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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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

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Arcana Coelestia #491

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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491. The same things are signified by “sons” and “daughters” in this chapter (verses 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 26, 30), but such as is the church, such are the “sons and daughters” that is, such are the goods and truths; the truths and goods here spoken of are such as were distinctly perceived, because they are predicated of the Most Ancient Church, the principal and parent of all the other and succeeding churches.

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Arcana Coelestia 1147, 1338, 1434, 1719, 1853, 1945, 1960, 2015, 2066, 2194, 2232, 2362, 2390, 2411, 2461, 2466, 2468, 2567, 2623, 2643, 2803, 2928, 3024, 3066, 3243, 3263, 3266, 3373, 3583, 3703, 3762, 3907, 3922, 3926, 3933, 3947, 3959, 3974, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 63, 166


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Apocalypse Explained #355

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355. Verse 2 (Revelation 6:2). And I saw, and behold a white horse, signifies the understanding of truth from the Word. This is evident from the signification of "horse," as being the intellect; and from the signification of "white," which is predicated of truth. (That the "horse" signifies the intellect can be seen from what is quoted and shown in the small work on The White Horse; and that "white" is predicated of truth, see above, n. 196.) It is said that "a white horse" was seen when the Lamb opened the first seal, "a red horse" when He opened the second, "a black horse" when He opened the third, and "a pale horse" when He opened the fourth; and as "horse" signifies the intellect, particularly in relation to the Word, it can be seen thence that the understanding of truth from the Word, and its quality with the men of the church, are here described by "horses." It is the same whether you say that the understanding of truth is described, or those who are in it are described; for men, spirits, and angels are the subjects in which it resides. From this it can be known what is described in the internal or spiritual sense in this chapter and in those that follow next, namely, the Word in relation to the understanding. This is evident also from the ninth verse of this chapter, where, after these four horses had appeared, and the fifth seal had been opened, it is said, "I saw the souls of them that had been slain for the Word of God;" also from the nineteenth chapter of this book, where it is said that:

The name of Him that sat upon the white horse is called the Word of God (Rev (Revelation 6:13). Revelation 19:13).

That "a horse" signifies the intellect, and "a white horse" the understanding of truth from the Word, can be seen shown in the small work cited above, on The White Horse; but as only a few passages were there quoted from the Word, in proof that "horse" signifies the intellect, I will here quote more, that there may be full confirmation; these now follow.

(References: Revelation 6:9; The Apocalypse Explained 196)


[2] In Ezekiel:

Gather yourselves from the circuit to My sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you. Ye shall be satisfied at My table with horse and with chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war. So will I give My glory among the nations (Ezekiel 39:17, 20- 39:20-21).

This treats of the calling together of all to the Lord's kingdom, and especially of the establishment of the church with the Gentiles; for it describes the spiritual captivity in which the Gentiles were, and their liberation from it. "The sacrifice to be sacrificed" signifies all the worship by which the Lord is worshiped; "to be satiated at My table" signifies with all spiritual food; and as this food is the understanding of truth from the Word and from doctrine from the Word, it is said, "with horse and with chariot," "horse" signifying the understanding of truth from the Word, and "chariot" signifying the doctrine therefrom. It is also said, "with the mighty man, and with every man of war," "mighty man" signifying the truth from good that destroys evil, and "man of war" the truth from good that destroys falsity. Unless such things were signified, how could it be said that they should be satiated "with horse and with chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war?"

(References: Ezekiel 39:20-21)


[3] Likewise in Revelation:

Gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of commanders of thousands, and the flesh of the strong ones, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them (Revelation 19:17-18).

What precedes this treats of the Word and its spiritual sense; this now is an invitation to learn truths, and to perceive goods; and "the supper of the great God" signifies instruction in truths, and the consequent perception of good from the Lord; and "the flesh of kings," "of commanders of thousands," "of the strong ones," "of horses," and "of them that sit on them," signifies truths of every kind which are from good; "flesh" signifying good, "kings" Divine truths in general, "commanders of thousands" the same in particular, "strong ones" natural truths, "horses" intellectual truths, and "those that sit on them" spiritual truths. It must be clear to everyone that this does not mean the flesh of kings, of commanders of thousands, of strong ones, of horses, and of them that sit on them.

[4] In Habakkuk:

Was Jehovah displeased with the rivers? was Thine anger against the rivers? was Thy fury against the sea? because Thou ridest upon Thy horses, Thy chariots are salvation, Thou hast trodden down the sea with Thy horses, the mire [or clay] of many waters (Habakkuk 3:8, 15).

Who does not see that "horses" here do not mean horses? For it is said of Jehovah that "He rideth upon His horses," and that "He treadeth down the sea with His horses," and that "His chariots are salvation?" But this is said because "His riding upon horses" signifies that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is in the understanding of His Word in its spiritual sense; and since the doctrine of truth, which teaches the way of salvation, is from the Word, it is added, "Thy chariots are salvation," "chariots" signifying doctrine; also "to tread down the sea with horses" signifies that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is in the understanding of His Word in its natural sense; for "sea" here signifies that sense, and in general all things of the natural man and that are for the natural man; and because Divine truths there are in their ultimate, it is added, "the mire [or clay] of many waters," "mire" [or "clay"] signifying the ultimate from which and in which are truths, and "waters" signifying truths.

[5] In Zechariah:

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war shall be cut off; but He shall speak peace to the nations (Zechariah 9:10).

