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Arcana Coelestia #2159

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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2159. That 'servant' means the Lord's human before it was made Divine becomes clear from many places in the Prophets. The reason, which has been given frequently already, is this: The Lord's human, before He cast it off and made it Divine, was nothing else than a servant. His human came from the mother and was for that reason imperfect. From her it possessed a hereditary element which He overcame and utterly cast aside by means of the conflicts brought about by temptations. He did so even to the point when nothing was left of the imperfect and hereditary element received from the mother, indeed until at length nothing whatever from the mother remained. He cast off that which came from the mother so completely that He was no longer her son, as He also Himself declares in Mark,

They said to Jesus, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside, asking for You. And He answered them. saying, Who is My mother, or My brothers? And looking around on those who were sitting around Him He said, Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother, and My sister, and My mother. Mark 3:32-35; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:20-21.

(References: Matthew 12:46-49)


[2] Once He had cast off this human He put on the Divine Human, by virtue of which He called Himself the Son of Man, as may be seen many times in the New Testament Word, and also the Son of God. By 'the Son of Man' He meant truth itself and by 'the Son of God' good itself which belonged to His Human Essence once this had been made Divine. The former state was that of the Lord's humiliation but the latter that of His glorification, which has been dealt with already in 1999.

[3] In the former state, namely the state of humiliation, when He still had the imperfect human with Him, He worshipped Jehovah as one other than Himself, and was indeed like a servant, for the imperfect human is by comparison nothing else. In the Word also therefore that human is referred to as 'a servant', as in Isaiah,

I will protect this city to save it for My own sake and for the sake of David My servant. Isaiah 37:35.

This refers to the Assyrians in whose camp an angel slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand. 'David' stands for the Lord who, because He is yet to come, is, as regards the human, called 'a servant'. That 'David' in the Word stands for the Lord, see 1888.

[4] In the same prophet,

Behold, My servant on whom I will lean, My chosen [in whom] My soul is well pleased. I have put My spirit upon him; he will bring forth judgement to the nations. Isaiah 42:1.

This is a plain reference to the Lord, of whom, when He was in the human, the expressions 'servant' and 'chosen one' are used. In the same prophet,

Who is blind but My servant, and deaf as My angel 1 whom I will send? Who is blind as the perfect one, and blind as the servant or Jehovah? Isaiah 42:19.

This too is a reference to the Lord, of whom in a similar way, when He was in the human, the expressions 'servant' and 'angel' are used.

[5] In the same prophet,

You are My witnesses, said Jehovah, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Isaiah 43:10.

In the same prophet,

[Then] said Jehovah who formed me from the womb, to be a servant to Him, to bring back Jacob to Him, and that Israel might be gathered to Him - He said, It is a light thing that you should be a servant to Me to raise up the tribes of Jacob. I have given you as a light of the nations, to be My salvation right to the ends of the earth. Isaiah 49:5-6.

This too is a plain reference to the Lord and to His human before it was made 'a light of the nations' and 'a salvation to the ends of the earth'. In the same prophet,

Who among you fears Jehovah, hearkens to the voice of His servant who walks in darkness and has no brightness? Let him trust in the name of Jehovah and lean on his God. Isaiah 50:10.

'Servant' again stands for the Lord's human. His teaching of the way of truth, while He was in that Human, is meant by 'the voice of Jehovah's servant'.

[6] In the same prophet,

Jehovah goes before you, and the God of Israel gathers you up. Behold, My servant will deal wisely; he will be raised up and exalted and lifted up very high. Isaiah 52:12-13.

'Servant' is clearly used in reference to the Lord when He was in the human, because it is said of Him that He will be raised up, exalted, and lifted up. In the same prophet,

He had no form and no honour. We saw him, but there was no beauty in him. He was despised, a man of sorrows, acquainted with sickness. Jehovah was willing to bruise him and make him imperfect. If he makes his soul guilt he will see his seed he will prolong his days, and the will of Jehovah will prosper by his hand. He will see [the fruit of] the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge will the righteous one My servant make many righteous; and He has borne their iniquities. Isaiah 53:2-3, 10-11.

Here reference is openly made, as in the whole of this chapter, to the Lord's state of humiliation. The fact that in that state He was in the imperfect human is also declared, namely in the statements that He was 'a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief', 'was made imperfect', and experienced 'the travail of his soul', besides many other statements, in which state He is referred to as 'a servant'.

