Divine Truth

DIVINE TRUTH >> The Lord >> Son >> Son of God >> Son of Man
Divine Wisdom >> Judgment >> Breastplate >> The Word
Prince of Peace >> Wonderful >> Counselor >> Hero >> Light

It is the Divine truth that goes forth from the Lord that has all power in the heavens, for the Lord in heaven is Divine truth united to Divine good (see n. 126-140). To the extent that angels are receptions of this truth they are powers.

{1} Moreover each one is his own truth and his own good because each one is such as his understanding and will are. The understanding pertains to truth because everything of it is from truths, and the will pertains to good because everything of it is from goods; for whatever any one understands he calls truth, and whatever he wills he calls good. From this it is that everyone is his own truth and his own good.

{2} Therefore so far as an angel is truth from the Divine and good from the Divine he is a power, because to that extent the Lord is in him. And as no one’s good and truth are wholly like or the same as another’s, since in heaven, as in the world, there is endless variety (n. 20), so the power of one angel is not like the power of another. Those who constitute the arms in the Greatest Man, or heaven, have the greatest power because such are more in truths than others, and into their truths good flows from the entire heaven. Moreover, the power of the whole man passes into the arms, and by means of these the whole body exercises its powers. It is for this reason that in the Word “arms” and “hand” signify powers.{3} Sometimes on this account a naked arm is seen in heaven so powerful as to be able to break in pieces everything in its way, even though it were a great rock on the earth. Once it was moved towards me, and I perceived that it was able to crush my bones to atoms. [HH231]

Heavenly intelligence is interior intelligence, arising from a love for truth, not with any glory in the world nor any glory in heaven as an end, but with the truth itself as an end, by which they are inmostly affected and with which they are inmostly delighted. Those who are affected by and delighted with the truth itself are affected by and delighted with the light of heaven; and those who are affected by and delighted with the light of heaven are also affected by and delighted with Divine truth, and indeed with the Lord Himself; for the light of heaven is Divine truth, and Divine truth is the Lord in heaven (see above, n. 126-140). This light enters only into the interiors of the mind; for the interiors of the mind are formed for the reception of that light, and are affected by and delighted with that light as it enters; for whatever flows in and is received from heaven has in it what is delightful and pleasant. From this comes a genuine affection for truth, which is an affection for truth for truth’s sake. Those who are in this affection, or what is the same thing, in this love, are in heavenly intelligence, and “shine in heaven as with the brightness of the firmament.” They so shine because Divine truth, wherever it is in heaven, is what gives light (see above, n. 132); and the “firmament” of heaven signifies from correspondence the intellectual faculty, both with angels and men, that is in the light of heaven.

[2] But those that love the truth, either with glory in the world or glory in heaven as an end, cannot shine in heaven, since they are delighted with and affected by the light of the world, and not with the very light of heaven; and the light of the world without the light of heaven is in heaven mere thick darkness.{1} For the glory of self is what rules, because it is the end in view; and when that glory is the end man puts himself in the first place, and such truths as can be made serviceable to his glory he looks upon simply as means to the end and as instruments of service. For he that loves Divine truths for the sake of his own glory regards himself and not the Lord in Divine truths, thereby turning the sight pertaining to his understanding and faith away from heaven to the world, and away from the Lord to himself. Such, therefore, are in the light of the world and not in the light of heaven.

[3] In outward form or in the sight of men they appear just as intelligent and learned as those who are in the light of heaven, because they speak in a like manner; and sometimes to outward appearance they even appear wiser, because they are moved by love of self, and are skilled in counterfeiting heavenly affections; but in their inward form in which they appear before the angels they are wholly different. All this shows in some degree who those are that are meant by “the intelligent that will shine in heaven as with the brightness of the firmament.” Who are meant by those that “turn many to righteousness,” who will shine as the stars, shall now be told. [HH347]

Return to thy mistress. That this signifies that it was observed that it ought not to trust to itself, but to interior truth and the affection of it, is evident from the signification of her “mistress,” as being the affection of interior truth. But what is specially signified by “Sarai” (by Sarai as a “wife,” and by Sarai as a “mistress”) cannot be described, for it can be grasped by no idea; the things signified are, as before said, above the understanding, even that which is angelic. It is only suggested here how the Lord thought concerning the appearances that had engaged the attention of His first rational, namely, that they were not to be trusted, but Divine truths themselves, however incredible these might appear in the view of that rational. For such is the case with all truths Divine; if the rational be consulted respecting them, they cannot possibly be believed, for they surpass all its comprehension. For example: that no man, spirit, or angel, lives from himself, but the Lord only; and that the life of a man, spirit, or angel is an appearance of life in him; this is repugnant to the rational, which judges from fallacies, but still it is to be believed because it is the truth.

