Isaiah 1

1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Ussiah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Verse 1. To see in “vision” denotes to see such things as exist with the angels of heaven, which are representative, and thence significative of things spiritual. These spiritual things, when they appear to Man, do not appear before the sight of his body, but before the sight of his spirit, for the spirit of man has eyes equally as the body; but the eyes of his spirit see those things which are in the spiritual world, by reason that all things which appear there are from a spiritual origin, and the spiritual man, with the understanding sees spiritual things, and with the eyes the same, in a form like the natural. But the eyes of the body see those things which are in the material world by reason that all things which appear there are from a natural origin; and the material man sees with the understanding, natural things, and with the eyes the same, in a material form; wherefore when the eyes of their spirit were opened with the prophets,they saw such things as represented, and thence signified the divine, celestial, and spiritual things of the church, and likewise sometimes such things as represented, and thence signified what was to take place in future in the churches. A. E. 1037. See A. C. 1786.

The visions of the prophets were nothing else than the opening of their interior sight, as when John saw “golden candlesticks,” (Apoc. i.12, 13.) and the” Holy City as pure gold, and its Luminary like to a stone most precious;” [Apoc. xxi. 2, 10, 11.) besides many other things recorded in the Prophets, from which it may be known that the angels live in the greatest light, and that there are indefinite things there, which no one [upon earth] could ever believe. A. C. 1532.

The prophets were in vision when they saw objects, as above, in the spiritual world, but not when they spake the Word, for then they were not in the spirit but in the body, and heard the words which they wrote down from Jehovah Himself, that is, from the Lord. These two states of the prophets ought carefully to he distinguished; moreover, the prophets themselves carefully distinguish them, for they say everywhere, when they wrote the Word from Jehovah, that Jehovah spake with them and to them, and very often “Jehovah said,” “Jehovah saith,” &c. But when they were in the other state, they say that they were in the spirit in vision, as may appear from the following passages. Ezekiel -says.,-” The Spirit lifted me up, and brought me into Chaldea, to the captivity, ill a vision of God; for the vision that I saw went up over me.” (iii. 12, 14; xi. 1, 24.) See also many other passages to the same effect in the same prophet, and in Zechariah, Daniel, and John. A. R. 945.

Concerning Judah and Jerusalem.-That Judah or Judea and also Jerusalem, do not signify Judea nor Jerusalem, is evident from many passages. In the Word indeed it is not so often called Judea as the “land of Judah” and by it, as by the “land of Canaan,” is signified the Lord’s kingdom, consequently also the church, for this is the Lord’s kingdom upon earth; and this because that by “Judah,” or by the Jewish nation, was represented the Lord’s celestial kingdom, and by ” Israel,” or by the lsraelitish people, His spiritual kingdom; And as they thus represented, therefore, when mentioned in the Word, they have, in the internal sense, no other signification [than that of the Lord’s kingdom and church]. This will appear evident from numerous passages in which “Judah” and the “land of Judah” are mentioned. A.C. 3654.

By “Jerusalem ” is understood the church with respect to doctrine, inasmuch as at Jerusalem in the land of Canaan, and in no other place, there was the temple, the altar, the sacrifices, and consequently all divine worship. Wherefore three festivals were likewise celebrated there every year, to which every male throughout the land was commanded to go. This then is the reason why by “Jerusalem,” in the spiritual sense, is signified the church with respect -to worship, or what is the same thing, with respect to doctrine; for worship is prescribed by doctrine” and is performed according to it. H. D.N. J. 6.

Kings of Judah.—“Kings,” when mentioned in the Word, represented the Lord as to His Divine Truth, and “priests” represented Him as to His Divine Good. All the laws of order by which the Lord governs the universe as a King, are Truths; but all the laws by which He governs the universe as a Priest, and by which He also rules truths themselves, are Goods; for rule grounded in truths alone would condemn every one to hell; but rule grounded in good raises up out of hell, and elevates into heaven. A. C. 2015.
The “kings of Judah and Israel,” both good and bad, represented the Lord’s royalty, and the “high priests,” both good and bad, represented the Lord’s priesthood, and the things belonging thereto. This royalty and this priesthood they represented, when, in the external form, they performed their office according to the statutes and the precepts. In order, therefore, that the type or representative of a church might exist amongst them, such statutes and laws were given to them, by manifest revelation, as were entirely representative of the kingly and the priestly office. Wherefore, so long as they were in these statutes and precepts, and strictly observed them, so long they were types or representatives; but when they declined from these, and went over to the statutes and precepts of other nations, and especially to the worship of another god, they then deprived themselves of the faculty of representing. Hence it was that by external means, such as captivities, slaughters, threatenings, and miracles, they were compelled to observe the truly representative laws and statutes; but not by internal means, like those who have an internal worship in their external. .A.C. 428].

