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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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Arcana Coelestia #3128

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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3128. And told her mother’s house according to these words. That this signifies toward natural good of every kind whithersoever enlightenment could reach, is evident from the signification of the “mother’s house,” as being the good of the external man, that is, natural good. (That a “house” denotes good may be seen above, n. 2233, 2234, 2559; also that man’s external or natural is from the mother, but the internal from the father, n. 1815.) The good with man is compared in the Word to a “house,” and on this account a man who is in good is called a “house of God;” but internal good is called the “father’s house,” and the good that is in the same degree is called the “house of the brethren;” but external good, which is the same as natural good, is called the “mother’s house.” Moreover all good and truth are born in this manner, namely, by the influx of internal good as of a father into external good as of a mother.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)


[2] As this verse treats of the origin of the truth which is to be conjoined with good in the rational, it is therefore said that Rebekah (by whom this truth is represented) ran to the house of her mother, for that was the origin of this truth. For as before said and shown, all good flows in by an internal way (that is, by the way of the soul) into man’s rational, and through this into his faculty of knowing, even into that which is of the senses; and by enlightenment there it causes truths to be seen. Truths are called forth thence, and are divested of their natural form, and are conjoined with good in the midway, that is, in the rational, and at the same time they make the man rational, and at last spiritual. But how these things are accomplished is utterly unknown to man; because at this day it is scarcely known what good is, and that it is distinct from truth; still less that man is reformed by means of the influx of good into truth, and by the conjunction of the two; neither is it known that the rational is distinct from the natural. And when these things, which are most general, are not known, it cannot possibly be known how the initiation of truth into good, and the conjunction of the two, is effected-which are the subjects treated of in this chapter in its internal sense. But whereas these arcana have been revealed, and are manifest to those who are in good, that is, who are angelic minds, therefore however obscure they may appear to others, they nevertheless are to be set forth, because they are in the internal sense.

[3] Concerning the enlightenment from good through truth in the natural man, which is here called the “mother’s house,” the case is this: Divine good with man inflows into his rational, and through the rational into his natural, and indeed into its memory-knowledges, that is, into the knowledges and doctrinal things therein, as before said; and there by a fitting of itself in, it forms truths for itself, through which it then enlightens all things that are in the natural man. But if the life of the natural man is such that it does not receive the Divine good, but either repels it, or perverts it, or suffocates it, then the Divine good cannot be fitted in, thus it cannot form for itself truths; and consequently the natural can no longer be enlightened; for enlightenment in the natural man is effected from good through truths; and when there is no longer enlightenment, there can be no reformation. This is the reason why in the internal sense the natural man also is much treated of in regard to its quality; thus whence truth is, namely, that it is from good there.

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Arcana Coelestia 3142, 3538, 3607, 3720, 3809, 3987, 4390, 4982, 5134, 5135, 5297, 5353, 5648, 5694, 5776, 6041, 7833, 7848, 9150, 9372

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 27


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 175, 193, 240

Other New Christian Commentary

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Apocalypse Explained #175

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

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175. To him will I give power over the nations. That this signifies power over his evils, which will be dispersed by the Lord in such case, is evident from the signification of nations, as denoting evils, concerning which we shall speak in what follows; and from the signification of giving power over them, as denoting that evils are then dispersed by the Lord. To have power, when it is said, "over the nations," is to disperse, when used in reference to evils; thus are words applied to their subjects. The reason why they are dispersed by the Lord is, that the Lord disperses evils by means of truths. He first reveals them by means of truths; and when a man acknowledges them, the Lord then disperses them. (That the Lord alone does this, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 200.) Peoples and nations are often mentioned in the Word, and it is believed by those who know nothing of the spiritual or internal sense of the Word that peoples and nations are thereby meant; whereas by peoples are meant those who are in truths, or, in the opposite sense, those who are in falsities, and by nations, those who are in goods, or, in the opposite sense, those who are in evils. And when such are meant by peoples and nations, then also, in the abstract, by peoples are meant truths or falsities, and by nations goods or evils, for the true spiritual sense is not concerned with persons, spaces, times and similar things, that are proper to nature.

