Commentary

 

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.

References:
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: www.spiritandlifebiblestudy.com

The Bible

 

Acts of the Apostles 20:16

English: King James Version         

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16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 195, 9013


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 519, 581, 619

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Word/Phrase Explanations

Asia
Asia, mentioned in 'Revelation 14', signifies those who from the Word are in the light of truth.

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #619

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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619. But in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey, signifies outwardly delightful. This is evident from the signification of "mouth," as being what is exterior; for this treats of the little book and eating it up, and "the little book" signifies the Word, and "eating it up" signifies perception and exploration; thence "the mouth," which first receives, means the external of the Word. It is evident also from the signification of "sweet as honey," as being the delight of natural good. The external of the Word was "sweet as honey," that is, thus delightful, because the external of the Word is such that it can be applied to any love whatever, or to any principle derived therefrom; and these can be confirmed by it. The external of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, is such because many things in it are written in accordance with the appearances presented to the natural man, and many appearances, when not interiorly understood, are fallacies, like the fallacies of the senses. Those, therefore, who love to live for the body and for the world, by means of these appearances draw over the external of the Word to confirm evils of life and falsities of faith.

(References: Revelation 10:9)


[2] This was done especially by the sons of Jacob, who applied all things of the Word to themselves, and from the sense of the letter they held the belief, and also maintain it to this day, that they were chosen in preference to others, and therefore were a holy nation; that their Jerusalem, the temple there, the ark, the altar, the sacrifices, with innumerable other things, were holy of themselves; they did not know, and did not wish to know, that the holiness of all those things proceeded solely from this, that they represented things Divine proceeding from the Lord that are called celestial and spiritual, and are the holy things of heaven and the church, and that to think that these are holy of themselves, and not because of the Divine things they represent, would be to falsify and adulterate the Word by applying it to themselves and to their own loves. It was similar with their belief respecting the Messiah, that he would be king of the world, and would raise them above all other nations and peoples throughout the globe; not to mention other things which they gathered from the mere sense of the letter of the Word, which to them were sweet as honey in the mouth. This is why the things in the spiritual sense of the Word are undelightful, for in that sense are the truths themselves which are not according to appearances; as that the Jewish nation itself was not holy, but worse than every other nation, consequently that it was not chosen; that the city of Jerusalem merely signifies the Lord's church and doctrine respecting Him and the holy things of heaven and the church; and that the temple, the ark, the altar, and the sacrifices represented the Lord and the holy things that proceed from Him, and that for this and no other reason were they holy. These are truths that are stored up inwardly in the sense of the letter of the Word, that is, in its internal spiritual sense; and these truths they deny, because, as was said, they have falsified and adulterated the Word in the sense of the letter; and these things therefore are undelightful to them, like foods that are bitter in the belly.

[3] It is said that the little book was "in the mouth sweet as honey," because "honey" signifies the delight of natural good; that "honey" signifies that delight can be seen from the following passages. In Ezekiel:

It was said to the prophet, Open wide thy mouth and eat that I give thee. And I saw and behold, a hand was put forth unto me, and lo, the roll of a book was therein; and when he had spread it before me it was written in front and behind, and written thereon were dirges, moaning, and woe. Then he said unto me, Son of man, eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. Then he said unto me, Feed thy belly and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee; and when I ate it, it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said, Go to the house of Israel and speak my words unto them (Ezekiel 2:8-10; 3:1-4).

These things involve things altogether similar to those in Revelation. The command to the prophet Ezekiel "to eat the roll of the book" involves something similar as the command to John "to eat the little book," namely, to explore how the Divine truth which is in the Word is yet received, perceived, and appropriated by those who are of the church; for the prophet Ezekiel and John represent the doctrine of truth and the Word, therefore the exploration was made with them. It was made by eating a book, because "to eat" signifies to perceive and thus to appropriate, as has been shown above; and when this has been ascertained, namely, how the Word was still perceived, it is said to the prophet Ezekiel that "he should go to the house of Israel and speak to them the words of God;" also to the prophet John that "he must prophesy," that is, still teach the Word in the church; and this because the book was perceived to be "in his mouth sweet as honey," that is, because the Word in the sense of the letter is still delightful, but for the reason that this sense can be applied to any principles of falsity and to any loves of evil, and can thus serve them in confirming the delights of the natural life separated from the delights of the spiritual life; and when these are separated they become mere delights of the loves of the body and of the world whence are principles of falsity from fallacies.

[4] In Isaiah:

A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name God-with-us. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to reject the evil and to choose the good (Isaiah 7:14, 15).

