JOEL 3Other translations - previous - Joel - BM Home - Full Page
1. For, behold, in those days, and in that time, [in] which I will turn back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem—
The greater issues of the conditions, already described, are now treated of. The former chapter indicated that a new Church was in preparation and was being established among those who acknowledge the Lord. The present chapter begins with the gathering together of those who are to form this Church and the judgement of those who desolated the previous Church. That these issue from the conditions existent is involved in the term for, or because.
Behold, is more than an ejaculation: it bespeaks the intelligent attention of the Church: it denotes a responsive apperception or consciousness of truth, as productive of effect. It is as if the prophet had called upon the Church to examine itself and see what will be its position in the light of God's truth. In those days, as shown under 2:29, relates to the states of life in the Church when the Lord makes His advent, especially the life of truth. Time, also corresponds to state, but it differs from the correspondence of day. The Hebrew word is especially used of a fit, or opportune time—a time proper for some appointed event, or a marked stage in the progress of events. It is worthy of notice, when we turn to its spiritual signification, that the term is mostly used in connection with the state immediately preceding and connected with the establishment of a new Church. Respecting the Lord, it is used of the state wherein His rational was made Divine; and therefore seems to refer to the true fruition of the Lord's work in raising a new Church—all before having been preparatory to this. It would therefore answer to the fourth stage of general regeneration, which is the first of internal regeneration. In that time, denotes the means of spiritual progress: this in special connection with the affection of truth. To return, or turn back, as explained under 2:12, signifies to respond in effecting conjunction. The Lord responds to the acknowledgement of Him made by those who repent of evil and who sincerely worship Him. By the Lord's response, conjunction with Him is effected. It should be noted that stages of conjunction are indicated in this verse. " In those days," denotes states of life in relation to the intelligence of truth which become means of conjunction, preparatory to the next stage of progress. " In that time," denotes a further state of progress, or regeneration of the internal man; in its turn becoming a means of conjunction to a higher degree, by which means (the man now being spiritual: for, as already explained, which appertains to the spiritual), the Lord is enabled to respond by conjunction with Himself, and thus operate in the celestial. By captivity, is signified the bondage of evil and falsity enslaving the goods and truths. Thus in Deuter 30:2, 3, " And you shall return to Jehovah, your God, and shall obey His voice according to all that I command you this day, you, and your sons, with all your heart and with all your soul: that then Jehovah your God will turn back your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, whither Jehovah your God has scattered you"—that is, by man's responsive obedience to the Divine commands, the Lord responds by freeing him from evil and falsity. Again, in Psalm 14:7, " O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when Jehovah turns back the captivity of His people, Jacob shall exult, Israel shall rejoice." The particle indicating agreement precedes the word captivity. The Lord's response is, therefore, in the measure of the removal of evil and falsity, and to that end.
Just as Israel, when used of the one division or kingdom of the Holy Land, corresponds to the internal of the spiritual kingdom, or the good of charity towards the neighbour (as, shown under 2:27), so Judah corresponds to the internal of the celestial kingdom, or the good of love to the Lord-Thus Jerem 23:6, " In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely." The distinction between those-who live in love to the Lord and those under the rule of truth is indicated in Psalm 114:2, "Judah was His sanctuary, Israel His dominion." Jerusalem, the city of Judah, as already shown under 2:32, corresponds to the Church as to its doctrine from the good, of love to the Lord. Thus, it denotes the truth from the good which is denoted by Judah. Hence, both Judah and Jerusalem relate to the celestial Church : the first, to the good of it, and the second, to the truth from that good. The captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, therefore, signifies the bondage by evil and falsity, in which the good and truth of that good in the heavenly Church have been kept, and so hindered in their operation for the benefit of the world. The verse declares, that in the Lord's advent this bondage shall be broken by His subjection of the powers of hell. Thus a new degree will be opened by conjunction with the Lord— the celestial man will be freed from infernal bondage.
Internal Sense.—Thence it may be seen, that by means of the intelligence of truth, at the Lord's coming, and its affection spiritually, the spiritual man being conjoined to heaven, the Lord will respond, in accordance with the freedom of the good, and its truth, in the celestial Church, by removing evil and falsity, and so conjoin Himself.
reference.—Doct. L. 4.
2. I will also cause all the nations to gather: and I will cause them to descend to the valley of Jehoshaphat: and will
reason with them there, over My people and My inheritance Israel, whom they caused to disperse in the nations, and divided My earth.
The gathering together into unity, implied by the conjunction illustrated in the former verse, is openly mentioned in this. The conjunction of those in good and truth with the Lord during judgement, means, inevitably, the dispersion of the evil and false, As explained under 2:6, to gather signifies to preserve. Under 1:6, nation was shown to signify goods according to worship. I will also cause all the nations to gather, therefore, denotes that by the conjunction of the spiritual with the celestial, and of the celestial with the Lord, spoken of in the preceding verse, He preserves every good of worship, even to the last. Thus is the heavenly Church and the Church on earth preserved in order, and defended from the powers of hell. That the particle meaning accord is affixed to " all the nations," implies that preservation will be according to the goods of worship.
Under 2:23 it was explained, that to descend signifies to inflow from interior to exterior, and thus to dispose into order; which suggests judgement. The valley of Jehoshaphat is mentioned only in Joel: its identity has not been determined. The only valley which has been known to history as " the valley of Jehoshaphat" is that in which the brook Kidron flows. It skirts the city on the eastern side, lying between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. When Absalom revolted against David, " and all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over towards the way of the desert" (2 Sam 15:23). David warned Shimei that on the day he went out and passed over Kidron he should know that he would die (1 Kings 2:37). Asa cut down and burnt his mother's idol by the brook Kidron (1 Kings 15:13). Here Josiah destroyed the vessels of Baal, his idols and altars (2 Kings 23:4, 6, 12). Here, too, was the common burying-place for Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:6; Jerem 31:40). This brook Jesus crossed before He was betrayed, and near it He suffered His agony (John 18:1). All its historic associations illustrate the meaning of the name, "valley of Jehoshaphat," and its significance. Jehoshaphat means, Jehovah is judge; and to Judge, as will presently appear, signifies to set in order by truth. Hence the name denotes the judgement, or ordination by Divine Truth. The word valley is derived from " to be deep": its signification is, therefore, apparent. The term corresponds to an inferior or exterior plane of the spiritual world. Hence it will appear, that the valley of Jehoshaphat denotes the inferior state in which judgement is effected by Divine Truth: that is, " the world of spirits," or intermediate state. Let this be compared with the above references to the brook Kidron, and the connection will be clear. That valley corresponds to the inferior state, or man, may be seen in Jerem 21:13, " Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, and crag of the plain." I will cause them to descend to the valley of Jehoshaphat, therefore, denotes that the Lord will inflow from the interiors, or superior heavens, with those in the good of worship, disposing all in the world of spirits according to order, by Divine Truth. The Lord sends His ministering angels into the world of spirits to effect the judgement of those who pass thence, by means of His truth. Thus, those in the good of worship descend into the intermediate state to co-operate in the judgement of souls.
As good descends into truth they are united, and thence set in order; for as they become unified, so they seek their own places. Judgement is nothing else than this ordination by the unification of good and truth, or evil and falsity. And as, by uniting with truth, those in good reach their own state and place, to judge signifies to arrange according to order by Divine truths. The word above translated, to reason, strictly means "to be judged," and signifies to be disposed into order by truth. Thus in Exodus 18:16, " And I judge between a man and his fellow, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and His laws." Again, in Zech 8:16, "Speak you every man truth to his neighbour: judge the judgement of truth and peace in your gates." That the Lord will dispose the world of spirits into order, in co-operation with the angels, is meant by, and I will reason with them there. Thus would the evil and false be condemned and removed from the good and true.
This judgement is said to be over the Lord's people, because, as stated under 2:2, people denotes those in the truths of faith according to worship, and over signifies within. Thus it is stated, that, by means of the good of worship, those in the truths of faith are from within arranged in order in the spiritual world. It was also pointed out, under 2:17, that they are the Lord's inheritance who, by life, are conjoined to the Lord's spiritual kingdom. This is further implied in the word Israel, which, as stated under 2:27, signifies the internal of the spiritual kingdom, or those in the good of charity towards the neighbour.
Whom, literally " which," as shown several times, is a term of spiritual import, and, as referring to Israel, is especially fitting here: for thereby is meant those in the good of charity towards the neighbour, which is a spiritual state. These, " they" (that is, " the nations," now referred to in the bad sense, or more probably by ellipsis the locusts) utterly dispersed in the nations. To disperse, in the form of the verb here used, has a causative, or perhaps an intensive force. It appears to signify the dissipation of good, interiorly, by falsity. It differs from to scatter, which signifies to dissipate truth. The signification here assigned to the word is strengthened by its reference to Israel, as those dispersed, and the locusts as the agents thereof. So in Jerem 50:17, " Israel is a dispersed sheep, which lions have driven away." Whom they caused to disperse, in the nations, therefore, denotes that the goods of the Church were interiorly dissipated by falsity in conjunction with the evils of worship. For, here, the nations appears to be used in the bad sense. Hence, the judgement is being held on those who have dissipated the goods of the Church. To divide, the simple form of which means to apportion, is used in a "give-and-take" sense, in the letter. Thus to apportion, in Deut 4:19, " Lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be driven to worship them, and serve them, which Jehovah your God has apportioned to all peoples under the whole heaven," is used in the sense of imparting. But in Joshua 18:10, where the form is different, " There Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel, according to their divisions," the word is used in the " give-and-take" sense; each receiving his own. The term, in its bad sense, signifies to separate and remove truth and good externally. This separation is referred to in Psalm 22:18, "They divide my garments among them." Also in Isaiah 53:12, "Surely I will divide him with the many, and he shall divide as spoil the mighty." This signification may be accentuated by its association with earth, which, as shown under 1:2, corresponds to the external Church in regard to the will. It being called the Lord's earth, makes it clear that the term is used in its good sense. The particle implying accord occurs before earth. Hence, and they divided My earth, denotes that the falsities of worship separated and removed truth and good from the external Church in accordance with its voluntary proprium.
Internal Sense.—The Lord preserves every good of worship and subdues every evil by inflowing from the higher into the lower of the world of spirits for judgement: thus disposing all things in order by Truth; interiorly keeping those in the truths of faith who are conjoined to His spiritual kingdom by the good of charity, and rejecting those who dissipated interiorly the goods of the Church by falsity conjoined to evils of worship, and who separated and removed truth and good from the external Church.
estranged from the lord.
3. And to My people they cast a lot: and caused the boy to be received as the harlot, and sold the girl for the wine, that they might drink.
This verse is necessarily connected with the preceding, the first clause being only the conclusion of its sense. The verse also relates to the dispersion of the truths and goods of the Word in a more interior degree. As explained in the foregoing verse, My people denotes the truth of faith from the Lord in His church. Unto is here used in its bad sense as expressive of antagonism. It must be observed that the expression used in this case is not that commonly employed in the Scriptures for "casting lots." Indeed, frequently as the phrase referred to occurs, that used in Joel occurs only in two other places. To cast a lot, signifies to dissipate the truth. This may be seen from the purpose of casting lots—namely, to apportion by separation. The signification may also be seen from the particulars of the expression. As already intimated, to cast occurs, in connection with lots, only in two other passages of the Word—in Obadiah 11 and Nahum 3:10; and in both cases it relates to the dissipation of truth by being enslaved to self. " In the day that aliens carried away captive his forces, and strangers came into his gates, and cast a lot upon Jerusalem:" "Yet she became an exile, she went into the captivity... they cast a lot upon her honourable men." Further, the portion which fell to any one by division was called a lot; as may be seen in Joshua xviii., xix., when "Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions." And each tribe's portion is called its lot. That this is the sense may be seen from the previous verse. When the land was divided by the despoilers, to the people of the land was allotted a portion. Now, the instruments themselves, by which the apportionment was made, were called goraloth or lots, and were small pebble stones upon which the names of the inheritors were inscribed. These were placed into a suitable vessel and drawn, or thrown, out. Thus was decided the order of choice, or the portions which should fall to each. The practice was much used by the Romans, and is referred to in Matthew 27:35. "They divided for themselves His garments, casting a lot." It may be mentioned that the Greek word for lot—kleros—gives by derivation the words for " inherit," " inheritance," and " heir." Seeing that stone corresponds to truth in its ultimate order, it becomes clear that lot also signifies truth from good when apportioned, or in its bad sense, when dissipated. Hence to cast a lot denotes that truth is separated from its good, or dissipated. And to My people they cast a lot, taken with its connection in verse 2, denotes that against the truths of faith sensual falsities separated the truth from good, and so dissipated it. To separate truth from good is to pervert it and violate what is holy, for then it is adjoined to evil uses.
