Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 21:19-26
AR 914. Verse 19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone, signifies that all things of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem taken from the sense of the letter of the Word, with those who are therein, will appear in light according to reception. By "the twelve foundations" are signified all things of doctrine (n. 902). By "the wall" is signified the Word in the sense of the letter (n. 898). By "the holy city Jerusalem" is signified the Lord‘s New Church (n. 879, 880). By "precious stone" is signified the Word in the sense of the letter, pellucid from its spiritual sense (n. 231, 540, 726, 911). And because this is according to reception, therefore it signifies that all things of doctrine from the Word with them, will appear in light according to reception. All who do not think sanely, cannot believe that all things of the New Church can appear in light, but let them know that they can, for every man has exterior and interior thought. Interior thought is in the light of heaven, and is called perception, and exterior thought is in the light of the world; and the understanding of every man is such that it can be elevated even into the light of heaven, and also is elevated, if from any delight he wishes to see truth. That this is so, has been given me to know by much experience, concerning which, wonderful things may be seen in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence; and still more in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom. For the delight of love and wisdom elevates the thought, enabling one to see as in the light that a thing is so, although he had never heard it before. This light, which enlightens the mind, flows in from no other source than out of heaven from the Lord; and as they who will be of the New Jerusalem, will directly approach the Lord, that light will flow in, by the way of order, which is through the love of the will into the perception of the understanding. But they who have confirmed themselves in that dogma, that the understanding in theological things is to see nothing, but that what the church teaches must be believed blindly, cannot see any truth in the light, for they have obstructed the way of the light into themselves. This dogma the Reformed Church has retained from the Roman Catholic religious persuasion, which declares that no one but the church itself, by which they mean the pope and papal consistory, ought to interpret the Word, and that he who does not in faith embrace all the doctrine delivered by the church, is to be considered as a heretic, and is accursed. That this is the case, is evident from a clause of the Council of Trent, in which all the dogmas of that religion are established, and where these words are at the end: "Then the president, Moronus, said, `Go in peace.’ There followed acclamations, and among others this declaration of the cardinal of Lorraine and the fathers: `We also believe, we are all of this very opinion, we all consenting and embracing, subscribe to it; this is the faith of the blessed Peter and of the apostles, this is the faith of the fathers, this is the faith of the orthodox. So be it, Amen, Amen, Anathema to all heretics, Anathema, Anathema."‘ The decrees of that Council are quoted in a summary at the beginning of this work, in which, indeed, there is scarcely a single truth. These particulars are quoted to show that the Reformed have retained from that religious persuasion a blind faith, that is, a faith separated from the understanding; and they who do retain it henceforth cannot be enlightened in Divine truths from the Lord. So long as the understanding is held captive under obedience to faith, or so long as the understanding is removed from seeing the truths of the church, theology is only a thing of the memory, and a thing of the memory only is dissipated, like everything disunited from the judgment, and perishes from its obscurity. Hence it is, that they are:--
Blind leaders of the blind. And then the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch (Matt. 15:14).
And they are blind, because they do not enter in through the door, but some other way; for Jesus said:--
I am the door: by Me if anyone enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9).
"To find pasture" is to be taught, enlightened, and nourished in Divine truths; for all who do not enter in through the door, that is, through the Lord, are called "thieves and robbers"; but they who enter in through the door, that is, through the Lord, are called "shepherds of the sheep" in the same chapter (John 10:1, 2). Do thou, therefore, my friend, go to the Lord, and shun evils as sins, and reject faith alone, and then your understanding will be opened, and you will see wonderful things, and be affected by them.
