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Commentary on the Psalms ; compiled from the theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg online

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Mrs. Eby











Emanuel Swedenborg


The Rev. Robert S. Fischer

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Mrs. Eby
Apr. 5, ,1939

Copyright, 1910,

by Horace Parker Chandler, Warren Goddard,

James Everett Young {Trustees).



This Commentary, the third of the series, is like the pre-
vious volumes ("Commentary on Matthew" and "Com-
mentary on John," by the same author) drawn entirely from
the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. For
every passage of the Psalms which is therein quoted or re-
ferred to, all that he has written is given, except in isolated
cases where abridgments have been necessary to avoid
making the Commentary too bulky for ready reference, or
for topical reading. Reiterations of the same statements
have been avoided by a reference to preceding chapters and

The entire part of Swedenborg's treatise " Summary Ex-
position of Prophets and Psalms" which relates to the
Psalms is embodied in this Commentary and appears under
the indicative letters P. P. at the verses to which it belongs.
This work throws new light upon many portions of the Book
of Psalms. In the " Doctrine concerning the Lord," No. 37,
Swedenborg writes about it: "It maybe well to mention
that it has been granted to me to go through all the Prophets
and the Psalms of David, and to examine each verse singly
and to see what is there treated of. It has been seen that
nothing else is treated of but the church established and to
be established by the Lord, the Lord's advent, His combats,
glorification, redemption and salvation, and heaven from
Him; and at the same time their opposites."

The division into verses is that adopted in Schmidt's
Hebrew Latin Bible, published in 1740, which Swedenborg


generally used, and which is the same as in Le Boys des
Guays' General Index, and other similar works. In these
the introductory words which for some Psalms occur in the
Hebrew are counted as a verse. Where it occurs, the verse
number of the text issued by the American Revision Com-
mittee can be found by going one verse back. No mis-
understanding is possible as the context always shows which
verse is meant.

It is needless to repeat what has been said in the preface
to previous volumes about the unique use of this Concord-
ance, as that is now well established.

Cincinnati, Ohio, April, 1910.








A Arcana Ccelestia.

B Brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the

New Church.

C Doctrine of Charity.

E Apocalypse Explained.

F Doctrine concerning Faith.

H Heaven and Hell.

I Intercourse between the Soul and the


J Last Judgment.

L Doctrine concerning the Lord.

M Conjugial Love.

N The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly


p Divine Providence.

Answers to Nine Questions.

R Apocalypse Revealed.

g Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture.

X True Christian Religion.

U Earths in the Universe.

W Divine Love and Wisdom.

Ath Athanasian Creed.

Can Canons of the New Church.


C. J Continuation Last Judgment.

Coro Coronis.

De Dom De Domino.

D. J De Justificatione.

D. L Divine Love.

D. P Dicta Probantia.

D. V De Verbo.

Ind Index of the Memorabilia.

Inv. Invitatio ad Novam Ecclesiam.

J. Post De Ultimo Judicio.

Life # . Doctrine of Life.

P. P Summary Exposition Prophets and Psalms.

W. H White Horse.

Wis Divine Wisdom.

Et seq And following.



i. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of
the wicked,
Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
Nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers:

2. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah;

And on his law doth he meditate day and night.

3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of

That bringeth forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also doth not wither;
And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4. The wicked are not so,

But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5. Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6. For Jehovah knoweth the way of the righteous;
But the way of the wicked shall perish.

Psalm I.

1. To walk, to stand, and to sit are here mentioned, be-
cause one follows another, for to walk is expressive of the
life of the thought from intention, to stand is expressive
of the life of the intention from the will, and to sit of the
life of the wall, thus of the "Esse" of the life. Counsel
also of which walking is predicated refers to the thought,


way of which standing is predicated refers to intention, and
to sit in a seat refers to the will, which is the " Esse" of a
man's life. E. 687.

1-3. The man who doth not live wickedly is regenerated
by the Word of the Lord. P. P.

2. The law of Jehovah is the books of Moses, for the
prophetic books were not yet written, nor the historic
except those of Joshua and Judges. A. 6752.

