1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Jehovah, and sat before me.
2 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Is it to inquire of me that ye are come? As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I will not be inquired of by you.
1-3. Those who are of the Jewish church worship the Lord with the mouth, and not with the heart. P. P.
3, 4, 27, 46. The prophets were called sons of man, because they represented the Lord. L. 28.
4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers;
4 The first of them, that is their fathers. P. P.
4-9. They worshipped other gods, and did not depart from them however much adominished, because they were natural external: this concerning them when they were in Egypt. P. P.
5 and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In the day when I chose Israel, and sware unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I sware unto them, saying, I am Jehovah your God;
6 in that day I sware unto them, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.
5, 6, 23. By the hand is signified power. A. 878.
6 By the land of Canaan is meant the Lord’s kingdom. Flowing with milk, the abundance of celestial spiritual things, and with honey the abundance of happiness and enjoyment therefrom. A. 5620.
By the land of Canaan in the Word is understood the church; and the church is with those only who are in spiritual good, and at the same time in natural good. E.619.
6, 15. By milk is meant an abundance of celes tial spiritual things, by honey an abundance of the blessings there from. The land is the celestial itself of the kingdom, from which those things are. A. 2184.
7 And I said unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God.
8 But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me; they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
9 But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, among which they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
7, 8. See Chapter V., II. E. 1045.
8, 13. That the Lord Jehovah pours out His fury upon them to consume them. D. P., Page 68.
10 So I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
10–12. They were let into temptations, and then instructed.
Also respecting conjunction of the Lord with the church. P. P.
11 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live in them.
11, 13, 25. See Chapter V., 6, 7. A. 8972.
See Chapter V., 6, 7. E. 946.
12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah that sanctifieth them.
12 The sabbath was representative of the conjunction of the Lord with the human race. A. 8495.
12, 20. Signs signify testifications that the things which they teach are true. R. 598.
Testification concerning conjunction. E. 706.
13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they rejected mine ordinances, which if a man keep, he shall live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
13 And they cannot even thus be brought to the worship of the Lord. P. P.
13, 16. By walking in the spiritual sense is signified to live. E.97.
14 But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out.
15 Moreover also I sware unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
14-17. Although they were of such a character, yet they
were not cast off. P. P.
14, 44. The name of Jehovah is all by which He is worshipped, and thus in the supreme sense all that proceeds from the Lord. A. 6674.
16 because they rejected mine ordinances, and walked not in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them, and I destroyed them not, neither did I make a full end of them in the wilderness.
16 To walk after one means to follow. A. 2019.
18 And I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols.
19 I am Jehovah your God: walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them;
20 and hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am Jehovah your God.
18-20. Their offspring were instructed In like manner. P. P.
21 But the children rebelled against me; they walked not in my statutes, neither kept mine ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live in them; they profaned my sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
22 Nevertheless I withdrew my hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them forth.
23 Moreover I sware unto them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them through the countries;
24 because they had not executed mine ordinances, but had rejected my statutes, and had profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
21, 21-24. They in like manner condemned all things of the church. P. P.
25 Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances wherein they should not live;
26 and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Jehovah.
25-26. In consequence they had representatives different from the former good ones, because they had profaned them; this concerning those who are in the wilderness. P. P.
26, 31. See Chapter XIV., 16, 18, 20. R. 543.
See Chapter XVI., 20, 21,45. E. 724.
27 Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In this moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
28 For when I had brought them into the land, which I sware to give unto them, then they saw every high hill, and every thick tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there also they made their sweet savor, and they poured out there their drink-offerings.
29 Then I said unto them, What meaneth the high place whereunto ye go? So the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
27-29. When they had been introduced into the land of Canaan, they all worshipped other gods. P. P.
28 A tangled tree (thicket) stands for the things which
are dictated not by the Word, but by one’s own knowledge. A. 2831 .
It is from correspondence that wine signifies holy truth, and in the opposite sense profaned truth; for the angels who perceive all things spiritually, when men read of wine in the Word, understand nothing else. R. 316.
The drink-offerings, which were wine, were offered upon the altar together with the sacrifices. Worship is signified. R. 778.
As the meat-offering and the drink-offering, which were bread and wine, signified worship from the good of love and the truths of faith, in the opposite sense by these offsprings was signified worship from evils, origin ating in the love of evil and falsity of faith. This worship was offered to idols, and to other gods. E. 376.
30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Do ye pollute yourselves after the manner of your fathers? and play ye the harlot after their abominations?
31 and when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, do ye pollute yourselves with all your idols unto this day? and shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I will not be inquired of by you;
30, 31. They profaned things holy. P. P.
31 By burning their sons and daughters in the fire is signified to destroy the truths and goods of the church by evils lusts, or by evil loves. E. 504.
32 and that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, in that ye say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
32 In a depraved church good is turned in to evil, and truth into falsity. Hence the signification of nations and peoples in this sense in many places in the Word. A. 1250.
