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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 #5044

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5044. 'And the governor of the prison-house gave' means the truth governing in a state of temptations. This is clear from the meaning of 'the governor (or the prince)' as the primary and so governing truth, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'the prison-house' as the laying waste of falsity, and therefore temptation, dealt with above in 5038, 5039, 5043. What the truth governing in a state of temptations is must first be discussed. With all who are undergoing temptations truth from the Lord is flowing in, and this truth rules and governs their thoughts, uplifting them every time they are given to doubt and also to feelings of despair. This truth is what that governing truth is, and it is the kind of truth which they have learned from the Word and from doctrine and which they themselves have confirmed. Other kinds of truth may also be called on at such times, but these do not govern those persons interiorly. Sometimes the truth governing them does not make itself clearly visible in their understanding but lies obscured, yet continues to govern. For the Lord's Divine flows into that governing truth and in so doing keeps the interior parts of the mind within its domain, so that when it comes out into the light the person undergoing temptation receives comfort from it and is uplifted by it.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 5038-5039)

[2] Not the actual truth but an affection for it is what the Lord uses to govern those undergoing temptations; for the Divine does not flow into anything except that which is regarded with affection. Truth that has been implanted and become rooted in a person interiorly has been implanted and become rooted there through affection. Absolutely nothing grows there without affection. Truth that has been implanted and become rooted through affection sticks in the mind, and it is recollected through an affection for it. Furthermore when that truth is recollected it also manifests the affection attached to it, an affection which in that person is a reciprocal one. This being what goes on in a person who undergoes temptations, no one is therefore allowed to experience any spiritual temptation until he reaches adult years and so has acquired some truth by means of which he may be governed. Without that truth he goes under, in which case his latter state is worse than his former one. From all this one may see what is implied by the truth governing in a state of temptations, meant by 'the governor of the prison-house'.

[3] The reason 'a prince (or a governor)' means a primary truth is that 'a king' in the internal sense means the truth itself, 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4789, 4966, and consequently because 'princes' are the king's chief subjects the primary features of that truth are meant by them. For this meaning of 'princes', see 1482, 2089; yet because those two paragraphs have not shown that meaning from other places in the Word, let some be introduced here: In Isaiah,

To us a boy is born, to us a son is given, on whose shoulder will be the government 1 - the prince of peace, increasing government 2 and peace [to which] there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7.

This refers to the Lord. 'The government upon his shoulder' means all Divine Truth in the heavens originating in Him, for the heavens are distinguished into separate principalities in keeping with the varieties of truth derived from good, which also explains why angels are called principalities. 'Peace' means the state of bliss in the heavens which inmostly affects what is good and true, 3780. This is why the Lord is called 'the prince of peace' and why it speaks of Him 'increasing government and peace to which there will be no end'.

[4] In the same prophet,

The princes of Zoan are foolish, the wise counsellors of Pharaoh. How do you say to Pharaoh, I am a son of the wise, a son of the kings of old? The princes of Zoan have become fools, the princes of Noph deluded, and they have led Egypt astray, the corner-stone of the tribes. Isaiah 19:11, 13.

This refers to Egypt, by which the Church's factual knowledge is meant, 4749, and so natural truth, which is the last and lowest degree of order. For the same reason Egypt is here called 'the corner-stone of the tribes', for by 'the tribes' are meant all aspects of truth in their entirety, 3858, 3862, 3926, 3939, 4060. Here however 'Egypt' is factual knowledge that perverts the truths known to the Church, and so is truths in the lowest degree of order that have been falsified, meant by 'the princes of Zoan and the princes of Noph'. The reason Egypt calls itself 'a son of the kings of old' is that the factual knowledge which existed in that land had its origin in the truths known to the Ancient Church. Actual truths are meant by 'kings', as shown above, and the truths known to the Ancient Church by 'the kings of old'.

[5] In the same prophet,

Asshur does not think what is right and his heart does not consider what is right, for his heart is to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few, for he says, Are not my princes kings? Isaiah 10:7-8.