2, 3. That a tree signifies a man is evident from the follow-
ing passages of the Word: Ezekiel xvii. 24: Jeremiah xvii.
8: Psalm cxlviii. 9: Matthew iii. 10; etc. T. 468.

3. That a leaf signifies truth is evident from many passages
in the Word where man is compared to a tree, or is called
a tree, and where fruits signify the goods of charity, and a
leaf truth therefrom. A. 885.

W T aters in the internal sense of the Word signify truths.

A. 2702.

By a tree man is signified; and because man is man
from affection which is of the will, and from perception
which is of the understanding, therefore these also are
signified by a tree. There is also a correspondence be-
tween a man and a tree, on which account there appear in
heaven paradises of trees which correspond to the affections
and thence to the perceptions of the angels. R. 400.

Rational truths are signified by leaves, because by all
the parts of a tree are signified corresponding things in
man. . . . With those who are in the goods of love and at
the same time in the truths of wisdom there appear (in
the spiritual world) fruitbearing trees, luxuriant with
beautiful leaves. R. 936.

Trees in general signify such things as belong to man,
leaves signify the truths belonging to him, and fruits the
goods. E. 109.

Man is like a tree which first grows from a seed into a
shoot, and when it increases in height emits branches,
and from these boughs, and clothes itself continually with
leaves . . . such a tree is described. Coro. 7.


4, 5. But he who lives wickedly perishes on the day of

judgment. P. P.

6. For the Lord knows everyone. P. P.


1. Why do the nations rage,

And the peoples meditate a vain thing?

2. The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,

Against Jehovah, and against his anointed, saying,

Let us break their bonds asunder,

And cast away their cords from us.

He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh:

The Lord will have them in derision.

Then will he speak unto them in his wrath,

And vex them in his sore displeasure:

Yet I have set my king

Upon my holy hill of Zion.

I will tell of the decree:

Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son;

This day have I begotten thee.

8. Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine

And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron;

Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

10. Now therefore be wise, O ye kings:
Be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11. Serve Jehovah with fear,
And rejoice with trembling,

12. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way,
For his wrath will soon be kindled.

Blessed are all they that take refuge in him.


Psalm II.

i, 2. Those who should be in the truths and goods of the
church are against the Lord; P. P.

i, 2, 6. The Lord was conceived of the Divine itself, and
was afterwards born of that. Hence it is that He was not
only conceived, but was also born of Jehovah.

Ath., Page 39.

1,2, 6, 7, 8, 12. By the Anointed of Jehovah is here under-
stood the Lord as to the Divine Human. These things
in the sense of the letter are said concerning David, but by
David in the Word is understood the Lord as to Divine
truth, or as King. It is also evident that the subject here
treated of is concerning the advent of the Lord, and in
particular concerning the last judgment accomplished by
Him, and afterwards concerning His Kingdom over all
things of the world. The spiritual things which lie con-
cealed and are signified in the particulars of these passages
are these; the nations made a tumult, and the people
meditated vanity signify the state of the church and of the
former heavens, that it was to pass away, nations standing
for those who are in evil, and the people for those who are
in falses. The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers
consulted together against Jehovah, and against His
Anointed, signifies the falses of the church and the evils
thereof, as being altogether against the Divine good and
the Divine truth, thus against the Lord. The kings of
the earth stand for the falses of the church, and the rulers
the evils thereof. Jehovah stands for the Lord as to the
essential Divine, thus as to the Divine good. Anointed
stands for the Lord as to the Divine Human, thus as to
Divine truth. I have anointed my King upon Zion, the
mountain of my holiness, signifies the human of the Lord
as to Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of His
Divine love, and thence His Kingdom over all things of


