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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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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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Arcana Coelestia #2015

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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2015. That 'kings will come out of you' means that all truth comes from Him is clear from the meaning of 'a king' as truth in both the historical and the prophetical sections of the Word, as stated in 1672 but not yet shown to be so. From the meaning of 'nations' as goods, and from the meaning of 'kings' as truths, the nature of the internal sense of the Word becomes clear, and also how remote it is from the sense of the letter. No one reading the Word, especially the historical section, believes anything other than that 'nations' referred to there means nations, or that 'kings' there means kings, and therefore that the nations mentioned there, or the kings, are the real subject of the very Word itself. But when the idea of nations and also of kings reaches angels it perishes altogether, and good and truth take their place instead. This is bound to seem strange and indeed a paradox, but it is nevertheless the truth. The matter may also become clear to anyone from the fact that if nations were meant in the Word by 'nations' and kings by 'kings', the Word of the Lord would hardly embody anything more than some historical or other piece of writing and so would be something of a worldly nature, when in fact everything in the Word is Divine and so is celestial and spiritual.

[2] Take merely the statement in the present verse about Abraham's being made fruitful, nations being made of him, and kings coming out of him. What else is this but something purely worldly and nothing at all heavenly? Indeed these assertions entail no more than the glory of this world, a glory which is absolutely nothing in heaven. But if this is the Word of the Lord then its glory must be that of heaven, not that of the world. This also is why the sense of the letter is completely erased and disappears when it passes into heaven, and is purified in such a way that nothing worldly at all is intermingled. For 'Abraham' is not used to mean Abraham but the Lord; nor is 'being fruitful' used to mean his descendants who would increase more and more but the endless growth of good belonging to the Lord's Human Essence. 'Nations' do not mean nations but goods, and 'kings' do not mean kings but truths. Nevertheless the narrative in the sense of the letter remains historically true, for Abraham was indeed spoken to in this way; and he was indeed made fruitful in this way, with nations as well as kings descending from him.

[3] That 'kings' means truths becomes clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

The sons of the foreigner will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you. You will suck the milk of nations, and the breast of kings will you suck. Isaiah 60:10, 16.

What 'sucking the milk of nations and the breast of kings' means is not at all evident from the letter but from the internal sense, in which being endowed with goods and instructed in truths is meant. In Jeremiah,

There will enter through the gates of this city kings and princes seated on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses. Jeremiah 17:25; 22:4.

'Riding in chariots and on horses' is a prophecy meaning the abundance of things of the understanding, as becomes clear from very many places in the Prophets. Thus the prophecy that 'kings will enter through the gates of the city' means in the internal sense that they were to be endowed with truths of faith. This sense of the Word is the heavenly sense into which the worldly sense of the letter passes.

[4] In the same prophet,

Jehovah has spurned in His fierce indignation king and priest. The gates of Zion have sunk into the ground, He has destroyed and broken in pieces her bars. King and princes are among the nations; the law is no more. Lamentations 2:6, 9.

Here 'king' stands for the truth of faith, 'priest' for the good of charity, 'Zion' for the Church, which is destroyed and its bars broken in pieces. Consequently 'king and princes among the nations', that is, truth and what belongs to truth, will be so completely banished that 'the law is no more', that is, nothing of the doctrine of faith will exist any more. In Isaiah,

Before the boy knows to refuse evil and to choose good, the ground will be abandoned which you loathe in the presence of its two kings. Isaiah 7:16.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. 'The land that will be abandoned' stands for faith which at that time would not exist. 'The kings' are the truths of faith which would be loathed.

[5] In the same prophet,

I will lift up My hand to the nations and raise My ensign to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulder. Kings will be your foster fathers and their queens your wet-nurses. Isaiah 49:22-23.

'Nations' and 'daughters' stand for goods, 'peoples' and 'sons' for truths, as shown in Volume One. That 'nations' stands for goods, 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849, as does 'daughters', 489-491, while 'peoples' stands for truths, 1259, 1260, as does 'sons', 489, 491, 533, 1147. 'Kings' therefore stands for truths, in general by which they will be nourished, and 'queens' for goods by which they will be suckled. Whether you speak of goods and truths or of those who are governed by goods and truths it amounts to the same.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1259-1260)


[6] In the same prophet,

He will spatter many nations, kings will shut their mouths because of him, 1 for that which has [not] been told them they have seen, and that which they have not heard they have understood. Isaiah 52:15.

This refers to the Lord's Coming. 'Nations' stands for those who are stirred by an affection for goods, 'kings' those who are stirred by an affection for truths. In David,

Now, O kings, be intelligent; be instructed, O judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son lest He perhaps be angry and you perish in the way. Psalms 2:10-12.

'Kings' stands for people who are governed by truths, and who by virtue of truths are also in many places called 'king's sons'. 'The Son' here stands for the Lord, and he is called the Son here because he is Truth itself, and the source of all truth.

