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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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John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1


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Arcana Coelestia #491

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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, ...


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Apocalypse Explained 63, 166


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Arcana Coelestia #2468

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2468. There is no need to confirm these meanings either, for the explanation itself, and what comes before and after, shows that such things are meant. The form and nature of the religion meant by 'Moab and the children of Ammon' however becomes clear from the description that has been given of their origin, and also from many other places in the Word, the historical as well as the prophetical, where they are mentioned. In general they are people whose worship is external and to some extent appears holy, but is not internal. They are also people who take up the things which belong to external worship as goods and truths but reject and regard as worthless those that belong to internal worship.

[2] This type of worship and religion falls to people with whom natural good exists but who regard other people as worthless in comparison with themselves. They are not unlike fruit which is not unattractive on the outside but which within is mouldy or rotten; they are not unlike marble vases whose contents are impure and sometimes foul; or they are not unlike women whose face, figure, and movements are not unbecoming but who inwardly are diseased and full of foul impurities. For with them a general good exists which does not look unattractive; but things of a particular kind which enter into that good are filthy. This is not so to begin with but becomes so gradually, for such people easily allow themselves to be impregnated with whatever go by the name of goods and consequently by whatever falsities which, because they are confirmatory, they imagine to be truths. This happens because they despise the interior things of worship, which things they despise because they are governed by self-love. Such people come from and originate with those whose worship is purely external and who in this chapter are represented by Lot. They do so when the good contained in truth has been desolated. In the Word the nature of such people is described both in the beginning when their good has not as yet been so defiled, and also subsequently when it is being defiled, as well as after that when it has been defiled completely; and their rejection of the interior things of worship and doctrine is described too.

[3] The nature of those people in the beginning when their good has not as yet been so defiled is described in Daniel,

At the time of the end the king of the south will clash with him; therefore the king of the north will rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he will enter into countries, and will overflow, and will pass through, and will come into the glorious land, and many countries will collapse; these will be delivered out of his hand, Edom and Moab, and the firstfruits of the children of Ammon. Daniel 11:40-41.

'The king of the south' stands for people with whom goods and truths are present, 'the king of the north' for those with whom evils and falsities are present. 'The king of the north with chariots, horsemen, and ships, entering countries, overflowing, and passing through' stands for evils and falsities, meant by 'chariots, horsemen, and ships', getting the upper hand; 'the deliverance from his hand of Edom, Moab, and the firstfruits of the children of Ammon' stands for people governed by good which has not yet been defiled so much by falsities. This is why they are called 'the firstfruits of the children of Ammon'.

[4] In Moses,

We passed on by the road of the wilderness, and Jehovah said to Moses, Do not harass Moab, nor engage with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land as an inheritance because I have given Ar to the children of Lot as an inheritance. Deuteronomy 2:8-9.

And regarding the children of Ammon,

Jehovah spoke to Moses, Today you are passing over Ar the boundary of Moab, and when you approach from the region of the children of Ammon, do not harass them nor engage with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the children of Ammon as an inheritance, for I have given it to the children of Lot as an inheritance. Deuteronomy 2:17-19.

Here 'Ar' stands for that kind of good, 'Moab and the children of Ammon' for people who are governed by such good, but at the beginning, which explains why it is commanded that they should not be harassed.

[5] This also is the reason why Moab drove out the Emim, and the Rephaim who were similar to the Anakim, and why the children of Ammon too drove out the Rephaim, whom they called the Zamzummim, Deuteronomy 2:9-11, 18-21. 'Emim, Rephaim, Anakim, and Zamzummim' means people who were impregnated with evil and false persuasions, see 581, 1673. 'Moab and the children of Ammon' in the present context means people who have not yet been impregnated. But when these too had been so impregnated, that is, when their good had been defiled by falsities, they also were driven out, Numbers 21:21-31; Ezekiel 25:8-11.

