1 FOR Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will again choose Israel; and He will place them in their own land: and the sojourner shall be joined unto them, and they shall cleave unto the house of Jacob.
VERSE 1. Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, &c.-The Lord’s love is pure mercy towards the whole human race, which is of such a nature as to be desirous to save all, to make them eternally happy, and to bestow on them all things appertaining to itself; thus out of pure mercy to draw all, who are willing to follow, to heaven,-that is, to itself, by the powerful attraction of love. A. C. 1735.
And will again choose Israel.-The chosen or the elect are those who are in the life of Good and Truth. (A. O. 3755.) It is surprising that anyone should at all believe that the Jewish nation was chosen [for salvation] in preference to others. Hence also it comes to pass that many confirm themselves in this belief, that the life is of no account, but that election is everything, and that consequently reception into heaven is of mercy alone, without any regard to the life, when yet everyone from sound reason is enabled to see that to think so is to think against the Divine Being, for He is Mercy itself; wherefore if heaven was of mercy, without regard to the life, all would be received into heaven, whatsoever might be their numbers; to cast down anyone in to hell, when yet he might be received into heaven, would be unmercifulness and not mercy, and to choose one in preference to another, would be injustice and not justice. Wherefore they who have believed, and who have confirmed themselves in the belief, that some are chosen and the rest not chosen, and that admission into heaven is merely out of mercy, without any regard to the life, are told, as I have also occasionally heard and seen, that heaven is in no case denied by the Lord to any one, and that if they desire it, they may know it from experience. Wherefore they are elevated into some society of heaven inhabited by those who have spent their life in the affection of good or in charity; but when they come thither, inasmuch as they are evil, they begin to be tormented and inwardly tortured, because their life is contrary, and when heavenly light appears, they appear in that light as devils, almost without the human form. A. C. 5057.
[The Jews were said to be “chosen” or ” elect,” because they were chosen by the Lord to represent a church, not that they were chosen above all others for salvation, but to be types of a church established to represent the means and the process by which salvation is attained. It is chiefly from not making this distinction that the great error of predestination and of unconditional election has been so extensively believed.]
The sojourner shall bejoined unto them-“Sojourners” denote those who are instructed in the Truth and Good of the church, and who receive those principles and live according to them. A. C. 8007,8013, 9196.
They shall cleave unto the house of Jacob.-That to “cleave to” or to adhere, signifies, in the proximate interior sense, conj unction, is evident without explanation. That to “cleave to,” in the internal sense, is charity, is evident from this, that charity, or what is the same thing, mutual love, is spiritual conjunction; for it is a conjunction of affections which are of the will, and hence an agreement of thoughts which are of the understanding, thus a conjunction of minds as to both parts. Thus to “cleave unto the house of Jacob,” signifies to being the good of charity, in which those are who are signified by the “house of Jacob.” A. C. 3875.
Verses 1–25. Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, &c.-All these things are said concerning Babel, and not concerning any devil who was created an angel of light, and from his primaeval state was called “the son of the morning,” but becoming a devil was cast into hell. That Babel is here described appears from verses 4 and 22 of this chapter, where “Babel” and” the king of Babel” are mentioned, for it is said-“Thou shalt declare this parahle concerning the king of Babel;” and afterwards-“I will cut off from Babel the name and the remnant.” It is to be observed that by a “king,” in the Word, is signified the same as by his “kingdom.” The reason why Babel is called “Lucifer, the son of the morning,” is, because, as was said above, “Babel” in the beginning is the church, which is in zeal for the Lord, for the good of love, and for the truths of faith, although inwardly in the zeal of her pastors there lies concealed a fire of the love of ruling, by the holy things of the church, over all whom they can subject to themselves; hence it is that Babel is called “Lucifer, the son of the morning;” for the same reason he is also called “the king of kings, into whose hand are given all things; and also the head of the statue which was gold;” (Dan. ii. 37, 38.) likewise, also, “the tree in the midst of the earth, great in height.” (Dan. iv, 10, 20.) Babel in its beginning is also understood by “the lion which had the wings of an eagle, and which afterwards appeared as a man, and a man’s heart was given unto it;” (Dan. vii. 4.) and is called “the ornament of the kingdoms, and the glory of the magnificence of the Chaldeans;” (lsa. xiii. 19.) it is also mentioned amongst “those that know Jehovah.” (Psalm lxxxvii. 4.) Now whereas by “Babel,” in its beginning, is signified such a church, therefore the king of Babel is here called “Lucifer, the son of the rnorning;” “Lucifer,” from the light of truth in which that church then is, and “son of the morning” [aurora], from the first beginning of light or of day, for the aurora or “morning dawn” is the church in its beginning. But still in that chapter is described that church as to its state in the end, when “Babylon became a harlot,” (Apoc, xvii.] which is the state thereof when there is no longer any Good of love nor any Truth of faith remaining; this its state is what is understood by the destruction and condemnation thereof to hell. Their destruction, spoken of in the Word, is no other than that after death those are cast down into hell who have arrogated to themselves a divine power, and have exercised it, and for that end have held the people of the earth in dense darkness or blindness, and in idolatrous worship, especially those who have led men away from the worship of the Lord.