To cause to be received, as shown under 2:11, signifies to be appropriate to the external. In its bad sense, it denotes to ascribe to self. When the pure truth from the Lord is ascribed to self it is polluted. The term boy, or more literally " the begotten one," being derived from to bring forth, or give birth, is particularly used of one recently born, as in Genesis 21:8 and Exodus 1:17 and 2:3. That the term is. used of states born of the mind, whatever the condition of the mind, may be seen in Isaiah 57:4. " Are you not boys (those born) of transgression, a seed of falsehood?" Boy, signifies truth of faith in its innocence, when used in its good sense. Thus in Zech 8:5, " And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." A harlot denotes an affection for falsity, or an evil affection conjoined to truth and falsifying it. This correspondence arises from, the signification of a wife, as being that of pure affection for the truth. The signification may be illustrated from Isaiah 1:21, " How is the faithful town become a harlot." The intent being that " the faithful town" or " bride," as being the affection of faith in the church, has turned from the truth to falsity. This is what is implied in those passages of the Word declaring that the people commit fornication with strange and false gods, as in Exodus 34:15. In Hosea 1:2, " the land has committed great fornication, departing from Jehovah." To cause the boy to be received as the harlot, therefore, denotes that they pollute the truth of faith, which is holy, by ascribing it to self, and so illegitimately conjoining it to evil.
Girl is the feminine form of the word translated boy above. It denotes the affection for the truth of faith in its first innocence. Shechem, representing the truth, desiring to be conjoined to this affection, said," Take me this girl for a wife" (Genesis 34:4). To sell, signifies to estrange from the Lord by claiming to one's self. It may be remarked that this term is often used in connection with a betrothal, as in Exodus 21:7, 8. It is also employed in connection with those whom the Lord gives over to their enemies, in Judges 2:14, " He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about." Thus it refers to the adjoining of what is the Lord's to self, and thereby the diversion of truth or good from their proper ends. Thus in Isaiah 50:1, " Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have sent away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have you sold yourselves." In Isaiah 52:3, " You have sold yourselves for nought." Again 2 Kings 17:17, "And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and divined, and sold themselves to do what is evil in the eyes of Jehovah, to provoke Him to anger." To sell the girl, denotes to estrange the innocent affection of truth from the Lord by claiming it to self. Under 1:5, wine was shown to correspond to spiritual faith. Here, used in its opposite sense, it denotes false faith. It must be remarked that the word rendered for is literally in. Hence, they sold the girl for the wine denotes that the evils of worship and their falsities estranged the innocent affection of the truth of faith from the Lord by conjoining it with false faith. This evil is in consequence of the former. When the truth of faith is violated by ascription to self, then the affection for truth is estranged from the Lord by association with falsity, and truth is sought in self. To drink, whence the word drinker is derived, signifies to be instructed in and appropriate truths or falsities, as may be seen by comparison at 1:5. Thus in Jerem 51:7, "The nations have drunken of her wine; therefore, the nations are mad." The infatuation of knowing and appropriating to self-glory is here referred to. They sold the girl for wine that they might drink, denotes that the affection of truth was estranged from the Lord that truth might be appropriated to self. Thus were the goods and truths dispersed in the church.
Internal Sense.—Contrary to the dictates of the truth of faith, the falses and evils of heathen worship separated truth from good and dissipated it: they ascribed the innocent truth of faith to self, conjoining it with evil affection, and they estranged the innocent affection of truth from the Lord, conjoining it with falsity, that they might appropriate truths to themselves.
references.—AC 5236; AE 376, 863.
4. And what are you to Me, also, O Tyre and Sidon—and all.the boundaries of Philistia? Are you repaying upon Me the retribution? And certainly if you are recompensing upon Me, O swift one, quickly will I cause your retribution to return upon your head.
Philistia, as a name, was applied to the low country on the south-west of Canaan—the country of the Philistines; but in later times was so used that it included Judaea. The most northerly boundary of Philistia was Joppa. From Joppa northward, along the coast, was Phoenicia. The territory of Phoenicia was a strip of country divided into several plains. The plain of Sharon extended from Joppa to Mount Carmel —possibly in Joel's time, held as part of "Israel "—from there to the headland on which Acre stands was the plain of Acre. From thence northward to Sarepta was the plain of Tyre, and northward of this, though sometimes regarded as part of it, was the plain of Sidon. Other plains follow these. Phoenicia is not mentioned in the Old Testament—the name was not yet applied to the country by Biblical writers; but "Tyre and Sidon" seems to be its Old Testament equivalent. Indeed, Tyre and Sidon might justly stand for Phoenicia, being its seats of power. Taking the districts mentioned in the present verse with Edom and Egypt, spoken of in 3:19, the whole of the surrounding nations which could directly influence Judah in favour of idolatry, are mentioned. The phrase, " All the boundaries of Philistia," if the name be taken in its extended sense, omits nothing of the region surrounding Judah.
Though Tyre and Sidon were allotted to the tribe of Asher (Josh 19:28, 29), still they were never possessed (Judges 1:31). On the contrary, the Sidonians oppressed Israel (Judges 10:12). The Philistines also were unwearied in their assaults upon Judaea. On the last occasion, before the time of Joel, in which Judah came into contact with the Philistines, the Judaean king's house was plundered and his sons slain, excepting the youngest. 2 Chron 21:16, 17. But in Joel's time the Philistines were again subdued. Their subjugation may be referred to in this verse.
In the former verse, the judgement was shown in respect to those who dissipated the truths and goods of the church. As arising from this, judgement is likewise accomplished upon those of a more external character, but who are also the occasion of the decay of faith in the Jewish church. The state of these is described in this and the four following verses, which signify that the judgement will be held " Upon those who are in knowledges alone, and in faith alone, and who thereby have destroyed the truths of the Word and of doctrine."
That those described in this verse sever themselves from the Lord is implied in the words, and also, what are you to Me? That is, what have we in common? This phrase is the parallel of, " what is to us and to You?" (Matthew 8:29), or the words addressed by our Lord to Mary at Cana, " What is to Me and to you?" (John 2:4). The question from the Lord, asked of Tyre and Sidon, is an examination made during judgement as to what there is between them and Himself, derived from Him and conjoining them to Him. As stated under i. 2, interrogations relate to the examination of interior states. Also, as stated under 1:12, refers to some associating principle. It was also remarked formerly, that the first personal pronoun refers to the inmost—in this case the Lord Himself: the third refers to the external; and the second, you, therefore, denotes the intermediate, or internal derived from the inmost. In this connection also may be seen the force of the particle for or to, which, as previously observed, when predicated of the Lord, has the power of "from." What are you to Me? therefore denotes that there is nothing in those signified by Tyre and Sidon to conjoin them with the Lord. So in Joshua 22:24, " What is to you and to Jehovah, the God of Israel?"
Tyre and Sidon are very often found associated in the Scriptures. It is a matter of considerable difficulty to decide what is the literal meaning of these names. The first appears to be derived from tsur, and probably means, something closely pressed. Its verbal form is used of besieging a city, as well as urging a pursuit. As in Deuter 20:12, "Then you shall besiege it," and in Deuter 2:9, " Press not the Moabites closely, neither contend with them in war." As a noun, the term is used of stone or rock : as in Isaiah 51:1, "Look to the rock whence you are hewn." Tyre was a strongly-fortified city. " Tyre did build herself a fortress" (Zech 9:3), and "they came to the fortress of Tyre" (2 Sam 24:7). Alexander the Great was seven months besieging Tyre before he took it. Tyre was also the capital of the Sidonians, as may be seen in 1 Kings 16:31, where Ethbaal the king of Tyre is called " the king of the Sidonians." Apparently the derivation of Sidon suggests that this name is the complement of Tyre. The name seems to be derived from tsud, meaning to lie in wait for, to set snares so as to catch: as in Ezek 13:20, " You there ensnare the souls like birds." From this word we have the terms for the hunt, hunter, and the food taken in the hunt. Fortress, citadel, and the names of such places as are able to withstand a siege are, however, derived from the same root. Thus while Tyre may mean the closely-pressed place, Sidon, as its complement, may mean the fortified, or the ambuscade. These derivations will illustrate the spiritual significations of the names. Tyre and Sidon, signify the interior and exterior knowledge of spiritual things in the exterior minds: or the knowledge of good and truth as knowledge only. In the opposite sense, the Church wherein these are destroyed is implied by the names. Thus in Ezek 27:8, "The inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your rowers: your wise men, O Tyre, that were in you, were your pilots." While exterior knowledge serves, interior knowledge guides and directs. But Tyre and Sidon here denote those in knowledge alone; and because, severed from good ends, knowledge becomes falsified, "knowledge alone" is false knowledge. What is there in such orders of knowledge to conjoin those "enjoying" it with the Lord? There is nothing. Almost the same position is affirmed in the next phrase. Where the knowledge of good and truth is only information about goodness and truth, there the faith is only external and false. This is the state of faith signified by the boundaries of Philistia. Boundary, or circuit, signifies the outermost degree of good and truth. The word so translated probably furnished the name of the most northerly district of Palestine—namely, Galilee. When Joshua had led the Israelites into Canaan, one qf the regions mentioned as yet unconquered was " all the boundaries of the Philistines" (Joshua 13:2). That boundary signifies the ultimate plane of the mind, wherein are contained interior and exterior knowledge, may be seen in Joshua 22:10, 11, "the boundaries of the Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan:" and in Ezek 47:8, " These waters go out towards the eastern boundary." Philistia, which appears to mean the land of strangers or wanderers, very well illustrates its own significance. The word signifies the religion of faith separated from charity, or the knowledge of faith without the life of charity. The followers of this form of religion are strangers to the truth, without the exchange of charity, and are estranged from the Lord. It is against this lifeless faith that the Word of God is directed in Jerem 47:1, " The Word of Jehovah that was to Jeremiah, the prophet, against the Philistines." All the boundaries of Philistia, therefore, denotes the religion of faith alone in its outermost forms, even to the last. Those in such a belief have a false faith. What is there herein to conjoin them to the Lord? Again, there is nothing. They are strangers to His law and faith.
Men who do wrong, and so bring upon themselves sin's affliction, forget their wrong-doing, and only remember their sufferings. When the Philistines, by unprovoked assault, courted their own defeat, they regarded themselves as aggrieved, and their renewed aggressions as a requittal. It is said of Uzziah that " God helped him against the Philistines" (2 Chron 26:7). That the anger of the Philistines should burn against Him Who, it was openly declared, had helped their opponents, seems no strained conclusion. But that their opposing themselves to Him would inevitably result in their retribution being returned upon their own heads is certain. The persuasion that they were retaliating against God will fully account for the words, " Are you repaying upon Me the retribution?" The certainty and directness of the affliction they will thus bring upon themselves is the intent of the last clause.
Under 2:25 it was explained that to repay, signifies to amend by restitution. In its opposite sense, the word signifies to punish, as in Jerem 51:24. " I will repay to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your eyes, is the declaration of Jehovah." Retribution, signifies separation of the wicked by aversion to good and truth, and consequently their punishment as inflicted upon themselves by their own act. In Judges 9:16, " If you have done to him according to the retribution of his hands." Also Psalm 28:4, " Give them according to the work of their hands: render to them their retribution." Are you repaying upon Me the retribution? therefore, denotes that those who are in knowledge alone and faith alone punish themselves inwardly by separation from the Lord: for the question implies that their opposition to the Lord avails them nothing, but only afflicts themselves.
It was stated under 1:2 that certainly if is an affirmation of truth. To recompense is the verb whence retribution is derived, and signifies to separate the merely natural, and so be averse to good and truth. This signification may be illustrated from the fact, that the same term is used in the sense of "to wean" —as in Genesis 21:8, " And the child grew and was weaned." The term occurs again in Psalm 103:10; " He has not done to us according to our sins; nor recompensed us according to our iniquities." And certainly if you are recompensing upon Me, therefore, denotes that they assuredly separate themselves from the Lord by aversion to what is good and true: that the media of communication between the natural of man and the Lord are severed by man's evil and falsity.
Swift one, a term sometimes applied to the horse, as in Isaiah 30:16, "we will ride upon the swift," signifies an avidity for reasoning concerning faith. So in Amos 2:14-15, "Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift... he that is swift of foot shall not escape: neither shall he that rides the horses rescue his soul." Those who seek knowledge alone and faith alone are addressed as swift in reference to the avidity with which they reason about faith. Quickly, because in spiritual things there is no time, but only state, denotes the certainty with which states of the affections produce their own consequences. When the Lord promises that He will come quickly (Rev 22:20), it is the certainty of His advent that is assured. So when the Psalmist prays, "Deliver me quickly," (Psalm 31:2)—the certainty of salvation is referred to. To return, as shown under 2:12, signifies to respond; in its bad sense, to reverse. For retribution, see above. Upon is here literally in, signifying, in the present case, a means of disjunction. Head, as shown under 2:5, corresponds to the inmost dominating principle, thence the whole man. O swift, quickly will I cause your retribution to return upon your head, therefore, denotes that those in a state of avidity to reason about faith, with certainty will cause their punishment to revert upon themselves, and by their inmost ruling falsity separate themselves from the Lord.