That this was said of the Lord is proved in Matthew (Matthew 1:23). Anyone can see that "butter and honey" do not mean here butter and honey, but something Divine corresponding to them, for it is added, "that He may know to reject the evil and to choose the good," and that is not known by eating butter and honey; but "butter" signifies the delight of spiritual good, and "honey" the delight of natural good, consequently the two signify the Lord's Divine spiritual and Divine natural, and thus His Human, interior and exterior. That the Lord's Human is meant can be seen from its being said that "a virgin shall conceive and bear a son;" and that it is Divine from its being said, "and shall call His name God-with-us," "to call a name" signifying the quality of a thing, here what the Divine is, for He was to be called "God-with-us."

(References: Isaiah 7:14-15)


[5] "Butter and honey" also signify the delight of spiritual and natural good in these words in the same chapter:

Butter and honey shall everyone eat that remains in the land (verse 22).

"That remains" mean those that are inwardly and also outwardly good from the Lord, consequently who receive the good proceeding from the Lord in truths; the blessedness therefrom of the internal or spiritual man, and also of the external or natural man, is signified by "butter and honey."

(References: Isaiah 7:22)


[6] In Job:

He shall suck the poison of asps; the viper's tongue shall slay him. He shall not see the streams, the flowings of the brooks of honey and butter (Acts of the Apostles 20:16, 17).

This is said of hypocrites who talk well and smoothly about God, about the neighbor, and about heaven and the church, and yet think altogether otherwise; and because they cunningly contrive by these means to captivate minds, although in heart they cherish what is infernal, it is said, "He shall suck the poison of asps, the viper's tongue shall slay him." That such have no delight in natural good or spiritual good is meant by "He shall not see the streams, the flowings of the brooks of honey and butter," "streams" meaning the things of intelligence, and "the flowings of the brooks of honey and butter," the things therefrom that are of affection and love, which are the very delights of heavenly life. Every delight of life that abides to eternity is a delight of spiritual good and truth, and from that a delight of natural good and truth; but hypocritical delight is a natural delight separate from spiritual delight, and this delight is turned in the other life into what is direfully infernal. Evidently "butter and honey" do not mean here butter and honey, for where, in the world, can there be found "flowings of brooks of honey and butter"?

(References: Acts of the Apostles 20:16-17; Job 20:16-17)


[7] "Milk and honey" have a similar signification as "butter and honey;" and as "milk" signifies the delight of spiritual good, and "honey" the delight of natural good, and these delights are with those who are of the Lord's church, therefore the land of Canaan, which signifies the church, was called:

A land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8, 17; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 13:27; 14:8; Deuteronomy 6:3; 11:9; 26:9, 15; 27:3; 31:20; Joshua 5:6; Jeremiah 11:5; 32:22; Ezekiel 20:6).

That in the Word "the land of Canaan" means the church has been shown above (n. 29, 304, 431); and the church is with those only who are in spiritual good and at the same time in natural good; in such the church is formed by the Lord; for the church is in man and not outside of him, consequently is not with those with whom these goods are not. These goods with their delights are signified by "milk and honey."

(References: Jeremiah 11:9; The Apocalypse Explained 29, 304, The Apocalypse Explained 431)


[8] There was also much honey in the land of Canaan at that time, because at that time the church of the Lord was there, as can be seen from the first book of Samuel, where it is said:

That they came into the forest, where there was honey upon the face of the ground, and there was a stream of honey, and Jonathan's eyes were opened by tasting the honey (1 Samuel 14:25-27, 29).

"Jonathan's eyes were opened by tasting the honey" because "honey" corresponds to natural good and its delight, and this good gives intelligence and enlightens, from which Jonathan knew that he had done evil; as we read in Isaiah, "He shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to reject the evil and to choose the good." For at that time correspondences exhibited their effects outwardly, since all things of the Israelitish Church consisted of correspondences, which represented and signified things celestial and spiritual.

[9] Again, "oil and honey" have a similar signification as "butter and honey" in the following passages. In Moses:

He made him to ride on the high places of the earth, and fed him with the produce of the fields; he made him to suck honey out of the cliff, and oil out of the flint of the rock (Deuteronomy 32:13).