(References: Revelation 2:26; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 200)


[2] The natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, is one with the things of nature, and therefore serves as a basis for the sense which is without these things. For all things in nature are ultimates of Divine order; and the Divine does not stop in the midst, but flows down to ultimates, and thus subsists. This is why the Word is such in the letter; unless it were of this nature, it would not serve as a basis for the wisdom of angels, who are spiritual. It may be seen, therefore, how much those err who despise the Word on account of its style. The reason why nations signify those who are in good, and, in the abstract goods themselves, is, that men in ancient times lived divided into nations, families and houses. They then mutually loved each other; the father of a nation loved the whole nation which sprang from himself; thus the good of love was the ruling good among them. This is why by nations are signified goods; but when men went in opposition to this, as was the case in the following ages, when empires took their rise, then nations signified evils. (See what is further said upon this subject in the small work, The Earths in the Universe, n. 49, 90, 173, 174.)

(References: Worlds in Space 49, 90, 173-174)


[3] That nations in the Word signify goods or evils, and peoples truths or falsities is evident from the following passages.

In Isaiah:

"The nations shall walk to thy light and kings to the splendour of thy rising. Then shalt thou see and flow, and thine heart shall be enlarged, because the multitude of the sea is converted unto thee, the hosts of the nations come unto thee: thy gates shall be open continually, they shall not be shut day and night, to bring unto thee the host of the nations; and their kings shall be led down; for the nation or kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish. And the nations by wasting shall be wasted. Thou shalt suck the milk of nations, yea, the breasts of kings shalt thou suck; a little one shall become a thousand, and the few a numerous nation" (lx. 3, 5, 11, 12, 16, 22).

Here the Lord is treated of; and by nations are meant all those who are in the good of love, and by kings all those who are in the truths of faith towards Him. It is therefore evident who are meant by the nations of whom it is said, they "shall walk to thy light," and by "the host of the nations that shall be brought;" and also who are meant by kings, respecting whom it is said, "they shall walk to the brightness of thy rising," and "the kings of the nations shall be led down." It is also plain what is meant by sucking the milk of the nations and the breasts of kings; milk is the delight of the good of love, similarly breasts, as milk is from them. The multiplication of truth and the fructification of good, are described by a little one becoming a thousand, and the few a numerous nation. But by the nations which shall perish are meant all those who are in evils, and also the evils themselves.

(References: Isaiah 60:3, 60:5, 60:11-12, 60:16, 60:22)


[4] In the same:

"Behold I will lift up my hand towards the nations, and towards the peoples I will lift up my standard, that they may bring thy sons in the bosom and carry thy daughters upon the shoulder; and kings shall be thy nourishers, and princesses those who shall suckle thee; with the face to the earth shall they bow down to thee" (xlix. 22, 23).

The subject here treated of is also the Lord, and those who shall worship and adore Him. To lift up His hand towards the nations, and His standard towards the peoples is to claim to Himself all who are in the goods of love and thence in truths; concerning whom it is said, that they shall bring thy sons in the bosom, and carry thy daughters upon the shoulder, sons denoting the affections of truth and daughters the affections of good (as may be seen above, n. 166). And of these it is said, kings shall be thy nourishers, and princesses those who shall suckle thee. Kings signify truths themselves, and princesses the goods thereof; and because a man is regenerated by means of these, and also nourished, it is therefore said that they shall be nourishers and those who shall give suck. (That man is regenerated by truths and by a life according to them, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 23, 24, 27, 186.) This is the internal sense of those words; and without that sense who could understand them?

(References: Isaiah 49:22-23; The Apocalypse Explained 166; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 23-24, 27, 186)


[5] In the same:

"Jehovah said, Behold I spread out upon" Jerusalem "peace as a river, and as a torrent the glory of the nations that ye may suck. He shall come to gather together all nations and tongues, that they may come and see my glory. They shall announce my glory in the nations; then shall they bring your brethren from all nations, a gift to Jehovah upon horses and upon the chariot, to the mountain of my holiness" (lxvi. 12, 18, 19, 20).

