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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 drafts, indexes & diaries:

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


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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?
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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The Bible

 

Matthew 17:10-13

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10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

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Explanation of Matthew 17      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1, 2. That after previous states of preparation and purification, they who are principled in faith, in charity, and in works of charity, are elevated into interior truths of good, and therein behold intellectually the Lord's Divine Humanity as the supreme good and supreme truth.

Verse 3. Thus as the all of the Word, both historical and prophetical.

Verse 4. Which state of interior perception affects the wills of those who are in the truths of the church, and moves them to desire the reception and accomplishment of the whole Word in themselves.

Verse 5. Accordingly, from the sense of the letter, in which they are principled, they are instructed that the Lord's Divine Humanity is the Divine Truth Itself, and the one living Source of all truth in the church.

Verses 6, 7. Which instruction causes humiliation of the interiors, and a holy dread, until elevation and confidence are effected by communication with the Divine Humanity of the Lord.

Verse 8. Who on this occasion is perceived to be the whole of the Word.

Verse 9. Howbeit this perception could not have been communicated, unless the Lord had glorified His Humanity by uniting it with the Divine.

Verses 10, 11, 12, 13. And this by temptation-combats, in which the Humanity was representative of the Word, and suffered itself to be treated as the Word itself had been treated by the church.

Verses 14, 15. When yet it is the proper Object of man's worship, and to be adored as the sole power of deliverance by such as are in evils and falsities.

Verse 16. Who cannot be delivered by any goods or truths but such as are in connection with the Divine Good and Truth of the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verses 17, 18. To effect which connection, the Lord assumed the Humanity, and endured temptations, that thus they who desire to be delivered from evils and falsities may approach to Him, and thereby be separated from the infernal association, and restored to conjunction of life with the divine.

Verses 19, 20. For man has no power against infernal evils and falsities, but what he derives from faith in the Divine Humanity of the Lord, by virtue of which faith, if grounded in any degree of heavenly good, the infernal love of self is cast out, and man has communication with the Divine Omnipotence.

Verse 21. Nevertheless, a full deliverance cannot be effected, until the interiors are opened to heavenly influence by temptation-combats.

Verses 22, 23. Therefore the Lord endured those combats, and thus glorified His Humanity.

Verse 24 to the end. For the Divine Law requires that the Humanity shall be subject to the Divine, and the natural to the spiritual, and not vice versa.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 3540, 5620, 6752, 9372, 9807

Apocalypse Revealed 624


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 36, 63, 83, 594, 624

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Bible Word Meanings

disciples
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asked
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scribes
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:18, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

said
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all things
The Lord is life itself, is the Creator of the universe, and is the source of life on an ongoing basis. So in a literal...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

john the baptist
Jesus as a man in the Bible represents Divine Truth, the pure and perfect expression of the Lord's infinite love. That truth is contained within...

john
Jesus as a man in the Bible represents Divine Truth, the pure and perfect expression of the Lord's infinite love. That truth is contained within...

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 Finding the Deeper Meaning of the Word
Lesson and activities looking at the inner meaning of the Old and New Testaments.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 How Does God Lead People?
The Bible lays out a path to happiness. By making God's truth our Guide and following Him we can hear His voice through friends, conscience, inspiring books or by reflecting on events we experience.
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 How Does the Lord Lead People?
Lesson and activities looking at ways the Lord leaves us while leaving us in freedom.
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 The Transfiguration
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 The Transfiguration
Since His resurrection, the Lord appears in heaven much as He looked when He was transfigured so this is a wonderful project for children to do! 
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 The Transfiguration
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
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 The Transfiguration: A Wonderful Vision
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 Transfiguration: One Lord, Two Prophets, Three Disciples
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 Ways That the Lord Appeared to People on Earth
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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #594

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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594. Encompassed with a cloud, signifies the ultimate of the Word. This is evident from the signification of "encompassed," as being by what is outside of one, for that which is round about is also without, for it is more remote in the circumference; so here it means the ultimate. Also from the signification of a "cloud," as being Divine truth in ultimates, consequently the Word in the sense of the letter. This signification of "cloud" is evident from appearances in the spiritual world; also from the Word wherever "clouds" are mentioned. From appearances in the spiritual world, as follows: the universal angelic heaven consists solely of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord; the reception of this constitutes angels. In the highest heaven this truth appears like a pure aura which is called ether; in the next lower heaven as less pure, almost like the atmosphere that is called air; in the lowest heaven it appears like something thinly aqueous over which is a vapor like a cloud; such is the appearance of Divine truth according to degrees in its descent. There is a like appearance when angels of the higher heavens speak about Divine truths; what they say is then presented to the view of those who are in the lowest heaven under the appearance of a cloud that floats hither and thither; the more intelligent of them know from its movement and brightness and form what the angels of the higher heavens are speaking about with each other. This makes evident why a "cloud" signifies Divine truth in ultimates. As most things in the Word were taken from the appearances in the spiritual world, and thence have a like significance as they have there, so is it with "clouds."

