From Swedenborg's Works


Arcana Coelestia #8478

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

8478. 'Let no one leave any of it until the morning' means that they must not be anxious to acquire it of themselves. This is clear from the fact that the manna was given every morning and that worms bred in what was left over, meaning that the Lord provides people's requirements every day and that for this reason they ought not to be anxious to acquire them of themselves. The same thing is meant by daily bread in the Lord's Prayer and also by the Lord's words in Matthew,

Do not be anxious for your soul, what you are going to eat or what you are going to drink, nor for your body, what you are going to put on. Why be anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin. Do not therefore be anxious, so that you say, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For all these things the gentiles seek. Does not your heavenly Father know that you have need of all these things? Seek first the kingdom of God 1 and its righteousness, then all these things will be added to you. Do not therefore be anxious about the morrow; for the morrow will take care of the things that belong to it. Matthew 6:25-end.

Similar words occur in Luke 12:11-12, 22-31.

(References: Matthew 6:11, 6:25-34, Matthew 6:26, 6:28, 6:31-34)

[2] The present verse and the one that follows refer in the internal sense to concern for the morrow, a concern which was not only forbidden but also condemned. The forbiddance of it is meant by their being told not to leave any of the manna till the morning, and the condemnation of it is meant by worms breeding in any they did leave and its becoming putrid. Anyone who does not view the matter from anywhere beyond the sense of the letter may think that all concern for the morrow is to be avoided, which being so, people should then await their requirements every day from heaven. But a person who views it from a position deeper than the literal meaning, that is, who views it from the internal sense, may recognize what concern for the morrow is used to mean - not concern to obtain food and clothing for oneself, and also resources for the future; for it is not contrary to order to make provision for oneself and one's dependents. But people are concerned about the morrow when they are not content with their lot, do not trust in God but in themselves, and have solely worldly and earthly things in view, not heavenly ones. These people are ruled completely by anxiety over the future, and by the desire to possess all things and exercise control over all other people. That desire is kindled and grows greater and greater, till at length it is beyond all measure. They grieve if they do not realize the objects of their desires, and they are distressed at the loss of them. Nor can they find consolation, for in times of loss they are angry with the Divine. They reject Him together with all belief, and curse themselves. This is what those concerned for the morrow are like.

[3] Those who trust in the Divine are altogether different. Though concerned about the morrow, yet are they unconcerned, in that they are not anxious, let alone worried, when they give thought to the morrow. They remain even-tempered whether or not they realize desires, and they do not grieve over loss; they are content with their lot. If they become wealthy they do not become infatuated with wealth; if they are promoted to important positions they do not consider themselves worthier than others. If they become poor they are not made miserable either; if lowly in status they do not feel downcast. They know that for those who trust in the Divine all things are moving towards an everlasting state of happiness, and that no matter what happens at any time to them, it contributes to that state.

[4] It should be recognized that Divine providence is overall, that is, it is present within the smallest details of all, and that people in the stream of providence are being carried along constantly towards happier things, whatever appearance the means may present. Those in the stream of providence are people who trust in the Divine and ascribe everything to Him. But those not in the stream of providence are people who trust in themselves alone and attribute everything to themselves; theirs is a contrary outlook, for they take providence away from the Divine and claim it as their own. It should be recognized also that to the extent that anyone is in the stream of providence he is in a state of peace; and to the extent that anyone is in a state of peace by virtue of the good of faith, he is in Divine providence. These alone know and believe that the Lord's Divine providence resides within every single thing, indeed within the smallest details of all, as has also been shown in 1919 (end), 4329, 5122 (end), 5894 (end), 6058, 6481-6486, 6490, 7004, 7007, as well as that Divine providence has what is eternal in view, 6491.

[5] Those with the contrary outlook are scarcely willing to allow any mention of providence. Instead they put every single thing down to prudence; and what they do not put down to prudence they put down to fortune or to chance. Some put it down to fate, which they do not ascribe to the Divine but to natural forces. They call those people simple who do not attribute all things to themselves or to natural forces. From all this one may again see what those people are like who are concerned for the morrow, and what those are like who are not concerned for the morrow.


1. The Latin means the heavens but the Greek means God, which Swedenborg has in most other places where he quotes this verse.


(References: Exodus 16:19; Matthew 6:25-34)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 8480, 8500, 9010

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 82, 158, 276

   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary
Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here:

The Practical (But Weird) Way to Deal with Anxiety

We explain why changing what we love is the practical way to deal with anxiety and why loving useful service is the best anxiety-resistant way we can care about life.

Two Steps to Awaken to God's Design

Feeling bogged down by the weight of your own negative thoughts? We give you two essential steps to awaken the inner parts of your mind and access God's presence and power there.

Ideas to Help You Manage Fear and Anxiety During The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak can bring up feelings of fear and anxiety. Social distancing doesn't mean spiritual and emotional isolation. Connect with us and let's let a little spiritual light in together!

Do We Reincarnate? - Swedenborg and Life

Either we reincarnate or we don't, right? It depends on how you look at it.

How Spirits are Connected to Your Health - Swedenborg and Life

Worry, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Could there be spiritual causes to such maladies? What can we do to boost the immune system of our body and soul?

