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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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Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

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John the Baptist 1

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Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

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Reed shaken with the wind 1

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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

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Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236

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Arcana Coelestia #2832

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2832. 'By its horns' means with all its power as regards the truths of faith. This is clear from the meaning of 'horns'. Horns are mentioned in various places in the Word, in which places they mean the power of truth which springs from good, and in the contrary sense the power of falsity which springs from evil. In this place the meaning is that those who are spiritual, meant by 'the ram', were entangled in natural knowledge with all their power as regards truth, and that as a consequence they were bereft of the power to perceive truths. For the more anyone relies on natural facts and keeps his mind (animus et mens) fixed on these where truths of faith are concerned, the more he loses the light of truth; and when he loses this light he loses the life of truth as well. Anyone may recognize this, if he stops to reflect, from his experience of people who say they are unable to believe anything unless they grasp that it is so through sensory evidence or through factual knowledge. If you probe into what they are really like you will discover that they believe nothing at all, and what is more that to them nothing seems wiser than to ascribe every single thing to natural forces. There are also many who say that they believe even though they do not apprehend. But secretly within themselves these reason no less than others from sensory evidence and factual knowledge regarding the truths of faith whether the thing is so. These either possess a kind of persuasive belief infused into them from self-love and love of the world, or else they do not have any belief at all. Their true nature is evident from their life. Both groups of people are indeed within the Lord's spiritual Church, yet they are not of the Church. They are of the Church however when the life of good is present in them and they have faith in truths. But spiritual people have faith in no other truths than those which have been impressed on them from early childhood and which after that they have confirmed for themselves from doctrine or some other source. Such is the state of those who are spiritual, a state which is described here by 'a ram caught in the thicket by its horns' - see immediately above in 2831.

[2] A horn means the power of truth that springs from good.

This is clear from the following places: In David,

You are the splendour of their strength, and in Your good pleasure You will exalt our horn. For our shield belongs to Jehovah, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. My truth and My mercy will be with him, and in My name his horn will be exalted. And I will set his hand on the sea, and his right hand on the rivers. Psalms 89:17-18, 24-25.

Here 'our horn' and 'his horn' plainly stand for the power of truth. The subject is the Lord's spiritual kingdom. 'Our king belongs to the Holy One of Israel' stands for the fact that Divine Truth is the Lord's 'a king' being truth, and the Lord's kingship Divine Truth, see 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069. 'Setting his hand on the sea, and his right hand on the rivers' stands for the fact that strength resides in knowledge and in cognitions of truth - 'hand' and 'right hand' being strength, 878, and 'sea' and 'river' knowledge and cognitions, 28, 2702. In the same author,

I will love You, O Jehovah, my strength. Jehovah is my rock (petra), and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock (rupee) in which I trust, a shield and the horn of salvation. Psalms 18:1-2; 2 Samuel 22:2-3.

'The horn of salvation' stands for truth as regards its power, and here 'strength', 'rock' (petra), 'fortress', 'God', 'rock' (rupee), and 'shield' all mean spiritually the power of truth.

(References: Psalms 89:24)

[3] In the same author,

In Zion I will make the horn of David to spring forth, I will make ready a lamp for My anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame. Psalms 132:17-18.

This refers to the Lord, who is 'David', 1888. 'Horn' stands for the power of truth, 'a lamp' for the light of truth. In Samuel,

My heart has exulted in Jehovah, my horn has exalted itself in Jehovah. My mouth has been enlarged against my enemies because I have rejoiced in Your salvation. Jehovah will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed. 1 Samuel 2:1, 10.

In this prophecy of Hannah 'horn' stands for the power of truth.

[4] In Moses,

The firstborn of his cattle has honour, and his horns are unicorn horns. 1 With them he will thrust 2 the peoples together to the ends of the earth. Deuteronomy 33:17.

In this prophecy of Moses concerning Joseph 'unicorn horns' stands for the mighty power of truth, as is also evident from the statement that 'with them he will thrust the peoples to the ends of the earth'. Similarly in David,

You will exalt my horn like that of a unicorn. Psalms 92:10.

And in the same author,

O Jehovah, save me from the mouth of the lion, and from the unicorn horns 1 answer me. Psalms 22:21.

Divine truths, on account of their height, are called 'unicorn horns'. It is for this reason that mention is made so many times of a horn being exalted, for exaltation means power derived from what is interior. As regards what is internal being expressed as that which is high, see 1735, 2148.

[5] In Jeremiah,

The Lord has cut down in fierce anger the whole horn of Israel, He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy. Lamentations 2:3.

'Cutting down the whole horn of Israel' stands for deprivation of truth which possesses power. This is also the meaning of 'drawing back the right hand from before the enemy'. In Ezekiel,

On that day I will make a horn grow up for the house of Israel, and I will give you an opening of the mouth in the midst of them. Ezekiel 29:21.

