with shame, signifies the subjugation of the hells, and the consequent dispersion of evils. But upon himself shall his crown flourish, signifies perpetual and eternal victory over them.

[30] From the passages quoted from the Word, it is evident that the Lord is called Anointed, that is Messiah or Christ, from the union of Divine Good with Divine Truth in His Human, for from that union the Lord's Human is meant by the Anointed of Jehovah.

[31] Similarly in the First Book of Samuel:

"Jehovah will judge the ends of the earth, and will give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed" (ii. 10).

This is contained in the prophetic [song] of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, before there was any king or anointed over Israel, therefore by King and Anointed is here meant the Lord, to whom strength is given, and whose horn is exalted when the Divine is united with the Human. Strength signifies the power of good over evil, and horn the power of truth over falsity; and truth is said to be exalted when it becomes interior, and in the same degree also it becomes more powerful.

(References: 1 Samuel 2:10)


[32] The anointed has a similar meaning in Lamentations:

"The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits, of whom we had said, In his shadow shall we live amongst the nations" (iv. 20).

The anointed of Jehovah, in the sense of the letter, means here the king who was made captive, but in the spiritual sense the Lord is meant, therefore it is said, the breath of our nostrils, that is, the life of the perception of good and truth. Taken in the pits, signifies rejection by those who are in falsities of evil, pits denoting falsities of doctrine. To live in his shadow, signifies to be under His protection against the falsities of evil, which are signified by nations.

(References: Lamentations 4:20)


[33] Since the Anointed, Messiah, or Christ, signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human, thus as to Divine Good united with Divine Truth, therefore by anointing, that union is signified concerning which the Lord says:

"I am in the Father and the Father in me; believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me" (John xiv. 7-11);

and elsewhere,

"The Father and I are one; know ye and believe, that I am in the Father and the Father in me" (John x. 30, 38).

And because this was represented by the anointing of Aaron and his sons, therefore the holy things of the sons of Israel which belonged to Jehovah Himself, were given to Aaron and his sons for the anointing (Numb. xviii. 8). These holy things belonging to Jehovah, which were given to Aaron and his sons are enumerated from verses 9 to 19 of that chapter. But see what has been said before (n. 375:13, 15) concerning anointings, namely, that the Lord alone, as to the Divine Human, was the Anointed of Jehovah, because in Him was the Divine Good of Divine Love, which was signified by oil, and that all other anointings with oil were only representative of Him. We have said these things concerning the Anointed of Jehovah, since the Anointed of Jehovah is Christ, in order that it may be known that by the Lord and His Christ, in this passage in the Apocalypse, are not meant two, but one, that is they are one, as are the Anointed of Jehovah and the Lord's Christ (Luke ii. 26).

(References: John 10:30, 10:38, John 14:7-11; Luke 2:26; Numbers 18:8, 18:9-19; Revelation 11:9-19; The Apocalypse Explained 375)


[34] Because the Lord is treated of here, it is important that an explanation should be given of what is said of the Messiah in Daniel, in order to make it clear why He was called Christ, that is, Messiah or Anointed.

"Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people, and upon thy city of holiness, to finish the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring in the justice of the ages, and to seal up the vision and the prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies. Know, therefore, and understand, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem, even to Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks; afterwards in sixty and two weeks, the street and the ditch shall be restored and built, but in straitness of times. But after sixty and two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself. Then the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, so that the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end of the war desolations are determined. Yet he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and meal-offering to cease. At length upon the bird of abominations desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation" (Dan. ix. 24-27).

The meaning of these words has been examined and explained by many learned men, as to the literal sense only, but not yet as to the spiritual sense, for this sense has not been hitherto known in the Christian world. In this sense the above words have the following signification. Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people, signifies the time and state of the church which then existed with the Jews, even to its end, "seven" and "seventy" signifying fulness from beginning to end, and people those who then belonged to the church; and upon thy city of holiness, signifies the time and state of the end of the church as to the doctrine of truth from the Word, city signifying doctrine of truth, and the city of holiness Divine Truth, which is the Word.

(References: Daniel 9:24-27)


[35] To finish the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity, signifies when there is nothing but falsities and evils in the church, thus when iniquity is fulfilled and consummated; for the end does not come until this is done; the reason of this is given in the Last Judgment. For if the end came before this, the simple-good who are conjoined as to externals with those who simulate truths and goods, and hypocritically make a display of them in externals - would perish; therefore it is added, "to bring in the justice of the ages," which signifies to save those who are in the good of faith and of charity. And to seal up the vision and the prophet, signifies to fulfil all things contained in the Word; to anoint the holy of holies, signifies to unite the Divine Itself with the Human in the Lord, for this is the holy of holies.

