1 I WILL now sing to my Beloved, a song of my Beloved concerning His vineyard. My Beloved had a vineyard on a high and fruitful hill:
VERSES 1, 2. By “the vineyard which belonged to the Beloved in the horn of a son of oil,” is signified the spiritual church, which is principled in truths originating in the good of love, thus which is most excellent, for a “vineyard” signifies the spiritual church, or the church which is principled in truths from good; the inauguration thereof is understood by the “horn of oil,” forasmuch as inaugurations were performed by oil out of a horn; and a “son of oil” denotes truth derived from good. By the “Beloved” is signified the Lord, because the churches are established by Him; wherefore it is said that” He fenced it, and gathered out the stones, and planted a noble vine;” the “noble vine” denoting spiritual truth from a celestial origin, or truth derived from the good of love; by the “grapes” which He expected that it should bring forth, are signified the goods of charity, which are goods of life; and by the “wild grapes” which it brought forth, are signified the evils which are opposed to the goods of charity, or evils of life. A. E. 375.
In these words there still lies concealed such an arcanum as cannot be expressed by any forms of speech; for by these words is fully described the conjunction of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom with His celestial kingdom, that is, the conjunction of the second heaven with the third, consequently the conjunction of the good of faith in the Lord, which is of the spiritual kingdom, with the good of love to the Lord, which is of the celestial kingdom. A “vineyard” denotes the spiritual kingdom; “in a horn” denotes in power; thus “a son ‘of oil” therein, denotes the external good of love in the celestial kingdom; for this kingdom, which is the inmost heaven of the Lord, is called “oil or olive-yard,” because “oil” denotes the good of celestial love. A.C.9139.
2 And He fenced it round, and He cleared it of stones, and He planted it with a noble vine; and He built a tower in the midst of it, and He hewed out also a wine-press therein: and He expected that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes.
Verses 2, 4. He built a tower in the midst of it, and He hewed out also a wine-press therein: and He expected that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes, &c.-” He built a tower in the midst of it,” signifies the interior things .which receive influx, and by which there is a communication with heaven; He also ” hewed out a wine-press in it,” signifies the production of truth from good; and “He expected it to bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes,” signifies the hope of the fructification of those things by virtue of the good of charity, but in vain, because there was iniquity in the place of good. A. E. 918..
That “grapes” signify the good of the spiritual man, thus charity, may appear manifest from several passages in the Word, as in Isaiah,–” My Beloved had a vineyard in the horn of a son of oil; He expected that it ‘would bring forth grapes, but it produced wild grapes;” (v. 1, 2, 4.) where “vineyard” denotes the spiritual church; “He expected it to bring forth grapes,” denotes the goods of charity; but “it produced wild grapes,” denotes the evils of hatred and revenge. A. E. 5117.
3 And now, O inhabitant of Jerusalem, and O man of Judah, judge, I pray you, between Me and My vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to My vineyard, than I have done unto it? why, then, when I expected that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
Verses 3-6. By “vineyard.” is here understood the church with that nation; by “I expected that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes,” is signified that there appertained to it evils of the false instead of the goods of truth, which are of the church; by “removing the hedge thereof, and its being eaten up, and by breaking through the wall, and its being trodden down,” is signified the destruction thereof as to goods and truths, and invasion by evils and falses, which are signified by the “thorns and briers” which should come up; by “I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it,” is signified that there is no longer with them any reception of truth and good, through the Word, out of heaven. A. E. 433.
In this passage, in the sense of the letter, the perverse state of the Israelites and Jews is treated of; but in the internal sense the perverse state of the [Christian] church is treated of, as represented by “Israel and Judah;” the ” inhabitant of Jerusalem” is the good of the church; “inhabitant” denotes good, or, what is the same thing, those who are principled in good; and “Jerusalem,” the church. In like manner, “the house of Israel” is significative; that “house” denotes good, and “Israel” the church; in like manner the “man of Judah,” for by ” man” is signified truth, and by “Judah” good, but with this difference, that the “man of Judah” denotes truth grounded in the good of love to the Lord, which is called celestial truth, that is, it signifies those who are principled in such truth. A. C. 3654.
