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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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Inbound References:

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?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #5248

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5248. And changed his garments. That this signifies as to what is of the interior natural, by putting on what is suitable, is evident from the signification of “changing,” as being to remove and reject; and from the signification of “garments,” as being what is of the interior natural (of which presently); hence it follows that what was suitable (signified by the new “garments”) was put on. “Garments” are often mentioned in the Word, and thereby are meant things beneath or without, and that cover things above or within; and therefore by “garments” are signified man’s external, consequently his natural, because this covers his internal and spiritual. Specifically by “garments” are signified truths that are of faith, because these cover the goods that are of charity. This signification has its origin from the garments in which spirits and angels appear clothed. Spirits appear in garments devoid of brightness, but angels in garments that are bright and are as it were made of brightness, for the very brightness around them appears as a garment, as appeared the raiment of the Lord when He was transfigured, which was “as the light” (Matthew 17:2), and was “white and flashing” (Luke 9:29). From their garments also the quality of spirits and angels can be known in respect to the truths of faith, because these are represented by garments, but truths of faith such as they are in the natural; for such as they are in the rational appears from the face and its beauty. The brightness of their garments comes from the good of love and of charity, which by shining through causes the brightness. From all this it is evident what is represented in the spiritual world by the garments, and consequently what is meant by “garments” in the spiritual sense. But the garments that Joseph changed, that is, put off, were the garments of the pit or prison, and by these are signified things fallacious and false, which in a state of temptations are excited by evil genii and spirits; and therefore by his “changing his garments” is signified rejection and change in respect to what is of the interior natural, and the garments he put on denoted such things as would be suitable, and therefore the putting on of things suitable is signified. See what has before been said and shown concerning garments: that what is celestial is not clothed, but what is spiritual and natural (n. 297); that “garments” denote truths relatively lower (n. 1073, 2576); that changing the garments was a representative of holy truths being put on, whence also came the changes of garments (n. 4545); that rending the garments was representative of mourning over truth lost and destroyed (see n. 4763 and what is signified by him that came in, not having on a wedding garment (n. 2132).

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5319, 5433, 5954, 6377, 6524, 6918, 7967, 8459, 8789, 8904, 9003, 9093, 9158, 9212, 9331, 9372, 9391, 9477, 9688, 9814, 9952, 10227, 10258, 10536

The White Horse 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 38, 64, 240

Other New Christian Commentary

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

The Bible

 

Genesis 41

English: King James Version         

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1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.

3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.

4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.

5 And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.

6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.

7 And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.

8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

9 Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:

10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:

11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.

12 And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.

13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:

20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:

21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.

22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:

23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:

24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.

27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.

28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.

29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:

30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;

31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.

32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.

34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.

35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.

36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.

48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.

50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him.

51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

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Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 5191, 5192, 5193, 5194, 5195, 5196, 5209, ...

Apocalypse Explained 654

Apocalypse Revealed 503


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 1703, 2643, 3762, 5197, 5198, 5199, 5200, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 355, 360, 814

The Lord 48

True Christian Religion 156


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 440, 448, 548, 655

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 12:10, 39:4, 40:1, 5, 6, 8, 12, 18, 21, 22, 41:8, 24, 42:5, 6, 43:1, 45:8, 16, 46:20, 47:13, 14, 15, 19, 24, 26, 48:5, 49:22

Exodus 7:11

Numbers 26:28, 27:18

Deuteronomy 1:13

Joshua 14:4, 16:4, 17:1

1 Samuel 6:2, 16:21

2 Samuel 5:4

1 Kings 3:15

2 Kings 6:25, 26, 8:1, 25:29

2 Chronicles 26:5

Ezra 7:25

Esther 3:1, 2, 10, 10:3

Job 11:16, 32:8

Psalms 105:16, 19, 20, 21, 22

Proverbs 12:8, 14:35, 22:29

Ecclesiastes 4:14

Isaiah 14:24

Jeremiah 43:13

Ezekiel 17:10, 30:17

Daniel 1:4, 7, 17, 19, 2:1, 11, 25, 45, 48, 5:14, 16, 29, 6:4

Jonah 4:8

Matthew 24:7

Luke 3:23

John 2:5

Acts of the Apostles 7:10, 11

Revelation 6

Word/Phrase Explanations

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

Pharaoh
'Pharaoh' signifies scientific ideas, or the natural principle in general. 'Pharaoh' signifies false ideas infesting the truth of the church. Pharaoh,' in Genesis 40, represents...

