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Mark Chapter 1



  1. the Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  2. As it is written in the Prophets, Behold, I send My Messenger [Angel] before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You.

that jehovah, according to prediction, was manifested in the flesh, and under that manifestation was called jesus christ, and the son of god. (Verses 1, 2)

  1. The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.
  2. John was baptizing in the wilderness, and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

That the Jewish Church was in a state of vastation at that time, so that there remained in it no longer any good or any truth, and in this state was instructed from the Word to shun all evils as sins against God, and to believe in the Lord's Divine Human principle, since otherwise the evil of sin can never be removed. (Verses 3, 4.)

  1. And all the country of Judea went out to him, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

That this instruction was received by the humble and the penitent, who were thus admitted into the Church, being made sensible that of themselves they are nothing but evil. (Verse 5.)

  1. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins, and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

The ultimates of the Word, which are natural, are figuratively described. (Verse 6.)

  1. And preached, saying, There comes one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
  2. I indeed have baptized you in water, but He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.

Which ultimates testify that they can only effect external purification, whereas the Word itself, by and through its internal sense, is effective of internal purification, which is regeneration, by Divine Truth and Good. (Verses 7, 8.)

  1. And it came to pass in those days, [that] Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in Jordan.

That the lord as to His Human essence, submits to be initiated into the external truths of the Word, because He thus became the Word in its ultimates, as He was the Word in its first principles, and because also He glorified His Humanity, or made it Divine, as He regenerates man, and makes him spiritual. (Verse 9.)

  1. And straightway coming up out of the water. He saw the heavens rent, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him.
  2. And there was a voice from the heavens, [saying] You are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.

Yet ascending rapidly out of external truths. He enters into the interior truths and goods of the Word, even to the Divine Truth and Good in Himself. (Verses 10, 11.)

  1. And immediately the Spirit sends Him forth into the wilderness.
  2. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the Angels ministered to Him.

And is thus admitted, as to His Humanity, into temptations, which are nothing else but the assaults of infernal spirits, seeking to destroy what is true by what is false, and what is good by what is evil. (Verses 12, 13.)

But these assaults are succeeded by victory, attended with divine peace and consolation. (Latter part of verse 13.)

  1. Now after John was delivered to custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God;
  2. And saying, That the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near; Repent you, and believe the Gospel.
  3. But walking near the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers.
  4. And Jesus said to them, Come you after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

Whence a greater measure of Divine power was communicated to the lord's Humanity to announce the descent and nearness of Divine Truth and Good, calling man to forsake all evil as sin against God, and to believe in the manifestation of god in the flesh. (Verses 14, 15.)

Which annunciation was first received by those who were in the investigation of scientific and rational truth, and who were thus led to the pursuit and acquirement of spiritual and celestial truth. (Verses 16—20.)

  1. And immediately leaving their nets, they followed Him.
  2. And going a little further thence, He saw James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship, mending the nets.
  3. And immediately He called them, and leaving their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, they went after Him.

Renouncing the cravings of self-love, and adoring the lord as the Divine source of all that is good and wise and blessed. (Verses 18—20.)

  1. And they went to Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbaths He went into the Synagogue, and taught.
  2. And they were astonished at His doctrine, for He taught them as one that had power, and not as the Scribes.

Who teaches Truth from the Divine Good of the Divine Love, in which all Truth originates, and not from any end of worldly reputation and gain. (Verses 21, 22.)

  1. And there was in their Synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
  2. Saying, Ah! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth! Art You come to destroy us? I know You who You are, the Holy One of God.
  3. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be silent, and come out of him.
  4. And. the unclean spirit having torn him, and cried with a great voice, came out of him.

And who by that truth cleanses man from his natural evils, and thus casteth out the infernal spirits who are in connection with those evils, and who yet are principled in heavenly knowledge, but not in the life of such knowledge. (Verses 23—27.)

  1. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with power He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.
  2. And the fame of Him went forth immediately into all the region round about Galilee.

So that inquiry is hence excited respecting the lord's Humanity, which thus proves its Divinity by the subjugation of the powers of darkness, and by the brightness of the Divine Truth which it teaches. (Verses 27, 28.)

  1. And straightway when they had come out of the Synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, together with James and John.
  2. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and immediately they tell Him of her.
  3. And He came and raised her up, having taken hold of her hand, and the fever instantly left her, and she ministered to them.

And also by its omnipotence in delivering the affection of truth in the Church from the infestation of the love of evil. (Verses 29—32.)

  1. But in the evening, when the sun did set, they brought to Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
  2. And all the city was gathered together at the door.
  3. And He healed many that were sick of diverse diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew Him.

And in likewise liberating those who were infested with evil and false persuasions, and who, in consequence of such liberation, became receptive of Truth and Good. (Verses 32—35.)

  1. And in the morning, when the night was far advanced, rising up He went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed.
  2. And Simon and they that were with him followed Him.
  3. And when they had found Him, they say to Him, All [men] seek You.
  4. And He says to them. Let us go into the neighbouring towns, that I may preach there also, for therefore came I forth.
  5. And He preached in their Synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

But the Humanity of the LORD can of itself do nothing but through union with its Divinity, and therefore it is occasionally let into temptation, that by the labour of combat it may attain a fuller union, and thus a greater measure of power to impart instruction, and to deliver mankind from infernal influence. (Verses 35—40.)

  1. And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying to Him, If You will, You can make me clean.
  2. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, touched him, and says to him, I will, be you clean.
  3. And having spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

And especially to check the profanation of truth in all those who, through prayer and humiliation, and the acknowledgement of the LORD'S DIVINITY, sought to be cleansed from their sins. (Verses 40—43.)

  1. And He strictly charged him, and forthwith sent him away.
  2. And says to him, See you say nothing to any man, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded for a testimony to them.

To whom instruction is given, that truth, when rescued from profanation, ought to open itself to the reception of the heavenly good of love and charity, by acknowledging that it thence derives its life and quality. (Verses 43, 44.)

  1. But he, having gone out, began to preach many things, and to publish the saying, insomuch that He [Jesus] could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places; and they came to Him from every quarter.

In which case truth acquires a greater power of making itself known, yet not in connection with its Divine Good, which is still in a state of persecution. (Verse 45.)




From the Theological Writings of emanuel swedenborg.

Chapter I.

verse 1. The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel (evangelium) signifies glad tidings; wherefore by preaching the Gospel, or glad tidings, is signified to announce the Lord's advent; hence by the Gospel, in this supreme sense, is signified the Lord Himself as to His advent, as to Judgement, and as to the Salvation of the faithful. This is evident from various passages, see Mark 8:3, 9:29, 30; 16:15. AE 612. See also Exposition, verse 14.

Jesus Christ.—When these names are pronounced, few have any other idea than that they are proper names, and almost like the names of another man, but more holy. The learned indeed know that jesus signifies saviour, and christ the anointed, and hence they conceive some more interior idea. But still this is not what the angels in heaven perceive from those names, their perceptions extending to things still more divine; for by jesus, when the name is pronounced by a man in reading the Word, they perceive the Divine Good, and by christ the Divine Truth; and by both the divine marriage of Good and Truth, and of Truth and Good, consequently of all that is Divine in the heavenly marriage, which is heaven. That jesus in the internal sense denotes Divine Good, and that christ denotes Divine Truth, may be evident from many passages in the Word. The ground and reason why Jesus denotes Divine Good is, because it signifies safety, salvation, and Saviour; and, in consequence of such signification, it signifies Divine Good, inasmuch as all salvation is from Divine Good, which is of the Lord's love and mercy, and thus by the reception thereof. The ground and reason why Christ denotes Divine Truth is, because it signifies Messiah, Anointed, and King, for that these terms denote Divine Truth, will appear from what follows. AC 3004—3006.

The Lord is called a Priest from Divine Good, and a King from Divine Truth; the latter, namely. Divine Truth, is involved in the name Christ, and Divine Good in the name Jesus. AC 8625.

