Isaiah 45

1 THUS saith Jehovah to His Anointed, to Cyrus, whom I hold by the right hand, to subdue nations before Him; and I will loose the loins of kings: I will open before Him the two-leaved doors; and the gates shall not be shut:
2 I will go before Thee, and make the crooked places straight: the folding gates of brass will I break in pieces, and the bars of iron will I cut in sunder:

VERSE 1. By “Cyrus,” in a representative sense, is understood the Lord. His Omnipotence and Omniscience from Divine Good by Divine Truth, by virtue of which in the world He subjugated all the hells, and afterwards keeps them subjugated for ever, is signified by “whom I hold by the right hand, to subdue nations before Him, and I will loose the loins of kings,” likewise by “I will open before Him the two-leaved doors, and the gates shall not be shut.” By “the nations which should be subdued before Him,” are signified the hells as to evils, and by “the kings whose loins He should loose,” are signified the hells as to falses; by “the doors which will be opened before Him, and the gates which shall not be shut,” is understood that from Omniscience all things are manifested to Him, and that from Omnipotence He has the power of saving. A. E.298.
Verses 1-3.Here the Lord as to His Divine Human is treated of, who, in the representative sense, is “Cyrus.” To “open before Him the doors,” is to give access to the Divine Itself; hence it is that He also, as to His Human, is called “God,” and in this passage the” God of Israel.” A. C. 8989.
By “opening the doors, that the gates may not be shut;” is signified perpetual admission; by “nations” and “kings” are meant they who are in Goods and in Truths, and, abstractedly, Goods and Truths, as was said above. By “treasures of darkness” and by “hidden riches of secret places,” is signified interior intelligence and wisdom from heaven; for the things which enter by the “gate” which is open from heaven, concerning which we have spoken above, come in secretly, and affect all things which are with man, whence arises the spiritual affection of Truth, whereby things which were before unknown are revealed. A. E. 208.
By “Koresh.” [Hebrew] or by “Cyrus” are understood those who serve as instruments for the restoration of the church, who are consequently sent before; but that they are only instruments is here clearly stated. Cyrus is before called “Shepherd,” who will do the [Lord’s] will; thus the instrumental is designated by the same name as the principal cause, as elsewhere, when the Angel of GOD MESSIAH is called “Jehovah,” because JEHOVAH GOD spoke by him, Yea, this mode of speaking extends further, as when it is said that “Jehovah kills,” (Exod. iv, 24; xxxii. 10.) and that “He does evil,” as in verse 7 of this chapter, and similar things; this is so said because they are mere instruments which have such things in themselves as to produce such effects [ut fiat]; here Cyrus is called the “Anointed of Jehovah” from a similar cause. To “take hold of His right hand,” is to effect this; to “subdue nations before Him,” namely, to obedience, [signifies] that they may be prepared for His coming, thus to “open the doors,” &c. “I will go before Thee” involves what is similar, that GOD MESSIAH alone will effect this; “making crooked things straight” signifies perverse doctrine, which, about the time of the coming of GOD MESSIAH, is perverse [crooked]; for the world is then compared to a “desert” and to a “desolate place;” the “folding gates of brass” are those things which are natural, and which have perverted man; the “bars of iron” are corporeal things, which have made the way of Truth “crooked.” (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 115.)
Verse 2. I will make the crooked places straight, &c.-The “crooked being made straight” denotes the evil of ignorance turned into Good, for “length” and the “things of length” are predicated of Good; the “rough ways” (chap. xl. 4.) being made smooth, denote that the falses of ignorance shall be turned into Truths, for “way” is predicated of Truth. A. C. 3527.
The bars of iron will I cut asunder.—The “bars” [or staves] with which the ark carried signify power, and also the” bars” with which the gates of cities were fastened, as is evident from the following passages:-“The sword falleth upon his cities, and consumes his bars.” (Hosea xi. 6.) “For your sake have I sent to Babylon, and will cast down all her bars.” (Isa. xliii. 14.) “The folding gates of brass will I break in pieces, and the bars of iron will I cut in sunder.” (Isa. xlv. 2.) A. C. 9496.

