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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


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Arcana Coelestia #3652

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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3652. According to the internal sense, the signification is as now follows.

When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation;(Matthew 24:15)signifies the devastation of the church, which occurs when the Lord is no longer acknowledged; consequently when there is no love and no faith in Him; also when there is no longer any charity toward the neighbor; and consequently when there is not any faith of good and truth. When this is the case in the church, or rather in the region where the Word is in existence-that is, when men are such in the thoughts of the heart, even if not in the doctrine of their lips-then there is “desolation,” and the things just mentioned are its “abomination;” so that the words “when ye shall see the abomination of desolation” signify when anyone observes such things; and what is to be done in such a case is told in what now follows in verses qqq16 to 18.

(References: Matthew 24:15-18, 24:16-18)


[2] Which was told of by Daniel the prophet;

(Matthew 24:15) in the internal sense signifies by the prophets; for where any prophet is mentioned by name in the Word, it is not the prophet that is meant, but the prophetic Word itself; because names never penetrate into heaven (see n. 1876, 1888); and yet the same is not signified by one prophet as by another. What is signified by “Moses,” “Elias,” and “Elisha,” may be seen in the preface to chapter 18 an d in n. 2762; but by “Daniel” is signified everything prophetic concerning the Lord’s advent, and concerning the state of the church; in the present case concerning its last state. The subject of devastation is largely treated of in the Prophets, and by it in the sense of the letter is signified the devastation of the Jewish and Israelitish Church, but in the internal sense there is signified the devastation of the church in general, thus also the devastation which is now at hand.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] Standing in the holy place;

s (Matthew 24:15) ignifies devastation as to all things which are of good and truth; the “holy place” is a state of love and faith (that “place” in the internal sense is state, see above, n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387); the holy of this state is the good which is of love, and the derivative truth which is of faith; and nothing else than these is meant by “holy” in the Word, because these things are from the Lord, who is the Holy itself, or the Sanctuary.

Let him that readeth understand;

(Matthew 24:15) signifies that these things are to be well observed by those who are in the church, especially by those who are in love and faith; who now come to be treated of.

[4] Then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains;

(Matthew 24:16) signifies that they who are of the church will not look elsewhere than to the Lord, thus to love to Him, and to charity toward the neighbor (that by “Judea” is signified the church, will be shown below; that by a “mountain” is signified the Lord Himself, but by “mountains” love to Him, and charity toward the neighbor, may be seen above, n. 795, 796, 1430, 2722). According to the sense of the letter the meaning would be that when Jerusalem was besieged, as it came to be by the Romans, then they should not betake themselves thither, but to the mountains, according to what is written in Luke:

When ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her devastation is at hand. Then let them that are in Judea flee upon the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the regions enter therein (Luke 21:20-21);

(References: Arcana Coelestia 795-796)


[5] but in this passage the case is the same with Jerusalem, namely, that in the sense of the letter it is Jerusalem which is understood, while in the internal sense it is the Lord’s church (see n. 402, 2117); for each and all of the things recorded in the Word concerning the Jewish and Israelitish people are representative of the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens, and of His kingdom on earth; that is, of the church, as has been often shown. Hence it is that by “Jerusalem” in the internal sense is nowhere meant Jerusalem, nor by “Judea,” Judea. But these matters were of such a nature as to be capable of representing the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom, and the events took place for the sake of the representation. In this way the Word could be so written as to be adapted to the apprehension of the man who should read it, and also to the understanding of the angels who are with the man. This likewise was the reason why the Lord spoke in the same manner; for had He spoken otherwise, His Word would not have been adapted to the understanding of those who read it, especially at that time; nor to the understanding of the angels; thus it would neither have been received by man, nor understood by the angels.

