Apocalypse Revealed - Emanuel Swedenborg - E-Book

Apocalypse Revealed E-Book

Emanuel Swedenborg

0,0
2,99 €

Beschreibung

1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, 2. Who testified the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatsoever he saw. 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear, the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein: for the time is near. 4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven spirits who are before His throne; 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To Him that loveth us, and washeth us from our sins in His blood: 6. And He maketh us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and might for ever and ever.

Das E-Book können Sie in Legimi-Apps oder einer beliebigen App lesen, die das folgende Format unterstützen:

EPUB
MOBI

Seitenzahl: 1878

Bewertungen
0,0
0
0
0
0
0



Apocalypse Revealed

Apocalypse Revealed1-5051-100101-150151-200201-250251-300301-350351-400401-450451-500501-550551-600601-650651-700701-750751-800801-850851-900901-950951-1000FootnotesCopyright

Apocalypse Revealed

Emanuel Swedenborg

1-50

1. Revelation 1 1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, 2. Who testified the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatsoever he saw. 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear, the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein: for the time is near. 4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven spirits who are before His throne; 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To Him that loveth us, and washeth us from our sins in His blood: 6. And He maketh us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and might for ever and ever. 7. Behold He cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they who pierced Him: and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so; Amen. 8. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. 9. I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in affliction, and in the kingdom and patient expectation of Jesus Christ, was in the island called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10. I became in the spirit on the Lord's day; and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11. Saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last: and, what thou seest, write in a book, and send to the churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and Smyrna, and Pergamos, and Thyatira, and Sardis, and Philadelphia, and Laodicea. 12. And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me: and, having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands; 13. And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14. And His head and His hairs were white as white wool, like snow; and His eyes as a flame of fire; 15. And His feet like unto fine brass, as if glowing in a furnace; and His voice as the voice of many waters; 16. And having in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword going forth; and His face was as the sun shineth in His power. 17. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the First and the Last; 18. And am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for ages of ages. Amen; and I have the keys of hell and of death. 19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. 20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven lampstands, which thou sawest, are the seven churches.THE SPIRITUAL SENSE That this Revelation is from the Lord alone, and that it is received by those who will be in His New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, and acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth; the Lord is also described as to the Word. The contents of each verse Verse 1. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" signifies predictions from the Lord concerning Himself and His Church, what the latter will be in its end, and what it will be afterwards (n. 2). "Which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants," signifies for those who are in faith from charity (n. 3). "Things which must shortly come to pass," signifies that they will certainly be, lest the Church perish (n. 4). "And He signified, sending by His angel, to His servant John," signifies the things which are revealed by the Lord through heaven to those who are in the good of life from charity and its faith (n. 5). Verse 2. "Who testified the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ," signifies, who from the heart and thus in the light receive Divine truth from the Word, and acknowledge the Lord's Human to be Divine (n. 6). "Whatsoever he saw," signifies their enlightenment in all the things which are in this Revelation (n. 7). Verse 3. "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein," signifies the communion of those with the angels of heaven, who live according to the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 8). " For the time is near," signifies that the state of the Church is such that it can no longer continue so as to have conjunction with the Lord (n. 9). Verse 4. "John to the seven churches," signifies to all who are in the Christian world, where the Word is, and by it the Lord is known, and who draw near to the Church (n. 10). "Which are in Asia," signifies to those who are in the light of truth from the Word (n. 11). "Grace be unto you, and peace," signifies the Divine salutation (n. 12). "From Him who is, and who was, and who is to come," signifies from the Lord, who is eternal and infinite, and Jehovah (n. 13). "And from the seven spirits who are before His throne," signifies from the whole heaven, where the Lord is in His Divine truth (n. 14). Verse 5. "From Jesus Christ," signifies the Divine Human (n. 15). "The faithful witness," signifies that He is the Divine truth itself (n. 16). "The first-born from the dead," signifies that He is also the Divine good itself (n. 17). "And the Prince[1] of the earth," signifies from whom is all truth from good in the church (n. 18). "That loveth us, and washeth us from our sins," signifies who from love and mercy reforms and regenerates men by His Divine truths from the Word (n. 19). Verse 6. "And He maketh us kings and priests," signifies who gives to those who are born of Him, that is, regenerated, to be in wisdom from Divine truths and in love from Divine goods (n. 20). "Unto God and His Father," signifies and thus images of His Divine wisdom and His Divine love (n. 21). "To Him be glory and might into the ages of ages," signifies who alone has Divine majesty and Divine omnipotence to eternity (n. 22). "Amen," signifies the Divine confirmation from truth, thus from Himself (n. 23). Verse 7. "And He cometh with the clouds of heaven," signifies that the Lord will reveal Himself in the literal sense of the Word, and will open its spiritual sense, at the end of the church (n. 24). "And every eye shall see Him," signifies that all will acknowledge Him, who, from affection, are in the understanding of Divine truth (n. 25). "And they who pierced Him," signifies that they also will see, who are in falsities in the church (n. 26). "And all the tribes of the earth shall wail," signifies that this will be when there are no longer any goods and truths in the church (n. 27). "Even so, Amen," signifies the Divine confirmation that thus it will be (n. 28). Verse 8. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," signifies Who is the Self-existing and the Only from firsts to ultimates, from Whom all things are; thus who is Love Itself and the Only Love, Wisdom Itself and the Only Wisdom, and Life Itself and the Only Life in Himself, and thus the Creator Himself and the only Creator, Saviour, and Enlightener from Himself, and thence the All in all of heaven and the church (n. 29). "Saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come," signifies who is eternal and infinite, and Jehovah (n. 30). "The Almighty," signifies who is, lives, and has power, from Himself, and who governs all things from firsts by ultimates (n. 31). Verse 9. "I, John, who am your brother and companion," signifies those who are in the good of charity and thence in the truths of faith (n. 32). "In affliction, and in the kingdom, and the patient expectation of Jesus Christ," signifies who in the church are infested by evils and falsities, but these are to be removed by the Lord, when He comes (n. 33). "I was in the island called Patmos," signifies a state and place in which he could be enlightened (n. 34). "For the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ," signifies in order that the Divine truth from the Word may be received from the heart and thus in the light, and that the Lord's Human may be acknowledged to be Divine (n. 35). Verse 10. "I became in the Spirit on the Lord's day," signifies a spiritual state at that time from Divine influx (n. 36). "And I heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet," signifies the manifest perception of Divine truth revealed from heaven (n. 37). Verse 11. "Saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," signifies who is the Self-existing and the Only from firsts to ultimates, from whom all things are; and more as above (n. 38). ["What thou seest write in a book"][2] signifies that they might be revealed to posterity (n. 39). "And send unto the churches that are in Asia," signifies for those in the Christian world who are in the light of truth from the Word (n. 40). "Unto Ephesus and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia and unto Laodicea," signifies in particular according to the state of each one's reception (n. 41). Verse 12. "And I turned to see the voice which was speaking with me," signifies the inversion of the state of those who are in the good of life as to the perception of truth in the Word, when they turn themselves to the Lord (n. 42). "And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands," signifies the New Church which will be in enlightenment from the Lord out of the Word (n. 43). Verse 13. "And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like unto the Son of Man," signifies the Lord as to the Word, from whom is that church (n. 44). "Clothed with a garment down to the foot," signifies the proceeding Divine, which is the Divine truth (n. 45). "And girded at the paps with a golden girdle," signifies the proceeding and at the same time conjoining Divine, which is the Divine good (n. 46). Verse 14. "And His head and hairs were white[3] as wool, like snow," signifies the Divine love of the Divine wisdom in firsts and in ultimates (n. 47). "And His eyes as a flame of fire," signifies the Divine wisdom of the Divine love (n. 48). Verse 15. "And His feet like unto fine brass, as if glowing in a furnace," signifies the Divine good natural (n. 49). "And His voice as the voice of many waters," signifies the Divine truth natural (n. 50). Verse 16. "And having in His right hand seven stars," signifies all the knowledges of good and truth in the Word from Him (n. 51). "And out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword going forth," signifies the dispersion of falsities by the Lord through the Word and through doctrine therefrom (n. 52). "And His face was as the sun shining in power," signifies the Divine love and the Divine wisdom, which are Himself, and proceed from Him (n. 53). Verse 17. "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead," signifies the failing of his own life from such presence of the Lord (n. 54). "And He laid His right hand upon me," signifies life then inspired from Him (n. 55). "Saying unto me, Fear not," signifies resuscitation, and adoration then from the deepest humiliation (n. 56). "I am the First and the Last," signifies that He is Eternal and Infinite, and thus the Only God (n. 57). Verse 18. "And am He that is living," signifies who alone is life, and from whom alone life is (n. 58). "And was dead," signifies that He was neglected in the church, and His Divine Human not acknowledged (n. 59). "And behold, I am alive for ages of ages," signifies that He is life eternal (n. 60). "Amen," signifies the Divine confirmation that it is the truth (n. 61). "And I have the keys of Hell and of death," signifies that He alone can save (n. 62). Verse 19. "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter," signifies in order that all the things which are now revealed may be for posterity (n. 63). Verse 20. "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands," signifies arcana in the visions concerning the New Heaven and the New Church (n. 64). "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches," signifies the New Church in the heavens, which is the New Heaven (n. 65). "And the seven lampstands which thou sawest are the seven churches," signifies the New Church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem descending from the Lord out of the New Heaven.THE EXPLANATION What the spiritual sense is, has been hitherto unknown. That there is such a sense in every particular of the Word, and that without it, the Word in many places cannot be understood, has been shown in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (n. 5-26). This sense does not appear in the literal sense, for it is in it as the soul in its body. It is known that there is the spiritual and the natural, and that the spiritual flows into the natural, and presents itself to be seen and felt in the forms which fall under the sight and touch, and that the spiritual, without such forms, is not perceived otherwise than as affection and thought, or as love and wisdom which are of the mind. That affection and thought, or love whose property it is to be affected, and wisdom whose property it is to think, are spiritual, is acknowledged. That these two faculties of the soul present themselves in the body in forms which are called the organs of sense and motion, is known; also, that they make one, and such a one as that when the mind thinks, the mouth in an instant speaks, and when the mind wills, the body in an instant acts; hence it is evident, that there is a perfect union of things spiritual and natural with man. [2] It is similar in each and everything in the world; there is in them the spiritual, which is the inmost of the cause, and there is the natural, which is its effect, and these two make one; and the spiritual does not appear in the natural, because it is in it as the soul in the body, and as the inmost of the cause in the effect, as was said before. It is similar with the Word; that this in its bosom is spiritual, because it is Divine, can be denied by no one; but as the spiritual does not appear in the sense of the letter, which is natural, therefore the spiritual sense has been hitherto unknown; nor could it have been known before genuine truths were revealed by the Lord, for that sense is in these. For this reason Revelation has not been understood before. But lest there should be doubt that such things are within it, the particulars must be explained, and demonstrated by similar passages elsewhere in the Word. The explanation and demonstration now follow. 