2 hearken, O ye heavens! and give ear, O earth! for Jehovah speaketh: I have nourished sons, and I have brought them up; but they have transgressed against Me.

Verse 2. By the “heavens” are signified the heavens [where angels dwell], and also the internals of the church. The internals of the church are also the “heavens” with men, and by the “earth” is signified the external of the church. Both the heavens and the earth are said to be “expanded” and” extended” (Isaiah clii, 5.) when truths from good are multiplied therein. A.E. 294.
There are three heavens; [2 Cor. xii. 2.] the third, or inmost, where the angels dwell who are in celestial love; the second, or middle, where the angels dwell who are in spiritual love; and the
first, or ultimate, where those angels dwell who are in spiritual-natural love. A. E. 322, 708.
By “earth,” when mentioned in the Word, is not meant tho uuiversal globe, but the church, and specifically that region where the church is, as formerly the land of Canaan, when the Jewish church was there, and in Europe, where the Christian church now is. A. C. 566, 662.
Jehovah speaketh, – “Jehovah'” [in Hebrew] signifies I AM and TO BE. As GOD alone is the I AM and the ESSE or JEHOVAH, therefore nothing exists. in the-created universe but what derives its being (esse) from Him. Jehovah God is essential Love and essential Wisdom, or essential Good and essential Truth. He is the One God the Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, in whom is the Divine Trinity. Thus Jehovah Himself assumed the Humanity to redeem and save mankind; He is a MAN, as in first principles, so also in ultimates. By reason of the marriage of Divine Good and of Divine Truth in every part of the Word, the expression “JEHOVAH GOD” so frequently occurs. By “JEHOVAH” is signified Divine Love or Divine Good; and by “GOD,” Divine Wisdom or Divine Truth. T. C. R. 3, 19, 82, 102, 159, 253.
I have nourished sons, and have brought them up.-To “nourish sons and bring them up,” signifies instruction in divine truths, education, regeneration, and preparation for heaven, God is in the perpetual endeavour to regenerate and to save mankind; He cannot, however, spiritually regenerate any man, but in proportion as man, agreeably to His laws, regenerates himself, or cooperates with God. The work of regeneration is successive, answering, in its several stages, to man’s conception, his formation in the womb, his birth, and his education. Everyone becomes regenerate, or a son of God, in proportion as he abstains from the evils of sin and shuns them. A regenerate man is in communion with the angels of heaven, and an unregenerate man is in communion with the spirits of hell. T. C. R. 71, 73, 583-586, 607.

3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass the crib of his master : Israel doth not know; My people do not understand.

Verse 3. The ox knoweth his owner, &c.-[Although these words are said by way of comparison, shewing that animals live according to the order of their creation, but that man, if he rebels against God, does not live according to the order for which he is created, yet they are also correspondences, and imply that the natural man, both as to what is good, or what he conceives to be good, signified by the ox, and as to what is true, or what he considers to be true, signified by the ass, knows what is conducive to his natural states; and to the obtainment of his ends and objects in this life, according to what the Lord says,-” The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke. xvi. 8.) But as to the Lord and the spiritual things of His kingdom; they, that is, merely natural men, neither know nor consider and understand them.]

4 Woe to the sinful nation! a people heavy with iniquity; a seed of evil doers; sons that are corrupters: they have forsaken Jehovah; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel; they have gone astray backward.

Verse 4. “Woe” signifies lamentation over aversion from Goodness and Truth, and consequent damnation; also lamentation over calamity, danger, misery, destruction, or over evils and falses which devastate the church. A. E. 531, 564, 680.
By the “sinful nation” are signified those who are in evils, and by a “people heavy with iniquity,” those who are in falses thence derived; for “nation,” in the Word, when used in a bad sense, is. predicated of evils, and “people” of falses; the false of those who are principled in evils is signified by the “seed of evil doers;” and the false principles of those who are in the falses from that evil, are signified by the “sons who are corrupters.” That “sons” signify those who, in a good sense, are in truths, and in the opposite sense, those who are in falses, and, abstractedly, truths and falses. By “they have forsaken Jehovah, and despised the Holy One of Israel,” is signified that they have rejected divine Good and divine Truth; “Jehovah” denoting the Lord as to Divine Good, and the ” Holy One of Israel,” the Lord as to Divine Truth. By “their going astray backward,” is signified that they altogether receded from them, and went away to infernal evil and the false thence derived; for they who are in evils and falses in the spiritual world, turn themselves backwards from the Lord. A. C. 768. H. H. 123.
In this as in other passages, “nation” and a “seed of evil doers” denote evils which are of the will or lusts; “people” and “sons that are corrupters” denote the falses which are of the understanding, or persuasions. A. C. 622.
By “seed,” or those who are born, and by “generations,” are meant [in a good sense] those who are in love and faith to the Lord; and, in the abstract sense, the goods of love and the truths of faith; but in the opposite sense, “seed” signifies those who are against the things of the church, thus those who are in evil and the false thence derived, and in the abstract sense, evils and falses, as in Isaiah i. 4, “Woe to the sinful nation! a seed of evil doers.” A. C. 10,249. Thus the “seed of the serpent,” in Gen. iii. 15, signifies everything false derived from evil. A. E. 768.

