From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

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)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

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

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3


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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #3128

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

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.

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

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


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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #193

Apocalypse Explained (Tansley translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

193. I will come on thee as a thief. That this signifies an unexpected time of death, when all knowledges procured from the Word which have not acquired spiritual life will be taken away, is evident from the signification of I will come as a thief, when it is said of those who are not wakeful, that is, who do not procure for themselves spiritual life, as being that all such knowledges will be taken away from them. The reason why an unexpected time of death is also signified by the same words is, that death comes unexpectedly, and yet man, after death, remains in that state of life to eternity which he had procured for himself in the world; therefore he must be wakeful. Because it is known but to few, that all knowledges (cognitiones) procured from the Word which have not acquired spiritual life are taken away, it is therefore expedient to say how this is effected. All the things that are in a man's spirit remain with him to eternity; but the things that are not there, after death, when he becomes a spirit, are dissipated. Those things remain in his spirit which he had thought from himself, consequently which, when he was alone, he had thought from his own love; for then his spirit thinks from itself, and not from the things in his bodily memory which do not make one with his love.

There are two states of man, one when he thinks from his spirit, and the other when he thinks from his bodily memory; if these two states do not make one, a man can think one thing with himself, and think and speak another thing with others.

(References: Revelation 3:3)


[2] For example, a preacher who loves himself and the world above all things, and lightly esteems the Divine, so that he even denies it in heart, and consequently devises evils of every kind with the crafty and deceitful of the world, nevertheless, when he speaks with others, especially when he is preaching, can speak as it were from zeal for the Divine and for Divine truths, and indeed on such occasions he can think in like manner; but this is a state of his thought from the bodily memory, which is evidently separated from the state of his thought from the spirit; for when he is left alone he thinks against them. This is the state which remains with man after death, whereas the former does not remain, because it belongs to his body and not to his spirit. Wherefore, when he becomes a spirit, as is the case when he dies, all the knowledge, which he had acquired from the Word, and which do not agree with the life of the love of his spirit, he rejects; but the case is different with those who, when left to themselves, think justly concerning the Divine, concerning the Word and the truths of the church therefrom, and love them, so as to desire to live according to them. The thoughts in the spirit of such persons make one with their thoughts from the bodily memory, thus one with the knowledges of truth and good which they have obtained from the Word; and so far as they do so, so far those knowledges obtain spiritual life; for they are raised up by the Lord from the external or natural man into the internal or spiritual man, and constitute the life of the latter, that is, of the understanding and will. The truths in the internal man are those which live, because they are Divine, and hence man has life in his internal from them. That this is the case, I have known from much experience; if I were to adduce the whole of it, it would fill many pages (something concerning it may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 491-498, 499-511; and above, n. 114).

(References: Heaven and Hell 491-498, 499-511; The Apocalypse Explained 114)


[3] From these considerations it is now evident what is meant in the spiritual sense by I will come on thee as a thief, namely, that after death all knowledges procured from the Word which have not acquired spiritual life will be taken away. The same is also meant in the Apocalypse, where it is said,

"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked" (xvi. 15).

It is said as a thief, because evils and the falsities thence derived in the natural man take away and cast out the knowledges of truth and good which are therein from the Word; for the things which are not loved are cast out. There is in every man either the love of evil, and thence of falsity, or the love of good, and thence of truth; these two loves are opposed to each other, wherefore he who is in the one cannot be in the other;

"For no one can serve two masters," but will love the one and hate the other (Matt. vi. 24).

(References: Matthew 6:24; Revelation 16:15)


[4] Because evils and falsities thence penetrate from the interior, and, as it were, break through the wall which is between the state of man's thought from the spirit and the state of his thought from the body, and cast out the knowledges of good and truth which have their abode outwardly in man, therefore those evils and falsities are what are meant by thieves. So also in the following passages. In Matthew:

"Lay not up treasures upon earth, but in heaven, where thieves do not break through nor steal" (vi. 19, 20).

Treasures are knowledges of truth and good; to lay them up in heaven is in the spiritual man, for the spiritual man is in heaven. (That treasures signify knowledges of truth and good, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 1694, 4508, 10,227; and that the internal spiritual man is in heaven, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 36-50.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1694, Arcana Coelestia 4508, Arcana Coelestia 10227; Matthew 6:19-20; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 36-50)


[5] Again:

"Be wakeful, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord will come. Know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up" (xxiv. 42, 43).

By this is meant, that if a man knew the hour of his death, he would prepare himself, not indeed from the love of truth and good, but from the fear of hell; and whatever a man does from fear remains not with him, but what he does from love remains; therefore he must prepare himself continually (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 143, 168).

(References: Matthew 24:42-43; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 143, 168)


[6] In Obadiah:

"If thieves come to thee, if destroyers by night, how wilt thou be cut off, will they not steal till they have enough?" (verse 5).

Here also falsities and evils are called thieves, and are said to steal; falsities are signified by thieves, and evils by destroyers by night; it is said by night, because night signifies a state in which there is neither love nor faith.

