Emanuel Swedenborg.

The Apocalypse explained according to the spiritual sense, in which the arcana therein predicted but heretofore concealed are revealed (Volume 4) online

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STATE NORMALST.HOOL.



61^0



THE APOCALYPSE

Explained acco[[ding to the Spiij^^tual Sense



jy WHICH THE ARCANA

THEREIN PREDICTED BUT HERETOFORE CONCEALED

ARE REVEALED



A POSTHUMOUS WORK OF



EMANUEL S W^ E D E N B O R G



VOL. IV



NEW \' O R K

AMERICAN SWEDENBORG PRINTING AND PUBLISHING

SOCIETY

20C00PF, RUNION



MDCCCXCIV



EX



^ Mz> edition, the heavy-faced figures ([2.], [3.], etc^)
inserted in the text indicate the divisions that are employed
in Potts' Swedenborg Concordance.



*j^»



A



APOCALYPSE. 1596



CHAPTER XI.

ND there was given to me a reed like a staff;
and the angel stood near, saying, Rise, and
measure the temple of God, and the altar,
and them that worship in it.

2. And the court which is without the temple cast
out, and measure ii not, for it is given to the nations,
and the holy city shall they trample down forty-two
months.

3. And I will give unto my two witnesses, and
they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty
days, clothed in sackcloth.

4. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp-
stands which are standing before the God of the earth.

5. And if any one shall desire to hurt them, fire
shall go forth out of their mouth and shall devour
their enemies ; and if any one shall desire to hurt
them, thus must he be killed.

6. These have power to shut heaven, that the rain
fall not in the days of their prophecy ; and they have
power over the waters to turn them into blood, and
to smite the earth with every plague as often as they
shall desire.

7. And when they shall have finished their testi-
mony, the beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall
make war with them and overcome them and kill
I hem.

8. And their bodies are upon the street of the
great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt,
where also our Lord was crucified.

9. And they of the peoples and tribes and tongues
and nations shall see their bodies three days and a



1597 APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED.

half, and shall not suffer their bodies to be placed in
sepulchres.

10. And they that dwell upon the earth shall
rejoice over them and shall be glad, and shall send
gifts one to another, because those two prophets
tormented them that dwell upon the earth.

1 1. And after the three days and a half the spirit
of life from God entered into them, and they stood
upon their feet, and great fear fell upon those that
saw them.

1 2. And they heard a great voice out of heaven say-
ing unto them, Come up hither. And they went up
into heaven in the cloud ; and their enemies saw them.

13. And in that hour there was a great earth-
quake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and there
were killed in the earthquake names of men seven
thousand ; and the rest became afraid, and gave glory
to the God of heaven.

14. The second woe is past; behold the third woe
Cometh quickly.

15. And the seventh angel sounded; and there
came great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms
of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's,
and He shall reign unto the ages of the ages.

16. And the twenty-four elders who sit before
God upon their thrones fell upon their faces and
worshipped God,

17. Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God
Almighty, who is, and who was, and who is to come,
because Thou hast taken Thy great power and entered
upon the kingdom.

1 8. And the nations were angered, and Thy anger
is come, and the time of the dead to be judged, and
to give the reward to Thy servants, the prophets and
saints, and to those that fear Thy name, the small and
the great, and to destroy those that destroy the earth.



CHAP. XI., VERSE I. — X. 627La]. 1598

19. And the temple of God was opened in heaven,
and there was seen in His temple the ark of His
covenant; and there were lightnings and voices and
thunders and an earthquake and great hail.



EXPOSITION".

VERSES 1,2.

020* " And there was giuen to me a reed like a staff; and the angel stood near,
saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it.
And the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not, for it Is given to
the nations ; and the holy city shall they trample down forty-two months."

1. "And there was given to me a reed like a sta//" signifies the mode of visita-

tion, that is, of exploring the quality of the church in respe(fl to truth
and good [n. 627] ; "and the angel stood near, saying," signifies the
Lord's will and command [n. 628] ; "Rise, measure the temple of
God, and the altar, and them that worship in it," signifies to explore the
church, what it is in respecfl to the reception of Divine truth and Divine
good, thus in respect to worship of the Lord [n. 629].

