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To him that presides upon Shoshannim-eduth; a Psalm of Asaph.
A prayer of the new church to the lord, that he would come and lead them, verses 1 to 3, 7; because of their affliction, verses 4 to 6; that he established his church and reformed it by truths from the Word, verses 8 to 11; and nevertheless falses began to destroy it, verses 12, 13; that the lord may come and restore it, and that thus it will be vivified, verses 14 to 19.
Verse 1. Give ear, O you Shepherd of Israel, you that leadest Joseph like a flock, you that dwell between the cherubim, shine forth! Dwelling between the cherubim denotes the lord as to a state of Providence, in preventing any one entering into the holy things of love and faith unless he be prepared of the lord. AC 3884. (See AC 308.)
It is believed that the lord may be approached by the truths of faith, but he cannot be approached by those truths separate from the good of love, nor indeed can heaven be approached, but as soon as truths separate are willing to enter, heaven is shut, thus the way to the lord is closed; and whereas, truth cannot of itself enter, unless good be in it, and thus by good it be made good, so neither can the intellectual principle, and still less scientifics, separate from the good of the will enter into heaven. Inasmuch as guard and Providence to prevent the lord being approached except by the good of love, is signified by cherubim, therefore in the Word jehovah is said to sit upon cherubim, also to ride and dwell upon cherubim, as in David, "Shepherd of Israel give ear, you that dwell between the cherubim shine forth."
Verse 2. Before Ephraim and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up your strength and come and save us. In this sense Joseph signifies the spiritual man; Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh are the three principles proper to the spiritual church. AC 3969.
Verse 2. Before Ephraim, and Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up your strength and come and save us. From the spiritual sense it is evident that these words contain a supplication to the lord, that he may instruct those who are of the church, and lead by truths to good, thus to heaven; the lord is called the shepherd of Israel, from this, that he instructs and leads, wherefore it is said, who leads Joseph as a flock; by Joseph are meant those who are of the church, who are in truths grounded in good; who sit upon a cherub signifies the lord above the heavens, whence he sends forth light which enlightens the minds of angels and of men; wherefore it is said, shine forth; that the light of truth may penetrate even to those who are in natural truth and good, thus to the ultimates or lowest in the church, is signified by stirring up your strength before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh; by Ephraim are meant those who are in natural truth, natural truth being the quality of the truth of the Word in the sense of the letter; by Manasseh are meant those who are in natural good, which is the delight of doing good and learning truth; by Benjamin is meant the conjoining principle of truth and good, or the conjoining medium in the natural principle; by stirring up strength is meant to penetrate thither with light; that they may be saved is signified by being salvation to us. Inasmuch as all good belonging to the natural man flows in from the lord through the spiritual man, and that without that influx not any good can be given to the natural man; and whereas by Manasseh was represented and thence signified good in the natural man from a spiritual origin, therefore to that tribe was given an inheritance beyond Jordan, and likewise on this side or within Jordan. Deut 3:13; Josh 13:29, 30, 31. AC 440.
Verse 3. Turn us again, O God, and cause your face to shine, that, we may be saved. That the face of jehovah or of the lord is mercy, may be evident from the Word, for the face of jehovah or the lord, in a proper sense, is the divine love itself, and because it is the divine love, it is of mercy, for mercy is grounded in love towards the human race beset with so great miseries. That the face of jehovah or the lord is the Divine love, may be manifest from the lord's face, when he was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, that is, when he showed them his Divine principle, on which occasion his face did shine as the sun. The lord's essential Divine principle never appeared in any face, but his Divine human principle has so appeared. AC 5585.
Verses 8, 9. You have brought a vine out of Egypt, you have cast out the nations and planted it; you have prepared a place for it, and have caused it to take deep root, and to fill the earth. By a vine out of Egypt is signified the church, which the sons of Israel represented; by driving out the nations is signified the evils of the natural man which are driven out by truth; by preparing a place for it, and by making it to take root, is signified instruction according to order, which is that they should imbue knowledges and scientifics, and next that they should be in the wilderness and be tempted, and afterwards should be introduced into the land of Canaan, that is, into the church; these things in their order are signified by preparing a place for it; by making it take root till it had filled the earth, by sending forth its boughs even to the sea, is signified an increase of intelligence and extension even to the ultimates of the good and truth of the church; and by sending forth its branches even to the river, is signified to the rational principle. AE 654.
By a vine out of Egypt are meant the sons of Israel, who are called a vine, because they represented the spiritual church, which is signified by a vine in the Word; their sojourning in Egypt represented their first initiation into the things of the church, for Egypt signified scientific subservient to the things of the church; when therefore a vine signifies the church, and Egypt a subservient scientific, it is evident what is signified in the spiritual sense, by bringing a vine out of Egypt; the extension of its intelligence even to things scientific and rational, is signified by sending forth its boughs even to the sea, and its branches to the river. AE 518.
Speaking in a supreme sense of the lord, the vine out of Egypt is truth from scientifics, to drive out the nations is to purge from evils; to sweep before it is to make ready that goodnesses may fill. AC 3142.
To the sea and to the river denotes to interior truths and goods. AC 9341.
Verses 14, 15, 16. Return, we beseech you, O god of hosts! look down from heaven, and behold and visit this vine. And the plant which your right hand has planted, and the son that you have made strong for yourself. It is burnt with fire; it is cut down; they perish at the rebuke of your countenance. David said these things of the church and of himself, which is the sense of the letter, for he understood himself by the branch, and by the son; but in the spiritual sense, by a vine and by a branch which jehovah planted, is signified the spiritual church represented by the sons of Israel; by a son whom he made strong for himself is signified the truths of doctrine from the Word; by the man of your right hand, and by the son of man whom he made strong for himself is signified the truths of the Word in the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, and the truths of the Word in the spiritual sense, which is the internal sense. AE 724.
Verse 18. We will call upon your name. See Psalm 79:9, Exposition.PSALMS 80 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page