Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 1:7
AR 24. Verse 7. Behold He cometh with the clouds of heaven, signifies that the Lord will reveal Himself in the literal sense of the Word, and will open its spiritual sense in the end of the church. He who does not know anything of the internal or spiritual sense of the Word, cannot know what was meant by the Lord that "He will come in the clouds of heaven"; for He said to the high priest, who adjured Him to say whether He was the Christ the Son of God:--
Thou hast said I am; and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven (Matt. 26:63, 64; Mark 14:61, 62).
And where the Lord speaks to His disciples of the consummation of the age, He says:--
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory (Matt. 24:30; Mark 13:26).
By "the clouds of heaven" in which He is to come, nothing else is meant but the Word in its literal sense; and by "the glory" in which they will see Him, the Word in its spiritual sense. That this is the case, is difficult to be believed by those who do not think beyond the sense of the letter of the Word; with such, "a cloud" is a cloud, and thence is their belief that the Lord will appear in the clouds of heaven, when the Last Judgment is at hand. But this idea falls, when it is known what "a cloud" is, and that it is the Divine truth in ultimates, thus the Word in the sense of the letter. In the spiritual world there appear clouds as well as in the natural world; but the clouds in the spiritual world appear beneath the heavens, with those who are in the sense of the letter of the Word, darker or brighter according to their understanding and reception of the Word; the reason is, that the light of heaven there is the Divine truth, and darkness there is falsities; consequently "bright clouds" are the Divine truth veiled in appearances of truth, such as the Word is in the letter with those who are in truths; and "dark clouds" are the Divine truths covered with fallacies and confirmed appearances, such as the Word is in the letter with those who are in falsities. I have often seen those clouds, and it was evident whence and what they are. Now because the Lord, after the glorification of His Human, was made the Divine truth, or the Word, even in ultimates, He said unto the high priest, that, "Hereafter they should see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven." But His saying to His disciples, that "in the consummation of the age the sign of the Son of man should appear, and that they should see Him coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory," signifies that at the end of the church, when the Last Judgment shall take place, He will appear in the Word, and reveal the spiritual sense, which is also accomplished at this day, because now is the end of the church, and the Last Judgment has taken place, as may appear from the small works recently published. This, therefore, is what is meant in the Apocalypse, by "behold He cometh with clouds": also in the following passages:--
I saw, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man (Apoc. 14:14).
As also in Daniel:--
I saw in the night visions, and behold the Son of man coming with clouds (Daniel 7:13).
That by "the Son of man" is meant the love as to the Word, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 19-28). That also by "clouds" in other parts of the Word, is meant the Divine truth in ultimates, and thence the Word in the letter, may be seen in other passages where clouds are mentioned; as in these:--
There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven, and in magnificence upon the clouds (Deut. 33:26).
Sing unto God, praise His name, extol Him that rideth upon the clouds (Ps. 68:4).
Jehovah rideth upon a light cloud (Isa. 19:1).
"To ride upon the clouds," signifies to be in the wisdom of the Word, for "a horse" signifies the understanding of the Word; who cannot see that Jehovah does not ride upon the clouds?
God rode upon a cherub, and placed the clouds of the heavens His tent (Ps. 18:10, 11).
Here there is a similar signification; "cherubs" also signify the Word, as may be seen below (n. 239, 672); tent signifies a habitation.
Jehovah layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters, He maketh the cloud His chariot (Ps. 104:3).
"Waters" signify truths, "chambers" signify doctrinals, and " chariot" doctrine, all which, because they are from the sense of the letter of the Word, are called " clouds."
He bindeth up the waters in His clouds, and the cloud is not broken under them; He spreadeth His cloud over His throne (Job 26:8, 9).
In like manner:--
God caused the light of His cloud to shine (Job 37:15).
Give ye strength unto God, strength upon the clouds (Ps. 68:34).
"The light of a cloud" signifies the Divine truth of the Word, and "strength" signifies Divine power there.
