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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arcana Coelestia 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


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


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Arcana Coelestia #4281

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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)

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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


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Apocalypse Explained 130, 433, 443, 710


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Isaiah 43:22

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22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

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Explanation of Isaiah 43      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 43

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

1. BUT now, thus says Jehovah, your Creator, O Jacob, and your Former, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you art Mine.

VERSE 1. That to "redeem" signifies to liberate from hell, and to claim and conjoin to Himself so that they may be His, is evident, for it is said, "I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name : you art Mine"; and inasmuch as this is effected by reformation and regeneration from the Lord, it is therefore said "Jehovah your Creator, O Jacob, and your Former, O Israel." He is here called "Creator", because to "create" in the Word signifies to reqenerate, as may be seen above. n. 294. "Jacob" and " Israel" signify those who are of the church and who are in Truths from Good. Apocalypse Explained 328.

As to the signification of "fear", as predicated both of the spiritual and of the natural man, see Chapter 11:3, the Exposition.

Verses 1, 6, 7. I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you art Mine. Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth, etc. - The subject here treated of is concerning the establishment of the church among the nations. From their reformation Jehovah is called "Creator and Former", wherefore it is said "I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name: you art Mine." "Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth", signifies the nations which are out of the church, which receive the Truths and Goods of the church from the Lord; "afar off" and the "ends of the earth" denoting those who are out of the church; the "earth" is the church; "sons" are those who receive Truths, and "daughters" those who receive Goods. These are said to he "created, formed, and made to glory"; "glory" is the divine Truth which they receive. Apocalypse Explained 294.

Verses 1, 7. Jehovah your Creator; - whom I have created for My glory, etc. - The very end of the creation of the universe was that an angelic heaven might be formed out of mankind, where all who believe in God might live in eternal blessedness; for the Divine Love, which is in God, and which essentially is God, can intend nothing else; and the Divine Wisdom, which is also in God, and which is God, can produce nothing else. Since, then, the creation of the universe had for its end an angelic heaven, to be formed out of the human race, and at the same time a church on earth, man's passage into heaven lying through the church; and since the salvation of mankind, being effected upon men that are born in the world, is thus a continuation of creation, therefore we so frequently meet in the Word with the term "to create", the meaning of which is to form for heaven; as in the following passages:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10) "You openest Your hand, they are filled with good; You sendest forth Your spirit, they are created." (Psalm 104:28, 30) "The people that shall be created, shall praise Jehovah." (Psalm 102:18)

Hence will appear the meaning of "to create" in the following passages:

"Thus says Jehovah, He that creats the heavens, He that spreads forth the earth"; etc. (Isaiah 42:5; 45:12, 18) "Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth. Be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing." (Isaiah 65:17, 18) True Christian Religion 773. See also 573.

2. When you passest through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walkest through the fire, you shalt not be burnt; and the flame shall not kindle upon you.

Verse 2. By "passing through the waters and through the rivers, and their not overflowing", is signified that falsities and ratiocinations from falsities against Truths shall not enter and corrupt; "waters" denoting falsities, and the "rivers" ratiocinations from falsities against Truths. By "walking through the fire, and not being burned, and the flame not kindling upon you", is signified that evils and cupidities arising from them shall not hurt; "fire" signifying evils, and the "flame" cupidities thence derived. Apocalypse Explained 504. See also Arcana Coelestia 739, 790.

By "rivers overflowing" are also signified temptations, because temptations are inundations of falsest Apocalypse Revealed 409.

[As spiritual temptations are here treated of, the following extract will elucidate this important subject.]

They alone who are being regenerated, undergo spiritual temptations; such temptations being pains of mind induced by evil spirits, in those who are in Good and Truth. While those spirits excite the evils of such persons, there arises in the mind an anxiety, which is temptation. Man does not know whence this anxiety comes, because he is unacquainted with its origin. There are both evil and good spirits attendant on every man; the evil spirits are in his evils, and the good spirits in his goods. When the evil spirits approach they draw forth his evils, while the good spirits, on the contrary, draw forth his goods; whence arise collision and combat, causing in the man an interior anxiety, which is temptation. Hence it is plain that temptations are not induced by heaven, but by hell; as is in accordance with the faith of the church, which teaches that God tempts no man." Interior anxieties are also experienced by those who are not in Goods and Truths; but natural, not spiritual anxieties; the two are distinguished by this, that natural anxieties have worldly things for their objects, but spiritual anxieties heavenly things.

