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 drafts, indexes & diaries:

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


   Swedenborg Research Tools

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 #4281

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

4281. That by “the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint in his wrestling with him,” is signified that this conjunction was wholly injured and displaced in Jacob’s posterity, is evident from the signification of being “out of joint” in the sense in question, as being to be displaced, and thus to be injured. That the “hollow of the thigh” denotes conjunction, is manifest from what was said above (n. 4280); and because in the Word “Jacob” denotes not only Jacob, but also all his posterity, as is evident from many passages in the Word (Numbers 23:7, 10, 21, 2 23:23; 24:5, 1 24:17, 19; Deuteronomy 33:10; Isaiah 40:27; 43:1, 22; 44:1-2, 21; 48:12; 59:20; Jeremiah 10:16, 25; 30:7, 10, 18; 31:7, 11; 46:27-28; Hosea 10:11 Amos 7:2; Micah 2:12; 3:8; Psalms 14:7; 24:6; 59:13; 78:5; 99:4 and elsewhere).

[2] That Jacob and his posterity were of such a character that with them celestial and spiritual love could not be conjoined with natural good (that is, the internal or spiritual man with the external or natural man), is manifest from everything which is related of that nation in the Word; for they did not know, nor were they willing to know, what the internal or spiritual man is, and therefore this was not revealed to them; for they believed that nothing exists in man except that which is external and natural. In all their worship they had regard to nothing else, insomuch that Divine worship was to them no otherwise than idolatrous; for when internal worship is separated from external, it is merely idolatrous. The church that was instituted with them was not a church, but only the representative of a church; for which reason that church is called a representative church. That a representative of a church is possible with such people may be seen above (n. 1361, 3670, 4208).

[3] For in representations the person is not reflected upon, but the thing which is represented; and therefore Divine, celestial, and spiritual things were represented not only by persons, but also by inanimate things, as by Aaron’s garments, the ark, the altar, the oxen and sheep that were sacrificed, the lampstand with its lamps, the bread of arrangement upon the golden table, the oil with which they were anointed, the frankincense, and other like things. Hence it was that their kings, the evil as well as the good, represented the Lord’s royalty; and the high priests, the evil as well as the good, represented the things that belong to the Lord’s Divine priesthood, when they discharged their office in an outward form according to the statutes and precepts. In order therefore that the representative of a church might come forth among them, such statutes and laws were given them by manifest revelation as were altogether representative; and therefore so long as they were in them and observed them strictly, so long they were able to represent; but when they turned aside from them, as to the statutes and laws of other nations, and especially to the worship of another god, they then deprived themselves of the faculty of representing. For this reason they were driven by outward means, such as captivities, disasters, threats, and miracles, to laws and statutes truly representative; but not by internal means, as are those who have internal worship in external. These things are signified by the “hollow of Jacob’s thigh being out of joint,” taken in the internal historical sense, which regards Jacob and his posterity.

(References: Genesis 32:25)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 4288, 4291, 4292, 4307, 4310, 4311, 4314, 4429, 4433, 4439, 4459, 4486, 4500, 4515, 4825, 4852, 5051, 6238, 6592, 7041, 7043, 7048, 8588, 8788, 8886, 8918, 8928, 8932, 9166, 9229, 9320, 9372, 9380, 9391, 9409, 9458, 10040, 10396, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 248


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 130, 433, 443, 710


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

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

The Bible

 

Isaiah 40:27

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous    Full Chapter    Next →

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 40      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 40

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

1. COMFORT you, comfort you, My people, says your God.

VERSES 1, 2. Treating of the advent of the Lord, and of the New Church to be established by Him. That the New Church is signified by "Jerusalem", to "the heart of which they should speak"; by "the warfare which is fulfilled", is signified the state of combat against evils; by "the infirmity being expiated or pardoned", is signified evil removed by the Lord; by "receiving double for all her sins", is denoted much suffering in combat or temptation. Apocalypse Explained 1115.

2. Speak you to the heart of Jerusalem, and proclaim unto her, that her warfare is fulfilled; that her iniquity is pardoned; that she has received from the hand of Jehovah double for all her sins.

