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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

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Arcana Coelestia #1672

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

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

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

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1


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Apocalypse Explained 27, 126, 236


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Arcana Coelestia #5113

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5113. 'And behold, a vine before me' means the understanding part. This is clear from the meaning of 'a vine' as the understanding part of the mind as it exists in the spiritual Church, dealt with below. Because 'the cupbearer' means the sensory powers that are subject to the understanding part, and because the subject here is the flow of the understanding into the sensory powers subordinate to it, there appeared in the dream therefore a vine with shoots, blossom, clusters, and grapes, which are used to describe its flow into those powers and the rebirth of them. With regard to the understanding part as it exists in the spiritual Church, it should be recognized that when that Church is the subject in the Word, its understanding is in many instances dealt with too, for the reason that it is the understanding part which is regenerated and made the Church in the case of one belonging to that Church.

[2] There are in general two Churches - the celestial and the spiritual. The celestial Church exists with the person in whom the will part of the mind can be regenerated or made the Church, whereas the spiritual Church exists with one in whom, as stated, solely the understanding part can be regenerated. The Most Ancient Church before the Flood was a celestial one because there existed with those who belonged to it some degree of wholeness in the will part, whereas the Ancient Church after the Flood was a spiritual one because among those who belonged to it no degree of wholeness existed in the will part, only in the understanding part. This explains why, when the spiritual Church is dealt with in the Word, its understanding is dealt with in many instances too. Regarding these Churches, see 640, 641, 765, 863, 875, 895, 927, 928, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2124, 2256, 2669, 4328, 4493. As regards its being the understanding part that is regenerated in the case of those who belong to the spiritual Church, this may also be recognized from the fact that the member of that Church does not have any good from which he may perceive truth, as those who belonged to the celestial Church had. Rather, he must first learn the truth of faith and absorb it into his understanding, and so come to recognize with the aid of truth what good is. Once truth enables him to recognize what good is, he can think about it, then desire it, and at length put it into practice, in which case he now has a new will formed by the Lord in the understanding part of his mind. The Lord then uses this to raise the spiritual man up to heaven, though evil still remains in the will that is properly his own, which at this point is miraculously set aside. This is accomplished by a higher power which withholds him from evil and maintains him in good.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 640-641, 927-928, 1043-1044)


[3] In the case of the member of the celestial Church however the will part was regenerated. From earliest childhood he was absorbing the good of charity, and once he could see with perception what that good was, he was led on to perceive what love to the Lord was. Consequently all the truths of faith were seen by him in his understanding as if in a mirror. His understanding and will formed one complete mind; for those truths enabled him to perceive in his understanding that which existed as a desire in his will. This is what the wholeness of that first human being consisted in, by whom the celestial Church is meant.

[4] As regards 'the vine' meaning the understanding part in the case of the spiritual Church, this is clear from many other places in the Word, as in Jeremiah,

What have you to do with the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? Or what have you to do with the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? Yet I have planted you as a wholly choice vine, a seed of truth. How therefore have you turned from Me into the degenerate branches of a strange vine? Jeremiah 2:18, 21.

This refers to Israel, which means the spiritual Church, 3654, 4286. 'Egypt' and 'the waters of Shihor' stand for factual knowledge which leads to perversion, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462; 'Assyria' and 'the waters of the River' stand for reasoning based on this, that is, on factual knowledge, against the good of life and the truth of faith, 119, 1186. 'A choice vine' stands for the member of the spiritual Church, who is called 'a vine' because of his understanding, while 'the degenerate branches of a strange vine' stands for someone belonging to the perverted Church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[5] In Ezekiel,

A riddle and a parable about the house of Israel. A great eagle took some of the seed of the land and planted it in a seed field. It sprouted and became a spreading vine, low in height, so that its branches turned towards him and its roots were under him. So it became a vine which brought forth branches and sent out shoots towards the eagle. This vine directed its roots and sent its branches towards him in a good field by many waters. It was planted to produce a branch, that it might be a magnificent vine. Ezekiel 17:1, 3, 5-8.

An eagle' stands for rational thought, 3901,'the seed of the land' for truth known to the Church, 1025, 1447, 1610, 1940, 2848, 3038, 3310, 3373. Its becoming 'a spreading vine' and 'a magnificent vine' stands for becoming a spiritual Church, which is called 'a vine' because wine is obtained from it - 'wine' meaning spiritual good or the good of charity, the source of the truth of faith implanted in the understanding part.

(References: Ezekiel 17:2-3)


[6] In the same prophet,

Your mother was like a vine in your likeness, planted beside the waters, fruitful, and made full of branches by reason of many waters. Consequently it had strong rods as sceptres for those who had dominion, and its stature rose up among entangled boughs, so that it was seen in its height amid the multitude of its branches. Ezekiel 19:10-11.

