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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
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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 #417

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417. Four angels standing on the four corners of the earth. That this signifies the Divine proceeding from the Lord in the whole spiritual world, is plain from the signification of angels, for they denote the Divine which proceeds from the Lord; concerning which see above, n. 130, 200, 302; and from the signification of the four corners of the earth, which denote the whole spiritual world. By four corners is signified the spiritual world, because there are lands there just as on our globe; for in that world, as is the case on our earth, there are mountains, hills, rocks, plains, valleys, and many other things. This has been often stated above. And as the Last Judgment upon all in the spiritual world is treated of in the Apocalypse, and in this place the separation of the good from the evil, therefore that world is meant by the earth. The reason why the earth also signifies the church, as frequently stated before, is, that the appearance of the land (terra) in the spiritual world is exactly in agreement with the state of the church with spirits and angels there. The appearance is the most beautiful where the angels of the superior heavens dwell, and beautiful also where the angels of the lower heavens dwell, but it is totally wanting in beauty where evil spirits dwell. For where the angels dwell, are gardens, fruit gardens, flower-beds, palaces, and everything in heavenly form and harmony, whence pleasantnesses issue forth, imparting inmost delight to the mind; but where evil spirits are, every place is marshy, stony, and barren, and they live in huts of a vile appearance, and also in caverns and dens.

(References: Revelation 7:1; The Apocalypse Explained 130, 200, 302)


[2] These things are mentioned to show that "the earth," in the proximate sense, means the spiritual world; nor could any other earth (terra) appear to John, for it was seen by him when he was in the spirit. Man also, when in the spirit, cannot see any thing on our Earth (tellus), but only what is in the spiritual world. Therefore John saw four angels, and they were standing on the four corners of that earth. Four angels were seen, because by their standing on four corners is signified the Divine which proceeds from the Lord in the whole spiritual world, for that entire world has four quarters; these are the eastern, western, southern, and northern, that world being thus divided. Those who are in the good of love to the Lord dwell in the eastern quarter, and also in the western, but the former in the clear good of love because they are in the interior [good of love]; the latter, in the obscure good of love, because they are in the exterior [good of love]; in the southern quarter dwell those who are in the clear light of truth, and in the northern those who are in an obscure light of truth. Concerning these quarters see Heaven and Hell, n. 141-153, where they are treated of. And since all things have reference to the good of love, and to the truth from that good, or generally to good and truth, therefore by those four quarters are also meant all things of heaven and the church. Those quarters are also meant in the Word by the four winds, here also by the four corners. It is therefore evident, that the angels were not seen standing on the four corners of the earth, but in the four quarters. They are called the four corners, because corners signify the extremes, and the extremes signify all things, because they include all.

(References: Heaven and Hell 141-153)


[3] That corners signify quarters is evident from these passages in the Word, where quarters are described by corners, as in the following:

In Moses:

"For the tabernacle thou shalt make twenty boards for the south corner southwards. And for the second side of the tabernacle, towards the north corner, twenty boards," and so forth (Exod. xxvi. 18, 20; xxvii. 9, 11; xxxvi. 21, 23, 25).

Here the south corner denotes the southern quarter, and towards the north corner, the northern quarter, for there were twenty boards for each side.

So in Ezekiel:

"By the border of Dan, from the east corner unto the west corner, Asher one. And thence by the border of Asher, from the east corner even unto the corner towards the west," and company (xlviii. 1-8).

In the same prophet:

"These the measures; the north corner four thousand and five hundred, and the south corner as many, and the east corner as many, and the west corner as many, by the boundary to the east corner towards the west, and so forth" (xlviii. 16, 17, 23-25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34; also xlvii. 17-20).

Again, in Moses:

"Ye shall measure from without the city the corner towards the east two thousand cubits, and the south corner as many, and the west corner as many, and the north corner as many" (Num. xxxv. 5; also in Joshua xv. 5; xviii. 12, 14, 15, 20).

