1 THE burden of Babel, which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
VERSE 1. The burden of Babel [or Babylon], which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.-As in this chapter and in the following [and also in many other parts of the Word, especially in Apoc. xvii., xviii.] the subject treated of is concerning Babylon, therefore before we proceed to the explication of these chapters, it shall be shewn what is understood by “Babylon” in general and in particular; also what its quality is in the beginning, and what it becomes afterwards by degrees. By “Babylon” or by “Babel” is understood the church, consisting of those who, by the holy things of the church, aspire to dominion over the universal terrestrial globe, and this by exercising a dominion over the souls of men, claiming to themselves a power of saving whomsoever they will; and who at last seek and appropriate to themselves dominion over heaven and hell; for which end they derive and transfer to themselves all the Lord’s power, as if it was given to them by Him. The church, consisting of such in its. beginning, is not the same as it becomes in process of time, In the beginning they are, as it were, in zeal for the Lord, for the Word, for love and faith, and especially for the salvation of men; but in that zeal lies concealed the fire of the love of ruling, which in process of time, as dominion increases, breaks out, and in the degree in which it comes into act, the holy things of the church become the means, and dominion itself the end; and when dominion becomes the end, then the holy things of the church are applied to that end, thus to themselves; and then they not only make the salvation of souls dependent on their own power, but also appropriate to themselves all the divine power of the Lord; and when they do this, they then pervert all the good and all the truth of the church, and thus profane its sanctities;-these things are “Babylon.”
That this is the case has been shewn to me to the life. In the spiritual world there were such as affected a like dominion: and whereas they knew that all power belonged to the Lord alone, they put on a zeal as it were for Him, and for heaven, and for the church, and laboured with all their might that they might worship the Lord alone, and that all things of the Word might be kept most holy; they also ordered that sanctity and integrity might reign in all; but it was given to know that in that zeal lay concealed an ardent cupidity of ruling over all others, believing that these things which they ordained were accepted by the Lord; for in truth, as soon as they obtained dominion, by degrees the end was revealed, which was not that the Lord, but that themselves, might rule, and thus that the Lord might serve them, and not they the Lord, being indignant if it was not allowed them as gods to dispose all things at their nod; yea, it was apperceived that they made light of the Lord, and even rejected Him, if the power was not granted them of doing all things according to their own pleasure, and unless every decision of theirs was assented to. It was also apperceived that they were desirous, under any pretence, to transfer His divine power to themselves if they dared, but were afraid of being cast down into hell if they did so; hereby it was shewn how “Babylon”, begins, and how itterminates.
Hence also it was given to conclude, that whilst dominion becomes the end, and the holy things of the church become the means, the worship of God is turned under various pretences into the worship of men, so that they themselves are gods in act, and the Lord is God not in act, but is merely called so for the sake of form. Now, inasmuch as dominion by the holy things of the church over the souls of men, over heaven, and over the Lord Himself, is inwardly profane, it follows that it is infernal; for the devils who are in hell covet nothing more than to exercise dominion over heaven, and over the Lord Himself, which they also attempt under various pretences, but whilst they are in the attempt they are swallowed up by hell. Inasmuch as in the world they who cast down the Lord from the seat of His kingdom, and place themselves upon it, are in heart like to devils, it is evident that the church consisting of them, in process of time, must be devastated as to all the Good and all the Truth thereof; this is its end. That they are devils appears from the same in the spiritual world. They who have exercised the divine power of the Lord in the world, after death speak most holily concerning the Lord and worship Him with all external devotion; but when their interiors are inspected [for they may be uncovered and inspected in the spiritual world], it is given to see that they are profane, because atheistical, and full of diabolical craftiness; hence it was manifested that their holy externals served them only as means to an end, which end was dominion.
