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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1

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 John the Baptist
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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Arcana Coelestia #4444

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

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4444. As they heard it, and the men were grieved, and they were very angry. That this signifies that they were in evil against the truth of the Church among the Ancients, is evident from the signification of being “grieved and very angry,” as being to be in evil. That this was against the truth of the Church among the Ancients, follows, because it was against Shechem the son of Hamor, by whom is signified the truth among the ancients, as before said (n. 4430, 4431). That they were in evil is evident from what follows, in that they spoke with fraud (verse 13), and then, after Shechem and Hamor had complied with their demands, they slew them (verses 26-29). Thus by being “grieved and very angry” is here signified that they were in evil. It appears as if these words signify zeal because he lay with their sister, according to the words which presently follow: “Because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter, and so it ought not to be done;” and at the end of the chapter: “They said, Shall he make our sister as a harlot?” (verse 31); but it was not zeal, for zeal is impossible with anyone who is in evil, being possible only with him who is in good, because zeal has good within it (n. 4164).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4430-4431, Genesis 34:25-29)


[2] It is true that the religiosity which existed with their posterity had good within it, for each and all things of it represented the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom; but as regards those who were in that religiosity it had no good within it, for they were in mere externals without internals, as shown above. The case herein is the same as it is with the religiosity of that nation as now prevalent among them: they acknowledge Moses and the prophets, thus the Word, which in itself is holy, but as regards them it is not holy, for in everything therein they regard themselves, and thus make the Word worldly, nay, earthly, for that there is anything heavenly in it they do not know and neither do they care. They who are in such: a state cannot be in good when in their religiosity, but in evil, for nothing heavenly flows in, because they extinguish it in themselves.

[3] Moreover, it was according to a law known in the Ancient Church that he who forced a virgin should give a dowry and take her for his wife, as thus stated in Moses:

If a man persuade a virgin who is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall endow her with a dowry to be his wife. If refusing her father refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay silver, as much as is the dowry of virgins (Exodus 27:15-16).

And elsewhere:

If a man find a damsel who is a virgin, who has not been betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be caught, the man who lay with her shall give the damsel’s father fifty pieces of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he forced her, and he may not put her away all his days (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).

That this same law was known to the ancients is very evident from the words of Shechem to the damsel’s father and brothers: “Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye say unto me I will give. Multiply upon me exceedingly dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me, and give me the damsel for a woman” (verses 11-12). And as Shechem desired to fulfill this law, and Dinah’s brothers gave their consent provided that be would become as they were by circumcising every male, according to the words which follow: “Nevertheless in this will we consent unto you, if ye will be as we are, that every male with you be circumcised, we will both give our daughters to you, and will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will be one people” (verses 15-16), it is evident that Dinah’s brothers did not act from the law (thus not from good), but contrary to the law, and consequently from evil.

(References: Exodus 22:16-17)


[4] It was indeed according to their law that they should not enter into marriages with the nations, as stated in Moses: “Lest thou take of their daughters for thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods” (Exodus 34:16); and again: “Thou shalt not contract kinship with the nations, thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, and his daughter thou shalt not take unto thy son, because he will turn aside thy son from following Me, that they may serve other gods” (Deuteronomy 7:3-4); but this law was given in regard to idolatrous nations, lest by marriages with them the sons of Israel should turn aside from truly representative worship to idolatrous worship; for when they became idolaters they could no longer represent the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord’s kingdom, but the opposites, which are infernal, for they then called forth from hell a certain devil whom they worshiped, and to whom they applied the Divine representatives, and therefore it is said, “Lest they go a whoring after their gods.” This law was given for the additional reason that by the “nations” were signified the evils and falsities with which the goods and truths represented by the sons of Israel were not to be commingled, consequently not diabolical and infernal things with heavenly and spiritual things (see n. 3024 at the end).

[5] But they were never forbidden to intermarry with the nations who accepted their worship, and who after being circumcised acknowledged Jehovah. These they called “sojourners sojourning with them,” who are thus spoken of in Moses:

If a sojourner shall sojourn with thee, and be willing to keep the passover to Jehovah, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it, and he shall be as an inhabitant of the land; there shall be one law for the inhabitant and for the sojourner that sojourneth in the midst of you (Exodus 12:48-49).