[6] The nature of those people when their good is being defiled is described in Jeremiah,

To Moab Jehovah spoke thus, Woe to Nebo! for it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken; Misgab is put to shame and overwhelmed; the praise of Moab is no more. Give wings to Moab, for it will fly away and its cities will become a desolation, with no one to dwell in them. Leave the cities and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab, and be like the dove that nests in the sides of the mouth of the hole. I know its anger, says Jehovah, and it is not steadfast, and its falsities do not make for right. Therefore I will howl over Moab and will cry out to the whole of Moab. From the weeping of Jazer I will weep for you, O vine of Sibmah. Your branches passed over the sea, they reached as far as the sea of Jazer; on your summer fruits and on your vintage the vastator has fallen. Therefore My heart is moved over Moab like pipes. Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh have perished, for your sons have been taken away into captivity, and your daughters into captivity. And I will bring back the captivity of Moab in the latter days. Jeremiah 48:1-2, 9, 28, 30-32, 36, 46-47.

(References: Jeremiah 48:1)


[7] The whole chapter refers to Moab, but by means of him to the way in which people with whom such good is present allow themselves to be impregnated with falsities. This is why it is said that 'they should give Moab wings so that he may fly away', and that 'his cities will become a desolation', but that 'they were to leave the cities and dwell in the rock, and like a dove were to nest in the sides of the mouth of the hole', and many other things by which they are persuaded to remain with the general goods and truths they possess. And if at such times they were led astray by falsities due to lack of knowledge they would be brought back from captivity in the latter days. But with those people with whom this does not happen it is said, 'I will howl over Moab and will cry out to the whole of Moab', and 'My heart is moved over Moab'. The falsities with which they are impregnated are meant by Nebo, Kiriathaim, Misgab, Sibmah, Jazer, Chemosh, and other names mentioned in that chapter.

[8] In Isaiah,

Like a scattered nest will the daughters of Moab be. Give counsel, execute judgement. Make your whole shade [as the night] in the middle of the day. Hide the outcasts, do not betray the wanderer; let My outcasts, O Moab, dwell together in you; be a refuge to them in the presence of the vastator. We have heard of the pride of Moab - his great pride, his arrogance, and his insolence, and his anger; not so his lies. Therefore Moab will howl for Moab, everyone will howl. Therefore My bowels are played on like a harp for Moab, and My inward parts for the city of Heres. And when Moab is seen exhausted on the high place and he comes to his sanctuary to pray he will not prevail. In three years, like the years of a hireling, the praise of Moab will be brought into contempt, with all his great multitude, and the survivors will be a very small and feeble number. Isaiah 16:2-4, 6-7, 11-12, 14.

The whole of this chapter as well refers to Moab, and by means of him to people with whom such good is present. They are described in various parts of the chapter in words similar to those used in Jeremiah 48 - people that are in like manner persuaded to remain with the general goods and truths they possess and not allow themselves to be impregnated with falsities. General goods and truths are meant by the demand that they should give counsel, execute judgement, hide the outcasts, not betray the wanderer, be a refuge to outcasts in the presence of the vastator, all of which mean the external features of worship. Yet because they allow themselves to be impregnated with falsities, it is said 'in three years, like the years of a hireling, and the praise of Moab will be brought into contempt, with all his great multitude, and the survivors will be a very small and feeble number'.

(References: Isaiah 16:6, 16:11-14)


[9] Because they are led astray easily, Moab is called 'the sending forth of the hand of the Philistines, and the children of Ammon their obedience' in Isaiah,

The root of Jesse; which is standing as an ensign of the peoples, that will the nations seek, and His rest will be glory. The envy of Ephraim will depart, and the enemies of Judah will be cut off. Ephraim will not envy Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim. And they will fly down onto the shoulder of the Philistines towards the sea, together they will plunder the people of the east, Edom, Moab the sending forth of their hand, and the children of Ammon their obedience. Isaiah 11:10, 13-14.