(References: Revelation 10:1)


[2] That a "cloud" signifies in the Word the sense of the letter, which is Divine truth in ultimates, can be seen from the following passages. In the Gospels:

Jesus took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain; and He was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light. And behold, there appeared Moses and Elijah speaking with Him. While Peter was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him (Matthew 17:1-10; Mark 9:1-11).

And in Luke:

While Peter thus spake there came a cloud and overshadowed them; hence they feared as they entered into the cloud. But there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son; hear ye Him (Luke 9:34, 35).

In this transfiguration the Lord represented Divine truth, which is the Word; for the Lord, when He was in the world, made His Human Divine truth, and when He went out of the world He made His Human Divine good by uniting it with the Divine Itself, that was in Him from conception. (That the Lord made His Human Divine truth when He was in the world, and afterwards Divine good, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 303-306; and that the Lord is the Word, n. 263.) Consequently the particular things that were seen when He was transfigured signify the proceeding of Divine truth from the Lord's Divine good. The Divine good of Divine love which was in Him, and from which He had Divine truth in His Human, was represented by "His face did shine as the sun;" for the "face" represents the interiors, since these shine forth through the face; and the "sun" signifies the Divine love (see above, n. 401, 412). The Divine truth was represented by the "garments" which became as the light; "garments" in the Word signify truths, and "the Lord's garments" Divine truth (see also above, n. 64, 271, 395); this is why they appeared "as the light;" for Divine truth makes the light in the angelic heaven, and is therefore signified by "light" in the Word (respecting which see in the work on Heaven and Hell 126-140). Because it was the Word, which is Divine truth, that was represented, therefore "there appeared Moses and Elijah speaking with Him;" "Moses and Elijah" signifying the Word; "Moses" the historical Word, and "Elijah" the prophetical Word. The Word in the letter was represented by the "cloud that overshadowed the disciples, and into which they entered;" for the "disciples" represented in the Word the church, which at that time and afterwards was only in truths from the sense of the letter; and because, as has been said in the article above, revelations and responses are made by Divine truth in ultimates, and because this truth is such as is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, it came to pass that "a voice was heard out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him," meaning that He is Divine truth, or the Word.

(References: Luke 9:34-35; Mark 9:1-10; Matthew 17:1-5; The Apocalypse Explained 64, The Apocalypse Explained 271, 395, 401, 412)


[3] He who does not know that a "cloud" in the spiritual sense of the Word means the Word in the letter, cannot know what arcanum is involved in this:

That in the consummation of the age they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory (Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; 14:61, 62; Luke 21:27).

And in Revelation:

Behold, Jesus Christ cometh with the clouds and every eye shall see Him (Genesis 1:7).

And again:

I saw, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man (Numbers 14:14).

And in Daniel:

I was seeing in the night visions, and behold, there was coming with the clouds of the heavens one like the Son of man (Daniel 7:13).

He who is ignorant that "the clouds of heaven" signify the truths of the Word in the sense of the letter, cannot know otherwise than that in the consummation of the age, that is, in the end of the church, the Lord is to come in the clouds of heaven, and manifest Himself to the world; but it is well known that since the Word was given, the Lord manifests Himself through that only, for the Word, which is Divine truth, is the Lord Himself in heaven and in the church. From this it can now be seen that the manifestation here predicted signifies His manifestation in the Word; and His manifestation in the Word was effected through His opening and revealing the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, for in that sense is the Divine truth itself, such as it is in heaven, and the Divine truth in heaven is the Lord Himself there. This makes clear that "the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven with glory" signifies the revelation of Him in the sense of the letter of the Word from its spiritual sense. "The clouds of heaven" signify the things belonging to the sense of the letter, and "glory" signifies those belonging to the spiritual sense (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 1), also the revelation itself of the spiritual sense (in the small work on The White Horse); "Son of man" also signifies the Lord in relation to Divine truth (as may be seen above, n. 63, 151).

(References: Mark 14:61-62; Revelation 1:7, Revelation 14:14; The Apocalypse Explained 63, The Apocalypse Explained 151)


[4] That a "cloud" signifies Divine truth in ultimates, consequently the Word in the sense of the letter, can be seen further from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Behold, Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud, and cometh into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt are moved before Him, and the heart of the Egyptian melteth in the midst of him (19 Isaiah 19:1).