[6] Let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house;

sig (Matthew 24:17) nifies that such as are in the good of charity should not betake themselves to those things which belong to doctrinal matters of faith. In the Word the “housetop” signifies the higher state of man, thus his state as to good; but those things which are below it signify the lower state of man, thus his state as to truth (n. 710, 1708, 2233, 2234, 3142, 3538). As regards the state of a man of the church, the case is this: While he is being regenerated he learns truths for the sake of good, for he has the affection of truth on this account; but after he has been regenerated he acts from truth and good. After the man has arrived at this state he ought not to betake himself to his former state, for if he should do this he would reason from truth concerning the good in which he is, and would thereby pervert his state, for all reasoning ceases, and ought to cease, when a man is in a state to will what is true and good; for he then thinks and acts from the will, consequently from conscience, and not as before from the understanding; and if he should again think and act from this, he would fall into temptations in which he would succumb. This then is what is signified by “Let him that is upon the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234)


[7] And let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment; (that is, his tunic), [Matthew 24:18], signifies that such as are in the good of truth should not betake themselves from the good thereof to what is doctrinal of truth. In the Word a “field” signifies this state of man in respect to good (what is meant by “field” may be seen above, n. 368, 2971, 3196, 3310, 3317, 3500, 3508); and a “garment” or “tunic” signifies that which clothes good, that is, what is doctrinal of truth, for this is as clothing to good (that a “garment” has this signification may be seen above, n. 297, 1073, 2576, 3301). Everyone can see that in these words deeper things are hidden than those which appear in the letter, for they were spoken by the Lord Himself.

(References: Matthew 24:15-18)

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Arcana Coelestia 3654, 3720, 3754, 3809, 3900, 3987, 4145, 4229, 4390, 4422, 4973, 4982, 5134, 5135, 5645, 5895, 5897, 6041, 6524, 7601, 7887, 7906, 7923, 7939, 8505, 8891, 9150, 9154, 9207, 9274, 9372, 9539, 9820, 9954, 10184

The Last Judgment 35

True Christian Religion 757

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 186, 246


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 5, 400, 684

Other New Christian Commentary

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Arcana Coelestia #5897

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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5897. 'To establish for you a remnant on the earth' means the middle and inmost part of the Church. This is clear from the meaning of 'a remnant' as forms of good coupled with truths and inwardly stored away by the Lord in a person, dealt with in 468, 530, 560, 561, 660, 1050, 1906, 2284, 5135, 5342; in this case the middle and inmost part of the Church is meant. The description 'middle and inmost part' is used because what is inmost in a person occupies the middle of the natural, where inmost things and relatively internal ones coexist. In general, where there is a series of things following one another consecutively, and another series in which they spread out and coexist, as they do in the natural, the inmost of that series are one and the same as those in the middle or centre of the second series. Such is the way that inmost things arrange themselves within more external ones. 'To establish for you a remnant on the earth 'implies that an inmost part of the Church will exist among the sons of Jacob. Not that they themselves were to be in that inmost part but that a representative of the Church, to all outward appearance a real Church, was to be established among them, where also the Word was to exist. These are the things that are meant by 'a remnant' when the expression refers to the Church understood separately from the nation.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 560-561)


[2] Reference is made in various places in the Word to 'the remnant', and also to 'the ones who are left'; but so far these two expressions have been taken in a purely literal way to mean a remnant or those that are left of a people or nation. The fact that forms of good and truth stored away by the Lord in the interior man are meant in the spiritual sense has remained totally unknown till now. Examples of this meaning occur in the following places: In Isaiah,

On that day the branch of Jehovah will be honour and glory, and the fruit of the land will be magnificence and an adornment for the escape of Israel. And it will happen, that he who remains in Zion, and he who is left in Jerusalem, will be called holy, everyone who has been written for life in Jerusalem. Isaiah 4:2-3.

Those who remained in Zion and those who were left in Jerusalem were never made holy, nor were they 'written for life' any more than anyone else. Plainly therefore 'those who remained' and 'those who were left' mean things that are holy and that have been 'written for life'; and these things are forms of good joined to truths that have been stored away by the Lord in the interior man.

[3] In the same prophet,

On that day, the remnant of Israel and those of the house of Jacob that escaped will no more lean on him that smote them; but they will lean on Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the God of power. Isaiah 10:20-22.

