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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


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Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236


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Arcana Coelestia #10129

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10129. 'And the altar shall be the holy of holies' means the celestial kingdom, where the Lord is present in the good of love. This is clear from the meaning of 'the altar' as that which is representative of the Lord in respect of Divine Good, dealt with in 9388, 9389, 9714, 9964, at this point in respect of Divine Good in heaven and in the Church, 10123; and from the meaning of 'the holy of holies' as celestial good or the good of love from the Lord. The reason why it is the celestial kingdom that is meant here by 'the altar' and the good there that is meant by 'the holy of holies' is that the good received in that kingdom is the good of love which comes from and is offered back to the Lord, which is celestial good. For there are two kingdoms into which the heavens are divided, the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom. The celestial kingdom receives the good of love coming from and offered back to the Lord, whereas the spiritual kingdom receives from the Lord the good of charity towards the neighbour, see the places referred to in 9277, and what is stated in 9680, 10068.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9388-9389)


[2] 'The altar' represents the celestial kingdom, or what amounts to the same thing, it represents the Lord where He is present in the good of love; and 'the tent of meeting outside the veil' represents the spiritual kingdom, or what amounts to the same thing, it represents the Lord where He is present in the good of charity towards the neighbour. The spiritual kingdom's good, or spiritual good, is called the holy place, but the celestial kingdom's good, or celestial good, is called the holy of holies. The reason why celestial good, which is the good of love received from and offered back to the Lord, is referred to as the holy of holies is that this good is a channel through which the Lord flows directly into the heavens; but spiritual good - the good of charity towards the neighbour - is a channel through which He does so indirectly, by way of celestial good, see 9473, 9683, 9873, 9992, 10005. The term 'flow in' is used because the Lord, being the Sun of heaven, is above the heavens and flows in from there, 10106; yet He is still as one present within the heavens.

[3] The fact that celestial good, which is the good of love received from and offered back to the Lord, is meant by 'the holy of holies' is clear from places in the Word where the expression 'the holy of holies' occurs, as in Moses,

The veil shall be for you a divider between the holy place and the holy of holies. And you shall put the mercy-seat onto the ark of the Testimony in the holy of holies. Exodus 26:33-34.

From this it is evident that 'the holy place' refers to that part of the tent which was outside the veil, and 'the holy of holies' to the part within the veil. Regarding the tent or the dwelling-place outside the veil, that it represented the Lord's spiritual kingdom, or the middle heaven, and regarding the tent or dwelling-place within the veil, that it represented the Lord's celestial kingdom, or the inmost heaven, see 9457, 9481, 9485, 10001, 10025. The part of the tent within the veil is also called the holy sanctuary 1 , Leviticus 16:33. Since the ark, which had the Testimony within it and the mercy-seat above it, represented the inmost heaven, where celestial good reigns, the innermost part of the temple, where the ark of the covenant was, is also called the holy of holies, 1 Kings 6:16; 8:6.

[4] Since the bread and the minchah were signs of the good of love received from and offered back to the Lord, which is celestial good, they too are called 'the holy of holies' in Moses,

The bread of faces (or of the presence) shall be eaten by Aaron and his sons in a holy place; for it is the holy of holies of the fire offerings to Jehovah. Leviticus 24:9.

'The bread of faces (or of the presence)' means celestial good, see 9545. In the same book,

That which remains of the minchah shall be for Aaron and his sons, the holy of holies of the fire offerings to Jehovah. Leviticus 2:3, 10.

'The minchah', which consisted of unleavened bread, unleavened cakes, and unleavened wafers mixed with oil, means celestial good or the good of love, see 4581, 9992, 10079; and 'a fire offering to Jehovah' means Divine Love, 10055.

[5] In the same author,

Every minchah - a sacrifice of sin offering and a sacrifice of guilt offering - which is for Aaron and his sons, is the holy of holies to Jehovah. Numbers 18:9-10.

