Isaiah 27

1 IN that day shall Jehovah visit with His hard, and great, and strong sword, Leviathan the extended serpent; and Leviathan the crooked serpent; and shall slay the whales that are in the sea.

VERSE 1. These things are said concerning Egypt, whereby are signified the sciences which are of the natural man. By Leviathan the extended serpent, are signified those who reject all things which they do not see with their eyes; thus the merely sensual, who are without faith, because they do not comprehend; by Leviathan the crooked serpent, are signified those who therefore do not believe, and yet say that they do believe; by a sword, hard, great, and strong, with which they shall be visited, is, signified the extinction of all truth, for sword is the false destroying truth; by the whales in the sea, which shall be slain, are signified scientifics in general. That whales have such a signification, may he seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 7293. A. E. 575.
To visit Leviathan with the hard, great, and strong sword, signifies judgment upon those who are in faith separate from charity, thus upon those who are only in a natural faith and not in a spiritual faith, [that is, in whose faith there is no spiritual or saving principle.] (Swedenborg’s Dicta Probantia, p. 16.)
Leviathan the extended serpent; the inhales, &c.-By a serpent is signified the sensual and corporeal principle of man. From this, when separated from the rational, that is, when not subordinated to it, come all fallacies; for in this case it is so full of fallacies as scarcely to contain anything else. And because by whales are signified reasonings from fallacies perverting truths, therefore the term In Hebrew which here signifies whales also signifies a “water-serpent,” as is evident from Exod. vii. 9, 10, and from various other passages in the Prophets, as in Isaiah xxxiv. 13; xxxv. 7. A. C. 7293.
Leviathan the extended serpent, &c.-[The serpent which the Lord will visit with His hard and great sword is here called Leviathan, and in the Apocalypse a Dragon. As the signification of these two designations of the serpent is similar, we will here quote, in an abridged form, what Swedenborg says of the dragon, which will shew the meaning of Leviathan.”J
That by the “dragon” [and also by Leviathan] are signified all who are merely natural and sensual from the love of self, and, who still know some things, more or less, from the Word, from doctrine thence derived, or from preaching, and think to be saved by science or knowledge alone without life, appears from the siguification of the “dragon,” as denoting the merely natural and sensual man, who is notwithstandIng in the knowledge of things in themselves spiritual. All those become merely natural and sensual who live to the body and to the world, and not to God and to heaven; for everyone is interiorly formed according to his life, and to live to the body and to the world is to live a natural and sensual life, and to live to God and to heaven is to live a spiritual life. Every man is born sensual from his parents, and by a life in the world becomes natural more and more interiorly, that is, rational according to moral and civil life, and the lumen thence acquired; but afterwards he becomes a spiritual man by truths from the Word, or from doctnne derived from the Word, and by a life according to them. Hence, it may appear, that he who knows those things which the Word, or which doctrine or a preacher teaches, and does not live according to them, however learned and erudite he may appear, still is not spiritual, but natural, yea, sensual, for science or mere knowledge and the faculty of reasoning do not make man spiritual, but life itself. The reason is, because science, which the faculty of reasoning thence dellvers, is only natural, wherefore it can also be given with the evil ea, with the worst of men; but truths from the Word, together with a life according to them, make a man spiritual. For life is to will truths and to do them from the love thereof, and this cannot be given from the natural man alone, but from the spiritual, and from the influx of this into the natural; for to love truths, and from love to will them, and from that will to do them is from heaven, that is tl!through heaven from the Lord, and is in its nature heavenly and divine, this cannot flow in immediately into the natural mind but mediately through the spiritual mind, which can be opened and formed to the reception of heavenly light and heat, that is, to the reception of divine Truth and divine Good. The reason why these cannot flow immediately into the natural mind, is, because in this mind reside man’s hereditary evils, which are of the love of self and the world whence the natural man, viewed in himself, loves only himself and the world, and from love wills, and from will does those hereditary evils, and these are the things which oppose the influx of anything out of heaven, and the possibility of its reception; wherefore it is provided of the Lord that these evils may be removed, and so a place may be even for the truths and goods of spiritual love, namely, by the opening and formation of the spiritual mind, which is above the natural mind, and by the influx thence of heaven from the Lord thereby into the natural mind.
These, things are said in order that it may be known that to know the things which are of the Word, and of the doctrine of the church does not make a man spiritual, but a life according to those things which the Lord has commanded in the Word; consequently that it is possible to know many things from the Word, and yet remain natural and sensual. These are therefore they who are signified in the Word by the “dragon;” and the reason why they are signified, is, because, the dragon is a genus of serpent which not only creeps upon the ground, but also flies, and thence appears in heaven; and it is from this flight and this appearance that they who are in the knowledge of truths from the Word, and not in a life according to them, are understood by the “dragon;” for by “serpents,” in general, are signified the sensual things of man, as may be seen above, n. 581. Forasmuch as in the following parts of this chapter, [Apoc: xii.] and also afterwards, the “dragon” is treated of, it shall be explained what sort of persons, generally and specifically, are thereby signified. In general ale signified those who are more or less natural, and yet in the knowledge of things spiritual from the Word; but those are specifically signified who have confirmed themselves in faith separate from charity in doctrine and life. These constitute the head of the dragon; but they who from self-derived intelligence hatch for themselves dogmas from the Word, constitute the body; and they who study the Word without doctrine, constitute the external parts. All. these also falsify and adulterate the Word, inasmuch as they are in the love of self, and thence in tne pride of self-derived intelligence, from which they become merely natural, yea, sensual; and the sensual man cannot see the truths of the Word, by reason of fallacies, of obscurity of perception, and of the evils of the body there residing, for the sensual principle adheres to the body, whence such things are derived.
Inasmuch as such persons are understood by the “dragon,” hence by the “habitation” or ” den” or “bed of draqons,” mentloned in the Word, is signified where there is nothing but what is merely false and evil, as in Isaiah:-“The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation. of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” (xxxv. 7; see the Exposition of this passage.) And in Jeremiah:-“I will lay Jerusalem in heaps, a habitation of dragons.” (ix. 11.) Again “A great tumult cometh from the land of the north, to reduce the cities of Judah to wasteness, to a den of dragons.” (x. 22.) And in Ezekiel:-“I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own and I have made it for myself,” (xxix. 3.) The conceit of self-derived intelligence appertaining to the natural and sensual man is here described. “Pharaoh king of Egypt signifies [the same as Leviathan] the natural and sensual man, separate from the spiritual man. The “dragon” or “whale,” the same as to scientifics, or mere knowledges, which are made falses, or falsified, from self-derived intelligence. A. E. 714.