2. Verse 1. The revelation of Jesus Christ, signifies predictions from the Lord concerning Himself and His church, what the latter will be in its end, and what it will be afterwards, as well in the heavens as upon earth. By "the revelation of Jesus Christ" are signified all predictions, which because they are from the Lord, are called the Revelation of Jesus Christ; that they relate to the Lord and His church, will appear from the explanations. In Revelation it does not treat of the successive states of the church, still less of the successive states of kingdoms, as some have hitherto believed, but there from beginning to end it treats of the last state of the church in the heavens and on the earth; and then concerning the Last Judgment; and after this of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. That this New Church is the end of this work, is evident, wherefore those things which precede refer to the state of the church, as to its quality just before it. But in what series these are treated of, may be seen from the contents of each chapter; and more distinctly from the explanation of each particular verse. 3. Which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants, signifies for those who are in faith from charity, or in truths of wisdom from the good of love. By "showing" is signified to manifest, and by "servants" are here signified those who are in faith from charity; to them these things are manifested, because they understand and receive them. By servants, in the spiritual sense, are meant those who are in truths; and because truths are from good, by servants are meant those who are in truths from good, thus also, those who are in wisdom from love, because wisdom is of truth, and love is of good; also those who are in faith derived from charity, because faith also is of truth and charity is of good; and as the genuine spiritual sense is abstracted from person, therefore in it by servants are signified truths. Now as truths are serviceable to good by teaching it, therefore, in general, and properly, by "servant" in the Word is meant what is serviceable, or he or that which serves; in this sense not only the prophets are called the servants of God, but also the Lord as to His Human; that the prophets are called the servants of God is evident from the following passages: Jehovah hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets (Jer. 25:4). He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). He set before you[4] by the hand of His servants the prophets (Dan. 9:10); And Moses is called "The servant of Jehovah" (Mal. 4:4). The reason is that by a prophet in the spiritual sense is meant the truth of doctrine, as explained below. [2] And because the Lord was the Divine truth itself, which also is the Word, and from this was Himself called the Prophet; and served in the world, and serves all to eternity by teaching, therefore, He also, in many places, is called the servant of Jehovah; as in the following passages: He shall see of the labor of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many (Isa. 53:11). Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, He shall be extolled and exalted and be lifted up greatly (Isa. 52:13). Behold, my servant, on whom I lean, mine elect, in whom my soul hath good pleasure, I have put my spirit upon Him (Isa. 42:1, 19); this is spoken of the Lord: in like manner David is called a servant, where, by him, the Lord is meant; as in the following passages: And I Jehovah will be their God, and My servant David a prince in the midst of them (Ezek. 34:24). My servant, David, shall be king over them, that there may be one shepherd to them all (Ezek. 37:24). I will protect this city to preserve it, for My sake and My servant David's (Isa. 37:35). So also in Psalm 78:70-72, 89:3-4, 20. That by David in these places is meant the Lord, may be seen in Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (n. 43-44). The Lord Himself says the same of Himself: Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosoever will be first let him be your servant, as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (Matt. 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-44; Luke 22:27; likewise Luke 12:37). This the Lord says, because by servant and minister is meant one who serves and ministers by teaching, and abstractly from person, the Divine truth, which was himself. [3] Since, therefore, by servant is meant he who teaches Divine truth, it is evident that by servants in this place in Revelation are meant those who are in truths from good, or in faith from charity, because these can teach from the Lord, that is, the Lord can teach and minister through them. In this sense they are called servants in Matthew: In the consummation of the age, who is the faithful and prudent servant, whom his Lord shall set over his household, to give them their food in its season; blessed is that servant whom the Lord when He cometh, shall find so doing (Matt. 24:45-46). And in Luke: Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh, shall find watching: verily, I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to recline, and shall Himself come near and minister unto them (Luke 12:37). In heaven all are called servants of the Lord who are in his spiritual kingdom; but they who are in his celestial kingdom are called ministers; the reason is, that they who are in his spiritual kingdom, are in wisdom from Divine truth; and they who are in his celestial kingdom are in love from Divine good; and good ministers and truth serves. But in the opposite sense, by servants are meant those who serve the devil; these are in a state of servitude itself; but they who serve the Lord are in a state of liberty; as the Lord also teaches (John 8:32-36). 