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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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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

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 John the Baptist
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Apocalypse Explained #850

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850. And, lo, the Lamb standing on mount Zion. That this signifies the presence of the Lord in heaven and in the church, in order to separate the good from the evil, and accomplish the judgment, is evident from the signification of the lamb, as denoting the Lord with respect to the Divine Human (concerning which see above, n. 297, 314, 343, 460, 482); and from the signification of standing, as denoting to be present and conjoined, of which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of mount Zion, as denoting heaven and the church, where the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth, as is evident from the passages in the Word, where mount Zion is mentioned. But first something shall be said concerning the presence of the Lord in heaven and in the church in order to separate the good from the evil and accomplish the judgment.

The presence of the Lord in the whole heaven, and in the whole church is perpetual; for heaven is not heaven from the proprium of the angels there, nor is the church a church from man's proprium in it, but from the Divine of the Lord in them. For an angel's proprium cannot make heaven, nor man's proprium the church, because the proprium of both angels and men is not good. Therefore the Divine which proceeds from the Lord, as received by them, makes heaven and the church with every one in particular, and therefore with all in general in whom heaven and the church exist. It is evident, therefore, that the presence of the Lord is perpetual with all in heaven and in the church; but it is a presence that is pacific, tranquil, conserving, and sustaining, by which all things in the heavens and on earth are constantly retained in order and connection, and reduced to that order; the same is the case also in the hells. But the presence, here meant by standing upon mount Zion, is the active and extraordinary presence of the Lord in order that His Divine may flow in through the heavens into the lower parts, and there separate the good from the evil, and cast down the evil from their places, where they had formed for themselves a similitude of the heavens. But this presence and conjunction of the Lord with the heavens, and His influx thence into the parts beneath, to effect the judgment, has been treated of above (n. 413, 418, 419, 426, 489 1/2, 493, 702, 704). This presence is what is also signified elsewhere by standing, when said of the Lord, as in Isaiah iii. 13. From these things it is evident, that by these words, "Lo, the Lamb standing on mount Zion," is signified the presence of the Lord in heaven and in the church to separate the good from the evil, and to accomplish the judgment.

(References: Isaiah 3:13; Jeremiah 6:2; Revelation 14:1; The Apocalypse Explained 297, 314, The Apocalypse Explained 343, The Apocalypse Explained 413, 418-419, 426, 460, 482, 489, 493, The Apocalypse Explained 702, 704)


[2] The reason why mount Zion signifies heaven and the church where the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth is, because Zion was the city which David built and in which he afterwards dwelt; whence it was called the city of David. And because David represented the Lord as to His royalty, which is Divine truth, therefore Zion, in the Word, signifies heaven and the church where the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth. It was for this reason also that the ark of Jehovah, in which the Law was deposited, was carried into that city by David; for that Law, in a broad sense, also signified the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord. It is for this reason also that by Jerusalem - which was situated below that mountain - is signified the church as to doctrine; for all doctrine pertaining to the church is from the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord; consequently from the Word. That city was built upon a mountain, because mountains at that time, on account of their height, represented the heavens, and therefore also, in the Word, they signify the heavens. The reason of this representation, and of the signification thence, was that the highest heavens, where are the angels of the third degree, appear high above the rest, and before the eyes of others as mountains; and because the highest heavens appear as mountains, and as the angels who are upon them are in love to the Lord, therefore mountains, in the Word, and especially the mountain of Zion, signify love to the Lord. That a mountain signifies love, may be seen above (n. 405, 570).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 405, The Apocalypse Explained 510)


[3] That by Zion is signified heaven and the church in which the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth, is evident from the following passages in David:

Yet have I anointed my king upon Zion, the mountain of my holiness. I will declare concerning the statute, Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. . . . I will give the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, because his anger is kindled but a little. Blessed are they that put their trust in him (Psalm ii. 6-8, 12).

That these things are not said of David, but of the Lord, is evident from its being said, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. I will give the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession." Also, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him." None of these things can be said of David. Therefore by anointing a king upon Zion, the mountain of holiness, is signified the Lord's kingdom in heaven and in the church by means of the Divine truth. What is signified by anointing and anointed, when said of the Lord, may be seen above (n. 375). King signifies the Lord as to Divine truth; Zion heaven and the church. To declare this concerning the statute, signifies His Advent. Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee, signifies the Divine Human, which is also the Son of God. That He hath all power in the heavens and on the earths is meant by, I will give the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession. That there must be conjunction with Him by love in order to salvation, is signified by, kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way. The Last Judgment by Him is signified by, when His wrath is kindled but a little. That then those shall be saved who have faith in Him, is signified by, blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. From these considerations it is evident, that by Zion is meant heaven and the church, where the Lord reigns by His Divine truth.

