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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 #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 60:5-6

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5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

6 The multitude 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 shew forth the praises of the LORD.

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Explanation of Isaiah 60      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 60

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

1. ARISE, be you enlightened; for your light is come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen, upon you.

VERSES 1, 2, 3, 20. The advent of the Lord is here treated of. "Light" is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, and "His glory and the brightness of His rising" are all things which appear in that light concerning the Lord, and concerning Faith in Him and Love to Him, "Darkness which shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples", are the obscure things of faith and of love; for the establishment of the church among the Gentiles or nations is the subject treated of. Hence it follows that by the "light" and "glory" which shall arise, and which shall be seen, and according to which they shall walk, are divine Truths concerning the Lord, and concerning faith in Him and love to Him from Him. Arcana Coelestia 10574. See also Arcana Coelestia 5922.

In these verses the Lord is treated of, and the nations are said to "come unto Him", and to "acknowledge Him as their God"; and, what is wonderful, the nations or Gentiles adore one only God under a human form; wherefore when they hear concerning the Lord, they receive and acknowledge Him; nor can the New Church be established amongst others. Arcana Coelestia 9256.

2. For, behold! darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples: but upon You shall Jehovah arise, and His glory shall be seen upon You.

Verses 2, 3. These things are said concerning the Lord. The Divine in Him is understood by "Jehovah shall arise upon You, and His glory shall be seen upon You"; the Divine Good of the Divine Love by "Jehovah shall arise upon You, and the Divine Truth from that Good by "His glory shall be seen upon You." "Nations" signify those who are in Goods, and "kings" those who are in Truths from Good; concerning the former it is said, "they shall come or walk to Your light", whereby is signified a life according to Divine Truth; and concerning the latter, "they shall walk to the brightness of Your rising", whereby is signified the life of intelligence from Divine Good; to "walk" denoting to live; "light", the Divine Truth; and the "brightness of His rising", the Divine Truth from the Divine Good, whence intelligence is derived. Apocalypse Explained 422.

3. And the nations shall come to Your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising.

Verses 3, 5, 11, 12, 6, 22. The Lord is here treated of. By the "nations" are understood all who are in the Good of Love to Him, and by "kings" all who are in Truths of Faith in Him; hence it is evident who are meant by "the nations who shall walk to Your light", and by "the host of the nations who shall be brought", and who by "the kings that shall walk to the brightness of Your rising"; and also what is understood by "You shalt suck the milk of the nations [or Gentiles], and the breast of kings"; "milk" is the delight from the Good of love, in like manner the "breasts", because from them is milk. The multiplication of Truth and the fructification of Good is described, in verse 22, by "a little one becoming a thousand, and a small one a strong nation"; but by "the nations which shall be devastated " are understood all who are in evils. Apocalypse Explained 175.

4. Lift up, thine eyes round about, and see; all of them are gathered together, they come unto you: your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.

Verse 4. Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. - As to what is understood in the spiritual sense by these words, see above, Chapter 49:17, 22, 23, the Exposition.

5. Then shalt you behold, and shalt overflow [with joy]; and your heart shall be astonished, and dilated: when the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto you; when the wealth of the nations shall come unto you.

Verses 5, 6. When the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto You, etc. - These words treat of the Lord and of the divine, celestial, and spiritual things in His Natural [principle]. The "abundance of the sea" signifies the immense abundance of natural Truth; the "multitude of camels" denotes the abundance of common scientifics; "gold and frankincense" are Goods and Truths, which are "the praises of Jehovah"; "from Sheba" is from the celestial things of love and faith; as may be seen, n. Arcana Coelestia 113-117.

"The queen of Sheba coming to Solomon at Jerusalem, with very great riches, and with camels carrying spices; and very much gold, and precious stones", (1 Kings 10:1, 2) represented the wisdom and intelligence which the Lord [in the process of His glorification] acquired, who, in the internal sense, is "Solomon"; "the camels carrying spices, gold, and precious stones", signify those things which belong to wisdom and intelligence in the natural man. Arcana Coelestia 3048.