Son of God.—No other opinion is held by the church than that the "Son of God "is a separate Person of the Godhead, perfectly distinct from the Person of the Father; which has given rise to the belief that the Son of God was born from eternity. In consequence of the general prevalence of this notion, and because it relates to God, no liberty is allowed, in thinking about it, to make use of the understanding, not even upon the meaning of the expression, "born from eternity." And indeed were any one intellectually to reflect upon it, all that he could say would be—" It transcends my powers of comprehension, but still I affirm and believe it, because others do the same." Let it however be well noted, that there is no Son from eternity, yet that the Lord is from eternity. When an accurate knowledge of the Lord and of the Son is obtained, then, and not before, can we think intellectually of the Triune God.. That the Human principle of the Lord, conceived of Jehovah the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary, is the "Son of God," is very manifest from the following passages, as in Luke:—" The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, &c., and said to her. You shall conceive in your womb, and shall bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. But Mary said to the angel, How shall this thing be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answering said to her, the holy spirit shall come upon THEE, AND THE power OF THE highest SHALL OVERSNJHDW you; therefore also the holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the son of god." (Luke 1:26-35.) It is here said, "You shall conceive and bring forth a Son, He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest;" and again, "The Holy Thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God," whence it is evident that the Human principle, conceived of God, and born of the Virgin Mary, is what is called the Son of God. So in Isaiah, "The Lord Himself gives a sign, behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name, god with us." (Is 7:14.) That the Son born of the virgin, and conceived of God, is He who shall be called "God with us," thus who is the Son of God, is evident. So again in the same prophet,—"A Child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon whose shoulder is the government; and He shall call His name Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, the father of eternity, the Prince of Peace;" (Is 9:5, 6.) where the same thing is asserted, for it is said, "A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us," who is not a Son from eternity, but the Son born in the world, which is also evident from the words of the prophet at verse 6, and from the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, (Luke 1:32, 33.) which are of like import. So in David, "I will announce concerning the statute, Jehovah has said, you are my son, today have I begotten You. Kiss you the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way." (Psalm 2:7, 12.) In which passage is not meant a Son from eternity, but the Son born in time, for it is a prophecy concerning the Lord who was about to come, wherefore it is called "a statute," concerning which Jehovah announced to David; "today" does not denote from eternity, but in time. From these passages it is manifest that Jesus was conceived of Jehovah God, and born of the Virgin Mary; so that the Divinity was in Him, and was His soul. Since, then. His soul was the very Divinity of the Father, it follows that His body or Humanity must have been made Divine also; for where the one is Divine, the other must necessarily be so too: thus, and no otherwise, can the passages be true which say that the "Father and the Son are one." D. L. 19 and 29. See also AC 2798.

Verse 2. As it is written in the Prophets, &c.—By the Testimony of Jesus being the spirit of Prophecy, (Rev 19:10.) is signified that it is the all of the Word and of Doctrine deduced from it. For the Word in a universal sense treats only of the Lord, and of a life according to His commandments. Hence it is that the Lord is the Word, (John 1:14.) because the Word is from Him, and, in the supreme sense, treats of Him alone. AR 819.

Verse 3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, &c.— By these words is signified that the church, at that time, was altogether vastated, so that there was no longer any thing good, nor any thing true, which is manifest from this consideration, that no one knew, at that time, that man has any internal principle, nor that there is any internal principle in the Word;

thus neither that the Messiah, or Christ, was about to come to save them for ever. Hence also it is evident what is signified by John being in the "deserts" till the day of his appearing to Israel, (Luke 1:80.) and by preaching in the "wilderness of Judea," (Matt 3:1, and following verses.) and by baptizing "in the wilderness," (Mark 1:4.) for thereby he also represented the state of the church. From the signification of a wilderness it may also be manifest why the Lord so frequently retired into a "wilderness," as Matt 4:1; 15:32, to the end. Mark 1:12, 13, 35-40, 45; 6:31-36. Luke 4:1; 5:16; 9:10, and following verses. John 11:54. AC 2708.

Prepare you the way of the Lord, &c.—That the church, which acknowledges faith alone, has extinguished the essential truths respecting the Divine Human of the Lord, is a known thing, for what member of that church believes the Lord's Human to be Divine? Does he not rather hold such a tenet in aversion? When yet in the ancient churches it was believed that the Lord, who was to come into the world, was a Divine Man, and He likewise, when seen by them, was called Jehovah, as is evident from several passages in the Word. For the present, however, let the following passage from Isaiah suffice:—" The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of [or for] Jehovah, make smooth in the desert a path for our God." (Is 40:3.) That these things were said concerning the Lord, and that a way was prepared, and a path smoothed for Him by John the Baptist, is manifest from the Evangelists, Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:2, 3; and moreover from the Lord's words themselves, that "He was One with the Father," and that "the Father was in Him, and He in the Father;" also that "all power was given to Him in the heavens and on earth;" and likewise that "judgement is committed to Him;" for a very slight knowledge concerning power in heaven and on earth, and concerning judgement, may be sufficient to convince any one that they are nothing, unless He was Divine even as to His Human. AC 4727. See also D. L. 30.

Verse 4. John was baptizing in the wilderness, and preaching the doctrine of repentance, &c.—Inasmuch as with the Jewish nation all things of the Word were adulterated, and there was no longer any Truth amongst them, because there was no longer any Good, therefore John the Baptist was in the wilderness, by which was represented the state of that church, concerning which it is thus written in the Evangelists, "John the Baptist was in the deserts until the days of his appearing to Israel;" (Luke 1:80.) that "he preached in the wilderness of Judea;" (Matt 3:1-3; Mark 1:2-4; Luke 3:2, 4, 5.) and in Isaiah, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare a way for Jehovah, make smooth in the desert a path for our God." (Is 40:3.) On which account the Lord said concerning Jerusalem, "Your house shall be left desolate," [or desert] (Luke 13:35.) where a desert house signifies a church without truths, because without goods. AE 730.

From what is said in the Word of the Old Testament concerning washing, it is evident what was signified by John's "baptizing in Jordan;" (Matt. iii.; Mark 1:4-13.) and what by the following words of John concerning the Lord—" He shall baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire;" (Luke 3:16; John 1:33.) and concerning himself, that "he baptises with water;" (John 1:26.) by which is to be understood, that the Lord washes or purifies man by Divine Truth and Divine Good, and that John by his baptism represented those things; for the Holy Spirit is Divine Truth; fire is Divine Good; and water is a representative of those principles; for water signifies the truth of the Word, which truth is made good by a life according to it. AR 378.

John the Baptist being sent before to prepare a people for the reception of the Lord, was by baptism, for baptism represented and signified purification from evils and falses, and likewise regeneration by the Word from the Lord, and unless this representation had preceded, the Lord could not have manifested Himself, taught, and tarried in Judea and Jerusalem; because the Lord was the God of heaven and the God of earth under a human form, who could not dwell together with a nation which was in mere falses as to doctrine, and in mere evils as to life; wherefore unless a representative of purification from evils and falses by baptism had prepared that nation for the reception of the Lord, the nation would have perished by diseases of every kind at the presence of the Divine Being Himself; this, therefore, is what is signified by, "Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse;" (Mal 4:6.) that this would have been the case, is very well known in the spiritual world, for in that world all who are in falses and evils are dreadfully tormented, and spiritually die, at the Lord's presence. The reason why the baptism of John could produce that effect was, because the Jewish church was a representative church, and all conjunction of heaven with members of that church was by representatives, as may likewise be manifest from the washings enjoined in that church, as that all who were made unclean should wash themselves and their garments, and hence they were reckoned as clean; in like manner that the Priests and Levites should wash themselves before they entered the tent of assembly, and afterwards, when they entered into the temple to perform holy duties; in like manner that Naaman was cleansed of his leprosy by washing in Jordan; the washing itself and the baptism did not indeed purify them from falses and evils, but only represented and thence signified purification from them, which yet was accepted in heaven, as if themselves were purified; thus heaven was conjoined with the people of that church by the baptism of John, and when heaven was so conjoined with them, the Lord, who was the God of heaven, could there manifest Himself, teach, and abide. AE 724.

