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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 #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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Arcana Coelestia #2851

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2851. 'Your seed will inherit the gate of their enemies' means that charity and faith will take the place occupied previously by evil and falsity. This is clear from the meaning of 'inheriting' as receiving the Lord's life, dealt with in 2658, here as taking the place of, for when charity and faith exist in the place occupied previously by evil and falsity, the Lord's life enters in there; from the meaning of 'seed' as charity and faith, dealt with in 1025, 1447, 1610, 1941; from the meaning of 'gate', dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'enemies' as evils and falsities, or what amounts to the same, people who are subject to evil and falsity. It is the latter who are meant by enemies and foes in the internal sense of the Word.

[2] As regards the meaning of 'a gate', there are in general two gates with each individual person. One gate is exposed towards hell and is open to evils and falsities from there. In that gate genii and spirits from hell are present. The other gate is exposed towards heaven and is open to goods and truths from there. In that gate angels are present. Thus there is a gate leading to hell and a gate leading to heaven. The gate to hell is open to those who are immersed in evil and falsity, and only through chinks round about overhead does any light at all from heaven penetrate, which enables them to think and to reason. But the gate to heaven is open to those who are immersed in good and truth from there.

[3] For there are two paths which lead into a person's rational mind, a higher or internal path along which good and truth from the Lord enter in, and a lower or external path along which evil and falsity enter in surreptitiously from hell. In the middle is the rational mind towards which the two paths converge. From the goods and truths present there the rational mind is compared in the Word to a city and is actually called a city. And because it is compared to and actually called a city it is depicted as having gates, and is described in various places as having enemies, that is, evil genii and spirits, besieging it and assaulting it, while angels from the Lord are defending it, that is, the Lord Himself is doing so. The genii and spirits from hell, with their evils and falsities, can go no further than towards the lower or outer gate, and cannot pass at all into the city. If they were able to pass into the city, which is the rational mind, man would be completely done for. But when they reach the point, as it seems to them, that they have taken the city by storm, it is then closed, so that good and truth no longer flow into it from heaven, apart, as has been stated, from that small amount which comes in through chinks round about. As a consequence such persons no longer possess any charity at all or any faith at all, but make good consist in evil, and truth in falsity. They also as a consequence cease to be truly rational, though they seem to themselves to be so, 1914, 1944, and are called 'dead men', though they themselves believe they are more alive than any others, 81, 290 (end). These things are so because the gate to heaven is closed to them. The fact that it is closed to them is quite apparent and is discerned in the next life, and so conversely that the gate to heaven is open to those in whom good and truth are present.

[4] As regards 'the gate of enemies' in particular, spoken of in this verse, it is the gate that exists with a person in his natural mind. That gate when the person is wholly natural or as yet unregenerate is occupied by evils and falsities, or what amounts to the same, evil genii and spirits are flowing into it together with evil desires and false persuasions, see 687, 698, 1692. When however a person is spiritual or being regenerated, evils and falsities, or what amounts to the same, evil genii and spirits, are driven away from that gate, that is, from the natural mind. Once they have been driven away, goods and truths, or charity and faith, take their place; and these - charity and faith - are meant by 'your seed will inherit the gate of their enemies'. This is what takes place in particular with each individual person when he is being regenerated, and similarly in the next life with those entering the Lord's kingdom; and also what takes place in general, that is, in the Church, which is made up of many individuals.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 697)

[5] This transformation was represented by the children of Israel driving the nations from the land of Canaan. Such expulsion of those nations is what, in the literal sense, the words 'your seed will inherit the gate of their enemies' are used to mean; but in the internal sense the things which have just been described are meant. This also explains why in ancient times it was customary to use words such as these when blessing persons who were about to be married, as is also evident from the blessing which Laban gave to Rebekah his sister when, already betrothed, she was about to go to Isaac,

Our sister, may you be [the mother] of thousands of myriads, and may your seed inherit the gate of those who hate you. Genesis 24:60.

[6] That such things are meant in the Word by 'the gate of enemies' or 'of those who hate' becomes clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant will I slay. Wail, O gate; cry, O city; you have melted away, O Philistia, all of you, for smoke comes out of the north. Isaiah 14:30-31.