It was once a question among certain spirits, whether any devil in hell could do the like, wherefore one of the worst was then called, and it was told him that he might receive dominion over many, if he could worship the Lord with sanctity, and acknowledge His Divine [Principle] equal to the Divine [Principle] of the Father, and perform at the same time all things appertaining to worship: he, when he heard that he could have dominion over many, immediately disposed his interiors to cunning, and his exteriors to holiness, and worshipped the Lord in a more holy manner than many angels, waxing angry against all those who adored Him not; but as soon as he observed that dominion was not given to him he became enraged against the Lord Himself, and not only denied His Divine [PrincipleJ and also the Divine [PrincipleJ of the Father, but cast reproaches upon both, for he was an atheist. That such is also the nature of “Babylon” at this day is manifestly evident from this consideration, that under the pretence of the keys being given to Peter, they have transferred to themselves all the divine power of the Lord, having shut up divine Truth from the people by taking away from thorn the Word, and have attributed to the dictates of the pope a sanctity equal, yea, actually superior to the sanctity of the Word: they also teach but little, if anything, of the fear and worship of God, but the fear and worship of themselves, and also the worship of holy things for the sake of themselves. Hence it is manifest that “Babylon,” in its end, is the church void and empty of all the good of love to God, and of all the good of love towards their neighbour, and consequently of all truth, whence it is no longer a church, but an idolatry; and therefore differing very little from the Gentilism of the aucients, who worshipped Baal, Ashtaroth, Beelzebub, and several others, and notwithstanding had temples, stated feasts, altars, sacrifices, incense, drink-offerings, and other things similar to what were in the Jewish church. These things are adduced concerning “Babylon” in its beginning and in its end, in order that it may be known whence it is that “Babel,” in the Word, is sometimes extolled even to heaven, and sometimes cast down even to hell. That such is the nature of “Babel” may fully appear from the descriptions and representations thereof in the Prophets, and especially in Daniel. A. E. 1029.
2 Upon a lofty mountain erect the standard; exalt the voice unto them; wave the hand; that they may enter the gates of princes.
Verse 2. Upon a lofty mountain erect the standard, &c.-By a “sign” or a “standar,” in the Word, is signified a calling together to war, and whereas it is Jehovah who [in this case] calls together for war, protection from Him is also signified by the “standard.” That by a “standard” or a sign is signified a calling a together for war is manifest from this consideration, that when convocations were made, whether for journeyings or for festivals, or for war, they sounded the trumpet, and also lifted up a sign or standard upon the mountains. That they “sounded the trumpet,” see Numb, x. 1-11 ; that they “lifted up a sign or standard” is evident from the following passages:-“Announce ye in Judah, and in Jerusalem call ye to be heard; and say, and sound the trumpet in the earth; proclaim, fill, say, Be gathered together, and let us enter into cities of fortification. Set up a standard towards Zion: assemble, stay not.” (Jer. iv. 5, 6.) And in Isaiah-“All ye inhabitants of the globe, and dwellers all the earth, when a standard shall be lifted up, behold ye, and when a trumpet sounds, hear ye.” (xviii. 3.) Again-” He hath lifted up a standard for the Gentiles from far, and hath hissed to him from the extremity of the earth, and behold, the swift one shall quickly come. (v. 26.) Again– “LIft ye up a standard on a lofty mountain, lift up a voice unto them, shake the hand, that the gates of the princes may come.” (xiii. 2.) Again-“Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Behold, I Will lift up My hand towards the nations, and towards the people will lift up My standard, that, they may bring thy sons in the bosom, and may carry thy daughters upon the shoulder.” (xlix. 22.) From these passages it is evident that by a “standard ” is signified a gathering together. That a “standard” or a sign, when it is predicated of the Lord, signifies also protection, is manifest from Isaiah-“They shall fear from the west the name of Jehovah, and from the rising of the sun His glory, because He shall come as a strait river, the Spirit of Jehovah shall set up a standard in it; then shall the Redeemer come to Zion.” (lix. 19.) Again-” It shall come to pass in that day, the Root of Jesse, which standeth for a standard of the people, the nation shall seek; and His rest shall be glory.” (xi. 10.) Inasmuch as a “sign,”which in the original tongue is expressed by the same expression as a “standard,” signified a gathering together, and when it was said of the Lord, signified also protection, therefore it was expressly commanded that a brazen serpent should be set for a sign, concerning which it is thus written in Moses-” Jehovah said to Moses, Make to thyself a serpent, and set it upon a standard; and it shall come to pass, that everyone who hath been bitten, and shall look at it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon a standard ; whence it came to pass, if a serpent bit a man, and he looked on the serpent of brass, he revived.” (Numb. xxi. 8, 9.)” That the” brazen serpent” represented the Lord, see John iii. 14, 15; that it also signified protection is evident, for the healing effected by “looking on the serpent which was on the standard,” signified healing from evils of the false by looking on the Lord through faith in Him ; for the Lord says in the passage quoted from John-” As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but have eternal life. ” A. C. 8624.
