Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 11:3
AR 490. Verse 3. And I will give unto My two witnesses, signifies those who confess and acknowledge from the heart that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, and who are conjoined to Him by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue. The reason why these are here meant by "the two witnesses," is, because these two are the two essentials of the New Church. That the first essential, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, is "a testimony," and consequently, that they are "witnesses" who confess and acknowledge it in the heart, may be seen (n. 6, 846), and likewise from the following passages:--
I am the fellow servant of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Apoc. 19:10).
The angels of Michael overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of His testimony: and the dragon went away to made war with the rest of her seed, who kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Apoc. 12:11, 17).
The souls of them that were smitten with the axe for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God (Apoc. 20:4).
These are they who acknowledged the Lord. This is called "the testimony of Jesus," because the Lord testifies it from His Word, thus from Himself; on which account He is called:--
The Faithful and True Witness (Apoc. 1:5; 3:14).
And He says:--
I testify of Myself, and My testimony is true; because I know whence I come, and whither I go (John 8:14).
When the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall testify of Me (John 15:26).
That the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, which is also the Holy Spirit, is the proceeding Divine, and that this is the Lord Himself, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 46-54). Now because the Lord Himself is the Witness, therefore those also are meant by "witnesses" who testify this from the Lord, as John did:--
Jesus said, ye sent unto John, and he was a witness to the truth; yet I receive not testimony from man (John 5:33, 34).
John came for a testimony, that he might testify concerning the light: he was not the Light, but that he might testify of the Light. The Word, which was with God, and which was God, was the true Light (John 1:1-14, 34).
That the second essential of the New Church, which is conjunction with the Lord by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue, is "a Testimony," is manifest from the fact that the Decalogue is called "the Testimony;" as in these passages:--
Thou shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give thee (Exod. 25:16).
Moses put the Testimony into the Ark (Exod. 40:20).
The mercyseat which is over the Testimony (Lev. 16:13).
Leave the staffs of the tribes before the Testimony (Num. 17:4; Exod. 25:22; 31:7, 18; 32:15; Ps. 78:5; 132:12).
Something shall here be said concerning conjunction with the Lord by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue. There are two tables upon which those precepts are written, one for the Lord, the other for man. The first table, teaches that many gods are not to be worshiped, but one; the second table, that evils are not to be done; therefore, when one God is worshiped, and man does not do evils, conjunction takes place; for so far as a man desists from evils, that is, does the work of repentance, so far he is accepted by God, and does good from Him. But who now is the one God? A trine or triune God is not one God when this trine and triune is in three Persons; but He, in whom the trine or triune is in one Person, is one God, and that God is the Lord. Entangle the ideas as far as you can, yet you will never be able to extricate the idea that God is one, unless He is also one Person. That this is so, the whole Word teaches, both in the Old Prophetic, and in the New Apostolic, as may be clearly seen from The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord.
AR 491. And they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, signifies that these two, the acknowledgment of the Lord, and a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue, which are the two essentials of the New Church, are to be taught until the end and the beginning. That these two, the acknowledgment of the Lord, and a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue, are the two essentials of the New Church, and are meant by "the two witnesses," may be seen abode (n. 490); and that "to prophesy" signifies to teach (n. 8, 133). By "one thousand two hundred and sixty days," is signified until the end and the beginning, that is, until the end of the former church, thus to the beginning of the New. The reason why this is signified by this number, is, because it has the same signification as three and a half, and by three and a half is signified an end and a beginning (n. 505); for the number one thousand two hundred and sixty, when reduced into years, makes three years and a half. The like is signified by the same number in the next chapter:--
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days (Apoc. 12:6).
AR 492. Clothed in sackcloth, signifies mourning in the meantime on account of the non-reception of truth. By "clothed in sackcloth" is signified mourning on account of the devastation of truth in the church; for "garments" signify truths (n. 166, 212, 328, 378, 379); therefore "to be clothed in sackcloth," which is not a garment, signifies mourning because there is no truth, and where there is no truth there is no church. The sons of Israel represented mourning by various things, which, from correspondences, were significative, as by putting ashes on the head, by rolling themselves in the dust, by sitting a long time silent upon the earth, by shaving themselves, by lamentation and howling, by rending the garments, and also by "putting on sackcloth," besides other particulars; and each of these signified some evil of the church among them, for which they were punished; and when they were punished, they represented repentance by such things, and on account of the representation of repentance, and, then at the same time, of humiliation, they were heard. That mourning on account of the devastation of truth in the church, was represented by "putting on sackcloth," may be seen from the following passages:--
The lion is come up from the thicket, he has gone forth from his place to reduce the land to wasteness; for this gird you with sackcloth, lament, bowl (Jer. 4:7, 8).
O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes, for the waster shall suddenly come upon us (Jer. 6:26).
Woe unto thee, Chorazin and Bethsaida, for if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes (Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13).
The king of Nineveh, after he heard the words of Jonah, put off his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes, and proclaimed a fast, and that man and beast should be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:5, 6, 8; Isa. 3:24; 15:2, 3; 22:12; 37:1, 2; 50:3; Jer. 48:37, 38; 49:3; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 7:17, 18; 27:31; Dan. 11:3; Joel 1:8, 13; Amos 8:10; Job 16:15, 16; Ps. 30:11; 35:13; 69:10, 11; 2 Sam. 3:31; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30; 19:1, 2).
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|