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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 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

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

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 John the Baptist
Compare the birth of John the Baptist with the birth of Jesus Christ. What do the births of these men mean in our lives?
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 The Lord's Baptism: Matthew
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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #9093

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9093. And they shall divide the silver of it. That this signifies that the truth thereof shall be dissipated, is evident from the signification of “dividing,” as being to banish and dissipate (see n. 6360, 6361); and from the signification of “silver,” as being truth (n. 1551, 2048, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 7999). That “to divide” denotes to dissipate, is because if those things which have been associated together are divided, they are also scattered, as he who divides his mind destroys it. For the mind of man is an association of two parts, one part being called the understanding, the other the will. He who divides these two parts scatters the things which belong to one part, for one part must live from the other; consequently the other also perishes. It is the same with him who divides truth from good, or what is the same, faith from charity. He who does this destroys both. In a word, all things which ought to be united in a one, if divided perish.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6360-6361)


[2] This division is meant by the Lord’s words in Luke:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will prefer the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:13).

That is, by faith serve the Lord, and by love the world; thus acknowledge truth, and do evil. He who does this has a divided mind, from which comes its destruction. From all this it is evident whence it is that “to divide” denotes to dissipate; as is also evident in Matthew:

The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not, and in an hour when he knoweth not, and shall divide him, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (Matthew 24:50-51); where “to divide” denotes to separate and remove from goods and truths (n. 4424), thus to dissipate.

(References: Luke 19:11-19, 22:24-27, 22:30)


[3] In Moses:

Cursed be their anger, for it was vehement; and their wrath, for it was hard. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Genesis 49:7); where Israel speaks prophetically of Simeon and Levi. By Simeon and Leviticus are there represented those who are in faith separate from charity (n. 6352), by Jacob and Israel the church external and internal, and also the external and internal man (n. 4286, 4598, 5973, 6360, 6361). “To divide them in Jacob” denotes to expel them from the external church; and “to scatter them in Israel” denotes from the internal church; thus to dissipate the goods and the truths of the church appertaining to them.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6360-6361)


[4] That “dividing” has this signification is also plain from the words written on the wall when Belshazzar king of Babel, together with his lords, his wives, and his concubines, drank wine from the vessels of gold and of silver which belonged to the temple that was at Jerusalem. The writing was:

Numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided (Daniel 5:2-4, 25-28); where “divided” means separated from the kingdom. In this passage it is plain how all things were at that time representative. In it is described the profanation of good and truth, which is signified by “Babel” (that Babel” denotes profanation, see n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326); “vessels of gold and of silver” denote the goods of love and the truths of faith from the the Lord, (n. 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917). Profanation is signified by “drinking therefrom, and at the same time praising the gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone,” as we read in the fourth verse of the chapter, which denote evils and falsities in a series (n. 4402, 4544, 7873, 8941). By the “temple at Jerusalem” from which the vessels came, is signified in the supreme sense the Lord, in the representative sense His kingdom and church (n. 3720). The kingdom of Belshazzar being “divided” signified the dissipation of good and truth, and he himself being “slain that night” signified the loss of the life of truth and good, thus damnation; for “to be divided” denotes to be dissipated; “a King” denotes the truth of good (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148); the like is signified by “kingdom” (n. 1672, 2547, 4691); “to be slain” denotes to be deprived of the life of truth and good (n. 3607, 6767, 8902); and the “night” in which he was slain denotes a state of evil and falsity (n. 2353, 7776, 7851, 7870, 7947). From this it is plain that all things there were representative.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1321-1322, 1551-1552; Daniel 5:25, Daniel 5:28)


[5] We read in the following passages:

They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast a lot (Psalms 22:18).

They divided His garments, casting a lot; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (Matthew 27:35).

The soldiers took His garments, and made four parts; and the tunic, the tunic was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore, Let us not divide it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the Scripture might be fulfilled (John 19:23-24).

He who reads these words and knows nothing of the internal sense of the Word, is not aware that anything secret lies hidden in them, when yet in each word there is a Divine secret. The secret was that Divine truths had been dissipated by the Jews, for the Lord was the Divine truth; and hence He is called “the Word” (John 1). “The Word” denotes Divine truth; His garments represented truths in the external form; and His tunic, truths in the internal form; the division of the garments represented the dissipation of the truths of faith by the Jews. (That “garments” denote truths in the external form, see n. 2576, 5248, 5954, 6918; also that “a tunic” denotes truth in the internal form, n. 4677.) Truths in the external form are such as are those of the Word in the literal sense; but truths in the internal form are such as are those of the Word in the spiritual sense. The division of the garments into four parts signified total dissipation, in like manner as the division in Zechariah 14:4, and in other passages; likewise the division into two parts, as we read of the veil of the temple (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). The rending of the rocks also at that time (Matthew 27:51) represented the dissipation of all things of faith, for a “rock” denotes the Lord as to faith, consequently it denotes faith from the Lord.

(References: Daniel 5:25, Daniel 5:28; Exodus 21:35; John 1:1)

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Exodus 34

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1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.

2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.

3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.

4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.

5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.

10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.

11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:

13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods , and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.

18 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

19 All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.

20 But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.

21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.

22 And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.

23 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.

24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.

25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.

26 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.

28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

31 And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them.

32 And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.

33 And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.

34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.