Verse 2. As to tithe signification of "warfare" and of "wars", when mentioned in the Word, see Chapter 7:1, the Exposition.

That a man must combat against falsities and evils, in order that they may be removed by the Lord, and that on this account the church is called "militant", see Doctrine of Life, 98.

Her iniquity is pardoned [or expiated]. - By "expiation" is meant deliverance from damnation, and hence the pardoning and cleansing of sin. Arcana Coelestia 9076.

How false the doctrine of Expiation (or Atonement) is, as commonly received, may be seen illustrated and shown in Arcana Coelestia 9937.

She has received from the hand of Jehovah double for all her sins. - By "double" is signified much according to quantity and quality, as is evident from the following passages:

"Let them be confounded that persecute me; break them with a double breach [destruction]." (Jeremiah 17:18)

Also much according to the quantity and quality of their conversion from evils, as in these passages :

"Comfort you, My people; because her warfare is fulfilled, her iniquity is expiated; for she has received from the hand of Jehovah double." (Isaiah 40:1, 2)

Again,

"Return you to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope; this day do I declare that I will render unto you double." (Zechariah 9:12)

As to the law of retaliation, it is according to the literal sense that they whom they had seduced and destroyed, were to recompense them [who had seduced], as in Revelation 18:6; whereas, according to the spiritual sense, they were to recompense themselves, because every evil carries along with it its own punishment. The case herein is similar to what is said in many parts of the Word, that God will recompense and take vengeance upon the injustice and injuries done to Him, and will destroy the unjust out of anger and wrath, when nevertheless the evils themselves which they have committed against God, do this, consequently they do it to themselves; for this is the law of retaliation [jus talionis], which derives its origin from the following divine law:

"All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them; this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31)

This law, in heaven, is the law of mutual love or charity, from which is produced what is opposite in hell, namely, that what anyone does to another, the same is done to himself: not that they who are in heaven do it, but they who are in hell do it to themselves, for the retribution of retaliation, grounded in their opposition to the above law of life in heaven, is, as it were, inherent in their evils. Apocalypse Revealed 762.

3. A voice of one proclaiming in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of Jehovah! make straight in the desert a highway for our God!

4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be made low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places a plain:

Verses 3, 4. The subject here treated of is also concerning the advent of the Lord, and the Last Judgment which then took place. The "voice of one proclaiming in the wilderness, Prepare you the way or Jehovah! make straight in the desert a highway for our God!" signifies that they should prepare themselves to receive the Lord; the "wilderness" is where there is no Good, because there is no Truth, thus where there is as yet no church. By "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be made low", is signified that all the humble in heart, who are those that are in Goods and Truths, shall be received, for they who are received by the Lord are raised up to heaven; and by "every mountain and hill shall be made low", is signified that all the high-minded, who are those that are in the love of self and the world, shall be put down. Apocalypse Explained 405.

As to what is meant by "mountains and hills being made low" at the time of Judgment in the spiritual world, see above, Chapter 2:12-17, the Exposition.

5. And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.

Verses 5-7. These things are said concerning the advent of the Lord, and the revelation of Divine Truth about to take place from Him. which is understood by "the glory Jehovah shall be revealed", and "they shall see it." That then there would be no scientific truth nor spiritual truth with man is signified by "all flesh is grass, and all the glory [or sanctity] thereof is as the flower of the field"; "grass" denoting scientific Truth, and the "flower of the field" spiritual Truth. That man is of such a nature and quality, is understood by "all flesh is grass", and by "the grass withers; verily the people is grass"; "all flesh" denoting every man, and the "people" [in a good sense] those who are in truths, but, in the opposite sense, those who are in falsities. Apocalypse Explained 507.

6. A voice says, Proclaim! And I said, What shall I proclaim? All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof is as the flower of the field:

7. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the spirit of Jehovah blows upon it: verily the people is grass.

8. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

Verses 6-8. All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof is as the flower of the field, etc.

- That "grass", "herb", and what is "green" signify scientifics, or knowledges of Truth, in which there is some spiritual life, see Chapter 15:6, the Exposition, [By the "grass withering" and the "flower fading" is consequently signified that the knowledges of Truth and of Good are destitute of any living or spiritual principle. Hence it is that this knowledge, rendered worthless by its not being applied to the uses of the spiritual life, is contrasted in verse 8 with the living Word of God.]