This treats of the Lord's coming, and of the establishment of the church among the Gentiles. That there would then be nothing of the church remaining with the Jews is described by, "I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war shall be cut off," which signifies that there would no longer be any truth in doctrine nor any understanding of truth; and thence no combat and resistance against falsity; "Ephraim" signifies the church in relation to the understanding of truth, and "Jerusalem" the church in relation to the doctrine of truth, "the chariot" doctrine itself, and "the horse" the understanding itself, and "the bow of war" combat and resistance against falsity. The establishment of the church among the nations is signified by, "He shall speak peace to the nations," "nations" signifying all who are in the good of love to the Lord (see above, n. 331), "peace" signifying that good, and thence all things of the church. (That "Ephraim" signifies the church in relation to the understanding of truth, see Arcana Coelestia 3969, 5354, 6222, 6234, 6237, 6267, 6296; and that "Jerusalem" signifies the church in relation to doctrine, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 6, and above, n. 223.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 223, The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[6] In the same:

In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment, and the horseman with madness; and I will open mine eye upon the house of Judah, but every horse of the peoples will I smite with blindness (Zechariah 12:4).

This treats of the devastation of the former church, and the establishment of the new church. The devastation of the former church is described by "In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment, and the horseman with madness; and every horse of the peoples will I smite with blindness." It is plain that "horse" here signifies the understanding of truth with the men of the church, and "horseman" the affection of spiritual truth, from which is understanding; else why should it be said that "the horse should be smitten with astonishment, and the horse of the peoples with blindness?" "Astonishment" is predicated of the understanding when it has no perception of good, and "blindness" when it has no perception of truth; "the house of Judah" signifies the church with those who are in the good of love to the Lord, and thence in the doctrine of truth from the Word (see above, n. 119, 211); therefore it is said, "upon it I will open mine eye," which signifies to illustrate them that they may see truths.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 119, The Apocalypse Explained 211)


[7] In the same:

In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah (Zechariah 14:20).

This also treats of the Lord's coming, and the invitation of all to the church; and "the bells of the horses" signify knowledges and cognitions [scientifica et cognitiones] and preachings therefrom which are from the understanding of truth; and as all understanding of truth is from the Lord, and thus the knowledges and preachings themselves, therefore it is said, "there shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah." Because "bells" have this signification:

There were bells of gold upon the skirts of Aaron's robe round about (Exodus 28:34-35).

(References: Exodus 28:33-35)


[8] In Moses:

Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an asp upon the path, biting the horse's heels, and its rider shall fall backwards: I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah (Genesis 49:17-18).

This is a prophecy of Israel the father, respecting the tribe of Dan, which tribe signifies the ultimates of the church, thus those who are in the ultimates of truth and good, who are called sensual; for there are in the church those who are spiritual and those who are natural, and the natural are interior, middle, and outmost; the outmost are the sensual, who do not elevate their thoughts above the sense of the letter of the Word. These are meant by "Dan;" of what quality they are is described in this prophecy, namely, that "Dan is a serpent upon the way, an asp upon the path, biting the horse's heels, and its rider shall fall backwards;" "serpent upon the way," and "asp upon the path" signify the sensual in relation to truth and good; "the horse's heels" signify the ultimates of the understanding of truth and good; and "the rider," reasoning from these; and because the sensual viewed in itself does not see truths, since it does not comprehend things spiritual, and therefore slides easily into falsities unless continually withheld from them by the Lord, it is said, "and its rider shall fall backwards: I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah." (That "Dan" signifies the ultimates of the church, see Arcana Coelestia 1710, 6396, 10335; that "serpent" signifies the sensual, which is the ultimate of the understanding, n. 6398, 6949, 8624 end, 10313, and above, n. 70; that "way" signifies truths, n. Arcana Coelestia 627, 2333, 10422, and above, n. 97 [1-2]; and that "the heel" signifies the ultimate natural, or the corporeal natural, n. 259, 4938, seq. What the sensual is, and what sensual men are in both senses, see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 50.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2333, Arcana Coelestia 10422; The Apocalypse Explained 70, 97)


[9] In Zechariah:

I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, when behold, four chariots coming out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of copper. To the first chariot were red horses; to the second chariot black horses; to the third chariot white horses; and to the fourth chariot grisled horses, stout. The angel said, These are the four winds of heaven, going forth from standing by the Lord of the whole earth. The black horses which are therein go forth to the land of the north; and the white went forth after them; and the grisled went forth into the land of the south; and the stout ones went forth and sought to go that they might wander through the earth. And he said, See these that go forth to the land of the north, they have caused my spirit to rest in the land of the north. And they that are afar shall come and shall build in the temple of Jehovah (Zechariah 6:1-8, 15).