(References: Obadiah 1:5)


[7] In Joel:

"They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up into the houses, they shall enter in at the windows like a thief" (ii. 9).

The subject here treated of is the vastation of the church by falsities from evil; a city and a wall signify things of doctrine; houses and windows, things of the mind that receives; houses, that part of the mind which is called the will, where good is, and windows that part of the mind which is called the understanding, where truth is. (That city in the Word signifies doctrine, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 402, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493; that wall denotes the truth of doctrine protecting, n. 6419; that house denotes that part of the mind which is called the will, where good is, n. 2231, 2233, 2559, 3128, 5023, 6690, 7353, 7910, 7929, 9150; and that windows denote that part of the mind which is called the understanding, where truth is, n. 655, 658, 3391.) Hence it is evident what is signified by running on the wall, climbing up into the houses, and entering in at the windows like a thief.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 402, 655, 658, Arcana Coelestia 2231, 2233, 2449, 2559, 2712, 2943, 3128, 3216, 3391, Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493, Arcana Coelestia 5023, Arcana Coelestia 6419, 6690, 7353, 7910, 7929, Arcana Coelestia 9150; Joel 2:9)


[8] In Hosea:

"I healed Israel; then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the evils of Samaria; for they commit falsehood, and the thief cometh in, and the troop spreadeth itself without" (vii. 1).

The iniquity of Ephraim signifies the falsities of the understanding; and the wickedness of Samaria, the evils of the will; to commit falsehood, is to think and will falsity from evil; the thief signifies falsity taking away and dissipating truth; and the troop spreading itself without signifies evil casting out good. (That Ephraim is the understanding of such things as pertain to the church, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296; that a lie denotes falsity from evil, n. 8908, 9248; that a troop denotes good casting out evil, and, in the opposite sense, evil casting out good, n. 3934, 3935, 6404, 6405.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3934-3935, 3969, Arcana Coelestia 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267, 6296, 6404-6405, Arcana Coelestia 8908, Arcana Coelestia 9248; Hosea 7:1)


[9] These things are adduced, in order that it may be known that a thief in the Word signifies falsity laying waste, that is, taking away and destroying truth. It was shown above that after death all knowledges of truth and good from the Word, which have not been used to acquire spiritual life, are taken away, consequently from those who have not become spiritual by knowledges from the Word. The same thing is also signified by many passages in the historical parts of the Word; still no one can see this, unless he is acquainted with the spiritual sense of the Word. This is signified by the sons of Israel borrowing from the Egyptians vessels of gold, and vessels of silver, and garments, and thus taking them away as it were by theft; concerning which it is thus written in Moses:

They were commanded to borrow "of the Egyptians vessels of gold, and vessels of silver, and raiment. And Jehovah gave the people favour in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them; and thus they spoiled the Egyptians" (Exod. xii. 35, 36).

By the Egyptians are represented those who are merely natural, although they possess many knowledges (cognitiones); by the sons of Israel those who are spiritual; by vessels of silver and of gold, and also by raiment, are signified the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good which those who are spiritual apply to good, but which the natural apply to evil and thus destroy.

Similar things are signified by the nations being given up to the curse, and at the same time all things pertaining to them being either burnt with fire or pulled down, which are frequently treated of in the book of Joshua, and in the books of Samuel and of the Kings; for the nations of the land of Canaan represented those who are in evils and falsities, and the sons of Israel those who are in truths and goods.

(References: Exodus 12:35-36)


[10] That the knowledges of good and truth derived from the Word are to be taken away from those who have not procured for themselves spiritual life, is also meant in the Lord's parables concerning the talents and pounds, given to the servants, with which to trade and make gain, and concerning the servant who traded not and gained nothing; of this one it is thus said:

To him who hid his talent in the earth, the lord said, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away that which he hath, and cast the useless servant into outer darkness (Matt. xxv. 14-30).

And in another place:

He came who had received one pound saying, "Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin." The Lord said, "Wherefore then gavest thou not my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. I say unto you, That unto every one that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him" (Luke xix. 13-26).

In these passages, talents, pounds, and money signify knowledges of truth and good from the Word. To trade with these, to gain by them, to give them to the exchangers, or into the bank, signifies, to procure to themselves spiritual life and intelligence by them; putting them away in the earth, and in a napkin, signifies that they are only in the memory of the natural man; of these it is therefore said that what they have shall be taken away from them, according to what has been explained in the beginning of this article.

(References: Luke 19:13-26, Luke 19:13-25; Matthew 25:14-30)


[11] This is the case with all in the other life who have procured to themselves knowledges from the Word, and have not committed them to life, but only to memory. Those who have knowledges from the Word in the memory only, however numerous such knowledges may be, and have not committed them to life, remain still natural as before. To commit to life knowledges from the Word is to think from them when man, left to himself, thinks from his spirit, and to will them and do them; for this is to love truths because they are truths; and those who thus act, are those who become spiritual by means of knowledges from the Word.

(References: Luke 19:13-25; Revelation 3:3)

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 181, 591, 1005


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


Translate: