From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #251

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

251. The reason why the “serpent” means all evil in general, and specifically the love of self, is that all evil has had its rise from that sensuous part of the mind, and also from that memory-knowledge [scientifico], which at first were signified by the “serpent;” and therefore it here denotes evil of every kind, and specifically the love of self, or hatred against the neighbor and the Lord, which is the same thing. As this evil or hatred was various, consisting of numerous genera and still more numerous species, it is described in the Word by various kinds of serpents, as “snakes” “cockatrices” “asps” “adders” “fiery serpents” “serpents that fly” and “that creep” and “vipers” according to the differences of the poison, which is hatred. Thus we read in Isaiah:

Rejoice not thou, whole Philistia, because the rod which smiteth thee is broken, for out of the serpent’s root shall go forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a flying fire-serpent (Isaiah 14:29).The “serpent’s root” denotes that part of the mind, or that principle, which is connected with the senses and with memory-knowledge [est sensuale et scientificum]; the “cockatrice” denotes evil originating in the falsity thence derived; and the “flying fire-serpent” the cupidity that comes from the love of self. By the same Prophet also similar things are elsewhere thus described:

They hatch cockatrice’s eggs, and weave the spider’s web; he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and when it is crushed there cometh out a viper (Isaiah 59:5).

The serpent described here in Genesis is called in the Revelation the “great and red dragon” and the “old serpent” and also the “devil and satan” that “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:3, 9; 20:2), where, and also in other places, by the “devil” is not meant any particular devil who is prince over the others, but the whole crew of evil spirits, and evil itself.

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6398, 6949


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

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

The Bible

 

Revelation 12:3

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Apocalypse Revealed 536, 537, 538, 539, 540


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 251, 257, 2584, 2832, 3300, 5268, 10071, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 10, 101, 270, 305, 438, 473, 532

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 76

Conjugial Love 79

Divine Providence 310

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 44

Doctrine of Life 61

Doctrine of Faith 58


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 316, 364, 555, 559, 577, 675, 706, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 32

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Bible Word Meanings

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

Seven heads
'The seven heads of the dragon, and of the beast rising out of the sea,' as mentioned in Revelation 12:3, and 8:3, signify insanity arising...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

upon
'Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

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.


 A Great Wonder in Heaven
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Angels War with the Dragon
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Banner: Michael Fighting the Dragon
Make this banner as a New Church Day decoration for your home.
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 Behold, the Great Red Dragon! (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14

 Behold the Great Red Dragon Song with Hand Motions
Song | Ages 3 - 10

 Celebrating New Church Day
The story of the woman clothed with the sun pictures the birth of the New Church into the world.
Story | Ages 2 - 7

 Correspondences of Color
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that mention colors. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Costume Suggestions for Dramatizing Revelation 12
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Crown of Stars
Suggests several ways to make a crown of stars.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Crown of Twelve Stars Snowflake Pattern
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Dramatize the Woman Clothed with the Sun
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Egg Carton Dragon Puppets
Younger children might enjoy making one of the dragon's heads from an egg carton. 
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Given Two Wings of a Great Eagle
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 How to Make a Dragon Piñata
Make a dragon piñata and fill it with small wrapped candies and/or little toys. Let children of all ages take turns "fighting" the dragon, using a wooden sword (or heavy stick). 
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Make a Dragon with Wooden Beads
Use pipe cleaners and wooden beads to make a red dragon with 7 heads. 
Project | Ages 6 - 10

 Make a Sun Cake
Serve this special cake to your family at a New Church Day celebration! 
Project | Ages over 4

 Memory Verse: Visions in Heaven
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Michael and His Angels Fight the Dragon
Color picture of Revelation 12.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 Michael Fights the Dragon
Color picture of the great red dragon and Michael from Revelation 12.
Picture | All Ages

 Michael Fights the Dragon
Color, cut out and assemble this complex project showing Michael protecting the woman clothed with sun from the dragon.
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Michael's Army Faces the Dragon's Army
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Michael's Shield
Make a shield that can represent Michael fighting against evil and false ideas. A smaller shield could also be worn as a badge.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Michael Striking the Dragon
A dramatic image of Michael fighting the great red dragon.
Coloring Page | Ages 6 - 12