The object contended for during temptations, is the dominion of Good over evil, or of evil over Good. The evil which is desirous of obtaining the dominion resides in the natural or external man, and the Good in the spiritual or internal man. If evil prevails, the natural man obtains the dominion; but if Good prevails, the spiritual conquers. These combats are carried on by the Truths of faith derived from the Word. By these man must contend against evils and falsities; for if he combats from any other principles, he cannot conquer, because in these alone the Lord is present. And as this warfare is carried on by the Truths of faith, man is not permitted to enter on it until he has been instructed in the knowledge of Good and Truth, and has thence obtained some degree of spiritual life; such combats, therefore, do not take place till men arrive at years of maturity. If man falls in temptation, his state after it becomes worse than before, because evil has thereby acquired power over Good, and falsity over Truth. Since at this day faith is rare, because there is no charity, the church being at its end, there are but few who are admitted into anv spiritual temptations; hence it is scarcely known what they are, and to what salutary purpose they are conducive.

The ends to which temptations are conducive are these. They acquire for Good dominion over evil, and for Truth dominion over the false; they confirm Truths in the mind, and conjoin them to Good; and they disperse evils and the falsities thence derived. They serve also to open the internal spiritual man, and to bring the natural man into subjection to it; to destroy the loves of self and of the world, and to subdue the concupiscences which proceed from them. When these things are effected, man acquires enlightenment and perception respecting the nature of Good and its Truth, and of falsity and its evil; whence he obtains intelligence and wisdom, which afterwards increase continually. The Lord alone combats for man in temptations; and unless he believes that the Lord alone combats and conquers for him, he undergoes only an external temptation, which is in no respect conducive to his salvation. The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 187-195.

3. For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour: I have given Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your stead.

4. Because you have been precious in My eyes, you have been honoured, and I have loved you: therefore will I give men instead of you, and peoples instead of your soul.

Verses 3, 4. These things also are said concerning the Lord, and concerning the redemption of those who acknowledge Him, and from affection receive Truths from Him. Redemption is signified by "a ransom [or an expiation]", and by "instead of you", and "for your soul"; the natural affection of knowing Truths derived from spiritual affection is signified by "Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba"; their intelligence thence derived is signified by "man" [adam], and the church from them receive people." Inasmuch as by "Egypt" is signified the natural man, and all the intelligence of the spiritual man is terminated and has its foundation in the natural man, and in his knowledges and scientifics, therefore: man without them is not intelligent or wise, nor indeed rational, for the spiritual man must act as one by correspondences. Hence it is that, in ancient times, when the representative church was also in Egypt, the King of Egypt, or Pharaoh, was called "the son of the wise, and the son of the kings of antiquity"; (Isaiah 19:11) also "Egypt, the corner-stone of the tribes"; (verse 13.) for by the tribes are signified all the Truths and Goods of the church in one complex, and by the "corner-stone" is signified the foundation thereof. Hence also it is said of Solomon: by whom the Lord was represented as to His celestial and spiritual kingdoms, that his wisdom was above the sons of the East, and above all the wisdom of the Egyptians." (1 Kings 4:30)

By "the sons of the East" are understood all who at that time were in the knowledges of Truth and Good, and thereby were made wise; and by the "Egyptians" are understood all who were skilled in sciences, especially in the science of correspondences, and in intelligence thence derived; wherefore also it is that the sciences of the Egyptians are called "the hidden things of gold and of silver and desirable things" in Daniel 11:42, 43. Apocalypse Explained 654.

"Ethiopia" [Cush] and "Seba'" are the knowledges of spiritual things, which serve those who believe in the Lord. Arcana Coelestia 1171. See also the Exposition of Isaiah 45:14.

As to "Cush", or Ethiopia, and its spiritual meaning, see above, Chapter 18:1, 2, the Exposition.

5. Fear not, for I am with you: from the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you;

6. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Withhold not: bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth;

Verses 5, 6. These things are not said concerning the posterity of Jacob, but concerning the nations or Gentiles of whom the church is to be formed, By "Jacob and his seed" are understood those who will be of that church. That it is to be formed of those who are in falsities from ignorance, and thence in obscurity as to Truths, is signified by "from the west I will gather you, and I will say to the north, Give up"; and that these are not to be repelled by those who are in the Good of love and in Truths of doctrine from a clear [principle], but to be accepted, is signified by "from the east I will bring your seed, and I will say to the south, Withhold not"; for the "east" signifies the Good of love in clearness, the "south" the Truth of doctrine in clearness, and the "west" the Good of love in obscurity, and the "north" the Truth of doctrine in obscurity, such as it exists with those who, from ignorance of Truth, are in falsities, and yet desire Truths. The reason why those quarters have such a signification is, because in the spiritual world all dwell distinctly in those quarters according to the light of Truth and the affection of Good in which they are principled. Similar things are signified in Matthew, where it is said that "the elect are to be gathered together from the four winds, from the boundaries of heaven even to their boundaries." (Matthew 24:31)

