Divine Peace

DIVINE PEACE >> Dew >> Dawn >> Spring
>> Morning >> Mercy >> Justice >> Rest


Only those that have experienced the peace of heaven can have any perception of the peace in which the angels are. As man is unable, as long as he is in the body, to receive the peace of heaven, so he can have no perception of it, because his perception is confined to what is natural. To perceive it he must be able, in respect to thought, to be raised up and withdrawn from the body and kept in the spirit, and at the same time be with angels. In this way has the peace of heaven been perceived by me; and for this reason I am able to describe it, yet not in words as that peace is in itself, because human words are inadequate, but only as it is in comparison with that rest of mind that those enjoy who are content in God. [HH284]

There are two inmost things of heaven, namely, innocence and peace. These are said to be inmost things because they proceed directly from the Lord. From innocence comes every good of heaven, and from peace every delight of good. Every good has its delight; and both good and delight spring from love, for whatever is loved is called good, and is also perceived as delightful. From this it follows that these two inmost things, innocence and peace, go forth from the Lord’s Divine love and move the angels from what is inmost. That innocence is the inmost of good may be seen in the preceding chapter, where the state of innocence of the angels of heaven is described. That peace is the inmost of delight from the good of innocence shall now be explained. [HH285]

The origin of peace shall be first considered. Divine peace is in the Lord; it springs from the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human in Him. The Divine of peace in heaven is from the Lord, springing from His conjunction with the angels of heaven, and in particular from the conjunction of good and truth in each angel. These are the origins of peace. From this it can be seen that peace in the heavens is the Divine inmostly affecting with blessedness everything good therefrom, and from this is every joy of heaven; also that it is in its essence the Divine joy of the Lord’s Divine love, resulting from His conjunction with heaven and with everyone there. This joy, felt by the Lord in angels and by angels from the Lord, is peace. By derivation from this the angels have everything that is blessed, delightful, and happy, or that which is called heavenly joy.{1} [HH286]

Because these are the origins of peace the Lord is called “the Prince of peace,” and He declares that from Him is peace and in Him is peace; and the angels are called angels of peace, and heaven is called a habitation of peace, as in the following passages:

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Mighty, Father of eternity, Prince of peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end (Isa. 9:6, 7).

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you (John 14:27).

These things have I spoken unto you that in Me ye may have peace (John 16:33).

Jehovah lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace (Num. 6:26).

The angels of peace weep bitterly, the highways are wasted (Isa. 33:7, 8).

The work of righteousness shall be peace; and My people shall dwell in a habitation of peace (Isa. 32:17, 18).

[2] That it is Divine and heavenly peace that is meant in the Word by “peace” can be seen also from other passages where it is mentioned (As Isa. 52:7; 54:10; 59:8; Jer. 16:5; 25:37; 29:11; Hag. 2:9; Zech. 8:12; Psalm 37:37; and elsewhere.) Because “peace” means the Lord and heaven, and also heavenly joy and the delight of good, “Peace be with you” was an ancient form of salutation that is still in use; and it was ratified by the Lord in His saying to the disciples whom He sent forth:

Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house; and if a son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it (Luke 10:5, 6).

And when the Lord Himself appeared to the apostles, He said

Peace be with you (John 20:19, 21, 26).

[3] A state of peace is also meant in the Word where it is said that:

Jehovah smelled an odor of rest (as Exod. 29:18, 25, 41; Lev. 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9; 6:8, 14; 23:12, 13, 18; Num, 15:3, 7, 13; 28:6, 8, 13; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36).

