Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 7:1
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AR 342. Verse 1. Afterwards I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, signifies the entire heaven the effort to execute the Last Judgment on those who were in the world of spirits. Manythings now follow concerning the state of the spiritual world just before the Last Judgment, which no one could know but by revelation from the Lord. And since it has been granted me to see in what manner the Last Judgment was executed, and also the changes which preceded it, and the arrangements which followed; I am thereby enabled to relate the signification of all the particulars contained in this and the following chapters. By "the four angels" is here signified the entire heaven; by "the four corners of the earth" is signified the entire world of spirits, which is in the midst between heaven and hell; for the Last Judgment was executed on those who were in the world of spirits, but not on anyone in heaven, nor anyone in hell. The reason why "the angels" signify heaven, is, because "an angel," in the highest sense, means the Lord as to the Divine Human (n. 344); and as heaven is heaven from the Lord, by "the angels" is also signified heaven. "The four angels" here signify the entire heaven, because they were seen "standing on the four corners of the earth," and by the "four corners" are signified the four quarters. The reason why the above words signify the effort of the entire heaven to execute the Last Judgment, is, because the Lord, when the judgment was at hand, caused the heavens to draw near over the world of spirits, and by this approach of the heavens, such a change of state in the interiors of the minds of those who were below, was effected, that they saw nothing but terrors before their eyes. That "corners" signify quarters, and thence "the four corners" all quarters, may appear from the following passages:--

Ye shall measure without the city, the corner towards the east, the corner towards the south, the corner towards the west, and the corner towards the north (Num. 35:5).

Thou shalt make the boards for the habitation for the corner of the south, and for the corner of the north (Exod. 26:18, 20, 23).

And a court for the corner of the south, for the corner of the north, for the corner of the west, and for the corner of the east (Exod. 27:9, 11-13).

The four quarters are also called "the four corners" frequently in (Ezekiel 47:18-20; 48:1-30). Because "corners" signify quarters, therefore they also signify all things, as all things relating to heaven or bell, or of good or truth, as is plain from these passages:--

Satan shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth (Apoc. 20:8).

I have cut off the nations, and their corners are devastated (Zeph. 3:6).

Israel was gathered together as one man, and the corners of all the people stood up (Judges 20:1, 2).

A sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall break in pieces the corners of Moab (Num. 24:17).

A day of trumpet and alarm and upon the high corners (Zeph. 1:16).

I will cast them out into the farthest corners (Deut. 32:26).

That "a corner" signifies the ultimate which sustains things higher, as the foundation does a house, and thus also all things, appears from these passages:--

He will found in Zion a cornerstone, a precious established foundation (Isa. 28:16).

And they shall not take of that stone for a corner (Jer. 51:26).

From Judah shall be a cornerstone (Zech. 10:4).

The stone which they rejected is become the head of the corner (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17, 18).

AR 343. Holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree, signifies a withholding and restraining by the Lord of a nearer and thence more powerful influx into the lower parts, where the good were conjoined with the evil. It is to be known that the Last Judgment takes place when the evil are multiplied below the heavens in the world of spirits, to such a degree that the angels in the heavens cannot subsist in their state of love and wisdom; for in this case they have no support and no foundation. And as this is caused by the multiplication of the evil below, therefore the Lord, in order to preserve their state, flows in with His Divine more and more strongly, and this continues until they can no longer be preserved by any influx, without a separation of the evil below from the good. This is effected by the letting down and drawing near of the heavens, and thence by a stronger influx, until at length the evil can not endure it; and then the evil flee away, and cast themselves into hell. This is also what is signified in the foregoing chapter by these words:--

They said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide in from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the anger of the Lamb; for the great day of His anger is come; and who shall be able to stand (Apoc. 6:16, 17).

But to proceed to the explanation. By "the four winds" is signified the influx of the heavens; by "the earth, the sea, and every tree" are signified all lower things and the things that are there; by "the earth and sea," all lower things; and by "every tree," all things there. That "wind" signifies influx, properly the influx of truth into the understanding, may appear from the following passages:--

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe into these slain, that they may live (Ezek. 37:9, 10).

There were seen four chariots, to which there were four horses, these are the four winds of the heavens (Zech. 6:1, 5).

Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it willeth, and thou knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth (John 3:7, 8).

The Maker of the earth prepareth the world by His wisdom, He bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures (Jer. 10:12, 13; 51:15, 16; Ps. 135:7).

Jehovah causeth His wind to blow, and the waters flow. He announceth His word, His statutes and judgments (Ps. 147:17-19).

Jehovah praiseth the stormy wind doing His Word (Ps. 148:8).

Jehovah maketh His angels winds (Ps. 104:3, 4).

Jehovah was carried upon the wings of the wind (Ps. 18:10; 104:3).

The wings of the wind are Divine truths which flow in; therefore the Lord is called:--

The breath of the nostrils (Lam. 4:20).

And it is written:--

He breathed into the nostrils of Adam the soul of lives (Gen. 2:7).

Also that:--

He breathed on His disciples, and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit (John 20:21, 22).

"The Holy Spirit" is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, the influx of which into the disciples was represented, and thus signified by "He breathed upon them." That "wind" and respiration signify the influx of Divine truth into the understanding, is from the correspondence of the lungs with the understanding, on which subject see The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom (DLW n. 371-429). As, therefore, a nearer and stronger Divine influx through the heavens disperses the truths with the evil, therefore "wind" signifies the dispersion of the truth with them; and thence their conjunction with hell, and destruction; as may be seen from these passages:--

And upon Elam I will bring the four winds from the four ends of the heavens, and will disperse them (Jer. 49:36).

Thou shalt disperse them, that the wind may carry them away, and the storm dissipate them (Isa. 41:16).

The breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle them (Isa. 30:33).

The contrivers of iniquity perish by the blast of God, and by the breath of His nostrils are they consumed (Job 4:8, 9).

The foundations of the world were revealed by the rebuke of Jehovah, by the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils (Ps. 18:15).

I saw in vision, and behold, the four winds of the heavens strove upon the great sea. And four beasts came up (Dan. 7:2, 3).

From the storm of Jehovah, anger is gone forth, it shall rush upon the head of the wicked (Jer. 23:19; 30:23).

O my God, pursue them by Thy storm, terrify them by Thy tempest (Ps. 83:15).

The way of Jehovah is in the storm and tempest (Nah. 1:3; Jer. 25:32; Ezek. 13:13; Hosea 8:7; Amos 1:14; Zech. 9:14; Ps. 11:6; 50:3; 55:8; 107:25, 29).

Where it is thus written:--

He saith that the wind of the storm shall blow. God maketh the storm to be calm, that its waves might be still (Ps. 107:25, 29).

Hence it may appear what is the signification of these words in their spiritual sense:--

Jesus in the ship rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Be still, and it was quiet (Mark 4:39, 40; Luke 8:23, 24).

By "the sea" is here signified hell, and by "the wind" influx thence. Nor is anything but strong influx signified by "the east wind" (Ezekiel 17:10; Jeremiah 18:17; Ezekiel 19:12; Hosea 13:15; Psalms 48:7). Nor by the same "wind which dried up the Red Sea" (Exodus 14:21); concerning which it is thus written by Moses:--

And with the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were heaped up, Thou didst blow with Thy wind, the sea covered them (Exod. 15:8, 10).

From what has been said, it may now be seen, that by "holding the four winds that the wind should not blow on the earth," is signified to withhold and prevent a nearer and stronger influx into the lower parts.

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