PARABLES: EATING THE ROLL OF A BOOK
1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak with thee.
2 And the Spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet; and I heard him that spake unto me.
1, 2. By standing upon the feet the external of man is signified, which is also called the external man, which in itself is natural, for the body speaks and does what its spirit thinks and wills, and to speak and do is natural.
The feet signify things naturaL R. 510.
See Chapter I., 28. E. 77.
By standing upon the feet is signified new life, such as pertains to the regenerate man. E. 666.
The Word from the Lord to the prophet P. P.
1, 3, 6, 8. By the Son of Man is signified Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, therefore also the prophets, through whom it was revealed, were called sons of man. A. 9807.
The prophets were called sons of man, because they represented the Lord as to the Word, and thence signified the doctrine of the church from the Word. L. 28.
See Chapter II., 1,3,6,8 in A. 9807. E. 63.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to nations that are rebellious, which have rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me even unto this very day.
3-5. Respecting the Jewish church, that it did not receive the Word. P. P.
3, 6, 8. The Lord called himself the Son of Man because
He was the Word of Divine truth, even as to His Humanity, for, in the spiritual sense, the Son of Man signifies the truth of the church derived from the Word. Q. I.
4 And the children are impudent and stiffhearted: I do sent thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah.
5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
4By children hard in their faces are signified those who are in truths without good, and abstractedly truths without good, which in themselves are falsities. By stiffhearted are signified those who do not admit good, consequently who are in evil, for evil enters where good cannot enter. E. 412.
See Chapter I., 26, 28, add: Thus says the Lord God. D. P., Page 26.
Same statement and addition as above. D. P., Page 56.
4, 6. By a scorpion is signified a deadly persuasive power, and by a scorpion of the earth persuasive power in matters concerning the church, since the earth signifies the church. A scorpion when it stings a man induces a stupor of the limbs, and, if it is not cured, death. Their persuasive power induces the like upon the understanding. R. 425.
By dwelling among scorpions is understood among those who had persuaded themselves, and resolutely persuade others, to admit falsities, and not to admit any truth. They are therefore called refractory and thorny, also hard in face, and obdurate in heart. The interiors of the rational mind of those who are in a strong persuasion of what is false are shut. Therefore they think and speak only from the ultimate sensual. This when enkindled from the fire of self-love is hard and obdurate. It also hardens and renders obdurate the interiors of others to whom it addresses itself. In the spiritual world there is a communication of minds that is of thoughts and affections, and, from those who are in such persuasions, infusion. E. 544.
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are most rebellious.
6, 7. That it was against the Word, ad against the Lord. P.P.
8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that which I give thee.
9 And when I looked, behold, a hand was put forth unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And he spread it before me: and it was written within and without; and there were written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
8-10. We read that the prophet Ezekiel also ate, by command, the roll of a book; and that in his mouth it was sweet as honey. R. 482.
The prophet Ezekiel being commanded to eat the roll of a book involves exploration as to how the truth of the Word is received, perceived and appropriated. The book in his mouth was sweet as honey, because the Word as to the sense of the letter is delightful, because this sense can be applied in favor of what is false, and of any loves of evil. It may thus serve to confirm the delights.of the natural life separate from the delights of the spiritual life. When separated the delights of the natural life are merely the loves of the body and of the world, from which arise things which are false and which originate fallacies. E. 619.
That everywhere in the Word there is a lamentation on these subjects. P. P.
9, 10. Angels have speech and their speech is a speech of words, they have also writings, and by writings they express their sentiments as well as by speech. Several times papers have been sent me, traced with writings, quite like manuscripts. That papers written in heaven were seen also by the prophets is manifest. H. 258.
By the book is meant the Word in every particular and in general. This is the meaning of written before and behind. R. 256.
By the volume or roll of a book written within and without, is signified the state of the church at that time, thus the quality of the life of those who belonged to the church. As their life was destitute of the goods of love and truths of faith, it is said: lamentations, and mourning, and woe. E. 222.
Where a book is mentioned in the Word a volume or scroll is understood, for in ancient times they wrote upon parchments, which were rolled together, and called a book. A book signifies the state of life of all in heaven and in earth, in general and in particular. E. 299.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Compiled by Robert S. Fischer 1925)