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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


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1

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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


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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Arcana Coelestia #4728

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4728. 'And let us throw him into one of the pits' means among falsities. This is clear from the meaning of 'pits' as falsities. The reason 'pits' means falsities is that people who are immersed in false assumptions are kept for a considerable time after death beneath the lower earth, until falsities have been removed from them and so to speak cast away to the sidelines. The places situated there are called pits. Those who go there are people who have to undergo vastation, dealt with in 1106-1113, 2699, 2701, 2704. 1 This is why by 'pits' in the abstract sense falsities are meant. The lower earth is directly below the feet, and is a region that does not extend to any great distance all around. There the majority stay after death before being raised up into heaven. Mention is also made of this lower earth in various places in the Word. Below it are places where vastation takes place, and they are called pits. Beneath these places and extending to quite a distance all around are the hells.

[2] From this one may have some idea of what is meant by hell, the lower earth, or the pit, when these are mentioned in the Word, as in Isaiah,

You have been sent down to hell, to the sides of the pit; you are cast out from your sepulchre like an abominable branch, a garment of the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit. Isaiah 14:15, 19.

This refers to the king of Babel, who represents the profanation of truth, for 'a king' represents truth, 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, and 'Babel' profanation, 1182, 1326. 'Hell' is the place where the condemned are, and their state of condemnation is compared to 'an abominable branch' and 'a garment of the slain and of those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit'. 'A garment of the slain' means truth that has been made profane; 'those pierced by the sword' means people among whom truth has been annihilated; 'the pit' means falsity that is to be laid waste, 'stones' the limits of that falsity, which are also therefore called 'the sides', for surrounding the pits there are the hells. 'A garment' means truth, 2576, and therefore 'a garment of the slain' means truth that has been made profane, for 'the blood' with which it has been stained means that which has been made profane, 1003. 'Those pierced by the sword' means those among whom truth has been annihilated, 4503. From all this it is also evident that without the internal sense one cannot by any means know what these things mean.

[3] In Ezekiel,

When I cause you to go down with those going down to the pit, to the people of old, and I cause you to dwell in the land of the lower ones, in the desolations from of old, so that you do not dwell with those going down to the pit, I will give beauty in the land of the living. Ezekiel 26:20.

'Those going down to the pit' stands for those who are made to undergo vastation. 'Not dwelling with those who go down to the pit' stands for being delivered from falsities.

[4] In the same prophet,

That none of all the trees by the waters may become arrogant because of their height nor send their trunk up among entangled boughs, and that none of all [the trees] that drink water may reach above them because of their height - all will be given over to death, to the lower earth in the midst of the sons of men, to those going down to the pit. At the sound of its crashing down I will make the nations tremble, when I cause him to go down into hell with those going down to the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choicest and the most excellent of Lebanon, all those drinking water, will comfort themselves on the lower earth. Ezekiel 31:14, 16.

This refers to Egypt, meaning knowledge, which enters by itself into the mysteries of faith, that is, people who enter into them, 1164, 1165, 1186. What has been stated above makes plain the meaning of hell, the pit, and the lower earth mentioned at this point in the prophet. Nor from anywhere else than the internal sense can anyone see what is meant by 'the trees by the waters', 'the trees of Eden', 'the trunk sent up among entangled boughs', 'the choicest and the most excellent of Lebanon', and 'those drinking water'.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[5] In the same prophet,

Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, and cause it and the daughters of magnificent nations to go down to the lower earth. with those going down into the pit. Asshur is there to whom graves have been given in the sides of the pit, all of them slain with the sword. Ezekiel 32:18, 22-23.

What these words mean may be seen from the explanations given above. In David,

Jehovah, You have caused my soul to come up out of hell; You have caused me to live, out of those going down to the pit. Psalms 30:3.

In the same author,

I have been reckoned with them going down to the pit; I have become as a man with no strength. You have put me in the pit of the lower ones, in darkness, in the depths. Psalms 88:4, 6.

In Jonah,

I had gone down to the bottoms of the mountains; the bars of the land were upon me for ever. Nonetheless You brought up my life from the pit. Jonah 2:6.

This refers to the Lord's temptations, and to deliverance from them. 'The bottoms of the mountains' means where the most condemned are, for the gloomy dark clouds which seemingly surround them are mountains.

[6] As regards 'the pit' meaning falsity laid waste, and in the abstract sense falsity itself, this is clear in addition in Isaiah,

They will be gathered together, in a gathering as the bound for the pit, and they will be shut up in the dungeon; but after a multitude of days they will be visited. Isaiah 24:22.

In the same prophet,

Where is the anger of the oppressor? He that leads out will hasten to open, and he will not die at the pit; nor will bread fail. Isaiah 51:13-14.

In Ezekiel,

Behold, I am bringing strangers upon you, the violent of the nations, who will draw their swords against the loveliness of your wisdom, and they will profane your splendour. They will bring you down into the pit, and you will die the deaths of those slain in the heart of the seas. Ezekiel 28:7-8.

This refers to the prince of Tyre, who means people under the influence of false assumptions.

[7] In Zechariah,

Exult greatly, O daughter of Zion! Make a noise, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you, just, meek, and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the young of she-asses. Through the blood of the covenant I will let out your bound ones from the pit in which there is no water. Zechariah 9:9, 11.

'The pit in which there is no water' stands for falsity that has no truth at all within it, as also in verse 24 below where it is said that they cast Joseph into the pit and the pit was empty, having no water in it. In David,

To You, O Jehovah, do I call; my rock, do not be silent to me, lest if You are silent to me I seem like those going down into the pit. Psalms 28:1.

In the same author,

Jehovah caused me to come up out of the pit of VASTATION, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock. Psalms 40:2.

(References: Genesis 38:24)


[8] In the same author,

Do not let the flow of waters rush over me, nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit close its mouth over me. Psalms 69:15.

In the same author,

He sent His word and healed them, and rescued them from their pits. Psalms 107:20.

'From pits' stands for from falsities. In the same author,

Make haste, answer me, O Jehovah. My spirit is consumed. Do not hide Your face from me, lest I become like those going down into the pit. Psalms 143:7.

Because 'a pit' means falsity, and 'the blind' those who are immersed in falsities, 2383, the Lord therefore says,

Let them alone; they are blind leaders of the blind. For if the blind leads the blind both will fall into a pit. Matthew 15:13, 14; Luke 6:39.

Something similar to what was represented by Joseph was also represented by the prophet Jeremiah, who describes what happened to him as follows,

They took Jeremiah and cast him into the pit which was in the court of the guard, and let Jeremiah down by ropes into the pit where there was no water. Jeremiah 38:6.

That is, they cast Divine Truths away among falsities that had no truth at all within them.


-----
Footnotes:

1. The Latin has 2711, 2714, but 2701, 2704 seem to be intended

-----

(References: Genesis 37:20; Psalms 142:7)


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Arcana Coelestia 4736, 4743, 4744, 4757, 4761, 4762, 4940, 5037, 5038, 5124, 5138, 5246, 5376, 7090, 9084, 9348

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 197


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 329


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Other New Christian Commentary

Jeremiah 1

Cuttings off of the mountains 1


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