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PSALM 69

To him that presides; upon Shoshannim, a Psalm of David.

  1. Save me, O god, for the waters are come in even to my soul.
  2. I sink in deep mire, wherein there is no standing; I am come into deep waters and the floods overflow me.
  3. I am weary of my crying, my throat is dried up; mine eyes waste away, whilst I wait for my god.
  4. They that hate me without cause are more than the hairs of my head; they that would destroy me, they that are unjustly mine enemies are mighty; I must restore what I took not away.
  5. O god, you know my foolishness, and my guilt is not hid from you.
  6. Let not them that wait on you, O lord, jehovah of hosts, be ashamed through me; let not them that seek you, O god of Israel, be disgraced through me,
  7. Because for your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face.
  8. I am become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien to my mother's sons,
  9. For the zeal of your house has consumed me; and the reproaches of them that reproach you are fallen upon me.
  10. When I weep in the fasting of my soul, it is turned to reproaches against me.
  11. When I make sackcloth my garment, I become a by-word to them.
  12. They who sit in the gate speak against me; and I am the song of the drunkards.
  13. But as for me, let my prayer come to you, O jehovah, in an acceptable time; O god, in the greatness of your mercy answer me, in the truth of your salvation.
  14. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
  15. Let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up; nor let the pit shut her mouth upon me.
  16. Answer me, O jehovah, for your mercy is good; for the multitude of your compassions look upon me.
  17. Hide not your face from your servant, for I am in trouble; answer me speedily.
  18. Draw near to my soul, and redeem it; deliver me because of mine enemies.
  19. You know my reproach, my shame and my disgrace, mine adversaries are all before you.
  20. Reproach has broken my heart, and I am sick, and I wait for some person to pity but there is no one; and for comforters, but I find them not.
  21. But they give me gall for my meat; and for my thirst they give me vinegar to drink.
  22. Let their table become a snare before them; and let their reward be a trap.
  23. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
  24. Pour out your indignation upon them; and let the wrath of your anger overtake them.
  25. Let their habitations be desolate; let no one dwell in their tents.
  26. For they persecute him whom you have smitten; and talk of the pain of those whom you have wounded.
  27. Add misery to their misery, and let them not come into your justice.
  28. Let them be blotted out of the book of life; and let them not be written with the just.
  29. But I am afflicted and distressed; let your salvation, O god, set me up on high.
  30. I will praise the name of god with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
  31. And it shall please jehovah better than bulls, than horned oxen with divided hoofs.
  32. The afflicted shall see, and be glad; O you that seek god! your heart shall live.
  33. For jehovah hears the needy, and despises not his prisoners.
  34. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that creeps therein.
  35. For god will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah; and they shall dwell therein, and shall inherit it.
  36. And the seed of his servants shall inherit it; and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

The Internal Sense

The lord's temptation-combats even to despair, verses 1 to 4; inasmuch that he thought to recede, verse 5; but that he supported them for the sake of those who expected salvation, verses 6, 7; that he will be treated ignominiously by those among whom the church is, verses 8 to 12; a prayer to the father to succour him lest they prevail, verses 13 to 20; when he desired the good and truth of the church, that they gave him what was false and evil, as upon the cross, gall and vinegar, verse 21; that therefore they will be destroyed, verses 22 to 28; when he is delivered, that the gospel will be preached, verses 29 to 31; because then they of the church will be saved, who will worship him, verses 32 to 36,

Exposition

Verse 1. Save me, O god, for the waters are come in even to my soul. Waters here denote falses, and the temptations which are effected by injected falses. AC 9050.

Verses 1, 2, 14, 15. The waters came even to my soul; I sunk in the mire of the depth where there was no standing, I came into the depths of the waters, and the wave overwhelmed me: deliver me from the mire and let me not sink, deliver me from them hate me, and out of the deep waters; let not the water-flood overwhelm me, neither let the pit shut its mouth upon me. In this passage are described the temptations of the lord, when he was in the world, by which he subjugated the hells, and glorified his humanity: by waves and billows are signified evils and falses, and by abysses and depths of the sea, likewise by the pit, are signified the hells where and whence they are; for as was said above, temptations are, as it were, immersions into the hells, and obsessions by evils and falses: things are signified by the lamentations in David in many places, and also in the prophets; for in the spiritual sense of the Word, the temptations of the lord are much treated of, by which he subjugated the hells, and disposed all things to order in the heavens and in the hells, and by which he glorified his Human [principle]; they are especially understood by the things predicted in the prophets and in the Psalms, concerning the lord, and by the things fulfilled by him, as mentioned in Luke 24:44. AE 538.

