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Arcana Coelestia #3623

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3623. 'What would life hold for me?' means, and so there would not be any conjunction. This is clear from the meaning of 'life' as conjunction by means of truths and goods. For when it was not possible for any truth from a common stem or genuine source to be joined to natural truth, there could not be any alliance of the natural to the truth of the rational, in which case it seemed to the rational as though its own life were no life, 3493, 3620. This is why here 'what would life hold for me?' means, and so there would not be any conjunction. Here and in other places the word 'life' in the original language is plural, and the reason for this is that in man there are two powers of life. The first is called the understanding and is the receptacle of truth, the second is called the will and is the receptacle of good. These two forms or powers of life make one when the understanding is rooted in the will, or what amounts to the same, when truth is grounded in good. This explains why in Hebrew the noun 'life' is sometimes singular, sometimes plural. The plural form of that noun is used in all the following places, Jehovah God formed the man, dust from the ground; and He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7. Jehovah God caused to spring up out of the ground every tree desirable to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life in the middle of the garden. Genesis 2:9. Behold, I am bringing a flood of waters over the earth, to destroy all flesh in which there is the spirit of life. Genesis 6:17.

They went in to Noah into the ark, two by two from all flesh in which there is the spirit of life. Genesis 7:15 (in 780).

Everything which had the breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils breathed its last. Genesis 7:12.

In David,

I believe [I am going] to see the goodness of Jehovah in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13.

In the same author,

Who is the man who desires life, who loves [many] days, that he may see good? Psalms 34:12

In the same author,

With You, O Jehovah, is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light. Psalms 36:9.

In Malachi,

My covenant with Levi was [a covenant] of life and peace. Malachi 2:5.

In Jeremiah,

Thus said Jehovah, Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. Jeremiah 21:8.

In Moses,

To love Jehovah your God, to obey His voice, and to cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days, so that you may dwell in the land. Deuteronomy 30:20.

In the same author,

It is not an empty word from you; for it is your life, and through this word you will prolong your days in the land. Deuteronomy 32:47.

And in other places too the plural form of the noun 'life' is used in the original language because, as has been stated, there are two kinds of life which yet make one. It is similar with the word 'heavens' in the Hebrew language, in that the heavens are many and yet make one, or like the expression 'waters' above and below, in Genesis 1:7-9 , by which spiritual things in the rational and in the natural are meant which ought to be one through being joined together. As for the plural form of 'life', when this is used both the life of the will and that of the understanding are meant, and therefore both the life of good and that of truth are meant. For man's life consists in nothing else than good and truth which hold life from the Lord within them. Devoid of good and truth, and of the life which these hold within them, no one is human. For devoid of these no one would ever have been able to will or to think anything. Everything that a person wills originates in good or in that which is not good, and everything he thinks originates in truth or in that which is not truth. Consequently man possesses two kinds of life and these make one when his thinking flows from his willing, that is, when truth which is the truth of faith flows from good which is the good of love.

(References: Genesis 1:6-9, 1:6-7, 1:9, 6:22, 7:22, 27:46)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3671, 3969, 4618, 9061, 9325, 9596

The Last Judgment 39

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 24, 35, 48, 120, 121, 246

Other New Christian Commentary

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



Upon or over      

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'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

(References: Apocalypse Revealed 900)