9. O [daughter of] Zion, that brings good tidings, get you up into the high mountain: O [daughter of] Jerusalem, that brings good tidings, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

Verses 9, 10. Inasmuch as these things are spoken of the Lord and of His kingdom, and this is signified by "Zion" and "Jerusalem", therefore it is said that Zion and Jerusalem evangelize it, or "bring good tidings", -Zion from the Good of Love, and Jerusalem from Truths of Doctrine."

Evangelization, or "good tidings", from the Good of Love, is signified by "getting up upon the high mountain", and from the Truths of Doctrine, by "lifting up the voice with strength." By the "cities of Judah" is meant the doctrine of love to the Lord and of love to the neighbour in all its complex.

The Lord, as to Divine Truth and as to Divine Good, who was about to come and effect Judgment, is understood by "Behold your God!behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power; for the Lord is called "God", in the Word, from "Divine Truth, and "Jehovah" from Divine Good, and also the "Lord Jehovih"; to "come with power" is to effect judgment, thus to subjugate the cells. Apocalypse Explained 850.

As to the specific meaning of "Jehovih", as distinguished from "Jehovah", see Chapter 3:15, the Exposition and note.

Verses 9-11. That these things are said concerning the advent of the Lord is evident, and hence it is that "Zion" and "Jerusalem " are called evangelizers, or "bringers of good tidings."

- By "Zion" are understood all who are of the celestial church, who are those that are principled in love to the Lord, wherefore it is said "Get you up into the high mountain"; the "high mountain" denoting that love, as may be seen above, Apocalypse Explained 405.

By "Jerusalem" are understood all who are of the spiritual church, who are those that are principled in the doctrine of genuine Truth, wherefore it is said, "Lift up your voice with strength"; by which is signified confession from genuine Truths. By the "cities of Judah", to which it is said "Behold your God! behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power" are signified doctrinals from the Word; by "cities" doctrinals, and by "Judah" the Word. That "Zion" and "Jerusalem" are called evangelizers by reason that the "Gospel", [evangelium] signifies the advent of the Lord, is manifest, for it is said "Behold your God! behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power." That He will accomplish a Judgment, and defend those, who acknowledge Him, is signified by "His arm shall rule for Him, and "like a Shepherd shall He feed His flock", etc. Apocalypse Explained 612.

10. Behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and the recompense of His work before Him.

Verse 10. And in the Apocalypse:

"Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every one as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:12)

"Behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power", Behold, your salvation cometh" and "Behold, He cometh quickly", signify the first and second advent of the Lord.

"His reward is with Him" signifies heaven and all things belonging thereto, inasmuch as where the Lord is, there is heaven; for heaven is not heaven from the angels there, but from the Lord with the angels.

That they shall receive heaven according to the love and affection of Good and of Truth from the Lord, is understood by "the recompense of His work before Him", and by " giving to every one according as his work shall be"; by the "work" for which heaven shall be given as a reward, nothing else is meant than what proceeds from the love or affection of Good and of Truth, inasmuch as nothing else can produce heaven in man; for every work derives all that it has from the love or affection whence it proceeds, as the effect derives all that it has from the efficient cause; wherefore, according to the quality of the love or affection, such is the work.

Hence it may appear what is understood by "the work according to which it shall be given", and by "the recompense of His work." Apocalypse Explained 695.

As to the true nature of heavenly "reward" and "recompense " see above, Chapter 3:10, the Exposition.

Verses 10, 12. Treating also concerning the Lord, and concerning Divine Truth, from which is heaven and the church, and all wisdom. The advent of the Lord, and the arrangement of all things in the heavens by Him, from His own proper power, is signified by "Behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power, and His arm shall rule for Him"; "His arm which shall rule" denoting His own power. The arrangement thence of all things in the heavens by Divine Truth, is signified by "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand; and has meted out the heavens with His span; and has comprehended the dust of the earth in measure; and has weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?"