'The remnant' is not used to mean the remnant of any people or nation, as may be recognized from the fact that in the Word, especially the prophetical part, 'Israel' has not been used to mean Israel, or 'Jacob' to mean Jacob; both are used to mean the Church and what constitutes the Church. This being so, 'the remnant' is not used to mean a remnant of Israel and Jacob but the truths and forms of good that constitute the Church. When the expressions 'remnant of the people' and 'those left of the nation' are used they do not mean a remnant of any people or those that are left of any nation, for 'people' in the internal sense means truths, 1259, 1260, 3295, 3581, and 'nation' forms of good, 1259, 1260, 1416. The reason why this has remained unknown and seems strange - that 'a remnant' means truths and forms of good - is that the literal sense, especially where it takes the form of history, draws the mind away and powerfully withholds it from contemplating such ideas.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260; Isaiah 10:20-21)


[4] In the same prophet,

Then there will be a highway for the remnant of the people, which will be left from Asshur, as there was for Israel through the sea when they came up out of the land of Egypt.

In a similar way 'those left from Asshur' are people who have not been corrupted by means of perverted reasonings; for 'Asshur' means such reasonings, see 1186. In the same prophet,

On that day Jehovah Zebaoth will be a crown of adornment and a tiara of beauty for the remnant of His people. Isaiah 18:5.

In the same prophet,

Moreover, those that are left of the house of Judah and who escape will take root downwards and bear fruit upwards. For out of Jerusalem will go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. Isaiah 37:31-32.

In the same prophet,

He will eat butter and honey, everyone that is left in the midst of the land. Isaiah 7:22.

In Jeremiah,

I will gather the remnant of My flock from all lands where I have scattered them, and I will bring them back to their fold to give birth and to multiply. Jeremiah 23:3.

In the same prophet,

The people which were left from the sword found grace in the wilderness, when He went to give rest to him, to Israel. Jeremiah 31:2.

'The people which were left from the sword in the wilderness' were those who were called the young children - those who were led into the land of Canaan after all the rest had died. These 'young children' were those who were left', by whom were meant forms of good embodying innocence; and the leading of those people into Canaan represented incorporation into the Lord's kingdom.

(References: Isaiah 11:16, 28:5)


[5] In Ezekiel,

I will cause some to be left, in that you will have some who will have escaped the sword among the nations when you are dispersed in the earth Then those of that escape will remember Me among the nations where they will be captives. Ezekiel 6:8-9.

The reason why the forms of good and the truths stored away by the Lord in a person interiorly were represented by the ones who were left or were a remnant among the nations where they were dispersed and made captives is that a person is constantly among evils and falsities, held in, captivity by them; for evils and falsities are what is meant by 'the nations'. When separated from the internal man the external man is altogether among them, and unless the Lord gathered forms of good and truth together, which are instilled into a person at various stages during the course of his life, he could not possibly be saved. Without remnants salvation comes to none.

[6] In Joel,

It will happen, that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will escape. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be an escape, as Jehovah has said, and among those that are left whom Jehovah is calling. Joel 1:32.

In Micah,

The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest. Micah 5:8.

In Zephaniah,

The remnant of Israel will not do iniquity or speak any lie; nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth. They will feed and rest, with none making them afraid. Zephaniah 3:13.

These words describe the character of the remnant, a character which the people who were called Israel never possessed, as is well known. From this also it is evident that 'the remnant' has some other meaning, and this, it is plain, is forms of good and truth since these are what 'do not do iniquity, do not speak any lie, and no deceitful tongue is found in their mouth'.

(References: Joel 2:32)


[7] In Zechariah,

The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. This will be a marvel in the eyes of the remnant of My people. Now I will not be as in former days to the remnant of this people. For this will be the seed of peace; the vine will give its fruit, and the land will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew. I will make the remnant of this people the heirs of all those things. Zechariah 8:5-6, 11-12.

'The remnant' here is called 'the seed of peace' and they are ones in possession of truths derived from good, the fruitfulness of which truths is described by the statement that the vine will give its fruit, the land its increase, and the heavens their dew.

