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Over het Nieuwe Jeruzalem en haar Hemelse Leer #248

Over het Nieuwe Jeruzalem en haar Hemelse Leer (Janssens vertaling)      

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 69, 92, 119, 120, 122, 146, 329, 357, 401, 411, 412, 430, 504, 519, 539, 587, 655, 701, 724

Spiritual Experiences 6088


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Apocalypse Explained #122

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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122. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, signifies that those who are in falsities from evil will set about to deprive them of all truth from the Word. This is evident from the signification of "casting into prison," as being, in reference to those who are in the spiritual affection of truth, to endeavor and to set about to deprive them of truths from the Word (of which presently); and from the signification of the "devil," as being the hells which are in evil and in falsities therefrom (of which above, n. 120. "To cast into prison," in reference to those who are in the spiritual affection of truth, is to endeavor and to set about to deprive them of truths from the Word, for the reason that truths are, as it were, in prison or in confinement when falsities break in; and so long as falsities are under view, truths cannot appear, still less can they be set at liberty. Those that are in the spiritual affection of truth, who are those that love truths because they are truths, are held in such confinement whenever they do not understand the Word and yet wish to understand it; the falsities that imprison rise up from hell into the natural man when the delights of the love of self and the world have rule therein, for these delights are the origins of all evils and of the falsities therefrom (see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 65-83).

(Referenties: Luke 6:22-23; Matthew 21:33-41; Revelation 2:10; The Apocalypse Explained 120)


[2] This is meant, in the spiritual sense, by "being cast by the devil into prison;" for as the devil is hell, and out of hell every evil arises, and as the influx from hell is into the natural man, and not into the spiritual, so the devil affects all who are in the delights of these loves, and subjects them to himself and makes them his crew; for all who are in the hells are in evils and the falsities thence from the loves of self and of the world (see in the work on Heaven and Hell 551-565; but that the delights of those loves are changed into correspondences, the character of which may be seen there, n. 485-490).

This casting into prison by the devil is described in the Word, where it is said that the Jews and the evil will persecute the Lord's disciples, and will evil entreat and kill them; for by the "disciples of the Lord" are meant all who are in truths from good, thus who are in truths from the Lord; and as these are meant by the Lord's disciples, so in a sense abstracted from persons, which is the spiritual sense itself of the Word, truths and goods themselves, which are from the Lord through His Word, are meant. (That by the Lord's twelve disciples all things of faith and love in the complex, thus all the truths and goods of the church, are meant, see Arcana Coelestia 2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397; that the Word in heaven is understood in a sense abstracted from persons, see above, n. 99, 100.)

(Referenties: The Apocalypse Explained 99-100)


[3] When one knows that by the "disciples of the Lord" all those who are in truths from good from the Lord are meant, and in an abstract sense truths themselves from good; and that by their being "cast into prison by the devil" is meant the endeavor of those who are in falsities from evil to deprive them of truths, and in a sense abstracted from persons, the detention or imprisonment of truths by falsities, as described above, he can understand what is signified in each of these senses in the following passages:

They shall lay hands on you and shall persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, for My name's sake (Luke 21:12).

That "for the sake of the Lord's name" signifies for the sake of the goods of love and the truths of faith, from Him, see above n. 102.

Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you, and ye shall be held in hatred for My name's sake (Matthew 24:9, 11).

They will deliver you up to councils and to synagogues, and they will scourge you for My sake (Matthew 10:17, 18; Mark 13:9).

Behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city (Matthew 23:34).

A man that was a householder planted a vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen. When the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, to receive the fruits of it. But the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants, and they did unto them likewise. At length he sent unto them his son. But the husbandmen, when they saw the son, said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and possess his inheritance. And they took him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him (Matthew 21:33-44).

The wisdom of God said, I will send unto them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall kill and persecute (Luke 11:49).

(That by "prophets" in the Word are meant those who teach truths, and in a sense abstracted from persons the doctrine of truth, see Arcana Coelestia 2534, 7269; and that "apostles" have a similar signification, see above, n. 100

Blessed are ye, when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word against you falsely, for My sake; rejoice and exult, for great is your reward in the heavens; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).

Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake; for in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets (Luke 6:22, 23).

(Referenties: Luke 6:22-23; Matthew 5:11-12, Matthew 10:17-18; The Apocalypse Explained 100, 102)


[4] Similar to this is the signification of the words of the Lord, that they should follow Him and take up their cross; as in the following passages:

Jesus said unto His disciples, If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34);

"to deny oneself" is to put away evils that are from proprium [the self-life].

Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:27).

Jesus said to the young man who was rich, One thing thou lackest; go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and come, follow Me, bearing the cross (Mark 10:21).

By this is meant, in the spiritual sense, that he should put away the falsities that were of the Jewish doctrine, and accept the doctrine of truth from the Lord, and should undergo assaults and temptations from falsities. Those, therefore, are deceived who believe that those who wish to follow the Lord are to sell their goods and suffer the cross. Since the Lord was Divine truth itself, which in John 1:1-3, 14, is called the "Word," the Lord's suffering Himself to be scourged and crucified signifies that Divine truth which is in the Word was so treated by the Jews. (That all things related of the Lord's passion in the Evangelists involve and signify that the Jews so treated Divine truth, see above, n. 83 Wherefore the Lord says:

Remember My word, if they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you (John 15:20).

(Referenties: The Apocalypse Explained 83)


[5] That the Jews in particular are meant by the "devil" who was to cast the disciples of the Lord into prisons, and that, in general, all that call themselves "Jews, and are not, but are a synagogue of satan," are meant (according to the passages cited above, n. 119, 120), is clear from the Lord's words in John:

Ye do not understand My speech because ye cannot hear My word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh from his own, for he is a liar and the father thereof (John 8:43, 44).

That "their father was a murderer from the beginning," "and the truth was not in him, but a lie," signifies that from the beginning they had been against truths and in falsities from evil. For a "murderer" is a destroyer of the truth of the church, and "father" means predecessors. (Of the quality of the Jewish nation formerly and at present, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem 248; that the "bound in prison" signify those who are in falsities from evil, see the Arcana Coelestia 4958, 5096; "to be overcome 1 in prison" signifies to be detained and separated from truths, n. 5037, 5038, 5083, 5086, 5096; and also to be tempted, n. 5037, 5038.)

(Referenties: Arcana Coelestia 5037-5038; John 8:43-44; The Apocalypse Explained 119-120)


[6] The Jews were such as are here described because they were in the love of self and the world more than other nations; and persons of that character, when they read the Word, apply all things of the Word to their own loves; and especially the Jews, because they are so frequently mentioned. It is similar with others who are in these loves, for the love that is dominant turns the mind of him who reads to those things only that favor the love; for love is like a fire, which lights up the things that favor it, while the rest are either passed by as if not seen, or drawn over to one's side by perverse explanation and thus falsified. Both infest those who are in the spiritual affection of truth, and both are meant by the "devil" who "casts into prison" those who are of the Lord's church; from them, indeed, all falsities from the spiritual world flow into those that long for truths, and hold them as if bound in confinement. The same are meant by those of whom the Lord says:

I was in prison and ye visited Me not (Matthew 25:43).

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Footnotes:

1. Some of the Latin editors read vinciri for vinci, "bound" for "overcome."

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(Referenties: Matthew 5:11-12, Matthew 21:33-41; Revelation 2:10)

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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 111, 137, 151, 333, 655, 695


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


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