AR 915. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald (verse 20), the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprasus, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst, signifies all things of that doctrine in their order, from the sense of the letter of the Word, with those who immediately approach the Lord, and live according to the commandments of the Decalogue by shunning evils as sins; for these and no others are in the doctrine of love to God, and of love towards the neighbor, which two loves are the fundamentals of religion. That by "the twelve foundations of the wall" are signified all things of the doctrine of the New Jerusalem from the sense of the letter of the Word, may be seen above (n. 902, 914). That by "precious stones" in general are signified all the truths of doctrine from the Word translucent through the spiritual sense (above n. 231, 540, 726, 911, 914); here by each stone is signified some truth in particular thus translucent. That the Word in the sense of the letter as to its doctrinal corresponds to precious stones of every kind, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (Sacred n. 43-45). There are two colors in general, which shine forth in precious stones, the color red and the color bright white, the other colors, as green, yellow, blue, and many others, are composed of them, by means of black, and by the color red is signified the good of love, and by the color bright white is signified the truth of wisdom. The reason why red signifies the good of love is because it derives its origin from the fire of the sun, and the fire of the sun of the spiritual world is in its essence the Divine love of the Lord, this the good of love; and the reason why the color bright white signifies the truth of wisdom, is because it derives its origin from the light which proceeds from the fire of that sun, and that proceeding light is in its essence the Divine wisdom, thus the truth of wisdom; and black derives its origin from their shade, which is ignorance. But to explain what particular of good or of truth is signified by each stone, would be too prolix; but yet that it may be known what particular good and truth each stone in this order signifies, see what is explained above (Apoc. 7:5-8; n. 349-361), where the twelve tribes of Israel are treated of; for the like is here signified by each stone, as by each tribe there named, because by the twelve tribes there described are signified in like manner all the goods and truths of the church and of its doctrine in their order; therefore it is also said in this chapter (verse 14), that in these twelve foundations were written the "names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb," and by "the twelve apostles" are signified all things of doctrine concerning the Lord, and concerning a life according to His commandments (n. 903). The same is also signified by these twelve stones, as by the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of Aaron, which was called Urim and Thummim (Exod. 28:15-21), the explanation of which is given in Arcana Coelestia (AC n. 9856-9882), with this difference, that upon the latter were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, but upon the former the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. That the foundations are of precious stones is also said in Isaiah:--
Oh, thou afflicted, behold, I will lay thy stones with stibium, and lay thy foundations with sapphires, and thy gates of stones of carbuncles; all thy sons shall be taught of Jehovah (Isa. 54:11, 12, 13).
By "the afflicted" is meant the church to be established by the Lord with the Gentiles. In the same:--
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; judgment also I will make a rule, and justice a plummet (Isaiah 23:16, 17).
Since all the truth of doctrine from the Word must be founded upon the acknowledgment of the Lord, therefore the Lord is called:--
The stone of Israel (Gen. 49:24).
Also the cornerstone which the builders rejected (Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10, 11; Luke 20:17, 18).
That the cornerstone is the foundation stone, appears from (Jeremiah 51:26). The Lord also in the Word in many places is called a "Rock," wherefore by the "Rock" He meant Himself, when he said:--
Upon this rock I will build My church (Matt. 16:18, 19);
And also when he said:--
Whosoever heareth My words and doeth them, is compared to a prudent man who buildeth a house and layeth the foundation upon a rock (Luke 6:47, 48; Matt. 7:24, 26).
By "a rock" is signified the Lord as to the Divine truth of the Word. That all things of the church and of its doctrine relate to these two: that the Lord is to be approached immediately and that man must live a life according to the commandments of the Decalogue by shunning evils as sins, and that thus all things of doctrine relate to love to God, and to love towards the neighbor, will be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning Charity, where these things will be set forth in their order.
AR 916. Verse 21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was of one pearl, signifies that the acknowledgment and knowledge of the Lord, conjoins into one all the knowledges of truth and good, which are from the Word, and introduce into the church. By "the twelve gates" are signified the knowledges of truth and good in a summary, by which man is introduced into the church (n. 899, 900). By "twelve pearls" is also signified the knowledges of truth and good in a summary (n. 727), hence it was that "the gates" were "pearls;" the reason why "each of the gates was of one pearl," is, because all the knowledges of truth and good, which are signified by "gates" and by "pearls," have relation to one knowledge; which is their containant, which one knowledge is the knowledge of the Lord. It is called one knowledge, although there are many which constitute that one knowledge; for the knowledge of the Lord is the universal of all things of doctrine and thence of all things of the church; from it all worship derives its life and soul, for the Lord is the all in all of heaven and the church, and thence in all things of worship. The reason why the acknowledgment and knowledge of the Lord conjoins into one all the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, is because there is a connexion of all spiritual truths, and if you will believe it, their connexion is like the connexion of all the members, viscera, and organs of the body; wherefore as the soul contains all these in their order and connexion, so that they are felt no otherwise than as one, so, in like manner, the Lord holds together all spiritual truths with man. That the Lord is the very gate, by which men are to enter into the church and thence into heaven, He Himself teaches in John:--
I am the door; by Me if anyone enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9).