35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

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Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 666, 1001, 1288, 1298, 1444, 2341, 2342, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 24, 134, 529, 662

Sacred Scripture 101

Life 59, 61

True Christian Religion 209, 264, 284, 286, 314, 325


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 141, 257, 329, 392, 412, 594, 633, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 15:18, 21, 24:3, 27

Exodus 4:31, 12:10, 15, 13:2, 3, 12, 13, 15, 19:3, 5, 12, 13, 20:4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 22:19, 23:14, 24, 27, 29, 32, 24:4, 12, 18, 31:18, 32:9, 15, 19, 33:12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 34:1, 28, 35:1

Leviticus 19:4, 21:15, 23:15, 34

Numbers 12:8, 25:1, 2, 33:52

Deuteronomy 4:24, 31, 5:2, 7:3, 4, 9:9, 25, 10:1, 3, 5, 21, 12:20, 16:22, 26:2, 31:16, 18, 32:3

Joshua 23:5, 12, 24:19

Judges 3:5, 6, 6:10, 25, 8:27

2 Samuel 24:14

1 Kings 5:1, 8:32, 21:25

2 Kings 10:27

2 Chronicles 21:11, 30:9

Nehemiah 10:31

Psalms 25:11, 33:12, 86:15, 99:8, 103:8, 106:28, 39, 109:14, 116:5, 130:4

Proverbs 3:3

Jeremiah 10:16, 30:11

Hosea 1:2

Joel 2:13

Nahum 1:2, 3

Matthew 4:2, 10

John 1:17

Romans 2:4

1 Corinthians 10:20

2 Corinthians 3:7, 13, 16, 18

1 John 1:9

Revelation 2:20, 15:3

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Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

mount
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

Sinai
'Mount Sinai,' as in Exodus 19:1, signifies, in the highest sense, divine truth from divine good. 'Mount' means divine good, and 'Sinai,' divine truth, and...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

flocks
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

herds
'A herd,' as mentioned in Genesis 32:7, denotes exterior or natural good, and also not good things.

feed
When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

rose
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

rose up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

early
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

commanded
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

descended
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

cloud
In Isaiah 19:1, "Jehovah rides upon a light cloud, and comes into Egypt", signifies the visitation of the natural man from spiritual-natural Divine Truth, for...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

name of the lord
Names in the Bible are not simply names; they represent the qualities of the people who bear them. So the various names of the Lord...

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

merciful
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

abundant
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

thousands
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

iniquity
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

transgression
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

visiting
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

third
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

haste
'To hasten' or 'hastiness' in the internal sense, does not denote what is quick, but what is certain, and also what is full, thus every...

bowed
To bow, as in Genesis 18:2 signifies to humble.

earth
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

found
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

nation
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

work
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

observe
'To observe' stands for all aspects of the Word in general.

command
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

hittite
'A Hittite' in a good sense, signifies the spiritual church, or the truth of the church. The Hittites were among the upright Gentiles who were...

hivite
The Hivites' represent those who were in idolatry, but in which there was something of good.

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

goest
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

altars
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

break
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

images
'An image' signifies falsities from self-derived intelligence.

worship
To adore, in the Word, signifies to acknowledge and believe.

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

gods
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

call
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

daughters
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Unleavened bread
'Unleavened bread' signifies the holiness of love, or the holy of holies, so, pure love. The baking of unleavened bread is purification.

unleavened
For something to be “unleavened” means that it's been made without yeast. Since yeast is what makes bread rise and take on its airy texture,...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

seven
The number 'seven' was considered holy, as is well known, because of the six days of creation, and the seventh, which is the celestial self,...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

Abib
The Passover, and the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt, happened during the month Abib, in the Hebrew calendar. Abib signifies the beginning of a...

egypt
Egyptians represent those who are in natural science, thus the natural, but the Hebrews, those who are of the church, thus respectively the spiritual. The...

openeth
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

matrix
'Matrix' signifies opening of the spiritual mind.

cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

firstling
When the Bible talks about generations or birth order, the internal meaning has to do with the progression of spiritual states and their relative importance....

ass
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

firstborn
When the Bible talks about generations or birth order, the internal meaning has to do with the progression of spiritual states and their relative importance....

six
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

Six days
The six days' or periods of time, are the various consecutive states in a person's regeneration. They are, in general, as follows: The first state...

harvest
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

feast of
'The feast of weeks' signifies the implanting of truth in good.

Feast of weeks
The Feast of Weeks, instituted amongst the children of Israel signifies the implantation of truth in good.

Weeks
'The feast of weeks' signifies the implanting of truth in good.

Wheat
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

thrice
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

borders
A border as in Isaiah 54:12 signifies the scientific and sensual principle. "And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand-breath round about."...

go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

blood
The internal meaning of “blood” is a little tricky, because Swedenborg gives two meanings that seem quite different. In most cases, Swedenborg links blood with...

leaven
Leaven' signifies evil and falsity, which should not be mixed with good and true things. In Leviticus 2:11, it says, 'no meat offering which ye...

Feast of the Passover
The Feast of the Passover signifies celebration of the Lord on account of liberation from damnation.

passover
'The Passover,' in Exodus 12, 27, signifies the presence of the Lord and His liberation from damnation of the people of the spiritual church. 'The...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

seethe
'To seethe' signifies destroying truths and goods by falsities.

mother's
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

milk
Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

forty
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

nights
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

wrote
In John 8:2-11, the Lord wrote twice on the ground, when the woman taken in adultery was brought to him, which signifies the condemnation of...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

skin
'Skin' corresponds to truth or to falsity in the extremes. 'The skin,' as relates to the grand human, means the natural self. There are spirits...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

shone
“Light” in the Bible represents divine truth, ideas which pour out to us from the Lord’s infinite love. It makes sense, then, that when something...

aaron
Aaron was the brother of Moses. He symbolizes two things, one during the first part of the exodus, when he was Moses' spokesperson, and another...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

afraid
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

nigh
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

congregation
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

returned
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

talked
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

commandment
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Bible Jeopardy Game: The Tabernacle
Use the Bible Jeopardy questions to review the story of the Tabernacle.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 The Shining Face of Moses
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 The Ten Commandments Received, The Golden Calf
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10


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