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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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From Swedenborg's Works

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


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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

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.
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The Bible

 

John 1:19-30

English: King James Version      

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19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

Full Chapter   John 2 →

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Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1748, 2534, 2708, 3704, 3994, 4727, 5323, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 378

The Lord 15, 37

True Christian Religion 689, 690, 825

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 283


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 314, 778, 805

An Invitation to the New Church 5

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14, 88

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



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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.


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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9429

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9429. 'And the glory of Jehovah lay over Mount Sinai' means the more internal levels of the Lord's Word in heaven. This is clear from the meaning of 'the glory of Jehovah', when the Word is the subject, as its inward sense, thus the more internal levels of the Word, dealt with in the Preface to Genesis 18, and in 5922; and from the meaning of 'Mount Sinai' as Divine Truth emanating from the Lord, and consequently as heaven, dealt with above in 9420, 9427. The reason why the more internal levels of the Word are called 'the glory' is that Divine Truth emanating from the Lord as the Sun composes the light in heaven, which enables the angels there to see with their eyes and at the same time gives them intelligence and wisdom, 1531, 1619-1632, 2776, 3138, 3167, 3190, 3195, 3339, 3341, 3636, 3643, 3862, 3993, 4302, 4415, 4527, 5400, 6313, 6608, 6907, 8644, 8707, 8861. This Divine light is the source of all the glory in heaven, whose brightness is such that it exceeds all human imagination. From this it is evident why the inward sense of the Word is 'the glory'; for the inward sense of the Word is the Divine Truth emanating from the Lord in heaven, and so it is the light which is the source of all the glory there.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135, 6905)


[2] This is what 'glory' is used to mean in a large number of places in the Word, such as where it says that they would see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with glory, Matthew 24:30; Luke 21:27; that the Lord, after He had suffered would enter into His glory, Luke 24:26; that when He came in His glory He would sit on the throne of His glory, Matthew 25:31, 'sitting on the throne of glory' meaning judging with Divine Truth that comes from Him; and that Moses and Elijah appeared in glory, Luke 9:30-31, 'Moses and Elijah' there being the Word, see Preface to Genesis 18, and 2762, 5247, 9372. It is also what the Lord's 'being glorified' is used to mean in John,

Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. John 13:31-32.

'Being glorified in God' means becoming Divine Good from which Divine Truth springs. Something similar appears in John 12:28.

(References: John 12:38)


[3] Divine Truth emanating from the Lord as it exists in heaven is meant by 'the glory' in the following places as well: In Isaiah,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of Jehovah. And the glory of Jehovah will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together. Isaiah 40:3, 5.

These are words referring to the Coming of the Lord, in which 'the glory of Jehovah' that will be revealed is Divine Truth. The Lord is that Truth because it comes from Him, as is evident in John,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. He was the true light. And the Word became flesh; and we saw His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father. John 1:1, 4, 9, 14.

'The Word' here is Divine Truth, and so is 'the light', from which it is evident what 'seeing His glory' means. The Lord, as is well known, did not appear in any glory in the world, apart from when He was transfigured.

(References: Isaiah 40:6)


[4] 'The glory' has the same meaning elsewhere in John,

These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. But they delighted in the glory of men more than in the glory of God. I have come as light into the world in order that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. John 12:41, 43, 46.

Here also 'the Lord's glory' and 'the glory of God' stand for Divine Truth, while 'the glory of men' stands for falsity. In Isaiah,

Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen upon you. Jehovah will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen over you. The glory of Lebanon will come to you to beautify the place of My sanctuary. Your sun will no longer go down and your moon will not be withdrawn, for Jehovah will be to you an everlasting light. Isaiah 60:1-end.

This plainly refers to the Coming of the Lord, His kingdom, heaven, and the Church. Divine Truth emanating from His Divine Human is described in the whole of that chapter, where it is called light, honour, and glory.

(References: Isaiah 60:1-2, Isaiah 60:13, Isaiah 60:20)


[5] In the same prophet,

They will fear the name of Jehovah from the setting of the sun, and His glory from the rising of the sun. The Redeemer will come to Zion. Isaiah 59:19-20.

Here also it refers to the Lord. 'The name of Jehovah' stands for all the truth of faith and good of love from which worship flows, 2724, 3006, 6674, 9310. In the same prophet,

I have called You in righteousness, and will give You as a covenant of the people, 1 a light of the nations. I am Jehovah, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another. Isaiah 42:6, 8.

This too is a reference to the Lord, in which 'a light of the nations' means Divine Truth which comes from Him; 'not giving glory to another' means that that Divine Truth comes from no one other than the Lord, who is one with Jehovah, as again in the same prophet,

For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; and My glory I will not give to another. Isaiah 48:11.

(References: Isaiah 60:1-2, Isaiah 60:13, Isaiah 60:20)


[6] 'Glory' has a like meaning elsewhere in Isaiah,

Your light will break forth like the dawn; your righteousness will walk before you, the glory of Jehovah will gather you up. Isaiah 58:8.

In the same prophet,

One will come to gather all nations and tongues, that they may come and see My glory. Isaiah 66:18.

In the same prophet,

Jehovah Zebaoth will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before all His elders, glory. Isaiah 24:23.

In Moses,

Jehovah said, I am the Living One, and the whole earth will be filled with the glory of Jehovah. Numbers 14:20-21.

In all these places, which refer to the Lord, 'glory' means Divine Truth which emanates from Him.

[7] In Isaiah,

I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up. And above Him stood the seraphim. And one cried to another, Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah Zebaoth; the whole earth is full of His glory. Isaiah 6:1-3.

In David,

The heavens recount the glory of God. Psalms 19:1.

And in the same author,

... that the nations may fear the name of Jehovah, and the kings of the earth Your glory, in that Jehovah has built Zion and appeared in His glory. Psalms 102:15-16.

In Revelation,

The glory of God will give the holy Jerusalem light, and its lamp is the Lamb. And the nations that are saved will walk in His light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honour into it. Revelation 21:23-25.

'The holy Jerusalem' stands for a new Church; 'the glory of God' stands for Divine Truth from the Lord there, as does 'His light' in which they will walk; and 'the kings of the earth' who 'will bring glory' stands for those who are guided by truths derived from good, 2015, 2069, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148. All this now makes clear what the meaning is of 'the glory of Jehovah' which lay over Mount Sinai. See also 8427.

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Footnotes:

1. The Latin means for the people but the Hebrew means of the people, which Swedenborg has in some other places where he quotes this verse.

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(References: Exodus 24:16; Revelation 21:23-24)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 9433, 9434, 9553, 9684, 9741, 9807, 9809, 9815, 9926, 9930, 10033, 10053, 10149, 10574

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 33, 36, 63, 179, 235, 242, 253, 331, 735


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Other New Christian Commentary

Glory 1


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


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