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Arcana Coelestia #6716

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6716. And there went a man from the house of Levi. That this signifies the origin of truth from good, is evident from the signification of “a man,” as being truth (see n. 3134); and from the signification of “from the house,” as being the origin; and from the representation of Levi, as being good; for Leviticus in the supreme sense represents the Divine love (n. 3875), and in the internal sense spiritual love (n. 3875, 4497, 4502, 4503); and because he represents love, he represents good, for all good is of love. As regards the origin of truth from good, which is here signified by “a man from the house of Levi,” be it known that in what follows, in the supreme sense, the subject treated of is the Lord, how as to His Human He became the law Divine, that is, truth itself. It is known that the Lord was born as are other men, and that when a child He learned to speak like other children, and that He then grew in knowledge, and also in intelligence, and in wisdom.

[2] From this it is evident that His Human was not Divine from birth, but that He made it Divine by His own power. That He did this by His own power was because He was conceived of Jehovah, and hence the inmost of His life was Jehovah Himself; for the inmost of the life of every man, which is called the “soul,” is from the father; but what this inmost puts on, which is called the “body,” is from the mother. That the inmost of life, which is from the father, is continually flowing and working into the external, which is from the mother, and is in the effort to make this like itself, even in the womb, can be seen from sons, in that they are born into the disposition of the father, and sometimes grandsons and great-grandsons into that of the grandfather and great grandfather. The reason of this is that the soul, which is from the father, continually wills to make the external, which is from the mother, a likeness and image of itself.

[3] This being the case with man, it can be seen that it was especially so with the Lord. His inmost was the Divine Itself, because it was Jehovah Himself, for He was His only-begotten Son; and because the inmost was the Divine Itself, was not this, more than in any man, able to make the external, which is from the mother, an image of itself, that is, like itself? thus making the Human, which was external and from the mother, Divine; and this by His own power, because the Divine, which was inmost, from which He worked into the Human, was His, as the soul of man, which is the inmost, is man’s. And as the Lord advanced according to Divine order, He made His Human, when He was in the world, Divine truth; but afterward, when He was fully glorified, He made it Divine good, thus one with Jehovah.

[4] How this was done is described in this chapter in the supreme sense, but as the things contained in the supreme sense, all of which treat of the Lord, surpass human understanding, I may in what follows set forth the things contained in this chapter in the internal sense. These treat of the beginning and successive states of truth Divine with the man of the church, that is, with the man who is being regenerated (see n. 6713, 6714). The reason why these things are contained in the internal sense, is that the regeneration of man is an image of the glorification of the Lord’s Human (n. 3138, 3212, 3245, 3246, 3296, 3490, 4402, 5688).

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

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Arcana Coelestia #4402

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4402. And he called it El Elohe Israel. That this signifies from the Divine Spiritual (namely, interior worship), is evident from the signification of “El Elohe” (explained in what follows); and from the signification of “Israel,” as being the spiritual (see n. 4286, 4292). As regards what has been said from verse 17 of this chapter thus far, the case is this: In this chapter in the supreme sense the subject treated of is the Lord, how He made His natural Divine. But as the things which exist in the supreme sense concerning the Lord surpass the ideas of man’s thought (for they are Divine), I may illustrate them by such things as fall more nearly into the ideas, namely, by the manner in which the Lord regenerates man’s natural; for in the internal sense the regeneration of man as to his natural is also here treated of, because the regeneration of man is an image of the glorification of the the Lord, (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490). For the Lord glorified Himself, that is, made Himself Divine, according to Divine order; and according to such order He also regenerates man, that is, makes him celestial and spiritual. Here it is explained how He makes man spiritual, for “Israel” signifies the spiritual man.

[2] The spiritual man is not the interior rational man, but the interior natural. The interior rational man is what is called the celestial man. What the difference is between the spiritual and the celestial man has already been frequently stated. A man is made spiritual by having the truths in him conjoined with good, that is, the things of faith conjoined with those of charity, and this in his natural. Exterior truths are there first conjoined with good, and afterwards interior truths. The conjunction of exterior truths in the natural was treated of in this chapter from verses 1 to 17; and the conjunction of interior truths with good, from verse 17 to the end. Interior truths are not conjoined with good in any other way than by enlightenment flowing in through the internal man into the external man. From this enlightenment Divine truths are manifest only in a general manner, comparatively as innumerable objects are seen by the eye as one obscure thing without distinction. This enlightenment from which truths are manifest only in a general manner, was signified by Esau’s words to Jacob, “Let me set I pray with thee of the people that are with me;” and by Jacob’s answer, “Wherefore is this? Let me find grace in thine eyes” (as explained above, n. 4385-4386).

