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 #3696

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3696. 'And lay down in that place' means the serenity of that state. This is clear from the meaning of 'lying down' as being in a state of serenity, for lying down or sleeping is nothing else. This meaning which 'lying down' has in the internal sense may also be seen from other places in the Word, which are dealt with immediately below. In the case of those who are to undergo regeneration, and who are the subject here in the representative internal sense, they are first of all in a state of serenity or external peace, for external peace or peace experienced in external things is called serenity. Indeed it is a product of the Divine state of peace which exists inmostly and which manifests itself in external things through the removal of evil desires and false ideas; for it is these that cause all unrest. Furthermore everyone at the start of his life, that is, in early childhood, is in a state of calm, but as one advances in, years or grows up he moves away from that state, for he gives himself up to worldly concerns and consequent anxious cares caused by the desires of self-love and of love of the world, and by falsities that spring from these.

[2] Something very similar to this occurs with the new life with one who is being regenerated. At first he experiences a state of serenity, but as he moves on into the new life so he moves into a state that is not serene. For evils and falsities which he has taken into himself previously now emerge and show themselves, and these trouble him, so much so at length that he undergoes temptations and trials from the devil's crew who try all the time to destroy his state of new life. But despite this a state of peace exists with him inmostly. But for its presence inmostly he would not put up any fight at all, for in all the conflicts he experiences he sees that state as the end in view. If that end were not in view he would never have the power and strength to fight. And this is also what enables him to overcome. And since it is the end in view he also enters that state once conflict or temptations are past. It is like the state of spring which follows that of autumn and winter, or like the state of dawn following evening and night. Regarding the resemblance of the state of peace in spiritual things to spring and dawn in natural ones, see 1726, 2780; and as regards peace being the result of goodness and truth, but unrest the result of evil and falsity, 3170.

[3] That 'lying down' in the Word means a state of serenity may be seen from the following places: In Moses,

If you walk in My statutes and observe My commandments and do them, I will give peace in the land, and you will lie down, and none will make you afraid. And I will cause evil wild animals to cease from the land, and the sword will not pass through your land. Leviticus 26:3, 6.

'Lying down' clearly applies to a state of peace and serenity. 'Evil wild animals' stands for desires for evil, 45, 46, 908, which 'are going to cease'. 'The sword' stands for falsity in conflict with truth, 2799, which 'is not going to pass through the land'. From this it is also evident that peace and the serenity of peace is the result of goodness and truth, and the destruction of it is the result of evils and falsities.

[4] In Isaiah,

The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion together; and a little child will lead them. And the young cow and the beer will feed; their young will lie down together. Isaiah 11:6-7.

This refers to the Lord and to the state of peace existing in His kingdom. 'They will lie down together' stands for their being unable to be infested by anything evil or false. In Hosea,

I will make for them a covenant on that day with the wild beasts of the field, and with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the earth. And I will abolish 1 the bow, and the sword, and war from the land, and I will make them lie down in safety. Hosea 2:18.

Here likewise 'lying down' stands for a state of serenity following the removal of falsities and evils which are responsible for unrest.

[5] In David,

I will lie down and sleep, and will awake again, for Jehovah sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, who set themselves against me round about. Psalms 3:5-6.

'Lying down and sleeping' stands for a state of serenity and security. In the same author,

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, because You, O Jehovah, alone make me dwell with confidence. Psalms 4:8.

And in the same author,

He will make me to down in green pastures; He will lead me to still waters; He will restore my soul. Psalms 23:2-3.

From these places it is evident that a state of peace and serenity is described by 'lying down', and that 'lying down in that place' means the serenity of the state - for 'place' in the internal sense is state, 3692.


1. literally, break

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