Verse 13. My prayer is to you, O jehovah, in an acceptable time: O god, for the greatness of your mercy answer me, in the truth of your salvation. The acceptable time of jehovah signifies acceptance from love; time signifies existing state when it is said of men, but perpetually existing when of jehovah, thus of his love, for this is perpetual; hearing and assistance from love by the divine proceeding principle, which is divine truth, is signified by for the greatness of your mercy answer me, in the truth of your salvation. AE 295.

Verses 14, 15. Deliver me out of the mire and let me not sink; let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters; let not the water-flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, nor let the pit shut her mouth upon me. That a pit signifies hell, where and whence are false principles, is here very evident, for it is said, let not the pit shut her mouth upon me, that is, let not hell, which is the source of false principles, or let not false principles take entire possession of me, that I cannot escape; by being delivered from mire that I sink not, is signified from the evils of what is false, lest I perish; let me be delivered from them that hate me, and the depths of waters, signifies to be delivered from evils and falses, which are from the hells; they that hate me, are the evils thence; and the depths of waters are the falses thence; lest the deep swallow me up, signifiess lest hell swallow me up, where are the falses of evils. AE 537.

Verse 17. Hide not your faces from your servant, for I am in trouble; answer me speedily. From what has been above explained, it may be known what is. by the face of jehovah, or the lord, namely the divine love, and all good in heaven and the church thence derived; hence also it may be known what is signified by hiding or concealing the faces, when jehovah, or the lord, is spoken of, namely that it means to leave man in his selfhood, and thence in the evils and falses which emerge from the selfhood; for man, viewed in himself, is nothing but what is evil and the false thence derived; and is withheld from these principles by the lord that he may be in good, which is effected by an elevation from the selfhood; hence it may be manifest that by hiding or concealing the faces, when it relates to the lord, is signified to leave man in evils and falses. AE 412.

Verses 21, 22, 23. They give me also gall for my meal, and in my thirst they give, me vinegar to drink: let their table become a snare before them, and let their reward be a trap: let their eyes be darkened that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. All and singular the things, which are related in the Evangelists concerning the lord's passion, in the spiritual sense, signify the state of the church at that time in respect to the lord and to the Word; for the, lord was the Word, because divine truth; and the Jews, as they treated the Word or divine truth, so they treated the lord, on which subject see above, AE 64, 195; that they gave to the lord vinegar mixed with gall, which is also called wine mingled with myrrh, signified the quality of divine truth from the Word, such as it was with the Jewish nation, namely mixed with the false principle of evil, and thus altogether falsified and adulterated, wherefore he was unwilling to drink it; but that afterwards they gave the lord vinegar in a sponge, and set it on hyssop, signified the false principle such as prevailed among the well-disposed Gentiles, which was false from the ignorance of truth, in which false principle there was good, and a principle of utility; which false principle the lord drank, because it was accepted by him; by the hyssop, on which it was set, is signified its purification; by the lord saying, I thirst, is signified divine spiritual thirst, which is that of divine truth and good in the church, whence comes the salvation of the human race. AE 519.

Verse 28. Let them be blotted out of the book of lives, and not be written with the just. By the book of lives is signified heaven, and the reason is because man, who is in love and faith to the lord, is heaven in the least effigy, which corresponds to heaven in the largest effigy; wherefore, he who has heaven in himself, comes also into heaven, for it is accommodated to him; hence it is that the book of lives is that principle belonging to man which corresponds to heaven belonging to him; and since this remains with him for ever, if he become spiritual by the knowledge of truth and good applied to life in the world, therefore it is said, "I will not blot his name out of that book." AE 199.

The reason why writing upon any one denotes to implant on the life is because writing is to impress on paper from the memory, thought, and mind, what is to remain fixed; wherefore, in the spiritual sense, it signifies what is to remain fixed in the life of man, inscribed and implanted in him, thus the natural sense of that expression is turned into the spiritual sense, for it is natural to write on paper and in a book, but it is spiritual to inscribe on the life. AE 222.

Verse 30. I will praise the name of god with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. Inasmuch as joy of heart is from celestial love, and from spiritual love, therefore mention is made of praising the name of god with a song, and of magnifying him with thanksgiving. AE 326.

Verse 33. For jehovah hears the needy, and despises not his prisoners. By the poor and needy are here signified those who are in the defect of truth and good, and yet are in the desire of those blessings; of this it is said, that jehovah hears them, and despises not his prisoners. AE 238.

