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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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236


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Arcana Coelestia #4444

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4444 .'When they heard; and the men were grieved and blazing with anger' means that they were under the influence of evil that was directed against the truth of the Church among the Ancients. This is clear from the meaning of 'being grieved and blazing with anger' here as being under the influence of evil. Its direction against the truth of the Church among the Ancients follows because the anger was against Shechem the son of Hamor, who means the truth known to the Ancients, as stated above in 4430, 4431. Their being under the influence of evil is evident from details given further on, namely that they spoke deceitfully, verse 13, and then after Shechem and Hamor had submitted to their demands they killed them, verses 26-29. Consequently 'being grieved' here and 'blazing with anger' mean that they were under the influence of evil. Their action looks like zeal aroused in them because he had lain with their sister, to judge by the words which immediately follow 'because he had done something disgraceful in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing that ought not to be done' - and by those at the end of the chapter 'They said, Is he going to treat our sister like a prostitute?' verse 31. But it was not zeal, for zeal cannot possibly exist with someone who is under the influence of evil, only with one governed by good; for zeal has good within it, 4164.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4430-4431, Genesis 34:25-29)


[2] The semblance of religion which existed among their descendants did indeed have good within it, in that all its details, each one, represented the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom. But in the case of those with whom it existed it did not hold anything good at all since they were confined solely to external things devoid of internal, as shown above. It is the same with the semblance of religion possessed by that nation among whom it exists even at the present day. They acknowledge Moses and the Prophets, and so the Word. In itself this is holy but in their case it is not holy, for within every detail there they see themselves and so that which is worldly. Indeed they turn the Word into something earthly, for they do not know or even care about anything heavenly within it. If the state of a people is like this, no good can exist in them when their own semblance of religion holds sway over them. Instead evil is present, for nothing heavenly enters into them because they will annihilate it.

[3] There was a law, also known in the Ancient Church, according to which anyone who ravished a virgin had to provide her with a dowry and take her to be his wife, as the following words in Moses laid down,

If a man persuades a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall endow her with a dowry to be his wife; if her father utterly refuses to give her to him he shall weigh silver according to the dowry of virgins. Exodus 22:16-17.

And elsewhere,

If a man finds a young woman, a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty pieces of silver, and she shall become his wife, because he ravished her; and he will not be able to divorce her all his days. Deuteronomy 22:28-29.

The fact that this same law was known to the Ancients is quite evident from Shechem's words to the young woman's father and brothers,

Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, Let me find grace in your eyes, and I will give that which you tell me. Increase the dowry and gift to any size and I will give you whatever you tell me, and give me the young woman for a wife. Verses 11-12.

Also, because Shechem was willing to fulfill this law and Dinah's brothers gave their consent provided he became as they themselves were, by circumcising every male, according to the words that follow

Only on this [condition] will we consent to you: If you will be as we are, by circumcising every male among you, then we will give our daughters to you, and your daughters we will take to ourselves, and we will dwell with you, and we wit be one people. Verses 15-16

- it is therefore evident that they did not act in conformity with the law, thus were not motivated by good, but acted contrary to the law, and consequently were motivated by evil.

(References: Exodus 27:15-16)


[4] The law forbade them, it is true, to enter into marriages with the gentile nations, as laid down in Moses,

Lest you take their daughters for your sons, and their daughters go whoring after their gods, and they cause your sons to go whoring after their gods. Exodus 34:16.

And elsewhere,

You shall not establish a marriage relationship with the nations; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son, for he will turn your son from following Me, to serve other gods. Deuteronomy 7:3-4.

But this law referred to idolatrous nations. It was laid down to prevent their turning away, through such marriages, from truly representative worship to idolatrous worship; for once they became idolaters they were no longer able to represent the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, only their opposites, namely the things of hell. In fact, once they were idolaters, they summoned from hell a certain devil whom they worshipped and to whom they applied Divine representatives. This accounts for its being said that they were not to go whoring after their gods. That law was also laid down for the further reason that 'the nations' means evils and falsities with which the goods and truths which they represented were not to be mingled, and therefore devilish and hellish things were not to be mingled with celestial and spiritual ones, 3024 (end).

[5] But they were in no way forbidden to contract marriages with nations who willingly adopted their worship and who, after being circumcised, acknowledged Jehovah. These they called sojourners sojourning with them, of whom the following is said in Moses,

If a sojourner sojourns with you and wishes to keep the Passover to Jehovah, every male he has shall be circumcised, and then he shall come near and keep it; and he will be as an inhabitant of the land. There shall be one law for the inhabitant and for the sojourner who sojourns in the midst of you. Exodus 12:48-49.

And elsewhere,

When the sojourner has sojourned with you, he shall keep the Passover to Jehovah according to the statute for the Passover, and according to the regulations 1 for it. There shall be one statute for you, both for the sojourner and for the native of the land. Numbers 9:14.

The reason why they were called sojourners sojourning in the midst of them and with them was that 'sojourning' meant receiving instruction, and so 'a sojourner' those who allowed themselves to receive instruction in statutes and matters of doctrine, see 1463, 2025, 3672. In the same author,

If a sojourner should sojourn with you who would make a fire-offering of an odour of rest to Jehovah, he shall do as you do. As for the assembly, one statute shall there be for you and for the sojourner who sojourns, an eternal statute throughout your generations. As you are, so shall the sojourner be before Jehovah. There shall be one law and one judgement for you and for the sojourner sojourning with you. Numbers 15:14-16.

And elsewhere,

As the native among you shall the sojourner sojourning with you be to you.

Leviticus 19:34.

One judgement shall there be for you; it shall be for the sojourner as for the native. Leviticus 24:22.

[6] The fact that this statute was known not only to Jacob and his sons but also to Shechem and Hamor is evident from the words spoken by them. For the statutes, judgements, and laws which were given to the Israelite and Jewish nation were not new but such as existed previously in the Ancient Church and in the second Ancient Church which, from Eber, was called the Hebrew, as has been shown in various places. The consequent knowledge of this law is evident from the words of Jacob's sons,

Jacob's sons said to Hamor and Shechem, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to a man who has a foreskin; for that would be a reproach to us. Only on this [condition] will we consent to you: If you will be as we are, by circumcising every male among you, then we will give our daughters to you, and your daughters we will take to ourselves, and we will dwell with you, and we will be one people. Verses 14-16.

That knowledge is also evident from Hamor and Shechem's words, in that they not only consented but also did cause themselves and every male of their city to be circumcised, verses 18-24.

[7] This shows that Shechem became a sojourner such as is referred to in the Law, and so could take Jacob's daughter as a wife; and that their killing them was accordingly an unmentionable deed, as Jacob also bore witness before his death, Genesis 49:5-7. The fact that not only Judah but also Moses, as well as the kings of the Jews and Israelites, and many of the people too, married wives from gentile nations is clear from the historical sections of the Word; and one should not doubt that those wives accepted their statutes, judgements, and laws and were acknowledged as sojourners.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, statutes

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(References: Genesis 34:7)

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Arcana Coelestia 4445, 4500, 4515, 4831, 4844, 4958, 7041, 7908, 8007, 8588, 8598, 8650, 8788, 8886, 8890, 9143, 9229, 9259, 9320, 9348, 9372, 9458, 10396, 10401, 10436, 10490, 10493, 10499, 10566

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 107, 121, 248


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 386, 433, 443

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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