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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 44:21

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21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

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Explanation of Isaiah 44      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 44

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

1. BUT hear now, O Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

VERSES 1-6. These words imply that GOD MESSIAH gives to the regenerate man spiritual and celestial gifts.

By "Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen", are understood all the regenerate. "Fear you not, O My servant Jacob", etc., are words of exhortation that man may not despair in temptations, and that he may thus be supported, wherefore he is here called "Jeshurun", [see note, p 451.] and not Israel. "Waters upon the thirsty" are spiritual gifts and comforts; the "thirsty" and the "dry" are predicated of him who is in temptation; "your seed" is everything which is sown, as in a field, in the man who is about to be regenerated; the "blessing" is the increase, and the "offspring" are the things which are hence horn; hence the "grass" or the "new creature", as he is then called; the regenerate are compared to " trees by the water-brooks." Verse 5 treats of the quality of the new man, that is, when he has put on the new man, namely, that he shall be called by the name of "Jacob", who in the supreme sense is the MESSIAH, as shown above, and "written in the book of life"; he "writes with his own hand to be Jehovah's, and surnames himself by the name of Israel", because by the divine Mercy of GOD MESSIAH he has sustained temptations, (Swedenborg's Notes on Isaiah, p. 110.)

Verse 1. Israel, whom I have chosen. - That the Jews were chosen to form a representative or a typical church, and were not chosen, in the sense of salvation, above other nations, see above, Chapter 14:1, the Exposition.

2. Thus says Jehovah, your Maker, and your Former from the womb, who will help you: Fear you not, O My servant Jacob; and you, O Jeshurun, whom I have chosen:

Verses 2, 24. The Lord, in many parts of the Word, is called "Creator", "Maker", and "Former from the womb", and also "Redeemer", by reason that He creates man anew, reforms, regenerates, and redeems. It may be supposed that the Lord is so called because He creates man and forms him in the womb, but still it is a spiritual creation and formation which is there understood; for the Word is not only natural, but also spiritual. Apocalypse Explained 710.

The Lord is called "Maker and Former from the womb", because He regenerates man, and from being natural makes him spiritual. Because regeneration is effected by Truth and Good, therefore it is said that He will "pour out waters upon the thirsty", etc.; for by "waters" is meant Truth. Arcana Coelestia 8013.

As to the process of "regeneration", see Chapter 8:3, the Exposition.

3. For I will pour out waters upon the thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground: I will pour out My spirit upon your seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.

4. And they shall spring up among the grass; as the willows beside the water-brooks.

Verse 3. To "pour out waters upon the thirsty", signifies to instruct those in Truths who are in the affection of Truth; to "pour out streams upon the dry ground", means to give intelligence to those who, by virtue of Good, are in the desire of Truth. The like is signified by "pouring out the spirit and the blessing"; for by the "Spirit of God" is understood the Divine Truth, and by "blessing" the multiplication and fructification thereof, thus intelligence. Who does not see that in this passage, and in those above quoted, "waters" and "rivers", "desert" and "wilderness", are not understood, but such things as appertain to the church? Apocalypse Explained 518. See also in this chapter, verse 27.

Verses 3, 4. By the "Spirit of Jehovah" is signified the Divine Truth, and by "blessing" the multiplication and fructification thereof; hence intelligence by scientific Truth is understood by "springing up among the grass. Apocalypse Explained 507.

As to "grass", see Chapter 35:7; and for the signification of "willows", both in a good and in a bad sense, see Chapter 15:7, the Exposition.

5. One shall say, I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall write with his hand to be Jehovah's, and shall surname himself by the name of Israel.

Verse 5. These things are said concerning the Lord, and concerning His Divine Human.

By "Jacob" and by "Israel", where the Lord is treated of, is denoted His Human, and that it was also Jehovah, is understood by "One saying, I am Jehovah's", and by "writing with his hand to be Jehovah 's." In the supreme sense "Israel" and "Jacob" denote the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 222. See also

Arcana Coelestia 4286, 4570.

