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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 #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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Isaiah 48:12

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12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

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Explanation of Isaiah 48      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 48

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

1. HEAR you this, O house of Jacob; you, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of Jehovah, and who make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in justice:

VERSE 1. The "house of Jacob and Israel" is the church; to "come forth out of the waters of Judah" is from doctrine out of the Word, for the church is from thence. That "waters" denote Truths of doctrine from the Word, may be seen above, Chapter 12:3, the Exposition. Apocalypse Explained 119.

The "waters of Judah" signify the Truths which are from the Good of love to the Lord; the Truths thence derived are the essential Goods of charity, which are called spiritual Goods, and which make the spiritual church, the internal of which is "Israel", and the external of which is the "house of Jacob." Hence it is evident what is meant by the "house of Jacob, called by the name of Israel, and come forth out of the Waters of Judah." Arcana Coelestia 3654.

Verses 1, 2. Who are called by the name of Israel, etc. - To "call by a name" signifies quality, · (see Chapter 4:1, the Exposition.) and to "call", without mentioning a name, signifies, in the internal sense, to be of such a quality, as in Isaiah:

"For they are called of the holy city"; (Isaiah 48:2) where, to be " called of [or from] the holy city", is to be of such a quality [as is signified by the holy city].

And in Luke:

"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; (Luke 1:32) to be, "called the Son of the Highest", is to be [the Son of the Highest]. Arcana Coelestia 3421.

Who swear by the name of Jehovah. - As to "swearing", see above, Chapter 45:23, the Exposition.

2. For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; Jehovah of Hosts is His name.

Verse 2. Jerusalem was called the "holy city", because it signified the church as to the doctrine of Truth, and the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is what is called "Holy." That that "city", without such a representation, and consequent signification, was by no means holy, but rather profane, may be manifest from this consideration, that they rejected and crucified the Lord there; wherefore it is also called "Sodom and Egypt." (Revelation 11:8)

But whereas it signified the church as to the doctrine of Truth, it was called not only the "holy city", but also the "city of God", and the "city of the great King", Apocalypse Explained 223.

See above, Chapter 1:1, the Exposition, why "Jerusalem" signified the church as to doctrinals.

Jehovah of Hosts. - See Chapter 1:9, 24, the Exposition.

3. The former things from the beginning I declared: and from My mouth they went forth, and I made them known: suddenly I effected them, and they came to pass.

Verse 3. [The "former things" which the Lord declared, and which "came to pass", relate to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, and which were fulfilled according to the divine predictions. These things or events are appealed to, in order to show to the Jews captive in Babylon, that their deliverance would also be effected, and that they should trust in the Lord for this purpose; but their unbelieving spirit is denoted by "their neck being a sinew of iron", and who would not believe these divine declarations, until at length. "suddenly", unexpectedly, the judgment would come. For although, in the literal sense, the judgment coming upon Babylon, through the attack of Cyrus, is understood, yet, in the primary idea, or in the spiritual sense, the judgment upon the church denoted by "Babylon" is meant.]

4. Because I knew that you wast obstinate, and that your neck was a sinew of iron, and that your forehead was brass;

Verse 4. In this and in the following passages, the "forehead" signifies that which is opposite to the Good of love, that is, the evil of the love [of self], and thence what is hard, obstinate, impudent, and infernal; - "hard" or "obstinate" in the above passage, also in Ezekiel:

"The house of Israel will not obey Me; for the whole house of Israel are obstinate in the forehead, and hard in the heart." (Ezekiel 3:7, 8)

"Impudent" in Jeremiah:

"The forehead of a woman that is a harlot remains with you; you have refused to be ashamed." (Jeremiah 3:3)

And "infernal" in the Apocalypse, 13:16; 14:9-11, 16:2. For as the Good of love is celestial, and thence mild, patient, and modest, so the evil opposite to that Good is infernal, hard, obstinate, and impudent. Apocalypse Explained 427.

5. Therefore I declared it unto you from the beginning; before it came to pass, I made you to hear it: lest you should say, Mine idol has done them; and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.

6. You didst hear it [beforehand]; behold, the whole [is accomplished]: and will you not declare it? From this time I make you to hear new things, and hidden things which you have not known.

