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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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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


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1

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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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Arcana Coelestia #1672

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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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


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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Arcana Coelestia #10182

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10182. 'Its horns shall be of one piece with it' means the powers of truth derived from the good of love and charity. This is clear from the meaning of 'horns' as the powers of truth, dealt with in 2832, 9719-9721. The reason why derived from the good of love and charity is meant is that all the power which truth possesses comes from that good. Therefore also the horns continued from the altar itself or were of one piece with it; for this altar was representative of the Lord, of His hearing and receiving everything of worship that springs from love and charity, 10177.

[2] The statement that all the power which truth possesses comes from the good of love is unintelligible to those who have only a material idea of power, and therefore the nature of that power must be described. In the heavens all power is derived from Divine Truth emanating from the Lord's Divine Good. This is the source of the power angels possess, for angels are recipients of Divine Truth from the Lord, 1752, 4295, 8192. By means of the power which they receive from that source they protect a person by removing the hells from him; for a single angel is stronger than a thousand who come from hell. This power is what Peter's keys serve to mean, though Peter, who in the same place is referred to as a rock, means the Lord in respect of the truth of faith springing from the good of love, see Preface to Genesis 22, and 3750, 4738, 6000, 6073(end), 6344(end), 10087, 'the Rock' being the Lord in respect of the truth of faith, 8581.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2670)


[3] The power that Divine Truth possesses is also meant by 'the voice of Jehovah' in David,

The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters; the voice of Jehovah is powerful; the voice of Jehovah breaks the cedars; the voice of Jehovah strikes a flame of fire; the voice of Jehovah causes the wilderness to shake; the voice of Jehovah strips the forests bare; Jehovah gives strength to His people. Psalms 29:3-5, 7-9, 11.

'The voice of Jehovah' is the Divine Truth emanating from His Divine Good, see 9926.

(References: Psalms 29:3-11)


[4] The power that Divine Truth possesses is also meant by 'the Word' in John,

All things were made through the Word, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:3.

'The Word' is the Divine Truth emanating from Divine Good, see 9987. Therefore also the Lord, when He was in the world, first made Himself Divine Truth, which is also meant in John 1:14 by the Word became flesh. The Lord made Himself Divine Truth then to the end that He might fight against all the hells and overcome them, and in so doing might restore all things to order there, and at the same time in the heavens, 9715, 9809, 10019, 10152.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 10052)


[5] The fact that truths springing from good possess all power, while on the other hand falsities arising from evil have no power, is very well known in the next life. For this reason the evil who come there from the world have their belief, which is no more than persuasion, and also their knowledge of any truth, taken away from them. This then leaves them with the falsities belonging to their evil.

[6] The statement that truths springing from good possess such power is unintelligible to those who have the idea that truth or a belief in truth is no more than mental activity, when yet a person's mental activity, under the control of his will, constitutes all the strength which the body has; and if the Lord were to instill it through His Divine Truth into that body the person would possess the strength of Samson. But yet it is the Lord's good pleasure to impart strength to a person through faith springing from love in the things that belong to his spirit and that contribute to eternal life.

[7] From all this one may see what should be understood by the power of truth springing from good, the power meant by 'the horns' of both the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense. That this power is meant by 'the horns' is clear from places in the Word where 'horns' are mentioned, as in Ezekiel,

On that day I will make a horn grow up for the house of Israel. Ezekiel 29:21.

In Amos,

Have we not by our own strength taken horns for ourselves? Amos 6:13.

In the first Book of Samuel,

Jehovah will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed. 1 Samuel 2:10.

In David,

Jehovah has exalted the horn of His people. Psalms 148:14.

In the same author,

All the horns of the wicked I will cut off; the horns of the righteous will be exalted. Psalms 75:10.

In Jeremiah,

The Lord has cut down in His very fierce anger 1 the whole horn of Israel. And He has exalted the horn of your foes. Lamentations 2:3, 17.

In Ezekiel,

You push with side and shoulder, and butt with your horns all the weak sheep, until you have scattered them abroad. Ezekiel 34:21.

In Zechariah,

I saw four horns. The angel said, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. The smiths have come to cast down the horns of the nations lifting up their horn against the land of Judah. Zechariah 1:18-21.

In Moses,

His horns are unicorn horns 2 . With these he will strike the peoples together to the ends of the earth. Deuteronomy 33:17.

In these places it is self-evident that power is meant by 'horns', and indeed power in both senses, that is to say, of truth directed against falsity and of falsity directed against truth; for the state of the Church is the subject in the internal sense of every one of these places.

[8] Something similar occurs in Amos,

On that day I will visit the altars of Bethel, and the horns of the altar will be cut away and fall to the ground. Amos 3:14.

'The altars of Bethel' and 'the horns of the altar' mean the evils and falsities destroying the Church's goodness and truth, regarding which it says that they 'will be cut away'.

[9] From all this one may see what should be understood by 'the horns' mentioned so frequently by Daniel, and by John in the Book of Revelation. Daniel describes the beast which had ten horns and also a horn speaking, Daniel 7:8, 11, 20; and he says that the horn was making war with the saints and prevailing, until the Ancient of Days 3 came, Daniel 7:11, 21-22, 24. He also speaks about the horns of the ram and the horns of the he-goat, which they used to make war against each other, Daniel 8:3-21. And John mentions that the dragon had ten horns, Revelation 12:3, as did the beast coming up out of the sea, Revelation 13:1, and also the scarlet beast, Revelation 17:12. In this verse it is also stated that the ten horns are ten kings; and the same words occur in Daniel 7:24. By 'kings' in the Word truths are meant, and in the contrary sense falsities, see 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148.

(References: Revelation 17:3, 17:7, Revelation 17:12-13)


[10] It is because 'horn' means truth in its power, or in the contrary sense falsity destroying truth, that speech is attributed to a horn in Revelation 9:13; Daniel 7:8; Psalms 22:21.

[11] The anointing of kings with oil from a horn, 1 Samuel 16:1, 13; 1 Kings 1:39, represented truth springing from good, in its power; for truths in their power are meant by 'horns', good by 'oil', and those who are guided by truths springing from good by 'kings'. For the meaning of 'oil' as good, see 886, 9780; and for that of 'kings' as those who are guided by truths springing from good, thus - in the abstract sense - as truths springing from good, 6148. So it is also that in Psalms 132:17 a horn is said to bud, because all spiritual budding is that of truth springing from good. Therefore also in former times they made [imitations of] budding horns.

All power belongs to good and is exercised through truth, or what amounts to the same thing, belongs to truth springing from good, see the places referred to in 10019.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, in the fierceness of His anger

2. i.e. horns that are high and powerful, like the horn of a unicorn

3. The Latin means the Son of Man but the original Aramaic means the Ancient of Days, which Swedenborg has in another place where he quotes these verses.

-----

(References: Daniel 7:20-22; Exodus 30:2; Revelation 17:7)

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Arcana Coelestia 10186, 10208


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Apocalypse Explained 33, 176, 209, 411


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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