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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

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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 #3881

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3881. Therefore she called his name Judah. That this signifies his quality, is evident from the signification of “name,” and of “calling a name,” as being quality (n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006, 3421). The quality itself is contained in the internal sense of the words that Leah spoke: “This time I will confess Jehovah,” concerning which just above (n. 3880), namely, that in the supreme sense it is the Lord and the Divine of His love; in the internal sense, the Word and also the Lord’s celestial kingdom; and in the exterior sense, the doctrine from the Word which is of the celestial church. That these things are signified in the Word by “Judah,” wherever the name occurs, scarcely anyone as yet knows, because the histories of the Word are believed to be merely historical; and the prophecies to be of the things that have been consigned to oblivion, except some from which doctrinal tenets may be drawn. That there is a spiritual sense in them is not believed, because at this day it is not known what the spiritual sense of the Word is, nor even what that which is spiritual is. The principal reason of this is that men live a natural life, and the natural life is such that when it is regarded as the end, or is loved above all other things, it obliterates both knowledges and faith; insomuch that when spiritual life and a spiritual sense are mentioned, it is as though a kind of nonentity were spoken of, or something unpleasant and sad, that excites loathing, because it is in disagreement with the natural life. As this is now the state of the human race, they do not apprehend, nor are they willing to apprehend that anything else is meant by the names in the Word than the things themselves which are named; such as nations, peoples, persons, countries, cities, mountains, rivers; when yet in the spiritual sense names signify actual things.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 144-145; Jeremiah 18:11-12)


[2] That in the internal sense “Judah” signifies the Lord’s celestial church; in the universal sense His celestial kingdom; and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself, may be seen from many passages in the Old Testament where “Judah” is mentioned; as from the following.

In Moses:

Thou art Judah; thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s sons shall bow down themselves to thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey my son thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall be the gathering together of the peoples. Binding his ass’s foal unto the vine, and the son of his she-ass unto the choice vine, he shall wash his garment in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes. his eyes are red with wine, and his teeth white with milk (Genesis 49:8-12).

[3] This prophetic utterance of Jacob (then Israel) concerning Judah, cannot be understood by anyone-not even a single word of it-except from the internal sense; as for instance what is meant by “his brethren praising him”; and by “his father’s sons bowing down themselves to him”; by “his going up from the prey like a lion’s whelp, and stooping and couching as a lion”; or what by “Shiloh”; by “binding his ass’s foal to a vine, and the son of his she-ass to a choice vine”; by “washing his garment in wine, and his covering in the blood of grapes”; by “his eyes being red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.” As before said these expressions cannot possibly be understood by anyone except from the internal sense, when yet all and each of them signify celestial things of the Lord’s kingdom, and Divine things; and thereby it is predicted that the Lord’s celestial kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself, should be represented by Judah. But concerning all these expressions, of the Lord’s Divine mercy more shall be said in the explication of that chapter.

[4] The case is the same in other parts of the Word, especially in the Prophets, where mention is made of Judah; as in Ezekiel:

Thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the sons of Israel his companions; and take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and of all the house of Israel his companions; and join them for thee one to another into one stick, and they shall become one in My hand. I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all. My servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd; and they shall walk in My judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers dwelt; they and their sons shall dwell upon it, and their sons’ sons even forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. And I will establish with them a covenant of peace it shall be to them an everlasting covenant. I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. Thus shall My habitation be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Ezekiel 37:15-28).

Whoever supposes that by “Judah” is here meant Judah; by “Israel,” Israel; by “Joseph,” Joseph; by “Ephraim,” Ephraim; and by “David,” David; will believe that all these things are to come to pass as they are described in the sense of the letter-that Israel will be again consociated with Judah, as well as the tribe of Ephraim; likewise that David will rule over them, and that they will thus dwell upon the land given unto Jacob forever; and that an everlasting covenant will in this case be established with them, and a sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore; when in the internal sense the Jewish nation is not meant at all; but the Lord’s celestial kingdom which is “Judah,” and His spiritual kingdom which is “Israel,” and the Lord Himself who is “David.” From this it is very plain that by names are not meant persons, but things celestial and Divine.

[5] The case is similar in regard to the following words in Zechariah:

Many peoples and numerous nations shall come to seek Jehovah Zebaoth. In those days ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of a man of Judah, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zech. 8:22-23).

They who apprehend these words according to the letter will say (as the Jewish nation to this day believes) that as this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, it will be; and therefore that the Jews will return to the land of Canaan, and many will follow them out of all the languages of the nations, and will lay hold of the skirt of a man of Judah, and will pray for leave to follow them; and that then God (namely, the Messiah, whom Christians call the Lord) will be with them, to whom they must first be converted. This would be the promise of the words if by a “man of Judah” there were meant a Jew. But the subject here treated of in the internal sense is a new spiritual church among the Gentiles; and by a “man of Judah” is signified the saving faith which comes from love to the Lord.