Verse 34. Let the seas, and every thing that creeps therein praise him. The affections of man are signified in the Word by clean beasts, as was observed; but inasmuch as they are not perceived except in his pleasures so that man calls them pleasures, therefore they are here named creeping things. Pleasures are of two kinds, such as relate to things of the will, and to things of the understanding; in general there are pleasures arising from the possession of land and of money; there are pleasures arising from honours and offices in the state; there are pleasures of conjugial love, and of love towards infants and children; there are the pleasures of friendship and of social exchange; there are the pleasures of reading, of writing, of attaining knowledge and wisdom, not to mention several others of a like sort; there are the pleasures of the senses; as, that of hearing, in general, is the pleasure arising from the sweetness of music and singing; that of seeing, in general, is the pleasure arising from different beauties, which are manifold; that of smelling is the pleasure arising from the sweetness of odours; that of taste is the pleasure arising from the agreeableness and usefulness of meats and drinks; that of touch is a pleasure resulting from many pleasantnesses. These kinds of pleasures, inasmuch as they are made sensible in the body, are called bodily pleasures; howbeit there is not any pleasure which exists in the body, but what has its existence and subsistence from some interior affection; and there is not any interior affection but what exists and subsists from an affection still more interior, in which is its use and end. Man during his life in the body, is not sensible of these interior things which have an orderly connection with, and derivation from, what is inmost, and several scarce know that such things exist, much less that all pleasures are derived thence; nevertheless, as it is impossible that any thing should exist in things external, unless it has an orderly connection with, and derivation from, things interior, therefore pleasures also must needs be the ultimate effects of somewhat prior or interior.

Interior things are not discovered, so long as men live in the body, except by those who are given to inward reflection; they first manifest themselves in another life, and that in the order in which they are elevated towards heaven by the lord: the interior affections with their delights manifest themselves in the world of spirits; such as are more interior manifest themselves with their pleasantnesses in the heaven of angelic spirits; and such as are still more interior manifest themselves with their happiness in the heaven of angels; for there are three heavens, one more interior, more perfect, and more happy than the other, see AC 459, 684. Thus these things unfold themselves in order and present themselves to the perception in another life; but so long as man lives in the body, being continually in the idea and thought of things corporeal, those interior things are as it were asleep, because they are immersed in corporeal things; nevertheless it may still appear to any one who reflects, that all pleasures have a quality according to the interior affections and the order thereof, and that they receive thence all their essence. Inasmuch as the interior affections in their orderly arrangement are made sensible in the extremes, or in the body, as pleasures, they are therefore called creeping things; but these are only corporeal things which are affected by things internal; as may be evident to every one from the consideration of sight only and its pleasures; for unless there were interior sight, or vision, it would be impossible for the eye by any means to see. The sight of the eye derives its existence from an interior sight, wherefore also man, after the life of the body, sees equally well, nay, much better than whilst he lived in the body, not indeed worldly and corporeal things, but the things which are in another life: they who were blind in the life of the body see in another life equally well with those who were quick-sighted; wherefore also, during sleep, a man sees in his dreams equally well as when he is awake: it has been given me to see with the internal sight the things that are in another life, much clearer than I see the things which are here in the world. Hence it appears that external sight exists from interior sight, and this from a sight still more interior, and so forth: the case is similar with every other sense and with every pleasure.

