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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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

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Arcana Coelestia #1672

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1672. And the kings that were with him. That this signifies the apparent truth which is of that good, is evident from the signification of “kings” in the Word. “Kings,” “kingdoms,” and “peoples,” in the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word, signify truths and the things which are of truths, as may be abundantly confirmed. In the Word an accurate distinction is made between a “people” and a “nation;” by a “people” are signified truths, and by a “nation” goods, as before shown (n. 1259, 1260). “Kings” are predicated of peoples, but not so much of nations. Before the sons of Israel sought for kings, they were a nation, and represented good, or the celestial; but after they desired a king, and received one, they became a people, and did not represent good or the celestial, but truth or the spiritual; which was the reason why this was imputed to them as a fault (see 1 Samuel 8:7-22, concerning which subject, of the Lord’s Divine mercy elsewhere). As Chedorlaomer is named here, and it is added, “the kings that were with him,” both good and truth are signified; by “Chedorlaomer,” good, and by “the kings,” truth. But what was the quality of the good and truth at the beginning of the Lord’s temptations has already been stated.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260, Genesis 14:5)

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Arcana Coelestia 1723, 2015, 2466, 2504, 2509, 2567, 2761, 2781, 2826, 2830, 2832, 2851, 2906, 3009, 3105, 3353, 3355, 3365, 3488, 3703, 3708, 3863, 4402, 4575, 4691, 4728, 4763, 4876, 5023, 5038, 5044, 5313, 5321, 5323, 5619, 6015, 6125, 6148, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1


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Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236


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Arcana Coelestia #3301

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3301. 'A hairy garment' means the truth of the natural. This is clear from the meaning of 'a tunic' as something that clothes another thing - that something being in this case truth because this serves to clothe good (for truth is like a garment, 1073, 2576, or what amounts almost to the same, truth is the recipient vessel for good, 1469, 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2261, 2269); and also from the meaning of 'hairy' as the natural as regards truth. Hair, or the hair on the head, is mentioned several times in the Word, and in those places means that which is natural, the reason being that hairs are outgrowths on the most exterior parts of a person, as also is the natural in relation to its rational and to the interior parts of the rational. During his lifetime it seems to everyone as though the natural within him is all there is to him, but this is so far from being true, that the natural is rather an outgrowth from the internal parts of him, like hairs from the parts of the body. They also stem from internal parts in almost the same way. This also is why people who have been wholly natural during their lifetime are seen in the next life to have faces covered almost entirely with hair when a visual presentation is made of that state. What is more, man's natural is represented by 'the hair'. When it is an outgrowth from good it is represented by attractive and neatly arranged hair, but when it is not the outgrowth from good by unattractive and dishevelled hair.

[2] It is from this representation that in the Word 'hair', or 'the hair on the head' is used to mean the natural, especially as regards truth, as in Zechariah,

It will happen on that day, that the prophets will be ashamed, [every] man on account of his vision when he has prophesied. And he will not put on a hairy garment in order to deceive. Zechariah 13:4.

'The prophets' stands for people who teach truths, here for those who teach falsities, 2534. 'Vision' stands for truths, here for falsities, 'hairy garment' for the natural as regards truth. But because it was not truth but falsity the phrase 'in order to deceive' is used. Such clothing was worn by the prophets so that truth, being external, might be represented by them. This also was why, dressed in a similar way, Elijah the Tishbite is called a hairy man, 2 Kings 1:8, and why John, the last of the prophets, had a garment of camel hair, Matthew 3:4 - 'camels' being facts in the natural man, see 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, and facts being the truths of the natural man, 3293.

[3] That 'the hair' meant the natural as regards truth is quite clear from the Nazirites who were commanded not to shave their heads with a razor all the days of their Nazirite vow, not until their days of abstinence to Jehovah had been completed. Then they were to let down the hair on their heads and at the door of the Tent of Meeting were to shave the head of their Naziriteship and put the hair on to the fire which was beneath the eucharistic sacrifice, Numbers 6:5, 18-19. They represented the Lord's Divine Human, and from this the person belonging to the celestial Church, who was a likeness of the Lord, 51 - representing that person's natural man by 'the hair'. When they were being sanctified therefore they were to lay aside their old or previous natural man into which they had been born and were to assume the new. This was meant by the requirement, when the days of abstinence to Jehovah had been completed, to let down the hair on their heads and to put it on to the fire beneath the sacrifice. For the state of the celestial man is a state in which good is present in him and from that good he has a knowledge of all truths. He never thinks and talks from truths about good, still less from facts about good, see 202, 337, 2715, 2718, 3246. Furthermore those who are celestial are of such a nature that before they lay aside that state into which they were born their natural has become so powerfully equipped with truth that they are capable of fighting with the hells; for it is truth, never good, that goes into battle. The hells cannot make even the remotest approach towards good. That truth is of such a nature, and good of such a nature, see 1950, 1951.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1950-1951; Numbers 6:18)


[4] From this it is evident how it was that Samson had strength from his hair, referred to as follows,

The angel of Jehovah appeared to Samson's mother, saying, Behold, you will conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come up over his head; the boy shall be a Nazirite of God from the womb. Judges 13:3, 5.