'Asshur' stands for reasoning about Divine truths which gives rise to falsities, and so stands for perverted reason, 1186. Truths falsified in this way, that is, falsities, which are the product of reasoning and look altogether like truths, are meant when Asshur says 'Are not my princes kings?' As long as a person's mind is fixed on the historical sense of the letter he cannot see or consequently believe that 'Asshur' means reasoning, and that 'princes who are kings' means major falsities which are regarded as supreme truths. Still less can he believe this if he refuses to entertain the idea that there is something holier and more universal within the Divine Word than that which is seen in the literal sense. Yet in the internal sense 'Asshur' is used to mean in the Word nothing else than reason and reasoning, and 'kings' to mean actual truths, 'princes' the primary features of truth. Also, those in heaven have no knowledge as to what or who 'Asshur' may be, besides which angels put away from themselves the idea of a king or a prince; and when they detect this idea residing with man they transfer it to the Lord and then perceive that which goes forth from the Lord and which is the Lord's in heaven, namely His Divine Truth going forth from His Divine Good.

[6] In the same prophet,

Asshur will fall by the sword, not of man (vir), and a sword, not of man (homo), will devour him. Also his rock will pass away by reason of terror, and his princes will be dismayed by the ensign. Isaiah 31:8-9.

This too refers to Egypt, by which the Church's factual knowledge once it has been perverted is meant. Reasoning based on known facts regarding Divine truths which leads to perversion and falsification is meant by 'Asshur', those perverted and falsified truths being 'his princes'. 'The sword by which Asshur will fall' is falsity engaged in conflict with truth and bringing about the devastation of it, 2799, 4499.

In the same prophet,

The strength of Pharaoh will become shame for you, and trust in the shadow of Egypt ignominy, when his princes will be in Zoan. Isaiah 30:3-4.

'Princes in Zoan' stands for truths that have been falsified, and so stands for falsities, as above.

[7] In the same prophet,

The spoon-bill and the duck will possess it, and the owl and the raven will dwell in it; and he will stretch over it the line of emptiness, and the plumb-line of a waste place. Let them call its nobles who are not there a kingdom, and all its princes will be nothing. Isaiah 34:11-12.

'The spoon-bill', 'the duck', 'the owl', 'the raven' stand for varieties of falsity which arise when Divine truths in the Word are rendered valueless. The desolation and laying waste of truth is meant by 'the line of emptiness and the plumb-line of a waste', while the falsities, which are primary truths so far as the people described here are concerned, are meant by 'its princes'. In the same prophet,

I will render the princes of holiness profane, and I will give Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reproaches. Isaiah 43:28.

'Rendering the princes of holiness profane' refers to holy truths. The annihilation of the truth known to the Church - the internal Church and the external - is meant by 'giving Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reproaches', 'Jacob' being the external Church and 'Israel' the internal, see 4286.

[8] In Jeremiah,

There will enter through the gates of this city kings and princes seated on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes. Jeremiah 17:25.

Anyone who understands the Word at this point according to its historical sense cannot know that anything deeper and holier lies hidden within these words than the idea that kings and princes will enter through the gates of the city in chariots and on horses, from which he gathers that the duration of the kingdom is meant. But one who is aware of what is meant by 'city' in the internal sense, and what is meant by 'kings', 'princes', 'the throne of David', and 'riding in chariots and on horses' sees deeper and holier matters in this description. For 'the city', which is Jerusalem, means the Lord's spiritual kingdom, 2117, 3654; 'kings' Divine Truths, as shown above; 'princes' the primary features of truth; 'the throne of David' the Lord's heaven, 1888; and 'riding in chariots and on horses' the existence in the Church of a spiritual understanding, 2760, 2761, 3217.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2760-2761)

[9] In the same prophet,

O sword against the Chaldeans and against the inhabitants of Babel, and against its princes and against its wise men! O sword against the liars! O sword against its horses and against its chariots! Jeremiah 50:35-37.