Verse 4. And "preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.—As to the necessity of repentance, it is received as a doctrine in all Christian churches, that a man, before he approaches the Holy Supper, should examine himself, should see and acknowledge his own sins, and should perform repentance, desisting from his sins, and rejecting them, because they are from the devil, or from hell, and that no otherwise can his sins be remitted, and that unless he does this, he is in a state of damnation. The English, although in the doctrine of Faith only, do, nevertheless, in their address at the Holy Communion, openly teach the necessity of examination, and the acknowledgement and confession of their sins, also of repentance and newness of life, and they threaten those who do not do this, in these words, that otherwise the devil will enter into them as he entered into Judas, and fill them with all iniquity, and destroy both their body and their soul. The Germans, Swedes, and Danes, who are also in the doctrine of Faith only, in their address at the Holy Communion, teach similar things, threatening also that otherwise they will make themselves guilty of infernal punishments, and of eternal damnation, because of mixing together what is holy and profane. These things are read by the clergyman with a loud voice before all those who come to the Holy Supper, and are heard by them in the full acknowledgement that it is so. Notwithstanding all this true plain declaration, the very same persons when, on the same day, they hear a sermon on Salvation by Faith only, and that the Law does not condemn them, because the Lord has fulfilled it for them, and that of themselves they can do no good except what is meritorious, and that works have consequently nothing of salvation within them, but faith only, they return home with an entire forgetfulness of their former confession, and reject it in so far as they think from the sermon on Faith only. Which now is true, this or that? Two things contrary to each other cannot be true, as that without examination, knowledge, acknowledgement, confession, and rejection of sins, thus without repentance, there can be no remission of sins, consequently no salvation, but eternal damnation; or that such things contribute nothing to salvation, because a plenary satisfaction for all the sins of mankind has been made by the Lord through the passion of the cross, for those who are in the faith, and that those who are in the firm belief that it is so, and in confidence respecting the Lord's merit, are without sin, and that they appear before God as being washed and their faces shining. From this it is evident that the common religion of all churches in the Christian world is—that a man should examine himself, should see and acknowledge his sins, and afterwards should desist from them, and that otherwise there can be no salvation, but damnation. That this is also the Divine Truth itself, is evident from those passages in the Word where man is commanded to repent, as from the following: —Jesus said, " Bring forth fruit worthy of repentance; and now also the axe is laid 10 the root of the trees, every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire." (Luke 3:8, 9.) "Jesus said, Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3, 5.) "Jesus preached the Gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, Repent you, and believe the Gospel." (Mark 1:14, 15.) "Jesus sent forth His disciples, who went forth and preached that men should repent." (Mark 6:12.) Jesus said to the apostles that they should "preach repentance and remission of sins in His name, among all nations." (Luke 24:47.) John preached the "baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3.) Think (my reader) of this from some degree of intellect, and if you have any religion, you will see that repentance from sins is the way to heaven, and that faith separate from repentance is no faith, and that those who are in no faith from no repentance, are on the way to hell. DP 114.

The sins which man commits are inscribed on his very life, and constitute it; on which account no one is delivered from them unless he receives new life from the Lord, which is effected by regeneration. That man from himself cannot do what is good, nor think what is true, but from the Lord, is manifest from these words—" A man cannot receive any thing unless it be given him from heaven;" (John 3:27. "He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, since without Me you cannot do any thing." (John 15:5.) Hence it is evident that no one can withdraw a man from sins, thus remit them, but the Lord alone. The Lord continually flows in with man with the good of love and with the truths of faith, but they are received differently by different persons; by those who are regenerated, well, but otherwise by those who do not suffer themselves to be regenerated. They who are regenerated, are held continually by the Lord in the good of faith and of love, and in this case are withheld from evils and raises; but they who do not suffer themselves to be regenerated by the Lord, are withheld also from evil, and held in good, for from the Lord there is a continual influx of good and truth with every one; but the infernal loves, which are the loves of self and of the world, in which the unregenerate are principled, oppose and turn the influx of good into evil, and of truth into the false. From these considerations it is manifest, that remission of sins consists in the ability of being held by the Lord in the good of love and the truths of faith, and of being withheld from evils and falses; and that to shun, on this occasion, what is evil and false, and to hold it in aversion, is repentance. But such remission and repentance are not given, except with those who by regeneration have received new life from the Lord. AC 9444—9449.

Verse 5. Judea.—That Judea, in the internal sense of the Word, does not signify Judea, may appear from many passages in the Word. In the Word it is not so often named Judea, as the land of Judah, and by the "land of Judah," as by the "land of Canaan," is signified the Lord's kingdom, consequently also the church, for the church is the Lord's kingdom in the earth. AC 3654.

In the opposite sense, as in Matt. xxiv. 16, Judea signifies the church devastated. AC 795.

Jerusalem.—By Jerusalem is understood the church with respect to doctrine, inasmuch as at Jerusalem in the land of Canaan, and in no other place, there was the temple, the altar, the sacrifices, and of consequence all divine worship. Wherefore those festivals were likewise celebrated there every year, to which every male throughout the land was commanded to go. This then is the reason why by "Jerusalem," in the spiritual sense, is signified the church with respect to worship, or, what is the same thing, with respect to doctrine; for worship is prescribed by doctrine, and is performed according to it. NJHD 6.

Verse 5. And were all baptized by him in Jordan, &c.—By "Jordan "is signified initiation into the knowledges of truth and good, the ground of which signification is, because it was a boundary of the land of Canaan; and that all the boundaries of that land signified those principles which are the first and last of the Lord's kingdom, also which are the first and last of the church, thus which are the first and last of things celestial and spiritual, which constitute the Lord's kingdom and church, may be seen, AC 1585, 1866, 4116, 4240; hence "Jordan," as being a boundary, signified initiation into the knowledges of good and truth, these being the first principles, and at length, when man becomes a church or kingdom of the Lord, they become the last. That "Jordan" has this signification, may be manifest also from other passages in the Word, as from David—" My God, my soul bows itself upon me, therefore I will remember You from the land of Jordan, and from the little mountain of Hermon;" (Psalm 42:7.) where to "remember from the land of Jordan" denotes from what is last, or ultimate, thus from what is lowly. So again, "Judah was made his sanctuary, Israel his dominion; the sea saw and fled, Jordan turned itself backwards;" (Psalm 114:2, 3, 5.) where "Judah" denotes the good of celestial love, and "Israel" the good of spiritual love, AC 3634; "the sea" denotes the knowledges of truth, AC 28; "Jordan" denotes the knowledges of good, which are said to turn themselves backwards when the good of love obtains the dominion, for in such case knowledges are viewed from that good, but not good from them, as has been often shown above. So in the Book of Judges, "Gilead abode in the passage of Jordan, and why shall Dan sojourn in ships?" (Judges 5:17.) where "Gilead" denotes sensual good, or what is pleasant, by which man is first initiated when he is regenerating, AC 4117, 4124; to "abide in the passage of Jordan" denotes in those things which are initiaments, thus which are the first and last of the Lord's church and kingdom, These things were also represented by Jordan, when the sons of Israel entered into the land of Canaan; (Joshua 3:14, to the end; 4:1, to the end;) for by "the land of Canaan" was represented the Lord's kingdom, and by "Jordan being divided, and the sons of Israel passing through on the dry [ground]," was signified the removal of evils and falses, and the admission of those who are principled in goods and truths. The like was signified by the waters of Jordan being divided by Elijah, when he was taken up into heaven, (2 Kings 2:8.) and by Elisha, when he entered upon the prophetic office in the place of Elijah, (5:14.) Naaman being cured of his leprosy, by "washing seven times in Jordan according to the command of Elisha," (2 Kings 5:1-14.) represented baptism, for baptism signifies initiation into the church, and into those things which are of the church, thus regeneration and the things of regeneration; not that any one is regenerated by baptism, but that it is a sign of regeneration which ought to be remembered. And whereas those things which relate to the church are signified by "baptism," and the like by "Jordan," as was said above, therefore John baptized in Jordan, (Matt 3:6; Mark 1:5.) and the Lord also was willing that Himself should be baptized there by John. (Matt. iii. 13—17.) Inasmuch as "Jordan" signifies those things which are the first and last of the Lord's kingdom and church, such as are the knowledges of good and truth, for by them man is introduced; therefore also "Jordan" is mentioned as the boundary of the new earth, or holy land, in Ezek 47:18. AC 4255.

Verse 5. Confessing their sins.—To "confess sins" is to become acquainted with evils, to see them in one's self, to acknowledge them, to make one's self guilty, and to condemn one's self on account of evils; when this is done before God, confession of sins is made. AC 8388.

It is not sufficient therefore for any one to say in general, "I am a sinner, I was born in sins; there is nothing sound in me from head to foot; I am nothing but evil; O good God! be merciful to me, pardon me, purify me, save me; make me to walk in purity, and in the way of what is just," and the like; since if he does not explore himself, and consequently does not know any evil, he is still in his sins, inasmuch as no one can shun, still less fight against, what he does not know; thus, however he believes himself after confession to be clean and washed, he is still unclean and unwashed from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet; for general confession is general drowsiness, which terminates in blindness, being like a whole destitute of parts, which has no existence. DP 278. See also TCR 510.

Verse 6. But John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins, and he did eat locusts and wild honey.—Inasmuch as John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, which is Divine Truth in the earth, in like manner as Elias, AC 2762, 5247, therefore he was the Elias who was to come before the Lord; (Mal 4:5; Matt 17:10-12; Mark 9:11-13; John 1:17.) on which account his clothing and food were significative. "Raiment of camel's hair" signified the Word, such as is its literal sense as to truth, which sense is a clothing for the internal sense, as being natural, for what is natural is signified by "hair," also by "camels;" and the food, which was "locusts and wild honey," signified the Word, such as is its literal sense as to good; its delight is signified by "wild honey." AC 5620.