Inasmuch as these are the things which are described in that chapter, the passages which have been thence- adduced shall be briefly explained. “Jehovah shall have mercy upon Jacob, and shall yet choose Israel, to place them in their own land,” signifies the New Church to be established by the Lord: after the end of “Babylon.” “In that day thou shalt declare this parable concerning the king of Babel, and shalt say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the lust [or exactress] of gold ceased!” signifies liberation from the spiritual captivity and servitude, in which they were who were under the dominion of that church. “Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers,” signifies that they have no longer any power by truths from good, because they are in mere falses from evil; such is their impotence in the spiritual world. “The whole earth is at rest, it is quiet; they burst forth into singing; even the fir-trees rejoice over thee, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art fallen, no feller hath come up against us,” signifies that they who are in the knowledges of good and truth, will no longer be infested by them; the “land or earth” is the New Church, which will be “quiet” from them; the “fir-trees and the cedars of Lebanon” are the knowledges of good and truth in the external and in the internal sense ; “the feller not coming upon them” denotes no more infestation. “Hell from beneath is moved because of thee to meet thee at thy coming : he rouseth for thee the Rephaim, all the powerful ones of the earth; he maketh to rise up from their thrones all the kings of the nations,” signifies the delight of revenge of those who are in hell. “All of them shall answer and shall say unto thee, Art thou, even thou become weak as we? art thou made like unto us? Is then thy magnificence brought down to hell; the sound of thy viols?” signifies that the delight is from the consideration that it is become like to them, and in like manner in the falses of evil. ” How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the rnorning! how art thou cut down to the earth, thou that didst weaken the nations!” signifies scorning or mockery on account of its being such, although in the beginning it was in heaven, because in the good of love and in the truths of faith; these things are said by those who are in hell, because nothing is more delightful to those who are there than to draw any one down from heaven, and to destroy him by the falses of evil. “For thou didst say in thy heart, I will ascend the heavens; above the stars of God I will exalt my throne: and I will sit upon the mount of the assembly, all the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High,” are also words of scorn or mockery upon the pride of their dominion, that still they reach to heaven and arrogate to themselves divine power, and thereby subject all things of heaven and all things of the church to their own will, in order that they may be worshipped and adored as gods; the “mount of the assembly, on the sides of the north,” denotes where there is ascent into the heavens; “above the stars, and above the heights of the clouds,” denotes over divine Truth; “stars” denoting the knowledges of good and truth, and the” heights of the clouds,” the interior truths of the Word.
“But thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit; those that see thee shall look attentively at thee; they shall consider thee, [saying] Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that shook the kingdoms; that made the world like a desert; that destroyed the cities thereof?” is a continuation of the scorning of those who are in hell, and also of the glorying thence tbat it is east down from heaven; the “sides of the pit” are the places in hell where are mere falses of evil; by “the earth, the kingdoms, and the world,” is signified the church, and by ” cities” are signified doctrinals. “Thou art cast out of the sepulchre like an abominable shoot, like the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with the sword; like them that go down to the stones of the pit; like a trodden carcass,” signifies the state of their condemnation ; the garment of those that are slain, thrust through with the sword, and the trodden carcass,” signify the condemnation of the profanation of truth. “Thou shalt not be joined unto them in the sepulchre, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people; the seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever,” signifies more grievous condemnation than of the rest, on account of baving extinguished all things of the church. “Prepare ye slaughter for his sons, for the iniquity of their fathers; that they may not rise, and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities,” signifies the destruction of them for ever, “I will cut off from Babel the name and the remnant, and the son and the nephew,” signifies total destruction, because they have no longer anything of Good and of Truth. “I will make it an inheritance for the bittern, and stagnant pools of waters: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction,” signifies the infernal false by the destruction of truth. To “break Ashur or the Assyrian in My land, and to trample him on My mountains,” signifies that in the New Ohurch there shall not exist any ratiocinations from falses against truths and goods. Besides what has been here adduced, the things contained in this chapter may be seen more particularly explained in other parts of this work [adduced below], as n. 215, 223, 304, 331, 386, 405, 539, 589, 594, 608, 659, 687, 697, 724, 727, 730, 741, 768, 811. A.E.1029.
BABYLON – BABEL – LUCIFER
A DESCRIPTION OF MODERN BABYLON.