 Michael—The Great Prince
The name Michael is actually a question, meaning, literally, “Who is like God?” The answer to this question can help us fight against the dragon.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 New Church Day
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 New Church Day Felt Puppets
Make finger puppets such as the ones pictured here as a gift for young children.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 New Church Day Representation
Suggests ways to use a doll to make a display of picture the woman clothed with the sun
Project | Ages 4 - 17

 Picture the Woman Clothed with the Sun
Use crayons and watercolors (wax resist method) to show the woman clothed with the sun.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Quotes: Visions in Heaven
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Spiritual Warfare
Article | Ages over 15

 Stars
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 The Beauty of the New Church
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Birth of the New Church
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Coming of the New Church
Prophecies helped prepare people for the Lord’s birth on earth, and prophecies would also help prepare the way for His second coming. The Lord called His disciple, John, to serve as a revelator, opening his spiritual eyes and telling him: “Write the things which you have seen...and the things which will take place after this” (Revelation 1:17-19). Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 6, for ages 11-12.
Religion Lesson | Ages 11 - 12

 The Great Red Dragon
Color picture of the great red dragon sweeping the stars from the sky with his tail.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Great Red Dragon
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Meaning of the Woman Clothed with the Sun
Of all the books of the Word, the book of Revelation is perhaps the least understood. The Heavenly Doctrine, revealed through Emanuel Swedenborg provides the key to unlock Revelation.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Number Seven in the Word Crossword Puzzle
Discover stories that include the number seven in the Word.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 The Number Twelve in the Word Crossword Puzzle
Discover times when the number twelve appears throughout the Word.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 The Woman and the Dragon
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Woman and the Dragon (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Woman and the Dragon (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Woman and the Dragon (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun and Her Baby
Have you ever seen a newborn baby? When they first come into the world they are helpless. Someone older and wiser must watch over them and feed them.
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun and Her Child
Color picture of the woman surrounded by the sun, standing on the moon and holding her child up to God.
Picture | All Ages

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun and Her Child
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun is Given Eagles' Wings
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Woman Clothed with the Sun, Michael and the Dragon
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Woman Flees into the Wilderness
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Woman, Michael, and the Dragon Stained Glass Window
Instructions for making a "stained glass window" with waxed paper, glue, and colored tissue paper.
Project | Ages 4 - 17

 The Woman with Her Son
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Woman with Sun, Moon and Stars
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Vision of Woman Clothed with the Sun
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Visions of Heaven
While the disciple John was on the isle of Patmos, he saw special visions that showed him how a New Church—a new kind of Christianity—would begin.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 When Am I Like…?
An activity to help us think about when we are like the woman, Michael, or the dragon.
Activity | Ages over 15

 Wings of an Eagle
Explore ways that we can develop a spiritual perspective on what is good and true - the wings of an eagle.
Activity | Ages over 15

 Woman Clothed with Sun Stained Glass Window
Beautiful "stained glass" window of the woman clothed with the sun, to color and display.
Project | Ages 4 - 17

 Woman Clothed with the Sun
The Woman would not have been able to fight against the dragon by herself, but the Lord was ready to help. He sent His guardian angels to protect the Woman and her precious Baby. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 1, for ages 6-7.
Religion Lesson | Ages 6 - 7

 Woman Clothed with the Sun Candle Holder
Make a beautiful stand to put in front of a candle or on a window sill so that the woman clothed with the sun is lit up from behind.
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Yes, There Are Dragons
Article | Ages 15 - 17

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #316

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

316. Having seven horns, signifies who has omnipotence. This is evident from the signification of a "horn," as being the power of truth against falsity, but in reference to the Lord, as being all power or omnipotence. The Lamb was seen to have horns seven in number, because "seven" signifies all and it is predicated of what is holy (see above, n. 257. A "horn" and "horns" signify power, because the power of horned animals, as of oxen, rams, goats, and others, is in their horns. That "horn" or "horns" signify the power of truth against falsity, and in the highest sense, which treats of the Lord, signify omnipotence, and in a contrary sense the power of falsity against truth, is evident from many passages in the Word; and as it is thus made clear what is signified in the Word by "horns," so often mentioned in Daniel, and also in Revelation; and as they are still employed in the coronation of kings, I will quote the passages here.