By "clothing," or "garment," when predicated of the Word, is signified Truth Divine therein in the ultimate form; by a "leathern girdle" is signified an external bond connecting and holding in order all interior things; by "food" is signified spiritual nourishment derived from the knowledges of truth and of good from the Word; by "locusts" are signified ultimate or most general truths, and by "wild honey" their pleasantness. AC 9372. See also AC 7643.

John the Baptist represented the like with Elias, wherefore also it is said that "Elias was come," by whom is meant John. Elias represented the Lord as to the Word, or the Word which is from the Lord, in like manner John; and whereas the Word teaches that Messiah, or the Lord, was to come, therefore John was sent before, to preach concerning the coming of the Lord, according to the predictions in the Word. And whereas John represented the Word, therefore the ultimates of the Word, which are natural, were represented by John by his clothing, and also by his food, namely, by clothing of camel's hair, and by a leathern girdle about his loins; "camel's hair" signifying the ultimates of the natural man, such as are the exteriors of the Word, and "a leathern girdle about the loins" signifying their external bond and connection with the interiors of the Word, which are spiritual. Similar things are signified by "locusts" and "wild honey;" by locusts the truth of the natural man, and by wild honey the good thereof; whether we say the truth and good of the natural man, or natural truth and good, such as the Word is in its ultimate sense, which is called the sense of the letter, or natural sense, it is the same thing, for John represented it by his clothing and food. AE 619.

Verse 7. And preached, saying, There comes one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.—In the Word, the "sole of the foot" and "the heel" signify the ultimate natural principle, as was shown above, AC 259; the shoe is what invests the sole of the foot and the heel, wherefore the "shoe" signifies the natural principle still lower, thus the very corporeal principle, and this being the signification of a shoe, it was hence adopted in common language to express the least and vilest of all things [or principles], since the ultimate, natural, and corporeal principle is the vilest of all things belonging to man, which was meant by John the Baptist, when he said, "There comes one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose." AC 1748.

Verse 8. I indeed have baptized you in water, but He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.—That the Lord regenerates man by means of faith and charity, is signified by these words of John the Baptist, "I baptize you in water to repentance, but He that comes after me shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and with fire." (Matt 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16.) To "baptize in the Holy Spirit and with fire," is to regenerate by Divine Truth which is of faith, and by Divine Good which is of charity. The same is signified by these words of the Lord—" Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5.) By "water" here, as in other parts of the Word, is signified truth in the natural or external man, and by "spirit," truth derived from good in the spiritual or internal man. TCR 144.

By the above words is meant, that John only inaugurated them into knowledges derived from the Word concerning the Lord, and thereby prepared them to receive the Lord, but that the Lord Himself regenerates man by the Divine Truth and the Divine Good proceeding from Him; for John represented the like as Elias, namely, the Word; the 'waters with which John baptized," signified truths introducing, which are knowledges concerning the Lord derived from the Word; the "Holy Spirit" signifies the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, and "fire" signifies the Divine Good proceeding from Him, and "baptism" signifies regeneration effected of the Lord, by Divine Truths derived from the Word. He who believes that baptism contributes any thing to the salvation of man, unless he be, at the same time, principled in the truths of the church, and in a life according to them, is much mistaken; for baptism is an external ceremony, which, without an internal principle, is of no effect to salvation, but is of effect where what is external is conjoined with what is internal. The internal of baptism is, that by truths derived from the Word of the Lord, and by a life according to them, falses and evils may be removed by the Lord, and thereby man may be regenerated, as the Lord also teaches, Matt 23:26, 27. AE 475.

To "baptize" is to regenerate; "with the Holy Spirit" is by Divine Truth, and "with fire" is from the Divine Good of the Divine Love. AC 9818.

Verse 9. And it came to pass in those days, [that] Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised by John in Jordan.—The reason why the Lord Himself was baptized by John was, that He might not only institute baptism as a future rite, and establish it by His own example, but also because He glorified His Humanity and made it Divine, as He regenerates man, and makes him spiritual. TCR 684.

Verse 10. And straightway coming out of the water. He saw the Heavens rent, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him.—The reason of this was, because "baptism" signifies regeneration and purification, as does also a "dove." Who cannot perceive that the Dove was not the Holy Spirit, nor was the Holy Spirit in the Dove? Doves often appear in heaven, and the angels know, when they observe them, that they are correspondences of the affections and thoughts relating to regeneration and purification in some persons not afar off. Wherefore when they approach those persons, and converse with them on a subject foreign to what was in their thoughts when that appearance was presented, the doves instantly vanish. The case was the same with respect to many things which appeared to the prophets, as when John saw a lamb on Mount Sion, (Rev. xiv.) and in other places. How plain is it to see that the Lord was not that lamb, nor was He in the lamb, but the lamb was a representative of His innocence. Hence the error of those is manifest, who, from the appearance of the Dove, when the Lord was baptized, and from the voice then heard from heaven, "This is my beloved Son," conclude that the Trinity consists of three Persons. TCR 144.

That by a "dove" are signified the truths and goods of faith belonging to a person about to be regenerated, is manifest from the signification of a dove in the Word, especially from the dove which appeared over Jesus when He was baptized, on which occasion the "dove" signified nothing else but the holy principle of faith, "baptism" itself denoting regeneration. Hence in the New Church, which was to be established, it signified the truth and good of faith, which was to be received by regeneration from the Lord. Similar things were represented by and involved in the young doves or turtles, which were offered in sacrifice, and for burnt-offerings, in the Jewish church, concerning which see Lev 1:14, to the end; Lev 5:7-10; 12:6; 14:21, 22; 15:15, 29, 30; Numb 6:10, 11; Luke 2:22-24; which may be manifest from each of those passages. That such things were significative, may be obvious to every one from this single consideration, that they must of necessity be representative of something, since otherwise, they would have no meaning, still less any divine meaning: the external of the church is somewhat inanimate, but it derives life from what is internal, and what is internal derives life from the Lord. That a "dove" in general signifies the intellectual things of faith, is also manifest from the prophets, as in Hosea, "Ephraim shall be as a foolish dove, without heart; they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria;" (Hosea 7:11.) again in the same prophet, "Ephraim shall be afraid, as a bird out of Egypt, and a dove from the land of Assyria;" (11:11.) where "Ephraim" denotes one who is intelligent, "Egypt" one who is scientific, "Assyria" one who is rational; "dove" denotes those things which regard the intellectuals of faith; where, also, the regeneration of the spiritual church is treated of. So in David, "Oh Jehovah, give not the soul of your turtle dove to the wild beast," (Psalm 75:19.) where "wild beast" denotes those who have no charity; the "soul of a turtle dove" denotes the life of faith. AC 870.

Verse 11. And there was a voice from the Heavens, [saying] You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.—In the Jewish church, by the Son of God was meant the Messiah, whom they expected, and of whom they knew that He was to be born in Bethlehem. That by the "Son of God" they understood the Messiah, is evident from the following passages:

" Peter said, we believe; and acknowledge that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God;" (John 6:69.) again, in the same Evangelist, "You are the Christ the Son of God, who was to come into the world;" (11:27.) and in Matthew, "The high Priest asked Jesus, whether He was the Christ the Son of God? Jesus said, I am." (Matt 26:63, Mark 11:27.) And in John, "These things are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God." (John 20:31; also Mark 1:1.) Christ is a Greek word, and signifies anointed; in like manner Messiah in the Hebrew tongue; wherefore John says, "We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ," (John 1:41.) and in another place, "The woman said, I know that Messias comes, who is called Christ." (John 4:25.) That the law and the prophets, or the whole Word of the Old Testament, treats of the Lord, was shown in the first article, wherefore no other can be meant by the "Son of God who was to come," than the Human [principle] which the Lord assumed in the world. Hence it follows, that this principle was meant by Him who was called Son by Jehovah out of heaven, at the time of the Lord's baptism, when it is said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;" (Matt 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22.) for His Human [principle] was baptized; and when He was transfigured, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear you Him." (Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35; see also other passages, as Matt 8:29; 14:33; 27:43, 54; Mark 3:11; 15:39; John 1:18, 34, 50; 3:18; 5:25; 10:36; 11:4.)

