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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


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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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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 #2135

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2135. PREFACE

[Each chapter belonging to Volume Two of the Latin (Genesis 16-21) was published separately, and therefore this Preface belongs to Chapter 18 only.]

At the end of the previous chapter the subject dealt with was the Last Judgement, and there it was shown what is meant by it - not the destruction of the world, but the final period of the Church. When this is imminent, says the Lord, He will come in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27. Nobody until now has known what was meant by 'the clouds of heaven'. But it has been disclosed to me that nothing else is meant than the literal sense of the Word, and that by 'power and glory' is meant the internal sense of the Word; for the internal sense of the Word holds glory within itself, since everything within that sense has regard to the Lord and His kingdom; see Volume One, in 1769-1772. Something similar is meant by 'the cloud' which surrounded Peter, James, and John when the Lord appeared to them in glory, concerning which the following is said in Luke,

A voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son; listen to Him! When however the voice had gone Jesus was found alone. Luke 9:35-36.

Moses and Elijah there who conversed with the Lord represented the Old Testament Word, which is also called Moses and the Prophets - 'Moses' representing the books by him, together with the historical books, 'Elijah the prophet' representing all the Prophets. Peter, James, and John however represented, as they do wherever else they are mentioned in the Gospels, faith, charity, and good flowing from charity. Their presence alone on that occasion meant that no others are able to see the glory of the Lord which is present in His Word than those with whom faith, its partner charity, and good flowing from charity are present. All others do indeed have the ability to see; nevertheless they do not see because they do not believe. Such is the internal sense of these two passages. In various places in the Prophets as well, 'cloud' means the Word as to its letter, and 'glory' the Word as to its life. What the internal sense of the Word is, and the nature of it, has been stated in many places, and has been shown in the word-by-word explanation that has been given. Those expert in the Law in the Lord's time had least belief of all in the idea that anything in the Word had been written regarding the Lord. Today such experts do, it is true, recognize this, but they perhaps will have least belief of all in the idea that any glory is present in the Word other than that visible in the letter - though the letter is in fact the cloud which has the glory within it.

From this chapter especially do the nature of the internal sense of the Word and the manner in which angels perceive the Word when it is read by man become clear. From the historical sense that belongs to the letter nothing else is understood than that Jehovah appeared to Abraham in the guise of three men, and that Sarah, Abraham, and his servant prepared food for them, namely cakes of fine flour, a young bull, and also butter and milk. Although these are historically true descriptions of things which actually took place, they are nevertheless not perceived by angels in any such historical manner. Instead the angels perceive abstractedly, quite apart from the letter, the things which are represented and are meant spiritually by such descriptions; that is to say, they perceive them according to the explanation set out in the Contents. In place of the historical details stated in this chapter they perceive the state of the Lord's perception within the Human, and also the communication at that time with the Divine, before the perfect union existed of His Divine Essence with His Human Essence and of His Human Essence with His Divine Essence, which state is also what the Lord is referring to when He says,

Nobody has even seen God; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known. John 1:18.

[2] Also, by the different kinds of food mentioned in this chapter angels perceive nothing else than celestial and spiritual goods, details of which goods are given in the explanation of the chapter. And by what is said further on in it about a son whom Sarah would bear at the appointed time in the following year, angels perceive nothing else than this, that the Lord's human rational would be made Divine. By what is stated at the end of the chapter about Abraham speaking to Jehovah concerning the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah they perceive nothing else than the Lord's interceding on behalf of the human race. By the numbers fifty, forty-five, forty; thirty, twenty, and ten mentioned there they perceive His interceding on behalf of those with whom truths were to be allied to goods, and to whom goods were to come through temptations and conflicts, or through other states. And their perception is the same with everything else in the Word, as may become clearer still from the word-by-word explanation that is given, where it is shown that similar things are embodied within each individual expression in the Word, both in the historical part and in the prophetical part.

[3] That such an internal sense is present everywhere in the Word, which deals solely with the Lord, with His kingdom in heaven, with His Church on earth, and in particular with every individual, and so deals with the goods of love and the truths of faith, may also become clear to anyone from Old Testament texts quoted in the Gospels, as in Matthew,

The Lord said to My Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. Matthew 22:44; Psalms 110:1.

That these words refer to the Lord cannot be seen from the literal sense of them as they stand in David; yet that no one other than the Lord is meant, He himself teaches at this point in Matthew.

[4] In the same gospel,

You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah, for from you will come a leader who will shepherd my people Israel. Matthew 2:6; Micah 5:2.

Those who confine themselves to the literal sense, as Jews do, do indeed know from this that the Lord was to be born there; but because they are waiting for a leader and king who will lead them back into the land of Canaan they therefore explain the words here literally. That is to say, they take 'the land of Judah' to mean the land of Canaan and '[My people] Israel' to mean [the tribes of] Israel, even though they do not know where the latter are now; and 'a leader' they still take to mean their Messiah. But in fact 'Judah' and 'Israel' are used to mean things other than Judah and Israel; that is to say, 'Judah' means those who are celestial and 'Israel' those who are spiritual, in heaven and on earth. And 'a leader' is used to mean the Lord.