That all who are in falsities from ignorance, and yet in the desire of Truth, are to be brought into that church, is signified by "Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth"; "sons" denoting those who are in Truths, and "daughters" those who are in the affection thereof, and hence also, abstractedly from persons, they signify Truths and their affections; and "afar off" and the "ends of the earth" signify removal from the light of Truth, because in falsities from ignorance, by reason of their not having the Word, or not understanding the sense thereof. Apocalypse Explained 724.

Verses 5-8. To "bring seed from the east, the west, the north, and the south", denotes all of whatsoever religion they be; for the "east" and "west" signify where the Good of love is in clearness and in obscurity, and the "north" and the "south" where the Truth of faith is in obscurity and in clearness.

In this place they are understood who are in obscurity from ignorance, for it is said "Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth." "Sons" are predicated of those who receive Truths, and "daughters" of those who receive Goods; "from afar" and "from the ends of the earth " signify those who are remote from the Truths and Goods of the church.

That all will be received and reformed by the Lord, who acknowledge Him, is signified by "I have created, I have formed, and I have made everyone called by My name." These, then, are they who are understood by "the blind who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears." Apocalypse Explained 239.

As to the "blind" and the "deaf", see Chapter 42:18, the Exposition.

The subject here treated of is concerning "Jacob" and "Israel", and unless it be known that the above spiritual things are understood by the quarters there mentioned, it may be supposed that nothing further is implied than that the sons of Israel and Jacob are to be collected from all parts; but by "Jacob" and "Israel" is understood the church which consists of those who are in the Good of love and in Truths from that Good; and by "their seed" are understood all who are of that church. The bringing and gathering together of those who are in the Good of love, is understood by "I will bring your seed from the east, and I will gather you from the west"; and the same with respect to those who are in Truths from that Good, is understood by "I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south Withhold not." That all who are in those Truths and Goods even to those who are in the ultimates, shall be brought, is signified by "Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth." Apocalypse Explained 422. See also Arcana Coelestia 1458, 9642.

7. Everyone that is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed; yea, whom I have made.

8. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Verse 7. Everyone that is called by My name, etc. - What is meant by being "called by the Lord's name", see Chapter 4:1, and especially Chapter 26:8, the Exposition.

9. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled: who among them will declare this, and will show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

Verse 9. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled, etc. - As to "nations" and "peoples", see Chapter 9:2, 3, the Exposition.

10. You are My witnesses, says Jehovah; even My servant, whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me no God was formed, and after Me there shall be none.

Verse 10. Where by "Servant" is understood the Lord as to His Divine Human, That the Lord calls Himself a "minister" by reason of His serving, is evident in the Evangelists:

"Whosoever will become great among you, ought to be your minister; and whosoever would be first, ought to be your servant; as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister:" (Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-44; Luke 22:27) Apocalypse Explained 409.

11. I, [even] I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no Saviour.

Verse 11. The idea of a Son born from eternity [which is a prevalent idea in the present Theology], descending and assuming the Humanity, must be found to be altogether erroneous, and will therefore fall to the ground and vanish when those passages in the Word are attended to where Jehovah Himself asserts that He Himself is the Saviour and Redeemer of the world, as He does in the following passages :

"I, [even] I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no Saviour." [Isaiah 43:11) "Is it not I, Jehovah, than whom there is no other God? a just God, and a Saviour; there is none beside Me." (Isaiah 45:21, 22; 44:6, 24; 47:4; 48:17; 49:26; 60:16; Hosea 13:4)

From these and many other passages it must be evident to every man who has the use of his eyes, and whose mind is opened by such use, that God, who is One, descended, and was made Man for the purpose of effecting the work of Redemption. How plainly is this seen, as in morning light, by attending to the divine declarations here quoted. Such men, however, as walk in the shadows of night, from a firm persuasion in their minds of the birth of another God from eternity, and of His descent and redeeming labours, close their eyes against the light of these divine declarations, and in that state consider how they may apply and pervert them to the confirmation of their own falsities. True Christian Religion 83. See also 188, 294.