(References: Psalms 2:6-8, 2:12; The Apocalypse Explained 375)


[4] Similarly in Zechariah:

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass" (ix. 9).

That these things are said of the Lord and His kingdom in the heavens and on earth, this kingdom being meant by Zion and Jerusalem, is evident in the Evangelists; where these things, when they were fulfilled, are thus related:

Jesus sent two of his disciples, that they might bring to him an ass and her foal. This was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, behold thy King cometh to thee, meek, sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass (Matt. xxi. 2, 4, 5; John xii. 14, 15).

That to ride upon an ass, and the colt of an ass, was characteristic of a king, and that therefore the Lord rode in this way when He entered Jerusalem, and was proclaimed king by the acclamations of the people, who strewed branches of palm trees, and their garments, upon the way before Him, may be seen above (n. 31). And because the Lord thus entered Jerusalem as a king, it appears that by Zion is meant heaven and the church, in which the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth.

(References: John 12:14-15; Matthew 21:1-2, 21:2, Matthew 21:4-5, Matthew 21:7-9; The Apocalypse Explained 31, 205, The Apocalypse Explained 553, The Apocalypse Explained 625; Zechariah 9:9)


[5] That the kings of Judah and Israel represented the Lord as to Divine truth, and that hence by kings are meant those who are in truths from good from the Lord, may be seen above (n. 31, 553, 625); and that especially by David, in the Word, the Lord was represented as to His royalty, which is Divine truth (n. 205).

In Isaiah:

"O Zion that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! behold the Lord Jehovih will come in strength" (xl. 9, 10).

Because these things are spoken of the Lord and of His kingdom, and this is signified by Zion and Jerusalem, therefore it is said, that Zion and Jerusalem will bring good tidings; Zion, from the good of love, and Jerusalem, from the truths of doctrine. Bringing good tidings from the good of love, is meant by getting up into the high mountain; and [bringing good tidings] from the truths of doctrine, is meant by lifting up the voice with strength. By the cities of Judah is signified the doctrine of love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour in its whole extent. The Lord as to Divine truth and Divine good, who was about to come to execute judgment, is meant by, Behold your God! Behold the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength. For the Lord is called God, in the Word, from Divine truth, and is called Jehovah, and also the Lord Jehovih, from Divine good. To come in strength is to execute judgment, thus to subjugate the hells.

(References: Isaiah 40:9-10)


[6] In Micah:

"At the end of days the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and the people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways; and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. Then shall he judge among many nations, and shall rebuke numerous nations, afar off. Jehovah shall reign in mount Zion from now unto an age; thou art the tower of the flock. O hill of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall he come, and the former kingdom shall return, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem" (iv. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8).

That the coming of the Lord and His kingdom in the heavens and on earth is here described, must be evident to every one. Therefore his kingdom, which is heaven and the church, is meant by the mountain of the house of Jehovah which shall then be established in the top of the mountains. And because by Zion is meant heaven and the church, in which the Lord is about to reign by means of His Divine truth; and by Jerusalem is meant heaven and the church, as to doctrine from that Divine truth, therefore it is said, "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem." The instruction of all from the Lord is described by what follows in that passage.

(References: Micah 4:1-3, 4:7-8)


[7] And in Isaiah:

"Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of Israel" (xii. 6).

Again:

"The ransomed of Jehovah shall return to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads" (xxxv. 10).

In Zephaniah:

"Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem; Jehovah hath removed thy judgments; he hath overturned thine enemy; Jehovah is in the midst of thee" (iii. 14, 15).

In Zechariah:

"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, behold I come that I may dwell in the midst of thee, and many nations shall join themselves to Jehovah in that day; I will dwell in thee" (ii. 10, 11).

In the same:

"I will return unto Zion, and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; whence Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah, the mountain of holiness" (viii. 3).

In David:

"Who will grant to Zion the salvation of Israel? When Jehovah bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel be glad" (Psalm xiv. 7; liii. 6).

In Isaiah:

"The Lord Jehovih shall lay in Zion a stone; a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay for a line, and justice for a plummet . . .your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand" (xxviii. 16, 17, 18).