Pleasures in like manner are called creeping things in other parts of the Word, and a distinction is there made also between such creeping things as are clean, and such as are unclean, that is, between pleasures whose delights are alive or celestial, and pleasures whose delights are dead and infernal; as in Hosea: "In that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild beast of the field, and with the birds of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground," Hosea 2:18; where that the wild beast of the field, the birds of heaven, and the creeping thing, signify such things in man as have been mentioned, may appear from this consideration, that the subject treated of is concerning a new church. So in David: "Let the heavens and earth praise jehovah, the seas and all that creeps therein," Psalm 69:35: the seas and the things that creep therein cannot praise jehovah, but he may be praised by those things in man which are signified thereby, and which are alive, consequently which proceed from the living things that are in them. So again; "Praise jehovah, you wild beast, and every beast, creeping thing, and birds of wing," Psalm 148:10; where the creeping thing has a like signification: that by creeping things nothing else is here understood but the good affections from which pleasures are derived, appears also from this consideration, that creeping things with the Jews were unclean, as will be seen by what follows. Again: "O jehovah, the earth is full of your possessions; so is the great and wide sea also, wherein are creeping things innumerable; all things look to you, that you may give them their meat in its season; you give them, they gather it; you open your hand, they are satisfied with good," Psalm 104:24, 25, 27, 28; where, in an internal sense, by seas are signified things spiritual; by creeping things whatever has life thence; enjoyment is described by giving them meat in its season, and satisfying them with good. So in Ezekiel: "And it shall come to pass, that every living soul which creeps wherever the river shall come, shall live, and there shall be fish in great abundance, because these waters come thither, and are healed; and everything shall live whither the river comes," 47:9; speaking of the waters from the New Jerusalem; waters signify things spiritual from a celestial origin; the living soul which creeps signifies the affections of good and the pleasures thence derived, as well relating to the body as to things sensual: which things, that they live by the waters, or by things spiritual from a celestial origin, is very manifest. That filthy pleasures also, which take their origin from proprium, consequently from its defiled lusts, are likewise called creeping things, appears from Ezekiel: "So I went in and saw, and behold, every form of creeping things and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about," Ezekiel 8:10; where the forms of creeping things signify filthy pleasures, whose interiors are lusts, and the inner things of those lusts are hatreds, revenges, cruelties, and adulteries; such are the creeping things, or the delights of pleasures, arising from self-love and the love of the world, or from proprium, which are their idols, because they suppose those delights to be as gods, and love them as such, and thereby adore them: these creeping things, as signifying such defiled things, in the representative church were also accounted so unclean that it was not even lawful to touch them, and whoever only touched them was unclean, as appears, Levit 5:2; 11:31, 32, 33; 22:5, 6. AC 994.

Corporeal and sensual things are in themselves merely material, inanimate, and dead, but they are made alive by the delights which come from the interiors in their orderly arrangements; hence it appears that according to the quality of the life of the interiors, such is the delightfulness of pleasures, inasmuch as in delight there is life: the delight, wherein there is good from the lord, is alone a living delight, for in such case it has life from the essential life of good; wherefore it is here said, "Every creeping thing which is alive shall be to you for meat," that is, for enjoyment. Some suppose, that whoever wishes to be happy in another life, ought by no means to live in the pleasures of the body, and of sensual things, but to refuse all such enjoyments; and they urge in favour of this notion, that corporeal and wordly things draw off and detain the mind from spiritual and celestial life: but they who suppose so, and in consequence thereof resign up themselves voluntarily to miseries, whilst they live in the world, are not informed as to the real truth of the case. It is by no means forbidden any one to enjoy the pleasures of the body and of sensual things, namely the pleasures arising from the possession of lands and money; the pleasures arising from honours and offices in the state; the pleasures of conjugial love, and of love towards infants and children; the pleasures of friendship and of social exchange; the pleasures of hearing or of the sweetnesses of singing and music; the pleasures of sight, or of beauties, which are manifold, as handsome clothing, well-furnished houses, beautiful gardens, and the like, which things are delightful by virtue of the harmony contained in them; the pleasures of smelling, or of the sweetness of odours; the pleasures of taste, or of the agreeableness and usefulness of meats and drinks; and the pleasures of touch. For these are the extreme or corporeal affections, which have their origin, as was said, from the interior affections: the interior affections, which are alive, all derive their delight from goodness and truth, and goodness and truth derive their delight from charity and faith, and in this case from the lord, consequently from the very essential life, wherefore the affections and pleasures, which have this origin, are alive; and whereas genuine pleasures are from such source, they are never denied to any one; yea, when they are derived from that source, then their delight indefinitely exceeds the delight which is from any other source, and which is respectively filthy and defiled; as for example, the pleasure of conjugial love, when it takes its origin from true conjugial love, infinitely exceeds the pleasure which is not from that source, nay, to such a degree, that they who are in true conjugial love are in the enjoyment of a certain heavenly delight and happiness, inasmuch as it descends out of heaven: this was also acknowledged by those who were of the most ancient church; the delight arising from adulteries, and which adulterers felt, was to them so abominable, that they expressed horror at the very thought of it; hence may appear what is the nature and quality of a delight which does not descend from the true fountain of life, or from the lord. That the pleasures above mentioned are by no means denied to man, yea, so far from being denied, that they then first become pleasures when they are derived from their true origin, may further appear from this consideration, that very many who have lived in the world, in power, dignity and opulence, and who enjoyed abundantly all pleasures both of the body and of the things of sense, are amongst the blessed and happy in heaven, and with them the interior delights and happiness are now alive, because such delights and happiness had their source in the good things of charity and the truths of faith towards the lord; and, deriving pleasures from charity and faith towards the lord, they regarded them all with a view to use, which was their end in the enjoyment of them; for it was use itself which was to them most delightful, and hence came the delight of their pleasures. See on this subject what is related from experience, AC 954. AC 995.

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