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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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Inbound References:

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

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


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
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Arcana Coelestia #2015

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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2015. Kings shall go forth from thee. That this signifies that all truth is from Him, is evident from the signification of a “king,” in both the historical and the prophetic Word, as being truth (stated above, n. 1672, but not yet fully shown). From the signification of “nations” as being goods, and from the signification of “kings” as being truths, we can see the nature of the internal sense of the Word, and also how remote it is from the sense of the letter. He who reads the Word, especially the historical portion, has no other belief than that the nations there are nations, and the kings kings, and thus that nations and kings are treated of in the very Word itself. But the idea of nations, as well as that of kings, altogether perishes when it is received by the angels, and in their place there succeed good and truth. This cannot but appear as strange and indeed as a paradox, but still it is really so, and the truth of it may appear to everyone from considering that if, in the Word, nations were signified by “nations,” and kings by “kings,” then the Word of the Lord would involve scarcely anything more than any other history, or any other writing, and thus would be a merely worldly affair, when yet there is nothing in the Word that is not Divine, and therefore celestial and spiritual.

[2] Take as a single instance what is said in this verse, that Abraham should be made fruitful and should be made nations, and that kings should go forth from him-what is this but a merely worldly matter, and in no respect heavenly? For in these things there is only the glory of the world, which is nothing at all in heaven; but if this is the Word of the Lord, there must be in it the glory of heaven, and none of the world’s glory. Therefore the sense of the letter is altogether obliterated and vanishes when it passes into heaven; and it is so purified that nothing that is worldly is intermingled. For by “Abraham” is not meant Abraham, but the Lord; by his being “made fruitful” is not meant that his posterity should increase exceedingly, but that the good of the Lord’s Human Essence should increase to infinitude; by the “nations” are not meant nations, but goods; and by the “kings,” not kings but truths. Still the history according to the sense of the letter remains true; for it is true that it was so said to Abraham; also that he was made fruitful, and that nations and kings came from him.

[3] That “kings” signify truths, may be seen from the following passages.

In Isaiah:

The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; thou shalt suck the milk of the nations, and the breast of kings shalt thou suck (Isaiah 60:10, 16);

what it is to “suck the milk of nations” and “the breast of kings,” is by no means plain from the letter, but it is from the internal sense, in which it signifies to be gifted with goods, and instructed in truths.

In Jeremiah:

There shall enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses (Jeremiah 17:25; 22:4);

to “ride in chariots and on horses” is a prophetical saying which signifies an abundance of intellectual things, as may appear from very many passages in the Prophets; and thus by “kings entering in by the gates of the city” is signified in the internal sense that they should be imbued with truths of faith. This is the heavenly sense of the Word, into which the worldly literal sense passes.

[4] Again, in the same Prophet:

Jehovah hath despised in the indignation of His anger the king and the priest; the gates of Zion have sunk into the earth; He hath destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are among the nations; the law is not (Lam. 2:6, 9);

“the king” here denotes the truth of faith; “the priest” the good of charity; “Zion” the church which is being destroyed, and whose bars are being broken; hence “the king and the princes are among the nations,” that is, truth and the things which are of truth will be banished to such an extent that there will be no “law,” that is, nothing of the doctrine of faith.

In Isaiah:

Before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the ground shall be forsaken, which thou loathest in the presence of her two kings (Isaiah 7:16); where the Lord’s coming is treated of; the “ground which shall be forsaken” denotes faith, of which there would then be none, and the truths of which are the “kings that would be loathed.”

[5] In the same Prophet:

I will lift up My hand to the nations, and raise up My ensign to the peoples; and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon the shoulder; and kings shall be thy nourishers, and their queens those that give thee suck (Isaiah 49:22-23);

“the nations” and “the daughters” denote goods; and “the peoples” and “the sons” truths (as shown in Part First, where it may be seen that “nations” denote goods, n. 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849; and that “daughters” have a similar signification, n. 489-491; also that “peoples” denote truths, n. 1259, 1260; and “sons” likewise, n. 489, 491, 533, 1147). “Kings” therefore denote truths in general, by which they will be nourished, and their “queens” the goods from which they will be “suckled.” Whether you say goods and truths, or those who are in goods and truths, it is the same.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260)


[6] Again in the same Prophet:

He shall sprinkle many nations, upon him kings shall shut their mouth-for that which was [not] told them have they seen; and that which they did not hear have they understood (Isaiah 52:15),

where the Lord’s coming is spoken of; the “nations” denote those who are affected by goods, and “kings” those who are affected by truths.

In David:

Now, O ye kings, be intelligent; be instructed, ye judges of the earth; serve Jehovah with fear, and exult with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way (Psalms 2:10-12).

“Kings” denote those who are in truths; who also from their truths are often called “king’s sons;” “the Son” here denotes the Lord, who is here called “the Son” because He is the truth itself, and because all truth is from Him.

[7] In John:

They shall sing a new song, Worthy art Thou who takest the book, and openest the seals thereof; Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, that we may reign upon the earth (Revelation 5:9-10); where they who are in truths are called “kings.” The Lord also calls such persons “the sons of the kingdom,” in Matthew:

He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the seed is the sons of the kingdom, and the tares are the sons of the evil one (Matthew 13:37-38).

In John:

The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the Kings that are from the sun rising might be prepared (Revelation 16:12).

That by the “Euphrates” is not meant the Euphrates, nor by “the kings from the sun-rising” any kings therefrom, is evident (what is meant by the “Euphrates” may be seen above, n. 120, 1585, 1866); so that “the way of the kings that are from the sun-rising” means the truths of faith that are from the goods of love.

[8] In the same:

The nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it (Revelation 21:24); where “the nations” denote those who are in goods, and “the kings of the earth” those who are in truths, as may be inferred from the fact that these words are prophetic, and not historical. In the same:

With the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters the kings of the earth have committed whoredom, and have been made drunken with the wine of her whoredom (Revelation 17:1-2).