And that the acknowledgment and knowledge of Him is the pearl itself, is meant by these words of the Lord in Matthew:--
The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who when he had found one precious pearl, went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matthew 13:45, 46).
"One precious pearl" is the acknowledgment and knowledge of the Lord.
AR 917. And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were pellucid glass, signifies that every truth of that church and of its doctrine is in form the good of love flowing in together with light out of heaven from the Lord. This is similar to what was said above (verse 18), of the city itself, that it was pure gold like unto pure glass; and that this signifies that the all of that church is the good of love flowing in together with light of heaven from the Lord, may be seen (n. 912, 913), with this difference, that here it is said that the street of the city is such, and by "the street of, the city" is signified the truth of the doctrine of the church (n. 501). That all the truth of the doctrine of the church from the Word is in form the good of love, may be seen above (n. 906, 908).
AR 918. Verse 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty is the temple of it, and the Lamb, signifies that in this church there will not be any external separated from the internal, because the Lord Himself in His Divine Human, from whom is the all of the church, is alone approached, worshiped, and adored. By "I saw no temple therein," is not meant that in the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, there will not be temples, but in it there will not be an external separated from the internal; the reason is, because by "a temple" is signified the church as to worship, and, in the highest sense, the Lord Himself as to the Divine Human, who is to be worshiped, see above (n. 191, 529, 585), and since the all of the church is from the Lord, therefore it is said, "for the Lord God Almighty is the temple of it, and the Lamb," by which is signified the Lord in His Divine Human; by "the Lord God Almighty" is meant the Lord from eternity who is Jehovah Himself, and by "the Lamb" is signified His Divine Human, as has been frequently stated above.
AR 919. Verse 23. And the city hath no need of the sun, and the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and its lamp is the Lamb, signifies that the men of that church will not be in self-love and in their own intelligence, and thence in natural light alone, but in spiritual light from the Divine truth of the Word from the Lord alone. By "the sun" is here signified natural love separated from spiritual love, which is self-love; and by "the moon" is signified intelligence, also natural faith, separated from intelligence and spiritual faith, which is their own intelligence and faith from self; this love, and this intelligence and faith, are here signified by "the sun and moon," the shining of which will not be needed by those who will be in the Lord’s New Church. By "the glory of God" which lightens it, is signified the Divine truth of the Word (n. 629). And because that enlightenment is from the Lord, it is said "and the lamp thereof is the Lamb." Similar to this is the signification of the following passages in Isaiah:--
Thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but Jehovah shall be unto thee for a light of eternity, and thy God thy adornment; thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for Jehovah shall be to thee for a light of eternity; thy people also shall be all just (Isa. 60:18-21).
By "the sun and moon" which shall no more shine, is meant self-love and their own intelligence; and by "the sun and moon" which shall no more set, are meant love from the Lord to the Lord, and intelligence and faith from Him; and by "Jehovah shall be for a light of eternity," is signified the same as here, "that the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof." That "the sun" signifies love to the Lord, and is the opposite sense, self-love, may be seen above (n. 53, 414); and that "the moon" signifies intelligence from the Lord and faith from Him (n. 332, 413, 414), therefore "the moon" in the opposite sense, signifies their own intelligence and faith from themselves. Since by "the sun," in the opposite sense, is signified self-love, and by "the moon" one‘s own intelligence and faith from himself, therefore, it was an abomination to adore the sun, moon, and stars, as may appear in (Jer. 8:1, 2; Ezek. 8:15, 16; Zeph. 1:5); and that such were stoned (Deut. 17:2, 3, 5).