As to Babylon in modern times, or as manifested in the Christian church at the present day, the merely natural man confirms himself against the Divine Providence, because in many kingdoms where the Christian religion is received, there are some who claim to themselves Divine power, and desire to be worshipped as gods; and because they invoke dead men. They say, indeed, that they have not arrogated to themselves divine power, and that they do not desire to be worshipped as gods; but yet they say that they can open and shut heaven, and remit and retain sins, consequently can save and condemn men, which is the prerogative of Divinity itself; for the Divine Providence has nothing for its end but the reformation and thereby the salvation of mankind. This is its continual operation with everyone; and salvation cannot be effected except by an acknowledgment of the Lord’s Divinity, and confidence that it is wrought by Him, when a man lives according to His commandments. Who cannot see that this is the “Babylon” described in the Revelation, and the “Babel” treated of in many parts of the Prophets? That this also is meant by “Lucifer” in Isaiah xiv., is evident from the 4th and 22nd verses of that chapter, in which are the following words :- “Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babel;” (verse 4.) and afterwards, ” I will cut off from Babel the name and remnant ;” (verse 22.) from which it is evident that Babel is there signified by “Lucifer,” of whom it is said-” How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! For thou didst say in thy heart, I will ascend the heavens; above the stars of God I will exalt my throne: and I will sit upon the mount of the assembly, on the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like tho Most High. (xiv. 12-14.) That they invoke dead men, and pray to them for succour, is well known. It is affirmed that they invoke them, because the invocation of them is established by a papal, bull, confirming the decree of the Council of Trent, in which it is openly said that, they are to be invoked: yet who does not know that God alone ought to be invoked, and not any dead man? But it shall now be stated why the Lord has permitted such things. That He has permitted them for a certain end, which is salvation, cannot be denied; for it is well known that without the Lord there is no salvation. This being the case, there was a necessity that the Lord should be preached from the Word, and the Christian church; thereby established; but this could not be effected except by leaders who should act with zeal; and there were no others qualified, than such as were heated, as it were, with zeal, from the fire of self-love. This fire first excited them to preach the Lord and teach the Word;, and from this their primitive state it is, that Lucifer is called “the son of the morning.” (verse 12.) But as they came to see that they should be able to obtain dominion by means of the holy things of the Word and the church, self-love, by which they were first excited to preach the Lord, broke out from within, and at length exalted itself to such a height, that they transferred all the divine power of the Lord to themselves, not leaving Him any. This could not be prevented by the Divine Providence of the Lord; for had it been prevented, they would have proclaimed the Lord not to be God, and the Word not to be sacred, and would have become Socinians or Arians, and thus have destroyed the whole church; which, whatever may be the character of its rulers, still remains among the people who are under them. For all those of that religion also, who approach the Lord, and shun evils as sins, are saved; for which reason there are many heavenly societies from them in the spiritual world; and it is also provided that there should be among them a nation which has not submitted to the yoke of such a dominion, and which considers the Word as sacred. This is the noble French nation. [In Swedenborg’s time the Jansenists, who advocated the reading of the Word, and who resisted the Bull Unigenitus, prevailed in France; but now the Jesuits are predominant in that country.] But what was the consequence? When self-love which is “Lucifer,” had exalted its dominion even unto the throne of the Lord, had removed Him thence, and placed itself upon it, it could not do otherwise” than profane all things appertaining to the Word and the church; and to prevent this, the Lord so ordered it of His Divine Providence, that those who were under its influence should depart from the worship of Him, invoke dead men, pray to their images, kiss their bones, prostrate themselves at their sepulchres, forbid the Word to be read, place the sanctity of divine worship in masses not understood by the vulgar, and sell salvation for money; because, if they had not done these things, they would have profaned the holy things of the Word and the church; for, as was shewn in the preceding paragraph, none can profane things sacred but those who are acquainted with them. Therefore, that they may not profane the most Holy Supper, it is of the Divine Providence of the Lord that they should divide it, giving the bread to the people, and drinking the wine themselves;-for the “wine” in the Holy Supper signifies holy Truth, and the “bread,” holy Good; but when they are divided, the “wine” signifies Truth profaned, and the “bread,” Good adulterated. It is provided, also, that they should [by the dogma of transubstantiation] make it corporeal and material, and account this doctrine to be a primary tenet of religion. He, who attends to these particulars, and considers them in some illumination of mind, may see the wonderful operation of the Divine Providence, in guarding the holy things of the church, and saving all who are capable of being saved, snatching as it were out of the fire those who will suffer themselves to be snatched away. D. P. 257.
2 And the peoples shall take them, and bring them into their own place; and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of Jehovah, as servants, and as handmaids: and they shall take them captive, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
3 And it shall be in that day, when Jehovah shall have given thee rest from thine affliction, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage with which thou wast made to serve,
4 That thou shalt give utterance to this parable upon the king of Babel, and shalt say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the exactress of gold ceased!
Verse 2. The peoples shall take them, and shall bring them into their own place, &c. Treating of the bringing back of the sons of Israel, by whom are understood the nations. That they who secluded others from truths and seduced them by falses, are secluded from truths and seduced by falses themselves, is signified by “they shall take them captive, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their exactors or oppressors.” A. E. 811.
As servants, and as handmaids.-When the intellectual principle is a “mistress,” the affection of sciences and of knowledges, which is of the exterior man, is a “handmaid.” (A. C. 1895.) Things rational and scientific are ” men-servants;” and their affections are” handmaids.” A. C. 2567.
