From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

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)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

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 drafts, indexes & diaries:

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


   Swedenborg Research Tools

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.


 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.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3


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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #5954

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

5954. And to all of them he gave each changes of garments. That this signifies truths initiated in good, is evident from the signification of “garments” as being truths (of which below). Thus “changes of garments” are truths which are new; and truths become new when they are initiated in good, because they then receive life. For the subject treated of is the conjunction of the natural man with the spiritual, or of the external man with the internal. When the conjunction is being effected, then truths are changed and become new, for they receive life from the influx of good (as just above, n. 5951). (That to change the garments was representative of holy truths being put on, and that hence came changes of garments, see n. 4545.)

[2] That by “garments” in the Word are signified truths, is because truths clothe good almost as the vessels do the blood, and the fibers the [animal] spirit. That a “garment” is a significative of truth is because spirits and also angels appear clothed in garments, and each according to the truths appertaining to him. Those appear in white garments who are in the truths of faith through which is good, but those appear in bright shining garments who are in the truths of faith that are from good; for good shines through the truth, and gives the resplendence (see n. 5248).

[3] That spirits and angels appear in garments can also be seen from the Word, where it is mentioned that angels were seen, as in Matthew:

The appearance of the angel sitting at the Lord’s sepulcher was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow (Matthew 28:3).

In John:

Upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white garments (Revelation 4:4).

In the same:

He that sat upon the white horse was clothed in a garment dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. His armies which are in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Revelation 19:11, 13-14);

“garments white as snow,” and “fine white linen,” signify holy truths, for whiteness and shining white are predicated of truths (n. 3301, 3993, 4007, 5319), for the reason that they approach nearest to light, and the light which is from the Lord is Divine truth; and therefore when the Lord was transfigured, His garments appeared as the light, of which in Matthew:

When Jesus was transfigured His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light (Matthew 17:2).

That “light” is Divine truth is known in the church, and that it is compared to a “garment” is evident in David:

Jehovah covereth Himself with light as with a garment (Psalms 104:2).

[4] That “garments” are truths is plain from many passages in the Word, as in Matthew:

When the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man not clad with a wedding garment; and he said to him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? wherefore he was cast out into the outer darkness (Matthew 22:11-13);

who are meant by “him not clad in a wedding-garment” may be seen at n. 2132.

In Isaiah:

Wake up! wake up! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thine ornament, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness; because there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isaiah 52:1);

“garments of ornament” denote truths from good.

[5] In Ezekiel:

I clothed thee with broidered work, and shod thee with badger (taxo), and I girded thee with fine linen, and covered thee with silk. Thy garments were of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, honey, and oil (Ezekiel 16:10, 13);

speaking of Jerusalem, by which is there meant the Ancient spiritual Church which was set up by the Lord after the Most Ancient celestial Church had expired. The truths with which this church was endowed are described by the “garments;” “broidered work” is memory-knowledge, which when genuine also appears in the other life like broidered work, and like lace, as also it has been given to see; “fine linen and silk” are truths from good; but in heaven, being in the light there, these are intensely bright and are transparent.

[6] In the same:

Fine linen in broidered work from Egypt was thy sail; blue and crimson from the isles of Elishah were thy covering (Ezekiel 27:7);

speaking of Tyre, by which are represented the knowledges of truth and good (n. 1201), which when genuine are “fine linen in broidered work from Egypt;” the derivative good, or good of truth, is the “blue and crimson.”

[7] In David:

The king’s daughter is all glorious; of inweavings of gold is her garment; in embroideries shall she be brought to the king (Psalms 45:13-14).

The “king’s daughter” denotes the affection of truth; “of inweavings of gold is her garment” denotes the truths wherein is good; “embroideries” denote the lowest truths.

In John:

Thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white ones, because they are worthy. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white garments (Revelation 3:4-5);

“not to defile the garments” denotes not to befoul truths with falsities.

[8] In the same:

Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, that he walk not naked, and they see his shame (Revelation 16:15);

“garments” in like manner denote truths. It is the truths of faith from the Word which are properly signified by “garments.” He who has not acquired these from that source, or he who has not acquired truths or semblances of truths from his religiosity, as the Gentiles, and applied them to life, is not in good, howsoever he supposes himself to be. For as he has no truths from the Word, or from his religiosity, he suffers himself to be led by means of reasonings equally by evil spirits as by good spirits, and thus cannot be defended by the angels. This is meant by the exhortation “to watch and to keep his garments, that he walk not naked and they see his shame.”