The reason why "writing" upon any one denotes to implant in the life, is, because to write is to commit anything to paper from the memory, thought, and mind, in order that it may endure or remain; wherefore, in the spiritual sense, it signifies that which is to remain in the life of man, being inscribed and implanted in him; thus the natural sense of this expression is turned into the spiritual sense, for it is natural to write upon paper or in a hook, but it is spiritual to inscribe on the life, which is done when it is imprinted in the faith and love, for love and faith make the spiritual life of man Inasmuch as to "write" signifies to implant in the life, therefore also it is said of Jehovah, or of the Lord, that "He writeth" and "has written in a book", whereby is understood what is inscribed by the Lord on the spirit of man, that is, in his heart and soul. or what is the same, in his love and faith, as in David:

"Let them be blotted out of the book of lives, and let them not be written with the just." (Psalm 69:28)

Again:

"There shall not enter any into the New Jerusalem, but those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27)

In these and in other passages of similar import, it is not understood that they are written in a book, but that all things appertaining to faith and love are inscribed on the spirit of man. The same is also evident from Jeremiah:

"I will give My law in the midst of them, and will write it upon their heart." (Jeremiah 31:33)

To "give the law in the midst of them" denotes divine Truth in them; "in the midst" signifies within or inwardly in man; and to "write it upon the heart" is to impress it upon the love, for the "heart" signifies the love.

Again,

"They who recede from Me shall be written in the earth", etc. (Jeremiah 17:13, 14)

To be "written in the earth" is to be condemned on account of the state of life, inasmuch as by "earth" here is signified what is condemned. Hence it is evident what is meant by "the Lord's writing twice with His finger on the earth", when the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Him the woman taken in adultery, (John 8:2-11) namely, the same as in Jeremiah, - [utter condemnation of the sin of adultery; the opposite is to have "one's name written. in heaven", (Luke 10:12) which is salvation.] Apocalypse Explained 222.

6. Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God.

Verse 6. That the Lord, as the "First", contains all things in connection by the "Last" or Ultimate, can be evident from the Word and from Man. The Word in last principles is its literal sense, and the Word in the first is the Lord; and the Word in its interiors is its internal sense, which is perceived in the heavens, and which takes those who are there look to "one end, who is the Lord. Man in last principles is the church upon earth, - Man in first principles is the Lord; Man in interior principles is Heaven; for the church and heaven are before the

Lord as one Man, which is therefore called the greatest or Grand Man. There is a continual connection between them, and according to this connection is the influx of all things from the Lord through the heavens to the church on earth. By the "heavens" are understood the angels who are there; and by the "church" the men, that is, the true men of the church; and by "Man" in first principles, or as the "First", is the Lord as to His Divine Human. That from the "First" by the "Last" all things are kept in connection, and stand together, is understood by the Lord's words in the Apocalypse:

"These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive again." 2:8.
Arcana Coelestia 10044.

7. And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, from the time that I appointed the ancient people? the signs, and the things that shall come, let them declare unto them.

Verse 7. The signs. - See Chapter 41:23, note.

8. Fear you not, neither be you afraid: have I not told it unto you from the first, and have declared it? and you are My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.

Verse 8. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock: I know not any. - By the "Rock" here also is understood the Lord as to Divine Truth. - Apocalypse Explained 411. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 16:1.

9. The formers of a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things which they most desire shall not profit: and they are their own witnesses; they see not, they know not; so that they shall be ashamed.

Verses 9-20. By the whole of this description of the "graven image" is understood the formation of doctrine from self-derived intelligence, and all things, as to every particular of the description, signify the particular things of such formation. To what purpose else would such a prolix description of the formation alone of a "graven image " be given in the divine Word? That there is nothing but what is false, because from self derived intelligence, is understood by "'The formers of a graven image are all of them emptiness [or vanity]", and by " the things which they most desire being of no profit"; also by their having no knowledge and intelligence, and by not saying "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" The self-derived intelligence from which the false of doctrine is formed is described by "the fashioning of iron with the tongs", and by "working it in the coals with the strength of his arm"; to "fashion iron with the tongs", and to " work it in the coals", denoting to forge out falsities which favour the loves of man's proprium. The conjoining of falsities to falsities by fallacies, from which they appear as Truths, is described by "He stretches out the line; he marks it out with a rule; he makes it with tools; he marks it out with the compass; and he makes it according to the form of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may abide in the house."

