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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
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Arcana Coelestia #2803

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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2803. That the Divine Truth is the “son,” and the Divine Good the “father,” is evident from the signification of a “son,” as being truth (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2633); and of a “father,” as being good; and also from the conception and birth of truth, which is from good. Truth cannot be and come forth [existere] from any other source than good, as has been shown many times. That the “son” here is the Divine Truth, and the “father” the Divine Good, is because the union of the Divine Essence with the Human, and of the Human Essence with the Divine, is the Divine marriage of Good with Truth, and of Truth with Good, from which comes the heavenly marriage; for in Jehovah or the Lord there is nothing but what is infinite; and because infinite, it cannot be apprehended by any idea, except that it is the being and the coming forth [esse et existere] of all good and truth, or is Good itself and Truth itself. Good itself is the “Father,” and Truth itself is the “Son.” But because as before said there is a Divine marriage of Good and Truth, and of Truth and Good, the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, as the Lord Himself teaches in John:

Jesus saith unto Philip, Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me ? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in me (John 14:10-11).

And again in the same Evangelist:

Jesus said to the Jews, Though ye believe not Me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father (John 10:36, 38).

And again:

I pray for them for all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and that they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee (John 17:9-10, 21).

And again:

Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself. Father, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee (John 13:31-32; 17:1).

[2] From this may be seen the nature of the union of the Divine and the Human in the Lord; namely, that it is mutual and alternate, or reciprocal; which union is that which is called the Divine Marriage, from which descends the heavenly marriage, which is the Lord’s kingdom itself in the heavens—thus spoken of in John:

In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (John 14:20).

And again:

I pray for them, that they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us, I in them and Thou in Me; that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:21-23, 26).

That this heavenly marriage is that of good and truth, and of truth and good, may be seen above (n. 2508, 2618, 2728, 2729 and following numbers).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2728-2729; John 17:20-23)


[3] And because the Divine Good cannot be and come forth without the Divine Truth, nor the Divine Truth without the Divine Good, but the one in the other mutually and reciprocally, it is therefore manifest that the Divine Marriage was from eternity; that is, the Son in the Father, and the Father in the Son, as the Lord Himself teaches in John:

And now O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thyself, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was (John 17:5, 24).

But the Divine Human which was born from eternity was also born in time; and what was born in time, and glorified, is the same. Hence it is that the Lord so often said that He was going to the Father who sent Him; that is, that He was returning to the Father. And in John:

In the beginning was the Word (the “Word” is the Divine Truth itself), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-3, 14; see also John 3:13; 6:62).

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Arcana Coelestia 2813, 2824, 3004, 3061, 3077, 3211, 3255, 3373, 3703, 3704, 3956, 3960, 4060, 4180, 4334, 4434, 4462, 4765, 4781, 4809, 5376, 5515, 5902, 6041, 6050, 6371, 6418, 6432, 6433, 7605, 7839, 8127, 8273, 8281, 8571, 8573, 8705, 8809, ...

Heaven and Hell 86

The White Horse 1, 11, 14

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 25, 201, 260, 263, 302, 303, 305


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 32, 200, 242, 254, 900


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The White Horse #11

White Horse (Ryder translation)      

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11. In the internal or spiritual sense of the Word innumerable things are hidden.

