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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 #3048

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3048. The servant took ten camels, of the camels of his lord, and departed. That this signifies general memory-knowledges in the natural man, is evident from the signification here of “servant,” as being the natural man (see above, n. 3019, 3020) and from the signification of “ten,” as being remains (that these are goods and truths with man stored up by the Lord, may be seen above, n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 661, 1050, 1906, 2284; and that “ten,” or remains, when predicated of the Lord, are the Divine things which the Lord acquired for Himself, n. 1738, 1906); and also from the signification of “camels,” as being general memory-knowledges; and because these were Divine, or acquired by the Lord, it is said that they were “ten,” and then it is said that they were “camels, of the camels of his lord.” That he “departed,” signifies the initiation thereby which is treated of in this chapter.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 560-561, 660-661, Arcana Coelestia 3019-3020)


[2] The subject here is the process of the conjunction of truth with good in the Lord’s Divine rational; first, the process of initiation (n. 3012-3013), the nature of which is described in a series; here, that the Lord separated in the natural man the things which were from Himself, that is, which were Divine, from those which were of the maternal. The things which were from Himself, or which were Divine, are the things by which the initiation was effected; and they are here the “ten camels, of the camels of his lord.” And hence it is that in the following verses much mention is made of “camels” as that he made the camels fall on their knees without the city (verse 11); that Rebekah also gave drink to the camels (verses 14, 19-20); that they were brought into the house, and that straw and provender were given them (verses 31-32); and further, that Rebekah and her girls rode upon the camels (verse 61); and that Isaac saw the camels coming; and when Rebekah saw Isaac, that she alighted off her camel (verses 63-64). Camels are mentioned so often because of the internal sense, in which they signify the general memory-knowledges in the natural man, from which comes the affection of truth which is to be initiated into the affection of good in the rational, and this in the usual way, as shown above; for the rational as to truth cannot possibly be born and perfected without memory-knowledges and knowledges.

[3] That “camels” signify general memory-knowledges is evident from other passages in the Word where they are mentioned, as in Isaiah:

The prophecy of the beasts of the south: In the land of straitness and distress; from whence come the young lion and the old lion, the viper and the flying fire serpent; they carry their riches upon the shoulder of young asses, and their treasures upon the hump of camels, to a people that shall not profit; for Egypt shall help in vain and to no purpose (Isaiah 30:6-7).

The “beasts of the south” denote those who are in the light of knowledges, or in knowledges, but in a life of evil; “carrying their riches upon the shoulder of young asses” denotes the knowledges pertaining to their rational (that a “young ass” is rational truth may be seen above, n. 2781); “their treasures upon the hump of camels,” denotes the knowledges pertaining to their natural; the camels’ “hump” is what is natural; the “camels” themselves signify the general memory-knowledges which are there; the “treasures” are the knowledges which they hold as precious; that “Egypt shall help in vain and to no purpose” denotes that memory-knowledges are of no use to them; that “Egypt” is memory-knowledge may be seen above (n. 1164-1165, 1186, 1462, 2588 the end). That “camels” here are not camels is plain; for it is said “the young lion and the old lion carry their treasures upon the hump of camels”; and anyone can see that some arcanum of the church is hereby signified.

(References: Isaiah 21:6-9)


[4] Again:

The prophecy of the wilderness of the sea: Thus hath the Lord said, Go, set a watchman; let him declare what he seeth: and he saw a chariot, a pair of horsemen, a chariot of an ass, a chariot of a camel, and he hearkened diligently. And he answered and said, Babel is fallen, is fallen (Isaiah 21:1, 6-7, 9).

The “wilderness of the sea” here denotes the emptiness of memory-knowledges that are not for use; a “chariot of an ass,” a collection of particular memory-knowledges; a “chariot of a camel,” a collection of general memory-knowledges in the natural man. It is the empty reasonings with those signified by “Babel” which are thus described.

[5] Again:

Thy heart shall be enlarged because the multitude of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the wealth of the nations shall come unto thee. The abundance of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah (Isaiah 60:5-6).

