1 O God, the nations are come into thine inheritance;
Thy holy temple have they defiled;
They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
1, 2. Birds signify such things as are of the understanding and thought, and thence of design, in both senses, as well the bad as the good. – R. 757.
By the heathen or nations here mentioned are understood evils of life and falsities of doctrine, for by the inheritance of God is understood the church, in which the Lord is all good and all truth, since both are all from Him. Polluting the holy temple and laying Jerusalem on heaps signifies to profane worship and pervert the doctrine of the church. The holy temple signifies worship because worship is therein performed, and Jerusalem the church as to doctrine, thus the doctrine of the church
By verse 2 is signified to destroy all truths by falsities and goods by evil, the fowls of the heaven here standing for the thoughts of what is false, and the beasts of the earth for the affections for evil thence derived. E. 388.
Birds in the opposite sense signify fallacies arising from the sensual man, also reasonings from falses against truths, and also falses themselves. In many passages in the Word mention is made of being given for food to the birds and wild beasts. Thereby is signified to perish entirely by fallacies, falses, and reasonings thence derived, also by evil lusts and in general by falses and evils from hell. E. 1100.
1-4. Falsifications of the Word and direful evils have destroyed the church. P. P.
2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be
food unto the birds of the heavens.
The flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
3 Their blood have they shed like water round about
And there was none to bury them.
4 We are become a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and derision to them that are round about
5 How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou be angry for ever?
Shall thy jealousy burn like fire ?
6 Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee
And upon the kingdoms that call not upon thy name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob,
And laid waste his habitation.
2 Many a time it is said in the prophets that carcasses should be given for meat to the fowl of the air and the beast of the field — Jeremiah vii. 33 ; xix. 7 : Ezekiel xxix. 5, etc. By this was signified that they should be destroyed by falsities, which are the fowls of the air, and by evils or lusts, which are the beasts of the earth. A. 988. By wild beasts and birds are signified falses arising from the lust of evil and from reasoning. E. 650.
5 By blowing with the nostrils or breathing is signified to be angry. A. 8286.
5, 6. See Psalm xxxvii. 1. A. 8875.
Zeal with the Lord is not wrath, it only appears in externals as if it were, interiorly it is love. R. 216.
5-12. The cry of the church for help, that she be not destroyed at the same time, and her prayer that those who have ruined the church be removed. P. P.
8 Remember not against us the iniquities of our forefathers:
Let thy tender mercies speedily meet us;
For we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy
And deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name’s
10 Wherefore should the nations say, Where is their God?
Let the avenging of the blood of thy servants which is
Be known among the nations in our sight.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee:
According to the greatness of thy power preserve thou
those that are appointed to death;
8 See Psalm viii. 5. A. 9849.
9 See Psalm xlix. 8. A. 9506.
11 See Psalm x. 15. A. 4933.
The prisoners stand for those who are in vastations and temptations. A. 5037.
See Psalm lxviii. 7. R. 99.
See Psalm lxviii. 19. R. 591.
Many who were interiorly good were guarded by the Lord, lest they should be infested by the dragon and his beasts — Revelation xxi. The same are also meant by the captives and those bound in the pit, and liberated by the Lord. R. 884.
See Psalm lxviii. 19. E. 811.
12 And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom
Their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee,
12 The severities and increase of punishments were expressed by seven. A. 395.
See Psalm xxxv. 13, add: to render into their bosom meaning to themselves. A. 6960.
Seven-fold here stands for to the full. A. 9228.
Seven-fold means fully. R. 10.
Seven times here signifies fully. E. 257.
13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture
Will give thee thanks for ever:
We will show forth thy praise to all generations.
13 See Psalm lxix. 31. A. 3880.
Thus there will be worship of the Lord. P. P.
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)