From Swedenborg's Works


Spiritual Experiences #1783

Spiritual Experiences (Odhner translation)      

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1783. I was told they were the kind who in former times slaughtered whole armies, as we read in the historical portions of Scripture [see Judges 7:22, 1 Sam. 14:20, 2 Chron. 20:23], having induced insanities on them. For they rushed right into the chambers of their brain, then struck them with terror, so that the one would kill the other.

I was told that they had also been able to inspire terror, but at this day only a little. Nowadays the restraints on these spirits are very seldom relaxed. It occurs only in the case of someone who is of such a character that it must be permitted rather that they perish as to the body than as to the soul. For unless the person perished as to the body in this manner through insanity and suicide, he or she could not but perish to eternity.

(References: 1 Samuel 14:15, 14:16, 14:20)

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Arcana Coelestia 5717

Other New Christian Commentary

Thanks to the Academy of the New Church, and Bryn Athyn College, for the permission to use this translation.

The Bible


1 Samuel 14:16

English: King James Version         

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16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 5717

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Spiritual Experiences 1783

Word/Phrase Explanations

'A watchman,' as in Isaiah 21:11, in an internal sense, signifies someone who observes the states of the church and its changes, which applies to...

Saul was the first king of Israel, anointed by Samuel when the people insisted on having a king. Like all the kings, both good and...

Gibeah, as in 2 Samuel 6, signifies the natural or ultimate principle of the church. Gibeah, Ramah, and Bethaven, as in Hosea 5:8, denote those...

Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

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.

 Jonathan’s Bravery
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Saul and Jonathan
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

 Saul and Jonathan (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Saul and Jonathan (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14