Thou, O Lucifer, hast said in thine heart, I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will become like the Most High (Isa. 14:14).
Forsake ye, Babylon, for she hath lifted herself up even to the clouds (Jer. 51:9).
By "Lucifer,‘ and "Babylon" are signified those who profane the goods and truths of the Word, therefore these truths are meant there by "clouds."
Jehovah spread a cloud for a covering (Ps. 105:39).
Jehovah createth upon every habitation of Zion a cloud by day, for upon all the glory shall be a covering (Isa. 4:5).
Here, also, by "cloud," is meant the Word in the sense of the letter, which sense, as it includes and covers the spiritual sense, is called "a covering upon the glory." That the literal sense of the Word is a covering, lest its spiritual sense should be injured, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (Sacred n. 33); and that it is a guard (n. 97). The Divine truth in ultimates, which is the same with the Word in the sense of the letter, is also represented by the "cloud," in which Jehovah descended upon Mount Sinai, and promulgated the law (Exod. 19:9; 34:5). Also by the "cloud" which covered Peter, James, and John, when Jesus was transfigured, concerning which it is written:--
While Peter yet spake, behold a cloud overshadowed them, and behold a voice out of the cloud saying, This is my beloved Son, hear ye Him (Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:34, 35).
The Lord in this transfiguration, caused Himself to be seen as the Word; therefore a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice was heard out of the cloud, that He is the Son of God; "the voice out of the cloud" is out of the Word. That by "cloud," in the opposite sense, is meant the Word as to the sense of the letter falsified, will be seen elsewhere.
AR 25. And every eye shall see Him, signifies that all who are in the understanding of Divine truth from affection will acknowledge Him. In the spiritual sense, by "eye" is not meant the eye, but the understanding; therefore, "every eye shall see Him," signifies that all who are in the understanding of Divine truth from affection will acknowledge Him, because they alone understand and acknowledge. The rest see indeed and also understand, but do not acknowledge; the former, then, are signified, because it follows, that "they also who pierced Him" will see Him, by whom are meant those who are in falsities. That "the eye" signifies the understanding, will be seen below (n. 48).
AR 26. And they also who pierced Him, signifies that they also will see who are in falsities in the church. By "piercing" Jesus Christ nothing else is meant than to destroy His Divine truth in the Word. This, also, is meant by:--
One of the soldiers pierced His side, and there went forth blood and water (John 19:34.)
"Blood and water" are the Divine truth, spiritual and natural, thus the Word in its spiritual and in its natural sense; and "to pierce the Lord’s side" is to destroy both by falsities, as was also done by the Jews; for all things of the Lord‘s passion represented the state of the Jewish church as to the Word, on which subject, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 15-17). The reason why "piercing" Him, signifies to destroy the Word by falsities, is, because this is said of Jesus Christ, who presently is called the Son of man, and by the Son of man is meant the Lord as to the Word, therefore "to pierce the Son of man," is to do the same to the Word.
AR 27. And all the tribes of the earth shall wail, signifies that this will be when there are no longer any goods and truths in the church. That "the tribes of the earth" signify the goods and truths of the church, will be seen in the explanation of the seventh chapter, where the twelve tribes of Israel are treated of; "wailing" signifies lamentation that they are dead. The same is meant here as by the Lord’s words in Matthew:--
After the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man, and then shall all the tribes of the earth wail (Matthew 24:29, 30).
These things are said of the consummation of the age, which is the end of the church; "the sun shall be darkened," signifies that there is no longer any love and charity; "the moon shall not give her light," signifies that there is no longer any intelligence and faith; "the stars shall fall from heaven," signifies that there are no longer any knowledges of good and truth; "all the tribes of the earth shall wail," signifies that there are no longer any goods and truths; "affliction" signifies that state of the church.
AR 28. Even so, Amen, signifies the Divine confirmation that so it will be. This is evident from what was explained in (n. 23). REVELATION 1:7 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|