Ezekiel 23

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1 The word of Jehovah came again unto me, saying,

1, 2. There are two churches, one which is in truth, which is Samaria, and the other which is in good, which is Jerusalem. P. P.
1-40. See Chapter XVI., 46, 48. B. 100.
Jerusalem is also called Sodom, where it is said to be utterly lost, and to be destroyed. T. 782.
1-49. See Chapter IV., 1-I7. L. 64.
See Chapter IV., Whole Chapter. R. 350.
See Chapter IV., Whole Chapter. R. 980.
There were no truths and goods of the church with the Jewish people, but only falsities and evils. This is evident from the Word. E. 433.
See Chapter XIX., I-140 E. 1029.

2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
3 and they played the harlot in Egypt; they played the harlot in their youth; there were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity.

2-4. The church is called a woman in these passages. R.434.
By Samaria, the metropolis of the Israelites, is signified in the Word the spiritual church, and by Jerusalem, the metropolis of the Jews, the celestial church, each as to doctrine, therefore they are called women. Both of those churches act as one, they are therefore called the daughters of one mother, also signifying the church. E. 555.
2-17. This relates to the church of Israel and of Judah, here called the daughters of one mother. By their whoredom are meant adulterations and falsifications of the Word. As in the Word Egypt signifies knowledge, Assyria reasoning, Chaldea the profanation of truth, and Babel the profanation of good, it is therefore said that they committed whoredom with them. Life 79.
2-33. See Chapter XVI., 26, 28, 29. R. 503.
See Chapter XVI., 26, 28, 29· E. 654.
2 et seq. Spiritual adulteries are here meant, that is perversions of the good, and falsifications of the truth which are of the church. A. 8904.
2-5, 7, 8, 11, 12 et seq. Samaria is the church which is in the affection for truth, and Jerusalem that which is in the affection for good. Adulteries with the Egyptians, and the sons of Asshur, are perversions of good and truth by external knowledges and reasonings with which falsities are confirmed. This was done even to profane worship, which as to truth is Chaldea, and as to good the sons of Babel. A. 2466.
See Chapter XVI., 15-17, 20 etc. A. 10648.
2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, etc. The two women, the daughters of one mother, are two churches, the Iraelitish and the Jewish. The Babylonians coming into the bed of love is the profanation of good. E. 141.
2, 3, 5, 6, 17, etc. Egypt stands for external knowledges, Asshur for reasoning, and the sons of Babel for falsities from lusts. A. 1186.
The two daughters of the same mother are the Israelitish and Jewish church, whose adulterations and falsifications of the Word are described as adulteries. R. 134.
See Chapter XVI., 15, 16, 26, 28, etc. T. 314.
2, 3, 8, 21. The two women are Jerusalem and Samaria by whom in the internal sense churches are signified. Committing whoredom means that they falsified the truths of the church by outward knowledges. A. 6432.
2, 36. The prophet Ezekiel was called son of man. L. 28.
3, 4. Both are external natural, perverted in the beginning. P. P.
3, 5, 21. See Chapter XVI., 26, 28. A. 2588.
3, 8. See Chapter XVI., 26. A. 1165.
By virginity is signified the undefiled affection for truth. E. 863.

4 And the names of them were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister: and they became mine, and they bare sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah.

4-6. Thus is described the church which had falsified the truths of the Word by reasonings from their own intelligence. R. 450.
By Samaria is signified the spiritual church, and by Jerusalem the celestial church. They are called Aholah and Aholibah, because by those names is signified a tent. A tent signifies the church in its relation to worship. Women also mean the church. By committing whoredoms in Egypt is signified that they falsified the truths of the church by the scientifics of the natural man, doting on the Assyrians means reasonings from those scientifics. Clothed in blue means fallacies and falsities which in the external form appear as truths, because drawn from the literal sense of the Word perversely applied. They who reason from such appearances are also called rulers and captains, desirable young men, and horsemen, for from self-derived intelligence they appear to themselves, and to others, who are in a similar state, as intelligent and wise. E. 576.
4-10, 18, 28, 29. Samaria called Aholah, and Jerusalem called Aholibah signify churches where there is no truth, but falsities, and no good, but evils. By leaving perverted. By committing whoredom in Egypt is understood falsifying truths by external knowledges. A. 9466.