In the same:

"In that day shall a present be brought unto Jehovah of Zebaoth, a people scattered and peeled, from a terrible people . . . to the place of the name of Jehovah Zebaoth, to mount Zion" (xviii. 7).

In the same:

"I have caused my justice to draw near; it is not far off, and my salvation shall not tarry; I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory" (xlvi. 13).

In the same:

"Then the Redeemer shall come to Zion" (lix. 20).

In these passages the Advent of the Lord is treated of, and His kingdom in the heavens and on earth. And because that kingdom is meant by Zion and Jerusalem, therefore it is said that they shall come thither, and that Jehovah the Holy One, and the King of Israel, shall dwell there; Jehovah the Holy One, and the King of Israel denoting the Lord as to Divine truth. It is evident, therefore, that by Zion is meant heaven and the church, in which the Lord reigns by means of the Divine truth; and by Jerusalem, heaven and the church as to doctrine from that Divine truth. Who does not see that Jerusalem and Zion, to which the nations should be brought back, and where the Lord is to dwell, do not mean the Zion and Jerusalem where the Jewish nation was?

(References: Isaiah 12:6, Isaiah 18:7, Isaiah 28:16-18, Isaiah 35:10, Isaiah 46:13, Isaiah 59:20; Psalms 14:7, Psalms 53:6; Zechariah 2:10-11, Zechariah 8:3; Zephaniah 3:14-15)


[8] From the following passages also it is evident that by Zion is meant heaven and the church in which the Lord reigns by means of the Divine truth.

In Isaiah:

"Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts in justice" (i. 27).

In the same:

"He that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy to him; every one written unto life in Jerusalem. Jehovah shall create upon every dwelling of mount Zion, and upon her assembly, a cloud by day and a smoke and splendour of a flame of fire by night" (iv. 3, 5).

In the same:

"Jehovah Zebaoth shall reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his elders in glory" (xxiv. 23).

In the same:

Jehovah, "whose hearth is in Zion, and his oven in Jerusalem" (xxxi. 9).

In the same:

"Jehovah is exalted because he dwelleth on high; he hath filled Zion with judgment and justice; look to Zion, the city of our solemnities; let thine eyes see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle which shall not be taken down" (xxxiii. 5, 20).

In the same:

"The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee; she hath laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee, because thou hast blasphemed and calumniated the Holy One of Israel" (xxxvii. 22, 23).

In David:

"That I may tell over all thy praises in the gates of the daughter of Zion" (Psalm ix. 14).

"The sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces" (Psalm xlviii. 2, 3).

In the same:

"Walk about Zion, and compass her about; number her towers; set your heart unto the bulwarks, distinguish her palaces and ye may relate to the generation following, that this God is our God, for ever and ever; he will lead us" (xlviii. 11-14).

In the same:

"In Salem is the tabernacle of God, and his dwelling-place in Zion" (Psalm lxxvi. 2).

In the same:

The Lord "hath chosen the tribe of Judah, the mountain of Zion which he loveth" (Psalm lxxviii. 68).

In the same:

"Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things must be spoken of thee, O city of God. Jehovah shall count when he describeth the people, that this man was born there. All my springs are in thee" (Psalm lxxxvii. 2, 3, 6, 7).

In the same:

"When Jehovah bringeth back the captivity of Zion, then shall our mouth be filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing" (Psalm cxxvi. 1, 2).

In the same:

"Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion, that thou mayest see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life; that thou mayest see thy son's sons; peace upon Israel" (Psalm cxxviii. 5, 6).

In the same:

"Jehovah hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it himself for a seat. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; because I have desired it" (Psalm cxxxii. 13, 14).

In the same:

"Jehovah shall bless thee out of Zion" (Psalm cxxxiv. 3).

In the same:

"Blessed be Jehovah out of Zion, dwelling in Jerusalem" (Psalm cxxxv. 21).

In the same:

"Jehovah shall reign for ever, God thy God, O Zion, from generation to generation" (Psalm cxlvi. 10).

In the same:

"Let the sons of Zion exult in their king; let them praise his name in the dance; with timbrel and harp let them sing praise" (Psalm cxlix. 2, 3).

