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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

Other New Christian Commentary

John the Baptist 1

Elijah 1

Leathern girdle, the, which john the Baptist wore 1

Locusts 1

Raiment 1

Reed shaken with the wind 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg
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 John the Baptist
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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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Arcana Coelestia 9094, 9144, 9163, 9212, 9372, 9391, 9477, 9595, 9688, 9806, 9942, 9952, 10258, 10536


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 38, 373, 946

Other New Christian Commentary

The Unjust Steward 1

Explanation of Luke 16:13 1

Serve 1

Mammon 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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John 1

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1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

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Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 20, 51, 870, 1069, 1093, 1608, 1748, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 6, 20, 58, 81, 200, 222, 256, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 44, 57, 63, 98, 117

Conjugial Love 82, 129, 336

Divine Love and Wisdom 38

Divine Providence 159, 172, 230, 298

The Lord 1, 2, 9, 15, 18, 19, 32, ...

Sacred Scripture 2, 98, 109

Life 17, 51

Worlds in Space 122

Heaven and Hell 84, 129, 137

Interaction of the Soul and Body 5, 6

True Christian Religion 3, 39, 50, 59, 76, 85, 87, ...

The White Horse 14

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 263, 278, 283, 284


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 22, 25, 27, 43, 64, 77, 82, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 85, 145, 171, 174, 197

Canons of the New Church 9, 16, 39, 40, 41, 43

Charity 160

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 19, 25, 54, 59

De Domino 39

De Verbo (The Word) 2, 17, 20

Divine Wisdom 1, 2

An Invitation to the New Church 5

Justification 0

Nine Questions 4

Spiritual Experiences 5131, 5378

Marriage 3, 39, 50, 59, 76, 85, 87, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 6, 10, 14, 67, 79, 86, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

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Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 28:12

Exodus 31:18, 33:18, 34:6, 28

Leviticus 26:46

Deuteronomy 18:15, 18

1 Samuel 3:7

2 Chronicles 6:18

Nehemiah 9:14

Job 25:3

Psalms 2:2, 6, 7, 27:1, 32:2, 33:6, 36:10, 84:12, 85:11, 139:2

Proverbs 8:22

Isaiah 40:3, 45:4, 5, 53:7, 11

Zephaniah 3:15

Zechariah 9

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“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...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

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...

witness
In court, a witness is someone who saw a crime being committed, or observed something that could help determine the guilt or innocence of the...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

believe
The meaning of "believe" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but runs deeper than what appears on the surface. When in the Old Testament people...

knew
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Power
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

Sons
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Sons of God
People who turn directly to the Lord are His sons, because they are born anew from Him, that is, are regenerated, which is why He...

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...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

Glory
Glory, wisdom, and thanksgiving signify the Lord's divine spiritual principle. Honor, virtue and might signify his divine celestial principle, as in Revelation 7:12.

Only begotten of the father
'The only begotten of the father,' as in John 1:14, signifies the existence or proceeding from the divine essence (Latin: esse) in Himself.

father
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...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

grace
The Lord’s essence and substance is love: pure, perfect and infinite. That love is formed through His pure, perfect, infinite wisdom and flows to us...

truth
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

john
Jesus as a man in the Bible represents Divine Truth, the pure and perfect expression of the Lord's infinite love. That truth is contained within...

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...

fulness
When the Bible talks about a "multitude," it is generally talking about truth – concepts and ideas. When it talks about a "great" amount or...

the law
Jews at the time of Jesus had a number of ways to break down and describe the books of the Old Testament. Among the more...

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

jesus christ
It is relatively well known that "Jesus" means "Savior" and "Christ" means "the anointed," but there are spiritual meanings that extend well beyond these natural...

christ
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

bosom
"Bosom" in general terms means the chest, but more as the seat of the emotions than simply as part of the body. You'd think of...

declared
To "declare" something means to say it formally, publicly and with emphasis; you might say what you think, but you only declare things you're sure...

jews
It would be simple to think that when the Bible mentions "Jews" it is simply talking about the descendants of the tribe of Judah, the...

Priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

ask
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

Elias
Elijah (referred to as Elias in the New Testament) was the renowned prophet sent to the split kingdoms of Israel and Judah. His first appearance...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

sayest
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

voice of one crying
'A voice crying,' and 'the voice of a cry,' are common expressions in the Word, and are applied whenever there is a noise or disturbance,...

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

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

crying
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

Wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

Make
'To make,' as in Hosea 8:11, refers to good. In the opposite sense it refers to evil. To make heaven, and earth, and the sea,...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

Pharisees
The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish church at the time of the New Testament. The name comes from a root that means "separate",...

water
Water was obviously of tremendous importance in Biblical times (and every other time). It is the basis of life, the essential ingredient in all drinks,...

Coming
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

Shoe
In the Word, 'the sole of the foot' and 'the heel' signifies the ultimate natural. 'The shoe' is what clothes the sole of the foot...

Latchet
'A shoe latchet' signifies evil.

Worthy
People in truths from the Lord, because they are in conjunction with Him, are called 'worthy,' as in Revelation 3:4. All worth in the spiritual...

Jordan
The land of Jordan,' as in Psalm 42:6, signifies what is lowly, consequently, what is distant from the celestial, as the external parts of a...

Lamb
'A lamb' signifies the good of the innocence of infancy. 'A lamb' signifies the Lord regarding His divine humanity. The lamb,' as in Revelation 8:11,...

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...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

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

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...

spirit
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

heaven
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...

dove
'A turtle dove' and 'young pigeon,' as in Genesis 15:9, represents exterior and interior spiritual things.

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

remaining
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

holy
The Bible describes many things as being holy, or sacred. The Ark of the Covenant is one very holy object. The inmost chamber of the...

Son of God
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

disciples
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...

walked
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

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...

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

following
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

tenth
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...

hour
The Writings tell us that time and space are aspects of the physical world, but do not exist as we know them in the spiritual...

Simon
'Simon, son of Jonah,' as in John 21:15, signifies faith from charity. 'Simon' signifies worship and obedience, and 'Jonah,' a dove, which also signifies charity.

Peter
Key of David,' as in Revelation 3:7, signifies the Lord's omnipotence over heaven and hell. 'The keys of Peter,' in Matthew 18:18, signify the same...

brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

first
Why would it be insulting for a man to refer to his married partner as his “first wife”? Because it implies there will be a...

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...

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

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...

Go forth
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...

Galilee
Cana of Galilee signifies the church among the Gentiles.

Bethsaida
Bethsaida (Mark 8:22) signifies condemnation from non-reception of the Lord.

City
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

prophets
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

Write
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...

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

Guile
Guile signifies to deceive and seduce for a deliberate purpose.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

Fig tree
A fig tree signifies natural good. A fig tree, as in Judges 9:13, signifies the external good of the celestial church.

fig
The Writings tell us that the fig tree represents the "natural human," which is our outward life in the world, and the thoughts and feelings...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

king
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

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

angels
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

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.


 Baptism and Discipleship
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus' ministry. What, like John, prepares us to accept Jesus and become His disciples?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Behold His Glory
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Books of the Word Flashcards with Introduction
An article about the Word and flashcards to help you learn books of the Old and New Testaments.
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 Christmas Light
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Does God Exist?
Evidence for God's existence is abundant, but God leaves people in freedom confirm or deny that His life is the source of everything in creation.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 In the Beginning Was the Word
Quotation from John 1 showing with a simple illustration showing the idea that the Lord is the Word made flesh.
Picture | Ages 4 - 14

 Introducing John's Gospel
A brief overview of the four gospels of the New Testament and an introduction to the Gospel of John.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Memory Verse: Jacob's Ladder
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Power of the Lord's Word
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Word of God
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Names of the Lord
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Prophecies of the Advent
Prophecies of Jesus' advent on earth often use the image of new light dawning in darkness to describe the spiritual impact His birth would have on the world.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Giving Thanks for Creation
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Word of God
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Return to Love
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Incarnation and Being Human
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Light of Men
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Light Shineth in Darkness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Lord as the Word
The Word is the Lord, talking to you, teaching you, helping you to understand what is good and right.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Gave the Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Power Of Showing Up
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Wonder of the Lord's Word
When we read the Word, we have to reflect on what we have read and try to live according to it. Only this will lead to our happiness, which is why the Word has been given.
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Word
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Word
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Word Made Flesh
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Word Made Flesh
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Word Made Flesh
Like Genesis, the Gospel of John begins with creation. While Genesis describes the creation of natural light, John describes a second creation into spiritual light.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Word Made Flesh (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Word Made Flesh (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Word Made Flesh (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Word Project
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 To Learn About the Lord, Look in the Word
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 True Light Giving Light to All
Two project ideas for picturing the Lord as the source of Light for every person.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Why Is the Word Holy?
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Why the Lord Was Born on Our Earth
Five reasons why the Lord came on earth and what it means for us. Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 4, for ages 9-10.
Religion Lesson | Ages 9 - 10

 You Are My Beloved Son (sheet music)
Song | Ages over 11


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