Isaiah 6

1 IN the year in which Uzziah the king died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and His skirts filled the temple.

VERSE 1. By a “throne high and lofty” upon which Adonai was seen to sit, is signified the Lord as to Divine Truth in the supreme heavens, but by the “skirts or borders of His garments ” is signified His Divine Truth in the church; the “skirts of the garments,” when predicated of the Lord, signify His Divine Truth in the ultimates. A.E.220.
“His skirts filling the temple” signifies that the Divine Proceeding filled the ultimate of heaven, and also the church; for by “the skirts of the Lord” is signified, in general, the Divine Proceeding, and specifically the Divine Truth” which is in the extremes of heaven and the church. – A. E. 253.
That the “skirts” or borders of the robe denote the extremes where the natural principle is, is manifest from the passages in the Word, where “skirts” are named, as in Isaiah,-” I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lofty, and the skirts thereof filled the temple,” (vi. 1.) where, by the” throne” on which the Lord sat, is signified heaven, n. 5313, 8625; by “skirts” are there signified divine Truths in ultimates, or in extremes, such as are the truths of the Word in the sense of the letter, which are said to “fill the temple” when they fill the church. The like is signified by the” skirts filling the temple,” as by the “smoke and the cloud filling the tabernacle, and also the “temple,” as occasionally spoken of in the Word, That by “smoke” is there signified divine Truths in ultimates, such as is the sense of the letter of the Word, see n. 8910; and also by a “cloud,” n. 4060. That the woman labouring with an issue of blood, when she “touched the border of the Lord’s garment,” was healed; (Matt. ix, 20, 22.) and in general, that as many as “touched the border of His garment,” were healed, (Matt, xiv.36;Mark vi. 56.) signified that from the Divine in the extremes or ultimates health went forth; for that in the ultimates of good and truth, which are from the Divine, there is strength and power, see n. 9836, and also that responses are there, n. 9905. And in Matthew,-Jesus said of the Scribes and Pharisees, that “they do all their works to be seen of men, that they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the skirts or borders of their robes.” (xxiii. 5.) In this passage it is very manifest that “skirts” of a robe denote external things which are extant to view, and that to “enlarge” them denotes to do works in externals, that they may appear or be seen. And in Jeremiah,–“Jerusalem hath sinned a sin, her uncleanness in her skirts or borders.” (Lam, i. 8, 9.) “Uncleanness in the skirts” denotes in deeds and words, thus in the extremes; for the extremes derive their essence from the interiors, wherefore when the interiors are unclean, the extremes are also unclean, although the uncleanness does not appear before men, by reason that men look at the external form., and thus do not see the interiors; nevertheless the uncleanness, which is in the interiors, appears before the angels; and is also detected with everyone in the other life, for externals are there removed; hence it is made evident what has been the quality of works in their essence. And in Nahum–” I will uncover thy skirts upon thy faces, and will shew thy nakedness to the nations.” (iii. 5.) To ” uncover the skirts upon the faces” denotes to remove externals, that internals may appear; for the externals, which are of the natural man, by various methods conceal the internals, which are hypocrisies, deceits, lies, hatreds, revenges, adulteries, and other like things, wherefore when externals are taken away, internals appear in their uncleanness and filthiness. And in Jeremiah,-” If thou shalt say in thine heart, Wherefore have these things happened unto me? For the multitude of thine iniquity thy skirts were discovered, thy heels were violated. I will make bare thy skirts upon thy faces, that thine ignominies may be seen, thine adulteries;” (xiii. 22,26.) speaking of the abominations of Jerusalem. To “discover the skirts,” and to “make them bare,” denotes to take away external things, which cover and hide, that the interiors may be seen; for man learns to feign what is good, what is honest and sincere, for the sake of reputation, of honour, and of gain, when yet inwardly he has evils and falses of various kinds stored up; inasmuch as by “skirts” are signified external things, therefore also mention is made of the “heels,” because the “heels” denote the lowest things of the natural principle, see n. 259, 4938. From these considerations it is now manifest, that by the “skirts of the robe” are signified goods and truths in ultimates or extremes, which are in the natural
world. A. C. 9917..
Filled the temple.-That “temple,” in the Word, signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, and in a respective sense heaven and the church, consequently also the Divine Truth, may appear from the following passages :-” The Jews said to Jesus, What sign shewest Thou to us that Thou doest this? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up again in three days; but He spake of the temple of His Body.” That “temple” signifies the Divine Human of the Lord is here expressly said; for by the “dissolution of the temple,” and its being “raised up again after three days,” is understood His death, burial, and resurrection. And in Malachi,-” Behold, I send Mine angel, who shall prepare the way before Me; and suddenly shall come to His temple the Lord, and the angel of the covenant whom ye seek.” (iii. 1.) In this passage also by “temple” is meant the Divine Human of the Lord; for the subject there treated of is concerning the Lord’s advent, wherefore by “coming to His temple,” is signified to His Human. And in the Apocalypse,-” I saw not a temple in the New Jerusalem, for the Lord God Omnipotent is its Temple, and the Lamb.” (xxi. 22.) The subject here treated of is concerning the new heaven and the new earth, when they shall be in internals and not in externals; hence it is said that “there shall not be a temple, but the Lord God Omnipotent and the Lamb :” “the Lord God Omnipotent” is the essential Divine of the Lord, and the “Lamb” is His Divine Human; whence also it is evident that His Divine Human in the heavens is understood by “temple.” And in Isaiah,-” I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and the skirts or borders of His garments filled the temple;” (vi 1.) where, by a “throne high and lifted up,” on which the Lord was seen to sit, is signified the Lord as to Divine Truth in the superior heavens; but by “the skirts or borders of His garments” is signified His Divine Truth in the church. That the “skirts or borders of the garments,” when predicated of the Lord, signify His Divine Truth in ultimates, may be seen, A. C. 9917. That “the veil of the temple was rent into two parts from the top to the bottom,” after the Lord had suffered, (Matt. xxvii, 51.) signified the union of the Divine Human of the Lord with His Divine itself may be seen, n. 9671 of the same work. By” temple” is signified the Divine Human of the Lord, and at the same time heaven and the church, in the following passages :-” I will bow myself towards the temple of Thy holiness, and will confess to Thy name.” (Psalm cxxxviii, 2.) And, in Jonah,-” I said, I am expelled from before Thine eyes, but yet I will again look back to the temple of Thy holiness; and my prayer came to Thee to the temple of Thy holiness.” (ii. 5, 8.) And in Habakkuk,-” Jehovah is in the temple of His holiness.” (ii. 20.) And in Matthew,-” Woe to you, blind guides, who say Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing: but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, is guilty. Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple which sanctifies the gold?” (xxiii. 16, 17.) And in John,-Jesus said to them who sold in the temple, “Take these things hence; make not the house of My Father a house of merchandise.” (ii, 16, 17.) A. E. 220. See also A. C. 6426, 9714, 10,528.