2 In that day sing ye unto her-A vineyard of red wine.

Verse 2. A vineyard of red wine.-The “vineyard” here stands for the spiritual church. A. C. 9139. As to the further signification of a “vineyard,” see above, Chap. v: 1, 2, Exposition.

3 I, Jehovah, do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any should injure it, I will keep it night and day.

Verse 3. I, Jehovah, do keep it, &c.-As to the Lord’s care and watchfulness over His “vineyard” or church, see also Chap. v. 1, 2, Exposition.

4 Fury is not in Me: were the brier and the thorn set against Me in battle, I would march against them, I would burn them up together.

Verse 4. Fury is not in Me.-As to “anger,” when predicated of the Lord, see Chap. ix, 12, 17, 21, Exposition.
Briers and thorns.–See Chap. vii, 23, 24, Exposition.

5 Or let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me! peace let him make with Me.

Verse 5. That he may make peace with Me, &c.-As to heavenly “peace,” see above, Chap. ix, 6, Exposition.

6 Them that come shall Jacob cause to take root: Israel shall blossom and flourish; and they shall fill the face of the world with increase.

Verse 6. By “Jacob” is understood the external church, and by “Israel” the internal; and whereas the internal of the church is followed upon the externals thereof, and the internals are thence multiplied and fructified, it is said that “Jacob shall cause them that are to come to take root,” and that “Israel shall blossom anti flourish.” The fructification of the church thence, is signified by “they shall fill the face of the world with increase.” A. E. 741,

Verses 6, 7. Them that come shall Jacob cause to take root, &c-Jacob stands for those who are in the external church, and “Israel” for those who are in the internal. The subject here treated of is the establishment of a New Church when the Old one perishes. The face of the world slgnifies the church in general. The “slain” are those with whom there is no froth, because no charity. A. C. 8902.