5 But now, I will indeed make known unto you what I will do to My vineyard: I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will destroy its wall, and it shall be trodden down:
Verse 5. By the “vineyard” is there signified the church of the Lord, which is called the spiritual church; by “removing the hedge,” and “breaking through the wall,” is signified to falsify and thus to destroy the truths that defend the church; the “wall” and the “hedge” about the vineyard denote the same as the wall and bulwarks of Jerusalem; by “devouring and treading under foot the vineyard” is signified to vastate the church, so that no good and truth can spring up therein, and thus to destroy it. A. E.632.
6 And I will make it a desolation: it shall not be pruned, neither shall it be weeded; but the brier and the thorn shall spring up in it : and I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Verse 6. By these words is understood that there shall not be any understanding of divine Truth or the Word in the church; “vineyard” denotes the church, the “clouds,” the Word in the letter, and by their “raining no rain” is signified no understanding of divine Truth, A. E. 594.
Here likewise it is said of Jehovah, that “He maketh the vineyard a desolation, and commandeth the clouds that they rain no rain upon it;” when notwithstanding this is not done by Jehovah, that is, by the Lord, for He always flows in as well with the evil as with the good, which is understood by His “sending His rain upon the just and upon the unjust.” (Matt. v. 45.) But the cause hereof is in the man of the church, in that he does not receive any influx of divine Truth; for when this is the case with man, he shuts up the interiors of his mind which should receive, and these being shut up, the divine influx is rejected. By the “vineyard, which is made a desolation,” is signified the church; by “not being pruned nor weeded,” is signified that it cannot be cultivated, and so prepared to receive; by the “brier and thorn which shall come up,” are signified the falses of evil; by “commanding the clouds that they rain no rain,” is signified the non-reception of any influx of divine Truth out of heaven. A. E. 644.
The state of desolation and vastation with those who are not regenerated, is also treated of in the Word throughout; in this state are they who altogether deny truths, or turn truths into falses; this is the state of the church towards the end, when there is no longer either faith or charity, as is described in Isaiah v. 5-7.A. C. 5376.
7 For the vineyard of Jehovah of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the man of Judah the plant of His delights: and He looked for judgment, but behold bloodshed! and for justice, but behold an outcry!
Verse 7. And He looked for judgment, but behold bloodshed! and for justice, but behold an outcry! – Speaking also of the vastation of Goodness and Truth. In this passage there occurs a species of reciprocation, as is common with the Prophets, which is such that evil is found in the place of Truth, signified by “bloodshed, or a scab, instead of judgment,” and the false principle in the place of Good, signified by “an outcry, instead of justice;” for “judgment” is Truth, and “justice” is Good. That an” outcry” [clamor] signifies, in a bad sense, the false principle, cannot appear unless from the internal sense of the Word. The expression” outcry” sometimes occurs in the Prophets, when treating of vastation and desolation, on which occasion they speak of “howling” and ” crying,” signifying thereby that what is Good and True is vastated, and in such case by “howling and crying,” in the internal sense, is described the false principle, as in Jeremiah,-” A voice of the outcry of shepherds, and a howling of the powerful of the flock, because Jehovah layeth waste their pasture;”(xxv. 36.) where an “outcry of shepherds” denotes that they were principled in what is false, whence comes desolation. See also in the same Prophet, xlvii. 2, 4; and in Zephaniah, i. 10, 14; and. other passages which might be adduced. A. C. 2240.
An intense supplication is expressed in the Word by an “outcry,” and this because the supplication, although tacit, of those who supplicate from the heart, is heard as an outcry in heaven. This occurs when men only think, and more if they deeply sigh from a sincere heart. This was represented by an “outcry” [or clamour] in the representative church; and hence it became a ritual among the Jews. It occurs in like manner with those who teach; they are heard in heaven as though they were crying out. Not only the thoughts but, especially the affections, which are of Goodness and Truth, speak in heaven ; that they speak, and if ardent, cry out, has been granted me to know from experience, concerning which, of tho Lord’s Divine Mercy, I shall speak elsewhere. But the affections of what is evil and false are by no means heard in heaven, although a man who makes supplication from such affections, were to cry aloud, at the same tlme pressing his hands closely together [as in prayer], and praising, up his eyes to heaven; such affections are heard in hell and also as an outcry, if they are ardent. A. C. 9202.
To “wait [or lookJ for judgment,” is to wait for intelligence from divine Truth, and a life according to the precepts. A. C. 9857.
8 Woe unto you who join house to house, who lay field unto field, until there be no place, and ye dwell alone in the midst of the land!