7. They are created now, and not from the beginning; and before the day when you heardest them not; lest you should say, Behold, I knew them!

Verse 5. That by "idols" and "graven and molten images" are signified doctrines from man's own intelligence, and not from the Word, see above, Chapter 40:18-20; 44:9-18; Exposition.

Since falsities and evils of doctrine, which are signified by "graven and molten images", are formed from man's own intelligence, when under the guidance of his self-love, therefore they are called in the Word "the work of man's hands", "the work of the hands of an artificer", and "the work of the hands of the workman or smith", as may be seen from Hosea 13:2; Deuteronomy 27:15; Psalm 115:4; 135:15. Arcana Coelestia 10406.

8. Yea, you have not heard; yea, you have not known; yea, from the first thine ear was not opened: for I knew that you wouldst deal very treacherously, and that you wast called a transgressor from the womb.

Verse 8. That to "see" signifies faith in science and in understanding, and to "hear", faith in obedience or in the will, is from correspondences in the other life, and hence from significatives. Those who are intellectual and in faith hence, belong to the province of the eye, and those who are obedient and in faith hence, belong to the province of the ear. This may be seen from the following passages in this Prophet, namely, Isaiah 1:19; 50:4, 5; 55:2, 3. Arcana Coelestia 3869 Arcana Coelestia 3869[1-14].

I knew that you wouldst deal very treacherously, and that you wast called a transgressor from the womb. - These things are said of the "house of Jacob", by which is signified the church perverted. To "deal treacherously" signifies against the revealed Truths; and to be "called by the name of a transgressor from the womb" signifies recession from Truths from the first time in which reformation could be effected. By being "called by a name" is signified quality as to such things; see above, verse 2. Apocalypse Explained 710.

9. For the sake of My name I will defer Mine anger; and for the sake of My praise I will restrain it from you, that I may not cut you off.

Verse 9. I will defer Mine anger, etc. - In respect to "anger", when ascribed to the Lord, see Chapter 9:12, 17, 21, the Exposition.

10. Behold, I have purified you, but not for silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.

11. For Mine own sake, for Mine own sake, will I do it; for how should [My name] be blasphemed? and My glory I will not give to another.

Verse 10. "Affliction" means temptations, for in the Lord's Word nothing else is signified by "afflictions." (Arcana Coelestia 1846)

What "temptations" are, see Chapter 43:2, the Exposition.

Verse 11. What is signified by "profaning and blaspheming the Lord's name", see Chapter 37:6, 17, 23, 24, the Exposition.

My glory I will not give to another. - "Glory", in the supreme sense, is the Divine Human, thus also the Divine Truth, because this is from the Divine Human, "Not to give glory to another" is only to the Divine Human, which is One with Himself. Arcana Coelestia 5922.

The reason why" glory" signifies the Divine Truth in its fulness, is, because everything magnificent in heaven is from the light which proceeds from the Lord, and the light proceeding from Him as the

Sun of heaven is in its essence Divine Truth. True Christian Religion 780.

12. Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, whom I have called: I am He; I am the First, and I am the Last:

13. Yea, My hand has founded the earth; and My right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Verses 12, 13. By the "foundation of the world", (Revelation 17:8) in the sense of the letter, or in the natural sense, is understood the creation of the world, but in the internal spiritual sense is understood the establishment of the church; for the spiritual sense treats of spiritual things, and the natural sense of natural things, which are of the world. Hence it is that by the "creation of heaven and earth", in the first chapter of Genesis, is described, in the spiritual sense, the new creation, or the establishment of the first or most ancient church on this earth, as may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia. Moreover by "to create", in the Word, is signified to reform, and by "Creator", the Lord as the Reformer and Saviour. The establishment of the church is understood by the "foundation of the world", in Matthew 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24. That the establishment of the church is understood by the "foundation of the earth", is further evident from the passages in the Word where "founding the earth" and the "foundation of the earth" are mentioned, by which the foundation or the creation of the earth is not meant, but the establishment or the creation of the church upon the earth, as in Zechariah:

"Jehovah stretches forth the heavens, and founds the earth and forms the spirit of man within him"; (Zechariah 12:1) where by "stretching forth the heavens" and by "founding the earth", is not understood to stretch forth the visible heaven, and to found the habitable earth, but the church, as to its internals, which are called spiritual things, and as to its externals, which are called natural things; to "found" the one, and to "extend" the other, is to establish [the church], wherefore it is also said that "He forms the spirit of man within him", by which his reformation and regeneration are signified. And in Isaiah 48:12, 13, where by "My hand has founded the earth, and My right hand has spanned the heavens", etc., are signified similar things. Apocalypse Explained 1057.

