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Arcana Coelestia #9372

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia #8588

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8588. And Meribah. That this signifies the quality of the complaining, is evident from the fact that in the original tongue “Meribah” means “contention,” or “quarreling,” and “quarreling” signifies complaining (see n. 8563, 8566); and because names signify the quality of the thing (n. 8587), therefore “Meribah” here signifies the quality of the complaining. As regards this temptation itself and its quality, be it known that in this passage are described those who in temptations almost yield, namely, those who complain against heaven and also against the Divine Itself, and at last almost disbelieve in the Divine Providence. These things are signified in the internal sense by what precedes, and also by what follows in this verse, namely, the quality of the state of the temptation, which is signified by “Massah,” and the quality of the complaining in the temptation, which is signified by “Meribah.” That this quality is here signified by “Meribah,” is plain in David:

Thou calledst upon Me in distress, and I rescued thee; I answered thee in the secret place, I proved thee at the waters of Meribah (Psalms 81:7).

[2] But in the internal historical sense, in which the subject treated of is the state of religion with the Israelitish nation, that nation is described in respect to its quality toward Jehovah, namely, that they were not willing by supplication to entreat Him for aid, but that they expostulated. The reason was, that at heart they did not acknowledge Jehovah as the supreme God, but only in the mouth, when they saw the miracles. That at heart they did not acknowledge Him is very evident from the Egyptian calf which they made for themselves and worshiped, saying that these were their gods; also from their frequent apostasy (of which see n. 8301). This is what is here described in the internal historical sense; but in the internal spiritual sense is described the quality of the temptation with those who before they are liberated are brought to the last of temptation.

[3] That the quality of the Israelitish nation and of its religiosity is described by contention with Moses at Massah and Meribah, is also evident in the following passages:

Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me; they tempted Me, and saw My work; for forty years did I feel loathing at the generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and the same have not known My ways, to whom I sware in Mine anger that they should not come unto My rest (Psalms 95:8-11).

Ye shall not tempt Jehovah your God, as ye tempted Him in Massah (Deuteronomy 6:16; 9:22, 24).

Of Leviticus he said, Thy Thummim and thy Urim are with the Holy Man, whom thou didst tempt at Massah, with whom thou didst contend at the waters of Meribah (Deuteronomy 33:8).

“The Holy Man” here denotes the Lord, whom they tempted, and whom Moses and Aaron did not sanctify.

(References: Deuteronomy 4:16, Deuteronomy 33:8-9)


[4] In the internal historical sense, in which the subject treated of is the religiosity of the Israelitish nation, by Moses and Aaron is not represented truth Divine, but the religiosity of that nation whose leaders and heads they were (n. 7041). Because this religiosity was such as said above, it was intimated to them that they should not bring the people into the land of Canaan, as is written in the book of Numbers:

Jehovah said unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye have not believed in Me, and sanctified Me in the eyes of the sons of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them; these are the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with Jehovah (Numbers 20:12-13; 27:14).

Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall not come into the land which I have given to the sons of Israel, because ye rebelled against My mouth at the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20:24).

The same is said of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50-51).

[5] That still representative Divine worship was instituted with that nation, was because representative worship could be instituted with any nation that had holy externals of worship, and worshiped almost idolatrously; for what is representative does not regard the person, but the thing (n. 1361), and it was the genius of that nation, beyond any other nation, to worship merely external things as holy and Divine, without any internal; as for instance to worship as deities their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterward Moses and David, and moreover to account holy and as Divine, and to worship, every stone and every piece of wood that had been inaugurated in their Divine worship; as the arks, the tables therein, the lamp, the altar, the garments of Aaron, the Urim and Thummim, and afterward the temple. Of the Lord’s Providence there was then given a communication of the angels of heaven with man by means of such things. For there must needs be somewhere a church, or the representative of a church, in order that there may be communication of heaven with the human race; and as that nation, beyond any other nation, could make Divine worship consist in external things, and thus act the representative of a church, therefore that nation was taken.