And again:

Babylon hath made all the nations drink of the wine of her whoredom, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her (Revelation 18:3, 9); where in like manner it is evident that kings are not meant by “the kings of the earth;” for the falsification and adulteration of the doctrine of faith, that is, of truth, is treated of, and this is the “whoredom;” “the kings of the earth” denote the truths that are falsified and adulterated.

(References: Revelation 17:2)


[9] In the same:

The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, that have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority [potestas] as kings with the beast for one hour. These shall have one mind, and shall give their power and authority to the beast (Revelation 17:12-13).

That these “kings” are not kings, is evident to everyone; for if so it would be wholly unintelligible that the ten kings should receive authority as kings one hour. So too in another passage:

I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war with him that sat upon the horse, and with his army (Revelation 19:19).

That “he that sat upon the horse” is “the Word of God,” is openly stated in verse 13; and it is against this that the kings of the earth are said to have been gathered together. “The beast” denotes the goods of love, profaned; and “the kings” denote the truths of faith, adulterated; these are called “the kings of the earth,” because they are within the church. (That “the earth” is the church may be seen above, n. 662, 1066, 1067, 1262.) The “white horse” denotes the understanding of truth; and “he that sat upon the horse,” the Word. This meaning is still more manifest in Daniel (chapter 11), where the war between “the king of the south” and “the king of the north” is treated of; by which terms are signified the truths and falsities that had fought, the combats being described here also in an historical manner by this “war.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1066-1067; Daniel 11; Revelation 19:13)


[10] As “a king” signifies truth, it may be seen what is meant in the internal sense when the Lord is called a King and also a Priest; and also what it was in the Lord that was represented by kings, and what by priests. Kings represented His Divine truth, and priests His Divine good. All the laws of order by which the Lord governs the universe as King, are truths; but all the laws by which He governs the universe as Priest, and by which also He rules truths themselves, are goods; for government from truths alone would condemn everyone to hell; but government from goods lifts everyone out thence and uplifts him into heaven (see n. 1728). Because in the Lord’s case these two are conjoined, they were anciently represented by kingship conjoined with priesthood; as with Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and at the same time priest to God Most High (Genesis 14:18); and afterwards with the Jews, among whom the representative church was instituted in its own form, by judges and priests, and afterwards by kings.

[11] But as the kings represented truths, which ought not to have command, for the reason, as before said, that they condemn, therefore the desire to have kings was so displeasing as to call for rebuke, and the nature of truth as regarded in itself was described by the rights [jus] of the king (1 Samuel 8:11-18); and at an earlier day it was commanded by Moses (Deuteronomy 17:14-18) that they should choose genuine truth which is from good, and not spurious; and that they should not defile it by reasonings and memory-knowledges [scientifica]. This is what is involved in the directions concerning a king, given in Moses in the place just cited; which no one can possibly see from the sense of the letter, but yet is evident from the several points contained in the internal sense; so that “king” and “kingship” evidently represented and signified nothing else than truth.

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2069, 2089, 2466, 2504, 2509, 2567, 2761, 2781, 2826, 2830, 2832, 2851, 2906, 3009, 3105, 3325, 3355, 3365, 3441, 3703, 3708, 3858, 3863, 3875, 3969, 4391, 4402, 4575, 4669, 4677, 4728, 4763, 4809, 4876, 4973, 5038, 5044, 5068, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 854

The White Horse 10

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 259, 309


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 31, 126, 155, 236, 701

Other New Christian Commentary

Melchizedek 1

Queens as nursing mothers 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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 Asking for a King
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
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 The Choosing of Saul
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
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Apocalypse Explained #329

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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329. Because it is said, "Thou hast redeemed us to God in thy blood," and this is understood within the church entirely according to the sense of the letter, and not according to any spiritual sense, I wish also to show, that by blood is not meant blood, or the Lord's passion upon the cross, but the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and the reception thereof by man; consequently, that by, "Thou hast redeemed us in thy blood," is denoted that He has delivered and freed from hell those who acknowledge Him, and receive Divine truth from Him (as has been said above, n. 328). In illustration of this point I desire to adduce the following. Because all things that were commanded, in the Israelitish church, were representatives of celestial and spiritual things, and not the least thing was otherwise, therefore it was also commanded, when the paschal supper was first instituted,

That they should take of the blood, and sprinkle it on the two side-posts and on the upper door-post, upon the houses wherein they should eat the paschal lamb; "and the blood shall be for you for a sign upon the houses where you are, and when I shall see the blood, I will pass over you, nor shall there be any plague upon you from the destroyer, when I shall pass through the land of Egypt."

And further:

"Ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two sideposts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. And Jehovah will pass through to smite the Egyptian; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side-posts, Jehovah will pass over the door, and will not suffer the smiter to come into your houses to smite you (Exod. xii. 7, 13, 22, 23).

He who does not know that there is any spiritual sense in the Word, believes that by blood is here meant the Lord's blood upon the cross; but this is not at all understood in heaven. But by the paschal supper here the angels there understand the same as by the Holy Supper instituted by the Lord, in which instead of the paschal lamb there are bread and wine; and then the Lord said that the bread was His flesh and that the wine was His blood; and any one knows, or may know, that bread and wine are what nourish the body, the bread as meat and the wine as drink, and that in the Word, which in its inmost is spiritual, those things also must be spiritually understood.

(References: Exodus 12:7, 12:13, 12:22-23; Revelation 5:9; The Apocalypse Explained 328)


[2] Thus bread means all spiritual meat, and wine all spiritual drink; spiritual meat is all the good that is communicated and imparted to man by the Lord, and spiritual drink is all the truth that is communicated and imparted to him by the Lord; these two, namely, good and truth, or love and faith, make a man spiritual; it is said, or love and faith, because all good is of love, and all truth of faith. Hence it is evident that by bread is meant the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love, and as to man, that [good] received by him; and that by wine is meant the Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love, and as to man, that [truth] received by him. Because the Lord says that His flesh is bread, and His blood is wine, it is evident that by the Lord's flesh is meant the Divine good of His Divine love, and that by eating it, is meant to receive it, to appropriate to oneself, and thus to be conjoined with the Lord; and that by the Lord's blood is meant the Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of His Divine love, and that by drinking it is meant to receive that [truth], to appropriate to oneself, and thus to be conjoined with the Lord.

[3] Spiritual nourishment also is from the good and truth which proceed from the Lord, as all the nourishment of the body is from meat and drink; hence also is their correspondence, which is such, that where anything of meat, or that serves, for meat, is named in the Word, good is meant, and where anything of drink is named, or what serves for drink, truth is meant. From these considerations it is evident, that by the blood from the Paschal lamb, which the sons of Israel were commanded to sprinkle upon the two posts, and upon the lintel of their houses, is meant the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; this also on being received in faith and life, protects man against the evils which rise up out of hell, for the Lord is with man in His Divine truth, for it is of the Lord Himself with him, yea, it is Himself with him. Who that thinks from sound reason cannot see that the Lord is not in His blood with any one, but in His Divine, which is the good of love and the good of faith received by man? What, however, each particular there signifies, namely, what the two posts and the lintel, what the destroyer and smiter, and what Egypt, and what many other things in that chapter, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, where they are explained.

[4] From these observations it is clear now, without further explanation, what is signified by the Lord's words when He instituted the Holy Supper:

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, brake, and gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and having given thanks, he gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. I say unto you that I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I shall drink it with you in the kingdom of God" (Matt. xxvi. 26-29; Mark xiv. 22-25; Luke xxii. 15-20).

Because by wine is meant Divine truth nourishing spiritual life, therefore the Lord says to them, "I say unto you that I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of God." Hence it is evident that what is meant is [something] spiritual, for He says, that He would drink with them, and that in the kingdom of God, or in heaven, and also that He would eat with them of the Paschal lamb there (Luke xxii. 16).

(References: Luke 22:15-20, 22:16; Mark 14:22-25; Matthew 26:26-29)


[5] From what has been said above it is also clear what is signified by these words of the Lord:

"The bread that I will give is my flesh. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye shall have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. This is the bread which came down from heaven" (John vi. 51-58).

That the Lord's flesh is Divine good and His blood Divine truth, both of them from Him, is evident from this fact, that those are the things that nourish the soul; hence it is said, "My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

And because a man by the Divine good and truth is conjoined to the Lord, therefore it is also said, "Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, shall have eternal life," and also, "He abideth in me and I in him." The reason why the Lord thus spoke, namely, why He said His flesh and His blood, and not His Divine good and His Divine truth, is, that the sense of the letter of the Word might be composed of such things as correspond to spiritual things, in which the angels are; hence the conjunction of the men of the church by means of the Word with them, which could not be otherwise effected (see the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 252, 258-262; and the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 303-310).

(References: Heaven and Hell 303-310; John 6:50-58, John 6:51-58; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 252, 258-262)


[6] Because blood signifies the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and by the reception thereof by man conjunction with the Lord is effected, therefore the blood is called the blood of the covenant, for covenant signifies conjunction. The blood is called the blood of the covenant by the Lord when He instituted the Holy Supper; for He said,

"Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the new covenant" or testament (Matt. xxvi. 28; Mark xiv. 24; Luke xxii. 20).

It is also called the blood of the covenant in Moses; where these [passages occur]:

"Moses came" from Mount Sinai "and told the people all the words of Jehovah, and all the judgments. And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the mount. And he sent youths of the sons of Israel, and offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed bullocks as sacrifices of peace unto Jehovah. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people; and they said, All that Jehovah hath said will we do and hear. And he took the blood, and sprinkled it upon the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which Jehovah hath concluded with you upon all these words. And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as the work of a sapphire stone, and as the substance of heaven for purity" (Exod. xxiv. 3-8, 10).

That blood here signifies the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord and received by man, and thence conjunction, is evident, for half of it was sprinkled upon the altar, and half upon the people; for by the altar was signified all worship that is from the good of love, and by the people, those who perform worship, and receive the good of love by means of truths; for all reception of Divine good is effected by means of truths made truths of life, and conjunction thence is by the good in those truths. That there is conjunction by the good in those truths, or by truths made truths of life, and that blood was a representative thereof, is quite clear from the words here, for this was done when Moses descended from mount Sinai, whence the Law was promulgated, and also the statutes and judgments which were to be observed; and it is said that Moses wrote all those words of Jehovah, and read them in the ears of the people, who said, "All that Jehovah hath said will we do and hear," which they said twice, as may be seen in verses 3 and 7.

(References: Exodus 24:2-3, 24:3, 24:3-10, 24:3-8, 24:3-11, Exodus 24:7, 24:10; Luke 22:20; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:27-28)