This too refers to Israel, by whom the spiritual Church is meant, which Church is compared to 'a vine' for a similar reason to that mentioned immediately above. It is a description of its derivatives even to the final ones in the natural man, that is to say, even to factual knowledge based on sensory impressions, meant by 'entangled boughs', 2831.

[7] In Hosea,

I will be as the dew of Israel. His branches will go out, and his beauty will be like the olive's, and his odour like that of Lebanon. Those dwelling in its shadow will turn back, they will quicken the grain and will blossom as the vine; the memory of it will be as the wine of Lebanon. O Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols? Hosea 14:5-8.

'Israel' stands for the spiritual Church, the blossoming of which is compared to 'the vine', and the memory of it to 'the wine of Lebanon', because of the good of faith when that good has been implanted in the understanding part. 'Ephraim' means the understanding part as it exists in the spiritual Church, 3969.

[8] In Zechariah,

The remnant of the people will be the seed of peace; the vine will give its fruit, and the land will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew. Zechariah 8:11-12.

'The remnant of the people' stands for truths stored away by the Lord within the interior man, 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 798, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284. 'The seed of peace' stands for good there, 'the vine' for the understanding part.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 560-561)


[9] In Malachi,

I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that he does not ruin for you the fruit of the land, nor will the vine in the field fail you. Malachi 3:11-12.

'The vine' stands for the understanding part. The expression 'a vine that does not fail' is used when the understanding part is not left bereft of the truths and goods of faith; on the other hand 'an empty vine' is used when falsities exist there together with derivative evils, as in Hosea,

Israel is an empty vine, it bears fruit like itself. Hosea 10:1.

(References: Malachi 3:11)


[10] In Moses,

He will bind his ass's colt to the vine, and the foal of his she-ass to a choice vine, after he has washed his clothing in wine, and his garment in the blood of grapes. Genesis 49:11.

This is the prophecy of Jacob, who by then was Israel, regarding his twelve sons, in this case regarding 'Judah', who represents the Lord, 7881. 'The vine' here stands for the understanding part as it exists in the spiritual Church, and 'a choice vine' for the understanding part as it exists in the celestial Church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3881)


[11] In David,

O Jehovah, You caused a vine to journey out of Egypt. You cast out the nations, and You planted it. You cleared the way in front of it and caused its roots to be rooted, so that it might fill the land. The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, and the cedars of God with its branches. You sent out its shoots even to the sea, and its little branches to the Euphrates. The boar out of the forest tramples on it, and the wild animal of the fields feeds on it. Psalms 80:8-11, 13.

'A vine out of Egypt' stands in the highest sense for the Lord, the glorification of His Human being described by it and its shoots. In the internal sense 'a vine' here means the spiritual Church and the member of that Church - what he is like when the understanding and will parts of him have been made new or regenerated by the Lord. 'The boar in the forest' means falsity, and 'the wild animal of the fields' evil, which destroy the Church and faith in the Lord.

(References: Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:8-9, 80:11)


[12] In John,

The angel sent his sickle into the earth and harvested the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood went out of the winepress up to the horses' bridles. Revelation 14:19-20.

'Harvesting the vine of the earth' stands for destroying the understanding part in the Church. And since 'the vine' means that understanding part it is also said that 'the blood went out of the winepress up to the horses' bridles'; for the powers of understanding are meant by 'horses', 2761, 2762, 3217. In Isaiah,

It will happen on that day, that every place in which there have been a thousand vines, worth a thousand [shekels] of silver, will be briers and brambles. Isaiah 7:23.

In the same prophet,

The inhabitants of the land will be scorched and hardly any men (homo) left. The new wine will mourn, and the vine will languish. Isaiah 14:6-7.

In the same prophet,

They beat themselves on their breasts for the fields of unmixed wine, for the fruitful vine; for over the land of My people the them, the prickle is coming up. Isaiah 32:12-14.

In these places the subject is the spiritual Church when laid waste as regards the good and truth of faith, and so as regards the understanding part, since, as stated above, the truth and the good of faith exist in the understanding part of the mind of the member of that Church. Anyone may see that in these places 'the vine' is not used to mean the vine, nor 'the land' to mean the land, but some feature of the Church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2761-2762; Isaiah 24:6-7, 32:12-13)


[13] In the genuine sense 'the vine' means good present in the understanding part, and 'the fig' good present in the natural part; or what amounts to the same, 'the vine' means good present in the interior man, and 'the fig' good present in the exterior man. This being so, when the vine is mentioned in the Word, so also on many occasions is the fig, as in the following places: In Jeremiah,

I will completely devour them. There will be no grapes on the vine or figs on the fig tree; and its leaf has come down. Jeremiah 8:13.