"Egypt" here does not mean Egypt, but the natural man when separated from the spiritual, which is then in falsities and evils, and through these perverts all the truths and goods of the church; that the natural man is destroyed by these falsities and evils when truth from good flows in from the Lord is described by these words of the prophet understood in the internal sense. Jehovah is said "to ride upon a light cloud" to signify that the Lord enlightens the understanding with truths; "to ride" in reference to Jehovah or the Lord, signifying to enlighten the understanding, and "a light cloud" signifying truth; that then "the idols of Egypt are moved, and the heart of the Egyptian melteth," signifies that the evils and falsities of the natural man, separated from the spiritual, then destroy the natural man; "idols" meaning falsities, the "heart" evils, and "Egypt" the natural man.

[5] In Moses:

There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth in heaven and in His magnificence upon the clouds, the abode of the God of antiquity, and underneath are the arms of the world (Deuteronomy 33:26, 27).

Here, too, "riding in heaven upon the clouds" signifies to enlighten the understanding by the influx of spiritual truth into natural truth, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word. Because Divine truth in the heavens is spiritual, and Divine truth on the earth is natural, and the latter is enlightened by the former, therefore it is said, "and in His magnificence upon the clouds;" "the abode of the God of antiquity" means Divine truth with the angels, and "the arms of the world," mean Divine truths with men; the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are what are meant by "the arms of the world," for that sense is the very strength of Divine truth, "arms" signifying strength. (That the strength of Divine truth is in the sense of the letter can be seen in the article just above.)

(References: Deuteronomy 33:26-27)


[6] In David:

God rode upon a cherub and did fly, and was borne upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His hiding place; His tent round about Him the darkness of waters, the clouds of the heavens. At the brightness before Him the clouds passed (Psalms 18:10-12).

This, too, describes the enlightenment of the Word, and thus of the church; enlightenment by the influx of Divine truth from the heavens is signified by "God rode upon a cherub and did fly;" Divine truth in ultimates which is enlightened is signified by "the wings of the wind," "the darkness of waters," and "the clouds of the heavens," these signifying the various degrees of the understanding receiving enlightenment; that the obscurities of the ultimate sense are thereby dissipated is meant by "at the brightness before Him the clouds passed."

[7] In the same:

Sing unto God, praise His name; extol Him that rideth upon the clouds (Psalms 68:4).

Here, too, "Him that rideth upon the clouds" means the Lord as to enlightenment; "clouds" meaning truths in ultimates, which are enlightened, and these are enlightened by the influx of light, which is Divine truth, from the spiritual world or heaven.

(References: Ezekiel 10:3-4)


[8] In Nahum:

Jehovah hath His way in the storm and in the tempest, and the clouds are the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3).

Truth in ultimates, which is the truth of the sense of the letter of the Word, is called "clouds, the dust of the feet of Jehovah," because it is the natural and lowest truth, into which Divine truth in heaven, which is spiritual, closes, and upon which it subsists. Divine truth in ultimates, because it is but little understood unless there is enlightenment from heaven, is a subject of discussion and controversy, and this is meant by "storm and tempest in which Jehovah hath His way," spiritual "storm and tempest" meaning discussion concerning the genuine sense, which nevertheless, with those who desire truth, the Lord enlightens by means of influx.

[9] In David:

His seed shall be to eternity, and His throne as the sun before Thee. 1 It shall be established as the moon to eternity, and as a faithful witness in the clouds (Psalms 89:36, 37).

This is said of the Lord, and the "seed that shall be to eternity" signifies Divine truth which is from Him. The "throne that shall be as the sun and as the moon" signifies heaven and the church as to the good of love and as to the truth of faith; "throne" signifying heaven and the church; "as the sun" in respect to the good of love, and "as the moon" in respect to the truth of faith. "A faithful witness in the clouds" signifies that He is Divine truth, for "witness" in reference to the Lord, signifies that which proceeds from Him, and as that is His, it witnesses respecting Him.

(References: Psalms 89:36-37)


[10] In the same:

Jehovah layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters; He maketh the cloud 2 His chariot; He walketh upon the wings of the wind (Psalms 104:3).

