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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

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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 #1462

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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1462. 'Egypt' means, in reference to the Lord, knowledge comprised of cognitions, but in reference to all others, knowledge in general. This becomes clear from the meaning of that country in the Word, dealt with already in several places, and specifically in 1164, 1165. Indeed the Ancient Church existed in Egypt, as it did in many other places, 1238, and while the Church was in that region all kinds of knowledge flourished there more than anything else; and this explains why 'Egypt' came to mean knowledge. But after those people desired to penetrate the mysteries of faith by means of all this knowledge, and so to inquire into the truth of Divine arcana from their own power, Egypt became a place of magic, and so came to mean factual knowledge which perverts, and which gives rise to falsities and derivative evils, as is clear in Isaiah 19:11.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[2] That 'Egypt' means all kinds of knowledge that serve a use, thus at this point knowledge comprised of cognitions which is able to serve as vessels for celestial and spiritual things, becomes clear from the following places in the Word: In Isaiah,

They have led Egypt astray, the corner-stone of the tribes. Isaiah 19:13.

Here it is called 'the corner-stone of the tribes', which was to serve as the base on which the things of faith meant by 'the tribes' were to rest. In the same prophet,

On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt which speak in the lip of Canaan and swear to Jehovah Zebaoth. Each will be called Ir Heres. On that day there will be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at its border to Jehovah; and it will be a sign and a witness to Jehovah Zebaoth in the land of Egypt, for they will cry to Jehovah because of the oppressors, and He will send a savior and a prince to them, and he will deliver them. And Jehovah will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know Jehovah on that day and will offer sacrifice and minchah, and will make vows to Jehovah and perform them. And Jehovah will smite Egypt, smiting and healing, and they will return to Jehovah; and He will be entreated by them, and He will heal them. Isaiah 19:18-22.

Used in a good sense here, 'Egypt' stands for people who possess facts, or natural truths, which are the vessels for spiritual truths.

[3] In the same prophet,

On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Asshur, and Asshur will come into Egypt and Egypt into Asshur, and the Egyptians will serve Asshur. 1 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Asshur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom Jehovah Zebaoth will bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Asshur the work of My hands, and Israel My heritage. Isaiah 19:23-25.

Here 'Egypt' means knowledge consisting of natural truths, 'Asshur' reason or rational things, and 'Israel' spiritual things, which follow one another in that order. Hence the statement that 'on that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Asshur, and Israel will be the third with Egypt and Asshur'.

[4] In Ezekiel,

Fine linen with embroidered work from Egypt was your sail, that it might be to you an ensign. Ezekiel 27:7.

This refers to Tyre, which means the possession of cognitions. 'Fine linen with embroidered work' stands for the truths contained in all kinds of knowledge which are of service; belonging as they do to the external man facts ought to be of service to the internal man. In the same prophet,

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, At the end of forty years I will gather Egypt from the peoples among whom they were scattered, and I will bring back the captivity of Egypt. Ezekiel 29:13-14.

Here also 'Egypt' has much the same meaning, as is also said of Judah and Israel in many other places that they were to be gathered from the peoples and brought back from captivity. In Zechariah,

And it will be that whoever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah Zebaoth, there will be no rain upon them And if the family of Egypt does not go up, and does not come . . . Zechariah 14:17-18.

Here also 'Egypt' is used in a good sense to have a similar meaning.

[5] That knowledge or human wisdom is meant by 'Egypt' becomes clear also in Daniel 11:43 where knowledge of celestial and of spiritual things is called 'the secret hoards of gold and silver' and also 'the precious things of Egypt'. And of Solomon it is said that his wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the east and all the wisdom of the Egyptians, 1 Kings 4:30. And the house built by Solomon for Pharaoh's daughter had no other representation, 1 Kings 7:8 and following verses.

[6] The Lord's being taken into Egypt when He was an infant had no other meaning than that which here is meant by Abram, though He was also taken there so that He might fulfill all things that had taken place and were representative of Himself. The passage of Jacob and his sons down into Egypt represented in the inmost sense nothing other than the Lord's initial instruction in cognitions from the Word, as is also evident from what follows. In reference to the Lord the following is said in Matthew,

The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Rise, take the boy and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be there until I tell you. He rose and took the boy and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, so that what had been said by the prophet might be fulfilled, when he said, Out of Egypt have I called My son. Matthew 2:13-15, 19-21.

This promise is stated in Hosea as follows,

When Israel was a boy I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. Hosea 11:1.

From this it is clear that 'the boy Israel' is used to mean the Lord, His instruction when a boy being expressed by the words, 'Out of Egypt have I called My son'.

[7] In the same prophet,

By a prophet Jehovah brought Israel up out of Egypt and by a prophet he was preserved. Hosea 12:12-13.

Here similarly 'Israel' is used to mean the Lord. 'A prophet' means one who teaches, thus teaching consisting of cognitions. In David,

Turn us back, O God Zebaoth, cause Your face 2 to shine and we shall be saved. You caused a vine to set out from Egypt, You drove out the nations and planted it. Psalms 80:7-8.

This too refers to the Lord, who is called 'the vine out of Egypt' as regards the cognitions in which He was receiving instruction.

-----
Footnotes:

1. The Hebrew of his text in Isaiah may be read in two different ways - serve Asshur or serve with Asshur. Most English versions of Isaiah prefer the second of these.

2. literally, Faces

-----

(References: Hosea 12:13-14; Isaiah 19:18-25)

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Arcana Coelestia 1502, 1589, 1866, 1888, 1895, 1928, 1951, 2049, 2162, 2466, 2576, 2588, 2718, 2831, 3048, 3322, 3368, 3654, 3762, 3901, 4748, 4749, 4760, 4788, 4789, 4876, 4964, 5079, 5113, 5223, 5276, 5354, 5373, 5402, 5417, 5580, 5637, 5700, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 235, 240, 388


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