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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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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 #336

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336. And the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands. That this signifies that those are innumerable who are in truths, and innumerable those who are in goods, is clear from the signification of number, as denoting quantity and quality, quantity in the natural sense, and quality in the spiritual sense, the suitable number determining them; but still by all numbers in the Word is signified something of the thing treated of, as by two, three, four, five, seven, ten, and twelve, as has been shown in their proper places. It is the same thing with myriad and thousand, which are here mentioned. The number seven, for example, does not signify seven, but all things, full, and whole (see above, n. 257). But what myriads and thousands signify, shall now be explained. Myriads signify things innumerable; similarly thousands; but myriads are predicated of truths, and thousands of goods; hence it is that by myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, are signified that those are innumerable who are in truths, and innumerable those who are in goods.

(References: Revelation 5:11; The Apocalypse Explained 257)


[2] Those who are in the lower heavens, concerning whom these things are said, belong, to those who are in the higher heavens, treated of above, like two kingdoms, namely, the spiritual kingdom, and the celestial kingdom; those who belong to the spiritual kingdom are meant by those who are in truths, but those who belong to the celestial kingdom are meant by those who are in goods; the latter being innumerable is signified by thousands of thousands, and the former being innumerable is signified by myriads of myriads; but in the abstract sense, which is the true spiritual sense, innumerable truths and innumerable goods are signified. The reason why myriads and thousands signify things innumerable, is, because ten signifies many, and thence also a hundred, a thousand, and ten thousand; for numbers multiplied by a similar number signify the same as the simple numbers by which they are multiplied (see n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973). But when things innumerable, which are infinitely many, are to be expressed, they are called myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 5291, Arcana Coelestia 5335, Arcana Coelestia 5708, Arcana Coelestia 7973)


[3] Moreover, when two multiplied numbers, the one greater and the other less, which have a like signification, are mentioned together, as when ten and a hundred, or a hundred and a thousand, then the less is predicated of goods, and the greater of truths; the reason is, because every single good consists of several truths, for good is formed from truths, and hence good is produced by truths; it is from this fact that the greater number is predicated of truths, and the less of goods; similarly here myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands. That it is so may be illustrated by the following consideration, that one delight of affection may be presented by several ideas of thought, and expressed by various things in speech; the delight of the affection is what is called good, and the ideas of thought and various things in the speech, which proceed from that delight or good, are what are called truths. The case is similar with one thing of the will in reference to many things of its understanding, and also with one thing of love to many things which express it; this is why much and multitude in the Word are predicated of truths, and great and greatness of good, for what is great contains in itself many things. But these things are said for those who can be instructed by examples, in order that they may know whence it is that thousands equally as myriads signify things innumerable, but still that myriads are predicated of truths, and thousands of goods.

[4] That these numbers signify such things is evident from the following passages.

In Moses:

"In the first-born of his bullock he hath honour, and his horns [are] the horns of unicorns; with them he shall thrust the people together to the ends of the earth; and these are the myriads of Ephraim, and these are the thousands of Manasseh" (Deut. xxxiii. 17).

These things are said concerning Joseph, by whom, in a representative sense, is signified the Lord as to the Divine Spiritual, and as to His spiritual kingdom (see n. 3969, 3971, 4669, 6417). By his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh are signified two parts of that kingdom, namely, intellectual truth and voluntary good; by Ephraim intellectual truth, and by Manasseh voluntary good hence it is that myriads are predicated of Ephraim and thousands of Manasseh. That these are signified by Ephraim and Manasseh may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 3969, 5351, 5353, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296. What is signified by the first-born of the bullock, and by the horns of the unicorn, may be seen above (n. 316).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3969, 3971, Arcana Coelestia 4669, Arcana Coelestia 5351, 5353-5354, Arcana Coelestia 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, Arcana Coelestia 6296, 6417; Deuteronomy 33:17; The Apocalypse Explained 316)


[5] In David:

"The chariots of God are two myriads, thousands of angels of peace; the Lord is among them, in the holy place of Sinai" (Ps. lxviii. 17).

By the chariots of God are signified truths of doctrine, and by the angels of peace are signified the goods thereof; therefore myriads are predicated of the former, and thousands of the latter. (That chariots signify truths of doctrine, may be seen, n. 2762, 5321, 8215; and that peace signifies the inmost of good, in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 284-290.) And because the Lord is called Lord from good, and Sinai signifies heaven where and whence the Divine truth is, therefore it is said the Lord is among them, in the holy place of Sinai, the holy place denoting heaven and the church where Divine truth is. (That the Lord is called Lord from Divine good, and God from Divine truth, may be seen, n. 4973, 9167, 9194; and that Sinai signifies heaven where the Lord is, from whom is Divine truth, or from whom is the law, in the strict sense, and in the broad sense, n. 8399, 8753, 8793, 8805, 9420.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2762, Arcana Coelestia 4973, Arcana Coelestia 5321, Arcana Coelestia 8215, 8399, Arcana Coelestia 8753, 8793, 8805, Arcana Coelestia 9167, 9194, 9420; Heaven and Hell 284-290; Psalms 68:17)


[6] In the same:

"Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night; of the dart that flieth by day, of the pestilence that creepeth in darkness; of death that wasteth at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and a myriad at thy right hand" (Ps. xci. 5-7).

