PARABLES: EZEKIEL CUTTING OFF HIS HAIR
1 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword; as a barber’s razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
1 The beard stands for what is most external. A. 9806.
The prophets were called sons of man, because they represented the Lord as to the Word. L. 28.
By cutting off the hair of the head, shaving the beard, and inducing baldness is signified to deprive of all good and truth for he who is deprived of the ultimates is also deprived of things prior, as prior things exist and subsist in ultImates. E. 66.
The dispersion of truth is signified by a sharp sword and sharp arrows E. 908.
1, 2. By passing a razor over the head is signified to deprive of all intelligence of truth. The reason is unless there are the ultimates of intelligence, which are signified by the hairs of the head, intelligence perishes. E. 577.
It is represented in what manner they have destroyed the literal sense. That they have partly adulterated, partly falsified and partly forsaken the literal sense. They will continue to falsify It. P. P.
1-4 The hair, or a head of hair signifies the natural as to truth, or in the opposite sense, natural truth perverted. That lusts destroyed it is signified by burning it with fire. That reasonings destroyed it is signified by smiting round about it with the sword, that false principles destroyed it is signified by scattering it to the wind. A. 3301.
The prophet Ezekiel was commanded to represent the state of the church by what is said in these verses. L. 15.
Without the spiritual sense no one would know why the prophet Ezekiel was commanded to do these things. S. 16.
The prophets represented the Word, and hence the doctrine of the church from the Word. By the head is
signified wisdom from the Word, therefore by the hair of the head and by the beard was represented ultimate truth. It was a sign of grievous mourning, and a great disgrace to bring baldness on oneself, and to appear bald. S. 35.
Since the sons of Israel dispersed by falsities all the sense of the letter of the Word, it was therefore commanded that the prophet Ezekiel might represent this. R.47.
1-17. See Chapter IV., 1-17. B. 100.
1, 2, 11. The third signifies completeness. A third part, however, signifies some, and what is not yet complete. A. 2788.
1, 2, 12, 17. The vastation of natural truth, which is thus described, is treated. A. 2799.
2 A third part shalt thou burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and thou shalt take a third part, and smite with the sword round about it; and a third part thou shalt scatter to the wind, and I will draw out a sword after them.
2 By three is signified all, the whole, and what is full; and when these are divided dissipation takes place. It is predicated of truth. E. 1019.
2, 12. Those things are said concerning the hair of the head and of the beard, which the prophet was commanded to shave with a razor. By hair is signified the ultimate state of truth in the church, for the universal heaven and the universal church are before the Lord as one man. The hair of the head and the beard, being the ultimates of man, correspond to the ultimates of truth and good, such as the ultimate truths of the literal sense of the Word. E. 419.
3 And thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.
4 And of these again shalt thou take, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; therefrom shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
5 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her.
3, 4. They will profane all the truths of the church. P. P.
5, 6. See Chapter V., 2,12. E. 419.
5-7. Because they have perverted the truths of the church more than others. P. P.
5, 7, 8,11, See Chapter 11., 4. D. P., Page 26.
See Chapter 11., 4. D. P., Page 56.
6 And she hath rebelled against mine ordinances in doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have rejected mine ordinances, and as for my statutes, they have not walked in them.
6 By walking in the spiritual sense is signified to live. E. 97.
6-7. All laws, so far as they belonged to the representative church, were in general called judgments and statutes.
By judgments are understood the laws of life, especially those which are in the decalogue, which are therefore called the ten precepts. By the statutes are understood the laws of worship, which principally related to sacrifices, and the ministry of holy things. By judgments are understood civil laws, which, being representative of spiritual laws, were therefore significative of Divine truths, such as are in the spiritual
kingdom of the Lord in the heavens. E. 946.
6-8, 10, 15. Changing judgments stands for changing the truths, which are of the civil state. A. 9857.
7 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because ye are turbulent more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept mine ordinances, neither have done after the ordinances of the nations that are round about you;
8 therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I, even I, am against thee; and I will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
7, 11. The Lord is described as to the Word above the expanse of cherubim, and is called the Lord Jehovah. Coro. 6o.
8-10. Falsities have destroyed goods, and evils truths, until nothing of good and truth is left. P. P.
9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
9, 10. Speaking of the profanation of what is holy. Father in the opposite sense signified evil, and mother falsity. A. 3703.
9-17. See Chapter IV., 1-17. L. 64.
See Chapter IV., 1-17. T. 782.
See Chapter IV., Whole Chapter. R. 350.
See Chapter IV., Whole Chapter. R. 880.
10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on thee; and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter unto all the winds.
10 By a son in the Word is signified the truth of doctrine, and also the understanding and hence the thought of
truth and good. R. 543.
The fathers signify the goods of the church, and in an opposite sense its evils. Sons signify the truths of the church, and in the opposite sense falsities. Their mutual consumption and extinction are signified by their eating each other. E. 617.