This is concerning the Lord, and concerning the Divine celestial and spiritual things in His natural: the “multitude of the sea” denotes the immense supply of natural truth; the “wealth of the nations,” the immense supply of natural good; the “abundance of camels,” the abundant supply of general memory-knowledges; “gold and frankincense,” goods and truths, which are the “praises of Jehovah;” “from Sheba” is from the celestial things of love and faith (see n. 113, 117, 1171). That:

The queen of Sheba came to Solomon to Jerusalem with exceeding great riches, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones (1 Kings 10:1-2)

represented the wisdom and intelligence which came to the Lord, who in the internal sense here is “Solomon.” The “camels bearing spices, gold, and precious stones” are the things of wisdom and intelligence in the natural man.

[6] In Jeremiah:

To Arabia, and to the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babel smote: Arise ye, go up to Arabia, and lay waste the sons of the East. Their tents shall they take, and they shall carry away for themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels. And their camels shall be a booty, and I will scatter them to every wind (Jeremiah 49:28-29, 32).

Here “Arabia and the kingdoms of Hazor,” in the opposite sense, denote those who are in knowledges of celestial and spiritual things, but for the end of no other use than that they may be esteemed wise and intelligent by themselves and the world; the “camels which should be taken away from them, and should be for a booty, and should be scattered to every wind,” are in general the memory-knowledges and the knowledges of good and truth which are also taken away from them in the life of the body by their believing contrary things, and in the other life wholly.

[7] In Zechariah:

And this shall be the plague wherewith Jehovah will smite all the peoples that shall fight against Jerusalem; thus shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of every beast (Zech. 14:12, 15).

Here the “plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass,” denotes the privation of intellectual things, which thus succeed in order from rational things to natural things (what is meant by the “horse,” may be seen above, n. 2761, 2762; what by the “mule” n. 2781; and what by the “ass,” n. 2781); “camels” denote the general memory-knowledges in the natural man. The like was signified by the murrain in Egypt, which was “Upon the cattle in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels,cupon herd and upon flock” (Exodus 9:2-3).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2761-2762)


[8] From these passages it is evident that by “camels” in the internal sense of the Word are signified the general memory-knowledges of the natural man. General memory-knowledges are those which include in themselves many particulars, and these singulars; and they form in general the natural man as to the intellectual part of it.

(References: Genesis 24:10; Isaiah 21:6-9)

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Isaiah 21:6-7

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6 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

7 And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed:

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Explanation of Isaiah 21      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 21

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation)

1. THE burden of the desert of the sea. Like the whirlwinds of the south rushing along; from the desert he cometh, from the terrible land.

2. A grievous vision is revealed unto me: the treacherous deals treacherously, and the spoiler spoils! Go up, O Elam; besiege,

O Media! I have made all her sighing to cease.

VERSE 1. As to the meaning of "burden", see Chapter 13:1, the Exposition.

The desert of the sea:The "sea" signifies a gathering together, or a collection of scientifics from which come reasonings concerning Truth; the "sea" also 'signifies the natural and sensual principles, for these are the things which contain. Truth in the natural or external man is Truth in science, and the knowledges of Truth in the external or natural man are called scientifics; whereas Truth in the spiritual or internal man is Truth in faith. For by virtue of Truth, science is made truth in faith, when it is elevated out of the natural or external into the spiritual or internal. Hence it is that truths appertaining to a man in childhood, are truths in science; but in adult age, if he suffers himself to be regenerated, they become truths in faith, for the internal man is successively opened even to that age. The ground and reason 'why" sea" denotes the gathering together of scientifics, is, because" waters", "fountains", and "rivers" signify truths, 'hence their being gathered together denotes "seas." That this is the case, is also manifest from the passages ill the Word where mention is made of the "sea" or "seas", as in David :

"The earth is Jehovah's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. He has founded it upon the seas, and upon the rivers He has established it." (Psalm 24:1, 2)

Where the "earth" and the "world" denote the church; the "seas" upon which He has founded the world, are cientific truths; the "rivers" upon which He has established it, are the truths of faith. That the earth, world, seas, and rivers are not there meant, is evident; for the world is not founded upon the seas, nor established upon rivers. Many passages might be adduced in proof of the spiritual signification of "sea", when mentioned in the Word; but there is space only for one from Jeremiah:

"The sea came up over Babel; by the multitude of the waves thereof she was covered. The cities thereof are reduced to desolation." (Jeremiah 51:42, 43) "Babel" denotes worship which in externals appears holy, but in internals is profane. (See above, Chapter 13 and 14, the Exposition.) The "sea coming over Babel" denotes the false grounded in scientifics, and hence denials; the "cities which are reduced to desolation" are doctrinals. Arcana Coelestia 9755.

