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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


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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

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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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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Arcana Coelestia #5376

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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5376. 'For the famine became great in all the earth' means that, apart from there, desolation existed everywhere in the natural. This is clear from the meaning of 'famine' as a desolation, dealt with previously; and from the meaning of 'the earth' as the natural, also dealt with previously. The idea that everywhere apart from there is meant, that is to say, apart from within the known facts where the celestial of the spiritual was, follows from what has gone immediately before. What the desolation of the natural, or the deprivation of truth there, is like has been stated already; yet as this is dealt with further still in what follows, let the nature of it be mentioned once again. From earliest childhood the person born within the Church learns from the Word and from the teachings of the Church what the truth of faith is and what the good of charity is. But when he grows up he begins either to confirm for himself or else to refuse to accept the truths of faith he has learned; for now he looks at them for himself and in so doing either makes those truths his own or else casts them aside. For no truth can be made over to another person as his own unless he looks at it and accepts it for himself, that is, unless he knows for himself that it is true and does not rely simply on someone else. The truths therefore which he absorbed in childhood cannot enter any more deeply into his life than the outer gate, where they can either be let inside or else cast away outside.

[2] With those who are being regenerated, that is, those who, as the Lord foresees, will allow themselves to be regenerated, those truths are multiplied exceedingly; for these people have an affection for knowing truths. But as they draw nearer to the point when their regeneration is actually carried out they are seemingly deprived of those truths. For those truths are withdrawn to a more interior position, and when this happens the person seems to experience desolation. Nevertheless those truths are returned in consecutive stages to the natural, where they are joined to good while the person is being regenerated. With those who are not being regenerated however, that is, those who, as the Lord foresees, will not allow themselves to be regenerated, truths are indeed usually multiplied, since these people possess an affection for knowing such truths for the sake of their own reputation, position, and gain. But as they advance in years and come to look at those truths for themselves, they either do not believe them, refuse to accept them, or else turn them into falsities. Thus in their case truths are not withdrawn to a more interior position but are cast away outside, though they remain in the memory to serve worldly ends, devoid of all life. In the Word this state is called desolation or vastation, though it differs from the state described first, in that the desolation belonging to that first state is only apparent, whereas the desolation belonging to the second state is total. For in the state described first the person is not deprived of truths, whereas in this latter state he is deprived of them altogether. The desolation belonging to the state described first is the subject in the internal sense of the present chapter and is again the subject in the next one; and that desolation is meant by a famine lasting for seven years.

[3] This kind of desolation is referred to many times elsewhere in the Word, as in Isaiah,

Stir, stir, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of Jehovah the cup of His anger. Two things have come upon you; who condoles with you? Vastation and ruination, famine and sword, who is there that I may comfort you? Your sons fainted, they lay at the head of every street. Therefore listen, do this, O afflicted one, and drunk though not from wine. Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trepidation, the dregs of the cup of My wrath; you shall no longer drink it. But I will put it in the hand of those who oppress you. Isaiah 51:17-end.

This is a description of the state of desolation experienced by a member of the Church who is becoming a Church, that is, who is being regenerated. That desolation is called 'vastation, ruination, famine, and sword', also 'the cup of Jehovah's anger and wrath', and 'the cup of trepidation'. The truths that a person is deprived of at such times are 'the sons who faint and lie at the head of every street'. For 'sons' are truths, see 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 'street' the place where the truths are, 2336; consequently 'lying at the head of every street' means that truths appear to exist in a dispersed condition. One can see that the desolation is only an apparent one and that regeneration is effected by means of it, as it also is by means of temptations; for it says that [Jerusalem] will no longer drink the cup but that [Jehovah] will put it in the hand of those who oppress her.

(References: Isaiah 51:17-23)


[4] In Ezekiel,

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Because they devastated you and swallowed you up from all around, so that you are an inheritance for the rest of the nations, therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Jehovih. Thus said the Lord Jehovih to the mountains and hills, the streams and valleys, and the desolate wastes, and the deserted cities, which became plunder and a derision to the rest of the nations all around: I have spoken in My zeal and in My wrath, because you have endured the shame of the nations. Surely the nations that are around you will bear their own shame. But you, O mountains of Israel, will shoot forth 1 your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel. For behold, I am with you, and will turn to you, so that you are tilled and sown. Also I will multiply man (homo) upon you, the entire house of Israel; and the cities will be inhabited, and the waste places will be built. I will resettle you 2 to be as you were in former times and I will do more good than in your early days. Ezekiel 36:3-11.