These words also treat of the Lord's spiritual kingdom. The "dromedaries of Midian and Ephah" signify doctrinals; the doctrinals of Good are "gold"; the doctrinals of Truth are "frankincense"; both are "the praises of Jehovah." Hence it may be seen what "Midian" and "Ephah" signify, namely, "Midian" signifies those who are in the Truths of Faith, and as "Ephah" (Genesis 25:4) was a son of Midian, derivations from the Truths of Faith are signified by him, [or by "the land of Ephah."] No one is admitted into the Lord's kingdom, but those who are in the Good of Faith; for the Good of Faith is the Good of life. The life of Faith remains, but not the doctrine or Truth of Faith, except so far as it forms one with the life; nevertheless, those who are in the Truth of Faith, that is, who profess Faith, and call it the essential [of religion], because they have been so taught to believe, and are, notwithstanding, in the Good of life; that is, who in heart are Christians, and not in mouth only, are in the spiritual kingdom of the Lord; for anyone can be easily persuaded to believe that Faith is the essential, when he has been thus taught by masters, and when in his juvenile age he has been imbued with that opinion, and because those who are esteemed most learned, and who are the heads of the church, thus teach. Arcana Coelestia 3242.

6. A multitude of camels shall cover you; the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all of them from Sheba shall come: gold and frankincense shall they bring; and they shall show forth the praises of Jehovah.

Verse 6. The advent of the Lord is here treated of.

By "the multitude of camels, and the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah"; are signified knowledges of Truth and of Good in abundance; "all from Sheba, who shall come", signifies from the knowledges of genuine Truth and Good; "Sheba" denoting such knowledges, as may be seen in Arcana Coelestia 1171, 3240.

By "the gold and frankincense which they shall bring", is signified worship from spiritual Good, which is derived from celestial Good, - "gold" signifying celestial Good, and "frankincense" spiritual Good; on account of such worship being meant, it is therefore said "They shall show forth the praises of Jehovah", by which is signified the preaching of the Gospel concerning the Lord, also the worship of Him. Apocalypse Explained 324.

Verses 6, 9. A multitude of camels shall cover you; - the islands shall trust in Me, etc.

- By "a multitude of camels" are understood all who are in the kuowledges of Truth and of Good, see Arcana Coelestia 3048, 3071; by "Sheba", whence they shall come, is understood where the knowledges themselves are, see Arcana Coelestia 1171, 3240; by "the gold and frankincense which they shall bring", are understood Goods and Truths derived from Good, which thence are grateful, - by "gold" the Goods, and by "frankincense" the Truths, see Arcana Coelestia 9993, 10177.

By "the islands which shall trust in Him", are understood the nations which are in divine worship, but more remote from the Truths of the church, see Arcana Coelestia 1158; by "the ships of Tarshish" are understood common knowledges of Truth and of Good, in which are contained many particular knowledges, see Arcana Coelestia 1977, 6385; by "the sons whom they shall bring from afar", are understood Truths more remote, see Arcana Coelestia 8613, 9487; "sons" denote Truths, as above, and "from afar" denotes which are more remote; by "their silver and their gold with them", are signified the knowledges of Truth and of Good which they possess.

Similar things are understood by what is written in Matthew, that "the wise men who came from the East to the place where the Lord was born, offered gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh"; (Matthew 2:11) they offered those things because they signified Goods and Truths; interior and exterior, which are gifts grateful to God. Apocalypse Explained 242.

7. All the cattle of Arabia shall be gathered unto you; unto you shall the rams of Nebaioth minister: they shall ascend with good pleasure on Mine altar; and I will glorify the house of My glory.

Verse 7. The subject here treated of is concerning the advent of the Lord, and these words have reference to the Lord Himself. By "all the cattle of Arabia which shall be gathered together", and by "the rams of Nebaioth which shall minister", are signified all spiritual Goods, external and internal; by "cattle" are understood external Goods, and by "rams" internal Goods; and by "Arabia " and "Nebaioth" things spiritual. "They shall ascend with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory", signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, in which these things will be; the "altar" denoting His Divine Human as to Divine Good, and the "house of glory" the same us to Divine Truth, That the Lord as to His Divine Human is here understood appears from the former part of this chapter, where it is said, "Jehovah shall arise upon You, and His glory shall be seen upon You"; as also by what follows, where the Lord is described as to the Divine Wisdom, with which He was to be filled as to His Humanity. Inasmuch as the "altar", in a supreme sense, signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, therefore it also signifies heaven and the church; for the angelic heaven, properly considered, is from the Divine which proceeds from the Divine Human of the Lord, whence it is that the angelic heaven in its whole complex is as one Man, and is, therefore, also called the Grand Man, concerning which see what is shown in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 59-86; and concerning the like circumstance with respect to the church, see n. 57 in the same work; and inasmuch as all worship is from the Lord, for it is the Divine which is communicated to man from the Lord, in which the Lord Himself is present, hence by the "altar" is signified, in general, the all of worship which proceeds from the Good of love, and by the "temple" the worship which proceeds from the Truths derived from that Good; for all worship is either from Love or from Faith, or from Good or from Truth. Worship from the Good of love is such as exists in the celestial kingdom of the Lord; and worship from Truths derived from that Good, which Truths are also called Truths of Faith, is such as exists ill the spiritual kingdom of the Lord; concerning which see also what is further shown in the same work, n. 20-28. Apocalypse Explained 391.

