Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 21:18
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AR 911. Verse 18. And the structure of the wall thereof was of jasper, signifies that every Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word with the men of that church is translucent from the Divine truth in the spiritual sense. By "a wall" is signified the Word in the sense of the letter (n. 898); by its "structure" is signified the all of it, because the all of it is in the structure. By "jasper" the same is signified as by "precious stone" in general, and by "precious stone," in reference to the Word, is signified Divine truth in the sense of the letter of the Word translucent from the Divine truth in the spiritual sense (n. 231, 540, 726, 823), that the same is signified by "jasper," may be seen above (n. 897). The reason why it is translucent, is, because the Divine truth, in the sense of the letter is in natural light, and the Divine truth, in the spiritual sense is in spiritual light, wherefore when spiritual light flows into natural light with a man who is reading the Word, he is enlightened, and sees truths there, for the objects of spiritual light are truths. The Word also in the sense of the letter is of such a nature that the more a man is enlightened by the influx of the light of heaven, so much the more does he see truths in their connexion and thence in their form; and the more he so sees them, so much the more interiorly is his rational mind opened, for the rational is the very receptacle of the light of heaven.

AR 912. And the city was pure gold like unto pure glass, signifies that thence everything of that church is the good of love flowing in together with light out of heaven from the Lord. By "the city," or Jerusalem, is meant the Lord‘s New Church as to everything of it interiorly regarded, or within the wall. By "gold" is signified the good of love from the Lord, as will be seen presently; and "like unto pure glass" signifies pellucid from the Divine wisdom, and since the latter appears in heaven as light, and flows in from the Lord as a sun, by "like unto pure glass" is signified flowing in together with light from heaven and the Lord. It is shown above (n. 908), that all things of heaven and the church are from the good of love, and that the good of love is from the Lord; here it is now said, that the city was seen as "pure gold," by which is signified that the all of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, is the good of love from the Lord; but since the good of love is not given solitary or abstracted from the truths of wisdom, but that it may be the good of love, it must be formed, and it is formed by the truths of wisdom, therefore it is here said "pure gold like unto pure glass"; for the good of love without the truths of wisdom has not any quality, because it has not any form, and its form is according to its truths flowing in their order and connection together with the good of love from the Lord, thus it is in man according to reception. It is said in man, but it is to be understood not as being of the man, but as of the Lord in him. From these things, then, it is plain, that by "the city was pure gold like unto pure glass," is signified that thence the all of that church is the good of love flowing in with light from heaven from the Lord.

AR 913. The reason why "gold" signifies the good of love, is because metals, as well as each and everything which appears in the natural world, correspond: gold to the good of love, silver to the truths of wisdom, copper or brass to the good of charity, and iron to the truths of faith. Thence it is, that these metals exist also in the spiritual world, by reason that all things that appear there are correspondences, for they correspond to the affections and thence to the thoughts of the angels, which in themselves are spiritual. That "gold" from correspondence signifies the good of love, may appear from the following passages:--

I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich (Apoc. 3:18).

How is the gold become dim, and the best refined gold changed; the stones of holiness are poured out at the head of all the streets; the sons of Zion were esteemed equal to pure gold (Lam. 4:1, 2).

He shall save the souls of the poor, and shall give them of the gold of Sheba (Ps. 72:13, 15).

For brass I will bring gold, and for iron silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron; and I will make thine officers peace, and thine exactors justice (Isa. 60:17).

Behold, thou art wise, no secret lies hid from thee; in thy wisdom and in thy intelligence thou hast gotten thee gold and silver in thy treasuries; thou hast been in Eden, every precious stone was thy covering, and gold (Ezek. 28:3, 4, 13).

The multitude of camels shall cover thee, all they from Sheba shall come, they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall announce the praises of Jehovah (Isa. 60:6, 9; Matt. 2:11).

I will fill this house with glory. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine: the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former (Hag. 2:8, 9).

Kings’ daughters were among thy precious ones; upon thy right hand did stand the queen in the best gold of Ophir, her clothing was of woven gold (Ps. 45:9, 13; Ezek. 16:13).

Thou hast taken the vessels of thy ornament of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of a male (Ezek. 16:17).

Ye have taken My silver and My gold, and have carried into your temples My desirable goods (Joel 3:5).

Because "gold" signifies the good of love, therefore when Belshazzar with his magnates drank wine out of the vessels of gold brought from the temple of Jerusalem, and at the same time praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, and iron, there was a writing on the wall, and that night he was slain (Dan. 5:2). Besides many other places. Since "gold" signifies the good of love, therefore:--

The ark in which was the Law, was overlaid with gold within and without (Exod. 25:11).

And therefore the mercy-seat and the cherubim over the ark were of pure gold (Exod. 25:17, 18).

The altar of incense was of pure gold (Exod. 30:3).

So also the lampstand with the lamps (Exod. 25:31, 38).

And the table upon which was the shew-bread was overlaid with gold (Exod. 25:23, 24).

Because "gold" signifies the good of love, "silver" the truth of wisdom, "brass" the good of natural love which love is called charity, and "iron" the truth of faith, therefore the ancients called the successive periods, from the most ancient down to the last, the golden, silver, brazen, and iron ages. Similar things are signified by the statue seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream:--

Whose head was good gold, the breast and arms silver, the belly and thighs brass, the legs iron, and the feet part of iron and part of clay (Dan. 2:32, 33).

By these things the successive states of the church in this world are signified, from the most ancient times even to this day. The state of the church of this day is described thus:--

Thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of man, but they shall not cohere the one with the other, as iron is not mixed with clay (Dan. 2:43).

By "iron" is signified the truth of faith, as was said; but when there is no truth of faith, but faith without truth, then "the iron is mixed with miry clay," which do not cohere. By "the seed of man," with which they would mingle themselves, the truth of the Word is signified. This is the state of the church at this day. What it is to be hereafter is described there in a few words (Daniel 2:45), but more fully (Daniel 7:13-18, 27).

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