[2] It is a truth Divine that in every expression of the Word, which appears so simple and rude to man, there are things illimitable, nay, more than the universal heaven; and that the arcana which are therein may be presented before the angels by the Lord with perpetual variety to eternity. This is so incredible to the rational that it is unwilling to give it any credence at all; but still it is true.

[3] It is a truth Divine that no one is ever rewarded in the other life for good deeds, if he placed merit in them, or if he did them for the sake of gain, honor, and reputation; also that no one is ever punished for evil deeds if he acted from a truly good end; the ends being what are regarded, and from them the deeds. This too cannot be believed by the rational; but as it is true, the rational is not to be trusted, for it does not form its conclusions from internal things, but from external things.

[4] It is a truth Divine that he who aspires to the least joy in the other life, receives from the Lord the greatest, and that he who aspires to the greatest has the least, also that in heavenly joy there is never anything connected with being preeminent to others, and that in proportion as there is this, there is hell; also that in heavenly glory there is nothing whatever of worldly glory. These things also are repugnant to the rational, but still are to be believed, because they are true.

[5] It is also a truth Divine that the more anyone believes nothing of wisdom to be from himself, the wiser he is; and that the more he believes it to be from himself, and thus the more he attributes prudence to himself, the more insane he is. This also the rational denies, because it supposes that what is not from itself is nothing. There are innumerable such things. From these few examples it may be seen that the rational is not to be trusted; for the rational is in fallacies and appearances, and it therefore rejects truths that are stripped of fallacies and appearances; and it does this the more, the more it is in the love of self and its cupidities, and the more it is in reasonings, and also in false principles respecting faith. (See also the examples adduced above, n. 1911.) [AC1936]

And thou shalt make a breastplate of judgment. That this signifies that which has regard to Divine truth shining forth from Divine good, is evident from the signification of “the breastplate,” as being Divine truth shining forth from the Divine good of the Lord in ultimates (see n. 9823). It is called “a breastplate of judgment,” because it gave answers, and thereby revealed Divine truth. Moreover, by “judgment” in the Word is signified Divine truth, consequently doctrine and life according to doctrine. From this then it is that this breastplate is called “a breastplate of judgment,” and also “judgment,” in what follows in this chapter-“Aaron shall carry the judgment of the sons of Israel upon his heart before Jehovah continually” (verse 30). And when Joshua was chosen to be leader over the people, it is said, “he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of Urim before Jehovah” (Num. 27:21).

[2] That “judgment” denotes Divine truth and the intelligence thence derived, consequently that it denotes doctrine and life according to doctrine, is evident from many passages in the Word; as from the following:

The vineyard of Jehovah Zebaoth is the house of Israel. He looked for judgment but behold an abscess; for righteousness, but behold a cry (Isa. 5:7).

“To look for judgment” denotes intelligence from Divine truth, and a life according to the commandments. Again:

He sat upon a throne in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment (Isa. 16:5);
speaking of the coming of the Lord; “the throne upon which He was to sit” denotes the Divine truth proceeding from Him, and hence the spiritual kingdom (see n. 2129, 5313, 6397, 8625, 9039); “to judge judgment” denotes to teach Divine truth, and “to seek judgment” denotes its reception with man.

[3] Again:

In that day shall Jehovah be for a diadem of ornament to the remains of the people; and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth upon judgment (Isa. 28:5, 6)

“A diadem of ornament,” when said of Jehovah, that is, the Lord, denotes Divine intelligence (see above, n. 9828); and “the spirit of judgment” denotes wisdom from Divine truth (n. 9818); “he that sitteth upon judgment” denotes one who instructs about Divine truth, that is, teaches it. Again:

Jehovah hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness (Isa. 33:5);

“Zion” denotes the celestial church; “being filled with judgment” denotes intelligence from Divine truth, and “being filled with righteousness” denotes wisdom from Divine good.

[4] Again:

Who hath directed the Spirit of Jehovah? With whom took He counsel, that he might make Him intelligent, and instruct Him in the way of judgment, and teach Him knowledge, and show Him the way of intelligence? (Isa. 40:13, 14);

“the Spirit of Jehovah” denotes the Divine truth (n. 9818); that “instructing Him in the way of judgment” denotes to render Him knowing, intelligent, and wise, is plain. In Jeremiah:

The stork in heaven knoweth her appointed times, but the people of Jehovah know not the judgment of Jehovah. How say ye, We are wise, and the law of Jehovah is with us? (Jer. 8:7, 8).

Here “not to know the judgment of Jehovah” denotes not to know Divine truth, from which is wisdom; therefore it is said, “how say ye, We are wise?”