5 Why should ye be smitten any more? Ye will continue to revolt: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness therein; it is wound, and bruise, and running sore: they have not been pressed, neither bound up, nor softened with oil.
7 Your country is desolate; your cities are burnt up with fire; your land before you, strangers devour it; and it is a desolation, as overthrown by strangers.

Verses 6, 7. By these words is described there being no good and thence no truth in the church, but evil and the false thence derived. “From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness,” signifies that both natural things and spiritual, which are the interiors of man and of his will, are destroyed; “wound, and bruise, and running sore,” signify evils of the will, and falses of the thought thence derived and continually abounding: evils of the will are also evil works; “not bound up, nor softened with oil,” signifies not amended by repentance, nor tempered by good. “Your country is desolate, your cities are burnt with fire,” signifies the church being devastated as to all truths, and the doctrinals thereof destroyed by a life according to cupidities arising from evil love. A. E. 962.

“Wound” is predicated of destroyed good or charity; and “bruise” of destroyed truth or faith; and “running [or fresh] sore” of each. A. C. 9056. See also 431.
Charity and faith constitute spiritual life, which life sickens when the false takes place of the truth which is of faith, and evil takes place of the good which is of charity, for these things [the false and the evil] bring that life to death, which is called spiritual death, and is damnation, as diseases bring the natural life to its death: hence it is that by “diseases,” in the internal sense, is signified evil. By all the “diseases” here named, are signified spiritual diseases, which are evils destroying the life of the will of good, and falses destroying the life of the understanding of truth,-in a word, destroying the spiritual life which is of faith and charity. Natural diseases, also correspond to such, for every disease in the human race is from this source because from sin. Every disease also corresponds to its evil; the reason is, because the all of the life of man is from the spiritual world; wherefore if his spiritual life sickens, evil is also thence derived in to the natural, and becomes a disease there. See what has been said from experience concerning the correspondence of diseases with evils, n. 5711-5727. A. C. 8364.

Verse 7. By “land” is meant the church, in like manner by ” ground;” and by “cities” the truths of the church, which are called doctrinals, and which are said to be “burned with fire,” when they are consumed by the evils of the loves of self and of the world. Hence it is evident what is signified by “strangers devouring the ground,” &c., viz., evils and the falses of evil destroying the church. A. C. ] 0,287.

8 And the daughter of Zion is left us a shed in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

Verse 8. By “Zion,” in the Word, is not understood Zion, but heaven and the church, where the Lord reigns by His Divine Truth. This is evident from many passages in which there are prophetic declarations concerning the Lord, as that “when He shall come, He will love Zion, and dwell there for ever;” whereas He did not love either that city or Jerusalem, as is evident from His own words concerning them, but He loved heaven and the church, where He is received by His Divine Truth. Hence it is that Zion is called His “rest,” His “habitation,” the “mountain of Jehovah,” the “city of God,” the “city of the great King,” the “city of Truth,” and that His “kingdom will be there to eternity, from generation to generation ;”-all which things could by no means be said of the [literal] Zion of David. A. E. 850.
“Daughters” and” virgins” signify those who are of the church, or those who are in the spiritual affection of Truth and Good, which makes the church. The “five wise virgins” signify the genuine
members of the church, and the “five foolish,” the spurious or wicked members. A. E. 212, 252, 675.
By the “cucumbers,” &c., are meant such things as belong to the lowest natural principle of man, or such things as belong to his sensual corporeal principle, (See Numbers xi. 5.)
[Hence it is that a “garden of cucumbers” signifies the church reduced to a merely sensual state.] A. E. 513.
[A besieged city, is the church. as to doctrine, invested and destroyed by false principles of every kind.]