[5] In the same gospel,

A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, crying out, and much wailing; Rachel weeping for her children, and she refused to be consoled because they are not. Matthew 2:18; Jeremiah 31:15.

Those who confine themselves to the literal sense cannot possibly gain from it that sense which is the internal meaning of these words. Yet the existence of this internal sense is evident from the gospel itself. In the same gospel,

Out of Egypt have I called My son. Matthew 2:15; Hosea 11:1.

In Hosea the wording is,

When Israel was a boy I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. [As] they called them, so they went away from their presence. And I taught Ephraim to walk. Hosea 11:1-3.

Those who have no knowledge of the existence of the internal sense cannot know otherwise than that here Jacob is meant when he entered Egypt, and his descendants when they left, and that 'Ephraim' is used to mean the tribe of Ephraim - thus the same things as occur in historical sections of the Word. Nevertheless it is clear from the Word of the Evangelists that they mean the Lord, though what each detail means could not possibly be known unless it were disclosed by means of the internal sense.

Genesis 18
1. And Jehovah appeared to him in the oak-groves of Mamre, and he was sitting at the tent door, as the day was getting warmer.
2. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, three men standing over him. And he saw, and ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed down towards the ground. 1
3. And he said, My Lord, if now I have found grace in your eyes, do not, I beg of you, pass from over your servant.
4. Let now a little water be taken, and [all of you] wash your feet, and recline under the tree.
5. And I will take a piece a bread, that you may refresh yourselves; 2 after that you may pass on, for this is why you have passed over to your servant. And they said, Do as you have spoken.
6. And Abraham hastened towards the tent to Sarah, and said, Take quickly three measures of meal of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes.
7. And Abraham ran to the herd and took a young bull, 3 tender and good, and gave it to the servant, and he hastened to make it ready.
8. And he took butter and milk, and the young bull, 3 which he made ready, and set it before them. And he stood before them under the tree, and they ate.
9. And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10. And he said, I will certainly return to you about this time next year, 4 and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah heard it at the tent door, and this was behind him.
11. And Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; 5 and it had ceased to be with Sarah in the way it is with women.
12. And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I have grown old, shall I have this pleasure, and my lord being old?
13. And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really, in truth, bear a child, and I have grown old?
14. Will anything be too wonderful for Jehovah? At the set time I will return to you, about this time next year, 4 and Sarah will have a son.
15. And Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
16. And the men rose up from there and looked towards the face of Sodom; and Abraham went with them, to send them on their way.
17. And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing?
18. And Abraham will certainly become a great and numerous nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
19. For I know him that he will command his sons, and his house after him, and they will keep the way of Jehovah to do righteousness and judgement, in order that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken concerning him.
20. And Jehovah said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and their sin has become extremely grave.
21. I will go down now, and I will see whether they have brought it to a close according to the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
22. And the men looked from there and went towards Sodom; and Abraham still stood before Jehovah.
23. And Abraham drew near and said, Will You also destroy the righteous and the wicked?
24. Perhaps there may be fifty righteous persons in the midst of the city. Will You also destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous persons who are in the midst of it?
25. Far be it from You to do such a thing as to make the righteous die with the wicked, so that the righteous will be as the wicked; far be it from You; will not the Judge of the whole earth execute judgement?
26. And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous persons in the midst of the city, I will spare the whole place for their sakes.
27. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have undertaken to speak to my Lord, and I am [but] dust and ashes.
28. Perhaps the fifty righteous persons will lack five; will You for five destroy the whole city? And he said, I will not destroy it if I find forty five there.
29. And he spoke to Him yet again, and said, Perhaps forty will be found there. And He said, I will not do it for the sake of the forty.
30. And he said, Let not now my Lord be incensed and I will speak; perhaps thirty will be found there. And He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
31. And he said, Behold now, I have undertaken to speak to my Lord; perhaps twenty will be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.
32. And he said, Let not now my Lord be incensed, and I will speak just once more; perhaps ten will be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.
33. And Jehovah departed, when He had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, earth or land

2. literally, and support your heart

3. literally, a son of an ox

4. literally,. near this time of life

5. literally, entering into days

-----

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Arcana Coelestia 2606, 2760, 2761, 3652, 3703, 3712, 3858, 3934, 3994, 4391, 4859, 4926, 5247, 5321, 5922, 6000, 6073, 6343, 6534, 6752, 6832, 7038, 7643, 7912, 8106, 8443, 8781, 8916, 9031, 9086, 9198, 9212, 9372, 9391, 9405, 9406, 9410, 9427, ...

The White Horse 9

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 258


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