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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

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.


 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


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

The Bible

Malachi 4:5

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

← Malachi 4:4    Full Chapter    Malachi 4:6 →

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 250


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 3703, 5620, 6752, 9372

Apocalypse Revealed 704

Doctrine of the Lord 4, 6, 38

True Christian Religion 688


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 624, 724, 937

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 60

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 23

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Word/Phrase Explanations

Send
'To send' signifies revealing.

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...

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

coming
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

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.


 Memory Verse: Prophecies of the Advent
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Prophecies of the Advent
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

 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Prophecies of the Advent (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Sun of Righteousness (Prophecies of the Advent) (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Sun of Righteousness (Prophecies of the Advent) (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Turning to the Lord (Prophecies of the Advent) (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

From Swedenborg's Works

Doctrine of the Lord #6

Doctrine of the Lord (Rogers translation)

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6. To the above let me add here some passages that speak more openly of the Lord’s advent:

...the Lord Himself gives you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name “God-with-us.” (Isaiah 7:14, cf. Matthew 1:22-23)

...unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; the government will be upon His shoulder. And He will call His name Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to...establish it with judgment and righteousness, from now on and even to eternity. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse, and a shoot from his roots shall bear fruit. The spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might.... Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and truth the girdle of His thighs.... It shall come to pass in that day that the gentiles shall seek the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; and His resting place shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1-2, 5, 10)

Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Petra toward the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.... By mercy the throne has been made secure; and One sits upon it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. (Isaiah 16:1, 5)

It will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him to save us. This is Jehovah, whom we have waited for; we will rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of Jehovah; make plain in the solitude a highway for our God.... The glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.... Behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him.... He will feed His flock like a shepherd. (Isaiah 40:3, 5, 10-11)

My elect one, in whom My soul has good pleasure.... I, Jehovah, have called You in righteousness, and...I will...give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out the bound from prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am Jehovah, that is My name; My glory I do not give to another.... (Isaiah 42:1, 6-8)

Who has believed our word? and on whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed? ...He has no form...; we have seen Him, but there is no beauty.... ...He bore our infirmities and carried our sorrows. (Isaiah 53:1-2, 4-12)

Who is this who comes from Edom, with red dyed garments from Bozrah..., traveling in the greatness of His strength? “I who speak in righteousness, great to save.... For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come....” ...So He became their Savior. (Isaiah 63:1-8)

(References: Isaiah 53:4, 63:1, 63:4, 63:8; Jeremiah 33:15-16; Luke 20:42-43, 20:42; Matthew 1:23; Psalms 132:7, 132:9; Revelation 19:10)


[2] Behold, the days are coming...when I will raise up to David an offshoot of righteousness, who shall reign as king and prosper, and bring about judgment and righteousness on the earth.... And this is His name that people will call Him, Jehovah Our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:5-6, cf. Jeremiah ccc33:15, 16)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Sound the trumpet, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and saved.... He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9-10)

Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Zion! ...behold, I am coming, to dwell in your midst.... Many nations shall cleave to Jehovah in that day, and they shall become My people. (Zechariah 2:10-11)

You, Bethlehem Ephratah, little it is that you are among the thousands of Judah; out of you shall come forth to Me the One who will be ruler in Israel, and whose goings forth are from of old, from days of eternity.... He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of Jehovah.... (Micah 5:2, 4)

Behold, I am sending My angel, who will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, and the angel of the covenant, whom you have longed for, behold he is coming.... Who can endure the day of His coming? ...Behold, I am sending you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Jehovah. (Malachi 3:1-2, 4:5)

I was watching...and behold, coming with the clouds of heaven was one like the Son of man.... To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and languages will worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age, which will not pass away, and His kingdom one that will not perish.... And all dominions will worship Him and obey Him. (Daniel 7:13-14, 27)

Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression..., and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies. Know therefore and perceive, that from the going forth of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks.... (Daniel 9:24-25)

[3] I will set His hand upon the sea, and His right hand upon the rivers. He will cry to Me, “You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.” Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.... His seed I will make to endure to eternity, and his throne as the days of heaven. (Psalms 89:25-27, 29)

Jehovah said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I have made Your enemies Your footstool.” Jehovah shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! ...“You are a priest to eternity, according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalms 110:1-2, 4, cf. Matthew 22:44, Luke 20:41-43)

I have anointed My King on Zion, My holy mountain. I will declare the decree: Jehovah has said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You. ...I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as Your possession.... Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, lest you perish in the way.... Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (Psalms 2:6-8, 12)

You have made Him indeed a little less than the angels, but You have crowned Him with glory and honor. You have made Him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet. (Psalms 8:5-6)

Remember, O Jehovah, David..., who swore to Jehovah and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: “If I enter into the shelter of my house, if I go up to the couch of my pallet, if I give sleep to my eyes...until I find a place for Jehovah, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.” Behold, we heard of Him in Ephrathah; we found Him in the fields of the forest. We will enter into His dwelling place, we will bow ourselves at His footstool.... Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints rejoice. (Psalms 132:1-9)

The passages cited here are but a few of them.

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Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 472, 819

Divine Providence 172

The Lord 37

Sacred Scripture 89


Published by the General Church of the New Jerusalem, 1100 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania 19009, U.S.A. A translation of Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Domino, by Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688-1772. Translated from the Original Latin by N. Bruce Rogers. ISBN 9780945003687, Library of Congress Control Number: 2013954074.


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