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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 Christianity 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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works: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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Psalms 22:17, 84:4

Word/Phrase Explanations

week
'A week' signifies state, and 'the seventh week,' a holy state. The ancients understood 'a week' to mean any period divided into seven, whether days,...

doors
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

disciples
A disciple in Matthew 10:41 signifies charity and at the same time, faith from the Lord. It disciple signifies the truth of life, and a...

jews
It would be simple to think that when the Bible mentions "Jews" it is simply talking about the descendants of the tribe of Judah, the...

saith
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...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

glad
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

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,...

ghost
'The seven spirits' in Matthew 12:45 signify all falsities of evil, and as a result, a total extinction of goodness and truth. 'The seven spirits'...

remit
'To forgive seven times' signifies forgiving at all times.

retain
'To hold fast' signifies permanence in a state of good of love and faith up to the visitation.

twelve
'Twelve' and 'twenty-four' signify everything, and refer to truths.

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

reach
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

signs
'A sign' is mentioned in the Word in reference to the future, which constitutes revelation. This also refers to truth, when it constitutes testification. It...

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

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

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

Son of God
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

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

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

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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 Death and Resurrection
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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 (Whitehead translation)      

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684. It is said 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 are separated from the good and are cast into hell; for then both the higher and the lower heavens can be in enlightenment and thus in the perception of good and truth; and this could not be effected so long as the evil were conjoined with the good, because the interiors of the angels, who are in the lower heavens, could not then be opened, but only the exteriors, and the Lord does not reign in spirits and men in externals separate from internals, but in internals, and from internals in externals; for this reason, until the interiors of the angels of the lowest heaven, which are spiritual and celestial, were opened, 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 that "the kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's," and "Lord" here has the same meaning as "Jehovah" in the Old Testament, and "Father" in the New, namely, the Lord in respect to the Divine Itself and in respect to Divine good; while "Christ" has the same meaning as "God" in the Old Testament, and "the Son of God" in the New, namely the Lord in respect to the Divine Human and also in respect to Divine truth, for "Christ" has a like meaning as "Anointed," "Messiah," and "King;" and "Anointed," "Messiah," and "King" mean the Lord in respect to Divine truth, and also in respect to the Divine Human when He was in the world, for the Lord in respect to His Human was then Divine truth. So "the Anointed of Jehovah" has a similar meaning, for the Divine Itself which is called "Jehovah" and "Father," and in its essence was the Divine good of 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 Lord's Divine Human proceeded from His Divine Itself, and consequently the Divine truth from His Divine good.

[3] From this it is clear that the Lord alone in relation to the Divine Human was essentially "the Anointed of Jehovah," while kings and priests were called "the anointed of Jehovah" representatively; for the "oil" with which the anointing was performed signified the Divine good of the Divine love. Now as it was Divine truth with the Lord that was anointed by the Divine good, so "Christ," and likewise "the Messiah" and "Anointed," and also "King," signifies Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love. That this is so can be seen 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 said to him, We have found the Messiah, which is, when interpreted, Christ (John 1:41).

And in the same:

The woman of Samaria said, I know that Messiah cometh, who is called Christ (John 4:25).

This shows that the Lord is called "Christ" because He was the Messiah whose coming was foretold in the Word of the Old Testament; for the word for Anointed is "Christ" in the Greek, and "Messiah" in the Hebrew, and a king is one anointed. This is why the Lord is called "King of Israel," and "King of the Jews," which also He acknowledged before Pilate, wherefore it was inscribed upon the cross:

The king of the Jews (Matthew 27:11, 29, 37, 41; Luke 23:1-4, 35-40).

Also in John:

Nathaniel said, Thou art the Son of God, the King of Israel (John 1:48).

(References: John 1:45, 1:49; Matthew 27:42)


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

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


[6] That "Christ" signifies Divine truth is evident in Matthew:

Be not ye called Rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ (Matthew 23:8).

