Isaiah 16

1 SEND ye forth the lamb of the ruler of the land from the Rock towards the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.

Verse 1. Send ye forth the lamb of the ruler land from the Rock towards the wilderness, &c.-By a “lamb” is signified innocence, and inasmuch as the Lord is the essential innocence, which is in His kingdom for from Him is the ALL of innocence, hence He is called a “Lamb,” as in the above passage, and also in the Apocalypse:–“They shall fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome them, because Ha is Lord of lords, and King of kings; (xvii, 14.) and besides in other passages in the Apocalypse, as chap. v. 6; vi. 1, 10; vii. 9, 14, 17; xii, 11; xiii. 8; xiv. 1, 4; xix. 7, 9; xxi. 22, 23, 27; xxii. 1, 3. That the “paschal lamb ” denotes the Lord, in the supreme sense, is a known thing; for the “passover” signified the glorification of the Lord, that is, the putting on of the Divine [Principle] as to the Human; and, in the representative sense, it signifies the regeneration of man; and the “paschal lamb,” that which is the essential of regeneration, viz., innocence; for no one can be regenerated but by charity in which is innocence: A. C. 3904.
Inasmuch as the Lord when in the world, as to His Human, was Innocence itself, and since the ALL of innocence proceeds from Him, therefore He is called a “Lamb,” and “the Lamb of God,” as in Isaiah:– “Send ye forth the Lamb of the ruler of the land from the Rock towards the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of ZIon.” (xvi. 1.) Again:-” He hath endured exaction, and was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is led as a Lamb to the slaughter.” (liii. 7.) .And in the Apocalypse:-“The lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them. (vii. 17.) A. C. 10,132.
That the “Rock” is the Lord as to Faith, and, in respect to man, that it is a faith which is from the Lord, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Deuteronomy :-“Ascribe ye greatness unto our God; He is the Rock, His work is perfect;”-” he lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation;”–“of the Rock that begat thee, thou art not mindful,” &c. (xxxii. 3, 4, 13, 15, 18, 31, 37.) From these things it is evident that it is Jehovah, that is, the Lord, who is called the “Rock;” that it is Jehovah, or the Lord, as to faith, appears evident from the particulars here adduced, as understood in the internal sense. As a ” stone,” in the Word, signifies the Truth of faith, (see A. C. 643, 1298, 3720.) hence it is that the Lord, as to Divine Truth, is called “the Stone of Israel.” (A. C. 6420.) From these considerations also it may be manifest that by “Rock” is meant the Lord as to faith, and also faith which is from the Lord, in the words which the Lord spake to Peter in Matthew:- “I say to thee, Thou art Peter [Petrus], and upon this rock [petra] will I build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens: and whatsoever thou shalt bind in the earth, shall be bound in the heavens: and whatsoever thou shalt loose in the earth, shall be loosed in the heavens.” (xvi. 18, 19.) That “Rock,” in this passage, denotes the Lord as to faith, and faith which is from the Lord, and that “Peter” represents that faith, see the Preface to Chap. xxii., Genesis; also n. 3738, 3750. It is evident also to everyone who thinks from sound reason, that the power of opening heaven and shutting hell for the good, and of opening hell and shutting heaven for the evil, is of the Lord alone; and the reason why it is of faith, is, because it is from the Lord, thus also is of the Lord, that is, the Lord Himself is in it; all power in the other life is by the Truth of faith derived from Good, n. 4931, 6344. He who thinks from reason may also conclude that the church of the Lord was not built upon any man, thus not upon Peter, but upon the Lord Himself, thus upon faith in Him. From these considerations it may be seen into what and how great errors they fall, who lay so great stress on the letter of the Word; and with what eagerness the rulers of the church catch at the idea that such power was given to Peter, and consequently to those who call themselves his successors, for it favours their love; and with what difficulty they suffer themselves to be persuaded that anything else is meant, for everyone is willing to procure to himself the highest degree of power. From the above it is also evident how necessary it is to know what is signified by a “rock,” what by “keys,” and what by the “gates of hell,” and by several such things, in the internal sense. Jehovah is called a “Rock,” and that on such occasions is meant the Lord as to faith, is also manifest from many other passages in the Word, as from the following, which it is allowed to adduce without further explication:-“Send ye forth the lamb of the ruler of the land from the Rock towards the wilderness, to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.” (Isa. xvi. 1.) Again-“Thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not remembered the Rock of thy strength.” (xvii. 10.) A. C. 8581.