I am the First, and I am the Last: yea, My hand has founded the earth; and My right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. - By the "hand" and the "right hand" of Jehovah, or of the Lord, is understood Omnipotence; by "the earth which He founds", is denoted the ultimate; "the heaven which He stretches out or extends", is that which is between the First and the Last; to "call them, that they may stand up together", is to hold all interior things together by the ultimate, in connection and in form, that they may regard one end. The one End which they should regard is "the First and the Last", who is the Lord, us is evident from Revelation 2:8, where He is expressly called "the First and the Last." Arcana Coelestia 10044. See also the Exposition of Isaiah 44:6.

14. Gather yourselves together, all of you, and hear: which among them has declared these things? Jehovah has loved him: and He will execute His pleasure on Babylon; and His arm on the Chaldeans.

15. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he will make his way prosperous.

Verses 14, 20. He will execute His pleasure on Babylon; - Come you forth from Babylon, etc. - 1n respect to "Babylon", and its significance in the Word, see above, Chapter 13 and 14, the Exposition.

16. Come near unto Me, and hear you this: From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time when it began to be, there am I. And now the Lord Jehovih has sent Me, and His Spirit.

Verse 16. The Lord Jehovih. - What is understood when the Lord is called by this name, see Chapter 3:15, note and Exposition; and what by His "Spirit", see Chapter 11:2, 3, the Exposition.

17. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Jehovah, your God; who teaches you how to profit; who leads you in the way wherein you should go.

Verse 17. That it was JEHOVAH Himself who descended and assumed Human nature for the purpose of effecting the work of Redemption, see above, Chapter 43:11, the Exposition.

18. O that you hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had your peace been like a river, and your justice as the waves of the sea:

Verses 18, 22. For as much as " peace" can only exist with those who live according to the precepts of the Lord, and not with those who do not so live, therefore it is said, "O that you hadst hearkened to My commandments l then had your peace been like a river, and your justice as the waves of the sea. There is no peace, says Jehovah, to the wicked." "Peace like a river", signifies in abundance; "justice as the waves of the sea", signifies fructification of Good by Truths, "justice", in the Word, being predicated of Good, and the "sea" of Truths. Apocalypse Explained 365. In the Word mention is frequently made of "keeping and doing the commandments of God, and His precepts."

By "doing the precepts of God" is understood the same as by loving the Lord above all things, and our neighbour as ourselves; for whatever man inwardly, or from the heart, loves, that be wills, and what he wills, that he does; and to love God is to love His precepts, these being of God, insomuch that they are God. Hence it may appear how little the followers of Faith alone know what "love" is; they announce or affirm that faith lives from love, and that faith is dead without love, and yet they do not know that "love" and "deeds" are one; they say also that in faith there is love, and yet they are ignorant that there can be no "love" in "faith", if they do not live according to the precepts of the Lord contained in the Word; and that it is from thence, and from no other source whatever, that there can be any "love" in "faith", except what is natural only, which is not the love of the Lord and of the neighbour, but the love of self and of the world, and these loves are altogether destructive of faith, yea, they falsify the Truths which appertain to genuine Faith, which are contained in the Word. Apocalypse Explained 894.

