Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 11:8
AR 501. Verse 8. And their bodies shall be upon the street of the great city, signifies that the two essentials of the New Church are totally rejected by those who are interiorly in the falsities of doctrine concerning justification by faith alone. By "the bodies of the two witnesses" are signified the two essentials of the New Church, which are the acknowledgment of the Lord as the only God of heaven and earth, and that conjunction with Him is by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue (n. 490). By "the street of the great city," is signified the falsity of the doctrine concerning justification by faith alone; by "a street" is signified falsity, as will be seen presently; and by "a city" is signified doctrine (n. 194). It is called "a great city," because it is the doctrine which reigns in the whole Reformed Christian world among the clergy, though not in like manner among the laity. "By streets," in the Word, almost the same is signified as by "ways," because streets are ways in a city; but still by "streets" are signified the truths or falsities of doctrine, because "a city" signifies doctrine (n. 194); and by "ways" are signified the truths or falsities of the church, because "the earth" signifies the church (n. 285). That "streets" signify truths or falsities of doctrine, may be seen from the following passages:--
And judgment is rejected, and justice hath stood afar off: for truth is stricken in the street, and rectitude cannot come (Isa. 59:14).
The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall run to and fro in the broad ways (Nah. 2:4).
In the days of Jael the ways ceased, the broad ways ceased in Israel (Judges. 5:6, 7).
How is the city of glory left? therefore her young men shall fall in the streets (Jer. 49:25, 26; 50:30).
They that did feed delicately are devastated in the streets. The form of the Nazarites is darker than blackness; they are not known in the streets. They wandered blind in the streets. They hunted our steps, that we cannot go in the streets (Lam. 4:5, 8, 14, 18).
I will cut off the nations, their corners shall be laid waste, I will desolate their streets (Zeph. 3:6).
Afterwards in sixty-two weeks the streets of Jerusalem shall be built again but in troublous times (Dan. 9:25).
The street of the city New Jerusalem was pure gold, as clear glass (Apoc. 21:21).
In the midst of the street of it, on this side and that, the tree bearing twelve fruits (Apoc. 22:2; Isa. 15:3; 24:10, 11; 51:20; Jer. 5:1; 6:16; 7:17; 9:21; 11:13; Ezek. 16:24, 25, 31; Jer. 44:9, 17; Lam. 2:11, 19; Ezek. 11:6; 26:11, 12; Amos 5:16; Zech. 8:3-5; Ps. 144:13; Job 18:17).
Since "streets" signify the truths of doctrine of the church, therefore:--
They taught in the streets (2 Sam. 1:20).
And it was said:--
We have eaten before Thee and drunk before Thee, and Thou hast taught in our streets (Luke 13:26).
Hypocrites prayed in the comers of the streets (Matt. 6:2-5).
The householder commanded the servants to go into the streets and broadways, and bring them in (Luke 14:21).
For the same reason, also, what is false and falsified is called:--
Mire, dirt and dung, of the streets (Isa. 5:25; 10:6; Micah 7:10; Ps. 18:42).
The prophets who prophesied what was false, should be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them (Jer. 14:16).
AR 502. Which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt signifies the two infernal loves, which are the love of dominating from self-love, and the love of ruling from the pride of one‘s own intelligence, which are in the church where one God is not acknowledged, and the Lord is not worshiped, and where they do not live according to the precepts of the Decalogue. By "Sodom," in the spiritual sense, is signified the love of dominating from self-love, as will be seen presently; and by "Egypt," in the spiritual sense, is signified the love of ruling from the pride of one’s own intelligence, which, also, will be spoken of presently; and because these two loves are signified, therefore it is spiritually called " Sodom and Egypt." The reason why these loves prevail in the church where one God is not acknowledged, and the Lord is not worshiped, and where they do not live according to the precepts of the Decalogue, is, because man is born into those two loves, and comes into them as he grows up, and those loves cannot be removed but by God the Saviour, and by a life according to His precepts; and they cannot be removed by God the Saviour, unless He is approached; nor can a life according to His precepts be given, unless man is led by Him. It can indeed be given, but not a life in which there is anything of heaven and thence of the church. That life is given only by Him who is life. That the Lord is that life, may be seen (John 1:1, 4; 5:26; 6:33-35; 11:25, 26; 14:6, 19). That the love of dominating from self-love, and the love of ruling from the pride of one‘s own intelligence, are the heads of all the loves of hell, and thus the heads of all the evils and thence of the falsities in the church, is unknown at this day; the delights of those loves, which exceed the delights of all the pleasures of the mind, are the causes of its not being known, when yet, "spiritually, they are Sodom and Egypt." That "Sodom" is the love of dominating from self-love, may appear from the description of Sodom in Moses, that they wished to do violence to the angels who came into Lot’s house; and that fire and