'Making a horn grow up for the house of Israel' stands for multiplying the truths of the spiritual Church, meant by Israel, 'an opening of the mouth' for the confession of those truths.

(References: Revelation 17:9)

[6] In Habakkuk,

God will come out of Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His fame has covered the heavens, and the earth has been filled with His praise. And His brightness will be as the light; He has horns going out of His hand, and there the hiding-place of His strength will be. Habakkuk 3:3-4.

This refers to the Lord. 'Horns going out of His hand' and 'there the hiding-place of His strength will be', it is plain, stands for the power of truth. 'Mount Paran' is the Divine spiritual or Divine Truth of the Lord's Human - see 2714 - which is also 'the brightness' and 'the light'.

[7] The Divine Truth of the Lord's Human is described in John as follows,

I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, a Lamb standing as though it had been slain, having seven horns, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Revelation 5:6.

'Seven horns' stands for holy, or Divine, truths - 'seven' meaning that which is holy, see 716, 881. 'The seven spirits sent out into all the earth' are the holy proclaimings of those same truths.

[8] The horns of altars meant nothing other than truth which possessed power, being spoken of in Moses as follows,

You shall make horns on the four corners of the altar; its horns shall be of one piece with it. Exodus 27:2; 38:2.

In a similar way the altar of incense was to have them on it; and it is said that the horns were to be of one piece with it, Exodus 30:2; 37:25. For the altar was the chief representative of the Lord, and of worship of Him, see 921. 'The altar' was a representative of His Divine Good, 'the horns' representatives of His Divine Truth. The derivation of truth from good was represented by the horns being protrusions from it, that is, from the altar. For the consideration that no other truth exists except that which is derived from good, see 654, 1068, 3 1162, 1176, 2063, 2261, 2417. From all this it is evident that 'horns' in the genuine sense means the power of truth that springs from good.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2429)

[9] Truths springing from good were meant in the following instances:

When Aaron and his sons were being admitted into their function, they were to take some of the blood of the young bull and place it with their finger on the horns of the altar. Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 8:15.

Aaron was to make atonement once a year on the horns of the altar. Exodus 30:10.

When a priest sinned he was to offer a young bull, and to place some of the blood on the horns of the altar of incense. Leviticus 4:3, 7.

Also, when a prince sinned he was to offer a burnt offering, and the blood was to be sprinkled over the horns of the altar of burnt offering. Leviticus 4:22, 25.

The same had to be done if a person 4 sinned - Leviticus 4:27, 30, 34 - and also when the altar was to be ritually cleansed. Leviticus 16:18-19.

Truths springing from good were meant, for all consecrations, inaugurations, and cleansings were effected by means of truths, because truths lead towards good, 2830. That 'the horns of the altar' meant truths springing from good may also be seen in John,

The sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar, which stood before God. Revelation 9:13.

'The horns of the golden altar' plainly stands for truths that spring from good, for it was from the horns that the voice came. 'Gold' means good, 113, 1551, 1552, and 'the golden altar' more especially so.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1551-1552)

[10] In Amos,

On the day I visit Israel for his transgressions, 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 horns of the altar will be cut away' meant that in that place the representation of truth springing from good would remain no longer. 'Bethel' is Divine good, and is therefore called 'the king's sanctuary' and 'a house of the kingdom' in Amos 7:13. The practice of anointing kings with oil from a horn, 1 Samuel 16:1, 13; 1 Kings 1:39, in a similar way represented truth springing from good - 'oil' being the good, 886, 'horn' however the truth; the kingly office itself in the internal sense means truth such as this, 1782, 2015, which possesses power.

[11] A horn in the contrary sense means the power of falsity that springs from evil

This is clear from the following places: In Amos,

O you who rejoice in a thing of nought, saying, Have we not by our own strength acquired horns for ourselves? Amos 6:13.

'Home' here stands for the power of falsity. In Zechariah,

I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, four horns! And I said to the angel who talked to me, What are these? And he said to me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. And Jehovah showed me four smiths, and I said, What are these coming to do? And He said, These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man raised his head, and these have come to terrify, to cast down the horns of the nations lifting up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it. Zechariah 1:18-21.

'Horns' stands for the power of falsity that lays waste the Church. 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.

This refers to shepherds who mislead by means of falsities. 'Horns' stands for the power of falsity, 'shoulder' for all the power they had, 1085. In Jeremiah,

Jehovah has destroyed and not spared; and He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you. He has exalted the horn of your foes. Lamentations 2:17.

In the same prophet,

The horn of Moab has been cut off and his arm broken. Jeremiah 48:25.