heaven and the church. Zion and the mountain of holiness
stand for heaven and the church, consequently for all
things appertaining thereto. I will tell of the statute, sig-
nifies an arcanum of the Divine will and providence.
Jehovah hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, to-day have
I begotten thee, signifies the Lord as the Anointed, Mes-
siah, Christ and King, thus as to His human conceived
and afterwards born of His essential Divine or Jehovah.
To-day signifies a statute from eternity and thence refers
to the conjunction and union accomplished in time. Ask
of me, and I will give the nations for thine inheritance,
and the encls of the earth for^thy possession, signifies His
kingdom and dominion over all things of heaven and the
church, which shall be His. Kiss the Son, signifies con-
junction with the Lord by love, to kiss stands for conjunc-
tion from love. Lest He be angry and ye perish in the
way, signifies lest evils invade you and ye be condemned,
for to be angry when it is said of the Lord signifies the
aversion or turning away of men from Him, consequently
their anger and not the Lord's, and evils are the things
which avert themselves and afterwards are angry. Be-
cause His anger will kindle shortly, signifies the last judg-
ment and casting of the evil into hell. Blessed are all
they that confide in Him, signifies salvation by love and
faith in, the Lord. E. 684.

2. As Christ and Messiah are the same, and as Christ in
Greek and Messiah in Hebrew signify Anointed, it is evi-
dent that Christ is the same as Anointed, and likewise the
same as King, for kings in general were called the anointed.

A. 3008.

Dominion is predicated of good, because from good the
Lord is called Lord, and kingdom is predicated of truth,
because from this the Lord is called King. So likewise
as applied to men in David. E. 685.

The rulers take counsel against the Lord and His
Anointed. D. P., Page 63.


2-12. His anger will shortly burn signifies the last judg-
ment from Him. D. P., Page 58.

2, 6. Among the ancients, when all external worship was
performed by representatives, namely by such things as
represented the interior principles which are of faith and
of love from the Lord and to Him, thus which are Divine,
anointing was instituted for the reason that oil, by which
anointing was performed, signified the good of love.

A. 9954.
The kings of the earth stand for falses, and the rulers
for evils which are from the hells, against which the Lord,
when He was in the world, fought and which He con-
quered and subdued. The Anointed of Jehovah is the
Lord as to the Divine Human, for from that He fought.
Zion the mountain of holiness, over which He is said to
be anointed for a king, is the celestial kingdom, which is
the good of love, and which is the inmost of heaven and
the inmost of the church. A. 9954.

Oil signifies celestial good. The reason why anointing
with the oil of holiness was commanded is because oil
signified the good of love, and represented the Lord, who
as to His Human is the very and the only Anointed of
Jehovah, anointed not with oil, but with the Divine good
itself of the Divine love. R. 779.

They afterwards anointed kings and they were called
the anointed of Jehovah. The reason why kings were
anointed was that they might represent the Lord as to
judgment from Divine truth. E. 375.

The Lord is also understood by the Anointed of Je-
hovah. See also A. 9954. E. 375.

2, 6, 7, 8, 12. Verses quoted. D. P., Page 58.

3, 4. But men should separate themselves from these, be-
cause they are nothing before the Lord, P. P.

5. and will be destroyed. P. P.

6. By virtue of truths from the Lord Zion was called the
mountain of holiness. R. 586.


6, 7, 8. The Lord will put on the Human and will establish
the church, . P. P.

6-12. Now follow some passages concerning the coming of
the Lord, collected from the prophecies of the Old Word.
Psalm xl. 7: Genesis iii. 14, 15, etc. Coro. 60.

6-8, 12. To these may be added some passages which
speak more openly of the coming of the Lord. See also
Isaiah vii. 14: Matthew i. 22, 23: Daniel vii. 13, etc.

L. 6.

That heaven and the church where the Lord alone is
worshipped are signified by mount Zion, may be evident.

R. 612.

Mount Zion signifies heaven and the church where the
Lord reigns by His Divine truth. To announce concern-
ing the statute (decree) signifies His advent. Thou art
my Son, to-day have I begotten thee, signifies the Divine
Human, which is also the Son of God. That He hath
all power in the heavens and in the earth is understood
by verse 8. That there must be conjunction with Him by
love in order to salvation is signified by verse 12. The
last judgment from Him is signified by, His anger will
kindle shortly. They shall be saved who have faith in
Him is signified by, happy are all they who put their trust
in Him. E. 850.

