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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

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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 #3448

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3448. 'And Ahuzzath his companion, and Phicol the commander of his army' means the first and foremost features of their doctrine of faith. This is clear from the representation of 'Abimelech' as the doctrine of faith which has regard to rational concepts. Consequently 'his companion and the commander of his army' means those first and foremost things, indeed the first and foremost things of their doctrine; for 'a commander' like a prince means things that are first and foremost, 1482, 2089, and 'an army' means matters of doctrine themselves. The reason why 'an army' means matters of doctrine which are expressions of truth, that is, which are lower truths, is that by 'warfare' in the Word and by 'war' are meant those things that have to do with spiritual war and warfare, 1664, 1788, 2686. The same are also meant by weapons - by spears, shields, bows, arrows, swords, and so on, as has been shown in various places. And since they are truths or matters of doctrine through which spiritual conflicts are fought, armies therefore mean those truths or matters of doctrine, and also in the contrary sense falsities or heretical ideas.

[2] It may be seen from many places that by 'armies' or 'hosts' in the Word are meant truths or falsities, as in Daniel,

The one [little] horn of the he-goat 1 grew exceedingly towards the south, and towards the east, and towards the glorious [land]. And it grew even towards the host of heaven, and cast down to earth some of the host, and of the stars, and trampled on them. It drew itself up even towards the pence of the host. His host was set over the continual [burnt offering] on account of the transgression, and it cast down truth to the earth. I heard a holy one speaking. He said, For how long is this vision, the continual burnt offering, and the desolating transgression, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden down? Daniel 8:9-13.

'The horn that grew towards the south, the east, and the glorious [land]' is the power of falsity that springs from evil, 2832, 'the host of heaven' truths, 'the prince of the host' the Lord as regards Divine Truth. And since in the good sense 'an army' or 'a host' is truth it is said that the horn cast down to earth some of the host, and then that it cast down truth to the earth.

[3] In the same prophet,

The king of the north will raise a multitude greater than the former, and at the end of the period of years he wit surely come with a great army and with many riches. Then he will stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south will engage in war with an exceedingly great and mighty army, but he will not stand. For even those who eat his food will break him, and his army will overflow, and many will fall down slain. Daniel 11:13, 25-26.

The whole of that chapter refers to war between the king of the north and the king of the south. 'The king of the north' is used to mean falsities as also is 'his army', while 'the king of the south and his army' is used to mean truths. It is prophecy concerning the vastation of the Church.

[4] In John,

I saw heaven standing open, and behold, a white horse! and He who sat on it was called faithful and true. He was clothed in a garment dyed in blood, and His armies in heaven were following Him on white horses and were clothed in linen, white and clean. I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to make war with Him who was sitting on the horse and with His army. Revelation 19:11, 13-14, 19.

'He who sat on the white horse' stands for the Word of the Lord, or the Lord as regards the Word, 2760-2762. 'His armies which in heaven were following Him' stands for truths from the Word and so for those in heaven who possess truths. 'The beast' stands for the evils that belong to self-love, 'the kings of the earth and their armies' for falsities. Conflicts between falsity and truth are what are described here.

[5] In David,

By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and their host by the spirit of His mouth. Psalms 33:6.

'Their host' or the host of heaven stands for truths. Since 'an army' means truths, the children of the kingdom, and angels, by virtue of the truths which they possess, are called the host of heaven, as in Luke,

Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. Luke 2:13.

In David,

Bless Jehovah, all His hosts, His ministers doing His will. Psalms 103:21.

In the same author,

Praise Jehovah, all His angels, praise Him, all His hosts. Psalms 148:2.

In Isaiah,

Lift up your eyes on high and see; who created these? He who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name. From the multitude of the powerful and of the mighty not a man will be missing. Isaiah 40:26.

In the same prophet,

It was I that made the earth and created man on it. It was I - My hands - that stretched out the heavens; and I commanded all their host. Isaiah 45:12.

Here 'the host of the heavens' stands for truths, and so for angels since angels, as has been stated, are in possession of truths.

[6] In the first Book of Kings,

I saw Jehovah sitting on His throne, and the entire host of heaven standing beside Him, on His right hand and on His left. 1 Kings 22:19

In Joel,

Jehovah gave voice before His army, for His camp is exceedingly great; for that which executes His word is uncountable. Joel 2:11.

In Zechariah,

I will pitch by My house a camp composed of an army passing through and resuming, so that the oppressor passes over them no more. Exult greatly, O daughter of Zion! Make a noise, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you. Zechariah 9:8-9.

This refers to the Coming of the Lord. 'His army' stands for Divine truths For this reason, and also because the Lord alone fights on man's behalf against hells that are constantly endeavouring to attack, the Lord is called many times in the Word Jehovah Zebaoth, God Zebaoth, the Lord Zebaoth - that is, Jehovah, God, or Lord of Hosts - as in Isaiah,

The noise of a tumult of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! Jehovah Zebaoth is leading an army of war. Isaiah 13:4.