The Word in its internal sense contains many things which surpass human comprehension: 3085-3086. They cannot be expressed in words, and cannot be explained: 1955. They exist solely for the angels, and are understood by them: 167. The internal sense of the Word contains the hidden things of heaven, which have to do with the Lord and His kingdom in heaven and on earth: 1-4, 937. Those hidden things do not appear in the literal sense: 937, 1502, 2161. Many other things in the writings of the prophets, which appear as if randomly scattered, in the internal sense fit together continuously in a beautiful 1 sequence: 7153, 9022. In its original language not a single word, not even a single jot, can be missing from the literal meaning without interruption of the internal sense; and for that very reason the Word, out of the Lord's divine providence, has been preserved so completely, down to the last tittle: 7933. There are innumerable things in each individual part of the Word: 6617, 6620, 8920. And in each and every phrase: 1869. Countless things are contained in the Lord's Prayer and in its individual petitions: 6619. And in the Ten Commandments; though in the external sense of these there are some ideas which are known to every nation without revelation: 8862, 8899. In every tiny little tittle of a letter of the Word in its original language there is something holy, revealed from Heaven, this may be seen in the work Heaven and Hell 260, where the words of the Lord are explained, that Not one jot or tittle shall be lost from the Law; Matthew 5:18.
Particularly in the prophetical part of the Word there are two expressions of the same thing, as it were, but one refers to what is good and the other to what is true: 683, 707, 2576, 8339. In the Word things relating to what is good and what is true are married together, to an amazing degree, but that marriage is evident only to one who is acquainted with the internal sense: 10554. So, in the Word and in its individual parts there are divine marriage and heavenly marriage: 683, 793, 801, 2173, 2516, 2712, 5138, 7022. Divine marriage, which is the marriage between divine good and divine truth, is thus the Lord in heaven, in whom alone that marriage exists there: 3004-3005, 3009, 4137, 5194, 5502, 6343, 7945, 8339, 9263, 9314. Through Jesus also there is signified divine good, and through Christ divine truth, and thus through both divine marriage in heaven is signified: 3004-3005, 3009. This marriage-and thus the Lord as regards divine good and divine truth-is in each individual part of the Word in its internal sense: 5502. The marriage of good and truth by the Lord in heaven and in the Church is what is called heavenly marriage: 2508, 2618, 2803, 3004, 3211, 3952, 6179. Thus in this respect the Word is heaven, so to speak: 2173, 10126. Heaven is likened to marriage in the Word from the marriage of good and truth there: 2758, 3132, 4434, 4835. The internal sense is itself the genuine doctrine of the Church: 9025, 9430, 10400. Those who understand the Word according to its internal sense know the true doctrine itself of the Church, because the internal sense contains that: 9025, 9430, 10400. The internal part of the Word is also the internal part of the Church, and so also of worship: 10460. The Word is the doctrine of love towards the Lord, and affectionate regard for your neighbour: 3419-3420.

The Word in its literal meaning is like a cloud, and its glory is in its internal sense-Preface to Genesis 18; also 5922, 6343-where there is explained that the Lord will come in the clouds of the sky with glory. Also 'cloud' in the Word signifies the Word in its literal sense, and 'glory' signifies the Word in its internal sense-Preface to Genesis 18: also 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343, 6752, 8106, 8781, 9430, 10551, 10574. Things which are in the literal sense, compared to those in the internal sense, are like rough projections round a polished optical cylinder, from which nevertheless there exists in the cylinder a beautiful image of a man: 1871. Those who wish for and recognize only the literal sense are represented in the spiritual world as an ugly little old woman, while those who wish for and recognize at the same time the internal sense appear as a virgin finely clothed: 1774. The Word in all that it embraces is an image of heaven, because the Word is divine truth, and divine truth constitutes heaven, and heaven resembles one human, and in that respect The Word is an image of a human, as it were: 1871. That heaven in its total make-up resembles one human may be seen in the work Heaven and Hell 59-67. That divine truth proceeding from the Lord constitutes heaven, 126-140, 200-212. The Word is presented to the Angels in a beautiful and delightful way: 1767-1768. The literal sense is like a body, and the internal sense is like the soul of that body: 8943.

Consequently, life for the Word comes from its internal sense: 1405, 4857. The Word is pure in its internal sense, and it does not appear so in its literal sense: 2362, 2395. Things in the literal sense become holy from internal things: 10126, 10276. In the historical narratives of the Word also there is an internal sense, but within them: 4989. Thus the historical parts just as much as the prophetical parts contain hidden things of heaven: 755, 1659, 1709, 2310, 2333. The angels perceive these not in relation to history but in relation to doctrine, because they perceive them spiritually: 6884. The innermost hidden things in the historical narratives are less evident to humans than those in the prophetical parts for the simple reason that their minds are intent upon, and in contemplation of, the historical parts: 2176, 6597.

Moreover, the nature of the internal sense of the Word is shown: 1756, 1984, 2004, 2663, 3035, 7089, 10604, 10614, and it is illustrated by comparisons: 1873.

-----
Footnotes:

1. In the end I can find no better word than 'beautiful' for Swedenborg's 'pulchra' here. I guess his thought is that the coherent sequence of ideas referred to is pleasing and satisfying, aesthetically and intellectually; hence, beautiful' which is the true classical meaning of the word anyway.

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(References: Arcana Coelestia 1689, 1965, 2396, 3033, 4158, 4834, 6637, 8867, 8900, 10401, 10728)


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Spiritual Experiences 2164, 2165

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Jews and Christians have used various criteria to decide which books to include in the Bible. The New Church Biblical cannon includes books with a "continuous internal sense."
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