By "the form of a man" is signified the appearance of Truth; by "the beauty of a man " the appearance of Intelligence thence derived; and by "abiding in the house" is understood the appearance of spiritual life thence derived. That there is thence no life of intelligence, or of the perception of Truth and of Good, is signified by "They know not, neither do they understand", also by "their eyes not seeing, and their hearts not understanding. "The particular exposition of everything contained in this description would be too prolix; it is sufficient that everyone may see that something more interior and more wise is signified than the formation only of a "graven image." Let it be known that such heavenly wisdom is contained in this description as is ineffable, in which wisdom are the angels when it is read by man, although man thinks of nothing else but of a graven image and its formation; for as many as are the expressions in the above passage, so many are the correspondences, and hence so many arcana of wisdom. Apocalypse Explained 587. See also Arcana Coelestia 10406.

10. Who has formed a god, and cast a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11. Behold, all his associates shall be ashamed; and the workmen themselves are of men: they shall assemble all of them; they shall stand; they shall fear, and be ashamed together.

12. He fashions iron with the tongs; he works it in the coals, find forms it with sharp hammers; and he works it with the strength of his arm: yea, he is hungry, and has no strength; he drinks no waters, and he is faint.

13. He fashions wood, he stretches out the line; he marks it out with a rule; he makes it with tools; he marks it out with the compass; and he makes it according to the form of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may abide in the house.

Verses 10, 12. In this passage is described the formation of doctrine from the proprium, both in the intellect and love.

By "forming a god" is understood doctrine from the intellect, which is of the proprium; and by "casting a graven image", doctrine from the love, which is of the proprium, By" fashioning iron with the tongs, and working it in the coals", is signified the false, which he calls Truth, and the evil, which he calls Good; "iron" denoting the false, and a "fire of coals" the evil of the love of the proprium.

By "He forms it with sharp [or pointed] hammers" is signified by ingenious reasonings, grounded in falsities, which appear to cohere; by "the strength of his arm with which he so works it" is signified from the proprium; by "hungering" is understood the deprivation of Good, and by "not drinking" the deprivation of Truth; and by "his strength failing" and by being "wearied" is meant until nothing of Good and of Truth remains. Who forms any other idea, if he sees the Word merely from the sense of the letter, but that the formation of a "graven image" is here described? Nevertheless, he may see that such description of the formation of a "graven image " does not involve anything spiritual, also that it is superfluous to say that "he hungers until he has no strength, nor drinks until he is faint"; whereas not only in this, but in all passages of a similar nature in the Word, the formation of a religion and doctrine of what is false is described by "idols", "sculptured and molten images", which, that they signify the falsities of religion and of doctrine, originating in the intellect and love which are grounded in the proprium, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia; Arcana Coelestia 8869, 8932, 8941. Apocalypse Explained 386.

Verses 12, 13. He fashions iron, etc.; - he fashions Wood, etc. - [The process of forming idols out of "iron" and out of "wood" is here minutely described. An "idol" fashioned or framed out of iron, signifies falsities, or false doctrines respecting Truth in the literal sense of the Word, to which Truth "iron" corresponds, (Apocalypse Explained 70, 131, 411, 1147)

