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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

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

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Arcana Coelestia #4545

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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4545. And purify yourselves, and change your garments. That this signifies that holiness was to be put on, is evident from the signification of “to be purified” or “cleansed,” as being to be sanctified (of which in what follows); and from the signification of “changing the garments,” as being to put on, here to put on holy truths; for in the internal sense of the Word by “garments” are signified truths. It is very evident that to change the garments was a representative received in the church, but what it represented no one can know unless he knows what garments signify in the internal sense (see n. 2576). As the subject here treated of is the rejection of falsities and the disposition of truths by good in the natural, mention is made of the fact that they were commanded by Jacob to change their garments.

[2] That to change the garments was a representative that holy truths were to be put on, may be seen also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:

Awake, awake, O Jerusalem, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on the garments of thy adornment, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall not continue to come into thee any more the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isaiah 52:1);

as “Zion” is the celestial church, and “Jerusalem” the spiritual church, and as the celestial church is that which is in good from love to the Lord, and the spiritual church is that which is in truth from faith and charity, therefore “strength” is predicated of Zion, and “garments” of Jerusalem; and it is signified that thereby they were clean.

[3] In Zechariah:

Joshua was clothed with defiled garments, and stood thus before the angel; and [the angel] answered and said unto those that stood before him, saying, Remove the defiled garments from upon him; and unto him he said, See, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from upon thee by putting on thee change of garments (Zech. 3:3-4);

from this passage also it is evident that to remove the garments and to put on a change of garments, represented purification from falsities, for it is said, “I have made thine iniquity to pass from upon thee.” It was also for this reason that men had changes of garments, and they were so called (whereof occasional mention is made in the Word) because representations were thereby exhibited.

[4] As such things were represented by changes of garments, therefore where the new temple is treated of in Ezekiel, by which in the internal sense is signified a new church, it is said:

When the priests enter in, they shall not go out of the holy place to the outer court, but there they shall lay aside their garments wherein they ministered, for they are holiness, and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which pertain to the people (Ezekiel 42:14).

And again:

When they go forth into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they minister, and shall lay them aside in the chambers of holiness, and they shall put on other garments, and shall sanctify the people with other garments (Ezekiel 44:19).

[5] Everyone can see that by the new temple and by the holy city and land, here described by the prophet and in the chapters which precede and follow, is not meant any new temple, nor a new city and a new land, for mention is made of sacrifices and rituals as to be instituted anew which nevertheless were to be abrogated; and mention is also made by name of the tribes of Israel dividing the land into inheritances among themselves, which nevertheless have been dispersed and have never returned. Hence it is evident that by the rituals there mentioned are signified spiritual and celestial things of the church, similar to what are signified by the changes of garments when Aaron ministered, in Moses:

When he maketh a burnt offering he shall put on his clothing, and his linen breeches, the ashes he shall put beside the altar. Afterward he shall put off his garments, and shall put on other garments, and shall bring forth the ashes into a clean place outside the camp, and thus shall he make the burnt-offering (Leviticus 6:9-11).

(References: Leviticus 6:9-12)

[6] That to be cleansed denotes to be sanctified, may be seen from the cleansings which were commanded, as that they should wash their flesh and their garments, and that they should be sprinkled with the waters of separation. That no one is sanctified by such things, everyone may know who has any knowledge about the spiritual man; for what has iniquity and sin in common with the garments with which a man is clothed? And yet it is sometimes said that after they had cleansed themselves, they should be holy. From this it is also manifest that the rituals enjoined upon the Israelites were holy simply because they represented holy things; consequently that those who were representative did not thereby become holy as to their persons; but that the holiness abstractedly represented by them affected the spirits who were with them, and thereby the angels in heaven (n. 4307).

[7] For of necessity there must be communication of heaven with man, in order that the human race may subsist, and this by means of the church, for otherwise they would become like beasts, devoid of internal and external bonds; and thus each would rush without restraint to accomplish the destruction of others, and they would annihilate each other. And as at that time this communication was not possible by means of any church, it was therefore provided by the Lord that it should be miraculously effected by means of representatives. That sanctification was represented by the ritual of washing and cleansing, is manifest from many passages in the Word, as when Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai, He said to Moses:

Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day (Exodus 19:10-11).

In Ezekiel:

I will sprinkle upon you clean waters, and ye shall be cleansed from all your uncleannesses, and I will cleanse you from all your idols, and I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in the midst of you (Ezekiel 36:25-26); where it is manifest that “sprinkling clean waters” represented the purification of the heart; thus that “to be cleansed” is to be sanctified.