9 To Mine ears [saith] Jehovah of Hosts: Surely, [these] many houses shall become a desolation; the great and the good ones, without an inhabitant,
Verses 8, 9. In this passage it signifies the man in whom is evil. The house of man’s mind is built up of scientifics, knowledges, and truths united with good. For to collect scientifics, and thereby to raise and to build up the external man; is, in its circumstances, not unlike the building of a house; wherefore the like is signified throughout the Word by “building,” and by “erecting houses,” as in Isaiah lxv. 21, 22. “House,” in this passage, signifies where there is wisdom and intelligence, consequently where there are the knowledges of Good and of Truth. But in Isaiah v. 8, 9, “house” is used in the opposite sense, and denotes scientifics, by which come falsities. A. C. 1488.
“House” signifies various things, as the church, good therein, also a man, and likewise his mind both natural and rational. A. C. 9150.
Good pertaining to man is, in the Word, compared to a “house,” and on this account ‘a man who is principled in good is called the “house of God,” but internal good is called the “father’s house,” whereas good which is in the same, degree is called the “house of brethren,” but external good, which is the same as natural good, is called the “mother’s house;” all good and truth also is thus born namely, -by an influx of internal good as a father into external good as a mother. A. C. 3128.
10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield [scarcely] one bath [of wine], and a homer of seed shall yield [scarcely] one ephah [of corn].
Verses 9, 10. By “ten” is signified all and much, as in the foliowing passage in Isaiah:-” Many houses shall be a devastation, great and fair, without inhabitant; for ten acres of vineyard shall yield [scarcely] one bath ;” treating of the desolation of truth with those who are of the church. By” many houses which shall be a devastation,” are signified the men of the church, specially as to truths from good. By “great and fair,” namely, houses, is signified the affection of good and intelligence of truth; for “great is predicated of good and the affection thereof, and “fair” is predicated of truth and the intelligence thereof; but here in the opposite sense. By “ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,” is signified that in all things appertaining to the church with man, there is scarcely any truth from good; for by the “bath” is signified the same us by ” wine,” namely,
truth derived from good; wherefore, by “ten acres of vineyard,” are signified all things of the church with man. A. E. 675.
That the number “ten,” and also” tenths,” signify remains, may appear from the following passage in Isaiah, v. 9, 10; speaking of the vastation of things spiritual and celestial. “Ten acres of vineyard making one bath,” signifies that the remains of things spiritual were so few; and “a homer of seed yielding [scarcely] one ephah [of corn],” signifies that there were so few remains of things celestial. A. C. 576.
“Ten acres” denote what is full, and also much; in like manner, a “homer;” but a “bath” and an “ephah” signify few’, for when ten denote much, a tenth part means a few. A. C. 8468.
11 Woe unto them who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink; who continue late in the evening, that wine may inflame them!
Verses 11, 12, 21, 22. These things are said of those who make to themselves doctrinals from self-derived intelligence, and not from the Lord or from the Word, which is from Him, whence they are in mere falses; wherefore the perverted state of such persons who believe themselves to be enlightened, in consequence whereof they are in falses of doctrine, and care not for the Word, from which alone the goods and truths of doctrine and of life can be known, is here described; to “rise early, or at the dawn of morning, and continue to evening,” signifies their state of illustration; to “run after strong drink,” and to be “inflamed with wine,” signifies the fabrication of doctrinals from themselves: “not to regard the work of Jehovah, nor see the operation of His hands,” signifies not to attend to the Word and the goods of life and truths of doctrine there discovered; the “work of Jehovah” being predicated of the goods of life, and the “operation of His hands” of the truths of doctrine, each -from the Word; inasmuch as such persons are understood, therefore it is said, “Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent before their own faces;” and to be ” wise in their own eyes,” signifies from self-derived intelligence, and to be “intelligent before their own faces,” signifies from self-derived affection; the “eyes” signifying understanding, and the “faces” affection; “woe to them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink,” signifies to, such as aspire after great things, and are ingenious in confirming the falses which favour the loves of self and their own principles; the “mighty” denoting those who aspire to great things, and “men of strength” those who are ingenious and seem to themselves to be intelligent; “to drink wine” [in a bad sense], is to imbibe falses, and “to mingle strong drink,” is to confirm them; such are all they who are in the love of self, and who seek after the fame of erudition, for such are in their proprium, and cannot be elevated therefrom, wherefore their thought is in the sensual corporeal principle, wherein no truth can, appear, nor spiritual good be perceived; whereas they who are not in the love of self, and seek intelligence for the use of life, are elevated by the Lord from the proprium into the light of heaven, whilst they are ignorant of it, and are thereby enlightened. A. E. 376.
