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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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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
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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Arcana Coelestia #1672

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1672. And the kings that were with him. That this signifies the apparent truth which is of that good, is evident from the signification of “kings” in the Word. “Kings,” “kingdoms,” and “peoples,” in the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word, signify truths and the things which are of truths, as may be abundantly confirmed. In the Word an accurate distinction is made between a “people” and a “nation;” by a “people” are signified truths, and by a “nation” goods, as before shown (n. 1259, 1260). “Kings” are predicated of peoples, but not so much of nations. Before the sons of Israel sought for kings, they were a nation, and represented good, or the celestial; but after they desired a king, and received one, they became a people, and did not represent good or the celestial, but truth or the spiritual; which was the reason why this was imputed to them as a fault (see 1 Samuel 8:7-22, concerning which subject, of the Lord’s Divine mercy elsewhere). As Chedorlaomer is named here, and it is added, “the kings that were with him,” both good and truth are signified; by “Chedorlaomer,” good, and by “the kings,” truth. But what was the quality of the good and truth at the beginning of the Lord’s temptations has already been stated.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260, Genesis 14:5)

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Arcana Coelestia 1723, 2015, 2466, 2504, 2509, 2567, 2761, 2781, 2826, 2830, 2832, 2851, 2906, 3009, 3105, 3353, 3355, 3365, 3488, 3703, 3708, 3863, 4402, 4575, 4691, 4728, 4763, 4876, 5023, 5038, 5044, 5313, 5321, 5323, 5619, 6015, 6125, 6148, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236


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Apocalypse Explained #242

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242. To buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be enriched. That this signifies to procure to themselves genuine good from the Lord that they may receive the truths of faith, is evident from the signification of buying, as denoting to procure and appropriate to themselves (concerning which see Arcana Coelestia, n. 4397, 5374, 5397, 5406, 5410, 5426); and from the signification of gold tried in the fire, as denoting genuine good, thus good from the Lord, which will be explained in what follows; also from the signification of that thou mayest be enriched as denoting to be enabled to receive the truths of faith. The reason why this is signified by being rich is, that riches and wealth signify the knowledges of truth and good, and the rich those who are in intelligence therefrom; in the present case, those who are in faith, because the subject here treated of is those who hold the doctrine of faith alone. Hence it is clear that by to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich, is signified to procure to themselves genuine good from the Lord that they may receive the truths of faith.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4397, Arcana Coelestia 5374, 5397, 5406, 5410, 5426; Revelation 3:18)


[2] We shall first explain how this is to be understood. That truth which in itself is truth is not possible, except from good, thus that faith which is faith in itself is not possible, except from charity, has been frequently stated above; for truth, which is truth in itself, is not possible, except spiritual life be in it, and spiritual life is in it only when it is formed from the good of charity; for truth is the form of good, and good is the being (esse) of truth; thus also good is the life of truth, and good is from no other source than the Lord. And when good is from the Lord, then truth, which is from good, looks primarily to the Lord, and also to the neighbour and his good; for the Lord flows in with good, and from good forms truth, which is the truth of faith, and causes the spiritual sight of man to look to Him and to the neighbour. (That this is the case, may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 145, 251; namely, that the Lord beholds angels and men in the forehead, and they behold the Lord through the eyes; the reason is, that the forehead corresponds to the good of love, and the eye to the understanding thence enlightened, consequently to the truths of faith. And also in the same work, n. 17, 123, 124, 142-144, 510, it is shown, that in the spiritual world all are turned to their own loves; and those who have acknowledged the Lord and believed in Him, are turned to Him, and hence they receive good from Him, and by good, enlightenment as to truths.) From these considerations it is plain that the genuine good signified by gold tried in the fire is from the Lord alone.