“Odor of rest” in the heavenly sense signifies a perception of peace.{1} As peace signifies the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human in the Lord, also the conjunction of the Lord with heaven and with the church, and with all who are in heaven, and with all in the church who receive Him, so the Sabbath was instituted as a reminder of these things, its name meaning rest or peace, and was the most holy representative of the church. For the same reason the Lord called Himself “the Lord of the Sabbath” (Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:27, 28; Luke 6:5).{2} [HH287]

Because the peace of heaven is the Divine inmostly affecting with blessedness the veriest good in angels, it can be clearly perceived by them only in the delight of their hearts when they are in the good of their life, in the pleasure with which they hear truth that agrees with their good, and in gladness of mind when they perceive the conjunction of good and truth. From this it flows into all the acts and thoughts of their life, and there presents itself as joy, even in outward appearance. [2] But peace in the heavens differs in quality and quantity in agreement with the innocence of those who are there; since innocence and peace walk hand in hand; for every good of heaven, as said above, is from innocence, and every delight of that good is from peace. Evidently, then, the same that has been said in the foregoing chapter about the state of innocence in the heavens may be said here of the state of peace there, since innocence and peace are conjoined like good and its delight; for good is felt in its delight, and delight is known from its good. This being so, it is evident that angels of the inmost or third heaven are in the third or inmost degree of peace, because they are in the third or inmost degree of innocence; and that angels of the lower heavens are in a less degree of peace, because they are in a less degree of innocence (see above n. 280). [3] That innocence and peace go together like good and its delight can be seen in little children, who are in peace because they are in innocence, and because they are in peace are in their whole nature full of play. Yet the peace of little children is external peace; while internal peace, like internal innocence, is possible only in wisdom, and for this reason only in the conjunction of good and truth, since wisdom is from that conjunction. Heavenly or angelic peace is also possible in men who are in wisdom from the conjunction of good and truth, and who in consequence have a sense of content in God; nevertheless, while they live in the world this peace lies hidden in their interiors, but it is revealed when they leave the body and enter heaven, for their interiors are then opened. [HH288]

As the Divine peace springs from the conjunction of the Lord with heaven, and specially from the conjunction of good and truth in each angel, so when the angels are in a state of love they are in a state of peace; for then good and truth are conjoined in them. (That the states of angels undergo successive changes may be seen above, n 154-160.) The like is true also of a man who is being regenerated. As soon as good and truth come to be conjoined in him, which takes place especially after temptations, he comes into a state of delight from heavenly peace.{1} This peace may be likened to morning or dawn in spring time, when, the night being passed, with the rising of the sun all things of the earth begin to live anew, the fragrance of growing vegetation is spread abroad with the dew that descends from heaven, and the mild vernal temperature gives fertility to the ground and imparts pleasure to the minds of men, and this because morning or dawn in the time of spring corresponds to the state of peace of angels in heaven (see n. 155).{2} [ HH289]

I have talked with the angels about peace, saying that what is called peace in the world is when wars and hostilities cease between kingdoms, and when enmities or hostilities cease among men; also that internal peace is believed to consist in rest of mind when cares are removed, especially in tranquility and enjoyment from success in affairs. But the angels said that rest of mind and tranquility and enjoyment from the removal of cares and success in affairs seem to be constituents of peace, but are so only with those who are in heavenly good, for only in that good is peace possible. For peace flows in from the Lord into the inmost of such, and from their inmost descends and flows down into the lower faculties, producing a sense of rest in the mind, tranquility of disposition, and joy therefrom. But to those who are in evil peace is impossible.{1} There is an appearance of rest, tranquility, and delight when things succeed according to their wishes; but it is external peace and not at all internal, for inwardly they burn with enmity, hatred, revenge, cruelty, and many evil lusts, into which their disposition is carried whenever any one is seen to be unfavorable to them, and which burst forth when they are not restrained by fear. Consequently the delight of such dwells in insanity, while the delight of those who are in good dwells in wisdom. The difference is like that between hell and heaven. [HH290]

And he said into them, Hath he peace? That this signifies, Is not this good from the Lord’s kingdom? is evident from the signification of “peace,” concerning which in what follows. In the historical sense inquiry is made concerning Laban, as to whether he hath peace, but in the internal sense the inquiry is concerning the good which is represented by Laban. That Laban represents the collateral good of a common stock, that is, such good as exists among the Gentiles, who are in the general church, that is, in the Lord’s kingdom, may be seen just above (n. 3778). From this it is evident what is signified by the words, “Is not this good from the Lord’s kingdom?”

