Isaiah 26

1 IN that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation shall He establish for walls and bulwarks.

Verse 1. In the Word. the things relating to the spiritual church are compared to a city, which has a wall, bulwarks, gates and bolts; and by the assaults of that city are described the assault of Truth by falses on which account also a city signifies doctrinals, (see A. C. 402, 2268.) and a wall the truths of faith which, defend; and in the opposite sense, the falses which are destroyed. That a wall signifies the truths of faith which defend, is evident from Isaiah xxvi.1:-“We have a strong city,” &c. Again-” Thou shall call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. (lx. 18; see also Jer. xx. 5; Lam. ii. 8, 9.) That a wall, in the opposite sense, signifies the falses which are destroyed, see a above, Chap. xxv. 12, Exposition. A. C. 6419.
In that day shall this song be sung. &c.-As to singing, when mentioned in the Word, see Chap. xii. 2, Exposltlon.
Verses 1, 2. We have a strong city; salvation shall He establish for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the just nation keeping fidelities may enter.-A “strong city” here signifies the doctrine of genuine Truth, which falses cannot destroy; “walls and bulwarks” signify truths for defence; “gates” signify admission, as may be seen
above, n. 208; a “just nation keeping fidelities” denotes those who are in goods, and thence in truths. A. E. 223.

2 Open ye the gates, that the just nation keeping fidelities may enter.
3 [Him] whose mind is staid [on Thee], Thou wilt keep in perfect peace: because he trusteth in Thee.

Verse 2. According to the sense of the letter, it is here understood that they who are “just and faithful” should be admitted into those cities; but according to the internal sense, that such should be admitted into the church. For” gates” signify admission; a “just nation,” those who are in good; “keeping fidelities,” those who are thence in truths. A. E. 208.

4 Trust ye in Jehovah for ever: for in Jah Jehovah is the rock of eternity:

Verse 4. Here “Jehovah” and “Rock” are mentioned, because by “Jehovah” is understood the Lord as to Divine Good, and by “Rock” the Lord as to Divine Truth. A. E. 4 11.
In Jah Jehovah, &c.-As to the specific meaning of “Jah,” see above, Chap. xii. 2, Exposition.
The Rock of eternity.-For the signification of “Rock,” as applied to the Lord, see above, Chap. xvi. 1, Exposition.

5 For He hath humbled those that dwell on high; the lofty city, He hath brought her down: He hath brought her down to the ground; He hath levelled her with the dust.

Verse 5. For He hath humbled those that dwell on high, &c.-See Chap. ii. 12-17; xiv, 13, Exposition. To “bring down to the ground and to level with the dust,” denotes a state of condemnation, [or an entire separation from heaven.] A. C. 258.
“Dust” denotes what is damned ; and the reason is, because [in the spiritual world] the places where evil spirits are, appear as earth, and indeed as uncultivated and dry ground, under which are certain hells. That earth is what is called “damned earth,” and the “dust” there signifies what is damned. Occasionally it has been given me to see, that the evil spirits there shook off the dust from their feet when they were desirous to damn anyone. Hence then it is, that by “dust” is signified what is damned; and by “shaking off dust,” damnation, It was in consequence of this signification that the disciples were commanded by the Lord to “shake off the dust from their feet,” if they were not received. A.C. 7418.

6 The foot shall trample upon her; the feet of the affiicted, the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the just is uprightness: the path of the just is straight; Thou makest it level.

Verse 6. Thy are called “poor” who have not the Word, and thus know nothing concerning the Lord, and yet desire to be instructed. A. C. 9209.
[Their “trampling upon the lofty city,” signifies that such as are in simple good, and desire to be instructed in truths, will rise above false doctrines which originate in self-intelligence.]

8 Yea, as to the way of Thy judgments, O Jehovah, we have waited for Thee; to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee is the desire of our soul.

