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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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Arcana Coelestia #10130

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10130. 'Everyone touching the altar will be sanctified' means whoever receives what is Divine and the Lord's. This is clear from the meaning of 'touching' as an imparting, conveying, and being received, dealt with below; from the meaning of 'the altar' as that which is representative of the Lord in respect of the good of love, at this point in heaven and in the Church, dealt with above in 10129; and from the meaning of 'being sanctified' as receiving what is Divine and the Lord's, also dealt with above, in 10128. The reason why 'touching' means an imparting, conveying, and being received is that a person's inner feelings are expressed by outward means, in particular by touch, and are thereby imparted and conveyed to another; and insofar as the will of the other is in tune and at one with his they are received. Whether you say the will or the love, it amounts to the same thing; for whatever a person loves he likewise wills. From this it also follows that the inner feelings a person has as a result of what he loves and therefore thinks are expressed through touch, and by means of it are imparted and conveyed to another. And insofar as the other loves the person expressing those feelings or loves the things which that person says and does, those feelings are received.

[2] This is especially apparent in the next life, for all people's actions there flow from the heart, that is, from their will or love. They are not allowed to act with gestures separate from their will or love, nor to speak with fraudulent lips, that is, separately from the thoughts of the heart. There it is evident how inner feelings are imparted and conveyed to another by touch, and how the other's reception of them is determined by his own love. Everyone's will or love constitutes the entire person there, and the sphere of life from it flows out from him like breath or an exhalation, envelops him, and constitutes an extension of himself, so to speak, around himself, in a way scarcely different from the emission around plants in the world, which is also detected at a distance through their odours, and also that around animals, which is actually detected by a dog with its keen sense of smell. There is a like emission from every human being, as also a wealth of experience makes known. But when a person lays aside the body and becomes a spirit or an angel that emission or exhalation is not material, as it was in the world; instead it is something spiritual flowing from his love. This love produces a sphere around him, which enables other spirits to detect at a distance what he is like. See what has been shown regarding this sphere in the places referred to in 9606.

[3] Since in their world this sphere is imparted and conveyed to another, and is received by him in accordance with his love, very many wonders occur there which are unknown to people in the world, such as,

1. People's presence with one another is always due to the likeness of their loves, and their absence from one another is always due to unlikeness.

2. All are brought into association with one another on the basis of their loves. Those governed by love to the Lord received from the Lord live in association with one another in the inmost heaven; those governed by love towards the neighbour received from the Lord live in association with one another in the middle heaven; and those governed by the obedience of faith, that is, those who do the truth for its own sake, live in association with one another in the lowest heaven. But those ruled by self-love and love of the world, that is, those who do what they do with selfish and worldly ends in view, live in association with one another in hell.

[4] 3. All turn their eyes towards those they love. Those who love the Lord turn their eyes towards the Lord as the Sun; those who love the neighbour with love received from the Lord turn their eyes towards the Lord as the Moon; and those who do the truth for its own sake act in a similar way. (Regarding the Lord as the Sun and as the Moon, see what has been shown in 1521, 1529-1531, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321 (end), 5097, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 8644, 8812.) And what is astonishing, whichever way they face, that is, whichever of the four quarters they turn towards, they still behold the Lord in front of them. The opposite is so with those in hell; the more they are ruled there by self-love and by love of the world, the more they turn from the Lord and have Him behind their back. And again this is so whichever way they face or whichever quarter they turn towards.

[5] 4. When an angel of heaven focuses his attention on others his inner feelings are imparted and conveyed to them, according to the amount and the essential nature of his love; and it is received by them according to the essential nature and the amount of their love. If therefore attention is focused by an angel of heaven on those who are good, it gives rise to gladness and joy; but if it is focused on the evil, it gives rise to pain and torment.

[6] But an imparting, conveying, and being received is also meant by touching with the hand because the whole body's capacity to act is concentrated in the arms and hands, and in the Word interior things are expressed by means of exterior ones. So it is that power is meant by 'the arms', by 'the hands', and especially by 'the right hand', see the places referred to in 10019, and what has been stated in 10023, 10076; and so it is that whatever resides with a person, thus the entire person in his capacity to act, is meant by 'the hands', see the places referred to in 10019. Furthermore all the outward senses of sight, hearing, taste, and smell are connected with touch, being varieties of touch, as is well known in the learned world.

[7] The meaning of 'touching' as an imparting, conveying, and being received is clear from a great number of places in the Word, of which let the following be brought to the fore: In Moses,

You shall anoint the tent of meeting, and the ark of the Testimony, and the table and all its vessels, and the lampstand and its vessels, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, and the laver and its pedestal. Thus you shall sanctify them, that they may be the holy of holies. Everyone who touches them will be made holy. Exodus 30:26-29.

In the same author,

Everything that touches the remainder of the minchah and the remainder of the flesh from the sacrifices, which are for Aaron and his sons, will be made holy. Leviticus 6:18, 27.

In Daniel,

The angel touched Daniel 1 and raised him onto his knees; and he touched his lips and opened his mouth; and again he touched him and strengthened him. Daniel 10:10, 16, 18.

In Isaiah,

One of the seraphim touched my mouth with the burning coal; he said, Behold, this has touched your lips, therefore your iniquity has departed and your sin is expiated. Isaiah 6:7.

In Jeremiah,

Jehovah put out His hand and touched my mouth, and said, I am putting 2 My words into your mouth. Jeremiah 1:9.