[2] In regard to peace, in the supreme sense it signifies the Lord Himself, and hence in the internal sense His kingdom, and it is the Lord’s Divine inmostly affecting the good in which are those who are therein. That these things are signified in the Word by “peace,” is evident from many passages; as in Isaiah:

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom (Isa. 9:6-7);where the “Prince of Peace” manifestly denotes the Lord; and “the increase of His government and peace” denotes the things which are in His kingdom, thus His kingdom itself. Again:

The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the labor of righteousness quietness and security for ever; and My people shall dwell in a habitation of peace (Isa. 32:17-18);in which passage the Lord’s kingdom is treated of, where peace, quietness, and security succeed each other; a “habitation of peace” denotes heaven.

[3] Again:
The angels of peace weep bitterly; the paths are laid waste, the way- faring man hath ceased (Isa. 33:7-8);

“angels of peace” denote those who are in the Lord’s kingdom, thus that kingdom itself, and in the supreme sense the Lord; the “paths being laid waste, and the wayfaring man ceasing,” signifies that there is no longer truth anywhere. (That “paths” and “ways” are truths, see above, n. 627, 2333). Again:

How delightful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that saith unto Zion, Thy God* reigneth (Isa. 52:7);

where “he that bringeth good tidings and publisheth peace” denotes the Lord’s kingdom. Again:

The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My mercy shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed (Isa. 54:10).


The way of peace have they not known; and there is no judgment in their tracks (Isa. 59:8).
In Jeremiah:
I will take away My peace from this people, saith Jehovah, even compassion and mercy (Jer. 16:5).
[4] Again:
The folds of peace are laid waste, because of the burning of the anger of Jehovah (Jer. 25:37).


The prophet who prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet** shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that Jehovah hath sent him (Jer. 28:9).


I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace (Jer. 29:11).

So in Haggai:

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former; for in this place will I give peace (Hag. 2:9).

And in Zechariah:

They shall be a seed of peace; the vine shall give her fruit, and the earth shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew (Zech. 8:12).

In David:

Keep integrity*** and behold the upright, because the end for that man is peace (Ps. 37:37).

In Luke:

Jesus saith to His disciples, Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if not, it shall turn to you again (Luke 10:5-6).

In John:

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you (John 14:27).


Jesus said, These things have I spoken unto you that in Me ye may have peace (John 16:33).

[5] In all these passages in the supreme sense “peace” signifies the Lord; and in the representative sense His kingdom, and good from the Lord therein, thus the Divine which flows into good, or into the affections of good, which also causes joy and happiness from the inmost. From this it is manifest what is meant by these words of the benediction:

Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee and give thee peace (Num. 6:26);
and what by the salutation used of old, “Peace be unto you;” and the same addressed by the Lord to the apostles (John 20:19, 21, 26). See also what is said concerning peace elsewhere (n. 92, 93, 1726, 2780, 3170, 3696).

The Latin has Rex, but elsewhere Deus-as n. 8331.
** Jehovae; but elsewhere prophetae, in accordance with the Hebrew-as Apocalypse Explained n. 624.
*** Elsewhere, Mark the perfect man-as n. 612. [Rotch ed.] [AC3780]

There was a deposit of dew round about the camp. That this signifies the truth of peace adjoining itself, is evident from the signification of “dew,” as being the truth of peace (n. 3579). “Dew” signifies the truth of peace because in the morning it comes down from heaven and appears upon the herbage like fine rain, and has also stored up in it something of sweetness or delight more than rain has, whereby the grass and the crops of the field are gladdened; and “morning” denotes a state of peace (n. 2780). What peace is see n. 2780, 3696, 4681, 5662, namely, that it is like dawn on the earth, which gladdens minds with universal delight; and the truth of peace is like the light of the dawn. This truth, which is called “the truth of peace,” is the very Divine truth in heaven from the Lord, which universally affects all who are there, and makes heaven to be heaven; for peace has in it confidence in the Lord, that He directs all things, and provides all things, and that He leads to a good end. When a man is in this faith, he is in peace, for he then fears nothing, and no solicitude about things to come disquiets him. A man comes into this state in proportion as he comes into love to the Lord.