5 Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers.
Verse 5. Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked, the rod [or sceptre]of the rulers.–Whereas a “rod” and a “staff” signify the power of divine Truth, and thence divine Truth as to power; therefore they also signify, in the opposite sense, the power of the infernal false, and thence the infernal false as to power; in this sense they are mentioned in the above words. – By “breaking the staff of the wicked” is signified to destroy the power of the false from evil; and by “breaking the rod [or sceptre] of the rulers” is signified the rule of the false. And in David-” The staff of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the just; that the just may not put forth their hands to iniquity.” (Psalm cxxv. 3.) The “staff of the wicked” signifies the power of the false from evil; “upon the lot of the just,” signifies over truths from good, which are with the faithful, and especially with those who are in love to the Lord, for these, in the Word, are called the “just ;” “lest the just put forth their hands to iniquity,” signifies lest they falsify truths. A. E. 727.
6 He that smote the peoples in wrath, with a stroke not curable; he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
Verse 6. He smote the peoples with a stroke not curable, &c.-In this passage “peoples” denote those who are against the truths of the spiritual church, thus who are ill falses; and “nations,” those who are against the goods of the celestial church, thus who are in evils. These things are also signified by the “peoples” and “nations” who were driven out of the land of Canaan. A. E. 331.
7 The whole earth is at rest, it is quiet: they burst forth into singing.
8 Even the fir-trees rejoice over thee, the cedars of Lebanon, [saying] Since thou art fallen, no feller hath come up against us.
9 Hell from beneath is moved because of thee to meet thee at thy coming: he rouseth for thee the Rephaim, all the powerful ones of the earth: he maketh to rise up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 All of them shall answer and shall say unto thee, Art thou, even thou, become weak as we? art thou made like unto us ?
11 Is then thy magnificence brought down to hell; the sound of thy viols? is the worm become thy couch, and the earth-worm thy covering?
Verses 7, 9, 16, 17, 20, 21, 25. The whole earth is at rest, it is quiet ;-hell rouseth for thee the Rephaim, all-the powerful ones of the earth, &c.-These things are said concerning the “king of Babel,” by whom is signifled the destruction of Truth through the love of ruling over heaven and earth, to which love of rule the truths of the Word, or the things appertaining to the church, are made subservient as means. In this passage the condemnation of such is treated of. “The Rephaim whom hell rouseth,” are those who are in a direful persuasion of the false, and are thence called “tho powerful ones of the earth.” “To make the earth tremble, to shake kingdoms, to make the world a desert, and to destroy the cities thereof,” signifies to pervert all things appertaining to the church; the” land” and the “world” denoting the church, the” kingdoms,” the truths which constitute it, and the “cities,” all things of doctrine. Hence it is evident what is signified by “thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people.” By “Ashur who shall be broken in tho land, and be trampled upon the mountains,”is signified ratiocinations from falses against truths; to be “broken” is to be dissipated, and to be “trampled” is to be altogether destroyed; the “mountains ” upon which this is done, signify where the Good of love and charity reigns, for there, or with those who are there, all ratiocination from falses is dissipated or destroyed. A. E. 304.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the earth, thou that didst weaken the nations!
Verses 12, 17, 21. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer! that made the world like a desert, &c.-By “Lucifer” is here understood Babel, where all the truth of the doctrine appertaining to the church was either falsified or annihilated; by “the world which he made like a desert, and the cities thereof which he destroyed,” are signified the church and its doctrinals. “Prepare ye slaughter for his sons, that they may not rise,” signifies that its falses may be destroyed; and “lest they possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities,” signifies that they may not establish a church [such as Babel] and its doctrines. A. E. 223. See also 607, 741.
Son of the morning [dawn].-For the signification of the “dawn” or the aurora, see Chap. viii. 20, Exposition.
13 For thou didst say in thy heart, I will ascend the heavens; above the stars of God I will exalt my throne: and I will sit upon the mount of the assembly, on the sides of the north:
Verse 13. For thou [Lucifer] didst say in thy heart, I will ascend the heavens, above the stars, &c.-By “Lucifer” is understood Babel, as is evident from what precedes and from what follows in that chapter. His love of ruling over heaven and the church is described by his saying-“I will ascend the heavens; above the stars of God I will exalt my throne;” whereby is understood the affectation of dominion
over those heavens which constitute the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, for truths and the knowledges of truth with them appear as “stars.” By ” I will sit upon the mount of the assembly, on the sides of the north,” is signified the affectation of dominion over the heavens which constitute the celestial kingdom of the Lord; for “the mount of the assembly” and “the sides of the north” denote the goods and truths in those heavens, as was said above. Inasmuch
as the mountain of Zion and of Jerusalem was built as much as possible according to the form of heaven, it may appear what is signified by the words adduced from David-“The mountain of Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” (Psalm xlviii. 2.) A.E. 405. See also A. C. 3387.