That which cometh into your mind (spirit). See Chapter XIII., 3· A. 9818.
By spirit is meant the varying affection of life with man. L.48.
By wood in the opposite sense is meant evil and cursed, as they made graven images of wood, and adored them. R. 774.
Spirit signifies the mind of man, and such things as are of the mind. T. 150.
The whole life of man is understood by his spirit. E. I83.
Wood in the opposite sense signifies evil. E. 1145.
32-36. They are to be cast out of the church, because they have been such from the beginning. P. P.
33 As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you:
34 and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out;
34 It is said of Jehovah that He stretches out the heavens. By stretching out is meant omnipotence. He enlarges the limits of heaven, and fills the inhabitants with life and wisdom. A. 7673.
35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I enter into judgment with you face to face.
36 Like as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you, saith the Lord Jehovah.
35 The face when speaking of man signifies his mind and affection, consequently the interiors of his mind, which present themselves as seen in the face, whence the face is called an index of the mind, and also an effigy of the interiors of man. E. 412.
The vastation and desolation of those who are being reformed is treated of. A. 2708.
37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;
38 and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me; I will bring them forth out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah.
39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Go ye, serve every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me; but my holy name shall ye no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols.
37-39. They will not return to the church, but will be among the profaners of the holy things of the church. P. P.
40 For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them, serve me in the land: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first-fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
41 As a sweet savor will I accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you in the sight of the nations.
42 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country which I sware to give unto your fathers.
40 Oblations and the first-fruits of the offerings in the holy things are likewise works made holy by charity from the Lord. A. 349. The mountain of holiness here stands for love to the Lord, the mountain of the height of Israel for charity toward the neighbor. A. 795.
The first-frults were to be given to Jehovah signified that it is the first thing of the church to ascribe all the goods and the truths of faith unto the Lord, and not to self. A. 9223.
See Chapter XVII., 23. A. 9489.
By virtue of truths from the Lord the angels are called holy, and the prophets likewise. Hence it is that Zion was called the mountain of holiness. R. 586.
The first-fruits signify that which is born first, and afterwards grows up, as an infant into a man and a shoot into a tree. They hence signify every thing that follows until it is complete, for all that follows is in the first, as the man in the infant. R. 623.
Jerusalem is called a holy mountain, and a holy hill; for by a mountain is signified spiritual good, which in its essence is truth from good. E. 405.
40, 41. Here an odor of rest (sweet savour) is predicated of burnt-offerings and offerings, that is, of worship from charity, and its faith, which is consequently acceptable as an odor. A. 925.
40-42. See Chapter XVI., 60-62. E. 433.
A new church will be instituted, which will worship the Lord. P. P.
See Chapter V., 10, 12, 15. A. 7051.
Incense is called the prayers of the saints, because fragrant odors (sweet savour) correspond to affections for good and truth. R. 278.
41, 42. The ground (the land of Israel) here stands for internal worship. When there is not internal worship it is called the land. A. 566.
43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have polluted yourselves; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
44 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have dealt with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah.
43, 44. And they Will acknowledge their evils and at the same time the Lord’s mercy. P. P.
45 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the South;
45, 46. An external or natural church, which is able to be in the light of truth. P. P.
46 The south here stands for those who are in the light of truth from the Word, thus those who are of the church, but who are in falsities which they confirm from the sense of the letter of the Word wrongly interpreted. A forest is where outward knowledge reigns. A. 9642.
The forest of the south (Jerusalem) stands for those who are in the light of truths and who extinguish it, and thus for those in the church who are of this character. A. 1458.
A forest stands for the church as to its knowledge of truth. A. 9011.
By the forest of the south is meant the church, which may be in the light of truth from the Word, but which is now in knowledges alone, destitute of spiritual light. E. 504.
47 and say to the forest of the South, Hear the word of Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby.
48 And all flesh shall see that I, Jehovah, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.
49 Then said I, Ah Lord Jehovah! they say of me, Is he not a speaker of parables?
47 Here by fire and flame are signified the lusts of evil and falsity which extinguish all the good and truth of the church, hence the church’s vastation. A. 6832 .
A tree in general signifies man as to his affections, and the thoughts which hence spring. R. 4-0.
By green or growing green is signified living or alive. R. 401.
A tree signifies man. T. 468.
Trees, which are so often mentioned in the Word, signify the interiors of the mind of man. The things which are upon trees, as the leaves and fruit, such things as are derived from them. E. 109.
By the forest of the south is understood what is false within the church, consequently those in the church who are in falsities. The church is signified by the south because. it may be in the light of truth from the Word. By the forest falsity from evil is meant. E. 412.
See Chapter XVII., 24. E. 507·
47, 48. The external or natural church is destroyed by evil love. P. P.
48 It is the Jewish nation here further treated of. P. P.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Compiled by Robert S. Fischer 1925)