And again:

When a sojourner shall sojourn with you, he shall keep the passover unto Jehovah; according to the statute of the passover, and according to the statutes thereof, so shall he do; one statute shall there be for you, both for the sojourner and for the native of the land (Numbers 9:14).

The reason why they were called “sojourners sojourning in the midst of them” and “with them” was that “to sojourn” signified to be instructed; and therefore a “sojourner” signified those who suffered themselves to be instructed in the statutes and doctrinal things. (That “to sojourn” and a “sojourner” have this signification may be seen above, n. 1463, 2025, 3672) In the same:

If a sojourner shall sojourn with you who shall have made a fire-offering of an odor of rest unto Jehovah, as ye do, so he shall do: as to the assembly, there is one statute for you and for the sojourner that sojourneth, a statute of eternity for your generations; as ye are, so is the sojourner before Jehovah; one law and one judgment shall be for you and for the sojourner that sojourneth with you (Numbers 15:14-16).

As the native of you shall be the sojourner that sojourneth with you (Leviticus 19:34).

One judgment shall there be for you, such as is for the sojourner, such shall be for the native (Leviticus 24:22).

[6] That this statute was known not only to Jacob and his sons, but also to Shechem and Hamor, is evident from their words; for the statutes, judgments, and laws that were given to the Israelitish and Jewish nation were not new, but such as had previously existed in the Ancient Church and in the second Ancient Church which was called Hebrew from Eber, as has been shown. That consequently this law was known is evident from the words, “The sons of Jacob said to Hamor and Shechem, We cannot do this word, to give our sister to a man who has a foreskin, for this is a reproach to us; nevertheless in this will we consent to you, if ye will be as we, to circumcise for you every male, we will both give our daughters to you, and will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you and will be for one people” (verses); and the same is evident from the words of Hamor and Shechem, in that they not only consented, but also caused themselves and every male of their city to be circumcised (verses 18-24).

[7] Hence it is evident that Shechem became a sojourner such as is spoken of in the law, and thus could take the daughter of Jacob for a woman; so that to kill them was a wicked deed, as Jacob also testified before his death (Genesis 49:5-7). That not only Judah, but also Moses, and also the kings of the Jews and of the Israelites, and also many of the people, took wives from the nations, is evident from the historicals of the Word; and that these wives received their statutes, judgments, and laws, and were acknowledged as sojourners, is not to be doubted.

(References: Exodus 22:16-17; Genesis 34:7)

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Arcana Coelestia 4445, 4500, 4515, 4831, 4844, 4958, 7041, 7908, 8007, 8588, 8598, 8650, 8788, 8886, 8890, 9143, 9229, 9259, 9320, 9348, 9372, 9458, 10396, 10401, 10436, 10490, 10493, 10499, 10566

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 107, 121, 248


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 386, 433, 443

Other New Christian Commentary

Sojourn 1


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Arcana Coelestia #9954

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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9954. 'And you shall anoint them' means a representative sign of the Lord in respect of the good of love. This is clear from the meaning of 'anointing' as consecrating to serve as a representative sign, dealt with in 9474. The reason why to serve as a representative sign of the Lord in respect of the good of love is meant, or what amounts to the same thing, to serve as a representative sign of the good of love that comes from the Lord, is that 'oil', which was used to carry out anointing, means the good of love, 886, 4582, 4638, 9780. It is of interest to know what is implied in all this, since anointing has remained in practice from ancient times down to the present day (monarchs are anointed), and anointing is held to be holy today in just the same way as it was in former times. It was among the ancients - in whose times every act of worship involved the use of representative signs, that is to say, of such things as served to represent realities of a more internal nature, which are those of faith and love derived from the Lord and offered back to Him, thus which are Divine - that the practice of anointing came in; it came in because 'the oil' that was used to carry out the anointing was a sign of the good of love. For the ancients knew that the good of love was the essential reality which gives life to everything constituting the Church and worship. That good is the Essential Being (Esse) of life; for the Divine flows in by way of the good of love with a person and composes his life - heavenly life when truths are received within good. From this it is evident what anointing represented, and that because of its representation objects which had been anointed were called holy and also held to be holy. Such objects served the Church to represent Divine and heavenly realities, and in the highest sense the Lord Himself, who is Good itself, thus to represent the good of love which comes from Him, and also the truth of faith, to the extent that this has life from the good of love. This now explains why in ancient times they anointed stones set up as pillars, and also weapons of war, such as shields; later on the altar and all its vessels, as well as the tent of meeting and everything in it; and in addition those who were to serve in the priestly office, and their garments, also prophets, and at length kings, who were therefore called Jehovah's Anointed. It also became a common practice to anoint oneself and others to bear witness to gladness of mind and goodwill.