Verse 8. In many passages in the Word it is said-“For the sake of the name of Jehovah,” “for ‘the sake of the name of the Lord,” “for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ,” “that the narne of God should be sanctified,” and such like. They who do not think beyond the sense of the letter, are of opinion that name alone is understood, whereas name is not understood, but all that by which the Lord is worshipped, all which has relation to love and faith; hence by the “name” of the Lord, in the Word, are understood all things of love and of faith by which He is worshipped, but in this case the acknowledgment of the Lord, and of the knowledges of truth which respect Him, because this is said to those who only study knowledges. The reason why by the “name” of Jehovah, or of the Lord, is not understood the name itself, but all things of love and faith, originates in the spiritual world. In that world the names used on earth are not pronounced, but the names of the persons spoken of are formed from the idea of all things which
are known concerning them, which things are summed up into one expression. Such is the pronunciation of names in the spiritual world; whence it is, that names in that world, as well as all other things, are spiritual; nor are the names of the Lord and of Jesus Christ pronounced there as on earth, but instead of these names, a “name” is formed from the idea of all things which are known and believed concerning Him, which idea is from all things of love aud of faith in Him. The reason is, because these things in the complex are the Lord with them; for the Lord is with everyone in the goods of love and of faith which are from Him; this being the case, the quality of every one is there iminediately known, as to his love and faith in the Lord, only from pronouncing in a spiritual expression, or a spiritual name the Lord or Jesus Christ. Hence also it is, that they who are not in any love or in any faith towards Him, cannot name Him, that is, form any spiritual “name” concerning Him. From these considerations it is now manifest whence it is that by the “name” of Jehovah, of the Lord, or of Jesus Christ, in the Word, is not understood the name, but all of love and of faith by which He is worshipped. Lest, therefore, the opinion should prevail which obtains anlong many, that the name alone of Jesus Christ, without love and faith in Him, thus without knowledges by which love and faith exist, contributes somewhat to salvation, I am desirous to adduce a few passages from the Word,
where it is said-” For the sake of His name,” and “in His name,” from which they who think more deeply may see that name alone is not understood, as in the following:-” Jesus said, Ye shall be hated by all for My name’s sake.” (Matt. vii. 22; xxiv. 9, 10.) “‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.” (Matt, xviii. 20.) “As many as received Him, to them He gave power, that they might be the sons of God, believing on His name,” (John i. 12.) “When Jesus was in Jerusalem, many believed on His name:” (John ii. 23.) A. E. 102.

9 With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me in the morn have I sought Thee: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn justice.
10 Though mercy be shewn to the wicked, he will not learn justice: in the land of uprightness he will act perversely, and will not regard the majesty of Jehovah.
11 O Jehovah, Thy hand is lifted up, but they will not see: they shall see, and be ashamed at the envy of the people; yea, the fire of Thine, adversaries shall devour them,

Verse 9. By “night” is signified a state when there is no light of Truth, (see above,Chap. xv. 1, Exposition.) and by “morning” a state in which there is the light of Truth; this state is from love, but that, when there is not yet love; wherefore by “the soul which desired Jehovah in the night” is signified a life which is not yet in the light of Truth; and by “my spirit within me have I sought Jehovah in the morn,” a lifewhich is in the light of Truth. Hence it follows-” When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn justice,” by which is signified that the church from the Lord is in Truths, and by truths in Good; the “earth” signifies the church as to Truths, and the “world” the church as to Good; for “judgment,” in the Word, is said of Truth, and “justice” of Good; and also “inhabitants” signify the men of the church who are in the goods of doctrine, and thence of life. That “judgment,” in the Word, is said of Truth, and “justice” of Good, see A. C. 2235, 9857; and that to “inhabit” signifies to live, and hence “inhabitants” those who are in the good of doctrine, and thence of life, see A.E. 133, 479, 662. A.E. 741.
“Soul,” in this passage, stands for the affection of Truth and “spirit” for the affection of Good. A. C. 2930.

Verse 11. They shall see, and be ashamed at the envy [or hatred] of the people; yea, the fire of Thine adversaries shall devour them-The destruction of the evil, who are here understood by the “people” and by “adversaries,” is described by “fire” and by “hatred” [or envy]. A. E. 504.

12 O Jehovah. Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for all our works Thou hast wrought in us.

Verse 12. Inasmuch as peace is from Jehovah, that is, from the Lord, and in doing good from Him, therefore it is said-:-“Jehovah will ordain peace for us, for Thou hast wrought all our works in us.” A. E. 365.

13 O Jehovah, our God! other lords besides Thee, have had dominion over us: by Thee only will we celebrate Thy name.

Verse 13. To “celebrate” and to “call upon the name of Jehovah,” is to worship Him from the goods of Love, and from the truths of Faith. A. C. 2009.
[“Other lords” are various kinds of evils, such as those represented by the Babylonians, which have the dominion over man when he is not in love to the Lord and his neighbour, or when he does not in his life celebrate the Lord’s name,]

14 They are dead, they shall not live; the Rephaim shall not arise: therefore hast Thou visited and. destroyed them, and made all remembrance of them to perish.

Verse 14. The Rephaim stand for the posterity of the most ancient church, which was before the flood, who were also called “Nephelim” and” Enakim.” (See A. C. 567, 581, 1673.) “Thou hast visited and, destroyed or extinguished the Rephaim,” means the last time of that church, and also their being cast into hell; concerning which, see n. 1265-1272. A. C. 6588.
The Rephaim shall not arise, &c.-As to the “Rephaim,” see above, Chap. xiv. 9; xvii. 5, notes.

15 Thou hast added to the nation, O Jehovah; Thou hast added to the nation; Thou art glorified: Thou hast far removed all the extremities of the earth.