5 And Oholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors,

5-8. Samaria: falsifying the truths of the Word by reasonings from scientifics. P. P.
5, 6, 12. Horsemen here mean the perverted understanding, whence come falsities. A. 6534.
5, 6, 12, 23. What if false appearing as true is principally effected by the application of the literal sense of the Word to falsity. This is signified by blue. E. 355.
5, 6, 20. Egypt represents the natural man. Horses of Egypt truths falsified by reasonings. W. H. A.
5, 8, 14-17. The Chaldean nation is here described by representatives signifying profanation of truth in worship. A. 1368.

6 who were clothed with blue, governors and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.
7 And she bestowed her whoredoms upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and on whomsoever she doted, with all their idols she defiled herself.

6, 12. Babylon is here described as a harlot appears in the world, dressed in splendid garments, but still abominable, because full of uncleanness. E. 1042 .
6, 20. See Chapter XVII., 15. R. 298.

8 Neither hath she left her whoredoms since the days of Egypt; for in her youth they lay with her, and they handled the bosom of her virginity; and they poured out their whoredom upon her.
9 Wherefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.
10 These uncovered her nakedness; they took her sons and her daughters; and her they slew with the sword: and she became a byword among women; for they executed judgments upon her.
11 And her sister Oholibah saw this, yet was she more corrupt in her doting than she, and in her whoredoms which were more than the whoredoms of her sister.
12 She doted upon the Assyrians, governors and rulers, her neighbors, clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.
13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took one way.

8, 12, 14, 16. Tainted with vermilion signifies doctrinals appearing outwardly as truths, although inwardly they are profane. The same is signified by men painted upon the wall. E. 827.
9, 10. Thus she became corrupted. P. P.
11-13. Jerusalem, also falsified truths. P. P.

14 And she increased her whoredoms; for she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion,
15 girded with girdles upon their loins, with flowing turbans upon their heads, all of them princes to look upon, after the likeness of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their nativity.
16 And as soon as she saw them she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.
17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her soul was alienated from them.

14, 15. Girded with girdles means truths profaned. The girdles with which they were girt about the loins are the goods which they feign in order that their truth may thereby be believed. A. 9828.
14-16. The idols and graven images of the ancients were images of their religion, hence the falsities and evils of doctrine are signified by them. R. 601.
14-17. “Jerusalem” adulterated goods also by various means. P. P.

18 So she uncovered her whoredoms, and uncovered her nakedness: then my soul was alienated from her, like as my soul was alienated from her sister.
19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, remembering the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
20 And she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in the handling of thy bosom by the Egyptians for the breasts of thy youth.
22 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy soul is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side:
23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them; desirable young men, governors and rulers all of them, princes and men of renown, all of them riding upon horses.
24 And they shall come against thee with weapons, chariots, and wagons, and with a company of peoples; they shall set themselves against thee with buckler and shield and helmet round about; and I will commit the judgment unto them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.

18 Thereby she separated herself from the Lord, P. P.
19–21. and defiled truths and goods still further by scientifics of the natural man. P. P.
20 Sec Chapter XVII., 15. E. 355.
22–25. They will wholly perish on the day of Judgment. P. P.
24 Breastplates are the arguments from fallacies. Their being as of iron means that to them the arguments appeared so strong, that they could not be refuted. R. 436.

25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal with thee in fury; they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy residue shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.
26 They shall also strip thee of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.
27 Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt; so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more.

25 See Chapter III., 10. A. 3869.
The zeal of Jehovah is described as anger. A. 8875.
By a devouring fire is meant the fire of lusts, which arise from the loves of self and of the world, since this is the fire which consumes a man, and which vastates or lays waste the church. A. 9434.
Zeal with the Lord is not wrath. It only appears in externals as if it were, interiorly it is love. R. 216.
26 A garment signifies truth. R. 166.
Garments stand for those things which are in the natural man, namely scientific truths or falsities, all derived from the spiritual world. E. 195.
26, 27. Thus the truths and goods of the church will no longer be perverted. P. P.