3 And I will give unto Thee the treasures of darkness, and the hidden riches of secret places: that Thou mayest know that I am Jehovah, who calleth Thee by Thy name, the God of Israel.
4 For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have even called Thee by Thy name: I have surnamed Thee, though Thou hast not known Me.

Verse 3. The “treasures of darkness” and the “hidden riches of secret places,” are such things as are of heavenly intelligence and wisdom which are hidden from the natural man. A. C. 10,227
Spiritual “riches,” in respect to the good, are nothing else but Goods and Truths with which they are gifted and enriched by the Lord. “Wealth” and “riches,” in respect to the evil, are nothing else but evils and falses which they have acquired to themselves. Such things are also signified by “wealth” in the Word. A. C. 1694.
Verses 3, 4. That Thou mayest know that I am Jehovah, who calleth Thee by Thy name ;-for the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, &c…”I have called Thee by Thy name” denotes that He knew the quality of the state of the church; for “Jacob” and “Israel” are the church,-“Jacob” the external church, and “Israel”
the internal church. A. E. 148. See also A. C. 3441.
As to the “name” of the Lord, see above, Chap. xxvi. 8, Exposition.

5 I am Jehovah, and there is none else; beside Me there is no God: I have girded Thee, though Thou hast not known Me:

Verse 5. That the Lord JESUS CHRIST is the ONE only GOD of heaven and earth, or that He is JEHOVAH in His Humanity, see above, Chap. i. 2, Exposition.
I have girded Thee, &c.- What is meant by “girding” and by “girdle,” when predicated of the Lord, see Chap. xi. 5, 6, Exposition.

6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else;

Verse 6. From the rising of the sun, and from the west, &c.-See Chap. xli. 25; xliii. 5, 6, Exposition.

7 Forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil: I, Jehovah, do all these.

Verse 7. [These words imply] that GOD MESSIAH is the only Former of the new man; a comparison is taken from the sun, that GOD MESSIAH, as a Sun, “forms wisdom and light,” that is, intelligence; and He “creates darkness,” that it may serve “light” for everything useful; for without “darkness” there can be no reformation; but it is the conformation [of light with darkness] which makes that which is beautiful. It is said comparatively, and it is understood, that without a mixture of shade with light, nothing appears, yea, no colour, no distinction, consequently, no beauty. It is similar as to “peace,” by which is understood Good; for no Good is given but in “peace which reigns,” &c. &c. It is also the case with “evil” in respect to Good; which [evil], however, GOD MESSIAH does not form, but “creates,” that hence Good may be “formed,” &c. (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 116.)
[It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted this verse in any of the works printed by himself; but from the rough notes adduced above, and from other passages in his writings, it appears, as a most general Truth, that all things, both “light” and ” darkness,” “good” and “evil,’: come from God, who, indeed, is the only Source of all existence; whether good or evil. This most general Truth is implanted in children, before they have learned to think and to make any discrimination in their ideas, and who consequently believe that evil, such as the evil of temptation, the evil of punishment, and of anger, &c., is inflicted by God, and consequently comes from Him. This most general Truth was believed by the gross-minded Jews, and in general by the simple and the uninstructed in the church at the present day. From this cause it is that in order that the Word may be adapted to all states of mental development, even to the states of early childhood, its divine Truth in ultimates is clothed in many cases in a cloud of great obscurity, as in this verse, in which “darkness” as well as “light,” “evil” as well as “good,” are ascribed to Jehovah. For the human mind is, at first, in a kind of chaos, (Gen. i. 1, 2.) in which light and darkness, good and evil, are, as it “were, mixed together, and both indiscriminately ascribed to God. But by the process of instruction and regeneration, these elements gradually become distinguished by the mind, when it is seen that only what is Good and True call come from God, and that all evil and falsity arise from the perversion of these things, as they are received by human minds in a perverse state; and that the Word in the letter ascribes, according to the appearance,all things, whether good or evil, to the Lord. Moreover, it should be observed that there is, by creation, a “darkness” which is the absence of “light,” but not the opposite to “light,” or opposed, in the sense of hostility, to “light; and that there is an “evil” which is the absence of Good, but not necessarily the opponent, in the sense of hostility, to Good. This is the necessary condition of the Finite, as contrasted with the Infinite; and in this sense God may be said to “create darkness and evil.” Thus there is the evil of ignorance in the minds of children and of the uninstructed;-this evil is denoted by “the crooked places,” (see verse 2 of this chapter, and Exposition; also Chap. xl. 4.) which, when the mind is instructed in Truths, can be “made straight,” or converted into genuine Good; and there is also the darkness of ignorance, denoted by “the rough places,” which, by instruction, can be “made smooth, or be converted into Truths from Good. This darkness must be well distinguished from the “darkness” of evil as opposed to Good, and from the “darkness” of negative and false reasonings as opposed to Truth. See Chap. viii. 21, 22, note.]