These passages concerning Zion are quoted in order that every one may see, that by Zion, in the Word, is not meant Zion, but heaven and the church where the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth. Most of these passages are also prophetic of the Lord, that when He comes, He will love Zion and dwell there for ever; although He could love neither that city nor Jerusalem, as is evident from His words concerning them; but heaven and the church where His Divine truth is received. This is why Zion is called His rest, His dwelling-place, the mountain of Jehovah, the city of God, the city of the great King, the city of truth, and that it is said His kingdom shall be there for ever, to an age, and from generation to generation; none of which things can by any means be said and understood of the Zion of David.

(References: Isaiah 1:27, Isaiah 4:3, Isaiah 4:5, Isaiah 24:23, Isaiah 31:9, 33:5, 33:20, Isaiah 37:22, Isaiah 37:22-23; Psalms 9:14, Psalms 48:2-3, 48:11-14, Psalms 76:2, 78:68, 87:2-3, Psalms 87:5-7, 87:6-7, Psalms 126:1-2, 128:5-6, 132:13-14, 134:3, 135:21, 146:10, 149:2-3)


[9] Because the Lord came into the world to accomplish a Judgment, and thereby bring all things in the hells and also in the heavens into order; and since judgment is effected by means of Divine truth - for this, according to reception, makes man spiritual - and according to its laws, which are the Divine precepts in the Word, all judgments take place in the spiritual world, therefore the Lord assumed the Human, and made this, whilst He abode in the world, Divine truth, in order, as said, that He might accomplish the Judgment.

That the Lord made His Human Divine truth is meant by

The Word which was with God, and which was God, and by which all things were made that were made, and by which the world was created (John i. 1, and following verses).

By the Word is meant the Divine truth. That the Lord became this as to His Human is expressed in clear terms, as follows:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, a glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (verse 14 in the same chapter).

The Lord, as to Divine truth, is also meant by the Son of man, which the Lord frequently calls Himself in the Evangelists; of whom He also says, that "He shall execute judgment."

Now because judgment was accomplished by the Lord from His Divine truth, and since by Zion is meant heaven and the church, in which the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth; therefore in this chapter of the Apocalypse, in which the separation of the good from the evil, before the Last Judgment, is treated of, a Lamb was seen standing upon mount Zion, by which is signified the presence of the Lord in heaven and in the church to separate the good from the evil and to effect the Judgment, according to what was said above.

(References: John 1:1-4, 1:1, John 1:14)


[10] On account of the same signification of mount Zion also, in other parts of the Word, it is said that the Lord from mount Zion will fight for the church against the evil, and destroy them; as in the following passages:

In Isaiah:

"Jehovah Zebaoth shall come down to fight upon mount Zion and upon the hill thereof" (xxxi. 4).

The Advent of the Lord, and the redemption or liberation of the faithful is there treated of. Therefore by fighting upon the mountain of Zion and upon the hill of it, is signified to execute judgment from Divine truth. The reason why judgment is accomplished by means of Divine truth is, that all are judged according to its reception. For Divine truth, or the Word, and doctrine therefrom, teach life, and every one is judged according to it.

(References: Isaiah 31:4)


[11] In David:

Jehovah "will send thy help from the sanctuary; and out of Zion he will strengthen thee; we will sing in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. I know that Jehovah will save his anointed; he will answer him from the heaven of his holiness, with the saving strength of his right hand" (Psalm xx. 2, 5, 6).

These things are also said concerning the Lord and His victory over the hells, and the salvation of men by that means. Combats and victories are meant by answering His anointed from the heaven of His holiness, with the saving strength of His right hand; and the salvation of the faithful thereby is meant by His strengthening us out of Zion, and by our rejoicing in His salvation.

(References: Psalms 20:2, 20:5-6)


[12] In the same:

"Jehovah shall speak, and shall call the earth from the rising of the sun even to the setting; out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shall shine forth. Our God shall come; he shall cry to the heavens from above; and to the earth, to judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me" (Psalm l. 1-5).

These words evidently treat of judgment upon all from Zion, thus from the Lord by means of the Divine truth. The separation of the good from the evil is meant by, calling the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Judgment upon all is signified by, crying to the heaven from above, and to the earth to judge the people. The gathering together of the good and their salvation is meant by, gather my saints unto me. And the Divine truth, in which the Lord is in His glory, is meant by, out of Zion the perfection of beauty God shall shine forth.

(References: Psalms 50:1-5)


[13] In the same:

"The saying of Jehovah to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Jehovah shall send to thee the sceptre of thy strength out of Zion, rule thou in the midst of thine enemies" (Psalm cx. 1, 2).