[7] Words or truths become truths of life by doing them; and because Moses wrote those words, he called them "the Book of the Covenant," by which is signified that there is conjunction by its means. By the law promulgated by Jehovah from mount Sinai, and by the statutes and judgments which were also commanded at that time, is signified all Divine truth, or Divine truth in its whole compass. Hence it is that these things are called "the Book of the Covenant," and the ark in which that book was placed, the "Ark of the Covenant," covenant signifying conjunction. Because the Divine truth, by which there is conjunction, proceeds from the Lord, therefore also the Lord was seen by them and under the feet as the work of sapphire stone. That He was so seen under the feet signifies that the Divine truth is such in ultimates. The Divine truth in ultimates is the Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word; the work of sapphire stone signifies the transparency thereof from Divine truth in the internal or spiritual sense; the God of Israel is the Lord. (That the sapphire stone signifies transparency from internal truths, may be seen, n. 9407; and that the God of Israel is the Lord as to the Divine Human, may be seen above, n. 328.) Hence now it is evident, that a covenant or conjunction is made by Divine truth, and that the blood sprinkled upon the altar, and half thereof upon the people, was a representative of it, because blood signifies the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and received by man, as has been said above. (That a covenant signifies conjunction may be seen, n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10,632. That the law, in a strict sense, signifies the ten precepts of the Decalogue, and, in a broad sense, the whole Word, thus all Divine truth, n. 2606, 3382, 6752, 7463, 9417. That mount Sinai thence signifies heaven where the Lord is, from whom is Divine truth, or from whom is the law, in both the strict and broad sense, n. 8399, 8753, 8793, 8805, 9420; and that the altar was the principal representative of the Lord, and of the worship of Him from the good of love, n. 921, 2777, 2811, 4489, 4541, 8935, 8940, 9388, 9389, 9714, 9963, 9964, 10,123, 10,151, 10,242, 10,245, 10,642.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 665-666, Arcana Coelestia 921, Arcana Coelestia 1023, 1038, Arcana Coelestia 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, Arcana Coelestia 2606, 2777, Arcana Coelestia 2811, Arcana Coelestia 3382, Arcana Coelestia 4489, 4541, Arcana Coelestia 6752, 6804, Arcana Coelestia 7463, Arcana Coelestia 8399, Arcana Coelestia 8753, 8767, 8778, 8793, 8805, 8935, Arcana Coelestia 8940, Arcana Coelestia 9388-9389, Arcana Coelestia 9396, 9407, 9417, 9420, Arcana Coelestia 9714, 9963-9964, Arcana Coelestia 10123, Arcana Coelestia 10151, 10242, 10245, Arcana Coelestia 10632, Arcana Coelestia 10642; The Apocalypse Explained 328)


[8] Because blood signifies the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and received by man, whence there is conjunction, therefore, all things representative of things Divine proceeding from the Lord, which are also called celestial and spiritual, were consecrated by oil and by blood, and were then called holy. The reason why they were consecrated by oil and blood, that they might represent, was because by oil was signified the Divine good of the Divine love, and by blood the Divine truth thence proceeding, for truth proceeds from good. That consecrations and sanctifications were made by oil, will be seen in the following pages, under the proper article; here only those passages shall be mentioned, which relate to blood; as:

When Aaron and his sons were sanctified, that blood was sprinkled upon the horns of the altar and round about the altar; and upon Aaron and his sons, and upon their garments (Exod. xxix. 12, 16, 21; Lev. viii. 24).

That blood was sprinkled seven times before the veil which was upon the ark, and upon the horns of the altar of incense (Lev. iv. 6, 7, 17, 18).

That before Aaron entered within the veil to the mercy-seat, he should sacrifice, and burn incense, and should sprinkle the blood with the finger on the mercy-seat seven times towards the east (Lev. xvi. 12-15).

That the blood of the burnt-offering and of the sacrifice should be sprinkled upon the altar, around the altar, and at the bottom of the altar (Lev. i. 5, 11, 15; iii. 2, 8, 13; iv. 25, 30, 34; v. 9; viii. 15, 24; xvii. 6; Num. xviii. 17; Deut. xii. 27).

That the blood should be sprinkled upon the horns of the altar, and thus the altar should be purified (Exod. xxx. 10; Lev. xvi. 18, 19).

The reason why the blood from the burnt-offerings and sacrifices was sprinkled, and poured out upon the altar, around the altar, or at the foundation thereof was, because the altar with the burnt-offerings and sacrifices upon it represented and thence signified all worship from the good of love and the truths thence; and because truths proceed from good, therefore the blood was sprinkled on, and poured out, around the altar, for around signifies proceeding.

(References: Deuteronomy 12:27; Exodus 29:12, 29:16, 29:20-21, Exodus 29:21, 30:10; Leviticus 1:5, 1:11, 1:15, 3:2, 3:8, 3:13, Leviticus 4:6-7, 4:17-18, 4:25, 4:30, 4:34, 5:9, Leviticus 8:15, 8:24, Leviticus 16:12-15, 16:18-19, 17:6, Leviticus 21:12-15; Numbers 18:17)


[9] But these things may be more evident from what has been shown concerning burnt-offerings and sacrifices in the Arcana Coelestia, as from the following: That burnt-offerings and sacrifices signified all things of worship from the good of love, and the truths thence, n. 923, 6905, 8680, 8936, 10,042. That therefore burnt-offerings and sacrifices were called bread, n. 2165, because bread signifies every thing that nourishes spiritual life, n. 2165, 3478, 4976, 5147, 5915, 6118, 8410, 8418, 9323, 10,686. That burnt-offerings and sacrifices signified Divine, celestial, and spiritual things, which are the internals of the church, from which are all things of worship, n. 2180, 2805, 2807, 2830, 3519, with a variation according to the variety of worship, n. 2805, 6905, 8936. That, therefore, there were many kinds of burnt-offerings and sacrifices, and in them various processes, and also various animals of which they consisted, n. 2830, 9391, 9990. That the various things which they specifically signified, may be known from the particulars of the process unfolded by the internal sense, n. 10,042. That in the rituals and processes of the sacrifices are contained mysteries of heaven, n. 10,057. That in general there are contained [in them] arcana of the glorification of the Lord's Human, and in a respective sense arcana of man's regeneration and his purification from evils and falsities, n. 9990, 10,022, 10,042, 10,053, 10,057. What was signified by the meat-offerings, which were bread and cakes, which also were offered in sacrifice, n. 10,079; what by the drink-offering, which was wine, n. 4581, 10,137.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 923, Arcana Coelestia 2165, 2180, Arcana Coelestia 2805, 2807, Arcana Coelestia 2830, Arcana Coelestia 3478, 3519, Arcana Coelestia 4581, Arcana Coelestia 4976, Arcana Coelestia 5147, Arcana Coelestia 5915, Arcana Coelestia 6118, Arcana Coelestia 6905, Arcana Coelestia 8410, 8418, 8680, Arcana Coelestia 8936, Arcana Coelestia 9323, Arcana Coelestia 9391, Arcana Coelestia 9990, Arcana Coelestia 10022, Arcana Coelestia 10042, 10053, 10057, 10079, Arcana Coelestia 10137, Arcana Coelestia 10686)