Verse 15. The “nation” to which Jehovah has added, signifies, those who are in the good of love, whom He has addicted to Himself; the ” extremities of the earth” which He has removed, signify falses and evils which infest the church, from which He has purified them. A. E. 304.

16 O Jehovah, in distress have they sought Thee; they poured out supplication when Thy chastisement was upon them.
17 As a woman that is pregnant, when her delivery approaches, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; thus have we been before Thee, O Jehovah.
18 We have been pregnant; we have been in pain; we have, as it were, brought forth wind: we have not wrought deliverance for the land; neither have, the inhabitants of the world fallen.
18 Thy dead shall live; My dead body; they shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust! for thy dew is as the dew of herbs; and the earth shall cast forth the Rephaim.

Verses 16-19. These things are said of the last times of the church, when falses and evils so far increase, that men cannot be reformed and regenerated; this state is understood by the “chastisement of Jehovah” upon them. That then the perception and acquisition of any degree of Truth is effected with difficulty, is signified by “a pregnant woman, who draweth near to her delivery, crying out in her pangs.” That in the place of truths they imbibe vanities, in which there are no truths, is signified by “We have been pregnant; we have been in pain; we have, as it ‘were, brought forth wind;” “wind” denoting such vanities. That no uses of life are from them, is signified by “We have not wrought deliverance for the land.” That still, when the Lord should come, they should be taught and regenerated by truths from Him, is signified by “Thy dead shall live,” and by the things which follow. A. E. 721.

Verse 19. [We have given the exact rendering of this verse from the Hebrew, without any interpolation in italics, as in the Bible version. The passage does not teach as demonstrated in the note, that the dead bodies of men will rise again; but by these words is meant that at the Lord’s coming, all, though dead as to the real principles of the church, in whom there are any “remains” of Goodness and Truth, will be raised up at the time of Judgment. They are called Thy dead, that, is the Lord’s dead, because they are amongst the dead of a consummated church, in which, nevertheless, there is always a remnant that can be saved; and they are called the Lord’s dead body, (for the pronouns “Thy,” and “My” evidently relate to the Lord), To indicate, that a consummated church is, as it were, a “dead body;” (Matt. xxiv. 28) and it is called “My dead body,” to intimate that though the church, which is called “the Body of Christ, is dead or consummated, there are, nevertheless, some amongst them who have “remains” of Goodness, which can be restored, when instructed in Truths to spiritual life. These “remains” are meant by “they shall arise,” which being in the plural involves those of the consummated church, or of the “dead body,” who can thus be saved. The “dead” in the first clause of the verse, are those who, although in falses, can have them dispersed, and receive Truths,” which is to “live;” and those of the “dead body who shall arlse, are such as have been in the evils of false principles or doctrines, but not in evil intentions, and who are, therefore, raclaimable by vastations. (See above, Chap. xxiv. 22, Exposition.) A fulfilment of this divine prophecy may be seen at the Lord’s resurrection, when He arose with his whol natural Body complete, but which was then “no longer materlal but Divine-Substantial,.” (D. L. 85,) “having rejected by burial the residue of the Human from the mother,” (D. L. 16, at the end.) and consequently everything that was material, infirm, and finite, In this Glorious Body “He ascended far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.” The Lord clearly points out the difference between His own resurrection in a Divine-Natural Body, and the resurrection of all other men in a spiritual body only, when He says-“Behold My hands and My feet, ,that it is. I Myself; handle Me, asd see; for a spirit [who is a man, risen from, the dead] hath not flesh and bones [that is, a natural body] as ye see Me have.” (Luke xxiv. 39.) Those, then, who think that because the Lord arose as to His natural Body, therefore, all others will also iarise as to their natural bodies, are much mistaken, and do not think according to the Truth. All others arise like Lazarus and the Rich Man in the Parable, immediately after death, in their spiritual bodies; and not, as is commonly supposed, at some future period, in their natural bodies. Now, as a consequence of the Lord’s resurrection, “many bodies of the saints who slept arose, and came out of the graves, and went into the holy CIty. (Matt. xxvii. 52, 53.)· This was an event which took place not in the natural world, but in the world of spirits; and the “graves” out of which they came were the places of vastation in the lower earth of tbat world; for the places where such spirits are detained until they are finally delivered from vastations appear, from correspondences, like pits, gravves, and prisons-(See Chap. xxiv. 22, Exposition.) Their coming forth out of these places by the power of the Lord’s resurrection, would appear in that world like comning forth out of graves,-as from a state of spiritual death to a life of righteousness in heaven. These were “the spirits to whom the Lord went after His cruciflxion to preach,” (I Peter iii. 19.)and who, by the power of His Resurrection, through the full glorification of His Humanity, were raised up by Him from these places of vastation, and received up into heaven.See A.E. 659, 89; A.C. 2915, 8018, 9229; also A.R. 845.] .
Thy dead shall live, &c.-Here the resurrection of the dead is treated of, namely; of those who arise in the life of the body, and at the same time concerning those who arise after the life of the body; for it is a law that he who, in the life of the body, arises [to spiritual life], will also arise after the life of the body [to spiritual or heavenly life]. The resurrection, like the kingdom of God Messiah; begins in man whilst he lives in the body, for he is [then] prepared for life, and he enters into it whilst he lives in the world; the death of the body is only a continuation of the heavenly life. (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 70.)
The earth shall cast forth the Rephaim [or giants].-What is meant by being “cast out of the sepulchre,” see above, Chap. xiv, 10; 20, Exposition.