28 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy soul is alienated;
29 and they shall deal with thee in hatred, and shall take away all thy labor, and shall leave thee naked and bare; and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be uncovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.
30 These things shall be done unto thee, for that thou hast played the harlot after the nations, and because thou art polluted with their idols.

28, 29. See Chapter XVI., 7, 22,36. A. 9960.
28-31. They will be in hell, where there is nothing but evils and falsities. P. P.
29 See Chapter XVI., 7, 22. A. 213.

31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thy hand.
32 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou shalt drink of thy sister’s cup, which is deep and large; thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much.
33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria.
34 Thou shalt even drink it and drain it out, and thou shalt gnaw the sherds thereof, and shalt tear thy breasts; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah.

31-34. This is said of Jerusalem, by which is signified the spiritual of the celestial church. Cup here stands for falsity from evil. Because this vastates and destroys the church, it is called the cup of devastation. A. 5120.
By vials, plates, cups, goblets, and bottles those things are signified which are contained in them. R. 672.
These things are said concerning Jerusalem whereby is signified the celestial church as to doctrine. By Samaria which is the sister is understood the spiritual church, also as to doctrine. The Jewish nation represented the Lord’s celestial kingdom, and the Israelitish nation His spiritual kingdom. In this case however the churches are signified devastated of all good and truth. It is called a cup of devastation – predicated of good, and desolution – predicated of truth. E. 960.
32, 33. To be made drunk signifies to be insane in spiritual or in theological things. R. 721.
32-34. They will also be in the falsification of all truth. P. P.

  1. Vastation and desolation of the goods and truths of the church. Coro. 56.

35 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.
36 Jehovah said moreover unto me: Son of man, wilt thou judge Oholah and Oholibah? then declare unto them their abominations.
37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands; and with their idols have they committed adultery; and they have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass through the fire unto them to be devoured.
38 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths.
39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of my house.

35 and this because they have denied the Lord. P. P.
36-39. They have destroyed all the holy things of the church. P. P.
37 See Chapter XIV., 16, 18, 20. R. 543.
By blood being in their hands are understood the false arising from self-derived intelligence. Leading away their sons to the idols, for meat means that they destroyed the truths of the Word by falses. E. 724.

40 And furthermore ye have sent for men that come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent, and, lo, they came; for whom thou didst wash thyself, paint thine eyes, and deck thyself with ornaments,
41 and sit upon a stately bed, with a table prepared before it, whereupon thou didst set mine incense and mine oil.
42 And the voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with men of the common sort were brought drunkards from the wilderness; and they put bracelets upon the hands of them twain, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.

40-42. They boasted before others on account of their having the Word and the holy things of the church. P. P.
41 By a bed is here meant more remote from the truths and goods of doctrine. R. 137.
42 See Chapter XVI., 11, I2. A. 3105.
See Chapter XXI., 26. E. 126.

43 Then said I of her that was old in adulteries, Now will they play the harlot with her, and she with them.
44 And they went in unto her, as they go in unto a harlot: so went they in unto Oholah and unto Oholibah, the lewd women.
45 And righteous men, they shall judge them with the judgment of adulteresses, and with the judgment of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.
46 For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: I will bring up a company against them, and will give them to be tossed to and fro and robbed.
47 And the company shall stone them with stones, and despatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.
48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness.
49 And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols; and ye shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah.

43-45. Although these were entirely falsified and adulterated. P. P.
45-47. Stoning signified condemnation and curse on account of the destruction of truth of the church. E. 655.
46-49. Falsities and evils will destroy all things of the church among them, and such must be separated that they may no longer mislead. P. P.
47 It is described how in Jerusalem – the celestial spiritual church – and Samaria – the spiritual church – goods and truths of faith were destroyed. A. 7456.
See Chapter IX., 5, 6. add: to stone with stones and to dispatch with the sword signify the destruction of truths by falsities. To slay sons and daughters means to destroy all goods and truths. E. 315.
49 See Chapter XVIII., 19, 20. A. 9937.
See Chapter XVIII., 20. A. 9965.

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Compiled by Robert S. Fischer 1925)