"Rabbi" and "teacher" signify one that teaches truth, thus in an abstract sense the doctrine of truth, and in the highest sense Divine truth, which is Christ. That the Lord alone is Divine truth is meant by "Be not ye called Rabbi, one is your teacher, Christ."

[7] In the same:

See that no one lead you astray; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall lead many astray. If anyone shall say to you, Lo, here is the Christ, or there, believe it not; for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets (Matthew 24:4-5, 23-24; Mark 13:21-23).

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 declare that this or that is Divine truth when it is not; those who confirm falsities by the Word are meant by "false Christs," and those who hatch out falsities of doctrine by "false prophets." For these two chapters treat of the successive vastation of the church, thus of the falsification of the Word, and lastly of the profanation of truth thence. (But this may be seen further explained in the Arcana Coelestia 3353-3356, and n. 3897-3901.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3897-3901)


[8] And as "Son of God" also signifies Divine truth, as has just been said, He is sometimes called:

The Christ, the Son of God (as in Matthew 26:63; Mark 14:61; Luke 4:41, 22:66-71 to the end; John 6:69, 11:26-27, 20:31).

In a word, when the Lord was in the world He was called "Christ," "Messiah," "Anointed," and "King," because in Him alone was the Divine good of Divine love, from which Divine truth proceeds, and this was represented by "anointing;" for the "oil" with which anointing was performed signified the Divine good of Divine love, and the "king," who was anointed, represented Divine truth. This is why kings, when they had been anointed, represented the Lord, and were called "the anointed of Jehovah;" yet it was the Lord alone in relation to His Divine Human that was "the Anointed of Jehovah," since the Divine good of Divine love was in Him, and this was Jehovah and the Father from whom the Lord had the being [esse] of life. For it is well known that He was conceived of Jehovah, thus it was from the Divine good of Divine love, which was in Him from conception, that the Lord in relation to His Human was Divine truth so long as He was in the world. This shows that the Lord alone was "the Anointed of Jehovah" essentially, and that kings were called "the anointed of Jehovah" representatively. Thence now it is that the Lord in relation to His Divine Human was called "Messiah" and "Christ," that is, "Anointed."

(References: Mark 14:61-62)


[9] This can also be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, therefore Jehovah hath anointed Me to proclaim good tidings unto the poor, He hath sent Me to bind up the broken in heart, to preach liberty to the captives, to the bound, to the blind, to proclaim the year of Jehovah's good pleasure, and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:1, 2).

This is plainly said of the Lord. The meaning is that the Lord Jehovih anointed His Divine Human "to proclaim good tidings unto the poor, and sent it to bind up the broken in heart," and so on, for all this the Lord accomplished from His Human (but the particulars may be seen explained above, n. 183, 375, 612).

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


[10] In David:

Why have the nations become tumultuous, and why have the peoples meditated vanity? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers took counsel together against Jehovah and against His Anointed. I have anointed My king upon Zion, the mountain of My holiness. I will declare the statute, Jehovah 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 uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and ye perish in the way, for His anger will shortly burn forth; blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Psalms 2:1-2, 6-8, 12).

Evidently "the Anointed of Jehovah" means here the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, for it is said, "Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee; kiss the Son lest ye perish; blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." In the sense of the letter this indeed is said of David, but in the Word "David" means the Lord in relation to Divine truth, or as a King (see above, n. 205. It is evident also that the Lord's coming and finally the Last Judgment by Him, and afterwards His sovereignty over all things of the world, are here treated of.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 205)