20 Come, O My people; enter into thy chambers, and shut thy doors after thee: hide thyself for a little while, for a moment, until the indignation be overpast.

Verse 20. It was a customary form of speech amongst the ancients to talk of “entering into a bedchamber,” and also of “shutting the door” on the occasion, when they meant to do anything which should not appear. This form of speech was derived froth significatives in the ancient church, for by “house,” in the spiritual sense, they understood a man, n. 3128; by the “closets” and the “bedchambers” they understood the interiors of man; hence to “come or enter into the bedchamber” was significative; therefore mention is made of it in the Word throughout, as in Isaiah:-” Come, O My people! enter into thy chambers, and shut thy doors after thee,” &c. That to “enter into the chambers,” in this passage, does hot denote entering into chambers, is very manifest, but to keep themselves in secret and in themselves. And in Ezekiel :-“He said unto me, Hast. thou seen, O son of man what the elders of the House of Israel are doing in the darkness, a man [vir] in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, Jehovah doth not see us.” (viii. 12.) To “do in darkness, a man in the chambers of his imagery;” denotes inwardly in themselves in the thoughts; the interiors of their thought and affection were represented to the prophet by chambers, and were called “the chambers of imagery.” And in Moses:-“Abroad the sword shall bereave, and from the chambers terror, both the youth and the virgin, the suckling with the man of old age.” (Deut. xxxii. 25.) The “sword” denotes vastation of truth, and the punishment of the false, n. 2799;. “terror from the chambers” denotes the interiors of man; that “chambers;” in this passage, do not mean merely chambers, is also evident. So in David:-” Who watereth the mountains from His chambers,” (Psalm civ. 13.) To “water the mountains,” in the spiritual sense, is to bless those who are principled in love to the Lord and in love towards the neighbour: that “mountain” denotes the celestial principle of love, see n. 795, 1430, 4210; hence “from His chambers” denotes from the interiors of heaven. So in Luke: “Whatsoever things ye have said in darkness, shall be heard in light; and what ye have spoken into the ear in chambers, shall be preached on the tops of houses;” (xii. 3.) where “chambers” also denote the interiors of man, viz., what he had thought, what he had intended, and what he had attempted. And in Matthew :-“When thou prayest, enter into thy chamber, and shut thy door; aud pray in secret.” (vi. 6.)
To “enter into the chamber, and pray,” denotes not apparently; for this was said from what is representative. A. C. 5694. See also 7353.
Shut thy doors after thee, &c.-To “shut the door after thee, until the indignation be overpast,” signifies to have no communication with evils, which are denoted by ” indignation” or anger, as may be seen, A. C. 3614, 5034, and in many other places. A. C. 8989. See also Chap. ix. 12, 17,21, Exposition.

21 For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth from His place to visit, for his iniquity, the inhabitant of the earth: and the earth shall disclose her bloods, and shall no longer cover her slain.

Verse 21. Speaking of the day of visitation or of judgment, when the iniquities of all shall be discovered, which is understood by “Then the earth. shall disclose her bloods, and shall no longer cover her slain.” The “earth” signifies the church, in this case, the evil therein; “bloods” denote evils which have destroyed the goods thereof; and the “slain” denote falses which have destroyed the truths thereof. Whether it be said that the “slain” signify falses, or those who are in falses, it amounts to the same, inasmuch as they are in falses, and falses in them; and the falses in them are what destroy. A. E. 315.
The earth shall disclose her bloods, and shall no longer cover her slain.-By the “bloods” which the earth shall disclose, are signified all the falses and evils which have destroyed the truths and goods of the church; the “earth denoting the church where those things are; by the “slain” are signified those who perish by them. That the “slain” signify those who have perished by falses and evils, may be seen above, n. 315. A. E. 329.
Temptation is here treated of, which appears like “indignation;” for the Lord, in temptation, visits the iniquity of a man, that it may be taken away, for all [evils] are then manifested, and they come forth [to the perception of man], which is here expressed by “disclosing or revealing bloods,” and by ” not concealing the slain.” (Swedenborg’s. Notes on Isaiah, p. 71.)

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