(References: Heaven and Hell 145, 251; The Apocalypse Explained 17, The Apocalypse Explained 123-124, The Apocalypse Explained 142-144, The Apocalypse Explained 510)


[3] Because in what is written to the angel of this church, the subject treated of is those who live according to the doctrine of faith alone; and because those who have confirmed themselves in that doctrine, and were, in the world, thence called learned, could connect falsities with truths, and induce an appearance that the doctrine was true, it was therefore granted me to converse with some of them in the other life; and because that conversation may serve for illustration, I wish to adduce it. Those learned ones, from the opinion which they held in the world, supposed that faith without charity was possible, and that man is justified by that faith alone. Their discourse was very ingenious; they said that faith was possible without charity, because it is prior to charity, and that by means of it man is in good. "Who," said they, "cannot believe that God is, that the Word is divine, and things of a similar kind, which, unless they were believed, could not be accepted and thought of by man?" They therefore concluded that faith is possible without charity, because it precedes, or is prior to it; and, such being the case, that it is saving, because a man cannot do good of himself; therefore, unless that faith saved, all men would perish. Nor was the presence of God with man possible without faith, and if it were not possible, evil would reign, and no one would possess any good; these things, they said, were meant by justification by faith alone.

But it was shown them that there could be no faith unless it existed with charity; and that what they called faith was only the knowledges first acquired by every man, as that God is, and that the Word is divine, and so on; and that those knowledges are not in man, but in the medium of access to him, which is his memory, until they are in his will; but that, in proportion as they are in his will, in the same proportion they are in the man himself; for the will is the man himself; and in proportion as they are in the will, in the same proportion they are in his sight, which is faith. The knowledges themselves, which precede, and, to the natural sight, appear to be believed, do not previously become knowledges of faith. This is why the seeing of knowledges, which is supposed to be faith, recedes from man successively as he begins to think evil from willing evil, and also recedes from him after death, when he becomes a spirit, if the knowledges have not been implanted in his life, that is, in his will or love.

[4] This may be illustrated by a comparison with those stomachs of birds and terrestrial animals, which are called ruminant stomachs; into these they first collect their food, and afterwards by degrees take it out thence and eat it, and so nourish the blood, whence it becomes incorporated into their life. To those stomachs man's memory corresponds, which he enjoys in the place of them, because he is spiritual. Into this he first collects spiritual foods, which consist of knowledges, and afterwards takes them out, as it were, by ruminating, that is, by thinking and willing, and appropriates them to himself, and thus makes them part of his life. From this comparison, trifling as it may appear, it is obvious that, unless knowledges are implanted in the life, by thinking and willing them, and thence by doing them, they are like foods which remain unmasticated in the ruminant stomachs, where they either become putrid, or are vomited out. Moreover, the circle of man's life is to know, to understand, to will, and to do; for the spiritual life of man commences from knowing, thence it is continued into understanding, afterwards into willing, and lastly into doing. From this it is also evident, that knowledges in the memory are only in the entrance to the life, and that they are not fully in the man until they are in his deeds; also, that they are more fully in his deeds the more fully they are in his understanding and will.

[5] It was further shown that the faith of knowledges before it becomes the faith of life, is merely historical faith, the quality of which is well known to be this, that a thing is believed because another has said it; this, before it becomes the man's, is an alien faith, or the faith of another with him. Another quality of such faith is that it is a belief in things unknown; for it is said that such things are to be believed, although they are not understood, indeed that they are not to be looked into by the understanding, although such is the nature of spiritual faith that truths themselves are seen in it, and so are believed. In heaven, no one believes any truth unless he sees or has seen it; for there they say, "Who can believe that a thing is so unless he sees it? Perhaps it may be false"; and none but the evil can believe what is false, for the evil, from evil, see falsities, whereas the good, from good, see truths; and because good is from the Lord, the seeing of truth from good is also from the Lord. The reason why the angels see truths is because the light of heaven, in which they are, is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; hence all in the world also, who have that light, enjoy the sight of truth (concerning the light of heaven, and that such is its nature and quality, see in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 126-140).