[6] At that time communication with the angels in heaven was effected by means of representatives in the following way. Their external worship was communicated to angelic spirits who are simple, and who do not reflect upon internal things, but still are interiorly good. Such are they who in the Grand Man correspond to the outer skin. These pay no attention whatever to the internal of man, but only to his external. If this appears holy, they think holily of the internal also. The more interior angels of heaven saw in those spirits the things that were represented, consequently the heavenly and Divine things that corresponded; for they could be present with these spirits, and see those things; but not with the men except by means of the spirits. For angels dwell with men in things interior; but where there are no such things, they dwell in the interior things of simple spirits; for the angels have no interest in other than spiritual and heavenly things, which are the interior things contained in representatives. From these few words it can be seen how there could be communication with heaven by means of such a people. But see what has been previously shown on this subject, namely: That with the Jews the holy of worship was miraculously elevated into heaven quite apart from them (n. 4307); that whatever their quality might be, the descendants of Jacob could represent what is holy, provided they closely observed the rituals commanded (n. 3147, 3479, 3480, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4289, 4293, 4307, 4444, 4500, 4680, 4825, 4844, 4847, 4899, 4912, 6304, 6306, 7048, 7051, 8301).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3479-3480, 4288-4289; Deuteronomy 4:16, Deuteronomy 33:8-9)

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Apocalypse Explained #240

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240. But that "naked" signifies those who are without the understanding of truth because without the will of good, is evident from the passages in the Word where "naked" and "nakedness" occur, which will be cited below. This is what "naked" and "nakedness" signify, because "garments" signify truths that are of the understanding, and he that is without truths is also without good, for all spiritual good is procured by means of truths; without truths, or except by means of truths, there is no spiritual good; spiritual good is charity. "Naked" and "nakedness" signify lacking in, or the lack of, intelligence and love, thus of the understanding and will of good; also for the reason that garments cover the body and flesh, and "body" and "flesh" signify good, therefore "garments" signify the things that cover good.

(References: Revelation 3:17)


[2] There is the understanding of truth, and the understanding of good; the understanding of truth is the understanding of such things as are of faith, and the understanding of good is the understanding of such things as are of love and charity. There is also the will of truth and the will of good; the will of truth is with those who are of the Lord's spiritual kingdom; but the will of good with those who are of His celestial kingdom. The latter, because they are in love to the Lord, and from this in mutual love, which is to them charity towards the neighbor, have truths inscribed on their hearts, and thence do them; and what proceeds out of the heart is out of the will of good, "heart" meaning the will of good. But those who are in love towards the neighbor, which love is charity, have truths inscribed not on their hearts but on the memory, and therefore on the intellectual mind, and what proceeds therefrom out of the affection is the will of truth. Thus it is that spiritual angels are distinguished from celestial angels. The latter appear naked in heaven, but the former clothed. Celestial angels appear naked because they have no need of the memory to retain truths, nor of understanding therefrom to comprehend them, because they have them inscribed on the heart, that is, on the love and will, and thence see them. But spiritual angels appear clothed because they have truths inscribed on the memory and thence on the understanding, and truths of the memory and of the understanding therefrom correspond to garments; they therefore all appear clothed according to their intelligence. (That angels are thus clothed, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 177-182.) From this it can be seen what "naked" signifies in both senses, namely, in the one sense it signifies those who are in celestial good, but in the other those who are not in good because not in truths.

[3] But these things can be better seen from the passages in the word where "naked" and "nakedness" occur, which now follow. In Isaiah:

Jehovah said to the prophet, Put off the sackcloth from upon thy loins, and put off thy shoe from upon thy foot. And he did so. Then Jehovah said, Like as My servant Isaiah hath gone naked and barefoot, so shall the king of Assyria lead the captivity of Egypt, and the crowd of Cush that is to be carried away, lads and old men, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks bare, the nakedness of Egypt (Isaiah 20:2-4).

