From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #8455

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8455. 'There was a deposit of dew around the camp' means the truth of peace attaching itself. This is clear from the meaning of 'dew' as the truth of peace, dealt with in 3579. The reason why 'dew' means the truth of peace is that it comes down in the morning from heaven or the sky and on grassland looks like a light shower of rain. But also it holds a certain sweetness or pleasantness, more so than a shower of rain does, and causes grass and crops in the field to rejoice. And 'morning' is a state of peace, 2780. For what peace is, see 2780, 3696, 4681, 5662, where it is said to be like the dawn on earth, which fills people's minds with overall delight. And the truth of peace is like the light of dawn. This truth which is being called the truth of peace is the Divine Truth itself present in heaven and coming from the Lord; it influences all there without exception, and causes heaven to be heaven. Peace holds within itself trust in the Lord, the trust that He governs all things and provides all things, and that He leads towards an end that is good. When a person believes these things about Him he is at peace, since he fears nothing and no anxiety about things to come disturbs him. How far a person attains this state depends on how far he attains love to the Lord.

[2] Everything bad, especially trust in self, takes away the state of peace. People think that someone bad is at peace when he is calm and cheerful because everything is going right for him. But this is not peace, it is the calm and delight belonging to evil desires that merely simulates the state of peace. This delight, being the opposite of the delight belonging to peace, turns to undelight in the next life, for that is what lies hidden within it. In the next life outward things are rolled away one layer after another through to inmost things at the centre. Peace is at the centre of all delight, even of the undelight of a person governed by good. So far therefore as he casts off what is external the state of peace is revealed and he is filled with bliss, blessedness, and happiness, the source of which is the Lord Himself.

[3] Regarding the state of peace that exists in heaven one may say it is such that no words can describe it; nor can any idea of a worldly origin enable it to enter a person's thought and perception, as long as he is in the world. It transcends all his awareness then. Calmness of mind, contentment, and cheerfulness because things are going right are nothing in comparison, for these affect only the outward parts of the mind. But peace affects the inmost parts of all; it affects the primary substances, and the beginnings of substances as they exist with a person, and from these it spreads and pours itself out into parts formed from those substances and beginnings of them. It brings a lovely feeling into them; it brings bliss and happiness to the parts where his ideas form, consequently to his ends in life, and so makes his mind into a heaven.

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

From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #3579

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3579. 'And God will give to you of the dew of heaven' means from Divine Truth; 'and of the fatness of the land' means from Divine Good. This is clear from the meaning of 'the dew of heaven' as truth, dealt with below, and from the meaning of 'fatness' as good, dealt with in 353. In the highest sense in which they have reference to the Lord both are Divine. As for the multiplication of truth and the fruitfulness of good, they involve this: When the rational flows into the natural its own good presented by it in the natural appears in a general form. Through this good it produces truths there, almost in the way that life develops tissues in man and organizes them into different forms according to the functions they perform. By means of these truths organized into a heavenly order, this good produces further good, and through this further truths, which are derivatives. It is possible to have a natural idea such as this concerning the formation of truth from good, and of further good through that truth, through which yet again truth is formed. But it is not possible for anyone to have a spiritual idea except those in the next life, for in that life ideas are formed from the light of heaven, which light holds intelligence within it.

[2] As regards 'the dew' meaning truth, this too is clear from other places in the Word, as in Zechariah,

The seed of peace, the vine will give its fruit, and the land will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew. Zechariah 8:12.

This refers to a new Church. 'The vine will give its fruit' stands for the fact that the spiritual element of the Church, which is the truth of faith, will yield good, while 'the land will give its increase' stands for the fact that the celestial element of the Church, which is the good of charity, will yield truth, 'the dew which the heavens will give' being that good and truth. In Haggai,

Because of My house which lies waste the heavens above you have withheld their dew, and the earth has withheld its increase. Haggai 1:9-10.

'The dew of the heavens' and 'the increase of the earth' which were held back stand for similar things.

[3] In David,

From the womb of the dawn You have the dew of Your nativity. Psalms 110:3-4.

This refers to the Lord. 'The dew of nativity' stands for the celestial element of love. In Moses,

Blessed by Jehovah is his land, of the precious things of heaven, of the dew, of the deep also Lying below. Deuteronomy 33:13.

This refers to Joseph. 'The precious things of heaven' are spiritual things, 3166, which are 'the dew', 'the deep Lying below' being natural things. In the same author,

Israel dwelt securely. alone at Jacob's spring, in a land of grain and new wine; even his heavens distilled dew. Deuteronomy 33:28.

Here 'even his heavens distilled dew' stands for spiritual things, which are those of truth.

[4] 'Dew' in the genuine sense is the truth of good which is the product of a state of innocence and peace, for by 'the morning' or dawn when the dew comes down are meant those states of innocence and peace, 2333, 2405, 2540, 2780. This also was why the manna from heaven accompanied the dew which used to come down in the morning time, as becomes clear in Moses,

In the morning there was a deposit of dew around the camp, and when the deposit of dew went up, behold, on the face of the wilderness a round congealed thing, a congealed thing like hoar frost on the earth. Exodus 16:13-14.

When the dew came down over the camp at night, the manna came down on it. Numbers 11:9.

Because 'the manna' was heavenly bread it meant in the highest sense the Lord as regards Divine Good, and consequently with men the celestial element of love, for this originates in the Lord's Divine, 276, 680, 1798, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478. 'The dew' on which and with which the manna came down stands in the highest sense for Divine Truth, and in the relative sense for spiritual truth with men. 'The morning time' is the state of peace in which those goods and truths are present, 92, 93, 1726, 2780, 3170.

[5] Because 'the dew' means truth which comes from good, or what amounts to the same, that which is spiritual originating in that which is celestial, spiritual truth is for that reason also compared in the Word to the dew, for the objects used as signs of spiritual things are also used as comparisons with those same things, as in Isaiah,

Thus said Jehovah to me, I will be still and I will behold in My dwelling-place; like clear warmth on the light, like a cloud of dew when the harvest is warm. Isaiah 18:4.

In Hosea,

What shall I do to you, O Ephraim? What shall I do to you, O Judah? For your holiness - like a dawn cloud, and like the dew that falls in the morning - [is going away]. Hosea 6:4; 13:3.

In the same prophet,

I will be as the dew to Israel, he will blossom 1 as the lily, and strike root like Lebanon. Hosea 14:5.

In Micah,

The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from Jehovah, like raindrops on the grass. Micah 5:7.

In David,

It is like the good oil upon the head, that runs down over the collar 2 of Aaron's robes. It is like the dew of Hermon which runs down over the mountains of Zion, for there Jehovah has commanded the blessing of life even for evermore. Psalms 133:2-3.

In Moses,

My doctrine will flow down like the rain, My word will distill like the dew, like showers on the tender grass, and like raindrops on the grass. Deuteronomy 32:2.

Here 'the dew' stands for the multiplication of truth that comes from good, and for the fruitfulness of good through truth. And because the dew is that which every morning causes field and vineyard to be fruitful, good and truth themselves are meant by the grain and new wine referred to next in this verse.


1. literally, sprout

2. literally, the mouth

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