Inasmuch as by the "Son of God" is meant the Lord as to the Human which He assumed in the world, which is the Divine Human, it is evident what is meant by what the Lord so often said, that He was "sent of the Father into the world," and that He "came forth from the Father." By being "sent of the Father into the world," is meant, that He was conceived of Jehovah the Father. That nothing else is meant by being "sent of the Father," is manifest from all the passages, where also it is said, that He did the will of the Father and His works, which will and works were, that He overcame the hells, glorified His Humanity, taught the Word, and established a New Church; which things could not have been done but by the Humanity conceived of Jehovah, and born of a Virgin, that is, unless God had been made a Man.

Many at this day entertain no other thought concerning the Lord, than as of a common man, like themselves, because they think only of His Human and not of His Divine [principle] at the same time, when yet His Divine and Human [principles] cannot be separated; for the Lord is God and Man, and God and Man in the Lord are not two, but one Person, so altogether one as soul and body are one man, according to the doctrine received throughout the Christian world, which is derived from councils, and is called the Athanasian Creed. Lest therefore man, now on, should separate in thought what is Divine and Human in the Lord, let him read, I pray, the passages above adduced from Luke, also these words from Matthew—" The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: when His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take to you Mary, your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit: and she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. And Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel had bidden him, and took to him his wife: and knew her not until she had brought forth her first-born Son, and he called His name Jesus." (Matt 1:18-25.) From these words, and from what is written in Luke concerning the Lord's Nativity, it is manifest, that the "Son of God" is Jesus conceived of Jehovah the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary, of whom the prophets and the law prophesied even to John. D. L. 19—22.

Verses 12 and 13. And immediately the spirit sends Him forth into the wilderness: and He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan, and was with the wild beasts, and the Angels ministered to Him.—By a "wilderness" is signified a place uninhabited and uncultivated; in a spiritual sense, a mind destitute of Good and of Truth, also a mind in which Truth is not yet conjoined with Good; thus, by a "wilderness" is signified the state of those with whom conjunction will be effected; and whereas conjunction is not effected except by temptations, these are also signified, but only when the number forty is added, whether they be forty years, or forty months, or forty days; for "forty" signifies temptations, and their duration however long. These things are signified by the journeys of the sons of Israel in the wilderness forty years; the temptations also which they underwent, are described. That they were led into the wilderness, to the intent that they might undergo those temptations, and might thus represent them, is evident from these words of Moses— "You shall remember all the way in which Jehovah your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, that He might afflict you, that He might try you, that He might know what was in your heart. He fed you with manna in the wilderness, which your fathers knew not, that He might afflict you, that He night try you, to do you good in your latter end." (Deut. viii. 2, 16.)

Inasmuch as by forty were signified temptations and their durations, and by a wilderness the state of those who undergo them, therefore also the Lord when He was tempted, "went out into a wilderness, and was there forty days." (Matt 4:1, 2, and following verses; Luke 4:1, 2, and following verses; Mark 1:12, 13.) AC 8098.

The Lord, by being in the wilderness forty days, represented the duration of all the temptations which He Himself underwent, and sustained to a degree of intensity far surpassing the temptations of all men in the universal earth; for by "forty days" is signified the entire period and duration of temptations, thus, not that He was tempted only at that particular time, but that He was tempted from childhood, even to the last period of His life in the world. AE 650.

And He was with the wild beasts.—The last temptation which He underwent was in Gethsemane, for by temptations He subdued all the hells, and also glorified His Human [principle]; and whereas temptations exist by evil spirits and genii who are from hell, thus, by the hells, whence arise evils and false principles, with their lusts and cravings, therefore by the wild beasts in the wilderness, with whom He was, are not meant "wild beasts," but the hells and evils thence arising. AE 650.

Tempted of Satan.—Hell is called the devil and Satan, and by the hell which is called the "devil," are meant those who are in evils, properly those who are principled in self-love; and by the hell which is called "Satan," are meant those who are in false principles, properly those who are in the pride of their own intelligence. AR 97.

Those who are in evil by derivation from the understanding, are called Satans, but those who are in evil by derivation from the will, are called devils; it is on account of this universal distinction that mention is made in the Word of Satan and the devil. CL 492.

And Angels came and ministered to Him.—By the "Angels who ministered to Him" are not meant Angels, but Divine Truths, by which, from His own proper power, He conquered and subdued the hells. That by "Angels" in the Word are signified Divine Truths, may be seen above, AE 130, 200, 503, 593. AE 650.

After every spiritual temptation come illustration and affection, thus pleasantness and delight; pleasantness by illustration of Truth, and delight by the affection of Good; the reason is, because by temptations, Truths and Goods are implanted and conjoined; hence man, as to his spirit, is introduced more interiorly into heaven, and to the heavenly societies with which he had before been associated. When temptation is finished, communication with heaven is opened, which before had been in part closed; hence come illustration and affection, consequently pleasantness and delight, for on such occasions the Angels, with whom communication is given, enter in by the influx of Truth and of Good. AC 8367.

The Lord's combat with hell may be compared, but yet imperfectly, with a combat against all the wild beasts throughout the whole world, and with their slaughter and complete subjugation, so that not one of them dares to stir out of his den, and attack any man that is in the Lord: the consequence is, they are afraid to show their teeth, and suddenly check in themselves every hostile attempt, as if they felt a vulture at their bosom, endeavouring to eat his way to their hearts. Infernal spirits are also described in the Word by wild beasts, and are signified particularly by those amongst which the Lord is said to have been forty days. (Mark 1:13.) It may be compared also with an opposition to the whole body of the ocean, when it defies all restraint, and deluges whole countries and cities with its waves. The reducing of hell to subjection by the Lord, is also signified by His power over the sea, when He said—" Peace, be still;" (Mark 4:38, 39; Matt 8:26; Luke 8:23, 24.) for by the sea there, as in other passages, is signified hell.

The Lord, by the same divine power, fights at this day against hell, in every particular person who is made regenerate; for hell rises up against every such person, with all its diabolical fury, and unless the Lord opposed and subdued it, man must of necessity fall an easy prey to its tyranny. For hell is like a single gigantic monster, or like a huge lion, with which it is also compared in the Word; and consequently, unless the Lord kept that lion, or that monster, bound hand and foot, it must of necessity come to pass that man, though rescued from one evil, would of himself fall into another, and so on into an infinity, without end or number. T. C.R. 123.

Verses 14 and 15. But after that John was delivered to custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; and saying. That the time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near. Repent you, and believe the Gospel.—That redemption and the passion of the cross are two distinct things, which ought by no means to be confounded together, and that the Lord, by both, acquired the power of regenerating and saving mankind, was shown in the chapter on Redemption. From the prevailing faith of the present church concerning the passion of the cross, as constituting the sum and substance of redemption, have arisen legions of horrible falsities, respecting God, Faith, Charity, and other subjects connected with those three in a regular chain, and dependent upon them; as for instance, respecting God, that He passed the sentence of condemnation on all the human race, and was willing to become again merciful and propitious towards them, in consequence of that sentence being laid on His Son, or received by the Son, in Himself, and that they alone are saved who are gifted with the merit of Christ, either by the Divine Providence, or predestination. This fallacy has also given birth to another tenet belonging to that faith, that all such as are gifted with that faith, are instantly regenerated, without any regard to their own cooperation, yea, that they are thus delivered from the curse of the law, and are no longer under the law, but under grace, notwithstanding what the Lord declared, that "He would not take away one jot or tittle from the law;" (Matt 5:18, 19; Luke 16:17.) and also that He commanded His disciples to "preach repentance for the remission of sins;" (Luke 24:47; Mark 6:12.) and likewise Himself said,— "The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent you, and believe the Gospel." (Mark 1:15.) By the Gospel is meant, that they had the power to be regenerated, and thereby saved, which power they could not have had, unless the Lord had worked redemption, that is, unless He had deprived hell of its power, by His combats against it, and victories over it; and unless He had glorified His Human [principle], that is, had made it Divine.

Consult your own reason, and tell me what sort of creatures, in your opinion, would men become, supposing the faith of the present church were to continue, which teaches that they were redeemed solely by the passion of the cross, and that such as are gifted with the merit of Christ, are not under the curse of the law; and further, that this faith, of whose abiding in him, man is altogether ignorant, remits sins, and regenerates, and that man's cooperation in its act, that is,. whilst it is given, and enters into him, would destroy that faith, and make salvation void, inasmuch as man, in such case, would mix his own merit with the merit of Christ. Consult, I say, your own reason, and tell me whether the whole Word must not of necessity be thus rejected, which insists principally on regeneration, by a spiritual cleansing from evils, and by exercises of charity. Supposing this faith alone to regenerate man, without any regard to repentance and charity, what then is the internal man, which is his spirit that lives after death, but like a city reduced to ashes, the rubbish of which forms the external man? Or like a field or a garden, eaten up by canker-worms and locusts? Such a man appears in the sight of the angels like a person who cherishes a serpent in his bosom, whilst he covers it with his garments to prevent its being seen; or like a person who lies down to rest under a fine worked coverlid, in a garment worked of spider's webs. TCR 581, 582.

