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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Resources for parents and teachers

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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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


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The Bible

 

2 Kings 1:8

English: King James Version         

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8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 3301, 3540, 5247, 9372, 9828

The Lord 15


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 66, 395

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

1 Kings 18:46

Zechariah 13:4

Matthew 3:4

Mark 1:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

Hairy man
'A hairy man,' as Esau is described in Genesis 27:11, signifies the quality of natural good.

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

girdle
In a sense, the whole point of trying to accept the Lord and align ourselves with His love and His leading is so that we...

Loins
'Loins' in general, signify love, and when referring to the Lord, divine love. 'Loins' signify the interiors of conjugial love. Loins,' as in Isaiah 11:5,...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Elijah
Elijah (referred to as Elias in the New Testament) was the renowned prophet sent to the split kingdoms of Israel and Judah. His first appearance...

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 Elijah and the Fire from Heaven
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Prophets Elijah and Elisha
Use the figures of Elijah and Elisha to help retell the story of Elijah being taken into the heaven and leaving his mantle for Elisha.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

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Apocalypse Explained #235

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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235. I will spue thee out of my mouth. That this signifies separation from knowledges derived from the Word is evident from the signification of spuing, when by the Lord, as being separation; not that the Lord separates them from Himself, but that they separate themselves from the Lord. The expression to spue is used, because the subject treated of is the lukewarm; and in the world what is lukewarm causes vomiting. This is also from correspondence; for the food which man takes corresponds to knowledges, and consequently, in the Word, signifies knowledges; therefore separation from them signifies non-admission; but because those who are here treated of do admit something from the Word, it signifies casting out, or vomiting (that food, from correspondence, signifies knowledges and intelligence therefrom, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, 8562; for knowledges nourish the internal man, or spirit, as food nourishes the external man, or body, n. 4459, 5293, 5576, 6277, 8418); and from the signification of out of the mouth, when said of the Lord, as being out of the Word. The reason why out of the mouth, when said of the Lord, signifies the Word is, that the Word is Divine truth, and this proceeds from the Lord, and what proceeds from Him and flows into man is said to be out of the mouth, although it is not out of the mouth, but is as light from the sun. For the Lord above the heavens, where the angels are, appears as a Sun; and the light therefrom is Divine truth, from which angels and men have all their intelligence and wisdom (as may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell n. 116-125, and 126-140). It is therefore evident that by I will spue thee out of my mouth, is signified to separate from Divine truth, or, what amounts to the same, from knowledges derived from the Word.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3114, Arcana Coelestia 4459, Arcana Coelestia 4792, Arcana Coelestia 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, Arcana Coelestia 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, Arcana Coelestia 6277, Arcana Coelestia 8418, Arcana Coelestia 8562; Heaven and Hell 116-125, 126-140; Revelation 3:16)


[2] That those who are lukewarm, that is, neither cold nor hot, as those are who live from the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby, of which we have spoken just above, are separated from knowledges derived from the Word, is not known to themselves, for they believe that they possess knowledges more than all others; but still they do not, indeed, they have scarcely any knowledge. The reason of this is, that the principles of their doctrine and religion are false; and from false principles nothing but falsities follow; therefore, when reading the Word, they keep the mind fixed in their falsities; consequently they either do not see truths, or if they do, they pass by or falsify them. The false principles referred to are, that salvation is by faith alone, and that man is justified by that faith. Such persons might know, if they would, that they are separated from knowledges derived from the Word, and that they do not see truths. For what is more frequently said by the Lord than that they ought to keep His words, His commandments, and do His will; and that every one shall be rewarded according to his deeds; as also that the whole Word is founded upon two commandments, which are, to love God, and to love the neighbour, and that to love God is to do His precept (John xiv. 21, 23, 24)? That these must be done in order to salvation, is said a thousand times in both Testaments; also that to hear and to know them is to no purpose unless they are done. But do those who have confirmed themselves in faith alone, and justification thereby, see those things? and if they do see them, do they not falsify them? This is why such persons have no doctrine of life, but a doctrine of faith alone; when nevertheless it is the life that forms the man of the church, and those things become his faith which enter into his life.

(References: John 14:21, 14:23-24)


[3] That such persons are separated from knowledges derived from the Word is evident also from this, that they do not know that they will live as men after the death of the body; that it is the spirit in them which lives; that heaven and also hell are from the human race; that they know nothing at all of heaven and heavenly joy; neither of hell and infernal fire; thus nothing about the spiritual world; nothing about the internal or spiritual sense of the Word; about the glorification of the Lord's Human; about regeneration; about temptation, and about Baptism and what it involves; nothing about the Holy Supper, and about what flesh and blood, or bread and wine, therein signify; nothing about free-will; nothing about the internal man; nothing about charity, the neighbour, good, and love; neither do they know what remission of sins is; besides many other things contained in the Word. I have also heard the angels say that, when they are permitted to look into the church and see those who believe themselves to be intelligent from doctrine, they see mere thick darkness, and such intelligent ones, as it were, deep under waves.

