1 SING, O thou barren, that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and exult, thou that didst not travail: for more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married woman, saith Jehovah.
VERSE 1. Treating of the advent of the Lord, and of the New Church to be established by Him among the Gentiles, who are understood by “the barren, who did not bear,” and by “the desolate, who shall have many sons.” They are called “barren,” because they knew not the Lord, neither had the Word, where Truths are; wherefore they could not be regenerated. “Sons” denote Truths from the Lord by the Word. The church which is in possession of the Word, from which the Lord is known, is understood by “the married, who hath no sons;” the joy of those who are of the New Church; and who before had not Truths, is signified by “her breaking forth in to singing, and exulting, who did not travail,”—to “travail” denotes to have in the womb, Inasmuch as “mother” signified the church, and “sons” and “daughters” its Truths and Goods, and whereas in the ancient churches; and afterwards in the Jewish church, all things were representative, and thence significative, therefore it was a disgrace and a reproach for women to be barren; on which account Rachel was angry with Jacob, because she did not bear children, arid said, when she brought forth Joseph, “God hath taken away my reproach.” (Gen. xxx. 1,23.) For the same reason, after Elizabeth had conceived, she said-” Thus hath the Lord done to me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach amongst men.” (Luke i. 25.) A. E. 721.
Verses 1-3. These words treat of the church about to be established among the Gentiles which is called “barren,” and which “did not bear,” because they were without Truths from the Word; of which church it is said that “the sons should be more than the sons of the married woman, because its Truths would be more numerous than tbe Truths of the forrner church now devastated, for “sons” signify Truths. To “enlarge the place of the tent,” signifies the holy principle of worship from the Good of love; to “stretch out the curtains of the habitations, denotes the holy principle of worship from the Truths of faith. A. C. 9595.
To “enlarge the place of the tent,” is to enlarge those things which are of the church, thus the doctrine of what is Good and True from the Word, and hence those things which are of worship. To “stretch out or to expand the curtains of the habitations,” is to multiply Truths; that “curtains” are the Truths of the church, may be seen in A. C. 9596. The “barren” are those who were not before in the Goods and Truths of the church. A. C. 10,545.
Verses 1, 5, 6, 13. In these verses occur expressions which have relation to marriage such as being “barren,” “not bearing,”:” not travailing;” “the sons of the desolate and of the married woman;” “the reproach or shame of widowhood;” “as a woman foresaken and afflicted in spirit;” “the wife of [one’s] youth,” &c. The reason why these terms occur is, because the conjunction of what is Good and True is represented by “marriage;” hence, in the spiritual sense, these expressions involve something relatlng to the marrlage of what is Good and True, and to the perversions of that marriage. See A. C. 443.
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent; and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: spare not; lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
Verses 2, 3. Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for on the right hand and on the left thou shalt break forth, &c-The establishment of the church amongst the Gentiles is here treated of. By “enlarging the place of the tent,” is signified the increase of the church as to worship from Good; by “stretching out the curtains of the habitations,” is denoted the increase of the church as to the Truths of doctrine; by “lengthening the cords,” is understood their extension; by “strengthening the stakes,” is meant their confirmation from the Word. By “breaking forth on the right hand and on the left,” is signified amplification as to the Good of charity, and as to the Truth of faith,-” on the right” as to the Good of charity, and “on the left” as to the Truth of faith from that Good. By “the seed which shall inherit the nations,” is understood the Truth by which Goods are acquired,-“seed” is Truth, and “nations” are Goods; and by “the desolate cities which they would cause the nations to inhabit, are understood Truths from Goods of life,-” desolate cities” are the Truths of doctrine where before there were no Truths, “nations” are the Goods of life from which are Truths, and to “dwell” or to be “inhabited” is to live. A. E. 600. See also 223.
To” lengthen the cords” and to “strengthen the stakes” signifies the more ample connection and confirmation of Truths; for by “cords” is understood the conjunction of Truths, and by “stakes” their confirmation. A. C. 9777. See also A. E. 799.
As to the meaning of “cords” find “stakes,” and the reason “why a “tent” and a “tabernacle” signify the holy principle of worship, see Chap. xxxiii. 20, Exposition.
3 For on the right hand, and on the left, thou shalt break forth; and thy seed shall inherit the nations, and they shall cause the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Verse 3. By “the seed which shall inherit the nations,” is signified the Divine Truth which shall be given to the nations; by “breaking forth on the right and on the left,” is denoted the extension and multiplication of Goods and Truths,–by the “right” is understood Truth which is in light, and by the “left” Truth which is in the shade, because, in the spiritual world, to the right is the south, where those are who are in the clear light of Truth, and to the left is the north, where those are who fire in the obscure light of Truth. By “causing the desolate cities to be “inhabited,” is signified their life according to divine Truths, which were previously destroyed; “cities” are the Truths of doctrine from the Word; to be “inhabited” means to live according to those Truths ; “desolate cities” signify those Truths previously destroyed, namely, among the Jewish people. A.E. 768.