The cattle of Arabia. - In respect to "Arabia" and " Kedar", see Chapter 21:11, 13, 14, the Exposition.

Verses 7, 8. All the cattle of Arabia, - the rams of Nebaioth, etc. Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows? - The illustration of the nations by the Lord's coming is here treated of.

By "all the cattle of Arabia which shall be gathered together", are signified all the knowledges of Truth and of Good; by "the rams of Nebaioth which shall minister", are signified Truths, which lend the life by virtue of spiritual affection. By, "flying like a cloud, and like doves to their windows", is denoted the investigation and examination of the Truth, from the sense of the letter of the Word; hence also by "flying" is signified circumspection; for by a " cloud" is meant the sense of the letter of the Word, by "doves" the spiritual affection of Truth, and by "windows" the Truth in the light. That such a sense is contained in these words, may appear from the signification, in the spiritual sense, of "the cattle of Arabia", of "the rams of Nebaioth", of a "cloud", of "doves." and of "windows." Apocalypse Explained 28.

8. Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows?

9. Verily the islands shall trust in Me; and the ships of Tarshish among the first: to bring your sons from afar; their silver and their gold with them: to the name of Jehovah your God, and to the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.

Verses 8, 9. These things are said concerning the Lord, and by them is signified that they who are in simple Truth and Good would receive and acknowledge Him, who are such as perceive the Truths of the Word in a natural manner, which is according to the sense of the letter, and do them. By the "islands" are signified those who are in this kind of perception of the Word; and by the "ships of Tarshish", in the beginning, are denoted the Goods which they bear and do; for "Tarshish" signifies the natural man as to knowledges of Good, inasmuch as in Tarshish was gold and silver, and the ships carried these things thence, (1 Kings 10:22) and in the beginning the "gold", by which is signified Good; and Truths being from Good, it is therefore also said, "To bring your sons from afar." And inasmuch as by "islands" and the "ships of Tarshish" are signified the knowledges of Truth and of Good appertaining to the natural man, it is therefore said, "Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows?"-"clouds" signifying the Truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, "doves" the Goods therein, and "windows" Truths from Good in light. That "ships" signify the knowledges of Truth and of Good from the Word, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 1977, 6385; and that "windows" signify Truths in light, and thence what is intellectual, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 655, 658, 3391. Apocalypse Explained 406.

10. And the sons of the alien shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister unto you: for in My wrath I smote you, but in My good pleasure have I had mercy on you.

Verse 10. "Strangers" and the "sons of the alien" denote those who do not acknowledge the Lord, and are unwilling to acknowledge Him, whether they be out of the church or within it, thus who are in evils, and in the falsities of evil; for those who do not acknowledge the Lord must needs be in evils and the falsities of evil, for from the Lord is every Good and every Truth of Good. That this is the signification of "strangers", in a bad sense, is abundantly evident from the Word. (See (Jeremiah 2:25; 51:51; see also above, Chapter 1:7, the Exposition.) But when "strangers" and the "sons of the alien" are said to "build up the walls of Jerusalem", and to be "the husbandmen and the vinedressers of the people of Israel", (Isaiah 61:5) they denote those in the church who are in mere externals of worship without internals, and who are, consequently, reduced to the performance of menial services in the church. (See Chapter 61:5, 6, the Exposition.) Arcana Coelestia 10287.

In My wrath I smote you, but in My good pleasure have I had mercy on you. - To "smite in wrath", signifies temptation; "in good pleasure to have mercy", signifies deliverance from a principle of love. Apocalypse Explained 205.

11. And your gates shall be open continually; by day and by night they shall not be shut: to bring unto you the wealth of the nations, and that their kings may be brought.

12. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly devastated.

Verses 11, 12, 18. The subject here treated of is concerning the Lord, and concerning the church about to be established by Him; and by the above particulars is described the perpetual admission of those who are in Good and thence in Truths.