[10] These things being understood, it can be known from them that by the blood of the sacrifice also elsewhere in the Word is signified Divine truth; as in Ezekiel:

"Say to the bird of every wing, and to the beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves from every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth. And ye shall eat fat to satiety, and drink blood even to drunkenness, of my sacrifice which I sacrifice for you. And ye shall be satiated at my table with horse, with chariot, with every man of war: So will I give my glory among the nations" (xxxix. 17-21).

The restoration of the church is the subject here treated of, and by Israel and Jacob are meant all who belong to the church, concerning whom therefore these things are said. By a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel are signified all things of their worship; by flesh and by fat is signified the good of love, and by blood truth from that good, from which worship the abundance of both is described by their eating flesh and fat to satiety, and drinking blood even to drunkenness, and this from the sacrifice; wherefore it is also said, they shall be satiated at my table with horse, chariot, and every man of war; for by horse is signified the understanding of truth, by chariot doctrine, and by a man of war truth fighting against falsity and destroying it. Who cannot see that by the blood here mentioned, is not meant blood, as that they should drink the blood of the princes of the earth, and that they should drink blood even to drunkenness from the sacrifice? The princes of the earth signify the principal truths of the church; hence their blood signifies spiritual nourishment from those truths. Because such things are signified, therefore, in this chapter, it is also said lastly concerning Israel, by whom is signified the church:

"Then will I not hide my faces any longer from them for I will pour out my spirit upon Israel" (verse 29).

The reason why it is said, say to the bird of every wing and to the beast of the field, is because by the bird of every wing is signified spiritual truth in its whole compass, and by the beast of the field the affection of good. (That by birds in the Word are signified things spiritual, see n. 745, 776, 866, 988, 991, 3219, 5149, 7441; in like manner by wings, n. 8764, 9514. That by beasts are signified affections, and by the beasts of the field the affections of good, n. 2180, 3218, 3519, 5198, 9090, 9280, 10,609; and that hence both birds and beasts were used in sacrifices, n. 1823, 3519, 7523, 9280.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 745, 776, 866, Arcana Coelestia 988, 991, Arcana Coelestia 1823, Arcana Coelestia 2180, Arcana Coelestia 3218, 3219, Arcana Coelestia 3519, Arcana Coelestia 5149, 5198, Arcana Coelestia 7441, Arcana Coelestia 7523, Arcana Coelestia 9090, 9280, Arcana Coelestia 9514, Arcana Coelestia 10609; Ezekiel 39:17-21, Ezekiel 39:17-22, 39:29)


[11] In confirmation that the beast of the field and the fowl signify such things, I will adduce here only one passage from the Word:

"In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beast of the field, and with the bird of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the ground; and the bow and the sword and the battle will I break off from the earth. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; and I will betroth thee unto me in justice and in judgment, and in mercy and in compassions, and I will betroth thee unto me in truth" (Hosea ii. 18, 19, 20).

Here, by making a covenant with the beast of the field, and with the bird of the heavens, is signified with the affections of good and with spiritual truths, for with these the Lord is conjoined to man, the Lord being in these things with him; hence it is called a covenant with them, covenant denoting conjunction. That beasts signify the affections of good, and birds things spiritual, will be fully shown in the following pages under their proper articles.

(References: Hosea 2:18-20)


[12] Because the fat in sacrifices signified Divine good, and the blood Divine truth, both from the Lord, and both received by man, effected conjunction, the posterity of Jacob, or the Jews and Israelites, were therefore forbidden to eat any fat or any blood (see Lev. iii. 17; vii. 23-27; xvii. 11-14; Deut. xii. 16, 23-25; xv. 23). The reason of this was, because that nation was not in any good of love, nor in any truth of good, but in the falsities of evil; and to eat fat and blood signified with them the mingling of truth from good with falsity from evil, which is profanation; hence also it is evident that by blood is signified the Divine truth. That fat or fatness in the Word signifies the good of love, may be seen, n. 353, 5943, 6409, 10,033. And that the Jews and Israelites were solely in externals and not in internals, and, consequently, not in spiritual truths and goods, but in falsities of evil; and that all things of their worship were externals separated from things internal, and that still by things external they could represent the internal things of worship, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 248.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 353, Arcana Coelestia 5943, Arcana Coelestia 6409, Arcana Coelestia 10033; Deuteronomy 12:16, 12:17, 12:23-25, Deuteronomy 15:23; Leviticus 3:17, Leviticus 7:23-27, Leviticus 17:11-14; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 248)


[13] Because the blood in the sacrifices signified Divine truth, therefore also it was forbidden them

to sacrifice upon what was leavened the blood of the sacrifice (Exod. xxiii. 18; xxxiv. 25).