[2] All evil, especially self-confidence, takes away a state of peace. It is believed that an evil person is at peace when he is in gladness and tranquility because all things succeed with him. But this is not peace; it is the delight and tranquillity of cupidities, which counterfeit a state of peace. But in the other life this delight, being opposite to the delight of peace, is turned into what is undelightful, for this lies hidden within it. In the other life the exteriors are successively unfolded even to the inmosts, and peace is the inmost in all delight, even in what is undelightful with the man who is in good. So far therefore as he puts off what is external, so far a state of peace is revealed, and so far he is affected with satisfaction, blessedness, and happiness, the origin of which is from the Lord Himself.

[3] Concerning the state of peace which prevails in heaven it can be said that it is such as cannot be described by any words, neither, so long as he is in the world, can it come into the thought and perception of man, by means of any idea derived from the world. It is then above all sense. Tranquility of mind, content, and gladness from success, are relatively nothing; for these affect only his externals; whereas peace affects the inmost things of all-the first substances, and the beginnings of substances in the man, and therefrom distributes and pours itself forth into the substantiates and derivatives, and affects them with pleasantness; and affects the origins of ideas, consequently the man’s ends of life, with satisfaction and happiness; and thus makes the mind of the man a heaven. [AC8455]

And he said, Peace be to you, fear not. That this signifies that it is well, let them not despair, is evident from the signification of “peace,” as being to be well (of which in what follows); and from the signification of “fear not,” as being let them not despair. For the internal sense treats of a change of state, in that they no longer procure truths and through them good by their own power; but are presented with them from the Lord. And because they supposed that they would thus lose their own, thus freedom, and consequently all the delight of life, they were in despair, as is plain from what has gone before. Hence it is that “fear not” here signifies let them not despair; for fear arises from various causes (see n. 5647), and therefore also signifies various things.

[2] That “peace” denotes it is well, is because it is the inmost, and hence the universally reigning thing, in each and all things in heaven; for peace in heaven is like spring on earth, or like the dawn, which does not affect us by sensible changes, but by a universal pleasantness that flows into everything that is perceived, and fills with this pleasantness not only the perception itself but also the several objects. At the present day scarcely anyone knows the meaning of “peace” where mentioned in the Word, as in the benediction, “Jehovah lift up His faces upon thee, and give thee peace” (Num. 6:26); and in other places. Almost everyone believes peace to be security from enemies, and also tranquillity at home and among companions. Such peace is not meant in this passage, but a peace which immeasurably transcends it – the heavenly peace just now spoken of. This peace can be bestowed on no one unless he is led by the Lord and is in the Lord, that is, in heaven where the Lord is all in all; for heavenly peace flows in when the cupidities arising from the love of self and the love of the world are taken away. These are what take peace away, for they infest man’s interiors, and at last cause him to make rest consist in unrest, and peace in annoyances, because his delight is in evils. So long as man is in these he cannot possibly know what peace is, nay, he so long believes that such peace is nothing; and if anyone says that it becomes perceptible when the delights from the love of self and the world are taken away, he laughs, because he makes peace consist in the delight of evil, which is the opposite of peace.

[3] Because such is the nature of peace, namely, the inmost of all happinesses and blessednesses, and hence the universal that reigns in them all, therefore the ancients used as a common form of speech the words, “Peace be unto you,” when they meant that it be well; and asked whether people “had peace” when they meant “Is it well?” See what has been said and shown above in regard to peace, namely: That peace in heaven is like spring and the dawn on earth (n. 1726, 2780): That peace in the supreme sense is the Lord, in the representative sense His kingdom, and that it is the Lord’s Divine affecting with good from the inmost (n. 3780, 4681): That all unrest is from evil and falsity, but peace from good and truth (n. 3170). [AC5662]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)