(References: Revelation 5:6; The Apocalypse Explained 257)


[2] In Ezekiel:

In that day I will make a horn to bud forth unto the house of Israel, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; that they may know that I am Jehovah (Ezekiel 29:21).

"To make a horn to bud forth unto the house of Israel" signifies truth in abundance; "the house of Israel" is the church; because this is signified by "horn," and "its budding forth," it is also said, "and I will give thee the opening of the mouth," which means the preaching of truth.

[3] In the first book of Samuel:

My horn hath exalted itself in Jehovah; my mouth is enlarged against mine enemies, because I am glad in Thy salvation. He shall give strength unto His king, 1 and shall exalt the horn of His anointed (1 Samuel 2:1, (1_Samuel 2:1) 10).

This is a prophetical saying of Hannah. "My horn hath exalted itself in Jehovah" signifies that Divine truth filled her, and made her powerful against falsities; and because this is the meaning, it is said, "my mouth is enlarged against mine enemies;" "enlarging the mouth" is preaching truth with power, and "enemies" are the falsities that disperse Divine truth. "He shall give strength unto His king, and shall exalt the horn of His anointed," signifies the Lord's omnipotence from Divine good by Divine truth, for "strength" in the Word has reference to the power of good, and "horn" to the power of truth; and "the anointed of Jehovah" is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, which has omnipotence (see Arcana Coelestia 3008-3009, 9954).

(References: 1 Samuel 2:10)


[4] In David:

Jehovah hath exalted the horn of His people, the praise for all His saints, for the sons of Israel, a people near unto Him (Psalms 148:14).

"He hath exalted the horn of His people" signifies that He hath filled with Divine truths; therefore it is said: praise for His saints, for the sons of Israel, a people near unto Him," for those are called "saints" who are in Divine truths, since Divine truth is what is called holy (see above, n. 204. "Israel" is the church that is in truths, "sons of Israel" are truths, "a people" is also predicated of those who are in truths, and a people conjoined with the Lord by truths is said to be "near."

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 204)


[5] In the same:

Jehovah God of Hosts, Thou art the splendor of their strength; and by Thy good pleasure Thou shalt exalt our horn (Psalms 89:8, 17).

Here also "to exalt the horn" signifies to fill with Divine truth, and thereby to give power against falsities; therefore it is said, "Jehovah God of Hosts, Thou art the splendor of their strength," "splendor" in the Word is predicated also of the church, and of the doctrine of truth therein.

[6] In the same:

The good man is gracious and lendeth. His righteousness standeth forever; his horn shall be exalted with glory (Psalms 112:5, 9).

That "horn" signifies Divine truth is clear from this, that it is said, "his righteousness standeth forever, and his horn shall be exalted with glory;" "righteousness" in the Word is predicated of good, and "horn" therefore of truth; for in every particular of the Word there is a marriage of good and truth; "splendor" also signifies Divine truth.

[7] In Habakkuk:

The brightness of Jehovah God shall be as the light; He hath horns coming out of His hand; and in them is the hiding of His strength (Habakkuk 3:4).

Because "horns" signify Divine truth with power, it is said, "the brightness of Jehovah God shall be as the light," and "in the horns is the hiding of His strength;" "the brightness of Jehovah" and "light" signify Divine truth; and "the hiding of His strength in the horns" signifies the omnipotence of Divine good through Divine truth, for all power of good is through truth, and in Divine truth lies concealed the omnipotence that is of Divine good.

[8] In David:

I have found David My servant; with the oil of holiness have I anointed Him; with whom My hand shall be established; Mine arm also shall make him mighty. My truth and My mercy shall be with him; and in My name shall his horn be exalted (Psalms 89:20-21, 24).

"David" means the Lord in respect to Divine truth (see above, n. 205; and "his horn shall be exalted" means His Divine power, which He has from Divine good through Divine truth; therefore, it is said, "My truth and My mercy shall be with him;" "mercy" in the Word, in the Word, in reference to Jehovah, or the Lord, signifies the Divine good of the Divine love. Because "David" means the Lord in respect to Divine truth proceeding from His Divine Human, He is called "David, my servant," "servant" meaning, in the Word, not a servant in the usual sense, but whatever serves, and it is predicated of truth because truth serves good for use, here for power.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 205)


[9] In the same:

I will make a horn to bud forth unto David; I will set in order a lamp for Mine anointed (Psalms 132:17).