4. Things which must shortly come to pass signifies that they will certainly be, lest the church perish. By coming to pass shortly, is not meant that the things which are foretold in Revelation, will happen immediately and speedily, but certainly; and that unless they do happen the church must perish. In the Divine idea, and thence in the spiritual sense, there is no time, but instead of time there is state; and because shortly relates to time, by it is signified certainly, and that it will come to pass before its time, for Revelation was given in the first century, and since that seventeen centuries have now elapsed, from which it is evident, that by shortly is signified that which corresponds to it, and that is, certainly. [2] The like is also involved in these words of the Lord: Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened (Matt. 24:22); by which also is meant that unless the church should come to an end before its time, it would altogether perish; in that chapter the consummation of the age and the Lord's coming are treated of; and by the consummation of the age is meant the last state of the old church, and by the Lord's coming, the first state of the new church. [3] It was said that in the Divine idea there is not time, but the presence of all things past and future; wherefore it is said in David: A thousand years in Thy sight are as yesterday (Ps. 90:4); I will declare the decree, Jehovah hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee (Ps. 2:7). "This day" is the presence of the Lord's advent. Thence also it is, that an entire period is called day in the Word, and its first state the dawning and the morning, and the last evening and night. 5. And He signified, sending by, His angel to His servant John, signifies the things which are revealed from the Lord through heaven to those who are in the good of life from charity and its faith. By "He signified, sending by His angel," in the spiritual sense, is meant the things which are revealed from heaven, or through heaven by the Lord: for by "angel" in the Word is everywhere meant the angelic heaven, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself; the reason is, that no angel ever speaks with man separate from heaven; for there is such a conjunction there of each with all, that everyone speaks from the communion, although the angel is not conscious of it. For heaven in the sight of the Lord is as one man, whose soul is the Lord Himself; wherefore the Lord speaks with man through heaven, as man does from his soul through his body with another; and this is done in conjunction with all and each of the things of his mind, in the midst of which are the things which he speaks. But this arcanum cannot be unfolded in a few words. It is partly unfolded in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom. Hence it is evident, that by "an angel" is signified heaven, and in the supreme sense the Lord. The reason why by "angel" the Lord is meant in the supreme sense, is, because heaven is not heaven from the things proper to the angels, but from the Divine of the Lord, from which is derived their love and wisdom, yea, their life. Hence it is that the Lord Himself is called "Angel" in the Word. From these things it is manifest that the angel did not speak from himself with John; but the Lord by means of heaven through him. [2] By these words is meant, that they were revealed to those who are in the good of life from charity and its faith, because these are meant by "John." For by the "twelve disciples" or "apostles" of the Lord, are meant all who are of the church in truths from good; and in the abstract sense, all things of the church; and by "Peter," all who are in faith, and, abstractly, faith itself; by "James," they who are in charity, and, abstractly, charity itself; by "John," they who are in the good of life from charity and its faith, and, abstractly, the good of life itself therefrom. That these things are meant by "John," "James," and "Peter" in the Word of the evangelists, may be seen in the small work on The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, published at London in the year 1758, (n. 122). [3] Since the good of life from charity and its faith makes the church, therefore through the apostle John were revealed the arcana concerning the state of the church which are contained in his visions. That by all the names of persons and places in the Word are signified things of heaven and the church, is shown in many places in Arcana Coelestia, also published at London. From these things it may appear, that by "He signified, sending by His angel to His servant John," is meant in the spiritual sense, what is revealed by the Lord through heaven to those who are in the good of life from charity and its faith; for charity through faith operates good, and not charity by itself, nor faith by itself. 6. Verse 2. Who testified the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, signifies who, from the heart, and thus in the light, receive the Divine truth from the Word, and acknowledge the Lord's Human to be Divine. It is said of John that "he testified the Word of God," but as by John are meant all who are in the good of life from charity and its faith, as was said above (n. 5), therefore in the spiritual sense all these are meant. The angels, who are in the spiritual sense of the Word, never know any name of a person mentioned in the Word, but only that which the person represents and thence signifies, which, instead of John, is the good of life, or good in act; consequently all in the aggregate who are in that good. These "testify," that is, see, acknowledge, receive from the heart in the light, and confess the truths of the Word, especially that truth therein that the Lord's Human is Divine; which may be evident from the passages quoted from the Word in great abundance in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord. By "Jesus Christ" and by "the Lamb" in the Apocalypse is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human, and by "God," the Lord as to His Divine, from which are all things. [2] With regard to the spiritual signification of "testifying," this is predicated of truth, because in the world the truth is to be testified, and when it is testified, it is acknowledged. But in heaven truth testifies of itself because it is itself the light of heaven. For when the angels hear the truth, they immediately know and acknowledge it; and because the Lord is the truth itself, as He Himself teaches in John 14:6, He is in heaven the testimony of Himself. Hence it may appear what is meant by "the testimony of Jesus Christ"; wherefore the Lord says: Ye sent unto John, and he testified unto the truth; but I receive not testimony from man (John 5:33-34). And in another place: John came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light; he was not that Light; the Word which was with God, and was God, and became flesh, was the true Light, which lighteth every man (John 1:1-2, 7-8, 14, 34). And in another place: Jesus said, Though I testify of Myself, yet My testimony is true, for I know whence I came, and whither I go (John 8:14). When the Comforter has come, even the Spirit of truth, He shall testify of Me (John 15:26). By the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, is meant the truth itself proceeding from the Lord, wherefore it is said of it that it will not speak from itself, but from the Lord (John 16:13-15). 