7. To-day manifestly stands for eternity. A. 2838.

To-day denotes that the Lord's coming is present.
Hence also it is that an entire period is called in the Word
a day, its first state twilight and morning, and the last
evening and night. R. 4.

Since God is in all time without time, therefore in His
Word He speaks of the past and of the future, in the
present. T. 30.

It is known that these things are said concerning the
Lord, and that by to-day is understood from eternity

E. 23.

Paul says in Acts xiii. t>3, this day have I begotten thee,
refers to Jesus. D. P., Page 39.


7 Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

D. P., Page 43-

What is said in David concerning the Son "This day

have I begotten thee" is not that it is from eternity but in

the fulness of time, for the future in God is present, thus

to-day. Can., Page 43.

7. 12. Neither is a Son from eternity meant here, but the
Son born in the world, for this is a prophecy concerning
the Lord who was coming, and therefore it is called a de-
cree which Jehovah announced to David. This day is
not from eternity, but in time. L. 19.

Here is not meant a Son from eternity, but the Son born
in the world, for it is prophetical of the Lord who was to
come, wherefore it is called the decree which Jehovah de-
clared to David. T. 101.

From the foregoing now comes this conclusion, that
every one who wishes to be truly a Christian, and to be
saved by Christ ought to believe that Jesus is the Son of
the living God. He who does not believe this, but only
that He is the Son of Mary implants in himself various
ideas concerning Him which are hurtful and destructive
of that state of salvation. T. 342.

They alone have faith who believe in the Lord, and
others have no faith. T. 384.

8. In this Psalm it is written before, I have anointed my
King upon Zion, and it follows, I will give to Him the na-
tions for an inheritance. T. 101.

9. A rod of iron stands for the power of spiritual truth in
natural, for all natural truth in which there is spiritual
truth has power. Iron is natural truth. A. 4876.

By a rod or staff in the Word power is signified, and by
iron natural truth, consequently the natural sense of the
Word, and at the same time the natural light (lumen) of
man. In these two the power of truth consists. R. 148.

It is said "the vessels of a potter" because by them are
signified the tilings which are of one's own intelligence, all
of which are falsities, and in themselves of no account.

R. 149.


A rod of iron signifies power, whereby the Lord chas-
tises evils, and disperses the falsities which are in the
natural man. E. 176.

A potter's vessel stands for those things in the natural
man which are from self-derived intelligence. Being
broken to shivers stands for to be dispersed, for dispersion
is predicated of falsities as breaking to shivers is predi-
cated of a potter's vessel. E. 177.

That a rod and a staff signify power, and indeed the
power of Divine truth arises especially from their being
branches or boughs of trees, which signify the knowledges
of truth and good, which are the truths of the natural man,
and as they also support the body, they signify power.
This is still more the case with a rod of iron, because iron
signifies the truth of the natural man. By virtue of its
hardness it signifies power which cannot be resisted.

E. 727.

and will disperse falsities that are from evil. P. P.

10. By kings here are not meant kings, but they who are in

Divine truths from the Lord, and abstractly the Divine

truths from which is wisdom. R. 20.

Kings signify those who from the Lord are principled
in truths derived from good. E. 31.

10-12. Kings stand for those who are in truths, and from
truths they are often called the "king's sons." "The
Son" here stands for the Lord, who is here called the Son
because He is the truth itself, and all truth is from Him.

A. 2015.

Let them therefore acknowledge and worship the Di-
vine Human of the Lord, lest they perish. P. P.
12. The Lord is treated of, whose Divine Human is the
Son. To kiss Him is to be conjoined to Him by the faith
of love. A. 3574.

By blowing with the nostrils, or breathing, is signified
to be angry. A. 8286.

The reason why anger grounded in the affection of evil


12 is fire, is because anger is from that source, for when what
a man loves is attacked the fiery principle bursts forth, and
as if it were burns. Hence it is that anger is described in
the Word by fire and is said to burn. Anger is attributed
to Jehovah, that is to the Lord, but it appertains to man.

A. 9143.

The Lord is here called a Son from the truth of faith,
which is from Him. A. 9309.