[3] That the spiritual man is relatively in obscurity see n. 2708, 2715, 2716, 2718, 2831, 2849, 2935, 2937, 3241, 3246, 3833. It is this spiritual man who is represented by Israel (n. 4286). The spiritual man is so called from the fact that the light of heaven, in which is intelligence and wisdom, flows into those things in man which are of the light of the world, and causes the things which are of the light of heaven to be represented in those which are of the light of the world, and thereby to correspond. For regarded in itself the spiritual is the Divine light itself which is from the Lord, consequently it is the intelligence of truth and the wisdom thence derived. But with the spiritual man this light falls into the things which are of faith in him, and which he believes to be true; whereas with the celestial man it falls into the good of love. But although these things are clear to those who are in the light of heaven, they are nevertheless obscure to those who are in the light of the world, thus to most people at this day, and possibly so obscure as to be scarcely intelligible; and yet as they are treated of in the internal sense, and are of such a nature, the opening of them is not to be dispensed with; the time is coming when there will be enlightenment.

[4] The reason why the altar was called El Elohe Israel, and by it was signified interior worship from the Divine Spiritual, is that in the supreme sense “El Elohe” is the same as the Divine Spiritual, and so also is “Israel.” (That “Israel” denotes the Lord as to the Divine Spiritual, and in the representative sense the Lord’s spiritual church, or what is the same, the man who is spiritual, may be seen above, n. 4286, 4292.) In the original tongue “El Elohe” means “God God,” and strictly according to the words, “God of gods.” In the Word, Jehovah or the Lord is in many places called “El,” in the singular, also “Eloah;” and He is likewise called “Elohim,” in the plural; sometimes both in one verse, or in one series. He who is not acquainted with the internal sense of the Word cannot know why this is so. That “El” involves one thing, and “Eloah” another, and “Elohim” another, everyone may judge from the fact that the Word is Divine, that is, derives its origin from the Divine, and that it is thereby inspired as to all the words, nay, as to the least point of all.

[5] What “El” involves when mentioned, and what “Elohim,” may be seen from what has been occasionally shown above, namely, that “El Elohim” or “God” is mentioned when truth is treated of (see n. 709, 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822, 3921 at the end, 4287). Hence it is that by “El” and “Elohim” in the supreme sense is signified the Divine Spiritual, for this is the same as the Divine truth, but with the difference that by “El” is signified truth in the will and act, which is the same as the good of truth (n. 4337, 4353, 4390). The expression “Elohim” is used in the plural, because by truth Divine are meant all truths which are from the Lord. Hence also angels are sometimes called in the Word “Elohim” or “gods” (n. 4295), as will also appear from the passages adduced from the Word below. Now as in the supreme sense “El” and “Elohim” signify the Lord as to truth, they also signify Him as to power; for truth is that of which power is predicated, because good acts by truth when it exerts power (n. 3091, 4015). Therefore wherever power from truth is treated of in the Word, the Lord is called “El” and “Elohim,” that is, “God.” Hence also it is that in the original language “El” also signifies one who is powerful.

[6] That “El” and “Elohim,” or “God,” are mentioned in the Word where the Divine Spiritual is treated of, or what is the same, the Divine truth, and hence the Divine power, may be still more evident from the following passages.

In Moses:

God said unto Israel in the visions of the night, I am the God of gods [El Elohe] of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation (Genesis 46:2-3);

as these words were spoken to Israel, whom He would make a great nation, and thus the subject treated of is truth and its power, it is here said “El Elohe,” which in the proximate sense signifies “God of gods.” That in the proximate sense “Elohim” denotes “gods,” because predicated of truths and the derived power, is also evident in the same:

Jacob built there an altar, and called the place El-Beth-El, because there the Elohim were revealed unto him, when he fled before his brother (Genesis 35:7).

And also elsewhere:

Jehovah your God, He is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God [El], powerful and formidable (Deuteronomy 10:17); where “God of gods” is expressed by “Elohe Elohim,” and afterwards “God” by “El,” to whom greatness and power are ascribed.

[7] In David:

Jehovah is a great God [El], and a great King above all gods [Elohim].

