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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)

[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)

[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)

[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

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Arcana Coelestia #1672

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

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

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

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1

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Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236

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Arcana Coelestia #3324

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3324. 'Jacob said' means the doctrine of truth. This is clear from the representation of 'Jacob' as the doctrine of natural truth, dealt with in 3305, or what amounts to the same, as those with whom the doctrine of truth predominates. The subject in these verses to the end of this chapter is, To which does the priority of place rightly belong - whether to truth or to good; or what amounts to the same, whether it belongs to the doctrine of truth or to the life within good; or what also amounts to the same, whether it belongs to faith, insofar as faith is the truth taught by doctrine, or to charity, insofar as charity is the good of life? When a person judges things from natural perception he supposes that faith, insofar as it is truth taught by doctrine, is prior to charity, insofar as this is the good of life. He supposes this because he perceives how truth, which is taught by doctrine, enters in, but not how good, which is the good of life, does so; for truth enters in by an external route, that of the senses, whereas good enters in by an internal route. In addition he supposes that faith is prior for the reason that he cannot know other than that truth, since it teaches what good is, exists prior to good, and also for the reason that a person's reformation is effected by means of truth as well as in accordance with truth; indeed he is perfected in good only to the extent that truth can be joined to it, so that good is perfected by means of truth. Yet another reason why he supposes that faith is first is that a person may know the truth and be able to think and speak from it, and to do so seemingly with ardent zeal, even though at the same time no good exists with him; indeed from that truth he may be quite confident of salvation. These and many other considerations cause a person, when judging matters from the sensory and natural man, to think that truth, which constitutes faith, comes before good, which flows from charity. But all these ideas are reasonings based on illusions, for they are things as seen by the sensory and natural man.

[2] That which is prior is good itself - the good of life. This good is the ground itself into which truths are sown, and the nature of the ground determines how the seeds, that is, the truths of faith, are received. Truths are, indeed, able to be stored away previous to this in the memory like seeds in a box or in the crop situated in the gullet of small birds, but they do not become part of a person until the ground is prepared. And the character of the ground, that is, of good, determines that of their growth and fruitfulness. But see what has been shown in many places already regarding these matters. Those places are indicated below so that from them it may be known what good is and what truth is, and that good has priority over truth, not truth over good:

[3] Why no distinct idea may be had of the difference between good and truth, 2507. 1

Good flows in by an internal route unknown to man, whereas truth is obtained by an external route, which is known to him, 3030, 3098.

Truths are the recipient vessels of good, 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2261, 2269, 3068, 3318.

Good acknowledges its own truth to which it is joined, 3101, 3102, 3179.

Very careful examination is made and precaution taken to prevent falsity being joined to good, or truth to evil, 3033, 3101, 3102.

Good forms for itself the truth to which it is joined since it acknowledges no other as truth than that which accords with it, 3161.

Truth is nothing other than that which springs from good, 2434.

Truth is the form that good takes, 3049.

Truth possesses within itself the image of good, and within good the replica of itself from which it springs, 3180.

The seed that is truth is rooted in the good that stems from charity, 880.

Faith cannot possibly exist except within its own life, that is, within love and charity, 379, 389, 654, 724, 1608, 2343, 2349.

It is possible for truths that constitute matters of doctrine concerning faith to be looked at from love and charity, but not the reverse, 2454.

Looking from faith and not from love and charity is looking behind oneself and turning backwards, 2454.

Truth is given life according to the good anyone has, thus according to the state of innocence and charity residing with that person, 1776, 3111.

Truths of faith can be received only by those who are governed by good, 2343, 2349.

Those who have no charity are not able to acknowledge the Lord, nor thus any truth of faith at all If they do profess it, it is something external devoid of what is internal, or something that is the product of hypocrisy, 2354.

No faith at all is present where there is no charity, 654, 1162, 1176, 2429.

Wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge are 'the sons' of charity, 1226.

Since love exists with angels, so do intelligence and wisdom, 2500, 2572.

Angelic life consists in the good deeds of charity; and angels are forms of charity, 454, 553.

Love to the Lord is His likeness and charity towards the neighbour His image, 1013.

Angels perceive through love to the Lord anything that is a matter of faith, 202.

Nothing has life except love and affection, 1589.

Those who have mutual love, or charity, have the Lord's life, 1799, 1803.

Love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour is heaven itself, 1802, 1824, 2057, 2130, 2131.

The Lord's presence is relative to the state of love and charity, 904.

All the Ten Commandments and all matters of faith have their origin in charity, 1121, 1798.

Knowledge of matters of doctrine concerning faith achieves nothing if a person does not have charity, for matters of doctrine have charity as the end in view, 2049, 2116.

No acknowledgement of truth, nor thus faith, can exist unless a person is governed by good, 2261.

The holiness of worship depends on the nature of and the amount of the truth of faith that has been implanted in charity, 2190.

There is no salvation through faith but through the life of faith, which is charity, 2228, 2261.

The heavenly kingdom belongs to those who have faith that is the expression of charity, 1608.

