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


Leviticus 23:10

English: King James Version         

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10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Leviticus 23      

By Henry MacLagan

On the successive states of the regenerate life in general, involving states of conflict against evil succeeded by states of rest.

The first subordinate state is one of deliverance from evil, involving the interior reception of truth conjoined with good, purification, and the arrangement of truths under good. Verses 4-8.

The second subordinate state is that of the implantation of truth in good. Verses 9-22.

Concerning revelation in consequence. Verses 23-25.

Also concerning the plenary removal of evil in consequence. Verses 26-32.

The third subordinate state is that of the implantation of good, involving gladness and joy of heart in all completeness and holiness, with states of peace and rest from the lowest principles to the highest, which are perpetually renewed. Verses 33-34.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2177, 9223, 9295, 10083, 10137, 10303

Apocalypse Revealed 623

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 865

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

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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.

 Eating the Passover
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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Color the pictures of the Children of Israel celebrating this feast, then attach the pictures together to display.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

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Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

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When you say the blessing, you are thanking the Lord for everything that He gives you, including your useful hands.
Story | Ages 4 - 6

From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #2177

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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2177. That 'meal of fine flour' means the spiritual and celestial ingredients [of the rational] which were present at that time with the Lord, and 'cakes' the same when both had been joined together, is quite clear from the sacrifices of the representative Church and from the minchah presented at the same time, which consisted of fine flour mixed with oil and made into cakes. Representative worship consisted primarily in burnt offerings and sacrifices. What these represented has been stated above where 'bread' was the subject, in 2165, namely the celestial things of the Lord's kingdom in heaven and of the Lord's kingdom on earth, which is the Church, and also the things of the Lord's kingdom or Church as it exists with every individual, and in general everything that is in essence love and charity, since these are celestial entities. In those times all the sacrifices were called 'bread'. Along with those sacrifices a minchah was included - which, as has been stated, consisted of fine flour mixed with oil to which also incense was added - and also a wine-offering.

[2] What these latter represented becomes clear too, namely things similar to those represented by sacrifices but of a lower order, thus the things which belong to the spiritual Church, and also those which belong to the external Church. It may become clear to anyone that such things would never have been prescribed unless they had represented Divine things, and also that each one represented some specific thing. For unless they had represented Divine things they would have been no different from similar things found among gentiles, among whom also there were sacrifices, minchahs, libations, and incense, as well as perpetual fires and many other things which had come down to them from the Ancient Church, especially from the Hebrew Church. But because they were separated from the internal, that is, the Divine things represented by them, those external forms of worship were nothing but idolatrous, as they also came to be among the Jews, who likewise sank into all kinds of idolatry. From this it may become clear to anyone that heavenly arcana were present within every form of ritual, especially so within the sacrifices and every detail of them.

[3] As regards the minchah, the nature of it and how it was to be made into cakes is described in a whole chapter in Moses - in Leviticus 2; also Numbers 15, and elsewhere. The law regarding the minchah is described in Leviticus in the following words,

Fire shall be kept burning unceasingly on the altar; it shall not be put out. And this is the law of the minchah: Aaron's sons shall bring it before Jehovah to the front of the altar, and he shall take up from it a fistful of fine flour of the minchah and of the oil of it and all the frankincense which is on the minchah, and he shall burn it on the altar; it is an odour of rest for a memorial to Jehovah. And the rest of it Aaron and his sons shall eat. Unleavened bread shall be eaten in a holy place. In the court of the tent of meeting shall they eat it. It shall not be cooked leavened; I have given it as their portion from My fire-offerings; it is most holy. Leviticus 6:13-17.

(References: Numbers 15:2-15)

[4] The fire which was to be kept burning unceasingly on the altar represented the Lord's love, that is, His mercy, which is constant and eternal. 'Fire' in the Word means love, see 934, and therefore 'the fire-offerings made for an odour of rest' means the good pleasure which the Lord takes in those things that belong to love and charity. That 'odour' means good pleasure, that is, that which is pleasing, see 925, 1519. Their 'taking a fistful' represented their being required to love with all their soul or strength, for 'the hand' or 'the palm' of the hand means power, as shown in 878, from which 'the fist' also means the same. 'The fine flour together with the oil and the frankincense' represented all things of charity - 'fine flour' the spiritual ingredient of it, 'oil' the celestial, and 'frankincense' that which was in this manner pleasing. That 'fine flour' represents the spiritual ingredient is evident from what has just been stated and from what is stated below. That 'oil' represents the celestial ingredient, or the good or charity, see 886, and that 'frankincense' on account of its odour represents that which is pleasing and acceptable, 925.