(References: Genesis 35:1-4; Leviticus 6:9-12)

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Arcana Coelestia 4763, 4844, 4858, 4875, 4884, 4973, 5006, 5248, 5319, 5433, 5954, 6377, 6524, 7967, 8459, 8789, 8904, 9158, 9212, 9276, 9372, 9391, 9477, 9595, 9688, 9806, 9952, 10227, 10258, 10536

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 246

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Arcana Coelestia #4973

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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4973. 'And he was in the house of his lord the Egyptian' means to enable it to be introduced into natural good. This is clear from the meaning of 'lord' as good, dealt with below, and from the meaning of 'the Egyptian' as factual knowledge in general, and from this as that which is natural, dealt with in 4967. The reason 'being in the house' means being introduced is that 'house' is the mind in which good dwells, 3538, in this case the natural mind. Moreover 'house' is used in reference to good, 3652, 3720. The human being has both a natural mind and a rational mind. The natural mind exists within his external man, the rational within his internal. Known facts make up the truths that belong to the natural mind, and these are said to be there 'in their own house' when they are joined to good there; for good and truth together constitute a single house like husband and wife. But the forms of good and the truths which are the subject at present are of a more interior kind, for they are suited to the celestial of the spiritual from the rational, which is represented by 'Joseph'. Those suitable interior truths within the natural are applicable to useful purposes, while interior forms of good in the same are the useful purposes themselves.

[2] The expression 'lord' is used many times in the Word, but unless a person is acquainted with the internal sense he assumes that 'lord' has no other meaning than what the word has when used in ordinary conversation. But 'lord' is used nowhere in the Word other than in reference to good, as is similarly the case with the name 'Jehovah'. When however reference is being made to truth, 'God' and also 'king are used. This then is the reason why 'lord' means good, as may also be seen from the following places: In Moses,

Jehovah your God, He is God of gods, and Lord of lords. Deuteronomy 10:17.

In David,

Confess Jehovah, confess the God of gods, confess the Lord of lords. Psalms 136:1-3

In these places Jehovah or the Lord is called 'God of gods' by virtue of Divine Truth which goes forth from Him, and 'Lord of lords' by virtue of Divine Good which exists within Him.

[3] Similarly in John,

The Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings. Revelation 17:14.

And in the same book,

The One sitting on the white horse has on His robe and on His thigh the name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16.

The Lord is called 'King of kings' by virtue of Divine Truth, and 'Lord of lords' by virtue of Divine Good, as is evident from the individual expressions used here. 'The name written' is His true nature, 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2724, 3006. 'His robe' on which it is written is the truth of faith, 1073, 2576, 4545, 4763. 'His thigh' on which likewise that nature is written is the good of love, 3021, 4277, 4280, 4575. From this too it is evident that by virtue of Divine Truth the Lord is called 'King of kings and by virtue of Divine Good 'Lord of lords'. For more about the Lord being called King by virtue of Divine Truth, see 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4581.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 144-145)

[4] From this it is also plain what 'the Lord's Christ' means in Luke,

Simeon received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ. Luke 2:26.

'The Lord's Christ' is the Divine Truth that goes with Divine Good, for 'Christ' is one and the same as Messiah, and Messiah is the Anointed or King, 3008, 3009, 'the Lord' in this case being Jehovah. The name Jehovah is not used anywhere in the New Testament Word, but instead of Jehovah, the Lord and God are used, see 2921, as again in Luke,

Jesus said, How can they say that the Christ is David's son when David himself says in the Book of Psalms, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand? Luke 20:41, 41.

The same appears in David as follows,

Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand. Psalms 110:1.

It is obvious that Jehovah in David is called Lord in the gospel, 'Lord' in this case standing for the Divine Good of the Divine Human. Omnipotence is meant by 'sitting at the right hand', 3387, 4592, 4933 (end).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3008-3009; Luke 20:41-42)

[5] While in the world the Lord was Divine Truth, but once He was glorified, that is, had made the Human within Him Divine, He became Divine Good, from which Divine Truth subsequently goes forth. This explains why after the Resurrection the disciples did not call Him Master, as they had before, but Lord, as is evident in John 21:7, 12, 15-17, 20, and also in the other gospels. Divine Truth - which the Lord was while in the world and which subsequently goes forth from Him, that is, from Divine Good - is also called 'the Angel of the Covenant', in Malachi,

Suddenly there will come to His temple the Lord whom you are seeking, and the Angel of the Covenant in whom you delight. Malachi 3:1.

[6] Because 'Lord' is used to mean Divine Good and 'King' Divine Truth, therefore in places where the Lord is spoken of as having dominion and a kingdom 'dominion' has reference to Divine Good and 'a kingdom' to Divine Truth. For the same reason the Lord is called 'Lord of the nations' but 'King of the peoples', for 'nations' means those governed by good, 'peoples' those governed by truth, 1259, 1260, 1849, 3581

[7] Good is called 'lord' as against a servant, and 'father' as against a son, as in Malachi,

A son should honour his father, and a servant his lord. If I am a Father, where is My honour? And if I am a Lord, where is the fear of Me? Malachi 1:6.

And in David,

To be a slave JOSEPH was sold. The word of Jehovah tested him. The king sent and released him, he who had dominion over nations set him free and placed him as lord of his house and as one with dominion over all his possessions. Psalms 115:17, Psalms 115:19-22.

Here, as is evident from each individual expression, 'Joseph' is used to mean the Lord, 'lord' in this instance being the Divine Good of the Divine Human.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260)

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Arcana Coelestia 4974, 4977, 4980, 4988, 4992, 5023, 5079, 5135, 5297, 5311, 5353, 5462, 5648, 5776, 6511, 6690, 7353, 7397, 7560, 7719, 7848, 9150

The White Horse 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121, 310

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 175, 240, 286, 336, 340

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