For by leaven is signified falsity, and by what was leavened truth falsified (see n. 2342, 7906, 8051, 9992).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2342, Arcana Coelestia 7906, Arcana Coelestia 8051, Arcana Coelestia 9992; Exodus 23:18, Exodus 34:25)


[14] The reason why the Lord's flesh signifies the Divine good of the Divine love, and why His blood signifies the Divine truth proceeding from that good, is, because there are two things which proceed from the Lord's Divine Human, namely, Divine good and Divine truth, hence the latter is His blood, and the former is His flesh. That which proceeds is the Divine-celestial and the Divine-spiritual, which constitute the heavens in general and in particular. (But this will better appear from what has been shown in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, under the following articles, namely, that the Divine of the Lord makes heaven, n. 7-12; that the Divine of the Lord in heaven is love to Him, and charity towards the neighbour, n. 13-19; that hence the whole heaven in the whole and in part has reference to one man, n. 59-77; that this is from the Lord's Divine Human, n. 78-87; and moreover from what [has been] shown concerning the sun in heaven, and concerning the light and heat thence, and that the heat is the Divine good, and the light the Divine truth, both proceeding from the Lord, n. 116-140. From all these considerations it may in some degree be comprehended, whence it is that the Divine proceeding is meant by flesh and blood, namely, the Divine good by flesh and the Divine truth by blood.)

(References: The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 7-12, 13-19, 59-77, 78-87, 116-140)


[15] There are also two things with man which constitute his spiritual life, namely, the good of love and the truth of faith; the will is the receptacle of the good of love with him, and the understanding is the receptacle of the truth of faith with him. All things of the mind, that is, of the will and understanding, have a correspondence with all things of the body, wherefore, the latter are moved at the command of the former. The correspondence of the will is in general with the flesh, and the correspondence of the understanding is with the blood; hence it is that man's voluntary proprium is meant in the Word by flesh, and the intellectual proprium by blood; as in Matthew:

"Jesus said to Simon, Blessed art thou, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee" (xvi. 17).

These things are adduced, that it may be known that in the Word things voluntary and intellectual, thus spiritual, are meant by flesh and blood, where they are said of man, and things Divine where they are said of the Lord. But these observations are intended for those whose minds can be elevated above natural ideas and can see causes.

(References: Matthew 16:17)


[16] This also is what is signified by the blood and water which issued out of the Lord's side concerning which it is thus written in John:

"One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water. And he that saw testifieth, and his testimony is sure; he knoweth that he saith true things, that ye also might believe" (xix. 34, 35).

These things were done that they might signify the Lord's conjunction with the human race by means of the Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of His love. Breast signifies Divine love; blood and water signify Divine truth proceeding; blood the Divine truth which is for the spiritual man, and water the Divine truth which is for the natural [man]; for all things related in the Word concerning the Lord's passion are also significative (see above, n. 83, 195 at end). And because those things signify His love, and man's salvation by the Divine truth proceeding from Him, therefore the evangelist also says: "He that saw testifieth, and his testimony is sure; he knoweth that he saith true things, that ye also might believe."

(References: John 19:34-35; The Apocalypse Explained 83, 195)


[17] To what has been already adduced, I desire to add the following passages from the Word. In Zechariah:

"Exult greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh. And he shall speak peace unto the nations; and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee, also, by the blood of thy covenant I will send forth thy bound ones out of the pit wherein is no water" (ix. 9-11).

These things are spoken concerning the Lord, and the establishment of the church among the nations by Him. By the blood of the covenant is here meant the Divine truth, by which conjunction of the Lord [shall be effected], with those who shall be of His church, as stated above; wherefore it is also said, "I will send forth thy bound ones out of the pit wherein is no water," for by those are signified the nations that are in falsities from ignorance; the pit in which there is no water signifies where there is no truth, and to send them forth thence, signifies to liberate them from them. That by water is signified the truth of the church, may be seen above, n. 71; and that by the bound in the pit are signified those who are in falsities from ignorance, and, nevertheless, in the desire of knowing truths, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 4728, 4744, 5038, 6854, 7950.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4728, 4744, Arcana Coelestia 5038, Arcana Coelestia 6854, Arcana Coelestia 7950; The Apocalypse Explained 71; Zechariah 9:9-11)


[18] In David:

God "shall save the souls of the needy; he shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence; and precious shall their blood be in his eyes. And he shall live, and he shall give him of the gold of Sheba; and shall pray for him continually; all the day shall he bless him. Upon the top of the mountains his fruit shall be shaken" (Ps. lxxii. 13-16).

The needy are here treated of, by whom are signified those who desire truths from a spiritual affection. Concerning these it is said, that from deceit and violence He shall redeem their soul; by which is signified their liberation from evils and falsities, which destroy the goods of love and the truths of faith. That their reception of Divine truth is acceptable and grateful to the Lord, is signified by, their blood shall be precious in His eyes; blood here denoting the Divine truth received. Their reformation is described by these words: "He shall live, and he shall give him of the gold of Sheba; and shall pray for him continually; all the day shall he bless him." The gold of Sheba denotes the good of charity; to pray for them continually signifies that they shall be continually withheld from falsities, and kept in truths; and He shall bless him, signifies that they shall be continually in the good of charity and faith; wherefore it is also said, "Upon the top of the mountains his fruit shall be shaken," the top of the mountains signifying heaven, whence they have the good of love from the Lord, which is the fruit.

(References: Psalms 72:13-16)


[19] In Moses:

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; who shall bind to the vine his ass's foal, and to the noble vine the son of his she-ass, whilst he washeth his garments in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes" (Gen. xlix. 10, 11).

In this prophetical declaration the Lord is treated of, concerning whom it is said, "He shall bind to the vine his ass's foal, and to the noble vine the son of his she-ass, he shall wash his garments in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes"; and by a vine is signified the church, and by wine and the blood of grapes is signified the Divine truth. What the other things signify may be seen in the explanation of those words in the Arcana Coelestia. The same is meant by the blood of grapes in Deut. xxxii. 14; where the subject treated of is the Ancient Church reformed by the Divine truth.