As to the spiritual signification of "sea", see above, Chapter 11:9 and 15, the Exposition; also below, Chapter 57:20.

Like the whirlwinds of the south rushing alonq, etc. - the winds which exist in the spiritual world appear to arise there from different quarters, some from the south, some from the north, and some from the east. Those which are from the south disperse truths with those who are in falsities, and those which are from the east disperse goods with those who are in evils. The reason of the winds dispersing them, is, because winds exist from a strong and powerful influx of the Divine through the heavens into the lower parts of the spiritual world, and here the influx comes, it fills truths and goods, that is the minds; both, internal [mentes] and external [animos] of those who are in Truths and Goods, with the Divine; wherefore they, in whom the interiors of the mind [mens] and of the animus are merely falsities, and outwardly truths mixed with falsities and goods mixed with evils, cannot sustain such influx from the Divine, whence they betake themselves into their own falsities and evils which they love, and reject the truths and goods which they do not love, except for the sake of self and, for the sake of appearances. Apocalypse Explained 419. See also above, Chap, Isaiah 17:13, the Exposition.

From the desert, from the terrible land. - [These words depict the church as devastated by Babylon, or by dominion grounded in self-love. (See Chap, xiii. and xiv., the Exposition.) The church is a desert when its truths are falsified and perverted, and a terrible land when its goods are adulterated and profaned. The "vision" of such a land is, indeed, grievous.]

Verses 1, 6, 7, 9. The burden of the desert of the sea, etc. - The "desert of the sea "signifies the vanity of those scientific things [or more knowledges], which are acquired not for the purposes of use [to the spiritual life]. The "chariot of asses" signifies a heap of particular scientifics, and a "chariot of camels" a heap of general scieutifics, which are in the natural man. The vain reasonings which are with those who are signified .by "Babel", (verse 9.) are thus described. Arcana Coelestia 3048.

Verse 2. A grievous vision is revealed unto me, etc. - See Chap, Isaiah 1:1, the Exposition, as to the true nature of the "visions" of the prophets.

The treacherous dealetlh treacherously, etc. - To act "treacherously", or perfidiously, is to act against revealed. Truths; [and to "spoil" is to act against what is Good.] Apocalypse Explained 710.

Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media! - That by "Elam" is signified the science which is of the natural man, is evident from those passages in the Word where "Elam" is named, as in Jeremiah "Behold, I will break the bow of Elam; the chief of their might." (Jeremiah 49:35)

By "Elam" is understood the science which is of the natural man, and hence his trust; by his "bow" is signified his science, from which, as from doctrine, he fights; by "the chief of his might" is signified his trust. For science is of no avail [to salvation] unless it serve the rational and spiritual man. Apocalypse Explained 357.

By "Elam", in a good sense [when the science or knowledge of Truth is made to serve the spiritual man], is signified faith from charity, as is evident from the essence of the internal church. The internal church is that with which charity is the principle from which it thinks and acts. The first offspring of charity is faith, for from this, and from no other source is faith. Thus it is said "I will set My throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, says the Lord; and I will bring again the captivity of Elam:" (Jeremiah 49:38, 39)

And in Isaiah:

"Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media!" (Isaiah 21:2)

In which passage the devastation of the church by Babel, is treated of, which: devastation is signified by "the treacherous dealing treacherously, and the spoiler spoiling. ". "Elam" there is the internal church, and "Media" the external, or external worship in which is internal. That" Media." [or Madai] is such a church, or such a worship, is evident from Genesis 10:2, where he is called "the son of Japheth." Arcana Coelestia 1228.

3. Therefore are my loins filled with pain; pangs have seized me, as the pangs of a woman ill travail: I am so bent down, that I cannot hear; I am so dismayed, that I cannot see.

Verse 3. Speaking of the last state of the church; when the Truths and Goods thereof cannot be received, except with much painful effort, by reason of the evils and falsities which then hinder. The "loins", which are said to be "filled with pain", signify the marriage of Good and Truth, from which is heaven and the church; which are said to be "filled with pain" when Truth cannot be conjoined with Good. Those hindrances therefore are signified by "the pangs, as of a woman in travail, which have seized her." Apocalypse Explained 721. See also above, Chapter 13:6-8, the Exposition.