This prophecy is not understood by anyone unless he knows what "chariots" and "horses" signify, and what "red," "black," "white," "grisled," and "stout" signify; also what "the land of the north" and "the land of the south" signify. It treats of the church that was to be propagated among those who as yet were not in any light of truth, because they had not the Word; "the north" means the obscurity of the truth they possessed; "the south" the clearness of truth; "horses" mean their understanding; "red," "black," "white," and "grisled" mean its quality in the beginning, and its quality afterwards; "red," the quality of their understanding in the beginning in relation to good; "black," the quality of their understanding in the beginning in relation to truth; "white," the quality of their understanding afterwards in relation to truth; "grisled," its quality finally in relation to truth and good; and "stout" means its quality in relation to its power to resist evils and falsities. From this it can now be seen what is signified by "the black horses went forth to the land of the north, and the white went forth after them," and "they have caused my spirit to rest in the land of the north," namely, that those who from good of life are in the affection of knowing the truths of the church receive and understand, nor are any others illustrated; that such are illustrated and receive is meant by "they have caused my spirit to rest in the land of the north;" "the grisled went forth into land of the south, and the stout to wander through the earth" signifies that those who from the good of life are in the affection of knowing the truths of the church come into the light, and that they resist evils and falsities, and constitute the church. These four kinds of horses, therefore, are called "the four winds of the heavens, going forth from standing by the Lord of the whole earth;" "winds" signifying all Divine truths, and "going forth from standing by the Lord of the whole earth" signifying that all truths proceed from Him. (That "winds" signify all Divine truths, see Arcana Coelestia 9642, and Heaven and Hell 141-153; and that "to go forth" signifies to proceed, Arcana Coelestia 5337, 7124, 9303.) "They that are afar, that shall build in the temple of Jehovah" signify those who were previously far away from the truths and goods of the church, who shall draw near to the church. (That such are signified by "those that are afar," see Arcana Coelestia 4723, 8918; and that the "temple of Jehovah" signifies the church, n . 3720; moreover, that "the north" signifies the obscurity of truth, and "the south" [auster sive meridies] the clearness of truth, thus also those that are in obscurity and in clearness of truth, see Heaven and Hell 148-151.) What is signified by "red" and by "black," in both senses, will be seen in the explanations at verses 4 and 5 of this chapter, and what by "white," see above n. 196. "The mountains of copper, from between which the chariots and horses went forth," signify the good of love in the natural man; this is said because the nations here treated of, before they were illustrated, were not in spiritual good but in natural good. (That "mountain" signifies the good of love, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 4210, 6435, 8327, 8758, 10438; and "copper" natural good, see above, n. 70

(References: Arcana Coelestia 795, Arcana Coelestia 3720, 4210, 6435, 8327, 8758, Arcana Coelestia 10438; Revelation 6:4-5; The Apocalypse Explained 70, The Apocalypse Explained 196)


[10] In Job:

God hath made her forget wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her intelligence. What time she lifteth up herself on high she laugheth at the horse and its rider (Job 39:17-18).

These things are said of a "bird," which signifies intelligence from self [proprium], which in itself is no intelligence; for man from self [proprium] sees nothing but falsities and not truths, and intelligence is from truths, and not from falsities; therefore it is said of her, "God hath made her to forget wisdom, neither hath He imparted to her intelligence," and "when she lifteth up herself on high she laugheth at the horse and its rider," that is, at the understanding of truth, and at him who is intelligent.

[11] In David:

The stout of heart have become a spoil, they have slumbered their sleep. At Thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both chariot and horse have fallen into a deep sleep (Psalms 76:5-6).

The "stout of heart" signify those who are in truths from good; "have become a spoil," and "have slumbered their sleep," signify their having fallen from evils into falsities; "the rebuke of the God of Jacob" signifies their state inverted by themselves; and "both chariot and horse have fallen into a deep sleep" signifies that their intellect was lulled to sleep, because it had become merely natural. That "to be awake" signifies to acquire for oneself spiritual life, and "to be asleep" to have natural life without spiritual, see above n. 187.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 187)


[12] In Ezekiel:

Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they gave to thy traffic the soul of man and vessels of brass. They of Bethogarma gave for thy wares horses, horsemen, and mules (Ezekiel 27:13-14).

This treats of Tyre, which signifies the knowledges of truth and good pertaining to the external and the internal church. "Javan, Tubal, and Meshech," signify those who are in external worship; and "they of Bethogarma," those who are in internal worship; it is said therefore that these "gave for the wares of Tyre, horses, horsemen, and mules;" and "the others gave the soul of man and vessels of brass;" the "soul of man" signifies the truth of faith in respect to knowledge; "vessels of brass" signify the truths of natural good; and "horses, horsemen, and mules," signify the understanding of truth and good, "horses" the understanding of truth, "horsemen" intelligence, and "mules" the rational. (That "mule" signifies the rational, see Arcana Coelestia 2781, 5741, 9212.) Everyone can see that "the tradings of Tyre," which are enumerated in this chapter and elsewhere, do not mean tradings with these things, such as vessels of brass, horses, and mules, and many others; but that spiritual tradings are meant, which are effected by means of the knowledges of truth and good; for the Word is Divine, and treats of Divine things, and not of earthly things; therefore it contains spiritual things which pertain to heaven and the church, expressed in the ultimate sense, which is the sense of the letter, by natural things which correspond to them. (That "to trade" and "to be a merchant" signifies in the Word to acquire and to communicate the knowledges of truth and good, see Arcana Coelestia 2967, 4453; and that "to buy" and "to sell" signify something similar, n. 2967, 4397, 4453, 5371, 5374, 5406, 5410, 5426, 5886, 6143, 7999, 9039.)

[13] In Isaiah:

Who led them through the deeps, as a horse in the wilderness they stumbled not; as a beast goeth down into the valley the Spirit of Jehovah led him (Isaiah 63:13-14).

This chapter treats of the Lord, and His combat with the hells, and His subjugation of them, but here of the salvation of those who are in love and faith towards Him. These are compared to "a horse in the wilderness," and to "a beast in the valley," because "horse" signifies the understanding of truth, and "beast" the affection of good; for all comparisons in the Word are from correspondences.

[14] In Revelation:

I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called the Word of God. And the armies that are in heaven followed Him upon white horses (Revelation 19:11-16).