(References: Heaven and Hell 126-140)


[6] It was afterwards shown that charity and faith act as one, and enter together into man, so that in proportion as man is in charity in the same proportion he is in faith, because faith as to its essence is charity, just as truth as to its essence is good; for good, when it exists in visible manifestation, or in form, is truth; thus charity is faith, for good belongs to charity, and truth to faith. The one also loves the other, and conjoins itself to it, therefore one is not possible unless together with the other. This was illustrated by the thought of man, which belongs to his understanding, and by the affection, which belongs to his will. To think without affection is impossible, for the very essence of thought is affection or love. A man may indeed think all those things that he knows from the doctrine of the church, but from a natural affection, which is the affection or love of glory, fame, honour or gain; but this affection does not cause the thought to be spiritual, this being effected only by charity, which is spiritual affection itself. This affection, when it conjoins itself with knowledges, becomes faith, and afterwards, in proportion as man is in that affection, in the same proportion he sees in thought the things which belong to his faith, which are called truths, and acknowledges them because they are from his spirit itself, thus from his spiritual life itself: this also is what is called enlightenment. This is why no one can be enlightened from the Word unless he has the spiritual affection of truth. There is indeed something like enlightenment given to those who have confirmed themselves in such things as pertain to the doctrine of faith alone, and justification thereby; but it is a fatuous enlightenment, because they can confirm falsities equally with truths, as is the case with all heresies, both with those which prevail amongst the Jews and with those with the Papists. A similar light is also given, after such confirmations, to those who are called naturalists, who deny God, the divinity of the Word, and everything belonging to the church. The case is the same with those who have confirmed themselves in faith alone, and justification thereby. (That the light of confirmation is natural and not spiritual light, which is possible also with the evil, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 8780.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 8780)


[7] But let us return to the faith which, as to essence, is charity. That faith is continually perfected by those things that confirm for from spiritual light more truths are always seen, and these all conjoin themselves with the good of charity, and perfect it; hence a man has intelligence and wisdom, which at length becomes angelic. Moreover, those who are only in the knowledges of faith, and not in a life according to them, believe that a man can easily receive faith, if not in this world, yet in the other, saying to themselves, "When I hear and see that a thing is so, cannot I then believe it?" But they are greatly deceived; for those who have not received spiritual faith in the world, if they should afterwards hear of it, and see it a thousand times, can never receive it. The reason is, that this faith is not in the man, but out of him. That this is the case, is clearly evident from this, that all those who come from the world are first received by angels and good spirits, and are instructed by every means; indeed, many things are shown them even to the life and to the sight, but still they do not receive them; therefore they withdraw themselves from the angels and good spirits, and go to those who are destitute of faith. It was, moreover, told them that, if faith could be received by knowing and thinking only, it would be received by all, by the evil and the good alike, and thus no one would be condemned. (That charity, which is spiritual affection, can never be imparted to any one unless he knows truths, explores himself according to them, receives them, and lives a new life agreeably to them, may be seen above, n. 239.)

[8] It therefore follows that the life of faith is charity, and that there is nothing of life in faith, except in proportion as charity is therein; and also that in proportion as charity is in faith, in the same proportion man is led by the Lord; but that in proportion as charity is not in faith, in the same proportion man is led of himself; and he who is led of himself, and not by the Lord, cannot think what is good, still less can he will and do good which is good in itself. For from man's proprium nothing but evil proceeds; for when he thinks what is good, and wills and does good from proprium, it is only for the sake of himself and for the sake of the world, which are the ends for which he acts, and the ends are the loves which lead him; and man cannot be withdrawn or raised up from his proprium, unless he looks to the Lord as to the things of his life; by this he is conjoined with heaven, and spiritual affection is thence imparted to him by the Lord.

When these observations had been made, it was given to those with whom I discoursed on this subject to be in spiritual light, this light being such that truths can be seen in it as clearly as objects in the world are seen in its light; and then those who were in the doctrine of faith alone and justification thereby, could not but declare that the case was so. But as soon as that light was taken away from them and they were brought back into their own natural light, they could see only that the sight of knowledges is saving faith, and hence that the falsities which they had made of their faith were truths. Falsities become matters of the faith when evils are of the life.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 239)


[9] But to return to the explanation of the words of this passage, which are, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be enriched." By these words is signified that they should procure to themselves from the Lord genuine good, in order that they may receive truths; it now remains to be shown that gold in the Word signifies the good of love. This is evident from the following passages. In Malachi:

"Behold, I send my angel, who shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, and the angel of the covenant whom ye desire; he shall sit refining and purifying silver, and shall purify the sons of Levi; he shall refine them as gold and silver, that they may bring to Jehovah a meat-offering in justice" (iii. 1-3).