12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and the pipe, and wine, are their feasts: but the work of Jehovah they regard not; and the operation of His hands they do not behold.
Verse 12. The “harp,” the “viol,” the “tabret,” the “pipe,” and also” wine,” are to be here understood in the opposite sense, in which they signify exultations and boastings from the falses of evil; that such things are here signified, is evident from its being said, “Woe unto them, they regard not the works of Jehovah, nor behold the operation of His hands.” A.. E. 323.
Inasmuch as “wine” signifies the good of love and of faith, therefore in the supreme sense it signifies the Divine Truth from the Divine Good of the Lord, for from this, by influx, man, who receives, has the good of love and of faith. Whereas several expressions in the Word have also a contrary sense, so also has “‘wine,” in which sense it signifies the false principle derived from evil [as in this passage]. A. C. 6877.
13 Wherefore My people goeth into captivity for want of knowledge; and their glory are men [dying] of hunger, and their multitude are dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore hell hath enlarged itself, and hath stretched open its mouth without measure: her glory, and her multitude, and her throng, and all who exult in her, shall descend into it.
Verse 13. The desolation or destruction of the church for want of the knowledges of good and truth, is signified by “My, people goeth into captivity for want of knowledge;” the Divine Truth which constitutes the church, is signified by “glory;” and that this is not in the church, and consequently neither is good, is signified by the “glory thereof being men [dying] of famine;” “men of famine” denoting those who are in no perception of good, and in no knowledges of truth; and that hence they have no truth, is signified by “the multitude thereof being dry with thirst;” “to be dry with thirst” denoting the defect of truth, and “multitude,” in the Word, being predicated of truths. A. E. 386.
“Thirst” denotes a defect of truth, and hence a privation of spiritual life. A. E. 8568.
“Men of famine,” signify a scarcity of celestial knowledges; “a multitude dried up with thirst,” signifies a scarcity of spiritual knowledges. A.. O. 1460.
15 And the [mean] man shall be bowed down, and the [great] man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the haughty shall be cast down: 16. And Jehovah of Hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God the Holy [One] shall be sanctified in justice.
Then shall the lambs feed as on their pastures, and the deserted places of the fat ones shall the [flocks of] strangers consume.
Verse 16. Jehovah shall be exalted in judgment, &c.-Inasmuch as the Lord is Divine Good and Divine Truth, and since by “judgment” is signified Divine Truth, and by “justice” or righteousness Divine Good; therefore, in many places where the Lord is spoken of, “justice and judgment” are mentioned, and in other places that men ought to do “justice and judgment.” A. R. 668.
17 Woe unto them who draw iniquity with cords of vanity; and sin, as with the thick traces of a waggon:
18 Who say, Let Him make speed, and let Him hasten His work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and come to pass., that we may know it !
19 Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Verse 18. “Vanity- ” denotes falsity, and indeed the falsity of doctrine and religion. A. C. 2248.
“Cords “of variously twisted appearance and thickness are seen in the other life, and by them are represented various modes of conjunction; hence it is that in the Word “cords” and “ropes” signify, conjoining mediums, thus “cords of vanity” denote conjunctions of falsities, which are productive of iniquity or evil of life. Many passages might be adduced in proof of this, of which the following may suffice, as in Hosea,-“I have drawn them with the cords of a man, with the thick cords of love;” (xi. 4.) here “cords” evidently signify conjoining mediums, for “love” is spiritual conjunction, Again, in Jeremiah-” My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken;” (x. 20.) here also “cords” are used to signify conjoining find confirming mediums; the “tabernacle” is the church; which is the Lord’s heaven upon earth. A. C. 9854.
Verse 19. By the “Holy One of Israel” is meant the Lord as to His divine Human and indeed as to the divine Natural; by Israel and Jacob, in the supreme sense, is meant the Lord as to the divine Natural, by “Israel,” as to the internal divine Natural, and by “Jacob,” as to the
external divine Natural. A. C. 7091.
Verse 20. To “put darkness for light, and light for darkness, signifies to call the false truth and truth the false; that “darkness” denotes the false and “light” the truth, is evident, for good and evil are first mentioned; therefore, afterwards, mention is made of truth and the
false. A. E. 526.