(References: Leviticus 2:4-16)

[5] Its being 'unleavened bread' or not fermented means that it was to be genuine, thus something offered from genuineness of heart and having no uncleanness. The eating of the rest by Aaron and his sons represented man's reciprocation and his making it his own, and thus represented conjunction by means of love and charity; and it is for this reason that they were commanded to eat it 'in a holy place'. Hence it is called something most holy. These were the things which were represented by the minchah. It was also the way in which the representatives themselves were perceived in heaven; and when the member of the Church understood them in the same way his ideas were like the perception which the angels possess, so that he was in the Lord's kingdom in heaven even though he was on earth.

[6] For more about the minchah - what it was to consist of in any particular kind of sacrifice; the way in which it was to be baked into cakes; what kind was to be offered by those who were being cleansed, and also what kinds on other occasions (all of which would take too long to introduce and explain here) - see what is said about it in Exodus 29:39-41; Leviticus 5:11-13; 6:16-17, 19-21; 10:12-13; 23:10-13, 6, 17; Numbers 5:15 and following verses; 6:15-17, 19-20; 7: in various places; 28:5, 8, 9, 12-13, 20-21, 28-29; 29:3-4, 9-10, 14-15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 37

(References: Leviticus 6:14-21, 6:14-23, 23:16-17; Numbers 7:1, Numbers 28:7)

[7] 'Fine flour made into cakes' had in general the same representation as bread, namely the celestial ingredient of love, while 'meals represented its spiritual ingredient, as becomes clear in the places indicated above. The loaves which were called 'the bread of the Presence' or 'the shewbread' consisted of fine flour, which was made into cakes and placed on the table to provide an unceasing representation of the Lord's love, that is, of His mercy, towards the whole human race, and man's reciprocation. These loaves are spoken of in Moses as follows,

You shall take fine pour and bake it into twelve cakes; two-tenths [of an ephah] shall there be in one cake And you shall place them in two rows, six in a row, on the clean table before Jehovah. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, and it shall be bread serving as a memorial, a fire-offering to Jehovah. Every sabbath day [Aaron] shall set it out in order before Jehovah continually; it is from the children of Israel as an eternal covenant. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, for it is to him the most holy of fire-offerings to Jehovah, by an eternal statute. Leviticus 24:5-9.

Every item and smallest detail mentioned here represented the holiness of love and charity, 'fine flour' having the same representation as meal of fine flour, namely that which is celestial and that which is spiritual that goes with it, and 'cake' the two when joined together.

[8] From this it is clear what the holiness of the Word is to those who possess heavenly ideas, and indeed what holiness was present within this particular representative observance, on account of which it is called 'most holy'. It is also clear how devoid of holiness the Word is to those who imagine that it does not have anything heavenly within it and who keep solely to externals. Exemplifying the latter are those who in the present verse under consideration perceive 'the meal' to be merely meal, 'the fine flour' merely fine flour, and 'the cake' merely a cake, and who imagine that these things have been stated without each one that is mentioned embodying something of the Divine within it. Their attitude is similar to that of those who imagine that the bread and wine of the Holy Supper are no more than a certain religious observance that does not have anything holy within it. Yet in fact it possesses such holiness that the minds of men are linked by means of it to the minds of those in heaven, when from an internal affection they think that the bread and wine mean the Lord's love and man's reciprocation, and by virtue of that interior thought and affection they abide in holiness.

[9] Much the same was implied by the requirement that when the children of Israel entered the land they were to present as a heave-offering to Jehovah a cake made from the first of their dough, Numbers 15:20. The fact that such things are meant is also evident in the Prophets, from' among whom for the moment let this one place in Ezekiel be introduced here,

You were adorned with gold and silver, and your raiment was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey, and oil. You became exceedingly beautiful, and attained to a kingdom. Ezekiel 16:13.

This refers to Jerusalem, by which is meant the Church, which Church in its earliest days bore an appearance such as this, that is to say, the Ancient Church, which is described by means of raiment and many other adornments. Its affections for truth and good are also described by 'the fine flour, honey, and oil'. It may become clear to anyone that all these details mean in the internal sense something altogether different from what they do in the sense of the letter. And the same applies to Abraham's saying to Sarah, 'Take quickly three measures of meal of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes'. That 'three' means things that are holy has been shown already in 720, 901.

(References: Genesis 18:6)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2180, 2183, 2187, 2228, 2342, 3104, 3168, 3316, 3332, 3464, 3544, 3579, 3580, 3734, 3813, 3863, 3880, 4211, 4334, 4581, 4677, 4745, 4844, 4876, 4958, 5078, 5365, 5405, 5673, 5701, 5959, 6106, 6135, 6377, 6409, 6791, 7356, 7850, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 218

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 245

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