2. "And the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not,"

signifies that the external of the Word, and thus of the church and of
worship, is not to be explored [n. 630] ; "for it is given to the nations "
signifies since it has been perverted by evils of life and falsities of doc-
trine [n. 631] ; "and the holy city shall they trample down" signifies
that they 7ai II destroy all doiflrine of truth and good from the Word [n.
632] ; "forty-two months" signifies even to the end of the old church
and the beginning of the new [n. 633].

627[«;]. [Verse i.'\ "And there was given to me a reed like a
staff" sig-nifies the mode of visitation, that is, of exploring the
quality of the church in respecl to truth and good. — This is e\'i-
dent from the signification of a "reed," as meaning that by which
the quality is explored, for " to measure" signifies to explore, and
a '* measure" signifies the quality of a thing ; therefore the " reed,"
b)' which he measured the temple and the altar, as now fol-
lows, that is, the " measuring reed," signifies the mode of ex-
ploring quality. It means the mode of exploring what the
church is in respe6l to truth and good, because it says after-
wards that "he measured the temple and the altar, and them that
worship in it," which signifies the church in respe6l to truth
and good, and thus in respecl to worship. [2.] Moreover, a
" reed " signifies visitation, because visitation is an exploration
of what the men of the church are, and because a visitation pre-
cedes the last judgment which will be treated of hereafter. What



1599 APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED.

that visitation or exploration is can be seen from the visitation
upon Sodom, that in the first place angels were sent there, and
through them visitation or exploration was made of what the
men of Sodom were in respect to receiving them, that is, what
they were in respect to the reception of Divine truth and Divine
good, for these angels represented the Lord in respecl to the
Divine going forth ; and when it was found that all in Sodom
except Lot were unwilling to receive them but wished to do
them harm, then their destruction came, which means their final
judgment. [3.] The measuring was effected by a reed, because
a "reed (or cane)" signifies Divine truth in the outmost of order,
and a "staff," which the reed was like, signifies power; and by
means of truth in the outmost of order and its power all visita-
tion or exploration is efTe6f;ed ; for in the outmost all truths, even
from their firsts, form what is simultaneous, that is, co-exist ;
therefore every thing that is effedled by the Divine, is effected
from firsts by means of outmosts, therefore here visitation or
exploration is so effected, and such truth is signified by a "reed
(or cane)." [4.] So in the following passages. In the Apoca-
lypse:

One of the seven angels had a golden reed, with which he measured
the city Jerusalem and its gates and its wall ; and he measured the
city with a reed unto twelve thousand furlongs (xxi. 15, 16).

And in Ezekiel:

In the hand of the angel there was a line of flax and a measuring reed,
and the reed was of six cubits, and with it he measured the length,
the breadth, and the height of the building, of the gate, of the porch ,
of the court, of the temple, and many other things (xl. 3, 5, 6, 8,
II, 13, 17, seq. ; xli. 1-5, 13, 14, 22 ; xlii. i to the end).

Here, too, the "measuring reed" means the mode of exploring
the church in respe6t to truth and good, as can be seen from this,
that the angel measured every detail of the temple as to length,
breadth, and height; and "length" signifies good, "breadth"
truth, and "height" the degrees of good and truth from what is
highest or inmost to what is lowest or outmost. (On this signification

of " length and breadth," see Heaven and Hell, n. 197.) That a " reed " sig-
nifies truth in outmosts whereby explorations are effedled, is evi-
dent also from the "line of flax" in the hand of the angel, "line
of flax" signifying truth ; also from this, that " the reed was of six
cubits," "six" having the same signification as "three," namely,
truths in the whole complex (see above, n. 384, 532). That "to



