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Arcana Coelestia #28

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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28. Verse 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas; and God saw that it was good.

It is very common in the Word for 'waters' to mean cognitions and facts, and consequently for 'seas' to mean a gathering together of them, as in Isaiah,

The earth will be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters covering the sea. Isaiah 11:9.

And in the same prophet, with reference to a lack of cognitions and facts,

The waters will dry up from the sea, the river will be parched and dry, and the streams will diminish. Isaiah 19:5-6.

In Haggai, with reference to a new Church,

I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory. Haggai 2:6-7.

And with reference to someone who is to be regenerated, in Zechariah,

There will be one day - it is known to Jehovah - not day and not night, for at evening time there will be light; and on that day living waters will flow out from Jerusalem, part of them to the eastern sea, and part of them to the western sea. Zechariah 14:7-8.

In David where the person is described who, having been vastated, is to be regenerated, and to worship the Lord, Jehovah does not despise His bound ones. Heaven and earth will praise Him, the seas and everything that creeps in them! Psalms 69:73, 34.

That 'the earth' means that which receives is seen in Zechariah,

Jehovah is He who stretches out the heavens, and founds the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. Zechariah 12:1.

(References: Psalms 69:33-34)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 991, 2161, 2240, 2466, 2674, 2681, 2702, 2761, 2762, 2832, 2850, 2967, 3083, 3419, 3426, 3693, 3708, 4017, 4255, 4735, 4876, 5313, 6015, 6297, 6384, 6385, 6723, 9050, 9325, 9653, 9688, 10217, 10235, 10238, 10240, 10416

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 209

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




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The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, receiving His love and being enlightened by His truth. And “nighttime,” obviously, represents states in which we are turned away from the Lord, left cold and blind to the truth. The most common word used for it in Swedenborg is “obscurity.”

The darkness is not absolute, of course. Swedenborg tells us that the light of the moon represents the understanding we can have based on facts and our own intelligence. But while the moon reflects some of the sun’s light, it offers almost no heat, so this kind of understanding is a cold one, without the warmth of love.

And at its darkest and coldest, night represents a state of judgment. This happens when a person – or a church – becomes so mired in evil and falsity that there is no light or heat. The Lord can then step in, separate the good from the evil, consign the evil to hell and begin rebuilding based on the remnant that is still good.

Drastic as that sounds, it is something that we all go through repeatedly in various aspects of our loves, so that we can be rid of what is evil and let the Lord rebuild us as angels.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 862, 1712, 2353, 5092, 6000, 7776, 7870, 8199; The Apocalypse Explained 401 [21])