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A Psalm of David.
A prayer of the lord to the father, that he would regard his integrity, verses 1,2; that he has no communion with those who are in evils, because he is united with his Divine principle, verses 3, 5; that his words, which are divine, are in no estimation with them, verses 6 7: confidence that their evil thoughts and intentions whereby they themselves perish, do him no harm, verses 8 to 10.
Verses 1 to 5. Prayers in this passage are called incense, and the lifting up of the hands is called an oblation, and this because by prayers is signified the same as by incense, and by the lifting up of the hands the same as by oblation; by incense is signified spiritual good, which is the good of charity towards our neighbour, and by oblation is signified celestial good, which is the good of love to the lord, thus both signify worship; and because prayers are not from the mouth, but from the heart by the mouth, and all worship which is from the heart is from the good of love and charity, which is signified by the heart, therefore it is also said, set a guard over the door of my lips, let not mine heart incline to any evil thing, to practise wicked works; and because David was lamenting, that evils as yet prevail against him, therefore he says, for my prayer shall still be against their evil doings. AE 325.
Concerning prayer, see Psalm 109:4, Exposition.
Verse 6. Their judges shall be cast over the sides of the rock. By judges are signified those who are in falses, and in the abstract sense, the falses of the thought and of doctrine, for by judges in the Word is signified the same thing as by judgements, and judgements signify the truths according to which judgements are made, and in an opposite sense falses; inasmuch as they who are in falses dwell in rocks in the spiritual world, therefore it is said, they shall be cast over the sides of the rock, by which is signified that they shall be let into their falses, and dwell in hells corresponding thereto. AE 411.
Verse 8. O Lord Jehovih, or, O Jehovih Adonai; see Psalm 109:21, Exposition.
Verse 8. Leave not my soul naked. As to nakedness, it derives its signification from the parts of the body which appear naked, in like manner as garments from the parts of the body which they clothe, AC 9827; therefore it has one signification when it respects the head, which is baldness, another, when it respects the whole body; and another, when it respects the loins and genitals: when nakedness respects the head, which is baldness, it signifies deprivation of the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good; when it respects the whole body, it signifies deprivation of the truths which are of faith; but when it respects the loins and the genitals, it signifies the deprivation of the good of love.
As to what concerns the first, that when nakedness respects the head, which is baldness, it signifies deprivation of the intelligence of truth, and of the wisdom of good, it is manifest from Isaiah, "In that day, the lord shall shave by the king of Ashur the head, and the hairs of the feet, and shall consume the beard," Is 7:20; to shave the head denotes to deprive of the internal truths of the church; to shave the hairs of the feet and to consume the beard, denote to deprive of its external truths; by the king of Ashur denotes by reasonings from falses; it must be evident to every one that neither the head, nor the hair of the feet, nor the beard was to be shaved by the king of Ashur, and that still they are significative; that the head denotes the interiors that are of wisdom and intelligence, see AC 6292, 6496; that the king of Ashur denotes reasoning, AC 119, 1186; that hair denotes the external truth of the church, AC 3301, 5247; that feet also denote things external or natural, AC 2162, 3147; that the beard denotes sensual scientifics, which are ultimate truths, is manifest from the passages in the Word where beard is named.
Again in the same prophet, "On all heads shall be baldness, every beard shall be shaven," Is 15:2; where the sense is the same; and in Jeremiah, "Baldness shall come upon Gaza, how long will you cut yourself," Jer 47:5; and in Ezekiel, "On all faces shall be shame, and on all heads baldness: their silver they shall cast into the streets, and gold shall be an abomination," Ezekiel 7:18, 19; baldness on all heads denotes the deprivation of the intelligence of truth and of the wisdom of good; and whereas this is signified it is also said, "Their silver they shall cast into the streets, and gold shall be an abomination," for silver denotes the truth which is of intelligence, and gold the good which is of wisdom, AC 1551, 5658; that baldness upon all heads is not meant, neither that they should cast silver into the streets, and that gold should be an abomination, is evident; and in Moses, "Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar his sons, you shall not shave your heads, and your garments you shall not unsew, lost you die, and anger come upon the whole assembly," Levit 10:6; and in Ezekiel, "The priests the Levites shall not shave the head, and their hair they shall not let down," Ezekiel 44:20; inasmuch as Aaron and his sons represented the lord its to Divine Good and as to Divine Truth, AC 9806, 9807; and since by a shaven head and by misewn garments was signified the deprivation of those principles, therefore it was forbidden to shave the head, and to unsew the garments, and it is said lest, you die and anger come upon the whole assembly, by which is signified that thus the representative of the lord as to Divine Good and as to Divine Truth would perish, thus the representative of the church. Inasmuch as mourning represented spiritual mourning, which is mourning for the deprivation of the truth and good of the church, therefore in mourning they brought baldness on their head, as in Jeremiah, "They shall not bewail them, neither shall baldness be induced on their account," Jer 16:6; and in Amos, "I will turn your feasts into mourning, and I will cause baldness to come up on every head, and I will set it as the mourning of an only begotten son," Amos 8:10. And in Micah, "Put on baldness, and shave yourself on account of the sons of your delights dilate your baldness, as an eagle, because they are removed from you," Micah 1:16; the sons of delights denote Truths Divine, their removal denotes deprivation; that sons denote truths, see AC 9807.
Secondly, when nakedness respects the whole body, that it signifies the deprivation of the truths of faith, is manifest from the Revelations, "To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, because you say I am rich, and have need of nothing, when you know not that you are wretched and miserable, and needy, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold purified in the fire, and white clothing that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be manifested," Rev 3:17, 18; the angel of the church denotes the Divine Truth there; to say that it is rich denotes that it is in the knowledges of truth and good; wretched, needy, blind, and naked, denote that still it is without truths implanted in the life, thus without good; to buy gold purified in the fire denotes to procure to themselves good; white clothing denotes the genuine truths of faith derived from good; hence it is evident what is meant by the expression, "Lest the shame of your nakedness be manifested;" again, "Behold, I come as a thief, blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothing, that he walk not naked, and they see his shame," Rev 16:15, where the sense is the same; again, "They shall hate the whore, and shall make her devastated and naked," Rev 17:16; the whore denotes those who falsify Truths Divine; to make her naked manifestly denotes to deprive of those truths, for it is said devastated and naked, and to devastate is to deprive of truths. By nakedness is also signified ignorance of truth, and by clothing information, as in Isaiah, "When you shall see the naked, and shall cover him, your light shall break forth as the day-dawn," Isaiah 58:7, 8; and in Matthew, "The king shall say to those who are on the right hand, I was naked and you clothed me; and to those on the left hand, I was naked and you did not clothe me," Matt 25:36, 38, 43, 44; in this passage naked denotes those who are not in truths, and still desire truths, also who acknowledge that there is nothing of good and of truth in them, see AC 4956, 4958.
Thirdly, that nakedness, when it respects the loins and genitals, signifies deprivation of the good of love, is manifest from Isaiah, "O virgin, daughter of Babel, take a mill-stone, and grind flour, uncover your hair, make bare your feet, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers: let your nakedness be uncovered, let your disgrace also be seen," Is 47:2, 3; the daughter of Babel denotes the church, or what resembles the church, where there is a holy principle in externals, but a profane principle in internals; the profane principle which is in internals is this, that they regard themselves and the world as an end, thus dominion and abundance of wealth, and holy things as means conducive to that end; to take a mill-stone, and to grind flour, denotes to trim out doctrine from such things as are likely to serve as means to promote the end, AC 7780; to uncover the hair, to make bare the feet, and to uncover the thigh, denotes to prostitute holy things both external and internal without shame and fear; thus to uncover nakedness denotes to cause to appear the filthy and infernal things, which are ends.
But when the interiors are chaste, then nakedness signifies innocence, because it signifies conjugial love, by reason that love truly conjugial in its essence is innocence; that love truly conjugial is of innocence, see AC 2736; consequently that nakedness in this sense is innocence, AC 165; wherefore also the angels of the inmost heaven, who are called celestial angels, appear naked, AC 165, 2306; inasmuch as the most ancient church, which is described in the first chapters of Genesis, and is meant in the internal sense by man or Adam, and by his wife, was a celestial church, therefore it is said of them, "That they were both naked and were not ashamed," Gen 2:25; but when that church lapsed, which was effected by eating of the tree of science, by which was signified reasoning from scientifics concerning things Divine, then it is said that they knew that they were naked, and sewed for themselves fig-leaves, and made themselves girdles, thus that they covered their nakedness; and also that the man said, when jehovah cried to him, that he was afraid because he was naked; and then that jehovah made for them waistcoats of skin, and clothed them, Gen 3:6 to 11, and 21; by fig-leaves, of which they made themselves girdles, and also by waistcoats of skin, are meant the truths and goods of the external man; the reason why their state after the fall is thus described was, because from internal men they became external; their internal principle is signified by Paradise, for Paradise denotes the intelligence and wisdom of the internal man, and its being closed up is signified by ejection out of Paradise; that a leaf denotes natural truth which is scientific, see AC 885; that a fig denotes natural good, or good of the external man, AC 217, 423; and that a waistcoat of skin also denotes the truth and good of the external man, AC 294, 295; that skin denotes what is external, see AC 3544. AC 9960.
Verses 9, 10. Guard me from the snare which they have laid for me, and from the traps of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked, all together, fall into their own toils, let me ever pass over them. That a snare, in the spiritual sense, signifies enticement and deception by the delights of the loves of self and of the world, thus the enticement and deception of evils, and this by reasonings grounded in the fallacies of the senses, which favour those delights, is evident to every one, for ensnarings and entrappings are from no other source: neither do the diabolical crew assault any thing else with man except those his loves, which they render delightful by every method, until he is taken, and when he is taken, the man reasons from falses against truths, and from evils against goods; and in such case he is not content herewith, but also takes delight in ensnaring and enticing others to falses and evils; the reason why he also takes this delight is because in such case he is one of the diabolical crew. Inasmuch as a snare, a trap, a net, signify such things, they also signify the destruction of spiritual life, and thereby perdition, for the delights of those are what destroy and lead into perdition, since in those loves, as was said above, all evils originate; for in the love of self originate contempt of others in comparison of self, and presently, a scornful look and abusive speech, afterwards, enmity if they do not favour, at length, the delight of hatred, the delight of revenge, thus the delight of tyrannical behaviour, yea, of cruelty.
This love in the other life rises to such an excess, that unless the lord favours it, and gives to those who are influenced by it dominion over others, they not only despise him, but also treat with scorn the Word which speaks of him, and at length from hatred and revenge they act against him, and so far as they cannot effect their purposes against him, they practise them with fierceness and cruelty against all who profess him; hence it is evident what is the origin of such qualities in the diabolical crew, namely that it is from self-love. Wherefore a snare, as it signifies the delight of the love of self and the world, signifies also the destruction of spiritual life and perdition; for the all of faith and love to the lord, and the all of love towards the neighbour is destroyed by the delight of the love of self and the world, where it has dominion, see what was cited, AC 9335. That those loves are the origin of all evils, and that hell is from them and in them, and that those loves are fires there, is at this day unknown in the world; when yet it might be known from this consideration, that those loves are opposite to love towards the neighbour and to the love of god, and that they are opposite to humiliation of heart, and that from them alone exist all contempt, all hatred, all revenge, and all fierceness and cruelty, as every considerate person may know. AC 9348.PSALMS 141 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page