Such minchahs too were called 'the holy of holies' because those sacrifices were signs of purification from evils, and all purification from evils is accomplished in a state of the good of innocence; and this good as well is celestial good. This explains why in sacrifices of sin offering or guilt offering female or male lambs, or rams, or young bulls, or turtle doves were offered, as is clear from Chapters 4, 5 of Leviticus, that good being meant by these creatures. For its being meant by 'lambs', see 3994, 3519, 7840, by 'rams', 10042, by 'young bulls', 9391; and its being meant by 'turtle doves' is evident from the places in the Word where such birds are mentioned. As regards purification from evils and regeneration, that they are accomplished in a state of innocence, see 10021. Therefore those sacrifices are called 'the holy of holies' also in Leviticus 6:25; 7:6; 10:17; 14:13.

(References: Leviticus 4:1, 5:1, 6:17; Numbers 18:9)


[6] In the same author,

The minchah shall be eaten beside the altar; for it is the holy of holies. Leviticus 10:12.

It has been shown above that the altar of burnt offering represented the Lord in respect of the good of love, and reception by angels and men. This accounts for the use of the following words concerning it in Moses,

You shall anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, its laver, and its pedestal. And you shall sanctify them, that they may be the holy of holies; everyone who touches them will make himself holy. Exodus 30:28-29.

(References: Exodus 30:29)


[7] The incense too, some of which was placed before the Testimony in the tent of meeting, is called the holy of holies, Exodus 30:36, because it meant celestial good in last and lowest things, and also meant the things that emanate from that good, 9475. In Ezekiel,

This is the law of the house 2 : On the top of the mountain shall its whole border round about be, the holy of holies. Ezekiel 43:12.

The reason why 'the house' together with the border around it is called 'the holy of holies' is that 'God's house' means the celestial kingdom, and in the highest sense the Lord in respect of the good of love, 3720. This is why the words 'on the top of the mountain' are also used, for 'the top of the mountain' has the same meaning, 6435, 9422, 9434.

[8] In Daniel,

Seventy weeks have been decreed concerning the people and concerning the holy city to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies. Daniel 9:24.

This refers to the Coming of the Lord, who alone is Jehovah's Anointed and who alone is the Holy One, and who also as to His Human is the Divine Good of Divine Love, and so is the holy of holies.

The Lord alone as to His Divine Human is Jehovah's Anointed, see 9954.

He alone is the Holy One, 9229.

He is the Divine Good of Divine Love, see the places referred to in 9199(end).

[9] The reason why celestial good is meant by 'the holy of holies' but spiritual good by 'the holy place' is that celestial good is inmost good, and therefore also is the inmost heaven's good, whereas spiritual good is good emanating from that celestial good and is therefore the middle heaven's good. And this good is good and consequently holy to the extent that it has celestial good within it; for celestial good flows into spiritual, conceives it, and begets it as a father does his child. The words 'celestial good' are used to mean the good of love received from and offered back to the Lord, and 'spiritual good' to mean the good of charity towards the neighbour received from the Lord.

[10] The good of love to the Lord received from the Lord is 'the holy of holies' because the Lord joins Himself directly to others through it. But the good of charity towards the neighbour is 'the holy place' because He joins Himself through it indirectly; and He joins Himself to the extent that it has the good of love from the Lord within it. The good of love to the Lord received from the Lord is present within all genuine good of charity, and also within all genuine good of faith; for such good flows in from the Lord. No one by his own strength, only by the Lord's, can love the neighbour and in love do good to him; and no one by his own strength, only by the Lord's, can believe in God. When therefore the Lord is acknowledged and the neighbour is loved, the Lord is present within the love towards the neighbour, however unaware the person may be of it. This also is what the Lord's words in Matthew serve to mean,

The righteous will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? But the King will say to them, Truly I say to you, Insofar as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers you did it to Me. Matthew 25:37-40.

From these words it is evident that the Lord is within the good of charity, indeed is that good, even though those governed by this good are unaware of it. 'Brothers' is used in the proximate sense 3 to mean those governed by the good of charity; and in the abstract sense, without reference to persons, 'the Lord's brothers' are the good of charity itself, in all its forms, see 5063-5071.

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Footnotes:

1. i.e. the internal historical sense. See the final words of 4690.

2. i.e. the new temple

3. literally, the sanctuary of holiness

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(References: Arcana Coelestia 5063; Exodus 29:37)

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