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Ezequiel 4:17



17 até que lhes falte o pão e a água, e se espantem uns com os outros, e se definhem na sua iniqüidade.

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Apocalypse Explained #71

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71. And His voice as the voice of many waters, signifies Divine truth in ultimates. This is evident from the signification of a "voice" when it is from the Lord, as being Divine truth (see Arcana Coelestia 219, 220, 3563, 6971, 8813, 8914, and above, n. 55; and from the signification of "waters," as being the truths of faith, and also the knowledges of truth (of which see n. 2702, 3058, 5668, 8568, 10238); and since the knowledges of truths are in ultimates, "the voice as the voice of many waters," because it is said of the Lord, signifies Divine truth in ultimates. (That knowledges and scientifics are of the external or natural man, because they are in the light of the world, thus in ultimates, see Arcana Coelestia 5212, and in general, New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 51.) As it is not yet known that "waters" in the Word signify the truths of faith and the knowledges of truth, I would like, since this signification may possibly appear remote, to show here briefly that this is what is meant in the Word by "waters." This, moreover, is necessary, because without a knowledge of what "waters" signify, it cannot be known what baptism signifies, nor the "washings" in the Israelitish church so frequently referred to. "Waters" signify the truths of faith, as "bread" signifies the good of love. "Waters" and "bread" have this signification because things that pertain to spiritual nourishment are expressed in the sense of the letter by such things as belong to natural nourishment; for bread and water, which include in general all food and drink, nourish the body, while the truths of faith and the good of love nourish the soul. This also is from correspondence, for when "bread" and "water" are read of in the Word, angels, because they are spiritual, understand the things by which they are nourished, which are the goods of love and the truths of faith.

(Referenser: Arcana Coelestia 219-220; Revelation 1:15)

[2] But I will cite some passages from which it may be known that "waters" signify the truths of faith, likewise the knowledges of truth. Thus in Isaiah:

The earth is full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

In the same:

Then with joy shall ye draw waters out of the fountains of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).

In the same:

He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure (Isaiah 33:15-16).

In the same:

The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongue faileth for thirst. I will open rivers upon the heights, and will place fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness into a pool of waters, and the dry land into a going forth of waters; that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand (Isaiah 41:17, 18, 20).

In the same:

I will pour waters upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring (Isaiah 44:3).

In the same:

Thy light shall arise in the darkness, and thy thick darkness be as the noonday; that thou mayest be like a watered garden, and like a going forth of waters, whose waters shall not prove false (Isaiah 58:10-11).

In Jeremiah:

My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves pits that hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).

In the same:

Their nobles sent their little ones for water; they came to the pits and found no waters; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded (Jeremiah 14:3).

In the same:

They have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 17:13).

In the same:

They shall come with weeping, 1 and with supplications will I lead them; I will lead them unto fountains of waters, in the way of right (Jeremiah 31:9).

In Ezekiel:

I will break the staff of bread, and they shall eat bread by weight and with carefulness; and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment; that they may want bread and water, and be desolated, a man and a brother, and pine away for their iniquities (Ezekiel 4:16-17; 12:18-19; Isaiah 51:14).

In Amos:

Behold the days come, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the Word of Jehovah. They shall wander from sea to sea, they shall run to and fro, to seek the Word of Jehovah, and shall not find it; in that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst (Amos 8:11-13).

In Zechariah:

In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8).

In David:

Jehovah is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He will lead me to the waters of rest (Psalms 23:1-2).

In Isaiah:

They shall not thirst, He will cause waters to flow out of the rock for them, and He will cleave the rock, that the waters may flow out (Isaiah 48:21).

In David:

O God, early will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth, I am weary without waters (Psalms 63:1).

In the same:

Jehovah sendeth His word, He maketh the wind to blow, that the waters may flow (Psalms 147:18).

In the same:

Praise Jehovah, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens (Psalms 148:4).

In John:

When Jesus came to the fountain of Jacob, a woman of Samaria came to draw water; Jesus said to her, Give Me to drink. If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest ask of Him, and He would give thee living water. The woman said unto Him, From whence hast Thou living water? Jesus said to her, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall not thirst for ever; and the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:7-15).

In the same:

Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38).

In Revelation:

I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Revelation 21:6).

And in another place:

The angel showed unto him a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1).

And again:

The spirit and the bride say, Come. He that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come. And he that wisheth, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).

(Referenser: Isaiah 41:17-18; John 4:6-14; Psalms 147:18-19)

[3] These passages have been cited that it may be known that in the Word "waters" signify the truths of faith, consequently what is meant by the water of baptism, about which the Lord thus teaches in John:

Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

"Waters" here are the truths of faith, and "spirit" a life according to them (see New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 202-209seq.). Because it had not been known that "waters" signified the truths of faith, and that all things that were instituted among the sons of Israel were representative of spiritual things, it was believed that by the washings that were prescribed for them their sins were wiped away; yet this was not at all the case; those washings only represented purification from evils and falsities by means of the truths of faith and a life according to them (see Arcana Coelestia 3147 Arcana Coelestia 3147[1-10], 5954, 10237, 10240). From this it is now clear that by "the voice," which was "as the voice of many waters," is meant Divine truth; as likewise in Ezekiel:

Behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and His voice was like the voice of many waters; and the earth was enlightened by His glory (Ezekiel 43:2).

And in David:

The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters, Jehovah upon many waters (Psalms 29:3).

And in the following words in Revelation:

I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters (Revelation 14:2).

[4] I know that some will wonder why "waters" are mentioned in the Word, and not the truths of faith, since the Word is to teach man about his spiritual life; and since, if the expression the truths of faith had been used, instead of "waters," man would have known that the waters of baptism and of washings contribute nothing to the purifying of man from evils and falsities. But it is to be known, that the Word in order to be Divine, and at the same time useful to heaven and the church, must be wholly natural in the letter, for if it were not natural in the letter there could be no conjunction of heaven with the church by means of it; for it would be like a house without a foundation, and like a soul without a body, for ultimates enclose all interiors, and are a foundation for them (see above, n. 41). Man also is in ultimates, and upon the church in him heaven has its foundations. For this reason the style of the Word is such as it is; and as a consequence, when man from the natural things that are in the sense of the letter of the Word thinks spiritually, he is conjoined with heaven, and in no other way could he be conjoined with it.


1. The Latin has "weeping and with weeping," the Hebrew "weeping and with supplication," as also found in Apocalypse Explained 239, 483; Arcana Coelestia 3325.

(Referenser: John 4:6-14; Psalms 147:18-19; Revelation 1:15)

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