Internal Sense.—There is no conjunction between the Lord and those who are in interior and exterior knowledge alone, or in exterior faith alone: they punish themselves inwardly by separation from the Lord, and avert themselves from good and truth, and thus sever the means of communication. Seeking eagerly to reason from faith only, with certainty do they turn their punishment upon themselves by the disjunction from the Lord of their inmost ruling principle, which is false.
references.—AC 1197, 1201, 8093, 9348, 10011; AE 242, 433, 577, 817.
the word corrupted.
5. That which is My silver and My gold you took: and you caused My good desirable things to come in for your temples.
Twice, as shown in the Introduction, before the reign of Uzziah, were the precious things of the temple taken away by the Syrians. First, in the time of Asa. That king "took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the House of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king's house," and' sent them to Benhadad, king of Syria (1 Kings 15:18). It was in the reign of Jehoash that the Temple was robbed a second time by the Syrians. "Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. And Jehoash, king of Judah, took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram, and Ahaziah,. his fathers, kings of Judah, had hallowed, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the House of Jehovah, and in the king's house, and sent it to Hazael, king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem" (2 Kings 12:17-18). Nevertheless, the words of" this verse are addressed directly to the Phoenicians and those in all the boundaries of Philistia, beside those with whom these were associated. That the silver, gold, and hallowed things of the Temple service had been taken away and used in heathen worship is also clear. The verse, however, takes the literal form it has on account of its spiritual sense, and in that sense it is connected with those who seek knowledge alone and faith alone.
The orders of knowledge which, according to the last verse, had
been severed from the Lord's service are specified:' in this verse. For as much as
they who believe in faith only, and not charity, or they who seek knowledge
without regard to its use, take the precious and holy truths of the Lord and
The Lord's silver and gold are also called His good and desirable things, in the reverse order. Silver is a term derived from a verb in the original Hebrew, meaning to desire intensely, which occurs in Job 14:15, "You will have a desire to the work of your hands," and in Psalm 84:2, " My soul desires, yea, even famisheth for the courts of Jehovah." Though desirable thing is not akin to this verb, the connection of ideas is sufficient to bring the terms, silver and desirable thing, into association. If these be parallel terms, then gold and good are parallels, and their relation is asserted. Good denotes the celestial from the Lord as manifested in the literal sense of His Word. Thus in Psalm 119:39, 72, "Your judgements are good.... The law of Your mouth is as good to me as thousands of gold and silver." So in Isaiah 39:8, " The word of Jehovah which you have spoken is good." Desirable thing describes the spiritual things of the letter of the Word, or the knowledge drawn therefrom respecting what is good and true. In Isaiah 64:11, " The house of our holiness and splendour, where our fathers praised You, is burnt up with fire: and all our desirable things have become a ruin." Again in Lament 1:10, 11 and 2:4, the same will be illustrated. It will be noticed that this term is mostly used with reference to the precious things of the Temple service, as in the present instance. The spiritual things of the Word, in its literal sense, are the desirable things in the worship of the Lord. My good desirable things, therefore, are the knowledge of celestial and spiritual principles drawn from the letter of the Word. To come in, as shown under 1:13, signifies to introduce into the mind for the purpose of conjunction. Temple, like the House of God, denotes the church, or mind, in a state of worship; but with this difference—whereas, the House of God relates in particular to the affections of the mind, or state of the will in worship, Temple relates to the truth or state of the understanding in worship. The distinction may be marked in 1 Kings 6:3, " the porch before the Temple of the House "— where worship through truth, as being exterior to good, is referred to. So in 2 Kings 18:15, 16, Hezekiah is said to give all the silver found in the House of Jehovah and to split the doors of the Temple of Jehovah. And again, in Psalm 5:7, " In the multitude of Your mercy will I come into Your House, and in your fear will I worship toward the Temple of Your Holiness." " Jehovah is in the Temple of His Holiness" (Psalm 11:4). When, however, the Temple of the Lord is not meant, but the temples of false gods, the term is used in its opposite sense: namely, the mind in falsity and false worship therefrom; as, respecting Babylon, in Isaiah 13:22, " The wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses and dragons in their temples of delight." You caused My good desirable things to come in for your temples, therefore, denotes that those who adjoin the knowledge of spiritual truth and good to self cause the good and truth of the letter of the Word to be introduced into false worship and so falsify them. It is said, you caused these things to be done, because the knowledge indicated by good desirable things is derived from the knowledge signified by gold and silver.
It should be stated why the order of the spiritual and celestial is reversed in the second place. Those in knowledge alone and faith alone seek truth first, which they falsify— this is shown by placing silver first; from this they pervert good, indicated by the gold. In correspondence to spiritual good, the good of the sense of the letter of the Word is then corrupted by devotion to self: this is done by introduction into the will of self, or self-love: and then, returning upon the understanding in the natural man, the truths of the letter of the Word, as being more effectual to the same end, are devoted to the love of the world.
Internal Sense.—The spiritual knowledge of truth and good is adjoined in the natural man to self by those in knowledge and faith alone, which causes them to introduce the good and truth of the Word into the worship of self and the world.
references.—AC 1197, 1201, 1551, 9340; AE 242, 433; AR 913.
6. The sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem, also, you sold to the sons of the Ionians: to the intent that you might cause them to be far off from over their border.
There is a passage in one of the apocryphal books which makes this verse read like a prophetic forecast instead of a record of what had been done. In the year 165 B.C., Lysias, the general of the Greeks in Palestine, raised an army and marched toward Jerusalem, " and the merchants of the country [who were the Phoenicians], hearing the fame of them, took silver and gold very much, with fetters, and came into the camp to buy the children of Israel for slaves; a power also of Syria and of the land of the Philistines joined themselves to them" (1 Maccabees 3:41). What was here attempted, however, by the Greeks and their allies might well have been done by the allies before. Indeed, we learn from Ezek 27:13, that the Ionians traded with the Tyrian markets in "the persons of men." From Amos 1:3-9, it also appears that the Syrians, the Philistines, and the Tyrians were concerned in the traffic of the people of Israel. Thus, if the beginning of that prophecy is synchronous with the close of Joel's, and refers to much the same subject, we have a distinct statement of the nations referred to in the present case. The Phoenicians were the traders of the east, and Tyre was the central market. From it the merchandise, from the lands further east, was sold among the Grecian isles of the Mediterranean and the colonies on the coasts of Asia Minor.
Before expounding the spiritual meaning of this verse, it may be opportune to remark, that there is a sense in which it had a remarkable fulfillment in the coming of the Lord. The Jews, whose birthright it was to preserve the truths of the Word, sold that to a people of totally different genius and race by their own neglect of the life enjoined in the Word, and their love of the knowledge of truth alone. After the advent of our Lord, His new covenant was given in the Greek tongue, not in the Hebrew tongue as was the old covenant. Ionia, or as it is called in Hebrew, Javan, a district on the west coast of Asia Minor, so called from the Ionian Greeks who colonised it, while not attached to Greece itself, is the name, it is said, by which the orientals knew all Greece;
because the Ionian colonists were the Greeks nearest to them. The refinement and culture of the Ionians are matters of common knowledge. Ionia's place in the early history of Christianity may be gathered from the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, and the Revelation by John in respect to the seven churches of Asia. The language of the Greeks became, in the New Dispensation, the medium of Divine revelation, the post of ministry which the language of the Jews, by their unworthiness, had lost It was shown under 1:1, that son denotes truth of faith, or truth from interior good, or, in an opposite sense, falsity from evil. Judah and Jerusalem, as stated under 3:1, denote the internal of the celestial kingdom and the spiritual of that kingdom respectively, or the good of love to the Lord and the truth from that good. The sons of Judah denote the truths which have a celestial origin, and the sons of Jerusalem, the truths which have a spiritual origin therefrom. To sell, as shown above, verse 3, signifies to estrange from the Lord by appropriating to another. The Ionians represent those of the Gentile world who, while they are in an external form of worship, are not in internal worship, but yet are ready to receive enlightenment: they are in falsity; but it is the falsity of ignorance. It is interesting to notice here that Swedenborg tells us, that the Greeks received from the ancient Church the knowledge of correspondences, and that knowledge gave rise to their fables and mysteries. See SS 21, 117; AC 8944, 9011, 10177. The signification of Ionians may be seen in Isaiah 66:18, 19, "The time shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. And I will set up a sign among them, and I will send forth from among them fugitives to the nations... to Tubal and Ionia, the maritime settlements afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory: and they shall declare My glory among the nations." The sons of the Ionians, therefore, denote those in the falsities of external worship. To sell the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to the sons of the Ionians is to falsify the truths of celestial and spiritual origin by estranging them from the worship of the Lord.
To the intent that, denotes a requirement of order. As explained under 2:20, to be far off, signifies to avert or be remote, From, also, relates to ascent out of externals; and over, to what is within. Border, signifies the outermost knowledge of ritual and doctrine as representing spiritual and celestial things. Thus in Psalm 104:9, " You have set a border that they may not pass over." Again, in Psalm lxxviii. 54, " And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary." Because the sons of the Ionians, to whom the sons of Judah and Jerusalem were sold, denote the falsities of external worship, and were removed far away from internal worship, it is said, to the intent that you might cause them to be far off from over their border, that is, by estranging truths from the Lord and applying them to those in falsity, it was inevitable that they would be averted from serving within the external rites and teachings of the church as representing the principles of life, or, their interior service to the Lord was violated.
Internal Sense.—The truths of a celestial and spiritual origin were estranged from the Lord by those in the love of self and the world, so as to serve those in the falsity of external worship, that thus they might be averted from serving the external rites and teachings of the church interiorly.
references.—AC 1151, 1197, 5886; AE 119, 242, 433, 840.
7. Lo! I am causing them to arouse from the place whither you sold them: and I will cause your retribution to return upon your head.
The course by which the retribution of the offenders returns upon their own heads is very plainly marked out. In the preceding verse they were charged with having sold the sons of Judah and Jerusalem into slavery, so that they might be far from their own land. In the present verse, the Lord declares that He is arousing these sons from the place of their bondage, and that thereby the offenders will suffer what they had designed for others. The following verse declares, that the offspring of the offenders shall be sold into the hands of the sons of Judah, and to a nation afar off. So that what the sellers of Judah had intended to do to the people of Judah would return upon themselves. It is the course of all evil, and presents the exact truth regarding the course of judgement. By judgement the evil done by man in the world is shown to be his own, and that which he intended and did to the hurt of another becomes his own state. Thereby the evil and false are separated from the good and true.
Lo! as stated under 2:19, indicates that there should be a responsive apperception in regard to the truths of faith. The Church is called to a recognition of the Lord's work in contrast to its own state. While the external Church is degenerating, the Lord is establishing a new Church of an internal character. This was done, as before shown, from the spiritual world, wherein first the spirits had to be conformed to order. The spirits of infernal character had to be reduced to hell, and those of a heavenly nature raised to heaven: and this is judgement. Those who were in truth of a celestial and spiritual order were held in bondage by those of a false, external kind—the world of spirits was dominated by the false and evil. The Lord's advent was made to overcome this and to raise the heavenly spirits into heaven, and thereby form a new heaven whence a new Church could be established on earth. This verse calls upon us to see that this was being done at the Lord's coming. Lo! I am causing them (the sons of Judah and Jerusalem) to arouse from the place whither you sold them.
That the Lord causes the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to arouse signifies that He elevates those in truth from a celestial and spiritual origin, may be seen from the signification of to arouse and the other terms. To arouse, signifies to elevate, as we see from Jerem 50:9, " For, lo, I will cause to arouse and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country." So in Isaiah 50:4, " He causes morning to arouse by morning: He causes mine ear to arouse to hearing as the disciples." As the sons of Judah and Jerusalem represent those in genuine truth, to cause them to arouse means that they are elevated into Heaven. Just as time denotes state as to truth, so place denotes state of life according to affection. Thus, in Psalm 26:8, " Jehovah, I have loved the abode of Your house, and the place where Yours honour dwells." Again, in Psalm 37:10, "For yet a little while, and the wicked is no more: yea, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be." The intermediate state, or world of spirits, is the region of the spiritual world wherein the state of life according to affection is determined. From, as stated before, denotes ascent out of. Thus the elevation of those in the truths of charity and faith from the place whither they had been sold, denotes that they would be raised out of the world of spirits. To sell, as shown under 3:3, signifies to estrange from the Lord by claiming to one's self. Whither denotes to which definite state or end. The particle indicating agreement, or accordance, occurs here in conjunction with them. The meaning of this clause is, therefore, to which end the false estranged the truth from the Lord according as they claimed it to themselves. But here a further meaning appears in the verse. In drawing those in truths away from the Lord and inducing them to follow a false worship, those in faith alone would lead them into a state of life in agreement with this falsity—the place whither you sold them. But if the affections of life are preserved in purity of devotion, notwithstanding that the worship, which was wholly external, be fallacious—it was of the Gentile kind—the Lord is still able, by reason of the genuine interior, to elevate them out of that external state of life—from the place whither they had been sold—and thus make them a means of new spiritual life. Indeed, as applied to this world, the words instruct us that the Lord will raise up His new witness out of the Gentile world, even though it be in the darkness of ignorance. He would come " for a light to the Gentiles. To unclose blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the house of restraint" (Isaiah 42:7).
