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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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

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


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

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

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

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arcana Coelestia #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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Arcana Coelestia #10490

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10490. 'And kill [every] man his brother, and [every] man his companion, and [every] man his neighbour' means a shutting off to prevent any reception and transmission of inflowing goodness and truth, and of the things touching on them. This is clear from the meaning of 'killing' as taking spiritual life away, thus taking the good of love and the truth of faith away, and therefore at this point as a shutting off to prevent any reception and transmission of them, for when they have been removed, so too has spiritual life been taken away and only natural life remains (for the meaning of 'killing' as taking spiritual life away, see 3387, 3395, 3607, 6767, 7043, 8902); from the meaning of 'brother' as the good of love and charity, dealt with in 3815, 4121, 4191, 5409, 5686, 5692, 6756; from the meaning of 'companion' as the truth of that good; and from the meaning of 'neighbour' as that which is linked to them, dealt with in 5911, 9378, thus that which touches on them. For people whose borders touch are neighbours. From all this it is evident that 'kill [every] man his brother, and [every] man his companion, and [every] man his neighbour' means a shutting off of what is internal with that nation to prevent any reception by them or transmission to them of inflowing goodness, truth, or anything that touches on them.

[2] The implications of all this are that because that nation was idolatrous at heart, ruled completely by the kinds of love in which hell consists, and yet worship representative of heavenly realities was to be established among them, their internals were altogether shut off. They were shut off for two reasons, the first being in order that external things alone with them, devoid of anything internal, might be the means by which the joining to heaven could be effected, and the second in order that the holy things of the Church and of heaven might not be rendered profane. For if that nation had acknowledged the internal things of worship, that is, the holy things of the Church and of heaven which were being represented, they would have defiled them and rendered them profane. This explains why little if any was clearly revealed to that nation about heaven and life after death, and why they were totally ignorant of the truth that the Messiah's kingdom existed in heaven. That nation is still like this at the present day, as is well known.

[3] But see what has been shown regarding that nation in the places referred to above in 10396, for instance the following,

Their whole interest lay in external things and not in anything internal, 4293, 4311, 4459(end), 4834, 4844, 4847, 4865, 4868, 4874, 4903, 4913, 9320, 9373, 9380, 9381.

Consequently their worship was merely external, 3147, 3479, 8871.

Nor did they wish to know about the inner things of worship and of the Word, 3479, 4429, 4433, 4680.

If they had known the holy inner things they would have rendered them profane, 3398, 3489, 4289.

Therefore they were not allowed to know those things, 301, 302, 304, 2520, 3769.

Nevertheless through the outward things of worship among them, which were representative of heavenly realities, there was contact with heaven, 4311, 4444, 6304, 8588, 8788, 8806.

These then are the things that should be understood and are meant by the words commanding them to kill [every] man his brother, [every] man his companion, and [every] man his neighbour.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 301-302, 9380-9381)


[4] Anyone who does not know that brothers, companions, neighbours, and further names describing human relationships serve to mean the Church and heaven's forms of good and truths, or their opposites, which are evils and falsities, cannot know what is implied by very many places in the Word where those names occur, such as in the following places: In Matthew,

Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man (homo) against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother above Me is not worthy of Me; and whoever loves son or daughter above Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:34-38.

These verses refer to spiritual conflicts, which are the temptations that those who are to be regenerated must undergo. Thus they refer to the strife a person experiences at that time between the evils and falsities which come to him from hell and the forms of good and the truths which come to him from the Lord. Since those conflicts are what is described here the declaration 'whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me' is made, 'cross' being used to mean a person's state during temptations. Anyone who does not know that these kinds of things are meant by 'man and father', 'daughter and mother', 'daughter-in-law and mother-in-law' will suppose that the Lord came into the world to remove the peace in households and families and to introduce strife, when in fact He came to bring peace and remove strife, as accords with His words in John 14:27, and elsewhere.

[5] The fact that strife between the internal man and the external is described in those verses is clear from the meaning in the internal sense of 'man and father', 'daughter and mother', and 'daughter-in-law and mother-in-law'. In that sense 'man' (homo) means good which comes from the Lord, and 'father' evil which springs from a person's self; 'daughter' means an affection for goodness and truth, and 'mother' an affection for evil and falsity; and 'daughter-in-law' means the Church's truth linked to its good, and 'mother-in-law' falsity linked to its evil. And since the conflict that takes place between the forms of good and the evils residing with a person, and between the falsities and truths, is described in that manner those verses also contain the declaration 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household'. By 'those of his own household' the things that reside with a person are meant, thus those which belong properly to himself, while 'enemies' in the spiritual sense are the evils and falsities that attack forms of good and truths. The fact that such things are meant by 'man', 'father', 'daughter', 'mother', 'daughter-in-law', and 'mother-in-law' has been shown in various places in the explanations.

[6] The like is meant by the following words in Matthew,

Brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his son; and children will rise up against parents and put them to death. Matthew 10:21.

Also by the following in Luke,

If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and even his own soul, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. So therefore any of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26-27, 33.

Is there anyone who does not see that these words should not be taken literally, at the very least from the fact that they say without any qualification that father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters must be hated before anyone can be the Lord's disciple, when yet it is one of the Lord's commands, in Matthew 5:43-44, that no one should be hated, not even an enemy?

[7] It is self-evident that the things which are a person's own, that is, evils and falsities in their own order, should be understood by the names of those family members, since it also says that he must hate his own soul and renounce all his possessions, that is, the things which are properly his. The state of temptation or spiritual conflict is also described here, for it says, 'whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple'. 'Being the Lord's disciple' means being led by Him and not by self, thus by the forms of good and the truths which come from the Lord and not by the evils and falsities which come from the person.

[8] The Word should be understood in a like manner in other places where those names are used, such as in Jeremiah,

They do not pay attention to My words; and My law, they reject it. Therefore thus said Jehovah, Behold, I am laying before this people stumbling-blocks, that fathers and sons together may stumble against them, a neighbour and his companion, and may perish. Jeremiah 6:19, 21.

In the same prophet,

I will scatter them, [every] man with his brother, [and fathers] and sons together. I will not spare, nor forgive, nor pity, that I should not destroy them. Jeremiah 13:14.

In the same prophet,

Jehovah caused many to stumble 1 ; also [every] man fell upon his companion. Jeremiah 46:16.

And in Isaiah,

I will embroil Egypt with Egypt, in order that a man may fight against his brother, and a man against his companion. Isaiah 19:2.

In these places also the like should be understood by 'fathers', 'sons', 'brothers', and 'companions'.

-----
Footnotes:

1. literally, Jehovah multiplied the stumblers

-----

(References: Exodus 32:27)

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Arcana Coelestia 10492, 10494, 10498, 10623, 10651, 10652

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 122, 248


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Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Teens: Being Disciples of the Lord
Activity | Ages 15 - 17


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


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