In His hand are the searchings out of the earth; and the strengths of the mountains are His (Psalms 95:3-4

here “God” or “El” is used because the subject treated of is the Divine truth and the derivative power; and also “gods,” because the subject treated of is also the truths thence derived; for in the internal sense a “king” signifies truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670). Hence it is evident what a “great king above all gods” involves. The “searchings out of the earth” also denote the truths of the church, which are called the “strengths of the mountains” from the power from this good. In the same:

Who in heaven shall compare himself to Jehovah? Who among the sons of the gods [Elim] shall be likened to Jehovah ? God [El] mighty in the secret of the holy ones. O Jehovah God Zebaoth, who is as Thou the strong Jah? (Psalms 89:6-8).

Here the “sons of the gods” or “of Elim,” denote truths Divine, of which it is evident that power is predicated; for it is said a “God [El] mighty, Jehovah God of Armies, who is strong as Thou?”

[8] So in another place in David:

Give unto Jehovah, O ye sons of the gods, give unto Jehovah glory and strength (Psalms 29:1);

In Moses:

They fell upon their faces, and said, God of gods [El Elohe] of the spirits of all flesh (Numbers 14:22).

In David:

I said, ye are gods [Elohim] and ye are all sons of the Most High (Psalms 82:6; John 10:34); where they are called “gods” from truths, for “sons” are truths (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2628, 3373, 3704).


Confess ye to the God of gods [Elohe Elohim]; confess ye to the Lord of lords (Psalms 136:2-3).

In Daniel:

The king will act according to his own pleasure, and will puff himself up, and will exalt himself above every god [El], and above the God of gods [El Elohim] will speak wondrous things (Daniel 11:36);

from this it is evident that in the proximate sense “El Elohe” is “God of gods,” and that in the internal sense “gods” are predicated of the truths which are from the Lord.

[9] It is said “El,” or “God,” in the singular, where the subject treated of is the power which is from the Divine truth, or what is the same, from the Lord’s Divine Spiritual, as may be seen from the following passages.

In Moses:

Let my hand be as God [El] to do evil to thee (Genesis 31:29).

And again:

Neither is there a hand for God [El] (Deuteronomy 28:32).

And in Micah:

Neither is there a hand for God (Micah 2:1).

“A hand for God” denotes that there may be power. (That “hand” denotes power may be seen above, n. 878, 3387; and that “hand” is predicated of truth, n. 3091) In David:

I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers; He shall call Me, Thou my Father, my God [El], the rock of my salvation (Psalms 89:25-26);

speaking of power from truths. Again:

The wicked saith in his heart, God [El] hath forgotten, He hath hidden His faces, He will never see: arise, Jehovah God [El], lift up Thy hand wherefore doth the wicked despise God [Elohim]? (Psalms 10:11-13);

denoting the same.

[10] Again:

Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God [El], my rock (Psalms 18:2); where power is treated of.

In Isaiah:

The residue shall return, the residue of Jacob, to the powerful God [El](Isaiah 10:21).


Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, God (El), Mighty, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).


Behold the God [El] of my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid; for He is my strength (Isaiah 12:2).


I am God [El] yea, from this day, I am He, and there is none that can rescue out of My hand, I am doing, and who shall withdraw it? (Isaiah 43:12-13);

said of power.

In Jeremiah:

God [El] the great, the powerful, whose name is Jehovah of Armies (Jeremiah 32:18).

In the second book of Samuel:

With my God [El] I will leap over a wall. God [El], His way is perfect, the discourse of Jehovah is pure. Who is God [El] save Jehovah? Who is a rock save our God [Elohim] ? God [El] is the strength of my refuge (2 Samuel 22:30-33).

[11] In Moses:

God [El] is not a man that He should lie, or the son of man that He should repent; hath He said, and shall He not do ? or hath He spoken, and shall He not establish? He brought them forth out of Egypt, He hath as it were the strengths of a unicorn; in that time it shall be said to Jacob and Israel, What hath God [El] wrought? (Numbers 23:19, 22-23); where in the internal sense power and truth are treated of. And again:

God [El] who brought him forth out of Egypt; He hath as it were the strengths of a unicorn; He shall consume the nations His enemies, and shall break their bones, and shall crush his darts (Numbers 24:8).

That “horns” and “strengths of a unicorn” signify the power of truth from good, see n. 2832. Not to mention many other passages. As most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, so also have “god” and “gods,” which names are used when falsity and power from falsity are treated of; as in Ezekiel:

The gods [Elim] of the strong shall speak to him in the midst of hell (Ezekiel 32:21).

In Isaiah:

Ye have been in heat in the gods [Elim] under every green tree (Isaiah 57:5); where the term “gods” is used from falsities. In like manner in other places.

Numbers 14:22, which is incorrect.

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