These things are spoken of the Lord's advent. It is here said that Jehovah would send His angel who should prepare the way before Him; and by the angel is meant John the Baptist, as is well known. By before me, or before Jehovah is meant the Lord's Divine Itself; by the temple to which He should come is meant His Divine Human. This is also called the angel of the covenant, because the conjunction of men and angels with the Divine Itself is by means of it; for covenant denotes conjunction. By the silver which he shall sit refining and purifying is meant truth from good. By the sons of Levi are meant all who are in the good of charity and thence in the truth of faith; it is therefore said that He should refine them as gold and silver; this is because gold signifies good, and silver truth therefrom. By offering unto Jehovah an offering in justice is meant the worship of the Lord from the good of charity. (That temple signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, may be seen above, n. 220: that covenant signifies conjunction, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia, n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10,632; that silver signifies truth from good, n. 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658; that a meat-offering signifies the good of love and charity, n. 4581, 9992, 9993, 9994, 10,079, 10,137; that justice is said of good, n. 2235, 9857.) Hence to bring an offering in justice signifies worship from the good of love.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 665-666, 1023, 1038, Arcana Coelestia 1551-1552, Arcana Coelestia 1864, Arcana Coelestia 1996, 2003, 2021, Arcana Coelestia 2235, Arcana Coelestia 2954, Arcana Coelestia 4581, Arcana Coelestia 5658, Arcana Coelestia 6804, Arcana Coelestia 8767, 8778, Arcana Coelestia 9396, Arcana Coelestia 9857, Arcana Coelestia 9992-9994, Arcana Coelestia 10079, 10137, Arcana Coelestia 10632; Malachi 3:1-3; The Apocalypse Explained 220)


[10] In Zechariah:

"Two parts in all the land shall be cut off, they shall expire, but the third shall be left in it; nevertheless I will bring the third through the fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried" (xiii. 8, 9).

Here, by all the land is not meant all the land, but the whole church; nor by the third part is a third part meant, but some who are therein. By its being brought through the fire, and refined as silver is refined, and tried as gold is tried, is signified their being purified from evils and falsities in order that good and truth may be implanted. (That land in the Word signifies the church, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 6516, 9325, 9643; that a third part signifies some, n. 2788.) There are in the above passages comparisons of silver and gold with truth and good; but in the Word all things serving for comparisons also correspond, and thence signify, as may be seen, n. 3579, 8989. Because gold tried in the fire signifies the good of love purified from evils, it was therefore commanded

that the gold and silver taken from the Midianites should pass through the fire, and thus be purified (Numb. xxxi. 22, 23).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 662, Arcana Coelestia 1066, 1068, Arcana Coelestia 1262, 1413, Arcana Coelestia 1607, Arcana Coelestia 2788, Arcana Coelestia 2928, Arcana Coelestia 3355, Arcana Coelestia 3579, Arcana Coelestia 4447, 4535, Arcana Coelestia 5577, Arcana Coelestia 6516, Arcana Coelestia 8989, Arcana Coelestia 9325, Arcana Coelestia 9643; Numbers 31:22-23; Zechariah 13:8-9)


[11] That gold signifies the good of love and charity is more fully evident from the following passages. In Hosea:

"Israel hath forsaken good: the enemy pursueth him: of their silver and their gold they have made to themselves idols" (viii. 3, 4).

By making to themselves idols of their silver and their gold is signified that they turned truth and good into falsities and evils, as is evident from its being said, "Israel hath forsaken good: the enemy pursueth him." The enemy denotes falsity from evil and evil from falsity.

(References: Hosea 8:3-4)


[12] In Joel:

"What have ye to do with me, O Tyre and Zidon? My silver and my gold have ye taken, and the desirable things of my goods have ye brought into your temples, and the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem ye have sold to the sons of the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their borders" (iii. 4-6).