[2] 1. They anointed stones set up as pillars

This is clear in the Book of Genesis,

In the morning Jacob rose up early, and took the stone which he had placed as his headrest, and placed it as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. Genesis 28:18.

The reason why stones were anointed in this manner was that truths were meant by 'stones', and truths devoid of good do not have the life of heaven, that is, life from the Divine, within them. When therefore stones had been anointed with oil they represented truths oiled with good, and in the highest sense Divine Truth emanating from the Lord's Divine Good, and so represented the Lord Himself, who was consequently called The Stone of Israel, 6426.

Truths are meant by 'stones', see 643, 1298, 3720, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3789, 3798, 6426, 8941, 9476.

They are in like manner meant by 'pillars', 3727, 4580, 9388, 9389.

'Anointing pillars' means causing truths to be oiled with good, thus to be the truths of good, and so to exist as good, 3728, 4090, 4582.

The fact that stones set up as pillars were held to be holy is clear in the same chapter of Genesis, where it says,

Jacob called the name of that place Bethel, and said, If I come back in peace to my father's house, this stone which I have placed as a pillar will be God's house. Genesis 28:19, 21-22.

Bethel is [a name meaning] God's house, and God's house is the Church, also heaven, and in the highest sense it is the Lord Himself, 3720.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9388-9389, Genesis 28:19-22)


[3] 2. They anointed weapons of war, such as shields

This is clear in Isaiah,

Rise up, O princes, anoint the shield. Isaiah 21:5.

And in the second Book of Samuel,

The shield of heroes was defiled, the shield of Saul was not anointed with oil. 2 Samuel 1:21.

The reason why weapons of war were anointed was that they were a sign of truths engaged in conflict against falsities, truths oiled with good being what prevail over them, but not truths devoid of good. When weapons of war had been anointed therefore they represented truths emanating from good that comes from the Lord, thus truths which the Lord Himself, when present with people, employs to fight on their behalf against falsities arising from evil, that is, against the hells. Regarding 'weapons of war', that they mean truths engaged in conflict against falsities, see 1788, 2686. For in the Word 'war' means spiritual conflict, 1664, 2686, 8273, 8295, and 'enemies' the hells, in general evils and falsities, 2851, 8289, 9314.

(References: Isaiah 11:5)


[4] 3. They anointed the altar and all its vessels, also the tent of meeting and everything in it

This is clear in Moses,

Jehovah said to Moses, You shall anoint the altar and sanctify it. Exodus 29:36.

In the same author,

You shall make the holy anointing oil, 1 with which you shall anoint the tent of meeting, and the ark of the Testimony, and the table and all its vessels, and the lampstand and all its vessels, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, and the laver and its base. Thus you shall sanctify them, that they may be most holy. Everyone who touches them will make himself holy. Exodus 30:25-29.

In the same author,

You shall take the oil of anointing, and anoint the dwelling-place and all that is in it, and sanctify it and all its vessels, that it may be holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, and make the altar holy, that the altar may be most holy; and you shall anoint the laver and its base, and sanctify it. Exodus 40:9-11.

In the same author,

Moses anointed the dwelling-place and everything that was in it. After this he sprinkled some of the oil over the altar and all its vessels, and the laver and its shaft, to sanctify them. Leviticus 8:10-12; Numbers 7:1.