By "the gates being open continually, and not shut by day and by night", is understood perpetual admission; by "the host of the nations [or Gentiles] are signified those who are in Good, and by "kings" those who are in Truths; and that all should serve the Lord, is understood by its being said that "the nation and the kingdom which will not serve You shall perish." That "nation" or "nations" signify those who are in Good, may be seen above, 11. 275; and that "kings signify those who are in Truths, n. 31. Apocalypse Explained 208.

13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto you; the fir-tree, the pine, and the box together; to adorn the place of My sanctuary, and I will make the place of My feet glorious.

14. And the sons of them that afflicted you shall come bending before you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet: and they shall call you, The City of Jehovah; The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 13. The "glory of Lebanon", or the "cedar", is spiritual Good and Truth; the "fir-tree", the "pine", and the "Lox" are natural Goods and Truths which correspond. The "place of My sanctuary" is heaven and the church, and also the Word; the "place of My feet" is heaven, the church, and the Word in ultimates; that it is also the Word is, because heaven is heaven from the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord; in like manner the church; and the Divine Truth which makes the church and heaven is the Word. Hence it was that the inmost of the Tabernacle where the Ark was, in which the Law was deposited, was called the "Sanctuary"; the "Law" is the Word. Arcana Coelestia 9406.

See further as to the meaning of the "cedar", "fir-tree", "box", etc., Chapter 41:19, the Exposition.

I will make the place of My feet glorious. - By "the place of the feet" of the Lord, in the general sense, are understood all things of heaven and the church, inasmuch as the Lord as a Sun is above the heavens; but, in a particular sense, by "the place of His feet" is signified the church; for the church of the Lord is with men in the natural world, and the natural principle is the ultimate into which the Divine [sphere] closes, and upon which it as it were subsists. Hence it follows that the church on earth is also called "the footstool of the Lord"; as in Isaiah:

"The earth is the stool of My feet." (Isaiah 66:1)

See also Matthew 5:35. Apocalypse Explained 606.

15. Instead of your being forsaken and bated, so that no one passed through you, I will make you an eternal magnificence, a joy of perpetual generations.

Verses 15, 16. I will make you an eternal magnificence, etc. - Here "Zion" and "Jerusalem" are treated of, which are the celestial church, "Zion" its internal, and "Jerusalem " its external. To "suck the milk of the Gentiles", signifies the insinuation of celestial Good; to "suck the breast of kings", denotes the insinuation of celestial Truth. Everybody can see that there is a sense hidden in these words which does not appear in the letter, and that it is holy, because it is the divine Word; otherwise, what would be the meaning of "sucking the milk of, the Gentiles, and the breasts of kings"? The sense which is hidden, and which is holy, cannot possibly appear, unless it be known what is meant by "sucking", by "milk", by "Gentiles", by "breasts", and by "kings." Arcana Coelestia 6745.

16. And you shalt suck the milk of the nations; yea, you shalt suck the breast of kings: and you shalt know that I Jehovah am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Verse 16. "Kings" denote Truths grounded in Good from the Lord, as may be seen above, n. 31; and "breasts" denote that Good, which is the Good of spiritual love. That the "breast" signifies the Good of spiritual love is from correspondence with heaven; for the whole heaven corresponds to all things of man, - the inmost or third heaven corresponds to the head, the middle or second to the breast, and the ultimate or first to the feet. On account of such, correspondence heaven is also called the Grand Man, and because the inmost or third heaven corresponds to the head, therefore by the "head" is signified the Good of celestial love, which is the Good of love to the Lord; the reason is, because that Good reigns in and makes that heaven; and because the middle or second heaven corresponds to the breast, therefore by the "breast" is signified the Good of spiritual love, which is the Good of neighbourly love, by reason that this Good reigns in and constitutes that heaven; and because the ultimate or first heaven corresponds to the feet, therefore by "feet" is signified the Good of natural love derived from spiritual, which is the Good of faith; the reason is, because that Good reigns in and constitutes that heaven. Apocalypse Explained 65.