The time is fulfilled.—The "fullness" [or fulfilling] of the states and times of the church signifies their end; the church resembling, in this respect, the ages of man, the first of which is infancy, the second is youth, the third is adult age, the fourth is old age, which last is called the fullness or end. It resembles also the times and states of the year, the first of which is spring, the second is summer, the third is autumn, and the fourth is winter, which last is the end of the year; it resembles also the times and states of the day, the first of which is morning, the second is mid-day, the third is evening, and the fourth is night, and when this last comes it is the fullness or end. In the Word, the states of the church are compared both to the former and the latter, and are signified by the same, because by "times" are signified states, AC 2625, 8788, 2837, The principles of goodness and truth, belonging to those who are of the church, are thus wont to decrease, and when there is no longer any Good and Truth, or as it is said, any faith, that is, any charity, then the church conies to its old age, or to its winter, or to its night; and its time and state, in such case, is called [in the Word] decision, consummation, and fulfilling: see AC 1857. When it is said of the Lord, that He came into the world in the "fullness of time," or when there was fullness, the same thing is signified, for then there was no longer any Good, not even natural Good, consequently not any Truth. AC 2905.

The providence of the Lord is principally exercised in preventing the profanation of Divine Good and Truth, and this prevention is especially effected by this, that the man who is of such a quality that he cannot be withheld from profanation, is withheld, as far as possible, from the acknowledgement and belief of what is True and Good; for, as was said, no one can profane what he has not first acknowledged and believed. This was the reason why internal truths were not discovered to the posterity of Jacob, the Israelites and Jews, nor was it even openly said that there was any internal principle in man, thus that there was any internal worship, and scarcely any thing concerning a life after death, and concerning the heavenly kingdom of the Lord, or of the Messiah whom they expected. The reason was, because they were of such a quality that it was foreseen, in case those things had been discovered to them, they could not have been restrained from profaning them, since earthly things were the sole objects of their affection. This likewise was the reason why the Lord did not come into the world, and reveal the internal things of the Word, until no Good whatever, not even natural Good, remained amongst them, for, in this case, they could no longer receive any Truth, even to internal acknowledgement, since the principle of Good is what receives: thus they could no longer profane. Such was the state which is meant by the fullness of times, and by the consummation of the age, also by the last day, so frequently spoken of by the prophets; the same also is the reason why the Arcana of the internal sense of the Word are now revealed, because at this day there is scarcely any faith, in consequence of there being no charity, thus in consequence of its being the "consummation of the age," on which occasion those Arcana may be revealed without danger of profanation, because they are not interiorly acknowledged. AC 3398.

There have existed on this earth several churches, all of which, in process of time, have come to their consummation, and then have been succeeded by new ones, and so on to the present time. The consummation of the church comes to pass when there remains no Divine Truth but what is falsified and rejected, in which case there cannot remain any genuine Good, inasmuch as the whole quality of good is formed by truths, good being the essence of truth, and truth being the form of good, and no quality can exist without a form. Good and truth can no more be separated than will and understanding, or what is the same thing, than affection of love and thought thence originating; wherefore whenever truth comes to its consummation in the church, good also comes to its consummation at the same time, and when this is the case, the church is at an end, that is, comes to its consummation. TCR 753.

And the Kingdom of God is near.—By the "Kingdom of God," in the universal sense, is meant the universal heaven; in a sense less universal, the true church of the Lord; in a particular sense, every one who is of a true faith, or who is regenerated by the life of faith, wherefore he also is called heaven because heaven is in him; he is called also a kingdom of God, because the kingdom of God is in him, as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke:—"Jesus being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God comes, answered them and said, The Kingdom of God comes not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20, 21.) AC 29.

Every regenerate man is a kind of little heaven, or an effigy or image of the universal heaven, wherefore also, in the Word, his internal man is called heaven, such is the order in heaven, that the Lord, by things celestial rules things spiritual, and by these, things natural, and thus the universal heaven, as one man, wherefore heaven is also called the Grand Man. Such order also has place with every one who is in heaven, when man likewise is in such a quality, then in like manner he is a little heaven, or what is the same thing, is a kingdom of the Lord, because the kingdom of the Lord is in him. AC 911.

Repent you.—To repent [or to do the work of repentance] is to desist from sins, and to lead a new life, according to the precepts of faith, when confession has been made respecting sins, and supplication has been offered up from an humble heart for their remission. He who only acknowledges in general that he is a sinner, and makes himself guilty of all evils, and does not explore himself, that is, discover his sins, makes confession, bat not the confession of repentance, for he lives afterwards as before. He who leads an active life. of faith, does daily the work of repentance, for he reflects on the evils belonging to himself, he acknowledges them, he is watchful against them, he supplicates the Lord for help; for man, of himself, is continually falling, but is continually raised up by the Lord; of himself he falls, when his will inclines him to think what is evil, and he is raised up by the Lord, when he resists evils, and in consequence of such resistance does not commit evil: such is the state of all who are principled in good. But they who are principled in evil, are continually falling, and likewise are continually elevated by the Lord, but the elevation is only into a milder hell, and thus to prevent their falling into the deepest hell, into which, of themselves, they are continually plunging with all their might. Repentance of the lips, and not of the life, is not repentance; by repentance of the lips, sins are not remitted, but by repentance of the life. Sins are continually remitted to man by the Lord, for He is mercy itself; but sins adhere to man, however he thinks they are remitted, nor are they removed from him, except by a life according to the precepts of faith; so far as he lives according to those precepts, so far sins are removed; and so far as they are removed, so far they are remitted. For man is withheld from evil by the Lord, and is held in good; and he is so far capable of being withheld from evil in the other life, as he had resisted evil in the life of the body; and he is so far capable of being held in good at that time, as, during his life in the body, he had done good from affection; hence it may be manifest what the remission of sins is, and what is its source. He is much mistaken who believes that sins are remitted in any other way. When a man has explored himself, and acknowledged his sins, and done the work of repentance, he must remain steady in good even to the end of life; for if he relapses thence to his former life of evil, and cherishes it, in such case he is guilty of profanation, for in such case he conjoins evil with good; hence his latter state becomes worse than his first, according to the Lord's words,—" When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, but does not find; then he says, I will return to mine house whence I came out; and when he is come, and finds it empty, swept, and garnished, then goes he and adjoins to himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there: and the latter things of that man are worse than the first." (Matt 12:43-45.) AC 8389—8394. See above, verse 4, Exposition.

And believe the Gospel.—By "preaching the Gospel" is meant the preaching of all things which in the Word treat of the Lord, and all things which represented Him in worship; for preaching the Gospel is annunciation concerning the Lord, concerning His Advent, and concerning those things from Him which relate to salvation and eternal life. And since all things of the Word in its inmost sense, treat of the Lord alone, and also things of worship represented Him, therefore the whole Word is the Gospel, in like manner all worship which was performed according to those things which are commanded in the Word. AC 9925.

And I heard a great voice saying in heaven. Now is come salvation and power, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ.—By these words is signified that mankind are now saved by the Divine power of the Lord, because the Lord alone reigns in heaven and in the church. This is meant by the Gospel of the Kingdom, and by the Kingdom of God. AR 553.

Mention is made of believing in God, and of believing those things which are from God. To believe in God is the faith which is saving, but to believe the things which are from God is a faith which, without the former, is not saving; for to believe in God, is to know and to do; but to believe the things which are from God, is to know and yet not to do. They who are true Christians both know and do, thus they believe in God; but they who are not true Christians, know and do not; the latter are called by the Lord foolish, but the former prudent. (Matt 7:24, 26.) The faith [or belief], which is meant by believing those things which are from God, that is, the truths which are derived from the Word, has no place with those who are in evils grounded in the love of self or of the world; for the love of self or of the world either rejects, or extinguishes, or perverts the truths of faith. AC 9239—9244.