What of the church and of heaven lies hidden in these words no one can see unless he knows their spiritual sense; for in every particular of the Word there is something of the church and of heaven, because the Word is spiritual; this shall therefore be explained. By "prophet" the doctrine of the church is here meant; "putting off the sackcloth from his loins," or presenting the loins naked, means to disclose filthy loves; the customary "sackcloth" of the prophet here means the breeches that cover, and "the loin" signify such loves; "putting off the shoe from upon his foot," or unshoeing the soles of the foot, signifies to disclose the filthy things of nature; that "the king of Assyria shall lead the captivity of Egypt, and the crowd of Cush that is to be carried away," means that the perverted rational will confirm evils and falsities by means of knowledges [scientifica] and by means of fallacies; "lads and old men" means by means of all things both general and particular; "naked and barefoot" means that they are deprived of all truth and all good; "buttocks bare" means the evils of self-love; "the nakedness of Egypt" means falsities therefrom. From this it is clear what things of the church and of heaven are here treated of, namely, that the perverted rational, which is the rational that denies God and attributes all things to nature, confirms itself by means of knowledges [scientifica] and fallacies, until it is destitute of all the understanding of truth and the will of good.

(That "prophet" in the Word means doctrine, see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2534, 7269;

That the "loins" signify loves in both senses, n. 3021, 4280, 5059;

That "feet" signify the natural things with man, and "the soles of the feet" the things that are in ultimates, n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952;

That "shoes" signify these same things in respect to their covering, n. 1748, 2162, 4835, 6844;

That "the king of Assyria" signifies the rational in both senses, n. 119, 1186;

That "Egypt" signifies the faculty of knowing [scientificum] of the natural man, in both senses, good and bad, n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 5700, 5702, 6015, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 7296, 9340, 9391.

That "Cush" signifies the fallacies of the senses, n. 1163, 1164, 1166)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1163-1164, 1164-1165)


[4] In Ezekiel:

When I passed by thee, and saw thee, I covered thy nakedness, and I washed thee, and I clothed thee. But thou didst trust in thy beauty and play the harlot, and thou hast not remembered the things 1 of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare; thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, and with the sons of Asshur. And thou hast multiplied thy whoredom even unto Chaldea. Moreover, thy nakedness was revealed through thy whoredoms. Therefore they shall stone thee with stones, and shall cut thee in pieces with swords; and shall burn up thine houses with fire (Ezekiel 16:6).

Jerusalem is here treated of, by which the church in respect to doctrine is meant, and these and many other expressions in the same chapter describe what the church was in its beginning, and what it became when it turned away from good and from truth. What the church was when it was established by the Lord, thus what it was in the beginning, is described by these words, "When I passed by thee, and saw thee, I covered thy nakedness, I washed thee and clothed thee." "To cover the nakedness" signifies to remove the evils of the will and the falsities of the understanding; "to wash" signifies to purify from evils, and "to clothe" signifies to instruct in truths. But what the church became when it turned away from good and truth is described by what follows; "thou didst trust in thy beauty" signifies intelligence from one's own [ex proprio], and that this gave delight; "committing whoredom" signifies that thus it was imbued with falsities; "committing whoredom with the sons of Egypt, and with the sons of Asshur," signifies falsifications confirmed by knowledges [scientifica] and by things rational therefrom; "multiplying whoredom even unto Chaldea" signifies even to the profanation of truth. This shows what is signified by "Moreover thy nakedness was revealed through thy whoredoms," namely, that the church through falsities and falsifications was deprived of all the understanding of truth. "They shall stone thee with stones" signifies that the church will die through falsities; "they shall cut thee in pieces with swords" signifies that the church will utterly die through the falsifications of truth; and "they shall burn up thy houses with fire" signifies that it will wholly perish through infernal loves, "houses" meaning all things with man, and "fire" meaning infernal love. From this it is clear what is contained in these words relating to heaven and the church, and that this can be seen only from the spiritual sense. (That "to wash" signifies to purify from evils and falsities, see Arcana Coelestia 3147 Arcana Coelestia 3147[1-10], 10237, 10240, 10243; that "to clothe" signifies to instruct in truths, n. 1073, 2576, 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536; that "beauty" signifies intelligence, n. 3080, 4985, 5199, here intelligence from one's own [ex proprio]. That "to commit whoredom" means to become imbued with falsities, see above, n. 141; that "Egypt" means the faculty of knowing [scientificum]; and "Asshur" the rational, see just above. That "Chaldea" is the profanation of truth, Arcana Coelestia 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326; that "to stone with stones" signifies to die through falsities, n. 5156, 7456, 8575, 8799; that "sword" signifies falsity combating against truth and destroying it, n. 2799, 4499, 7102; therefore "to cut in pieces with swords" means to die utterly through falsifications of truth. That "fire" signifies infernal love, n. 1861, 5071, 6314, 6832, 7575, 10747; and that "house" signifies the whole man, and the things which are with him, thus that are of his understanding and will, n. 710, 2231, 2233, 2559, 3128, 3538, 4973, 5023, 6690, 7353, 7848, 7910, 7929, 9150. From this it is clear what is signified by "they shall burn up thy houses with fire.")