By "measuring the waters", is signified to designate divine Truths; by "meting out the heavens with a span", is signified thence to set in order, or arrange the heavens; by "comprehending the dust of the earth in a measure", is denoted the same with respect to things inferior; by "the hollow of the hand, the span and the measure", are signified the same as by "measures" and by the "hand" namely, the quantity of a thing, and His own or proper power; by "weighing the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance", is meant to bring all things into subordination and equilibrium; the "scales" and the "balance" denoting just equilibrium, and the "mountains" and "hills" the superior heavens, - the "mountains" those which are principled in love to the Lord, and the "hills" those which are principled in charity to the neighbour. Apocalypse Explained 629.

11. Like a shepherd shall He feed His flock; in His arms shall He gather up the lambs, and shall carry them in His bosom; and He shall gently lead them that give suck.

Verse. 11. By "the flock which He shall feed like a Shepherd", are signified those who are in the good of charity and by "the lambs whom He shall gather up in His arms, are signified those who are in love to Him, which love, viewed in itself, is innocence, and therefore all who are principled in it are in the heaven of innocence, which is the third heaven and inasmuch as that love is signified by "lambs", it is therefore also said:

"He shall gently lead them that give suck." By "sucklings" and infants in the Word, are understood those who are in innocence as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 277, 280. Apocalypse Explained 314.

12. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand; and has meted out the Heavens by His span; and has comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure; and has weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Verse 12. In this passage is described, by "measures", the just arrangement and estimation of all things in heaven and in the church, according to the quality of Good and of Truth. The "measures" by which this is described are the hollow of the hand, the span, the tierce, the scale, and balances. By "waters" are signified truths; by the "heavens", interior or spiritual Truths and Goods; by the "dust of the earth", exterior or natural truths and goods; - each appertaining to heaven and the church. By "mountains", the goods of love; by "hills", the goods of charity; and by "weighing them", the estimation and arrangement of them according to their quality. That these words have such a signification, can only be seen from the science of correspondences. Apocalypse Explained 33.

13. Who has directed the Spirit of Jehovah, and as a man of His counsel has informed Him?

14. With whom has He consulted, that he should instruct Him, and teach Him the path of judgment; that he should teach Him knowledge, and show Him the way of understanding?

15. Behold, the nations are as a drop from the bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: behold, the islands He takes up as an atom;

Verses 13, 14. The "Spirit of Jehovah" is the Divine Truth; that to "teach Him the path of judgment" is to render Him knowing, intelligent, and wise, is evident. Arcana Coelestia 9857.

Verse 15. Inasmuch as most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, so "islands", in that sense, signify the falsities opposite to the truths which are in the natural man. In that sense "islands" are mentioned in the above passage, where "nations" denote evils, and "islands" falsities. Apocalypse Explained 406.

As to the meaning of "peoples" and "nations", see Chapter 9:2, 3; 25:3, 7, 8, the Exposition.

16. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn; nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering.

17. All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are accounted by Him as less than nothing, and emptiness.

Verse 16. [That is, the forests of Lebanon are not sufficient to supply fuel for burnt-offerings, adequate to the worship and praise of Jehovah. As to the meaning of "sacrifices" and of "burnt-offerings in worship, see Chapter 1:11, the Exposition.]

18. To whom therefore will you liken God ? or what likeness will you compare unto Him?

19. The workman casts a graven image; and the smith overlays it with gold, and casts chains of silver.

Verses 18-20. By these words is described how doctrine is forged and compacted by falsities, thus by such things as are from self-derived intelligence, for all these are falsities.

By the "workman" and "smith", likewise by the "Wise [or skilful] workman" whom he seeks to himself, is understood one that feigns and forms such a doctrine.

That it may appear as good in the external form is signified by "overlaying it with gold"; that falsities may cohere and appear as truths, is signified by "casting chains of silver"; that so it may be acknowledged, and that the false may not be seen, is signified by "Choosing wood that will not rot", and by "preparing a graven image that will not be moved. Apocalypse Explained 587. See also Arcana Coelestia 8869, 10406.

As to "graven and molten images", see above, Chapter 2:7, 8, 20, the Exposition.