12. I have declared, and I have saved: I have made it known; nor was it any strange [god] among you: and you are My witnesses, says Jehovah, that I am God.

13. Yea, before the day was, I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I work; and who shall hinder it?

Verse 12. You are My witnesses, says Jehovah, that I am God [El]. In the Word, Jehovah, or the Lord, in many places is named El in the singular, also Eloah, and likewise Elohim in the plural, - each sometimes in one verse or in one series. The reason why He is so named cannot be known, unless the internal sense of the Word be known. That El involves one thing, and Eloah another, and Elohim another, every one may judge from this, that the Word is divine, that is, derives its origin from the Divine, and that it is hence inspired as to all expressions, yea, as to the smallest apex. What is involved in El, when it is named, and what in Elohim, may appear from what has been abundantly shown above, that is, that El and Elohim or "God" is mentioned when Truth is treated of, see n. Arcana Coelestia 709, 2580, 2769; hence it is that by "El" and "Elohim"; in the supreme sense, is signified, the Divine-Spiritual, for this is the same with Divine Truth, but with the difference that by "El" is signified Truth in the will and act, which is the same thing with the Good of Truth, see Arcana Coelestia 4337, 4353, 4390. "Elohim" in the plural is used, because by the Divine Truth are meant all Truths which are from the Lord; hence also the angels in the Word are sometimes called Elohim or "gods", Arcana Coelestia 4295, as will likewise appear from the passages below adduced from the Word.

Inasmuch now as "El" and "Elohim", in the supreme sense, signify the Lord as to Truth, they also signify Him as to power, for it is Truth of which power is predicated, for Good acts by Truth when it exercises power, Arcana Coelestia 3091, 4015; therefore wheresoever power derived from Truth is treated of in the Word, the Lord is called El and Elohim, or "God"; hence also it is that "El", in the original tongue, likewise signifies one who is powerful. That the names El and Elohim, or "God", are used in the Word where the Divine-Spiritual is treated of, or, what is the same thing, the Divine Truth, and thence the Divine power, may further appear from these passages:

"God said to Israel in the visions of the night, I am the God of the gods [El elohe] of your father: be not afraid of descending into Egypt; because I will place you there into a great nation." (Genesis 46:2, 3)

Inasmuch as these words were spoken to Israel, whom He would place into a great nation, and thereby Truth and the power thereof are treated of, it is said "El Elohe", which in the proximate sense signifies God of gods. That "Elohim" in the proximate sense are gods, because they are predicated of Truths and the power thence derived, is evident also from the following passage:

"There Jacob built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el, because there the Elohim were revealed to him, in his flying before his brother." (Genesis 35:7)

And in another place:

"Jehovah our God, Himself the God of gods, and Lord of lords, the God [El] great, powerful, and formidable"; (Deuteronomy 10:17) where "God of gods" is expressed by Elohe elohim, and afterwards "God" by El, to whom is attributed greatness and power.

So in David:

"God [El] the great Jehovah, and the great King over all gods [Elohim], in whose hand are the tracings out [pervestigationes] of the earth; and the strengths of the mountains are His"; (Psalm 95:3, 4) where the name "God", or El, is used, because the subject treated of is concerning the Divine Truth, and the power thence derived; also mention is made of "gods", because Truths thence derived are treated of; for "king" in the internal sense signifies Truth, see Arcana Coelestia 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670.

Hence it is evident what is involved in the expression, "a great King above all gods"; the "tracings out of the earth" are also the Truths of the church, which are called "strengths of the mountains" from power grounded in Good. Arcana Coelestia 1402.

14. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake have I sent to Babylon, and I will cast down all her bars; and the Chaldeans, whose shouting is in their ships:

15. I am Jehovah, your Holy One; the Creator of Israel, your King.

Verse 14. The subject here treated of is concerning the liberation of the faithful from the oppression of those who, devastate the church, and who are understood by "Babylon"; and they devastate it by this, that they withhold all from the knowledges of Truth and of Good, saying that they themselves know, and that they are to be believed, when notwithstanding they know nothing of Truth, thus keeping others, together with themselves, in dense ignorance, and turning them away from the worship of the Lord, in order that they themselves may be worshipped. To "cast down their bars" signifies to destroy their principles of the false, and the false devastating Truths; "bars" here denoting principles of the false, and the "Chaldeans" those who devastate by falsities: for by "Babylon", in the Word, are signified those who by evils destroy Goods, and by the "Chaldeans" those who by falsities destroy Truths; a "shouting in their ships" denotes the destruction of their doctrinals, Apocalypse Explained 514.