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Footnotes:

1. or messenger

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(References: Genesis 18:3)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2265, 2320, 2658, 3025, 3036, 3318, 3703, 3704, 4563, 4809, 5045, 6984, 8281, 8649, 9309, 9315, 9528

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 201, 300, 302, 310


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 32, 242

Other New Christian Commentary

Servant 1


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

From Swedenborg's Works

Arcana Coelestia #3318

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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3318. 'And he was weary' means a state of conflict. This becomes clear from the meaning of 'weary' or weariness as the state following conflict. Here however, because the subject is a state of conflict in which good and truth within the natural man are joined together, the state of conflict itself is meant. As regards 'weary' here meaning a state of conflict, this is not apparent except from the train of thought in the internal sense, and in particular from the fact that without conflicts, or what amounts to the same, without temptations, good is unable to be joined to truth in the natural man.

[2] So that the nature of this state may be known - though only as man experiences it - let a brief statement be made regarding it. Man is nothing other than an organ or vessel which receives life from the Lord, for man does not live of himself, 290, 1954, 2021, 2536, 2706, 2886-2889, 3001. The life flowing in with man from the Lord comes from His Divine Love. This Love, that is, the life from it, flows in and applies itself to the vessels that are in man's rational and that are in his natural. On account of the hereditary evil into which man is born, and on account of the evil of his own doing which man acquires to himself, these vessels with him are set the wrong way round for receiving that life. But insofar as it is possible for this inflowing life to do so, it resets those vessels to receive it. These vessels within the rational man and within his natural are such as are called truths. In themselves they are nothing else than perceptions of the variations in form possessed by those vessels and of the changes of state which in different ways give rise to those variations, which are produced in the most delicate of organic substances, and in ways that defy description, 2487. Good itself, which possesses life from the Lord, that is, which is life, is that which flows in and resets them.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2886-3001)


[3] When therefore those vessels, varying in the forms they take, are set and turned, as has been stated, the wrong way round for inflowing life, they clearly have to be re-positioned to receive that life, that is, to be controlled by it. This cannot possibly be effected as long as the person remains in that condition into which he was born or which he has brought upon himself. Indeed at that time they are unsubmissive because they resolutely withstand and harden themselves against the heavenly order governing the way that life acts. Indeed the good which moves them, and to which they are subservient, is that which stems from self-love and love of the world. From the dull warmth it contains that good makes these vessels what they are. Consequently before they can be made submissive and capable of receiving any of the life that belongs to the Lord's love, they have to be softened. The only ways that such softening can be achieved is by temptations, for temptations take away the things that constitute self-love and contempt for others in comparison with oneself, consequently that constitute self-glory, and also hatred and revenge on account of that. When therefore they have to some extent been subdued and mellowed by means of temptations those vessels start to become yielding and compliant to the life which belongs to the Lord's love and which is constantly flowing in with man.

[4] From this point onwards good, first of all in the rational man and then in the natural, starts to be joined to the truths there, for as has been stated, truths are nothing else than perceptions of the variations in form which are determined by the states that are changing all the time - those perceptions being a product of the life that is flowing in. This is the reason why a person is regenerated, that is, is made new, by means of temptations, or what amounts to the same, by means of spiritual conflicts, and after that receives an inward disposition different from before, that is to say, becomes gentle, humble, single-minded, and contrite at heart. From these considerations one may now see the use served by temptations, which is that good from the Lord may not only flow in but also render the vessels subservient and so join itself to them. For truths are the recipient vessels of good, see 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2261, 2269. Here therefore, since the subject is the joining together of good and truth in the natural man, and since the first stage of that conjunction comes about through the conflicts brought about by temptations, 'he was weary' clearly means a state of conflict.

[5] As for the Lord however, who is the subject here in the highest sense, He so imposed Divine order on everything within Himself by means of the very severe conflicts that went with temptations that nothing remained of the human He had derived from the mother, 1444, 1573, 2159, 2574, 2649, 3036, so that He was not made new as any other human being but was made altogether Divine. For man, who is made new through regeneration, nevertheless retains within himself the inclination towards evil; indeed he retains the evil itself but is withheld from it by the influx of the life that is the life of the Lord's love, and by an extremely powerful force. But the Lord cast out completely everything evil that was His by heredity from the mother and made Himself Divine, doing so even as to the vessels, that is, as to the truths. This is what in the Word is called Glorification.

(References: Genesis 25:29)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3321, 3324, 3381, 3607, 3726, 3927, 4166, 4182, 4248, 4287, 4341, 5084, 5135, 5605, 5618, 5847, 6505, 8530, 8924, 9276, 9315, 9325, 9482, 9528, 9682, 9922, 10203

Heaven and Hell 603

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 23, 27, 199, 201, 277, 278, 302


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 70, 324, 893

Other New Christian Commentary

Vessels of Life 1

Weary 1

Weariness 1

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