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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 #6367

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6367. 'A lion's cub is Judah' means innocence with innate strength. This is clear from the meaning of 'a lion' as the good of love and the truth from that good in their power, dealt with below, so that 'a lion's cub' is innocence with strength. The reason why with innate strength is meant is that here 'Judah' represents the celestial element of love, and the celestial element of love resides in the will part of the mind, 895, 917, 4493, 5117, and thus possesses innate strength. For a person is born into things that belong to the will part. That being so, members of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, were born into the good of love, in the measure that good was present in their will. This then is why the strength is said to be innate. The reason 'a lion's cub' means innocence is that 'a lion' is the good of celestial love, and 'a cub', being so to speak its young child, accordingly means innocence.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 927, 5113)


[2] 'A lion' means the good of celestial love and the truth from that love in their power, and also in the contrary sense the evil of self-love in its power, as is clear from places in the Word where 'a lion' is mentioned. The good of celestial love is meant in John,

Behold, the Lion which is from the Tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to open the book and to loose its seven seals. Revelation 5:5.

Here the Lord is called 'the Lion' by virtue of the almighty power which His Divine Love and Divine Truth from that Love possess. There are also other places in the Word where Jehovah or the Lord is compared to a lion, as in Hosea,

They will go after Jehovah; He will roar like a lion, for He will roar, and respectfully [His] sons from the west 1 will draw near. Hosea 11:10.

[3] Also in Isaiah,

Thus said Jehovah to me, As a lion roars, and a young lion over its prey, when there come up against him a full number of shepherds, by whose voice he is not dismayed, and by whose tumult he is not distressed, so Jehovah Zebaoth will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. Isaiah 31:4.

Here the almighty power of Divine Good is compared to 'a lion', and the almighty power of Divine Truth from that Good is compared to 'a young lion'. For it says that 'Jehovah Zebaoth will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill', and 'Mount Zion' means the Good of Divine Love and 'its hill' the Divine Truth from that Good, 795, 796, 1430, 4210.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 795-796)


[4] For the same reason the four living creatures in Ezekiel and in John, meaning cherubs, had the faces of a human being, lion, ox, and eagle: In Ezekiel,

The likeness of the faces of the four living creatures - [each of] the four had the face of a human being, and the face of a lion on the right side, and [each of] the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and [each of] the four had the face of an eagle. Ezekiel 1:10; 10:14.

And in John,

Around 2 the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a human being; the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:6-7.

The fact that the living creatures were cherubs is stated in Ezekiel to, which fact is also evident from the description of them in John, in which he says that they had 'eyes in front and behind'. The Lord's foresight and providence are meant by 'the cherubs', 308; and they had the face of a lion by virtue of the almighty power belonging to providence that Divine Truth from Divine Good possesses. So also with the cherubs around the new temple in Ezekiel 41:19.

(References: Ezekiel 10:1)


[5] Celestial people in possession of the power supplied by the good and the truth from good which come from the Lord are meant by 'lions', as is evident in David,

There is no want to those fearing Jehovah. The young lions will lack and suffer hunger, but those seeking Jehovah will not lack any good thing. Psalms 34:9-10.

In the same author,

The [young] lions are roaring for plunder, and to seek from God their food. The sun rises, they are gathered together, and lie down in their dwelling-places. Psalms 104:21-22.

In Balaam's prophetic utterance,

At that time it will be said to Jacob and to Israel, What has God been doing? See, a people will rise up like an old lion, and like a young lion will lift itself up. He will not rest until he has devoured the prey. Numbers 23:23-24.

(References: Numbers 13:23-24)


[6] And further on,

When Balaam saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, he said, He crouches, he lies down like a lion, and like an old lion; who will rouse him? Numbers 24:2, 9.

The celestial is what is described here because celestial order is what the tribes represented by their encampments and was what Balaam saw in the spirit when he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes, 6335. That order originates in Divine Good coming through Divine Truth from the Lord; and within that order resides all power, meant here by a crouching and recumbent lion.

[7] In Micah,

The remnant of Jacob will be with the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, who, if he passes through, will tread down and tear in pieces, 3 and there is no deliverer. Your hand will be lifted up over your enemies, and all your adversaries will be cut off. Micah 5:8-9.

Here 'a lion' and a young lion stand for celestial good and celestial truth, which are 'the remnant of Jacob'. They also stand for that good and truth in Isaiah 21:8; Jeremiah 25:38; Ezekiel 38:13; Zechariah 11:3. And that same good and truth were also represented by the lions at Solomon's ivory throne, two next to the armrests 4 and twelve on the six steps, 1 Kings 10:18-20, and by the lions on the panels of the ten pedestals made of bronze, 1 Kings 7:29, 36.

[8] In the contrary sense 'a lion' means the evil of self-love in its power, as is evident from the following places: In Isaiah,

There will not be any lion there, and the savage of the wild animals will not go up on it; it will not be found there. But they will go free; thus the redeemed of Jehovah will return, and will come to Zion with song. Isaiah 35:9-10.

In Jeremiah,

Why has Israel become plunder? The young lions roar at him, they sound their voice; they turn his land into a waste. Jeremiah 2:14-15.

In the same prophet,

A lion has risen up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations has set out; he has come from his place to turn the land into a waste. Jeremiah 4:7.

In the same prophet,

They did not know the way of Jehovah, the judgement of their God, therefore a lion from the forest has struck them down, and a wolf of the plains will devastate them. Jeremiah 5:4, 6.

In Nahum,

Where is the dwelling-place of lions, and the feeding-place 5 of the young lions, where the lion walked, the old lion, the lion's cub, and there is no one making them afraid? The lion tears in pieces enough for the cubs, and strangles for his old lionesses, and fills his caves with plunder, and his dwelling places with what he has pounced on. Behold, I am against you, said Jehovah Zebaoth, and I will burn her chariot in the smoke; but the sword will devour your young lions, and I will cut off your plunder from the earth. Nahum 2:11-17.

This refers to Nineveh.

In all these places 'a lion' stands for the power that the evil of self-love possesses, when it destroys and lays waste. 'A lion' has a like meaning in Jeremiah 12:8; 49:19; 50:17, 44; 51:38; Ezekiel 19:2-9; 32:2; Joel 1:6; Zephaniah 3:3; Psalms 57:4; 58:6; 91:13; Revelation 13:2.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, sons from the sea

2. The Latin means Before but the Greek means Around, which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.

3. Reading discerpet (will tear to pieces), which Swedenborg has in his rough draft, for disperget (will scatter)

4. literally, the hands of the throne

5. literally, pasture or grazing ground

-----

(References: Ezekiel 19:2-11, 33:2; Genesis 49:8-12; Nahum 2:11-13; Psalms 57:5)

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Arcana Coelestia 6369, 6441, 8945, 9052, 9348, 9391, 9818, 10236

The White Horse 9

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 139, 258


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 433, 447

Other New Christian Commentary

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