"A white horse" evidently signifies the understanding of the Word, likewise "the white horses" upon which those sat who followed; for "He that sat upon" the white horse was the Lord in relation to the Word; for it is said, "and He that sat upon him was called the Word of God;" and in verse 6:16, "He had upon His vesture and upon His thigh a name written, Lord of lords and King of kings." The Lord is called the Word, because the Word means Divine truth proceeding from Him. (But these things in Revelation may be seen more fully explained in the small work on The White Horse 1, also why the Lord is called "the Word," n. 14 .) As "chariots" and "horses" signify doctrine from the Word and the understanding of it, and as all doctrine of truth and the understanding of it are out of heaven from the Lord, therefore it is said of Him that "He rides upon the Word," "upon the clouds," "upon heaven," "upon a cherub," also that "He makes to ride," as in the following passages. In David:

Gird thy sword upon the thigh, O mighty One, in Thy majesty, and in Thine honor mount, and ride upon the Word of truth and the meekness of righteousness (Psalms 45:3-4).

These things are said of the Lord. In the same:

Sing unto God, sing psalms to His name; extol Him that rideth upon the clouds (Psalms 68:4).

In Isaiah:

Behold, Jehovah rideth upon a cloud, and cometh into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved before Him (Isaiah 19:1).

In David:

Sing psalms unto the Lord, to Him who rideth upon the heaven of the heaven of old (Psalms 68:32-33).

God rode upon a cherub, He did fly, and was borne upon the wings of the wind (Psalms 18:10).

In Habakkuk:

O Jehovah, Thou dost ride upon Thine horses, Thy chariots are salvation. Thou hast trodden the sea with Thy horses (Habakkuk 3:8, 3:15).

In Isaiah:

Then shalt thou delight in Jehovah; and I will make thee ride in the high places of the earth (Isaiah 58:14).

In Moses:

Jehovah alone did lead him, and made him ride upon the high places of the earth (Deuteronomy 32:12-13).

And in Hosea:

I will make Ephraim to ride (Hosea 10:11).

In these passages, "to ride" signifies to give intelligence and wisdom, because "chariot" signifies the doctrine of truth, and "horses" the understanding of it.

(References: Isaiah 19:1-2; Revelation 19:11, Revelation 19:13-14, 19:16)


[15] In Isaiah:

Then shall they bring all your 1 brethren out of all nations an offering unto Jehovah upon horses and upon the chariot, and upon covered wagons, upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to the mountain of My holiness, Jerusalem (Isaiah 66:20).

This treats of the establishment of a new church by the Lord; it is not meant therefore that they will bring their brethren upon horses, upon the chariot, upon covered wagons, upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to Jerusalem; but it is meant that all who are in good are to be instructed in Divine truths, and having been made intelligent and wise thereby are to be introduced into the church; for "brethren" signify all who are in good; "horses" signify the understanding of truth; "chariot" the doctrine of truth; "covered wagons" the knowledges of truth; "mules" the internal rational, which is spiritual; and "swift beasts" the external rational, which is natural; and "Jerusalem" signifies the church, in which is the doctrine of Divine truth, which is called "the mountain of holiness" from the love of truth. From the signification of "chariots" and "horses" it can be seen why:

Elijah and Elisha were called the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof, and the mountain was seen by the lad of Elisha to be full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 2:11, 12; 6:17; 13:14);

namely, that both Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord in relation to the Word, and "chariots" signify doctrine from the Word, and "horsemen" intelligence. (That Elijah and Elisha represented the Lord in relation to the Word, see Arcana Coelestia 7643, 8029, 9372.)

(References: 2 Kings 2:11-12)


[16] That "chariots" and "horses" signify doctrine and the understanding of it, can be seen, moreover, from their contrary sense, in which "chariots" and "horses" signify the doctrines of falsity, and false knowledges [scientifica] from a perverted intellect; for most things in the Word have a contrary sense, from which it can be seen what the same signify in the genuine sense. That "chariots" and "horses" in that sense have such a signification can be seen from the following passages. In Ezekiel:

Behold, I will bring against Tyre the king of Babylon from the north, with horse and with chariot, and with horsemen. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field. By reason of the abundance of His horses their dust shall cover thee; by reason of the voice of the horseman and of the wheel and of the chariot, thy walls shall quake. With the hoofs of his horses shall he trample all thy streets; he shall slay the people with the sword (Ezekiel 26:7-8, 10-11).

"Tyre" signifies the church in relation to the knowledges of truth; and "the king of Babylon" the destruction of truth by falsities and profanation; "the north from which he was to come" signifies the source of all falsity, in particular, hell, out of which falsity arises; "chariot," "horses," and "horsemen" signify the doctrine of falsity and reasonings therefrom; "the daughters whom they shall slay in the field with the sword" signify the affections of truth which falsities will destroy, for "daughters" are the affections of truth, "the field is the church where those affections are, "the sword" is the combat of falsity against truth, and "to slay" is to extinguish. This makes clear the signification of "by reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee," "dust" meaning the evil of falsity; the "walls that shall quake by reason of the voice of the horseman, of the wheel, and of the chariot," signify protecting truths, which in general are, that there is a God, and that the Word is Divine, and that there is eternal life. These "walls," or these truths, are said "to quake by reason of the voice of the horseman, of the wheel, and of the chariot," when they come to be doubted through the falsities of doctrines and reasonings from them; "the hoofs of the horses with which he shall trample all the streets," signify the outermost things of the natural man, which are called sensual impressions [sensualia], from which are all falsities; the "streets that shall be trampled by them" are the truths of the doctrine of the church, which are wholly destroyed; the "people who shall fall by the sword" signify all who are in truths, and in an abstract sense all truths.

[17] In Jeremiah:

O sword, against the liars, that they may become foolish; O sword, against the mighty, that they may be dismayed; O sword, against her horses and against her chariots; O sword, against her treasures, that they may be despoiled; let there be drought upon her waters that they may be dried up: because it is a land of graven images (Jeremiah 50:36-38).

"Sword" signifies the combat of truth against falsity, and of falsity against truth and consequent vastation; here it signifies vastation; "liars" and "mighty men" signify falsities and reasonings therefrom; the same is signified by "horses" and "chariots;" the "treasures that shall be despoiled" signify all things of doctrine; "the drought upon the waters, that they may be dried up," signifies the deprivation of truth, "drought" meaning deprivation, and "waters" truths; and as all falsities are from self-intelligence, it is said, "because it is a land of graven images," "land" here signifying heresy, and "graven images" what is from self-intelligence. (That such is the signification of "graven images," "molten images," and "idols," see Arcana Coelestia 8869, 8941, 10406, 10503)

[18] In the same:

Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots as the storm; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are devastated. Wash thine heart from evil, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thoughts of iniquity lodge in the midst of thee? The whole land shall be a waste. The whole city fleeth for the voice of the horseman and the shooters of the bow; they have entered the thick clouds, and have gone up into the rocks; the whole city is forsaken (Jeremiah 4:13- Jeremiah 4:13-14, 27, 29).

This describes the vastation of the church by the falsities of evil; falsities are signified by "clouds;" and the lust of reasoning from falsities against truths by "the horses that are swifter than eagles;" and the doctrinals of falsity by "the chariots that are as the storm;" that consequently everything of the church and everything of its doctrine shall perish, is signified by "the whole land shall be a waste, and the whole city fleeth for the voice of the horseman and the shooters of the bow;" "land" means the church, and "city" its doctrine; "the voice of the horseman and the shooters of the bow" means reasoning from falsities and assault, and "to flee" means to perish. That then mere falsity and the faith of falsity would reign is signified by "they have entered the thick clouds, and have gone up into the rocks," "clouds" meaning falsities, and "rocks" the faith of falsities. The devastation of the church and of its doctrine is evidently here described, for it is said, "Woe unto us! for we are devastated. How long shall the thoughts of iniquity lodge in the midst of thee? The whole land shall be a waste. The whole city is forsaken. "

[19] In the same:

Behold, a people cometh from the land of the north, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth. Their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses (Jeremiah 6:22-23; 50:41-42).

Here, too, the devastation of the church by the falsities of evil is described; "the land of the north," and "the sides of the earth," are the source of these, "the land of the north" the source of falsities, and "the sides of the earth" the source of evils; for "the north" signifies what is remote from truths, and "the sides of the earth" what is remote from goods; therefore "nation" is predicated of the latter, and "people" of the former, "nation" meaning those who are in evils, and "people" those who are in falsities (see above, n. 331). Their reasoning is signified by "their voice roareth like the sea, and they ride upon horses."

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 331)


[20] In Ezekiel:

Thou shalt come from thy place out of the sides of the north; thou and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses. And thou shalt go up against My people Israel, as clouds to cover the land (Ezekiel 38:15-16).

These things are said of Gog, by whom external worship without any internal is signified; "the sides of the north" signify here, as above, what is remote from goods and truths, thus the source of the falsities of evil; and because they reason therefrom and attack the truths of the church and extinguish them it is said, "all of them riding upon horses; and thou shalt go up against My people Israel, as clouds to cover the land;" "to ride upon horses" meaning reasonings, "to go up against the people of Israel," and "to cover the land," signifying to attack the truths of the church and to extinguish them; "clouds" are the falsities of evil.

[21] In Daniel:

At the time of the end, the king of the south shall come into collision with the king of the north. So the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the lands and shall overflow and pass through (Daniel 11:40).

This chapter treats of the combat of the king of the north with the king of the south; and "the king of the north" means falsity from evil, and "the king of the south" truth from good; so evidently the things mentioned in this chapter are not spoken of any future war between two kings, but of the combats of falsity from evil against truth from good. "The chariot and horsemen with which the king of the north shall rush upon him" are the assaults upon truth by the falsities of evil; the "many ships," with which also they shall rush upon him, are the knowledges [scientifica] and doctrinals of falsity; the destruction of the church thereby is signified by "he shall come into the lands and shall overflow and pass through." (That "ships" signify knowledges [scientifica] and doctrinals, in both senses, see Arcana Coelestia 1977, 6385; and that "to overflow" signifies immersion in falsities and evils, n. 660, 705, 739, 756, 790, 5725, 6853)

[22] In Jeremiah:

By thee will I scatter the nations, and by thee will I destroy kingdoms, and by thee will I scatter the horse and its rider, and by thee will I scatter the chariot and him that rideth in it (Jeremiah 51:20-21).

And in Haggai:

I will overturn the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overturn the chariot and those who ride in it; and the horses and their riders shall come down, a man by the sword of his brother (Haggai 2:22).

This is said of the destruction of falsity and evil, and not of the destruction of any nation or kingdom; for "nations" signify evils, and "kingdoms" (like "peoples") falsities. For this is prophetical, not historical. This makes clear what "horse" and "rider," and "chariot and him that rideth in it" signify, namely, that "horse and rider" signify a perverted intellect and reasoning therefrom and "the chariot and him that rideth in it" the doctrine of falsity or heresy, and those who are in it.

[23] In Nahum:

Woe to the city of bloods! the whole is filled with lying and rapine; the voice of the whip, and the voice of the rattling of the wheel, and the horse neighing and the chariot leaping, the horseman making to ascend, and the flame of the sword, and the flash of the spear, and a multitude of the slain, and a heap of carcasses, because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, selling nations by her whoredoms, and families by her sorceries (Nahum 3:1-4).