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1321-1322; The Apocalypse Explained 141)


[5] In Hosea:

Strive with your mother, that she may put away her whoredoms and her adulteries; lest I strip her naked, and make her as the wilderness, as a land of dryness, and let her die with thirst; and on her sons I will not have compassion, because they are the sons of whoredoms (Hosea 2:2-4).

Here also the church fallen into falsities and evils is treated of; "the mother with whom they should strive" signifies the church; "whoredoms" and "adulteries" signify falsities and evils therefrom; "to make her as the wilderness, and as a land of dryness," signifies to be without good and truth; "to let her die with thirst" signifies a total lack of truth; "her sons whom I will not have compassion on" signify all the falsities thereof in general, and they are therefore called "sons of whoredoms." (That "mother" signifies the church, see Arcana Coelestia 289, 2691, 2717, 3703, 4257, 5581, 8897; that "wilderness" signifies where there is no good, because no truth, n. 2708, 4736, 7055; "a land of dryness" signifies where there is no truth, because "water" signifies the truth of faith, n. 2702, 3058, 5668, 8568, 10238; that "to cause to die with thirst" signifies to perish from the lack of truth, n. 8568[1-10 Arcana Coelestia 8568 end. That "sons" signify the affections of truth and truths in general, n. 2362, 3963, 6729, 6775, 6779, 9055; thus, in the opposite sense, the affections of falsity and falsities in general. From this it can be seen what is signified by "stripping her naked," namely, that the church will be without good and truth.)

[6] In Lamentations:

Jerusalem hath sinned a sin; therefore all that honored her hold her vile, because they have seen her nakedness (Lamentations 1:8).

In Ezekiel:

Oholah, which is Samaria, committed whoredom with the Egyptians and with the sons of Asshur; these uncovered her nakedness, they took her sons and daughters, and her they finally slew with the sword; therefore will I give thee into the hand of those whom thou hatest, that they may deal with thee in hatred, and take away all thy labor, and leave thee naked and bare, that the nakedness of thy whoredoms may be uncovered (Ezekiel 23:4, 8-10, 18, 28-29).

In this chapter Samaria, which is called "Oholah," and Jerusalem, which is called "Oholibah," are treated of, and by both the church is signified. "Samaria," where the sons of Israel were, signifies the church in which there are not truths but falsities, and "Jerusalem" the church where there are not goods but evils. What is signified by "committing whoredom with the Egyptians, and with the sons of Asshur," and by "slaying her daughters and sons with the sword," was explained above. From this it is clear that "leaving her naked and bare" signifies without truth and good.

[7] In Isaiah:

The Lord will make bald the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and Jehovah will make naked their buttocks (Isaiah 3:17).

"The daughters of Zion" signify the celestial church and the things of that church, but here that church perverted. "The crown of their head which shall be made bald" signifies intelligence of which the church shall be deprived; and "the buttocks which shall be made naked" signify the love of evil and falsity.

[8] In Nahum:

Woe to the city of bloods; it is all full of lies and rapine, because of the multitude of her whoredoms. I will uncover thy skirts upon thy faces; and will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy disgrace (Nahum 3:1, 4-5).

