Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 13:7
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AR 586. Verse 7. And it was given unto him to bake war with the saints, and to overcome them, signifies that they have assailed the Divine truths of the Word, and have overthrown them. By "war" is signified spiritual war, which is that of falsity against truth, and of truth against falsity (n. 500); hence "to make war" is to assail; by "saints" are meant they who are in Divine truths from the Lord through the Word, and thence, abstractly from persons, Divine truths (n. 173); therefore, by "overcoming them" is signified to cause that truths should not prevail, thus to overthrow them. The like is signified by these words in Daniel:--

The fourth beast that came up out of the sea, which had a mouth speaking great things, made war with the saints and prevailed (Daniel 7:20, 21).

Also by these:--

The he-goat ran at the ram, and cast him to the earth, and stamped upon him; and lifted himself up against the prince of the host, and the habitation of his sanctuary was cast down; and he cast down the truth to the earth (Daniel 8:5-7, 11, 12).

That by the "he-goat" is meant faith separated from charity, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning Faith (Faith n. 61-68). In like manner by these words:--

A king shall arise hard of faces, understanding subtle things; he shall destroy the mighty, and the holy people, and he shall rise up against the Prince of princes; and fraud shall succeed and shall prosper in his hand (Dan. 8:23-25).

That this "king" is the "he-goat," is said there (Daniel 8:21). The like is also signified by:--

The beast that came up out of the abyss, and made war with the two witnesses, and overcame and killed them (Apoc. 11:7; n. 500.)

They overcame, because the laity do not discern their subtle ties, which they call mysteries, for they conceal them under appearances and fallacies; therefore they said, "Who is like unto the beast? who is able to fight with him?" (verse 4), (n. 579, 581). That by " saints" are meant those who are in truths from the Lord through the Word, may appear from the passages adduced in (n. 173), and also from the following:--

Jesus said, Father, sanctify them in Thy truth, Thy Word is truth. I sanctify Myself, that they may be sanctified in the truth; I in them, and Thou in Me (John 17:17, 19, 23).

Jehovah came from Sinai, He came from the myriads of holiness, from His right hand went the fire of the law to them, all His saints are in Thy hand; he shall receive of thy words (Deut. 33:2, 3).

From this it is plain, that they are called "saints" who are in Divine truths from the Lord through the Word: also, that they who live according to the commandments, that is, according to the truths of the Word, were the "saints of Jehovah" (Lev. 19:2; Deut. 26:18, 19). And if they would keep the covenant, they would be a "holy nation" (Exod. 19:5, 6). The Decalogue is the covenant which they were to do (n. 529). Thence the place in the tabernacle, where the ark was, in which was the Decalogue, was called the holy of holies (Exod. 26:33, 34). They are called "saints" who live according to the truths of the Word; not that they are holy, but the truths in them are holy, and they are holy when they are in them from the Lord; and the Lord is in them when the truths of His Word are in them (John 15:7). By virtue of truths from the Lord the angels are called "holy" (Matt. 25:31; Luke 9:26); and in like manner the prophets (Luke 1:70; Apoc. 18:20; 22:6); and the apostles (Apoc. 18:20). It is for this reason that the temple is called "the temple of holiness" (Ps. 5:7; 65:4); and Zion, "the mountain of holiness" (Isa. 65:11; Jer. 31:23; Ezek. 20:40; Ps. 2:6; 3:4; 15:1). And Jerusalem is called " the holy city" (Isa. 48:2; 64:10; Apoc. 21:2, 10; Matt 27:53). And the church is called "the people of saints" (Isa. 62:12; 63:18; Ps. 149:1); and also the "kingdom of saints" (Dan. 7:18, 22, 27). The reason why they were called holy, is because "angels," in an abstract sense, signify Divine truths from the Lord; "prophets," truths of doctrine; "apostles," truths of the church; "the temple," heaven and the church as to Divine truth; and, in like manner, "Zion," "Jerusalem," "the people" and "the kingdom of God." That no one is holy from himself, not even the angels, may be seen in (Job 15:14, 15), but from the Lord, because "the Lord alone is holy" (Apoc. 15:4; n. 173).

AR 587. And there was given to him authority over every tribe and tongue and nation, signifies thus dominion over all things of the church, both as to its doctrine and as to its life. By "authority" is signified dominion as in (n. 575); by "tribe" is signified the church as to its truths and goods, and, in an opposite sense, as to its falsities and evils (n. 27, 349); by "tongue" is signified its doctrine (n. 282, 483) and by "nation" is signified a life according to it (n. 483).

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