'The root of Jesse' stands for the Lord, 'Judah' for those who are governed by celestial good, 'Ephraim' for those who are governed by spiritual truth, 'the Philistines' for those who possess a knowledge of the cognitions of truth but who have no charity, 'the people of the east' for those who possess a knowledge of the cognitions of what is good but who also have no charity. Moab is called 'the sending forth of their hand', the children of Ammon 'their obedience', because they are impregnated with falsities by them.

[10] The nature however of people called Moab and the children of Ammon and what it becomes when their good has been defiled completely by falsities is described in David,

God has spoken in His holiness, Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; and

Ephraim is the strength of My head, Judah is My lawgiver, Moab is My wash-basin. Psalms 60:6-8; and likewise. Psalms 108:7-9.

'Washbasin' stands for good defiled by falsities.

(References: Psalms 60:7-9, 108:8-10)


[11] In Jeremiah,

The praise of Moab is no more. In Heshbon they have thought evil against him: Come, let us cut him off from being a nation. Moab has been at ease from his youth, resting on his lees; he has not been emptied from vessel into vessel, nor has he gone away into exile. Therefore his taste remains in him, and his scent is unchanged. On all the roofs of Moab and in its streets it is all lamentation, for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which no pleasure is taken. Jeremiah 48:2, 11, 38.

The falsities that defile good, which is 'Moab', are here called 'lees'. These are what 'the taste and scent' consists in if no reformation takes place, meant here by being 'emptied from vessel into vessel'. Good itself is called 'a vessel in which no pleasure is taken', as in David where it is called 'a basin for washing in'. In Isaiah,

The hand of Jehovah will rest on this mountain, and Moab will be threshed beneath it, as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit. Isaiah 25:10.

[12] People with whom such good exists are interested solely in the external features of worship and doctrine, and despise, reject, indeed are utterly averse to the internal; and as a consequence they have falsities instead of truths: in Ezekiel,

Son of man, set your face towards the children of Ammon, and prophesy against them, and say to the children of Ammon, Hear the word of the Lord Jehovih: Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Because you say, Aha! against My sanctuary that has been profaned, and against the land of Israel because it has been made desolate, and against the house of Judah because they have gone away into captivity, I will make Rabbah into a dwelling-place for camels, and the children of Ammon into a couching-place for flocks. The Lord Jehovih said, Because you have clapped the hand and stamped with the foot and rejoiced with all the contempt in your soul against the land of Israel, therefore, behold, I will stretch out My hand against you and hand you over as spoil to the nations, and I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries. Ezekiel 25:2-7.

'Aha! against the sanctuary that has been profaned, against the land of Israel because it has been made desolate, against the house of Judah because they have gone away into captivity', 'you clapped the hand, stamped with the foot, and rejoiced with all the contempt in your soul against the land of Israel' are words expressing contempt for, mockery, and rejection of the interior features of worship and doctrine. When these have been rejected external things cease to have any value and 'are handed over as spoil to the nations', that is, they are invested by evils, and 'cut off from the peoples', that is, invested by falsities, and 'are made to perish out of the countries', that is, become part of what is not the Church.

(References: Ezekiel 25:2-11)


[13] In Zephaniah,

I have heard the taunt of Moab and the blasphemies of the children of Ammon, who have taunted My people and magnified themselves against their border. Therefore as I live, Moab will become like Sodom, and the children of Ammon like Gomorrah, a place abandoned to the nettle and a saltpit, and they will be a desolation for ever. This will be theirs for their arrogance because they taunted and magnified themselves against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth. Zephaniah 2:8-10.

'Taunting the people, and magnifying themselves against their border, and against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth' is scorning and rejecting interior truths, meant by 'the people of Jehovah Zebaoth'. Goods as a consequence become evils derived from falsity, which are 'Sodom' and 'a place abandoned to the nettle', while truths become falsities, which are 'Gomorrah' and 'a saltpit'. For it is from internal things that external are enabled to be good and true.