"The city of bloods" signifies the doctrine of falsity which offers violence to the good of charity.

[9] In Habakkuk:

Woe unto him that maketh his companion drink, also making him drunken; that thou mayest look on their nakednesses; drink thou also, that thy foreskin may be uncovered (Habakkuk 2:15-16).

"To make a companion drink, and drunken," signifies to so imbue one with falsities that he does not see the truth; "to look on nakednesses" means so that falsities which are of the understanding and evils which are of the will are seen; "that the foreskin may be uncovered" means so that filthy loves are seen. (That "to drink" is to be instructed in truths, see Arcana Coelestia 3069, 3772, 4017, 4018, 8562, 9412; in the contrary sense, therefore, it means to be imbued with falsities. That "to be made drunken" means to become insane from falsities, thus not to see truths, n. 1072; that "the foreskin" signifies corporeal and earthly loves, n. 4462, 7045) From this it can be seen what is signified by:

Noah's drinking wine and becoming drunken, so that he lay naked in the midst of his tent, and that Ham laughed at the nakedness of his father; but Shem and Japheth covered his nakedness, and turned away their faces that they might not see the nakedness of their father (Genesis 9:21-23).

(But these things may be seen explained in the Arcana Coelestia, where they are treated of.)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4017-4018)


[10] In Lamentations:

O daughter of Edom, the cup shall pass over unto thee also; thou shalt be drunken, and shall be made naked (Lamentations 4:21).

Here, "being drunken and made naked" signify the like as above. (But who those are who are meant by "Edom," see Arcana Coele (Arcana Coelestia 3322, 8314) stia, n. 3322, 8314.) In Isaiah:

Daughter of Babylon and of Chaldea, sit upon the earth. Take the millstone, and grind meal; uncover thy locks, uncover the thigh, pass through the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy reproach shall be seen (Isaiah 47:1-3).

By "the daughter of Babylon and of Chaldea" those are meant who profane the goods and truths of the church. "To grind meal" means to falsify truths; "to uncover the locks and the thigh" means to be deprived of the intelligence of truth and of the will of good; the like is meant by "passing through the rivers," and "uncovering nakedness."

[11] Because "nakedness" signified the deprivation of the understanding of truth and of the will of good, it was commanded:

That Aaron and his sons should not ascend by steps upon the altar, that their nakedness be not discovered thereon (Exodus 20:26);

Also that they should make them linen breeches to cover the flesh of their nakedness, and that these should be upon them when they went in unto the tent of meeting, and when they came near to the altar, and that otherwise they should bear iniquity and die (Exodus 28:42-43).

From this it is clear what is signified by the words in the following verse of this chapter: "I counsel thee to buy of Me white garments, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not manifest." Also in the following passages of this book, of Revelation:

Blessed is he that is wakeful and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and his shame be seen (Revelation 16:15).

[12] Moreover, "the naked" in the Word mean those also who are not in truths and thence not in good, being ignorant of truths and yet longing for them. This is the case with those within the church when those who teach are in falsities, and with those outside of the church who do not have the Word and consequently do not know truths and thence know nothing about the Lord. Such are meant in the following passages.

In Isaiah:

Is not this the fast that I choose, To break bread to the hungry, and when thou seest the naked that thou cover him? (Isaiah 58:6-7).

In Ezekiel:

He giveth his bread to the hungry, and covereth the naked with a garment (Ezekiel 18:7);

and in Matthew:

I was naked, and ye clothed Me not (Matthew 25:43).

"To cover with a garment," and "to clothe," signify to instruct in truths. (That "garments" are truths, see above, n. 195. That "naked" signifies also the good of innocence, see Arcana Coelestia 165, 8375, 9960; and in the work on Heaven and Hell 179, 180, 280.)

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Footnotes:

1. For "things" the Hebrew has "days."

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(References: Heaven and Hell 179-180; Matthew 25:36, 25:38; Revelation 3:17; The Apocalypse Explained 195)

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Apocalypse Explained 226, 244, 355, 1008, 1081


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