Jerusalem here signifies the church of the Lord in the heavens and on earth. It is said the church in the heavens, because the church is there also (as may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 221-227). By nations and tongues, are meant all those who are in the goods of love and thence in truths. To bring from all nations a gift to Jehovah, upon horses and upon the chariot, denotes worship from the good of love, which is signified by a gift to Jehovah. Horses and chariots signify intellectual and doctrinal things, for from these and upon these worship is founded. (That horses and chariots have such a signification may be seen in the small work, The White Horse, n. 1-5.)

(References: Heaven and Hell 221-227; Isaiah 66:12, 66:18-20; The White Horse 1-5)


[6] In the same:

"In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the peoples; the nations shall seek" (xi. 10).

The root of Jesse is the Lord; to stand for an ensign of the peoples denotes that He may be seen by those who are in truths. The nations which shall seek, denote those who are in the good of love.

It is supposed that by nations are here meant the nations that will accede to, and acknowledge the Lord, from which there will be a church, called the church of the Gentiles. Yet these are not meant by the nations, but all those who are in love and faith towards the Lord, whether within the church or without it (which may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 308, 318-328).

(References: Heaven and Hell 308, 318-328; Isaiah 11:10)


[7] In the same:

"A strong people shall honour thee, the city of the powerful nations shall fear thee" (xxv. 3).

"Open ye the gates that the righteous nation may enter in. Thou hast added to the nation, Jehovah, thou hast added to the nation, thou art glorified" (xxvi. 2, 15).

"Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye peoples" (xxxiv. 1).

In the same:

"I, Jehovah, have called thee in justice, for a covenant to the people, for a light of the nations" (xlii. 6).

In Jeremiah:

"And the nations shall bless themselves in him - and in him shall they glory" (iv. 2).

In the same:

Who shall not fear thee, O king of nations? - and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee" (x. 7).

And in Daniel:

"I saw in visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of heaven one like the Son of man. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him" (vii. 13, 14).

And in David:

"Let the peoples confess thee, O God; let all the peoples confess thee. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the peoples in rectitude, and shalt lead the nations upon earth" (lxvii. 3-4).

In the same:

"That I may see the good of thy chosen and be glad in the joy of thy nations" (cvi. 5).

In the Apocalypse:

The glory and honour of the nations shall be brought into the New Jerusalem (xxi. 26).

In Isaiah:

"Ye shall be called the priests of Jehovah; the ministers of our God, shall be said to you; ye shall eat the riches of the nations, and in their glory shall ye glory" (lxi. 6).

In Lamentations:

"The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, In his shadow we shall live among the nations" (iv. 20).

In these places, by nations are meant all those who are in love to the Lord, whether they be within the church, where the Word is, or out of it. That by nations, in an opposite sense, are meant those who are in evils, and, in the abstract, evils themselves, is evident from the following passages;

(References: Daniel 7:13-14; Isaiah 25:3, 26:2, 26:15, 34:1, 42:6, Isaiah 61:6; Jeremiah 4:2, Jeremiah 10:7; Lamentations 4:20; Psalms 67:3-5, Psalms 67:3-4, 106:5; Revelation 21:25-26, 21:26)


[8] as in Jeremiah:

"I will bring a nation upon you from far: it is a strong nation, it is a nation of an age, a nation whose language thou knowest not. It shall eat up thine harvest and thy bread, and shall eat thy sons and thy daughters: it shall eat up thy vine and thy fig-tree; it shall desolate cities with the sword" (v. 15, 17).

The vastation of the church is here treated of. By nation is meant the evil which will consummate it; hence it is said, that it shall eat up the harvest and the bread, the sons and daughters, the vine and the fig-tree, and impoverish cities with the sword. By these things are signified all the goods of love and truths of faith: by the harvest is signified a state of reception of truth from good (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 9295); by bread, the good of love (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 218); by sons and daughters, the affections of truth and good (see above, n. 166); by vine, the internal church, thus the internal things of the church (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 1069, 5113, 6376, 9277); by the fig-tree, the external church, thus the external things of the church (n. 5113); by cities, doctrines (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 402, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493); by sword, falsity destroying (see above, n. 73, 131). From these considerations it is evident that by nation is signified the evil which destroys everything of the church.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 402, Arcana Coelestia 1069, Arcana Coelestia 2449, Arcana Coelestia 2712, Arcana Coelestia 2943, Arcana Coelestia 3216, Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493, Arcana Coelestia 5113, Arcana Coelestia 6376, Arcana Coelestia 9277, 9295; Jeremiah 5:15, 5:17; The Apocalypse Explained 73, The Apocalypse Explained 131, The Apocalypse Explained 166; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 218)