As to the signification of "bars", see Chapter 45:2, the Exposition.

16. Thus says Jehovah, who made a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

Verse 16. That by "sea,", in this passage, is not understood the sea, nor by "waters" are understood waters, is evident, forasmuch as it is said that "therein is the way and the path of Jehovah"; wherefore by "sea" and by "waters" are understood such things as Jehovah or the Lord is in, which are the knowledges of Truth in general from the Word, and Truths therein; the "sea" denoting those knowledges, and the "waters" Truths. Knowledges and Truths differ in this, that knowledges are of the natural man, and Truths of the spiritual man. Apocalypse Explained 275.

As to the further meaning of the "sea", when mentioned in the Word, see Chapter 21:1, the Exposition.

17. Who brought forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power; together they lie down, they rise up no more: they are extinguished, they are quenched like tow.

18. Remember not the former things; and the things of old do not consider:

Verse 17. As to the spiritual meaning of "horses" and "chariots", see Chapter 31:1, the Exposition.

They are quenched like tow. - As to the meaning of "tow", see Chapter 1:30, 31, the Exposition, and verse 31, note.

19. Behold, I make a new thing; even now shall it spring. forth: will you not acknowledge it? yea, I will make in the.wilderness a way, and rivers in the desert.

Verses 19, 20. Treating of the Lord, and of the New Church from Him, which is understood by "Behold, I make a new thing; even now shall it spring forth."

By "making a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert", is signified to give Truths and the intelligence of Truths where they were not before; "way" denotes Truth leading to heaven, and "rivers" intelligence.

By "giving drink to the people" is signified to instruct those who desire to be instructed.

By "the beast of the field, the dragons, and the daughters of the owl", are signified those who know Truths and Goods from the memory only, and do not understand and perceive them; such are they who speak Truth without any idea of it, depending only upon others. Apocalypse Explained 518.

20. The beast of the field shall honour Me; the dragons, and the daughters of the owl: because I have given waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen.

21. The people, whom I have formed for Myself, shall show forth My praise.

Verse 20. That "the beast of the field, dragons, and daughters of the owl", are not here understood, is evident, for these cannot " honour Jehovah"; but that the men of the church are understood, is manifest from its being said in what follows, "to give drink to My people, My chosen"; wherefore by the "beast of the field " are signified the affections of the knowledges of Truth, by "dragons " natural ideas, and by the "daughters of the owl" sensual affections, for the sensual principle is affected with Truths, and sees them in darkness, as owls see objects in the night. Hence it is also evident that the nations or Gentiles are hereby understood, with whom the New Church was to be established, for before reformation they were in such an obscure affection and natural thought.

By "giving waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert", is signified to imbue with Truths and thence with intelligence, those who were before in ignorance. "Waters" denoting Truths, "rivers" intelligence, and

"wilderness" and "desert" signify ignorance. To "Give drink to the people of Jehovah, and to His chosen", signifies to instruct those who are in the Truths of faith and In the Good of charity; they are called "people" who are principled in the Truths of faith, and they "chosen" who are in the Good of charity. Apocalypse Explained 650.

As to the "daughters of the owl", in a bad sense, or the sensual perceptions of the mind entirely perverted, see Chapter 13:19-22, the Exposition. "Dragons" in this verse, as in Chapter 35:7, signify those who, although sensual, can nevertheless receive the Truth and be saved.

22. But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, O Israel!

Verse 22. That to "call upon the name of Jehovah" is a frequent and common form of expression for all the worship ot the Lord, is well-known. The Lord cannot be worshipped except from charity; if from faith which is not from charity, there is no worship, because it is only from the mouth and not from the heart. "You have not brought to Me the lamb of your burnt-offering, neither have you honoured Me with your sacrifices", etc. In these words, in a summary form, all representative worship is involved. Arcana Coelestia 440.

23. You have not brought to Me the lamb of your burnt-offering: neither have you honoured Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with an offering, nor wearied you with incense.

Verse 23. I have not caused you to serve with an offering; nor wearied you with incense. - Inasmuch as all worship of the Lord is effected from spiritual Good, which is derived from celestial Good, therefore both the "meat-offering" and the "incense" are mentioned in the letter separately, which, notwithstanding, in the internal or spiritual sense, are understood conjointly, but the one from the other. Apocalypse Explained 324. See also 491.