[7] In John,

They will sing a new song, You are worthy to take the Book and to open its seals. You have made us kings and priests to our God so that we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:9-10.

Here people who are governed by truths are called 'kings'. The Lord also calls them 'the sons of the kingdom' in Matthew,

He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the seed are the sons of the kingdom, and the tares are the sons of the evil one. Matthew 13:37-38.

In John,

The sixth angel poured out his bowl over the great river Euphrates and its water was dried up to prepare the way of the kings who were from the east. Revelation 16:12.

'Euphrates' clearly does not mean the Euphrates, nor does 'kings from the east' mean kings from that quarter. What 'Euphrates' does mean may be seen in 120, 1585, 1866, from which it is evident that 'the way of the kings who were from the cast' means truths of faith that derive from goods of love.

[8] In the same book,

The nations that are saved will walk in its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honour into it. Revelation 21:24.

Here 'nations' stands for people who are governed by goods, 'kings of the earth' for those who are governed by truths, which is also evident from the fact that the details here are prophetical, not historical. In the same book,

With the great harlot seated on many waters the kings of the earth have committed whoredom and have become drunk with the wine of her whoredom. Revelation 17:2.

And elsewhere in the same book,

Babylon has given all nations drink from the wine of the fury of her whoredom; and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her. Revelation 18:1, 3, 9.

Here similarly it is clear that 'the kings of the earth' does not mean kings, for the subject is the falsification and adulteration of the doctrine of faith, that is, of truth, which are 'whoredom'. 'Kings of the earth' stands for truths that have been falsified and adulterated.

(References: Revelation 17:1-2)


[9] In the same book,

The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom but are receiving authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These will be of one mind, and they will hand over power and authority to the beast. Revelation 17:12-13.

That 'kings' here does not mean kings may also be evident to anyone. If kings were meant, then 'ten kings receiving authority as kings for one hour' would be quite unintelligible, as similarly with the following words in the same book,

I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered to make war with Him who was sitting on the horse, and with His army. Revelation 19:19

In verse 13 of the same chapter it is stated explicitly that the One who was sitting on the horse was The Word of God, against which the kings of the earth are said to have been gathered. 'The beast' stands for goods of love that have been profaned, 'kings' for truths of faith that have been adulterated; these are called 'kings of the earth' because they exist within the Church - 'earth' meaning the Church, see 662, 1066, 1067, 1262. 'The white horse' stands for the understanding of truth, 'He who was sitting on the horse' for the Word. This matter is plainer still in Daniel 11, describing the war between the king of the south and the king of the north, by which is meant the conflict of truths with falsities. Here such conflicts are described as a war that took place in history.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1066-1067; Revelation 19:13)


[10] Since 'a king' means truth, what is meant in the internal sense when the Lord is called King, and also a Priest, is made clear; and what essential quality of the Lord was represented by kings, and what by priests, is also made clear. 'Kings' represented His Divine Truth, and 'priests' His Divine Good. All the laws of order by which the Lord governs the universe as King are truths, while all the laws by which He governs the universe as Priest and by which He rules even over truths themselves are goods. For government from truths alone condemns everyone to hell, but government from goods lifts them out of that place and raises them up into heaven; see 1728. Because, in the Lord's case, these two - truths and goods - are joined together, they were also represented in ancient times by kingship and priesthood combined, as with Melchizedek who was at one and the same time king of Salem and priest to God Most High, Genesis 14:18. And at a later time among the Jews where the representative Church was established in a form of its own He was represented by judges and priests, and after that by kings.

[11] But because 'kings' represented truths which ought not to be paramount for the reason, already stated, that they condemn, the very idea was so objectionable that the Jews were reproached for it. The nature of truth regarded in itself has been described in 1 Samuel 8:11-18, as the rights of a king; and previous to that, in Moses, in Deuteronomy 17:14-18, they had been commanded through Moses to choose genuine truth deriving from good, not spurious truth, and not to pollute it with reasonings and factual knowledge. These are the considerations which the directive concerning a king given in the place in Moses referred to above embodies within itself. No one can possibly see this from the sense of the letter, but it is nevertheless evident from the details within the internal sense. This shows why 'a king' and 'kingship' represented and meant nothing other than truth.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, over him

-----

(References: Genesis 17:6)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 2069, 2089, 2466, 2504, 2509, 2567, 2761, 2781, 2826, 2830, 2832, 2851, 2906, 3009, 3105, 3325, 3355, 3365, 3441, 3703, 3708, 3858, 3863, 3875, 3969, 4391, 4402, 4575, 4669, 4677, 4728, 4763, 4809, 4876, 4973, 5038, 5044, 5068, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 854

The White Horse 10

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 259, 309


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 31, 126, 155, 236, 701

Other New Christian Commentary

Melchizedek 1

Queens as nursing mothers 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Asking for a King
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Choosing of Saul
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
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