261 - Daily and Yearly Preparation for Heaven      

By Jonathan Rose

This video is a part of the Spirit and Life Bible Study series, whose purpose is to look at the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible through a Swedenborgian lens.

Title: Daily and Yearly Preparation for Heaven

Topic: Salvation

Summary: The daily sacrifices, weekly sabbaths, and three annual feasts prescribed in the Old Testament are a picture of how to prepare for heaven.

Use the reference links below to follow along in the Bible as you watch.

2 Peter 2:22, 10
Numbers 28:1
Exodus 23:14, 17
Leviticus 23:1, 5, 10, 33
Deuteronomy 16:1, 9, 13-14
Luke 6:1
Acts of the Apostles 2:1; 20:16
Nehemiah 8:13-14
Ezekiel 45:21, 25
Zechariah 14:16
John 7:2, 37

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Spirit and Life Bible Study broadcast from 5/4/2016. The complete series is available at:

The Bible


2 Peter 2:10

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10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

True Christian Religion 327

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

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From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #3941

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3941. 'Reuben went in the days of the wheat harvest' means faith in regard to its state of love and charity. This is clear from the representation of 'Reuben' as faith, which is the first stage of regeneration, dealt with in 3862, 3866; from the meaning of 'days' as states, dealt with in 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785; and from the meaning of 'wheat' as love and charity, dealt with below - 'wheat harvest' therefore meaning a developing state of love and charity. Jacob's four sons by the servant-girls have portrayed the various means by which the external man is joined to the internal man. Now his remaining four sons portray the actual joining together of good and truth, on account of which reference is made first of all to 'dudaim', by which that joining together or conjugial relationship is meant. The reason why 'wheat harvest' means a developing state of love and charity is that 'the field' means the Church and so the things that constitute the Church, while the seeds sown in it mean the germs of good and truth. And what springs up from those seeds, such as wheat, barley, and many other crops, are the fruits of love and charity, and also of faith. The states of the Church so far as those things are concerned are therefore compared to seedtime and harvest, and are also actually called seedtime and harvest, as in Genesis 8:22 - see 932.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 487-488, 3861)

[2] That 'wheat' means the things which constitute love and charity may also be seen from the following places: In Moses,

Jehovah causes him to ride over the heights of the land and He feeds [him] with the produce of the fields, causes him to suck honey out of the crag, and oil out of the stony rock - butter from the cattle, and milk from the flock, with the fat of lambs and rams, the breed 1 of Bashan, and of goats, with the kidney-fat of wheat; and of the blood of the grape you drink unmixed wine. Deuteronomy 32:13-14.

This refers in the internal sense to the Ancient Church and its state when it was established, every aspect of love and charity, and every aspect of faith there, being described by means of things that have spiritual meanings. 'The kidney-fat of wheat' means the celestial side of love and charity. And because 'fat' or 'fatness' means that which is celestial, 353, and 'wheat' means love, the two words are therefore linked together in various places in the Word, as also in David,

O that My people were obedient to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! He would feed them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock I will satisfy you. Psalms 81:13, 16.

And elsewhere in the same author,

Jehovah is the one who makes peace your border; with the fat of wheat He satisfies you. Psalms 147:14.

[3] That 'wheat' means love and charity is evident in Jeremiah,

Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trampled down the portion of My field, they have rendered the portion of My field into a lonely wilderness. On all the hills in the wilderness those who cause devastation have come, for the sword of Jehovah is devouring from one end of the land even to the other end of the land. There is no peace for any flesh. They have sown wheat and reaped thorns. Jeremiah 12:10, 12-13.

'Vineyard' and 'the field' stand for the Church, 'a lonely wilderness' for the vastation of it, 'a devouring sword' for the vastation of truth, 'no peace' for the absence of good stirring the affections, 'sowing wheat' for forms of good which are the product of love and charity, 'sowing thorns' for evils and falsities which are the result of self-love and love of the world. For 'vineyard' means the spiritual Church, 1069; 'the field' the Church as regards good, 2971; 'wilderness' vastation, 1927, 2708; 'a devouring sword' vastation of truth, 2799; 'peace' good that stirs the affections, 3780.

[4] In Joel,

The field has been laid waste, the ground has been mourning because the grain has been laid waste, the new wine has failed, the oil languishes. Farmers have been put to shame, vinedressers have wailed over the wheat and over the barley, because the harvest of the field has perished. Gird yourselves and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar. Joel 1:10-11, 13.

It is evident to anyone that here the state of the Church when it has been vastated is what is described, and this being so, that 'the field' and 'the ground' mean the Church, 'the grain' its good, and 'the new wine' its truth, 3580, while 'wheat' means celestial love, 'barley' spiritual love. And since the state of the Church is the subject, the call to 'gird yourselves and lament, O priests, and wail, O ministers of the altar' is used.

[5] In Ezekiel,

The Spirit of Jehovah addressing the prophet, Take for yourself wheat and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them into a single vessel, and make them for yourself into bread. With human excrement you shall make a cake before their eyes. Thus shall the children of Israel eat their unclean bread. Ezekiel 4:9, 12-13.

This refers to the defilement of good and truth. 'Wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, spelt' stands for different kinds of good and of truth derived from good. 'Bread' or a cake made from these together with human excrement stands for the defilement of them all.

[6] In John,

I saw, and behold, a black horse, and the one seated on it held a balance in his hand I heard a voice from the midst of the four living creatures saying, A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenices of barley for a denarius; but do no harm to oil and wine. Revelation 6:5-6.

This too refers to the vastation of good and truth. 'A choenix of wheat for a denarius' stands for a scarcity of love, 'three choenices of wheat for a denarius' for a scarcity of charity.

[7] In Ezekiel,

Judah and the land of Israel, they were your merchants. Wheat of minnith and pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm, they exchanged for your tracings. Ezekiel 27:17.

This refers to Tyre, which means the cognitions of good and truth. The goods of love and charity, and the happiness they bring, are meant by 'wheat of minnith and pannag, and honey, oil, and balm'. 'Judah' means the celestial Church, 'the land of Israel' the spiritual, which are the source of those goods. 'Tracings' means acquisitions.

[8] In Moses,

A land of wheat and barley, and of the vine and of the fig and of the pomegranate, a land of olive oil and honey. Deuteronomy 8:8.

This is a description of the land of Canaan, which in the internal sense means the Lord's kingdom, 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607, 3038, 3705. Forms of good which are the product of love and charity in that kingdom are meant by 'wheat and barley', forms of good which are the product of faith by 'the vine and the fig'.

[9] In Matthew,

Whose fan is in His hand, and He will purge His threshing-floor and gather His wheat into the granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17.

John the Baptist referred in this way to the Lord. 'Wheat' stands for the goods of love and charity, 'chaff' for those things which do not have any good at all within them. In the same gospel,

Let both grow together until the harvest; and at the time of harvest I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to burn them but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:30.

'Weeds' stands for evils and falsities, 'wheat' for goods. These are comparisons, but all comparisons in the Word are made through the use of things that carry a spiritual meaning.


1. literally, sons


(References: Genesis 30:14-16)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 7605, 9139, 9146, 9995, 10184

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 218

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 365

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