PSALMS 11Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page
To Him that presides over the music. A Psalm of David.
The lord excites himself that he may fight against the wicked for the good, verse 1-5. That from justice the wicked will perish, verses 6, 7.
Verse 2. For lo! the wicked bend their bow, etc. In the Word, wherever wars are treated of, and mentioned, no other wars are signified in the internal sense, but spiritual wars. There were books, also, in the ancient Church, which were entitled the wars of jehovah; as is manifest in Moses, (Numb 21:17), which, being written in the prophetic style, had an internal sense, and treated of the lord's combats and temptations, and also of the combats and temptations of the church. As war, in the Word, as also in the books of the Ancient Church, signified spiritual war, so all weapons, as the sword, the spear, the shield, arrows, and the bow, signified such things, specifically, as have relation to war understood in a spiritual sense. Hence bows and arrows, in the opposite sense, signify the doctrinals of what is false. AC 2686. By the wicked bending their bow, is signified that they frame doctrine; by making ready their arrow on the string, is signified that they apply inwardly to it falsities appearing as truths; to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart, signifies to deceive those who are in truths derived from good. A bow here denotes the doctrine of what is false; the arrow denotes the false itself; to shoot is to deceive; and darkness denotes appearances: for such persons reason from appearances in the world, and from fallacies, by applying to them also the literal sense of the Word. AE 357.
Verse 4. His eyes behold, his eyelids prove, the sons of man. Eyes, when predicated of the lord, signify the Divine Providence; the reason is because, when predicated of man, they signify intellect; and divine intellect, as being infinite, is divine providence: as in David, "Behold, the eye of jehovah is upon them that fear him," (Psalm 33:18) and again: "jehovah is in the temple of his holiness-his eyes behold, his eyelids prove, the sons of man." (Psalm 11:4.) AE 68.
Verse 5. jehovah proves the just: but the wicked, and him that loves violence, his soul hates. By the soul of jehovah is here also signified Divine Truth; for by the violent, in the Word, is signified one who does violence to Divine Truth; and since this is done by the false of evil, therefore the false of evil is signified by the wicked and him that loves violence. AE 750.
Verse 6. He will rain upon the wicked snares, fire and brimstone; and the burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. By these words is signified that the wicked will be destroyed by their own evils grounded in what is false, and by their own falsities grounded in what is evil; which will destroy all the truths of the church belonging to them: snares, fire, and brimstone, are the evils grounded in what is false, and the falsities grounded in what is evil; and the burning wind, which is the portion of their cup, signifies the destruction of all truth. That it is not meant that fire and brimstone shall rain on the wicked, is evident, for it is said also, that it shall rain snares: wherefore, by fire and brimstone such things are signified as altogether destroy the truths and goods of the church. AE 578.
By snares, fire, and brimstone, are signified seducing falsities and evils; and by a burning wind is signified the vehement assault of truth. These are said to be the portion of their cup, because the cup, as containing them, signifies those things. AE 960.
Snares derive their signification from the enticement and deceit of evils; which enticement and deceit proceed from this ground, that all evils originate in self-love and the love of the world, and these loves are connate with man, the consequence of which is, that man derives from them the delight of his life at its earliest birth, yea, derives from them his life; wherefore those loves, like the latent currents of a river, continually draw the thoughts and will of man from the lord to himself, and from heaven to the world, thus from the truths and goods of faith to falsities and evils. Reasonings grounded in the fallacies of the senses, in this case, have a powerful influence; and this also is the reason why the literal sense of the Word is perversely explained and applied. These are the things, which, in the spiritual sense of the Word, are meant by snares, pit-falls, nets, and gins; also, by frauds and deceits. AC 9348.
That brimstone denotes the hell of the evils of self-love, and that fire denotes the hell of the false principles thence derived, is manifest from the signification of brimstone, and thence of fire, in the Word, as denoting self-love with its lusts and consequent falsities. Thus it denotes hell, for hell consists of such things. AC 2446.
Verse 7. For just is jehovah: he loves justice, his face will behold the upright. A distinction is here made between justice and the upright; for it is said of justice, that jehovah loves it, and of the upright, or uprightness, that his face beholds it. But what shall we say is the true ground of this distinction? We have a plain answer to this question in what is said concerning justice, that jehovah loves it, and concerning the upright or uprightness, that his face beholds it; since we are thus taught, that justice is more in agreement with the principle of the divine love, whose office it is to love; and that uprightness is more in agreement with the principle of the divine wisdom, whose office it is to behold or look at. It is evident, then, that in the above passage reference is made to the two principles of the divine love and divine wisdom, as being united, and thus forming a divine marriage in jehovah, or the lord; and that, at the same time, a reference is made to the two heavenly principles of justice and of uprightness, as existing in man by derivation from these divine principles.
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