2 Above Him stood Seraphims: each one of them had six wings; with two of them he covered his face, with two of them he covered his feet, and with two of them he did fly.

Verse 2. That “wings” denote spiritual truths, or the truths of faith, which has power from good, is manifest from other passages in the Word; wherefore, when “wings” are attributed to the Divine [Being], by them is signified the Divine Truth which has Omnipotence, as where they are ascribed to the cherubs, by which is signified the Providence of the Lord.. A.C. 8764.
By the “Seraphims” here mentioned are signified similar things as by the cherubs; and by the “throne high and lofty” is meant the Divine Proceeding, from which is heaven. By the “wings with which the Seraphim covered the faces and the fert, and with which he did fly,” is signified the Divine Spiritual [Principle] in first principles and in ultimates, and the extension thereof on every side, thus the Omnipresence of the Lord. By” holy, holy, holy, is signified Most Holy. That this is the Divine Truth which fills all things, is signified by “the fulness of the whole earth with His glory; and that the Lord is alone holy, and that holiness is predicated of the Divine Truth which proceeds from Him. A. E. 285.
By “the wings with which he covered his face” is signified the spiritual affection of truth; by “the wings with which he covered his feet “the natural affection of truth thence derived; and by the wings, with which he did fly,” circumspection and presence; in this case Omnipresence, because the “Seraphims signify the same as the Cherubims, viz., the Divine Providence as to guard. The reason why by “flying,” when predicated of men, is signified circumspection, and at the same time presence, is because the sight is present with the object which it sees; that it appears afar off or distant is owing to intermediates, which appear at the same time, and can be measured as to spaces. This may be fully confirmed from the things which exist in the spiritual world. In that world spaces themselves are appearances arising from the diversity of affections and of thoughts thence derived; wherefore when any persons or things appear afar off, and an angel or spirit wills from intense affection to be with those who are there, or to view those things which are there, immediately he is there present. Similar is the case with the thought, which is the internal or spiritual sight of man; this sees those things which he saw in himself, without space, thus altogether as present; hence it is that “to fly” is predicated of the understanding and its intelligence, and that thereby is signified circumspection and presence. A.E. 282.
The “glory of Jehovah,” when predicated of the Word, denotes its internal sense. The reason why the interiors of the Word are called “glory” is because the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord as a sun is the light in heaven which gives sight to the angels there, and at the same time intelligence and wisdom: from that Divine light is all glory in heaven, which is such as to exceed all human apprehension. Hence it is evident from what ground it is that the internal sense is called “glory,” for the internal sense of the Word is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord in heaven; thus the light from which all glory exists. A. C. 9429.
That the term Lord [Adonai] is used, when Good is treated of, is evident from the Word of the Old Testament, where Jehovah is sometimes called Jehovah, sometimes God, sometimes Lord [Adonai], sometimes Jehovah God, sometimes the Lord Jehovih, sometimes Jehovah Zebaoth, and this from a mysterious ground, which can be known only from the internal sense. In general, when the subject treated of is concerning the celestial things of love, or concerning Good, then He is called Jehovah; but when the subject treated of is concerning the spiritual things of faith, or concerning Truth, then He is called God; but when concerning both together, then He is called Jehovah God; and when concerning the divine power of Good, or Omnipotence; then He is called Jehovah Zebaoth, or Jehovah of Hosts, and also Lord, so that Jehovah Zebaoth and Lord are of the same signification, hence, viz., from the power of Good. Also men and angels are called lords, and in an opposite sense they are servants, who have either no power, or only a power derived from their lords. A. C. 2921.

3 And, one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of Hosts! the fulness of the whole earth is His glory!

4 And the pillars of the thresholds were shaken with the voice of him that cried; and the house was filled with smoke.

Verse 3. The whole earth is filled with His glory.-” Glory,” in the supreme sense, is the Lord as to Divine Truth, thus it is the Divine Truth which proceeds from the Lord; but “glory,” in the representative sense, is the good of love towards the neighbour, or charity, which is the external good of the celestial kingdom, and the internal of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom; for this good, in the genuine sense, is the Divine Truth in heaven. A.C. 5922.

5 And I said, Woe is to me! I am cut off: for I am a man of unclean lips; and in the midst of a people of unclean lips do I dwell: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of Hosts.

Verses 5-7. By “lips” are denoted the interiors of man, consequently internal worship wherein is grounded adoration, which was here represented in the person of the prophet; everyone may see that the “touching of his lips, and the removal of his iniquity thereby, and the expiation of his sin was a representation of the interiors, which are signified by “”lips,”, and which are things appertaining to charity and the doctrine-thereof (A.C. 1286.

6 And one of the Seraphims came flying unto me, and in his hand was a burning coal, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

7 And he caused it to touch my mouth, and said, Lo! this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is removed, and thy sin is expiated.

Verses 6, 7. What these words signify in their series may be seen when it is known that the “altar” signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human [Principle]; the “fire upon it,”
the Divine Good of His Divine Love; the “mouth and lips of the prophet,” the doctrine of Good and Truth; likewise that “to touch” signifies to cornmunicate; the “iniquity” which departed, signifies the false, and the “sin,” evil; for iniquity is predicated of the life of the false, or of a life contrary to Truth; and sin is predicated of the life of evil, or of a life contrary to Good. A. E. 391.
[As to the specific meaning of “transgressions,” “iniquities,” and “sins,” see above, Chap. i, 28, Exposition.] , ‘
By “one of the Seraphims touching the mouth and lips of the prophet with a coal from the altar” is signified the inte!ior purification, which is of the understanding and will, and thence inauguration into the gift of teaching; by the “coal from the altar” is signified the Divine Love, from which is all purification; and by the” mouth and lips,” the thought and affection, or what amounts to the same, the understanding and will, by which a man is purified from iniquity and sin; wherefore it is said, “Therefore thine iniquity hath departed and thy sin is expiated;” that iniquity does not depart by the application of a coal to the mouth and lips may appear to everyone. A.E.580.

8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send; and who will go for us? And I said, Behold, here am I; send me.

9 And He said. Go, and say thou to this people, And hear ye indeed, but understand not; see ye indeed, but perceive not.

10 Make fat the heart of this people; make their ears heavy, and besmear their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and be healed.