And I will cause your retribution to return upon your head, as explained under verse 4, denotes that those who estrange truth from the Lord and claim it to self, thereby falsifying it, will bring their separation from the Lord upon themselves, for they conjoin the falsity to their inmost dominating principle, which is in opposition to the Lord, and thereby turn their own nature from Him. In its bad sense, the head denotes the craftiness of those in the love of ruling. When falsity is conjoined to this state, as in the present instance, the state is hellish. To what a state does this craftiness lead those who foster it; thinking to outwit the laws of Divine Truth and Order. Their retribution returns upon their own head!
Internal Sense.—That such, in the world of spirits, as acknowledge the Lord, will be elevated from the state of life into which falsity has led them; and that they who conjoined falsity with their inmost selves, by so doing, separated themselves from the Lord.
references.—AC 5886, 10011; AE 577, 840.
8. And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judak, and they shall sell them to [the] Shebeans—to a nation afar off: for JEHOVAH has spoken.
Sheba is the country on the south-western extremity of Arabia by. the Red Sea. It was a place of wealth and importance. See 1 Kings 10:1-; Psalm 72:10, 15. The She-beans were the traders between the far east and the western markets (Ezekiel 27:22, 23, and 38:13). They were especially noted for their commerce in gold and incense (Isaiah 60:6; Jerem 6:20). Their caravans (Job 6:19) travelled the desert, bringing from India wares for the markets of Tyre. What "the ships of Tarshish" did for the Phoenicians westward, the camels of Sheba did for the Shebeans eastward. The barter took place in the markets of the Phoenician city. In Ezekiel 27:22, the Shebean traders are said to be traders with Tyre, just as in verse 13 the Ionians are. There is no distinct statement in the Scriptures that the Shebeans dealt in slaves, unless their association with the Tyrians be taken to imply that they also traded in "the persons of men" (Ezek 27:13), but this would be according to the common practice of ancient traders. Besides, the Shebeans would as soon trade in Tyrians as with Tyrians.
With this verse the account of the judgement of those in knowledge alone and faith alone terminates: they are seen to inherit the issue of their own deeds. Under verse 3, it was shown that to sell signifies to estrange and to claim as one's own. Let it be observed that this means, to estrange from the one who formerly possessed what is sold, and to give it over to another, as is the case in selling, when what belonged to the seller is now put away from him and passes over to another so as to be claimed as his own. For this reason, as formerly stated, the word is used in connection with the betrothal of a daughter, because then the father gave his daughter over to her husband (Hebrew, baal—owner) to be claimed by him. Thus the idea of marriage, or ownership, will help to bring clearly before the mind the truth, that by judgement the internal and external man are united into one, and what is man's own internally will appear externally. The Lord is said to estrange those from Himself, and give them over to another, who by their doings unite evil and falsity in themselves, and who therefore estrange themselves from the Lord and give themselves over to hell. It was shown under the former verse, that this would be the state of those who are here addressed; namely, that they would unite their falsity to their inmost evil states: hence they would estrange themselves from the Lord. Your sons, as in verse 6, signify the falsities of evil, or those in such falsities. Your daughters, as may be seen under 2:28, denote evil affections, or those in such affections. The particle implying accordance precedes sons and daughters. I will sell your sons and your daughters, denotes that those who are in the falsity of evil, and in the evil affections thereof, will be estranged from the Lord in accordance with their own states.
The hand corresponds to the power of truth from good. So manifest is this correspondence that, in the Authorised Version, the term is sometimes translated " power": as in Psalm 22:20; Deuter 32:36, and elsewhere. In Psalm 31:5, " Into Your hand I commit my spirit"; also Isaiah 59:1, " Behold, the hand of Jehovah is not shortened, that it cannot save." The sons of Judah, as explained at verse 6, signify truths of a celestial origin, thus those in truths from good. Into the hand of the sons of Judah, signifies by means of the power of truths from a celestial origin. In judgement the Lord is merciful. Even the most wicked judge themselves; but they judge themselves by association with angels filled with the truth of God. Yea, even those in the falsity of evil, and those in the evil affection of that falsity, are judged by their own repugnance for heavenly wisdom. They seek other company than that of the " angels of light." The Lord's truth is presented to them and they reject it: they therefore seek something more like their " own place." That they are sold by the Lord into the hand of the sons of Judah, therefore, means that they are estranged from Heaven and the Lord by means of the power of heavenly truths.
The tendency of the evil and false is to descend. Estranged from the Lord, they remove from angelic beings until they find their like in the place that answers to their furthermost state of removal from the good and true. This law is illustrated by the devils, who, having cried aloud to the Lord, " What is to us and to You "—what is there common between us—when they left the man, entered the swine which they, rushing down a steep place, carried into the sea (Matth 8:28-32). Shebeans occurs nowhere else in the Word; but Sheba, whence the people are named, appears several times. By Sheba is signified those who delight to collect and cultivate the knowledge of good worship, but who do not cultivate the worship. For this reason the Shebeans are called "traders," as shown above. They also are here represented as buying the sons and daughters of the Phoenicians and Philistines: for these represent the forms of knowledge and doctrine formulated by faith separated from charity. Buying these, the Shebeans are represented as claiming them for their own. The term Shebeans is evidently, therefore, used here in the sense of those who seek the knowledge of spiritual things for their own ends—from the love of self and for its pleasure. That the sons of Judah will sell the sons and daughters of the Phoenicians and Philistines to Shebeans means, therefore, that those in falsity from evil and its affection will be estranged from those in heavenly truths and be associated further with such as defile spiritual things by evil worship.
It was shown under 1:6, that nation denotes those in evils of worship—the worship of false gods in the will. Unto, as stated before, is expressive of accord, or conformity. Afar off, as may be seen from the verb whence this term is formed and which is used in 2:20, denotes what is remote from internal truth. That the false will be estranged from heavenly spirits to a nation afar off, therefore, denotes that the estrangement will be in accordance with their evils of worship and remote from internal truth: for those in evil worship are far removed from spiritual truth, and are united to their corresponding falsity. Thus, by judgement are they removed from the angels of heaven and associated with the spirits of hell. That afar off signifies remoteness from internal truth may be seen in Exodus 20:18, " And when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off:" and in Psalm 119:155, " Salvation is afar off from the wicked ones."
That this is the effect of Divine truth inflowing from the Divine Love into the world is the import of the concluding clause: for Jehovah has spoken. To speak is the term whence word is derived. If to speak be compared with word, under 1:1, it will be seen to signify, when predicated of the Lord, the influx of Divine truth from the Divine Love, whereby all things are set in order and disorder is subdued. Thus in Isaiah 45:19, "I, Jehovah, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right." Thus it appears that Truth from the Divine Love inflowing into the world of spirits sets all things in order and subdues the hells. Herein is the purpose of the Lord's coming.
Internal Sense—That those in falsity from evil, and the evil affections thence, will be estranged from the Lord by their own states, by means of the power of heavenly truths; and they will be further separated from those in truth and associated with those in falsities from evil worship according to the evils by which they are removed from Truth. This is the result of the influx of truth from Divine Love.
9. Call you this in the nations: sanctify battle: cause the heroes to arouse: they will come near—they will cause all the men of the battle to ascend.
As Divine truth enters the world of spirits to accomplish the judgement, so the antagonism and hatred of the infernals is stirred up: and because this means that the evil spirits display their hatred to the Lord, the resistance of evil and falsity towards good and truth is inevitable. The Lord had to conquer hell in order to subdue it. From the present to the 12th verse "the combat of good and truth against evils and falsities at the time of the judgement" is described. Indeed " He urges forth the judgement to victory" (Matth 12:20). The Lord alone was victor over hell—"His right hand and the arm of His holiness has worked for Him the victory." Though there is a change to some extent in the subject, those to whom the last verse referred—the false from evil and they who were in the affection of the false now fully confirmed in their states—are addressed. The words are a call to arms. In a sense, the Lord challenges them to battle: they make themselves gods by their self-worship, and oppose themselves to the Lord God of Heaven—the issue must be tried. Let them come in all their strength to meet the Almighty.
To call, as was shown under 1:14, signifies to acknowledge by faith. That which has to be acknowledged by faith is the the law of Divine truth by which, as contained in the preceding verses, the retribution of the evil returns upon themselves. This, as in 1:2, refers to the Divine truth given in the Word of Jehovah. Those who professed the knowledge of spiritual truth, as did the Phoenicians and Philistines to whom these words are directed, should have known this law of Divine order. They are therefore called upon by the faith they profess to acknowledge this law. Nations, as explained under 1:6, denote those who are in the evils of worship, and who, according to the former verse, are allied to those who professed the knowledge of the truth. The acknowledgement of Divine truth among those who are evil in worship must needs stir up strife and opposition—especially when the acknowledgement is to be made in the nations; that is, as a means of truth, being conjoined to those in evil worship: for truth must needs condemn evil. Hence, call you this in the nations, denotes that the power of Divine truth as against the evils of worship should be acknowledged.
To sanctify, as shown under 1:14, signifies, in its bad sense to assume the appearance of Divine service. Even those who oppose the truth, do so often in the name of truth, as though they were doing God's service. In the same manner, men have been tyrannically robbed of their freedom " in the name of Liberty." Under 2:5, battle was shown to denote the assaults from hell. To assume the appearance of insistence to what is false, while really opposing from evil that which is true, is to-sanctify battle—to bestow a hypocritical sanctity upon hellish resistance against the Lord's truth, and thus against Himself. Heroes, as may be seen under 2:7, are they who prevail by falsity, whose weapons are perverted truths. As shown under verse 7, to arouse, denotes to elevate. Cause you the heroes to arouse, therefore, denotes that they who profess the knowledge of truth joined to those in the evils of worship, having waged war with the truth, excite those who prevail by falsity—that is, those who reason from falsities—to the combat. Yet there is a further import in the words. In doing this, the false reasoners are elevated by their temporary incitement from the hells into the world of spirits. For this reason they are brought up: that they might be properly subjected by their opposition to the Lord, and reduced to order. This is accomplished by their being brought into proximity with the divine as it proceeds from the Lord : and that this might be accomplished the inducement and elevation referred to is permitted. They will come near. It needs only that restraints should be withdrawn, and infernal spirits at once fling themselves against all that is Divine. To come near denotes to adjoin more closely by affection, as may be seen by comparison with its opposite, to be far off, explained under 2:20. Thus in Jerem. 30:21, "And I will cause him to approach, and he shall come near to Me; for who is this that engaged his heart to come near to Me ? is the declaration of Jehovah." Also in Numb 8:19, " That there be no infliction among the sons of Israel, when the sons of Israel come near to the sanctuary." Again in the same book, Num 4:19, "But thus do to them, that they may live, and not die, when they come near to the most holy things." The affection by which infernals are adjoined more closely to the sphere of the Divine, or the angelic spirits, is the desire to overcome them and destroy them.
Men of battle was shown, under 2:7, to signify those in the insanities of hell in their desire to assault the truth. This term has a more external signification than heroes, with which it is associated here, as in 2:7. Hence it may be seen why it is said that those who prevail by falsities, denoted by heroes elevated in the world of spirits by a quickened zeal against the truth, cause the insane infernals, or those in hell whose rational minds are perverted by falsity, and who assault the truth, to ascend. For to ascend denotes, as shown under 1:6, to emerge from a lower to an upper state. All the men of the battle are every falsified rational principle assaulting the Lord from hell. These perverted intellects are spoken of as ascending when they come up into the world of spirits where the judgement is taking place: by that ascent their influence upon the spirits there can be fully given and completely defeated.
Internal Sense.—Those who profess a knowledge of the truth should acknowledge the power of Divine truth among those in evils of worship: instead, they will array themselves in opposition to the Lord: they incite those who prevail by falsity to elevate themselves against the Church, and these will adjoin themselves more closely to the sphere of Divine operations and induce every insanity of hell to rise to the world of spirits to assault the truth.
10. Batter your coulters into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak one say, I am a hero.
The infernals are challenged to exert their utmost strength: to use their every means. There is a suggestion that their efforts, thus far, have been in vain: that their weapons have failed: broken and disabled they boast a strength unpossessed. How weak is all the power of hell opposed to the Divine of the Lord.
To batter is to manifest an internal state in its external form, or to bring down the state of the feelings into their lowest forms. " Good is said to be manifest when it becomes truth: for good appears through truth, because truth is the form of good, and good does not appear in light except in a form" (AC 9781). It is on account of the term signifying this reduction to lowest forms that the word is sometimes used in the sense of breaking to powder. Thus in Deuter 9:21; to make manifest the evil of false worship, Moses took the golden calf " and burned it with fire and battered it, grinding it well, until it was as small as dust." Again, when the Israelites worshiped the brazen serpent Moses had made, the king, Hezekiah, battered it in the same way and to the same purport (2 Kings 18:4). So of idolatry, it is said in Micah 1:7, "All the graven images thereof (Samaria) shall be battered." The coulter, because ploughing denotes the implantation of truth in the mind by good (see ploughman, or husbandman, in 1:11), and the field, that is ploughed, denotes the Church as to the good of life by doctrine, corresponds to the rational good which is cultivated by means of truth and is instrumental in preparing the mind for further uses. When it was the policy of the Philistines to allow no smiths in Israel, lest they should make swords and spears, then the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen their shares and coulters and axes and mattocks (1 Sam 13:20, 21).