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
15 But thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 Those that see thee shall look attentively at thee; they shall consider thee, [saying] Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that shook the kingdoms;
17 That made the world like a desert; that destroyed the cities thereof; that dismissed not his captives to their home?
18 All the kings of the nations, all of them, lie down in glory, each in his own house:
19 But thou art cast out of the sepulchre, like an abominable shoot; like the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with the sword; like them that go down to the stones of the pit; like a trodden carcase.
Verses 14, 15. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; but thou shalt be brought down to hell, &c.-By “Babel ” are understood those who in externals are holy but in internals profane, thus those who employ the holy things of the church as means by which they may be adored as gods. All those do this who endeavour, by means of the holy things of the church, to procure dignities and wealth above others as the ends and objects of their life. With such persons it is similar in the other life; they there also in their hearts deny the Divine Being, and by wicked arts strive to make themselves gods. They place themselves [in the world of spirits] high up on the mountains, and proclaim a certain one from amongst them as a god, and also worship him. But when they are in that profane worship, the mountain opens itself into a gulf, and they are swallowed up, and are thus cast down into hell. That this is the case, it has sometimes been given me to see. A. C. 10,412.
20 Thou shalt not be joined unto them in the sepulchre, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people: the seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever.
Verses 19, 20. Thou art cast out of the sepulchre, like an abominable shoot, &c.-Those things are said concerning the ” king of Babel,” by whom is signified the profanation of divine Truth; wherefore by “thou art cast out of the sepulchre,” is signified condemnation to hell; “like an abominable shoot, like the raiment of the slain, thrust through with the sword,” signifies the falsification of Truth, and the profanation thereof; an “abominable shoot” denoting Truth falsified, and “the raiment of the slain, thrust through with the sword,” Truth adulterated and altogether destroyed by dire falses; “like them that go down to the stones of the pit, like a trodden carcase,” signifies to the hell where are the falses of evil; a “trodden carcase” denoting the infernal spirit with whom everything is spiritually dead, by reason of Good being altogether destroyed. “Thou shalt not be joined unto them in the sepulchre,” signifies no consociation with those who rise again to life, for to be “laid in the sepulchre,” or to be “buried,” signifies that resurrection, and, on the other hand, to be “cast out of the sepulchre,” signifies condemnation. Since “to be buried” and “burial” signify resurrection to life and also regeneration, therefore by “not being buried,” and by “being cast out of the graves,” (Jer. viii. 1, 2.) is signified non-resurrection to heaven, and non-regeneration, but resurrection to hell and consequent damnation, as may be proved from many passages in the Word, “Thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people,” signifies the destruction of the church, and of those therein who were in truths from good, by the falses of evil: “the seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever,” signifies eternal dissociation and separation. A. E. 659. See also A. C. 6767, 8902.
“The seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever,” signifies that the dire false of evil [signified by Babel] shall not rise again. A.E.768.
21Prepare ye slaughter for his sons, for the iniquity of their fathers; that they may not rise, and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities.
22 For I will rise up against them, saith Jehovah of Hosts: and I will cut off from Babel the name, and the remnant; and the son, and the nephew, saith Jehovah.
23 And I will make it an inheritance for the bittern, and stagnant pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith Jehovah of Hosts.
Verses 21-23. Prepare ye slaughter for his sons;-1 will cut off from Babel the name and the remnant, and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, &c.-The subject here treated of is concerning the total devastation of Truth amongst those who are understood by Babel. That truths are entirely destroyed amongst them by the adulteration of the Word, is signified by “Prepare ye slaughter for his sons that they may not rise and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities ;” by “land” is understood the church in which are truths, and by “cities” are understood doctrinals from mere falses. That all truths from first principles to ultimates will perish, is signified by “the name and the remnant, the son and the nephew, being cut off from Babel;” and nothing whatever of Truth will remain, is signified by its being “swept with the besom of destruction. It is to be observed that by “sons,” in the passage above adduced, are signified those who are in truths, or those who are in falses; but whereas-the spiritual sense of the Word has not anything In common with persons, therefore in that sense by “sons” are signified truths and falses abstracted from the idea of person. The reason why the spiritual sense is of such a quality, is because the idea of person confines the thought and the extension thereof into heaven in every direction; for all thought which proceeds from the affection of truth, makes its way through heaven on all sides, nor is it terminated except as light into shade; but when person is at the same time thought of, then the idea is terminated where the person is, and therewith also intelligence. This is the reason why by “sons,” in the spiritual sense, are signified truths or falses abstractedly. A. E. 724.
24 Jehovah of Hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it be; and what I have purposed, that shall stand:
Verse. 24. Jehovah God or the Lord never swears, for it is not suitable to God Himself, or the Divine Truth, to swear; but when God, or the Divine Truth, wills to have anytbing confirrned before men then that confirmation, in its descent to the natural sphere, falls into an oath, or into the form of an oath, as used in the world. Hence it is evident that although God never swears, yet in the literal sense: of the Word, which is the natural sense, it may be said that He swears. This therefore is what is signified by “swearing,” when predicated of Jehovah or the Lord, in this and in other passages. A.E.608.