(References: Deuteronomy 32:14; Genesis 49:10-11)


[20] From what has been shown in this and the preceding article, it is evident to those who acknowledge the spiritual sense of the Word, that by, "Thou hast redeemed us to God in thy blood," is meant conjunction with the Divine by the acknowledgment of the Lord, and by the reception of Divine truth from Him; and that the same is meant by blood in the twelfth chapter of this prophetical book, where it is said:

That Michael and his angels overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony (verse 11).

It is said, the blood of the Lamb, and the word of the testimony, because the blood of the Lamb signifies the reception of Divine truth from the Lord, and the word of the testimony the acknowledgment of His Divine Human.

(References: Revelation 12:11)


[21] That blood signifies the Divine truth is still further evident from its opposite sense, in which blood signifies violence offered to the Divine truth by the falsities of evil, and its destruction thereby; and because opposites also show what is signified in the genuine sense, therefore I desire to adduce some passages in which blood and bloods signify that. It is to be observed that most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, and that from that sense it may be known what is signified in the genuine sense; let these therefore serve for illustration. In the Apocalypse:

"The second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living animal in the sea died. And the third angel poured out his vial into the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood" (xvi. 3, 4).

And elsewhere:

The two witnesses "have power over the waters, to turn them into blood" (Apoc. xi. 6).

In Isaiah:

"The waters of Nimrim shall be desolations; and the waters of Dimon are full of blood" (xv. 6, 9).

In David:

"He sent darkness, and made it dark. He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish" (Ps. cv. 28, 29).

From these passages from the opposite it appears what blood signifies; for blood, in the genuine sense, signifies the Divine truth, and with the recipients truth from good; hence, in the opposite sense, it signifies violence offered to the Divine truth, and with those who do that, falsity from evil. This opposite signification appears from this circumstance, that the waters of the sea, the rivers, and fountains, are said to be turned into blood; for by waters are signified truths, wherefore by blood there falsities which destroy truths. By the living animal in the sea, and by the fish, are signified true scientifics; thus by their dying and being slain by blood are signified those truths also destroyed. That by waters are signified truths, may be seen above, n. 71; and that by fish are signified the true scientifics of the natural man, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 40, 991.

(References: Isaiah 15:6, 15:9; Psalms 105:28-29; Revelation 11:6, Revelation 16:3-4; The Apocalypse Explained 40, The Apocalypse Explained 71, The Apocalypse Explained 991)


[22] Again, in the Apocalypse:

"I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, and the whole moon became [as] blood" (vi. 12).

In Joel:

"I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth; blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great day of Jehovah come" (ii. 30, 31).

Here also from the opposite it is known, that blood signifies violence offered to the Divine truth; for by the sun in the Word is signified the Divine Celestial, which is the Divine good, and by the moon is signified the Divine Spiritual, which is the Divine truth; therefore it is said that the moon shall be turned into blood. That the moon has this signification may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 118, 119.

(References: Heaven and Hell 118-119; Joel 2:30-31; Revelation 6:12)


[23] In Isaiah:

"He who walketh in justice, and speaketh righteousness, who stoppeth his ear lest he hear bloods, and shutteth his eyes lest he see evil" (xxxiii. 15).

To stop the ear lest he hear bloods, denotes lest he hear falsities from evil.

In David:

"Thou wilt destroy them that speak a lie; a man of bloods and deceit Jehovah abominates" (Ps. v. 6).

The man of bloods and deceit [is used] for those who are in falsities from evil, and therefore it is said, "Thou wilt destroy them that speak lies"; lies in the Word signifying falsities.

In Isaiah:

"And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy unto him, every one that is written to life in Jerusalem. When the Lord shall have washed the excrement of the daughters of Zion, and shall have washed away the bloods of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of cleansing" (iv. 3, 4).

Because by Jerusalem is signified the church as to doctrine, it is therefore said, When He shall have washed away its bloods out of the midst thereof, by which, therefore, are signified the falsities of evil. By the spirit of judgment is signified the Divine truth, and because this purifies, it is said by the spirit of cleansing.

(References: Isaiah 3:3-4, Isaiah 4:3-4, Isaiah 33:15; Psalms 5:6)


[24] In Ezekiel:

"In the day wherein thou wast born, I passed by beside thee, and I saw thee trodden under foot in thy bloods, and I said to thee, In thy bloods, live; yea, I said to thee, In thy bloods, live; I have washed thee; and I have washed away thy bloods from upon thee, and I have anointed thee with oil" (xvi. 5, 6, 9, 22, 36, 38).

The subject here treated of is Jerusalem, by which is signified the church as to the doctrine of truth, first here concerning the falsities of evil in which it was before it was reformed, and afterwards concerning its reformation. The falsities of evil are signified by its being seen trodden under foot in bloods; and its reformation by His having washed, and washed away the bloods, and anointed with oil. To wash signifies to purify by truths; to wash away bloods signifies to remove the falsities of evil; and to anoint with oil signifies to gift with the good of love.

(References: Ezekiel 16:5-6, 16:9, 16:22, 16:36, 16:38)


[25] In Lamentations:

"For the sins of the prophets" of Jerusalem, "and the iniquities of her priests; that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her. They have wandered blind in the streets, they are polluted with blood, the things that they cannot they touch with their garments" (iv. 13, 14).

By the prophets of Jerusalem are signified those who will teach the truths of doctrine, and by the priests those who will lead by truths to good; here, in the opposite sense, because it is said for their sins. By shedding the blood of the just is signified to falsify truths and to adulterate goods; therefore it is said, "They have wandered blind in the streets, they are polluted with blood, the things that they cannot they touch with their garments." To wander blind in the streets, signifies not to see truths at all, streets denoting truths; polluted with blood, signifies to be wholly in falsities; by its being said, the things that they cannot they touch with [their] garments, signifies that what they cannot pervert they falsify, garments denoting the truths that invest interior things, which truths are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word.

In Isaiah:

"All the crowd shall be confounded by the earthquake, and the garment is polluted with bloods" (ix. 5).

