Ezekiel 31

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1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

1-2. Of the natural man who is in knowledges (scientifics). P. P.
1-8. See Chapter XXVII., 7. R. 503.
1-3, 5, 10, 12, 13. By Pharaoh and Egypt is here signified the scientific principle of the natural man. By the. Assyrian the rational, to which the scientific is subservient. The increase of this latter by scientific truths and knowledges is described by the cedar in Lebanon which signifies the rational. The waters which caused it to grow signify truths, and the branches extension, such as belongs to the thought of the rational man. Rational and spiritual truths of every kind are signified by all the fowls of heaven making their nests in his boughs, and all the beasts of the field bringing forth their young under his branches, and by all the nations dwelling under his shadow. E. 388.

2 Son of man, say unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude: Whom art thou like in thy greatness?

2 See Chapter XXIX., 2-18. L. 28.
2-9. By the Assyrian is signified reasoning from the rational man, by lifting himself up in height and shooting up his top – glorying from intelligence thence derived, that is from self-derived intelligence. E. 388.
The intellectual of the natural man, which is formed and born from scientific truths rationally seen, is here signified by Pharaoh. It is here called Ashur, or Asshur, by whom is signified the rational, It is described by a cedar. Its height, length and multitude of branches are mentioned because in the Word they signify the rational. E. 654.
2-6, 10, 13. Men as to their affections are meant by beasts. The reason is that in the spiritual world a man’s affections appear at a distance like beasts. R. 567.
2-6, 13. The comparisons of men with beasts originate from the spiritual world, where all the affections and consequent thoughts of angels and spirits are presented at a distance from them as beasts. Coro. 3.
2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 13. By the king of Egypt, and by his multitude, is signified the natural man with the scientifics therein. By Ashur, the cedar of Lebanon – the rational, which is formed from scientifics on one part, and from the influx of spiritual truth on the other. By a fair branch, and shadowy forest is meant intelligence by rational truths by means of scien tifics. By height above all the trees of the field is signified elevation even to the interior rational, which is derived from the spiritual, – by the branches multiplied by many waters – the abundance by spiritual truths derived from the Word. The birds of heaven are spiritual thoughts in things rational, for the rational is the medium between the internal spiritual man and the external natural. By the bird of heaven, and the wild beast of the field, of which it is afterwards said that they shall dwell upon his ruins, etc., are signified false thoughts and evil lusts. E. 650.
2, 8. Egypt is likened to the garden of Eden, the garden of God. R. 503.

3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.

3 A thicket or tangle, in the internal sense, signifies natural knowledge, which sticks fast in the exterior memory. A. 2831.
3, 4. Ashur signifies the rational mind, or the rational – of man. A. 119.
By rivers are signified truths in abundance. R. 409.
Ashur, in like manner as the cedars of Lebanon, signifies the rational man. Because what is genuine rational is perfected by the knowledges of truth and good, it is said that the waters caused him to grow, and the deep set him up on high. Waters stand for truths, and the deep for knowledges of truth in the
natural man. E. 518.
3-8. The most ancient church, which was celestial, is here described as to the quality of its rational, and so of its wisdom and intelligence, because that church looked upon things below from Divine things, and thus on truths from goods themselves, and thence on things which are subordinate. Ashur and the cedar are the rational, the tangled boughs are knowledges, the rivers of water spiritual good. A. 2588.
3-9. See Chapter XXVIII., 12, 13. W. 325.
See Chapter XXVIII., 12-15. Coro. 41.
In the ancient church a rational flourished that was derived from knowledges (scientifics) of every kind, through their confirming, by means of these, the Divine things of the church; and from this source they had spiritual intelligence. P. P.
3-18. See Chapter XXVII., 23, 24. A. 1186.
3, 5, 6, 10-12. The Assyrian stands for the rational of the man of the church, which is illumined. This is called a cedar in Lebanon, because a cedar signifies the same thing as Ashur, specifically truth from good in the rational. Lebanon is the mind wherein the rational resides, because cedars grew in Lebanon. The boughs multiplied mean truths thence derived, etc. E. 175.
3, 6. Birds signify the things of the understanding, and hence of thought and design. In the spiritual world appear birds of every genus and species, in heaven such as are most beautiful, and in hell screech-owls and other representations of thoughts from evil affections. R. 757.
3, 8, 9. By Egypt is signifiediknowledge, and by Ashur rationality by which is intelligence, and the same by a cedar. R. 90.
This is said concerning Ashur, by which is signified in the Word rationality and intelligence therefrom. T. 467.
By Ashur in the Word are described those who are made rational by the knowledges of good and truth, thus whose minds are illuminated from heaven. E. 110.