The “wilderness” denotes what has yet but little of life; (A. C. 1927.) also states of temptation. A. C. 2708; see especially 3900.

2 And as a wandering bird, driven from the nest, so shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of Amon.

Verse 2. Mention is made of “daughters” in many passages of the Word, and everyone may see that in those passages are not meant daughters, as where mention is made of “the daughter of Zion,”-of “the daughter of Jerusalem,”-of “the daughters of Tarshish,”-of “the daughter of My people,” denoting affections of Good and Truth, as may be seen above, Chap. i. 8, Exposition; and whereas they denote the affections of Good and Truth, they denote also churches, for churches are churches by reason of those affections. Hence it is that by “the daughter of Zion” is signified the celestial church, and this from the affection of Good; whereas by “the daughter of Jerusalem” is signified the spiritual church, and this from the affection of Truth. (A. C. 2362.) The same is also signified by “the daughter of My people.” (Isa. xxii. 4; Jer. vi. 1:1, 26; and in many other passages.) Hence it is evident what is signified by the “daughters” of the nations, as by the” daughters” of the Philistines, the “daughters” of Egypt,-of Tyre and Sidon,-of Edom,-of Moab,-of the Chaldeans, and of Babel, and the “daughters” of Sodom, namely, the affections of what is evil and false, in “which their religious principles were grounded, consequently the religious principles themselves. A.C. 3024.

3 Bring counsel; execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of noon-day: hide the outcasts; discover not the fugitive.

Verse 3. Make thy shadow as the night in the midst of noon-day.–” In the midst of noon-day,” signifies in the midst of the light of Truth. A. C. 9642.

4 Let Mine outcasts sojourn with thee, O Moab; be thou to them a covert from the face of the spoiler: for the oppressor is no more, the destroyer ceaseth; they that trampled you are consumed out of the land.

Verses 3, 4, 14. Bring counsel; execute judqment; hide the outcasts; diecover not the fugitive. Let Mine outcasts sojourn with thee, O Moab; be thou to them a covert from the face of the spoiler, &c.-The subject treated of throughout this chapter is also concerning ” Moab,” and, by him, concerning those who are principled in such [external] good, and who are here described in nearly the same words as in Jer. xlviii., being advised in like manner to remain in their common goodnesses and truths, and not to suffer themselves to be tainted with false principles. Common goodnesses and truths are signified by their “bringing counsel, executing judgment, hiding the outcast, not discovering the fugitive, and being a covert from the face of the spoiler,”-all which things signify the externals of worship; but whereas they suffer themselves to be tainted with false principles, it is said-” Within three years, as the years of a hireling, the glory of Moab shall be reviled, in all his great multitude; and the remnant shall be few, small, and without strength.” A. C. 2468.

5 And the throne shall be established in mercy: and in truth shall He sit thereon, in the tabernacle of David, a Judge, searching out judgment, and dispatching justice.

Verse 5. These things are said of the Lord. Heaven, which was established by Him, and the church thence derived, are signified by “the throne established in mercy;” that the Lord there reigns by Divine Truth from Divine Good, is signified by ” sitting upon it in truth, in the tabernacle of David;” by “David” is meant the Lord as to His royalty, which is Divine Truth; find by his “tabernacle” is signified the Divine Good; by “judgment” is signified the truth of doctrine, because all judgment is from that truth; and by “justice” is signified the good of love, both from the Lord with those who are in heaven and in the church. A. E. 799.

6 We have heard of the pride of Moab: he is very proud; of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his anger: vain are his lies.

Verse 6. By “pride” is understood the love of self, and the love and faith of what is false with those who are of the church. A. E. 653, 675.
Vain are his lies.—“Lies” are the falses of faith, because “Moab” signifies those who are in the evil of self-love, and who thence falsify Truths. A. C. 8908.

7 Therefore shall Moab howl; for Moab shall everyone howl: for the foundations of Kir-hare-seth shall ye moan; surely they are stricken.
8 For the fields of Heshbon are withered; [as to] the vine of Sibmah, the lords of the nations have broken down the branches thereof; they reached unto Jazer; they strayed through the desert; her branches are plucked up; they passed over the sea.

Verses 7-9. For Moab shall everyone howl; for the foundations of Kir-hareseth shall ye make a moan, &c.-Very many of the prophecies, as the above, are of such a nature that, if they had not an internal sense, they would be of no use; whereas it is necessary that, as the Word is divine, it should contain within itself the laws of the heavenly kingdom into which man is about to come. A. C. 2608.

