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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1


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Arcana Coelestia #2813

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2813. And bound Isaac his son. That this signifies the state of the Divine rational thus about to undergo as to truth the last degrees of temptation, is evident from the signification of “binding,” and also of “Isaac his son.” That to “bind” is to put on the state for undergoing the last degrees of temptation, is evident from the fact that he who is in a state of temptation is no otherwise than as bound or chained. That “Isaac the son” is the Lord’s Divine rational, here as to truth, may be seen above (n. 2802, 2803). All the genuine rational consists of good and truth. The Lord’s Divine rational as to good could not suffer, or undergo temptations; for no genius or spirit inducing temptations can come near to Good Divine, as it is above all attempt at temptation. But Truth Divine bound was what could be tempted; for there are fallacies, and still more falsities, which break in upon and thus tempt it; for concerning Truth Divine some idea can be formed, but not concerning Good Divine except by those who have perception, and are celestial angels. It was Truth Divine which was no longer acknowledged when the Lord came into the world, and therefore it was that from which the Lord underwent and endured temptations. Truth Divine in the Lord is what is called the “Son of man,” but Good Divine is what is called the “Son of God.” Of the “Son of man” the Lord says many times that He was to suffer, but never of the Son of God. That He says this of the Son of man, or of Truth Divine, is evident in Matthew:

Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered, unto the chief priests and scribes, and they shall condemn Him, and shall deliver Him unto the Gentiles to mock and to scourge, and to crucify (Matthew 20:18-19).

Jesus said to His disciples, Behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is delivered into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:45).

In Mark:

Jesus began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (Mark 8:31).

It is written of the Son of man, that He shall suffer many things, and be set at nought. And the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; but when He is killed He shall rise again on the third day (Mark 9:12, 31).

Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him unto the Gentiles, and they shall mock Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again (Mark 10:33-34).

The hour is come; behold the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners (Mark 14:41).

In Luke:

The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise again (Luke 9:22, 44).

We go up to Jerusalem, where all the things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished; He shall be delivered up unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and shamefully entreated, and spit upon, and they shall scourge and kill Him, and the third day He shall rise again (Luke 18:31-33).

The angel said to the women, Remember what He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying that the Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2802-2803)


[2] In all these places by the “son of man” is meant the Lord as to Truth Divine, or as to the Word in its internal sense, which was rejected by the chief priests and scribes, was shamefully entreated, scourged, spit upon, and crucified, as may be clearly evident from the fact that the Jews applied and arrogated everything to themselves according to the letter, and were not willing to know anything about the spiritual sense of the Word, and about the heavenly kingdom, believing that the Messiah was to come to raise up their kingdom above all the kingdoms of the earth, as they also believe at this day. Hence it is manifest that it was Truth Divine which was rejected by them, shamefully treated, scourged, and crucified. Whether you say Truth Divine, or the Lord as to Truth Divine, it is the same; for the Lord is the Truth itself, as He is the Word itself (n. 2011, 2016, 2533 at the end).

[3] The Lord’s rising again on the third day also involves that Truth Divine, or the Word as to the internal sense, as it was understood by the Ancient Church, will be revived in the consummation of the age, which is also the “third day” (n. 1825, 2788); on which account it is said that the Son of man (that is, Truth Divine) will then appear (Matthew 24:30, 37, 39, 44; Mark 13:26; Luke 17:22, 24-26, 30; 21:27, 36).

[4] That the “Son of man” is the Lord as to Truth Divine, is evident from the passages adduced, and further from the following.

In Matthew:

He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man, the field is the world. In the consummation of the age the Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend (Matthew 13:37, 41-42); where the “good seed” is the truth; the “world” is men; “He that soweth the seed” is the Son of man; and the “things that offend” are falsities.

In John:

The multitude said, We have heard out of the Law that the Christ abideth forever; and how sayest Thou that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man ? Jesus answered them, A little while is the Light with you; walk while ye have the Light, that darkness overtake you not; for he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the Light, believe in the Light, that ye may become the sons of Light (John 12:34-35); where, when they asked who the Son of man is, Jesus answered concerning the Light, which is the Truth, and that He is the Light or Truth in which they should believe. (As regards the Light which is from the Lord, and which is the Divine Truth, see above, n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 1619-1632)

(References: John 12:34-36; Matthew 13:37-38, Matthew 13:40-42)


[5] But that the Son of God, or the Lord as to Good in His Human Divine could not be tempted, as was said above, this is manifest also from the Lord’s answer to the tempter, in the Evangelists:

The tempter said, If Thou art the Son of God cast Thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee, lest haply Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4:6-7Luke 4:9-12).

(References: Genesis 22:9; John 12:34-36; Matthew 13:37-38, 13:40-42)

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Arcana Coelestia 2817, 2824, 3703, 3704, 3927, 4060, 4334, 4765, 4781, 4809, 5376, 6418, 7839, 8127, 8281, 8571, 8705, 8890, 8902, 8904, 8982, 9000, 9156, 9199, 9281, 9309, 9325, 9372, 9528, 9548, 9666, 9684, 9807, 10067, 10402, 10494, 10540, 10545

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 201, 302, 303, 310


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 32, 242, 900

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Apocalypse Explained #329

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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

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


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