brimstone rained upon them out of heaven (Genesis 19:1). By "fire and brimstone," that love with its lusts is signified. I saw similar things happen when the cities and societies of such were overthrown in the day of the Last Judgment, and they were cast into hell. These loves and their evils are signified by" Sodom and Gomorrah" in these places: (Isaiah 1:10; 3:8, 9; 13:19; Jeremiah 23:14; 49:18; 50:37, 40; Lamentations 4:6; Ezekiel 16:46-50; Amos 4:11; Zephaniah 2:9, 10; Deuteronomy 29:23; 32:32; Matthew 10:14, 15; 11:23; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:10-12; 17:28, 29). That this love is signified by " Sodom," is not known in the world; but keep this in mind and remember it when you come into the world of spirits, as is done after death, and you will be fully convinced. But it is to be known, that there is a love of dominating from selflove, and a love of dominion from the love of uses; the latter love is celestial, but the former infernal. Therefore when one makes the head, the other makes the feet, that is, when the love of dominating from self-love makes the head, then the love of dominion from the love of uses, which is also the love of serving the neighbor from the Lord, at first makes the feet, afterwards the soles of the feet, and, lastly is trodden under foot. But when the love of dominion from the love of uses, which, as was said, is celestial love, makes the head, then the love of dominating from self-love, which, as was observed, is an infernal love, at first makes the feet, afterwards the soles of the feet, and, finally, is trodden under foot. These two loves, however, are with difficulty distinguished by man in the world, because their external forms are similar; yet they may be distinguished by this, that the celestial love is with those who approach the Lord, and live according to the precepts of the Decalogue; and that the infernal love is with those who do not approach the Lord, and who do not live according to the precepts of the Decalogue.
AR 503. It shall now be said what is signified by "Egypt" in the Word. "Egypt" signifies the natural man in conjunction with the spiritual, and thus the affection of truth and thence science and intelligence; but, in the opposite sense, it signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual, and then the pride of one‘s own intelligence, and thence insanity in spiritual things. "Egypt" signifies the natural man in conjunction with the spiritual, and then the affection of truth, and thence science and intelligence, in the following passages:--
In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt swear to Jehovah of Hosts. In that day shall there be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt; then shall Jehovah be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day (Isa. 19:18-21).
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians may serve with Assyria. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isa. 19:23-25).
Egypt there is the natural, Assyria is the rational, and Israel is the spiritual; these three make the man of the church. Hence the king of Egypt was called "the son of the wise," "the son of the kings of antiquity;" and Egypt was called "the cornerstone of the tribes" (Isaiah 19:11, 13); and it is said of Solomon, that:--
His wisdom excelled the wisdom of the Egyptians (1 Kings 4:30).
And that he took pharaoh’s daughter to wife, and brought her into the city of David (1 Kings 3:1).
And that he built Pharaoh‘s daughter a house near the porch (1 Kings 7:8).
For the same reason also:--
Joseph was carried into Egypt, and was there made the ruler over all the land (Gen. 41:37-57).
Since "Egypt" signified the natural man as to the affection of truth and thence science and intelligence, therefore:--
Joseph, the husband of Mary, being warned of an angel, departed into Egypt with the infant Lord (Matt. 2:14, 15).
According to the prediction:--
When Israel was a boy then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt (Hosea. 11:1).
Thou hast caused a vine to come out of Egypt, Thou hast planted it, and didst cause it to take deep root (Ps. 80:8, 9).
For man is born natural, becomes rational, and afterwards spiritual, thus the vine out of Egypt is planted and takes root. For the sake of this representation also:--
Abraham journeyed into Egypt (Gen. 12:10).
And Jacob was commanded to go with his sons into Egypt, and also abode there (Gen. 46.; 47.; 48.; and 49.). Thence, also, the land of Canaan, by which the church is signified, is described as to its extent:--
As far as the river of Egypt (Gen. 15:18; 1 Kings 4:21; Micah 7:12).
And Egypt is compared:--
To the garden of Eden, the garden of God (Ezek. 31:2, 8; Gen. 13:10).
And the sciences of the natural man are called:--
The desirable things of Egypt (Dan. 11:43).
And fine linen in needlework from Egypt (Ezek. 27:7; Isa. 27:12, 13; Ezek. 29:13-16; 31:1-18; Hos. 11:11; Zech. 10:10, 11; 14:16-18; Ps. 68:31, 32; Isa. 19:23, 24).
But "Egypt," in the opposite sense, signifies the natural man separated from the spiritual, and then the pride of his own intelligence, and thence insanity in spiritual things, in these passages:--
Because the heart of Pharaoh is lifted up in his height, and he hath put his top among the thick boughs, strangers shall cut him off, and cast him down. In the day that thou shalt go down into hell, I will cover the deep over him, and thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised (Ezek. 31:10 18).