[5] The reason why the altar had to be anointed, also the dwelling-place and everything there, was that they might represent the Divine and holy things of heaven and of the Church, consequently the holy things of worship. They could not have represented these things unless they had been consecrated to do so by something such as served to represent the good of love. For the Divine comes in through the good of love, and through this good is present in heaven and in the Church, and therefore also in worship. Without that good the Divine cannot come in or be present, only what composes the human self, and with that self hell, and with hell evil and falsity; for the human self is nothing else. From this it is evident why anointing was effected by the use of oil; for 'oil' in the representative sense is the good of love, see 886, 4582, 4638, 9780; the altar was the chief representative of the Lord, and consequently of worship springing from the good of love, 2777, 2811, 4489, 4541, 8935, 8940, 9388, 9389, 9714; and the dwelling-place with the ark in it was the chief representative of heaven in which the Lord was present, 9457, 9481, 9485, 9594, 9596, 9632, 9784. As regards the human self or proprium, that it consists of nothing but evil and falsity, thus nothing but hell, 210, 215, 694, 874-876, 987, 1047, 3812 (end), 5660, 8480, 8941, 8944; and in the measure that what composes the human self is removed, the Lord can be present, 1023, 1044, 4007 (end).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9388-9389)


[6] 4. They anointed those who were to serve in the priestly office, and their garments

This is clear in Moses,

Take the oil of anointing, and you shall pour it over Aaron's head, and you shall anoint him. Exodus 29:7; 30:30.

In the same author,

Clothe Aaron with the holy garments, 2 and you shall anoint him and make him holy, that he may serve Me in the priestly office. And you shall anoint his sons, as you anointed the father; and it shall be, that their anointing may make them an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. 3 Exodus 40:13-15.

In the same author,

Moses poured some of the oil over Aaron's head, and anointed him, to make him holy. Then he took some of the oil of anointing and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it over Aaron, over his garments, over his sons, and over the garments of his sons with him, and sanctified Aaron, his garments, his sons also, and the garments of his sons with him. Leviticus 8:12, 30.

[7] The reason why Aaron had to be anointed, and his sons had to be anointed, also their actual garments, was that they might represent the Lord in respect of Divine Good, and in respect of Divine Truth emanating from that Good, Aaron representing the Lord in respect of that Divine Good and his sons in respect of the emanating Divine Truth, and in general that the priesthood might represent the Lord in respect of all the work of salvation. They had to be anointed in their garments, Exodus 29:29, because Aaron's garments represented the Lord's spiritual kingdom lying adjacent to His celestial kingdom. The celestial kingdom is where the good of love to the Lord derived from the Lord reigns, so that the flow of the Divine into the spiritual kingdom is accomplished by way of the good of love. This was why being consecrated to serve as a representative sign was accomplished by the use of oil, which in the spiritual sense is the good of love.

Aaron represented the Lord in respect of Divine Good, see 9806.

His sons represented the Lord in respect of Divine Truth emanating from Divine Good, 9807.

The priestly office in general represented the Lord in respect of all the work of salvation, 9809.

Aaron's garments represented the Lord's spiritual kingdom lying adjacent to His celestial kingdom, 9814.

His sons' garments represented the things that emanate from there, 9946, 9950.

The good of love to the Lord reigns in the celestial kingdom, see the places referred to in 9277.

[8] Since being consecrated to serve as a representative sign was accomplished by means of anointing, and since Aaron and his sons represented the Lord and what comes from Him, the holy things of the children of Israel - that is, the gifts which they presented to Jehovah, called 'heave offerings' - were given to Aaron and his sons; and they are spoken of as 'the anointing' and also as 'for the anointing', 4 meaning the representation or for the representation of the Lord, and what comes from Him, as is clear from the following in Moses,

The breast of the wave offering, and the flank of the heave offering I have received from the children of Israel, from the sacrifices of peace offerings; I have given them to Aaron and his sons. This is the anointing of Aaron and the anointing of his sons from the fire offerings to Jehovah, which I decreed to give them, on the day they were anointed, 5 from among the children of Israel. Leviticus 7:34-36.