Here by Tyre and Zidon are meant those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good, and, in this case, those who have perverted them and applied them to falsities and to the evils thereof. This is signified by, ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples the desirable things of My goods. Silver signifies truth, gold good, and the desirable things of my goods signify derived truths and goods, which are knowledges from the Word in the sense of the letter. To carry these into their temples signifies to turn them into profane worship. By their selling the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem to the Grecians is meant that they changed all the truths of good into falsities of evil. By removing them far from their borders is meant far from truths themselves. (That by Tyre and Zidon are meant those within the church who have the knowledges of truth and good, may be seen in Arcana, Coelestia, n. 1201; that by the sons of Judah and sons of Jerusalem are meant all the truths of good, because by sons are signified truths, n. 1729, 1733, 2159, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 7499, 8897, 9807; by Judah, the celestial church, n. 3654, 6364; by Jerusalem, the church where there is genuine doctrine, n. 3654, 9166. That by the Grecians are meant falsities, because the Grecians signify the nations that are in falsities, may be seen above, n. 50.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1201, Arcana Coelestia 1729, 1733, Arcana Coelestia 2159, Arcana Coelestia 2623, Arcana Coelestia 2803, 2813, Arcana Coelestia 3373, Arcana Coelestia 3654, 3704, Arcana Coelestia 6364, Arcana Coelestia 7499, Arcana Coelestia 8897, Arcana Coelestia 9166, Arcana Coelestia 9807; Joel 3:4-6; The Apocalypse Explained 50)


[13] In Ezekiel:

"The traders of Sheba and Raamah, by the chief of all spices, and by every precious stone and gold they have carried on their tradings" (xxvii. 22).

And again:

"In thy wisdom and thy intelligence thou hast made to thyself wealth, and hast made gold and silver in thy treasuries. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, and gold" (xxviii 4, 13).

The subject treated in these two passages is also Tyre, by which, as was said above, are meant those within the church who are in the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good. By her tradings are meant those knowledges themselves. By Sheba and Raamah also are meant those who possess those knowledges, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 1171, 3240. By spices are signified truths that are grateful because derived from good, see n. 4748, 5621, 9474, 9475, 10,199, 10,254. By precious stones are signified truths that are beautiful because from good, see n. 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905. And by the garden of Eden is signified intelligence and wisdom therefrom, see n. 100, 108, 1588, 2702, 3220. Because, now, by those things are signified the knowledges of truth and of good, and because by gold and silver are signified the goods and truths themselves, and because all intelligence and wisdom are procured by means of these, therefore it is said, "In thy wisdom and thy intelligence thou hast made to thyself wealth, gold and silver in thy treasuries."

(References: Arcana Coelestia 100, 108, Arcana Coelestia 1171, Arcana Coelestia 1588, Arcana Coelestia 2702, Arcana Coelestia 3220, Arcana Coelestia 3240, Arcana Coelestia 4748, Arcana Coelestia 5621, Arcana Coelestia 9474-9475, Arcana Coelestia 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905, Arcana Coelestia 10199, 10254; Ezekiel 27:22, 28:4, 28:13)


[14] In Lamentations:

"How is the gold become dim! how is the best fine gold changed! the stones of holiness are poured out at the head of every street. The sons of Zion are estimated equal to pure gold; how are they reputed as bottles of earthenware, the work of the hands of the potter!" (iv. 1, 2).

The vastation of the church is here treated of. The gold which is become dim, and the best fine gold which is changed, signify the goods of the church; the stones of holiness which are poured out at the top of every street, signify that the truths thence derived are falsified; the sons of Zion who were estimated equal to fine gold, signify the truths of the former church; bottles of earthenware, the work of the hands of the potter, signify evils of life derived from falsities of doctrine, which are from man's own intelligence.

(References: Lamentations 4:1-2)


[15] In Ezekiel:

"I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a necklace on thy neck. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work. Thou hast also taken the vessels of thine adorning from my gold and from my silver which I gave to thee, and hast made thee images with which thou hast committed whoredom" (xvi. 11, 13, 17).