The foundations of Egypt shall be overturned; the pride of his strength shall come down; and his cities shall be devastated in the midst of the desolate cities. I will give fire in Egypt, and I will disperse Egypt among the nations, and scatter them in the lands (Ezek. 30:1-26).
Woe to them that go down into Egypt for help, and look not to the Holy One of Israel; for Egypt is man, and not God; and its horses are flesh and not spirit (Isa. 31:1, 3).
Egypt ascendeth as a river; it saith, I will ascend, I will cover the earth, and I will destroy: come up, ye horses; rage, ye chariots; the sword shall devour you, and shall be made drunk with blood; there is no healing to thee (Jer. 46:2, 8-11).
How say ye to Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, and the son of the kings of antiquity? where now are thy wise men? let them know: the princes of Zoan have become foolish; they have seduced Egypt, the corner-stone of the tribes; there shall be no work for Egypt, that it may make the head and the tail (Isa. 19:1-17).
Prophesy against Egypt: O great whale, that liest in the midst of thy rivers; because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it myself; therefore I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will make the fish of thy rivers to stick to thy scales, and I will leave thee in the wilderness: and therefore shall the land of Egypt become a desert and a waste (Ezek. 29:1-12; Isa. 30:2, 7; Jer. 2:17, 28, 36; 42:13-18; Ezek. 16:26, 28, 29; 23:2-33; Hos. 7:11, 13, 16; 9:1, 3, 6; 11:5; 12:1; Joel 3:19; Lam. 5:2, 4, 6, 8; Deut. 17:16; 1 Kings 14:25, 26; 2 Kings 18:21).
Because the Egyptians had become such, therefore they were devastated as to all the goods and truths of the church. Their devastations are described by the miracles performed there, which were plagues, and signified so many lusts of the natural man separated from the spiritual, which acts solely from one’s own intelligence and the pride thereof. The plagues significative of his lusts were, that:--
The waters in the river were turned into blood, insomuch that the fish died, and the river stank (Exod. vii.).
That from the rivers and pools frogs were produced over the land of Egypt; that the dust of the earth was turned into lice; that swarms of noxious flies were sent (Exod. viii.).
That boils breaking forth with pustules were brought upon man and beast; that it rained hail mingled with fire (Exod. ix.).
That locusts were sent; that there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt (Exod. x.).
That all the first-born in the land of Egypt died (Exod. xi.).
And, finally, that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea (Exod. xiv.).
By these hell is signified. What these things specifically signify, may be seen in The Arcana Coelestia, where they are explained. Hence it is evident, what is meant by "the plagues and diseases of Egypt" (Deut. 7:15; 28:60); what by "being drowned by the river of Egypt" (Amos 8:8; 9:5); and whence it is that Egypt is called "the land of bondage" (Micah 6:4); "the land of Ham" (Ps. 106:22); also "the iron furnace" (Deut. 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51). The reason why "Egypt" signifies not only intelligence but also insanity in spiritual things, is because the Ancient Church, which extended through many kingdoms of Asia, was also in Egypt, at which time the Egyptians excelled all others in cultivating the science of correspondences between spiritual things and natural, as appears from their hieroglyphics. But when that science was turned by them into magic, and became idolatrous, then their intelligence in things spiritual became insanity; for which reason, "Egypt," in the opposite sense, signifies such insanity. From what has been said, it may now be seen, what is meant by "the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Eat."
AR 504. Where also our Lord was crucified, signifies non-acknowledgment of the Lord‘s Divine Human, and thus a state of rejection. It is said in the church, that they "crucify the Lord" who blaspheme Him; as do those also who, like the Jews, deny Him to be the Son of God. The reason why they who deny the Lord’s Human to be Divine are like the Jews, is, because every man regards the Lord as a Man, and he who regards His Human as like the human of another man cannot then think of His Divine, howsoever he may call this the Son of God, born from eternity, and equal to the Divine of the Father. When it is spoken and read, it is heard indeed, but still it is not at the same time believed; when the Lord is thought of as a material man like any other man, and retaining the like properties of the flesh; and as His Divine is then removed and not regarded, therefore the same state is induced as if it were denied, for he denies that His Human is the Son of God, as did the Jews, for which reason they crucified Him. That the Lord‘s Human is nevertheless the Son of God, is openly said in (Luke 1:32, 35; Matt. 3:16, 17). From these things it appears, why the men of the church approach God the Father immediately, and many also the Holy Spirit immediately, but scarcely anyone approaches the Lord immediately. Since the Jews, from the denial that the Lord was the Messiah, the Son of God, crucified Him, therefore their Jerusalem is also called Sodom (Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46, 48). And the Lord says:--
On the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all; even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed (Luke 17:29, 30).
What is meant by fire and brimstone may be seen in (n. 452, 494).REVELATION 11:8 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
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