8 Drop down, O ye heavens, from above; and let the clouds shower down justice: let the earth open, and let them bring forth the fruit of salvation; and let justice spring up together: I, Jehovah, will create it.

Verses 8, 12, 18, 19. That by the “heavens” and the “earth” are here understood all things of the church, as well the internals as the externals thereof, is evident, for it is said-” Drop down, O ye heavens, from above; and let the clouds shower down justice: let the earth open, and let them bring forth the fruit of [or fructify] salvation,” The reason why the “heavens” signify the interior things of the church is, because the interior things, which appertain to the mind of the spiritual man, are the heavens appertaining to man. That “heaven” appertains to man, with whom the church is, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n. 30-57. By “creating the heavens, and forming the earth, and making and preparing it,” is signified fully to establish the church. A. E. 304.
By “the heavens dropping down from above, and the clouds showering down justice,” are signified instruction, influx, and perception of divine Truth. A. E. 594.

9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Former! a potsherd with tho potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that formeth it, What makest thou? or shall thy work [say of thee], He hath no hands?

Verse 9. A potsherd with the potsherds of the earth.-See above. Chap. xxx, 10, J1, 12, 14, Exposition.
“He hath no hands” signifies no power. A. C. 878.
That the “hand,” the “arm,” and the “shoulder” correspond to power, see Chap. xxv. 11, Exposition.

10 Woe unto him that saith to his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What dost thou bring forth?

Verse. 10. These words treat of reformation, that it is from the Lord, and not from man. A.E. 721.

11 Thus saith Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Former: Ask of Me signs concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me.
12 I have made the. earth, and I have created man upon it: My hands, even Mine, have stretched out the heavens; and all the host of them I have commanded,

Verses 11, 13. The subject here treated of is also concerning the advent of the Lord, and the establishment of the church from Him. The Lord is understood by “Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Former,” “who is called the ” Holy One of Israel” from Divine Truth, and his “Former” from the establishment of the church thereby; and “Israel” denotes the church; therefore by “His sons concerning whom they asked signs,” are understood those who are in Truths from the Lord; and by “the work of His hands,” is understood their formation, and the establishment of the church with them. “I have raised Him up in justice, and I will make straight all His ways,” signifies that to Him appertain Divine Good and Divine Truth; for “justice,” in the Word, is predicated of Good, and” ways “of Truths leading,-in this case, Divine Truths, because predicated of the Lord. “He shall” build My city, and dismiss [or release] My captives,” signifies that He shall restore the doctrine of Truth, and that He shall liberate those who are in falses from ignorance; for a “city” signifies the doctrine of Truth, and “captivity” the falses of ignorance, in which the Gentiles were, and thereby in spiritual captivity. ” Not for price, nor for reward,” signifies gratis from Divine Love. A. E. 706.
As to “captivity” and” captives,” see Chap. lxi. 1, Exposition.

