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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

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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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

Other New Christian Commentary

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Arcana Coelestia #10067

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10067. 'And sprinkle it over Aaron and over his garments' means a reciprocal uniting of Divine Good and Divine Truth within the Lord's Divine Human in the higher heavens. This is clear from the representation of 'Aaron' as the Lord in respect of Divine Good, dealt with in 9806, which is the Lord's Divine Good in the celestial kingdom, dealt with in 9946, or what amounts to the same thing, in the higher heavens; from the meaning of Aaron's 'garments' as a representative sign of the Lord's spiritual kingdom lying adjacent to His celestial kingdom, dealt with in 9814; and from the meaning of 'sprinkling over them' as uniting. For what was sprinkled or poured out over someone represented a uniting, as also previously with the blood sprinkled over the altar round about, 10064.

[2] The reason why the Lord's Divine Human in the heavens is what is meant is that the subject here and in what comes immediately after is the Lord's Divine [Being] in the heavens and His union with the angels there, so that the subject is the second state of the glorification of the Lord's Human, see 10057. So it is that here 'Aaron' represents the Lord in respect of Divine Good in the celestial kingdom and 'his garments' Divine Truth in the spiritual kingdom lying adjacent to the celestial kingdom; thus the Lord in respect of both in the higher heavens is represented. The reason why the Divine Human is what this Divine Good and Divine Truth come from is that nothing Divine is acknowledged and worshipped in the heavens other than the Lord's Divine Human; for the Divine [Being] which the Lord called His Father was the Divinity within Himself. The truth that in the heavens nothing Divine is acknowledged and worshipped other than the Lord's Divine Human becomes clear from the Lord's words recorded many times in the Gospels, such as the following,

All things have been delivered to Me by the Father. Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22.

The Father has given all things into the hand of the Son. John 3:34-35.

The Father has given the Son power over all flesh. John 17:2.

Without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5.

Father, all Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine. John 17:10.

All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Matthew 28:18.

Jesus said to Peter, I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19.

[3] The truth of all this is also evident from the consideration that no one can be joined through faith and love to the Divine [Being] Himself without the Divine Human; for it is impossible to form in the mind any idea of the Divine [Being] Himself, called the Father, because He is incomprehensible, and that of which it is impossible to have any mental picture forms no part of a person's belief nor thus of what he loves. Yet the most important of all the elements of worship is believing in God and loving Him above all else. That the Divine [Being] Himself, or the Father, is incomprehensible is also the Lord's teaching, in John,

Nobody has ever seen God; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known. John 1:18.

In the same gospel,

You have never heard the Father's voice nor seen His shape. John 5:37.

[4] And that the Divine [Being] Himself, or the Father, is comprehensible within the Lord through His Divine Human is likewise His teaching, in John,

He who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. John 12:45.

In the same gospel,

If you know Me you know My Father also, and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. He who sees Me sees the Father. John 14:6-11.

And in Matthew,

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him. Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22.

The reason why it is also said that no one knows the Son except the Father is that 'the Son' is used to mean Divine Truth and 'the Father' Divine Good, each being within the Lord; and one cannot be known except from the other. That is why the Lord first says that all things have been delivered to Him by the Father, and afterwards that the Father is known to him to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him. For the meaning of 'the Son' as Divine Truth and of 'the Father' as Divine Good, each of which are the Lord's, see 2803, 2813, 3704, 7499, 8328, 8897, 9807.

From all this it is now evident that the Divine [Being] in the heavens is the Lord's Divine Human.

[5] Next it must be stated what was represented by the blood of the second lamb being sprinkled over the altar round about, and by some of the blood and some of the anointing oil being sprinkled over Aaron and over his garments. From what has been stated and shown above in 10064-10067 it is evident that the uniting of Divine Truth to Divine Good and of Divine Good to Divine Truth within the Lord's Divine Human were meant. But the arcanum that lies hidden within this has not yet been disclosed. The arcanum is that the uniting of Divine Good and Divine Truth, thus of the Divine [Being] Himself, called the Father, and Divine Truth or the Son, was reciprocal. The uniting of Divine Truth to Divine Good is meant by the sprinkling of the blood over the altar, 10064. These when they have been united are meant by the blood on the altar, some of which was to be taken, 10065, and by the anointing oil, which means Divine Good, 10066. Consequently the reciprocal uniting of Divine Truth and Divine Good within the Lord's Divine Human is meant by the sprinkling of that blood together with the anointing oil over Aaron and over his garments, as shown earlier on in this paragraph 10067.

[6] That the uniting was reciprocal is absolutely clear from the Lord's words in the following places: In John,

I and the Father 1 are one. Even though 2 you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father. John 10:30, 38.