3 I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones to [execute] My wrath;. those that exult in My greatness.
Verse 3. I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones,&c.-[These words signify that the Lord, as the Word, arranges His divine Truths-“His sanctified ones,”-,-and His divine Goods-” His mighty ones,” for the execution of judgment, denoted by His “wrath.” Similar things are meant by these words as by the Lord’s “coming to judgment with His angels.” Matt.xxiv. 31.]
4 The voice of a multitude in the mountains, the likeness of much people; the voice of the tumult of kingdoms, of nations gathered together! Jehovah of Hosts mustereth the host for the battle.
Verse 4. The voice of the tumult of kingdoms, of nations gathered together, &c.–By the “kingdoms of the nations gathered together,” of which a tumult is predicated, are not understood nations gathered together from the kingdoms [of this world], for this is a prophetic, and not an historical passage; but by the “kingdoms of the nations gathered together,” are signified the falses of evil which they have made to cohere, and by their “tumult” is understood their threats and eagerness of desire to combat against truths; for “kingdoms” are predicated of truths, and, in the opposite sense, of falses, and “nations” signify goods, and, in the opposite sense, evils, as may be seen above, n. 175, 331; and “tulmult” is predicated of the eager desire of combating, in the present case, against truths; “Jehovah rnustereth the host,” signifies the arrangement of truths from good by the Lord against the falses from evil; the Lord, is the Word, is called ” Jehovah Zebaoth,” from truths and goods comating against falses and evils, for “Zebaoth” signifies hosts, and “hosts” signify the truths and goods of heaven and the church; and to “number” or muster, signifies to arrange them, and “war” spiritual combat. A.E.453.
As to the meaning of “Jehovah Zebaoth,” or of Hosts, see above, Chap. i. 9, 24, Exposition.
5 They come from a distant land, from the extremity of the heavens; Jehovah, and the weapons of His wrath, to destroy the whole land.
Verse 5. They come front a distant land, from the extremity of the heavens, &c.-To be at a distance [or to “come from a distant land “] signifies to be in externals, because a man is in himself when he is in his internals, for his love resides there, and hence is his life. The internals of man are such things as belong to his spirit, and in the Word are understood by “things near;” wherefore externals, which are remote from internals, are understood by “things distant.” Every evil man also, whilst he is in externals, is not like himself such as he is in internals; for he then speaks and acts otherwise than he thinks and wills. For his thought and his will then is that be may appear a civil, moral, and also a spiritual man, and this either on account of the law and its penalties, or on account of fame and of honour and gain, thus on account of the fear of the loss of those things. That then rnan was at a distance from himself is evident from this circumstance, that when he returns from his externals into his internals, which is the case when he is alone, he then thinks and wills altogether otherwise, and also speaks otherwise with his companions who are like himself; hence it is evident that to “stand at a distance” is to be in things external. What is signified, in a good sense, by “coming from afar” or a distance, see below, Chap, xliii. 6; xlix. 1, 12, Exposition; and in Zechariah- “They shall come from afar, and build the temple of Jehovah.” (vi. 15.) Those “coming from afar” are the nations who are receptive of what is good and true; the “temple which they shall build” is the church. But in the opposite sense, by “afar off,” and “the extremity of the earth or of heaven,” is signified evil, because this is the external man; for all who are in evils, and thence in falses, are external men. These are understood by “the nations and the peoples at a distance, and coming from the extremeties of the earth,” in the following passages, as in Isaiah-“The nations afar off and coming from the end of the earth;” (v. 26; xiii. 5.) and in Jeremiah iv. 16; v. 15. A.E.1133. See also above, Chap. v. 26, Exposition.