9 Unless Jehovah of Hosts had left unto us a small remnant; we had become as Sodom, we had been like unto Gomorrah.

Verses 9, 24. Jehovah of Hosts.-ln the Word, frequent mention is made of “armies” or “hosts,” and the Lord is called ” Jehovah of Hosts,” or Zebaoth; and by “hosts” or armies, are there signified truths from good, combating against falses from evil: and in the opposite sense, falses from evil, combating against truths from good. The reason why such things are signified in the Word by “armies,” is, because by the “wars” mentioned in the Word, both in its historical and prophetical parts, in the, internal sense, are signified spiritual wars, which exist against hell, and against the diabolic crew there; and these wars have relation to truths and goods against falses and evils, whence it is that “armies” signify all truths from good, and in the opposite sense, all falses from evil. That they signify all truths from good, may appear from this circumstance—that the sun, the moon, and the stars, also the angels, are called the “armies” of Jehovah, by reason of their signifying all truths from good. in the complex; also the sons of Israel, by reason of their signifying the truths and goods of the church, are called “armies.” And in as much as all truths and goods are from the Lord, and the Lord alone combats for all in heaven and for all in the church, against falses and evils which are from hell, therefore He is called JEHOVAH ZEBAOTH, that is, “Jehovah of Hosts” or Armies. A. E. 573.

Verse 9. A small remnant.—That the true church decreases and remains at length with a few, is evident from the succession of churches. Those who remain are, in the Word, called “remains,” and a “remnant,” and these are also said to be “in the midst of the land.” In the universal it is the same as in the particular; or as in the church at large, so in the individual man in particular. Unless remains are preserved by the Lord with every man, he must needs perish in eternal death, for in remains is spiritual and eternal life: It is the same in the general or universal church: unless there were some in whom the church or true faith remains, or is preserved, the human race would perish. For the “city,” (Gen. xix. 20,21.) as is known, is preserved for the sake of some. It is in this respect, as ‘with the heart in man; so long as the heart is sound, the surrounding viscera can live, but when the heart languishes, disease sets in upon all things, and the man dies. These ultimate remains were signified by Noah, for otherwise, as it is said in Gen. vi. 12, the “whole earth would have been corrupted.” The prophets frequently speak of remains with each man, and in the church, as in Isaiah,-” And it shall come to pass that the left: in Zion, and the remnant in Jerusalem, shall be called. holy?,(iv. 3.) In this passage what is holy is predicated of the ” left and the remnant in Zion,” which could not be holy on that account, but because they signified remains [of what is Good and True] in a church, and also in the man of the church. A. C. 408.
In respect to remains which are with a man in particular, the fewer these remains are, the less can his rational and scientific principles be illustrated. For the light of Goodness and Truth flows in from the Lord, from or through the remains. If there were no remains with man, he would not be a man, but much viler than a brute. The more scanty remains are with a man, the less he is a man; and the more abundant they are, the more he is a man. Remains may be considered as a star in the heavens, the smaller it is, the less light there is from it; but the greater it is, the more light it gives. A C.530.
Sodom and Gomorrah: -That by “Sodom and Gomorrah ” are meant all evils and falses flowing from the love of self, has been told me from heaven; for when they who are in evils grounded in that love, perish, as was the case in the day of the Last Judgment, there appeared, as. it were, brimstone and fire raining from heave, which was also seen by me. That such would be the case also in the day of the Last Judgment, is predicted by the Lord in Luke xvii. 29, 30— “In the day that Lot departed out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” A.E. 653.
“Sodom” denotes the evil of self-love, and “Gomorrah” the false thence derived. A.C. 2220.

10 Hear ye the Word of Jehovah, O ye princes of Sodom! hearken to the law of our God, O ye people of Gomorrah!

Verse 10. By the “Word of Jehovah” is understood the Divine Good, and by the “law of our God” the Divine Truth, for when Good is treated of the term Jehovah is used, but when Truth is treated of the term God is employed; and whereas the Divine Good, to those who are in the
love of self, is evil, it is said, their “sin is as Sodom;” likewise,—“Hear the Word of Jehovah, O ye princes of Sodom ! ” And whereas the Divine Truth, to those who are in the false of the love of self is false, it is said-“Hearken to the law of our God, O ye people of Gomorrah! ” A. E. 653.

11 What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices? saith Jehovah: I am satiated with the burnt-offerings of rams, and with the fat of fed beasts; and in the blood of bullocks, and of lambs, and of he-goats, I have no delight.