Verses 20, 22. That good and truth adulterated is here signified by “bitter”, is evident, for it is said-“Woe unto-then: that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, by which is, signified the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth; for good is adulterated when good is called evil and evil good, and truth is falsified when darkness is put for light and light for darkness, “darkness” denoting falses, and “light” denotIng truths; hence it is evident that similar things are signified by “putting sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet;” also by its being said, “woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink; by “mighty to drink wine,” are signified those who adulterate the truths of the Word, and by “men of strength to mingle strong drink,” are signified those who falsify it; “wine and strong drink” denotIng the truths of the Word, and “heroes, or the mighty, and men of strength,” those who excel in ingenuity and subtlety In adulterating them. A. E. 618.
20 Woe unto them who are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent before their own faces!
21 Woe unto them who are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
Verse 21. That the proprium is nothing but mere evil and the false, was made evident to me from this circumstance, that whatever any spirits spoke at any time from themselves was evil and false, insomuch that whensoever it was only given me to know that they did speak from themselves, I knew instantly that what they said was false, notwithstanding the power of persuasion in themselves that what they said was true beyond all possible doubt. The case is the same with men also who speak from themselves. In like manner, whensoever any have begun to reason concerning the things which respect spiritual and celestial life, or which relate to faith, it was given me to perceive that they were in a state of doubt, yea, of denial touching such things; for to reason about faith is to doubt and deny it. And whereas this proceeds from themselves, or from the proprium, they are mere falsities into which they fall, consequently into an abyss of darknesses, that is, of falsities; and when they are in this abyss, the least scruple prevails over a thousand truths, which scruple is like a small particle of dust falling on the pupil of the eye, and blindlng it in such a manner that it cannot see the universe, or anything contained therein. Concerning such persons the Lord thus speaks in Isaiah,-“Woe unto
them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight [or faces].” (v. 21.) A. C. 215.
22 Who justify the guilty for a reward, and take away the justice of the just from him!
Verse 22. They who believe nothing but what they comprehend by things sensual and scientific, were also called mighty to drink, as in Isaiah,-” Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent in their own sight, Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink.” They are called “wise in their’own eyes, and intelligent in their own sight,” because they who reason against the truths of faith think themselves wiser than others. A. C. 1072.
23 Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and, as the flame consumeth the chaff, so shall their root become like rottenness, and their blossom shall go up like the dust: because they have rejected the law of Jehovah of Hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.
Verse 24. That hereby are signified the scientifics of truth, appears from the signification of “blossoms and flowers” as denoting the scientifics of truth: the reason why “blossoms” have this signification is, because they are germinations which precede, and in their manner produce fruits and seeds; for it is known that trees and plants bear blossoms before they bear fruit; the case is the same with man, as to intelligence and wisdom : the scientifics of truth precede, and in their manner produce those things which are of wisdom with man; for they serve his rational principle for objects, and thus for means of growing wise; hence it is that the scientifics of truth are as “blossoms,” and the good of life, which is the good of wisdom, as ” fruit.” Inasmuch as all things which are in the spiritual world have reference to such things as appertain to man, by reason that heaven resembles one man, and corresponds to all the things, even the. most minute, appertaining to man, therefore also all things which are in the natural world, according to their agreement with such things as appertain to man, correspond, represent, and signify. Hence now it may be manifest from what ground it is that “blossoms” signify the scientiflcs of truth, and in general, truths, and that “fruit,” and likewise “seeds,” signify goods. That “blossoms” denote the scientifics of truth, and in general, truths, is manifest from the following passage :-” Their root shall be as corruption, and their blossoms as dust, because they have refused the law of Jehovah of Hosts, and have despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.” A.C. 9553
24 Wherefore the anger of Jehovah is kindled against His people, and He hath stretched out His hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the mountains tremble, and their carcases are as the dung in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned back, but His hand is stretched out still.
Verse 25. Inasmuch as “a street” signifies the truth of doctrine leading and, in the opposite sense, the false, therefore by “the mud, the mire and the dung of the streets,” is signified the false originating in the love of evil ; these things are also said from appearances in the spiritual world, for in the cities in that world where falses from evil reign, the streets appear full of dung, mire, and mud. A. E. 652.