These few words describe heaven and the church, and at the same time doctrine from the Word. "He layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters" signifies that the Lord forms the heavens and the church from Divine truths; "waters" signify Divine truths; "Jehovah's chambers" signify the heavens and the church, and "to lay beams" signifies to form. "He maketh the clouds His chariot" signifies doctrine from ultimate Divine truths; "clouds" meaning ultimate Divine truths, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word, and a "chariot" doctrine; this is said because every doctrine of the church is to be formed from and confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word. "He walketh upon the wings of the wind" signifies the life which doctrine has from spiritual influx; "to walk" signifying to live, and in reference to the Lord life itself; "the wings of the wind" mean the spiritual things of the Word. (That "waters" signify truths, see above, n. 71, 483, 518, 537, 538.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, The Apocalypse Explained 518, 537-538)


[11] In Isaiah:

I will lay waste My vineyard, I will even command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it (Isaiah 5:6).

This means that the church shall have no understanding of Divine truth or of the Word; "vineyard" signifying the church, "clouds" the Word in the letter, and "their raining no rain," that there shall be no understanding of Divine truth from the Word.

[12] In David:

Jehovah who covereth the heavens with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains (Psalms 147:8).

"To cover the heavens with clouds" signifies to defend and preserve the spiritual things of the Word which are in the heavens, by means of natural truths such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word; "who prepareth rain for the earth" signifies instruction therefrom for the church; "who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains" signifies nourishment thereby for those who are in the good of love.

[13] The like is signified by the following words in Isaiah:

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds stream down with righteousness; let the earth open and bring forth the fruit of salvation (Isaiah 45:8).

And in Judges:

Jehovah, when Thou didst go forth out of Seir, when Thou didst march out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, yea, the clouds dropped waters (Judges 5:4).

"To go forth out of Seir, and to march out of the field of Edom," signifies, in reference to Jehovah, the enlightenment of the Gentiles by the Lord when He assumed the Human; "the earth trembling" signifies the state of the church then changed; "the heavens dropped, and the clouds dropped waters," signifies instruction, influx, and perception of Divine truth; "to drop" signifying instruction and influx; "waters" truths; "the heavens" the interior things of truth, and "clouds," the exterior, such as are in the sense of the letter of the Word.

[14] In David:

The clouds poured out waters; the skies gave forth a voice, and Thine arrows went forth (Psalms 77:17).

"The clouds poured out waters" signifies that there are genuine truths from the sense of the letter of the Word; "the skies gave forth a voice" signifies influx from the heavens; "Thine arrows went forth" signifies Divine truths therefrom. In Job:

God bindeth up the waters in His clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them. He spreadeth His cloud upon His throne (Job 26:8, 9).

Here, too, "clouds" stand for truths ultimate in order, and because these contain in themselves and enclose spiritual truths that they may not be dispersed, this is described and signified by "God bindeth up the waters in His clouds, and the cloud is not rent;" because exterior truths, which are called natural, also encompass and enclose interior truths, which are called spiritual, and are proper to the angels of the heavens, this is described and signified by "He spreadeth His cloud upon His throne."

(References: Acts of the Apostles 26:8-9; Job 26:8-9)


[15] In Isaiah:

Jehovah said, I will be quiet, and I will behold in My dwelling place like clear heat upon light, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest (Isaiah 18:4);

a "cloud of dew" signifying truth bringing forth fruit from good. In the same:

Jehovah will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and upon her convocations a cloud by day, and a smoke and the brightness of a flame of fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a covering (Isaiah 4:5).

"The dwelling place of Mount Zion" signifies the good of the celestial church, and "her convocations" signify the truths of that good; protection lest it should be hurt by too much light or too much shade is signified by "a cloud by day and a smoke, and the brightness of a flame of fire by night," and as every spiritual good and truth is preserved from harm by natural good and truth, it is said that "upon all the glory shall be a covering," "glory" meaning spiritual good and truth.

[16] The same is signified by:

The cloud that was upon the tabernacle by day, and the fire by night (Exodus 40:36-38; Numbers 9:15-23to the end;Numbers 10:11, 12, 34;14:14;Deuteronomy 1:33).

Jehovah went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21).

The pillar of the cloud stood between the camp of the sons of Israel and the camp of the Egyptians (Exodus 14:19-21).

In David:

God led them in the daytime in a cloud, and all the night in the light of fire (Psalms 78:14).

And elsewhere in the same:

Egypt was glad when they went forth, for the dread of them had fallen upon them. He spread out a cloud for a covering, and fire to make light the night (Psalms 105:38, 39).

"There was a cloud upon the tabernacle by day, and a fire by night," because the "tabernacle" represented heaven and the church, the "cloud" the Lord's presence through Divine truth, and the "fire" His presence through Divine good, which is called the good of faith, each ultimate in order; therefore they were as coverings over the tabernacle; for this reason it is said in the passages cited above from Isaiah and David, "over all the glory shall be a covering," and "He spread out a cloud for a covering."