'Killing the root with famine and slaying the remnant' stands for the removal of goods and truths which the Lord has stored away inwardly - 'the remnant' meaning such goods and truths, see 468, 530, 560-562, 661, 798, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284. 'Gate' stands for the place of entry into things that are interior, that is, into the rational mind. 'City' stands for that mind, or what amounts to the same, for the goods and truths there, 402, 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712. 'Philistia' stands for knowledge of the cognitions of faith, or what amounts to the same, for those who have a knowledge of those cognitions but not of the goods that spring from faith, 1197, 1198. 'Smoke from the north' stands for falsity from hell - smoke being falsity arising out of evil, 1861.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1197-1198, Arcana Coelestia 2450-2451)

[7] In the same prophet,

The city of hollowness will be broken down, every house will be shut up to prevent it being entered. There will be an outcry in the streets over [the lack] of wine, all joy will be made desolate, the gladness of the earth will be banished. What is left in the city will be desolation, and the gate will be smitten with vastation, for thus will it be in the midst of the earth, in the midst of the peoples. Isaiah 24:10-13.

'The city of hollowness' which 'will be broken down' stands for the human mind deprived of truth. 'Every house will be shut up' stands for lack of good - 'house' meaning good, 2233. 'An outcry in the streets over [the lack of] wine' stands for a state of falsity - 'outcry' having reference to falsities, 2240. 'Wine' means truth over which there will be an outcry because there is none, 1071, 1798, and 'streets' means the things that lead to truths, 2336. 'The joy which is being made desolate' has reference to truth, 'the gladness of the earth that is being banished' to good. All this shows what is meant by 'what is left in the city will be desolation' and 'the gate will be smitten with vastation'. The gate is said to be vastated when nothing but evils and falsities reign.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)

[8] In Jeremiah,

The roads of Zion are mourning that none come to the appointed feast. All her gates are desolate, her priests groan, her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness. Her enemies have become the head, her foes secure, because Jehovah has afflicted [her] over the multitude of her transgressions. Her young children have gone away captive before the enemy. Lamentations 1:4-5.

'The roads of Zion mourning' stands for there being no longer any truths that come from good -'roads' meaning truths, 189, 627, 2333. 'All her gates are desolate' stands for all the entrances being occupied by falsities. 'Her enemies have become the head' stands for evils reigning.

[9] In the same prophet,

Jehovah has caused the rampart, and the wall of the daughter of Zion, to mourn; they languish together. Her gates have become pressed down into the ground; He has destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are among the nations. The law is no more; even her prophets have found no vision from Jehovah. All your foes have opened their mouth against you, they have hissed and gnashed their teeth; they have said, We have swallowed her up; this is the day we have awaited; we have found, we have seen it. Lamentations 2:8-9, 16.

'Gates pressed down into the ground' stands for the natural mind when occupied by evils and falsities. 'Her king and princes are among the nations' stands for truths immersed in evils - 'king' meaning truth in general, 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 'princes' first and foremost truths, 1482, 2089, and 'nations' evil, 1259, 1260, 1849, 1868, 2588.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1089, Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260)

[10] In Moses,

A nation from far away, from the end of the earth will distress you within all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trust come down in all your land. And it will distress you within all your gates, in the whole of your land. Thus will your enemy distress you. Deuteronomy 28:49, 52-53.

These calamities are found among the curses which Moses foretold to the people if they did not hold fast to the commandments and statutes. 'A nation from far away, from the end of the earth' stands in the internal sense for evils and falsities, that is, for those who are immersed in evil and falsity. 'Distressing them within all their gates' stands for sealing off every access to good and truth.

[11] In Nahum,

Behold, your people are women in the midst of you. The gates of your land have been opened wide to your enemies; fire has devoured your bars. Draw yourself water for the siege, strengthen your fortifications; go into the mud and tread the bitumen; strengthen the brick-kiln. Nahum 3:13-14.

'The gates of the land opened wide to enemies' stands for evils occupying the position where goods ought to be. In the Book of Judges, The highways ceased to be, and they went along by-paths; they went along twisting ways; the streets in Israel ceased to be. He chose new gods, at which point the gates were assailed - was a shield seen, or a spear, among the forty thousand of Israel? Judges 5:6-8.

This is the prophecy of Deborah and Barak. 'The gates were assailed' stands for an assault on goods and truths.

[12] In David,

Those who dwell in the gate plot against me; those who drink strong drink sing songs. Psalms 69:12.

'Those who dwell in the gate' stands for evils and falsities, and also for those who are from hell. In Ezekiel,

In the visions of God he was brought to the door of the inner gate which looked towards the north. There he saw the great abominations of the house of Israel. He was also brought to the door of the gate of the house of Jehovah which looked towards the north. There also [he saw] abominations. Ezekiel 8:3, 6, 14-15.

