Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 17:9-10
AR 736. Verse 9. Here is the mind that hath wisdom, signifies that this is the interpretation in the natural sense, but for those who are in the spiritual sense from the Lord. "Here is the mind" signifies that this is the understanding and interpretation of those things that were seen: "that hath wisdom" signifies for those that are interiorly wise. That the interpretation is in the natural sense for those who are in the spiritual sense, is because the interpretation was made by the angel in the natural sense, and not in the spiritual; for he said that the seven heads of the beast were "seven mountains," and likewise that "they were seven kings;" and that "one of them is, and another is not yet come;" also that the beast "is the eighth, and is of the seven;" besides more things which follow even to the end of the chapter; and these things cannot be understood except by those who are in the spiritual sense from the Lord; this is therefore signified by "having wisdom." The reason that the interpretation was made by the angel in the natural sense, and not in the spiritual, is because the natural sense is the basis, the containant and the support of its spiritual and celestial sense; see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (Sacred n. 27-49). Therefore also elsewhere in the Word interpretations are given in the natural sense; and still they cannot be understood interiorly except by the spiritual sense: as may be seen in the prophets, and also in the evangelists, in many places.
AR 737. The seven heads are seven mountains where the woman sitteth upon them (verse 10), and they are seven kings, signifies the Divine goods and Divine truths of the Word, upon which the Roman Catholic religious persuasion is founded, destroyed in time, and at length profaned. Since the Word is signified by "the scarlet beast," and therefore the goods of love and the truths of wisdom therein are signified by his "heads," on this account the quality of the Word as to these two with those that are meant by "Babylon," is here described, the Divine good of love there by "mountains," and the Divine truth there by "kings." That the goods of love are signified by "mountains," may be seen (n. 336, 339, 714); and that the truths of wisdom are signified by "kings" (n. 20, 664, 704), and that by "the head," when the Lord is spoken of, the Divine love of His Divine wisdom and the Divine wisdom of His Divine love are signified (n. 47, 538, 568); and that by "seven" is signified all and complete; and that it is said of holy things (n. 10, 391, 657); and that by "the woman" is signified the Roman Catholic religious persuasion (n. 723). Hence now by "the seven heads are seven mountains where the woman sitteth upon them," are signified the Divine goods and the Divine truths of the Word, upon which the Roman Catholic religious persuasion is founded. The reason is, that the whole Word is profaned and adulterated by that religious persuasion, see above (n. 717, 719-721, 723, 728-730). It is said to have been profaned in time, since in the beginning the Word was holy to them; but as they saw that they could dominate by the holy things of the church, they receded from the Word, and acknowledged their own edicts, precepts, and statutes as of equal, but really of superior holiness; and at length they transferred all the Lord‘s authority to themselves, not leaving anything. It is from their first state, when they held the Word holy, that Lucifer, by whom is meant Babel (n. 717), was called "Soil of the morning;" but it is on account of their later state, that "he was let down into hell" (Isa. 14:15). But more may be seen on this subject in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence (DP n. 257). It may seem as if by "the seven mountains where the woman sitteth" is meant Rome; because that is built upon seven mountains, from which also it is named. But although Rome is meant, since the throne and tribunal of that religious persuasion is there, nevertheless by "the seven mountains" the Divine goods of the Word, and thence of the church, profaned, are here signified; for the number seven adds nothing else but what is holy, here what is profaned, as the same number does elsewhere: as where are mentioned:--
Seven spirits before the throne of God (Apoc. 1:4).
Seven candlesticks, in the midst of which was the Son of man (Apoc. 1:13; 2:1).
Seven stars (Apoc. 2:1; 3:1).
Seven lamps of fire before the throne (Apoc. 4:5).
Seven seals, with which the book was sealed (Apoc. 5:1).
Seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb (Apoc. 6:6).
Seven angels with seven trumpets (Apoc. 8:2).
Seven thunders (Apoc. 10:3, 4).
Seven angels having seven plagues in vials (Apoc. 15:1, 6, 7).
In like manner here that the scarlet beast had "seven heads"; and that "the seven heads were seven mountains," and likewise were "seven kings."
AR 738. Five have fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he is come, he must remain a short time, signifies that all the Divine truths of the Word have been destroyed, except this one, that all authority in heaven and in earth was given to the Lord; and except another, which has not yet come into question; and when it does, it will not remain; which is, that the Lord’s Human is divine. By "five" is not signified five, but all the rest; here all the rest of the Divine truths of the Word, which are signified by "kings." For numbers in the Apocalypse, and in the Word generally, signify the quality of the things with which they are connected. They are like certain adjectives united with substantives, or like certain predicates adjoined to subjects; as may be seen from the numbers two, three, four, six, seven, ten, twelve, a hundred and forty-four, explained above. Here therefore "five" signifies all the rest, because "seven" signifies all the holy things of the Word; and it follows that "one is," and that "the other is to come"; and thus that there are two out of them all which remained. From which it is manifest, that by "five have fallen" is signified that all the rest have been destroyed. They are said "to fall," because kings are spoken of, who fall by the sword. By "one is" nothing else is signified but this Divine truth, that all power in heaven and on earth was given to the Lord according to the words of the Lord Himself (Matt. 28:18; John 13:3; 17:2, 3, 10; n. 618). That this one has not been destroyed is because otherwise they could not claim to themselves dominion over all things of the church and the Word and over heaven. By "the other who is not yet come, and when he cometh must remain but a short time," is signified the Divine truth which has not yet come in question, and when it does, will not remain with them, which is, that the Lord‘s Human is Divine. It is said that "it must remain but a short time," because this is according to the Divine Providence, spoken of above (n. 686). That it is a Divine truth that the Lord’s Human is Divine, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, from beginning to end. But the reason that it has not yet come in question, is, because, after they had transferred to themselves all the Lord‘s power, they could not acknowledge the Lord’s Human as Divine, because it would then be said by the laity and the common people that they had transferred Divine power to themselves, and thus that the Pontiff himself was God, and his ministers were gods. But that this will yet come in question, may be evident from the fact that it is here foretold in the Apocalypse. That they have seen this other truth, which is that the Lord‘s Human is Divine, though as with closed eyes, is manifest from these things with them, that they say in the Eucharist there is not only the body and blood of the Lord, but also His soul and Divinity; thus that there is omnipresence as well of His Human as of His Divine; and the Human cannot be omnipresent unless it is Divine: also that they say, that Christ as to His body and blood, and at the same time as to His soul and Divinity is in them, and they are in Him by the Eucharist; and this is said of His Human; which cannot be said, because it is not possible, unless His Human is Divine. Besides these things they also say that the saints will reign with Christ, and that Christ is to be adored, and that the saints are to be invoked and venerated; also that Christ is the true Light, and that in Him they live and have merit, and other similar things, which involve the Divinity of His Human. These things are from the Council of Trent and from its bull. Thus, as was said, they may see that truth, but as if with closed eyes. REVELATION 17:9-10 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|