Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 21:14
AR 902. Verse 14. And the wail of the city had twelve foundations, signifies that the Word, in the sense of the letter contains all the of the doctrine of the New Church. By "the wall of the city" is signified the Word in the sense of the letter (n. 898); and by "twelve foundations" are signified all things of the doctrine of the church; by "foundations" are signified doctrinal, and by "twelve," all. The church also is founded upon doctrine, for doctrine teaches how we are to believe, and how we are to live, and doctrine is to be drawn from no other source than the Word; that it is from the sense of the letter of the Word, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (Sacred n. 50-61). Since all things of doctrine are signified by "the twelve foundations of the wall of the city New Jerusalem," and as the church is a church from doctrine, therefore its foundations are particularly treated of below (verses 19, 20). In the Word "foundations of the earth" are sometimes named, and by them are not meant the foundations of the earth, but the foundations of the church, for "the earth" signifies the church (n. 285), and the foundations of the church are no other than what are from the Word, and are called doctrinal; for it is the Word itself which founds the church. Doctrinal from the Word are also signified by "foundations" in the following passages:--
Do ye not understand the foundations of the earth? (Isa. 40:21.)
I will put my words into thy mouth, to plant the heavens and to found the earth (Isa. 51:16).
They do not acknowledge, they do not understand, they walk in darkness, all the foundations of the earth totter (Ps. 82:5).
The Word of Jehovah stretcheth forth the heavens and foundeth the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in the midst of him (Zech. 12:1).
Jehovah hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath devoured the foundations thereof (Lam. 4:11).
The wicked shoot in darkness at the upright in heart, because the foundations are undermined (Ps. 11:2, 3).
Hear ye, O mountains, the controversy of Jehovah, the strength, the foundations of the earth, for Jehovah hath a controversy with His people (Micah 6:2).
The cataracts from on high were opened, and the foundations of the earth were shaken, the earth is broken in pieces, the earth is rent, the earth is moved (Isa. 24:18-20; Isa. 14:32; 48:13; 51:13; Ps. 24:2; 102:25; 104:5, 6; 2 Sam. 22:8, 16).
He who does not think that "the earth" signifies the church, can think no otherwise here than merely naturally, yea materially, when he reads of "the foundations of the earth;" the same as it would be, if he did not think that the city Jerusalem here signifies the church, while he reads of its wall, gates, foundations, streets, measures, and other particulars, which are described in this chapter as relating to a city; when yet they relate to the church, and thus are not to be understood materially, but spiritually.
AR 903. And in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, signifies all things of doctrine from the Word concerning the Lord and concerning a life according to His commandments. The reason why in the foundations were written "the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb," is, because by "the twelve apostles" is signified the Lord‘s church as to all things of it (n. 79, 233, 790), here as to all things of its doctrine, because their names were written over "the twelve foundations," by which are signified all things of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 902); by "twelve names" are signified all its quality, and all its quality has relation to two things in doctrine, and thence in that church, concerning the Lord and concerning life according to His commandments, therefore these are signified. The reason why all things of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem have relation to these two things, is because they are its universals, on which all the particulars depend, and they are the essentials from which all its formal things proceed, they are therefore as the soul and life of all things of its doctrine. They are indeed two, but one cannot be separated from the other, for to separate them would he like separating the Lord from man, and man from the Lord, in which case there is no church. These two things are conjoined like the two tables of the Law, one of which contains what relates to the Lord and the other what relates to man, wherefore they are called a covenant, and a covenant signifies conjunction. Think what would become of those tables of the Law, if the first only was to remain, and the second to be torn away, or if the second was to remain, and the first to be torn away. Would it not be as if God did not see man, or as if man did not see God, and as if the one receded from the other? These things are said, that it may be known that all things of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem relate to love to the Lord and to love towards the neighbor. Love to the Lord is to have faith in the Lord and to do His commandments, and to do His commandments is love towards the neighbor, because to do His commandments is to do uses to the neighbor. That they love the Lord who do His commandments, the Lord Himself teaches in (John 14:21-24); and that love to God and love towards the neighbor are the two commandments upon which hang all the Law and the prophets (Matt. 22:35-38); by "the Law and the Prophets" is meant the Word in its whole complex. REVELATION 21:14 previous - next - text - summary - Revelation - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|