4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be confounded: and blush not; for thou shalt not be brought to reproach: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and the reproach of thy widowhood thou shalt remember no more,
Verse 4. See Chap. xxiv. 23, Exposition.
Thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and the reproach of thy widowhood thou shalt remember no more- The “reproach of widowhood” is predicated of the church when not in Truth, because not in Good, and consequently in the false. A. C. 4844.
5 For thy Husband is thy Maker; Jehovah of Hosts is His name: and thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called.
Verse 5. The Lord, from Divine Good, is called “Husband and Bridegroom ;” and His kingdom and church, from the reception of the Divine Truth which proceeds from the Lord, is called “wife and bride.” A. C. 9198.
6 For as a woman forsaken and afflicted in spirit hath Jehovah called thee; and as a wife of youth, when thou wast rejected, saith thy God.
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee:
Verses 6, 7. Here by “a woman forsaken and afflicted in spirit,” is understood the church which is not in Truths, but still in the affection or desire for them,—“Woman” denoting the church, which is said to be “forsaken” when it is not in Truths, and “afflicted in spirit” when in grief from the affection or desire for Truths; by “a wife of youth,” is denoted the ancient church, which was in Truths from affection; and by the same, when “repudiated or rejected,” is understood the Jewish church, which was not in Truths from any spiritual affection. The establishment of a New Church by the Lord, and liberation from spiritual captivity, is signified by “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.” A. E. 555.
8 In an inundation of anger I hid My face for a moment from thee; but with everlasting kindness will I have Mercy on thee, saith thy Redeemer Jehovah.
Verse 8. An “inundation of anger” signifies temptation, in which evils cause anguish and torment; because the Lord appears not to have mercy, it is said-“I hid my face for a moment from thee.” That the “face of Jehovah” is the Divine Love, is evident from the Lord’s face “when He appeared transfigured before Peter, James and John that is, when He shewed to them His Divine, and when “His face shone as the sun;” (Matt, xvii. 2.) that the “Sun” is the Divine Love, was shewn above. The Lord is never “angry,” nor does He “turn away” or “hide His face,” but it is so said from the appearance with the man who is In evil; for the man who is in evil turns himself away, and hides the Lord’s face from himself, that is, removes from himself the Lord s mercy. This is evident from many passages, but especially from the following:- “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you.” (Isa. lix. 2.) A. C. 5585, 6997.
9 For this is [as] the waters of Noah unto Me: when I sware that the waters of Noah should no more pass over the earth; so have I sworn that I will not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
Verse 9. When I sware that the waters of Noah should no more pass over the earth, &c.-The “waters of Noah” were the false principles and persuasions which destroyed the most ancient church. What is meant by “Jehovah’s swearing,” see Chap. xlv. 23, Exposition.
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills shall be removed; but My loving-kindness shall not depart from thee, and the covenant of My peace shall not be removed, saith Jehovah who hath mercy on thee.
Verse 10. Where it is evident that it is not the mountains and hills upon the earth which shall “depart or recede, and be removed,” but those who are in evil loves and in falses thence derived; for the subject here treated of is concerning the nations or Gentiles, of whom a New Ohurch was to be formed: wherefore by the “mountains ” and “hills” are more especially understood those of the former church, consequently the Jews, with whom were mere evils of the false and falses of evil, by reason of their being immersed in tbe loves of self and of the world. A. E. 405.
Verses 10, 13. The subject here treated of is concerning the New Heaven and the New Church. The former heaven and the former church, which should perish, are understood by “the mountains which shall depart or recede, and the hills which shall be removed.” That they who are in the New Heaven and in the New Church will be in Good from the Lord, and possess heavenly joy to eternity, by conjunction with Him, is signified by ” My loving-kindness shall not depart [or recede] from thee,” and “the covenant of My peace shall not be removed;” “loving-kinllness” or mercy signifies Good from the Lord, and the “covenant of peace” heavenly joy derived from conjunction with the Lord,-a “covenant” denoting conjunction. By “the sons who shall be taught by Jehovah, and who shall have much peace,” are understood those in the New Heaven and in the New Church, who will be principled in Truths originating in Good from the Lord, and enjoy eternal beatitude and felicity; “sons” in the Word, signifying Truths originating in Good, or those who are principled therein; their being “taught by Jehovah” denoting that those Truths are from the Lord; and “much peace” signifying eternal beatitude and felicity. A. E. 365.
11 O thou afflicted, tossed about with tempest, not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones in stibium, and thy foundations with sapphires.
