Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 17:8
AR 733. Verse 8. The beast that thou sawest, was and is not, signifies the Word with them acknowledged as holy, and yet in reality not acknowledged. That by "the beast" is signified the Word, may be seen above (n. 723). By "was, and is not," is signified that it was acknowledged to be holy, and yet in reality was not acknowledged. That the Word was with them, and also is, and yet is not, is known. It is acknowledged indeed to be holy, because it treats of the Lord, and of His authority over the church, and over heaven, and of Peter and his keys; but yet it is not acknowledged, for it is not read by the people, because they are withheld from reading it, and it is taken away from them, yea, even prohibited under various pretences of the monks, being kept only in libraries and monasteries, where few read it, much less attend to anything true that is in it; but only to the dictates of the Pope, which they say are in like manner holy. Yea when they speak from their hearts, they vituperate and blaspheme the Word. From these things it may appear, that by "the beast which was, and is not," is signified the Word acknowledged with them as holy, and yet in reality not acknowledged.
AR 734. And is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition, signifies deliberation at different times in the Papal Consistory concerning the reception and reading of the Word by the laity and common people, but rejected. By "the beast which was about to come up" the Word is signified, as above (n. 723, 733): by "the abyss" out of which he was about to come up nothing else can be signified but that religious persuasion, and especially where its throne is, thus the Papal Consistory. It is "an abyss," because that which is decreed there regards domination over the holy things of the church and over heaven, and thus over all things of the Lord and His Word (n. 729). These they have for their end as the essentials, but the good of the church and the salvation of souls as formal things necessary as means to the end. By "going away into perdition" is signified to be rejected. It is known from ecclesiastical history that the reception and reading of the Word by the laity and the common people has been several times deliberated there, but rejected. It was also proposed by a Pontiff who is now among the Reformed and the blessed, who is spoken of in the Continuation concerning the spiritual world (n. 59), but it was not accepted; and this is especially known from the Bull Unigenitus, and besides from the Councils.
AR 735. And they that dwell upon the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, seeing the beast which was and is not, but yet is, signifies the amazement of those who are of that religion, all who from its establishment have aspired to domination over heaven and earth, that the Word, although thus rejected, still is. By "wondering" is signified to be amazed: by "them that dwell upon the earth" are signified those who are of the church, here those who are of that religious persuasion, as above (n. 721): "whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world," signifies those who do not believe in the Lord, and are not in doctrine from the Word: all since the establishment of the church, here since the establishment of this religious persuasion (n. 588, 589); and these are no others than they who aspire to domination over heaven and over the earth. By "the beast which was and is not, but yet is," is signified that the Word, so rejected, still is. It is manifest from this, that by "they that dwell upon the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, seeing the beast which was and is not, but yet is," is signified the amazement of those who are of that religious persuasion all who since its establishment have aspired at domination over heaven and earth, that the Word, though it has been thus rejected, still is. For all who aspire at domination over the holy things of the church and over heaven, hate the Word, because they hate the Lord; if not in the mouth, still in the heart. That it is so, few know in the world, because they are then in the body; but it is made manifest after death, when everyone is in his spirit. Hence it is that they wonder that the Word still is, though it has been so rejected; as was said above (n. 734). The reason that the Word still is, is because it is Divine, and the Lord is in it. REVELATION 17:8 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|