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Sacred Scripture #7

Sacred Scripture (Dole translation)

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7. Then too, we cannot know what the difference between these qualities is unless we know about correspondence, since these three qualities are absolutely distinguishable from each other, like a goal, the means to it, and its result; or like the first, the intermediate, and the last. However, they coalesce by means of their correspondence, since what is earthly corresponds to what is spiritual and also to what is heavenly. Arcana Coelestia 1884, [1885,] , 1 Kings 14:23, [24,] 25-26;

You may see what correspondence is, though, in Heaven and Hell, under the headings “The Correspondence of Everything in Heaven with Everything in the Human Being” (§§Heaven and Hell 87-102) and “The Correspondence of Heaven with Everything Earthly” (§§103-115). There will be more to see in the examples from the Word cited below [§§9-17, 29, 35, 40[2]-49,79].

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Apocalypse Revealed 1, 246, 820

Conjugial Love 515

Divine Love and Wisdom 377

Divine Providence 172, 256, 264

Doctrine of Life 87

Faith 65

Other New Christian Commentary

Correspondence between Spiritual and Natural Levels 1


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.

The Bible

1 Kings 14:25

English: King James Version

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← 1 Kings 14:24    Full Chapter    1 Kings 14:26 →

25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:

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Apocalypse Revealed 503


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 654

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


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1 Kings 11:40

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From Swedenborg's Works

Divine Providence #264

Divine Providence (Dole translation)

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264. 2. Doubts about divine providence may be raised by the fact that until now people have not known that there is spiritual meaning in the details of the Word and that this is the basis of its holiness. It may raise doubts about divine providence when people ask, "Why is this only being revealed now? And why is it happening through this particular individual, and not through some prominent clergyman?" Whether it is some prominent clergyman or some prominent clergyman's servant, though, is up to the Lord. He knows the nature of each.

There are two reasons, though, that this meaning of the Word has not been revealed earlier. The first is that if it had been revealed earlier, the church would have profaned it, and in so doing would have profaned the very holiness of the Word; and the second is that the genuine truths that constitute the Word's spiritual meaning could not be revealed until the Last Judgment had been completed and the new church meant by the Holy Jerusalem was being founded by the Lord. But let us look at these separately.

[2] (a) The Word's spiritual meaning was not revealed earlier because if it had been, the church would have profaned it, and in so doing would have profaned the very holiness of the Word. Not long after the church was begun it turned into a Babylon, and later it turned into a Philistia. Babylon does actually recognize the Word, but it looks down on it. They say that the Holy Spirit gives just as much inspiration to the members of its supreme council as it did to the prophets. They recognize the Word because the papacy was founded on the Lord's words to Peter, but they still look down on it because it does not agree with them. That is why they have taken it away from the people and hidden it in monasteries, where there are few who actually read it. So if the spiritual meaning had been revealed, where the Lord and all angelic wisdom are present, they would have profaned the Word not only as it is in its outermost form, in what we find in the literal meaning, but in its deepest meanings as well.

[3] Philistia too (meaning faith separated from charity) would have profaned the Word's spiritual meaning, because as already noted [258] it puts salvation in some words that we are to think about and say and not in good deeds that we are to do. So it attributes the power to save to something that has no such power. Particularly, it creates a gap between our intelligence and what we are to believe. For people like this, what becomes of the light that the spiritual meaning of the Word is in? Does it not turn into darkness? And when the outer meaning is turned into darkness, what else can happen to the spiritual meaning? Does anyone who has decided on faith separated from charity and on justification by that kind of faith want to know what a good life really is, what love for the Lord and our neighbor are, what caring and its good effects are, what good actions are, what "doing" is--actually what faith is in its essence, or any of the real truth that constitutes it? Such people write volumes, and all they do is prove what they call faith, claiming that all the things I have just listed are inherent in that faith.

We can see from this that if spiritual meaning had been disclosed earlier, it would have turned out as described by the Lord's words in Matthew, "If your eye had been evil, your whole body would have been full of darkness. So if the light that is in you is darkness, what a darkness!" (Matthew 6:23). In the Word's spiritual meaning, "the eye" means our discernment.

[4] (b) The genuine truths that constitute the Word's spiritual meaning could not be revealed by the Lord until the Last Judgment had been completed and the new church meant by the Holy Jerusalem was being founded by the Lord. The Lord foretold in the Book of Revelation that after the Last Judgment had been completed genuine truths would be disclosed, a new church would be begun, and spiritual meaning would be disclosed. On the completion of the Last Judgment, see what is presented in the booklet Last Judgment and in its supplement. This is the meaning of the heaven and earth that will pass away (Revelation 21:1). The disclosure of genuine truths is foretold by these words in the Book of Revelation, "The one sitting on the throne said, 'Look! I am making all things new!'" (Revelation 21:5). See also Revelation 19:17-18; Revelation 21:18-21; and Revelation 22:1-2. On the need for a revelation of the Word's spiritual meaning, see Revelation 19:11-16. This is the meaning of the white horse on which was seated the one called "The Word of God," the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. On this, see the booklet on The White Horse. On the holy Jerusalem meaning a new church that the Lord would begin, see Teachings for the New Jerusalem on the Lord 62-65, where this is explained.

[5] We can see, then, that the Word's spiritual meaning was to be revealed for a new church that would recognize and worship the Lord alone and would keep his Word holy, loving divine truths and rejecting any faith that is separated from charity. There is more about this meaning of the Word, though, in Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture 5-26 and following. There the nature of the spiritual meaning is discussed in 5-26. Its presence throughout the Word and in every detail is discussed in 9-17; the spiritual meaning as the reason that the Word is divinely inspired and holy in every word, in 18-19; why the spiritual meaning has as yet been unknown and was not revealed earlier, in 20-25; and the granting of the spiritual meaning, from now on, only to people who have genuine truths from the Lord, in 26.

(References: Teachings about the Sacred Scripture 9-17, 18-19, 20-25, 26)


[6] We can therefore tell that it is under the Lord's divine providence that the spiritual meaning has been hidden from the world until this present age, and has been kept safe in the meanwhile among angels, who draw their wisdom from it. This meaning was known and cherished by the people of very ancient times, the ones who lived before Moses; but since their descendants took the correspondential relationships that were the sole basis of their Word and therefore of their religion and diverted them to various forms of idolatry (and to magic in Egypt), that meaning was closed off under the Lord's divine providence, first among Israelites and later among Christians, for the reasons just given. Only now is it being opened for the Lord's new church.

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Apocalypse Revealed 602

True Christian Religion 479


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


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