The earthquake signifies the perversion of the church by the falsification of truth, and the garment polluted with bloods signifies the falsification of the sense of the letter of the Word.

(References: Isaiah 9:5; Lamentations 4:13-14)


[26] In Jeremiah:

"Wickedness hast thou taught for thy ways, in the wings also is found the blood of innocent souls, in the act of digging through I found them not, but in all these" (ii. 34).

Here by the blood found in the wings is signified the same as above by, the things that they cannot they touch with their garments, wings being garments. That he did not find them in the act of digging through, but in all of them, signifies that the truths themselves they dared not destroy, but that they falsified the truths of the sense of the letter, wings signifying those truths.

(References: Jeremiah 2:33-34)


[27] In Isaiah:

"Your hands are full of bloods" (i. 15).

In the same:

"For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue hath meditated perverseness. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity" (lix. 3, 7).

Their hands being defiled with blood, and their fingers with iniquity, signifies that in all things belonging to them there is falsity and evil of falsity; the hands and the fingers signify power, and hence everything that they have in which there is power. Because these things are signified, therefore it is also said, your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue hath meditated perverseness; lies denoting falsities, and perverseness denoting the evil of falsity. That their feet make haste to shed innocent blood, signifies to destroy the good of love and charity, this being signified by shedding innocent blood; the good of innocence is that from which are all the good and truth of heaven and the church (as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 276-283). From these considerations it is evident what is signified, in the general sense, by bloods in the plural, namely, the violence offered both to the truths and the goods of the Word and of the church. Because by shedding innocent blood is signified to destroy the good of love and charity, therefore, every kind of precaution was taken lest innocent blood should be shed, and if it was shed, that the land might be expiated (Deut. xix. 10, 13; xxi. 1-9); for the land signifies the church.

(References: Deuteronomy 19:10, 19:13, 21:1-9; Heaven and Hell 276-283; Isaiah 1:15, Isaiah 59:3, 59:7)


[28] In Isaiah:

"Jehovah goeth forth out of his place to visit the iniquity of the earth; then shall the earth disclose her bloods, and shall no more cover her slain" (xxvi. 21).

By the bloods that the earth shall disclose, are signified all the falsities and evils that have destroyed the truths and goods of the church, the earth denoting the church where those things are; by the slain are signified those who have perished by them. That the slain signify those who have perished by falsities and evils, may be seen, n. 315.

In the Apocalypse:

In Babylon "was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth" (xviii. 24).

The blood of prophets and of saints means truths and goods extinguished; and the slain those who have perished by falsities and evils, as mentioned just above.

(References: Isaiah 26:21; Revelation 18:24; The Apocalypse Explained 315)


[29] The same is meant by:

"The blood of the prophets which was shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel even to the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom they slew between the temple and the altar" (Matt. xxiii. 30, 34, 35; Luke xi. 50,51).

In the spiritual sense, by Abel are meant those who are in the good of charity, and, apart from person, that good itself; and by Cain those who make faith alone the only means of salvation, and the good of charity of no account, and thence reject and slay it; and by Zacharias are meant those who are in truths of doctrine, and, apart from person, the truth itself of doctrine; hence by the blood of both is signified the extinction of all good and truth; by their slaying him between the temple and the altar, is signified, in the spiritual sense, every kind of rejection of the Lord; for the temple signifies the Lord as to Divine truth, and the altar Him as to Divine good, and, between them, signifies both together. (That Abel, in a representative sense, denotes the good of charity, may be seen, n. 342, 354, 1179, 3325; and that Cain denotes faith alone, separate from charity, n. 340, 347, 1179, 3325. That a prophet signifies the doctrine of truth, n. 2534, 7269. That the temple signifies the Lord as to Divine truth, and the altar Him as to Divine good, and, in the respective sense, the Lord's kingdom and church as to those, n. 2777, 3720, 9714, 10,642. That between both signifies where there is the marriage of the Divine good and the Divine truth, n. 10,001, 10,025.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 340, 342, 347, Arcana Coelestia 354, Arcana Coelestia 1179, Arcana Coelestia 2534, Arcana Coelestia 2777, Arcana Coelestia 3325, Arcana Coelestia 3720, Arcana Coelestia 7269, Arcana Coelestia 9714, Arcana Coelestia 10001, Arcana Coelestia 10025, Arcana Coelestia 10642; Luke 11:50-51; Matthew 23:30, 23:34-35)


[30] In the Word, it is often said of those condemned to death, that their bloods were upon them, and thereby, in the spiritual sense, is meant that damnation was upon them on account of the falsities and evils by which they have destroyed the truths and goods of the church; for by bloods in general are signified all falsities of doctrine, of life, and of worship, from which are the evils that destroy the church. These evils are in part recounted in Ezekiel (xviii. 10-13). These are also signified by bloods, in John:

"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (i. 12, 13).

By the Lord's name are meant all the truths and goods by which He is to be worshipped; by bloods are meant all falsities and evils that destroy; by the will of the flesh, and by the will of man, are signified all evils of love and falsities of faith; for flesh signifies man's voluntary proprium from which is all evil, and man (vir) signifies man's intellectual proprium from which is all falsity, the will denoting where those things are; to be born of God, is to be regenerated by the truths of faith, and by a life according to them.

(References: Exodus 24:3-10, Exodus 29:21; Ezekiel 18:10-13, Ezekiel 39:17-22; Isaiah 3:3-4; John 1:12-13, John 6:50-58; Leviticus 16:12-15; Revelation 5:9)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 320, 355, 376, 388, 394, 401, 476, 503, 645, 701, 730, 748, 750, 860, 923, 960, 966, 975, 1049, 1082, 1193

Other New Christian Commentary

Wine 1

Blood and water, which issued from the breast of the Lord 1

Man of war 1

Motion 1

Perversity 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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