20. He that cannot afford an oblation chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks for himself a wise workman to prepare a graven image, which shall not be moved.

Verse 20. By "wood" here signified evil which is adored as good, for the "graven image" denotes the evil of worship; "wood that will not rot signifies some good from the Word which is adulterated, and thence becomes evil. This is said to "choose", because that which is derived from the Word persuades, and thereby does not perish in the mind; for thus it is with every evil and false confirmed from the Word. His "seeking a wise [or skilful] workman", signifies to seek one who, from self-deemed intelligence, has the gift of confirming and falsifying. Apocalypse Explained 1145.

21. Have you not known? have you not heard? has it not been declared unto you from the beginning? have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

Verse 21. He who does not know what is signified by a "foundation", and what by the "earth", conceives no otherwise than that the bottoms of the earth are here meant "the foundations of the earth", although he may perceive, if he attends, that something else is meant; for what would it be "to know to hear, and to understand the foundations of the earth"? Hence it may be evident that by the "foundations of the earth" are signified such things as are of the church.

That "earth", in the Word, denotes the church, is very manifest from the passages in the Word where "earth" is named; see those which are cited, Arcana Coelestia 9325; and that its "foundations" are the truths of faith, for these truths of the church are foundations, as may also be still further manifest from the following passages:

They do not acknowledge, neither do they understand; they walk in darkness: all the foundations of the earth totter." (Psalm 82:5)

That the "foundations of the earth" do not totter, but the truths of the church, to those who do not acknowledge and do not understand them, and who walk in darkness, is evident. Arcana Coelestia 10043.

That the "earth" signifies the church, see Chapter 14, the Exposition.

Verses 21-23. Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth. It is He that sits upon the circle of the earth, that reduces princes to nothing; that makes the judges of the earth as emptiness.

By the "princes" who shall be reduced to nothing, and by the "judges of the earth" whom He makes as emptiness, are signified those things which are from self-derived intelligence, and from self-derived judgment. Apocalypse Explained 304.

22. It is He that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts; that extends the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:

Verse 22. To "sit upon the circle of the earth", means upon the heavens, for the heavens encompass the earth as a circle a centre; whence the Lord is called the "Most High", and "He that dwells in the highest.

"The inhabitants of the earth are as locusts", signifies men in extremes or outermost principles for the "locust" signifies what is alive in ultimates, specifically truth in ultimates, and, in the opposite sense, the false.

"Who extends the heavens as somewhat thin [or a curtain]", signifies Omnipotence to amplify the heavens at will; and " spreads them out as a tent to dwell in", signifies nearly the same, but the latter expression denotes the amplification of the heavens as to Goods, and the former as to Truths. Apocalypse Explained 799

Concerning "locusts", see above, Chapter 33:4, the Exposition.

23. That reduces princes to nothing; that makes the judges of the earth as emptiness.

Verse 23. "Princes", in a good sense, are primary truths; but in a bad sense, as in this verse they are primary falsities; and "judges" are the evils in connection with those falsities. See Chapter 1:23; 3:6, 7, the Exposition,

24. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their trunk shall not strike its root in the earth: and He shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither; and the whirlwind shall bear them away like the stubble.

25. To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be equal? says the Holy One.

Verse 24. He shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither; and the whirlwind shall bear them away, etc. - As to "winds" and "tempests" at the period of Judgment, see Chapter 17:13, the Exposition.

26. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these. He leads forth their army by number; He calls them all by name: through the greatness of His strength, and the mightiness of His power, not a man fails.

27. Wherefore say you then, O Jacob, and why speak you thus, O Israel: My way is bidden from Jehovah, and my judgment has passed away from my God?

28. Hast you not known, bast you not heard, that the everlasting God is Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth? He faints not, neither is He weary; His understanding is unsearchable.

Verse 26. By "calling them all by name" is denoted that He knows the qualities of all, and gives to them according to their state of love and faith. Apocalypse Explained 148.

He leads forth their army by number; He calls them all by name, etc.