Here by "David," and also by "anointed" the Lord in respect to Divine truth is meant, and "making His horn to bud forth" signifies the multiplication of Divine truth in the heavens and on earth by Him; therefore it is also said, "I will set in order a lamp for Mine anointed," which has a like meaning. That the Lord in respect to Divine truth proceeding from His Divine good, is called a "lamp" see above n. 62.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 62)


[10] In the same:

Jehovah my strength, my cliff, my fortress; my God, my rock, in which I confide, my shield and the horn of my salvation (Psalms 18:1-2; 2 Samuel 22:2-3).

"Strength" and "cliff" in reference, as here, to Jehovah or the Lord, signify omnipotence; "fortress" and "rock in which he confides" signify defense; "shield" and "horn of salvation" signify consequent salvation; "strength," "fortress," and "shield," in the Word are predicated of Divine good; "cliff," "rock," and "horn" are predicated of Divine truth; therefore these signify omnipotence, defense, and salvation, which Divine good has through Divine truth.

[11] In Luke:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation in the house of David; that He might save us from our enemies (Luke 1:68-69, 71).

This is a prophecy of Zechariah respecting the Lord and His coming. "A horn of salvation in the house of David" signifies omnipotence to save by Divine truth from Divine good, "horn" is that omnipotence; "the house of David" is the Lord's church; "the enemies from which He should save" are the falsities of evil, for these are the enemies from which the Lord saves those who receive Him; it is known that there were no other enemies from which the Lord saved those who are here meant by his people.

[12] In Micah:

Rise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass, that thou mayest beat in pieces many peoples (Micah 4:13).

"Rise and thresh, O daughter of Zion" signifies the dispersion of evil with those who are of the church, "to thresh" is to disperse, and "daughter of Zion" is the church that is in the affection of good; "I will make thy horn iron" signifies Divine truth mighty and powerful; "I will make thy hoofs brass" has a like meaning, "hoofs" meaning truths in ultimates; "that thou mayest beat in pieces many peoples" signifies that thou mayest scatter falsities, for "peoples" are predicated of truths, and in a contrary sense, of falsities.

[13] In Zechariah:

I saw, and behold four horns, that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. He showed me four smiths, and He said, These horns that have scattered Judah, so that no man lifteth up his head; these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations that lift up the horn against the land of Judah to scatter it (Zechariah 1:18-21).

This describes the vastation of the church, and its subsequent restoration. "Judah," "Israel," and "Jerusalem," signify the church and its doctrine; "the horns that scattered them" signify the falsities of evil that have vastated the church; "smiths" signify the like as iron, namely, truth in ultimates, which is mighty and powerful, thus the like as the "horn of iron;" therefore it is said of them, "these have come to cast down the horns of the nations that lift up the horn against the land of Judah," "the horns of the nations" are the falsities of evil that have vastated the church, and that are to be dispersed that it may be restored.

[14] In Lamentations:

The Lord hath thrown in His fury the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He hath cast them down to the earth; He hath profaned the kingdom and the princes thereof; He hath cut off in the glowing of His anger every horn of Israel (Lamentations 2:2-3).

Here the total vastation of the church is treated of. The last time when it was laid waste is signified by the glowing of the Lord's anger; and its total vastation is described by "He hath thrown down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah, He hath cast them down to the earth. He hath profaned the kingdom and the princes thereof;" "the daughter of Judah" is the church; "her strongholds" are truths from good; "the kingdom and princes" are its truths of doctrine; whence it is clear what is signified by "He hath cut off every horn of Israel," namely, the cutting off of all the power of truth in the church to resist the falsities of evil.

[15] In Daniel:

Daniel saw in a dream four beasts coming up out of the sea; the fourth exceedingly strong, having teeth of iron; it devoured and broke in pieces; and it had ten horns: and I gave heed, and behold another little horn came up among them, and three of the former horns were plucked up by the roots before it; in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. I saw that this horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; and that it spoke words against the Most High. As to the ten horns, they are ten kings, and it shall humble three kings (Daniel 7:3, 7-8, 21, (Daniel 7:21) 23, 25).