[5] Again:

Woe to him that buildeth his house without righteousness, and his chambers without judgment (Jer. 22:13);

“to build chambers without judgment” denotes to be imbued with things not true. In Hosea:

I will betroth thee to Me forever in righteousness and in judgment, and I will betroth thee to Me in truth (Hos. 2:19-20).

“To betroth in judgment” denotes to conjoin by means of Divine truth, thus by means of faith and a life of faith.

In Amos:

Let judgment flow like water, and righteousness as a mighty torrent (Amos 5:24).
Ye turn judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood (Amos 6:12);
where also “judgment” denotes intelligence from Divine truth, and the consequent life.

[6] In Zephaniah:

In the morning will Jehovah give His judgment for light (Zeph. 3:5);

“to give judgment for light” denotes to reveal Divine truth. Again:

All the ways of Jehovah are judgment (Deut. 32:4).

Thy truth, O Jehovah, reacheth unto the skies; Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God; Thy judgments are a great deep (Ps. 36:5, 6).
Jehovah shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday (Ps. 37:6).
Hear my voice according to Thy mercy; O Jehovah, quicken me according to Thy judgments (Ps. 119:149).

In these passages “judgment,” and “judgments,” denote Divine truth.

[7] In Luke:

Woe unto you Pharisees, ye pass by judgment and the love of God; these ought ye to do (Luke 11:42).

“To pass by the judgment of God” denotes to pass by Divine truth; and “to pass by the love of God” denotes to pass by Divine good, and the life from both. As life also is meant, it is said “these things ought ye to do.” In Isaiah:

Jehovah Zebaoth shall be exalted in judgment, and God shall be sanctified in righteousness (Isa. 5:16).
Upon the throne of David, to establish the kingdom in judgment and in righteousness, from henceforth and even forever (Isa. 9:7).
Bring forth counsel, do ye judgment; make thy shadow like the night in the midst of the noonday (Isa. 16:3);

“to do judgment” denotes to act according to Divine truth.

[8] Again:

I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and He shall do judgment and righteousness in the earth (Jer. 23:5; 33:15).
If a man be righteous, and do judgment and righteousness, and walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, to do the truth; he is righteous, he shall surely live (Ezek. 18:5, 9).

Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, who have done His judgment (Zeph. 2:3).

“To do the judgment of God” denotes to do the Divine truth, that is, to do according to it. In Isaiah:

I have put My Spirit upon Him, He shall bring forth judgment to the nations. He shall not extinguish, nor break, till He have set Judgment in the earth (Isa. 42:1, 4);

speaking of the Lord; “to bring forth judgment to the nations,” and “to set judgment in the earth” denotes to teach Divine truth, and set it up in the church.

[9] Again:

A law shall go forth from Me, and I will raise up My judgment for a light of the peoples (Isa. 51:4);
where “judgment” denotes Divine truth, “for a light of the peoples” denotes for enlightenment. In John:

For judgment I am come into this world, that those who see not may see; and that those who see may become blind (John 9:39).

“To come into the world for judgment” denotes to reveal Divine truth, which causes those to see who are wise from the Lord, and those to be blind who are wise from themselves, thus who pass for being learned.

[10] Again:

Swear by the living Jehovah in truth, in judgment, and righteousness (Jer. 4:2).
There is none that judgeth judgment for health; thou hast no medicines for recovery (Jer. 30:13).
Righteousness and judgment are the support of Thy throne; mercy and truth are before Thy faces (Ps. 89:14);

where “righteousness” denotes the good which is of mercy; and “judgment” the truth which is of faith; wherefore it is said, “mercy and truth.” In Ezekiel:

Jerusalem hath changed My judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and My statutes more than the lands; therefore I will do judgments on thee in the eyes of the nations, and I will scatter all thy remains (Ezek. 5:6-8, 10, 15).

“To change judgments” denotes the truths which are of the civil state (that these are signified by “judgments,” when “statutes” also are mentioned, see n. 8972); but “doing judgments” denotes to judge either to death, which is damnation; or to life, which is salvation. Salvation or damnation is also signified by “judgment,” where “the day of judgment,” or “hour of judgment,” is mentioned (Matt. 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; Luke 10:14; 11:31, 32; John 5:28-29; Rev. 14:7; 18:10); the same is also signified by “judgment,” where the office of a judge is treated of (Matt. 5:21, 22; 7:1, 2; 23:14, 33; John 5:24, 26, 27; 7:24; 8:15, 16; 12:31, 47, 48; Luke 6:37; 12:13, 14, 56, 57; 19:21, 22, 27; 20:47; 22:30; Mark 12:40; Isa. 41:1; 3:14; Jer. 25:31; 48:21; Joel 3:12; Ps. 7:8, 9; 9:4, 7, 8; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 1:16, 17; 25:1; Rev. 17:1; 18:10; 20:12, 13). [AC9857]

Author: EMANUEL. SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)