[11] The spiritual things that lie hidden and are signified in the particulars of this passage are as follows: "The nations have become tumultuous and the peoples have meditated vanity," signifies the state of the church and of the former heaven that was to pass away, "nations" meaning those who are in evils, and "peoples" those who are in falsities (see above n. 175, 331, 625); "the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers took counsel together, against Jehovah and against His Anointed," signifies the falsities of the church and its evils, as being utterly opposed to the Divine good and the Divine truth, and thus to the Lord, "the kings of the earth" meaning the falsities of the church, and the "rulers" its evils, "Jehovah" meaning the Lord in relation to the Divine itself, thus in relation to Divine good, and the "Anointed" the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, thus as to 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 Lord's Human in relation to Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of His Divine love, and thus His sovereignty over all things of heaven and the church, "Zion" and "the mountain of holiness" meaning heaven and the church; and thus all things of heaven and the church; "I will declare the statute" signifies an arcanum of the Divine providence and will; "Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee," signifies the Lord as the Anointed, Messiah, Christ, and King, thus in relation to His Human conceived and afterwards born of the Divine Itself, that is, 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 uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession," signifies His kingdom 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 by love; "lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way," signifies lest evils assault you and you be condemned, for "to be angry" when predicated of the Lord, signifies the turning away of men from Him, thus their anger and not the Lord's; and evils are what turn away, and then are angry; "for His anger will shortly burn forth" 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] In the same:

Thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured upon thy lips. Gird about thy sword upon the thigh, O Mighty One, in thy majesty and thy honor; and in thy honor mount, ride upon the word of truth and of meekness of righteousness, and thy right hand shall teach thee in wonderful things; thine arrows are sharp, the peoples shall fall under thee, enemies of the king from the heart. Thy throne, O God, is for an age and for eternity; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom; thou hast loved righteousness and hated evil; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows, with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, all thy garments. Kings' daughters are among thy precious ones; on thy right hand standeth the queen in the best gold of Ophir (Psalms 45:2-9).

It is clear from all the particulars in this psalm that this is said of the Lord, and consequently that He it is of whom it is said "God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of joy, with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and all thy garments." What this signifies can be seen from the series as follows, namely, that He has Divine wisdom and that from Him is the doctrine of Divine truth, is signified by "thou art fairer than the sons of men, grace is poured upon thy lips," "fair" signifies wisdom, "the sons of men" signify those who are intelligent in Divine truths, and "lips" signify doctrinals.

[15] The Lord's omnipotence from Divine truth proceeding from Divine good, and the consequent destruction of falsities and evils and the subjugation of the hells, is signified by "gird about the sword upon the thigh, O Mighty One, in majesty and in honor, and in thy honor mount, ride upon the word of truth; thy right hand shall teach thee in wonderful things, thine arrows are sharp, the peoples shall fall under thee, enemies of the king from the heart;" "sword" signifies truth combating against falsity and destroying it; "chariot," like as "the word of truth," signifies the doctrine of truth; "to ride" signifies to instruct and combat; "right hand" signifies omnipotence; "arrows" signify truths combating; "peoples" those who are in the falsities of evil; and "enemies of the king" those who are opposed to truths, thus the hells.

[16] That the kingdom and dominion would thus be His to eternity is signified by "Thy throne, O God, is for an age and for eternity; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom," "scepter of uprightness" meaning Divine truth which has power and sovereignty. That as He delivered the good from damnation by destroying the evil, therefore the Divine itself united itself to His Human, is signified by "thou hast loved righteousness and hated evil, therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows," "to love righteousness and to hate evil" signifying to deliver the good from damnation by destroying the evil, "to anoint with the oil of joy" signifying to unite Himself by victories in temptations, "God, thy God," signifying the reciprocal uniting 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" signifying good of the lowest degree, "aloes" good of the second degree, and "cassia" good of the third degree, like as these three spices when mixed with olive oil, out of which the "oil of holiness" for anointing was made (Exodus 30:23-24); and that "oil" signified the Divine good of the Divine love, and the "garments" that were anointed signified Divine truths.