CHAP. XL, VERSE I.— N. 627[aJ. 160O

measure" signifies to explore the quality of a thing will be seen
in the lollowing article. [5.] By outmost truth, or truth in the
outmost of order, is meant sensual truth, such as the truth in the
sense of the letter of the Word is to those who are purely sens-
ual. Divine truth in its descent proceeds according to degrees,
from the highest or inmost to the lowest or outmost. Divine
truth in the highest degree is such as is the Divine that most
nearly goes forth from the Lord, thus such as is the Di\-ine truth
above the heavens ; and as this is infinite, it cannot come to the
perception of any angel. But Divine truth of the first degree is
that which comes to the perception of angels of the inmost or
third heaven, and is called celestial Divine truth ; from this is
the wisdom of those angels. Di\ine truth of the second degree
is that which comes to the perception of the angels of the second
or middle heaven, and constitutes their wisdom and intelligence,
and is called spiritual Divine truth. Divine truth of the third
degree is that which comes to the perception of angels of the
outmost or first heaven, and constitutes their intelligence and
knowledge {sdentia), and is called celestial-natural and spiritual-
natural Divine truth. But Divine truth of the fourth degree
is that which comes to the perception of men of the church
who are living in the world, and constitutes their intelligence
and knowledge {sdentia) ; this is called natural Di\ine truth, and
its outmost is called sensual Divine truth. [6.] These Divine
truths are in the Word in the order of their degrees, and Divine
truth in the outmost degree, or in the outmost of order, is such
as is the Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Wort',
which is for children and for the very simple, who are sensual.
This Divine truth is what is signified by a "reed or cane."
And as exj lorations with aD are effedled by this outmost Divine
truth, as was said above, so measurings and weighings in the
representative churches were made bv means of reeds or canes,
which signify such Divine truth. It has just been shown that
measurings were made by reeds ; that weighings were also can
be seen in Isaiah :

" They weighed silver with a reed " (xlvi. 6).

[7.'] Because a "reed" signifies truth in outmosts. which is
adapted to the simple and to children, who are not spiritual but
natural -sensual, it is also said in Isaiah:



X60I APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED.

*'A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not
quench, and He will bring forth truth in judgment" (xlii. 3).

This treats of the Lord ; and "a bruised reed He will not break"
signifies that He will not hurt sensual Divine truth in the simple
and in children; "smoking flax He will not quench" signifies
that He will not destroy the Divine truth that is beginning to
live fi-om a very little good of love in the simple and in children,
"^flax" signifying truth, and "smoking" its being alive from
some little love; and because both, that is, the "reed and flax"
signify truth, it is said that the Lord "will bring forth truth in
judgment," which means that He will bring forth in them intelli-
gence, "judgment " signifying intelligence.

[&•] [8.] A "reed" signifies also sensual truth which is the
outmost, such as exists in natural men, even in the evil. In the
same,

" The dry place shall become a pool,. . . .and there shall be grass instead
of the reed and rush" (xxxv. 7).

This refers to the establishment of the church by the Lord ; and
that those will then have intelligence through spiritual Divine
truth who before had none is signified by "the dry place shall
become a pool ;" and that those will then have knowledge
iscieniia) through natural Di\'ine truth who before had only sens-
ual truth, is signified by "there shall be grass instead of the reed
and rush," "grass" signifying knowledge from a spiritual origin,
or by which spiritual truth is confirmed, while "reed and rush"
signify knowledge from a sensual origin, that is, by which the
fallacies of the senses are confirmed. This knowledge, regarded
in itself, is only .the lowest natural knowledge, which may be
called material and corporeal, in which there is little or nothing
of life. [9.] In the same,

" The streams shall recede, the rivers of Egypt shall be minished and
dried up, the reed and flag shall wither " (xix. 6).

In the spiritual sense these words mean that all understanding
of Divine truth will perish; "the streams shall recede" signifies
that all things of spiritual intelligence will depart ; "the ri\'ers of
Egypt shall be minished and dried up " signifies that all things
of natural intelligence will perish ; "the reed and the flag shall
^\ ither" signifies that outmost truth, which is called sensual truth,
and which is mere knowledge, will vanish ; "streams and ri^•ers"



CHAP. XL, VERSE I. — N. 62'j[d'\. l602

signifying things of intelligence, "Egypt" the natural, "reed and
flag" sensual truth or knowledge, and "to recede," "to be min-
ished," " to be dried up," and "to wither," signifying to perish
and disappear. [lO.] In the same,

"Thou hast trusted on the staff of this bruised reed, on Egypt, upon
which when a man leaneth it goeth into his hand and pierceth it ;
so is Pharoah king of Egypt to all that trust on him " (xxxvi. 6).