The subject here treated of is Jerusalem, which signifies the church as to doctrine, as said above. The ornaments with which she was decked signify, in general, all truths from good and intelligence therefrom (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 10,536, 10,540). Bracelets upon the hands signify specifically truths from good (see n. 3103, 3105); a necklace upon the neck signifies the conjunction of interior goods and truths with exterior goods and truths, or of those which are spiritual with those which are natural (see n. 5320); fine linen signifies genuine truth, and silk the same resplendent from interior goods (see n. 5319, 9469); broidered work signifies the Scientific (Scientificum) of the natural man (see n. 9688); the images with which she committed whoredom are the fallacies of the senses, which to those who are in falsities appear like truths; to commit whoredom with them is to draw false conclusions by means of them. (That to commit whoredom signifies to imbue with falsities, may be seen above, n. 141.) From these considerations it is clear that the subject treated of in this chapter is the church, as to its quality when it was first established by the Lord, and what its quality became afterwards.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3103, 3105, Arcana Coelestia 5319, 5320, Arcana Coelestia 9469, Arcana Coelestia 9688, Arcana Coelestia 10536, 10540; Ezekiel 16:11, 16:13, 16:17-18, 16:17; The Apocalypse Explained 141)


[16] In Isaiah:

"Behold, I stir up against them the Medes, who shall not regard silver, and shall not delight in gold, whose bows shall strike the young men, their eye shall not spare the sons" (xiii. 17, 18).

By the Medes are meant those who are against the goods and truths of the church; therefore it is said of them, they shall not regard silver, nor delight in gold. Silver denotes the truth of the church, and gold its good. Their bows signify the doctrinals of falsity fighting against truths and goods (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2686, 2709): the young men whom they shall strike signify those who are intelligent from truths (see n. 7668); the sons whom they shall not spare signify truths themselves.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2686, Arcana Coelestia 2709, Arcana Coelestia 7668; Isaiah 13:17-18)


[17] In the same:

"The troop of camels shall cover thee; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of Jehovah. The isles shall trust in me, and the ships of Tarshish, to bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them" (lx. 6, 9).

The subject here treated of is the Lord's Advent, and by a troop of camels are meant all those who are in the knowledges of truth and good (see Arcana Coelestia, 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145). By Sheba, whence they shall come, is meant where those very knowledges are (see n. 1171, 3240); by the gold and incense which they shall bring are meant goods and truths derived from good, which are thence grateful; by gold the goods, and by incense those truths (see n. 9993, 10,177, 10,296); by the isles which shall trust in Him are meant the nations which are in Divine worship, but more remote from the truths of the church (see n. 1158); by ships of Tarshish are meant general knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good in which are contained many particular ones (n. 1977, 6385); by the sons whom they shall bring from far are meant truths more remote; sons denote truths, as above, and from far denotes which are more remote (see in. 1613, 9487); by their silver and gold with them are signified the knowledges of truth and good with them.

The like is signified by

the wise men who came from the east to the place where Christ was born, who offered "gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh" (Matthew ii. 11).

They offered those things because they signified goods and truths interior and exterior, which are gifts pleasing to God.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1158, 1171, Arcana Coelestia 1613, Arcana Coelestia 1977, Arcana Coelestia 3048, 3071, Arcana Coelestia 3143, 3145, Arcana Coelestia 3240, Arcana Coelestia 6385, Arcana Coelestia 9487, Arcana Coelestia 9993, Arcana Coelestia 10177, Arcana Coelestia 10296; Isaiah 60:6, 60:9; Matthew 2:11)


[18] In David:

"All kings shall bow down before him; all nations shall serve him. He shall preserve the souls of the poor, and they shall live; and he shall give them of the gold of Sheba" (lxxii. 11, 13, 15).

Here also the Lord's Advent is treated of. By the kings who, shall bow down before Him, and by the nations who shall serve Him, are meant all who are in truths from good; (that kings signify those who are in truths, may be seen above, n. 31; and that nations signify those who are in good, may be seen also above, n. 175); by the poor whom he shall preserve are meant those who are not in the knowledges of good and truth, but yet desire them (as may be seen also above, n. 238). By the gold of Sheba, of which He shall give them, is signified the good of love into which the Lord shall lead them by means of knowledges; (what is signified by Sheba may be seen just above).

(References: Psalms 72:11, 72:13, 72:15; The Apocalypse Explained 31, The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 238)


[19] In Haggai:

"And I will rouse up all nations, that they may come, the choice of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former" (ii. 7-9).