(References: Exodus 30:23-25)


[18] That those who are of His kingdom have the spiritual affection of truth is signified by "kings' daughters are among thy precious ones," "kings' daughters" meaning the spiritual affections of truth, which are called "precious" when truths are genuine. That heaven and the church are under His protection and are conjoined to Him, because they are in love to Him from Him, is signified by "on thy right hand standeth the queen in the best gold of Ophir," "queen" signifying heaven and the church, "at the right hand" signifying under the Lord's protection from conjunction with Him, and "the 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, even to eternity will I establish thy seed, and will build up thy throne to generation and generation. Thou hast spoken in vision to thy 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 in pieces his adversaries before him, and will strike down them that hate him. I will set his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers; he shall call me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation; I will also make him the firstborn, high above the kings of the earth; and My covenant shall be steadfast for him; and I will set his seed forever, and his throne as the days of the heavens. Once have I sworn by My holiness, I will not deal falsely with David, his seed shall be to eternity, and his throne as the sun before Me, it shall be established as the moon to eternity, a faithful witness in the clouds (Psalms 89:3-4, 19-21, 23, 25-29, 35-37).

That by "David" here David is not meant, but the Lord as to His kingship, which is the Divine spiritual, and is called the Divine truth, is very evident from what 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 the hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers," and that "he shall call Jehovah his Father, and shall be the firstborn, high above the kings of the earth," with other things that could not be said of David, his sons and his throne. That "David" in the Word means the Lord may be seen above n. 205.

(References: 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 the Lord's Divine with the Human, "to make a covenant" signifying to be united, and "to swear" to confirm the union; "chosen" is predicated of good, and "servant" of truth. "Even to eternity will I establish thy seed, and will build up thy throne to generation and generation," signifies Divine truth, and heaven and the church from Him, "seed" meaning Divine truth and those who receive it, and "throne" heaven and the church.

[21] "Thou hast spoken in vision to thy holy one" signifies a prophetic arcanum respecting the Lord; "I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people," signifies Divine truth whereby Divine good operates all things, which is called "help upon one that is mighty," and elsewhere "the right hand of Jehovah;" Divine majesty and consequent power is signified by "the exalting 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 in relation to the Divine Human and union with the Divine Itself, which union is called in the Word of the New Testament glorification, and is meant by "being anointed with the oil of holiness," for "the oil of holiness" signifies the Divine good of Divine love, and "to be anointed" signifies to be united to 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, "hand" signifying the omnipotence of truth from good, and "arm" the omnipotence of good by means of truth; "I will beat in pieces his adversaries before him, and will strike down 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 sovereignty over all things of heaven and the church, for "seas and rivers" mean the ultimates of heaven, and ultimates signify all things.

[23] "He shall call 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 from Him, and afterwards born; and as the Lord's Human had therefrom Divine truth and Divine power He is also called "God" and "Rock of Salvation;" "I will also make him the firstborn, high above the kings of the earth," signifies that He is above every good and truth of heaven and the church, because goods and truths therein are from Him; "and My covenant shall be steadfast for him" signifies eternal union; "I will set his seed forever, and his throne as the days of the heavens," has the same signification here as above, "days of the heavens" meaning the states of the entire heaven, which are from His Divine.

[24] "Once have I sworn by My holiness, I will not deal falsely with David," signifies eternal confirmation, because from the Divine, respecting the Lord and the union of His Human with the Divine Itself; "His seed shall be to eternity, and his throne as the sun before Me, it shall be established as the moon to eternity," has a like signification as above, where "seed" and "throne" are mentioned; it is said "as the sun and moon," because eternity in respect to Divine good is predicated of the "sun," and in respect to Divine truth of the "moon," for these are signified by "sun and moon;" "a faithful witness in the clouds" signifies the acknowledgment and confession from the Word of the Divine in the Lord's Human; 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 labor; who sware unto Jehovah, and vowed unto 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 Ephrathah, we have found Him in the fields of the forest. We will go into His habitations, we will bow ourselves down at His footstool. Arise, O Jehovah, to Thy rest, Thou and the ark of Thy strength. Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy saints shout for joy; for Thy servant David's sake turn not back the face of Thine anointed. In Zion will I make the horn of David to bud; I will set in order a lamp for Mine anointed; his adversaries will I clothe with shame, but upon himself shall his crown flourish (Psalms 132:1-3, 5-10, 17-18).

Here, too, "David" and "Anointed or Christ" do not mean David, but the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, for it is said that "His habitations," that is, of the Mighty One of Jacob, "are found in Ephrathah," which is Bethlehem, and that they "would bow themselves down at His footstool;" but that this is so will be more evident in the explanation of the particulars in their order.