Where a last judgment is impending the Lord with
heaven draws near, and of those who are below in the
world of spirits only those can endure the Lord's coming
who are interiorly good. That the day of the Lord's
anger signifies the last judgment is plainly manifest.

R. 340.

For His anger will shortly burn. D. P., Page 71.


A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

i. Jehovah, how are mine adversaries increased!
Many are they that rise up against me.

2. Many there are that say of my soul,

There is no help for him in God. [Selah

3. But thou, O Jehovah, art a shield about me;
My glory, and the lifter up of my head.

4. I cry unto Jehovah with my voice,

And he answereth me out of his holy hill. [Selah

5. I laid me down and slept;

I awaked; for Jehovah sustaineth me.

6. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of the people
That have set themselves against me round about.

7. Arise, O Jehovah; save me, O my God:

For thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek

Thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.

8. Salvation belongeth unto Jehovah:

Thy blessing be upon thy people. [Selah


Psalm III.

1-9. Respecting the Lord when He was in temptations and
subjugated the hells, and was then in a state of humilia-
tion in which He prayed to the Father. P. P.

2, 3. Enemies stand for evils and the falses thence derived,
for these are the adversaries in the spiritual sense.

A. 10481.
In various passages of the Word mention is made of
foes and enemies, and thereby are understood evils and
falses, by foes evils and by enemies falses; for the Word
in its interior is spiritual, wherefore no other than spir-
itual foes and enemies can be there understood. E. 671.

5. The Lord in heaven and hence heaven itself is called
"the habitation of holiness," and also "the mountain of
holiness," inasmuch as the Lord alone is holy. A. 9229.

By virtue of truths from the Lord the angels are called
holy, and the prophets likewise. Hence it is that Zion
was called the mountain of holiness. R. 586.

6, 7. To lay me down and sleep signifies a state of tran-
quillity and security. A state of peace and tranquillity is
signified by lying down. A. 3696.

8. That to inflict a blow or to smite the cheek means to
destroy truths is plain from passages in the Word, where
mention is made of smiting the cheek. And because in
the genuine sense it signifies the destruction of truth,
therefore in the opposite sense it signifies the destruction
of falsity, in which sense it occurs here. A. 9048.

The teeth of the wicked to be broken stand for the
falsities by which they destroy truths. A. 9052.

That teeth signify the ultimates of the life of man which
are called sensual things, which when they are separated
from the interiors of the mind are in mere falsities and
offer violence to truths, and destroy them, may be evident.
See also Psalm lvii. 4. R. 435.


8 By smiting the enemies on the cheek bone is signified
the destruction of interior falsities of those who are against
the goods and the truths of the church, such persons with
the falsities of their evils being understood by enemies in
the Word. To break the teeth of the ungodly signifies to
destroy exterior falsities, which are such as have their
foundation in the fallacies of the senses, and are thence
confirmed. E. 556.

Arise, O Jehovah, save me, O my God! D. P., Page 63.

9. The blessing of Jehovah upon His people signifies the
influx and reception of good and truth. They are called
the people of Jehovah, who are in spiritual good. E. 340.


For the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

i. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness;
Thou hast set me at large when I was in distress:
Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

2. O ye sons of men, how long shall my glory be turned

into dishonor?
How long will ye love vanity, and seek after falsehood ?


3. But know that Jehovah hath set apart for himself him

that is godly:
Jehovah will hear when I call unto him.

4. Stand in awe, and sin not:

Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be
still. [Selah

5. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in Jehovah.

6. Many there are that say, Who will show us any good ?
Jehovah, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon


7. Thou hast put gladness in my heart,


More than they have when their grain and their new

wine are increased.
In peace will I both lay me down and sleep;
For thou, Jehovah, alone makest me dwell in safety.

Psalm IV.

1-3. Respecting the Lord, when in great temptations.

P. P.

2. We may often read in the Word that the Lord answers
those who call and cry. R. 376.

That truth is signified by breadth may be evident by
these passages Psalm xxxi. 8; cxviii. 5; xviii. 19: Hosea
iv. 16, etc. R. 861.

The expression "to answer" frequently occurs in the
Word and when predicated of the Lord signifies influx,

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