[They who “come from a distance to destroy the land,” that is, the church as fallen under the dominion of Babylon, or as actuated by the love of dominion by means of the truths of the Word and the holy things of the church, are here represented as “the weapons of Jehovah’s wrath,” which are evils and falses of every kind arising from Babylonish principles, For Babylon must not be thought of as a distant city long since destroyed, but as a state of things existing in the fallen church and in the unregenerate mind. It should be observed that Jehovah is said to “commancl His sanctified ones,” and to “call His mighty ones,” (verse 3.) which signify the Lord’s coming to judgment in the Truths conjoined with the Goods of His Word, by the influx and power of which, evils and falses, signified by those “from a distance,” are laid bare and overwhelm them with destruction. Why evils and falses are said to be “the weapons of Jehovah’s wrath,” see above, in respect to “anger,” when ascribed to Jehovah, Chap. ix. 12, 17, 21; see also Chap. i. 24, Exposition.]
6 Howl ye, for the day of Jehovah is near; as a devastation from the Almighty shall it come.
7 Therefore shall all hands be slackened, and every heart of man shall melt;
Verses 6-8. Howl ye, for the day of Jehovah is near, &c.-The “day of Jehovah which is near,” signifies the Last Judgment performed by the Lord when He was in the world; their terror on account of the destruction then impending, is signified by “all hands are slackened, and every heart of man melteth, and they are sore afraid;” that their attempts to receive the goods and truths of heaven and the church are then in vain, by reason of the falses of evil in which they were and still are, is signified by “pangs and sorrows seizing them, as a woman in travail;” that they are in the evils of hatred and anger, is signified by their “faces being faces of flames.” A. E. 721.
Verse 6. As a devastation from the Almighty shall it come.-The “devastation from the Almighty” [Shaddai] , signifies devastation in temptations. That God, as to temptations, was called by the ancients Shaddai, see A. C. 1992, 3667.
“God Shaddai” signifies temptations and consolations after them, because Truths from Good [the source of consolations], are implanted in man by temptations, A. C. 5376, and A. E. 283.
8 And they shall. be terrified: pangs and sorrows shall seize them; as a woman in travail they shall be pained: they shall be astonished every man at his companion; their faces shall be faces of flames.
Verse 8. They shall be terrified; pangs and sorrows shall seize them, as a woman in travail, &c.-These words treat of the Last Judgment [specifically upon those understood by Babylon], when the evil are let into their interiors. The interiors of those who are in the love of self and of the world, and thence, in hatred and revenge, are understood by “their faces being faces of flames,” for so they appear. The torments they then suffer from the influx of divine Good and of divine Truth, are signified by the “pangs and sorrows as of a woman in travail.” Their torments are compared to the “pangs and sorrows of a woman in labour,” from a similar cause to that stated in Genesis iii. 16; for evils and falses are then conjoined; in which case, when divine Good and Truth flow in, “pangs and sorrows seize upon them.” A.E. 412.
9 Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh! cruel with indignation, and with burning wrath: to make the land a desolation; and the sinners thereof He shall destroy from out of her.
Verses 9, 10, 12, 13. Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, to make the land a desolation; &c.-That the “land” here denotes the church, is evident from each expression understood in a spiritual sense. The subject treated of is concerning its end, when Truth and Good, or Faith and Charity, are no more; for by “the constellations and stars which do not shine,” are signified the knowledges of Truth and Good; by “the sun which is darkened in its rising,” is signified love; by “the moon which causeth not its light to shine,” is signified faith; by “man who shall be rendered more rare than pure gold, ” is signified intelligence and wisdom. Hence it is manifest what is meant by “Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, to make the earth a desolation; I will make the heavens tremble, and, the earth [or land] shall be shaken out of her place.” The “day of Jchovah” is the end of the church, when judgment takes place; the “earth” [or land] is the church; that the earth itself is not shaken out of its place is evident, but that the church where there is not Love and Faith is removed; to be ” shaken out of her place” is to be removed Irom a former state. A.E.304.