Here evidently "horns" means the falsities that destroy the truths of the church, or the power of falsities against truths; "the beast coming up out of the sea" signifies the love of self out of which spring all evils; here the love of ruling over heaven and earth, to which things holy serve as means; it is such a love that is meant by "Babylon" in Revelation. This beast was seen "coming up out of the sea," because the "sea" signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual; for the natural man is then of such a character that he desires nothing so much as to have dominion over all, and to confirm that dominion by the sense of the letter of the Word. "The ten horns" signify falsities of every kind, for "ten" means all; therefore it is further said, that "the ten horns are ten kings," for "kings" signify truths, and in a contrary sense, as here, falsities. "The little horn that came up among them, before which three of the former horns were plucked up by the roots," signifies the complete perversion of the Word by the application of the sense of its letter to confirm the love of dominion. This horn is called "little," because it does not appear that the Word is perverted; and what does not appear before the sight of man's spirit, or before his understanding, is regarded either as nothing, or as little. In the spiritual world such is the appearance of things that are apprehended by a few only. "The three horns that were plucked up by the roots before it," signify the truths of the Word there that have been thus destroyed by falsifications; these truths are also signified by the "three kings" that were humbled by the horn, "three" not meaning three, but what is full, thus that truths were completely destroyed. As that "horn" signifies the perversion of the Word in respect to the sense of its letter, and as this sense appears before the eyes of men, as if it were to be understood thus and not otherwise, and therefore not to be gainsaid by anyone, it is said of this horn, "that in it there were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things," "eyes" signify understanding, and "eyes like the eyes of a man" an understanding as if of truth, and "mouth" signifies thought and speech from that understanding. From this it can now be seen what is meant by all and by each of the particulars here mentioned; as by "the beast coming up out of the sea, that had ten horns and teeth of iron, and devoured and broke in pieces;" by "the little horn that came up among them, before which three of the horns were plucked up by the roots, in which were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things;" also by "it made war with the saints and prevailed against them," and "it spoke words against the Most High;" and "the horns were so many kings."

(References: Daniel 7:20-21, Daniel 7:23-24, 7:23, 7:25)


[16] In the same:

I saw in a vision one ram that had two horns, and the horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher had come up last. It pushed westward, northward, and southward. Then, behold, a he-goat of the goats came from the west over the faces of the whole earth; he had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He ran upon the ram in the wrath of his strength, and he broke his two horns, and he cast him down to the ground and trampled upon him. But the great horn of the he-goat was broken; and in place of it there came up four toward the four winds of the heavens. Presently out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards beauty. And it grew even to the host of the heavens; and it cast down some of the host to the earth, and trampled upon them. Yea, even to the prince of the host it magnified itself, and the dwelling place of his sanctuary was cast down, because it cast down truth to the earth (Daniel 8:2-12, 21, 25).

This describes a second thing that lays waste the church, namely, faith alone. The "ram" signifies the good of charity and faith therefrom, and the "he-goat" faith separate from charity, or faith alone, or, what is the same, those who are in these; their "horns" signify truths from good and falsities from evil, combating; truths from good are meant by the horns of the ram, and falsities from evil by the horns of the he-goat. That the "ram had two high horns, one higher than the other, and the higher came up last" signifies the truth of faith from the good of charity; and this was seen according to the influx of good and truth with man and spirit; for all good is received behind, and all truth in front, as the cerebellum is formed to receive the good, which is of the will, and the cerebrum to receive the truth, which is of the understanding; "westward, northward, and southward, toward which the ram pushed" signify the goods and truths that those receive who are in charity and in faith therefrom, by which they disperse evils and falsities; "the he-goat of the goats that came over the faces of the whole earth" signifies faith separate from charity, springing from evil of life; "the he-goat of the goats" is that faith; the "west" evil of life; and "the earth" the church; "he had a conspicuous horn between the eyes" signifies that this is from self-intelligence; "he ran upon the ram in the wrath of his strength, and brake his two horns, and cast him down to the earth, and trampled upon him" signifies the entire destruction of charity and of faith therefrom, for when charity is destroyed faith also is destroyed, for the latter is from the former; "the great horn of the he-goat was broken, and in place of it there came up four toward the four winds of the heavens" signifies all falsities conjoined with evils there from, "horns" signifying the falsities of evil, "four" their conjunction, and "the four winds of the heavens" all, both falsities and evils; "out of one of them came forth a little horn" signifies justification by faith, for this is born of the principle of faith alone; it is said to be "little" because it does not appear as a falsity.