Verses 16—21. But walking near the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And Jesus said to them, Come you after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men, &c.—When it is known that there is an internal man and an external, and that truths and goods from the Lord flow in from the internal man, or through the internal man to the external man, although it does not so appear, then those truths and goods, or the knowledges of truth and good which appertain to man, are stored up in his memory, and have their place among scientifics; for whatever is insinuated into the memory of the external man, whether it be natural, or spiritual, or celestial, remains there as a scientific, and is thence called forth by the Lord; those knowledges are the waters gathered together to one place, and are called seas. That "waters" signify knowledges and scientifics, is an idea most generally prevalent in the Word, and hence that "seas" signify their gathering together, as in Isaiah:—"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters which cover the sea," (Is 11:9.) and in the same prophet, speaking of the defect of knowledges and scientifics,— "Waters from the sea shall fail, the river shall be dried up and wasted, and the streams shall recede, (Is 19:5, 6.) AC 27, 28.

The reason why the creatures of the sea, or "fishes," signify scientifics, is, because the "sea" signifies the natural man; hence "fishes in the sea" signify the scientifics themselves, which are in the natural man. The reason why "fishes" have this signification, is grounded in correspondence; for spirits who are not principled in spiritual truths, but only in natural truths, which are scientifics, appear in the spiritual world to be in seas, whilst they are viewed by those who are above them, thus they appear as fishes, since the thoughts which proceed from the scientifics belonging to them, present such an aspect. For all the ideas of thought, both of angels and spirits, are turned into various representatives of objects out of them. When they are turned into objects of the vegetable kingdom, they assume the aspect of trees and fruits of various kinds; but when into objects of the animal kingdom, they assume the aspect of animals of the earth, and birds of various kinds, thus the aspect of lambs, of sheep, of goats, of heifers, of horses, of doves, and of several species of beautiful birds; but the ideas of the thought of those who are natural, and who think from mere scientifics, are turned into the forms of fishes; hence also in the seas there appear several species of fishes, which it has frequently been given me to see. It is from this ground that by "fishes" in the Word are signified scientifics, as in the following passages:—"At my rebuke I dry up the sea, 1 make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinks, because there is no water, and dies for thirst;" (Isaiah 50:2.) where by the "rebuke of Jehovah" is meant the destruction of the church, which takes place when there is no longer any knowledge of Truth and of Good, or no longer any living knowledge, because no perception. By "drying the sea," is signified to deprive the natural man of scientific truths, and hence of natural life, grounded in spiritual life. By "making the rivers a wilderness," is signified to deprive the rational man in like manner, whence there is no longer any intelligence. By "their fish stinking because there is no water, and dying of thirst," is signified that there is no longer any living scientific, because there is no truth; "fish" denotes what is scientific; "water" denotes truth; to "stink" denotes to die as to spiritual life. So in Ezekiel,—" Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great whale that lies in the midst of his rivers, which has said, My river is mine own, and I have made myself; therefore I will put hooks in your jaws, and I will cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales, and I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all the fish of your rivers shall stick to your scales; and I will leave you in the wilderness, you and all the fish of your rivers." (Ezek 29:3-5.) By "Pharaoh" is here signified the same thing as by "Egypt," since king and people have a similar signification, denoting the natural man and the scientific principle in that man; wherefore also he is called a "great whale," for by a '' whale," or a large sea-fish, is signified the scientific principle in general, on which account it is said that he "should be drawn out of the river," and in such case "the fish shall stick to his scales," by which is signified that all intelligence will perish, and that science, which shall succeed in its place, will be in the sensual man without life; for in the sensual man, which is the lowest natural man, most nearly connected with the world, there are fallacies, and consequently false principles, which is signified by "the fish sticking to the scales of the whale." That the natural man, and the scientific principle therein, will be without life derived from any intelligence, is signified by the words, "I will leave you in the wilderness, and all the fish of your rivers;" and that such effects will come to pass because the natural man attributes to himself all intelligence, is signified by the words, "Because he said, My river is my own, I have made myself;" where the "river" denotes intelligence. Again in Isaiah,—" The fishes shall mourn, and all they that cast a hook into the river shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish;" (Is 19:8.) in which passage by "fishers casting a hook into the river, and spreading out a net," are meant those who are willing to procure to themselves knowledges, and by them intelligence, denoting in this case that they are not able to procure them, because the knowledges of truth are not any where to be found. So in Habakkuk,—"Why make you a man like the fishes of the sea, as the creeping thing which has no ruler? Let every man draw it out, and gather it into his net. Shall he therefore empty his net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?" (Hab 1:14, 15, 17.) These words were spoken of the nation of Chaldea, wasting and destroying the church; by which nation is signified the profanation of truth and the vastation of the church. To "make men as the fishes of the sea, and as the creeping thing which has no ruler," signifies to make man so natural that his scientifics are without spiritual truths, and his delights without spiritual good; for in the natural man there are scientifics which are the materials of thought, and delights which give birth to affections, over which, if there be no spiritual principle to rule, both the thoughts and affections are vague, and thus man is without intelligence to guide and rule him; that in such case every false and evil principle may draw them aside, and thus altogether destroy them, is signified by the words, "Let every one draw and gather them into his net, and afterwards let him slay;" where "to draw," is to draw away from good and truth; "into his net," denotes into what is false and evil; and "to slay," is to destroy. And in Amos,—" The day shall come in which they shall draw you out with prickles, and your posterity with fishhooks;" (Amos 4:2.) by which is signified, that by acute reasonings grounded in false principles and fallacies, they will be led away and alienated from truths; those words are spoken of those who abound in knowledges, because they have the Word and the prophets. AE 513.

From the above passages it may now be manifest what is meant by fishers, by fishes, and by nets, which are so often mentioned in the New Testament, as in the following passages:— "Jesus seeing two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers, said to them, Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men;" (Matt 4:18, 19; Mark 1:16, 17.) and in another place,—"Jesus entered into the ship of Simon, and taught the multitude; and after said to Simon, that he should let down his nets for a drain, and they enclosed a great number of fishes, and they were ready to sink: and all were astonished at the drain of the fishes; and Jesus said to Simon, Fear not, from now on you shall catch men." (Luke v. 3—10.) In these words also there is a spiritual sense, similar to that which is in the other parts of the Word; for by the Lord choosing those fishers, and saying that they should "become fishers of men," was signified that they should gather men together to the church; by the "nets which they spread out, and in which they enclosed a great number of fishes, so that the ships were ready to sink," was signified the reformation of the church by them; for by "fishes" are there signified the knowledges of truth and good by which reformation was effected, also the multitude of men who were to be reformed. Similar things are also signified by the fishes caught by the disciples after the Lord's resurrection, on which subject it is thus written in John:—"Jesus said, on manifesting Himself to the disciples who were fishing, that they should cast their net on the right side of the ship, and they cast it, so that they were not able to draw the net for the multitude of fishes. Afterwards they went to land, where they saw a fire of coals and a little fish lying upon it, and bread; and Jesus gave them the bread and also the little fish." (John 21:2-13.) The reason why the Lord manifested Himself to the disciples when they were fishing, was, because "to fish" signified to teach the knowledges of Truth and of Good, and thus to reform. By His commanding them to "cast their net out on the right side of the ship," was signified that they should do all from the good of love and charity, for the "right side" signified that good under the influence of which they were to act; for in proportion as knowledges are grounded in good, in the same proportion they live and are multiplied. The disciples also said that "they had laboured all the night and taken nothing," by which was signified that nothing can be effected by man himself, or by what is proper to himself, but all from the Lord; the like was also signified by the "fire of coals, on which was a little fish," and by "bread;" for by "bread" was signified the Lord, and the good of love from Him; and by the "little fish on the fire of coals," the knowledge of truth grounded in good; by a "little fish" the knowledge of truth; by "fire" the principle of good. AE 514.

Verse 21. And they went to Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbaths He went into the synagogue, and taught.— The "Sabbath" amongst the children of Israel was the Holy of Holies, because it represented the Lord, six days being significative of His labours and combats with the hells, and the seventh of His victory over them, and of the rest which He thereby attained; and whereas that day was representative of the close and period of the whole act of redemption which the Lord accomplished, therefore it was esteemed very and essential holiness. But when the Lord came into the world, and in consequence thereof made all representations of Himself to cease, that day was then made a day of instruction in Divine things, and thus also a day of rest from labours, and of meditation on subjects which concern salvation and eternal life, and also a day for the exercise of love towards our neighbour. That it was made a day of instruction in Divine things, is evident from this circumstance, that the Lord on that day taught in the temple and in the synagogues; (Mark 1:21; 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31, 32; 13:10.) and that He said to the man that was healed—"Take up your bed and walk," and to the Pharisees, that "it was lawful for His disciples on the Sabbath day to gather the ears of corn and eat;" (Matt 12:1-9; Mark ii. 23, to the end; Luke 6:1-6; John 5:9-19.) by which particulars are signified, in a spiritual sense, to be instructed in doctrinals. That that day was also made a day for the exercise of love towards our neighbour, is evident from what the Lord both did and taught on the Sabbath day. (Matt 12:10-14; Mark 3:1-9; Luke 6:6-12; 13:10-18; 14:1-7; John 5:9-19; 7:22, 23; 9:14, 16.) From these and the foregoing passages it is evident why the Lord said that He is "Lord also of the Sabbath;" (Matt 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5.) and from this His declaration it follows, that the Sabbath day was representative of Him. TCR 301.