This too refers to the desolation that comes just before regeneration. That desolation is meant by 'the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which became plunder and a derision', while such regeneration is meant by 'shooting forth a branch and yielding fruit', 'turning to them, so that they are tilled and sown', 'so that man is multiplied, cities inhabited, and waste places built', and 'resettling them to be as they were in former times, and doing more good to them than in their early days'.

(References: Ezekiel 36:3-12)


[5] What desolation is like is evident from those experiencing it in the next life. Those who experience desolation there are harried by evil spirits and genii; for these pour in evil desires and false ideas which are so strong that those people are almost submerged in them. As a consequence truths are not visible; but then as the time of desolation comes to an end those truths are lit up by light received from heaven, and the evil spirits and genii are driven away, each to his own hell, where they undergo punishments. Those punishments are what is meant by 'cities which became plunder and a derision to the rest of the nations all around' and by 'the nations that are around will bear their own shame'. Such punishments are also meant by 'the cup will be put in the hand of those who oppress you', in the passage quoted above from Isaiah, as well as in another place in the same prophet, where it says that 'the one who lays waste will be laid waste', Isaiah 33:1. And in Jeremiah,

I will visit those who lay waste, and I will consign them to everlasting desolations. Jeremiah 25:12.

In Isaiah,

Your destroyers will hasten your sons, and those who lay you waste will go away from you. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Because of your waste places and your desolate places, and the land of your destruction, you will be too restricted for the inhabitants; those who swallow you up will have gone far away. Isaiah 49:17-19.

[6] These verses too, indeed that whole chapter in Isaiah, refer to the desolation suffered by those who are being regenerated, and to the regeneration and fruitfulness that follow desolation, verse 26 referring at length to the punishment of those who have been the oppressors. In the same prophet,

Woe to you who lay waste, though you have not been laid waste; when you finish laying waste, you will be laid waste. Isaiah 33:1.

This refers to the punishment of those who lay waste, as above. In the same prophet,

Let My outcasts dwell together in you; O Moab, be a refuge to them in the presence of the one who lays waste. For the oppressor has ceased, vastation has come to an end. Isaiah 16:4.

In the same prophet,

The day of Jehovah is near; like vastation from Shaddai it will come. Isaiah 13:6.

'Vastation from Shaddai' stands for vastation in temptations. For in ancient times God, when involved in temptations, was called Shaddai, see 1992, 3667, 4572.

(References: Isaiah 49:26)


[7] In the same prophet,

At that time they will not thirst; in the waste places He will lead them; He will make water flow for them from the rock, and He will cleave the rock so that water flows out. Isaiah 48:11.

This has to do with the state that follows desolation. In the same prophet,

Jehovah will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places, so much so that He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of Jehovah. Gladness and joy will be found in her, confession and the voice of song. Isaiah 51:3.

Here the meaning is similar, for as stated above, desolation occurs to the end that a person may be regenerated, that is, to the end that evils and falsities may first be separated from him and then truths may be joined to forms of good, and forms of good to truths. The regenerate person so far as good is concerned is the one who is being compared to Eden, and so far as truth is concerned to the garden of Jehovah. In David,

Jehovah caused me to come up out of the pit of devastation, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock. Psalms 40:2.

(References: Isaiah 48:21)


[8] The vastation and desolation suffered by a member of the Church, or by the Church residing with him, was represented by the captivity of the Jewish people in Babel, while the resurgence of the Church was represented by their return from that captivity, dealt with in various places in Jeremiah, especially in Chapter 32:37-end. Desolation is a captivity, for at that time a person is held so to speak in bonds, for which reason also 'the bound', 'those in prison', or 'those in the pit' mean those experiencing desolation, see 4728, 4744, 5037, 5038, 5085, 5096.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 5037-5038; Jeremiah 32:37-44)


[9] Reference to a state of desolation and vastation among those who are not being regenerated is also made in various places in the Word. It is a state passed through by those who utterly deny truths or else turn them into falsities; it is the state which the Church passes through around the time of its end, when there is no faith and no charity any longer. In Isaiah,

I will cause you to know what I am about to do to My vineyard, by taking away its hedge, so that it is destroyed, 3 and by breaking down its wall, so that it is trodden down. I will after that make it a desolation; it will not be pruned or heed, so that bramble and shrub will come up there; indeed I will command the clouds to rain no rain on it. Isaiah 5:5-7.