[8] The remnants that are meant in the spiritual sense become so sealed off through evil living and false convictions that they cease to be seen any longer. And they are destroyed when from affection truth has first been accepted and then from affection afterwards denied; for when this happens truth and falsity become mixed together, and this is called profanation. Such remnants are referred to in the Word in the following places: In Isaiah,

He will remove man (homo); and the wilderness will be multiplied in the midst of the land. Scarcely any longer will there be a tenth part in it; it will be however an uprooting. Isaiah 6:12-13.

'Ten' means remnants, see 576, 1906, 2284. In the same prophet,

I will kill your root with famine, and it will kill the ones of you who are left. Isaiah 14:30.

'This refers to the Philistines, meaning those who have a knowledge of cognitions but do not live in accordance with them, 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413. The ones who are left are called a 'root' because forms of good and truth which make man truly human spring from remnants as their root. Therefore 'He will remove man', as stated in the quotation from Isaiah immediately above, means a destroying of remnants.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 276, Arcana Coelestia 1197-1198, Arcana Coelestia 3412-3413)


[9] In Jeremiah,

The young men will die by the sword; their sons and their daughters will die by famine, and they will not have any remnant. Jeremiah 11:22-23.

This has to do with the men of Anathoth. In the same prophet,

I will take the remnant of Judah, who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt, to sojourn there, so that all are consumed; and none will escape, nor will any of the remnant of Judah be left, who have gone to dwell in the land of Egypt. Jeremiah 44:12, 14, 28.

The reason why people from Judah could not sojourn in Egypt or reside there, and why they were so strictly forbidden to do so, was that the tribe of Judah represented the Lord's celestial Church, and celestial people have no desire at all to know facts meant by 'Egypt'. For everything they know grows out of celestial good present with them and that good would perish if they were to resort to factual knowledge. Indeed since celestial good is present with members of the Lord's celestial kingdom, and celestial truth is charity whereas spiritual truth is faith, they refuse even to speak of faith, for fear that they may come down from good and look back, see, 202, 337, 2715, 3246, 4448. These matters are also what is meant by the prohibition,

He who is on the housetop must not go down to take anything out of his house, and he who is in the field must not turn back to take his clothes. Matthew 14:17, 18.

See just above in 5895. Those same matters are likewise meant by the words in Luke 17:32, 'Remember Lot's wife' - she looked back and became a pillar of salt. About looking and turning back, see 2454, 3652.

(References: Matthew 24:17-18)


[10] The utter destruction of nations with not a single person left represented the condition among them when iniquity was so complete that no goodness or truth at all, nor thus any remnant, was surviving, as in Moses,

They struck down Og the king of Bashan, and all his sons, and all his people, until they did not leave him any remainder. Numbers 21:35; Deuteronomy 3:3.

[11] In the same author,

They took all Sihon's cities, and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, and the women, and the young children; they did not leave any remainder. Deuteronomy 2:34.

And there are other places where one reads about the utter destruction of nations.

The situation with remnants - or forms of good and truth stored away by the Lord in a person interiorly - is this: Goodness and truth are implanted in a person when he seeks them with affection and so in freedom. When this happens angels from heaven draw nearer and link themselves to that person. Their link with him is what causes the forms of good coupled with truths to come to exist in the person interiorly. But when external interests occupy the person's attention, as when he is engaged in worldly and bodily pursuits, the angels depart; and once they have departed not a trace of those forms of good and truth is apparent. Nevertheless because such a link has been effected once, this person now has the capability of being linked to angels and so to the goodness and truth residing with them. But this linking does not take place any more often or fully than the Lord pleases, who controls the situation as is entirely best for that person's life.

(References: Genesis 45:7)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6156, 7556, 7601, 7831, 7923, 8505, 8891, 9014, 9207, 9274, 9666, 9922, 10153, 10221, 10543, 10627

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 47, 121, 140, 186, 279


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 41, 66, 157, 328, 346, 365, 417, 567, 593, 822


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


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