The like is signified by:

The cloud that covered Mount Horeb, into which cloud Moses entered (Exodus 24:15-18).

And the like by:

The cloud in which Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16, 18; 34:5).

And the like by:

The pillar of cloud that stood at the door of Moses' tent (Exodus 33:9, 10).

(References: Exodus 19:9, Exodus 33:9-10; Numbers 10:11-12; Psalms 105:38-39)


[17] So again of the "cloud" in Ezekiel:

I looked, and behold a wind of a tempest came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself in itself, and a brightness round about it (Ezekiel 1:4).

And in the same:

The cherubim stood on the right side of the house when the man entered in; and the cloud filled the inner court; and the glory of Jehovah mounted up from above the cherub upon the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of Jehovah's glory (Ezekiel 10:3, 4).

The "cherubim" signify the Lord in respect to guarding, that there be no approach except through the good of love; so, too, the "cherubim" signify the heavens, in particular the inmost or third heaven, because the angels who are there receive Divine truth in the good of love, therefore it is Divine truth, which is in its essence the good of love, that guards. This Divine truth, as it comes down out of the inmost heaven into the lower heavens, and at length into the world where men are, from being pure becomes thus by degrees more dense, consequently in the lowest degree it appears like a cloud; this is why it signifies Divine truth accommodated to the apprehension of the angels who are in the lowest heaven, who are spiritual-natural, and finally to the apprehension of men in the natural world. Moreover, as Divine truth in this degree is similar to the Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word, "cloud" signifies the Word as to the sense of the letter. It was this Divine truth that filled the court like a cloud, and at length the house, at the right side of which stood the cherubim; and as this Divine truth is inwardly the spiritual that shines from heavenly light, therefore it is called "glory," and it is said that "the court was full of the brightness of Jehovah's glory." Also in Job:

When God maketh the light of His cloud to be bright (Job 37:15).

(References: Ezekiel 10:3-4)


[18] Because the higher heavens appear before the eyes of those who are in the lower heavens as covered by a light and bright cloud (for the reason that the lower angels are unable to see the higher or interior Divine otherwise than in accordance with their own quality), therefore also Divine truth in the higher heavens, or what is the same thing, the higher heavens themselves, are meant in some passages in the Word by "clouds;" for whether you say Divine truth or the heavens it is the same, since the heavens are heavens from Divine truth, and the angels there are angels from the reception of Divine truth. It is in this sense that "clouds" are mentioned in Isaiah:

Lucifer, thou hast said in thy heart, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will become like the Most High (14 :13, 14).

In Jeremiah:

Forsake Babylon, and let us go everyone into his own land; for her judgment hath reached even unto the heavens, and it hath lifted up itself even to the clouds (Jeremiah 51:9).

And in David:

Give ye strength unto God; His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is above the clouds (Psalms 68:34).

The same is here signified by "clouds" as:

By the waters above the expanse (Genesis 1:7).

And by the waters above the heavens (Psalms 148:4);

for clouds consist of water. That "waters" signify Divine truths may be seen above (n. 71, 483, 518).

(References: Isaiah 14:13-14, 14:14; The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 483, 518)


[19] As there are clouds that are lighter and brighter, also clouds that are denser and blacker, and lighter and brighter clouds appear beneath the heavens, but dense and black clouds are seen about many of the hells, it is evident that "clouds" in the contrary sense signify the falsities of evil which are contrary to truths from good, as in the following passages. In Ezekiel:

Egypt a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity (Ezekiel 30:18).

He shall ascend like a cloud to cover the land (Ezekiel 38:9).

Sheep scattered in the day of cloud and thick darkness (Ezekiel 34:12).

So the Last Judgment, when those who are in the falsities of evil are to perish, is called:

A day of cloud and of obscurity (Joel 2:2; Zephaniah 1:15).

The like is signified by:

The clouds and thick darkness that appeared to the sons of Israel when the law was given from Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 4:11, 12, 15; 5:22-26);

for although Jehovah, that is, the Lord, came down upon that mountain in a bright cloud, yet it appeared before the eyes of the people, who were in the falsities of evil, as a thick dark cloud (see Arcana Coelestia 1861, 6832, 8814, 8819, 9434, 10551).

-----
Footnotes:

1. Latin has "Thee," the Hebrew "Me," as found also in AE 205, 401, 684, 768.

2. Latin has "cloud," the Hebrew "clouds," as found in AE 26, 283, 319.

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(References: Deuteronomy 4:11-12; Exodus 19:9; Isaiah 14:14; Matthew 17:1-5; Revelation 10:1)

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