- By "the host [or army] of the heavens", in the literal sense, are understood the sun, the moon, and the stars, for these, in the Word, are called "the host of Jehovah"; but, in the spiritual sense, by the "host" are signified all the Goods and Truths of heaven and the church in the complex: for by the "sun" is signified the Good of Love, by the "moon" the Good of Faith, and by the "stars" the knowledges of Good and Truth. Hence it is evident what is signified by "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these."

By "creating", when predicated of Goods and Truths, is signified to form them in man, and so to regenerate him; by "leading forth their armies by number", is signified to arrange Goods and Truths, according to their quality, in those with whom they are; to "call them all by name", signifies to know the quality of all, and to dispose accordingly; for by "name", in the Word, is signified the quality of a thing or state, as in John :

"His sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out." (John 10:3)

Where also it is said to "lead out" and to "call by name", as above in Isaiah, and by these expressions the same things are signified as above. Apocalypse Explained 453. See also Arcana Coelestia 10217.

Verses 26, 28. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these; - Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, etc.

- These words treat of the reformation of man, which is signified by "to create"; by "the army which He leads forth "are understood all Goods and Truths; and "calling them by name" signifies reception according to the quality of each. By "creating the ends of the earth", is signified the restoration [or establishment] of the church, thus the reformation of those who are there. Apocalypse Explained 294.

What is further signified by a " name", and by being "called by a name", see above, Chapter 4:1; 26:8, the Exposition.

29. He giveth power to the faint; and to him that has no might He increases strength.

Verse 29. "Power" is predicated of Good, and "strength" of Truth. All power in the spiritual world is from Good by Truth, for without Good, Truth bas no power whatever. Truth is as a body, and Good is as the soul of that body; that the soul may do anything, it must be by its body. Hence it is evident that Truth without Good bas no power whatever, just as the body has no power without the soul, for the body is then a carcase; so also is Truth without Good. Arcana Coelestia 6344.

30. The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

Verse 30. For the meaning of "young men", both in a good and in a bad sense, see Chapter 13:17, 18; 23:4; 31:8, the Exposition.

31. But they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.

Verse 31. To "renew strength" is to increase as to the willing of Good; to "mount up with wings like eagles" is to increase as to the understanding of Truth, thus as to the rational. The subject here is explained, as elsewhere, by, two expressions, of which the one involves the Good which is of the will, and the other the Truth which is of the understanding: in like manner "to run and not be weary", and "to walk and not faint." Arcana Coelestia 3001.

To "mount up with wings like eagles" is to be elevated to the knowledges of what is True and Good, and hence into intelligence; thus into the light of heaven, which is the Divine Truth, or the Divine-Spiritual principle, from which is all intelligence. Apocalypse Revealed 244; Apocalypse Explained 281, 283.

"Eagles", when mentioned in the Word, signify man's rational principles, which, when predicated of the good, are true rational principles, but when predicated of the wicked, are false rational principles, or principles of mere ratiocination.

"Birds", in general, signify man's knowledges, even in both a good and a bad sense, see n. 40, 745, 776; and each species corresponds to some particular species of knowledge.

"Eagles", as flying aloft and being sharp-sighted, signify rational principles. That this is the case, may appear from several passages in the Word, of which we shall adduce the following by way of confirmation; first, where "eagles" signify true rational principles, as in Moses:

"He found him in a desert land, and, in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings: so Jehovah alone did lead him." (Deuteronomy 32:10-12)

Instruction in the Truths and Goods of faith is what is here described and compared to an "eagle." In the description and comparison is contained the whole process of instruction until man is made rational and spiritual; all comparisons in the Word are made by significatives, and hence in the present case by an "eagle" denoting the rational principle.

So Again,

"And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt you say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself"; (Exodus 19:3, 4) where the signification is the same.

That "eagles", in an opposite sense, signify rational principles not true, consequently false, is evident from the following passages:

" Jehovah shall bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young." (Deuteronomy 28:49, 50)

"They who pursued us were swifter than eagles; they pursued us on the mountains, they have laid snares for us in the wilderness". (Lamentations 4:19)

And in Micah:

"Make you bald, and shave yourself upon the sons of your delights; dilate your baldness as an eagle, because they have removed from you." (Micah 1:16)

And in Obadiah:

"If you exalt yourself as an eagle, and if you set your nest amongst the stars, I will pull you down from there." (Obadiah 1:4)

In these passages by "eagle" is signified the false principle induced by reasonings grounded in the fallacies of the senses and in external appearances. Arcana Coelestia 3901.