Thereby it was indicated that, despoiled by faith alone of the rational faculties which enable us to oppose falsity, the good cultivated by means of truth, becomes ineffectual and degenerates to the state which falsity would bring it to. The coulters of those who oppose themselves to the Lord are the evils confirmed by falsity: and in this sense the term is here employed. To batter coulters means, that the internal evils of the infernals, confirmed by falsity, are to be brought down and manifested in their lowest forms—thus in all their apparent strength. The sword corresponds, in a base sense, to the falsity of evil which combats and vastates the true and good. When the Psalmist prays to be delivered from falsity during his temptations he says, " Free my soul from the wicked, Your sword" (Psalm 17:13). Again in Psalm 144:10, "He gives salvation to kings: who rids David, His servant, from a hurtful sword." It is on account of this correspondence that such phrases as " consumed by the sword," or " devoured by the sword" occur in the Word. The signification of the term may be illustrated from the fact that sword is derived from the verb, "to be dry," in the Hebrew tongue. Batter your coulters into swords denotes, therefore, that evils are to be manifest in the falsities which combat against truth and good.. The pruning-hook, because the vine-dresser denotes one in truth and teaching it (see 1:11), corresponds to the rational truth of doctrine. Thus in Isaiah 18:5, "For before the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the blossom, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning-hooks, and remove and cut down the tendrils." In the present instance, pruning-hook is used in its bad sense; namely, false doctrine. The spear corresponds to the inclination to combat in the strength of one's own confidence, or the evil of falsity combating good from truth. Thus it is said of the priests of Baal, that "they cut themselves with swords and spears" (1 Kings 18:28). It is no unusual thing for those who oppose the Lord's truth " to cut themselves "with their falsities.
and evils. To batter pruning-hooks into spears denotes that the falsities of doctrine will be manifested as self-derived evils combating against good from truth. Similar words to those above occur in Isaiah 2:4, and Micah 4:3. " They shall batter their swords into coulters, and their javelins into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
The last clause bespeaks hell's actual infirmity and impotence against the Divine power, notwithstanding the show of strength. That weakness denotes diminution of power by reason of falsity may be seen in Exodus 17:13, "Joshua weakened Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." And in Isaiah 14:12, " How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawn! how are you cut down to the earth, which did'st weaken the nations!" To say, as shown under 2:17, denotes to perceive and communicate. Hero signifies one who prevails by falsity (see 2:7). Let the weak one say I am a hero, denotes that the impotence of hell shall, by the utmost exercise of its evil, perceive that its only hope of prevailing is by falsity—in other words, that its power is weakness, though it appear to prevail. In this sense say is also used; that is, to think—the weak one shall think he is strong.
Internal Sense.—The infernals shall manifest their evils in falsities opposing the truth and their falsities in evils opposing the good of the Lord: notwithstanding their diminution of power they shall think that they prevail.
reference.—See AE 734 on Isaiah 2:4.
11. Hasten together and come in, all you nations, and gather yourselves from around. Thither cause You, O JEHOVAH, Your heroes to come down.
If the combat between truth and falsity be now in view, we stand upon the battle ground. Thither the powers of evil and falsity are assembled: they have come up. Thither the powers of light come to meet them: they come down. Manifestly the scene is the world of spirits or intermediate state —the place of judgement—as the following verse will show.
The first term used in the verse appears nowhere else in the Scriptures. Some authorities give it the meaning, to assemble; others, to hasten. It seems most likely, however, that both ideas are implied: especially as a word much like this means " to hasten" simply. To hasten together may be considered as signifying to adjoin from ardent affection: in this case, from lustful hatred. The adjunction is implied in that part of the conception which suggests assembly, while that which imparts the idea of haste denotes excitement of the feelings. Thus in Psalm 119:60, " I made haste, and delayed not to keep Your commandments." So in Proverbs 1:16, "Their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood." In the spiritual world men are drawn together according to their unity of affection. The hatred towards the truth which infernals are in is that which would bring them together. That they would be so associated from their burning hatred to all spiritual things is meant by hasten together. To come in is here used in its bad sense. Under 1:13 the word was shown to signify to introduce truth into good for the purpose of conjoining them. As the infernals are now the subject, the introduction of falsity is denoted. The delight of infernals is to introduce falsity, and to conjoin it to good; but this cannot be done. This they seek to do from hatred against the truth. Their impotence and defeat embitters the attempt. That all you nations signify every evil with respect to worship may be seen in many places above. Hasten together and come in, all you nations, therefore, denotes that every one in evil of worship will be associated by one common hatred against the Lord, and seek to introduce falsity, that it may be conjoined to the good. Our Lord's temptations illustrate this. He was tempted to make falsity the bread of His life: whereas the Word of God is necessary. Each temptation He overcame by truth. To gather, as may be seen ii. 6, signifies to preserve in unity. But to gather one's self denotes the attempt to preserve self by self-power. When the Jews said, " He saved others, Himself He cannot save," they spoke a truth. It is not the will of Love to save self: that is the dominating passion of evil. From around, signifies out of things most exterior. As was pointed out before, outermost things are spiritually the lowest; from around, therefore, is equal to out of the lowest. Thus in Psalm 12:8 " Wicked ones walk around on every side : vileness is prepared for the sons of man, as though it were exaltation." The nations from around are, therefore, the infernal spirits out of the lowest hell. That these were united in one fierce hatred against the Lord to preserve their dominion of all spirits is implied in gather yourselves from around. Here is the utmost power of hell summoned to meet the Lord! All the devils put forth their bitterest hatred and extreme strength. It was the very essence of impotence. The weak one says, I am mighty, I am a hero!
Against the power of evil is arrayed the strength of truth. Thither cause You, O Jehovah, Your heroes to come down. Thither seems to imply that something is done to a certain end; as in Deuter 1:37, " You shall also not go in thither." The Lord's heroes are those who prevail by truth, see 2:7. To come down, manifestly referring to the descent from heaven, signifies to flow in with the power of interior truth for the purpose of enlightenment. On this account it is said in Proverbs 17:10," A reproof comes down more into an understanding man than a hundred blows into a fool." So in Psalm 65:10, " Water the ridges thereof abundantly: come down the furrows thereof: you make it soft with showers: you bless the growth thereof." The latter sentence of this verse, therefore, signifies that, to the end that falsity may be subdued, the powers of Divine truth will inflow into the world of spirits to enlighten it. By this means is falsity overcome, and, while the good are enlightened, the evil are repelled and subdued.
Internal Sense.—That infernal spirits in the evils of worship will be associated in one common hatred against the Lord, and seek to insinuate falsity into the good: out of the lowest hell they will endeavour to preserve their dominion. That falsity might be subdued, the powers of Divine truth from Divine Love will inflow into the world of spirits to enlighten it, thus preserving the Church and subjecting hell.
12. Let the nations be aroused and ascend—to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I abide to judge all the nations from around.
At 1:6 it was explained that nation signifies those in the evil of worship. To be aroused, signifies to be elevated, as shown under 3:7. Under 1:6 also, to ascend was shown to signify to emerge from a lower to a higher state. The destructive evils belong to the lower hells. " Those that seek my soul for destruction shall go into the lower parts of the earth" (Psalm 63:9). From thence by the infusion of Divine truth through the whole spiritual world they are aroused, and ascend into the place of judgement, from hell into the intermediate state. By this process of ascent, a distinct effect is produced upon themselves. The inward state becomes more manifest externally, and consequently more confirmed. We are told by Swedenborg, that spirits who are permitted to ascend from lower to higher spheres in the spiritual world realise their own impotence, and ardently desire to return to their own places; but they remain afterward confirmed in the state to which they descend. If judgement had not been fully accomplished before, it is final then. As stated under 1:1, to is expressive of accord. The valley of Jehoshaphat was explained under the second verse of this chapter. Briefly, the intermediate state wherefrom the spiritual world was arranged in order by Divine truth at the coming and judgement of the Lord is referred to. That the infernals in the world of spirits, even those of the vilest nature, were judged according to their own states in regard to truth, is here meant by the nations being aroused, and ascending to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
There is used of a definite state. To abide, signifies to continue in life, as a confirmed state. The term is used especially in regard to the state of the will: because the life is from the will, and the ruling love of the will is that by which the state is determined hereafter. Because, also, life from the Lord flows into the will, and is there received and used as good, or perverted to evil, it is said there I will abide to judge, as though the Lord judges instead of the manner in which life is received from Him. The signification of to abide may be illustrated from Psalm 9:7, " But Jehovah shall abide for ever: He has prepared His throne for judgement." In Psalm 10:8 it is said of the wicked," He abides in the lurking places of enclosures." Again in Psalm 140:13, "The upright ones shall abide in Your presence." To judge, as shown under 3:2, signifies to arrange in order by Divine truths, thus to raise to heaven or condemn to hell, according as truth is conjoined to the affections of good or those of evil. Under the preceding verse it was explained that all the nations from around means every infernal spirit in the love of evil worship, even out of the lowest hell. The particle denoting agreement precedes all the nations, and, indeed, is amalgamated to the phrase. For there will I abide to judge all the nations from around, denotes, therefore, from the definite state into which life from the Lord is received the continued life will be determined, and the spirits ordinated, even those from the lowest hell. So is the permanent state of each decided, and the future of each far ranged. Spirits adjudge themselves to heaven or to hell, as formerly stated, by their reception or rejection of Divine truths, when presented in the world of spirits. Hence it may be seen that devils from hell only condemn themselves to hell in accordance with their own ruling evils.
Internal Sense—Evil spirits will be elevated, and come up into the world of spirits, that from their confirmed state of life their continued existence may be determined and arranged, even those from the lowest hell.
references.—AC 9857; AE 911; AR 645.
13. Send forth a sickle: for harvest is ripened: come in, descend: because a wine-press is filled. They caused the wine-vats to distend: for their evil is abundant.
The preceding verses have shown that, in the combats of evil and falsity with the good and true, judgement was accomplished. It may be seen without much exposition that this verse treats of the final state of the desolated and devastated Church. Describing a like judgement, in Revelation xiv. 15 similar words are employed. " Send your sickle, and reap; for the hour of reaping is come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe." " The harvest is the consummation of the age" (Matth 13:39).
To send forth, as stated under 2:25, signifies to separate by truth proceeding. The sickle corresponds to the Divine truth as it effects judgement by separating. Speaking of Babylon, which indicates the inclination to seek power through holy things, Jeremiah 50:16 says, " Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handles the sickle in the time of harvest." To send forth a sickle, therefore, denotes to separate the evil from the good by Divine truth proceeding into the spiritual world. As shown under 1:11, harvest signifies the state of the Church as to its reception of truth in good. As this is determined by judgement, and is the last state of the Church when the fruits of truth and good are gathered together, that last state is meant. To ripen, signifies to progress in the conjunction of truth with good or falsity with evil. As the state of the Church, now being described, is a false state, the progress towards the conjunction of falsity with evil is meant. This word is strictly used in the sense of seething, and the fruits of the harvest are said to be seethed—meaning that they have been matured by the heat of the sun. The heat of the sun corresponds, in its bad sense, to the love of self. This love is the sun which ripens the fruits of evil in the Church; it does so in conjunction with falsity. Indeed the conjoint effect of evil and falsity in the Church is its consummation, or harvest. The signification of to ripen may be illustrated from Genesis 40:10, "and the clusters thereof ripened into grapes." Send forth a sickle: for harvest is ripened, therefore, denotes that in judgement Divine truth proceeds to separate the evil from the good, in consequence of the state of the Church being such. that there is a full conjunction of falsity with evil.
To come in, signifies to introduce truth into good for the purpose of conjunction, as stated under 1:13. So that the conjunction just spoken of is referred to. But with the evil, truth is perverted and falsified. If there be any good with which it can be conjoined it elevates; but if not, then, it causes the spirit to descend. It was shown under 2:23 that to descend signifies to inflow from interior or higher states to exterior or lower. The term is especially used in connection, with judgement. Hence the subjection of the evil and false is described. But no one is reduced to hell momentarily. Spirits only find their final abode after alternations between heavenly and hellish influences. Hence, come in and descend are both used here. Swedenborg says, "The wicked bring themselves into hell, not instantaneously, but successively. This originates in a universal law of the order instituted by the Lord, according to which the Lord never casts any one into hell, but the evil itself, or the evil person, casts himself thither; which he does successively, until evil is consummated, and there no longer appears anything of good. So long as there remains anything of good, he is raised out of hell, but when there is left nothing but evil, he is plunged into hell: the one must first be separated from the other, because they are opposite to each other ; and it is not allowed to hang suspended between both" (AC 1857). By alternate ascent and descent the interiors and exteriors become one, and the conjunction being made, the final state is fixed.