In these passages, by the east, the south, the west, and the north corners are meant the sides facing the eastern, southern, western, and northern quarters; from which it is evident, that by the four angels standing upon the four corners of the earth, is not meant upon its four corners, but in its four quarters. Similarly in another passage in the Apocalypse, it is said:

Satan "shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth" (xx. 8).

(References: Exodus 26:18, 26:20, Exodus 27:9, 27:11, Exodus 36:21, 36:21-23, 36:23, 36:25; Ezekiel 47:17-20, 48:1-8, 48:16-17, 48:23-28, 48:33-34; Joshua 15:5, 18:12, 18:14-15, 18:20; Numbers 35:5; Revelation 20:8)


[4] The reason why four corners are mentioned, and not the four quarters, is that corners signify all things, since they are the extremes; for the extremes embrace all things from the centre to the ultimate circumferences; for they are the ultimate boundaries. It was for this reason that horns were placed upon the four corners of the altar, and that blood was poured on them, and thus the whole altar expiated; as is evident from Exod. xxvii. 2; xxix. 12; xxx. 2, 3, 10; xxxviii. 2; Lev. iv. 7, 18, 25, 30, 34; xvi. 18, 19; Ezekiel xli. 22; xliii. 20.

(References: Exodus 27:2, Exodus 29:12, 30:2-3, 30:10, Exodus 38:2; Ezekiel 41:22, 43:15, 43:20; Leviticus 4:7, 4:18, 4:25, 4:30, 4:34, 16:18-19)


[5] That corners signify all things, because they signify the extremes, for the reason stated above, that the extremes include and embrace all things, is clearly evident from certain statutes given to the sons of Israel; as for instance, that they should not round off or shave the corner of their head (Lev. xix. 27). That they should not cut off the corner of their beards (Lev. xix. 27; xxi. 5).

Again:

And when they reaped the harvest of their land, they should not wholly reap the corner of the field (xix. 9; xxiii. 22).

Why such statutes were given them cannot be understood, unless it be known what the hair of the head, the beard, a field, and also a corner mean. The hair of the head, and the beard, signify the ultimate of the life of man, which is called the Corporeal Sensual; a field signifies the Church; and reaping, the truth of doctrine. Wherefore, by these [statutes], it was represented that the extremes should be preserved, because they signify all things; for unless there are extremes, intermediates cannot be held together, but are dissipated, just as the interiors of man would be scattered unless they were enclosed by the skin. The same is the case in every thing and therefore also in regard to the signification of the hair of the head, the beard, and the harvest of the field. That the hair of the head signifies the extreme of the life of man, which is called the Corporeal Sensual, may be seen above (n. 66), and that the same is signified by the beard, see the Arcana Coelestia (n. 9660); that extremes or ultimates, signify all things in the aggregate, thus the whole (n. 10044, 10329, 10335). Now since a field signifies the church, and harvest the truths of the church, therefore by their not wholly reaping the corner of the field when they reaped the harvest, is meant the preservation of all those things which are signified by the harvests of the field.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9960, 10044, Arcana Coelestia 10329, Arcana Coelestia 10335; Leviticus 19:9, 19:27, 21:5, 23:22; The Apocalypse Explained 66)


[6] That corners signify all things because they are extremes, is also evident from the following passages in Moses:

"I will cast them into the farthest corners, I will make the remembrance of them cease from among men" (Deut. xxxii. 26).

To cast into the farthest corners signifies to deprive of all good and truth; therefore it is also said, "I will make the remembrance of them to cease from among men," which signifies, that they no longer possess any thing of spiritual life, which comes to pass when man remains only in the ultimates of life, called the Corporeal Sensual; in this condition are very many, who have not attained to anything of spiritual life. Such persons then become not unlike beasts, which have no other life, with this difference, that a man, because he is born a man, can speak and reason, but he does this from the fallacies of the senses, or of the outermost things of nature, the world, and the body. This is what is meant here by being cast into the farthest corners.