Such false doctrines as are signified by "idols made of iron" are framed when the appearances of the literal sense of the Word are taken for genuine Truths, as that God is angry, that from vengeance He punishes, that He casts into hell, that He leads into temptation, that He does evil, etc. They who frame their doctrines out of the mere appearances of Truth in the letter of the Word, and not from the literal sense rightly understood, make idols out of iron; and the process of their formation here depicted corresponds to the cupidities and the ingenious reasonings of the merely natural mind, by which such doctrines are forged, as a smith forges iron into various forms. To "fashion wood" into an idol, signifies to frame false doctrines as to good works, to which "wood" in one sense corresponds. (Apocalypse Revealed 459) "Idols of wood", or false doctrines relating to good works, are of various kinds, originating chiefly in the false doctrine of "Salvation of Faith only." Such "idols of wood", or such falsities, endeavour to prove, amongst other false principles, that good works do not contribute to salvation, that they are necessarily meritorious, that they derogate from Christ's merits, and that they are merely moral acts, necessary for man's life in the world, but not to be considered as conducive to his eternal life in heaven. The fallacious and ingenious reasonings" by which such doctrines are framed and maintained, are denoted by the process by which the workman makes the idol, "stretching out his line, marking it out with his rule, applying his compass", etc., - so as to make such doctrines into "the form of a man", or into the appearance of Truth itself. As to the signification of "idols" of gold, of silver, of brass, of stone, and of wood, see above, Chapter 2:20, the Exposition.]

14. He hews down cedars for himself, and he takes the box and the oak; and he chooses for himself from among the trees of the forest: he plants the ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

15. That it may be to a man for fuel: and he takes thereof, and warms himself; yea, he kindles it, and baketh bread: he also forms a god, and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and bows down thereto.

Verse 14. As to the meaning of "cedars" and "oaks", both in a good and in a bad sense, see above, Chapter 2:12-17, the Exposition.

16. A part thereof he burns in the fire; and on a part thereof [he prepareth] flesh, and eats: he roasts roast, that he may be satisfied; he also warms himself, and says, Ah! I am warm; I have seen the fire.

Verses 16, 19. In the Word what is "roasted" is distinguished from what is "boiled." By what is "roasted" is signified Good, because by fire; and by what is "boiled" is understood Truth, because by water. From this it is evident what is understood in the spiritual sense by "the broiled or roasted fish"; (Luke 24:42, 43) and what by "the fish on the fire of coals", when the Lord , appeared to His disciples, concerning which we read in John :

"As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and "bread; Jesus then cometh, and takes bread, and giveth to them, and fish likewise." (John 21, 13)

By the "fish "is signified, the Truth of the natural principle; (see Arcana Coelestia 991) but by the "fire of coals", Good;thus by the "fish laid thereon" is signified. the Truth of spiritual Good in the natural principle. He who does not believe that there is an internal sense in the Word, cannot believe otherwise than that when the Lord appeared to the disciples there was no arcanum involved in the circumstance, but that a fish was on the fire of coals, and that the Lord gave it to the disciples to eat. Because by what is "roasted by fire" is signified the Good which is of celestial and spiritual love, therefore, in the opposite sense, by what is "roasted by fire" is signified the evil which is of the love of self and of the world, as in Isaiah:

"A part thereof he burns in the fire; and on a part thereof [he prepares] flesh, and eats; he roasts roast, that he may be satisfied", etc. (Isaiah 44:16, 19)

The subject here treated of is concerning the worshippers of a graven image. By a "graven image" is understood the false of evil, which is thus described; to "roast roast", and to "roast flesh", is to operate or to work out evil from filthy love.That " fire", in the opposite sense, is the evil of self-love and of worldly love, or of the cupidities which arise from those loves, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 1297, 1861. Arcana Coelestia 7852.

Verse 16. He warms himself, and says, Ah! I am warm; I have seen the fire. - [To "warm one's self by a fire of coals", (John 18:18) as Peter and the servants of the Sanhedrin did, when Jesus was about to be crucified, signifies to warm one's self by the excited fires of self-love. "Ah! I have seen the fire", implies gladness at the ascendancy of selfish purposes either of dominion or of gain, when false doctrines, denoted by these "idols", so prevail as to secure these objects and ends of selfish and worldly love.]

17. And the residue thereof he makes a god, [even] his graven image: he bows down to it, and worships it; and he prays unto it, and says, Deliver me; for you art my god!