[9] In Zechariah:

Joshua was in defiled garments; thus he stood before the angel, who said to those who stood before him, Remove the defiled garments from before him. And unto him he said, See I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and am clothing thee with changes of garments (Zech. 3:3-4);

“defiled garments” denote truths polluted by falsities which are from evil; wherefore when these garments are removed, and others are put on, it is said, “See, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee.” Anyone can know that iniquity does not pass away by a change of garments, and hence also anyone can conclude that a change of garments was representative, as was also the washing of garments, which was commanded when the people were being purified, as when they came near unto Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:14), and when they were being cleansed from things impure (Leviticus 11:25, 40; 14:8-9; Numbers 8:6-7; 19:21; 31:19-24).

[10] For cleansings from things impure are effected through the truths of faith, because these teach what good is, what charity, what the neighbor, what faith, that there is a Lord, that there is a heaven, that there is eternal life. Without truths which teach, it is not known what these things are, nor even that they are. Who from himself knows otherwise than that the good of the love of self and of the world is the only good appertaining to man; for both are the delight of his life? And who can know except from the truths of faith that there is another good which can be applied to man, namely, the good of love to God and the good of charity toward the neighbor, and that in these goods is heavenly life; and also that this good flows in through heaven from the Lord insofar as the man does not love himself more than others, and insofar as he does not love the world more than heaven? From all this it is evident that the purification which was represented by the washing of garments is effected through the truths of faith.

(References: Genesis 45:22)

Go to section / 10837  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 6377, 6524, 7442, 7967, 8459, 8789, 8904, 9093, 9158, 9212, 9372, 9391, 9477, 9572, 9595, 9688, 9780, 9806, 9814, 9822, 9952, 9959, 9960, 10002, 10049, 10083, 10208, 10227, 10229, 10237, 10238, 10252, 10258, 10536

Apocalypse Revealed 161

The White Horse 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 24, 121, 186, 209


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 9, 31, 64, 71, 187, 240


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #187

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

187. Verse 2. Be wakeful, signifies that they should acquire for themselves life. This is evident from the signification of "being wakeful," as meaning to be in spiritual life; but here, since those whose life is moral and not yet spiritual are treated of, "Be wakeful" is that they should acquire for themselves spiritual life. This life is meant by "wakefulness" and "being awake," because spiritual life is to moral life, apart from spiritual life, as wakefulness is to sleep, or as noonday light is to the evening, yea, to darkness. But that this is so is not known or perceived by those who are in natural life alone, neither by those who are in moral life apart from spiritual life, for this life also is natural life. They do not know or perceive this, because they are in natural lumen only, and this lumen in comparison with spiritual light is as the darkness of evening to the light of noonday. Moreover, to such the darkness of evening seems like light; for their interior sight, which is that of the thought, is adapted to that darkness, just as the sight of owls, bats, and other birds that fly by night, is adapted to the shade. Consequently they believe themselves to be in light because they are able to reason, when yet they are in darkness. That this is so is manifest from the state of such after death, when they become spirits. They then believe, when with their companions, that they are in light, because they not only see all things that are about them, but also are able to think and speak about any matter whatever; and yet their light, when the light of heaven flows in with them, is changed into darkness, and they become so blind in respect to the understanding as not to be able to think at all. Moreover, when angels who are in the heavens look down on those who are in such lumen, they see nothing there but mere darkness. That spiritual life compared with moral life apart from spiritual life is as wakefulness compared with sleep, can be further seen from this, that those who are in spiritual light are in angelic wisdom and intelligence, which is such as to be incomprehensible and ineffable to those who are in natural lumen alone, and this not only with men while living in the world, but also with the same when after death they become spirits; and when intelligence and wisdom constitute wakefulness. From this it can now be seen that "Be wakeful" here signifies that they should procure for themselves spiritual life.

(References: Revelation 3:2)


[2] To "be awake" has a similar signification in the following passages. In Matthew:

Be awake, therefore, for ye know not in what hour your Lord cometh (Matthew 24:42).

In Mark:

Be ye awake, for ye know not when the lord of the house cometh, at evening, or at midnight, or at cock-crowing; 1 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. What I say unto you I say unto all, Be awake (Mark 13:35-37).

He that is ignorant of the internal sense of the Word may believe that these words refer to the Last Judgment, and that everyone should be prepared for that; but man's state in respect to love and faith when he dies is what they refer to, for then is his judgment. "Evening," "night," and "cock-crowing" signify such states; "evening" signifying a state of waning faith and charity, which is man's state when he comes into the exercise of his own judgment, and is extinguishing in himself the things that he imbibed in childhood; "night" signifying a state of no faith and charity; "cock-crowing" or "daybreak" the state when faith and charity are beginning, which is, when man loves truths and wishes to be reformed by them.