the river
The river Gihon, as in Genesis 2:13, signifies the knowledge of all things relating to goodness and truth.

seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

Meadow
'A broad meadow' signifies the Word. 'Meadow' denotes things which are of the spiritual and the rational mind.

Well
'A well,' as in Numbers 21:17-18, signifies the Word of the ancient church. 'A well,' or 'pit,' as in Luke 14:5, signifies falsity and the...

Fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

Corn
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

Thin
'Thin,' as in Genesis 41:6, denotes useless. This is because 'thin' is the opposite of 'full,' which describes use, or in the same way, good,...

Wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

Dream
A dream, as in Genesis 20:3,signifies being somewhat obscure.

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

spirit
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

troubled
The Bible often talks of people being "troubled." The internal meaning is pretty straightforward; it indicates a state of spiritual turmoil, usually due to the...

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

egypt
In the Bible, Egypt means knowledge and the love of knowledge. In a good sense that means knowledge of truth from the Lord through the...

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

wise men
'Wise men,' as in Matthew 23:34, signify the good of doctrine. 'The wise' signify people who teach the Word. 'They that be wise' signify being...

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Remember
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

servants
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

captain
On July 3, 1863, 12,500 Confederate troops attacked their Union foes during the Battle of Gettysburg, a turning point in the American Civil War. The...

Guard
‘To guard,’ when used as in Genesis 41:35, denotes ‘to store up.’ ‘Guards,’ as in Genesis 37:36, signify things that minister.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

young
'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

Hebrew
The term 'Hebrew' is used in the Word to signify anything relating to service, whatever its nature may be. Hence Abraham, in one passage only...

restored
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

dungeon
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

Raiment
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

Poor
'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

Lean
Lean in flesh,' as in Genesis 41:19, signifies an absence of charity. To make lean,' as in Zephaniah 2:11, signifies the removal of evils from...

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

first
Why would it be insulting for a man to refer to his married partner as his “first wife”? Because it implies there will be a...

eaten
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

still
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

withered
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

years of famine
(Gen. xli.) By years are signified states, by the years of abundance of provision states of the multiplication of truth in the natural principle, and...

famine
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

following
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

Shortly
In Revelation 1:1, 'things which must shortly come to pass' signify things that will certainly be, so that the church will not perish. In the...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

Look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

over
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Officers
'Officers' signify principles of what is false and evil.

Fifth part
To take a fifth part signifies to make remains.

Plenteous
'Abundance of provision,' as in Genesis 41:29-34, signifies the multiplication of truth, because it is opposed to famine, which signifies defect of truth.

Gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

food
To give food, as in Genesis 41:48, signifies to store up.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

Cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

Store
To 'Store' denotes the good of truth as provided for every use of the natural mind.

Perish
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

Spirit of God
'The spirit of God,' as in Genesis 1:2, signifies the divine mercy of the Lord. 'The spirit of God' is His emanation. 'The spirit of...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Throne
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

Ring
In Genesis 41:42 and Luke 16:22, 'to give a ring' signifies something that confirms power.

Fine
A fine signifies amendment, because inflicted for that end.

Fine linen
'Silk' signifies intermediate celestial good and truth. It means good because it is soft, and truth because it shines. 'Silk,' like 'fine linen,' denotes genuine...

linen
The instruction not make clothing that mixes 'Woolen and linen' threads means, in the internal sense, that people's spiritual states of good and truth should...

gold
Gold means good, and just as gold was the most precious metal known to ancient mankind so it represents the good of the highest and...

Neck
'The neck' signifies influx and the communication of interior and exterior levels and the following conjunction. The inmost or third heaven has reference to the...

