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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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Arcana Coelestia #2788

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2788. On the third day. That this signifies completeness, and the beginning of sanctification, is evident from the signification of the “third day.” “Day” in the Word signifies state (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893); as also does “year,” and in general all periods of time; as an “hour,” a “day,” a “week,” a “month,” a “year,” an “age;” as also “morning,” “noon,” “evening,” and “night;” and “spring,” “summer,” “autumn,” and “winter;” and when “third” is added to these, they signify the end of that state, and at the same time the beginning of the following state. As the Lord’s sanctification is here treated of, which was effected by temptations, the “third day” signifies completeness, and at the same time the beginning of sanctification, as also follows from what has been already said. The reason of this signification is that when the Lord had fulfilled all things He would rise again on the third day; for the things that were done, or that would be done by the Lord when He lived in the world, were in the representatives of the church as if already done (as also they were in the internal sense of the Word); for in God to be and to become are the same; indeed all eternity is present to Him.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 487-488)


[2] Hence the number “three” was representative, not only in the Ancient Church and in the Jewish, but also among various nations. (See what is said concerning this number above, n. 720, 901, 1825.) That this was the origin of the signification of “three,” is evident in Hosea:

Let us return unto Jehovah, for He hath wounded, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up; after two days He will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him (Hos. 6:1-2); where the “third day” denotes the Lord’s coming, and His resurrection. And from Jonah, that he “was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17); concerning which the Lord thus speaks in Matthew:

As Jonah was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).

[3] Be it known that in the internal sense of the Word “three days” and the “third day” signify the same, as also do “three” and “third” in the passages which now follow.

In John:

Jesus said to the Jews, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. He spake of the temple of His body (John 2:19-21; Matthew 26:61; Mark 14:58; 15:29).

[4] That the Lord rose again on the third day is known. For the same reason the Lord distinguished the periods of His life into three, as stated in Luke:

Go ye and tell that fox, Behold I cast out demons, and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I am perfected (Luke 13:32).

His last temptation also, that of the cross, the Lord endured at the “third hour” of the day (Mark 15:25); and after three hours there came darkness over the whole land, or at the “sixth hour” (Luke 23:44); and after three hours, or at the “ninth hour,” the end (Mark 15:33-34, 37). But on the morning of the “third day” He rose again (Mark 16:1-4; Luke 24:7; (see Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34; Luke 18:33; 24:46). From all this, and especially from the Lord’s resurrection on the third day, the number “three” was representative and significative, as may be seen from the following passages in the Word:

When Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai, He told Moses to sanctify the people today and tomorrow, and that they should wash their garments, and be ready against the third day, for on the third day Jehovah would descend (Exodus 19:10-11, 15-16).

When they set forth from the mount of Jehovah on a journey of three days, the ark of Jehovah went before them a three days’ journey to seek out a resting place for them (Numbers 10:33).

There was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days, and they saw not one another for three days, but the sons of Israel had light (Exodus 10:22-23).

(References: Matthew 20:19)


[5] The flesh of the sacrifice of a vow, or of a freewill-offering, was to be eaten on the first and second day; nothing was to be left to the third day, but the remainder was to be burnt, because it was an abomination.

So too with the flesh of the peace-offering; and if it should be eaten on the third day it would not propitiate, but the soul should carry its iniquity (Leviticus 7:16-18; 19:6-7).

He that touched one dead was to purify himself on the third day, and on the seventh day he should be clean; otherwise that soul should be cut off from Israel and one that was clean should sprinkle water upon him that was unclean on the third day and on the seventh day (Numbers 19:12-13, 19).

They who slew a person in battle, or touched one that was slain, were to purify themselves on the third day, and on the seventh day (Numbers 31:19).

(References: Leviticus 19:6-8)


[6] When they came into the land of Canaan the fruit was to be uncircumcised three years, and was not to be eaten (Leviticus 19:23).

At the end of three years they were to bring all the tithes of their increase in that year and lay it up in their gates, that the Levite, the sojourner, the orphan, and the widow might eat (Deuteronomy 14:28-29; 24:12).

Three times in the year they were to keep a feast to Jehovah, and three times in the year every male was to appear before the face of the Lord Jehovih (Exodus 23:14, 17; Deuteronomy 16:16).

Joshua told the people that in three days they should pass over the Jordan and inherit the land (Josh. 1:11; 3:2).

(References: Deuteronomy 26:12)


[7] Jehovah called to Samuel three times, and he answered the third time (1 Samuel 3:8).

When Saul wished to kill David, David hid himself in the field till the third evening. Jonathan said to David that he would sound his father on the third day. Jonathan shot three arrows by the side of the stone, and David then fell upon his face to the earth before Jonathan and bowed himself down three times (1 Samuel 20:5, 12, 19-20, 30, 36, 41).