[26] "Who sware unto Jehovah, and vowed unto the Mighty One of Jacob," signifies irrevocable affirmation before the Lord, who is called "Jehovah" from the Divine in things first, and "Mighty One of Jacob" from the Divine in ultimates, in which is Divine power in its fullness; "surely I will not enter within the tent of my house, nor go upon the couch of my bed," signifies not to enter into and know the things that are of the church and its doctrine, "tent of the house" signifying 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 until I shall know about the Lord's coming, and the arcana of the union of His Human with the Divine; these in the highest sense are "a place for Jehovah" and "habitations" of the Lord's Divine Human.

[27] "Lo, we have heard of Him at Ephrathah, we have found Him in the fields of the forest," signifies both in the spiritual sense of the Word and in the natural, for "Ephrathah" and "Bethlehem" signify the spiritual-natural of the Word, and "fields of the forest" the natural of the Word, for there the Lord is found; "we will go into His habitations, we will bow ourselves down at His footstool," signifies that there He is found, for He is the Word; "His habitations" here mean the things of the spiritual sense of the Word, and thus the heavens, for these are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and "His footstool" means the things of the natural sense of the Word, and therefore the church, since in the church are Divine truths in their ultimates, which serve as a footstool for the spiritual things of the Word and of the heavens, thus for the Lord Himself who dwells therein.

[28] "Arise, O 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 consequent peace to all in heaven and in the church, "Jehovah's rest" meaning that union, and "the ark of His strength" heaven and the church; "let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Thy saints shout for joy," signifies worship from love for those who are in celestial good, and worship from charity for those who are in spiritual good, "priests" meaning those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom, while those who are in His 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 Lord's Human in relation to Divine truth, and "the anointed" signifies the same united to 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 in order a lamp for Mine anointed" signifies enlightenment of Divine truth from the union of the Divine and Human in the Lord, "lamp" meaning Divine truth in respect to enlightenment. "His adversaries will I clothe with shame" signifies the subjugation of the hells and the dispersion of the evils thence; "but upon himself shall his crown flourish" signifies perpetual and eternal victory over them.

[30] From the passages here cited from the Word it can be seen that the Lord is called "the Anointed," that is, the Messiah or the Christ, from the union of Divine good with Divine truth in His Human, for the Lord's Human from that union is meant by "the Anointed of Jehovah."

[31] Likewise 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 (1 Samuel 2:10).

This is a part of the prophetic song of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, before there was any king or anointed over Israel, therefore "King" and "Anointed" here mean the Lord, to whom "is given strength" and whose "horn is exalted" when the Divine is united to the Human, "strength" signifying 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 becomes more powerful.

[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, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations (Lamentations 4:20).

"The anointed of Jehovah" here means in the sense of the letter a king who was made captive, but in the spiritual sense it means the Lord, 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 rejected by those who are in the falsities of evil, "pits" meaning the falsities of doctrine; "to live under his shadow" signifies to be under the Lord's protection against the falsities of evil, which are meant by "nations."

[33] Since "the Anointed," "Messiah," or "Christ" signifies the Lord in relation to the Divine Human, thus in relation to Divine good united to Divine truth, so "anointing" signifies that union, respecting 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 14:7-11);

and elsewhere:

The Father and I are one; know ye and believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 10:30, 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 (Numbers 18:8).

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, respecting "anointings," namely, that the Lord alone, in relation to the Divine Human, was "the Anointed of Jehovah" because in Him was the Divine good of the Divine love, which was signified by "oil," and that all others anointed with oil were only representatives of Him. This has been said of "the Anointed of Jehovah," since "the Anointed of Jehovah" is the Christ, that it may be known that by "the Lord and His Christ" in this passage of Revelation two are not meant but one, that is, that they are one, as are "the Anointed of Jehovah" and "the Lord's Christ" in Luke 2:26.