[36] Know, therefore, and understand from the going forth of the Word, signifies from the end of the Word of the Old Testament, since this had to be fulfilled in the Lord; for all things of the Word of the Old Testament treat in the highest sense of the Lord, and of the glorification of His Human, and thus of His dominion over all things of heaven and of the world. To restore and build Jerusalem, signifies when the new church was to be established, Jerusalem signifying that church, and to build signifying to establish anew; even to Messiah the Prince, signifies even to the Lord and Divine Truth in Him and from Him; for the Lord is called the Messiah from the Divine Human and Prince from Divine Truth.

[37] Seven weeks signify a full time and state; afterwards in sixty and two weeks the street and the ditch shall be restored and built, signifies the full time and state after His coming until the church with its truths and doctrine is established, sixty, like three or six, signifying a full time and state for the implantation of truth, and two signifying those things as to good, thus sixty and two together signify the marriage of truth with a little good; street signifies truth of doctrine, and ditch, doctrine - the signification of street may be seen above (n. 652), and of ditch or well (n. 537). But in straitness of times, signifies scarcely and with difficulty, because with nations that have little perception of spiritual truth.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 537, The Apocalypse Explained 652)


[38] But after sixty and two weeks, signifies after a full time and state of the church established as to truth and as to good; Messiah shall be cut off, signifies that they shall fall away from the Lord, and this took place chiefly with the Babylonians, through their transferring the Divine power of the Lord to the Popes, and thus through not acknowledging the Divine in His Human; but not for himself, signifies that yet the power is His and the Divine is His.

[39] Then the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, signifies that thus doctrine and the church will perish through falsities, city signifying doctrine, sanctuary, the church, and the prince that shall come, the reigning falsity. So that the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even to the end of the war desolations are determined, signifies the falsification of truth, even until there is no longer any combat between truth and falsity; a flood signifies the falsification of truth, war, the combat between truth and falsity, and desolation, the last state of the church, when there is no longer any truth, but merely falsity.

[40] Yet he shall confirm a covenant [with many] for one week, signifies the period of the Reformation when the Word was again read, and the Lord acknowledged, that is, the Divine in His Human; this acknowledgment, and conjunction therefrom with the Lord by means of the Word, is signified by covenant, and the period of the Reformation by one week. But in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the meal-offering to cease, signifies that still interiorly with those Reformed there will be no truth and good in worship, sacrifice signifying worship from truths, and the meal-offering worship from goods. The midst of the week does not signify the midst of that time, but the inmost of the state of the Reformed, for midst signifies inmost, and week, the state of the church. There was no truth and good interiorly in worship after the Reformation, because they adopted faith as the essential of the church, and separated it from charity, and when faith is separated from charity, then in the inmost of worship there is neither truth nor good, for the inmost of worship is the good of charity, and from that the truth of faith proceeds.

[41] At length upon the bird of abominations desolation, signifies the extinction of all truth by the separation of faith from charity, the bird of abominations signifying faith alone, thus faith separated from charity. For a bird signifies thought concerning the truths of the Word and the understanding of them, which becomes a bird of abominations when there is no spiritual affection for truth, which enlightens and teaches truth, but only a natural affection, which is for the sake of reputation, glory, honour, and gain; and this affection, because it is infernal, is abominable, since it is the source of falsities only. And even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation, signifies its last [state], when there is no longer anything of truth and faith remaining, and when a last judgment takes place.

[42] That these last words in Daniel were a prediction concerning the end of the Christian church, is evident from the Lord's words in Matthew:

"When ye shall see the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him who readeth understand" (xxiv. 15).

For the subject treated of in that chapter is the consummation of the age, thus the gradual vastation of the Christian church; therefore the devastation of that church is meant by those words in Daniel; but what they signify in the spiritual sense, has been explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 3652). From this it is now evident what is signified by the kingdoms of the world are become the Lord's and His Christ's; also what is signified by the Lord's Christ, or the Christ of the Lord, in Luke, where Simeon was promised "by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord" (ii. 26).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3652; John 1:45, John 1:49; Luke 2:26; Matthew 24:15; Revelation 11:15)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 679, 695, 700, 706, 745, 989, 1089

Other New Christian Commentary

Anoint 1

Son of God 1

Shade or shadow 1

Bird of abominations 1

Consummation and decision 1

Ephrata 1

Fair, to be 1

Habitation 1

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Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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