In heaven all are viewed from charity and from faith from this, 1258.

They are not allowed into heaven, except by willing what is good from the heart, 2401.

People are saved who possess faith provided that faith includes good, 2261, 2442.

Faith which has not been implanted in the good of life perishes altogether in the next life, 2228.

If faith that is purely thought could save, all would be brought into heaven; but it is because their life prevents them that some are not able to be saved, 2363.

Those who maintain the idea that faith alone saves defile truths with the falsity of that idea, 2383, 2385.

The fruits of faith are good works; a good work is charity; charity is love to the Lord; and that love is the Lord, 1873.

The fruits of faith are the fruit of good which stems from love and charity, 3146.

Trust or confidence which is called faith that saves cannot exist except with those who are leading a good life, 2982.

Good is the life of truth, 1589.

At what point truths may be said to have acquired life, 1928.

Good from the Lord flows into truths of every kind, but it is supremely important that they should be genuine truths, 2531.

The amount of good and truth that flows in from the Lord depends on the extent to which evil and falsity is being removed. 2411, 3142, 3147.

Good cannot flow into truth as long as a person is under the influence of evil, 2388.

Truth is not truth until it has been accepted by good, 2429.

The marriage of good and truth exists in every single thing, 2173, 2508, 2517.

The affection for good constitutes life, and the affection for truth exists for the sake of life, 2455. 1

Truth tends towards good, and stems from good, 2063.

By means of influx truths are summoned out of the natural man, raised up, and implanted in the good present in the rational, 3085, 3086.

When truth is joined to good it becomes a person's own, 3108.

For truth to be joined to good there has to be consent from the understanding and the will. When there is consent from the will conjunction takes place, 3157, 3158.

Truth in the rational is acquired by means of cognitions, and truths become a person's own when they are joined to good. at which point they belong to the will and exist for the sake of life, 3161.

Truth is introduced and joined to good, not all at once but throughout the whole of life, and beyond, 3200.

Just as light devoid of warmth is unproductive, so is the truth of faith when devoid of good stemming from love, 3146.

The nature of the idea of truth devoid of good, and the nature of its light in the next life, 2228.

Separated faith is like the light in winter, whereas faith derived from charity is like the light in the spring, 2231.

Those who in action separate the truth, which constitutes faith, from charity are unable to have conscience, 1076, 1077.

The reason why they have separated faith from charity and said that faith saved, 2231.

When a person is being regenerated the Lord instills good into the truths residing with him, 2063, 2189.

A person is not regenerated by means of truth but by means of good, 989, 2146, 2183, 2189, 2697.

When a person is being regenerated the Lord comes to meet him and fills the truths residing with him with the good of charity, 2063.

Those who lead a good life but do not have the truth of faith, like gentiles and young children, receive truths of faith in the next life and undergo regeneration, 989; regarding gentiles, 932, 1032, 2049, 2284, 2589-2604; regarding young children, 2290-2293, 2302-2304.

A person is regenerated by means of the affection for truth, and one who is regenerate acts from the affection for good, 1904.

With one who is to be regenerated seed is unable to take root except in good, 880, 989.

The light that a regenerate person has flows from charity, not from faith, 854.

The same truths are indeed truths with one person, but with another less so, and with some they are even falsities; this variation is determined by the good of life in each of them, 2439.

What the difference is between the good of a young child, the good of one who does not know, and the good of one who has intelligence, 2280.

Who are able to enter into cognitions of truth and into faith, and who are not, 2689.

The Church does not exist unless truths of doctrine have been implanted in the good of life, 3310.

Doctrine does not make the Church, but charity, 809, 916, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844.

The Church's doctrines count for nothing if people do not live according to them, 1515.

The doctrine of faith is the doctrine of charity, 2571.

The Church exists from charity, not from separated faith, 916.

Anyone may know from charity whether the internal dimension of worship exists with him, 1102, 1151, 1153.

The Lord's Church spread throughout the world is everywhere various so far as truths are concerned, but it is one through charity, 3267.

The Church would be one Church if all had charity even though they differed in religious observances and on points of doctrine, 809, 1285, 1316, 1798, 1799, 1834, 1844.

From being many it would become one Church if with everyone charity and not faith were the essential thing of the Church, 2982.

There are two kinds of doctrinal teachings - teachings to do with charity and teachings to do with faith. The Ancient Church possessed matters of doctrine concerning charity which today belong among things that have been lost, 2417.

How ignorant of the truth they are who do not possess matters of doctrine concerning charity, 2435.

And because at the present day faith is regarded as the essential thing of the Church people do not even see or pay any attention to the things that the Lord has said so many times about love and charity, 1017, 2373.

Good that is the expression of love to the Lord and of charity towards the neighbour is higher and prior to truth that constitutes faith, and not the reverse, 363, 364.


1. This number does not appear to be correct.


(References: Arcana Coelestia 3101-3102)

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Arcana Coelestia 3325, 3328, 3330, 3336, 3582, 4542, 4925, 5354, 6272, 10483

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 49, 121, 186

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 434

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