25 To break the Assyrian in My land, and to trample him on My mountains: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden shall depart from off their shoulder.
26 This is the purpose which is determined on the whole earth: and this the hand which is stretched out over, all the nations.
27 For Jehovah of Hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and it is His hand that is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
28 In the year in which Ahaz the king died was this burden [or prophecy].
Verse 25. To break the Assyrian in My land, &c.-See above, Chap. x. 24, 26, Exposition.
Verses 26, 27. The hand stretched out, &c.-See above, Chap. v. 25, Exposition.
Verse 28. The burden [or prophecy] concerning Philistia.-. Those who are in Faith separated from Charity, are represented in the Word by the “Philistines.” In the Word, by the names of nations and people, also of persons and places, are signified things relating to the church; the churoh itself by “Israel” and” Judah,” because it was established among them, and various religious persuasions are signified by the nations and people round about them; the religious persuasions which accord with the Truth, are signified by the good nations, and those which do not accord with the Truth, by the wicked nations. There are two evil religious persuasions into which every church degenerates in process of time: the one consists in adulterating its Goods, and the other in falsifying its Truths. That which adulterates the Goods of the church, derives its origin from the love of rule; and the other, which falsifies the Truths of the church, derives its origin from the pride of self-derived intelligence. The religious persuasion which takes its origin from the love of rule, is meant in the Word by “Babylon;” and that which takes its origin from the pride of self-derived intelligence, is meant in the Word by “Philistia.” It is well known who those of Babylon are at this day; but it is not known who those of Pliilistia are. Those are of “Philistia” [in a bad sense], who are in faith and not in charity.
That those are of “Philistia” who are in faith and not in charity, may appear from various things which are said of them in the Word, when understood in the spiritual sense; as well from their disputes with the servants of Abraham and Isaac, as recorded in Gen. xxi. and xxvi., as from their wars with the children of Israel, related in the book of Judges, and in the books of Samuel and of Kings; for all the “wars” described in the Word, involve and signify, in the spiritual sense, spiritual wars. And because this religious persuasion, which consists in faith separated from charity, continually desires to invade the church, therefore the Philistines remained in the land of Canaan, and frequently infested the children of Israel.
Because the “Philistines” represented those who are in faith separated from charity, therefore they were called the uncircumcised, and by the “uncircumcised” are meant those who are without spiritual love, and thence are only in natural love. Spiritual love is charity. The reason why these are called the unoircumcieed, is, because by the “circumcised” are meant those who are in spiritual love. That the “Philistines” are called the uncircumcised, may be seen, 1Sam. xvii. 20, 36; 2 Sam. i. QO; and in other places.
That those who are in faith separated from charity were represented by the “Philistines,” is manifest not only from their wars with the children of Israel, but also from many other circumstances which are recorded of them in the Word: as from those which are related of Dagon their idol; as of the hemorrhoids and mice with which they were smitten and infested for placing the ark in the temple of their idol; and from the other things which occurred at the same time, and are mentioned, 1 Sam. v. and vi.: likewise from the history of Goliath, who was a Philistine, and was slain by David, as related, 1 Sam. xvii. For “Dagon,” their idol, was above like a man, and below like a fish, by which was represented their religion, which by reason of faith, was as it were spiritual, but, from having no charity, was merely natural. By the “emerods,” or hemorrhoids, with which they were smitten, were signified their filthy loves. By the “mice” with which they were infested, was signified the devastation of the church by falsifications of the Truth. And by “Goliath,” who was slain by David, was represented the pride of their self-derived intelligence.
That those who are in faith separated from charity were represented by the “Philistines,” appears also from the prophetic parts of the Word, where they are treated of; as from these following, In Jeremiah–“Against the Philistines ;-Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein; so that the men shall cry, and every inhabitant of the land shall howl. Jehovah shall spoil [vastate] all the Philistines.” (xlvii. 1, 2, 4.) “Waters rising out of the north” are falses from hell; “which shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein,” signifies the devastation by them of all things of the church; the city, and them that dwell therein, signifies the devastation of all its truths of doctrine; “so that the men shall cry, and every inhabitant of the earth shall howl,” signifies a want of all truth and goodness in the church; “Jehovah shall spoil [vastate] all the Philistines,” signifies their destruction. In Isaiah–“Rejoice not, thou whole Philistia, that the rod of him that smiteth thee is broken: for from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. ” (xiv. 29.) “Rejoice not, thou whole Philistia,” signifies, let not them who are in faith separated from charity rejoice that they still remaun; “for from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk,” signifies that from the pride of self-derived, intelligence will proceed the destruction of all truth among them; “and his fruit shall be a a fiery flying serpent, signifies reasonings from false principles onginating in evil, against the truths and goods of the church.