AR 920. Verse 24. And the nations which are saved shall walk in the light of it, signifies that all who are in the good of life, and believe in the Lord, will there live according to Divine truths, and will see them inwardly in themselves, as the eye sees objects. By "the nations" are signified they who are in the good of life, and also they who are in evil of life (n. 483); here they who are in the good of life and believe in the Lord, because it is said, "the nations which are saved;" "to walk in the light," signifies to live according to Divine truths, and to see them inwardly in themselves, as the eye sees objects, for the objects of spiritual sight, which is of the interior understanding, are spiritual truths, which are seen by those who are in that understanding, in like manner as natural objects are seen before the eyes; by "light" is here signified the perception of Divine truth from interior enlightenment from the Lord with them (n. 796), and by "to walk" is signified to live (n. 167). Hence it is evident, that by "to walk in the light of the New Jerusalem," is signified to perceive and see Divine truths from interior enlightenment, and to live according to them. But this must be illustrated, because it is not known who are here meant by "the nations," and who by "the kings," mentioned afterwards in this verse; by "the nations" are signified they who are in the good of love from the Lord, which good is called celestial good, and by "kings" are signified they who are in the truths of wisdom from spiritual good from the Lord, as will be seen in the next article. All they who are in celestial good from the Lord, have Divine truths inscribed on their life, wherefore "they walk," that is, live justly according to them and likewise see them inwardly in themselves, as the eye sees objects, on which subject see what is related above (n. 120-123). All the heavens are distinguished into two kingdoms, the celestial and the spiritual; the good of the celestial kingdom is called celestial good, which is the good of love to the Lord, and the good of the spiritual kingdom is called spiritual good, and is the good of wisdom, which in its essence is truth; concerning these two kingdoms see above (n. 647, 725, 854). It is the same with the church; and there the men are celestial, who live justly according to the commandments because they are Divine laws, as in like manner a civil man lives according to the commandments of justice because they are civil laws; but the difference between them is, that the former, by a life according to the commandments or laws, is a citizen of heaven as far as in himself he makes the civil laws, which are laws of justice, Divine laws also. They who are here signified by "nations," on whom, as before said, Divine truths are inscribed, are they who are meant in Jeremiah:--
I will put My Law in the midst of them, and write it upon their heart; neither shall they teach any more everyone his companion, and everyone his brother, saying, Know ye Jehovah: for they shall all know Me from the least of them unto the greatest (Jeremiah 31:33, 34).
AR 921. And the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it, signifies that all who are in the truths of wisdom from spiritual good, will there confess the Lord, and ascribe to Him every truth and every good that is with them. By "the kings of the earth" are signified they who are in truths from good from the Lord (n. 20, 854), here, therefore, they who are in the truths of wisdom from the good of spiritual love, because "the nations" are mentioned before, by which are signified they who are in the good of celestial love, of whom in the foregoing article; by "bringing glory and honor into it," or into the New Jerusalem, is signified to confess the Lord, and ascribe to Him all the truth and good which are with them; that this is what is signified by bringing and giving "glory and honor" may be seen (n. 249, 629, 693), for "glory" is predicated of the Divine truth, and "honor" of the Divine good of the Lord (n. 249). By "nations and kings" the same is signified as by "nations and peoples" mentioned above (n. 483), by "nations" they who are in the good of love, and by "peoples" they who are in the truths of wisdom, and also in the opposite sense. Therefore in many parts of the Word "nations and kings" are mentioned, as well as "nations and peoples," as in the following passages:--
All kings shall flow down to Him, and all nations shall serve Him (Ps. 72:11).
Thou shalt suck the milk of the nations, and thou shalt suck the breast of kings (Isa. 60:16).
For many nations and great kings shall make them serve (Jer. 25:14).
The Lord at thy right hand shall smite kings in the day of His anger, He shall judge among the nations (Ps. 110:5, 6).
AR 922. Verse 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut by day; for there shall be no night there, signifies that they will be continually received into the New Jerusalem who are in truths from the good of love from the Lord, because there is not any falsity of faith thee. By "its gates shall not be shut by day" is signified that they are continually admitted who desire to enter in. By "day" is signified continually, because there is always light there (as above, verses 11, 23), and "no night," as is said afterwards. The reason why they are continually received who are in truths from the good of love from the Lord, is, because the light of the New Jerusalem is truth from the good of love, and the good of love is from the Lord, as has been frequently shown above; and into that light no others can enter but they who are in truths from good from the Lord. If aliens enter, they are not received, because they do not agree, and they either depart of their own accord, because they can not bear that light, or they are sent out. By "there is no night there," is signified that there is no falsity of faith; for by "night" is signified the opposite to light, and by "light" is signified truth from the good of love from the Lord, as was said; hence by "night" is signified that which is not from the good of love from the Lord, and this is the falsity of faith; the falsity of faith is also meant by "night" in John:--
Jesus said, I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day: the night cometh when no one can work (John 9:4).