7 Hath He smitten him, as He hath smitten those that smote him? and is he slain like the slaughter of his slain?

Verse 7. These things are said concerning “Jacob” and “Israel,” by whom the church is signified,-by ” Jacob” the external church, and by “Israel” the internal. The temptations of those who are of the church are thus described, which are signified by these words-“Hath He smitten him, as He hath smitten those that smote him? And that they should not yield, and thereby perish in temptations, is signifled by these words-“Is he slain like the slaughter of his slain?” The “slaughter of the slain” signifying perdition by falses. A. E. 315.

8 In moderation, when she was put away, didst thou contend with her: He shall take them away with a strong wind, in the day of the east [wind].

Verse 8. That by the east wind are signified those things which belong to cupidities and phantasies, is evident from many passages in the Word, as Psalm lxxviii. 26, 27 ; Numb. xi. 31-35; Isaiah xxvii. 8. A. C. 5215.
As to the “east wind” [Eurus], see above, Chap. ii. 6 Exposition; and as to “winds,” at the period of Judgment, see Chap. xvii. 13, Exposition.

9 Wherefore by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be expiated; and this is all the fruit,-the removal of his sin; when he shall make all the stones of the altar as chalk-stones dispersed, and [when] the groves and the solar images shall rise up no more.

Verse 9. When he shall make the stones of the altar as chalk-stones dlspersed, and [when] the graves and the solar images shall rise up no more.- These things are said concerning “Jacob” and” Israel,” by whom the church is slgnified,-in the present case, the church to be destroyed. The destruction thereof as to the truths of worship, is described by making the stones of the altar as chalk-stones dispersed;” the “stones of the altar” denoting the truths of worship, and as chalk-stones. dispersed denoting as falses not cohering. The groves and solar statues shall rise up no more,” signifies that there shall no more be any worship from splrltual and natural truths; groves signifying worship from spiritual truths, and “solar statues” worship from natural truths. A. E. 391.

10 But the fortified city shall be desolate; an habitation forsaken, and deserted as a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down: and he shall consume the branches thereof.

Verse 10. There shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down.-A “he calf” denotes good in the rational principle, and, in the opposite sense, when made into an “idol” (as in Exod. xxxii. 4), it signifies natural and sensual delight, or the good of the natural man separate from the spiritual, which good is, in itself, evil, consisting of merely sensual cupidities and pleasures. In this sense, when the church is destroyed, the calf is said “to feed and to lie down” in the desolated church, as in a “wilderness,” and “to consume the branches thereof” that is, to pervert and to destroy its truths. A. C. 10,407. See also the same work, n. 9301, where the meaning of a “calf,” both in a good and in a bad sense, is shewn: from many passages of the Word; also A. R. 242.

11 When the harvest is withered, they [the branches] shall be broken; women shall come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding; wherefore He that made him shall not have pity on him, and He that formed him shall shew him no favour.

Verse 11. Speaking of the churoh devastated. By “the harvest withering” is signified the truths of Good destroyed by evil loves; by “the women who set it on fire” are signified the cupidities of the false, which altogether consume. A.E. 355.

12 And it shall be in that day, that Jehovah shall thresh out [corn] from the ears of the river [Euphrates] to the stream of Egypt; and ye shall be gleaned up, one by one, O ye sons of Israel!