18. They know not, neither do they understand: for He has besmeared their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand:

19. Neither doth he lay it to his heart; neither has he knowledge nor understanding to say, Part of it I have burned in the fire; I have also baked bread on the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and I have eaten: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I bow myself down to the stock of a tree?

Verses 17, 18. These words denote that in "idols" [or false doctrinesJ there are no Truths and Goods; for all things which proceed from self-intelligence, are inwardly not Truths and Goods, but falsities and evils, for they proceed from man's proprium, which is radically evil. Arcana Coelestia 8869.

20. He feeds on ashes: a deluded heart has caused him to err; so that he cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

21. Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel; for you art My servant: I have formed you; you art a servant unto Me: O Israel, you shalt not be forgotten by Me.

Verse 20. "Ashes" signify the falsities derived from the evil of lusts. The reason why "ashes" signify the falsities of lusts, is, because ashes are from combustibles, and what is combustible, as also "fire" itself in the Word, in the good sense, signifies the Good of heavenly affections; but, in the opposite sense, the evil of infernal lusts. Arcana Coelestia 7519.

[Hence it appears that when the maker of idols is said to "feed upon ashes", all those who frame false doctrines, and who believe in them, will eventually, if these "idols" are not rejected, have their minds imbued and fed with mere falsities from evil.]

A deluded heart has caused him to err, so that he cannot deliver his own soul. - "Heart" signifies the life of love, and "soul" the life of faith; to "go astray" from these things is to incline to what is evil and false. Arcana Coelestia 9050.

He cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, is there not a lie in my right hand?

And in David:

"You have exalted the right hand of his enemies." (Psalm 89:42)

Again,

"Whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of a lie." (Psalm 144:8, 11)

The reason why by the "right hand", when predicated of the evil, signifies the false, and thence ratiocination and combat against Truth, is, because the quarters with those who are in evil, are opposite to the quarters which are with those who are in Good, so that to the right of the former Truths are in dense darkness, but falsities, as it were, in the greatest light. That the quarters in the spiritual world with those who are in evil, are opposite to the quarters which are with those who are in Good, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell 151, 152; and the reason thereof, n. 122, 123. Apocalypse Explained 298.

22. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed you.

Verse 22. "Transgressions" and also "sins" are here mentioned, on account of the marriage of Goodness and Truth in every minute particular of the Word; for "transgression" [praevaricatio]; signifies evil against Truth, which is a less evil, and "sin" is evil, against Good, which is a greater evil. Hence it is that both are mentioned, as in Isaiah 44:22; and in Ezekiel 18:24; 21:29; and in David:

"Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered." (Psalm 32:1) Arcana Coelestia 6563.

23. Sing, O you heavens, for Jehovah has done it; shout, O you lower parts of the earth: burst forth into singing, O you mountains; you forest, and every tree therein! for Jehovah has redeemed Jacob, and has glorified Himself in Israel.

24. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb: I am Jehovah, who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads forth the earth by Myself;

Verse 23. The subject treated of in this passage is concerning the Lord, His advent, and salvation by Him; and because these things were about to come, therefore mention is made of a "new song." The joy thence arising is described not only by singing, playing, making a loud noise, jubilating, clapping, but also by various musical instruments, whose sounds are in agreement therewith; it is likewise said that "the rivers, the sea, the field, the forest, the trees therein, Lebanon, the wilderness, the mountains", etc., should rejoice, exult, jubilate, sing, clap the hands, and, cry aloud together. The reason why similar things are predicated of those objects is, because they signify such things as appertain to the church, and consequently such as appertain to the man of the church; the "rivers" things appertaining to intelligence, the "sea" things appertaining to science, which are in agreement with Truths and Goods, the "field" the Good of the church, "forests" the Truths of the natural man, the "trees" knowledges, "Lebanon" Truth and Good spiritual, the "wilderness " the desire of Truth that Good may be thence attained, and the "mountains" the Goods of love. All these things are said to "sing", to "make a loud noise", to "jubilate", to "cry aloud", and "clap the hands", when they are derived from heaven, for then heavenly joy is in them, and thereby in man; for man is not in heavenly joy unless the Truths and Goods which are with him, are derived from heaven, - the joy of the heart, which is truly joy, being from thence, and consequently the joy of the man with whom these things are.