The wine-press here corresponds to the ultimate state of the Church as to the falsification of the Word in it. The final state of the Church is its judgement. The word here rendered, wine-press, describes the trough, or upper basin, in which the grapes were placed to be trodden by the feet: thence the juice pressed out flowed into the vat. By the treading process, the quality of the wine (truth from the Word, or, in the opposite sense, falsification of the Word) as given by the vine was pressed out and adjudged. Thus in Lament 1:15, "Jehovah has trodden under foot all my heroes in the midst of me: He has proclaimed a festival concerning me to crush my young men: Jehovah has trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, in a wine-press." So in Isaiah 63:2, " Wherefore are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him that treads in the wine-press?" That part of the spiritual world wherein those of the former Church were detained until the Lord's advent is described as beneath the feet (AC 4728). To fill, as explained under 2:24, signifies to be fully endowed. Because a wine-press is filled, therefore, denotes that the last state of the Church as to the falsification of the Word is fully come, and that the Church is therefore consummated as to falsity from evil. When this is done, as quoted above, the church is then cast down into hell. The descent has been referred to: therefore the clause, just explained, commences with because, denoting the reason and cause of its descent.
Under 2:24, the wine-vats were shown to signify the goods of charity whence truths of faith proceed. In the opposite sense, however, in which the term is here used, it corresponds to the evils whence falses proceed. To distend denotes to be full of desire, as stated under 2:24. They caused the wine-vats to distend, signifies that the infernals filled their evils with desire to falsify the Word. Thus was the Church also consummated as to evil. So that we have here the full cause of the subjection of the devastated church to hell. Both its falsification of the Word and its evil desires were full and consummated.
Yet even these conditions have an origin and source. For their evil is abundant. Under 2:13 it was explained that evil signifies an interior aversion from good and thus disjunction from the Lord. It is the lust of self which results in hatred against the Lord. The form of the word, abundant, is in agreement with evil, and not that which was used in 2:2. It signifies the prevalence of falsity in the will. Thus in Genesis 6:5, "And Jehovah saw that the evil of man was abundant. in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." The state of the Church therefore is, that falsity in evil prevailed and that it was totally averse to the Lord.
Internal Sense.—That separation takes place by Divine truth proceeding to judgement: for the last state of the Church is that falsity is conjoined to evil. By ascent and descent judgement is made: for the ultimate state in regard to the falsification of the Word is full, as also its evils whence falsities proceed: and falsity in evil prevails.
references—AC 9295; AE 911, 922; AR 645, 651.
the last state.
14. Multitudes, multitudes are in the valley of the decision: for the Day of JEHOVAH is near—[it is] in the valley of the decision.
The locusts do not yet appear to be lost sight of. It was stated in connection with 2:20, that vast multitudes of locusts would be carried towards the salt sea and perish therein. Certainly such an event would suggest the first words of the present verse. But the word, multitude, itself really means a multitude in commotion. The verb whence it is derived means to boil, and is applied to the raging of the sea, to an enraged people and the hum of a crowd. Indeed some eminent authorities hold the latter to be the primal meaning of the word. If this be so, then, in the natural sense, the humming of the locusts in their flight might well be referred to in this case. The term, multitude, and the verb whence it is derived, are associated in Isaiah 17:12, "Woe to the multitude of many peoples, like the murmuring of the seas they murmur; and to the rush of nations, like the rush of mighty waters do they rush."
Swedenborg, who has been our guide in this exposition, informs us that a repetition, such as we have in this verse, indicates the complete condition in each and all things under description, of the state denoted by the word which is repeated (see AC 9647, 9661, 8933). If, therefore, the state described be in all things, it must be predicated of the whole man—both as to will and understanding (see AC 683). That multitude signifies the unmeasured abundance of falsity may be seen in part from the natural meaning of the term. "Multitude" is one of those terms which, relating to the understanding, has its complement in another term involving some relation to the will. Thus "much" and "multitude" are used in reference to truths, while " great" and " magnitude" are used of good. The former relate to numeration, the latter to extent of space. That multitude denotes the unmeasured abundance of falsity may be seen in Isaiah 5:13, " Therefore My people are gone into exile, for want of knowledge; and their honourable men die of famine, and their multitude are parched with thirst." This is spoken of the Lord's people in exile, and, therefore, denotes the truths of faith falsified. Again, in Ezekiel 31:18, "This is Pharaoh and all his multitude."
According to what has been said about the repetition, therefore, multitudes, multitudes, signify the complete state of falsity in the whole Church, both in the will and understanding. This may be seen also from the connection of the present verse with the former. For manifestly, the wine-press being full, the wine-vats distended, and multitudes in the valley of decision are intended to describe much the same thing. According to the exposition given, well might the wine-press relate to the same as the valley of decision.
That the valley of decision is to perform the same service as the valley of Jehoshaphat may be seen from the meanings of the words decision and Jehoshaphat (Jehovah is judge). Indeed they probably refer to the same valley, in the natural sense. Decision is used of an end determined: as in Isaiah 10:22, 23, where the verb is used whence this word is derived, " the consummation decided shall overflow righteousness: for there will be extermination, it is decided." Valley, as stated under 3:2, signifies the inferior state. In the Word, when the end of the Church in regard to truth is treated of, " desolation" is used; when its end in regard to good, then " wasting" or vastation is used, but when both truth and good consummated and the destruction fully accomplished is meant, then "decision" is employed. In this sense the term is to be understood in the present instance. Decision, signifies the full consummation of truth and good. Thus, in Daniel 9:26, 27, " And after the three score and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off, and not for Himself: and the people of the coming prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the consummation thereof with a flood, and to the consummation of the war desolations are decided... and for the overspreading of abominations shall be desolation, even to consummation and decision: it shall be poured upon the desolate." It may be mentioned also that the primary meaning of the verb " to decide" is, to cut off. The valley of decision, therefore, denotes the last state of the Church and its judgement in the spiritual world. Multitudes in the valley of decision, indicates' that the last state of the Church was full of falsity in the will and understanding.
Under 1:15 it was shown that for the Day of Jehovah is near, signifies that the evil and false state of the Church is manifest from the proximity of the Truth from the Lord, which descends into the spiritual world and causes judgement. Thus it is said that the Day of Jehovah is near—it is in the valley of decision. The Lord's advent and judgement takes place in the last state of the Church.
Internal Sense.—There is an unmeasured abundance of falsity, in both will and understanding, in the last state of the Church now consummated, which is manifest by the proximity of Divine truth as it descends into the spiritual world for judgement.
references.—AE 401; AR 53, 704; TCR 82; Doct. L. 4; B.E. 78.
A dead church.
15. Sun and moon were black: and stars gathered in their shining.
There is no reason why the verbs of this verse should be rendered in the future tense, as is often done. The same words occur in 2:10 with such a slight difference that it need not detain us. The internal sense has, therefore, been explained already; but its connection with the subject now being treated of is so close that it will be useful to state again what the terms denote. The sun corresponds to love to the Lord: the moon to faith in the Lord. To be black signifies to obscure or shut out by falsity. That the sun and moon were black denotes, therefore, that in the last state of the Church there was neither love to the Lord nor faith in Him, and that the destruction was due to the prevalence of falsity. The reason why it is said these were black is that, as the sun represents self-love, in its bad sense, and the moon faith alone or the light of the merely natural mind, and to be black denotes that there is no acknowledgement of truth, the present state of the Church is due to truth being denied, from the love of self and false intelligence, in the past. Because self-love and self-intelligence did not acknowledge the truth in its former history, the Church is now consummated. Stars correspond to the knowledge of good and truth drawn from the Word. To gather in their shining, denotes to withdraw the enlightenment of the knowledge referred to within self. This also was a cause of the desolation of the Church. When there is neither love to the Lord nor faith in Him, nor knowledge of good and truth from His Word—then, the Church is desolate and ended. That at the Lord's advent there is nothing of love or faith; and the knowledge of spiritual things is such that it gives no outward indications of its light—but all is for self—self-love, self-intelligence, and self-glory—is the teaching of this verse. Thus, that evil is consummated, is taught by the last three verses.
Internal Sense.—Love to the Lord and faith in Him are shut off by falsity, the knowledge of spiritual things from the Word is withdrawn inwardly to self.
references.—AC 1808, 2495, 4697; AE 72, 372, 401, 526; AR 51, 53, 312; TCR 198; H.H. 119; SS 14; B.E. 78.
16. But JEHOVAH will roar from Zion, and cause His voice to be received from Jerusalem: and heavens and the earth shall quake; but JEHOVAH shall be a refuge for His people, and a strength for the sons of Israel.
When One Church is consummated the Lord raises up a new one to take its place; but this He does from Himself: for while He is subduing the hells He is freeing and enlightening the interiors of men. To roar, properly used of a lion, and conveying the idea of strength and vigour, denotes, when used of the Lord, to speak and act by Divine truth against the hells which seek to carry the souls of men into destruction. Hence the term implies that the Lord defends His own. Thus in Hosea 11:10, " They shall walk after Jehovah: He shall roar like a lion: for He shall roar, and the children shall hasten forth trembling from the west." Again in Jeremiah 25:30, " Jehovah shall roar from on high, and cause His voice to be received from His holy abode; He shall mightily roar upon His habitation: He shall give a shout, as they that tread, against all the inhabitants of the earth." Zion, as stated under 2:1, represents the Lord's celestial kingdom in the heavens. Jehovah will roar from Zion, denotes, therefore, that the Lord from Divine Love will send forth Divine truth out of the celestial heavens to subdue the hells and defend His Church. The external of this is expressed by, and He. will cause His voice to be received from Jerusalem. The Lord's voice is the Divine Truth in its more external form announcing Himself, as shown under 2:11. To cause to be received, as shown under the same reference, denotes to appropriate to the external by influx. And Jerusalem represents the Lord's spiritual from the celestial kingdom in the heavens, as shown under 2:32. That the Divine truth announcing the Lord shall descend through, and out of, the spiritual of the heavenly Church is therefore meant by and He shall cause His voice to be received from Jerusalem. Hence the truth that descends from the heavens into the world beneath is from the Lord alone and relates to Him: consequently to all things of life.
Heavens, as shown under 2:10, correspond to the interiors of man and the Church, both as to the intellectual things of truth and the voluntary things of good. The earth corresponds to the external Church, as explained under 1:2. The heavens and the earth are, therefore, the interiors and external of the Church as it existed among the Jewish people, now consummated and being judged in the spiritual world. It was shown under 2:10, that to quake denotes to change or pervert by falsification. The sense is, that the Divine truth which descends from the Lord out of His celestial and spiritual kingdom in the heavens is perverted by the interiors and external of the Church now consummated and completes its judgement.
But Jehovah shall be a refuge for His people, teaches that those who acknowledge the Lord by a true faith He will protect and save. That a refuge denotes Divine protection and salvation maybe illustrated from Psalm 46:1, "God is a refuge to us and strength; a help in troubles has been found." Also in Psalm 91:2, " I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my stronghold: my God; in Him will I trust." Again in Psalm 61:3, " For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength from an enemy." The Lord's people are they who are in the truths of faith, as may be seen under 2:2. Jehovah shall be a refuge for His people, therefore, means that the Lord in His Divine Love and mercy will protect and save those who acknowledge the truths of faith from Him—He is the Saviour. The term, strength, means a place of strength or stronghold. Spiritually it corresponds to the truths which defend and in which those needing their defence may confide. Thus in Nahum 1:7, " Jehovah is good, a strength in the day of distress; and He knows them that trust in Him." Again in Jeremiah 16:19, " O Jehovah, my might, and my strength, and my refuge in the day of trouble." Sons of Israel denote those who are in truths of the internal of the spiritual kingdom, or in other words, those in the truths from the good of charity towards the neighbour, whose faith arises from the life of charity. This may be seen from the signification of son in 1:1, and of Israel in 2:27. That Jehovah shall be a strength for the sons of Israel, therefore, denotes that the truths which defend and in which those in faith from charity may confide are from the Lord.
Internal Sense.—The Lord will send forth Divine truth from Himself through His celestial kingdom to defend His Church and subdue hell, thence it will descend through the spiritual of that kingdom, it will be perverted by the interiors and external of the consummated Church; but the Lord will protect and save those in the truths of faith and defend, by truths in which they may place confidence, those in faith from charity.
references.—AC 7573, 9926; AE 261, 601, 850; AR 37, 471, 612.
the father of all.
17. So shall you know that I, JEHOVAH your GOD, am dwelling in Zion, the mountain of My Holiness—and Jerusalem shall be holiness, and no aliens shall pass through in her any more.