7. Whatsoever he saw, signifies their enlightenment in all things which are in this Revelation. By "whatsoever he saw," in the spiritual sense, are not meant what John saw, for they were only visions, but the things which they see who are meant by John, who are those who are in the good of life from charity and its faith, as was said above. These see in the visions of John, the arcana concerning the state of the church, not so much when they read them, but when they see them revealed. Moreover to see signifies to understand; on this account in common discourse it is said, that one sees a thing, and he sees that it is the truth; for man has sight as to his spirit as well as to his body. But man with his spirit sees spiritual things, because from the light of heaven, but with his body he sees natural things; because this sees from the light of the world, and spiritual things are real, but natural things are their forms. It is the spiritual sight of man which is called the understanding. From these things it is evident what is meant, in the spiritual sense, by "whatsoever things he saw;" in like manner in what follows, where it is said that he saw. 8. Verse 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things which are written therein, signifies the communion of those with the angels of heaven, who live according to the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem. By "blessed," is here meant one who, as to his spirit, is in heaven; thus, one who, while he lives in the world, is in communion with the angels of heaven; for as to his spirit he is in heaven. By "the words of the prophecy" nothing else is meant than the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, for by "prophet," in the abstract sense, is signified the Doctrine of the church derived from the Word, thus here the Doctrine of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem; the same is signified by "prophecy." By "reading, hearing, and keeping the things which are written therein," is signified, to desire to know that doctrine; to attend to the things which are in it, and to do the things which are therein; in short, to live according to it. That they are not blessed who only read, hear and keep or retain in the memory the things which were seen by John, is evident (see below, n. 944). [2] The reason why "a prophet" signifies the Doctrine of the church from the Word, and "prophecy" the same, is, because the Word was written through prophets, and in heaven a person is regarded according to that which belongs to his function and office. From this, also, is every man, spirit, and angel, named there. Therefore, when a prophet is mentioned, because his function was to write and teach the Word, the Word is meant as to doctrine, or doctrine from the Word. Hence it is, that the Lord, because He is the Word itself, was called the Prophet (Deut. 18:15-20, Matt. 13:57, chap. 21:11, Luke 13:33). To show that by "prophet" is meant the doctrine of the church from the Word, some passages shall be adduced, from which this may be collected. In Matthew: In the consummation of the age many false prophets shall rise up, and shall seduce many. There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and, if it were possible, they shall lead into error the elect (Matt. 24:11, 24). "The consummation of the age" is the last time of the church, which is now, when there are not false prophets, but falsities of doctrine. [3] In the same: He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive a just man's reward (Matt. 10:41). "To receive a prophet in the name of a prophet," is to receive the truth of doctrine because it is true; and "to receive a just man in the name of a just man," is to receive good for the sake of good; and "to receive a reward," is to be saved according to reception. It is evident that no one receives a reward, or is saved, because he receives a prophet and a just man in the name of such. Those words cannot be understood by anyone, without a knowledge of what "a prophet" and "a just man" signify; nor can those which follow: Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the name of a disciple, shall not lose his reward (Matt. 10:42). By a "disciple" is meant charity, and at the same time faith from the Lord. [4] In Joel: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, so that your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel. 2:28). This is concerning the church which was to be established by the Lord, in which they would not prophesy, but receive doctrine, which is to "prophesy." In Matthew: Jesus said, Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? but then will I confess unto them, I have not known you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:22-23). Who does not see, that they will not say that they have prophesied, but that they knew the doctrine of the church, and taught it? In Revelation: The time is come for judging the dead and for giving reward to the prophets (Rev. 11:18); and in another place: Exult, O heaven, and holy apostles and prophets, for God hath judged your judgment (Rev. 18:20). It is evident that a reward would not be given to the prophets alone, and that the apostles and prophets would not alone exult at the Last Judgment, but all who have received the truths of doctrine, and have lived according to them. These, therefore, are meant by "apostles" and "prophets." [5] In Moses: Jehovah said unto Moses, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet (Exod. 7:1); "a god" here means the Divine truth as to reception from the Lord, in which sense the angels are also called gods, and by "prophet" is meant one who teaches and speaks it, therefore Aaron is there called a prophet. The same is signified by "prophet" in other places, as in the following: The law shall not perish from the priest, nor the Word from the prophet (Jer. 18:18). From the prophets of Jerusalem hath gone forth hypocrisy into all the land (Jer. 23:15-16). The prophets shall become wind, and the Word is not in them (Jer. 5:13). The priests and the prophets err through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger in judgment (Isa. 28:7). The sun setteth over the prophets, and the day groweth dark over them (Micah 3:6). From the prophet even unto the priest, everyone doeth a lie (Jer. 8:10). [6] In these passages, by "prophets" and "priests," in the spiritual sense, are not meant prophets and priests, but the entire church; by "prophets," the church as to the truth of doctrine, and by "priests" the church as to the good of life, both of which were destroyed; these things are so understood by the angels in heaven; while by men in the world they are understood according to the sense of the letter. That the prophets represented the state of the church as to doctrine, and that the Lord represented it as to the Word itself, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (n. 15-17). 9. For the time is near, signifies that the state of the church is such, that it cannot endure any longer as to its conjunction with the Lord. There are two essentials by which conjunction with the Lord, and thence salvation is effected, the acknowledgment of one God, and repentance of life; but at this day, instead of the acknowledgment of one God, there is an acknowledgment of three, and instead of repentance of life, there is repentance of the mouth only that one is a sinner; and by these two there is not any conjunction; therefore unless the New Church should arise, which acknowledges these two essentials, and lives accordingly, no one can be saved; on account of this danger the time is shortened by the Lord, according to His words in Matthew: For then shall be great affliction, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor shall be; yea, except those days should be shortened, no flesh should be saved (Matt. 24:21-22). That near or nearness of time is not meant, may be seen below (n. 947). 