4. My heart is bewildered; terror has affrighted me: the night of my pleasure has he turned into horror unto me.

Verse 4. [These words depict the consternation of those who, at the time of judgment, are in merely natural or external good, without an internal spiritual principle. This merely natural good they had assumed for selfish purposes in the world, and for the sake of appearance; but at the judgment it is taken away, and they are left to the horror of their own states.]

5. The table is prepared, the watch is set; they eat, they drink: arise, O you princes; anoint the shield!

Verse 5. Arise, O you princes; anoint the shield!- The reason why the "weapons of warfare" were anointed, was, because they signified truths fighting against falsities; and as truths from good are what prevail against falsities, and not truths without good, wherefore the weapons were "anointed with oil", which signifies good. On which account the "arms of war" represented the truths by which the Lord combats with man against falsities from evil, which are from hell.

Apocalypse Explained 315. See also Arcana Coelestia 9954; Apocalypse Revealed 779.

6. For thus has the Lord said unto me, Go, station a watchman; whatever he shall see, let him declare.

7. And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he observed diligently with extreme diligence:

Verses 6-9. The subject here treated of is concerning the advent of the Lord, and concerning a New Church on the occasion. By "a lion upon the watch-tower", is signified the guard and providence of the Lord; wherefore it is said "I stand continually upon the watch-tower, and on my ward have I continued whole nights." By "a chariot with a couple of horsemen", is signified the doctrine of Truth from the Word; and by "hearkening" [or observing], is signified a life according thereto. That a "chariot" signifies the doctrine of Truth, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 2760, 2762, 5321.

That "horseman" signifies the Word as to understanding, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 2760, 6401, 6534. Apocalypse Explained 278.

8. And he cried out, A Lion! O my lord, I stand continually upon the watch-tower, and on my ward have I continued whole nights:

Verse 8. That a "lion" signifies the Good of celestial love, and hence Truth in its power, and that, in the opposite sense, it signifies the evil of self-love in its power, may be demonstrated from those passages in the Word where a "lion" is mentioned. Arcana Coelestia 6367.

9. And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen! is fallen! and all the graven images of her gods he has broken to the ground.

Verse 9. Babylon is fallen! is fallen! and all the graven imaqes of her gods he has broken to the ground-As to the signification of "Babylon", see above, Chapter xiii. and xiv., the Exposition.

By "graven images" are signified the doctrines which are formed from man's own intelligence, and not from the Word. Arcana Coelestia 8869. See below, Chapter 40:19, 20, the Exposition; also above, Chapter 2:20.

It ought to be known that the church becomes a Babylon when charity and faith cease, and the love of self begins to rule in theirstead; for this love, in proportion as it is unchecked, rushed on, aiming to domineer not only over all which it can subject to itself on earth, but even over heaven; nor does it rest there, but it chmbs the very throne of God, and transfers to itself His Divine Power. That it did this even before the Lord's coming, appears from chapters xiii, and xiv., explained above. But the "Babylon" there treated of was destroyed by the Lord when He was in the world, as well by those who constituted it being reduced to mere idolators, as by a last Judgment upon them in the spiritual world, which is understood by the prophetic sayings that "Lucifer", who there is Babylon, "was cast into hell", and that "Babylon has fallen"; and moreover by "the writing on the wall", and "the death of Belshazzar"; and also by "the stone hewn from the rock", which destroyed the statue of which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed. But the "Babylon" treated of in the Apocalypse is the Babylon of this day, which arose after the Lord's coming, and is known to be amongst the Papists. This Babylon is more pernicious and more abominable than that whlch existed before the Lord's coming, because it profanes the interior truths and goods of the church, which the Lord revealed to the world when He revealed Himself. How pernicious, and how inwardly abominable modern Babylon is, may appear from the description given of It above, P. 163. L. J. 54, 55.

10. O my threshing, and the son of my floor! what I have heard from Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, that I have declared unto you.

Verse 10. "Threshing" signifies [when predicated of Judgment] to dissipate evils, Apocalypse Explained 316.

["The son [or chaff] of my floor" denotes the falsities in connection with the evils to be dissipated. Hence the process of Judgment is described by "the winnower's fan", and by "purging the threshing-floor." Matthew 3:12. See Chapter 5:1, note.]

Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel. - That "the God of Israel" is the Lord as to the Divine Human, is, because they who are of the spiritual church have natural ideas concerning. everything spiritual and celestial, and also concerning the Divne Being Himself; wherefore unless they thought of the Divine Being as of a Natural Man, they could not be conjoined to Him by anything of affection. For if they did not think of the Divine Being as of a Natural Man, they would either have no ideas or enormous ideas concerning Him, and would thus defile what is Divine. Hence it is that by "the God of Israel" is understood the Lord as to the Divine Human, and indeed as to the Divine Natural. Arcana Coelestia 7091.

11. The burden of Dumah. He calls unto me from Seir, Watchman, what of the night?Watchman, what of the night?

Verse 11. The sons of Ishmael were Nebajoth, the first-born, Kedar, Abdeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. (See Genesis 25:13, 14)

That these signify all things of the spiritual church, especially among the Gentiles, is evident from this representatlon of those who are here named; some of them are mentioned In the Word, especially in the Prophets, as Nebajoth, Kedar, Dumah, and Tema, and there they signify such things as are of the spiritual church, especially among the Gentiles. This also "appears from this, that there were twelve of them; and by "twelve are signified all things of faith, thus of the church. The reason why by those nations are signified the things which are of the spiritual church, is, because the ancient church, which was amongst them, was the spiritual church. (See Arcana Coelestia 1238, 2385)

But although their doctrinals and rituals were various, nevertheless, they formed one church, because they did not make faith but charity the essential. But in process of time, as charity ceased, that of the church which was arnongst them became nothing; there remained, however, a representative of the church from them, with a variety [of signification] according to that of the church which had been amongst them. Hence it is that when these people are named in the Word, [as in Isaiah 21:11, 14; 60:6, 7.] they themselves are not meant, but only that of the church which had been amongst them is signified by them. Arcana Coelestia 3268.

[By "Dumah", therefore, are signified all such in the church as are in simple good, or, well-disposed, but who are without truths; and they are here exhorted "to inquire and to come" to the church, and thus to be instructed in truths.]

Verses 11, 12. By a "watchman", in an internal sense, is meant one who observes the internal states of the church and its changes, thus every prophet is a watchman. By "night" is understood the last state of the church; by "morning", its first state. By "Seir", from which the watchman cried, is signified the illumination of the Gentiles who are in darkness; that "Seir" has this signification, may be seen demonstrated in Arcana Coelestia 4240; and that "night" is the last state of the church, see above, Chapter 15:1, the Exposition. "The morning cometh, and also the night", signifies that the men of the New Church have illumination, whilst those of the Old have night. .Arcana Coelestia 10134. See also Apocalypse Explained 179.

12. The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire you: return, come.

Verse 12. The morning cometh, and also the night, etc. - When the light of Truth does not appear, and the Truth is not received, there is a state of. the church like evening and night; but when the light of Truth appears, and the Truth is received, there is a state of the church in the world like morning and day. Hence it is that these two states of the church are called "evening" and "morning", and "night" and "day" in the Word, as might be proved from many passages. Since such things are understood by "evening" find "morning", therefore the Lord, in order to fulfil the Word, was also buried in the evening, and rose again in the morning. Con. L. J. 13.

13. The burden of Arabia. In the forest at night shall you lodge, O you [travelling] companies of Dedanim.

14. To meet the thirsty bring you forth water, O you inhabitants of the land of Tema; with bread come before the fugitive.

Verses 13, 14. To "lodge at night in the forest", is, as said of Arabia, to be desolate as to good; for "Arabia", in a good sense, signifies those who are in celestial things, that is, who are in the, goods of faith; but to "spend the night in a forest" there, signifies to be no longer in these goods. Hence the desolation which is also described by "fleeing from the face of swords, and from the face of the drawn sword", etc. (Verse 15.) The celestial things that is, the goods of faith, or what is the same thing, the works of charity which they have [or ought to have], are signified by "bringing forth water to the thirsty, and coming with bread before the fugitive." Arcana Coelestia 3240.