Verses 16, 17. By "breasts" are signified the affections of what is Good and True, both because they belong to the province of conjugial love and because thereby infants are nourished hence it is that the "breasts" signify the conjunction of conjugial love with the love of infants. To "suck the breasts of kings", is to suck Good out of Truth, for by " "kings" are signified primary Truths. (See Arcana Coelestia 1672, 2015)

That by the milk of the nations [or Gentiles]", and by "the breast of lungs", something recondite, which is spiritual, is signified, must be evident; for otherwise they would be words without sense. That they signify what is good and True, is evident from those things which follow, namely:

"Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver"; for "brass" is natural Good, (Arcana Coelestia 425) "gold" is celestial Good; (Arcana Coelestia 113) "iron" is natural Truth and "silver" is spiritual Truth, (1551.) Arcana Coelestia 6432. See also 643, 1551.

17. Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver; and instead of wood, brass; and instead of stones, iron: and I will make your government peace, and your exactors righteousness.

18. Violence shall no more be heard in your land; nor devastation and destruction within your borders: but you shalt call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

Verses. 17, 18. The subject treated of in this chapter is concerning the advent of the Lord, and the New Heaven and the New Church to be then established; and by the above words is understood that they shall be spiritual and not natural as before, namely, they who are conjoined to the Lord by the Good of love; and that there shall be no more dissension or disagreement between the internal or spiritual man, and the external or natural man. That they shall be spiritual, and not natural as before, is understood by "Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver; and instead of wood, brass; and instead of stones, iron"; "brass iron and stones " signifying things natural, and "gold, silver, and iron in the place thereof", denoting things spiritual - "gold" spiritual Good, "silver" the Truth of that Good, and "iron" spiritual-natural Truth. That the Lord will rule by the Good of love, is signified by "I will make your government peace, and thine exactors justice"; "government" denoting rule, "peace" the Lord, and "justice" Good from the Lord. That there will be then no more disagreement between the spiritual and the natural man, is signified by "violence shall no more be heard in the land, devastation and destruction [confractio] in your borders"; by violence is meant dissension: by"land, the internal spiritual man, inasmuch as in that man the church is, which, in general, is signified by "land." or "earth"; by "devastation and destruction which shall be no more", is denoted that there shall be no longer any evils and falsities; and by "in your borders", is signified in the natural man; for in the things appertaining to the natural man, spiritual things are terminated. The reason why "devastation" and "destruction" signify evils and falsities is, because evils devastate the natural man, and falsities destroy [or break him up]. Apocalypse Explained 305.

Verse 18. You shalt call your walls Salvation, etc. - That "walls" signify the Truths of Faith defending, see Chapter 26:1, the Exposition.

19. The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you: for Jehovah shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God shall be your glory.

Verses 19, 20. By the "sun" here is signified the love which is merely natural, and by the "moon" the natural lumen thence derived; but by the "sun" and "moon" last mentioned, is understood the Sun and Moon of the angelic heaven; and by that "Sun" is signified the Divine Love of the Lord, and by the "Moon" the Divine Truth. This may appear from its being first said, "The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you"; and afterwards, "Your Sun shall no more go down; neither shall your Moon withdraw itself." From these considerations it is now evident what the "sun" and "moon" signify in both senses. Apocalypse Explained 401.

By "the sun and the moon which shall shine no longer", is understood the love of self, and one's own intelligence; and by "the Sun and the Moon which shall set no more", are understood love from the Lord to the Lord, and intelligence and also faith from Him. Apocalypse Revealed 919.

20. Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be fulfilled.

Verse 20. Treating concerning the Lord, and the New Heaven and the New Earth, that is, concerning the Church to be established by Him. That the Good of love to the Lord should not perish, nor the Good of charity towards their neighbour, in those who belong to that church, is understood by "Your Sun shall no more go down; neither shall your Moon withdraw itself:" for the Lord appears to those who are in the Good of love to Him as a Sun, and to those who are in Truths from the Good of charity towards their neighbour as a Moon; hence by "your Sun" is signified the Good of love to the Lord, and by "your Moon" the Good of charity, which, in its essence, is Truth from Good. That they shall be to eternity in Truths from the Good of love, and in Truths from the Good of charity, is understood by "Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be fulfilled"; the "everlasting light" is said of those who are in the Good of love to the Lord, and the "fulfilment of the days of mourning" of those who are in the Good of charity towards their neighbour, or in Truths originating in that Good; for "mourning", in the ancient churches, represented grief all account of the loss or deprivation of Truth and of Good; that "they shall be fulfilled" signifies that they shall be ended, and that they shall be in Truths from Good. From these considerations it may appear what is signified, in the opposite sense, by "the sun being darkened at his rising", and by "the moon not causing her light to shine", as may be seen in Isaiah 13:10, the Exposition. Apocalypse Explained 401.