"Egypt" signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual,
and its knowledge {scientificum) ; when this is separated from the
intelligence of the spiritual man it becomes foolishness, and is
adapted to confirm evils of every kind, consequently it is a false
knowledge. This is what is called "a staff of bruised reed,"
" reed," as was said, meaning truth in the outmost of order, which
is sensual knowledge {scientificum) ; " bruised " signifies what is
broken and not in agreement with any interior truth to give it
consistency ; "staff" means the resulting power to perceive truths
and also to reason about them. This, therefore, is the meaning
of "upon which when a man leaneth it goeth into his hand and
pierceth it;" "to lean upon that staff" means to trust in one's
own power to perceive truths and reason about them from what
is one's own {proprium); "to enter into the hand and pierce it"
signifies to destroy all intellectual power, and to perceive mere
falsities instead of truths and to seize upon them. "So is Pharoah
king of Egypt to all that trust on him" signifies that such is the
natural man when separated from the spiritual, in respecl; to its
knowledges {sdenH/ca) and intelligence therefrom, and reasoning
from that intelligence. [II.] In j^ob :

" Let my shoulder blade fall from the shoulder, and mine arm be broken
therefrom by a reed ; for the dread of the destruction of God is
upon me, and by reason of His majesty I have no power. Have I
made gold my hope, and said to pure gold. Thou art my confid-
ence?" (xxxi. 22-24.)

This, too, treats of the confidence of self-intelligence, and in the
spiritual sense these words show that from this nothing of truth
can be seen, but only what is false, which does not cohere with
any truth ; non-coherence is signified by "let my shoulder blade
fall from the shoulder, and mine arm be broken therefrom by a
reed," "shoulder blade," " shoulder," and " arm " signifying power,
here the power to understand and perceive truth ; " to fall from
the shoulder," and "to be broken by a reed" signifies to be sep-
arated from the spiritual power to perceive truth, and in conse-
quence to be deceived by the sensual-corporeal man, and to perish



l603 APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED.

by falsity, "reed" meaning truth In the outmost of order, which
is called sensual knowledge (sdentificum), which becomes pure fals-
ity when it is of the natural man alone separated from the spirit-
ual. " The dread of the destru6lion of God " signifies the loss of
all understanding of truth; "by reason of His majesty to have
no power" signities that nothing of understanding and percep-
tion of truth is from what is man's own iproprium), but all from
God ; " have I made gold a hope, and said to pure gold. Thou
art my confidence?" signifies that he confided not in himself,
by believing anything of good to be from himself [12.] In
Ezekiel:

"That all the inhabitants of Egypt may know tnat I am Jehovah, be-
cause they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel ; when
they held thee by the hand thou wast broken, thou didst pierce
through every shoulder for ihem ; and when they leaned upon thee
thou wast broken, and didst make all their loins to be at a stand "
(xxix. 6, 7).

Here the same things are said of Egypt as above, and here, too,
" Egypt" signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual,
and its knowledge (scieniificufn), which when adapted to evils is
purely false. This is said of those in the church who trust in self-
intelligence ; " sons of Israel " signify those who are of the church ;
their trust is signified by "a staff of reed ;" that all their ability to
perceive truth thus perished is signified by "when they held thee
by the hand thou wast broken, and didst pierce through every
shoulder for them," " shoulder " signifying the power or ability to
understand truth ; the loss of this is signified by " when they
leaned upon thee thou wast broken." That thus e\ery good of
love and charity was destroyed and dispersed is signified by
"thou didst make all their loins to be at a stand," "loins " signify-
ing a marriage of truth and good, so here that truth was not con-
joined to good; truth conjoined to good constitutes the good of
love and charity, since all the good of love and charit\' is formed
by truths. [13.] In David :

" Rebuke the wild beast of the reed " or cane, " the assembly of the mighty,
among the calves of the peoples ; trampling under foot the plates
of silver, he hath scattered the peoples, he desireth wars ; those
that are fat shall come out of Eg}^pt, Ethiopia shall hasten to bring
her gift unto God" {Psahii Ixviii. 30, 31).

This treats of the Lord's kingdom. To beware of false know-
ledge (scicntijicum), that is, of falsely applied knowledge from the
natural man separated from the spiritual, is meant by "Rebuke
the wild beast of the reed (or cane) ;" inasmuch as such know-



CHAP. XI., VERSE I. — N. 62-[c']. I604

ledges, because they are from the fallacies of the senses, strongly
persuade, they are called "the assembly of the mighty." "The
calves of the people " mean the goods of the church in the natural
man; "plates of silver" mean the truths of the church ; "to tread
upon" and "to scatter "mean to destroy and disperse, which is
done by those who are natural and sensual and who think nat-
urally and sensually, and not at the same time spiritually, thus
who think from the natural and sensual man separated from the
spiritual ; such a man is meant by "the wild beast of the reed
(or cane) ;" "to desire wars" signifies reasonings against truths :
"those that are fat out of Egypt and Ethiopia " mean those who
have a knowledge (scientia) of spiritual things, and who are in
knowledges of truth and good, and such will draw near to the
Lord's kingdom because they are in light from the spiritual man.
[14.] In the First Book of Kings :

"Jehovah shall smite Israel as a reed noddeth in the waters, and he
shall pluck away Israel from off the good land" (xiv. 15).