From these considerations it may appear why the like is predicated concerning them as concerning man, namely, because joy is in them, and thereby in man. Such joy is in every spiritual and celestial Good, and thence in those with whom those Goods are; for heaven flows in with its joy, that is, the Lord through heaven, into the Goods, and thence into the Truths, which are from Him with man, and thereby into the man, and not into the man deprived of them, or empty. Those Goods, and the Truths thence derived, are what exult, jubilate, make a loud noise, sing, play, and thus rejoice, by virtue of influx out of heaven, and thence cause the same in the heart of man. Inasmuch as there are various affections of Good and of Truth, and as each expresses itself by a sound agreeable to its quality, therefore in the Word various kinds of "instruments" are mentioned, especially in David, by which similar affections are signified. He who knows the internal sense of the Word, and, at the same time, the sounds of the "instruments" which are there named, may know what particular affection as there signified and described. The angels know this from the mention of them alone, and, at the same time, from the thing described in the expressions made use of when man reads the Word. Apocalypse Explained 326.

Verses 23, 24. Sing, O you heavens, etc. - "Sing, O you heavens; shout, O you lower parts, of the earth: burst forth into singing, O you mountains; you forest, and every tree therein!" signify all things of heaven and of the church, as well internal as external, all which have reference to Good and to Truth. Things internal are signified by the "heavens", things external by the "lower parts of the earth"; the "mountains" denote the Goods of love, the "forest" natural Truth and the "trees" therein the knowledges of Truth. By reason of such significations. It is said "For Jehovah has redeemed Jacob, and has glorified Himself in Israel"; by "Jacob", in the Word, is signified the external church, and by "Israel" the internal. To "stretch out the heavens" and to "spread forth the earth", signifies the church on all sides, which is expanded and extended by the multiplication of Truth and by the fructification of Good with those who are of the church. Apocalypse Explained 304.

Verses 24, 26. Jehovah, your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb, etc. - These words also treat concerning the advent of the Lord, who is "Jehovah your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb." He is called "Redeemer" by virtue of His liberating from hell, and "Former from the womb" by virtue of His regenerating man. The prediction by the prophets concerning Him, and concerning the salvation of men, is understood by "establishing the word of His servant, and performing the counsel of His messengers." That they who are of His church shall be saved, and instructed in the Truths of celestial doctrine, is understood by His "saying to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall he built"; "Jerusalem" denoting the church, and the "cities of Judah" the Truths of celestial doctrine. That the falsities which destroy the church shall be shaken off, is understood by "I will raise up the waste places thereof." That Jerusalem and Judah are not here literally meant, is evident, inasmuch as the Lord said that "Jerusalem should be destroyed", which came to pass accordingly. Apocalypse Explained 433.

25. Who frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes the diviners mad; who rejects wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

26. Who establishes the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers: who says to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built; and her waste places I will raise up;

Verses 25, 26. These words treat of the rejection of a church whose doctrine is from man's self-intelligence; and they also treat of the establishment of a New Church, whose doctrine is from the Lord. The doctrine from man's self-intelligence is understood by "frustrating the tokens of the liars, by rejecting wise men backward, and by making their knowledge foolish." The doctrine which is from the Lord is understood by "saying to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built." Apocalypse Explained 223.

Verses 26, 27. Jehovah says to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, etc. - The restoration of the church and of doctrine is signified by being "inhabited" and by being "built." The dissipation of the evils and falsities which are from the hells, and protection from them, is signified by "drying up the deep", and by "making dry the rivers." Apocalypse Explained 538.