In Matthew,

Jesus, stretching out a hand to the leper, touched him, saying, I am willing; be clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:3.

In the same gospel,

Jesus saw Peter's mother-in-law sick with a fever, and He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Matthew 8:14-15.

In the same gospel,

Jesus touched the eyes of the blind, and their eyes were opened. Matthew 9:29-30.

In the same gospel,

Jesus touched the eyes of the two blind men, and immediately they received sight. Matthew 20:34.

In Luke,

Jesus touched the servant's 3 ear and healed [him]. Luke 22:51.

In Mark,

They brought the sick to Jesus, that they might just touch the hem of His clothing; and as many as touched [Him] were made well. Mark 6:56; Matthew 14:36.

In Luke,

A woman suffering from a discharge of blood touched the hem of Jesus' garment; and immediately the flow of blood stopped. Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? Someone touched Me; I perceived that power had gone out from Me. Luke 8:44-48.

In Mark,

They brought young children to Jesus, that He might touch them. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13, 16.

(References: Luke 8:43-46)


[8] From these quotations it is evident that 'touching' means an imparting, conveying, and being received.

[9] This is similarly evident in places where uncleannesses are the subject, by which evils and falsities that come from the hells are meant in the internal sense, as in Moses,

Whoever touches the dead body of any person 4 will be unclean for seven days. Whoever touches a dead body, that of a person who has died 5 , and has not expiated himself, defiles Jehovah's dwelling-place; therefore this soul shall be cut off from Israel. Everyone who has touched on the surface of the field one slain with the sword, or one dead, or a human bone, or a sepulchre will be unclean for seven days. Whoever touches the water of separation will be unclean until the evening. Everything that the unclean person has touched will become unclean; and the soul who has touched it will be unclean until the evening. Numbers 19:11, 13, 16, 21-22.

In the same author,

He who touches unclean beasts, unclean creeping things, will be unclean until the evening. Everything onto which [any of them] falls will be unclean; whether it is a wooden vessel, a garment, water, an earthenware vessel, food, drink, an oven, a spring, a cistern, [or] a water-tank, it will be unclean. Leviticus 11:31-36.

The like occurs at Leviticus 5:2-3; 7:21.

In the same book,

[A person] who has a discharge is unclean. A man (vir) who touches that person's bed ..., if he sits on a vessel on which the person has sat ..., whoever touches that person's flesh [or] his garments ..., if someone suffering from a discharge spits on one who is clean ..., a seat 6 on which he rides ..., an earthenware vessel ..., a wooden vessel ..., he will be unclean. Leviticus 15:1-end.

So too one who touches a leper, Leviticus 22:4. In the same book,

If any of the carcass falls onto any sowing seed which is sown, it will be clean. But if water is put onto the seed, and the carcass falls onto it, it will be unclean. Leviticus 11:37-38.

(References: Leviticus 15)


[10] By these uncleannesses are meant various kinds of evils and consequent falsities coming from hell, which have been imparted, conveyed, and received. Each particular uncleanness means some specific evil; for evils are what render a person unclean, because they infect his soul. Also the evils in their hearts gush out of evil spirits and genii, and - depending on how convincing the false ideas accompanying evil are - they infect those who are present. This contagious influence is what is meant by touching uncleannesses.

(References: Leviticus 15)


[11] In Moses,

Of the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden you shall not eat, nor shall you touch it, or else you will die. Genesis 3:3.

In the same book,

The angel who wrestled with Jacob, seeing that he did not prevail against him, touched the socket of his thigh, and the socket of the thigh was out of joint. Genesis 32:25.

In the same author,

Moses said that they should not touch anything that belonged to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, lest they be consumed on account of all their sins. Numbers 16:26.

In Isaiah,

Depart, depart. Do not touch the unclean thing. Go out from the midst of her; be purified, bearers of Jehovah's vessels. Isaiah 52:11.

In Jeremiah,

They went astray blind in the streets, they are defiled with blood. Things which have no power they touch with their garments. Depart; he is unclean. They cry out to them, Depart, do not touch [us]. Lamentations 4:14-15.

In Haggai,

Behold, if a man carries 7 holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and his skirt touches bread, or wine, or oil, or any food whatever, still it will not be made holy. If one who is unclean from a dead body 8 touches any of them whatever still he will be unclean. Haggai 2:12-14.

In Hosea,

Perjuring, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery; they commit robbery, and blood touches blood 9 . Therefore the land will mourn. Hosea 4:2-3.

-----
Footnotes:

1. Swedenborg adds five words here meaning literally and restored onto his station i.e. stood him on his feet again. They appear in Daniel 8:18 but are echoed in the angel's command to Daniel in Daniel 10:11 to stand up, which comes after the words and raised him onto his knees.

2. literally, I am giving

3. Reading servi (the servant's) for surdi (the deaf man's)

4. literally, the dead, as to every soul of man (homo)

5. literally, Whoever touches the dead, as to the soul of a man (homo) who dies

6. literally, chariot or carriage

7. literally, Behold, a man (vir) will carry

8. literally, from a soul

9. literally, bloods touch bloods i.e. bloodshed comes on top of bloodshed

-----

(References: Exodus 29:37; Leviticus 11:31-38; Luke 8:43-46)

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Arcana Coelestia 10199, 10277, 10283

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 24, 35, 62, 81, 121, 307


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 298, 391

Other New Christian Commentary

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