These things are said concerning the falsities and evils that are not known to be falsities and evils, and that yet creep into the thought and the will, and destroy men; falsities that are known to be falsities, are meant by the dart that flieth by day, and evils that are known to be evils and yet enter, are meant by the death that wasteth at noon-day; and falsities that are not known to be falsities, are meant by the terror of the night, and evils which are not known to be evils, by the pestilence that creepeth in darkness. The destruction of these evils is signified by a thousand that shall fall at his side; and the destruction of the falsities by the myriad that shall fall at his right hand; by the side also, at which they shall fall, is signified good, and by the right hand the truth of good. The reason why a thousand is predicated of evils, and a myriad of falsities is, because falsities are opposed to truths, and evils opposed to goods; and in the Word opposites are expressed by the same words and the same numbers.

(References: Psalms 91:5-7)


[7] In the same:

"Our garners [shall be] full, yielding from food to food; our flocks shall bring forth thousands, myriads in our streets" (Ps. cxliv. 13).

By garners and by food are signified the goods and truths of the church; for spiritual foods are the knowledges of truth and good, by which there is intelligence. Similar but interior things are signified by flocks; therefore the goods of the church are meant by thousands, and the truths thereof by myriads; and because truths are meant by myriads, therefore it is said, myriads in our streets; for by the streets of a city are signified truths of doctrine. (That food signifies both good and truth, may be seen n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, 5915, 6277, 8418, 8562, 9003; hence also garners, which are the storehouses thereof. That by flocks are signified interior goods and truths, which are called spiritual, n. 1565, 2566, 3767, 3768, 3772, 3783, 3795, 5913, 6044, 6048, 8937, 10,609.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1565, 2566, Arcana Coelestia 3114, 3767-3768, 3772, 3783, 3795, Arcana Coelestia 4459, Arcana Coelestia 4792, Arcana Coelestia 5147, Arcana Coelestia 5293, Arcana Coelestia 5340, 5342, Arcana Coelestia 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, Arcana Coelestia 5913, 5915, 6044, 6048, Arcana Coelestia 6277, Arcana Coelestia 8418, 8562, Arcana Coelestia 8937, 9003, Arcana Coelestia 10609; Psalms 144:13)


[8] In Micah:

"Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, with myriads of rivers of oil?" (vi. 6).

Because by rams are signified spiritual goods, and by rivers of oil are signified the truths proceeding from good, therefore, myriads are predicated of the latter, and thousands of the former. (That by rams are signified spiritual goods, may be seen, n. 2830, 4170.) And because the good of love is signified by oil, therefore by the rivers thereof are signified the things proceeding from it, which are truths.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2830, Arcana Coelestia 4170; Micah 6:7)


[9] In Daniel:

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit. A stream of fire issuing and going forth from before him; a thousand of thousands ministered unto him, and a myriad of myriads stood before him" (vii. 9, 10).

The Lord's advent is here treated of, and by the thrones that were cast down, are signified the falsities of the church, which were destroyed; by the Ancient of days is meant the Lord from eternity; by a stream of fire issuing and going forth from before Him, are signified the Divine good of love, and the Divine truth thence; by a stream of fire issuing, the Divine good of love; and by the same going forth, the Divine truth proceeding. Because each is signified, therefore it is said, a thousand of thousands ministered unto Him, and a myriad of myriads stood before Him, a thousand being predicated of Divine Good, and a myriad of Divine truth; to minister is also predicated of good (see above, n. 155); and to stand as well as to go forth is predicated of truth.

(References: Daniel 7:9-10; The Apocalypse Explained 155)


[10] In Moses:

"When the ark rested, Moses said, Return, O Jehovah, to the myriads of the thousands of Israel" (Num. x. 35, 36).

Because the ark signified the Divine Celestial proceeding from the Lord, from the law or testimony which was in it, and by Israel was signified the church as to the reception of Divine good and Divine truth, therefore it is said, "The myriads of the thousands of Israel," by whom are signified the truths from good, which are in Israel or in the church. But what a thousand signifies when ten thousand or a myriad are not adjoined to it, will be seen in its proper article in the following pages; similarly what is signified by number.

(References: Numbers 10:35-36, 10:36; Revelation 5:11)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 334, 337, 408, 424, 429, 440, 453, 459, 573, 574, 625, 652, 657, 700, 714, 794, 841, 880


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