That by “circumcision” is represented purification from the evils of love merely natural, appears from these passages :-” Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins. of your heart, lest My fury come forth, because of the evil of your doings, (Jer. iv. 4.) “Circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked.” (Deut. x. 16.) To “circumcise the heart,” or the “foreskin of the heart,” is to purify themselves from evils. Hence, on the contrary, by the “uncircumcised” are meant those who are not purified from the evils of love merely natural, thus who are not in charity. And because the unclean at heart is meant by the “uncircumcised”, it is said-” No stranger that is uncircumcised in heart, or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary.” (Ezek. xliv. 9.) “None that is uncircumcised shall eat the passover.” (Exod, xii. 48.) And that such are condemned, is declared in Ezek. xxviii. 10; xxxi. 18; xxxii. 19. D. F. 49-54.
29 Rejoice not, thou whole Philistia, that the rod of him that smiteth thee is broken: for from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
30 And the first-born of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: but I will kill thy root with famine; and thy remnant he will slay.
Verses 29, 30. The subject here treated of is concerning those who believe the interior sight alone, appertaining to the natural man, to be faith, and that by such sight or faith they are justified and saved, thus denying that the good of charity is of any eflicacy: such persons are understood by the “Philistines,” and a company of them by “Philistia,” as may be seen, n. 3412, 3413. That this false principle, which is faith alone, or faith separated from charity, destroys all the Good and Truth of the church, is understood by its being saiL1, “from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk;” the “root of the serpent” denoting that false principle, and the “basilisk” denoting the destruction of the Good and Truth of the church thereby; that hence there arises ratiocination from mere falses, is understood by “his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent;” a “fiery flying serpent” denoting ratiocination from falses. The deprivation of all Truth, and thence of all Good, is understood by “I will kill thy root with famine, and thy remnant he will slay;” “famine” denoting deprivation of Truth and Good, and “remains” things which are hatched from that principle. That such things are here signifled, has also been made evident to me from much experience; they who have confirmed themselves in the doctrine concerning faith alone, both in doctrine and in life, appear in the spiritual world as “basilisks,” and their reasonings as ” fiery flying serpents.” A. E. 386.
From the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.-By a “fiery flying serpent” is meant evil shining from infernal fire: the same as is meant by the “fiery flying serpent” in Isaiah xiv. 29. Such an evil flies in the church when there is faith in momentaneous salvation from immediate mercy; for thereby-1. Rellgion is abolished; 2. Security is induced; and 3. Condemnation is imputed to the Lord. As to what concerns the First, That thereby religion is abolislied; there are two essentials and at the same time universals of religion, an acknowledgment of a God, and repentance. These two essentials are useless to those who think to be saved barely from mercy, without regard to their lives; for what need have they of anything more than to say “God have mercy upon me “? As to everything else appertaining to religion, they are in the dark, indeed they love darkness. Of the first essential of the church, which is an acknowledgment of God, they only think, “What is God? Who ever saw Him ?” If it is affirmed that there is a God, and that He is one, they assent that He is one; if it is affirmed that there are three, they also say that there are three, but that these three are to be called one. This is their acknowledgment of God. Of the other essential of the church, which is repentance, they think nothing at all, and consequently. nothing of sin, and at length do not know that there is such a thing as sin. They then hear, and imbibe it with pleasure, that the law does not condemn, because, a Christian is not under its yoke. If you only say-“God have mercy upon me for Thy Son’s sake,” you will be saved. This is repentance of life with them, But remove repentance, or what amounts to the same, separate life from religion, and what remains but the words, “Have mercy upon me “? Hence it is that they cannot conceive otherwise but that salvation is effected in a moment by means of those words, if not before, yet at the hour of death. In such case, what is the Word to them but like an obscure and enigmatical voice uttered from a tripod in a cave? or like an unintelligible response from the oracle of an idol? In a word, if you remove repentance, that is, separate life from religion, what else is a man but evil shining from infernal fire, or a “fiery flying serpent.”- in the church? for without repentance, a man is in evil and evil is hell. Secondly, That by faith in momentaneous salvation front pure mercy alone, security of life is induced. Security of life arises either from the belief of the impious that there is no life after death, or from the belief of those who separate life from salvation. A person of the latter description, although he believe in eternal life, still thinks, “Whether I live well, or live ill, I can be saved, because salvation is pure mercy, and the mercy of God is universal, and He wills not the death of anyone.” If haply a thought occurs that mercy is to be implored by a form of words agreeable to the commonly received faith, he may think that this, if not before, can be done at the hour of death. Every man that is in such a state of security, makes light of adulteries, frauds, injustice, violence, blasphemies, and revenge; and gives a loose to his flesh and his spirit in the commission of all these evils. Nor does he know what spiritual evil is, and its concupiscences. If he hears anything thereof out of the Word, may be compared to something falling upon ebony and rebounding, or to something which falls into a ditch and is swallowed up. Thirdly, That by such a faith. condemnation is imputed to the Lord. Who but must conclude, that if he is not saved, it is not the man’s fault, but the Lord’s, when everyone can be saved from pure mercy? If it be affirmed that faith is the means of salvation, he will urge-“What man is there to whom such faith may not be given, as it only consists in thought, which can be infused in every state of the spirit abstracted from worldly things, even with confidence?” He may further urge-“I cannot take it of myself; if therefore it is not given, and a man is condemned, what else can the condemned think, but that it is the Lord’s fault, who could save him and would not?” And would not this be to call the Lord umnerciful ? Besides, in the warmth of his faith, he may ask-“Why can the Lord see so many condemned in hell, when He is nevertheless able to save all in a moment from a principle of pure mercy ?”-not to mention other suggestions of a similar nature, which can be called nothing but impious impeachments of the Divinity. Hence then it may appear that faith in momentaneous salvation from pure luercy, is the “fiery flying serpent” in the church. D. P. 340.