---
Isaiah Chapter 40

Prophecies of Comfort

1. COMFORT you, comfort you, My people, says your God.

2. Speak you to the heart of Jerusalem, and proclaim unto her, that her warfare is fulfilled; that her iniquity is pardoned; that she has received from the hand of Jehovah double for all her sins.

3. A voice of one proclaiming in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of Jehovah! make straight in the desert a highway for our God!

4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill be made low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places a plain:

5. And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken it.

6. A voice says, Proclaim! And I said, What shall I proclaim? All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof is as the flower of the field:

7. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the spirit of Jehovah blows upon it: verily the people is grass.

8. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

9. O [daughter of] Zion, that brings good tidings, get you up into the high mountain: O [daughter of] Jerusalem, that brings good tidings, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

10. Behold, the Lord Jehovih shall come with power, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and the recompense of His work before Him.

11. Like a shepherd shall He feed His flock; in His arms shall He gather up the lambs, and shall carry them in His bosom; and He shall gently lead them that give suck.

12. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand; and has meted out the Heavens by His span; and has comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure; and has weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

13. Who has directed the Spirit of Jehovah, and as a man of His counsel has informed Him?

14. With whom has He consulted, that he should instruct Him, and teach Him the path of judgment; that he should teach Him knowledge, and show Him the way of understanding?

15. Behold, the nations are as a drop from the bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: behold, the islands He takes up as an atom;

16. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn; nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering.

17. All the nations are as nothing before Him; they are accounted by Him as less than nothing, and emptiness.

18. To whom therefore will you liken God ? or what likeness will you compare unto Him?

19. The workman casts a graven image; and the smith overlays it with gold, and casts chains of silver.

20. He that cannot afford an oblation chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks for himself a wise workman to prepare a graven image, which shall not be moved.

21. Have you not known? have you not heard? has it not been declared unto you from the beginning? have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22. It is He that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts; that extends the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in:

23. That reduces princes to nothing; that makes the judges of the earth as emptiness.

24. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their trunk shall not strike its root in the earth: and He shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither; and the whirlwind shall bear them away like the stubble.

25. To whom then will you liken Me, that I should be equal? says the Holy One.

26. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these. He leads forth their army by number; He calls them all by name: through the greatness of His strength, and the mightiness of His power, not a man fails.

27. Wherefore sayest you then, O Jacob, and why speakest you thus, O Israel: My way is bidden from Jehovah, and my judgment has passed away from my God?

28. Hast you not known, bast you not heard, that the everlasting God is Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth? He faints not, neither is He weary; His understanding is unsearchable.

29. He giveth power to the faint; and to him that has no might He increases strength.

30. The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31. But they that wait upon Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 40


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 4281

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

1 Samuel 27:1

Isaiah 44:21, 49:14

Bible Word Meanings

sayest
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

hid
'To hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:15, signifies being in evils and in falsities...

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

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

judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

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.


 He Will Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd
Shows the Good Shepherd alongside excerpts from Isaiah 40.
Coloring Page | All Ages

 Like a Shepherd
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Lord Is My Shepherd
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Visions in Heaven
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Miniature Word Project
Make a project picturing a miniature book of the Word with two birthday candles set beside it.
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Prophecies of the Messiah
One of the most important events in the history of human beings is the birth of the Lord on earth as an infant. By the time the Lord was actually born, the truths of the Word had been lost or perverted. But there had been prophets who told people that the Lord was going to come on earth and gave them hope. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 6, for ages 11-12.
Religion Lesson | Ages 11 - 12

 The Grass Withers, the Flower Fades
Illustrated poster of "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8
Picture | Ages over 15

 The Joy of the Angels at the Lord’s Birth
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord, the Good Shepherd
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Shepherd Gathers Sheep
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Word Made Flesh
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Wings of Truth
Lesson and activities exploring how truth can uplift, protect, and free us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Works of Charity
Worship Talk | Ages over 18


Translate: