PSALMS 136Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page
An exhortation to confess the lord, who is the only God and lord, verses 1 to 3; who by Divine truth has formed heaven and the church, verses 4 to 6; from whom comes every truth of doctrine, and good of love, and the knowledge thereof, verses 7 to 9; who delivers the natural man from the falses of evil, and establishes therein the church, and dissipates evils of every kind, verses 10 to 22; celebration and confession of the lord, who delivers from falses and evils, and gives truths and goods, verses 23 to 26; and this from pure mercy, verses 1 to 26.
Verses 1, 2, 3. O give thanks to jehovah, etc. There is frequent mention made of Lord in the Word, and he who is not acquainted with the internal sense, supposes that nothing else is meant by Lord, than what is meant in common discourse, when the expression is used; but Lord is in no case expressed in the Word, unless the subject treated of is concerning good, and the same observation is true respecting the name Jehovah; but when the subject treated of is concerning truth, the expressions God and also King are used; hence it is that by Lord is signified good, as may be manifest from the following passages, "Jehovah, your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords," Deut 10:17; and in David, "Confess you, or give thanks, to Jehovah, confess you to the God of gods, confess you to the Lord of lords," Psalm 136:1, 2, 3. AC 4973.
Verses 1 to 9. Unto him who by his intelligence made the heavens, who spread out the earth above the waters; who made great luminaries, the sun to rule by day, the moon and stars to rule by night. In this passage, luminaries signify love and faith towards the lord, and it was on this account ordained in the Jewish church, that a perpetual luminary, or light, should be kept burning from evening till morning, inasmuch as every ordinance in that church was representative of the lord. AC 31.
Stars denote the knowledges of good and truth; the ground and reason why stars in the Word have this signification is because they are small luminaries which shine in the night, and in such case emit from themselves into our atmosphere sparks of light, in like manner as knowledges emit those things which are of good and truth. AC 4697.
Verse 4. Who does great wonders; see Psalm 78:43, Exposition.
Verses 5 to 11. Unless something be known of the spiritual sense of the Word, it may be supposed that there is nothing more involved in these words than what appears in the sense of the letter, when, notwithstanding singular the things therein, involve such things as relate to angelic wisdom, all which things are divine, celestial, and spiritual; the new creation or regeneration of the men of the church, or of the men of whom the church consists, is here described; by the heavens which jehovah has made by his intelligence, are signified the internal things of the men of the church, which in one expression are called the spiritual man, where intelligence resides, and where their heaven is; by the earth which he spread out above the waters, is signified the external of the church, which is called the natural man, and is here said to be spread out above the waters, because therein are the truths by which man is regenerated, waters signifying truths; by the great luminaries, the sun, the moon, and the stars, are signified the good of love, the truth from that good, and the knowledges of good and truth; by the sun the good of love, by the moon the truth from that good, and by the stars the knowledges of good and truth; the reason why it is said, that the sun was made to rule by day, is because the day signifies the light of the spiritual man, who has illustration and perception from the good of love; and the moon and the stars are said to rule by night, because the night signifies the light of the natural man, for this light, with respect to the light of the spiritual man, is comparatively as the light of the night from the moon and the stars, to the light of the day from the sun; by reason of the regeneration of the men of the church being treated of, it therefore also follows, who smote Egypt in their first-born, and brought out Israel from the midst of them, for by Egypt is signified the natural man, such as he is from birth, namely in mere falses from evil; the first-born thereof denote the things which are primary, and the destruction of these during regeneration, is understood by jehovah smiting Egypt in their first-born; by Israel is signified the spiritual man, and by leading Israel out from the midst of them, is signified to open that man, and so to regenerate; for the man of the church is regenerated of the lord by the dissipation of the falses derived from evils, which are in the natural man, and by the opening of the spiritual man, which is effected of the lord by spiritual light, which is the Divine truth. AE 401.
Verse 12. With a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm. That the hand and arms signify power, see Psalm 10:15, Exposition.
Verse 15. Shook off Pharaoh and his host into the Red sea. Pharaoh signifies the natural mind in general, and also the scientific principle of the church in general, for by Egypt is signified the scientific principle of the church, AC 1462, 4749, 4964, 4966, hence by the king thereof is signified the scientific principle in general, as also in other parts of the Word; but in several passages, as by Egypt, so also by Pharaoh, is signified the scientific principle perverted: that Pharaoh denotes the scientific principle in general, is evident from the following passages in Isaiah, "The princes of Zoan are fools, the wise ones of the counsellors of Pharaoh, counsel is brutish; how will you say to Pharaoh, I am a son of the wise, a son of the kings of antiquity," Isaiah 19:11: in this passage Pharaoh denotes the, scientific principle of the church in general, hence he was called a son of the. wise, and a son of the kings of antiquity; the wise and the kings of antiquity denote the truths of the ancient church; but this scientific principle is here understood to be infatuated, for it is said, The princes of Zoan are become fools, counsel is brutish. Again, "They depart to go down to Egypt, but they have not asked my mouth, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to confide in the shadow of Egypt; therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be to you for shame, and confidence in the shadow of Egypt for ignominy," Isaiah 30:2, 3; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to confide in the shadow of Egypt, denotes to trust to scientifics in the things of faith, and not to have faith in any spiritual truth, unless it be agreeable to the dictate of the scientific and sensual principle, which nevertheless is of perverted order; for the truths of faith ought to have the first place, and confirming scientifics the second, inasmuch as nothing of truth is believed, in case the latter be in the first place. And in Jeremiah, "jehovah zebaoth the god of Israel says, behold I visit upon Ammon in No; and upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt, and upon the gods thereof, and upon the kings thereof; especially upon Pharaoh, and them that confide in him," Jer 46:25; in this passage also Pharaoh denotes the scientific principle in general; they that confide in him denote those who trust to scientifics but not to the Word, that is, to the lord in the Word, hence every thing is perverted in the doctrine of faith, and hence comes the false, and also a denial that the divine and celestial principle is any thing; persons of this description are yet especially bold in profession, and say, Give me ocular proof or scientific demonstration that it is so, and then I will believe; nevertheless, if they had ocular proof and demonstration, they would not yet believe, by reason that a principle of negation has universal rule in them. Again, in the same prophet, "Against Pharaoh; behold waters come up from the north, which shall become an overflowing stream, and they shall overflow the earth and the fullness thereof, the city and those who dwell therein, that men shall cry, and every inhabitant of the earth shall howl, because of the voice of the trampling of the hoofs of the horses of his mighty ones, and the tumult of his chariot, the noise of his wheels," Jer 47:1, 2, 3; from each of the things here said concerning Pharaoh, it is plain that he denotes the scientific principle in general, in the present instance in perverted order, which destroys the truths of faith; an overflowing stream denotes the scientific principle destroying the understanding of truth, and thus vastating; they shall overflow the earth and the fullness thereof, denotes the whole church; the city and they that dwell therein, denotes the truth of the church and the good thence derived; the trampling of the hoofs of the horses, denotes the lowest scientifics which are immediately derived from the things of sense; the tumult of the chariot, denotes the false doctrinals thence derived; the noise of the wheels, denotes sensual things and the fallacies thereof which promote. AC 6015.
Verse 19. Sihon, king of the Amorites; see Psalm 135:11, Exposition.
Verse 20. Og, the king of Bashan; see Psalm 135:11, Exposition.
Verse 23. Who remembered us. To remember, when concerning the lord, denotes to have compassion, and thus to preserve or deliver, from a principle of mercy. AC 9849.PSALMS 136 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page