'The door of the inner gate which looked towards the north' stands for the place where interior falsities exist. 'The door of the gate of the house of Jehovah towards the north' stands for the place where interior evils exist. The fact that the falsities and evils are interior, and that it is an interior sphere in which such spirits and genii reside, see 2121-2124.

[13] In David,

Behold, sons are a possession of Jehovah, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like darts in the hand of a strong man so are the sons of youth. 1 Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them. They will not be put to shame, for they will speak with enemies in the gate. Psalms 127:3-5.

'Speaking with enemies in the gate' stands for having no fear of evils and falsities, nor thus of hell. In Isaiah,

On that day Jehovah Zebaoth will be a spirit of judgement to him who sits in judgement, and strength to those who turn back the battle towards the gate. They are also made senseless from wine, and err from strong drink. Isaiah 28:5-7.

In the same prophet,

They will be cut off who cause people to sin by a word, and who lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate and cause him who is just to turn aside to something empty. Isaiah 29:20-21.

In the same prophet,

Elam bore the quiver in the chariot of man (homo), [and] horsemen, Kir uncovered the shield, and the choicest of your valleys was full of chariots and horsemen; they positioned themselves at the gate. And he looked on that day to the armoury of the house of the forest. Isaiah 22:6-8.

In Jeremiah,

Judah mourned and her gates languished; the people were in black down to the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem went up. Their great men sent lesser ones to the waters; they came to the pits, they found no water. Jeremiah 14:1-3.

In the same prophet,

The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their singing. Lamentations 5:14

(References: Jeremiah 14:2-3)

[14] All these places show what is meant by 'the gate of enemies', namely hell, or those from hell who are constantly mounting an assault on goods and truths. They have their seat with a person, as has been stated, in his natural mind; but when the person is such that he allows goods and truths, and so angels, to enter in, the Lord drives away from that seat those who are from hell. And once they have been driven away, the gate to heaven, or heaven itself, is opened. This gate also is mentioned in various places in the Word, as in Isaiah,

A song in the land of Judah, Ours is a strong city, salvation will establish walls and rampart. Open the gates and the righteous nation that keeps faith will enter in. Isaiah 26:1-2.

In the same prophet,

Thus said Jehovah to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to put down nations before him, and I will open the loins of kings, to open doors before him, and the gates will not be shut; I will go before you and make straight the crooked places; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron. Isaiah 45:1-2.

In the same prophet,

The sons of the foreigner will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you. They will keep your gates open continually, day and night they will not be shut. Violence will no more be heard in your land, devastation and ruin within your borders; and you will call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. Isaiah 60:10-11, 18.

In the same prophet,

Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; level out, level out the highway. Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes. Isaiah 62:10-12.

In Micah,

They will go through the gate, and go out by it; and their king will go on before them, and Jehovah at the head of them. Micah 2:13.

In David,

Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O eternal doors, and the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, lift up, O eternal doors. Psalms 24:7-10.

In the same author,

Celebrate Jehovah, O Jerusalem, praise your God, O Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates, He blesses your children in the midst of you. Psalms 147:12-13.

(References: Isaiah 14:1-2)

[15] From all these places it is evident that 'the gate of heaven' is the place where angels are present with a person, that is, where good and truth are flowing in from the Lord. Thus there are, as has been stated, two gates, to which the Lord refers in Matthew as follows,

Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the road is broad which leads away to destruction; and those who enter by it are many. For narrow and strait is the road that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:12-14; Luke 13:23-24.

In addition the gates to the New Jerusalem and the gates to the new Temple are dealt with extensively in Ezekiel and also in John, in the Book of Revelation. By these gates nothing else is meant than the entrances into heaven - see Ezekiel 40:6-49; 43:1-2, 4; 44:1-3; 46:1-9, 12; 48:31-34; Revelation 21:12-13, 21, 25; 22:14; Isaiah 54:11-12. And this is why Jerusalem is called The Gate of the People, Micah 1:9; Obad. verse 13.


1. literally, the sons of firstfruits


(References: Genesis 22:17; Matthew 7:13-14; Obadiah 1:13)

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Arcana Coelestia 2943, 3187, 3672, 3721, 8327, 9338, 9927, 9954, 10447

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Apocalypse Explained 278, 375

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Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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