Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 11:2
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AR 487. Verse 2. But the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not, signifies that the state of the church on earth, such as it is at present, is to be removed, and not to be known. By "the court without the temple" is signified the church on earth, this being out of heaven, that is, out of "the temple" (n. 486). By "casting it out" is signified to remove it, in this instance, from heaven, because such is its state; and by "not measuring" is signified not to scrutinize and know its quality (n. 486). The reason follows; "because it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they trample forty-two months. That by "the court out of the temple" is here signified the church on earth such as it still is, appears from what follows in this chapter, where it is described by "the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt," in which the Lordís two witnesses lay killed, and which afterwards fell in a great earthquake, wherein were killed the names of men seven thousand; besides other circumstances. By "a court" in the Word in other places, is signified the external of the church; for there were two courts, through which it was necessary to pass, in order to go into the temple itself at Jerusalem; and because by "the temple" was signified the church as to its internal, therefore by "the courts" was signified the church as to its external; wherefore the strangers, who were from the Gentiles, were admitted into the courts, but not into the temple itself. And as the external of the church is signified by "a court," therefore also the church on earth is signified thereby, and also heaven in ultimates, because the church on earth is the entrance to heaven, and likewise heaven in ultimates. That is what is signified by "the court" in these passages:--

Happy is he whom Thou choosest, he shall dwell in Thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, with the holiness of Thy temple (Ps. 65:4).

Praise ye the name of Jehovah, ye who stand in His house, in the courts of the house of our God (Ps. 135:1, 2).

How lovely are Thy habitations, O Jehovah; yea, my soul is consumed for the courts of Jehovah (Ps. 84:1, 2).

Enter into His gates with confession, into His courts with praise (Ps. 100:4).

The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; they that be planted in the house of Jehovah shall spring up in the courts of our God (Ps. 92:12, 13).

A day in Thy courts is better than a thousand; I have chosen to stand at the door in the house of my God (Ps. 84:10; Ps. 96:8; 116:19; Isa. 1:12; 62:9; Zech. 3:7; Ezek. 10:3-5).

Concerning the courts of the temple of Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:3, 36). Concerning the courts of the new temple (Ezek. 40:17-44; 42:1-14; 43:4-7). And the court without the tabernacle (Exod. 27:9-18).

AR 488. For it is given unto the Gentiles, signifies because the state of that church is destroyed and desolated by evils of life, as is evident from the signification of "Gentiles," as being those who are in evils of life, and, abstractly, evils of life (n. 147, 483).

AR 489. And the holy city shall they trample forty-two months, signifies that it would disperse every truth of the Word, even so that nothing would remain. By "the holy city" is meant the holy Jerusalem; and by "the holy Jerusalem" is meant the New Church which is in truths of doctrine, for "holy" is predicated of the Divine truth (n. 173); and "a city" signifies doctrine (n. 194); therefore by "trampling" that metropolis or city is signified to disperse the truths of its doctrine; by "forty-two months" is signified until there is an end, when there is nothing left; by truths of doctrine are meant truths from the Word, because the doctrine of the church, and all that relates to it, is thence derived. That they who are, at this day, in the internals of the church, have so dispersed the truths of the Word, and thence the doctrines of the church, and everything of it, is described in this chapter by "the beast coming up out of the abyss," in that "he killed the two witnesses" (ver. 7), and may also be seen from the Relations from the spiritual world, annexed to each chapter. By "forty-two months" is signified even to the end, and till no truth and good of the church is left, because the same thing is signified by forty-two and by six weeks, for six times seven is forty-two, and by "six weeks" is signified what is complete even to the end; for "six" has this signification, and "a week" signifies state, and "the seventh week" a holy state, which is a new state of the church, when the Lord begins His reign. This number has a similar signification in the following passage:--And there was given unto the beast which came up out of the sea a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty-two months (Apoc. 13:5); (n. 583.) The reason why "six" signifies what is complete to the end, is, because "three" has that signification (n. 505), and "six" is double that number, and a number doubled has the same signification as the simple number; besides, the same is signified by this number as by three and a half, because "forty-two months" make three years and a half. "Months" are mentioned because by "a month" is signified a fall state (Isaiah 66:23; Apocalypse 22:1, 2; Genesis 29:14; Numbers 11:18-20; Deuteronomy 21:11, 13).

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