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


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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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Apocalypse Explained #31

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31. Verse 6. And hath made us kings and priests, signifies that from Him we are in His spiritual and celestial kingdom. This is evident from the signification of "kings," as meaning those who are in truths from good; and since they constitute the Lord's spiritual kingdom, as meaning those who are in His spiritual kingdom. That these are signified by "kings" in the Word, will appear from what follows. The above is evident also from the signification of "priests," as meaning those who are in the good of love; and since these constitute the Lord's celestial kingdom, they also are those who are in His celestial kingdom. (That there are two kingdoms, into which the heavens are in general divided, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 20-28, and that the spiritual kingdom is called the Lord's regal kingdom, and the celestial kingdom His priestly kingdom, n. 24.) In any places in the prophetic Word, kings are mentioned, and he that is ignorant of the internal sense believes that by "kings" are there meant kings; kings, however, are not meant, but all those who are in truths from good, or in faith from charity, from the Lord. The reason of this is, that the Lord is the sole king, and those who from Him are in truths from good are called His "sons;" for this reason the same are meant by "princes," by "sons of the kingdom," by "sons of kings," and also by "kings;" and in a sense abstracted from the idea of persons, as it is in heaven, truths from good are meant, or, what is the same, faith from charity; since truth is of faith, and good is of charity.

(References: Revelation 1:6)


[2] That kings are not meant can be seen simply from its here being said that Jesus Christ "hath made us kings and priests"; and afterwards:

And hast made us to be unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign upon the earth (Revelation 5:10);

and in Matthew:

The good seed sown in the field are the sons of the kingdom (Matthew 13:38);

the "seed of the field" are truths from good with man from the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 3373, 10248, 10249). Everyone, moreover, may perceive that the Lord will not make all those here treated of to be kings, but that he calls them kings from the power and the glory which those have who from the Lord are in truths from good. From this it can now be seen that by "king," in the prophetic Word, is meant the Lord as to Divine truth, and by "kings" and "princes," those who from the Lord are in truths from good, and as most things in the Word have also an opposite sense, that "kings" signify in that sense those who are in falsities from evil.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 10248-10249)


[3] That by "King" in the Word is meant the Lord in respect to Divine truth, is clear from the words of the Lord Himself to Pilate:

Pilate said, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest it, because I am a king. For this have I been born, and for this am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is in the truth heareth My voice. Pilate said unto Him, What is truth? (John 18:37-38).

From the question of Pilate, "What is truth," it is clear that he understood that truth was called "king" by the Lord; but as he was a Gentile, and knew nothing from the Word, he could not be taught that Divine truth is from the Lord, and that He is Divine truth; therefore, immediately after his question:

He went out to the Jews, saying, I find no fault in him; and afterwards put upon the cross, This is Jesus, the king of the Jews. And when the chiefs of the priests said unto him, Write not, The king of the Jews, but that He saith I am the king of the Jews, Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written (John 19:4, 19:14-22).

(References: John 19:19-22)


[4] When these things are understood, it may be known what is meant by "kings" in the following passages in Revelation:

The sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates, and the water thereof was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sun rising (Revelation 16:12).

The great harlot that sitteth upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication (Revelation 17:1-2).

The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings; the five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come. And the ten horns that thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive power as kings with the beast for one hour. These shall war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is Lord of lords and King of Kings (Revelation 17:9, 10, 12, 14).

And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which hath the kingdom over the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:18).

Of the wine of the wrath of her fornication all the nations have drunk, and the kings of the earth committed fornication with her (Revelation 18:3).

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together, to make war against Him that sat on the horse and against His army (Revelation 19:19).

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it, and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it (Revelation 21:24).

In these passages by "kings" are not meant kings, but all who are either in truths from good, or in falsities from evil, as was said before. Likewise in Daniel:

By the king of the south and by the king of the north, who made war against each other (Daniel 11:40

By "the king of the south" are there meant those who are in the light of truth from good, by "the king of the north" those who are in darkness from evil. (That "south" in the Word signifies those who are in the light of truth from good, see Arcana Coelestia 1458, 3708, 3195, 5672, 9642; and "north" those who are in the darkness of falsity from evil, n. 3708, and in general, in the work on Heaven and Hell 141-153, where The Four Quarters in Heaven are treated of.)

(References: Daniel 11; Revelation 17:2, 17:9-10)


[5] "Kings" are also frequently mentioned by the prophets in the Old Testament; and there likewise are meant those who, from the Lord, are in truths from good, and in a contrary sense, those who are in falsities from evil; as in Isaiah:

He shall disperse 1 many nations: kings shall shut their mouths upon Him; for that which had not been told them they have seen, and that which they have not heard they have understood (Isaiah 52:15).

In the same:

The Zion of the Holy One of Israel, thou shalt suck the milk of the nations, and shalt suck the breast of kings (Isaiah 40:14, 16).

Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and the chief women thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth (Isaiah 49:23; and (Isaiah 14:9) elsewhere, as in Isaiah 14:9; 24:21; 60:10; Jeremiah 2:26; 4:9; 49:38; Lamentations 2:6, 9 (Lamentations 2:9); Ezekiel 7:26, 27; Hosea 3:4; Zephaniah 1:8; Psalms 2:10; 110:5; Genesis 49:20).