Verse 11. “Burnt offerings” and “sacrifices” were nothing else but the representatives of internal worship, and when separated from internal worship they became idolatrous. Sacrifices were indeed commanded by Moses to the children of Israel; but the people of the most ancient church, which was before the flood, were altogether unacquainted with sacrifices, nor did it ever enter their minds to worship the Lord by the slaying of animals. The ancient church, which was after the flood, was likewise unacquainted with sacrifices. That church was indeed in representative worship, but not in that of sacrifice. Sacrifices were first instituted in the. succeeding church, which was called, the Hebrew church, and thence spread among the Gentiles; thence also such worship descended to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and thus to their poster!ty. That the posterity of Jacob were principled in sacrificial worship before they departed from Egypt, thus before sacrifices were enjoined by Moses on Mount Sinai, may appear from Exodus v. 3; x. 25, 26; xviii, 12; xxiv. 4, 5; and especially from their idolatrous worship of the “golden calf.” (xxxii. 5, 6.) This was done before the command was given to them concerning the altar and sacrifices; which command, therefore, was given because sacrificial worship with them, as with the Gentiles, had become idolatrous: from which worship they could not be withdrawn, because they esteemed it to be of especial sanctity, and because what is once implanted from infancy with all idea of sanctity, particularly if it be implanted into children by their parents, and thereby rooted in them, the Lord never breaks, but bends, unless it be contrary to essential order. Hence appears the reason why it was prescribed that sacrifices should be under such particular rites and regulations, as written in the law of Moses. That “sacrifices” were never acceptable to Jehovah, but were only permitted and tolerated for the reason just mentioned, plainly appears in the prophets,as in Jer. vii. 21-23,&c. A..C. 922, 2180.

“Burnt-offerings” and” sacrifices” signify all worship; the former worship from love, and the latter worship from faith proceeding from Love. A. C. 916, 924.

12 When ye come to appear before My face, who hath required this at your hands–to tread My courts?

13 Bring no more a vain oblation; as for incense, it is an abomination unto Me ; the new moon, and the Sabbath, and the calling of the assembly, I cannot endure; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

14 Your new moons and your stated feasts My soul hateth: they are a burden upon Me; I am weary of bearing them.

Verses 11, 12. Inasmuch as by the “faces of Jehovah” or the Lord, is signified the Divine Good united with the Divine Truth, going forth and proceeding from His Divine Love, therefore by the “faces of Jehovah” are also signified the interior things of the church, of the Word, and of worship; for the Divine Good united. to the Divine Truth is in the interiors of those things. The exterior things of the church, of the Word, and of worship, being only the effects and works thence derived, the interior things of the church, of the Word, and of worship, are signified by “seeing, seeking, and beseeching the faces of Jehovah,” as in Isaiah,—” What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices?” &c. A.E. 412.
Verses 11-19.-By “sacrifices, oblations, new moons, and feasts,” and also by “prayer;” “spreading out of the hands,” &c., are understood all things of worship: that such external acts of worship, unless the internal or heart is purified, are entirely evil, yea, abominable, is understood by the above words. The purification of the internal is understood by “wash you, make you clean; remove the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes,” &c. When the internal is thus cleansed, then all things both in life and worship become good, which is understood by the following words: ” Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow,” &c. The interior of man, or his heart, is no otherwise purified than by abstaining from, and shunning evils, according to the precepts of the Decalogue. Those evils, so long as a man does not abstain from them, and shuns and hates them as sins against God, constitute his Internal, and are like a veil or covering interposed [between him and the Lord], and, appear in heaven Iike an eclipse, by which the sun is obscured and the light intercepted, and it is also like a fountain of pitch or black water, from which nothing but what is impure can emanate. That which proceeds from this unregenerate internal, and which before the world appears as good, is nevertheless not good, because it is defiled with the evils from within; it is consequently a Pharisaic or hypocritical good; this good is from man, and is also meritorious good. The Lord says-“Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, that the outside may appear clean also.” (Matt, xxiii. 26.) A. E. 939.
These words describe a life of external piety separate from internal vital religion, which is charity. This life is a species of profanation. External worship consists in frequenting churches, hearkening devoutly to sermons, attending the sacrament of the Supper, and to other things of worship as appointed, by reading the Word at home, and sometimes books of devotion, and praying customarily morning and evening ; and yet to make no account of the precepts of life which are in the Word, and especially of those ill the Decalogue,-by acting insincerely and unjustly in trade, and in judgments for the sake of gain or friendship,-committing whoredom and adultery when lust enkindles, and opportunity serves,—burning with hatred and revenge against those who do not indulge their honour or gain, lying or speaking evil of the good, or good of the evil, and so on. When a man is in these things, and not yet purified from them by aversion and detestation, and still worships God devoutly, as was said above, then he commits profanation, for he mixes his internals which are impure with the externals which are pious, and so defiles the latter. For there can be nothing external which does not proceed and exist from the internals; for man cannot speak except from thought, nor act except from the will, when the life of the thought and of the will is imbued with cunning, in malice, and violence, it cannot be otherwise than that those things, as interior sources of life, will flow into the speech and actions, which are of worship and piety, and defile them, as waters are defiled with mire. This worship is what is understood by “Gog and Magog,” (Apoc. xx. 8.) and is described In Isaiah,-” What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices, meat offerings,” &c., “when your hands are full of bloods?” &c. (i, 11-19.) A.E.1061.