Verses 13-15. To "spend the night in the forest", when predicated of the "companies of Dedanim", who are those that are in knowledges, (see Arcana Coelestia 3240, 3241) is to be devastated as to Truth. The "inhabitants of the land of Tema" signify those who are in simple Good, as is the case with the well-disposed Gentiles, who, as is evident, were from Tema the soil of Ishmael. "Kedar" stands for those who are in simple Truth, of whom it is said that " they shall flee from the face of swords, and from the face of the grievous war", by which is signified that they will not sustain the combats of temptations, because no longer in Good. Arcana Coelestia 3268.

15. For from the face of swords shall they flee: from the face of the drawn sword; and from the face of the bended bow; and from the face of the grievous war.

16. For thus has the Lord said unto me, Within a year, as the years of a hireling, shall all the glory of Kedar be consumed;

17. And the remainder of the number of the bows of the mighty sons of Kedar shall be diminished: for Jehovah the God of Israel has spoken it.

Verse 15. By a "sword", in the above passage, is signified Truth combating and destroying; this destruction appears especially in the spiritual world, where they who are in falsities cannot sustain the Truth, but are in a state of anguish, as if they struggled with death, when they come into the sphere of light, that is, into the sphere of Divine Truth; and thus also they are deprived of truths, and devastated. As most expressions in the Word have also an opposite sense, so likewise has the "sword", and in that sense it signifies the false combating against Truth, and destroying it. Apocalypse Explained 131.

Verses 15-17. The subject here treated of, in the spiritual sense, is concerning the knowledges of Good, that they would perish, and that few would remain. By " Kedar", or Arabia, are signified those who are in the knowledges of Good, and, abstractedly, those knowledges themselves. That the knowledges of Truth would perish by falsities and by the doctrine of the false, is signified by "they shall flee from the face of swords, from the face of the drawn sword; and from the face of the bended bow"; the "sword" is the false combating and destroying, and the "bow" is the doctrine of the false. That the knowledges of Good would perish, is signified by these words:

"Because of the grievousness of the war, shall all the glory of Kedar be cousumed"; "the grievousness of war" denoting the state of assault [or temptation], and "all the glory of Kedar being consumed" denotes devastation. And that few knowledges would remain, is described by "the remainder of the number of the bows of the mighty sons of Kedar shall be diminished"; the "bow of the mighty" denoting the doctrine of Truth, derived from knowledges which prevail against falsities. Apocalypse Explained 357.

Verse 16. As the years of a hireling. - See above, Chap, xvi, l4, the Exposition.


---
Isaiah Chapter 21

1. THE burden of the desert of the sea. Like the whirlwinds of the south rushing along; from the desert he cometh, from the terrible land.

2. A grievous vision is revealed unto me: the treacherous deals treacherously, and the spoiler spoils! Go up, O Elam; besiege,

O Media! I have made all her sighing to cease.

3. Therefore are my loins filled with pain; pangs have seized me, as the pangs of a woman in travail: I am so bent down, that I cannot hear; I am so dismayed, that I cannot see.

4. My heart is bewildered; terror has frightened me: the night of my pleasure has he turned into horror unto me.

5. The table is prepared, the watch is set; they eat, they drink: arise, O you princes; anoint the shield!

6. For thus has the Lord said unto me, Go, station a watchman; whatever he shall see, let him declare.

7. And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he observed diligently with extreme diligence:

8. And he cried out, A Lion! O my lord, I stand continually upon the watch-tower, and on my ward have I continued whole nights:

9. And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen! is fallen! and all the graven images of her gods he has broken to the ground.

10. O my threshing, and the son of my floor! what I have heard from Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, that I have declared unto you.

11. The burden of Dumah. He calls unto me from Seir, Watchman, what of the night?Watchman, what of the night?

12. The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire you: return, come.

13. The burden of Arabia. In the forest at night shall you lodge, O you [travelling] companies of Dedanim.

14. To meet the thirsty bring you forth water, O you inhabitants of the land of Tema; with bread come before the fugitive.

15. For from the face of swords shall they flee: from the face of the drawn sword; and from the face of the bended bow; and from the face of the grievous war.

16. For thus has the Lord said unto me, Within a year, as the years of a hireling, shall all the glory of Kedar be consumed;

17. And the remainder of the number of the bows of the mighty sons of Kedar shall be diminished: for Jehovah the God of Israel has spoken it.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 21


Other references to this text:

Arcana Coelestia 482, 3048, 5321

Apocalypse Revealed 241, 437


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 278

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2 Samuel 18:25

Habakkuk 2:1

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 Before the Advent
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