David was to choose one of three things: seven years of famine in the land; or that he should flee before his enemies three months; or a pestilence in the land three days (2 Samuel 24:12-13).

(References: 1 Samuel 20:35-36)


[8] There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year (2 Samuel 21:1).

Elijah stretched himself upon the dead child three times and brought him to life (1 Kings 17:21).

When Elijah had built the altar to Jehovah, he told them to pour water upon the burnt offering and upon the wood three times (1 Kings 18:34).

The fire twice consumed the commanders over fifty, sent to Elijah, but not him that was sent the third time (2 Kings 1:13).

It was a sign to king Hezekiah that they should eat that year what sprung up spontaneously, in the second year the aftergrowth, but in the third year they should sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them (2 Kings 19:29).

(References: 1 Kings 17:21-22; 2 Kings 1:13-14)


[9] Daniel entered into his house and had the windows open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, and here three times a day he blessed upon his knees and prayed (Daniel 6:11, 14).

Daniel mourned three weeks of days, eating no pleasant bread, nor drinking wine, nor anointing himself, until the three weeks of days were fulfilled (Daniel 10:2-3.

Isaiah went naked and barefoot three years, for a sign and a wonder upon Egypt and upon Cush (Isaiah 20:3).

Out of the candlestick went forth three branches on each side, and three almond-shaped cups on each branch (Exodus 25:32-33).

In the Urim and Thummim there were three precious stones in each row (Exodus 28:17-19).

(References: Daniel 6:10, Daniel 6:13; Exodus 28:17-20)


[10] In the new temple there were to be three chambers of the gate on this side and three on that side, and they three should have one measure; at the porch of the house the breadth of the gate should be three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side (Ezekiel 40:10, 21, 48).

In the new Jerusalem there were to be three gates to the north, three to the east, three to the south, and three to the west (Ezekiel 48:31-34; Revelation 21:13).

So in the following passages:

Peter denied Jesus thrice (Matthew 26:34, 26:69-75 d following verses).

The Lord said to Peter three times, “Lovest thou Me?” (John 21:17).

Also in the parable, the man who planted the vineyard sent servants three times, and at length his son (Luke 20:12; Mark 12:2, 4-6).

They who labored in the vineyard were hired at the third hour, the sixth hour, the ninth hour, and the eleventh hour (Matthew 20:1-17).

Because the fig tree did not bear fruit for three years, it was to be cut down (Luke 13:6-7).

(References: Matthew 20:1-16, Matthew 26:69)


[11] As a trine and a third were representative, so also was a third part; as that in the meat offering of fine flour two tenths were mixed with a third part of a hin of oil and the wine for a libation was a third part of a hin (Numbers 15:6-7; Ezekiel 46:14).

The prophet Ezekiel was to pass a razor upon his head, and upon his beard, and then divide the hair and burn a third part in the fire, and smite a third with the sword, about it [the city], and scatter a third to the wind (Ezekiel 5:1-2, 11).

In the whole land, two parts were to be cut off and the third was to be left; but the third was to be brought through the fire and proved (Zech. 13:8-9).

[12] When the first angel sounded there came hail and fire mingled with blood, and it fell upon the earth so that a third part of the trees were burnt up. The second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, and a third part of the sea became blood; because of which a third part of the creatures in the sea having souls, died, and a third part of the ships were destroyed. The third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven burning like a lamp, and it fell upon a third part of the rivers; the name of the star was Wormwood. The fourth angel sounded, and a third part of the sun was smitten, and a third part of the moon, and a third part of the stars, so that a third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night in like manner (Revelation 8:7-12).

[13] The four angels were loosed to kill a third part of men (Revelation 9:15).

By these three were the third part of men killed, by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone, which proceeded out of the mouth of the horses (Revelation 9:18).

The dragon drew with his tail a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth (Revelation 12:4).

A “third part,” however, signifies some, and what is not yet complete; but the “third,” and a “trine,” what is complete; and this, of evil to the evil, and of good to the good.

(References: 1 Kings 17:21-22; Daniel 6:10, Daniel 6:13; Exodus 28:17-20; Genesis 22:4; Matthew 20:1-16, Matthew 26:69)


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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2813, 2904, 2905, 2906, 3016, 3056, 3176, 3251, 3281, 3298, 3390, 3462, 3498, 3613, 3703, 3785, 3786, 3814, 3827, 3830, 3837, 3938, 3941, 4010, 4060, 4119, 4283, 4334, 4387, 4495, 4548, 4616, 4780, 4814, 4850, 4882, 4901, 4916, ...

The Last Judgment 39

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 122


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 20, 137, 194, 242, 285, 571

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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