This treats of the violence offered to Divine truth, and its destruction by the falsities of evil; for this is signified by "the city of bloods," respecting which what follows is said (see above, n. 329; therefore it is also said, "the whole is filled with lying and rapine," "lie" meaning falsity, and "rapine" violence offered by falsity; and as "wars" signify spiritual combats, which are the combats of truth against falsity and of falsity against truth, all things pertaining to war, as "whip," "horse," "chariot," "sword," and "spear," signify various things pertaining to spiritual warfare; but what each of these in particular signifies need not be explained here, only what "horse," "horseman," and "chariot" signify. "The voice of the rattling of the wheel" signifies reasonings from falsities and evils; "the horse neighing and the chariot leaping" signifies the lust of destroying truths, "horse" meaning the intellect perverted, and "chariot" the doctrine of falsity, which destroy; "to neigh" and "to leap" meaning to be moved to destroy by lust and delight, and "horseman making to ascend" meaning assault. It is therefore said, "a multitude of the slain, and a heap of carcasses;" those are called "slain" who perish from falsities, and "carcasses" who perish from evils; therefore it is also said, "because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, selling the nations by her whoredoms, and families by her sorceries;" "whoredoms" signify the falsifications of truth, "harlot" heresy, "to sell nations" signifies to become estranged from goods, and "to sell families by sorcery" to become estranged from truths, "nations" meaning goods, "families" truths therefrom, and "sorceries" the falsities of evil which estrange.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 329)


[24] In Habakkuk:

I rouse up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, that marcheth into the breadths of the land; her horses are lighter than leopards, and more fierce than the wolves of the evening, so that her horsemen spread themselves; yea, her horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as an eagle that hasteth to eat. She shall come wholly for violence; she shall mock at kings, and rulers shall be a derision unto her (Habakkuk 1:6, 8-10).

"The Chaldeans" mean those who profane truths and thus vastate the church, therefore they are called "a bitter and hasty nation, that marcheth into the breadths of the land," "breadths of the land" meaning the truths of the church (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 197). Their lust for and dexterity in perverting truths and destroying them by reasonings from falsities altogether remote from truths are signified by, "her horses are lighter than leopards, and more fierce than the wolves of the evening, so that her horsemen spread themselves; yea, her horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as an eagle that hasteth to eat." Lust is signified by "her horses are lighter than leopards," and dexterity by "her horses are more fierce than the wolves of the evening," and both by "they fly as an eagle." Because the lust and dexterity are for destroying truths therefore it is said, "she shall come wholly for violence;" their scoffing at truths and goods is signified by "she shall mock at kings, and rulers shall be a derision unto her," "kings" signifying truths, and "lords" and "rulers" goods.

[25] In David:

Some in the chariot, and some in horses; but we will glory in the name of our God (Psalms 20:7).

In the same:

A king is not saved by the multitude of an army; a horse is a lying thing for safety (Psalms 33:16-17).

In the same:

Jehovah delighteth not in the might of a horse; His pleasure is not in the thighs of a man (Psalms 147:10).

"To glory in the chariot and in horses," and "Jehovah delighteth not in the might of a horse," signify all things from self-intelligence, from which are nothing but falsities; and "the thighs of a man" signify those things that are from his own will, from which are nothing but evils.

(References: Psalms 20:7-8)


[26] In Amos:

He that holdeth the bow shall not stand, nor shall the swift of foot escape, nor shall he that rideth upon the horse cause his soul to escape, but he that is stout of heart shall flee naked in that day (Amos 2:15-16).

This, too, describes self-intelligence and confidence arising from an ability to speak and reason from falsities. "He that holdeth the bow shall not stand," and "the swift of foot shall not cause himself to escape," signify that one who knows how to reason readily from the doctrine of falsity and from the knowledge [scientia] and memory of the natural man, shall not on that account be saved; the like is signified by "he that rideth upon the horse shall not cause his soul to escape;" "he that is stout of heart, who shall flee naked in that day," signifies that he who trusts in his falsities shall be without any truth, "stout of heart" meaning one who trusts in his falsities, and "naked" one who is without any understanding of truth (see above, n. 240).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 240)


[27] In Isaiah:

The Lord Jehovih, the Holy One of Israel, saith, In quietness and in confidence shall be your might; but ye would not, and said, No, but upon a horse we will flee; therefore ye shall flee; and we will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be made swift (Isaiah 30:15-16).

This treats of confidence in the Lord and of confidence in self; confidence in the Lord in these words, "the Lord Jehovih, the Holy One of Israel, said, In quietness and in confidence shall be your might;" and confidence in self in these words, "and ye said, No, but upon a horse we will flee," and "we will ride upon the swift;" "to flee upon a horse," and "to ride upon the swift," signifying to covet and love those things that are of one's own understanding, and thought and reasoning therefrom. That falsities will then break in and take possession is signified by, "therefore ye shall flee," and "therefore shall they that pursue you be made swift," "swiftness" and "haste" signifying what is done from lust, or from love.

[28] In Zechariah:

Jehovah shall set Judah as the horse of His majesty in war; out of him shall be the corner, out of him the nail, and out of him the bow of war. And they shall be as mighty men treading down the mire of the streets; and they shall fight because Jehovah is with them, and they shall make ashamed them that ride upon horses (Zechariah 10:3-5).