[6] That by “Judah” is not meant Judah; but, as already said, in the internal sense the Lord’s celestial kingdom, which was represented in the church instituted with Judah or the Jews, may also be clearly seen from the following passages:

The Lord shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four wings of the earth. Then shall the envy of Ephraim depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim (Isaiah 11:12-13).

And in Jeremiah:

Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise up unto David a righteous branch, who shall reign as a king, and shall prosper, and shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell securely; and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

And in Joel:

Then ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God, dwelling in Zion, the mountain of My holiness; and Jerusalem shall be holiness. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of Jehovah, and shall water the stream of Shittim. Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem to generation and generation (Joel 3:17-18, 20).

[7] And in Zechariah:

In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness. And the chieftains of Judah shall say in their heart, I will strengthen to myself the inhabitants of Jerusalem in Jehovah Zebaoth their God. In that day will I make the chieftains of Judah like a hearth of fire in the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the peoples round about on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall yet again be inhabited in her own place, even in Jerusalem; and Jehovah shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David, and the glory of the inhabitant of Jerusalem, may not lift itself up above Judah. In that day will Jehovah defend the inhabitant of Jerusalem. And the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of Jehovah before them. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitant of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace (Zech. 12:4-10).

The subject here treated of is the Lord’s celestial kingdom-that truth should not have dominion therein over good, but that truth should be subordinate to good. Truth is signified by the “house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem;” and good by “Judah.” From this it is manifest why it is first said that “the glory of the house of David, and the glory of the inhabitant of Jerusalem, may not lift itself up above Judah;” and next, that “the house of David shall be as God, and as the angel of Jehovah, and that the spirit of grace shall be poured upon it, and upon the inhabitant of Jerusalem;” for such is the state when truth is subordinate to good, or faith to love. The “horse which shall be smitten with astonishment, and the horse of the peoples with blindness” signifies self-intelligence (n. 2761-2762, 3217).

(References: Zechariah 12:7-10)


[8] Again:

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah; and the pots in the house of Jehovah shall be like the bowls before the altar; and every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness to Jehovah Zebaoth (Zech. 14:20-21);

describing the Lord’s kingdom.

In Malachi:

Behold I send My angel who shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire; behold He cometh but who may abide the day of His coming? Then shall the meat-offering of Judah and of Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, as in the days of old, and as in former years (Malachi 3:1-2, 4 (Malachi 3:4)); where the subject treated of is manifestly the Lord’s advent. It is known that the meat-offering of Judah and Jerusalem was not then pleasant; but that worship from love was pleasant, which is the “meat-offering of Judah;” and worship from faith derived from love, which is the “meat-offering of Jerusalem.”

[9] In Jeremiah:

Thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth, Yet again shall they say this word in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; Jehovah bless thee, O habitation of righteousness, O mountain of holiness. And Judah and all the cities thereof shall dwell therein together. Behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will sow the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. Behold the days come that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers (Jeremiah 31:23-24, 27, 31-32).

And in David:

The Lord hath chosen the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion that He loved; and hath built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth hath He founded it forever (Psalms 78:68-69).

[10] From these and many other passages here omitted, it may be seen what is signified in the Word by “Judah;” and that it is not the Jewish nation, because this was very far from being a celestial church, or the Lord’s celestial kingdom; being the worst of all nations in regard to love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, and also in regard to faith; and this from the days of their first fathers, the sons of Jacob, down to the present time. (That such persons were nevertheless capable of representing the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom, may be seen above, n. 3479-3481, because in representations the person is not reflected upon, but only the thing that is represented, n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3670)

[11] But when they did not remain in the rituals ordained by Jehovah or the Lord, but turned away from them to idolatries, they then no longer represented celestial and spiritual things, but the opposite, that is, infernal and diabolical things-according to the Lord’s words in John:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will to do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth (John 8:44).

That this is signified by “Judah” in the opposite sense, may be seen from the following words in Isaiah:

Jerusalem hath stumbled, and Judah is fallen, because their tongue and their works are against Jehovah to rebel against the eyes of His glory (Isaiah 3:8).

And in Malachi:

Judah hath dealt treacherously, and abomination hath been wrought in Israel and in Jerusalem; and Judah hath profaned the holiness of Jehovah, because he hath loved and betrothed to himself the daughter of a strange god (Malachi 2:11);

and also in the following passages: Isaiah 3:1, and following verses ; 8:7-8; Jeremiah 2:28; 3:7-11; 9:26; 11:9-10, 12; 13:9; 14:2; 17:1; 18:12-13; 19:7; 32:35; 36:31; 44:12, 14, 26, 28; Hosea 5:5; 8:14; Amos 2:4-5; Zeph. 1:4.

(References: Genesis 29:35; Jeremiah 18:11-13)


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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3921, 3969, 4007, 4060, 4311, 4503, 4606, 4750, 4815, 5113, 5782, 6239, 6363, 8588, 8886, 9144, 9229, 9284, 9293, 9320, 9372, 9468, 10248, 10329

The White Horse 12

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 248


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 39, 119, 130, 222, 278, 310, 376, 433, 443


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


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