Verses 9, 13. Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel with indignation &c.-By a “cruel day” and the “burning wrath of Jehovah” is understood the Last Judgment; and because it is the evil which waxes hot and the false which is angry, it is therefore called “the day of the wrath of anger;” by “the earth which shall be made a desolation, and which shall be shaken out of her place,” is understood the earth. which is in the spiritual world, for in that world there are earths as in our world; and when the Last Judgment is performed, the earths in that world are “made a desolation,” and are “shaken out of their places,”the mountains and hills being overturned, and the valleys sinking into marshes, where the face of things is entirely changed. By the “earth,” in the spiritual sense, is everywhere understood the church; for in the spiritual world the face of the earth is similar to the state of the church with those who dwell there, wherefore when the church perishes the earth also perishes, for they make one; and then in place of the former earth a new one exists. But these changes are unknown to us on our earth, which nevertheless are to be declared and manifested, in order that the spiritual sense of such expressions as we are treating of may be unrlerstood. A E. 413.
The devastation and destruction of the church at its end are described by the “indignation, anger, and wrath of Jehovah,” whereas it is quite the contrary, namely, that instead of the Lord it is man who as being in evil, is “indignant, angry, and burns with wrath,” and opposes himself to what is Good and True. The punishment which is from evil is ascribed to Jehovah on account of the appearance. Elsewhere, frequently, in the Word, the last time of the church and its destruction is called “the day of the anger of Jehovah.” AC 5798.
As to the meaning of “anger,” when ascribed in the Word to the Lord, see above, Chap. ix. 12, 17, 21, Exposition.
10 For the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not shine forth with their light: the sun shall be darkened at his rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Verses 9-18. The day of Jehovah cometh, cruel with indignation, and with burning wrath, &c.-The subject here treated of is concerning the last time of the churoh, when there is no longer any faith and charity, which time is “the day of Jehovah, cruel with indignation, and with burning wrath.” Every one may see that something else is meant than what the words barely dictate; but what is meant cannot be known but from the significatives of the expressions in the spiritual sense, in which sense that “earth” [or land] denotes the church, see n. 566, 662; hence “to make the land a desolation, and to destroy sinners from out of her,” signifles the man of the church at that time without faith and charity. That “stars and constellations” denote the knowledges of truth and good, see n. 2120; which are said “not to shine with their light,” when they are no longer illustrated by the light of heaven which flows in by [or through] the faith of charity; that the “sun” denotes love to the Lord, and the “moon” faith in Him, see n. 2120, 2441; hence “the sun being darkened in his rising,” signifies that love to the Lord cannot exist with man, and “the moon not causing her light to shine,” signifies that neither can charity and faith exist, thus that man cannot any longer be regenerated. To “make a man more rare than fine gold, and [the son of] man than the gold of Ophir,” signifies that good is no longer seen, nor truth, for by “man” is signified the good of the church, n. 4287, and by the “son of man” truth derived from good; in the supreme sense the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, n. 1724, 1733. “Everyone that is found shall be thrust through,” signifies that all would perish by reason of the evil of the false; and “everyone that is gathered together shall fall by the sword,” signifies that they should perish by reason of the false; that to be “thrust through” denotes to perish by reason of the evil of the false, see n. 4503; and that to “fall by the sword” denotes to perish by reason of the false, see n. 2799. “Their infants shall be dashed before their eyes,” signifies that they were about to extinguish innocence altogether, for” infants” denote innocence, n. 430; “their wives being ravished,” signifies that the goods of truth were perverted, for” wives” denote the goods of truth, 11. 2517, 4510, and to be “ravished ” denotes to be perverted, n. 2466, 4865. “their bows shall dash the young men to pieces,” signifies that the truths of good were about to perish by doctrines of the false derived from evil, for a “bow” denotes the doctrine of truth, and, in the opposite sense, the doctrine of the false, n. 2686; “young men” denote truths confirmed, n. 7668; and “their eye shall not spare the sons,” signifies that he who understands truths still extinguishes them, for “sons” denote truths, n. 489, 491, and the “eye” denotes the understanding of truth, n. 2701. From these considerations it is now plain what is meant by the above prophetic words, viz., that when the church comes to its end, all Truth and all Good are about to perish. A. C. 8902.
11 And I will visit upon the world its wickedness, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease; and I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Verse 11. I will visit upon the world its wickedness, and upon the wicked their iniquity.-By the “world” here also are understood those of the church who are in evils, and by the “impious” those who are in falses; wherefore it is said-“I will visit upon the world its wickedness, and upon the wicked their iniquity;” “evil or ‘wickedness” denoting evil, and “iniquity” is predicated of falses. A. E. 741.
