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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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Arcana Coelestia #4792

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4792. As food and nourishment correspond to spiritual food and nourishment, therefore taste corresponds to the perception and affection of this food. Spiritual food is knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom, for from these, spirits and angels live and are nourished, and they desire and have appetite for them just as men who are hungry desire and have appetite for food. Hence appetite corresponds to this desire. And wonderful to say, from this food they grow to maturity; for little children who die appear in the other life no otherwise than as little children, and also are such as to understanding; but as they increase in intelligence and wisdom, they appear not as little children, but as advancing in age, and at last as adults. I have conversed with some who had died in infancy, and were seen by me as young men, because they were then intelligent. From this it is evident what spiritual food and nourishment are.

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Arcana Coelestia 6078, 6576, 8408, 9052, 9139, 9280, 9372, 9412, 9527, 10030, 10037, 10199

Divine Love and Wisdom 377

Heaven and Hell 356

The White Horse 12

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 51, 121, 218, 261


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Apocalypse Explained 84, 118, 146, 235, 336, 412, 519


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Apocalypse Explained #235

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235. I am about to vomit thee out of My mouth, signifies separation from the knowledges from the Word. This is evident from the signification of "vomiting out," when said by the Lord, as being separation; not that the Lord separates them from Himself, but they separate themselves from the Lord. It is said "to vomit out," because the "lukewarm" are treated of, and in the world what is lukewarm produces vomiting. And this is also from correspondence; for the food that man takes corresponds to knowledges, and thence in the Word signifies knowledges; therefore separation from knowledges means non-admission; but as those here treated of do admit something from the Word, it means ejection or vomiting. (That "food," from correspondence, signifies knowledges and intelligence therefrom, see Arcana Coelestia 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5655, 8562; for the reason that knowledges nourish the internal man or spirit, as food nourishes the external man or body, n. 4459, 5293, 5576, 6277, 8418.) This is evident also from the signification of "out of My mouth," as being, in reference to the Lord, out of the Word. "Out of the mouth" signifies, in reference to the Lord, out of the Word, because the Word is Divine truth, and this proceeds from the Lord, and what proceeds from the Lord and flows in with man is said to be "out of the mouth," although it is not from the mouth, but is like light from the sun. For the Lord is seen above the heavens where the angels are as a sun, and light therefrom is Divine truth, from which angels and men have all their intelligence and wisdom (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 116-125, 126-140). From this it can be seen that "I will vomit thee out of My mouth" signifies to separate from Divine truth, or what is the same, from the knowledges from the Word.

(References: Revelation 3:16)


[2] That those who are "lukewarm," that is, "neither cold nor hot," who are those that live according to the doctrine of faith alone and justification by faith (of which just above), are separated from the knowledges from the Word, is not known to themselves, for they believe that they are in knowledges more than others; but they are not, yea, they are in scarcely any knowledge; and this for the reason that the principles of their doctrine and religion are false, and from false principles nothing results but falsities; when therefore they read the Word, they keep their minds in their falsities, and as a consequence, either they do not see truths, or if they see them they pass them by or falsify them. These false principles are, that salvation is by faith alone, and that man is justified by faith. That they are separated from the knowledges from the Word and that they do not see truths therein, they may know if they will; for what is more frequently declared by the Lord, than that they ought to do His words, His commandments, His will, and that everyone shall be recompensed according to his deeds; also that the whole Word is based upon two commandments, which are to love God, and to love the neighbor; also that loving God is doing His commandments (John 14:21, 23, 24)? What men must do in order to be saved is said a thousand times in each Testament, also that hearing and knowing are nothing without doing. But do those who have confirmed themselves in faith alone and justification by faith, see these things? And if they see them do they not falsify them? Consequently they have no doctrine of life, but a doctrine of faith alone; when yet, life makes the man of the church, and those things come to be of his faith which are of his life.

(References: John 14:23-24)


[3] That such persons are separated from the knowledges from the Word, can be seen also from this, that they are not aware that they are to live as men after the death of the body; that they have a spirit that lives; that heaven is from the human race, and hell also; that they know nothing at all about heaven and heavenly joy; nothing about hell and infernal fire; thus nothing about the spiritual world; nothing about the internal or spiritual sense of the Word; nothing about the glorification of the Lord's Human; nothing about regeneration; nothing about temptation; about baptism, what it involves; about the Holy Supper, and what the flesh and blood, or the bread and wine in it signify; nothing about free will; nothing about the internal man; nothing about charity, about the neighbor, about good, about love; neither do they know what the remission of sins is; and many other things. Moreover, I have heard angels say that when they are permitted to look into the church, and to see those who believe themselves to be intelligent from doctrine, that they see nothing but mere thick darkness, and those so believing are seen as if deep down under waters.