(References: Numbers 18:9-19; Revelation 11:9-19; The Apocalypse Explained 375)


[34] Since the Lord is here treated of, to show why He was called "the Christ," that is, Messiah or Anointed, it is important to explain what is said of the Messiah in Daniel:

Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy city of holiness, to consummate the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. Know, therefore, and perceive that from the going forth of the Word even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem, even to Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks. After sixty and two weeks it shall be restored and built with street and moat, but in straitness of times. But after sixty and two weeks the Messiah shall be cut off, yet not for Himself. Then the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, so that its end shall be with an inundation, 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 last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation (Daniel 9:24-27).

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

[35] "To consummate the transgression and to seal up the sins and to expiate iniquity" signifies when there are nothing but falsities and evils in the church, thus when iniquity is fulfilled and consummated; for until this is done the end does not come, for reasons given in the small work on The Last Judgment; for if the end should come before, the simple good, who are conjoined as to externals with those who imitate and hypocritically make a show of truths and goods in externals, would be destroyed; therefore it is added "to bring in the righteousness of the ages," which signifies to save those who are in the good of faith and charity; "and to seal up vision and prophecy" signifies to fulfill 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 perceive from the going forth of the Word," signifies from the end of the Word of the Old Testament, since that was 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 the world; "even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem" signifies when a New Church was to be established, "Jerusalem" signifying that church, and "to build" 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 "Messiah" from the Divine Human, and "Prince" from Divine truth; "seven weeks" signify a full time and state.

[37] "After sixty and two weeks it shall be restored and built with street and moat" signifies the full time and state after His coming until the church with its truths and doctrine is established, "sixty" signifying a full time and state as to the implantation of truth, like as the number "three" or "six," and "two" signifying the same for the implantation of good, thus the "sixty and two" together signify the marriage of truth with a little good; "street" signifies the truth of doctrine, and "moat" doctrine. (What "street" signifies see above, n. 652; and "moat" or "pit," n. 537.) "But in straitness of times" signifies hardly and with difficulty, because with the Gentiles that have little perception of spiritual truth.

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


[38] "But after the sixty and two weeks" signifies after a full time and state of the church now established in respect to truth and to good; "the Messiah shall be cut off" signifies that they fall away from the Lord, which took place chiefly with the Babylonians, by their transferring the Lord's Divine power to the popes, and thus by not acknowledging the Divine in His Human; "yet 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 be destroyed by falsities, "city" signifying doctrine, "sanctuary" the church, and "the prince that shall come" the reigning falsity; "so that its end shall be with an inundation, and even unto the end of the war desolations are determined," signifies the falsification of truth, even until there is no combat between truth and falsity; "an inundation" signifying 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 mere falsity.

[40] "Yet He shall confirm a covenant for one week" signifies the time of the Reformation when the Word is 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 time 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 the Reformed there will be no truth and good in worship; "sacrifice" signifying worship from truths, and "meal offering" worship from goods, "the midst of the week" signifying not the midst of that time but the inmost of the state of the Reformed, for "midst" signifies inmost, and "week" a 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 there is no truth or good in the inmost of worship, for the inmost of worship is the good of charity, and from that the truth of faith proceeds.

[41] "At last upon the bird of abominations shall be 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 respecting the truths of the Word and the understanding of them, and this becomes "a bird of abominations" when there is no spiritual affection of truth, which enlightens truth and teaches it, but only a natural affection, which is for the sake of reputation, glory, honor, and gain, and as this affection is infernal it is abominable, since from it there are mere falsities; "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 or of faith, and when the Last Judgment takes place.

[42] That these last things in Daniel were predictions respecting 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 (Matthew 24:15).

For that chapter treats of the consummation of the age, thus of the successive vastation of the Christian church, therefore the devastation of that church is meant by these words in Daniel. (But what they signify in the spiritual sense has been explained in Arcana Coelestia 3652.) From this it can now be seen 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:

A promise was made to Simeon by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord (Luke 2:26).

(References: John 1:45, John 1:49; Revelation 11:15)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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


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


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