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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

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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, ...


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Apocalypse Explained 63, 166


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Arcana Coelestia #3024

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3024.'That you do not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites' means that the Divine Rational should not be joined to any affection incompatible with truth. This is clear from the meaning of 'taking a woman' as being joined by means of the marriage covenant; from the meaning of 'my son', namely Isaac, as the Lord's Divine Rational, dealt with in 1893, 2066, 2083, 2630; from the meaning of 'daughters' as affections, dealt with in 489-491, 568, 2362; and from the meaning of 'the Canaanites' as evil, dealt with in 1444, 1573, 1574. Consequently 'the daughters of the Canaanites' are affections incompatible with truth. The subject here is Divine truth which was to be allied to the Divine good of the Lord's Rational, as may be seen in 3013 under 'Contents'. 'A woman' who was to be associated by means of a marriage covenant is used to mean that truth itself which is summoned from the natural man in the normal manner. 'My son' is used to mean the Lord's Rational as regards the good with which it was to be allied or associated. From this one may recognize that the command not to take a wife for his son from the daughters of the Canaanites means that the Divine Rational should not be joined to any affection incompatible with truth. All joining of truth to good is effected by means of affection, for no truth ever enters the rational part of a person's mind or is joined to it except by means of affection, for affection has within it the good that flows from love, which good alone effects the joining together, 1895, as also anyone may know who stops to reflect on it.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1573-1574)


[2] As regards 'the daughters of the Canaanites' meaning affections incompatible with truth, that is, affections for what is false, this becomes clear from the meaning of 'daughters'. For the noun 'daughters' occurs in many places in the Word, and in these anyone may see that it is not used to mean daughters. By such expressions as 'the daughter of Zion', 'the daughter of Jerusalem', 'the daughter of Tarshish', 'the daughter of My people', affections for good and truth are meant, as shown in the paragraphs referred to above. And since affections for good and truth are meant so also are Churches, for Churches are Churches by virtue of these affections. Consequently 'the daughter of Zion' means the celestial Church, and means this by virtue of the affection for good, whereas 'the daughter of Jerusalem' means the spiritual Church from the affection for truth, 2362. And it is the same with 'the daughter of My people' in Isaiah 22:4; Jeremiah 6:14, 26; 8:19, 21-22; 9:1; 14:17; Lamentations 2:11; 4:6; Ezekiel 13:17.

[3] This shows what is meant by the daughters of the nations, such as by the daughters of the Philistines, the daughters of Egypt, the daughters of Tyre and Sidon, the daughters of Edom, the daughters of Moab, the daughters of the Chaldeans and Babel, and the daughters of Sodom. They mean affections for evil and falsity, from which their varieties of religion sprang, and so mean those varieties themselves. That this is the meaning of 'daughters' becomes clear from the following places: In Ezekiel,

The daughters of the nations will lament over Egypt. Wail over the multitude of Egypt, and send her down, her and the daughters of majestic nations, to the lower earth, together with those who go down to the pit. Ezekiel 32:16, 18.

'The daughters of majestic nations' stands for affections for evil. In Samuel,

Tell it not in Gath; publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult. 2 Samuel 1:20.

In Ezekiel,

You committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt. I delivered you to those who hated you, the daughters of the Philistines. Before your badness was revealed, as at the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all round about her, the daughters of the Philistines who despise you from round about. Ezekiel 16:26-27, 57.

Anyone may see that not daughters were meant here but the varieties of religion among such people as are meant by the Philistines - those who speak repeatedly of faith yet do not at all pursue the life taught by faith, see 1197, 1198. This also explains why they are called 'the uncircumcised', that is, devoid of charity.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1197-1198)


[4] In Jeremiah,

Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt! Make for yourself vessels of migration, O inhabitant daughter of Egypt. The daughter of Egypt has been put to shame; she has been delivered into the hand of the people from the north. Jeremiah 46:11, 19, 24.

'The daughter of Egypt' stands for the affection for reasoning from facts about whether truths of faith really are true, and so stands for the variety of religion which springs from this, the nature of which is to believe nothing except that grasped by the senses, and so to believe nothing of the truth of faith, see 215, 232, 233, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1385, 2196, 2203, 2209, 2568, 2588. In Isaiah,

He said, You will no more exult, O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Isaiah 23:12.

In David,

The daughter of Tyre with an offering, the rich of the people will entreat your face. Psalms 45:12.

What 'the daughter of Sidon' and 'the daughter of Tyre' mean is evident from the meaning of Sidon and Tyre, dealt with in 1201. In Jeremiah,

Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom. Your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is at an end. He will no more cause you to migrate; your iniquity will be punished, O daughter of Edom. Lamentations 4:21-22.

In Isaiah,

Like a wandering bird, a scattered nest, will the daughters of Moab be. Isaiah 16:2.

In the same prophet,

Come down and sit on the dust, O virgin daughter of Babel; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans. Sit quietly and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans, for no more will they call you the mistress of kingdoms. Isaiah 47:1, 5.

In Jeremiah,

A people coming from the north, arrayed as a man for war against you, O daughter of Babel. Jeremiah 50:41-42.

In the same prophet,

The daughter of Babel is like the threshing-floor; it is time to thresh her. Jeremiah 51:33

In Zechariah,

Ho, Zion! escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babel. Zechariah 2:7.

In David,

The daughter of Babel has been laid waste. Psalms 137:8.

In Ezekiel,

Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters will return to their condition as of old, and Samaria and her daughters will return to their condition as of old. Ezekiel 16:55.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 232-233, 1164-1165)


[5] Anyone may see that in these places 'daughters' is not used to mean daughters but affections incompatible with truth, and so the varieties of religion that spring from them. But which particular varieties they are is evident from the meaning of those peoples - from the meaning of Edom, Moab, the Chaldeans, Babel, Sodom, Samaria, all of which have been dealt with in various places in the explanations to previous chapters of Genesis. From this what is meant in the present chapter by 'the daughters of the Canaanites' becomes clear.

[6] This command not to contract marriages with the daughters of the Canaanites also had regard to the spiritual requirements that good should not be joined to falsity, nor evil to truth, for the result of any such joining together is profanation. The prohibition was also a representative of the matter referred to in Deuteronomy 7:3, and in Malachi,

Judah has profaned the holiness of Jehovah, in that he loved and married the daughter of a foreign god. Malachi 2:11.

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