That this horn "grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards beauty, and grew even to the host of the heavens, and cast down some of the host to the earth, and trampled upon them" signifies that it destroyed all the truths and goods of the church; "the south" meaning where truth is in the light, "the east" and "beauty" where good is in clearness through truth, "the host of the heavens" all truths and goods of heaven and the church; "to cast down the host to the earth, and to trample upon them" signifies to destroy utterly; that "even to the prince of the host it magnified itself," and that "the dwelling place of his sanctuary was cast down" signifies the denial of the Lord's Divine Human, and the consequent vastation of the church; "the prince of the host" is the Lord in respect to the Divine Human, because from that proceed all the truths and goods that constitute the church; "the dwelling place of the sanctuary" is the church where these are; this plainly means the truths destroyed by falsities, for it is said, "it cast down truth to the earth." That this is the significance of the "ram," and the "he-goat," and "their horns," is clearly manifest from appearances in the spiritual world; for when such as have confirmed themselves in the doctrine of faith alone and of justification by faith, dispute there with those who are in the doctrine of charity and of faith therefrom, there appear to others who stand afar off he-goats, or a he-goat with similar horns, and with like onset and fury against the rams or the ram, and he appears also to tread the stars under his feet. These things have been seen by me also, and at the same time by those standing by, who were thereby confirmed that such things are meant in Daniel; and also that like things are meant by "the sheep on the right hand, and the goats on the left" (Matthew 25:32-46 the end), namely, by "sheep" those who are in the good of charity, and by "goats" those who are in faith alone. From these quotations from Daniel it can be seen in some measure what is signified in Revelation by:

The dragon that was seen having ten horns (Revelation 12:3);

The beast that was seen coming up out of the sea, which also had ten horns (Revelation 13:1).

The woman that was seen sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, that had seven heads and ten horns; respecting which the angel said, The ten horns that thou sawest are ten kings (Revelation 17:3, 7, 12);

but these things will be explained hereafter.

(References: Daniel 8:3-12)


[17] That the power of falsity against truth is signified by "horn" or "horns" is evident also from the following passages. In Jeremiah:

The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken (Jeremiah 48:25).

"Moab" signifies those who are in spurious goods, and in falsified truths therefrom, which in themselves are falsities. The destruction of these falsities is signified by "The horn of Moab is cut off," and the destruction of these evils by "his arm is broken. "

[18] In Lamentations:

Jehovah hath caused the enemy to be glad over thee; He hath exalted the horn of thine adversaries (Lamentations 2:17).

Evil is meant by "enemy," and the falsities of evil by "adversaries;" "exalting the horn of the adversaries" is falsities prevailing over truths and destroying them.

[19] In Ezekiel:

Ye thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the sick sheep with your horns till ye have scattered them abroad (Ezekiel 34:21).

"To thrust with side and with shoulder" is with all strength and endeavor; to "push the sick sheep with horns till ye have scattered them abroad" signifies to destroy by falsities the well-disposed, who are not yet in truths from good, and yet desire to be.

[20] In Amos:

In the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him, I will visit upon the altars of Bethel, that the horns of the altar may be cut off, and fall to the earth (Amos 3:14).

"The altars of Bethel" signify worship from evil, and "the horns of the altar" signify the falsities of that evil; and that these are to be destroyed is signified by "the horns shall be cut off and fall to the earth."

[21] In the same:

They who are glad over a thing of nought; who say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength? (Amos 6:13).

"To take horns by our own strength" signifies by the powers of self-intelligence to acquire falsities by which truths will be destroyed.

[22] In David:

I said unto the boastful, Boast not; and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn; Lift not up your horn on high; speak not with a stiff neck. All the horns of the wicked will I cut off; the horns of the righteous shall be exalted (Psalms 75:4-5, 10).