[4] These are separated from the knowledges from the Word for two reasons; first, because they cannot be illustrated by the Lord, for the Lord flows into man's good, and from that illustrates him in truths, that is, He flows into man's love and therefrom into his faith; secondly, because they profane truths by falsifications, and those who do this are separated from truths themselves while they live in the world, that they may not know them, but in the other life they cast away from themselves all things they knew from the Word while in the world. Both these separations are meant by "being vomited out of the mouth." Like things are meant by "vomiting" and "vomit" elsewhere in the Word; as in the following passages. In Isaiah:

Jehovah hath mingled a spirit of perversities in the midst of Egypt; whence they have led Egypt astray in every work thereof, even as a drunkard goeth astray in his vomit (Isaiah 19:14).

"Egypt" signifies the knowledge [scientia] of things, both spiritual and natural; "mingling the spirit of perversities in the midst thereof" signifies to pervert and falsify these things; "a drunkard" signifies those who are insane in spiritual things; and as truths mingled with falsities are cast out, it is said "as a drunkard goeth astray in his vomit." (That "Egypt" signifies knowledge [scientia], see Arcana Coelestia 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 5700, 5702, 6015, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 7296; also the knowledges [scientifica] of the church, n. 7296, 9340, 9391; that "drunkards" signify those who are insane in spiritual things, n. 1072.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165)


[5] In Jeremiah:

Drink ye, and be drunken, and vomit and fall, and rise not because of the sword (Jeremiah 25:27).

"To drink and be drunken" is to drink in falsities and mix them with truths, and thence to be insane; "to vomit and fall" is altogether to cast out things falsified; "the sword," because of which they shall not rise, signifies falsity destroying and laying waste truth (see Arcana Coelestia 2799, 4499, 7102); which shows clearly what is meant by "vomiting and falling." In the same:

Make Moab drunken, for he hath magnified himself against Jehovah, that he may clap the hands in his vomit (Jeremiah 48:26).

"Moab" signifies those who adulterate the goods of the church, therefore "vomiting" is predicated of them.

[6] In Habakkuk:

Woe unto him that maketh his companion to drink even making him drunken, that thou mayest look upon their nakednesses. Thou shalt be satiated with disgrace instead of glory; drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered; the cup of Jehovah shall go about unto thee, and disgraceful vomiting shall be on thy glory (Habakkuk 2:15-16).

"To drink even making him drunken" also signifies to drink in truths and mix them with falsities; the "nakednesses" upon which they look, signify the deprivation of truth and of intelligence therefrom (see Arcana Coelestia 1073, 5433, 9960). The "foreskin that shall be uncovered" signifies the defilement of good (see Arcana Coelestia 2056, 3412, 3413, 4462, 7225, 7245); "glory" signifies Divine truth, thus the Word (see Arcana Coelestia 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429); which shows what is meant by "disgraceful vomiting upon their glory."

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3412-3413)


[7] In Isaiah:

These err through wine, through strong drink they are gone astray; the priest and the prophet err through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they err among the seeing, they stumble in judgment; yea, even all tables are full of the vomit of filthiness; there is no place. Whom shall he teach knowledge? (Isaiah 28:7-9).

Here "wine" and "strong drink," by which they err, signify truths mixed with falsities; "priest" and "prophet" signify those who teach goods and truths, and in an abstract sense, the goods and truths of the church; "the seeing" among whom they err signify those who might be about to see truths; "to stumble in judgment" signifies insanity; "tables" signify all things that should nourish spiritual life, for tables mean the food that is on them, and "food" signifies all truths and goods, because these are what nourish spiritual life; therefore "tables full of the vomit of filthiness" signify the same things falsified and adulterated.

[8] In Moses:

Defile not yourselves with any of these things; for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you; whence the land is defiled; and the land hath vomited out her inhabitants; thus the land will not vomit you out, as it vomited out the nations that were before you (Leviticus 18:24-25, 28).

Adulteries of every kind are here treated of, by which in the spiritual sense all kinds of adulterations of good and falsifications of truth or profanations are meant; and as it is not possible for evils and goods, nor for the falsities of evil and the truths of good to exist together without being cast out, therefore it is said that "the land," that is, the church, "hath vomited them out." From this it can be seen what is signified by "vomiting out."

(References: Revelation 3:16)

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Apocalypse Explained 226, 237


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