15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: even when ye multiply prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of bloods.

16 Wash you, make you clean; remove ye the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil;

17 Learn to do good; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge the fatherless; plead for the widow,

Verses 16, 17. That by ” washing” is signified to purify from falses and evils, appears manifestly from the above words, inasmuch as “to wash” signifies to remove falses and evils, therefore it is also said,-” Remove the evil of your doings; cease to do evil.” In ancient times, when all the externals of the church were representative and significative of things spiritual and celestial, washings were in use; and by them were represented purifications from falses and evils: the ground and reason of this signification of washings, was, because “waters” signified truths, and “filth,” falses and evils, and all purification from falses and evils is effected by truths; that “waters” signify truths, may be seen above, n. 71. Hence it is that washings were instituted with the people of Israel by command; for with them was a representative church, all things whereof signified things spiritual, and the “washings,” purifications from falses and evils, and thence regeneration: to’ this end, “a brazen laver was placed at the door of the tent of assembly :” (Exodus xxx.18-20.) and also, “lavers of brass were set without the temple; one great laver,. which was called the brazen sea, and, ten lesser ones.”(1 Kings vii. 23-39.) On account of such signification of washings, when Aaron and his sons were inaugurated into the priesthood, it was commanded Moses to “wash them with water at the door of the tent, and so to sanctify them.” (Exod, xxix. 4; xl. 12; Levit. viii. 6.) For the priests represented the Lord as to Divine Good, as the kings did as to Divine Truth, consequently the priests represented the divine sanctity, which is pure without blemish. This representation was induced upon Aaron and his sons by Moses washing them: wherefore it is said, that “so they should be sanctified,” although they acquired no sanctity by the mere washing. A. E. 475.

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be like wool.

Verse 18. The Lord wills not only that man should think and speak of things divine, but also reason concerning them, to the end that he may see that they are so or not so; and such thought, discourse, or reasoning, provided that it has for its end that he may see the truth, may be said to be from the Lord in him, but it is from the man until he sees truth and acknowledges it. In the meantime it is from the Lord alone that man is capable of thinking, speaking, and reasoning; for this he can do by virtue of his two faculties called liberty and rationality, which he possesses from the Lord alone. D. P. 219.
Though your sins be as scarlet, &c.-Inasmuch as by “scarlet” is signified truth, in like manner by ” snow;” and by “crimson” is signified good, in like manner by “wool;” and by” scarlet” and “crimson,” in the opposite sense, is signified what is false and evil, therefore, because falsity and truth, and evil and good; have an opposite correspondence to each other, it is said,-“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; and though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool:” A. E. 1042.

19 If ye be willing and hearken; ye shall eat the good of the land:

Verse 19. By “eating good” is signified spiritual good, wherefore it is said,- “If ye be willing and hearken,” [or obey] that is, if ye do; for spiritual food is given, conjoined, and appropriated to man, by willing and thence doing it. A. E. 617.

20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured by the sword: for the mouth of Jebovah hath spoken it.

Verse 20. -That a “sword,” in the Word, signifies truth combating against the false, and, in the opposite sense, the false against the truth, and hence dispersion of falses and also spiritual temptation, may appear from many passages therein, of which a few shall be adduced by way of confirmation, as in Matthew,-Jesus said that,”He was not come to send peace on earth, but a sword ;” (x. 34.) where by “sword” is understood the combat of temptation. The reason that it was thus said, was, because men at that time were in false principles, and the Lord manifested interior truths; and falses cannot be ejected unless by combats from those truths. Again in Luke;-” Jesus said, He that hath not a sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” (xxii. 36.) Many other passages might also be adduced. A. E. 131.

21 How is the faithful metropolis become a harlot! she that was full of judgment; justice dwelled in her; but now murderers,

22 Thy silver is become dross; thy wine is mixed with waters:

Verse 21.-A “harlot” signifies what is false, and “whoredoms” signify falsifications of truths. The ground and reason ‘why a “harlot” denotes the false, is, because marriage represents the eavenly marriage. which is that of Good and Truth,-the husband [in the celestial sense] the Good, and the wife the Truth; and hence Sons represent truths, and dauqhters goods, and the several affinities, according to their degrees, represent those things which are of the heavenly marriage. Therefore” adulteries and whoredoms,” inasmuch as they are opposite, signify what is evil and false, and also, in reality, they are opposite; for those whos spend their lives in adultery and fornication, have no concern at all about what is Good and True. The reason is, because genuine conjugial love descends from the heavenly marriage, that is, from the marrIage of Good and Truth; but adulteries and fornications from the conjunction of what is evil with what is false, which is from hell; see n. 2727-2759. A. C. 4865. [When therefore a doctrine, which is signified by a city, is false, it is called a “harlot,” and all its teachings are nothing but falsifications of Truth, which falsifications are, in the Word, called “fornications” or “whoredoms,” as might be proved from very many passages. ]

