Isaiah 25

1 O JEHOVAH, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful [things]; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

2 For Thou hast made of a city a heap; of a fortified city a ruin: a palace of strangers be no city; it shall never be built.

VERSES 1-12. The glorification of God Messiah, or the Lord, and the thanksgiving of those who are in heaven, on account of deliverance from their enemies, is here described. The “enemies” are also described, namely, those to whom a revelation has been made, and who, from self-love, are therefore proud. This glorification is referred to the elders or ancients in Jerusalem, concerning whom we read at the end of the former chapter,-they shall now see “wonderful things and counsels from antiquity,” that is, truths and goods, which are signified by “Truth and Fidelity.”

Verse 2. The “devastated city” is in allusion to the judgment in the former chapter; “strangers are the impious; their “palace” is pride and the love of self; this “palace” will be utterly east down.

Verses 1-3. Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth, &c-The devastation of the former church and the establishment of a new one are here treated of. The devastation of the church as to doctrine is understood by “making of a city a heap, a fortified city a ruin, a palace of strangers to be no city; and the establishment of a New Church as to doctrine, is understood by the words which follow-“Therefore shall the powerful people honour Thee; the city of the strong nations shall fear Thee.” A. E. 223.
Verse 2. Strangers.-See Chap, i. 7, Exposition.

3 Therefore shall the powerful people honour Thee; the city of the formidable nations shall fear Thee:

Verse 3.The powerful people shall honour Thee, the city of the formidable nations shall fear Thee. Here worship from Good is signified by “honouring,” for “honoring” is predicated of the good of love; and worship from Truths is signified by “fearing Thee,” as was said above; powerful people signify the men of the church who are in truths from Good, for from them comes all power; “the city of the formidable nations” signifies those who are in the truths of doctrine, and thereby in the good of love; and inasmuch as all spirtual power is thence derived, therefore they are called “the formidable nations.” from these words also it manifestly appears that there is a marriage of Good and Truth in every part of the Word ; for to “honour” is predicated of Good to “fear” of Truth; both of them in worship. ” People” also is predicated of those who are in Truths, and thereby in good; and “nations,” those who are in Good, and thence in truths; and whereas all power in the spiritual world is from the conjunction of Good and Truth, therefore people are called “powerful,” and nations are called “formidable.” A. E. 696. See also A. C. 2826.

Verse 3. The “strong or brave people are those who have acquired faith, hence their strength and bravery; the “formidable nations” are also those who have faith, for they are formidable to their enemies.

Verses 3, 7, 8. The powerful people shall honour Thee, &c.-A distinction is here made between people and nations, because “people” signify those who are of the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, and “nations” those of His celestial kingdom, thus those who are in spiritual good, and those who are in celestial good; spiritual good is the Good of charity towards our neighbour, and the good of faith thence derived; and celestial good is the Good of love to the Lord, and the good of mutual love thence derived. The truth of this latter good is what is understood by “the city of formidable nations,” for “city” signifies the doctrine of Truth, or truths of doctrine. By “swallowing up the covering which is upon all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations,” is signified to dissipate the shade which covers the understanding, and prevents it seeing the truths and perceiving the goods which appertain to heaven and the church. A. E. 331.

4 For Thou hast been a fortress to the poor, a fortress to the needy in his distress: a refuge from; the inundation, a shadow from the heat; when the blast of the violent ones was like an inundation [against] a wall.

5 As the heat in a dry place, the tumult of strangers shalt Thou subdue; as the heat by, the shadow of a cloud, the branch of the violent ones shall He bring low.

Verses 4, 5. By the” poor” and “needy” are signified those who are in a defect of Good from ignorance of Truth, and yet are in the desire of Good and Truth. It is called. “inundation and heat “, when evils and falses rise up and flow in from the proprium, and also from others who are in evil; the “spirit [or blast] of the violent” signifies their opposition to the goods and truths of the church; they are called “violent” “who endeavour to destroy goods and truths, and their “spirit” signifies their lust of destroying. “The tumult of strangers shalt Thou bring low,” signifies that the Lord will allay and take away the irruption of falses from evil; “tumult” signifying irruptions, “strangers” falses from evil, and to “humble and bring low” signifies to allay and take away. To “repress the heat by the shadow of a cloud,” signifies to defend from the concupiscence of the false; “heat” denoting the concupiscence of the false, and the “shadow of a cloud” defence from it; for the shadow of a cloud ternpers the heat of the, sun, and assuages its burning. A. E. 481.
Verse 4. A refuge, &c.-See Chap. iv. 6, Exposition.