Verses 11, 15. I will visit upon the world its wickedness; everyone found therein shall be thrust through, &c.-Treating also of Babylon. That “everyone found therein shall be thrust through,” signifies that they shall perish by evil; and “everyone that is gathered together shall fall by the sword,” signifies to perish by falses. A. E. 315.
12 I will make a man more rare than fine gold; and [the son of] man than the gold of Ophir.
13 Wherefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth shall be shaken out of her place: in the indignation of Jehovah of Hosts;. and in the day of His burning anger.
Verse 12. I will make a man more rare than fine gold, &c.-By a “man” [virum hominem] is signified intelligence, and by a “man” [hominem], wisdom: and that these were about to cease, is signified by its being said that “they shall be rendered rare.” Intelligence is distinguished from wisdom by this, that intelligence is the understanding of truth, such as the spiritual man has, and wisdom is the understanding of truth, such as the celestial man has; the understanding of the latter being from the will of good. Hence it is evident what is signified bythe “man” [virum hominem] and what by the “man” [hominem], in the above passage. A.E.280.
By a “man” is there understood intelligence, the scarcity of which Is understood by being “more rare than fine gold; by intelligence is meant that which is derived from truths, truths being the foundation of all intelligence. By “shaking the heavens, and the earth being moved out of its place,” is signified the dissipation of the good of love and the truth of faith, and worship in tho externals thence derived; “the heavens and the earth” signifying here, as above, the internal and external of the church, the former being the good of love and faith; and the latter the worship thence derived; for according to the quality of the internal of the man of the church, such is his external, inasmuch as the latter proceeds entirely from the former. Without this there is external inanimate worship and expression without spirit, and without thought from which expression flows, and will from which gesture comes, without life, for there is no spiritual principle therein from which life is derived. A. E. 400.
14 And it [Babel] shall be as a roe chased, and as sheep when there is none to gather them: they shall look everyone to his own people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land.
15 Everyone that is found shall be thrust through; and everyone that is gathered together shall fall by the sword.
16 And their infants shall be dashed before their eyes; their houses shall be plundered, and their wives ravished.
Verse 14., And it [Babel] shall be as a roe chased, &c.-[The “roe” or gazelle chased,” and the “sheep having none to gather them,” &c., signify when predicated of Babel, as in this case, those who are in external good as represented by those animals, but not in internal good. At the period of Judgment there are many who have the semblance of good in the external, but not the reality thereof in the internal. “They seem to have,” (Luke viii. 18.) but this semblance is then taken away, when “they look to their own people, and flee to their own land,” which signifies that they come to their own states, and put on externals corresponding to their internals.]
17 Behold, I will raise up against them the Medes, who do not esteem silver; and as to gold, have no delight in it.
18 Their bows shall dash the young men to pieces; and all the fruit of the womb they shall have no pity: their eye shall not spare the sons.
Verses 17, 18. Behold, I will raise up against them the Medes, &c. By the “Medes” are understood those who make no account of the Truth and Good of the church, and destroy those things which are thence of the understanding and love; by the “silver which they shall not esteem,” and by the “gold with which they shall not be delighted,” is signified the Truth and Good of heaven and the church; by “silver” their truth, and by “gold” their good. “Their bows shall dash the young men to pieces, and on the fruit of the womb they shall have no pity, ” signifies that falses of doctrine will destroy all the understanding of truth and all the good of love; “bows” denotin the falses of doctrine, “young men” the intelligence of truth, and “the fruit of the “womb” the good of love; “their eye shall not spare the sons,” signifies that their perverted understanding and insanity will devastate all the truth of the church; “sons” denoting truths, and the “eye” the understanding perverted, which is insanity. It is to be observed that by the “Medes” are not understood the Medes, but such persons and things in the church as devastate it. A. E. 710.
19 And Babel, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the magnificence of the Chaldeans, shall become as the overthrow by God of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Verse 19. Inasmuch as all the evil with them is from the love of self, and all the false is from that evil, and that evil and the false thence derived is condemned to hell, therefore it is said-“So shall Babel be, as the overthrow by God of Sodom and Gomorrah;” the “overthrow by God” signifying condemnation to hell, and “Sodom and Gomorrah,” the evils originating in the love of self and the falses thence derived. That these things are signified by “Sodom and Gomorrah,” may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 220, 2246, 2322. A. E. 357.