That these things are said of the Lord, is well known from the words of the Lord Himself in Matthew (xxii. 44). By sitting at the right hand is signified the Lord's Divine Omnipotence; by making His enemies His footstool is signified the entire subjugation and prostration of the hells; by the sceptre of strength out of Zion is signified the Divine truth, to which belongs omnipotence, Zion denoting heaven, where the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth. His dominion by this over the hells is signified by, rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. That omnipotence belongs to the Lord alone, and this by means of His Divine truth, may be seen above (n. 726). That power is in truths from good, and that good and thence truth are from the Lord, may also be seen above (n. 209, 338, 716, 776, 783).

(References: Matthew 22:44; Psalms 110:1-2; The Apocalypse Explained 209, The Apocalypse Explained 338, The Apocalypse Explained 716, 726, 776, 783)


[14] In Isaiah:

"Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on the garments of thy gracefulness, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness" (lii. 1).

Because Zion signifies heaven where the Lord reigns by means of His Divine truth, and since to Divine truth pertains all power, therefore it is said, "Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion." Doctrine therefrom is signified by the garments of gracefulness which Jerusalem shall put on.

(References: Isaiah 52:1)


[15] In Joel:

"Jehovah shall roar out of Zion, and from Jerusalem he shall give his voice, that the heavens and the earth may tremble. Then shall ye know that I am Jehovah, dwelling in Zion, the mountain of my holiness, and Jerusalem shall be holiness, nor shall strangers pass through her any more" (iii. 16, 17, 21).

In Amos:

"Jehovah shall roar out of Zion, and shall give his voice from Jerusalem" (i. 2).

By roaring and the roar of a lion, when said of Jehovah, is signified the ardent zeal of defending heaven and the church and of saving those who are therein; which is effected by destroying the evils and falsities which arise from hell by means of Divine truth and its power, see above (n. 601). And because by Zion is signified heaven where the Lord reigns by means of the Divine truth, and by Jerusalem doctrine therefrom, what is signified by Jehovah roaring out of Zion and giving His voice from Jerusalem is evident. That the Lord is there, where He reigns by means of His Divine truth both with the angels of heaven and with the men of the church, is signified by, then shall ye know that I am Jehovah, dwelling in Zion, the mountain of my holiness. That there shall be no falsities of evil there is signified by, strangers shall not pass through her any more; strangers denoting the falsities of evil.

(References: Amos 1:2; Joel 3:16-17, 3:21; The Apocalypse Explained 601)


[16] In Isaiah:

"The day of the vengeance of Jehovah, the year of retributions for the controversy of Zion" (xxxiv. 8).

By the day of vengeance of Jehovah, and by the year of retributions, is signified the Last Judgment, and the condemnation of those who by falsities and evils have laid waste all the truths of the church, thus for the controversy of Zion.

In David:

"Jehovah is great in Zion, and he is high above all people, the king's strength" (Psalm xcix. 2, 4).

Where Zion is called the king's strength from the Divine truth, to which belongs power itself.

In the same:

Jehovah, "Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion; for it is time to have pity upon her; for the set time is come; for thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and have pity upon her dust. So the nations shall fear the name of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth thy glory, because the Lord shall build Zion, and appear in his glory. The name of Jehovah shall be announced in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem, when the people shall be gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve Jehovah" (Psalm cii. 13-16, 21, 22).

These things are said of the Lord's Advent, and the redemption of the faithful by Him. His Advent is signified by the time to have pity upon her, and by the set time; truths which are to be restored and are restored, are signified by the stones in which His servants take pleasure; the establishment of the church and worship of the Lord from Divine truths is described by what there follows.

The devastation of the church, by the Jewish nation, by which every Divine truth was falsified, is also described throughout the Word by the vastation of Zion. As in Isaiah:

"The cities of thy holiness are become a wilderness; Zion is become a wilderness, and Jerusalem a desolation" (lxiv. 10).

In Lamentations:

"The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter" (iv. 2).

Also in Isaiah iii. 16-26; Jer. vi. 2; Micah iii. 10, 12; and elsewhere. Mention is also frequently made of the virgin and daughter of Zion. As in the following passages:

2 Kings xix. 21; Isa. i. 8; iii. 16, 17; iv. 4; x. 32; xvi. 1; xxxvii. 22; lii 2; lxii. 11; Jer. iv. 31; vi. 2, 23; Lam. i. 6; ii. 1, 4, 8, 10, 13, 18; iv. 22; Micah i. 13; iv. 8, 10, 13; Zeph. iii. 14; Zech. ii. 10; ix. 9; Ps. ix. 15; Matt. xxi. 5; John xii. 15; and elsewhere.