Arcana Coelestia #8478 >> 59:48, 59:49
Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Divine Providence
The Lord keeps the world in a state of order through His Divine providence, which is directed above all to the human race.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Does God Guide?
God leads and guards a person's path of life at every moment, bending every choice made towards the greatest possible happiness.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Food for Thought: Trusting in the Lord
Teachings about the Lord's Providence and true-false questions for discussion.
Activity | Ages over 15

 Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 How Does the Lord Lead People?
Lesson and activities looking at ways the Lord leaves us while leaving us in freedom.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Prayers for Teens: Trusting in God
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 The Problem With Worry
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

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

From Swedenborg's Works


The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine #276

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine (Whitehead translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 325  

← Previous   Next →

276. Of Providence.

Providence is the government of the Lord in the heavens and on the earth (n. 10773). The Lord, from providence, rules all things according to order, and thus providence is government according to order (n. 1755, 2447). And He rules all things either from will or from leave, or from permission; thus in various respects according to man's quality (n. 1755, 2447, 3704, 9940). Providence acts invisibly (n. 5508). Most things which are done from providence appeal to man as contingencies (n. 5508). Providence acts invisibly, in order that man may not be compelled to believe from visible things, and thus that his free-will may not be injured; for unless man has freedom he cannot be reformed, thus he cannot be saved (n. 1937, 1947, 2876, 2881, 3854, 5508, 5982, 6477, 8209, 8987, 9588, 10409, 10777). The Divine providence does not regard temporary things which soon pass away, but eternal things (n. 5264, 8717, 10776; illustrated n. 6491).

They who do not comprehend this, believe that opulence and eminence in the world are the only things to be provided, and call such things blessings from the Divine, when nevertheless they are not regarded as blessings by the Lord, but only as means conducive to the life of man in the world; but that those things are regarded by the Lord which conduce to man's eternal happiness (n. 10409, 10776). They who are in the Divine providence of the Lord, are led in each and all things to eternal happiness (n. 8478, 8480). They who ascribe all things to nature and man's own prudence, and nothing to the Divine, do not think or comprehend this (n. 6481, 10409, 10775).

The Divine providence of the Lord is not, as believed in the world, universal only, and the particulars and single thing dependent on man's prudence (n. 8717, 10775). No universal exists but from and with single things, because single things taken together are called a universal, as particulars taken together are called a general (n. 1919, 6159, 6338, 6482-6484). Every universal is such as the single things of which it is formed, and with which it is (n. 917, 1040, 6483, 8857). The providence of the Lord is universal, because existing in the most single things (n. 1919, 2694, 4329, 5122, 5904, 6058, 6481-6486, 6490, 7004, 7007, 8717, 10774); confirmed from heaven (n. 6486). Unless the Divine providence of the Lord were universal, from and in the most single things, nothing could subsist (n. 6338). All things are disposed by it into order, and kept in order both in general and in particular (n. 6338). How the case herein is comparatively with that of a king on earth (n. 6482, 10800). Man's own proper prudence is like a small speck of dirt in the universe, whilst the Divine providence is respectively as the universe itself (n. 6485). This can hardly be comprehended by men in the world (n. 8717, 10775, 10780). Because many fallacies assail them, and induce blindness (n. 6481). Of a certain person in the other life, who believed from confirmation in the world, that all things were dependent on man's own prudence, and nothing on the Divine providence; the things belonging to him appeared infernal (n. 6484).

The quality of the Lord's providence with respect to evils (n. 6481, 6495, 6574, 10777, 10779). Evils are ruled by the Lord by the laws of permission, and they are permitted for the sake of order (n. 8700, 10778). The permission of evil by the Lord is not that of one who wills, but of one who does not will, but who cannot bring aid on account of the urgency of the end, which is salvation (n. 7887). To leave man from his own freedom to think and will evil, and so far as the laws do not forbid, to do evil, is to permit (n. 10778). Without freedom, thus without this permission, man could not be reformed, thus could not be saved, may be seen above in the doctrine of Freedom (n. 141-149).

The Lord has providence and foresight, and the one does not exist without the other (n. 5195, 6489). Good is provided by the Lord, and evil foreseen (n. 5155, 5195, 6489, 10781).

There is no such thing as predestination or fate (n. 6487). All are predestined to heaven, and none to hell (n. 6488). Man is under no absolute necessity from providence but has full liberty, illustrated by comparison (n. 6487). The "elect" in the Word are they who are in the life of good, and thence of truth (n. 3755, 3900, 50 57, 5058). How it is to be understood that "God would deliver one man into another's hand" (Exod. 21:13) (n. 9010).

Fortune, which appears in the world wonderful in many circumstances, is an operation of the Divine providence in the ultimate of order, according to the quality of man's state; and this may afford proof, that the Divine providence is in the most single of all things (n. 5049, 5179, 6493, 6494). This operation and its variations are from the spiritual world, proved from experience (n. 5179, 6493, 6494).

Go to section / 325  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 25, 68, 338

   Swedenborg Research Tools

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Memory Verse: Providence and Evil
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.