10. Verse 4. John to the seven churches, signifies to all who are in the Christian world where the Word is, and by it the Lord is known, and who draw near to the church. By the "seven churches" are not meant seven churches, but all who are of the church in the Christian world; for numbers, in the Word, signify things, and "seven," all things and all, and thence, also, what is full and perfect, and it occurs in the Word where anything holy is treated of, and in the opposite sense, of anything profane; consequently, this number involves what is holy, and, in the opposite sense, what is profane. The reason why numbers signify things, or rather resemble certain adjectives to substantives adding some quality to the things, is, because number is, in itself, natural; for natural things are determined by numbers, but spiritual things by things and their states. Therefore, he who does not know the signification of numbers in the Word, and especially in Revelation, cannot know the many arcana which are contained therein. Now, since "seven" signifies all things and all, it may appear that by the "seven churches" are meant all who are in the Christian world where the Word is, and by it the Lord is known. These, if they live according to the Lord's precepts in the Word, make the church itself. [2] Hence it is that the Sabbath was instituted on the seventh day, and the seventh year was called the sabbatical year; and the seven times seventh year the Jubilee, by which was signified everything holy in the church: for this cause, also, a week, in Daniel, and elsewhere, signifies an entire period from beginning to end, and is predicated of the church. Similar things are signified by seven in the following passages, as by: The seven golden lampstands, in the midst of which was the Son of Man (Rev. 1:13). The seven stars in his right hand (Rev. 1:16, 20). The seven spirits of God (Rev. 1:4; 4:5). The seven lamps of fire (Rev. 4:5). The seven angels, to whom were given seven trumpets (Rev. 8:2). The seven angels having the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:5-6). The seven vials full of the seven last plagues (Rev. 16:1; 21:9). The seven seals with which the book was sealed (Rev. 5:1). In like manner in the following places that: Their hands should be filled seven days (Exod. 29:35). They should be sanctified seven days (Exod. 29:37). When they were consecrated they should go clothed in the garments of holiness seven days (Exod. 29:30). They were not to go out of the door of the tent seven days, when they were initiated into the priesthood (Lev. 8:33, 35). An atonement was to be made seven times upon the horns of the altar (Lev. 16:18-19). The altar was to be sanctified with oil seven times (Lev. 8:11). The blood was to be sprinkled seven times before the veil (Lev. 4:16-17). And also seven times toward the east (Lev. 16:12-15.) The water of separation was to be sprinkled seven times towards the tent (Num. 19:4). The passover was celebrated seven days; and unleavened bread was eaten seven days (Exod. 12:15; Deut. 16:4-7). In like manner: The Jews were to be punished seven times more for their sins (Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28). Wherefore David says: Recompense unto our neighbor sevenfold into their bosom (Ps. 79:12). [3] Sevenfold is fully. Likewise in these places: The sayings of Jehovah are pure sayings, silver purified in the furnace seven times (Ps. 12:6). The hungry ceased, so that the barren hath borne seven, but she that hath many children lacketh (1 Sam. 2:5). "The barren" is the church of the Gentiles, who had not the Word; "she that hath many children" is the church of the Jews, who had the Word. She who had borne seven languisheth, she shall breathe out her soul (Jer. 15:9). In like manner: They that dwell in the cities of Israel shall set on fire and burn up the arms, and they shall kindle them with fire seven years: they shall bury Gog, and seven months shall they be cleansing the land (Ezek. 39:9, 11-12). The unclean spirit will take with him seven other spirits worse than himself (Matt. 12:45). Profanation is here described, and by "the seven spirits" with which he would return, are signified all the falsities of evil; thus the plenary extinction of good and truth. By "the seven heads of the dragon," and "the seven diadems upon his heads" (Rev. 12:3), is signified the profanation of all good and truth. From these things it is evident, that "seven" involves what is holy or profane, and signifies all and full. 11. Which are in Asia, signifies to those who are in the light of truth from the Word. Since, by all the names of persons and places in the Word, the things of heaven and the church are meant, as was said before; thus also they are meant by "Asia" and by the names of the seven churches therein, as will appear from what follows. The reason why they who are in the light of truth from the Word, are meant by "Asia," is, because the Most Ancient Church, and, after it, the Ancient, and then the Israelitish church, were in Asia; also, because the ancient Word, and, afterwards the Israelitish, were with them; and all the light of truth is from the Word. That there were ancient churches in the Asiatic world and that they had a Word which was afterwards lost, and, lastly, the Word which is extant at this day, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (n. 101-103). On this account it is, that by "Asia" are here signified all who are in the light of truth from the Word. [2] "Concerning this Ancient Word, which was in Asia before the Israelitish Word, it is fitting to relate this news: That it is still reserved there among the people who are in Great Tartary; I have spoken with spirits and angels in the spiritual world who came thence, who said that they possess a Word, and have possessed it from ancient times; and that their Divine worship is performed according to this Word; and that it consists of mere correspondences. They said that it also contains the book of Jasher, which is mentioned in Joshua (10:12, 13), and 2 Sam. (1:17, 18), and also, that with them are the books mentioned by Moses, as The Wars of Jehovah and the Propheticals (Num. 21:14, 15, and 27-30); and when I read to them the words quoted thence by Moses, they examined whether they were extant there, and found them. From these things it was manifest to me that the Ancient Word is still with them. While speaking with them they said that they worship Jehovah, some as an invisible, and some as a visible God. Moreover they related that they do not suffer foreigners to come among them, except the Chinese, with whom they cultivate peace, because the emperor of China is from their country. And further, that they are so populous, that they do not believe any region in the whole world to be more populous; which is very credible from the wall so many miles long, which the Chinese formerly constructed as a safeguard against invasion from them. Seek for it in China, and peradventure you will find it there among the Tartars. 