Synagogues.—By a "synagogue" is signified doctrine, because doctrine was taught in the synagogues, and also because differences in doctrinal subjects were there decided. AE 120.

Verse 22. And they were astonished at His doctrine, for He taught them as one that had power, and not as the Scribes.— By "power" is signified salvation, inasmuch as all Divine Power has respect to salvation as an end; for man, by virtue of Divine Power, is reformed, and is afterwards introduced into heaven, and is there withheld from what is evil and false, and kept in what is good and true, which cannot be effected by any one but by the Lord alone. They who claim to themselves that power, are altogether ignorant of what salvation means, for they do not know what reformation is, nor what heaven is, as belonging to man: to claim to themselves the power of the Lord, is to claim power over the Lord Himself, which power is called the "power of darkness." (Luke 22:53.) That power, when predicated of the Lord, principally respects salvation, is manifest from the following passages:—"Jesus said. Father, You have given to the Son power over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to those whom You have given Him." (John 17:2.) Again in the same Evangelist,—" As many as received, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, believing in His name." (John 1:12.) Again,—" I am the vine, you are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, since without Me you cannot do any thing." (John 15:5.) And in Mark,—" They were astonished at His doctrine, for He taught them as one that had power" (Mark 1:22.) And in Luke,—" With power and authority He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out;" (Like 4:36.) besides other passages. The Lord also has power over all things, because He is the only God; but the salvation of the human race is the chief power, since on that account the heavens and the worlds were created, and salvation is the reception of the Divine proceeding [principle], AE 293.

Verse 23. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, &c.—An "unclean spirit" denotes the uncleanness of life belonging to man, and it likewise denotes the unclean spirits attendant on him, for unclean spirits dwell in the uncleanness of the life of man. AC 4744.

Verse 24. Jesus of Nazareth.—The Nazarites represented the Lord as to the divine natural principle, which is the external divine Human. The Nassariteship, in Hebrew, is hair; hence it was that the Nazarites had this representation. AC 6437. [Hence also it was that the Lord dwelt in Nasareth, and was called a Nazarene. Matt 2:23.]

Verse 24. The Holy One of God.—As Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord is understood by the term Holy, therefore in the Word the Lord is called the "Holy One," the "Holy One of God," the "Holy One of Israel," the "Holy One of Jacob." AC 204.

Verse 30. Sick of a fever.—A "burning fever" denotes the lust of evil. AC 8364.

All the internals induce diseases, but with a difference, by reason that all the hells are in the lusts and cravings of evil, which was thus confirmed by experience:—There exhaled from hell a molesting heat, arising from lusts of various kinds, as from haughtiness, lasciviousness, adulteries, hatreds, revenges, and contentions; when this heat acted into my body, it occasioned in a moment a disease like that of a burning fever, but when it ceased to flow in, instantly the disease ceased. There are also spirits who infuse unclean colds, such as are those of a cold fever [or ague], which it has been granted also to know by experience. AC 5713, 5715, 5716.

Verses 32 and 34. And when it was evening, when the sun did set, they brought to Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with demons; and He healed many that were sick of diverse diseases, &c.—By "disease" is signified evil, and the reason is, because "diseases," in the internal sense, signify such things as affect spiritual life, which things are evils, and are called lusts and cravings. Faith and charity constitute spiritual life, which life sickens when what is false takes place of the truth which is of faith, and when evil takes place of the good which is of charity; for what is false and evil brings that life to death, which is called spiritual death, and is damnation, as diseases bring natural life to its death; hence it is, that by "disease," in the internal sense, is signified evil.

Inasmuch as diseases represented the iniquities and evils of spiritual life, therefore by the "diseases which the Lord healed," is signified deliverance from the various kinds of evil and false principles which infested the church and the human race, and which were about to produce spiritual death; for divine miracles are distinguished from other miracles by this, that they involve and have respect to states of the church and of the kingdom of heaven. On this account the Lord's miracles consisted principally in the healings of diseases; this is what is meant by the Lord's words to the disciples sent by John,—" Tell John the things which you hear and see; the blind see, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor hear the Gospel." (Matt 11:4, 5.) Hence it is, that it is so often said that the Lord "healed every disease and sickness." (Matt 4:23; 9:35; 14:14, 85, 36; Luke 4:40, V. 15; 6:17; 7:21; Mark 1:32, 34;3:10.) AC 8364.

Verses 40—43. And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying to Him, If You will. You can make me clean, etc.—in the historical Word, much mention is made of the leprosy, of its various appearance in the skin, of the judgement thence to be formed of its quality, of the leper, that he was either to be shut up, or excluded from communion, or to be liberated, and of the leprosy in garments, in vessels, and in the very houses. The reason why so much mention is made of the "leprosy," is not on account of the leprosy, as a disease, but because it signified the profanation of truth, thus on account of the spiritual sense, and because the Jews and Israelites were capable of profaning truth more than other people; for if they had been acquainted with the internal things of the Word, and with the essential truths, represented by the rituals of the church belonging to them, and had believed therein, and yet had lived according to their own inclinations, namely, in the love of self and the world, in hatred and revenge one amongst another, and in cruelty towards other nations, they must of necessity have profaned the truths in which they had once believed. For to believe truths, and to live contrary to them, is to profane them; wherefore also they were withheld, as far as was possible, from the knowledges of internal truth, insomuch that they did not know that they were to live after death; neither did they believe that the Messiah was to come to save souls to eternity, hut only to exalt that -nation above all others in the universe; and whereas that nation was of such a quality, and likewise is of such a quality at this day, they are therefore still withheld from a true faith, although they live in the midst of Christendom: hence now it is, that the leprosy was so particularly described as to its quality. That the "leprosy" signifies the profanation of truth, is evident from the statutes respecting the leprosy in Leviticus 13:1, to the end, in which description is contained, in the internal sense, every quality of the profanation of truth; as, what its quality is, if it be recent, what, if it be old, what, if it be interiorly in man, what, if it be also exteriorly, what, if it is capable of being healed, what, if it cannot be healed, what are the means of healing, and several things besides, none of which can be known to any one except by the internal sense of the Word. AC 6963.

Verse 41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, putting forth His hand, touched him, &c.—By "touching with the hand," is signified to communicate and to transfer to another what appertains to a man himself, and likewise to receive from another; and when it relates to the Lord, as in the present case, it denotes to communicate and transfer to another the life, such as they enjoy, who are in illustration, and see and hear such things as are in heaven. The reason why "touching with the hand" denotes to communicate and transfer to another, is, because all the power of man is transferred from the body to the hands, wherefore what the mind wills that the body should do, the arms and hands do it; hence it is, that by "arms" and "hands" in the Word, is signified power, but this power is a natural power, and communication by it is the exertion of bodily strength; but spiritual power consists in willing the good of another, and in willing to transfer, as far as possible, to another what a man possesses in himself; this power is what is signified by "hand" in the spiritual sense, and its communication and translation by "touching with the hand." From these considerations it may be manifest what is signified by the Lord touching, and touching with the hand, in several passages of the Word. AE 79.


Chapter I

Verses 2 and 3. As it is written in the Prophets, Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord.—It is remarkable in these words that two different expressions are employed, in the original Greek, to denote what is here rendered alike by the English term prepare, but it is difficult to say what is the distinct and precise idea intended to be suggested by each expression.

Verse 10. And straightway coming up out of the water. He saw the heavens rent.—In the common English Version of the New Testament, what is here rendered "rent" is expressed by "opened," but the original Greek properly signifies rent or split, and not improbably has reference to the three heavens, which, on this occasion, were seen in a state of distinction from each other, and thus more ready to descend by their operation into the souls of men.

Verse 35. And in the morning, when the night was far advanced, &c.—What is here rendered, "when the night was far advanced," is expressed in the common English Version of the New Testament by "a great while before day," but the original Greek literally means far in the night, or, as it is here rendered, "when the night was far advanced," having respect, no doubt, to the night of spiritual darkness which was then passing away.

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