(References: Deuteronomy 32:26)


[7] In Jeremiah:

"And their camels shall be a prey, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil; and I will scatter them into every wind into the cut off of the corner; and I will bring their destruction from all the passages thereof, saith Jehovah" (xlix. 32).

These things are said concerning the devastation of Arabia and Hazor by the king of Babylon, and by Arabia and Hazor are signified the knowledges of good and truth, and by the king of Babylon evil and falsity vastating. The vastation of all confirmatory scientifics and of the knowledges of good and truth, is signified by their camels being a prey, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil; for camels denote confirmatory scientifics, and cattle the knowledges of good and truth. The vastation of all things pertaining to good and truth, until none remains, is signified by, "I will scatter them into every wind into the cut off of the corner;" the cut off of the corner denoting the extremes where good and truth no longer exist. That evils and falsities will then break in on every side, is signified by, "I will bring their destruction from all the passages thereof." For in the spiritual world, where the evil are, ways from the hells lie open on all sides, and through these, evils and falsities therefrom break in; and all who are in similar evils and falsities pass through the same ways, and associate with them. These things are said in order that it may be known what is meant by "I will bring their destruction from all the passages." By their becoming a prey and a spoil, as well as by being scattered and destroyed, is signified devastation.

(References: Jeremiah 49:32)


[8] In the same prophet:

"Behold, the days come, in which I will punish all them which are circumcised in their uncircumcision; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the sons of Ammon, and Moab, and all the utmost of the corner, that dwell in the wilderness; for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart" (ix. 25, 26).

Here, by "all the utmost of the corner," are signified those who are in the ultimates of the church separated from interior things, interior things being spiritual, therefore, those who are in sensual things only, which are the ultimates of the natural man. Concerning the nature and quality of those who are merely sensual, see the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem. (n. 50).

These are signified by the cut off of the corner, because corners signify the quarters of the spiritual world, and those quarters signify all the goods and truths of heaven and the church, as previously stated. The dwellings of spirits and angels in that world, are so arranged, that those who possess the greatest wisdom and intelligence dwell in the midst, and those who are successively in less and less, from the midst even to the outmost boundaries, and this gradation proceeds accurately according to distances from the centre. In the outermost parts are those who have no wisdom and intelligence, and beyond these those who are in evils and the falsities thence. The latter are those denoted by the cut off of the corner; and because there are deserts there they are said to dwell in the wilderness. Concerning these gradations in the spiritual world, see Heaven and Hell (n. 43, 50, 189). The same are signified by the uncircumcised nations, and by the house of Israel uncircumcised in heart; for the uncircumcised signify those who, being without love and charity, and therefore without good, are consequently in the loves of self and of the world; and those who are in these loves are in the ultimates of the natural man, which are altogether separated from spiritual things; they are therefore "the cut off of the corner that dwell in the wilderness." By Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon and Moab, are meant all those who by means of those loves have separated themselves from the goods and truths of the church; therefore they are beyond the influence of these truths, and are thus the cut off of the corner. The same is signified by the cut off of the corner in Jeremiah (xxv. 23).

(References: Heaven and Hell 43, 50, Heaven and Hell 189; Jeremiah 9:25-26, 25:23; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 50)


[9] Again, in Moses:

"There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall break in pieces the corners of Moab" (Num. xxiv. 17).

By the corners of Moab are meant all things signified by Moab. By Moab are signified those who are in the ultimates of the Word, of the church, and of worship; and in the opposite sense, those who adulterate such things by looking to themselves, and regarding their own honour in every one of these things. The corners of Moab, therefore, mean adulterations of the Word, and consequently of the church and worship, as they exist with those who are of such a character. Similar things are signified by the corner of Moab in Jeremiah (xlviii. 45).

(References: Jeremiah 48:45; Numbers 24:17)


[10] In Zephaniah:

"A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high corners" (i. 16).