Verse, 12. These words signify the extension of things spiritual and celestial; “to the stream of Egypt,” the extension of things spiritual; and “to the river Euphrates,” the extension of things, celestial. That these “rivers” signify the extension of things spiritual and celestial, may appear from the signification of the “land of Canaan,” as denoting the Lord’s kingdom in heaven and on earth, in which there exist only such things as are spiritual and celestial relating to faith and mutual love; wherefore nothing can be meant by the boundaries of the land of Canaan but the extension of these. For they who are in heaven are altogether ignorant what the land of Canaan is, or what the river of Egypt, or what the great river Euphrates,—nay, they are ignorant what are the boundaries of any land; but they know what the extension of things spiritual and celestial is, and what are the determinations and limits of their states; and in these they keep their minds fixed whilst such matters are read by man; the letter thus vanishing, and its historical sense, which served for an object to celestial ideas. That the “stream of Egypt” signifies the extension of things spiritual, is from this ground, because “Egypt” signifies things scientific, which, together with things rational and intellectual, are man’s spiritual things. That the “river Euphrates” signifies- the extension of things celestial, may appear from the countries which that river bounds and separates from the land of Canaan, and by which are likewise signified the scientifics and knowledges of things celestial. A. C. 1866.
Verses 12, 13. And it shall be in that day, that Jehovah shall thresh out [corn] from the ears of the river [Euphrates] to the stream, of Egypt, &c.-“In that day” signifies the advent of the Lord; “from the ears of the river to the stream of Egypt, which Jehovah shall thresh out,” signifies all rational and scientific truth subservient to spiritual; it is said, “from the ears,” because the spike or ear is what contains “corn,” by which is signified the Truth and Good which serves the spiritual man for nourishment. Convocation unto the church by the Lord, is signified by “In that day the great trumpet shall be sounded.” That they shall accede to the church who otherwise would have perished by reasonings from scientifics, applied to confirm falses, is signified by “Those shall come who were perishing in the land of Assyria, and who were dispersed in the land of Egypt.” That they shall adore the Lord, and that a church shall be formed from them, is signified by “They shall bow themselves down before Jehovah, in the mountain of holiness in Jerusalem;” the “mountain of holiness,'” is the church as to the good of life, and “Jerusalem” the church as to the truth of doctrine. These things indeed are said concerning the sons of Israel who were made captive in Assyria and in Egypt but by “the sons of Israel,” there and elsewhere, are understood the nations who were to constitute the church of the Lord, and by their captivlty in Assyria and in Egypt is signified the spiritual captivity in which man is from falses of religion. A. E. 654.
Interior and exterior scientifics are signified by “the spikes or ears of the river Euphrates to the stream of Egypt,” as in the above passage. Those “perishing in the land of Assyria” signify interior Truths; the “dispersed In Egypt,” exterior Truths or scientifics. A comparison with the “blade,” the “spike” or “ear,” and the “corn in the ear,” involves also the regeneration of man, by scientifics, by the truths of faith, and by the goods of charity, as in Mark iv. 26-29. A. C. 5212.

13 And it shall be in that day, that the great trumpet shall be sounded; and those shall come who were perishing in the land of Assyria, and who were dispersed in the land of Egypt: and they shall bow themselves down before Jehovah, in the mountain of holiness in Jerusalem.

Verse 13. Divine Truth itself in heaven is signified by “voices” and “lightnings,” but celestial or angelic Truth, adjoined to the Divine, which is beneath or around is signified by the “voice of a trumpet;” as in Zechariah :-“Jehovah shall appear over them, and His weapon shall go forth as lightning; and the Lord Jehovih shall sound with a trumpet, and shall advance in the storms of the south.” (ix. 14.) And in David:-“God ascendeth with noise: Jehovah with the voice of a trumpet;” (Psalm xlvii. 5.) where “noise ” denotes the Truth of spiritual Good, and the “voice of a trumpet” the Truth of celestial Good. The Divine Truth which passes through heaven is also meant by the “trumpets” with which the angels sounded. (Rev. viii. 2, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13; ix, 14.) Divine Truth from heaven was also represented by the “seven trumpets” with which the seven priests sounded before the ark, or before Jehovah when the walls of the city Jericho fell; (Josh. vi. 1-20.) also by the trumpets with which the three hundred men sounded, who were with Gideon around the camp of Midian, of Amalek, and of the sons of the East. (Judges vii. 12-23.) The reason why the “trumpets” produced that effect was, because they represented the Divine Truth through the heavens, which is such that it perfects the good but destroys the evil; the reason why it perfects the good is because these receive the Divine Good which is in the Truth; but the reason why it destroys the evil is, because these cannot receive the Divine Good which is therein. The “walls of Jericho” signify the falses which defended evils; and “Midian, Amalek, and the sons of the East, around whose camp the three hundred men of Gideon sounded with “trumpets,” signified those who were in evils and thence in falses. A.C. 8816.
As to the signification of those “perishing in the land of Assyria,” and “the dispersed in the land of Egypt,” otherwise called “remnants ” see Chap. xi. 11, Exposition.

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