Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 20:2
AR 841. Verse 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, signifies that they were withheld who were meant by "the dragon," who, because they think sensually and not spiritually on things of faith, are called "the old serpent," and because they are in evils as to life, are called "the Devil," and because they are in falsities as to doctrine, are called "Satan." Who they are who are meant by "the dragon," may be seen above (n. 537). The reason why both here and there he is called "the old serpent, the Devil, and Satan," is because "a serpent" signifies those who think sensually and not spiritually (n. 455, 550); "the Devil" signifies those who are in evils as to life; and "Satan" those who are in falsities as to doctrine (n. 97, 550). For all those who do not approach the Lord immediately, think sensually of things relating to the church, and cannot think spiritually, for the Lord is the light itself (n. 796, 799). Wherefore they who do not immediately approach the Lord, cannot think from spiritual light, which is the light of heaven, but from natural light separated from spiritual light, which is to think sensually; hence it is that they are called "the old serpent." They who do not immediately approach the Lord, nor shun evils as sins, remain in sins, thence it is that the dragon is called "the Devil;" and since the same are in falsities as to doctrine, therefore the dragon is called "Satan."
AR 842. And bound him a thousand years, signifies that they who are here meant by "the dragon," were withdrawn and torn away from the rest in the world of spirits, that for some time there might be no communication with them. That by "binding" is here signified to withdraw and tear them away from the rest in the world of spirits, in order to prevent communication with them, will be seen in the next article. The reason why by "a thousand years" are not meant a thousand years, but for a while or for some time, is because "a thousand" without other numbers added to it in the spiritual world, has that signification; he who believes that "a thousand years" signify a thousand years, does not know that all numbers in the Word signify things, and thus may be misled, especially in the Apocalypse, with respect to the sense of the things, where numbers are read, as where the numbers, 5, 7, 10, 12, 144, 666, 1200, 1600, 12,000, 144,000, and many others occur; in which latter numbers "a thousand" only signifies a certain adjunct, and when a thousand is used to designate times, it signifies somewhat more; but when it is used by itself, as here, it signifies for a while or for some time; that this is so has been told me from heaven, where in the Word which is there, no number is read, but instead of a number the thing, and instead of a "thousand" for a while; they are surprised there, that, when the men of the church have seen in the Apocalypse so many numbers, which cannot but signify things, they should still adhere to the conjectures of the chiliasts and millennialists, by which their minds are impressed with vain things concerning the last state of the church. REVELATION 20:2 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|