In the same gospel,

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. John 14:6-11.

In the same gospel,

Jesus said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine. John 17:1, 10.

In the same gospel,

Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. And God will glorify Him in Himself. John 13:31-32.

From these places it becomes clear that the Divine Good of Divine Love, which is the Father, has been united to Divine Truth, which is the Son, in a reciprocal manner within the Lord, and that consequently His Human is Divine Good. The like is also meant when the Lord says that He came from the Father, and has come into the world, and is going to the Father, John 16:27-29; that all things which are the Father's are His, John 16:15; and that the Father and He are one, John 10:30.

(References: John 14:10-11)


[7] But a better way to understand these matters may lie in considering the reciprocal joining together of goodness and truth with a person who is being regenerated by the Lord, for, as has been stated previously, the Lord regenerates people just as He glorified His Human, 10057. When the Lord regenerates a person He instills truth that will become the truth of faith in the understanding part of the person's mind and good that will become the good of love in the will part of it. There He joins the two together, and when they have been joined together the truth of faith derives its life from the good of love, and the good of love receives the specific quality of its life from the truth of faith. This joining together is accomplished in a reciprocal or mutual manner by good; it is called the heavenly marriage and constitutes heaven with the person. The Lord dwells in this heaven as that which is His, for all the good of love springs from Him, as does all the joining of truth to good. The Lord cannot dwell in anything that is the person's own, because that is evil.

(References: John 17:21)


[8] This mutual joining together is what is meant by the Lord's words in John,

On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:20.

And in the same gospel,

All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them ... that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You, and they may be one in Us. John 17:10, 21-22.

A mutual joining together is described in these words, yet they should not be taken to mean that a person joins himself to the Lord. Rather the Lord joins to Himself the person who abandons evils; for the abandonment of evils is left to the person's own responsibility, and when he abandons them the reciprocal joining together of the truth belonging to faith and the good belonging to love is effected by the Lord, and not at all by that person. For as is well known in the Church, a person left to himself cannot do anything good, and so left to himself cannot receive any truth in his good. This too the Lord affirms in John,

Abide in Me, and I in you. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you cannot do anything. John 15:4-5.

[9] Light may be cast on this mutual joining together by a person's understanding and will when joined together. His understanding is composed of truths and his will is composed of forms of good; the truths belong to the faith present in him and the forms of good to the love there. The person takes in the truths by hearing about them with his ears or reading about them with his eyes and stores them away in his memory. Those truths have to do either with circumstances involving public duties or with those involving private conduct; and they are called known facts. The person's love, which belongs to his will, employs the understanding to look at the facts stored away there and to choose from them those that are in accord with that love. It then draws and joins to itself those that are chosen, and uses them day by day to strengthen itself. The truths made living in this manner by love constitute the understanding part of the person's mind, while the actual forms of good belonging to his love constitute the will part of it. Those forms of the good of love are also like a fire burning there, while the truths which have been made living by the love and reside in the parts round about are like the light radiated from that fire. Gradually as the truths are kindled by that fire the desire is kindled in them for a mutual or reciprocal joining together. This leads to a mutual joining together that is everlasting.

[10] From all this it is clear that the good belonging to love is what effects the joining together and not the truth belonging to faith, except insofar as it has any of the good of love within it. Whether you say love or good it amounts to the same thing, for all good comes from love, and whatever comes from love is called good. Also whether you say love or the will, this too amounts to the same thing, for what a person loves, that he wills.

[11] It should be recognized that the things which have to do with circumstances involving public duties and private conduct, spoken of just above, join themselves together in the external man, whereas those which have to do with spiritual circumstances, spoken of previously, join themselves together in the internal man, and after that in the external man by way of the internal. For those that have to do with spiritual circumstances, namely those which are truths of faith and forms of the good of love to the Lord, and have regard to eternal life, link up with the heavens and open up the internal man. The extent to which this is opened, and the essential nature of that opening, is determined by the truths of faith - how many are received, and in what way they are received, within the good of love to the Lord and towards the neighbour, these loves being derived from the Lord. From this it is evident that thought remains on a merely external level in the case of those who fail to absorb the things which have to do with spiritual circumstances, and that it rises no higher than the level of the senses in the case of those who refuse to believe in their existence, however intelligent these people seem to be in what they say.

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Footnotes:

1. The Latin means The Father and I but the Greek means I and the Father, which Swedenborg has in most other places where he quotes this verse.

2. Reading si utique (even though) for si itaque (if therefore)

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(References: Exodus 29:21; John 17:1-2, John 17:21)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 10067, 10068, 10069, 10237, 10267

Heaven and Hell 86

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 185, 186, 304, 305

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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