Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 19:18
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AR 832. Verse 18.That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of commanders of thousands, and the flesh of the mighty, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit upon them, and the flesh of all, free and bond, and small and great, signifies the appropriation of goods from the Lord through the truths of the Word and of doctrine thence, in every sense, degree, and kind. Just above (n. 831), conjunction with the Lord by the Word is treated of; here it is concerning appropriation of goods from Him through the truths of the Word. By "eating" is signified appropriation (n. 89): by "the flesh" which they should eat are signified the goods of the Word and thence of the church; and by "kings, commanders of thousands, the mighty, horses, them that sit upon them, free and bond, small and great," are signified truths in every sense, degree, and kind. By "kings" are signified those who are in the truths of the church from the Word, and abstractly the truths of the church from the Word (n. 20, 483). By "commanders of thousands" are signified those who are in the knowledges of good and truth, and abstractly those knowledges (n. 337). By "the mighty" are signified they who are in erudition from doctrine from the Word, and abstractly erudition thence (n. 337). By "horses" the understanding of the Word is signified; and by "them that sit upon horses" are signified they who are in wisdom from the understanding of the Word, and abstractly wisdom thence (n. 298, 820). By "the free and bond" are signified they who know from themselves and they who know from others (n. 337, 604). By "small and great" those are signified who are in a lesser and in a greater degree (n. 527, 810). It is manifest from these things, that by "they may eat their flesh" is signified the appropriation of goods from the Lord through the truths of the Word and of doctrine thence in every sense, degree, and kind. It is to be known that no man has any spiritual good from the Lord, except through truths from the Word; for the truths of the Word are in the light of heaven, and its goods are in the heat of that light; wherefore, unless the understanding is in the light of heaven through the Word, the will cannot come into the heat of heaven. Love and charity cannot be formed except through truths from the Word; a man cannot be reformed except through truths therefrom. The church itself with man is formed by them; but not by those truths in the understanding alone, but by a life according to them; the truths thus enter into the will, and become goods. Thus the face of truth is turned into the face of good; for that which is of the will and thus of the love is called good, and everything which is of the will or love is also of manís life. From this it may be seen, that the appropriation of good through truths in every sense, degree, and kind, from the Lord through the Word, is here meant by "eating the flesh" of those that are named. Who cannot see that flesh is not here meant by "flesh"? Who can be so insane as to believe that the Lord calls and calls together all to a great supper, that He may give them to eat of the flesh of kings, commanders of thousands, the mighty, horses, them that sit on them, the free and bond, the small and great? Who cannot see that there is a spiritual sense in those things, and that without that sense no one knows what they signify? Who persists in denying that the Word is spiritual in its bosom? Would it not be more than material, if those things should be understood according to the sense of the letter, and not according to the spiritual sense? Similar to these things are the following from Ezekiel

Thus said the Lord Jehovah, Say to the bird of every wing, and to every beast of the field, gather yourselves together and come; gather yourselves together from round about unto My great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood; ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, ye shall eat fat to satiety, and drink blood even to drunkenness, of My sacrifice which I sacrifice for you; ye shall be satiated at My table with horse and chariot and every man of war: thus will I give My glory among the nations (Ezekiel 39:17-21).

Here in like manner by "flesh" is signified the good of the church from the Lord through the Word, and the truth of the church by "blood." Who does not see that blood would not be given to drink even to drunkenness? and that they would not be satiated at the table of the Lord Jehovah with horse, chariot, the mighty, and with every man of war? Since therefore by "flesh" is signified the good of the church, and by "blood" the truth of the church, it is plainly manifest that by the "flesh and blood" of the Lord in the Holy Supper the Divine good and the Divine truth from the Lord are signified, the same as by "the bread and wine" spoken of (John 6:51-58). "Flesh" also signifies good in many other passages in the Word, as in these:--

I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26).

My flesh desireth thee in a land of drought (Ps. 63:1).

My heart and my flesh shout aloud for the living God (Ps. 84:2).

My flesh shall dwell confidently (Ps. 16:9).

When thou seest the naked and thou shalt cover him, and thou shalt not hide thyself from thy flesh (Isa. 58:7).

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