Inasmuch as the church at this day does not know that conjunction with the Lord makes heaven, and that conjunction is effected by the acknowledgement that He is the God of heaven and earth, and at the same time by a life according to His precepts, it may therefore be expedient to say something on the subject. It may be asked by him who is uninstructed in this case "What is conjunction ? How can acknowledgement and life make conjunction? What need is there of these things, when everyone may be saved by mercy alone? What necessity for any other medium of salvation but faith alone? Is not God merciful and omnipotent?" But let such an one know that in the spiritual world knowledge and acknowledgement make all presence, and that the affection which is of love makes all conjunction; for spaces in that world are nothing else but appearances according to the similitudes of minds, that is, of affections and consequent thoughts; wherefore when anyone knows another either from reputation, or from communication with him, or from conversation, or from affinity, whilst he thinks of him from the idea of that knowledge, he is presented to view, although he was a thousand miles off as to appearance; and if any one loves another whom he is acquainted with, he dwells with him in one society, and if he loves him inmostly, in one house. This is the state of all throughout the spiritual world, and it derives its origin from this circumstance, that the Lord is present with everyone according to faith, and conjoined according to love; faith and the consequent presence of the Lord is given by the knowledge of Truths from the Word, especially concerning the Lord Himself there, but love and consequent conjunction is given by a life according to His precepts, for the ·Lord says, "He that has My precepts, and does them, he it is who loves Me; and I will love him, and make abode with him", etc. (John 14:2l-24.) But in what manner this is effected, it may also be expedient to say. The Lord loves everyone, and is willing to be conjoined to him, but He cannot be conjoined so long as man is in the delight of evil, as in the delight of hatred and revenge; in the delight of adultery and whoredom, in the delight of defrauding or stealing under any pretence whatever, in the delight of blaspheming and lying, and in the concupiscences of the love of self and of the world; for everyone who is in those evils, is in consort with devils who are in hell. The Lord, indeed, loves them even there, but He cannot be conjoined with them, unless the delights of those evils be removed; and they cannot be removed by the Lord, unless man explores himself, so as to know his own evils, acknowledging and confessing them before the Lord, and being willing to desist from them, and thus doing the act of repentance. This man ought to do as from himself, because he is not sensible that be does anything from the Lord; and this has been given to man, because conjunction, in order to be conjunction, must be reciprocal, of man with the Lord, and of the Lord with man. So far, therefore, as evils with their delights are thus removed, so far the love of the Lord enters, which, as was said, is universal towards all; and in such case man is withdrawn from hell, and brought into heaven. Apocalypse Revealed 937.

19. And your seed had been as the sand, and the offspring of your bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have been cut off, nor destroyed from before Me.

Verse 19. "Seed as the sand" signifies that if the church had obeyed the Lord's precepts, its Good would have so much increased; and "the offspring of your bowels" its Truths in like manner, for by "the issue or the offspring of your bowels" are signified those who are born of the Lord, or who are in love to the Lord and in charity to their neighbour. (See also the Exposition of Isaiah 63:15.) Arcana Coelestia 1803.

His name should not have been cut off, nor destroyed from before Me. - The "cutting off, and destroying of the name before Jehovah", denotes the quality of the state by which there is conjunction, which state is the spiritual state of those who are of the church which is signified by "Israel." Apocalypse Explained 148.

20. Go you forth from Babylon; flee you from the Chaldeans with the voice of singing: declare you this, and make it heard; utter it forth even to the end of the earth: say you, Jehovah has redeemed His servant Jacob;

Verse 20. As to "Babylon" and "Chaldea", see Chapter xiii., xiv.; also Isaiah 43:14; 47:1, the Exposition.

Verse 20, 21. Jehovah has redeemed His servant Jacob; they shall not thirst in the deserts, through which He unll make them go, yea, He will cleave the rock, etc. - That the "Rock" in Horeb, from which the waters flowed, signified the Lord, is known in the church, [1 Corinthians 10:4.] but that it signified the Lord as to Faith, and also Faith from the Lord, [was shown above, Chap, Isaiah 16:1, the Exposition.] Arcana Coelestia 8581.

21. They shall not thirst in the deserts, through which He will make them go: He will cause waters from the rock to flow for them; yea, He will cleave the rock, and the waters shall gush forth.

Verse 21. He will cause waters from the rock to flow for them, etc."Rock", in this passage, signifies the Lord as to Divine Truth, or, what is the same thing, Divine Truth from the Lord. Apocalypse Explained 411.

22. There is no peace, says Jehovah, to the wicked.

Verse 22. All restlessness arises from what is evil and false, and all peace from what is Good and True. At this day scarcely anyone knows what "Peace" denotes, when it is named in the Word, as in the benediction, "May Jehovah lift up His face upon you, and give you peace!" (Numbers 6:26, and elsewhere.) Almost everyone believes that "peace" consists in security from enemies, and in domestic and social tranquillity, nevertheless this peace is not there meant, but a "peace" which immensely transcends that peace, and which is the heavenly "peace" spoken of just above. No one can be gifted with this "peace" but he who is led of the Lord, and is in the Lord, that is, in heaven, where the Lord is all in all; for heavenly "peace" flows in when the lusts arising from the love of self and of the world are taken away, inasmuch as these lusts are what take away "peace", for they infest the interiors of man, and cause him at length to place rest in restlessness and peace in disturbance, because his delight is in evils. So long as man is in such evils he cannot in any way know what "peace" is; yea, he so long believes that the above "peace" is a thing of nought; and if anyone says that the above "peace" then comes to perception when the delights arising from the love of self and of the world are removed, he ridicules the idea, and the reason is, because he places peace in the delight of evil which is opposite to "peace." Inasmuch as "peace" is of this description, that is, the inmost of all happiness and blessedness, and thence the universal ruling principle in every particular, therefore the ancients adopted a common formula of speech, and said, "Peace be to you!" when they meant to wish anyone's welfare, and inquired whether he had "peace", when they meant to ask whether it.was well with him. Arcana Coelestia 5662.

In respect to heavenly "peace", its origin and its nature, see above, Chapter 9:6, the Exposition.

---
Isaiah Chapter 48

1. HEAR you this, O house of Jacob; you, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of Jehovah, and who make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in justice:

2. For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; Jehovah of Hosts is His name.

3. The former things from the beginning I declared: and from My mouth they went forth, and I made them known: suddenly I effected them, and they came to pass.

4. Because I knew that you wast obstinate, and that your neck was a sinew of iron, and that your forehead was brass;

5. Therefore I declared it unto you from the beginning; before it came to pass, I made you to hear it: lest you should say, Mine idol has done them; and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.

6. You didst hear it [beforehand]; behold, the whole [is accomplished]: and will you not declare it? From this time I make you to hear new things, and hidden things which you have not known.

7. They are created now, and not from the beginning; and before the day when you heardest them not; lest you should say, Behold, I knew them!

8. Yea, you have not heard; yea, you have not known; yea, from the first thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thouwouldst deal very treacherously, and that you wast called a transgressor from the womb.

9. For the sake of My name I will defer Mine anger; and for the sake of My praise I will restrain it from you, that I may not cut you off.

10. Behold, I have purified you, but not for silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.

11. For Mine own sake, for Mine own sake, will I do it; for how should [My name] be blasphemed? and My glory I will not give to another.

12. Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, whom I have called: I am He; I am the First, and I am the Last:

13. Yea, My hand has founded the earth; and My right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

14. Gather yourselves together, all of you, and hear: which among them has declared these things? Jehovah has loved him: and He will execute His pleasure on Babylon; and His arm on the Chaldeans.

15. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he will make his way prosperous.

16. Come near unto Me, and hear you this: From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time when it began to be, there am I. And now the Lord Jehovih has sent Me, and His Spirit.

17. Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Jehovah, your God; who teacheth you how to profit; who leads you in the way wherein you should go.

18. O that you hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had your peace been like a river, and your justice as the waves of the sea:

19. And your seed had been as the sand, and the offspring of your bowels like the gravel thereof: his name should not have been cut off, nor destroyed from before Me.

20. Go you forth from Babylon; flee you from the Chaldeans with the voice of singing: declare you this, and make it heard; utter it forth even to the end of the earth: say you, Jehovah has redeemed His servant Jacob;

21. They shall not thirst in the deserts, through which He will make them go: He will cause waters from the rock to flow for them; yea, He will cleave the rock, and the waters shall gush forth.

22. There is no peace, says Jehovah, to the wicked.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 48


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 3305, 4281, 4286, 6044, 10044

Apocalypse Revealed 13, 589

Doctrine of the Lord 36

True Christian Religion 102


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 1057

Divine Wisdom 8

Marriage 102

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 18

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 Peace Like a River
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