Here, "a day of the trumpet and alarm," signifies spiritual combat against evils and falsities. The fenced cities signify confirmatory false doctrinals, and the high corners those things which favour their loves. Hence the signification of "a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high corners" is evident.

Again:

"I will cut off the nations; their corners shall be laid waste; I will make desolate their streets, that none passeth by; and I will lay waste their cities, so that there is no inhabitant" (iii. 6).

The destruction of all the goods of the church, is signified by "I will cut off the nations" and "their corners shall be laid waste." Nations mean the goods of the church, and corners, being the extremes (as above), all things belonging to it. By "I will make desolate their streets," and by "their cities shall be laid waste," is signified the destruction of the truths of doctrine; streets denoting truths and cities doctrinals; the total destruction, until no good and truth remain, is signified by there being no inhabitant, none to pass by; for to pass by is used in the Word of truths, and to inhabit of goods.

(References: Jeremiah 48:45; Zephaniah 1:16, 3:6)


[11] In the book of Judges:

"Then all the sons of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, and the corners of all the people, even all the tribes of Israel, stood together in the assembly of the people of God" (xx. 1, 2).

That "the corners of all the people stood together in the assembly of the people of God," signifies all from every side, or from every quarter, is evident from its being said, that all the sons and all the tribes of Israel went out, and that the congregation was gathered together from Dan even to Beersheba. But in the spiritual sense, by "the corners of all the people" are meant all the goods and truths of the church; and similarly also by all the tribes of Israel from Dan even to Beersheba, are signified those things from ultimates to primaries (prima), and by the assembly of the people of God, is signified consultation concerning the things of the church. For in the historical parts of the Word, equally as in the prophetical, there is everywhere a spiritual sense. Therefore in the historical sense, by corners are signified quarters, such as are in the spiritual world; but in the spiritual sense, for the reason stated above, they signify all the truths and goods of the church.

(References: Judges 20:1-2)


[12] From these considerations the signification of corner stone in the following passages is evident:-

In Isaiah:

"He will lay in Zion a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone of sure foundation" (xxviii. 16).

In Jeremiah:

"And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone of foundations" (li. 26).

In Zechariah:

Out of Judah, "the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow" (x. 4).

In David:

"The stone which they rejected is become the head of the corner" (Psalm cxviii. 22). Matt. xxi. 42; Mark xii. 10, 11; Luke xx. 17, 18.

Corner stone signifies all Divine Truth upon which heaven and the church are founded, thus every foundation; and, because the foundation is the basis upon which a house or temple rests, it therefore signifies all things. Because by corner stone are signified all things upon which the church is founded, it is therefore said, "He will lay in Zion a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone of sure foundation." It is also called a stone for a corner and a stone of foundations; and because corner stone signifies all Divine Truth upon which the church is founded, it therefore also signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human because from That all Divine Truth proceeds. The builders, or architects, who rejected that stone, as we read in the Evangelists, mean those who are of the church, in this case, of the Jewish church, which rejected the Lord, and together with Him all Divine Truth; for there remained with them nothing but vain traditions from the sense of the letter of the Word, in which the very truths of the Word were falsified, and its goods adulterated. That ultimates signify all things, and the reason of this signification, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 634, 5897, 6239, 6451, 6465, 9216, 9824, 9828, 9836, 9905, 10044, 10099, 10329, 10335, 10548).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 634, 5897, 6239, 6451, 6465, 9216, 9824, 9828, 9836, 9905, Arcana Coelestia 10044, 10099, Arcana Coelestia 10329, 10335, Arcana Coelestia 10548; Isaiah 28:16; Jeremiah 51:26; Luke 20:17-18; Mark 12:10-11; Matthew 21:42; Psalms 118:22; Revelation 7:1; Zechariah 10:4)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 415, 419, 425, 427, 431, 464, 531, 567, 608, 625, 652, 657, 665, 687, 697, 764, 787, 821, 871, 912, 918, 960, 1047


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


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