PSALMS 90Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page
A prayer of Moses, the man of God.
That man is nothing of himself, but only the lord, verses 1 to 6; that the church must perish, verses 7 to 11; unless the lord restore it, verses 12, 13; by his coming, verse 14; whence proceeds salvation, verses 14 to 17.
Verse 1. O lord, you have been our habitation in all generations. Inasmuch as habitation signifies heaven, where the lord is, it also signifies the good of love and faith, for these constitute heaven; and whereas all good is from the lord, and heaven is called heaven from love and faith in the lord, hence also habitation in the supreme sense signifies the lord. AC 9481.
Verse 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, yea, before the earth and the world were formed, even from eternity to eternity you are god. By the mountains, the earth, and the world, here spoken of, is not meant the creation of the world, but the establishment of the church; for mountains, in the Word, signify celestial love, thus the church, in which that love is; the earth also, and the world, signify the church. AC 10248.
By mountains are signified those who dwell on mountains in the heavens, being those who are in celestial good; but by the earth and the world is signified the church, consisting of those who are in truths and in goods. AE 741.
Verse 4. For a thousand years in your eyes are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night; where a thousand years denotes what is without time, consequently what is eternal, which is the infinite of time. AC 2575.
In this passage, yesterday, and the day before yesterday, denotes formerly, or the time past. Now, whereas by yesterday, and the day before yesterday, is signified the time past, and the subject treated of, in the supreme sense, is concerning the lord, it is evident by from yesterday, and the day before yesterday, is signified from eternity. AC 6983.
Verse 4. For a thousand years in your eyes are but as yesterday. In this passage, by a thousand is not signified a thousand, but much, without any number. AC 8715.
Verse 6. Which in the morning flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down. In the Word throughout mention is made of the evening, and by it is signified the last time of the church, and also its first time,.—the last with those with whom the church ceases, and the first with those with whom it commences; hence primarily by evening is signified the coming of the lord, for then was the end of the former church, and the beginning of a new one; the first state of which is called evening, because the man of the church begins from obscure light, and advances to clear light, which to him is morning. AC 7844.
Verse 8. You have placed our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance. The light of your countenance, is the light, of heaven from the lord as a sun; (that the effulgence of the divine love and wisdom proceeding from the Lord, appears as a sun encircling his Divine Person, see Psalm 84:11, Exposition;) inasmuch as this light is essential divine truth, from which are all intelligence and wisdom, therefore the quality of every thing that comes into it is manifested as in clear day; hence it is, that when the evil come into this light, they appear altogether agreeable to their real quality, deformed and monstrous according to the evils concealed in them, from which it is evident what is signified by the above words. AE 412.
Verse 10. The days of our years are threescore years and ten, etc. Man, from first infancy to extreme old age, undergoes several states as to his interiors, which are of intelligence and wisdom; the first, state is from nativity to the fifth year of his age; this state is a state of ignorance, and of innocence in ignorance, and is called infancy; the second - state is from the fifth year of age even to the twentieth; this state is a state of instruction and of science, and is called boyhood: the third state is from the twentieth year of age to the sixtieth, which state is a state of intelligence, and is called adolescence, youth, and manhood: the fourth or last state is from the sixtieth year of age and upwards, which state is a state of wisdom, and of innocence in wisdom: these successive states of the life of man are signified by the numbers of the years of age, five, twenty, and sixty, in the following passage in Moses: "When any one shall make a singular vow, the estimation of a male shall be from a son of twenty years even to a son of sixty years, fifty shekels of silver; if a female, the estimation shall be thirty shekels. But from a son of five years even to a son of twenty years, the estimation shall be, if a male, twenty shekels, if a female, ten shekels. But from a son of a month even to a son of five years, the estimation of a male shall be five shekels, of a female three shekels: but from a son of sixty years and upwards, the estimation shall be fifteen shekels, but of a female ten shekels," Levit 27:2 to 7. That the first state is a state of ignorance, and also of innocence in ignorance, is evident; during the continuance of this state, the interiors are forming to use, consequently are not manifested, but only the most external, which are of the sensual man; when these alone are manifested, there is ignorance: for whatever man understands and perceives, is from the interiors; hence also it may be manifest, that the innocence which exists at that time, and is called the innocence of infancy, is innocence the most external.
That the second state is a state of instruction and of science is also evident; this state is not yet a state of intelligence, because the child at that time does not form any conclusions from himself, neither does he discern between truths and truths, nor even between truths and falses, from himself, but from others; he only thinks and speaks things of the memory, thus from science alone, nor does he see and perceive whether a thing be so, except on the authority of his master, consequently because another has so said. But the third state is called a state of intelligence, since at this time man thinks from himself and discerns and concludes; and what he then concludes is his own and not another's; at this time faith commences, for faith is not the faith of the man himself, until from the ideas of his own proper thought he has confirmed what he believes; previous to this time, faith is not his, but another's in himself, for he believed the person not the thing; hence it may be manifest, that a state of intelligence then commences with man when he no longer thinks from a master, but from himself; which effect has not place until the interiors are open towards heaven. It is to be noted, that the exteriors belonging to man are in the world, and the interiors in heaven; and that in proportion to the quantity of light which flows in from heaven into those things which are from the world, in the same proportion man is intelligent and wise; this is effected in the degree, and according to the quality in which the interiors are opened; and they are so far opened, as man lives for heaven and not for the world.
But the last state is a state of wisdom, and of innocence in wisdom; which is when man has no longer any concern about understanding truths and goods, but about willing them and living them; for this is to be wise; and man is enabled to will truths and goods and to live them, so far as he is in innocence, that is, so far as he believes that he has nothing of wisdom from himself, but that whatever relish he has of wisdom is from the lord; also so far as he loves it to be so; hence it is that this state also is a state of innocence in wisdom. From the succession of these states the man who is wise may also see the wonderful things of Divine Providence, which are these, that a prior state is the plane of those which continually follow, and that the opening or unfolding of the interiors proceeds from outermost things, even to inmost things successively; and at length in such a manner that what was first, but in things outermost, this also is last, but in things inmost, namely ignorance and innocence; for he who knows that of himself he is ignorant of all things, and that whatever he knows is from the lord, he is in the ignorance of wisdom, and also in the innocence of wisdom. AC 10225.
Verse 12. So teach us to number our days, that we may acquire a heart of wisdom. To number days denotes to ordain and arrange states of life; and days are said to be numbered when they are ordained or arranged, thus when they are finished, as in Isaiah, "I said by the cutting off of my days I was about to go away to the gates of hell; I was numbered as to the residue of my years," Isaiah 38:10. The reason why numbering is signified to ordain and arrange is because by number is signified the quality of a thing and of a state, and the quality is determined by the number adjoined; hence to number denotes its quality, and the qualification of a thing in spiritual things is effected by ordination and arrangement from the lord. AC 10217.PSALMS 90 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page