27. Who says to the deep, Be you dry; and I will dry up your rivers;

Verse 27. These words signify the dissipation of evils and falsities; for where "waters" signify Truths, "drying up" signifies a state of no Truth, or without Truth, as at verse 3 of this chapter:

"I will pour out waters upon the thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground"; "waters" and "streams" signify Truth, and "dry ground" where there is no Truth. Arcana Coelestia 8185. See also Chapter 11:15, 10, the Exposition.

28. Who says to Cyrus, My shepherd! and he shall perform all My pleasure: who to Jerusalem, You shalt be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.

Verse 28. That "Cyrus" is a representative or type of Jehovah in His Divine Human, or of the Lord Jesus Christ, see Chapter 45:1, the Exposition.

To the temple, Your foundation shall be laid. - As to the "Temple", and its important signification, see Chapter 6:1, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 44

1. BUT hear now, O Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

2. Thus says Jehovah, your Maker, and your Former from the womb, who will help you: Fear you not, O My servant Jacob; and you, O Jeshurun, whom I have chosen:

3. For I will pour out waters upon the thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground: I will pour out My spirit upon your seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring.

4. And they shall spring up among the grass; as the willows beside the water-brooks.

5. One shall say, I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob: and another shall write with his hand to be Jehovah's, and shall surname himself by the name of Israel.

6. Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God.

7. And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, from the time that I appointed the ancient people? the signs, and the things that shall come, let them declare unto them.

8. Fear you not, neither be you afraid: have I not told it unto you from the first, and have declared it? and you are My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no Rock; I know not any.

9. The formers of a graven image are all of them vanity; and the things which they most desire shall not profit: and they are their own witnesses; they see not, they know not; so that they shall be ashamed.

10. Who has formed a god, and cast a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11. Behold, all his associates shall be ashamed; and the workmen themselves are of men: they shall assemble all of them; they shall stand; they shall fear, and be ashamed together.

12. He fashions iron with the tongs; he works it in the coals, find forms it with sharp hammers; and he works it with the strength of his arm: yea, he is hungry, and has no strength; he drinks no waters, and he is faint.

13. He fashions wood, he stretches out the line; he marks it out with a rule; he makes it with tools; he marks it out with the compass; and he makes it according to the form of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may abide in the house.

14. He hews down cedars for himself, and he takes the box and the oak; and he chooses for himself from among the trees of the forest: he plants the ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

15. That it may be to a man for fuel: and he takes thereof, and warms himself; yea, he kindles it, and baketh bread: he also forms a god, and worships it; he makes it a graven image, and bows down thereto.

16. A part thereof he burns in the fire; and on a part thereof [he prepareth] flesh, and eats: he roasts roast, that he may be satisfied; he also warms himself, and says, Ah! I am warm; I have seen the fire.

17. And the residue thereof he makes a god, [even] his graven image: he bows down to it, and worships it; and he prays unto it, and says, Deliver me; for you art my god!

18. They know not, neither do they understand: for He has besmeared their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand:

19. Neither doth he lay it to his heart; neither has he knowledge nor understanding to say, Part of it I have burned in the fire; I have also baked bread on the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and I have eaten: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I bow myself down to the stock of a tree?

20. He feeds on ashes: a deluded heart has caused him to err; so that he cannot deliver his own soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

21. Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel; for you art My servant: I have formed you; you art a servant unto Me: O Israel, you shalt not be forgotten by Me.

22. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed you.

23. Sing, O you heavens, for Jehovah has done it; shout, O you lower parts of the earth: burst forth into singing, O you mountains; you forest, and every tree therein! for Jehovah has redeemed Jacob, and has glorified Himself in Israel.

24. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and your Former from the womb: I am Jehovah, who makes all things; who stretches out the heavens alone; who spreads forth the earth by Myself;

25. Who frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes the diviners mad; who rejects wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;

26. Who establishes the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers: who says to Jerusalem, You shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built; and her waste places I will raise up;

27. Who says to the deep, Be you dry; and I will dry up your rivers;

28. Who says to Cyrus, My shepherd! and he shall perform all My pleasure: who to Jerusalem, You shalt be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 44


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 4281

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Scriptural Confirmations 14, 89

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