Verses 21, 22. By “harlot,” everywhere in the Word, is signified falsified truth, as may be seen above,. n. 141, 161; and by “city” is signified doctrine; hence by he “faithful city becoming a harlot,” is signified that doctrine which before was the doctrine of genuine Truth, is become the doctrine of falsified truth. “Full of judgment, justice lodged in her,” signifies where the truth of doctrine and the good of love was in abundance, for “judgment,” in the Word, is predicated of the truth of doctrine and of the understanding, and justice of the good of love and of the will ; “but now murderers,” signifies that falsification has extinguished the understanding of truth and the perception of good; that these things are signified by “murderers,” may be seen above, n. 859. “Thy silver is become dross,” signifies that genuine truth was converted into the false;”thy wine is mixed with waters,” signifies truth made vile and destroyed by falsifications. A.E. 887.

23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of robbers: everyone of them loveth a gift, and pursueth rewards; they judge not the fatherless, and the cause of the widow cometh not unto them.

Verse 23. -” Princes,” in the Word, are predicated of truths; and, abstractedly from persons, “princes” signify primary truths, and in the opposite sense; as in this passage, falses. A. C. “1482, 2089, 5044. [To be ” rebellious,” when said of princes, means to teach things contrary to pure Truth.] :
Companions of robbers.-A thief or “robber” is one who, by falses, destroys the goods of faith. A. C. 9125.
A ” robber” also denotes the evil of merit, for he who takes from the Lord what is His, and claims it to himself, is called a thief or a robber. This evil, inasmuch as it closes the way, and prevents Good
and Truth from the Lord flowing in, is said to “kill and destroy.” (John x. 10.) A. C. 5135.
Thus all who do not enter into the sheepfold by the Lord, who is the “Door,” that is, by going to Him, by acknowledging Him, believing in Him, and by loving Him, as He Himself teaches, (John x. 1-10.) are “thieves and robbers.” A. E. 208.
They judge not the fatherless, and the cause of the widow cometh. not unto them.-The “fatherless,” or orphans, in a spiritual sense, signify those who are in truth, and not yet in good, and yet desire to be in good; by a ” widow” is signified [ill the spiritual sense] good without truth, because left by truth, which is the man [or husband]. A. C. 9199. A. E. 768. [Thus to “judge and protect the fatherless,” and to “plead the cause of the widow,” is to lead a life of charity by uniting Truth with Good, or faith with charity.]

24 Wherefore saith the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: Ah! I will be relieved of Mine adversaries; and I will be avenged of Mine enemies:

Verse 24. -To act, or to be “avenged,” as an enemy to enemies, and as an adversary to adversaries, when predicated of the Lord, signifies that He averts all evils, which are enemies, and from which falses are derived, and all falses, which are adversaries, derived from evils. For these things are” enemies” and “adversaries” in the spiritual sense, because they continually infest, assault, and endeavour to destroy truths derived from good, for they are opposites. The reason why to act as an enemy and as an adversary, when said concerning Jehovah or the Lord, denotes to avert, namely evils [enemies], from which falses are derived, and falses [adversaries] derived from evil, is, because the Lord in no case acts as an “enemy” or an “adversary;” for He is Mercy itself and Goodness itself, and with Mercy itself and Goodness itself what is adverse cannot act [cadere] , not even against what is false and evil; but what is false and evil acts as an enemy and adversary against what is Good and True, that is, they who are in falsity and evil are against those who are in Truth and Good; and because the former destroy themselves, when they attempt to destroy the latter, hence it is that it appears as if the Lord acted as an adversary and an enemy [against the wicked], when yet He only places His own in security. From these considerations it is evident in what manner it is to be understood that by acting as an “enemy” and as an “adversary,” when said concerning the Lord, is signified to avert falses derived from evil. How the case is with this arcanum, see what was shewn above, n. 4299, 7643, 7679, 8266, 8946. A. C. 9313, 9314.