In the same prophet,

Say to this people, Hearing, hear - but do not understand; and seeing, see - but do not comprehend. Make the heart of this people fat and their ears heavy, and plaster over their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and their heart understands, and they turn again and be healed. Then I said, How long, O Lord? And He said, Until cities will have been devastated, so that they are without inhabitant, and houses, so that there is no one in them, and the land is reduced to a lonely place; He will remove man. And the wilderness will be multiplied in the midst of the land. Scarcely any longer will there be a tenth part in it; it will be however an uprooting. Isaiah 6:9-end.

(References: Isaiah 5:5-6, 6:9-13)


[10] In the same prophet,

A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the God of power. For the close has been determined, overflowing with righteousness; for the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth is bringing the whole earth to its close and to its determined end. Isaiah 10:21-23.

In the same prophet,

Jehovah is emptying the earth and making it void, and He will overturn the face of it. The earth will be utterly emptied. The inhabited earth will mourn, it will be turned upside down. The world will languish and will be turned upside down. A curse will devour the earth. The new wine will mourn, the vine will languish. What is left in the city will be a waste; the gate will be smashed to devastation. The earth has been utterly broken, the earth has been utterly split open, the earth has been made to quake violently; the earth staggers altogether like a drunken man. Isaiah 24:4-end.

In the same prophet,

The highways have been devastated, the wayfarer has ceased. The earth mourns, it languishes. Lebanon has become ashamed, it has withered away; Sharon has become like a wilderness. Isaiah 33:8-9.

In the same prophet,

I will desolate and at the same time swallow up; I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up every plant on them. Isaiah 42:14-15.

(References: Isaiah 24:1, Isaiah 24, Isaiah 24:3-4, 24:6-7, Isaiah 24:12, 24:19-20)


[11] In Jeremiah,

I will utterly destroy all the nations round about, and make them into a desolation, and a derision and everlasting wastes. And I will cast away from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the mills, and the light of the lamp, so that the whole land will be a desolation and devastation. It will happen when seventy years have been fulfilled, that I will visit the king of Babei and this nation for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and I will make it everlasting desolations. Jeremiah 25:9-12 and following verses.

In the same prophet,

A desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse will Bozrah be; and all its cities will be everlasting wastes. Edom will be a desolation, all who pass by it will be astonished and will hiss at all its plagues. Jeremiah 49:13-18.

In Ezekiel,

Thus said the Lord to the inhabitants of Jerusalem upon the land of Israel, They will eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their waters with astonishment, that her land may be devastated of the fullness that is in it, on account of the violence of all who dwell in it. The inhabited cities will be devastated, and the land desolated. Ezekiel 12:19-20.

[12] In the same prophet,

When I make you a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall cause the deep to come up against you, and many waters have covered you, I will cause you to go down with those going down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will cause you to dwell in the land of the lower ones, in the desolations 4 from eternity, with those going down to the pit. Ezekiel 26:18-21.

This refers to Tyre. In Joel,

A day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of cloud and gloom. Fire devours before him, and behind him a flame burns; like the garden of Eden is the land before him, but behind him there is a desert waste. Joel 2:2-3.

In Zephaniah,

The day of Jehovah is near. A day of wrath is that day, a day of anguish and repression, a day of vastation and devastation, a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of cloud and clouding over. By the fire of Jehovah's zeal the whole land will be devoured, for He 5 will bring to a close, indeed to a hasty one, all the inhabitants of the earth. Zephaniah 1:14-end.

In Matthew,

When you see the abomination of desolation, foretold by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains. Matthew 14:15, 16; Mark 13:14; Daniel 9:27; 11:10-12.

From all these quotations it is clear that 'a desolation apparent deprivation of truth in the case of those who are being regenerated, but a total deprivation in the case of those who are not being regenerated means

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Footnotes:

1. literally, give

2. literally, I will cause you to inhabit

3. literally, depastured

4. Reading in desolationibus for in desolationem

5. The Latin means I, but the Hebrew means He, which Swedenborg has in another place where he quotes this verse.

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(References: Daniel 12:10-12; Ezekiel 26:19-21; Genesis 41:57; Isaiah 24:1, Isaiah 24:3-4, Isaiah 24:6-7, 24:12, Isaiah 24:19-20; Matthew 24:15-16; Zephaniah 1:14-18)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5415, 5462, 5576, 6110, 9198, 9412, 10237, 10283

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 83, 187

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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