Continuing the subject of the previous verse, which taught that the subjection of evil and falsity and the salvation of the good and true were accomplished by the Lord alone, this verse teaches that He alone must be worshiped and acknowledged, and that acknowledgement is also from Him. To know, as shown under 2:14, signifies to acknowledge that which is true. So shall you know that I am Jehovah your God, denotes that the Lord will be acknowledged in His Divine Humanity as the only God and Saviour. That Jehovah God denotes the Lord in His Oneness, or Divine Humanity, see 1:14. But it should be noted that the particle rendered that signifies a derivation or origin in. Thus it may be seen that the acknowledgement of the Lord as the Saviour is derived from the Divine Humanity. The new Church, which the Lord raises up at His advent, will acknowledge the Divine Humanity of the Lord as the source of all good and truth. All good, because Jehovah relates in particular to the Divine Love, and all truth, because God relates to the Divine Wisdom. Zion represents, as in the former verse, the Lord's celestial kingdom, or the Church as to the good of love to the Lord. To dwell signifies, when spoken of the Lord, to be present and inflow. That the Lord dwells in Zion, therefore, denotes that He is present in, and infuses with His presence, those in the good of love towards Him. In Exodus 25:8, " Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in the midst of them." Also Exodus 29:45, 46, " And I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell in the midst of them: I am Jehovah their God." Again in Isaiah 33:16, "He shall dwell on high: His place of defence shall be the strengths of rocks." Under ii. I it was shown that the mountain of My Holiness denotes the Lord's spiritual kingdom, or the good of Divine Truth as it proceeds from the Lord. That the Lord dwells in Zion, the mountain of His Holiness, signifies that He is present in the celestial kingdom of the heavens and the good of that kingdom from His Divine Truth. Jerusalem, as stated under the previous verse, represents the spiritual of the Lord's celestial kingdom, or the Church as to truth from the good of love to the Lord. It was stated under 2:1 that holiness signifies the Divine truth as it proceeds from the Lord. Thus in Psalm 11:4, " Jehovah is in the temple of His Holiness; Jehovah's throne is in the heavens." Or in Psalm 29:2, " Worship Jehovah in the beauty of holiness." Again in Psalm 108:7, "God has spoken in His Holiness." It was remarked under 1:1 that the verb to be involves a noticeable change in that of which it is spoken. Jerusalem represents the Church in respect to truth from good. The change is, that the New Church, the New Jerusalem, shall receive and embody the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord only. It shall be that" holy city, New Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven,.. . there shall in no wise enter into her anything profane, or working abomination or a lie" (Rev 21:2, 27). And therefore, no aliens shall pass through in her any more.
Aliens, as being natives of other lands than Judah and strangers to the sons of that land, represent such as do not acknowledge the Lord, thus those who are in evils and falsities from evil. This signification may be seen plainly from the word itself. It is formed from a verb meaning, to turn from the way or alienate. Thus in Psalm 58:3, " The wicked are alienated from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies." A word meaning " falsehood" is derived from the same term. Obadiah 7, " Thy bread has laid a snare (falsehood) under you." From the signification of alien it may be seen what the sin of Nadab and Abihu consisted in, " They offered alien fire before Jehovah" (Levit 10:1). In Isaiah 50:7, " Your land is desolate... your ground aliens eat it opposite you, and it is desolate, as an overthrow by aliens." To pass through denotes to infest with falsity. Thus in Numbers 5:14, " And the spirit of jealousy pass through upon him, and he be jealous of his wife." Any more, or further, as shown under 2:19, denotes continuously. No aliens shall pass through in her any more, denotes that no longer shall those who do not acknowledge the Lord infest the Church with falsity, and therefore it shall consist of those only who acknowledge the Lord, whom He will protect from such infestations.
Internal Sense.—The Church will acknowledge the Lord in His Divine Humanity as the source of all good and truth, present in and flowing into His Church with the good of love to Him, and the good of faith from Him; and giving the truth which proceeds from Him only, as the truth of His Church: so that no longer can those who do not acknowledge the Lord infest her with falsity.
references.—AC 3881, 10287; AE 405, 850; AR 336, 612, 880; TCR 782; Doct. L. 64; B.E. 100.
18. And it shall be in that Day, [that] the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall [let] go milk: and all the channels of Judah shall [let] go waters; and a Fountain shall go forth from the House of JEHOVAH, and cause the brook of the Acacias to give drink.
Assuming that the brook of the Acacias is located in the neighbourhood of Abel-Shittim (the meadow of Acacias) mentioned in Numb 33:49—the last halting-place of the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan and entered Jericho —it would be situated in a low-land described as the Shittim valley. It is more than a thousand feet below the sea level, and on the east side of Jordan. The brook of the Acacias would then be at least twenty miles from Jerusalem, and that across another river. There can be no question about the water supply that flowed under the Temple. Tacitus (Hist. 5:12) mentions a fountain of ever-flowing water under the Temple. Passing by subterranean channels, it flowed into the pool of Siloam, and probably also into the brook Kidron. But that it watered the district of Abel-Shittim, beyond Jordan, may be doubted. It is possible that the brook of the Acacias never can be located, since the word brook, though used frequently in connection with places which have been identified, really means the course which a sudden rush of water, such as the winter torrent, cuts for itself. Hence the waters flowing from Jerusalem, if gushing out suddenly, might have formed a course for themselves in any district, and if acacia trees characterised the place, the fact may be mentioned here. Indeed the word translated to give drink means, to water what was before not watered. Some have located "the brook of the Acacias" much nearer Jerusalem, on its eastern side.
The opening words of the verse call attention to a change of theme. Under 2:28 it was shown what And it shall be signifies, and under 3:1, what in that Day signifies. Together, and it shall be in that Day, denotes the change in the Church's life when the Lord makes His advent—thus when He establishes a new Church.
That mountain corresponds to the good of celestial affection see 2:1, and that new wine corresponds to the genuine truth of the Church see 1:5. To drop, or fall in drops like rain, signifies to inflow and instruct. This signification appears plainly in the natural sense of the Bible. Thus in Job 29:22, 23, " After my words they spoke not again: and my speech dropped upon them. And they waited for me as for the rain: and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain." Also in Amos 7:16, " Now therefore hear you the word of Jehovah: You say, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not [your word] against the house of Isaac." Hence it is, that the mountains shall drop new wine, signifies that then the Church shall be instructed in the genuine truth by the good of celestial affection, or those who do the works resulting from love to the Lord.
As mountains correspond to the good of celestial love, or the works of love to the Lord, so hills correspond to the good of mutual love, or the works of charity towards the neighbour. This may be seen in part from the frequent association of these two terms. Thus in Deuter 33:13-15, " Blessed of Jehovah be his hand, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the murmuring deep that crouches beneath, and for the precious fruit brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the mountains of the east, and for the precious things of the hills of an age." Again in Psalm 72:3, " The mountains shall carry peace to the people, and the hills, with righteousness." Milk, used in the natural sense especially of new or fresh milk, corresponds to the celestial spiritual, or the spiritual life which comes by loving instruction. " As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:13). Just as a mother nurtures her suckling child, so the Church—conceived of as a mother—nurtures the spiritual life of the children of God. Canaan was described as " a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8), on account of this signification of milk. So in Isaiah 28:9, " Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and removed from the breasts?" " You shall also suck the milk of nations, and shall suck the breasts of kings: and you shall know that I, Jehovah, am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob" (Isaiah 60:16). To go signifies to progress in the life of good, as explained under 2:7. The hills shall go milk, signifies, therefore, that the Church shall be advanced in the spiritual life which comes by instruction from love to the neighbour, or those in that love shall advance the Church by means of the good life which is nurtured by affectionate instruction.
In 1:20 it was said that " the channels of waters were dried up"; but here it is promised that they shall give water abundantly. Under that verse channels were shown to denote the particulars of external truth from the Word; the special forms of truth taught from the Word. Judah represents the internal of the celestial kingdom, as shown under 3:1. The channels of Judah denote, therefore, the truths of the internal celestial kingdom, or the principles of love to the Lord taught in the Word, as precepts of doctrine. As stated under 1:20, waters correspond to the truths of faith or the knowledge of truth from the Word. All the channels of Judah shall go waters^ therefore, denotes that every doctrine of good from the Word, even to the last, shall advance the truths of faith and the knowledge of the Word. Thus the abundance of truth from the Word for all purposes is ensured to those of the New Church according to its life. Moreover, all its truths are to be drawn from the Word only.
For this reason the Word itself, in respect to truth, and as the source of truth, is represented by the Fountain which is said to go forth from the House of Jehovah. That a fountain signifies the Divine Word as the source of truth may be illustrated in Isaiah 12:3, " Therefore with rejoicing shall you draw water out of the fountains of salvation." From this signification the term also denotes the knowledge of the Word, whence flow " the living waters." To go forth, as shown under 2:16, signifies, to proceed, or be delivered by means of truth; that is, to lead out for the purpose of deliverance. The House of Jehovah, as stated under 1:9, denotes the Church as the embodiment of the Divine will. A Fountain shall go forth from the House of Jehovah denotes that the Word shall proceed out of the Divine will—as the Word made flesh declared of Himself that He proceeded and came forth from the Father (John 8:42). He also came that men might be delivered by means of the truth, " He that drinks of the waters that I shall give him, shall never thirst" (John 4:14). " And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem" (Zech 14:8).
Because from the same source there is instruction by the doctrines of spiritual good, which is the good that proceeds from faith, it is said, and it shall cause the brook of the Acacias to give drink. It is instructive to notice that brook is derived from a verb which means to possess, or hold as a possession, and seems to apply strictly to the groove cut by water and holding the water flowing through it. Spiritually the term denotes the inferior forms of truth, such as the literal sense of the Word. It is the literal sense of the Word which holds the cleansing truths, or " waters of life," and it is through that sense that spiritual truths flow. It is not surprising that this word is sometimes rendered " valley." Thus, Isaac's servants dug in the "valley," and found there a well of living water (Genesis 26:19). In Psalm 36:8, "You shall make them drink of the brook of Your pleasures." Again in Psalm 74:15, " You did cleave the fountain and the brook." The acacia tree corresponds to the sense of the Lord's sustaining and protecting power, which is the Divine mercy in man. The acacia, while it is a graceful tree in itself, is very prickly, and thence gives the sense of a protective goodness. The wood of it does not decay. Josephus (Antiq. iii 6:5) says the wood of the ark, which was acacia wood, " was naturally strong and could not be corrupted." The acacia was, then, a constant reminder that the Lord's " mercies endures for ever." The acacia also grows in or near the desert, and thus indicates the truths of salvation which are given us in states of temptation. The wood of the Tabernacle suggested the Lord's mercies continually. So in Isaiah 41:19, 20, " I will plant in the desert, cedar, acacia, and myrtle... and they shall see and know and consider and understand together that the hand of Jehovah has done this." The ark which was for the protection of the Tables of the law was also of acacia wood as stated above (Deuter 10:3). The brook of the Acacias denotes, therefore, the literal truths of the Word respecting the Lord's mercy and salvation. To give to drink, denotes to instruct in truths, as may be seen from Psalm 60:3, " You have shown Your people hard things: You have caused us to give the wine of astonishment to drink." Again in Isaiah 43:20, " Because I give waters in the desert, rivers in a waste, to cause My people, My chosen, to give to drink." The particle denoting accordance precedes the brook of the Acacias. It shall cause the brook of the Acacias to give drink, therefore, denotes that the Word shall instruct in truths, according to the letter, respecting the mercy and salvation of the Lord. This may be stated otherwise by saying that the letter of the Word, accommodated to man's state, instructs the Church that the Lord alone saves and sustains.
Internal Sense.—By the Lord's advent the New Church shall be instructed in the genuine truths by love to the Lord, and advanced in spiritual life by charity towards the neighbour: every truth from the good of love shall advance the truths of faith and be drawn from the Word, which, as the source of all truth, shall proceed from the Divine will of the Lord, and by its literal sense instruct in the truths of the Lord's mercy and salvation.
references.—AC 2184, 2702, 3580, 3654, 3881, 6435; AE 119, 376, 405, 433, 483, 518; AR 316, 336, 409, 704, 880; TCR 782, 789; Doct. L. 4, 64; SS 51; B.E. 100.
19. Egypt, you shall be for desolation: and Edom, you shall be for the desert of desolation: from the violence of the sons of Judah—whose innocent blood they shed in their earth.
Egypt and Edom, when Joel's prophecy was written, and for some considerable time afterward, were prosperous and in their pride. Fully one hundred years after Joel's time, Pharaoh Necho "went up against the king of Assyria." And Assyria was then in her strength. The people of Egypt, so far as can be known, were numerous; their commerce prosperous and their produce plentiful. They had contrived elaborate systems of irrigation to assist the fertility of the soil. The arts and sciences flourished in their seats of learning. Some of her architectural monuments were raised in this period. It was three hundred years after Joel's time that Herodotus visited Egypt, and fifty years later Plato was instructed from her stores of knowledge. Pythagoras had preceded Plato, as a pupil in Egyptian science, by a century. Edom, with its wonderful agriculture: its cultivated terraces of cornfield, vineyard, and fig plantation—once " the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven from above" (Gen 27:39)—and its artificial water-courses, was at this time the centre of exchange for the nations. The main track between Babylon and Egypt lay through it. Edom was the natural halting-place of commercial caravans, especially of those travelling between Egypt or Arabia and Tyre, the market of the eastern world. When this prophecy was written Egypt and Edom were glorious in their pride, and no man could have foreseen their decline and decay. Yet, the Lord said, Egypt should be a desolation—not merely that it should be desolated, but should be an enduring desolation (for this is the force of, for desolation)—and Edom should be for the desert of desolation—and it is so! The wild barrenness of each place speaks affirmatively for the prophecy.