"The house of Judah" signifies the Lord's celestial kingdom, that is, the heaven and church that are in love to the Lord; of this it is said that it shall be "as the horse of majesty in war," which signifies the understanding of Divine truth combating against evils and falsities, which it will destroy, "horse" signifying the understanding, "majesty" Divine truth, and "war" combat against falsities and evils and their destruction. "The corner," "the nail," and "the bow of war," that are "out of Judah," signify truths, "the corner" truth protecting, "the nail" truth strengthening, and the "bow of war" truth combating from doctrine; "they shall be as mighty men treading down the mire of the streets" signifies the power to disperse and destroy falsities, "mire of the streets" signifying falsities. "They shall make ashamed them that ride upon horses" signifies the annihilation of the reasonings, argumentations, and confirmations that are from man's own understanding; that this shall be accomplished by the Lord and not by them is meant by, "they shall fight because Jehovah is with them."

[29] In Hosea:

Asshur will not save us; we will not ride upon the horse; we will say no more to the work of our hands, Thou art our God (Hosea 14:3).

This also treats of intelligence from self [ex proprio], that it will not save. "Asshur" signifies the rational, here as being from self [ex proprio]; "to ride upon the horse" signifies reasoning of the understanding from self [ex proprio]; and "work of the hands" signifies the selfhood [proprium] itself.

[30] In Ezekiel:

Oholah committed whoredom, and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors, clothed in blue, horsemen riding upon horses (Ezekiel 23:5-6, 12, 23).

"Oholah," which here is Samaria, signifies a church in which truths are falsified; "her whoredoms," which are treated of in this chapter, signify falsifications; "the Assyrians" signify reasonings by which truths are falsified; and because "to ride upon horses" signifies to reason from falsities that are from self-intelligence, it is said, "she doted on the Assyrians, horsemen riding upon horses;" the "blue, in which they were clothed," signifies falsity appearing as truth, which appearance comes chiefly from applying the sense of the letter of the Word to principles of falsity.

(References: Ezekiel 22:5-6, 22:12, 22:23)


[31] In Jeremiah:

The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighings of his stout ones the whole land quaked; and they came and devoured the land and its fullness; [the city] and those that dwell therein (Jeremiah 8:16).

What is meant by "Dan" has been told above in this article, namely, truth in its ultimate; this is the truth in the church that is contained in the sense of the letter of the Word. Those who abide in this alone, and do not read the Word from the doctrine of genuine truth, which should guide and illustrate, may be carried away into all kinds of errors; those who are carried away into errors or falsities are meant here by "Dan;" the consequent confirmation of falsities is meant by "the snorting of his horses;" and the falsifications of truth are meant by "the sound of the neighings of his stout ones;" these are called "stout" from their confidence, because it is from the sense of the letter of the Word, that falsity is truth. That the church in respect to its truths and goods is thereby vastated, is signified by "the whole land quaked;" and "they came and devoured the land and its fullness, and those that dwell therein," "the land" meaning the church, "its fullness" truths, and "those that dwell therein" goods.

[32] In Isaiah:

He hath lifted up an ensign to the nations from far, and hath hissed to him from the end of the earth, and behold the swift one shall come in haste, whose arrows are sharp, and all his bows are bent; the hoofs of his horses are reckoned as rock, and his wheels as a storm (Isa. 5:26, 5:28).

This, too, treats of those who are in ultimates in regard to the understanding of truth and as to the perception of good. These ultimates are what are called sensual impressions [sensualia], which are the ultimates of the natural man (of which see in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 50); from these, when separated from the spiritual man, stream forth all the evils and falsities that are in the church and in its doctrine: evils from this source are signified by "the nations that shall come from far;" and falsities by "him that cometh from the end of the earth;" "far," and "the end of the earth" signifying those things that are remote from the truths and goods of the church. "The arrows that are sharp," and "the bows that are bent" signify the falsities of doctrine prepared to destroy truths, and "the hoofs of the horses that are reckoned as rock," and "his wheels that are as a storm" signify the ultimates of truth, like those in the sense of the letter of the Word, and arguments and confirmations of falsity by means of these; "the hoofs of the horses" mean the ultimates of the understanding, here of the perverted understanding, because separated from the understanding of the spiritual man; and because these ultimates are from the sense of the letter of the Word, it is said, "are reckoned as rock;" while "wheels" mean argumentations and confirmations by means of these, and because these appear strong they are said to be "as a storm."

[33] In the book of Judges:

My heart is toward the lawgivers of Israel. Ye that ride on white asses, and sit on middin, and that walk by the way, meditate. The stars from their courses fought with Sisera. Then were the hoofs of the horses bruised; the prancing of his stout ones struck together (Judges 5:9-10, 20, 22).

These words are contained in the song of Deborah and Barak, which treats of the combat of truth against falsity and its victory; "the lawgivers of Israel" signify the truths of the church; "to ride on white asses" and "to sit on middin" signify the perception of good and the understanding of truth, "white asses" signifying the rational in respect to good, and "middin" the rational in respect to truth; and "to walk by the way and to meditate" signify a life of truth; "the stars from their courses fought with Sisera" signifies the knowledges of truth, and combat from them against falsities of evil; "the feet of the horses that were bruised," and "the prancing of the horses that struck together" signify the falsities that are from the outmost natural, or the sensual [sensuali], and arguments therefrom that they were destroyed.

[34] In Amos:

Shall horses run upon the rock? shall one plough with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of justice into wormwood (Amos 6:12).