Verses 9, 10. Hear ye indeed, but understand not; see ye indeed, but perceive not: make fat the heart of this people, make their ears heavy, and besmear their eyes, &c.- “To besmear the eyes, lest peradventure they see with their eyes,” is to darken their understanding, lest they should understand. A. E. 152.
Man acquires a life to himself according to the persuasions which be embraces, that is, the things which he acknowledges and believes; whatever is not received by persuasion, or what he does not acknowledge and believe, does not at all affect his mind; and therefore no one can profane holy things unless he be so persuaded, as to acknowledge them, and still deny them; they who do not. acknowledge such things, may indeed know them, but then they are as if they did not know them, or as those who know things that are of no consequence. Such were the Jews about the time of the Lord’s advent, and being such, they are said in the Word to be vastated, by which expression is implied that they have no longer any faith. In this case it does a people no injury to have the interior things of the Word unfolded to them, for then they are as persons seeing, who do not see; and as hearing, who do not hear; and who have an hardened encrusted heart, thus described by the Lord in Isaiah.- “Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and besmear their eyes,”&c. A.C. 303.
“Make their ears heavy and besmear their eyes,” &c., denotes that it would be better they should be in falsities than in truths, because they were in the evil of life; in which case, supposing them to be instructed in truths, they would not only falsify them, but would also defile them with evils; truth therefore was concealed from the Jews, and this for the same reason that the men of Sodom were smitten with blindnesses, that is, because their doctrinals were full of fa!sities. Inasmuch as “blindness” signified what is false, therefore in the representative Jewish church it was forbidden to sacriflce anything blind. A. C. 2383.

That by “seeing and not knowing” is signified to understand what is true and still not to acknowledge it, is evident; and that by “besmearing the eyes, lest they should see” is signified to deprive them of the understanding of truth; and that faith in the Lord is what is here signified by seeing, is plain from the Lord’s words in Matthew, xiii. 13, 14. A. C. 3863.
The Divine Providence operates invisibly and incomprehensibly, to the intent that man from a free principle may ascribe it either to Providence or to chance; for if Providence acted visibly and comprehensibly, there would be danger lest man, from what is visible and comprehensible, should believe that it is of Providence, and afterwards should fall into a contrary belief; thus what is true and what is false would be joined together in the interior man, and the true would be profaned, which brings with it eternal damnation; therefore such a man is kept rather in unbelief, than admitted to a state of faith from which he would afterwards recede. This is what is meant in Isaiah vi. 9, 10. A. C. 5508.

11 And I said, How long, O Lord? And He said, Until the cities be laid waste, so that there be no inhabitant; and houses, so that there be no man, and the Iand be left utterly desolate:

12 Until Jehovah remove man far away; and there be a great desertion in the midst of the land.

Verse 11. Until the cities be laid waste, &c-The total vastation of the church is here treated of; “cities” are truths of doctrine, “houses” are the goods thereof, the “land” is the church. A. E. 223.

Verses 11, 12. And l said, How long, O Lord? And He said, until the cities be laid waste, so that there be no inhabitant; and houses, so that there be no man, and the land be left utterly desolate; until Jehovah remove man far away, and there be a great desertion in the midst of the land.- These things are not said concerning the vastation of the earth, that there should be no more any cities or houses therein, and that these should be without an inhabitant, and without a man; but they are said concerning the vastation of Good and Truth in the church. By “cities” are there signified the truths of doctrine; by “inhabitant,” the good of doctrine; by the “houses” are signified the interior things of man which appertain to his mind: and by a “man,” the spiritual affection of truth, and thence wisdom; this is signified by the “houses being devastated, and without a man in them;” by the “land” which shall be reduced to a wilderness is signified the church. Hence it is evident what is signified by “removing man,” and by “a great desertion [or desolation] in the midst of the land;” a “desert” signifies where there is no Good because there is no Truth. A. E. 280.
That the mysteries of faith are not laid open before a people are reduced to a state of vastation, in which they have no longer any faith; by reason lest they should profane them, the Lord also plainly declares in the subsequent verses in the same prophet,-” Then said I, How long, O Lord? And He answered, Until the cities be laid waste, so that there be no inhabitant; and houses, so that there be no man, and the land be left utterly desolate: and until the Lord have removed man far away.” By” man” is meant he who is wise or acknowledges and believes. A. E. 303.
The” man” whom Jehovah shall remove signifies him that is wise, and abstractedly wisdom; the “great desertion in the midst of the land” signifies that there shall be nothing of good, because nothing of truth; the “midst of the land” denoting where truth is in the greatest light; wherefore when the light is not there, darkness pervades the whole, thus there is nowhere any truth. A. E. 304.

13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, which shall return and again be consumed; yet, as the terebinth and the oak, though cut down, hath its stock remaining : so a holy seed shall be the stock thereof.

Verse 13. Yet in it shall be a tenth part, which shall return, &c–The remnant, or remains of man or the church, were also represented by the “tenths” or “tithes,” which were holy. Hence also the number ten was holy, on which account it is predicated of a remnant, or remains, as in Isaiah vi. 13, where the remnant is called “a holy seed.” A. C. 468.
The “midst of the land” signifies the internal man; a “tenth part,” the smallness of the remains. A. C. 576.
“A holy seed shall be the stock thereof,” signifying remains, which are holy, because from the Lord. A. C. 1025.

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