Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 22:4
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AR 938. Verse 4. And they shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads, signifies that they will turn themselves to the Lord, and the Lord will turn Himself to them, because they are conjoined through love. By "seeing the face of God and of the Lamb," or the Lord, is not meant to see His face, because no one can see His face, as He is in His Divine love and in His Divine wisdom, and live; for He is the sun of heaven and of the whole spiritual world. For to see His face, such as He is in Himself, would be as if one should enter into the sun, by the fire of which he would be consumed in a moment. But the Lord sometimes presents Himself to be seen out of His sun; but He then veils Himself and presents Himself to their sight, which is done through an angel; as He also did in the world before Abraham, Hagar, Lot, Gideon, Joshua, and others: wherefore those angels were called angels, and also Jehovah; for the presence of Jehovah was in them from afar. But by "they shall see His face" is not here meant to thus see His face, but to see the truths which are in the Word from Him, and through them to know and acknowledge Him. For the Divine truths of the Word make the light which proceeds from the Lord as a sun, in which the angels are; and as they make the light, they are like mirrors in which the Lord‘s face is seen. That by "seeing the Lord’s face" is signified to turn one‘s self to Him, will be told below. By "the Lord’s name in their foreheads," is signified that the Lord loves them, and turns them to Himself. By "the Lord‘s name" the Lord Himself is signified, because all His quality by which He is Own and according to which He is worshiped is signified (n. 81, 584); and by "the forehead" is signified love (n. 347, 605); and by "written in the forehead" is signified the love of the Lord in them (n. 729); from this it may be evident what is properly signified by those words. But that it signifies that they turn themselves to the Lord, and that the Lord turns Himself to them, is because the Lord looks at all who are conjoined to Him by love, in the forehead, and thus turns them to Himself. Therefore the angels in heaven turn their faces in no other direction than to the Lord as the sun; and, what is wonderful, this is done in every turning of their body. Hence it is in common speech, that "they have God continually before their eyes." A similar thing takes place with the spirit of a man who is living in the world, and is conjoined to the Lord through love. But concerning this turning of the face to the Lord, more things worthy of mention may be seen in The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and Wisdom (DLW n. 129-144); and in the work on Heaven and Hell, published at London, 1758 (HH n. 17, 123, 143, 144, 151, 153, 255, 272).

AR 939. That by "seeing the face of the Lord" is not meant to see His face, but to know and acknowledge Him as He is as to His Divine attributes, which are many; and that they who are conjoined with Him by love know Him, and thus see His face, may be evident from the following passages:--

What to Me is the multitude of sacrifices, when ye come to see the face of Jehovah (Isa. 1:11, 12).

My heart said, seek ye My face; Thy face, O Jehovah, do I seek (Ps. 27:8).

Let us shout to the Rock of our salvation, let us come before His face in confession (Ps. 95:1, 2).

My soul thirsteth for the living God, when shall I come to see the face of God? I will yet confess Him, His face is salvation (Ps. 42:2, 5).

My face shall not be seen by the empty (Exod. 23:15).

To come to supplicate the face of Jehovah (Zech. 8:21, 22; Mal. 1:9).

Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant (Ps. 31:16).

Who will show us any god? Lift up upon us the light of Thy face, O Jehovah (Ps. 4:6).

They shall walk in the light of Thy face, O Jehovah (Ps. 89:15).

Cause Thy face to shine upon us, that we may be saved (Ps. 80:3, 7, 19).

God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us (Ps. 67:1).

Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee, Jehovah make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee, Jehovah lift up His face upon thee, and give thee peace (Num. 6:24-26).

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy face (Ps. 31:21).

Thou hast set our hidden things in the light of Thy face (Ps. 90:8).

Jehovah spake to Moses, My face shall go; Moses said, If Thy face go not, make us not go down from hence (Exod. 33:14, 15).

The bread upon the table in the tabernacle was called the bread of faces (Exod. 25:30; Num. 4:7).

It is also frequently said, that "Jehovah hid and turned away His face"; as in these passages:--

On account of their wickedness I hid My face from them (Jer. 33:5; Ez. 7:22).

Your sins have hid God’s face from you (Isa. 59:2).

The face of Jehovah shall no more regard them (Lam. 4:16).

Jehovah will hide His face from them, as they have made their works evil (Micah. 3:4).

Thou didst hide Thy face (Ps. 30:7; 44:24; 104:29).

I will forsake them, and hide My face from them; I will surely hide My face for all the evil which they have done (Deut. 31:17, 18; Isa. 8:17; Ezek. 39:23, 28, 29; Ps. 13:1; 22:24; 27:8, 9; 69:17; 88:14; 102:2; 143:7; Deut. 32:20).

In the opposite sense by the face of Jehovah is signified anger and aversion, for the reason that the evil man turns himself away from the Lord; and when he turns himself away, it appears to him as if the Lord turned Himself away and was angry; as is evident from these passages:--

I have set My face against this city for evil (Jer. 21:10; 44:11).

I will set My face against that man and will devastate him (Ezek. 14:7, 8).

I will set My face against them, and fire shall devour them, when I shall set My face against them (Ezek. 15:7).

Whosoever eateth any blood, I will set My face against that soul (Lev. 17:10).

They shall perish at the rebuke of Thy face (Ps. 80:16).

The face of Jehovah is against them that do evil (Ps. 34:16).

I send mine angel before thee, beware of his face, for he will not bear your transgression (Exod. 23:20, 21).

Let Thy enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee flee from before Thy face (Num. 10:35).

I saw Him that sat upon the throne, from whose face the heaven and the earth fled away (Apoc. 20:11).

That no one can see the Lord, as He is in Himself, as was said above, is manifest from this:--

Jehovah said to Moses, Thou canst not see My face, for no man shall see Me, and live (Exod. 33:18-23).

Yet that He has been seen, and they have lived, because it was through an angel, is manifest from (Gen. 32:30; Judges 13:22, 23).

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