These things also are said concerning the Lord's advent. By nations are meant those who are in good and thence in truths; by house is meant the church (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 3720); by the glory with which it shall be filled is meant Divine truth (see n. 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429); by the silver is mine, and the gold is mine, is meant truth and good, which are from the Lord alone.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3720, Arcana Coelestia 4809, Arcana Coelestia 5922, Arcana Coelestia 8267, 8427, Arcana Coelestia 9429; Haggai 2:7-9)


[20] In Zechariah:

"The wealth of all nations round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver and apparel in great abundance" (xiv. 14).

By the wealth of all nations are meant knowledges, wherever they are, even with the evil; by gold, silver and apparel in great abundance are meant goods and truths, both spiritual and natural. The same was signified by the

gold, silver and raiment which the Israelites borrowed of the Egyptians, when they departed from them (Exod. iii. 22; xi. 2, 3; xii. 35, 36).

The reason why such a thing took place, and what it involves, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia (n. 6914, 6917), where it is shown that it was in order that it might be represented that from the evil are taken away the things which they have, and that they are given to the good, according to the Lord's words in Matt. xxv. 28, 29; and in Luke xix. 24, 26; and that they should make to themselves friends of the unrighteous mammon, according to the Lord's words in Luke xvi. 9. By the unrighteous mammon are meant the knowledges of truth and good with those who do not rightly possess them, these being those who do not apply them to the uses of life.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6914, 6917; Exodus 3:22, 11:2-3, 12:35-36; Luke 16:9, 19:24, 19:26; Matthew 25:28-29; Zechariah 14:14)


[21] In David:

"Kings' daughters are among thy precious ones; on thy right hand doth stand the queen in the best gold of Ophir: the king's daughter is all glorious within her clothing is embroidered with gold" (xlv. 9, 13).

This passage treats of the Lord. By the king's daughter is meant the church which is in the affection of truth, and which is described by kings' daughters being among her precious ones: by whom are meant the affections of truths themselves. By the queen standing at his right hand in the best gold of Ophir is meant the Lord's celestial kingdom, which is in the good of love; by her clothing being embroidered with gold is meant that truths are from good.

(References: Psalms 45:9, 45:13)


[22] In Matthew:

Jesus said to the disciples whom He sent forth to preach the gospel, that they should not provide gold, or silver, or brass in their purses (x. 9);

by which was represented that they should have nothing of good and truth from themselves, but from the Lord alone, and that all things would be given them freely. Because gold signified the good of love,

Therefore the table upon which was placed the showbread was overlaid with gold (Exod. xxv. 23, 24).

Also the altar of incense, which was thence called the golden altar (Exod. xxx. 3).

And on the same account the candlestick was made of pure gold (Exod. xxv. 31-38).

As were also the cherubim (Exod. xxv. 18);

And for the same reason the ark was covered within and without with gold (Exod. xxv. 11).

The same was the case with many other things in the temple of Jerusalem; for the tent in which were the ark, the cherubim, the table upon which was the showbread, the altar of incense, and the candlestick represented heaven, and so did the temple; and hence the gold therein signified the good of love, and the silver truth from good.

(References: Exodus 25:11, 25:17-18, 25:18, 25:23-24, 25:31, Exodus 25:31-38, 25:38, 30:3; Matthew 10:9)


[23] Because the most holy thing of heaven was represented by the gold in the temple,

Therefore, when Belshazzar drank wine out of the vessels of gold brought out of that temple, and at the same time praised the gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and stone, there appeared written on the wall, Numbered, weighed, divided; and in that night he was slain (Dan. v. 2, and following, verses);

for by this the profanation of good was signified.

(References: Daniel 5:2)


[24] Moreover by gold, in an opposite sense, in the Word is signified the evil of the love of self, and by silver the falsity therefrom, as in Moses:

The silver and gold of the nations they shall not covet, because they are abominations, nor shall they bring them into their houses, but they shall be accursed, because they were to be abominated and detested (Deut. vii. 25, 26).

But concerning this signification of gold and silver we shall speak hereafter.

(References: Deuteronomy 7:25-26; Exodus 25:31-38; Ezekiel 16:17; Revelation 3:18)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 226, 272, 277, 324, 340, 430, 444, 701, 907, 1043, 1120, 1141


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