Verse 4. A faith in the Lord involves what is here said, namely that they know and believe that their “defence or fortress is the Lord,” for He is a defence to those who are “poor and needy,” that is, who believe that they have, by no means, any strength from themselves. The more a man believes that he has no strength in himself, and that all power belongs to the Lord, he is the more strong and formidable [to his spiritual enemies]. Hence it follows that the Lord is “a refuge from the inundation, a shadow from the heat,” &c., for so long as a man lives, he is liable to perpetual assaults from evil spirits; a “wall” is mentioned, because they desire to take possession of his intellectual mind, wherefore their assaults are compared to a “blast against a wall.”

Verse 5. “From their heat, or their love, in a dry place, arises a tumult or noise [or opposition against divine Truth]; the Lord represses that heat by “the shadow of a cloud,” which is called “the branch of the violent ones,” namely, by their darkness, for it is their darkness which is called “branch.”

6 And Jehovah of Hosts shall make, for all; peoples on this mountain a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees of fat things full of’ marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

Verse 6. These things are said concerning the state of those who should acknowledge and adore the Lord. By “this mountain” is signified the New Church from the them; by the “feast of fat things, of fat things full things full of marrow,” is signified good both natural and’ spiritual, with joy of heart and by “wine,” and “wine on the lees well refined,” are signified tr uths from that good, with the felicity thence derived. A. E. 1159.
The words also treat of the Lord’s advent. By “the feast of fat things” is signified the appropriation and communication of goods; and
by “the feast of wines on the lees well refined,” or of the best wine, is signified the appropriation of truths. That” fat things” signified the goods of love, may be seen in A. C. 353, 5943, 10,053; and also the delights of love, n. 6409; and that “wine” signifies the good of charity, which in its essence is Truth n. 1071 1798 6377 Similar things are signified by the “marriage [feast],” to which the ten virgins were invited. (Matt. xxv, 1-12.) This “feast of fat things,” &c. was spoken of the sacrament of the Holy Supper, “which was to be instituted by the Lord. T. C. R. 708.
The “feasts” which were anciently made among those who were in significatives and representatives, signified no other than initiation into mutual love and charity. The “nuptial feasts,” too, signified initiation into conjugial love; and the “holy feasts” into spiritual and celestial love; and this by reason that “feasting,” or eating and drinking, signifled appropriation and conjunction. A. C. 3832.
“Feasts of Charity” were instituted among the primitive Christians that they might meet together in cordial joy and friendly union. The spiritual sphere which prevailed on those occasions was the sphere of love to the Lord and towards the neighbour, which exhilarated every mind, softened, the tone of every expression and communicated to all the senses a festivity from the heart; for from every man there emanates a spiritual sphere, derived from the affection of his love and corresponding thought, which inwardly affects those in his company, particularly at the time of convivial recreations. This sphere emanates both by the face and the respiration. It is because “dinners” and “suppers,” or “feasts,” were significative of such consociation of mind that they are so often mentioned in the Word. T. C. R. 433, 459, 727.

Verse 6. The “feasts” thus described signify spiritual and celestial joys; the “eatables” from which everything impure is removed, are those joys in spiritual things when they are imbued with the Lord’s justice or righteousness, hence His holiness. The impure or feculent things do not then appear, because they are not excited; they still, however, remain at the roots, but they are changed into that form in which they can be imbued with the Lord’s holiness, for they are no longer excited by the diabolical crew, which is, then expelled.

7 And in this mountain He will swallow up the face of the covering cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations.

Verse 7. He will swallow up the face of the covering, &c.-[By these words is meant that the Lord will, when this spiritual ” feast” comes to be enjoyed, remove all obscurity respecting the true meaning of His Word, and will open the understandings of His people to perceive its internal Truths and the genuine doctrines of His church.]

Verse 7 describes the intellectual light which will then arise, or the understanding of Truth; for then will be seen “the counsels from afar,” namely, Truth and Goodness. The shade which is described is compared to a “veil,” and to the “face of a covering; these tlungs are said of the understanding but the “feasts” of love. This is to take place on Mount Zion for all peoples, that is, for those who are in the faith; for these are called “the people of Mount Zion.”