And by the daughter of Zion is signified a spiritual affection for Divine truth, which is the love of truth for the sake of truth, and the desire of it for the sake of the uses which have reference to eternal life.

From these things it is now evident that by the Lamb seen standing upon mount Zion, is signified the separation of the good from the evil for the accomplishment of the Judgment - the subject treated of in what follows.

(References: 2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 1:8, Isaiah 3:16-17, 3:16-26, Isaiah 4:4, Isaiah 10:32, Isaiah 16:1, Isaiah 34:8, Isaiah 37:22, Isaiah 52:2, Isaiah 62:11, 64:10; Jeremiah 4:31, Jeremiah 6:2, Jeremiah 6:23; John 12:15; Lamentations 1:6, 2:1, Lamentations 2:4, 2:8, Lamentations 2:10, 2:13, Lamentations 2:18, Lamentations 4:2, Lamentations 4:22; Matthew 21:5; Micah 1:13, 3:10, Micah 3:12, Micah 4:8, Micah 4:10, Micah 4:13; Psalms 9:14, Psalms 99:2, 99:4, Psalms 102:13-16, Psalms 102:21-22; Zechariah 2:10, Zechariah 9:9; Zephaniah 3:14)


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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 848, 899, 946, 1025, 1062


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

The Bible

 

John 1:1

English: King James Version         

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1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 20, 1069, 1093, 2533, 2803, 2894, 3195, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 6, 58, 200, 256, 273, 294, 490, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 57, 63, 98, 117

Conjugial Love 129

Divine Providence 159, 172

The Lord 1, 2

Sacred Scripture 2, 98, 109

Worlds in Space 122

Heaven and Hell 137

Interaction of the Soul and Body 5

True Christian Religion 3, 39, 50, 59, 76, 85, 111, ...

The White Horse 14

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 263, 278, 284


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 43, 82, 122, 151, 186, 195, 196, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 145, 171, 197

Canons of the New Church 9, 16, 41

Charity 160

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 54

De Domino 39

De Verbo (The Word) 17

Divine Wisdom 2

Nine Questions 4

Spiritual Experiences 5131

Marriage 3, 39, 50, 59, 76, 85, 111, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Proverbs 8:22

Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

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.


 Baptism and Discipleship
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus' ministry. What, like John, prepares us to accept Jesus and become His disciples?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Behold His Glory
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Books of the Word Flashcards with Introduction
An article about the Word and flashcards to help you learn books of the Old and New Testaments.
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 Christmas Light
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Does God Exist?
Evidence for God's existence is abundant, but God leaves people in freedom confirm or deny that His life is the source of everything in creation.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 In the Beginning Was the Word
Quotation from John 1 showing with a simple illustration showing the idea that the Lord is the Word made flesh.
Picture | Ages 4 - 14

 Introducing John's Gospel
A brief overview of the four gospels of the New Testament and an introduction to the Gospel of John.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Memory Verse: Jacob's Ladder
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Power of the Lord's Word
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Word of God
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Names of the Lord
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 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

 Quotes: Giving Thanks for Creation
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Word of God
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Return to Love
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Incarnation and Being Human
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Light of Men
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Light Shineth in Darkness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Lord as the Word
The Word is the Lord, talking to you, teaching you, helping you to understand what is good and right.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Gave the Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Power Of Showing Up
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Wonder of the Lord's Word
When we read the Word, we have to reflect on what we have read and try to live according to it. Only this will lead to our happiness, which is why the Word has been given.
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Word
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Word Made Flesh
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

 The Word Made Flesh
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Word Made Flesh
Like Genesis, the Gospel of John begins with creation. While Genesis describes the creation of natural light, John describes a second creation into spiritual light.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Word Made Flesh (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Word Made Flesh (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Word Made Flesh (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Word Project
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 To Learn About the Lord, Look in the Word
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 True Light Giving Light to All
Two project ideas for picturing the Lord as the source of Light for every person.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Why Is the Word Holy?
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Why the Lord Was Born on Our Earth
Five reasons why the Lord came on earth and what it means for us. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 4, for ages 9-10.
Religion Lesson | Ages 9 - 10

 You Are My Beloved Son (sheet music)
Song | Ages over 11


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