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That the lord is omnipotent, verses 1 to 3; that man is nothing of himself, but the false of evil, verses 4 to 8; that the trust of all who are in goodnesses and truths, must be in the lord, verses 9 to 11; that the lord will save them, verses 12 to 15, 18; that heaven and the church are his, verse 16; that they who do not trust in the lord will not be saved, verse 17.
Verse 1. For the sake of your mercy and your truth, see Psalm 85:10, Exposition.
Verse 4. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. Inasmuch as the falses and evils of doctrine, which are signified by graven and molten images, are fabricated by man's own proper intelligence under the guidance of his love, therefore also in the Word they are called the work of the hands of man, the work of the hands of the artificer, and the work of the hands of the smith. AC 10406.
Their idols are silver and gold. By these words is signified external worship without internal, confirmed from the sense of the letter of the Word not understood, and likewise from the fallacies of the senses; the work of men's hands signifies man's own intelligence. AE 587.
That hereby are signified false doctrinals, which are from self-derived intelligence, favouring the loves of the body and of the world, and the principles thence conceived, appears from the signification of idols, as denoting falses of doctrine, of religion, and of worship, which are from self-derived intelligence. But what idols of gold, silver, brass, stone and wood, specifically signify, may appear from the signification of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood; by gold is signified spiritual good; by silver, spiritual truth; by brass, natural good; by stone, natural truth; and by wood, sensual good; all these goods and truths enter into genuine doctrine, because this is both from the spiritual and natural sense of the Word. When a false doctrine is confirmed by the spiritual things of the Word, it then becomes an idol of gold, and are idol of silver; but when it is confirmed by the natural things of the Word, such as are in the sense of the letter thereof, it then becomes an idol of brass and stone; and when it is from the mere sense of the letter, it becomes an idol of wood; for the sense of the Word, as well the interior or spiritual, as the exterior or natural, may be applied to confirm falses as may appear from the innumerable heresies, which are all thence confirmed. Confirmations of falsities take place in consequence of the genuine sense of the Word not being understood; and the reason of this is because the loves of man's proprium have rule, and thereby the principles thence conceived; and when these have rule, man sees nothing from the light of heaven, but whatever he sees is from the light of the world, separate from the light of heaven; and when the light of the world is separated from the light of heaven, then thick darkness takes place in things of a spiritual nature. It is to be observed, that the sons of Israel brought with them from Egypt, and also from the nations round about, the filthy custom of worshiping idols; and inasmuch as they were merely external men, they had that worship also implanted in them from natural inclination, as may appear from the idolatries of so many kings of Judah and Israel related in the Word, and also from Solomon himself, who was the wisest of them; but still, the idols which they made for themselves, and which they worshiped, where they are mentioned in the Word, signify, in the spiritual sense, false doctrinals, which are from self-derived intelligence, from which, and according to which, worship is performed. This signification of idols also derives its cause from the spiritual world; for there the evil spirits, who frame for themselves falses of doctrine, appear as it were to form idols, and mark them by various insignia, until they appear in a form, as it were human; they also pick out or select from various representatives, and adapt them so as to cohere, that thus they may give a semblance of that form in things external. AE 587.
Verse 9. O Israel, trust in jehovah, he is their help and their shield. As war signifies temptations, so all the arms used in war signify some particular of temptations, and of defence against evils and falses, wherefore each kind of arms has a distinct signification peculiar to itself, whether it be shield, buckler, helmet, spear, dart, sword, bow, arrows, or breast-plate; the ground and reason why shield, in respect to the lord, signifies defence against evils and falses, and in respect to man, confidence in the lord, is because it was armour for the security of the breast, and by the breast is signified goodness and truth, goodness by reason of the heart being therein, and truth by reason of the lungs. AC 1788.
Verse 10. O house of Aaron, trust in jehovah. The house of Israel denotes those who are in truths; the house of Aaron denotes those who are in goods; for in the Word, where truth is treated of, good is also treated of, on account of the heavenly marriage. AC 9806.
Verse 11. O you who fear jehovah, trust in jehovah; he is their help and their shield. The fear of god is worship either grounded in fear, or in the good of faith, or in the good of love; but in proportion as fear prevails in worship, in the same proportion there is the less of faith, and still less of love; and on the other hand, in proportion as faith prevails in worship, and especially as love prevails, in the same proportion there is less of fear. AC 2826.
Verse 12. Both the small and the great. By the small are understood those who know but little of the truths and goods of the church, and by the great those who know much, thus those who worship the lord little and much, for in proportion as man knows the truths of faith, and lives according to them, in the same proportion he worships the lord, for worship is not from man, but from the truths originating in good, which are with man, since these are from the lord, and the lord is in them. The reason why small and great signify less and more, namely who worship the lord, thus who are less and more in truths from good, is because the spiritual sense of the Word is abstracted from all respect to persons, for it simply regards the thing, and in the expression, small and great, there is respect to person, for thereby are understood the men who worship god. Hence it is, that instead of small and great, is understood, in the spiritual sense, less and more, thus those who worship more and less from genuine truths and goods; the case is the same also with respect to the servants, the prophets, and saints, treated of just above, by whom, in the spiritual sense, are not understood prophets and saints, but, abstractedly from persons, the truths of doctrine and a life according to them; whilst these are understood, all who are in the truths of doctrine, and in a life according to them, are also inclusively comprehended, for these things are in subjects which are angels and men; but to think in such case of angels and men only, is natural, but to think of the truths of doctrine and the life which constitute angels and men, this is spiritual. Hence it may appear, how the spiritual sense, in which the angels are, distinguishes itself from the natural sense, in which men are, namely that in every thing which men think, there inheres somewhat derived from person, space, time, and matter, but that the angels think, abstractedly from these, of things only; hence it is that the speech of angels is incomprehensible to man, inasmuch as it flows from contemplation of the thing, and consequently from a wisdom abstracted from such things as are proper to the natural world, and thus respectively indeterminate to such things. AE 696.PSALMS 115 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page