24. You have not bought for Me with silver the sweet cane; neither have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices: but you have made Me to serve with your sins, you have wearied Me with thine iniquities.

Verse 24. These words stand for-you have not acquired for yourself the Truths of faith. "Neither have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices", for-you have not acquired the Good of love. Burnt-offerings and sacrifices were the principal things of divine worship among the Jews; wherefore by " burnt-offerings" and "sacrifices" in general is signified worship, and by the things which were sacrificed, also by all the process of the sacrifice, is signified the quality of worship, and by the "fat" and the "burning" thereof, the very celestial divine principle, which is the Good of love from the Lord. Arcana Coelestia 5943.

25. I, [even] I, am He that blotts out your transgressions for Mine own sake; and your sins I will not remember.

Verse 25. As to the "remission of sins", and what are the signs that sins are remitted or removed, see Chapter 33:24, the Exposition.

26. Put Me in remembrance; let us plead together: declare you, that you mayest be justified.

Verse 26. It is said in the Word concerning Jehovah, that is, the Lord, that He "remembers", and that He "does not remember", by which is signified that whatsoever then happens, whether it be preservation or deliverance, is from Mercy; in like manner as when it is said of Him that He "sees", "hears", and "knows", and that He "does not see", "does not hear", and "does not know", by which also commiserations and non-commiserations are understood. That it is so said is from similitude with man, and from appearance, for when a man turns himself away from the Lord, which is the case when he does evil, then because the Lord is at his back, it appears as though the Lord did not see him, did not hear him, and did not know him, nor remember him; whereas all this is with man, Hence from the appearance it is so said in the Word; whereas, when a man turns himself to the Lord, which is the case when he does well, the contrary is the case. Every one may know that "remembrance" and "remembering" cannot be predicated of the Lord, since things past and future in Him are eternal, that is, are present to Him from eternity to eternity. Arcana Coelestia 9849.

As to "pleading [or reasoning] together", see Chapter 1:18, the Exposition.

27. Your first, father has sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against Me.

Verse 27. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 1:28.

28. Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and will give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

Verse 28. To "profane the princes of the sanctuary " signifies holy Truths; the extirpation of the Truth of the external and of the internal church is signified by "giving Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches." Arcana Coelestia 5044 Arcana Coelestia 5044[1-13].

---
Isaiah Chapter 43

1. BUT now, thus says Jehovah, your Creator, O Jacob, and your Former, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you art Mine.

2. When you passest through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walkest through the fire, you shalt not be burnt; and the flame shall not kindle upon you.

3. For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour: I have given Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your stead.

4. Because you have been precious in My eyes, you have been honoured, and I have loved you: therefore will I give men instead of you, and peoples instead of your soul.

5. Fear not, for I am with you: from the east I will bring your seed, and from the west I will gather you;

6. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Withhold not: bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth;

7. Everyone that is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed; yea, whom I have made.

8. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

9. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled: who among them will declare this, and will show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

10. You are My witnesses, says Jehovah; even My servant, whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me no God was formed, and after Me there shall be none.

11. I, [even] I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no Saviour.

12. I have declared, and I have saved: I have made it known; nor was it any strange [god] among you: and you are My witnesses, says Jehovah, that I am God.

13. Yea, before the day was, I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I work; and who shall hinder it?

14. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake have I sent to Babylon, and I will cast down all her bars; and the Chaldeans, whose shouting is in their ships:

15. I am Jehovah, your Holy One; the Creator of Israel, your King.

16. Thus says Jehovah, who made a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

17. Who brought forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power; together they lie down, they rise up no more: they are extinguished, they are quenched like tow.

18. Remember not the former things; and the things of old do not consider:

19. Behold, I make a new thing; even now shall it spring. forth: will you not acknowledge it? yea, I will make in the.wilderness a way, and rivers in the desert.

20. The beast of the field shall honour Me; the dragons, and the daughters of the owl: because I have given waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen.

21. The people, whom I have formed for Myself, shall show forth My praise.

22. But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, O Israel!

23. You have not brought to Me the lamb of your burnt-offering: neither have you honoured Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with an offering, nor wearied you with incense.

24. You have not bought for Me with silver the sweet cane; neither have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices: but you have made Me to serve with your sins, you have wearied Me with thine iniquities.

25. I, [even] I, am He that blotts out your transgressions for Mine own sake; and your sins I will not remember.

26. Put Me in remembrance; let us plead together: declare you, that you mayest be justified.

27. Your first, father has sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against Me.

28. Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and will give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 43


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 440, 4281, 10256

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