This is in the song of Moses, which treats of the church in its beginning, and afterward in its progress, and finally in its end. Those that constituted the Ancient Church are described by these words, not those however who constituted the Israelitish Church, for these were evil from the beginning even to the end, as can be seen from their fathers in Egypt, and afterwards in the wilderness; but the Ancient Church, the men of which are meant by "their fathers," was that which the Lord "made to ride on the high places of the earth, and fed with the produce of the fields." That to these the good of natural love and the good of spiritual love with their delights were given by means of truths, from which they had their intelligence and according to which they lived, is signified by "he made him to suck honey out of the cliff, and oil out of the flint of the rock," "honey" signifying the delight of natural love, "oil," the delight of spiritual love, and "the cliff" and "the flint of the rock," truth from the Lord. (That "oil" signifies the good of love and charity, may be seen above, n. 375; and that "cliffs" and "rocks" signify truth from the Lord, n. 411, 443)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 375, 411, The Apocalypse Explained 443)


[10] In David:

I fed 1 them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock I satisfied them (Psalms 81:16).

"The fat of wheat" signifies the delight of spiritual good, and "honey out of the rock," the delight of natural good through truths from the Lord (as above). It is to be known that natural good is not good unless there is also spiritual good; for all good flows in through the spiritual man or mind into the natural man or mind, and so far as the natural man or mind receives the good of the spiritual man or mind so far man receives good; that there may be good there must be both, or the two sides, consequently natural good separated from spiritual good is in itself evil, although by man it is still perceived as good. Since there must be both, it is said in the passages cited and yet to be cited, "butter and honey," "milk and honey;" "fat and honey," as also "oil and honey;" and "butter," "milk," "fat," and "oil" signify the good of spiritual love, and "honey" the good of natural love, together with their delights.

[11] In Ezekiel:

Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver, and thy garments were fine linen and silk and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, honey, and oil, whence thou didst become exceeding beautiful, and didst prosper even to a kingdom. But my bread which I gave thee, and the fine flour and oil and honey with which I fed thee, thou didst set before idols as an odor of rest (Ezekiel 16:13, 19).

This is said about Jerusalem, which signifies the church, first the Ancient Church, and afterwards the Israelitish Church. Of the Ancient Church it is said "she was decked with gold and silver," which signifies the love of good and truth that the men of that Church had; "the garments of fine linen, silk, and broidered work," signify the knowledges of celestial, spiritual, and natural truth, "fine linen" signifying truth from a celestial origin, "silk" truth from a spiritual origin, and "broidered work" truth from a natural origin, which is called knowledge [scientificum]. "She ate fine flour, honey and oil," signifies the perception of natural and spiritual truth and good, and their appropriation, "to eat" signifying to be appropriated, "fine flour" truth, "honey" natural good, and "oil" spiritual good, which were appropriated to them by a life according to the truths above mentioned. "She became exceeding beautiful and prospered even to a kingdom" signifies to become intelligent and wise so as to constitute a church, "beauty" signifying intelligence and wisdom, and a "kingdom" the church. But of the Israelitish Church, which was merely in externals without internals, whence the men of that church were idolatrous, it is said that "they set the fine flour, honey, and oil before the images of a male, or idols, as an odor of rest," that is, they perverted the truths and goods of the church into falsities and evils, and thus profaned them.

[12] In the same:

Judah and the land of Israel were thy merchants in the wheats of Minnith and Pannag, and honey and oil and balsam they gave for thy merchandise (Ezekiel 27:17).

This is said of Tyre, which signifies the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good; so, too, "Tyre" signifies the knowledges of truth and good themselves belonging to the church; "oil and honey" have a similar signification as above. What is meant here in the spiritual sense by "Judah and the land of Israel," by "the wheats of Minnith and Pannag," and by "balsam," also by "the merchandise of Tyre," may be seen explained above n. 433.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 433)


[13] In Moses:

A land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths going forth from the valley and mountain; a land of wheat and barley, and of vine and fig-tree and pomegranate; and of olive oil and honey (Deuteronomy 8:7, 8).

This is said of the land of Canaan, which means the church which is in celestial, spiritual, and natural good, and in truths therefrom; but the contents of this verse are explained above (n. 3 74, 403), showing that "oil and honey" here signify the good of love in the internal or spiritual man and in the external or natural man.

(References: Deuteronomy 8:7-8; The Apocalypse Explained 374-403)


[14] In David:

The judgments of Jehovah are truth, they are righteous altogether; more desirable than gold and than much fine gold; and sweeter than honey and the dropping of honeycombs (Psalms 19:9, 10).

In the same:

I have not departed from Thy judgment; for Thou hast instructed me. How sweet are Thy words to my palate, more than honey to my mouth (Psalms 119:102, 103).

"Judgments" signify the truths and goods of worship, therefore it is said "the judgments of Jehovah are truth, they are righteous altogether;" "righteous" signifies the good of life and worship therefrom; and as good is also signified by "gold" and "fine gold," it is said that "they are more desirable than gold and than much fine gold," "gold" meaning celestial good, "fine gold" spiritual good, and "desirable" means what belongs to affection and love. Since the goods by which a man is affected are delightful it is said that they are "sweeter than honey and the dropping of honeycombs," and that "the words of Jehovah are sweet to the palate, more than honey to the mouth," "sweet" signifying what is delightful, "honey" natural good, and "the dropping of honeycombs" natural truth. And because "honey" means natural good, and the "mouth" signifies what is external, it is said "more than honey to my mouth," as in Revelation, that "the little book was sweet as honey in the mouth."

(References: Psalms 19:9-10, 119:102-103)


[15] In Luke:

Jesus said to the disciples, who believed that they saw a spirit, See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; feel of Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me having. Then He said to them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. And He took it and did eat it before them (Luke 24:39, 41-43).

From the series of these words regarded in the spiritual sense it is very evident that "honeycomb" and "honey" signify natural good, for the Lord disclosed to His disciples that He had glorified or made Divine His whole Human, even to its natural and sensual; this is signified by "hands and feet" and by "flesh and bones," which they saw and felt, "hands and feet" signifying the ultimate of man which is called the natural, "flesh" its good, and "bones" its truth; for all things that are in the human body correspond to spiritual things, the "flesh" corresponding to the good of the natural man, and the "bones" to its truths. (On this correspondence, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 87-102.) And this the Lord confirmed by eating before the disciples of the broiled fish and honeycomb; "the broiled fish" signifying the truth of good of the natural and sensual man, and "the honeycomb," the good of the truth of the same. The Lord, therefore, by letting them feel of Him, showed and confirmed that His whole Human, even to its ultimates, was glorified, that is, made Divine; and this He showed, too, by the eating, in that "He ate before them a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb."

[16] As "honey" signifies the good of the natural man, so also:

John the Baptist had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6).

For John the Baptist represented something similar as Elijah; wherefore it is also said that "Elijah should come," by whom John is meant. Elijah represented the Lord in relation to the Word, or the Word from the Lord; John had a similar representation; and as the Word teaches that the Messiah or the Lord was about to come, John was sent before to preach respecting the Lord's coming, according to the predictions in the Word. And as John represented the Word, therefore he represented the ultimates of the Word, which are natural, by his raiment and also by his food, namely, by his raiment of camel's hair and the leathern girdle about his loins; "camel's hair" signifying the ultimates of the natural man, such as are the exterior things of the Word, and "the leathern girdle about the loins," the external bond and connection of these with the interior things of the Word, which are spiritual. "Locust and wild honey" have a like signification, "locust" signifying the truth of the natural man, and "wild honey" its good. It is the same whether you say the truth and good of the natural man or natural truth and good, such as the Word is in its ultimate sense, which is called the sense of the letter or the natural sense, for this was what John represented by his raiment and food.

[17] That:

No leaven and no honey were to be offered in the offerings made by fire to Jehovah (Leviticus 2:11);

because "leaven" signifies the falsity of the natural man, and "honey" the delight of good of the natural man, and in the contrary sense the delight of its evil; this is also like leaven when it is mixed with such things as signify things interiorly holy, for natural delight draws its own from the delights of the love of self and of the world; and as the Israelitish nation was in such delights more than other nations, therefore they were forbidden to use honey in their sacrifices. (On the signification of "honey," as meaning the delight of the good of the natural man, see Arcana Coelestia 5650, 6857, 8056, 10137, 10530)

[18] That:

When Samson had rent the young lion he found in its carcass a swarm of bees and honey, when he was about to take a wife from the Philistine nation (Judges 14:8);

signified the dissipation of faith separated from charity, which the Philistine nation represented; for this reason the Philistines were called "uncircumcised," and this term signified that they were without spiritual love and charity and only in natural love, which is the love of self and of the world. Because such a faith destroys the good of charity it was represented by a young lion that attacked Samson with intent to tear him in pieces, but as Samson was a Nazirite, and by his Naziriteship represented the Lord in respect to His ultimate natural, he rent the lion, and afterwards found in its carcass "a swarm of bees and honey," and this signifies that when such faith has been dissipated, the good of charity succeeds in its place. The other things related of Samson in the book of Judges have a like signification; for there is nothing written in the Word that does not represent and signify such things as belong to heaven and the church, and these can be known only by a knowledge of correspondences, and thus from the spiritual sense of the Word.

-----
Footnotes:

1. Latin has "I fed," but "I would feed" is found in AC 5943; AR 314.

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(References: Revelation 10:9)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 613, 655

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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Saul and Jonathan
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3


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