Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 1:8
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AR 29. Verse 8. And I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, signifies Who is the Self-existing and the Only from firsts to ultimates, from Whom all things are; thus Who is Love Itself and the Only Love, Wisdom Itself and the Only Wisdom, Life Itself and the Only Life in Himself, and thus the Creator Himself and the Only Creator, Saviour and Enlightener from Himself, and thence the All in all of heaven and the church. These and many more things besides are contained in the above words, by which the Lord is described. That they are spoken of the Lord, and, indeed, of His Human, is very evident, for it follows that John heard a voice, saying:--

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; and He turned to see the voice that spake with him, and saw the Son of man in the midst of seven lampstands (Apoc. 1:10-13).

Who, also, a little further on, says:--

I am the First and the Last, I am He that liveth and was dead (Apoc. 1:17, 18; 2:8).

But that all the particulars above enumerated are confined in these words, cannot be confirmed briefly, for to confirm them fully would require many sheets; still they are in part confirmed in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, recently published in Amsterdam, which see. The Lord calls Himself " the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," because "Alpha and Omega" refer to His Divine love, and "Beginning and End," to His Divine wisdom; for there is, in every particular of the Word, a marriage of love and wisdom, or of good and truth; on which subject, see Sacred Scripture (Sacred n. 80-90). The Lord is called "the Alpha and the Omega," because Alpha is the first letter and Omega the last in the Greek Alphabet, and therefore they signify all in the aggregate. The reason is, that every letter of the alphabet, in the spiritual world, signifies some thing; and a vowel, because it is serviceable for sound, something of affection or love. From this origin, spiritual and angelic speech, and, also, the Scriptures, are derived; but this is an arcanum hitherto unknown. For there is a universal language in which all angels and spirits are; and this has nothing in common with any language of men in the world. Every man comes into this language after death; for it is implanted in every man from creation, therefore they all can understand each other in the whole spiritual world. It has been granted me frequently to hear that language, and also to speak it; and I have compared it with the languages in the world, and have found that it does not, even in the smallest particular, make one with any natural language on the earth. It differs from these in its first principle, which is, that each letter of every word has a sense and signification peculiar to itself, as well in speaking as in writing. Therefore it is that the Lord is called the Alpha and the Omega, which signifies that He is the All in all of heaven and the church; and as these two letters are vowels, they have relation to love, as was said above. Concerning this language, and the writing of it, flowing from the spiritual thought of the angels, something may be seen in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom (DLW n. 295).

AR 30. Saith the Lord, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come. That this signifies who is eternal and infinite, and Jehovah, may be seen in (n. 13), where this is explained.

AR 31. The Almighty, signifies who is, lives, and has power from Himself, and who rules all things from firsts by ultimates. Since all things are from the Lord, and are created from the firsts which are from Him; and nothing is given which does not exist therefrom, as is abundantly shown in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, it follows, that He is omnipotent. Suppose One from whom are all things; are not all things of that One, upon whom they depend in order, like the links of a chain upon their hook; or like the blood-vessels of the whole body upon the heart; or as each and everything in the universe on the sun? Thus do all things depend on the Lord, who is the sun of the spiritual world, from whom is all the essence, life, and power, with those who are under that sun. In a word, "from Him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). This is the Divine omnipotence. That the Lord rules all things from firsts by ultimates, is an arcanum never before revealed; but it is now explained in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, and concerning the Sacred Scripture, in many places; and also in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence (DP n. 124); and concerning The Divine Love (DLW n. 221). It is known that the Divine because it is infinite, does not fall into the ideas of the thought of any man nor of any angel, because they are finite, and the finite does not have the capacity of perceiving the infinite; still, that it may in some manner be perceived, it has pleased the Lord to describe His infinity by these words:--

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty.

These words, therefore, include all things which angel and man can ever think, spiritually and naturally, concerning the Divine; which things, in general, are what were adduced above universally.

REVELATION 1:8    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Revelation  -  Full Page

Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info