4 The waters nourished it, the deep made it to grow: the rivers thereof ran round about its plantation; and it sent out its channels unto all the trees of the field.

4 Rivers in the description of paradise signify things of wisdom and intelligence. A. 2702.
Deeps are falsities from lusts. By deeps in the Word are meant waters in deep places, and masses of water. A. 8278.
By deeps are also signified Divine truths in abundance, and the arcana of Divine wisdom. E. 538.
4, 7-9. When the most ancient people likened man, or what is the same the things which are in man, to a garden, they added also the waters and the rivers by which it was to be irrigated. By waters and rivers they meant the things which caused his increase. A. 108.

5 Therefore its stature was exalted above all the trees of the field; and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long by reason of many waters, when it shot them forth.
6 All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.
7 Thus was it fair in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its root was by many waters.

5, 6. By the cedar is here signified the church which is spiritual rational. By the birds of the heavens, and by the beasts of the field are understood rational thoughts concerning the truths of the church, and the affections for them. E. 1100.
5, 7. Ashur stands for an enlightened rational, a cedar in Lebanon for the spiritual church, and its height for the degree of good. A. 9489.
6 This is said of the Assyrian, by whom the spiritual man is signified, and he is compared to the garden of Eden. A.46.
Ashur, which is the spiritual church, is called a cedar, the birds stand for its truth, the beasts for its good. A. 776.
The spiritual church is signified, as implanted, and what is living in the man of the church. A. 908.
When it is said of an entire society, which is called a composite man, or person, then the wild animal of the earth signifies those who are not of the church, because they are more vile. A. 1030.
Dwelling stands for being and living. A. 3384.
Birds of the heavens stand for truths. A. 5149.
By wild beasts in the Word are also signified upright Gentiles, who though they are in falsity, are yet in uprightness of life. A. 9335.
To dwell signifies to live, consequently life. E. 662.

8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it; the fir-trees were not like its boughs, and the plane-trees were not as its branches; nor was any tree in the garden of God like unto it in its beauty.
9 I made it fair by the multitude of its branches, so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied it.

8 The subject is the knowledges and rational things that are within the man of the spiritual church. The garden of God is the spiritual church, the cedars are rational things, the fir trees and plane trees natural things, the fir trees as to good, and the plane trees as to truth. A. 4014.
8, 9. Egypt means a church which in its beginning was pre-eminent. Before that church was devastated it is compared to the garden of Eden, and the garden of Jehovah. T. 635.
Where they are mentioned in a good sense, Egypt and Ashur signify the church as to knowledges and perceptions. Coro. 27.

10 Therefore thus said the Lord Jehovah: Because thou art exalted in stature, and he hath set his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;

10-13. The pride of self-intelligence, from which comes a trust in learning, has wholly cast them down from intelligence, and has deprived them of all the truths of the church. P. P.
10-18. See Chapter XVI., 26, 28, 29. R. 503.
Pharaoh signifies here the same as Egypt – the natural man as to science and intelligence thence derived. The conceit of self-derived intelligence from science is understood by being lifted up or elated in height, and shooting up his top among the entwinings (thick boughs) which mean the scientifics of the natural man. That scientifics were applied to the confirmation of the lusts of the evil and false, is signified by, I will give him into the hands of the strong ones of the nations which latter stand for the false of evil. E. 654.
10, 12. This is concerning Egypt. To set the branch among the tangled boughs stands for sticking fast in knowledges, and regarding spiritual, celestial and Divine things from them. A. 2831.
10, 14. As most expressions in the Word have an opposite sense, so also has height, and in that sense it signifies the evil of self-love, thus elation of mind. A. 9489.