8 He shall swallow up death for ever; and the Lord Jehovih shall wipe away the tear from off all faces; and the reproach of His people shall He remove from off the whole earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it.

Verse 8. “He shall swallow up death for ever,” &c- “Death” is damnation, which Adonai Jehovih, that is, !he Lord, will destroy when all “tears,” that is, grief and pain, “will be wiped away,” and likewise all,” reproach or ignominy, because during their lifetime they had been affected with ignominy.

Verse. 8. By which is signified that the Lord, by His coming, shall remove evils and falses with those who live from Him, so that there shall be no grief of mind on account of them, or from them, “Death” signifies evil, because this is the case of spiritual death; and “tear” is predicated of the false. It is to be observed that “the shedding of tears” and “weeping” signify grief on account of falses and from falses, but “shedding of tears” grief of mind, and “weeping” grief of heart, on account of falses; grief of mind is grief of the thought and understanding, which are of truth, and grief of heart is grief of the affection or will, which are of good; and as everywhere in the Word there is the marriage of Truth and Good, therefore both “weeping” and “tears” are mentioned in the Word when grief is expressed on account of the falses of doctrine or of religion. That “weeping” is grief of heart, may appear from this consideration, that it bursts forth from the heart and breaks out into lamentation through the mouth; and that “shedding of tears” is grief of mind, may appear from this consideration, that it issues forth from the thought through the eyes. In the act both of weeping, and shedding of tears comes forth water, but bitter and astringent, and this is occasioned by the influx from the spiritual world into the grief of man, where “bitter water” corresponds to the defect of truth by reason of falses, and to grief on account thereof; wherefore grief on account of falses has place with those who are in truths. From these considerations it may appear whence it is that in the Word, where “tears” are mentioned, “weeping” is mentioned also, namely, that it is on account of the marriage of Good and Truth in every part of the Word. The following passages may serve for confirmation, thus in Isaiah:-” 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!” (xvi, 9.) In Jereremiah:-“My soul shall weep in secret places, and mine eyes shall run down with tears:” (xiii. 17.) A. E. 484.

The Lord Jehovih shall wipe away the tear from all faces, &c. These words signify that they will no longer be in combats against evils and their false principles, and thus not in pain or grief, but in goods and truths, and hence in heavenly joys from the Lord. The same thing is also signified in the Apocalypse by “the Lamb wiping away all tears from their eyes.” A. R. 385.
As to the specific meaning of “Jehovih,” see Chap. iii. 15, Exposition.

9 In that day shall, they say, Behold, this is our God! we have waited for Him, and, He will save us: this is Jehovah; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

Verse 9. From this and many other passages it is evident that it was JEHOVAH HIMSELF who should come into the world to redeem and save mankind, and not, as is commonly supposed, “a Son from eternity.” (See Isaiah xliii. 11, 12; xlv. 14, 15, 21; Hosea xiii. 4.) B. E. 120. See also C.L. 81; T. C. R. 82, 188, 294.

Verse 9. Faith is here described by a confession of faith in God Messiah, or the Lord; to “rejoice in His salvation,” is to rejoice in Himself, for He is Salvation.

10 For the hand of Jehovah shall rest upon this mountain; and Moab shall be trodden under Him, as the, straw is trodden on the dunghill.

Verse 10. By “Moab” the impious are understood. By ” Moab,” who was born of Lot and of his elder daughter, are understood those who mix holy things with profane thus those to whom a revelation has been made, and who then can adulterate holy things, which is signified by the adultery of Lot with his own daughter. This is also the case with those who confide in their own powers, and not in the Lord, as in the following verse.

Verse 10. The hand of Jehovah shall rest upon this mountain; and Moab shall be threshed [or trodden down], &c.-That “Moab” signifies those in the church who are in external good without an internal principle, and whose good is consequently defiled with falses, is signified by being “threshed or trodden down as straw for the dunghill,” see above, Chap. xv. 1, Exposition.

11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst! thereof, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth to swim: but He shall bring down his pride together with the devices of his hands.

Verse 11. Because a revelation has been given to them, they are proud and trust in themselves [as the Jews did, thinking themselves on that account superior to others]; wherefore they are compared to those who “swim” and who continually desire to cast themselves on high, and who wish to betake themselves to the other bank, but by “the devices or obstacles [obices] of their hands, which are their own powers in which they trust, their pride is subdued.