21. And your people shall be all just; for ever shall they possess the land: the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I maybe glorified.

Verse 21. As to "just" and also as to "justice", see Chapter 57:1, the Exposition.

The work of My hands. - All things which are done by the Lord are called "the works of His hands", which are properly His works, and in themselves are Goods and Truths, as in the above passage; see also Chap, Isaiah 64:8. But "the works of man's hands" are from his proprium, hence from what is evil and false, as may be manifest from this fact, that it was prohibited to "build an altar and a temple of hewn stones, or to move an iron tool upon them." (Exodus 20:25; Joshua 8:30, 31; 1 Kings 6:7) Apocalypse Revealed 457. See also above, as to "hewn stones", Chapter 9:10, the Exposition.

22. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I Jehovah will hasten it in its time.

Verse 22. By these words is signified the multiplication of Truths and the fructification of Goods. Apocalypse Explained 175.

---
Isaiah Chapter 60.

1. ARISE, be you enlightened; for your light is come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen, upon you.

2. For, behold! darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples: but upon You shall Jehovah arise, and His glory shall be seen upon You.

3. And the nations shall come to Your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising.

4. Lift up, thine eyes round about, and see; all of them are gathered together, they come unto you: your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.

5. Then shalt you behold, and shalt overflow [with joy]; and your heart shall be astonished, and dilated: when the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto you; when the wealth of the nations shall come unto you.

6. A multitude of camels shall cover you; the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all of them from Sheba shall come: gold and frankincense shall they bring; and they shall show forth the praises of Jehovah.

7. All the cattle of Arabia shall be gathered unto you; unto you shall the rams of Nebaioth minister: they shall ascend with good pleasure on Mine altar; and I will glorify the house of My glory.

8. Who are these that fly like a cloud? and like doves to their windows?

9. Verily the islands shall trust in Me; and the ships of Tarshish among the first: to bring your sons from afar; their silver and their gold with them: to the name of Jehovah your God, and to the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.

10. And the sons of the alien shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister unto you: for in My wrath I smote you, but in My good pleasure have I had mercy on you.

11. And your gates shall be open continually; by day and by night they shall not be shut: to bring unto you the wealth of the nations, and that their kings may be brought.

12. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly devastated.

13. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto you; the fir-tree, the pine, and the box together; to adorn the place of My sanctuary, and I will make the place of My feet glorious.

14. And the sons of them that afflicted you shall come bending before you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet: and they shall call you, The City of Jehovah; The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15. Instead of your being forsaken and bated, so that no one passed through you, I will make you an eternal magnificence, a joy of perpetual generations.

16. And you shalt suck the milk of the nations; yea, you shalt suck the breast of kings: and you shalt know that I Jehovah am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

17. Instead of brass, I will bring gold; and instead of iron, I will bring silver; and instead of wood, brass; and instead of stones, iron: and I will make your government peace, and your exactors righteousness.

18. Violence shall no more be heard in your land; nor devastation and destruction within your borders: but you shalt call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

19. The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you: for Jehovah shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God shall be your glory.

20. Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for Jehovah shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be fulfilled.

21. And your people shall be all just; for ever shall they possess the land: the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I maybe glorified.

22. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I Jehovah will hasten it in its time.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 60


Other references to this text:

Arcana Coelestia 113, 117, 489, 1171, 1259, 3048, 3242, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 277, 629, 913

True Christian Religion 780


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 175, 242, 324, 331, 491

Canons of the New Church 43

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 45

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


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Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 25:4

Deuteronomy 32:43, 33:19

Psalms 67:4, 72:10

Isaiah 61:6, 66:12

Jeremiah 6:20, 33:9

Hosea 3:5

Matthew 2:11

Bible Word Meanings

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

forces
Forces denote the power of truth.

gentiles
'The time of the heathen,' as mentioned in Ezekiel 30:3, signifies the heathen, or wickedness.

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

camels
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

cover
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

Dromedaries of Midian and Ephah
The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah (Isa. 60:6) signify doctrinals.

midian
'Simran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Jishbak, and Shuah,' as in Genesis 25:2, represent the general divisions of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, in the heavens and in...

ephah
The Bible uses a somewhat dizzying array of unfamiliar measurement, leaving translators a choice between being accurate and confusing or inaccurate and clear. Since they...

Sheba
'Sheba, Havilah, Sabthah, Regmah, and Sabthecha,' the sons of Cush, as in Genesis 10:7, were several nations which were did not have internal worship, but...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

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