Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 17:16
AR 746. Verse 16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, signifies the Word as to power from the Divine truths with the Protestants, who have altogether rejected from themselves the yoke of the papal domination. It is said here, as above (ver. 12), "the ten horns which thou sawest;" but there they are "ten kings;" but here, "these:" because there, as here, those who have receded from the Roman Catholic religious persuasion are treated of; yet there those who have receded in part; but here, altogether. That it here treats of the Protestants or Reformed, is manifest from these things that follow: that they shall make the harlot desolate and naked, shall eat her flesh and shall burn her up with fire, and they shall give their kingdom to the beast. That the Word as to power from Divine truths is signified by the "ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast," may be seen above (n. 740). "To hate the harlot" is, not to endure the Roman Catholic religious persuasion, and therefore to cast off from themselves the yoke of the papal dominion.
AR 747. And shall make her desolate and naked, signifies that they will put off from themselves her falsities and evils. By "making her desolate" is signified to put off from themselves her falsities; and by "making her naked" is signified to put off from themselves her evils; for they make her desolate and naked with themselves. Desolation in the Word is predicated of truths and falsities, and nakedness of goods and evils; as may be evident from the passages that were adduced above concerning nakedness (n. 213, 706).numbers From these things it may be evident that by "their making her desolate and naked" is signified that they will put off from themselves all the falsities and evils of that religious persuasion. That the Protestants or the Reformed have done so, is known.
AR 748. And shall eat her flesh and burn her up with fire, signifies that from hatred they will condemn and destroy with themselves the evils and falsities which are proper to that religious persuasion, and they will hold the religious persuasion itself accursed, and will blot it out with themselves. This is concerning the Protestants, who will do thus with the harlot, that is, with the Roman Catholic religious persuasion. By "eating her flesh" is signified to condemn from hatred and to destroy among themselves the things proper to that religion, which are evils and falsities, as treated of in what follows: and by "burning her up with fire" is signified to hold that religious persuasion as accursed and profane, and to blot it out with themselves. That "to burn up with fire" has this meaning, is because the punishment of the profanation of what is holy was burning; wherefore it was of the Divine law that:--
They who profaned the name of Jehovah by worshiping other gods, should themselves and all that they had be burned up with fire (Deut. 13:12-18).
Therefore the golden calf, which the sons of Israel profanely worshiped, Moses burned up with fire (Exod. 32:20; Deut. 9:21).
And the two sons of Aaron were consumed by fire from heaven, because they profaned holy things (Lev. 10:1-6).
Nor is anything else signified by "the fire and pile in Tophet," but the fire of hell, which is for those who profane holy things (Isa. 30:33; Jer. 7:11, 31, 32; 19:5, 6; 2 Kings 23:10); for there they worshiped Moloch by a heinous sacrifice. Since by "the fourth beast" in Daniel vii., the religious persuasion which profanes the Word and thence the holy things of the church is signified (n. 717), it is therefore said, that "it was burnt up with fire (Dan. 7:11). Now as it is profane worship to worship a man in place of the Lord, it is therefore said here, that "they should burn up the harlot herself with fire," by which is signified that they should hold as accursed the religious persuasion itself, and destroy it with themselves. The reason that "by eating her flesh" is signified to condemn from hatred and to destroy with themselves the evils and falsities which are proper to that religious persuasion, is because that is signified by "eating flesh:" for by "flesh" are signified the things proper to anyone, which have relation to goods and truths, and in the opposite sense to evils and falsities; and by "eating" is signified to consume, and thus to destroy. That by "flesh" is signified what is proper to anyone, which in itself is evil, is evident from these passages:--
It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing (John 6:63).
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is generated of the spirit (John 3:6).
As many as received Him, to them gave the power to become. the sons of God, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh (John 1:12, 13).
God remembered that they were flesh, a breath that passeth away and returneth not (Ps. 78:39).
Egypt is man, and not God; and its horses are flesh, and not spirit (Isa. 31:3).
Jerusalem hath committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt great in flesh (Ezek. 16:26).
Jesus said to Peter, Flesh and blood hath not revealed these things to thee (Matt. 16:17).
Cursed is be that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm (Jer. 17:5).
Because "flesh" signifies man‘s proprium, and they who hate another assail the things that are his own with the purpose of destroying them, this therefore is signified by "eating flesh," as also in these passages:--
He that dieth let him die, and he that is cut off let him be cut off, let the rest eat each one the flesh of another (Zech. 11:9).
They shall eat up Israel with every mouth; they shall eat every man the flesh of his arm, Manasseh Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh (Isa. 9:12, 20, 21).
I will feed thy oppressors with their own flesh (Isa. 49:26).
They shall eat everyone the flesh of his companion (Jer. 19:9).
Eating the flesh of sons and daughters (Jer. 19:9; Lev. 26:29; Deut. 28:53), signified to destroy truths and goods with themselves; for by "sons" are signified truths, and by "daughters" goods, see above (n. 139, 543, 546, 612). Besides, in the Word "all flesh" is spoken of; and by it is signified every man (Gen. 6:12, 13, 17, 19; Isa. 40:5, 6; 49:26; 66:16, 23, 24; Jer. 25:31; 32:27; 45:5; Ezek. 20:48, 49).REVELATION 17:16 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|