12. Grace be unto you and peace, signifies Divine salutation. What is understood specifically by "grace and peace," will be explained in what follows; that "peace be unto you" was the Lord's salutation to His disciples, thus the Divine salutation, may be seen in Luke (24:36, 37); John (20:19-21); and by command of the Lord, it was the salutation of the disciples to all to whom they should enter in (Matt. 10:11-15). 13. From Him who is, who was, and is to come, signifies, from the Lord who is eternal and infinite, and Jehovah. That it is the Lord, appears clearly from what follows in this chapter, where it is said that he heard a voice from the Son of man, saying: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (Rev. 1:11-13); and afterwards: I am the First and the Last (Rev. 1:17); and in the following chapter (Rev. 1:8); and afterwards (Rev. 21:6; 22:12); and in Isaiah: Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer Jehovah of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last, and besides Me there Is no God (Isa. 44:6); also (48:12); and He who is the First and the Last, is He who is, and who was, and who is to come. [2] This also is meant by Jehovah; for the name Jehovah signifies is; and He who is, or who is Esse itself, the same is also He who was, and is to come, for in Him the past and the future are present; hence He is without time eternal, and without place infinite. This also is acknowledged by the church in the Doctrine of the Trinity, called Athanasian, in which are these words: "The Father is eternal and infinite, the Son is eternal and infinite, and the Holy Spirit is eternal and infinite, but yet there are not three eternals and infinites, but one;" that this one is the Lord, is demonstrated in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord. 14. And from the seven spirits who are before His throne, signifies, from the whole heaven where the Lord is in His Divine truth, and where His Divine truth is received. By "seven spirits" are meant all who are in the Divine truth, and in the abstract sense, the Divine true or Divine truth itself. That "seven" in the Word means all and all things, may be seen above (n. 10); and that by "throne" is meant the whole heaven, will be seen presently. Hence by "before His throne," is meant where His Divine truth is; for heaven is not heaven from anything proper to the angels, but from the Divine of the Lord, as is shown in many places in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence and the Divine Love and Wisdom. That "the Lord's throne" signifies heaven, is evident from the following passages: Jehovah saith, The heavens are My throne (Isa. 66:1). Jehovah hath made firm His throne in the heavens (Ps. 103:19). He that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him who sitteth thereon (Matt. 23:22). Above the expanse that was over the head of the cherubim, was as it were, the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne, and upon it the appearance of a Man (Ezek. 1:26; 10:1). By "the expanse over the head of the cherubim" is meant heaven. And in Revelation: He that overcometh, I will give him to sit on My throne (Rev. 3:21). "On my throne," is in heaven; specifically, where His Divine truth reigns; thus also, where judgment is treated of, it is said that the Lord will sit upon a throne, for judgment is performed by truths. 15. Verse 5. And from Jesus Christ, signifies the Divine Human. That by "Jesus Christ" and by "the Lamb" in the Word, is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human, may be seen above (n. 6). 16. Who is the faithful witness, signifies that He is the Divine Truth itself. That "witness" is predicated of truth, and that the truth testifies of itself, thus the Lord, who is the Divine Truth itself, and the Word, may be seen above (n. 6). 17. The first-born from the dead, signifies that He is the Divine Good itself. What "the first-born from the dead" means, no one as yet knows; and the ancients disputed what it signifies. They knew that by "the first-born" is signified what is first and primary, from which is the all of the church; and it was believed by many, that it was truth in doctrine and in faith; but by few, that it was truth in act and work, which is the good of life. That this is the first and primary of the church, and thence in the proper sense is meant by "the first-born," will be seen presently. But first something shall be said concerning the opinion of those who believed, that truth in doctrine and in faith is the first and primary of the church, thus the first-born. They believed this, because it is learned first, and because a church is a church by means of truth, though not before it is of the life. Previously it is only in the thought of the understanding, and in the memory, and not in the act of the will; and truth, which is not truth in act or work, does not live. It is only like a luxuriant tree having branches and leaves without fruit. And it is like knowledge without application to use; and like the foundation upon which a house is built in which one is to dwell. These things are first in time, but they are not first in end; and what are first in end are primary; for habitation in the house is the first in end, but the foundation is the first in time; use also is first in end, and knowledge is first in time; in like manner the first in end, when a tree is planted, is the fruit, but the first in time are the branches and leaves. [2] With the understanding it is similar, which is formed in man first, but to the end that what a man sees with his understanding, he may do; otherwise the understanding is like a preacher, who teaches well, but lives wickedly. Moreover all truth is sown in the internal man, and rooted in the external; wherefore, unless the truth that is inseminated takes root in the external man, which is effected by doing, it becomes like a tree planted, not in the soil, but upon it, which immediately withers on exposure to the heat of the sun. The man who has done the truth, takes this root with him after death; but not the man who had only known and acknowledged it in faith. Now because many of the ancients made that which is first in time, the first also in end, that is, primary; therefore they said, that the first-born signified truth in doctrine and faith in the church; not knowing that this is the first-born apparently, but not actually. [3] But all those who have made truth in doctrine and in faith the primary, are condemned, because there is nothing of deed or work, or nothing of life in that truth. Therefore Cain, who was the first-born of Adam and Eve, was condemned. That by him is signified truth in doctrine and in faith, may be seen in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence (n. 242). Therefore, also Reuben, who was the first-born of Jacob, was condemned by his father (Genesis 49:3-4), and his birthright was taken from him (1 Chron. 