And in Luke:--
In that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other left (Luke 17:34).
It there treats of the last time of the church, when there will be nothing but falsity of faith; by "bed" is signified doctrine (n. 137).
AR 923. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it, signifies that they who enter will bring with them the confession, acknowledgment, and faith, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that every truth of the church and every good of religion is from Him. That by "bringing glory and honor into it" is signified to confess the Lord, and to ascribe to Him all the good that is with them, may be seen above (n. 921); here the same is signified, with the difference, that they who are there meant by "the kings of the earth" are to bring it with them, but here that they who are meant by "the nations," for it is said, "they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it," and by "nations" are signified they who are in the good of life, and believe in the Lord (n. 920), and also the reception of those who are in truths from the good of love from the Lord is treated of, see above (n. 922). Hence it follows, that by "they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it," is signified that they who enter in will bring with them the confession, acknowledgment, and faith, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that all the truth of the church, and all the good of religion is with Him. Nearly the same is signified by these things in Isaiah:--
I will extend peace over Jerusalem, the glory of the nations like a torrent (Isa. 66:12).
It is said the truth of the church and the good of religion, because the church is one thing and religion is another. The church is called a church from doctrine, and religion is called religion from a life according to doctrine. All doctrine is called truth, and also its good is truth because it only teaches it; but the all of life according to the things which doctrine teaches, is called good, likewise to do the truths of doctrine is good. This is the distinction between the church and religion. But yet where there is doctrine and not life, there it cannot be said that there is either the church or religion, because doctrine regards life as one with itself, just like truth and good, faith and charity, wisdom and love, understanding and will, wherefore where there is doctrine and not life, there is no church.
AR 924. Verse 26. And there shall not enter into it any unclean thing and that doeth abomination, and a lie, signifies that no one will be received into the Lord’s New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, who adulterates the goods and falsifies the truths of the Word, and who does evils from confirmation and thus also falsifies. "Not to enter in," signifies not to be received, as above; by "unclean" is signified spiritual whoredom, which is adulteration of the good and falsification of the truth of the Word (n. 702, 728); for this is uncleanness and impurity itself, because the Word is cleanness and purity itself, and this is defiled by evils and falsities when it is perverted; that adultery and whoredom correspond to the adulteration of the good and the falsification of the truth of the Word, may be seen (n. 134, 632). By "doing abomination and a lie," is signified to do evils, and thus also falsities; by "abominations" are signified evils of all kinds, especially those which are named in the Decalogue (n. 891); and by "a lie" are signified falsities of all kinds, here falsities of evil, which in themselves are evils, therefore falsities confirming evil, which are the same with evils confirmed. The reason why "a lie" signifies the falsity of doctrine, is, because a spiritual lie is nothing else; hence by "doing a lie" is signified to live according to falsities of doctrine. That "a lie" in the Word signifies falsity of doctrine, may be evident from the following passages:--
We have made a covenant with death, and with hell have we made a vision; we have made a lie our trust, and in falsity have we hid ourselves (Isa. 28:15).
They mock every man at his companion, and do not speak the truth, and have taught their tongue to speak a lie (Jer. 9:5)
They are a rebellious people, lying sons, they will not hear the law of Jehovah (Isa. 30:9).
Behold, I am against them that prophesy lying dreams; they tell them that they may seduce My people by their lies (Jer. 23:32).
The diviners see a lie, and speak dreams of vanity (Zech. 10:2).
They have seen vanity and the divination of a lie; because ye speak vanity and see a lie, therefore behold I am against you, that My hand may be against the prophets that speak a lie (Ezek. 13:6-9; 21:29).
Woe to the city of bloods, it is all full of lies and robberies (Nah. 3:1).
In the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible obduracy, committing adultery and walking in a lie (Jer. 23:14).
From the prophet even to the priest, everyone doeth a lie (Jer. 8:10)
In Israel they have committed a lie (Hos. 7:1)
Ye are of your father the devil; he was a murderer from the beginning, because the truth is not in him; when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he speaketh a lie, and is the father of it (John 8:44).
Here also falsity is meant by a lie.
AR 925. But they that are written in the Lamb‘s book of life, signifies that no others are received into the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, but those who believe in the Lord, and live according to His commandments in the Word. That this is signified by "being written in the book of life," may be seen above (n. 874); to which there is no need to add anything further here.