13 I have raised Him up in justice, and I will make straight all His ways: He shall build My city, and dismiss My captives; not for price, nor for reward, saith Jehovah of Hosts.

14 Thus saith Jehovah, The labour of Egypt, find the merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to Thee, and they shall be Thine: they shall come after Thee; in bonds shall they come over; they shall bow down unto Thee, and shall pray unto Thee, [saying] In Thee only is God; and there is none else; there is no God else.

Verse 13. By “the justice in which Jehovah hath raised Him up,” is signified the Good of love; and by “His ways, which He will make straight,” are signified Truths proceeding from that Good. By “the city which He shall build,” is signified the doctrine of the church; and by “the captives whom He shall dismiss,” are signified the opening and revelation of divine Truths with those who were heretofore secluded from them. That the Lord will do these things gratis, is signified by “not for price, nor for reward.” A. E. 811.
Jehovah of Hosts.-For the signification of the phrase “Jehovah of Hosts,” when mentioned in the Word, see Chap. i. 9, 24, Exposition.
Verse 14. These things are said concerning the Lord, who is treated of in the whole of this chapter. By “the labour of Egypt,” and by “the merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans,” is signified the delight of natural love, arising from the acquisition of the knowledges of Truth and of Good; those knowledges themselves are signified by the “Sabeans,” who are called “men of stature [or length]” from Good; for “length” signifies Good and the quality thereof, and “breadth” Truth and its quality. That they would accede to the church, and acknowledge and adore the Lord, is signified by “they shall come over to Thee, and they shall be Thine; they shall bow down unto Thee.” That the natural man with them should serve the spiritual, and thereby the Lord, is signified by “in bonds shall they come over;” for they are said to “come in bonds” with whom the cupidities appertaining to the natural man are restrained. That they shall acknowledge the Lord alone to be God, is understood by “they shall pray unto Thee, [saying] In Thee only is God; and there is no God else.” A. E. 654.

15 Verily, Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour!

Verses 14, 15. In Thee only is God; and there is none else; verily, Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. -From these passages, and from many others of similar import, it clearly appears that the LORD our Saviour is JEHOVAH Himself who is at once the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Regenerator; for it was JEHOVAH who came into the world and accomplished the work of redemption, without which neither man nor angel could have been saved. Hence it is that the divine commandment, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me,” enjoins that no other GOD is to be worshipped than the Lord JESUS CHRIST. T. C. R. 294.
That the Lord JESUS CHRIST is “JEHOVAH GOD,” see Chap. i. 2, Exposition.

Verse 15. [“That hidest Thyself” refers to the assumption of the Humanity, in which, during His life in the world, GOD, being clothed with the infirmities of our fallen nature, was, as it were, hidden; but after He had become fully glorified, He brought Himself fully out to view as the “Father of Eternity “]

16 They are ashamed, they are confounded, all of them: together shall they go in to disgrace, the makers of idols.
17 But Israel shall be saved in Jehovah with an eternal salvation: ye shall not be ashamed, neither shall ye be confounded, to the ages of eternity.

Verse 16. That the “makers of idols” (or of deceptions), or those who frame from self-derived intelligence false doctrines, will, from their evils and falses at the time of Judgment, be disgraced and confounded, see Chap. xxiv. 21, 23; xl. 18-20, Exposition.

18 For thus saith Jehovah, who created the heavens; God Himself who formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He hath created it not to be empty, He hath formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah, and there is none else.
19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I have not said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye Me in vain: I am Jehovah, who speaketh justice; who declareth things that are right.

Verse 18. By “heavens” and by “earth,” and by creating, signifled to reform the church as well in internals as in externals; by” creating it not to be empty” is signified that it is not without Truth and Good, in which they are who are reformed,-the want of the principles is “emptiness;” by “He hath formed it to be inhabited, is signified that they should live according to Good and Truth, and from them, for to ” inhabit ” signifies to live. A.E.294.