Verses 29-32. Rejoice not, thou whole Philistia, &c.- “Philistia” is here described, which signifies the church, or those in the church, who are indeed in truths from the literal sense of the Word, or from revelation, and yet in filthy loves; whence their truths do not live, and the truths which do not live are turned into falses, when they are brought from the exterior thought, which is the thought next to the speech, into the interior thought, which is of the understanding, and are there considered as to their origin, which they who are understood by the “Philistines” cannot see. The reason why they cannot see, is; because every man, even a wicked man, has the faculty of understanding, but not good of will, which is good of life, for this arises from love to God, and from love towards the neighbour, and these loves are what cause that faculty to communicate with heaven and thence to receive illustration. In these verses, therefore, are described those who are In truths without good, and that all the truths with them are turned into falses. The spiritual sense therefore is as follows:-“Rejoice not, thou whole Philistia, that the rod of him that smiteth thee is broken,” signifies that they should not rejoice on account of its being permitted them to remain in their heresy by reason of the fewness of those who are in truths from good. “For from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk,” signifies that from the sensual man will arise a dogma destructive of all truth; the “Root of the serpent” denoting the sensual principle, which is the ultimate of the life of man, and the “basilisk” denoting the destruction of all truth;. “and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent,” signifies, from which is produced a faith separate from charity; this is understood by a “fiery flying serpent,” because by reasonings and by confirmations derived from things revealed, but not understood, it flies upwards, and thereby kills the things which are living. The same is therefore signified by the “basilisk” as by the “dragon,” which is also called a “serpent,” and the same by the “fiery flying serpent” as by the “beasts ascending out of the sea and out of the earth” which are treated of in the 13th chapter of the Apocalypse. Then “the first-born of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety,” signifies that when that dogma is received by those who are natural and sensual men, and believe themselves to be more wise than others, then truths derived from good with those who desire truth and who will good, shall live; the “first-born ” in the Word denoting truths born from good, the “poor” those who are not in truths but still desire them, and the “needy” those who are not in goods, but who still in heart will them. “But I will kill thy root with famine, signifies that all truths, from first to last, with those who are in faith alone, will perish by falses. “Howl, O gate! cry out, O city! signifies that neither will entrance be given to any truth, and that the doctrine will be composed of mere falses; “gate” denoting entrance to the truths of doctrine, and “city” denotIng doctrine. “O Philistia, thou art altogether dissolved, “signifies the destruction of that church by mere falses; “for from the north cometh a smoke” signifies that all the false from evil will break in from hell; the “north” denoting hell, and “smoke” the false of evil, “and there is not a solitary one among his assemblies,” signifies that there shall not be one truth remaining amongst their knowledges. “What answer dhall be given to the messengers of the nation?” signifies the illustration of those who are in the good of life from love to the Lord. “That Jehovah hath founded Zion,” signifies that a church shall be established from them; “and that in her the miserable of His people shall find refuge,” signifies that they who are not in self-wisdom, and who overcome in temptations against those falses, shall have intelligence and salvation. A. E. 817. See also A. C. 5897.
31 Howl, O gate! cry out, O city! O Philistia, thou art altogether dissolved: for from the north cometh a smoke; and there is not a solitary one among his assemblies.
32 And what answer shall be given to the messengers of the nation? That Jehovah hath founded Zion; and that in her the miserable of His people shall find refuge.
Verse 31. Howl, O gate! cry out, O city! O Philistia, thou art altogether dissolved; for from the north cometh a smoke, &c.-By “gate” is signified the introductory truth of the church; by “city,” doctrine; by “Philistia,” faith. Hence by “Howl, O gate! cry out, O city! O Philistia, thou art altogether dissolved,” is signified the devastation of the church as to the truth of doctrine, and thence as to faith; by the “north” is signified the hell where and whence are the falses of doctrine, and the falses of faith; and by the” smoke,” those falses; hence by the “smoke coming out of the north,” is signified the false devastating from the hells. A. E. 539.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]