And elsewhere in the same author,

Jehovah spoke to Aaron, Behold, I have given you charge of My heave offerings, even all the holy things of the children of Israel; I have given them to you for the anointing, and to your sons, as a statute forever. Every offering of theirs, even every minchah of theirs, even every sacrifice of sin offering and guilt offering, every wave offering of the children of Israel, all the best 6 of pure oil, and all the best 6 of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they will give to Jehovah I have given to you. Also every devoted thing in Israel, everything opening the womb, thus every heave offering of holy things [shall be yours]. You shall not have an inheritance in their land, nor shall any portion be yours in their midst. I am your portion and your inheritance in the midst of the children of Israel. Numbers 18:8-20.

From these quotations it is evident that 'the anointing' means the representation, for it was through being anointed that they were consecrated to serve as a representative sign, a sign which meant that everything in heaven and the Church is made holy through the good of love which comes from the Lord, and that the good of love is the Lord as He is present with them. This explains why it says that Jehovah is his 7 'portion and inheritance'.

[9] 5. They also anointed prophets

This is clear in the first Book of Kings,

Jehovah said to Elijah, Anoint Hazael as king over the Syrians, and anoint Jehu as king over Israel, and anoint Elisha as prophet in place of you. 1 Kings 19:15-16.

And in Isaiah,

The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, therefore Jehovah has anointed Me to bring good tidings to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the broken in heart, to preach liberty to the captives. Isaiah 61:1.

The reason why prophets were anointed was that prophets represented the Lord in respect of teachings that present Divine Truth, thus in respect of the Word since this consists of teachings that present Divine Truth. Regarding prophets, that they represented the Word, see 3652, 7269, Elijah and Elisha in particular, 2762, 5247 (end), 9372. And - as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke 4:18-21 - the Lord in respect of His Divine Human is the One who is being represented, and so is the One who 'He whom Jehovah has anointed' is used to mean.

[10] 6. Afterwards they anointed kings, and these were called Jehovah's Anointed

This is clear from a large number of places in the Word, such as 1 Samuel 10:1; 15:1, 17; 16:3, 6, 12; 24:6, 10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23; 2 Samuel 1:16; 2:4, 7; 5:3; 19:21; 1 Kings 1:34, 45; 19:15-16; 2 Kings 9:3; 11:12; 23:30; Lamentations 4:20; Habakkuk 3:13; Psalms 2:2, 6; 20:6; 28:8; 45:7; 84:9; 89:20, 38, 51; 132:17; and elsewhere. The reason why they anointed kings was in order that they might represent the Lord in respect of judgement based on Divine Truth. Consequently truths that are God's are meant in the Word by 'kings', see 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148.

(References: 1 Kings 1:34-35; 1 Samuel 26:25)


[11] Kings were called Jehovah's Anointed, and therefore it was utterly forbidden to do them harm, because 'Jehovah's Anointed' is used to mean the Lord's Divine Human, though in the sense of the letter the title is applied to a king who had been anointed with oil. While He was in the world the Lord was Divine Truth itself as to His Humanity, and Divine Good itself as to that Essential Being (Esse) constituting the life within Him, the equivalent of which in people is called the soul from the father; for He was conceived from Jehovah. In the Word Jehovah is the Divine Good of Divine Love, and that Good is the Essential Being (Esse) of every human life. Consequently the Lord alone was 'Jehovah's Anointed' in all that He was and in all that He did (ipsa essentia et ipso actu); for Divine Good was within Him, and Divine Truth emanating from that Good was within His Humanity while He was in the world, see the places referred to in 9194, 9315(end). Earthly kings were not Jehovah's Anointed, but served to represent the Lord, who alone was Jehovah's Anointed; and this was why, because they had been anointed, it was utterly forbidden to do harm to earthly kings. But the anointing of earthly kings was accomplished by the use of oil, whereas the anointing of the Lord in respect of His Divine Human was accomplished by means of the actual Divine Good of Divine Love which oil represented. This is why He was called Messiah and Christ, Messiah meaning the Anointed in Hebrew, and Christ meaning the like in Greek, John 1:41; 4:25.

[12] From all this it becomes clear that where the term 'Jehovah's Anointed' is used in the Word the Lord is meant, as in Isaiah,

The Spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon Me, therefore Jehovah has anointed Me to bring good tidings to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the broken in heart, to preach liberty to the captives. Isaiah 61:1.