By the fathers shall eat the sons, and the sons the fathers, is signified that evils will destroy truths, and falses will destroy goods. As everything pertaining to spiritual life with man thereby perishes, it is said that judgments shall be executed, and the remains dispersed
into every wind. Remains stand for the truths and goods stored in man Irorn infancy by the Lord. E. 724.
10, 12, 15. Even Christians believe that the Jewish nation will be again chosen and led into the land of Canaan. They do not consider the history of that nation, what its quality was in the wilderness, and afterward in the land of Canaan, that in heart it was idolatrous, and what the prophets say of it, and its spiritual whoredom and abominations. A. 7051.
11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, and I also will have no pity.
11 The church is called the mother of all living on account of her faith in the Lord, who is life itself. It is therefore said in the Word that the Lord alone liveth. A. 290.
Jehovah calls himself the living and He that liveth. R.58.
Where abominations are either recounted or spoken of, the profanations of the Word, of the church, and of worship are signified. E. 1045.
11, 12. In the Word four kinds of vastation are mentioned. By the sword the vastation of truth and the punishment of falsity; by famine the vastation of good and the punishment of evil; by the evil beast the punishment of evil from falsity; by pestilence the punishment of evil not from falsity but from evil. As punishment is signified, damnation is also signified, for this is the
punishment of those who persevere in evil. A. 7102.
Because they have destroyed the church by profaning it, they will perish, as was stated. P. P.
11, 12, 16, 17. A sword is the destruction of spiritual life by falsities, famine is the destruction of spiritual life by evils, the beast of the earth is the destruction of spiritual life by the lusts of falsity and evil, and the pestilence and death are an utter wasting away, and thus condemnation. R. 323.
If they became merely natural, they should be deprived of all truth, good, and spiritual life. By the sword is signified deprivation of truths by falsities, by famine deprivation of good by evils, and by the pestilence the deprivation of spiritual life. E. 386.
12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and a third part I will scatter unto all the winds, and will draw out a sword after them.
13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward them to rest, and I shall be comforted; and they shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken in my zeal, when I have accomplished my wrath upon them.
12 Pestilence stands for the wasting away of good. A. 7505.
13 Human qualities are often predicated of the attributes of Jehovah or the Lord, when in truth He never punishes anyone, never leads any into temptation, never destroys any, and is never angry. Here because anger and fury are predicated, repentance is predicated also. A. 588.
The zeal of Jehovah is described as anger. By the zeal of Jehovah, and by a zealous God, in the genuine sense are meant love and mercy. In a sense not genuine such as is seen by those who are in evils and falsities, anger and vastation are signified. A. 8875.
Jehovah is said to have repented, where yet it cannot be that He repent, since He knows all things before he does them. Therefore it is plain that by repentance is signified mercy. A. 10441.
In many places in the Word anger and fury are mentioned together. Anger there is predicated of evil, and wrath or fury of falsity. In the Word each is attributed to the Lord, but it is meant that it is the feeling of man against the Lord. R. 635.
Afterwards the church will be instituted among others. P. P.
13, 15. Anger stands for the punishment of evil, fury for the punishment of falsities from repugnance, and thence attack. A. 3614.
Heat, anger, indignation, and fury stand for a turning away, opposition and consequent punishment. Every one who reflects can see that there is nothing of anger, still less of fury with Jehovah or the Lord, for He is mercy itself and goodness itself, and infinitely above wishing evil to anyone. A. 5798.
14 Moreover I will make thee a desolation and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment, unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments on thee in anger and in wrath, and in wrathful rebukes; (I, Jehovah, have spoken it;)
16 when I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, that are for destruction, which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread;
17 and I will send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee: I, Jehovah, have spoken it.
14-17. Since all things of the Word, of doctrIne, and of the church have previously been consummated by profanities, and by evils and falsities. P. P.
16 See Chapter IV., 16, 17. A. 2165.
See Chapter IV., 16. A. 4876.
Hell and the devil are called destruction and destroyer. R. 440.
See Chapter IV., 16. R. 485.
A rod and a staff signify the power of Divine truth. They also signify, in the opposite sense, the power of the infernal false. E. 727.
16, 17. Famine stands for the deprivation of knowledge of celestial things, or of knowledge of good, whence are falsities and evils. A. 1460.
17 To bereave of children means to deprive the church of its truths, and that thereby it becomes no church. Famine stands for a failing of the knowledges of good and truth, and hence desolation. An evil beast means falsities from evils. A. 5536.
Pestilence stands for adulterated good, and blood for falsified truth. A. 7102.
A wild animal is falsity and evil springing from the love of self and of the world. A. 9335.
A beast in the Word signifies man as to his affections; harmless and useful beasts man as to good affections,’ noxious and useless beasts man as to evil affections. R.567.
By famine is signified the deprivation of the good of love, by sword the deprivation of the truths of faith, both of them by what is false. By the noisome beasts is signified the deprivation of both by the evils of the love of self and of the world. By pestilence is described the deprivation of all spiritual life. E. 388.
By wild beasts, in the opposite spiritual sense, are signified cupidities of the false from evil. E. 650.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg (Compiled by Robert S. Fischer 1925)