25 And I will bring Mine hand over thee, and will purge, as with potash, thy dross; and I will remove all thy tin.

Verse 25. -” Dross” and” alloy,” [also “tin,”] signify false doctrinal principles called “traditions,” (Matt xv. 3.) which the Jews and Israelites compacted from the literal sense of the Word, which they applied to themselves and to their own loves only. Such doctrines are called the “dross of silver,” because” silver” signifies the truth of the Word, and “dross,” nothing of truth, or what is abstracted from truth, which is rejected. The things which are of the literal sense of the Word, are signified by “brass, iron, tin, and lead,” because these things signify the goods and truths of the natural man, for whom the literal sense of the Word is given; and whereas from this sense they concocted false doctrines, which were traditions, it is said in Ezekiel xxii, 18-22, that “they should [at the period of judgment] be melted down together in the furnace.” A. E. 549.

26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: and after this thy name shall be called, The CITY OF JUSTICE, The FAITHFUL METROPOLIS.

Verse 26. I will restore thy judges and thy counsellors, &c.-ln the representative church, the priests were at the same time judges; as “priests” they represented divine Good, and as “judges” divine Truth. The “Judge of the whole earth” (Gen. xviii, 25,) includes both, and signifies Good itself, from which Truth proceeds. A. C. 2258. See also 6148. [“Judges,” therefore, in this passage, signify all truths from good, and ” counsellors ” all genuine truths of faith. These are said to be restored at the restoration and establishment of a New Church.]

27 Zion shall be redeemed in judgment, and her converts in justice.

Verse 27. -“Judgment,” in the Word, is predicated of Divine Truth and of intelligence thence derived, also of the Truth of doctrine and of the understanding thence derived; and “Justice” is predicated of Good, or of the good of love and of the will. A. E. 405, 519, 627, 652. [It is by the reception and love of these things that “Zion is redeemed,” or the true church of the Lord established.]

28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together; and they that forsake Jehovah shall be consumed.

Verse 28. In the Word, evils are sometimes called “sins,” sometimes “iniquities,” and sometimes “transgressions;” but what is meant specifically by the latter and the former, is only made evident from the internal sense: those evils are called transgressions, which are done contrary to the truths of faith; those are called iniquities, which are done contrary to the goods of faith; and those sins, “which are done contrary to the goods of charity and love. The two former proceed from a perverted understanding, but the latter from a depraved will; as in David,-” Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin; for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sins are continually before me.” (Psalm li. 2, 3.) “Iniquity” denotes evil against the goods of faith, “sin” denotes evil against the goods of charity and love, and “transgression” denotes evil against the truths of faith; inasmuch as this latter is evil proceeding from a perverse understanding, and is thus known from the truths of faith, it is therefore said-” I acknowledge my transgressions. Again,-“Remember Thy mercies, Jehovah, and Thy compassions; remember not the sins of my youth, and my transgressions ;” (Psalm xxv, 6, 7.) where “sins” denote evils derived from a depraved will, and “transgressions” denote evils derived from a perverse understanding. A. C. 9156.

29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired; and ye shall blush for the gardens which ye have chosen.

Verse 29. -There are with man things intellectual, things rational, and things scientific; the inmost parts of his mind are things intellectual; his interiors are things rational, and his exteriors are things scientific. These altogether are called his spiritual things, and they exist in the above order. The intellectual things of the celestial man are compared to a garden consisting of all kinds of trees; the things rational are compared to a forest consisting of cedars and trees of that nature, such as flourished in Lebanon; but things scientific are compared to plantations of oaks, on account of the twisted branches which distinguish the oak. By the “trees” themselves are signified perceptions, us by the “trees of the garden of Eden on the east,” were signified inmost perceptions, or the perception of things intellectual. By the “trees of the forest of Lebanon,” were signified interior perceptions, or the perceptions of things rational; whereas by the “trees of an oak grove,” were signified exterior perceptions, or the perceptions of things scientific which appertain to the external man. A.C. 1443.

30 For ye shall be as an oak casting its leaves; and as a garden wherein are no waters.

31And the strong shall become as tow, and his work as a spark; and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

Verses 30, 31. -By “oak” is signified the natural man, and by its “leaves,” the scientiflcs and knowledges of truth therein; by “garden” is signified the rational man; hence ‘by being as “an oak casting its leaves, and as a garden wherein are no waters,” is signified the deprivation of scientific truth, and of rational truth. By “the strong, and his work,” is signified what is produced from self-derived intelligence: he is sometimes called “strong” in the Word, who trusts in himself and his own intelligence, for he supposes himself, and the work which he thence produces, to be strong, and forasmuch as the proprium of man imbibes all that is evil and false, and thereby destroys all good and truth, therefore it is said,-“The strong shall become as tow, and his work as a spark; and they shall both burn together;” to be “burned” donating to perish by falses originating in evil. A. E. 504.

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]