9 Wherefore I will weep, as with the weeping of Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh! for upon thy summer fruits, and upon thy vintage, the shout [of war] hath fallen.

Verse 9. By “harvest” here also is signified the last state of the church, for by “shouting” is signified the end, when upon finishing the vintage and gathering in the harvest, they were wont to triumph and make a shouting, but in the present case to lament, because it is said “it hath fallen.” By “Jazer,” the “vine of Sibmah,” and by “Heshbon and Elealeh,” are signified the men of the external church, who explain the Word to favour the loves of the world, for those places were given for an inheritance to the tribes of Reuben and Gad, by whom, inasmuch as they dwelt on the outside of Jordan, the external church was represented; the” vine of Sibmah” signifies their church; their destruction, when the Lord should come and accomplish judgment, is also described in this chapter. A. E. 911.

10 And joy and gladness are taken away from Carmel; and in the vineyards they shall not sing, they shall not shout: in the vats the treader shall not tread out the wine ; I have made the shouting to cease.
11 Wherefore my bowels for Moab like a harp shall sound; and mine inward parts for Kir-haresh.

Verse 10. In these words is described the taking away of celestial delight originating in Good, and the truths thence derived, in consequence of the deprivation of genuine Good and Truth. The Good of the church is understood by “Carmel,”· and the Truth thence derived by “vineyards,” and by the “treading of the wine in the wine-press;” the delights thereof, which are taken away, are signified by “joy, exultation, singing, and vintage-shouting;” for it was a custom to sing in the vineyards, and in the wine-presses, when the grapes were trodden into wine, on account of the representation of the delights derived from truths, which were signified by “,vine.” A. E. 376. See also A. C. 1071; A. R. 316.

12 And it shall be, when Moab shall see that he hath wearied himself out on the high place, that he shall enter his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail.
13 This is the Word which Jehovah spake concerning Moab at that time :

Verse 12. He shall enter his sanctuary to pray, but he shall not prevail.-[These words imply that those represented by Moab who, at the period of Judgment, are in external worship without an internal principle of love to the Lord and their neighbour, will have recourse to their “sanctuary,” or to externals of worship, in order to avoid the impending destruction, but “will not prevail;” as all prayers and all external acts of worship and piety, which have not an internal principle, will be of no avail to salvation. See below, Chap. xviii. 7, Exposition, where the true nature of Saving Worship and Piety are shewn; see also above, Chap. i. 11-19, Exposition.]

14 But now hath Jehovah spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of a hireling, the glory of Moab shall be reviled, in all his great multitude; and the remnant shall be few, small, and without strength.

Verse 14. By “Moab” are here understood those who are in falses from evil; by his” glory,” and by his “great multitude,” are understood those falses; by “the three years after which his glory shall be reviled,” is signified what is complete and consummated; wherefore it is said that “the remnant shall be few, small, and without strength,” by which is signified that it shall be no more. “Three years” are mentioned, whereby is understood consummation, thus, from beginning to end. It is to be observed that the same is signified by “three years” as by “three months, “three weeks, “three days,” and “three hours,” inasmuch as “times,” in the spiritual sense, signify states, and “three times,” whether greater or less, a full state. A. E. 532.
Of a hireling.-They who learn and imbibe truths from the Word, or from the doctrine of the church, or from any other sources whatsoever, even from themselves by conclusions, for the sake of gain, that is, that they may gain honours or wealth, or likewise, that they may merit heaven,-these are they who, in the internal sense, are meant by “hirelings.” To the man of the church, gains ought to be in the last place, not in the first; when they are in the last place, they are then servants; but if in the first place, they are lords. He who respects gains in the first place, is an inverted man, and also is represented as inverted in the other life, with his head in hell; but he who respects charity and faith in the first place, thus the Lord and his neighbour, he is an erect man, and also is presented erect in the other life, with his head in heaven. A. C. 9180.
Within three years, as the years of a hireling, &c.-[These words involve the idea, by correspondence, that at the period of judgment, when the states of those in the church signified by Moab are consummated, as denoted by “three years,” all such will be reduced to a merely hireling and mercenary condition, that is, they will study and embrace the truths of the Word from merely selfish motives, relating to honour and gain; when this is the case, the end is come and judgment ensues.]

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