The vastation of the church among the sons of Israel is com-
pared to "a nodding of a reed (or cane) in the waters," be-
cause a "reed (or cane)" signifies the truth of the sensual man,
which is the outmost, and when this truth is separated from the
light of the spiritual man it becomes falsity. For the sensual
man derives all that it has from the phenomena in the world,
consequently reasonings from these respe6ling spiritual things
are mere fallacies, and from fallacies come falsities. (What the

fallacies of the senses are in spiritual things, and that falsities are from them,
see Do£irine of the New yerusalem, n. 53; also above in the explanation of the
Apocalypse, n. 575' ^""^ *^^^ sensual knowledges (scientifica) are mere fallacies
when the sensual man reasons from them, n. 569['^]' S^^f'^l' «'^^^ what the
sensual is, and the quality of the sensual man, see Doctrine of the New Jerusalem,
n. 50).

[c] [15.] In the Gospels:

They placed a reed in the Lord's right hand, and afterwards they took
the reed and smote His head with it {Matt, xxvii. 29, 30 ; Mark
XV. 19) ;

also,

They put a sponge upon a reed and gave Him vinegar to drink {Matt.
xxvii. 48 ; Mark xv. 36).

Those who are unacquainted with the spiritual sense of the Word
may believe that these and other things related of the Lord's
passion involve nothing more than common modes of mockery ;
as that "they set a crown of thorns upon His head ;" that "they



l605 APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED.

parted his garments among them, but not the tunic ;" that "they
bent the knee before Him " for the sake of mocking Him ; also
here, that "they placed a reed in His right hand, and afterwards
smote His head with it ;" and again, that "they filled a sponge
with vinegar, or myrrhed wine, and set it upon a reed, and gave
Him to drink." But let it be noted that all things that are
related of the Lord's passion signify a mocking at Divine truth,
and thus the falsification and adulteration of the Word ; since
the Lord, when He was in the world, was Divine truth itself,
which in the church is the Word ; and because He was then
Divine truth, He permitted the Jews to treat Him altogether as
they were treating Divine truth or the Word in falsifying and
adulterating it. For they applied all things of the Word to their
own loves, and derided every truth that was not in accord with
their loves, as they did the Messiah Himself, because He did not,
according to their explanation and religion, become king over
the whole world, and exalt them in glory above all peoples and

nations. (That all things related of the Lord's passion signify such things, see

above, n. 64, 83, 195M at the end.) That "they placed a reed in the
Lord's hand and afterwards smote His head with it " signifies that
they falsified Divine truth or the Word, and made an utter mock-
ery of understanding of truth and of Divine wisdom, a "reed"
signifying falsity in what is most external (as above), and "to smite
the head " signifying to reject and mock at understanding of
truth and Divine wisdom, which is what "the head of the Lord"
signifies ; and in "giving the Lord vinegar to drink," which sig-
nifies what is falsified, they placed a sponge filled with it on a
"reed," which signifies falsity in what is most external, which is
falsity sustaining.

628. "And the angel stood near, saying," signifies f/ie
Lord's will and co^nniayid. — This is evident from the significa-
tion of " to stand near," as here meaning will (of which presently) ;
also from the signification of "angel," as meaning the Lord in
respect to the Word (see above, n. 593) ; also from the signification
of "saying," as meaning, when the Lord speaks, command ; for
what the Lord says is to be done, or that any one must do, is a
command. "The angel stood near" means here the Lord's will,
because in the spiritual world the thought, purpose, and will
to see another, to speak with him, and to give him a com-
mand, cause the other to be present, that is, to stand near ; for
in that world there are no distances that are constant and thus
measurable, as in the natural world ; but likeness of afFedtion



CHAP. XI., VERSE I. — X. 62g[a^. 1606

and thus of thought causes presence, and unlikeness of these



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