"Lifting up the horn on high" signifies to defend vigorously falsity against truth; therefore it is also said, "speak not with a stiff neck." "To cut off their horns" signifies to destroy their falsities; and "to exalt the horns of the righteous" signifies to make powerful and strong the truths of good.

[23] Because "making high and exalting the horns" signifies to fill with truths, and to make them powerful and strong against falsities, therefore those truths are also called "the horns of a unicorn," because these are high. As in Moses:

The firstborn of his ox, honor is his, and his horns are the horns of a unicorn; with them he shall push the peoples together to the uttermost parts of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Mannaseh (Deuteronomy 33:17).

This is said of Joseph, who in the highest sense represents the Lord in respect to the Divine spiritual, or in respect to Divine truth in heaven; from this "Joseph" signifies also those who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom (see Arcana Coelestia 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417). "The firstborn of the ox, honor is his," signifies the good of spiritual love; "his horns are the horns of a unicorn" signifies truths in their fullness, and in their power therefrom; "to push the peoples to the uttermost parts of the earth" signifies to instruct in truths all who are of the church, and to scatter falsities by means of truths; "the ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh" signify the plenty and abundance of truth and of wisdom therefrom and the plenty and abundance of good and of love therefrom; "Ephraim," in the Word, signifying the intellectual of the church, which is of truth, and "Manasseh" the voluntary of the church which is of good (see Arcana Coelestia 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296); and "ten thousands" and "thousands" signifying very many, thus plenty and abundance.

[24] In David:

Save me from the lion's mouth; and from the horns of the unicorn hear me (Psalms 22:21);

"lion" signifying falsity vehemently destroying truth; and "horns of unicorns" truths that prevail against falsities.

[25] In the same:

My horn like the horn of a unicorn (Psalms 92:10);

"like the horn of a unicorn" signifying truth in its fullness and power.

[26] In Revelation:

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God (Revelation 9:13).

The altar of incense, which was called also "the golden altar," was a representative of the hearing and reception of all things of worship that are from love and charity from the Lord, thus a representative of such things of worship as are elevated by the Lord; "the horns of the altar" represented truths proceeding from the good of love; this makes clear why a voice was heard from the four horns of the altar, for it is through truths that good acts and speaks.

[27] Altars had horns for the reason that altars represented the worship of the Lord from the good of love, and all worship that is truly worship is offered from the good of love by truths. That the altar of incense had horns is seen in Moses:

Thou shalt make four horns upon the altar of incense; they shall be from it. And thou shalt overlay them with gold (Exodus 30:2-3, 10 (Exodus 30:10); Exodus 37:25-26);

and the altar of burnt-offering elsewhere in the same:

Thou shalt make horns upon the four corners of the altar of burnt-offering; its horns shall be from it (Exodus 27:2; 38:2).

That the horns were from the altar itself signified that the truths, which the horns represented, must proceed from the good of love, which the altar itself represented, for all truth is from good. That there were four horns, one at each corner, signified that they were for the four quarters in heaven, by which all things of truth from good are signified.

[28] Since all expiations and purifications are effected by truths from good, expiation was made upon the horns of the altars:

Upon the horns of the altar of incense (Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 4:7);

And upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering (Leviticus 4:25, 30, 34; 8:15; 9:9; 16:18).

And as all Divine protection is by truths from good:

Those who committed evils and were in fear of death caught hold of the horns of the altar and were thus protected (1 Kings 1:50, 51, 53).

When those who purposely and willfully committed evil were not so protected (1 Kings 2:28-31).

Moreover, because "horns" signified truths from good, therefore when kings were anointed this was done by oil out of a horn:

That David was so anointed (1 Samuel 16:1, 13); and Solomon (1 Kings 1:39);

the "oil" signifying the good of love. From this signification of horns, which was known to the ancients, it was customary to make horns budding forth and fragrant; from this came the word "cornucopia."

-----
Footnotes:

1. The photolithograph has "Uncto," "anointed;" see n. 684.

-----

(References: 1 Kings 1:50-51; Daniel 7:20-21, 7:23-24, Daniel 8:3-12; Revelation 5:6)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 312, 319, 321, 327, 336, 418, 440, 556, 567, 573, 650, 697, 716, 816, 817, 1029, 1041, 1069, 1079


   Swedenborg Research Tools


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


Translate: