Isaiah 65

1 I AM sought by those who asked not for Me; I am found by those who did not inquire after Me: I said, Behold Me! behold Me! unto a nation that was not called by My name.

VERSE 1. I said, Behold Me! unto a nation that was not called by My narne.-What is meant by being “called by a name,” see above, Chap. iv. 1; xxvi. 8, Exposition.

2 I have spread out My hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts;

Verses 2, 3. To “offer incense upon bricks,” is to worship from things feigned and false [that is, from false doctrines], wherefore they are said to “‘walk after their own thoughts.” This is evident from the signification of “bricks” in the Word; for a “stone” signifies Truth, hence a “brick,” because it is made by man, signifies what is false; for a brick is artificially made into a stone. This signification of “bricks” may be seen confirmed by consulting Isaiah ix. 9, 10 (see the Exposition); lxv. 2, 3; Nahum iii, 14; Ezek, iv. 1. A. C. 1296.

3 a people that provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens, and burning incense upon bricks;

Verses 3, 4. To “provoke Jehovah to anger before His faces, signifies to sin against the Truths and Goods of the Word, and to recede from the worship therein commanded; the “faces of Jehovah” are the things revealed in the Word, By “sacrificing in gardens, and offering incense upon bricks,” is understood worship from falsities of doctrine, which are from self-derived intelligence; “gardens” signify intelligence, in this case self-derived, and “bricks” denote the falsities from that intelligence; and to “sacrifice” and “offer incense” is worship. That the ancients performed divine worship in “gardens” and in “groves,” according to the signification of the trees therein, but that this was prohibited with the Israelitish nation, lest they should frame to themselves a worship from the proprium, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, n. 2722, 4552. To “sit in sepulchres,” signifies to be in filthy loves; to “pass the night in waste places.” is to remain and to live in falses,-“waste places” denoting where there are no Truths; and to “eat the flesh of swine,” signifies to appropriate to themselves infernal evils, A. E. 324. See also A. E. 659.
As to the meaning of a “garden,” see above, Chap. i. 30, 31; li. 3; lviii. 11; lxi. 11, Exposition. For the signification of “bricks,” see Chap. ix. 9, 10, Exposition.

4 that sit among the graves, and lodge in the secret places; that eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 that say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

Verse 4. By “sepulchres” or “tombs” are signified things unclean, consequently, also, infernal; hence it is evident why “the possessed by devils,” in Matt, viii. 28, were “in the tombs,” namely, because they who possessed them had, during their abode in the world, been in falses derived from evil, or in knowledges derived from the Word, which they had made dead by applying thein to confirm evils, and also to destroy the genuine Truths of the church, especially the Truths concerning the Lord, the Word, and concerning the life after death, which dead knowledges are in the Word called “traditions.” Hence it was that they who were possessed by such were “in the tombs,” and the devils were afterwards “cast out into the swine, which ran headlong into the sea.” The reason why they were “cast out into the swine” was because, whilst they had lived in theworld, they were in filthy avarice, for such avarice corresponds to “swine;” the reason why “they ran headlong into the sea” was, because, the “sea” signifies hell. A. E. 659.
Who eat the flesh of swine.-[That “swine’s flesh” was, on account of the above correspondence, forbidden to be eaten, see Lev. xi. 7. Hence also it is that an unconverted and unregenerate man is said to be, as in the case of the prodigal son, a ” feeder of swine.” See Luke xv, 15.]
In whose vessels is the sop of abominab!e things”-[This “sop (or these pieces) of abominable things” signify the infernal falses which correspond to the evils denoted by “the flesh of the swine,” which “abominable things” mean the frauds and illicit gains of all kinds, together with the lies attending these evils, which minister to the cupidities of avarice, signified specifically by “swine’s flesh.”]
Verse 5. These are the words of such as justify themselves; for they think themselves holier than those who have faith in God Messiah. That the things which turn away the face from God Messiah are expressed here by “smoke in the nose” and by “fire” [is evident]. (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 135.)

6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, yea, I will recompense into their bosom,
7 your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith Jehovah, that have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills; therefore will I first measure their work into their bosom.

Verses 6, 7. The “bosom” signifies love, for the things of the “bosom” or “breast” correspond to love; the “heart” is there, which corresponds to celestial love, and also the “lungs,” which correspond to spiritual love; and since the “bosom” hence corresponds to love, by it is also signified the proprium, for “man’s proprium is that which is of his love; thus to “requite into their bosom ” signifies into themselves. A. C. 6960.
The iniquities of your fathers, &c.-That by “father,” when mentioned in the Word, is signifled Good, and, in the supreme sense, the Lord Himself, see above, Chap. li. 2, Exposition; and, in the opposite, that by “father” is meant evil, is evident from chap. lx v. 7.
[To “offer incense upon the mountains” is worship from self-love, that is, with a view to honour, gain, and power, or to some earthly advantage, and not with a view to heavenly Good and the salvation of the soul. That “mountains ” and “high hills,” where they offered worship in opposition to the divine command, signified the evils of self-love, and the love of the world, see above, Chap. ii. 12-17, Exp.; which worship is said to “blaspheme (or disgrace) the Lord.”]

8 Thus saith Jehovah, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sake, that I may not destroy them all.

Verse 8. That “grapes,” in the Word, signify charity and the things of charity, and that “wine” signifies faith thence derived, may appear from the following passages:-Isaiah v. 1, 2, 4 (see the Exposition); also lxv. 8, where the “cluster” signifies charity, and the “new wine” the Goods of charity and the Truths thence derived; see also Jer. viii. 13; Hosea ix, 10; Micah vii. 1. A. C. 1071. See also A. C. 5117.
[“Destroy it not” signifies that, at the period of Judgment in the world of spirits, those who as “remains” have any charity in them are to be separated from the evil like the” sheep” from the “goats,” and saved. As to “remains” or “remnants,” see above, Chap. i. 9, Exposition.]

9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

Verse 9. By “Jacob” and by “Judah” are not here understood a people out of Jacob, and a nation out of Judah, but the church to be established by the Lord,-by “Jacob” the church which is in the Good of life, and by “Judah” the church which is in the Good of love to the Lord; consequently, by “Jacob” the external church, and by “Judah” the internal church. By “seed” is meant charity and faith; and by “mountains” are understood the Goods of love. They who are in charity are called the “elect,” and they who are in Truths from the Good of love are called “servants;” wherefore it is said that “the elect shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there.” A. E. 433. See also A. E. 405.
By “Judah an inheritor of My mountains;” in the supreme sense, is understood the Lord; and, in a representative sense, those who are in love to Him, thus in the Good both of love to the Lord, and of charity to the neighbour. That “mountains” signify these Goods, has been frequently shewn. A. C. 3654.
Mine elect shall possess it.-Those are called the “elect” who, after a separation is made between the good and the evil, are elevated into heaven; those who have done evil are rejected, but those who have done good are elected. In this sense the “elect” are mentioned in Isa. lxv. 9, 15, 22. (Swedenborg’s Dicta Probantia, p. 82.)
Verses 9, 10. By “Jacob” and by” Judah” are not understood the people of Jacob and Judah; but the celestial church both external and internal,-by “Jacob” the external, and by “Judah” the internal. The internal Good of that church is signified by “the fold [or habitation] for the flock;” and the external by “the resting-place for the herd;” “Sharon” is the internal where that Good is; and “the valley of Achor ” is the external, That “Sharon” is the internal of the celestial church, is evident from those passages where “Sharon” is named, as in Isaiah xxxiii. 9; xxxv, 2. (See the Exposition.) That “the valley of Achor” is the external of that church, may be seen from Hosea ii, 15, [where Achor is called “a door of hope,” which door is as the external of a house in relation to its internal.] In Hosea we read that “Israel, Ephraim, and Judah shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Jehovah, and shall not find Him;” (v. 5. 6.) where also “flocks” and “herds” signify the interior and the exterior things with those who are understood by “Israel,” “Ephraim,” and “Judah.” What otherwise could be meant by “their going with their flocks and her to seek Jehovah”? A. C. 10,610.

11 But ye that forsake Jehovah, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for Fortune [Gad], and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny [Meni];

Verse 11. To “forsake Jehovah,” is to be in evils of life; to “forget the mountain of holiness,” is to be in things opposed to love and charity, for the “mountain of holiness” signifies love to the Lord. A. C. 3052.
Who prepare a table for Gad.-By “Gad” is understood, in the spiritual sense, the Good of life, for each of the twelve “tribes” had, its own spiritual signification; the Good of life is also use, and, in the natural sense, good works. There are three things which cannot be separated, namely, love, wisdom, and the use of Life, or charity, faith, and good works; for if one is separated, the others fall to the ground, as may be seen in the work on the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 241, 297, 316. That by “Gad” is signified the use of life, which is also called “fruit,” is evident from his being named from a term which in Hebrew signifies a “troop,” or a “heap;” (see Gen. xxx. 10, 11.) and also from the benediction of Israel his father; (Gen. xlix. 19.) and from his benediction by Moses; (Deut. xxxiii. 20, 21.) and also from his inheritance; (Numb. xxxii.1, to the end.) and also from his signification in an opposite sense, as in Isa. lxv. 11; Jer. xlix. 1, 2. By “Gad,” therefore, in a good sense, are signified works proceeding from Good, or from genuine love to the Lord and the neighbour; but by “Gad,” in the opposite sense, are signified works merely external, which are not of charity, but of faith only; thus by “Gad,” in a bad sense, are signified those who place the whole of salvation In works only, as the Pharisee did who is mentioned in the Lord’s parable. (Luke xviii 11, 12.) In a word, by “Gad,” in this case, are represented those who call that Truth which is not Truth, and from that which is not Truth do works; hence their works are as though they were true, for works are nothing else than the will and the understanding in act; that which saves such persons is the intention of doing good, and something of innocence in ignorance. To “prepare a table for Gad, in this passage, is to be in works only. A. R. 352. See also A. C. 6405.
By a “table” is signified the receptacle of heavenly things, as “the Lord’s table,” which heavenly things are the Good of love and the Good of faith; thus the Lord says-“Ye shall eat and drink upon My table in My kingdom.” (Luke xxii. 30. See also Psalm xxiii. 4-6.) But a “table,” in the opposite sense, signifies the receptacle of such things as are in hell, as in Isaiah:-” For all tables are full of vomit,” &c.; (xxviii. 7, 8.) and also in Isa lxv. 11. A. C. 9527.
[To “prepare a table, therefore, for Gad,” is, in worship, to place salvation in external works only, separate from charity and faith, and, by the apostle called “dead works,” which are the works of the Pharisee, done “to be seen of men,” (Matt. vi. 2, 5, 16.) and not for the glory of God, and for the purpose of eternal life.]
Who fill a drink-offering for Meni.-To “fill and pour forth a drink-offering” is, in a bad sense, to worship from the falses of evil. (See above, Chap. lvii, 5, 6, 9, Exposition.) To “prepare a table for Gad,” -is to place justice [or justification] in works; for “Gad” signifies a troop or a heap, which is involved in his name. “Meni” is explained by “to number;” it was also an idol, which signifies the same; for a heap is applicable to a “table,” and a number to a “libation” or a “drink-offering.” (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, P 156.)

12 I will destine you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but ye did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not.

Verse 12. To “number” here answers to Meni (for this is from the term Manah, “to number,” from which Meni is derived), and it expresses the law of retaliation [jus talionis]; to “bow down to the slaughter” answers to “the table of Gad,” because they have not acknowledged the justice of Messiah. The words confirm this [signification]. (Swedenborg’s Notes on Isaiah, p. 156.)
To the sword.-The “sword.” here signifies the devastation of Truth; for a ” sword” in the Word signifies, in the internal sense, the Truth of Faith combating, and also the devastation of Truth; and, in the opposite sense, the False combating, and the punishment of the False, as may be seen proved by many passages in A. C. 2799.

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be put to shame;
14 behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall wail for vexation of spirit.

Verses 13, 14. By being” hungry” and” thirsty” [as said of those who are not the Lord’s servants] is understood to be deprived of the Good of love, and of the Truths of faith,-by being “hungry,” to be deprived of the Good of love; and by being “thirsty,” of the Truths of faith, By “eating” and “drinking” is signified the communication and appropriation of Goods and Truths; and by “the servants of the Lord Jehovih,” are meant those who receive Goods and Truths from the Lord. Hence it is evident what is meant by “Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty.” That the former will have eternal happiness, but the latter unhappiness, is understood by ” Behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed; behold, My servants shall sing from joy of heart, but ye shall cry from sorrow of heart,” &c. A. E. 386.

Verses 13, 15. The Lord Jehovih -That the name “Jehovih,” when mentioned in the Word, is applied to the Lord in respect to temptations and judgment, see Chap. iii. 15, Exposition and note.

15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen; and the Lord Jehovah will slay thee; and he will call his servants by another name:

Verse 15. His servants shall be called by another name.-To “call by a new name,” and “by another name,” denotes to give another state of life, namely, a state of spiritual life. A. E. 148.

16 so that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

Verse 16. By “blessing himself” is signified to instruct himself in divine Truths, and to apply them to life; and by “swearing” is signified to instruct himself in divine Goods, and to apply them to life. The reason why this is signified by “swearing” is, because an “oath,” in the internal sense, denotes confirmation with man, and conviction of a thing’s being so, and this is effected from Goods by Truths; confirmation and conviction of Truths with man being from no other source than from Good. The subject here treated of is concerning a New Church; and by “calling them by another name,” is signified the quality thereof as to Truth and Good. A. E. 340.
[To “bless himself in the earth [or land],” is to receive the Truths and Goods of the church; for the church is signified by the “earth.” See Chap. xxiv., Exposition. ]
Inasmuch as the church instituted with the sons of Israel was a representative church, in which all things that were commanded were natural things, which represented, abd thence signified, things spiritual, therefore it was granted them to “swear by Jehovah,” and “by His name,” likewise “by the holy things of the church,” by which was represented, and thence signified, internal confirmation, and also verity, as may appear from the above words, and also in Jeremiah:–“Swear by the living Jehovah, in verity, in judgment, and in justice.” (iv. 2.) A. E. 608.
What is meant by “swearing,” when predicated of Jehovah, and also of man, see Chap. xlv. 23, Exposition.

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

Verses 17, 18. By “creating new heavens an a new earth” is not understood the visible heaven and habitable earth, but a New Church, internal and external,-“heaven” denoting the internal of the church, and “earth” its external. What the internal of the church is, and what the external, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 246. Wherefore it is said-” Behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy;” “Jerusalem” denoting the church, “rejoicing” its delight from Good, and “joy” its delight from Truth. Similar things are signified by “the new heavens and the new earth” in Isaiah lxvi. 22; and in the Apocalypse, chap. xxi. 1; and also by these words in Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; and the earth was void and empty, and darkness upon the faces of the abyss; and the Spirit of God moved itself upon tho faces of the waters, And God said, Let there be light! and there was light. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (i. 1,2, 3, 27.)

Treating of the establishment of the first church on this earth. The reformation of the men of that church, as to their internal and as to their external, is understood by “the creation of heaven and earth” in this chapter. That there was no church before, because men were without Good and Truth, is signified by “the earth being void and empty;” and that they were before in dense ignorance, and also in falses, is meant by “the darkness upon the faces of the abyss;” their first illumination is signified by “the Spirit of God moving itself upon the faces of the waters,” and by “God’s saying, Let there be light! and there was light.” By the “Spirit of God” is signified Divine Truth proceeding -from the Lord, and by “moving itself upon the faces of the waters” is meant . illustration; the same is signified by “light;” and by “light being made” is signified the reception of Divine Truth. That “God created man in his own image,” signifies that he was the love of Good and of Truth, and corresponded to heaven as its likeness; for the love of Good and of Truth is an image of God, and hence also the angelic heaven is an image of God, wherefore, in the sight of the Lord, it is as One Man, as may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, n.59-102. That “He created them male and female.” signifies that He reformed them as to Truth and as to Good; “male” denotes Truth, and “female” Good. From these considerations it is evident that it is not the creation of heaven and earth [in a literal sense], but the “new creation,” or reformation of the men of the first church, which is described in that and in the following chapter; and that similar things are there understood by “the creation of heaven and earth,” as by “the creation of the new heavens and new earth,” in the passages above adduced from the Prophet. A. E. 294.

Verses 17, 18, 19, 25. Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, &c. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together;-they shall not do evil in all the mountain of My holiness, &c.-Treating also of the Lord’s advent, and of the church to be established by Him, which was not established among those who were in Jerusalem, but among those who were out of it; wherefore this church is meant by the “Jerusalem ” which shall be unto the Lord a “rejoicing,” and whose “people” shall be unto Him a “joy;” also where “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together,” and where “they shall not do evil.” It is likewise said here; as in the Apocalypse, that “the Lord will create new heavens and a new earth,” and also that “He will create Jerusalem;” which things have a similar signification. A. E. 1289.