The truth that the Lord in respect of His Divine Human is the One whom Jehovah had anointed is clear in Luke, where the Lord declares it explicitly in the following words,

The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Jesus, and He unrolled the book, and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me. He has sent Me to bring good tidings to the poor, to heal the crushed at heart, 8 to preach good tidings of forgiveness to the bound, and of sight to the blind, to release the wounded with forgiveness, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. After this He rolled up the book, gave it to the minister, and sat down. The eyes however of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began to say to them, Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:17-21.

[13] In Daniel,

Know therefore and perceive that from the going forth of the Word to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah, the Prince, there will be seven weeks. Daniel 9:25.

'Building Jerusalem' means establishing the Church, 'Jerusalem' being the Church, 3654. 'The Messiah, the Prince', or the Anointed One, is the Lord in respect of the Divine Human. In the same prophet,

Seventy weeks have been decreed to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. Daniel 9:24.

'Sealing up vision and prophet' means drawing to a close those things that have been declared in the Word regarding the Lord and fulfilling them. 'Anointing the Holy of Holies' refers to the Lord's Divine Human in which the Divine Good of Divine Love, or Jehovah, was present.

[14] 'Jehovah's Anointed' is again used to mean the Lord in the following places: In David,

The kings of the earth have set themselves, and the masters of the earth have taken counsel together, against Jehovah and against His Anointed. I have anointed My king over Zion, the mountain of My holiness. Psalms 2:2, 6.

'The kings of the earth' are falsities, and 'the masters' evils, that come from the hells, against which the Lord fought while He was in the world, and which He overcame and subdued. 'Jehovah's Anointed' is the Lord in respect of His Divine Human, for from this Human He fought them. 'Zion, the mountain of holiness' over which, it says, the Anointed will be king, is the celestial kingdom, which is governed by the good of love. This kingdom is the inmost part of heaven and the inmost of the Church.

[15] In the same author,

I have found My servant David; with the oil of holiness I have anointed him. Psalms 89:20.

By 'David' here the Lord is meant, as also elsewhere, see 1888. 'The oil of holiness' with which Jehovah anointed Him is the Divine Good of Divine Love, 886, 4582, 4638. The fact that the Lord is the One who is meant in this verse by 'David' is evident from other verses before and after it, for among much else they say,

You spoke in a vision regarding Your Holy One, I will set His hand in the sea, and His right hand in the rivers. He will cry to Me, You are My Father. I will also make Him the Firstborn, supreme over the kings of the earth. I will establish His seed forever, and His throne as the days of the heavens. Psalms 89:19, 25-29.

(References: Psalms 89:25-27, 89:29)


[16] The like occurs elsewhere in the same author,

In Zion I will make the horn of David to spring forth, I will make ready a lamp for My Anointed; His enemies I will clothe with shame, and upon Himself His crown will flourish. Psalms 132:17-18.

Here also the Lord is meant by 'David', as is evident from previous verses in the Psalm which say,

Behold, we heard of Him in Ephrathah, we found Him in the fields of the wood. We will enter His dwelling-places, we will bow down at His footstool. Your priests will be clothed with righteousness, and Your holy ones will shout for joy. For Your servant David's sake do not turn away the face of Your Anointed. Psalms 132:6-10.

From these verses it becomes clear that the Lord in respect of His Divine Human is meant by 'David, Jehovah's Anointed'.

(References: Psalms 132:6-9, 132:6-7, Psalms 132:9-10)


[17] In Jeremiah,

They pursued us over the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness. The Breath 8 of our nostrils, Jehovah's Anointed, was caught in their pits, of whom we had said, In His shadow we shall live among the nations. Lamentations 4:19-20.

Here also 'Jehovah's Anointed' is used to mean the Lord, for the subject is the assault made on Divine Truth by falsities and evils, meant by their pursuing over the mountains and lying in wait in the wilderness. 'The Breath of nostrils' is real heavenly life which comes from the Lord, 9818.