Later on he revealed to Delilah that if he were shaved his strength would leave him and he would be rendered powerless. And immediately he had been shaved, his strength did leave him and the Philistines seized him. And when subsequently the hair on his head started to grow again, where he had been shaved, his strength returned to him, enabling him to dislodge the pillars of the house, Judges 16:1-end. Who does not see that this description holds a heavenly arcanum within it, and that nobody knows what that arcanum is unless he has been taught regarding representatives, that is to say, that a Nazirite portrayed the celestial man, and as long as he had his hair he portrayed the natural part of that man, with whom, as has been stated, such strong and powerful truth was present? And Samson had such strength because at that period of time all representatives which the Lord had commanded had such force and effect. But he was not a consecrated Nazirite like those mentioned above, that is to say, someone who had put on a state of good instead of truth. The chief reason why the ultimate existence of his strength lay in his hair was so that he might represent the Lord who from the natural man as regards truth was to fight the hells and overcome them. This He did before putting on Divine Good and Truth even as regards the natural man.

(References: Judges 16)


[5] From this it is also evident why the high priest, on whose head the anointing oil had been poured and who had been consecrated 1 to wear the garments, was commanded not to shave his head or to rend his garments, Leviticus 21:10. And in a similar way where the new Temple is referred to the Levitical priests were commanded not to shave their head or to let their hair grow long, Ezekiel 44:20; that is to say, they represented the Lord's Divine Natural as regards truth that is derived from good and is called truth grounded in good. That 'hair' or the hair on the head means the natural as regards truth is clear also from the prophetical parts of the Word, as in Ezekiel,

I gave you to be like the seed of the field, from which you grew up and became tall to full beauty; your breasts were formed and your hair had grown. Ezekiel 16:7.

This refers to Jerusalem, which is the Ancient Church here and which in process of time became perverted. 'Breasts were formed' stands for natural good, 'hair which has grown' for natural truth.

[6] In Daniel,

I saw, until thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days was seated. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was a flame of fire. Daniel 7:9.

And in John,

In the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and surrounded by a golden girdle around the breasts. His head however and hair were white, like white wool, like snow; but His eyes were like a flame of fire. Revelation 1:13-14.

'Hair white like pure wool' stands for the Divine Natural as regards truth. In the Word, and in the religious observances of the Jewish Church, truth itself was represented by 'white', and because truth is derived from good is called 'pure wool'. The reason why truth was represented by 'white' and good by 'red' was that truth is akin to light and good to fire, the source of the light.

[7] As with everything else in the Word 'the hair' also has a contrary sense and means the natural as regards truth when perverted, as in Isaiah,

On that day the Lord will shave by means of a razor hired at the crossing-places of the River - by means of the King of Asshur - the head and the hair of the feet; and it will consume the beard also. Isaiah 7:20.

In Ezekiel,

Son of man, take for yourself a sharp sword, use it as a barber's razor which you shall run over your head and over your beard. Then you are to take balances and you are to divide it. A third you are to burn with fire in the midst of the city; a third you are to strike with the sword round about it; and a third you are to scatter to the wind. You shall take from it a small number, and bind it in your skirts. Finally you are to take from these again and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them with fire, and from this, fire will come forth to the whole house of Israel. Ezekiel 5:1-4.

All this, by the use of representatives, describes how natural truth, interior and exterior, meant by 'the hair' and 'the beard', ceased to exist any longer. Its destruction by lusts is meant by its being burned with fire, by reasonings by its being struck with the sword round about the city, by false assumptions by its being scattered to the wind. These statements are similar in content to what the Lord teaches in Matthew about some seed, which is the truth, falling among thorns, some on stony ground, and some along the path, Matthew 13:1-9.

[8] That 'the heir' means the unclean truths and the falsities belonging to the natural man was also represented by the requirement that when a woman from among enemies who had been taken captive was to be married to [an Israelite], she was to be brought to his home, the hair on her head was to be shaved off, her nails were to be pared, and the garments of her captivity were to be removed, Deuteronomy 21:12-13. Also when Levites were consecrated, the water of expiation was to be sprinkled over them, they were to pass a razor over their entire flesh, and to wash their clothes, and so be pure, Numbers 8:7. Also, Nebuchadnezzar was driven from among men so that he ate grass like oxen, and his body was wet from the dew of heaven, till his hair grew to be like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws, Daniel 4:33. In the case of leprosy they were required to note the colours of hair and beard, whether these were white, reddening, yellow, or black. They were to look for the same in garments. And the person who was cleansed from leprosy was required to shave all the hair on his head, his beard, and his eyebrows, Leviticus 13:1-59; 14:8-9. The latter meant the unclean falsities that result from unholiness, which is leprosy in the internal sense.

[9] 'Baldness' however meant the natural when no truth at all is present in it, as in Isaiah,

He is going up to Bayith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep over Nebo; and Moab will howl over Medeba. On all their heads is baldness; every beard is shaved off. Isaiah 15:2.

In the same prophet, Instead of well-set hair there will be baldness, branding instead of beauty. Isaiah 3:24

The children who said to Elisha, Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead! and who were torn apart by the bears out of the forest, 2 Kings 2:23-24, represent people who blaspheme the Word as though it had no truth within it; for Elisha represented the Lord as regards the Word, 2762. From this it is also evident how prevalent representatives were at that period of time.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, whose hand had been filled

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(References: Genesis 25:25; Judges 16)

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Arcana Coelestia 3526, 3527, 3652, 3812, 4007, 4677, 4779, 5113, 5144, 5247, 5319, 5433, 5569, 5954, 6380, 6432, 6437, 6524, 7643, 7918, 8521, 9166, 9372, 9407, 9814, 9828, 9836, 9873, 9960

The White Horse 1


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 66, 67, 146, 196, 401


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


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