(References: Ezekiel 7:26-27; Isaiah 60:14, 60:16)


[6] Since "kings" signify those who, from the Lord, are in truths from good, it was a custom derived from ancient times for kings, when they were crowned, to receive such insignia as signify truths from good: as for the king to be anointed with oil, to wear a crown of gold, to hold a scepter in his right hand, to be clothed with a purple cloak, to sit upon a throne of silver, and to ride with the royal insignia upon a white horse; for "oil" signifies good from which is truth (see Arcana Coelestia 886[1-2], 4638, 9780, 9954, 10011, 10261, 10268-10269); a "crown of gold" upon the head has a like meaning (n. 9930); a "scepter," which is a staff, signifies the power of truth from good (n. 4581, 4876, 4966); a "cloak" and a "robe," Divine truth in the spiritual kingdom (n. 9825, 10005); and "purple," the spiritual love of good (n. 9467); a "throne," the kingdom of truth from good (n. 5313, 6397, 8625); "silver," that truth itself (n. 1551-1552, 2954, 5658); a "white horse," the understanding enlightened from truths (see the small work on The White Horse 1-5. That the ceremonies observed at the coronation of kings involve such things, but that the knowledge thereof is at this day lost, see also Arcana Coelestia 4581, 4966).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 886, Arcana Coelestia 10268)


[7] As it is known from these things what is meant by a "king" in the Word, I will add to the above:

Why the Lord, when He entered Jerusalem, sat upon the foal of an ass, and the people then proclaimed Him king, and also strewed their garments in the way (Matthew 21:1-8; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:14-16).

This is predicted in Zechariah:

Exult, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy king cometh unto thee, just and having salvation; riding upon an ass, and upon the foal of an ass (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5; John 12:15).

The reason was, that to sit upon an ass and the foal of an ass was the distinctive mark of the highest judge and of a king; as can be seen from the following passages:

My heart is towards the lawgivers of Israel, ye who ride upon white asses (Judges 5:9-10).

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgivers from between his feet, till Shiloh come; who shall bind his ass's foal to the vine, and the son of his she-ass to the noble vine (Genesis 49:10, 11).

As sitting on an ass, and the foal of an ass, was such a distinctive mark:

Judges rode upon white she-asses (Judges 5:9-10);

And his sons upon asses' colts (Judges 10:4; 12:14);

And the king himself when crowned, upon a she-mule (1 Kings 1:33);

And his sons upon mules (2 Samuel 13:29).

One who does not know the signification of "horse," "mule," and "the foal of an ass," in a representative sense, will suppose that the Lord's riding upon the foal of an ass was significative of misery and humiliation. But it signified royal magnificence; for this reason the people then proclaimed the Lord king, and strewed their garments upon the way. This was done when He went to Jerusalem, because by "Jerusalem" is signified the church (as may be seen in the little work on The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine 6; and that "garments" signify truths clothing and serving good, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia 1073, 2576, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9215-9216, 9952, 10536; and in the work on Heaven and Hell 177-182).

(References: Genesis 49:10-11)


[8] From this it is now clear what is signified by the "King" and by "kings," in the Word, so also what by the "Anointed," "Messiah," and "Christ;" for "Anointed," "Messiah," and "Christ," like "King," signify the Lord as to Divine truth proceeding from His Divine good; for a king is called "anointed;" and "anointed" in the Hebrew is Messiah, and in the Greek Christ. But that the Lord, as to the Divine Human, was alone "the Anointed of Jehovah," since in Him alone was the Divine good of Divine Love from conception, for He was conceived of Jehovah, but that all that were anointed were only representatives of Him (see Arcana Coelestia (Arcana Coelestia 9954), n. 9954, 10011, 10268-10269). But "priests" signify such good as exists in the celestial kingdom (see in Arcana Coelestia, namely, that priests represented the Lord, as to Divine good, n. 2015, 6148; that the priesthood was representative of the Lord as to the work of salvation, since this was from the Divine good of His Divine Love, see n. 9809; that the priesthood of Aaron, of his sons, and of the Levites, was representative of the work of salvation, in successive order, see n. Arcana Coelestia 10017; that from this "the priesthood," and "priesthoods," in the Word signified good of love, which is from the Lord, see n. 9806, 9809; that by the two names, "Jesus" and "Christ," is signified both His priesthood and His royalty, that is, by "Jesus" is signified Divine good, and by "Christ" Divine truth, n. 3004, 3005, 3009; that priests and likewise kings who do not acknowledge the Lord signify the opposite, namely, evil, and falsity from evil, n. 3670).

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Footnotes:

1. The Hebrew has "sprinkle," as found also in Arcana Coelestia 2015.

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(References: Arcana Coelestia 3004-3005, 3670, Arcana Coelestia 10268; John 19:19-22; Revelation 17:2)

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References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 18, 29, 48, 62, 65, 126, 140, 152, 175, 195, 205, 208, 223, 242, 272, 277, 283, 323, 331, 332, 333, 340, 355, 357, 375, 395, 408, 419, 427, 433, 449, 562, 625, 684, 700, 741, 850, 941, ...


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary
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.


 Palm Sunday
From ancient times riding on a donkey was a sign of being a judge and king. Jesus' triumphant ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was a prophecy that was fulfilled on Easter morning.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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


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