In the same prophet,

I will bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, which will devour your vine and your fig tree. Jeremiah 5:17.

In Hosea,

I will lay waste her vine and her fig tree. Hosea 2:12.

In Joel,

A nation has come up over the land. It has turned My vine into a waste, and My fig tree into froth. It has stripped it completely bare and cast it aside; its branches have been made white. The vine has withered and the fig tree languishes. Joel 1:6-7, 12.

In the same prophet,

Fear not, you beasts of My fields, for the dwelling places of the wilderness have been made green; for the tree will bear its fruit, and the fig tree and the vine will give their full yield. Joel 2:12, 23.

In David,

He smote their vines and their fig trees, and broke to pieces the trees of their borders. Psalms 105:33.

In Habakkuk,

The fig tree will not blossom; neither will there be any yield on the vines. Habakkuk 3:17.

In Micah,

Out of Zion will go forth teaching, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. They will sit every one under his vine and under his fig tree, unafraid. Micah 4:1, 4.

In Zechariah,

On that day you will shout, each to his companion, under his vine and under his fig tree. Zechariah 3:10.

In the first Book of Kings,

In Solomon's time there was peace from all the border-crossings round about, and Judah and Israel dwelt with confidence, every one under his vine and under his fig tree. 1 Kings 4:24-25.

The fig tree' means the good of the natural or exterior man, see 217.

(References: Jeremiah 5:15; Joel 2:22-23, 2:22; Micah 4:2)


[14] 'The vine' may also mean an understanding part that has been made new or regenerated by means of good obtained from truth and of truth obtained from good. This is clear from the Lord's words addressed to the disciples after He instituted the Holy Supper, in Matthew,

I tell you that I shall not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom. Matthew 16:29.

The good obtained from truth and the truth obtained from good, by means of which the understanding is made new, that is, by which a person is made spiritual, is meant by 'the fruit of the vine', while making such one's own is meant by 'drinking'. For 'drinking' means making one's own, and is used in reference to truth, see 3168. The fact that this is fully accomplished only in the next life is meant by 'until that day when I drink it new with you. In My Father's kingdom'; for 'the fruit of the vine', it is quite plain, is not used to mean new wine or matured wine but something of a heavenly nature belonging to the Lord's kingdom.

(References: Matthew 26:29)


[15] Because the understanding part of the spiritual man's mind is made new and regenerated by means of truth which comes solely from the Lord, the Lord therefore compares Himself to 'the vine'. He then compares those who are secure in the truth which comes from Him and consequently is His to 'the branches', and the good produced by them to 'the fruit', in John,

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, but every one that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I him, he it is that bears much fruit; for apart from Me you cannot do anything. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:1-5, 12.

(References: John 15:1-2, 15:4-5)


[16] Because in the highest sense 'the vine' means the Lord as regards Divine Truth, and from this it means, in the internal sense, a member of the spiritual Church, 'a vineyard' therefore means the spiritual Church itself, 1069, 3220.

[17] Since 'the Nazirite' represented the celestial man - who is regenerated by means of the good of love and not, like the spiritual man, by means of the truth of faith, so that, as may be seen stated above, it is not in the understanding part but in the will part of the celestial man's mind that the regeneration takes place - the Nazirite was therefore forbidden to eat anything that came from the vine and so was forbidden to drink wine, Numbers 6:3-4; Judges 13:14. From this also it is evident that 'the vine', as has been shown, means the understanding part, which belongs to the spiritual man. For details about 'the Nazirite' representing the celestial man, see 3301. From this one may also see that nobody can possibly know why the Nazirite was forbidden anything that came from the vine, and many other things besides, unless he knows what 'the vine' means in the proper sense, and also unless he knows of the existence of a celestial Church and of a spiritual Church, and that the member of the celestial Church is regenerated in a different way from a member of the spiritual Church. The former is regenerated by means of seed implanted in the will part, the latter by seed implanted in the understanding part. These are the kinds of arcana stored away in the internal sense of the Word.

(References: Genesis 40:9-13; Joel 2:22-23; Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:11)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5114, 5117, 5461, 6296, 6363, 6367, 6375, 6376, 6432, 6854, 7233, 7975, 8194, 8521, 8622, 8764, 8806, 8904, 8945, 9052, 9277, 9320, 9404, 9596, 9670, 9818, 9960, 10105, 10137, 10261, 10402

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 139, 186


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 109, 175, 331, 386

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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