The reason why the” stretching out the hand” denotes the dominion of power, is, because the hand or arm has power when it is stretched out; therefore, when it is said of Jehovah, that “He stretched out the hand or arm,” it signifies unlimited or infinite power in act. In very many passages also omnipotence is described by “Jehovah stretching out the hand,” also by “His stretched out hand,” and by “His stretched out arm ;” as in Isaiah,-“The anger of Jehovah is kindled against His people, and He hath stretched out His hand over them, and hath smote them, and the mountains trembled.” A. C. 7673.
25 And He will erect a standard for the nations afar off, and He will hiss unto them from the end of the earth; and, behold, with speed shall they come swiftly:
26 None among them is faint, and none stumbleth: none shall slumber or sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed; nor shall the latchet of their shoes be unbound:
Verses 26. That by a “standard,” or sign, is signified a calling together to war, is manifest from this consideration, that when convocations were made, whether for journeyings, or for festivals, or for war, they “sounded the trumpet,” and also “lifted up a sign or standard” upon the mountains. A. C. 8624.
The subject here treated of is concerning those who are in ultimates or lowest things as to the understanding of truth, and as to perception of good; those ultimates are called things sensual, which are the ultimates of the natural man; from these, when separated from the spiritual man, stream forth all the evils and falses which are in the church and in its doctrines. The evils thence derived are signified by the “nations which shall come from afar,” and the falses by ” him who cometh from the end of the earth;” “afar off” and the “end of the earth” signifying those things which are remote from the goods and truths of the church; by the” arrows which are sharp,” and by the” bows which are bent,” are signified falses of doctrine prepared to destroy truths; and by the ” hoofs of the horses which are accounted as the rock,” and by “his wheels which are as the whirlwind,” are signified the ultimates of truth, such as are the things in the sense of the letter of the Word, and arguments and confirmations of the false thereby; the “hoofs of horses” denote the ultimates or lowest [principles] of the understanding, in this case of the understanding perverted, because separated from the understanding of the spiritual man; which ultimates being nevertheless from the sense of the letter of the Word, it is said “they are accounted as the rock;” and the “wheels” denote argumentations and confirmations thereby, which, because they appear strong, it is said are” as a whirlwind.”A. E. 355.
[As to the signification of “horses,” see below, Chap. xxxi, 1, 3, Exposition.]
27 Whose arrows are sharpened, and all their bows are bent; the hoofs of their horses shall be accounted as a rock, and their wheels as a whirlwind:
28 Their roaring is like the roaring of a lion; like young lions shall they roar: they shall roar, and shall seize the prey; and they shall bear it away, and none shall deliver.
29 In that day shall they roar against them “like the roaring of the sea; and if one look into the land, lo ! darkness, distress, and the light is darkened in the ruins thereof.
Verse 28. The reason why hardness is expressed by a “rock,” is also from the correspondence of a “rock” with truth from good, for to truth from good appertains all power, but when truth acts against the false from evil, then good is blunted, and the remaining truth acts hardly; truth without good is also hard, but still brittle. A.. E. 411.
“Arrows” [in a good sense] denote spiritual truths, “bow” doctrine, “horses’ hoofs” natural truths, “wheels” the doctrine thereof; which things, having such a signification, are therefore sometimes attributed to Jehovah, to whom they can only be ascribed in a spiritual sense, otherwise they would be empty and improper expressions. A. O. 2680.
But in this passage the destroyer of truth is meant, where” arrows” denote falses, and “bows” the doctrine of the false; the “hoofs of the horses” signify sensual scientifics derived from a perverse intellectual principle; “wheels,” the powers of perverting and destroying truths, as “a storm or whirlwind.” A. C. 8215.
Verses 29, 30. Here also the “roaring as of a lion, and as of young lions,” signifies grief and lamentation over the vastation of divine Truth in the church by the falses of evil; by “seizing the prey, and none taking it from him,” is signified the liberation and salvation of those who are in truths from good. The vastation itself is described by “Lo! darkness, anxiety [or distress], and the light being darkened in the ruins thereof;” “darkness” denotes falses, “anxiety” denotes evil, the “darkening of the light,” the evanescence of divine Truth, and “ruins” signify total subversion. A. E. 601.
“Seizing,” “rapine,” “spoil,” and “prey.” are predicated of the Lord in the Word, from the circumstance of snatching away and delivering the good. A. C. 644:1.
Verse 30. This passage relates to the last time of the church, when the Lord shall come in to the world, and judgment be accomplished: inasmuch as at that time there is no longer any good of love or truth of faith, but evil of the false, and the false of evil, it is called a “day of darkness, and of thick darkness.” A. E. 526.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]