20 Assemble yourselves, and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped from among the nations: they know nothing that carry about the wood of their graven image, and that pray to a god which cannot save.
21 Declare it, and bring them near; and let them take counsel together: who hath made this known from ancient times? who hath declared it from the first? Is it not I, Jehovah? there is no other God but Me: a just God, and a Saviour; there is none beside Me!

Verse 20. They know nothing that carry about the wood of their graven image, and that pray to a god which cannot save.-[To “carry about the wood of their graven image,” &c., is to live and to worship according to false doctrine, and thus to be in evil.]

22 Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.

Verse 22. As to what is meant by the ends or extremities of the earth, see above Chap. xlii. 10 11; xliii. 5, 6, Exposition.

23 By Myself have I sworn; justice is gone forth from My mouth; the word, and it shall not be revoked: that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear:

Verse 23. Treating concerning the advent of the Lord. By “every knee shall bow,” is signified that all who are in natural Good from spiritual, shall worship Him,-the ” knee” signifying the conjunction of natural. Good with spiritual; hence it is evident that “bending the knees” signifies acknowledgment, thanksgiving, and adoration, from spiritual Good and delight in the natural man. By “every tongue shall swear,” is meant that all shall confess Him who are in Good from religion; to “swear,” denoting to confess, and the “tongue” the religion according to which they live. A. E. 455.
It is said in the Word that Jehovah God, or the Lord, “swears,” but this is only according to the sense of the letter, for it is not suitable to God Himself, or the Divine Truth, to swear; but when God, or the Divine Truth, wills to have anything confirmed before men, then that confirmation, descending into a natural sphere, falls into an oath, or into the usual form of an oath in the world. Hence it is evident that, although God never swears, still, in the sense of the letter of the Word, which sense is natural, it is said that He does “swear.” It was allowed to the ancients, who were in the representatives and significatives of the church, to “swear by Jehovah God,” that they might testify the Truth; and by that “oath” was signified that they thought what was True, and willed what was Good. This was especially allowed the sons of Jacob, inasmuch as they were altogether external and natural men, and not internal and spiritual; and merely external or natural men are willing to have Truth confirmed and testified by oaths, but internal or spiritual men are unwilling to admit of such confirmation, yea, they hold oaths in aversion, and think of them with horror, especially of those which have God for their object, and the holy things of heaven, and the church, being content to say, and to have it said that such a thing is true, or that it is so, according to the Lord’s words,-“Thou shalt not swear at all;” also; “Let your discourse be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay,”·&c. Inasmuch as to “swear” is not of the internal or spiritual man, and as the Lord, when He came into the world, taught men to be internal and spiritual, and for this end, after having abrogated the externals of the [Jewish] church, He opened its internals, therefore, also, He prohibited “swearing by God, and by the holy things of heaven and the church.” (See Matt. v. 33-37.) The holy things by which men are not to swear, are there mentioned, namely, “heaven,” “earth,” “Jerusalem,” and the “head ;” and by “heaven” is meant the angelic heaven, wherefore it is called “the throne of God;” by “earth” is meant the church, wherefore it is called, “God’s footstool;” by “Jerusalem is meant the doctrine of the church, wherefore it is called “the city of the great King;” and by the “head” is meant intelligence thence derived, wherefore it is said-“Thou canst not make one hair white or black,” by which is signified that man of himself cannot understand anything. A. E. 608. See also A. C. 2842, 9166, and H. H. 271.

24 Only in Jehovah, said He to me, are justice and strength! to Him they shall come; they shall be ashamed, all who were incensed against Him.

Verse 24. By “all who were incensed against Jehovah shall be ashamed,” is signified that all who are in evils and falses shall recede from them. To be “angry against Jehovah,” signifies to be in falses from evil. A.E. 693. See also A. C. 357.
For the further meaning of “anger,” when mentioned in the Word, see above, Chap. xlii. 24, 25, Exposition.

25 In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Verse 25. By the “seed of Israel” are signified the things which belong to the church, or charity and faith; for these make the church with man. A. C. 10,248.

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