"Shall horses run upon the rock?" signifies, is there any understanding of truth? "Shall anyone plough with oxen?" signifies, is there any perception of good? This is plainly the meaning, for it follows, "for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of justice into wormwood;" "to turn judgment into gall," signifies to turn truth into falsity, and "to turn the fruit of justice into wormwood," signifies to turn good into evil.

[35] In David:

Thou hast laid oppression upon our loins. Thou hast caused a man to ride over our head; We entered into the fire and the waters: but Thou hast brought us out into a broad place (Psalms 66:11-12).

This is a description of spiritual captivity and deliverance therefrom. There is spiritual captivity when the mind is so shut up as not to perceive good nor understand truth; there is deliverance from it when the mind is opened; "the oppression upon the loins" signifies that there is no perception of good of love, for "loins" and "thighs" signify the good of love; "to cause a man to ride over our head" signifies that there is no understanding of truth; "man" here signifying intelligence from self [ex proprio], which is no intelligence; and "head" the like. Because this is the signification therefore it is said, "we entered into the fire and the waters," "into the fire" meaning into the evils that are from the love of self, and "into the waters" meaning into falsities; deliverance therefrom is meant by "but Thou hast brought us out into a broad place," "broad place" signifying truth (as above).

[36] In Isaiah:

Woe to them that go down into Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and trust in the chariot, but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah. For Egypt is man and not God, and its horses flesh and not spirit (Isaiah 31:1, 3).

"Egypt" in the Word signifies the knowing [faculty] [scientificum] which is in the natural man, and thence also the natural man; and because the natural man, with the knowing [faculty] that is in it, has no understanding, but only thought from the memory, which is a kind of imagination from objects of sight and hearing; and because this is beneath the spiritual, in which nevertheless all the goods and truths of heaven and the church reside, therefore "Egypt" signifies in most passages a falsified knowing [faculty] [scientificum falsum]; for when the spiritual man does not flow in, knowledges in the natural man are turned into mere falsities, and its thoughts into confirmations of falsity and into reasonings from them against truths. From this it can be seen what is signified by "horses of Egypt and its chariots," namely, that "the horses" signify false knowledges, and "chariots" doctrinals from which there are reasonings against truth. Such, therefore, seek truths from no other source than themselves, for each one's own [proprium] has its seat in the natural man, and what is not his own has its seat in the spiritual; such persons therefore seize upon falsities instead of truths, and upon evils instead of goods, calling evils goods and falsities truths, and trusting in themselves, because they trust in what is their own. These things are signified by "Woe to them that go down into Egypt, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong;" "horses" here mean false knowledges; and "chariots" doctrinals therefrom; and "horsemen" reasonings from them against truths; therefore it is also said, "Egypt is man and not God, and his horses flesh and not spirit" signifying that what is in them is merely natural and not spiritual, consequently that there is not in them anything of life; "man" signifying the natural man, and "flesh" what is its own; "God" and "spirit" signifying the Divine spiritual man, and life therefrom; and since they trust in themselves and not in the Lord, it is said, "they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah."

[37] From this it can now be seen what is signified by the horses, the chariots, and the armies of Pharaoh, in Moses:

I will be rendered glorious in Pharaoh and in his army and in his horsemen. And the Egyptians pursued the sons of Israel, and Pharaoh's horses went after them, his chariots and his horsemen, into the midst of the sea. And Jehovah took off the wheel of their chariots, so that they drove them with difficulty. And when Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, the waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, together with the whole army of Pharaoh (Exodus 14:17-18, 23, 25, 27-28).

And in the same:

Moses and the children of Israel sang this song unto Jehovah. In singing I will sing unto Jehovah, for in exalting He hath exalted Himself; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea, and his chariots and his army (Exodus 15:1, 4, 19, 21).

What the horses and chariots of Pharaoh or Egypt signify has been shown above; his "army" signifies all falsities, in general and in particular; and "sea" signifies damnation and hell, where all are in their own [proprium], because they are in the natural man separated from the spiritual, and thence in all kinds of evils and falsities. The like is signified by "the horses of Egypt," in these words in Moses:

If thou shalt say, 2 I will set over me a king, in setting thou shalt set 3 over thee a king whom Jehovah thy God shall choose; only he shall not multiply to himself horses, nor shall he bring back the people into Egypt, that he may multiply horses (Deuteronomy 17:14-16).

These things are said of the king, because the Lord in relation to Divine truth is represented by kings, and thence "kings" signify truths from good from the Lord (see above, n. 31. And as truths from good have their seat in the spiritual man, as was said above, and the knowledges [scientifica] that belong to the natural man serve the spiritual man as servants do their lord, it is said, "only he shall not multiply to himself horses, nor shall he bring back the people into Egypt, that he may multiply horses;" which signifies, only let no one from being a spiritual man become natural, and lead himself, and trust in what is his own [proprium] instead of in the Lord, that is, let not the truths of the spiritual man serve the natural, instead of the knowledges [scientifica] of the natural man serving the spiritual; for this latter is according to order, but the former contrary to order. "Horses" of Egypt have a like signification elsewhere in the Word (as Jeremiah 46:4, 9; Ezekiel 17:15; 23:20).

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Footnotes:

1.  The photolithograph has "his;" see AE 175, 405, 433.

2.  The photolithograph has "they shall say."

3.  The photolithograph has "he shall set."

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(References: Exodus 14:17; Isaiah 19:1-2; Psalms 20:7-8; Revelation 19:11-18; The Apocalypse Explained 31)

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From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 350, 357, 364, 365, 370, 372, 373, 381, 418, 433, 529, 552, 558, 573, 575, 577, 625, 657, 675, 700, 706, 734, 923, 1155


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.


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