[9] In the same:

"Behold I lay stumbling blocks before this people, that they may stumble upon them, the fathers and the sons together. Behold a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation from the sides of the land. They have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea, and they ride upon horses" (vi. 21-23).

In this passage also, nation denotes evil, and people falsities the stumbling blocks upon which the fathers and the sons stumble denote perversions of good and truth; fathers denote goods, and sons the truths therefrom. It is said, a people from the land of the north, and a nation from the sides of the land, because the north signifies that falsity from evil, and the sides of the land those things that are outside the church, thus they signify evils remote from the goods of the church. To roar like the sea, and to ride upon horses, denotes to persuade from the fallacies of the senses, and by reasonings therefrom.

(References: Jeremiah 6:21-23)


[10] In Ezekiel:

"The land is full of the judgment of bloods, and the city is full of violence, therefore I will bring upon them the worst of the nations, and they shall occupy their houses; the king shall mourn and the prince shall be clothed with stupor" (vii. 23, 24, 27).

The land is the church; being full of the judgment of bloods, signifies that it is immersed in falsities destroying goods; city denotes doctrine; to be full of violence signifies offering violence to the good of charity; the worst of the nations denotes dire falsities from evil; to occupy their houses denotes to possess their minds; the king who shall mourn is the truth of the church; the prince who shall be clothed with stupor signifies truth subservient. (That the land signifies the church, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 9325, 9643; that bloods denote falsities destroying goods, n. 374, 1005, 4735, 5476, 9127; that city denotes doctrine, n. 2268, 2449, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493; that violence denotes to violate the good of charity, n. 6353; that house denotes the things that belong to a man's mind, n. 710, 2231, 2233, 2559, 3128, 3538, 4973, 5023, 6690, 7353, 7848, 7910, 7929, 9150; that the king who shall mourn denotes the truth of the church, may be seen above, n. 31.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 374, Arcana Coelestia 662, 710, Arcana Coelestia 1066, 1068, Arcana Coelestia 1262, 1413, Arcana Coelestia 1607, Arcana Coelestia 2231, 2233, 2268, 2449, Arcana Coelestia 2451, 2559, 2712, Arcana Coelestia 2928, 2943, Arcana Coelestia 3128, 3216, Arcana Coelestia 3355, 3538, 4447, 4492-4493, Arcana Coelestia 4535, Arcana Coelestia 4735, 4973, 5023, Arcana Coelestia 5476, 5577, Arcana Coelestia 6353, Arcana Coelestia 6690, 7353, Arcana Coelestia 7848, 7910, 7929, 8011, Arcana Coelestia 9127, 9150, Arcana Coelestia 9325, Arcana Coelestia 9643; Ezekiel 7:23-24, 7:27; The Apocalypse Explained 31)


[11] Again, in David:

"Jehovah rendereth vain the counsel of the nations, he subverteth the thoughts of the peoples" (Ps. xxxiii. 10).

Nations denote those who are in evils, and peoples those who are in falsities; and because both the former and the latter are signified, it is therefore said, that Jehovah rendereth vain the counsel of the nations, and subverteth the thoughts of the peoples, which are two expressions as it were signifying one thing, but yet they are distinct in the internal sense, in which nations signify one thing, and peoples another.

(References: Psalms 33:10)


[12] In Luke:

"Then they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be taken captive among all nations, and at length Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the nations, until the times of the nations be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, the sea and the waves roaring" (xxi. 24, 25).

The consummation of the age is here treated of, which is the last time of the church, when there is no longer any faith because no charity, or no truth because no good. This is described in the above passage by correspondences. To fall by the edge of the sword is to be destroyed by falsities; to be taken captive among all nations is to be possessed by evils of every kind; Jerusalem, which shall be trodden under foot is the church; the sun denotes love to the Lord; the moon, faith towards Him; the stars denote knowledges (cognitiones) of good and truth; the signs in them denote that they therefore would perish; the sea and the waves roaring are fallacies and reasonings.