'Horn' here stands for powerful falsity.

[12] In David,

I said to the boastful, Do not boast; and to the wicked, Do not lift up the horn, do not lift up your horn on high, do not speak with a stiff neck. All the horns of the wicked I will cut away; the horns of the righteous will be exalted. Psalms 75:4-5, 10.

'The horns of the wicked' stands for the power of falsity that springs from evil, 'the horns of the righteous' for the power of truth that springs from good.

[13] In Daniel,

A fourth beast appeared, terrible and dreadful, exceedingly strong, which had iron teeth. It devoured, and broke in pieces, and trampled on the residue with its feet. It had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and behold, another little horn came up among them and three of the first horns were plucked up from before it. And behold, there were eyes in this horn like the eyes of a man (homo), and a mouth speaking great things. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, and about the ten horns that were on its head, and about the other one that came up, and before which three of them fell, and about the same horn which had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things. As I looked this same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them until the Ancient of Days came and judgement was given to the saints. And he said, As for the fourth beast, it will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it in pieces. As for the ten horns, out of that same kingdom ten kings will arise, and another will arise after them, who will be different from the previous ones, and he will put down three kings. He will speak words against the Most High, and wear out the saints. After this the judgement will sit. Daniel 7:7-8, 11, 19-26.

This refers in the internal sense to the perverted state of the Church. The things mentioned here which Daniel saw - such as the beast, the iron teeth, the horn with eyes in it, and the horns that spoke; also the war these made with the saints, and [the king] speaking against the Most High - mean a state of falsity and of heresies inside the Church. For 'horns' means powerful and prevalent falsity, as may be seen merely from the consideration that 'eyes' - that is, the power of understanding, 2701 - are attributed to them, and that they spoke even against the Most High. By 'kingdoms' and 'kings' are not meant kingdoms and kings but doctrines that teach what is false, as may be seen from the meaning of them in the Word as doctrines teaching what is true, and in the contrary sense doctrines teaching what is false, see 1672, 2015, 2069, 2547.

[14] Elsewhere in Daniel when he saw a ram standing before the river, which had two horns, horns however which were high, yet one higher than the other, though the higher one had come up last,

I saw the ram butting 5 towards the west, and towards the north, and towards the south, so that no wild beast could stand before him, nor was there anyone to deliver out of his hand; therefore he did as he pleased and magnified himself. As I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west across the surface of the whole earth. This he-goat had a horn between his two eyes. He came to the two-horned ram 6 and ran at him in the fury of his might. He struck him and broke his two horns, and there was no strength in the ram to stand before him. After that the he-goat magnified himself exceedingly, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and there came up four horns in its place. Shortly after, out of one of them there came forth a little horn, and it grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the glorious [land]. And it grew even towards the host of heaven, and cast down to earth some of the host, and of the stars, and trampled on them. The ram with the two horns is the kings of Media and Persia, the he-goat the king of Greece. The four horns in place of the one are four kingdoms from that nation. Daniel 8:1-end.

This refers in the internal sense to the state of the spiritual Church, meant by 'the ram', 2830; it describes how the state of that Church gradually deteriorated and was perverted. 'The he-goat' is those who have faith separated from charity, or truth separated from good, who start to raise themselves up against what is good and at length against the Lord. 'The horns of the ram' are the truths, internal and external, of the spiritual Church, 'the horns of the he-goat' truths which degenerate gradually into falsities. By 'kingdoms' and 'kings' here are not meant kingdoms and kings but truths and falsities, as stated just above. For essentially the Word of the Lord does not have to do with worldly and earthly matters but with spiritual and celestial.

(References: Daniel 8)

[15] In John,

Another sign appeared in heaven, for behold, a great fiery-red dragon having seven heads, and ten horns, and on his heads seven jewels. With his tail he drew a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them down to the earth. Revelation 12:3-4.

And elsewhere in the same book,

I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, which had seven heads, and ten horns, and on its horns ten jewels, and on its heads a blasphemous name. It was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb. Revelation 13:1-2, 7, 11.

Yet again in the same book,

I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names. It had seven heads and ten horns. She was Babylon the great. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated, and they are seven kings. The ten horns are ten kings. Revelation 17:3, 5, 7, 9-10, 12-13.

Here as in Daniel 'horns' clearly means the powers of falsity.


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

2. literally, he will strike with the horn

3. The Latin is 1608.

4. literally, a soul

5. literally, striking with the horn

6. literally, to the ram, the lord of the horns


(References: Genesis 22:13, 23:8; Revelation 17:9)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3009, 3448, 4402, 4489, 4769, 7456, 7729, 9065, 9081, 9494, 9719, 9930, 10182

Heaven and Hell 356

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 51

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 176

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.