'The kingdoms of the nations' stands for falsities that spring from evils, 'leading an army of war' for fighting on man's behalf.

[7] Because the twelve tribes of Israel represented the Lord's heavenly kingdom, and 'tribes' as well as 'twelve' meant all things of faith in their entirety, that is, all the truths of the kingdom, 577, 2089, 2129, 2130, 3272, they were also called Jehovah's hosts, as in Exodus 7:4; 12:17, 41, 51. And commands were given to bring them out of Egypt according to their hosts, Exodus 6:26, to encamp according to their hosts, Numbers 1:52, and to divide them into hosts, Numbers 2:1- end.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2129-2130; Numbers 2)

[8] That truths are meant by 'armies' is also clear in Ezekiel,

Persia and Lud and Put were in your army, as your men of war; they hung the shield and helmet in you, they gave you your reputation. The sons of Arvad, and your army, were on your walls round about, and the Gammadim were in your towers. Ezekiel 27:10-11.

This refers to Tyre which means interior cognitions of good and truth, and so those who possess them, 1201, 'army' standing for truths themselves 'Lud' and 'Put' too mean those who possess cognitions, see 1163, 1164, 1166, 1195, 1231. 'The shield and helmet' describes such things as belong to spiritual conflict.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1163-1164)

[9] As regards 'an army' or 'a host' in the contrary sense meaning falsities, this is evident in Isaiah,

It will be on that day, that Jehovah will visit the host of the height on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth. Isaiah 24:21.

Here 'the host of the height' stands for falsities that result from self-love. In Ezekiel,

I will bring you back and put hooks in your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed perfectly, a great company with shield and buckler, all of them wielding swords. You will come from your place, from the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding horses, a great company, a great army. Ezekiel 38:4, 15.

This refers to Gog, who means external worship separated from internal and so made idolatrous, 1151. 'His army' stands for falsities.

[10] In Jeremiah,

I will send against Babel the archer, him who arches his bow and draws himself up in his breastplate. Do not spare the young men; utterly destroy all its host. Jeremiah 51:2-3.

'Babel' stands for worship whose external features appear holy but whose interiors are profane, 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326. 'Its host' means the falsities that go with such as these, and the army of Babel in other places has the same meaning as in Jeremiah 34:1, 21; 32:2; 39:1. In Ezekiel,

Pharaoh will see them and will comfort himself over all his multitude, Pharaoh and all his army, slain by the sword; for I will put My terror in the land of the living. Ezekiel 32:31-32.

This refers to Egypt, which means those who by means of reasonings based on facts pervert truths, 1164, 1165. 'His army', that is, Pharaoh's, stands for derivative falsities, as also does 'Pharaoh's army' in other places, as in Jeremiah 37:5, 7, 11; 46:2; Ezekiel 17:17. In Luke,

When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its devastation is near. Luke 21:20.

This refers to the close of the age or final period of the Church when faith does not exist any longer. 'Jerusalem' - which means the Church, see 2117 - is 'surrounded by armies' when beset by falsities.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1164-1165, 1321-1322)

[11] From these quotations it is clear that 'the hosts of heaven', which Jews and Israelite idolaters worshipped, in the internal sense meant falsities. The second Book of Kings says of them,

They forsook all the commandments of their God and made for themselves a molten image of two calves, and made a grove, and bowed down to all the host of heaven. 2 Kings 17:16.

This refers to the Israelites. And elsewhere it is said of Manasseh that he built altars for all the host of heaven, 2 Kings 21:5, and that King Josiah brought out of the temple all the vessels made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven, 2 Kings 23:4. And in Jeremiah it is said that they were to spread the bones of the princes, of the priests, and of the prophets before the sun, the moon, and all the host of heaven, which they had loved and had served and had gone after, Jeremiah 8:1-2. And elsewhere,

The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the king of Judah will be defiled, like the place of Topheth - all the houses on whose roofs they have burned incense to all the host of heaven and have poured out drink offerings to other gods. Jeremiah 19:13.

And in Zephaniah,

I will stretch out My hand against those worshipping on their roofs the host of heaven. Zephaniah 1:5.

It is the stars to which the expression 'the host of heaven' refers primarily, and by 'the stars' is meant truths, and also in the contrary sense falsities; see 1128, 1808.


1. literally, The one horn of the he-goat of the she-goats i.e. the little horn that grew up out of one of four horns


(References: Genesis 26:26; Zephaniah 1:4-5)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3858, 4236, 5354, 5922, 6272, 6535, 7236, 7898, 7988, 8138, 8275, 9987, 10225

The White Horse 1

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 72, 155, 391

Other New Christian Commentary

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