In the reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, " Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.. . and Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time" (2 Kings 8:20, 22). Now, Libnah was one of the stations at which the Israelites in their journey out of Egypt encamped after they left Sinai and before they reached Kadesh (Numb 33:20). Presumably it was then Egyptian territory. In Joshua 10:29-32 Libnah is closely associated with Lachish. Joshua also captured it. From Joshua 15:42 it appears that Libnah was the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. Later, this city was given to the priests as a city of refuge (Joshua 21:13). What the precise, historical nature of the connection between Edom and Libnah might be, it does not seem possible to determine; but the facts just noted appear to teach that, before Israel entered the promised land, Libnah was under Egyptian control, later—perhaps by the chances of war—it had its own king: that it was situated near Lachish, which stood on the road from Egypt and was an outpost of that nation on the frontier of Palestine: that Libnah fell into the hands of Judah and became one of the cities of refuge. Thus the connection between Egypt and Libnah may be seen, and the reason why the revolts of Edom and Libnah may be referred to in the present verse. That Edom was associated with some notable affliction to Judah may be seen from the fact that Amaziah (father of Uzziah) "smote of Edom, in the valley of Salt, ten thousand, and seized Selah by war" (2 Kings 14:7). But there is no mention of the recovery of Edom or Libnah. The only hint given of the connection of Egypt and Edom with the desolation of Judah by heathen practices may be that contained in the words, "and Edom revolted (literally, transgressed) from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah (one of Judah's cities of refuge) transgressed at the same time." Possibly Libnah revolted at the instance of Egypt. It is recorded of Uzziah that "his name spread abroad to the entering in of Egypt," which may bespeak some channel of influence for Egyptian idolatry.
As truth is taught in the Church by the Lord from His Word, so is falsity removed and the falsifications of the Word corrected. There are two main dispositions of the natural mind which conduce to the falsification of the Word: they are represented here by Egypt and Edom. Egypt represents those naturally-minded men who turn aside from spiritual truth because of their pride in their own natural intelligence. The literal meaning of this name is a matter of some doubt, but the probability is that, whatever the origin of the word, in Hebrew it means, the doubly limited, or fortified. If this be so, then the signification of the name is well illustrated: for the pride of self-intelligence is indeed limited to self by a twofold line of fortification—the inner of which is the love of self, the outer from which is the love of the world. Historically the name, Mitsraim—being the dual form—is usually understood to describe Upper and Lower Egypt. Thus the import just referred to is only the more emphasised. The signification of Egypt may be illustrated by what has been said above concerning its pride and learning, and from the Scriptures, The plagues and the bondage of Israel relate to the pride of self-intelligence. In Ezekiel 31:2, 10, "Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude: Whom are you like in your greatness ?... Because you have lifted up yourself in stature, and he has shot up his head among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height." Again, in Isaiah 31:1, 3, "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are numerous; and in horsemen, because they are very mighty: but look not to the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah!... Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit." Desolation, as shown under 1:7, denotes deprivation of spiritual faith or truth. The verb to be implies a considerable change. Egypt shall be for desolation, signifies that those who turn aside from truth on account of their pride in their own intelligence shall be without spiritual faith—and to be deprived of spiritual faith is to be removed from the Lord. So is taken from them even that which they seem to have.
Edom represents those who turn aside from good by utterly despising the truth, and do not want anything of the truth of faith to be adjoined to them. This disposition springs from self-love: hence Edom also represents the evil of self-love to which falsity is adjoined. The literal meaning of Edom is, red, or ruddy. The evil of self-love is perverted love to the Lord, which is illustrated by this meaning. The king of Edom refused to allow the Israelites to pass through his border (Numbers 20:21), signifying that self-love refuses the spiritual principles of life any entrance within its domain. In Obadiah 1, 3, 4, "Thus says the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom... The presumption of your heart has beguiled you, you that dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that says in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the earth? Though you exalt yourself as the eagle, and though you put your nest among the stars, thence will I bring you down, is the declaration of Jehovah." Desert of desolation, as may be seen under 2:3, denotes a state of evil wherein is no spiritual faith, or, in other words, the evil of falsity in which is nothing of spiritual life. Edom shall be the desert of desolation, denotes that the evil of self-love shall be that state of evil wherein is no spiritual life, or those in the love of self shall be deprived of the life of faith. Thus those in the love of self are removed from the Lord also. Two states of falsity are here described by Egypt and Edom, the falsity from the pride of self-intelligence and the falsity which adjoins itself to self-love. By the truth of the Word, it is said, these shall be removed.
The spiritual import of from, as denoting the issue out of an external, is well illustrated in the next phrase. Out of the violence done to the sons of Judah by Egypt and Edom should issue their desolations. Violence is especially used of wrong done by force: it signifies, spiritually, the profanation of, or outrage against, the good of charity. Thus in Ezekiel 7:23, " The earth is full of judgements for bloods, and the city is full of violence." In Psalm 140:1, 2, " Deliver me, O Jehovah, from an evil man: preserve me from a man of violence. Who imagine mischiefs in their heart." And in Psalm 11:5, ''Jehovah tries the righteous; but the wicked and lover of violence His soul hates." It was shown under 3:6, that the sons of Judah denote the truths regarding the good of love to the Lord. These are especially the truths profaned by the loves of self and the world, or self-love. and the pride of self-intelligence. Thus the good resulting from such truths and the love to the Lord which they enjoined are perverted. From the violence of the sons of Judah, therefore, denotes that the desolation of self-intelligence and self-love is the issue of the profanation of the truths respecting love to the Lord. Thus the retribution of those who seek to profane truth returns upon their own heads.
It was shown under 2:30, that blood corresponds to the holy truth from the good of innocence which proceeds from the Lord. It is on that account called innocent blood. The term, innocent, signifies an interior state of love to the Lord. Innocence leads us to the acknowledgement that nothing of good is from self, but only from the Lord. This term occurs again only in Jonah 1:14, " Let us not perish for this man's soul, and lay not upon us innocent blood." It was explained under 2:28, that to shed signifies to infuse so that that which is shed shall be acceded to and confirmed. In its opposite sense, the term denotes to extinguish by infesting, as when it is said that blood is shed, Earth here denotes the voluntary self-hood, as stated before. Whose innocent blood (the blood of the sons of Judah) they (Egypt and Edom) shed in their earth denotes, therefore, the interior holy truths from the Lord within the truths of charity profaned by self-intelligence and self-love in conjunction with the evil voluntary proprium or self-hood.
Internal Sense.—That the falsification of the Word from self-intelligence and self-love shall be removed, because of the profanation of the truths of good, whose interior holiness they extinguish by conjunction with self-hood in the will.
references.— AC 3654, 6353, 9262; AE 433, 654, 730; AR 503.
20. But Judah shall abide for an age; and Jerusalem, for a generation and generation.
Instructed by the Lord's truth, and being removed from falsity, that the Church will then be the Lord's Church, it is easy to comprehend. Under 3:1 it was shown that Judah represents the internal of the celestial kingdom, or the Church as to the good of love to the Lord. That to abide denotes to continue in life as a confirmed state of good was explained under 3:12: and that for an age, especially applied to the celestial Church, signifies what is eternal see 2:26. Thus, that the Church of the Lord in its celestial character will be from the Eternal Lord, whence alone can be its permanent subsistence and enduring quality, is taught in the words, but Judah shall abide for an age. But again, this is the assurance of eternal life to those who do good from love to the Lord, and that their heavenly life will be according to their love.
That the spiritual from the celestial Church, or the Church deriving its truth from the good of love to the Lord, shall endure in like manner is signified by and Jerusalem for a generation and generation. That Jerusalem represents the spiritual of the celestial Church may be seen under 2:32. Generation was shown under 1:3 to signify what is perpetual, and to relate especially to the spiritual Church. As in 2:2, for a generation and generation denotes the spiritual Church of the Lord, and that which is derived from it. Further, the words of this clause teach that they shall inherit eternal life also who are regenerated by truth derived from the good of love to the Lord: for regeneration is involved in the significance of for a generation and generation. The verse taken together teaches that the New Church—which will be a celestial and spiritual Church (its spiritual will be derived from its celestial, or its faith from its love)—shall be a permanent Church by reason of its love to the Lord and charity towards men. It will be the Lord's Church—the everlasting crown of churches.
Internal Sense.—The internal of the celestial Church shall eternally continue in good, and the spiritual thence shall remain in truth perpetually.
references.—AC 3654, 3881, 6239, 10248; AE 119, 433; AR 350, 880; TCR 782, 789; Doct. L. 64; SS 51; E. 100.
the divine presence.
21. So will I cause their blood to be acquitted [that] I have not [yet] caused to be acquitted. Furthermore JEHOVAH dwells in Zion.
Finally, it is declared that the New Church established by the Lord shall be founded on the Word of His Divine Truth. The natural meaning of this verse would suggest that the blood of the sons of Judah, shed by Egypt and Edom (according to verse 19) will be acquitted—that is, acquitted of guilt, and recognised as innocent, as it was then stated to be. But there is also an intimation herein, that some measure of guilt attached to them; for they have not yet been recognised as innocent. Indeed, those who permit themselves to be led from the Lord, knowing the Lord, are not guiltless in their fall.
The term, to acquit, is that from which innocent is derived, and bears the meaning of being cleared of guilt: it signifies to separate evil and remit sin by the implantation of truth and an interior love to the Lord. When the Lord recognises innocence it is because evil has been removed by repentance and resistance. In Exodus 20:7, " You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain: for Jehovah will not acquit him that takes His name in vain." Again, in Psalm 19:13, "Then shall I be blameless, and I shall be acquitted from much transgression." So again in the verse preceding, "Acquit me from hidden faults" (Psalm 19:12). Blood, as shown under 2:30, corresponds to the holy truth which proceeds from the Lord. But since this refers to the blood shed by the Egyptians and Edomites, the term is used in the opposite sense: namely, the truth of the Lord profaned and falsified. That the Lord, by His truth flowing into the celestial and spiritual Church, will remove the evil, and remit the sin of falsifying His Word, is meant by so will I cause their blood to be acquitted, is apparent. It is added that the Lord had not caused this to be acquitted before, because the conditions of celestial and spiritual life had not been presupposed, nor existent, until now. Not, as formerly stated, implies a sense of absence. The promise is that the Lord will forgive where there is such a sense of sin that forgiveness is felt to be needed, but not given. The final clause bespeaks the abiding character of His promise.
Furthermore Jehovah dwells in Zion. This is the utmost assurance of peace: the ever-present working of the Divine Love—and the certain hope of eternal life to those who love the Lord. As shown under 3:17, to dwell denotes to continue in life, especially the life of truth. When predicated of the Lord, the continual inflow of the life of Divine Truth is implied—the presence of Divine Love by the Word of His Wisdom. " Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Word shall not pass away." The Lord's presence in His Word to enlighten and instruct His Church cannot then be doubted. In, as stated before, describes a means of conjunction; and Zion, as shown under 2:1, represents the Lord's celestial kingdom; His Church in the highest heaven and, to the extent that His will is done on earth even as it is done in the heavens, is the Church characterised by the good works of love to the Lord. When the earthly Church harmonises in this manner with the heavenly, shall the old promise be realised, and it shall be "as the days of heaven upon the earth" (Deut 11:21). For the Lord will be present with His Truth in the celestial heaven, which truth will be the means of conjunction between the earth and Himself: and it shall be known that "Jehovah He is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath; there is none else" (Deuter 4:39). The means of conjunction is the Divine Truth of the Word, and this we are instructed is the means of man's conjunction with the Lord and consociation with the angels of heaven, and that the Church on earth exists from the Word (SS 62, 76). "Jehovah loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God" (Psalm 87:2, 3). That the Lord in His Divine Love, the very Esse of His Being, will be ever present in His celestial kingdom, as "King of kings, and Lord of lords," and that that presence will be by means of His Truth, or Word:—thus that the Divine Itself shall be the Inner Presence, the Radiant Glory of the New Heavenly Church, is the final assurance of the Word of Jehovah which was to Joel the son of Pethuel. Thus the prophecy which began with the declaration that the Word had been perverted, concludes with the affirmation of its internal divinity and glorification.
Internal Sense.—The Lord will remit the sin of falsifying His Word as evil is shunned and His Truth received, and His Divine Love shall be ever-present by His Word with those who do good from love to Him.
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