(References: Luke 21:24-25)


[13] In Matthew:

"Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places; and they shall deliver you up to tribulation; and ye shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake" (xxiv. 7, 9; Luke xxi. 10, 11).

These things are also said by the Lord concerning the last time of the church; and by nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom is signified that there will be dissensions of evils and falsities among themselves. By famines and pestilences are signified defect and consumption of truths; by earthquakes, the perversion of the church; by being hated by all nations is signified to be hated by all those who are in evil; by the name of the Lord, on account of which they shall be hated are signified all things of love and faith by which the Lord is worshipped (as may be seen above, n. 102, 135).

(References: Luke 21:10-11; Matthew 24:7, 24:9; The Apocalypse Explained 102, The Apocalypse Explained 135)


[14] In Ezekiel:

"Behold, Asshur a cedar in Lebanon, he is become high and his branches are multiplied: in his branches have all the birds of the heavens built their nests, and under his branches all the beasts of the field have brought forth, and in his shade have dwelt great nations. But his heart is lifted up in his height, wherefore I will give him into the hand of the strong, one of the nations, strangers shall cut him off, and the violent of the nations shall cast him down; whence all peoples of the earth have descended from his shade, and have deserted him" (xxxi. 3, 5, 6, 11, 12).

These things could not be understood by any one without a knowledge of the spiritual or internal sense of the Word. It may be supposed that they are mere comparisons, in which there is not any spiritual signification, when, nevertheless, the most minute particulars therein signify something pertaining to heaven and the church; therefore they shall be briefly explained. Asshur denotes the enlightened Rational of the man of the church; this is called a cedar in Lebanon, because a cedar signifies the same thing as Asshur, specifically truth from good in the Rational; and Lebanon denotes the mind wherein the Rational resides, because cedars grew in Lebanon. By his branches being multiplied are meant truths therefrom. The fowls of heaven building their nests in his branches signify the affections of truth; and the beasts of the field which brought forth under his branches, the affections of good. The great nations which dwell under his shade, are the goods of love; his heart lifted up in his height, is the love of self. To be delivered into the hands of the strong one of the nations, and to be cast down by the violent of the nations, denote his being destroyed as to goods and truths by the evils derived from the love of self. The people of the earth who went down from his shade and left him, signify all the truths of the church. It is therefore evident that by nations are signified goods, and, in the opposite sense, evils; by the nations which dwelt under his shade, goods, and by the nations which cut him off and cast him down, evils. (See moreover what is said and shown concerning nations and their signification in Arcana Coelestia, namely, that by nations in the Word are signified those who are in good, and hence that they signify goods themselves, n. 1059, 1159, 1258, 1260, 1416, 1849, 6005; concerning the assembly of the nations as denoting truths and goods, n. 4574, 7830; concerning the holy nation, as denoting the spiritual kingdom, n. 9255, 9256. When it is said nation and people, by nation are meant those who are in celestial good, and by people those who are in spiritual good, n. 10,288. That by nations, especially those of the land of Canaan, are meant evils and falsities of every kind, n. 1059, 1205, 1868, 6306, 8054, 8317, 9320, 9327.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1059, Arcana Coelestia 1159, 1205, 1258, 1260, Arcana Coelestia 1416, Arcana Coelestia 1849, 1868, Arcana Coelestia 4574, Arcana Coelestia 6005, 6306, Arcana Coelestia 7830, Arcana Coelestia 8054, 8317, Arcana Coelestia 9255-9256, Arcana Coelestia 9320, Arcana Coelestia 9327, Arcana Coelestia 10288; Ezekiel 31:3, 31:5-6, 31:10-12; Psalms 67:3-5; Revelation 2:26, 21:25-26)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 149, 208, 230, 242, 331, 365, 388, 400, 453, 454, 455, 519, 625, 631, 657, 684, 693, 701, 706, 726, 741, 768, 803, 872, 881, 945, 1077, 1107, 1191

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


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