Ride
'To ride' signifies being elevated regarding the intellectual part of the mind. To ride upon a cherub,' as in Psalm 18:9, 10, denotes the Lord’s...

chariot
'The wheels of chariots' signify the faculty of reasoning, and the ability to conflict from the intellect.

cried
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

Bow
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

Knee
A knee,' as in Genesis 30:5, signifies conjugial love. The king,' as in Isaiah 66:12, signifies celestial love. A knee,' as in Ezekiel 7:17, signifies...

Ruler
'A ruler' or 'governor' signifies goods of the church, and in the opposite sense, falsities.

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

Foot
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

Asenath
Asenath became the wife of Joseph. "And gave him Asenath the daughter of Potiphar the priest of On for a woman" (Genesis 41:45) That hereby...

Priest of On
'The priest of On' denotes good.

Thirty
'Thirty' has a twofold significance because it is is the product of five and six, and also three and ten. From five multiplied by six,...

old
'Old waste places' signify the celestial aspects of faith.

king
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

Round
Something 'round' relates to good. 'A small round thing,' as in Exodus 16:14, refers to the good of truth in its first formation. This is...

City
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

Sand
'Sand,' as in Matthew 7:27, signifies faith separate from charity.

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

much
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Number
To number,' as in Isaiah 22:10, signifies falsifying. To number bones,' as in Psalm 22:14-18, signifies desiring to dissipate truths by reasonings and false principles....

without number
In Joel 1:6, 'strong' relates to the power of evil, and 'without number,' of the power of falsity.

born
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

firstborn
When the Bible talks about generations or birth order, the internal meaning has to do with the progression of spiritual states and their relative importance....

Manasseh
'Manasseh' signifies the will of the spiritual church.

Forget
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

Ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

to
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

Fruitful
To be fruitful is predicated of goodnesses, and to be multiplied, of truths.

Affliction
An affliction "such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be", mentioned in 'Matthew 24:21', means the infestation from...

began
In the Word, "beginning" doesn't just mean the beginning of something in time. In the inner sense, it means the initial phase of a spiritual...

Lands
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

Egyptians
Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Storehouses
The 'storehouses' built by the enslaved Israelites denote doctrines from falsified truths.

sold
'To sell,' as in Genesis 41:56, means transferring to another as their own, because what is sold becomes the property of the one who buys...

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.


 Correspondences of Gold
Illustrations of three stories in the Word that mention gold. (Quotations are the King James translation.)
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Family Worship: The Joseph Story
Religion Lesson | All Ages

 Joseph Helps Pharaoh and Egypt
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph in Egypt
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph Interprets Dreams
Joseph interprets dreams for the butler, the baker and Pharaoh.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Joseph, Ruler of Egypt
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Joseph: Ruler of Egypt
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

 Joseph Rules Egypt - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: make a royal Egyptian necklace for Joseph, create folding dream pockets to show what happened in Pharaoh's dreams, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Joseph Rules Egypt - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: make a crown of life for Joseph from stars, create a group mural of joseph explaining pharaoh's dreams, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Joseph Rules Egypt - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: watch a video and discuss natural and spiritual hunger, review all the dreams in the story of Joseph's life using charades, read and reflect on a door handle sign about storing up your good experiences for spiritual famine times, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Joseph Rules Egypt - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: watch a video and discuss natural and spiritual hunger, draw cartoons or diagrams showing how true ideas give us strength, read and reflect on a door handle sign about storing up your good experiences for spiritual famine times, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Mural of Pharaoh's Dreams
Make a mural about the two different dreams that Joseph interpreted for Pharaoh.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Overview of Joseph a Man of Integrity Levels A B C D for Ages 3-18
Overview of the Youth Journey Program "Joseph: a man of integrity", Levels A, B, C, and D for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18

 Sacks of Grain from Egypt
This project involves either letting the children make small sacks out of felt or making the sacks ahead of time and then using them to dramatize the story.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Seven Years of Plenty and Famine
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 When an Evil Person Touches the Word
Shows what happens when an evil person in the spiritual world tries to touch the Word. 
Project | Ages up to 10


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