11 I will even deliver him into the hand of the mighty one of the nations; he shall surely deal with him; I have driven him out for his wickedness.
12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the watercourses of the land; and all the peoples of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.

11 The word by which the mighty men are called in the original tongue, is predicated of those who are in truth from good, and in the opposite sense, those who are in falsity from evil. In the latter sense it stands here. A. 8315.
11, 12. Since strangers signified those who are in evil and the falsities of evils, and hence both in the abstract, therefore it was forbidden that a stranger should eat holy things, etc. A. 10287.
They who are in falses are called in the Word, powerful, mighty, robust, strong, heroes, rulers, terrible, formidable, and vastators. E. 783.

13 Upon his ruin all the birds of the heavens shall dwell, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches;

13 Wild animal in the opposite sense is taken in the Word for what is not living. A. 908.
Fowls here signify reasonings and their falsities. A. 988.
Birds of the heaven here stand for falsities. A. 5149.

14 to the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves in their stature, neither set their top among the thick boughs, nor that their mighty ones stand up on their height, even all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.

14 Here those are treated of who by reasonings from knowledges wish to enter into the mysteries of faith, but they are altogether blind. A. 2831.
They are cast into hell, that they may no longer destroy. P. P.
14, 16. This is said of Egypt by which those are signified who by knowledge itself enter into the mysteries of faith. For the signification of the pit, by hell, and by the lower earth see Chapter XXVI., 20. A. 4728.
See Chapter XXVI., 20. A. 7090.

15 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In the day when he went down to Sheol I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the rivers thereof; and the great waters were stayed; and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.

15 Hell is called the deep (or abyss) and the foul emanations therefrom are called rivers. A. 756.
Being overwhelmed by the river of Egypt stands for perishing by falsities. A. 6693.
By day is meant the coming of the Lord. L. 4.
Black in the Word is descriptive of falsity. R.312.
The subject here treated of is Ashur, who is compared to a cedar. Ashur signifies reasoning concerning the truth of the church from self-derived intelligence, and the cedar the truth of the spiritual church. The whole passage signifies that all knowledges of truth would by it perish, and with them all truths that savor of good, and thence derive their essence. By the deep covered by him, and the floods restrained} are signified knowledges of truth, and intelligence thence derived. Lebanon to mourn meant the truths of the church being no more. E. 372.
See Chapter XXIX., 3,4,5, 10. E. 518.
The deep stands for where and whence are the falsities of evil. E. 538.
15-18. There they are shut up, lest, while continuing in their falsifications, they should spread their falsities abroad. P. P.
In the day that Pharaoh went down into hell (the grave) I covered the deep for him, and he shall be brought down into the nether part of the earth. D. P., Page 69.

16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to Sheol with them that descend into the pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

16, 18. See Chapter XXIX., 3, 9. add: the trees of Eden here stand for knowledges external and internal from the Word, which they thus profaned by reasonings. A. 130.

17 They also went down into Sheol with him unto them that are slain by the sword; yea, they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the nations.

17, 18. Spoken of Pharaoh and Egypt, the pierced with the sword being those who are insane by means of knowledges, by thereby extinguishing in themselves the faith of truth of the church. A. 4503.
See Chapter XIII., 14, 15. Coro. 59.

18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord Jehovah.

18 Here Pharaoh – knowledges in general, is treated of. By the trees of Eden with which they should go down to the lower earth, knowledges also are meant, but such as belong to the inward knowledges of faith. Uncircumcised, in the internal sense, is being in filthy loves. A. 2049.
See Chapter XXVIII., 10. F. 54.
The uncircumcised are they who are without the good of charity. R. 90.
This is said concerning Ashur, by whom in the Word is signified rationality, and intelligence therefrom. T. 467,
See Chapter XXVIII., 10. E. 817.

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