For the signification of “Sodom and Gomorrah,” see above, Chap.i. 9, Exposition.
Verses 19-22. Babel [or Babylon], &c.-The subject treated of in the whole of this chapter is concerning the total devastation of all things appertaining to the Good, and of all things appertaining to the Truth of the church, with those who are signified by “Babylon.” By “so shall Babel be,” in the sense of the letter, is understood the great city called “Babel,” but in the spiritual sense is understood thereby the church which became “Babylon.” Babel is called “the beauty of the kingdoms, and the glory of the magnificence of the Chaldeans,” from the wisdom of that church in its beginning, as has been said before; but, in general, by “Babylon” or “Babel” is understood the church in which all the goods of love are destroyed, and at last profaned, and by “Chaldeans,” the church in which all the truths of faith are destroyed; hence it is that it is called “the overthrow by God of Sodom and Gomorrah;” “Sodom” also signifying the destruction of all good by the love of self, and “Gomorrah” the destruction of all truth thence derived. “It shall not be inhabited for ever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation,” signifies the destruction thereof to eternity; “not to be inhabited for ever” having
respect to the destruction of Good, and “not to be dwelt in from generation to generation” having respect to the destruction of Truth, for they who destroy Good and Truth, and afterwards embrace what is evil and false in the place thereof, cannot be reformed. It is otherwise with those who are in evils and falses, but yet have not destroyed Good and Truth, as is the case with the nations or Gentiles who are ignorant of Good and Truth. “The Arab shall not pitch [his] tent there, neither shall the shepherds make their flocks to lie there,” signifies that the church will become such a wilderness; the “Arab” denoting those who live in a wilderness, but do not continue there, because there is no corn nor fruit, as is the case also with “the flocks of the shepherds,” when there is no pasture. ” The zijim shall lie there, and the ochim shall fill their houses,” signifies infernal falses and evils appertaining to them; the “zijim” infernal falses, and the “ochim” infernal evils; and the “house” is the mind of those who are of such a quality. “The daughters of the owl shall dwell there, and there shall the satyrs dance,” signifies that falsified truths and adulterated goods are there; falsified truths are “the daughters of the owl,” and adulterated goods are the “satyrs;” and to “dance or leap” denotes the joy arising from the’ filthy lust [of dominion] whereby the good of love to the Lord is adulterated. “The ijim shall howl in their houses, and dragons in their palaces of delights” [or voluptuousness], signifies those adulterations and falsifications in their doctrines. A. E. 1029.
20 It shall not be inhabited for ever; nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: the Arab shall not pitch [his] tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their flocks to lie there.
Verse 20. It shall not be inhabited for ever; nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; &c.-Whereas the love of self does not acknowledge any truth of the church, it is said “not a man shall dwell there, nor shall the son of man tarry therein;” by “man” [vir] is signified intelligence, and by “the son of man ” [filius hominis], the truth of the church. A. E. 653.
21 But monsters [Zijim] shall lie there; and doleful creatures [Ochim] shall fill their houses: and the daughters of the owl shall dwell there; and there shall the satyrs dance.
22 And wild beasts [Ijim] shall howl in their houses, and dragons in their palaces of voluptuousness: and her time is near to come; and her days shall not be prolonged.
Verse 21. But monsters [Zijim] shall lie there; and doleful creatures [Ochim] shall fill their houses: and the daughters of the owl shall dwell there; and there shall the satyrs dance.-These things are said concerning Babel. That such merely natural and corporeal concupiscences appertain to those who are understood by “Babel,” and constitute the life of their mind, is signified by their “houses” being filled with such things, and by their” dwelling and dancing there;” by “house” is signified the mind [mens], or the merely external rnind [animus] of man, with the things therein contained; by “the daughters of the owl” are signified falsities, and by “the demons of the forest, or satyrs,” cupidities merely corporeal. A. E. 586. See also A. R. 756, 757.
[See “A Description of Modern Babylon” in the next chapter.]