'Sword' stands for truth engaged in conflict with falsity, and for falsity in conflict with truth and laying it waste, 2799, 4499. 'The Chaldeans' stands for those who profane truths, and 'the inhabitants of Babel' for those who profane good, 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1307, 1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, 1327 (end). 'Princes' stands for falsities, which to such people are primary truths. 'Horses' stands for the Church's possession of understanding, and 'chariots' for its doctrinal teaching, the laying waste of these being meant by 'a sword against its horses and against its chariots'.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1307-1308, 1321-1322, 1326-1327)

[10] In the same prophet,

How in His anger the Lord covers the daughter of Zion with a cloud! The Lord has swallowed up - He has not spared - all the dwelling-places of Jacob. He has destroyed in His wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has cast them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and her princes. The gates have sunk into the ground; He has broken in pieces her bars; her king and princes are among the nations. Lamentations 1:1, 2, 9.

'The daughter of Zion and Judah' stands for the celestial Church, in this case for that Church when it has been destroyed. 'The kingdom' stands for the truths of doctrine there, 2547, 4691, 'king' for truth itself, and 'princes' for the primary features of this truth.

(References: Lamentations 2:1-2, 2:9)

[11] In the same prophet,

Our skins have been blackened like an oven because of the storms of famine; they have ravished women in Zion, virgins in the cities of Judah. Princes have been hung up by their hands. Lamentations 5:10-12.

'Princes hung up by their hands' stands for the fact that truths have been made profane, for being hung up represented the damnation brought about by profanation. And because being hung up represented that profanation the command was also given that when the people went whoring after Baalpeor and worshipped their gods, the princes were to be hung up before the sun, Numbers 25:1-4, since 'to go whoring after Baalpeor and to worship their gods' was to make worship profane.

In Ezekiel,

The king will mourn, and the prince will be wrapped in stupidity, and the hands of the people of the land will be all atremble; I will deal with them in their way. Ezekiel 7:27.

Here likewise 'the king' stands for truth in general, and 'the prince' for the primary features of it.

[12] In the same prophet,

The prince who is in the midst of them will be carried on the shoulder under darkness and will go forth; they will dig through the wall to lead out through it; he will cover his face, so that with the eye he does not see the earth. Ezekiel 12:12.

Here it is quite evident that 'the prince' does not mean a prince but truth known to the Church. When the words 'will be carried on the shoulder under darkness' are used in reference to it, the meaning is that total power is used to bear away among falsities, 'darkness' meaning falsities. 'Covering the face' means that truth is completely out of sight; 'so that with the eye he does not see the earth' means that nothing of the Church is visible, 'earth' or 'land' meaning the Church, see 661, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 4535. In Hosea,

The children of Israel will sit many days with no king and no prince, and no sacrifice, and no pillar, and no ephod, and no teraphim. Hosea 3:4.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 662, 1068, Arcana Coelestia 2117-2118, Arcana Coelestia 2928, 3355, 4447)

[13] And in David,

All glorious is the king's daughter within, in her clothing with gold interweavings; in embroidered robes she will be led to the king. Instead of your fathers will be your sons; you will set them as princes in the whole earth. Psalms 45:13-14, 16.

'The king's daughter' means the Lord's spiritual kingdom. It is called His spiritual kingdom by virtue of the Lord's Divine truth, which in this instance is described by means of 'clothing consisting of gold interweavings and of embroidered robes'. 'Sons' are the truths of that kingdom which are derived from the Lord's Divine, which are going to be 'the princes', that is, the primary features of it.

'The prince' who is described - he and his possession in the New Jerusalem and in the new land - in Ezekiel 44:3; 45:7-8, 17; 46:8, 10, 12, 16, 18; 48:21, means, in general, truth that is derived from the Lord's Divine. For 'the New Jerusalem' in these places, 'the New Temple', and 'the new land' are used to mean the Lord's kingdom in heaven and on earth, which kingdom is described here in Ezekiel by means of representatives such as figure elsewhere in the Word.


1. literally, principality or princely rule

2. literally, multiplying the principality or princely rule


(References: Genesis 39:22; Psalms 45:13-16)

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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 5043, 5047, 5082, 5236, 5290, 5313, 5321, 5323, 5619, 5922, 6015, 6087, 6125, 6148, 6410, 6413, 6432, 6508, 6524, 6651, 6659, 6742, 6745, 6766, 7351, 7524, 8142, 8314, 8330, 8491, 8712, 8904, 9093, 9139, 9144, 9146, 9212, 9222, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 1, 121, 148, 200

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 29, 63, 236, 365

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