5:1). That by "Reuben" in the spiritual sense, is meant truth in doctrine and in faith, will be seen presently. By "the first-born of Egypt," who were all smitten, because condemned, nothing else is meant in the spiritual sense, than truth in doctrine and in faith separate from the good of life, which truth is in itself dead. By the "goats" in Daniel and in Matthew, no others are meant than those who are in faith separate from life, concerning whom see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning Faith (n. 61-68). That those who were in faith separate from life, were rejected and condemned about the time of the Last Judgment, may be seen in The Continuation concerning the Last Judgment (n. 16, seq.). [4] From these few things it may appear that truth in doctrine and in faith is not the first-born of the church; but truth in act or work, which is the good of life; for the church is not with man until the truth becomes of the life, and when the truth becomes of the life, then it is good; for the thought of the understanding, and the memory, do not flow into the will, and through the will into act; but the will flows into the thought of the understanding, and into the memory, and acts. And what proceeds from the will, through the understanding, proceeds from affection, which is of love, through the thought, which is of the understanding, and all this is called good, and it enters into the life; wherefore the Lord saith, that: He who doeth the truth, doeth it in God (John 3:21). [5] Because John represents the good of life, and Peter the truth of faith, as may be seen above (n. 5), therefore: John leaned on the Lord's breast, and followed Jesus, but not Peter (John 21:18-21). The Lord also said of John, that "he should tarry till He came" (verse 22-23); thus to this day, which is the Lord's coming; the good of life is therefore now taught by the Word for those who will be of His New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. In a summary, that is the first-born which the truth first produces from good, thus what the understanding produces from the will; because truth is of the understanding, and good is of the will: this first is primary, because it is as the seed from which the rest proceed. A [6] As to the Lord He is the First-born from the dead, because He, as to His Human, is the truth itself united to the Divine good, from whom all men live, who in themselves are dead. The same is meant in David: I will make Him the first-born higher than the kings of the earth (Ps. 89:27). This is concerning the Lord's Human. Thence it is that Israel is called the first-born (Exod. 4:22, 23). By "Israel" is meant the truth in act, and by "Jacob" the truth in doctrine; and because there is no church from the latter alone, therefore Jacob was named Israel; but in the supreme sense by "Israel" is meant the Lord. On account of this representation of the "first-born," all the first-born and all the first fruits were sanctified to Jehovah (Exod. 13:2, 12; 22:28, 29). [7] On account of this representation of the "first-born," the Levites were taken instead of all the first-born in the Israelitish church; and it is said that thereby they belonged to Jehovah (Num. 3:12, 13, 40-46; 18:15-18): for by "Levi" is signified truth in act, which is the good of life; and therefore the priesthood was given to his posterity, which will be treated of below. For the same reason a double portion of the inheritance was given to the first-born, and he was called "the beginning of strength" (Deut. 21:15-17). [8] The "first-born" signifies the primary of the church, because in the Word by natural births, spiritual births are signified, and then what first produces them in man, is meant by his "first-born;" for there is no church with him, until the truth of doctrine conceived in the internal man is born in the external. 18. And the prince of the kings of the earth, signifies from whom is all truth from good in the church. This follows from what has gone before, because by faithful witness, the Lord as to the Divine truth is signified; and by first-born the Lord as to the Divine good; therefore by "the prince of the earth," is signified, that all truth from good in the church is from Him. The reason why this is signified by "the prince of the kings of the earth," is, that by "kings" in the spiritual sense of the Word, are meant those that are in truths from good, and abstractly, truths from good; and by "earth" is meant the church. That this is the signification of "kings" and "earth," may be seen below (n. 20, 285). 19. To Him that loveth us and washeth us from our sins, signifies, who out of love and mercy reforms and regenerates men by His Divine truths from the Word. That "to wash us from our sins" is to purify us from evils, thus to reform and regenerate, is evident; for regeneration is spiritual washing. But that by "His blood," is not meant the passion of the cross, as many believe, but the Divine truth proceeding from Him, may appear from many passages in the Word, which it would be too prolix to adduce here, but they will be adduced below (n. 379, 653). In the meantime, see what is said and shown concerning the signification of the Lord's flesh and blood in the Holy Supper, as set forth in The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, published at London in the year 1758 (n. 210-222); and concerning spiritual washing, which is regeneration, in the same (n. 202-209). 20. Verse 6. And maketh us kings and priests, signifies who gives to those who are born of Him, that is, who are regenerated, to be in wisdom from Divine truths, and in love from Divine goods. It is known that in the Word the Lord is called "king," and also "priest"; He is called "king" from Divine wisdom, and "priest" from Divine love; therefore, they who are in wisdom from the Lord are called "sons of the king," and also "kings;" and they who are in love from Him, are called "ministers" and "priests;" for the wisdom and love with them is not from themselves, thus not their own, but the Lord's. Hence it is that these are meant in the Word by "kings" and "priests;" not that they are such, but that the Lord is such in them, and causes them to be so called. They are also called "born of Him," "sons of the kingdom," "sons of the Father," and "heirs;" "born of him" (John 1:12, 13), that is, born again, or regenerated (John 3:3 seq.); "sons of the kingdom" (Matt. 8:12; 8:38); "sons of the Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:45); "heirs" (Ps. 127:3; 1 Sam. 2:8; Matt. 25:34); and because they are called heirs, sons of the kingdom, and born of the Lord as their Father, they are called "kings and priests;" then also it is said that: They all sit with the Lord upon His throne (Rev. 3:21). [2] There are two kingdoms into which the entire heaven is distinguished, the spiritual kingdom and the celestial kingdom; the spiritual kingdom is what is called the Lord's royalty, and as all who are therein are in wisdom from truths, therefore they are meant by "the kings," which the Lord will make those men who are in wisdom from Him; and the celestial kingdom is what is called the Lord's priesthood, and because all who are there, are in love from goods, therefore they are meant by "priests," which the Lord will make those men who are in love from Him: in like manner, the Lord's church upon earth is distinguished into two kingdoms; concerning those two kingdoms, see the work on Heaven and Hell, published in London in the year 1758 (n. 24, 226). [3] He who does not know the spiritual signification of "kings and priests," may be hallucinated[5]