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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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 John the Baptist
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236


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Arcana Coelestia #3994

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3994. 'And every black one among the lambs' means a proprium of innocence, which belongs to the good meant by 'Laban'. This is clear from the meaning of 'black' as the proprium, dealt with immediately above in 3993, and from the meaning of 'a lamb' as innocence, dealt with below. With regard to a proprium of innocence meant by 'black one among the lambs' the position is that, to be good, all good must contain innocence. Charity devoid of innocence is not charity, and still less can love to the Lord exist without it. Innocence is therefore an absolutely essential element of love and charity, and consequently of good. A proprium of innocence consists in knowing, acknowledging, and believing, not with the lips but with the heart, that nothing but evil originates in oneself, and everything good in the Lord, and therefore that such a proprium is altogether black, that is to say, both the will side of the proprium, which is evil, and the understanding side, which is falsity. When a person confesses and believes that in his heart, the Lord flows in with good and truth and instills a heavenly proprium into him which is bright and shining. Nobody can possibly be truly humble unless that acknowledgement and belief are present in his heart; and when they are present he is self-effacing, indeed self-loathing, and so is not preoccupied with himself, in which case he is in a fit state to receive the Lord's Divine. These are the circumstances in which the Lord flows in with good into a humble and contrite heart.

[2] Such is the proprium of innocence meant here by 'the black one among the lambs' which Jacob chose for himself, whereas 'the white one among the iambs' means the merit that is placed in good deeds - 'white' meaning merit, as stated above in 3993. Jacob did not choose this because it goes against innocence. Indeed anyone who places merit in good deeds acknowledges and believes that all good originates in himself, for he regards himself, not the Lord, in the good deeds he does and as a consequence seeks reward on the basis of that merit. For the same reason he also despises others in comparison with himself, indeed he even condemns them, and therefore to the same extent departs from heavenly order, that is, from good and truth. From all this it may be seen that charity towards the neighbour and love to the Lord are by no means able to exist unless they have innocence within them, and consequently that no one can enter heaven unless he possesses some degree of innocence, according to the Lord's words,

Truly I say to you, Whoever has not received the kingdom of God like a young child will not enter into it. Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17.

Here and elsewhere in the Word 'a young child' means innocence - see what has been stated already on these matters in the following paragraphs,

Early childhood is not innocence, but innocence resides in wisdom, 2305, 3494.

The nature of the innocence of early childhood, and the nature of the innocence of wisdom, 2306, 3183; also the nature of the proprium when, with innocence and charity, the Lord gives it life, 154.

Innocence causes good to be good, 2526, 2780.

[3] The fact that innocence is meant by 'lambs' may be seen from many places in the Word, of which let the following be quoted to confirm the point,

The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the ox together; and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6.

This refers to the Lord's kingdom and to the state of peace and of innocence there. 'The wolf' stands for those who are opposed to innocence, 'the lamb' for those in whom innocence is present. A similar example occurs elsewhere in the same prophet,

The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and for the serpent, dust will be his bread. They will not hurt and will not destroy on all My holy mountain. Isaiah 65:25.

As above, 'the wolf' stands for those who are opposed to innocence, and 'the lamb' for those in whom innocence is present. Because 'the wolf' and 'the lamb' are opposites, the Lord also said to the seventy whom He sent out, in Luke,

Behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Luke 10:3.

In Moses,

He causes him to suck honey out of the crag, and oil out of the stony rock - butter from the cattle, and milk from the flock, with the fat of lambs and rams, the breed 1 of Bashan. Deuteronomy 32:13-14.

This refers in the internal sense to the celestial qualities of the Ancient Church. 'The fat of lambs' stands for the charity that goes with innocence.

[4] In the original language various nouns exist for lambs, and each is used to mean a different degree of innocence, for as has been stated, all good, if it is to be good, must have innocence within it. And so also must truth. Here in Genesis 30:32 the word used for lambs is also used for sheep, as in Leviticus 1:10; 3:7; 5:6; 17:3; 22:19; Numbers 18:17; and by that word is meant the innocence belonging to faith grounded in charity. Different words are used elsewhere, as in Isaiah,

Send the lamb of the ruler of the land from the rock towards the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of Zion. Isaiah 16:1.

A different word again is used in the same prophet,

The Lord Jehovih is coming with strength, and His arm will exercise dominion for Him. He will pasture His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs into His arm, He will carry them in His bosom, and will lead those that give suck. Isaiah 40:9-11.

'Gathering the lambs into the arm and carrying in the bosom' stands for people who are governed by charity that has innocence within it.

(References: Isaiah 40:10-11)


[5] In John,

When He appeared [to the disciples] Jesus said to Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord; You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs. He said to him again, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My sheep. John 21:15-16.

Here as elsewhere 'Peter' means faith - see the Prefaces to Chapters 18 and 22, and 3750. And since faith is not faith if it does not arise out of charity towards the neighbour, and so out of love to the Lord, neither are charity and love charity and love if they do not arise out of innocence. This is why the Lord first asks whether he loves Him, that is, whether love is present within faith, and after that says, 'Feed My lambs', that is, feed those who are innocent. Then after putting the same question again, He says, 'Feed My sheep', that is, feed those who have charity.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[6] Because the Lord is the Innocence itself which exists in His kingdom, for He is the source of all innocence, the Lord is therefore called the Lamb, as in John,

The next day John Baptist saw Jesus coming towards him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who bears away the sin of the world. John 1:29, 36.

And in Revelation,

They will fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and those with Him have been called and chosen. Revelation 17:14.

There are other places in Revelation besides this - 5:6; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 14, 17; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1, 4; 19:7, 9; 21:22-23, 27; 22:1, 3. It is well known that in the highest sense the paschal lamb means the Lord - for the Passover meant the Lord's glorification, that is, His enduing the Human with the Divine - and in the representative sense means the regeneration of man. Indeed the paschal lamb means that which is the essential feature of regeneration, namely innocence; for nobody can be regenerated except by means of charity that has innocence within it.

(References: Revelation 21:26, 21:26-27)


[7] Because innocence is the first essential in the Lord's kingdom and is the celestial itself there, and because sacrifices and burnt offerings used to represent the spiritual and celestial things of the Lord's kingdom, the essential itself of the Lord's kingdom, which is innocence, was therefore represented by 'lambs'. This was why the continual or daily burnt offering was made from lambs, the first in the morning and the second 'between the evenings', Exodus 29:37-39; Numbers 28:3-4; and a double offering on the sabbath, Numbers 28:9-10; and many more lambs still at the appointed festivals, Leviticus 23:12; Numbers 28:11, 14, 19, 27; 28:1-end. After the days of her cleansing had been completed a woman who had given birth was required to offer a lamb as a burnt offering, also a young pigeon or else a turtledove, Leviticus 12:6. This was required in order that the sign of the fruit of conjugial love - a love which is innocence itself, see 2736 - might be represented, and because innocence is meant by 'babes'.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, sons

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(References: Exodus 29:38-40, 29:38-41; Numbers 28:17, 29)

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Arcana Coelestia 4001, 4008, 4021, 4023, 4347, 4797, 6107, 7418, 7840, 7846, 7915, 8078, 8263, 8937, 9127, 9262, 9301, 9391, 10021, 10087, 10129, 10133, 10134, 10137, 10210

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 129


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 67

Resources for parents and teachers

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 The Passover
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
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