[14] In David,

[Your] enemies craftily take secret counsel against Your people, they consult together against Your hidden ones, [saying,] Come, let us cut them off from being a nation, and let not the name of Israel be remembered any more, for they consult together with one accord; against You they make a covenant the tents of Edom, and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal and Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre: Asshur also is joined with them; they are an arm to the children of Lot. Psalms 83:2-8.

'Consulting against the hidden ones', 'cutting them off from being a nation so that the name of Israel is remembered no more' means being totally averse to interior things. 'The tents of Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagrites, Gebal, and Ammon' means people whose worship and doctrine are external, 'Philistia with Tyre' people who talk about internal things but do not have them, 'Asshur who is an arm to the children of Lot' reasoning with which they fight on behalf of external things and attack internal.

[15] In Moses,

A man shall not take his father's wife nor violate his father's skirt. He who has been severely bruised or crushed in the testicles shall not enter the assembly of Jehovah. The Ammonite and the Moabite shall not enter the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation they shall not ever enter the assembly of Jehovah. Deuteronomy 22:30-23:7.

This shows what Moab and Ammon were at the end, :that is, :when they were impregnated completely with falsities. That is to say, :they were people with whom good was adulterated and truth falsified through their contempt for, :rejection of, :and at length total aversion to all interior things. This also is why these two names are mentioned in this quotation after reference has been made to the foul kinds of adultery meant by 'taking one's father's wife' and 'violating one's father's skirt - almost as with the mention made here to Lot's daughters from whom Moab and Ammon were born; :and also after reference to those who are 'severely bruised or crushed in the testicles', :by whom those who are totally a to everything that has to do with love and charity are meant. 'The assembly of Jehovah' means heaven, :which they are unable to enter because they possess no remnants, :which are obtained solely from interior goods and interior truths and which are meant by 'the tenth generation', :576, 1738, 2280.

(References: Deuteronomy 22:30, 23:1, Deuteronomy 23:1-3, Deuteronomy 23:3)


[16] They also belonged to those nations who used to sacrifice sons and daughters to Molech, by which in the internal sense is meant that they annihilated truths and goods. Actually Moab's god was Chemosh, and the children of Ammon's was Molech or Milcom, 1 Kings 11:7, 33; 2 Kings 23:13, to whom they sacrificed, 2 Kings 3:27. As regards 'sons and daughters' meaning truths and goods, see 489-491, 533, 1147.

[17] Such then is the meaning of Moab and Ammon; but the kinds of falsity by which they adulterate goods and annihilate truths are many. These are listed in Jeremiah, but merely by their names _

Judgement has come to the land of the plain, to Holon, and to Jahzah, and to Mephaath, and on Dibon, and on Nebo, and on Bethdiblathaim, and on Kiriathaim, and on Bethgamul, and on Bethmeon, and on Kirioth, and on Bozrah, and on all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near. The horn of Moab has been cut off and his arm broken. Make him drunk, because he magnified himself over Jehovah, and let Moab applaud in his vomit. Jeremiah 48:21-26.

These are the kinds of falsity which come together in those who are called Moab and Ammon. Which particular falsities however, and the nature of them, becomes clear from the meaning of each name in the internal sense; for names in the Word mean nothing other than real things, as has been shown many times.

(References: Deuteronomy 23:1, Deuteronomy 23:3; Genesis 19:37-38; Isaiah 16:11-14)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3242, 3322, 4779, 5480, 6000, 6405, 8315, 8908, 9494, 10184, 10652

Apocalypse Revealed 114

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 26, 83


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 163, 401, 410

Other New Christian Commentary

Congregation of god 1

Dregs 1

Gebal 1

Holon, Jahazah, Mephaath, Dibon, Nebo, Beth-diblathaim, Kiriathaim, Beth-gamu, Beth-meon, Kerioth, Bozrah 1

Jaser 1

Kiriathaim 1

Mephaatah 1

Misgab 1

Molech 1

Nebo, Kiriathaim, Misgab, Sibmah, Jaser, Chemosh 1

Obedience of the Philistines 1

Root of David 1

Washpot 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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


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