[4] There are two reasons why they are separated from knowledges derived from the Word. The first is that they cannot be enlightened from the Lord; for the Lord flows into the good of man, and from that good enlightens him in truths, that is, He flows into man's love, and thence into his faith. The other reason is that they profane truths by falsifications; and those who do this are separated from truths themselves while they live in the world, so that they do not know them; but in the other life they reject all the things which, during their abode in the world, they had known from the Word. Both these separations are meant by being vomited out of the mouth. Similar things are meant by vomiting elsewhere in the Word; as in the following passages; in Isaiah:

"Jehovah hath mingled in the midst of Egypt a spirit of perversities; whence they have caused Egypt to go astray in every work thereof, even as a drunkard goeth astray in his vomit " (xix. 14).

Egypt signifies the knowledge (scientia) of things, both spiritual and natural; by mingling in the midst thereof a spirit of perversities is signified to pervert and falsify those things; by a drunkard are signified those who are insane in spiritual things; and, inasmuch as truths mingled with falsities are cast out, it is therefore said, "as a drunkard goeth astray in his vomit." (That Egypt signifies knowledge (scientia), may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 5700, 5702, 6015, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 7296, and also the scientifics of the church, n. 7296, 9340, 9391; that the drunken signify those who are insane in spiritual things, n. 1072.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1072, Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, 1186, 1462, Arcana Coelestia 5700, 5702, Arcana Coelestia 6015, Arcana Coelestia 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, Arcana Coelestia 7296, Arcana Coelestia 9340, 9391; Isaiah 19:14)


[5] In Jeremiah:

"Drink ye, and be drunken, and spew and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword" (xxv. 27).

To drink and be drunken is to imbibe falsities and mingle them with truths, and hence to be insane; to spew and fall, is altogether to cast out things falsified; the sword because of which they shall rise no more, signifies falsity destroying and vastating truth (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2799, 4499, 7102). It is therefore evident what is meant by spewing and falling.

Again:

"Make Moab drunken, because he hath lifted himself up against Jehovah, that he may wallow in his vomit" (xlviii. 26).

Moab signifies those who adulterate the goods of the church wherefore vomiting is said of them.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2799, Arcana Coelestia 4499, Arcana Coelestia 7102; Jeremiah 25:27, 48:26)


[6] Also in Habakkuk:

"Woe unto him that maketh a companion to drink even in being drunken, that thou mayest look upon their nakednesses. Thou shalt be satiated with shame more than glory; drink thou, also, and let thy foreskin be discovered; the cup of Jehovah shall go about unto thee, so that shameful spewing shall be upon glory " (ii. 15, 16).

To drink in being drunken, also signifies to imbibe truths and mingle them with falsities; the nakednesses upon which they look signifies the deprivation of truth and of intelligence therefrom (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 1073, 5433, 9960); the foreskin which shall be discovered, signifies the defilement of good (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2056, 3412, 3413, 4462, 7225, 7245); glory signifies Divine truth, consequently the Word (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429). It is therefore evident what is signified by shameful spewing upon glory.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1073, Arcana Coelestia 2056, Arcana Coelestia 3412-3413, Arcana Coelestia 4462, Arcana Coelestia 4809, Arcana Coelestia 5433, Arcana Coelestia 5922, Arcana Coelestia 7225, 7245, Arcana Coelestia 8267, Arcana Coelestia 8427, Arcana Coelestia 9429, 9960; Habakkuk 2:15-16)


[7] In Isaiah:

"These err through wine; through strong drink they wander out of the way; the priest and the prophet err through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they err among the seeing, they stumble in judgment. Nay! all tables are full of the vomit of filthiness; there is no place. Whom shall he teach knowledge?" (xxviii. 7-9).

Here wine and strong drink, through which they are said to err, signify truths mingled with falsities; the priest and the prophet signify those who teach goods and truths, and, in the abstract, the goods and truths of the church; those who err among the seeing signify those who were about to see truths to stumble in judgment signifies insanity; tables signify all those things which should nourish the spiritual life, for by tables are meant the food which is upon them, and food signifies all truths and goods, because these nourish spiritual life. Here, therefore, by tables being full of vomit and filthiness are signified the same things falsified and adulterated.

(References: Isaiah 28:7-9)


[8] In Moses:

"Defile not yourselves in any of these things; for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you. And the land is defiled; therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants; that the land spew not you out also when ye defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you" (Lev. xviii. 24, 25, 28).

By the subject here treated of is meant all kinds of adulteries, by which, in the spiritual sense, are meant all kinds of adulterations of good and falsifications of truth, or profanations; and because evils and goods, as also falsities of evil and truths of good, cannot be together, but are cast out, therefore it is said that the land, that is the church, has vomited them out. From these things it is now evident what is signified by vomiting, I will vomit thee out of my mouth.

(References: Leviticus 18:24-25, 18:28; Revelation 3:16)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 226, 237

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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