Verse 11. And he [Moab] shall spread forth his hands, &c.-That the “hand” signifies power and authority, and hence confidence, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Isaiah:-” Moab
spreadeth forth his hands,” &c.; where “hand” stands for self-power [or power from the proprium], from the love of being preeminent over others, thus from pride. Again-“Their inhabitants were short of hand;” (xxxvii. 27.) “short of hand” means of no power, Hence it appears what was the nature of representatives which were the externals of the Jewish church; hence it appears too what the nature of the Word is, as containing things which, in their external sense, do not seem to be representative of the Lord and of His kingdom, like what is said here concernlng “stretching out the hand,” and all other things of a similar kind, whose true meaning cannot be comprehended whilst the mind dwells only in the historical relations of the letter. It appears likewise from hence how far the J ews departed from the true understanding of the Word and of the rites of the church, whilst they placed all worship in externals; even to the attributing of ability to the “rod of Moses” and to the “spear of Joshua,” when yet there was in them no more ability than in any other piece of wood: but whereas they signified the Lord’s Omnipotence, and as this was understood in heaven when, by command, they “stretched out the hand” or the “rod,” therefore signs and miracles were done by them. The like is true concerning what is written of Moses when he was on the top of the hill, and when he lifted up his hands, Joshua prevailed; but when he let them down, the enemy prevailed: and therefore they supported his hands. (Exod;, xvii. 9-13.) The lIke is true concerning the “laying on of hands,” when anyone was to be consecrated, as when the people were to “lay their hands on the Levites, ” (Numb. viii. 9, 10, 12.) and when Moses “laid his hands on Joshua,” in appointing him to be his successor, (Numb. xvii. 18, .23.) that thus ability might be conferred, hence the ceremony at this day of inauguration and benediction by the “laylng on of hands.” How far the “hand” signified and represebted ability, may appear from what is written in the Word concernIng Uzzah and Jeroboam; concerning Uzzah, that he “put forth [his hand] to the ark of God, and took hold of it; on which account he died. (2 Sam. vi. 6,7.) The” ark” represented the Lord, consequently all that is holy and celestial; Uzzah’s “putting forth to the ark” represented self-ability, or man’s proprium, which being profane, the word “hand” is not mentioned, but still it is understood; the reason thereof is, lest it should be perceived by the angels that what was so profane had touched what was holy. Concerning Jeroboam it is thus written:-” It came to pass, when he heard the word of the man of God, which cried against the altar, that Jeroboam put forth his hand from off the altar, saying, Lay hold of him. And his hand; which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him, And he said to the man of God, Entreat I pray thee, the, faces of Jehovah thy God, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God entreated the faces of Jehovah God; and his hand was restored to him, and became as before. (1 Kings.xiii. 4, 6.) Here, in like manner, by “putting forth the hand is signified se!f-ability, or proprium, which is profane in that it was desirous to violate what was holy by “putting forth the hand against the man of God,” wherefore ” the hand was dried up;” but inasmuch, as he was an idolator and incapable of profanation as was before said, “his hand was restored to him.” That the “hand ” signifies and represents ability, may appear from representatives in the world of spirits, where a kind of bare arm sometimes is presented to view, which has such strength in it, that it appears able to break bones to pieces, and bruise, as it were, to nothing the inmost marrow contained therein; and hence so great terror is excited, that all who see it are ready to melt at heart; nay, such strength is actually in it. A.C.878.

12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall He bring down, lay low, bring to the ground, [even] to the dust.

Verse 12. “The fortress of the high fort,” &c.-Their pride is here treated of and its imaginary defences, which are dejected and laid prostrate in the dust; for such is the representation of the depression of the proud.(Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 64.)

Verse 12. The fortress of the high fort, &c.-[These words imply that all the false principles of doctrine and of evil confirmed by Moab will, at the time of judgment, be destroyed, howsoever he may “spread forth his hands,” or put forth all his powers to save himself from destruction, that is, from being drowned in the falsities of his own persuasion.]
As to the signification of “fortress,” “walls,” “bulwarks,” &c., see Chap. xxvi, 1, Exposition; but, in this passage, these terms are used in a bad sense.

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