Verses 11-13. These things are said of “the barren, who brought not forth,” and “who should have many sons;” and by the “barren” are signified the Gentiles who had not divine Truths, because they had not the Word, whence they are called “the afflicted, tossed about with tempest, and not comforted;” to be “afflicted and tossed about with tempest” is predicated of the falses by which they were infested and carried every way. That the Lord, when He came, would reveal to them living Truths, and instruct them, is signified by “I will lay thy stones in stibium, and thy foundations with sapphires,” &.c. That by the “precious stones,” here mentioned, are understood divino Truths in the ultimate of order, such as are those of the literal sense of the Word, in which are contained internal Truths, such as are those in the spiritual sense of the Word, is evident; for by the “foundations,” “gates,” and “borders,” which were to be laid with those stones are signified ultimate principles, whence it follows that, in the above passage, by “stones” in general, and by “sapphires,” “carbuncles” and “flre-stones ” [or rubies], are signified such Truths as are in the literal sense of the Word, which are ultimate Truths, because for the natural and sensual man. Inasmuch as the instruction of the Gentiles in divine Truths is here understood, therefore it follows-“And all thy sons shall be taught by Jehovah;” but what is specifically signified by the sapphire” “carbuncle,” and fire-stone, it is not necessary to explain In this place, only that “precious stones” in general signify ultimate Truths. A. E. 717. See also A. C. 9407, 9643, 9873.
12 And I will make thy windows of rubies, and thy gates of stones of carbuncle; and all thy borders of pleasant stones:
Verse 12. These things are said of the Gentiles out of the church, from whom a New Church was to be established by the Lord. By “I will make thy suns as rubies” is signified that Goods shall be brilliant from the fire of love; “suns” here denoting the Goods of love, and the “ruby” denotes a brilliance as from fire. By “I will make thy gates of carbuncles,” is signified that Truths shall be resplendent from Good; “gates” denoting introductory Truths, specifically the doctrinals which are derived from Good, for all Truths of doctrine, which are genuine, proceed from Good, and are of Good; and “stones of carbuncle” signify their splendour from Good,-all “precious stones” signifying Truths derived from Good, and the colour, splendour, and fire thereof indicating the quality of Truth from Good. By “all thy borders shall be of pleasant stones,” is signified that the scientific Truths which appertain to the natural man shall be pleasant and delightful from Good; for by a “border” is understood the same as by a “foundation,” and this is the natural man, forasmuch as in the things which are therein the Goods and Truths of the spiritual man are terminated; and “pleasant stones” denote Truths that are pleasant and delightful from Good. The nature and quality of the Goods and Truths of the Word, which will be with those who are of the New Church, is therefore described in this passage. That the “sun” signifies the Good of love, is also evident from the circumstance of their being called, “suns” in the plural number. A. E. 401.
I will make [or set] thy suns [windows] of rubies, &c.-Here, instead of windows, “suns” are mentioned, from light, because it is let in or transmitted thereby, “Suns'” or “windows” are intellectual things, and, indeed, from charity, wherefore they are compared to the “ruby.” The “gates” are the rational things hence derived: and the “borders” are the scientific and sensual principles; for the Lord’s church is here treated of. A. C. 655. See the note.
13 And all thy sons shall be taught by Jehovah; and great shall be the peace of thy sons.
14 In justice shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear it: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall be leagued together, but not by Me: whosoever is leagued against thee shall fall because of thee.
Verse 13. There is a spiritual idea, of which few have any knowledge, which enters by influx into the minds of those who are in the affection of Truth, and dictates interiorly, whether the thing which they are hearing or reading is true or not. In this idea are those who read the Word in illumination from the Lord. To be in illumination is to be in perception and thence in an internal acknowledgment that that which they hear or read [in the Word] is true. Those who are in this illumination are said to be “taught by Jehovah;” (Isa. liv, 13; John vi. 45.), and of them it is said in Jeremiah-” Behold, the days come that I will make a new covenant;-this shall be the covenant: I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and they shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know ye Jehovah: for they shall all know Me.” (xxxi, 31, 33, 34.) From these considerations it is plain that Faith and Truth are a one. This also is the reason that the ancients, who were more accustomed to think of Truth from affection than the moderns, instead of Faith used the word “Truth,” and for the same reason, in the Hebrew language, Truth and Faith are expressed by one and the same word, namely, Amuna or Amen. Doct. of Faith, 5, 6.
16 Behold, I have created the smith who bloweth the coals in the fire, and produceth an instrument for his work; and I have created the destroyer to lay waste.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that riseth up against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Jehovah; and their justice is from Me, saith Jehovah.
Verse 16. See Chap. xliv. 10, 12, Exposition; see also Chap. xlv. 7, Exposition, in which it is explained how all things, both good and evil, are said to be “created” by God.
Author: Emanuel Swedenborg [Compiled by J. H. Smithson 1860]