From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #251

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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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.

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6398, 6949


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

The Bible

 

Revelation 12:3

King James Version         

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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.

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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

 

Arcana Coelestia #10400

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10400. 'For this Moses, that man who caused us to come up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him' means a total unawareness of what other Divine Truth exists in the Word that raises a person from an external to an internal level and makes him an embodiment of the Church. This is clear from the representation of 'Moses' as the Word, thus Divine Truth, dealt with in the places referred to in 9372, so that an attitude of mind that doubts and denies the existence of any Divine Truth other than that which presents itself in the sense of the letter is meant by 'this Moses, that man, we do not know what has become of him' (the word 'man' is used here because in the Word 'man' means truth, see 3134, 3309, 3459, 7716, 9007); and from the meaning of 'causing the children of Israel to go up out of the land of Egypt' as a raising from the natural or external man to the internal or spiritual man, so that the person may be made an embodiment of the Church. For 'the land of Egypt' means the natural or external level of the Church, 'causing to come up' raising, and 'the children of Israel' the Church.

'The land of Egypt' means the natural or external level of the Church, see in the places referred to in 9391.

'Causing to come up' means raising from an external to an internal level, 3084, 4539, 4969, 5406, 5817, 6007, and so from the natural man to the spiritual man.

'The children of Israel' means the Church, see in the places referred to in 9340.

[2] From all this it is evident that 'this Moses, that man who caused us to come up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him' means a total unawareness of what Divine Truth exists in the Word to raise a person from an external to an internal level and to make him an embodiment of the Church other than that which presents itself in the sense of the letter. This also is what all who are restricted to external things devoid of anything internal think and say; and all are restricted to external things devoid of anything internal who are ruled by self-love and love of the world. With these people the internal man is closed and only the external man lies open; and what is seen by the external man without the internal when they read the Word is seen in thick darkness. This is so because in spiritual things natural illumination without light from heaven is complete darkness; and the light from heaven enters and illuminates the external man by way of the internal. This explains why so many heresies have arisen, why some call the Word a book of heresies, why people do not know at all that something internal is present within the Word, and why those who think that something is present there do not know exactly where. Such people are meant in Revelation 12 by the dragon which used its tail to draw from heaven a third part of the stars and cast them down to the earth, as will in the Lord's Divine mercy be shown elsewhere 1 .

(References: Revelation 12:3-4)


[3] Let those who wish contemplate whether anyone at the present day has any other idea than that the actual Divine Truth of the Word resides in its literal sense. But let them also consider whether anyone can know the Divine Truths of the Word contained in that sense except with the aid of teachings drawn from that sense, and that if a person does not possess such teachings to serve as a lamp he is carried off into errors, in whatever direction the obscurity of his understanding and the delight of his will lead and take him. The teachings that must serve as a lamp are those that the internal sense provides, so that they constitute the actual internal sense. This sense is to some extent open to every person who, though he may not know what the internal sense is, has his external subject to his internal, that is, has his internal man lying open. For heaven, which is in possession of the internal sense of the Word, flows into that person when he reads the Word, brings him light, gives him discernment, and in this way teaches him. Indeed, if you are willing to believe it, a person's internal man is of itself in possession of the internal sense of the Word since the internal man constitutes heaven in the smallest form it takes, and when that internal man lies open the person is consequently present with angels in heaven, and therefore also possesses discernment similar to theirs. This becomes additionally clear from the consideration that the interior concepts within a person's understanding are not like his natural ones, though they are in agreement with these. What they are like however a person does not know as long as he lives in the body; but when he enters the next life he knows them automatically because they have been implanted within him, and by means of them he lives instantly in company with angels. From this it is evident that the person in whom the internal level lies open is in possession of the internal sense of the Word, though he does not know he is, and as a consequence has enlightenment when he reads the Word. But this depends on how much light he can receive by means of the cognitions or knowledge residing with him. Who exactly those people are however, see 9025, 9382, 9409, 9410, 9424, 9430, 10105, 10324.

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Footnotes:

1. This proposal was not fulfilled in Arcana Caelestia but in works written at a later time.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 10475, 10546, 10584

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 47, 81, 256, 257, 259, 260, 262


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 433


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

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


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