[18] From all this it may now be recognized why it was utterly forbidden to do harm to Jehovah's Anointed, as is again evident from the Word, for example in the first Book of Samuel,

David said, Jehovah forbid me that I should do this thing to my master, Jehovah's Anointed, and raise 10 my hand against him, since he is Jehovah's Anointed. 1 Samuel 24:6, 10.

And in another place,

David said to Abishai, Do not destroy him, for who can raise 11 a hand against Jehovah's Anointed and be innocent? 1 Samuel 26:9.

In the second Book of Samuel,

David said to him who said he had killed Saul, Your blood is on your own head, because you have said, I have killed Jehovah's Anointed. 2 Samuel 1:16.

And in another place,

Abishai said, Shall not Shimei be killed on account of this, that he cursed Jehovah's Anointed? 2 Samuel 19:21.

Shimei was therefore put to death by Solomon's command, see 1 Kings 2:36-end.

(References: 1 Kings 2:36-46)


[19] 7. It became a common practice to anoint oneself and others, to bear witness to gladness of mind and goodwill

This is clear in the following places: In Daniel,

I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I did not eat pleasant bread, and flesh and wine did not come to my mouth, and I did not anoint myself at all, until the three whole weeks were completed. Daniel 10:2-3.

In Matthew,

When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to people to be fasting, but to your Father in secret. Matthew 6:17-18.

'Fasting' means being in mourning. In Amos,

... who drink from bowls of wine, and anoint themselves with the best of oils, but feel no grief over the ruin of Joseph. Amos 6:6.

In Ezekiel,

I washed you with water, and washed away the blood from upon you, 12 and anointed you with oil. Ezekiel 16:9.

This refers to Jerusalem, by which the Church is meant. In Micah,

You will tread olives but not anoint yourself with oil. Micah 6:15.

In Moses,

You will have olive trees within all your borders, but you will not anoint yourself with oil, because your olive will be shaken off. Deuteronomy 28:40.

In Isaiah,

To give them beauty 13 for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. Isaiah 61:3.

In David,

Your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions. Psalms 45:7.

In the same author,

You spread a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You make my head fat with oil. Psalms 23:5.

In the same author,

You will exalt my horn like that of a unicorn; I will grow old with green oil. 14 Psalms 92:10.

In the same author,

Wine gladdens the human heart, to cheer the face with oil. Psalms 104:15.

In Mark,

The disciples went out and anointed many sick people with oil, and healed them. Mark 6:13.

In Luke,

Jesus said to Simon, I entered your house, and you did not anoint My head with oil; but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment. Luke 7:44, 46.

(References: Mark 6:12-13)


[20] From all this it is evident that it became the practice to anoint themselves and others with oil. They did so not with 'the holy oil' with which priests, kings, the altar, and the tabernacle were anointed, but with ordinary oil because this oil was a sign of the gladness and bliss that belong to the good of love. 'The holy oil' however was a sign of Divine Good, about which it says, It shall not be poured on human flesh, and as to the composition of it, you shall not make any other like it; it shall be holy to you. The man who prepares any other like it, or who puts any of it on a foreigner, shall be cut off from his people. Exodus 30:32-33, 38.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, the oil of anointing of holiness

2. literally, garments of holiness

3. literally, that for them their anointing may be for the priesthood of an age, into their generations

4. The Hebrew word behind the Latin rendered the anointing in the two quotations that follow is said to have two meanings - 1) Ointment or holy oil, and 2) Consecrated portion.

5. literally, on the day He (or he) anointed them

6. literally, fat

7. i.e. Aaron's

8. or the contrite in heart

9. literally, Spirit

10. literally, send

11. literally, will have sent

12. literally, your bloods

13. literally, a turban or some other attractive headdress

14. i.e. first-press oil

-----

(References: Daniel 9:24-25; Exodus 28:41, 30:25-30; Genesis 28:18-19; Psalms 89:19-20, Psalms 132:6-9)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 10010, 10011, 10019, 10066, 10075, 10093, 10100, 10118, 10125, 10129, 10248, 10249, 10252, 10254, 10263, 10264, 10267, 10268, 10287, 10349, 10360, 10545

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 62


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 62, 70, 146, 277, 316

Other New Christian Commentary

Anoint 1


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


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