19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and I will joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

Verse 19. The voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.-What “the voice of weeping shall no more be heard,” signifies that there shall be no evil; “nor the voice of crying,” that there shall be no false [principle]. A. C. 2240.
That “crying,” in the Word, is said of grief and the fear of falses from hell, and the consequent fear of devastation by them, is evident from the above words. (A. E. 1294.) What is meant by an “outcry,” by “howling,” and by “weeping,” see Chap. v. 7; xv. 3, Exposition.

20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that bath not fulfilled his days: for the youth shall die, the son of a hundred years; and the sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed.

Verse 20. That in this passage the term “hundred” signifies a full state, or fulness, as to the subject of which it is predicated, is evident, for it is said–” There shall be no more an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not fulfilled his days; and a youth, and a sinner, the son of a hundred years,” that is, when their state is full. That all “numbers,” in the spiritual sense, signify things, may be seen above, Chap. iv. 1, Exposition. That a “hundred” signifies a full [or complete] state, may be demonstrated from various passages, as in Matthew:–“Every one who hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life;” (xix. 29; Mark x. 29, 30.) where “hundred-fold” denotes what is full, or “the good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over,” spoken of in Luke vi. 88. So again in Luke :-“Other seed fell on good ground, and springing up, brought forth fruit a hundred-fold;” (viii. 8.) where “hundred” also denotes what is full, which number would not have been rnentioned, unless it had that signification. The term “hundred” also signifies the fulness of remains. A. C. 2636.
[When, therefore, it is said that “there shall be no more an infant (or suckling) of days, and an old man that hath not fulfilled his days,” it is meant that in that happy state of the church which is here described, there will he a full state of innocence, signified by “the infant fulfilling his days;” and also a full state of wisdom, by “the old man fulfilling his days;” thus both the” infant” and the” old man,” taken together, involve a full state of tho innocence of wisdom; for “days” and “years” signify states of the spiritual life; and when it is said that “the youth, the son of a hundred years, shall die,” it is implied that a full state of intelligence, signified by the “youth,” shall also exist in the church; for to “die,” in this passage, does not, we apprehend, signify the “death of sin,” which is damnation, but the “death unto sin,” or the death of those corporeal and sensual things which are contrary to heavenly intelligence, that is, contrary to Truth from Good, which is spiritual intelligence. Thus Swedenborg says, in his exposition of Psalm cxvi. 15:-“Precious in the eyes of Jehovah is the death of His saints;” the death of the saints does not signify damnation, but the separation and removal of unclean spirits, thus regeneration and resurrection. The case is similar with man, who, as to the body, must die that he may rise again, and as to his self hood, which in itself is infernal; for, unless the former and the latter die, man has not the form of heaven.” (A. E. 899.) “The sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed,” signifies that all evil states or specifically the false of evil, when it has come to a full state, denoted by a hundred years, “shall be accursed,” that is, entirely separated from what is Good and True, or from heaven, and condemned to hell which is to be “accursed;” for a “curse” signifies disjunction, or aversion from Good. (A.C. 379, 1423, 3530) It does not appear that Swedenborg has quoted this verse, but in A. C. 2636 adduced above.]
The sinner, the son of a hundred years, shall be accursed.–To be “accursed,” signifies to be turned away frorn what is celestial to what is corporeal, and thus to be separated from heaven. The Lord curses none, but is merciful to all. A. C. 245, 379, 592, 3584.

21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

Verses 21, 22. Everyone knows what is signified by these words in the sense of the letter, but inasmuch as the Word, in its bosom, is spiritual, spiritual things also are thereby understood, namely, such things as appertain to heaven and the church, for these are spiritual things. By “building houses, and inhabiting them, is signified to fill the interiors of the mind with the Goods of heaven and of the church, and thereby to enjoy celestial life; “houses” denoting the interiors of the mind, and to “inhabit” signifies celestial life thence derived. By “planting vineyards and eating the fruit thereof,” is signified to enrich themselves with spiritual Truths, and to appropriate to themselves the Goods thence derived; “vineyards” denoting spiritual Truths, “fruit” the Goods thence derived, and to “eat” signifies to receive, perceive, and appropriate them; for all Good is appropriated to man by Truths, namely, by a life according to them. Hence it may be evident what is signified by “they shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat;” “another” signifies the false and evil which destroy Truth and Good; for when Truths and Goods perish with man, falses and evils enter. Thus also in Jeremiah:-” Build ye houses, and inhabit them; and plant gardens, and eat ye the fruit of them;” (xxix. 5, 28.) which words are to beunderstood in like manner. A. E. 617.

22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people; and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their, hands.

Verse 22. As the days of a tree are the days of My people, &c. That a “tree” signifies a man, is plain from these passages in the Word:-” All the trees of the field shall know that Jehovah have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish.” (Ezek. xvii. 24.) “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord; he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” (Psalm i. 1, 3; J er. xvii. 8.) “Praise the Lord, ye fruitful trees.” (Psalm cxlviii. 9.) “The trees of the Lord are full of sap.” (Psalm civ. 16.) “The axe is laid unto the root of the trees; wherefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down.” (Matt. iii. 10; vii. 16-20.) “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” (Matt. xii. 33; Luke vi. 43, 44.) T. C. R. 468.
A man himself, with regard to all his constituent parts, is like a tree; in its seed there lie hid, as it were, an end, and intention, and purpose of producing fruits, in which respect the “seed” corresponds to man’s will, which, as was observed, contains those three things; afterwards, the seed from its interior parts springs forth from the earth, and clothes itself with branches, buds, and leaves and thus provides itself with means adapted to its ends, which are fruits; and in this a “tree” corresponds with the man’s understanding. Lastly, when the proper season arrives, and it is allowed free power of exertion and determination, it blossoms and produces “fruits,” and in this it corresponds with the man’s good works. Here it is evident that the “fruit” of the tree, in respect to essence, is of the “seed;” in respect to form, of the “branches” and “leaves;” and in respect to act, of the “wood ” of the tree. T. C. R. 374.
[The “days of the Lord’s people” being, therefore, “as the days of a tree,” implies that the regeneration of man is from the correspondence between things natural and spiritual, represented in the growth of a tree,-its buds, blossoms, leaves, and fruit.]
And Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.-That by the “elect” are not meant any who are predestined or chosen above others, but those who are in Good, and that it is very dangerous to believe in the doctrine of “predestination,” see Chap. xiv. 1, Exposition.

23 They shall not labour in vain, nor shall they bring forth for destruction; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, they and their offspring with them.

Verse 23. They are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, they and their offspring with them.-By “the seed of the blessed of Jehovah,” are so understood -those who will receive divine Truth from the Lord, and by “their offspring,” are understood those who live according thereto; but, in the sense abstracted from persons, which is the genuine spiritual sense, by “seed” is understood divine Truth, and by “offspring” a life according thereto, according to what was shewn above. The reason why by “offspring” are understood those who live according to divine Truth, and, in the abstract sense, that life itself, is, because in the original tongue, the expression “offspring” [prognatus] is derived from a word which signifies “to go forth” and “to proceed,” and that which goes forth and proceeds from the divine Truth received, is a life according to it. A. E. 768.

24 And it shall be that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Verse 24. Before they call, I will answer.-To “answer” signifies to reciprocate and to be conjoined. See Chap. xxxvi. 21, Exposition.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: but dust shall be the bread of the serpent.
They shall not do evil nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness, saith Jehovah.

Verse 25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; they shall not do evil, &c.-See above, Chap. xi. 5, 6, Exposition.
Dust shall be the bread of the serpent.-As “dust” signifies damnation, it was said to the serpent-“Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” (Gen. iii. 14.) By the “serpent” is signified the infernal evil with those who pervert the Truths of the Word, and thereby deceive artfully and craftily. In like manner in Isaiah-” Dust shall be the bread of the serpent;” (lxv. 21).) from which it is evident that “dust” signifies what is accursed; and that to “cast dust upon the head,” as in Rev. xviii. 19, is to testify condemnation. A.E.1175.
As to “dust,” in a bad sense, see Chap. ii. 10-21; xxxi v. 8-10; and, in a good sense, see Chap. xl. 12, Exposition.
They shall not do evil nor destroy in all the mountain of My holiness.–The “mountain of holiness” is heaven, and specifically the inmost heaven. A. E. 314.

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