In whatever state a man dies he remains, and according to that he is judged. From this it is evident what is meant by "Be ye awake, lest the Lord coming suddenly find you sleeping. What I say unto you I say unto all, Be awake," namely, that "to be awake" means to receive life from the Lord, which life is spiritual life, and that "sleeping" means living a natural life apart from a spiritual life. (That "evening" signifies a state of waning faith and charity, see Arcana Coelestia 3056, 3197, 3833, 8431, 10134, 10135; "night" a state of no faith or charity, n. 221, 709, 2353, 6000, 7870, 7947; and "daybreak" before morning, or "cock-crowing," the state when faith and charity are beginning, n. 10134.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 10134-10135)


[3] In Luke:

Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find awake; verily I say unto you, He shall gird himself, and make them recline to eat, and drawing near will minister unto them. Be ye ready; for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man will come (Luke 12:37, 40).

Here also, those that "are awake" mean those who are spiritually awake, that is, those who receive spiritual life from the Lord, for these come into the light of intelligence and wisdom respecting Divine truths; but those who do not receive spiritual life remain in obscurity and thick darkness respecting those truths; these, therefore, are asleep, while the former are awake. His "girding himself, making them recline to eat, and drawing near to minister unto them," signifies to communicate to them the goods of heaven, which are all from the Lord.

[4] In Matthew:

The kingdom of the heavens is like unto ten virgins, five of them were prudent, and five were foolish. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept; but the bridegroom coming, they all arose and trimmed their lamps. And when the foolish came, who had no oil in their lamps, and said, Lord, Lord, open to us, the Lord answered, I say unto you, I know you not. Be awake, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:1-13).

By "the ten virgins" all who are of the church are meant; by "five" some of them are meant; this is what these numbers signify; by "lamps" the things of faith are signified; by "oil" the things of love. By "the five prudent virgins," therefore, those who are in love and in faith therefrom are meant; but by "the five foolish virgins" those who are in no love, but in faith alone. As such are in no spiritual life (for only those who are in love and charity have spiritual life, because they only are in faith), so because such as these are shut out of heaven, it is said unto them, "I say unto you, I know you not." From this it is most evident what is signified by "Be awake, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh," namely, that they should receive spiritual life, which those have who are in love and in faith therefrom. (But these things may be seen more fully explained in Arcana Coelestia 4635-4638.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4635)


[5] In Luke:

Be wakeful, therefore, praying at every season, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36).

Here, also, "to be wakeful" means to receive spiritual life; "to pray at every season" signifies to prepare oneself.

[6] In Revelation:

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that is awake, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked (Revelation 16:15).

Here "to be awake" signifies to receive spiritual life from the Lord, as is evident from its being said, "Blessed is he that is awake and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked;" "garments" signifying the knowledges of truth and good by means of which man has spiritual life; and "to walk naked" signifying life without such knowledges as means, thus life not spiritual but merely natural. (That "garments" signify the knowledges of truth and good, see below, n. 195, and that by "naked" is signified the deprivation of these, see Arcana Coelestia 1073, 5433, 5954, 9960)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 195)


[7] In Lamentations:

Arise, cry aloud in the night, at the beginning of the watches; lift up thy hands to the Lord respecting the soul of thy babes, who have fainted through hunger at the head of every street (Lamentations 2:19);

here, as above, "night" signifies a state of no faith; "the beginning of the watches" signifies the state when faith begins, thus a state of illustration, which is when man becomes spiritual. By "babes" are meant those who love truths, and long for them; "to faint through hunger at the head of every street" is to be deprived of spiritual life through a lack of the knowledges of truth and good. (That "hunger" means a lack of knowledges and a longing for them, see Arcana Coelestia 1460 Arcana Coelestia 1460[1-4], 3364, 5277, 5279, 5281, 5300, 5360, 5376, 5893; and that "streets" are the truths of doctrine, 2336)

[8] Because "to be awake" signifies to receive spiritual life, therefore "sleeping" signifies natural life apart from spiritual life, since natural life compared with spiritual life is as sleep compared with wakefulness, as has been said above. This is what "sleeping" signifies in Matthew:

The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man that sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-25).

In Jeremiah:

When they have grown warm, I will set their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may sleep the sleep of an age, and not awake (Jeremiah 51:39, 57).

In David:

Look! answer me, Jehovah my God! lighten Thine eyes 2 lest I sleep death (Psalms 13:3).

In the same:

The strong in heart have become a spoil, they have slumbered their sleep; at Thy rebuke both the chariot and the horse have fallen into a deep sleep (Psalms 76:5-6).

"Chariot and horse" signify the doctrine of the church and the understanding of doctrine; these are said "to fall into a deep sleep" when they are without truths, and when consequently the man of the church is without spiritual life by means of truths. (That "chariots and horses" in the Word signify doctrine and the intellectual, see in The small work on The White Horse 1-5.)

-----
Footnotes:

1. For "cock-crowing" the Latin has "belonging to chickens."

2. For "thine" the Hebrew has "mine," as found in Apocalypse Explained 152; Arcana Coelestia 212, 6119.

-----

Go to section / 1232  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 181, 192, 325, 355, 374, 1006


   Swedenborg Research Tools

Related New Christian Commentary

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


Translate: