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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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Arcana Coelestia #9093

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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


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Apocalypse Explained 38, 373, 946


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Arcana Coelestia #10287

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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10287. 'And he who puts any of it on a foreigner' means a joining together for those who do not acknowledge the Lord, and so who are subject to evils and to the falsities of evil. This is clear from the meaning of 'putting it on someone' - when the subject is Divine Truths, meant by the sweet-smelling ointment - as a joining together; and from the meaning of 'a foreigner' as those who do not belong to the Church, thus those who do not acknowledge the Lord, consequently who are subject to evils and falsities. Anyone who does not acknowledge the Lord does not belong to the Church; and anyone who rejects the Lord is subject to evils and falsities. For goodness and truth come from no other source than Him. The fact that such people are meant by 'foreigners' will be clear from the places in the Word which will follow below. But first something must be stated regarding the joining of Divine Truth among those who do not acknowledge the Lord. Such a joining together constitutes profanation, for profanation is a joining of Divine Truth to falsities arising from evil. The joining together that constitutes profanation is something which cannot happen with any at all except those who have first acknowledged the things which are the Church's, and especially the Lord, but subsequently reject them. For acknowledgement of the Church's truths and of the Lord leads to contact with the heavens, and consequently to an opening of a person's interiors towards heaven; and a subsequent rejection of them leads to a joining of the same truths to falsities arising from evil. For everything a person acknowledges remains implanted in him; nothing present with a person which has entered through acknowledgement is destroyed.

[2] The state of a person with whom profanation exists is one in which he is in contact with the heavens and at the same time with the hells, through truths with the heavens and through the falsities of evil with the hells. As a result of this, in the next life a tearing apart takes place with such people, which destroys the whole of their inner life. After the tearing apart they hardly look like human beings any longer; they look like bones that have been scorched and have little life in them. See what has been stated and shown previously regarding profanation in the following places,

Profaners are those who have first acknowledged God's truths but subsequently reject them, 1001, 1010, 1059, 2051, 3398, 4289, 4601, 6348, 6959, 6963, 6971, 8394.

People who have rejected them since early childhood, such as Jews and others, are not profaners, 593, 1001, 1010, 1059, 3398, 3489, 6963.

The Lord takes the greatest care to guard against the occurrence of profanation with a person, 301-303, 1327, 1328, 2426, 3398, 3402, 3489, 6595.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1327-1328, Arcana Coelestia 6960)


[3] But it should be realized that the genera of profanation are very many, and the species composing those genera are very many. For there are those who profane the Church's forms of good and those who profane its truths; there are those who profane greatly and those who profane slightly; there are those who profane on a more internal level and those who profane on increasingly external levels; there are those who profane through belief contrary to the Church's truths and forms of good, there are those who profane through the life they lead, and those who profane through their worship. Consequently there exist very many hells of profaners, which are distinct and separate from one another, in accord with their different kinds of profanation. The hells of those who profane good are behind one's back, whereas the hells of profanation of truth are underfoot and to the sides. They are deeper than the hells of all other evils and are rarely opened.

[4] Those who do not acknowledge the Lord and refuse to do so, whether they are outside the Church or inside it, thus those who are subject to evils and to the falsities of evil, are meant by 'foreigners'; and in the abstract sense, without reference to actual persons, evils and the falsities of evil are meant. This is clear from very many places in the Word. The reason for saying 'those who do not acknowledge the Lord, thus those who are subject to evils and the falsities of evil' is that people who do not acknowledge the Lord are inevitably subject to evils and the falsities of evil; for the Lord is the source of all good and of all the truth of good. Those therefore who reject the Lord are subject to evils and the falsities of evil, as accords with the Lord's words in John,

Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. John 8:24.

[5] The fact that such people are meant by 'foreigners' is clear from the following places: In Isaiah,

Your land will be a lonely place, your cities have been burned with fire; foreigners will devour your ground before you, and it will be a lonely place, as if overturned by foreigners 1 . Isaiah 1:7.

Here land should not be understood by 'land', nor cities and ground by 'cities' and 'ground'. Instead the Church should be understood by 'land' and likewise by 'ground', and by 'cities' the Church's truths, called its doctrinal teachings, which are said to have been 'burned with fire' when they have been destroyed by the evils of self-love and love of the world. From this it is evident what is meant by 'foreigners will devour your ground', namely evils and the falsities of evil destroying the Church, and by 'your land will be a lonely place' and 'your cities have been burned with fire'.

'Land' or earth means the Church, see in the places referred to in 9325, and 'ground' likewise, 566, 1068.

'Cities' are the Church's doctrinal teachings, thus its truths, 2268, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493.

'Fire' means the evil of self-love and love of the world, 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7575, 9141.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 4492-4493)


[6] In Jeremiah,

Shame covered our faces when foreigners came against the sanctuaries of Jehovah's house. Jeremiah 51:51.

'Foreigners coming against the sanctuaries of Jehovah's house' are evils and the falsities of evil that go against the Church's truths and forms of good. The word 'foreigners' was used to mean members of the gentile nations who were slaves in the Jewish Church, and the gentile nations of that land also mean evil and falsities, 9320. In the same prophet,

You say, There is no hope, no; but I will love foreigners, and after them I will go. Jeremiah 2:25.

'Loving foreigners and going after them' means loving evils and the falsities of evil, and worshipping them.

[7] In Ezekiel,

I will bring a sword upon you, and will give you into the hand of foreigners. Ezekiel 11:8-9.

'Bringing a sword upon' means falsities arising from evil set in conflict against truths springing from good. 'Giving into the hand of foreigners' means to the end that they may believe and serve those falsities. For the meaning of 'a sword' as truth engaged in conflict against falsities, and in the contrary sense falsity engaged in conflict against truths, see 2799, 6353, 7102, 8294.

[8] In the same prophet,

You will die the deaths of the uncircumcised in the hand of foreigners. Ezekiel 28:10.

'The uncircumcised' are those who, for all the religious teachings they know, lead lives steeped in foul loves and the desires that go with them, 2049, 3412, 3413, 4462, 7045, 7225, the death they die being spiritual death. 'In the hand of foreigners' means subject to evils themselves and the falsities of evil.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3412-3413)


[9] In the same prophet,

Jerusalem, an adulterous woman, takes foreigners instead of her husband. Ezekiel 16:32.

'Jerusalem, an adulterous woman' stands for the Church in which good has been adulterated; 'taking foreigners' stands for its acceptance, in life and doctrine, of evils and the falsities of evil. In Joel,

Jerusalem will be holy, and foreigners will not pass through her any longer. Joel 3:17.

Here also 'Jerusalem' stands for the Church, but one in which people acknowledge the Lord, lead good lives, and believe truths coming from the Lord. 'Foreigners will not pass through her any longer' means that evils and the falsities of evil coming from hell will not enter it.

[10] In David,

Foreigners have risen up against me, and violent ones have sought my soul. Psalms 54:3.

Here also 'foreigners' stands for evils and the falsities of evil, and 'violent ones' for these same evils and falsities acting violently against forms of good and truths. Those who see solely the literal sense of the Word take 'foreigners' to mean nothing more than those outside the Church who were rising up against David. But no ideas of actual persons enter the thinking of those in heaven, only the realities meant by them, 8343, 8985, 9007, so that they think not of people but things that are foreign or alien, that is, those which are alienated from the Church, thus evils and the falsities of evil which destroy the Church. And by 'David', against whom the foreigners were rising up, those in heaven understand the Lord, 1888, 9954.

[11] In Moses,

He forsook the God who made him, and despised the Rock of his salvation. They provoked Him to jealousy through foreign [gods]. Deuteronomy 32:15-16.

'Forsaking God' and 'despising the Rock of salvation' stand for rejecting the Lord, 'provoking through foreign [gods]' for doing so through evils and the falsities of evil, 'the Rock of salvation' being the Lord in respect of the truths of faith, see 8581. In addition to all this there are other places in which 'foreigners' stands for evils and falsities, such as Isaiah 25:2, 4-5; Jeremiah 30:8; Ezekiel 31:11-12.

(References: Isaiah 25:5)


[12] Since 'foreigners' meant those who are subject to evils and the falsities of evil, and consequently in the abstract sense meant evils and the falsities of evil, it was forbidden for a foreigner to eat that which was holy, Leviticus 22:10; no foreigner was permitted to come near and perform the priestly function or guard the sanctuary; and any who did come near was to be put to death, Numbers 1:51; 3:10, 38; 18:7;

[13] furthermore no incense was to be offered on foreign 2 fire, and because Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu did offer incense on it they were devoured by fire from heaven, Leviticus 10:1-2. For holy fire which was taken from the altar was a sign of love derived from God, whereas foreign fire was a sign of love coming from hell, and therefore also of evils and the desires that go with them, see 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7575, 9141.

[14] Mention is also made in the Word of those who are foreign-born, a different word being used in the original language from that rendered 'foreigners', and by them falsities themselves are meant, as in Lamentations,

O Jehovah, look upon our shame. Our inheritance has been turned over to foreigners, and our houses to the foreign-born. Lamentations 5:1-2.

In Obadiah,

Foreigners led his strength 3 captive, and the foreign-born entered his gates and cast 4 lots for Jerusalem. Obad. verse 11.

'Casting lots for Jerusalem' stands for destroying the Church and scattering its truths.

(References: Obadiah 1:11)


[15] In Zephaniah,

I will punish 5 the princes and the king's sons, and all clothed with the clothing of him who is foreign-born. Zephaniah 1:8.

Those 'clothed with the clothing of him who is foreign-born' stand for people subject to falsities; for 'the princes' and 'the king's sons' who are to undergo punishment mean leading truths and in the contrary sense leading falsities. For this meaning of 'princes', see 1482, 2089, 5044, and for that of 'kings' as truths themselves and in the contrary sense falsities themselves, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148, so that 'the king's sons' means things derived from those truths or falsities.

[16] In David,

Deliver me, and rescue me from the hands of the sons of him who is foreign-born, whose mouths speak vanity, and whose right hands are the right hands of falsehood. Psalms 144:7-8, 11.

'The sons of him who is foreign-born', it is plainly evident, means those subject to falsities, and so means falsities themselves, for it says, 'Whose mouths speak vanity, and whose right hands are right hands of falsehood', 'vanity' meaning false ideas composing doctrine, and 'falsehood' false ways of life, 9248.

(References: Exodus 30:5, 30:33)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 172


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 375


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


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