Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 7:5
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AR 350. Verse 5. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand, signifies celestial love, which is love to the Lord, and this with all who will be in the Lord’s New Heaven and New Church By "Judah," in the highest sense, is signified the Lord as to celestial love; in the spiritual sense, the Lord‘s celestial kingdom and the Word; and in the natural sense, the doctrine of the celestial church from the Word. But here by "Judah" is signified celestial love, which is love to the Lord; and because it is mentioned first in the series, it signifies that love with all who will be of the Lord’s New Heaven and New Church; for the tribe first named is the all in the rest, it is as their head, and as a universal entering into all things that follow, collecting, qualifying, and affecting them. Such is love to the Lord. that "twelve thousand" signify all who are in that love, may be seen in (n. 348). It is known that the twelve tribes of Israel, after Solomon‘s time, were divided into two kingdoms, the Jewish and Israelitish. The Jewish kingdom represented the Lord’s celestial or priestly kingdom; and the Israelitish kingdom, the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom or royalty; the latter, however, was destroyed when there was nothing spiritual left among them; but the Jewish kingdom was preserved, on account of the Word, and because the Lord was to be born there. But when they had wholly adulterated the Word, and thus they could not know the Lord, then their kingdom was destroyed. From hence it may appear, that by "the tribe of Judah" is signified celestial love, which is love to the Lord; but because they were such as to the Word, and as to the Lord, therefore by "the tribe of Judah" is also signified the opposite love, which is the love of self, properly the love of dominion from the love of self, which love is called diabolical love. That by "Judah" and his tribe is signified the celestial kingdom and its love, which is love to the Lord, is evident from these passages:--

Judah, thy brethen shall praise thee, the sceptre shall not be removed from Judah until Shiloh come, and unto him is the adherence of the people; he bindeth his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washeth his garment in wine; his eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk (Gen. 49:8-12).

David shall be their prince forever; and I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be a covenant of eternity with them; and I will set My sanctuary in the midst of them forever (Ezek. 37:26, 27).

Shout and he glad, O daughter of Zion; Jehovah will make Judah an inheritance to Himself, His portion upon the land of holiness (Zech. 2:10-12).

O Judah, keep thy festivals, perform thy vows, because Belial shall no more pass through thee; everyone shall be cut off (Nah. 1:15).

The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple; then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah as in the days of old (Matt. 3:1-4).

Judah shall sit to eternity, and Jerusalem unto generation and generation (Joel 3:20).

Behold, the days shall come, when I will raise up unto David a just offshoot; in His days Judah shall be saved (Jer. 23:5, 6).

I will bring forth a seed from Jacob, and from Judah an inheritor of My mountains, that the elect may possess it (Isa. 65:9).

Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominions (Ps. 114:2).

Behold, the days shall come, in which I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah; this shall be the covenant, I will give My law in the midst of them, and write it upon their heart (Jer. 31:31, 33).

In those days shall ten men take hold of the skirt of a man a Jew, saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zech. 8:23).

As the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall stand before Me, so shall stand your seed and your name; the kings of the nations shall be thy nursing fathers, their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow themselves down to thee with their faces upon the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet (Isa. 66:22; 49:23).

From these and many other passages, too numerous to be adduced, it is very evident, that by "Judah" is not meant Judah, but the church; as that the Lord would enter into a new and eternal covenant with that nation, and make them His inheritance and His sanctuary to eternity; and that the "kings of the Gentiles and their princes would bow themselves down to them, licking the dust of their feet," and such like. That by "the tribe of Judah," regarded in itself, is meant the diabolical kingdom which is of the love of dominion from the love of self, may appear from these passages:--

I will hide My face from them, I will see what their latter end will be; it is a generation of perverseness, sons in whom there is no fidelity; a nation void of counsel are they; their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; its grapes are grapes of gall, clusters of bitterness are theirs; their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps; is not this hidden with Me, sealed up in My treasures (Deut. 32:20-34).

Know that not for thy justice and the uprightness of thy heart doth Jehovah give the land of Canaan, for thou art a people of stiff neck (Deut. 9:5, 6).

According to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem hast thou set altars for burning incense to Baal (Jer. 2:28; 11:13).

Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye will do (John 8:44).

They are said to be full of hypocrisy, iniquity and uncleanness (Matt. 23:27, 28).

An adulterous generation (Matt. 12:39; Mark 8:38).

And Jerusalem, their dwelling-place, is called "Sodom" (Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46, 48; Apoc. 11:8).

Besides other places, where it is said, that that nation is utterly ruined, and Jerusalem to be destroyed; as in (Jer. 5:1; 6:6, 7; 7:17, 18; 8:6-8; 9:10, 11, 13; 13:9, 10, 14; 14:16; Lam. 1:8, 9, 17; Ezek. 4:1-17; 5:5-17; 12:18, 19; 15:6-8; 16:1-63; 23:1-49).

AR 351. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand, signifies wisdom from celestial love, with those who will be in the Lord‘s New Heaven and New Church. By "Reuben," in the highest sense, is signified omniscience; in the spiritual sense, wisdom, intelligence, and science, also faith; and, in the natural sense, sight; but here by "Reuben" is signified wisdom, because it follows after "Judah," by whom is signified celestial love, and celestial love produces wisdom; for love does not exist without its consort, which is science, intelligence, and wisdom. The consort of natural love is science, that of spiritual love is intelligence, and that of celestial love is wisdom. That these things are signified by "Reuben," follows from his being named from sight, and spiritual-natural sight is science, spiritual sight is intelligence, and celestial sight is wisdom. Reuben was also the first-born of Jacob, and therefore was called by Israel:--

His might, the beginning of His strength, excellent in eminence, and excellent in valor (Gen. 49:3).

Such indeed is wisdom from celestial love. And as Reuben from his primogeniture represented, and thence signified, the wisdom of the men of the church, therefore:--

He exhorted his brethren not to kill Joseph, and was grieved when Joseph was not found in the pit (Gen. 37:21, 22, 29).

And on this account:--

His tribe encamped on the south, and was called the camp of Reuben (Num. 2:10-16).

The "south" also signifies wisdom from love; therefore they who are in that wisdom dwell to the south in heaven, as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (HH n. 148-150). This wisdom is signified by "Reuben" in the prophecy of Deborah and Barak by these words:--

For the divisions of Reuben were great statutes of heart, Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds to hear the bleatings of the flocks? In the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart (Judges 5:15, 16).

"The divisions of Reuben" are the knowledges of every kind which have relation to wisdom. As all the tribes have an opposite signification also, the tribe of Reuben, in this sense, signifies wisdom separated from love, and thence also faith separated from charity; wherefore:--

He was cursed by his father Israel (Gen. 49:3, 4).

And therefore he was deprived of his birthright (1 Chronicles 5:1).

See in (n. 17); and therefore:--

An inheritance was given him on the other side Jordan, and not in the land of Canaan; and instead of Reuben and Simeon, the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were acknowledged (Gen. 48:5).

Nevertheless he retained the representation and thence the signification of wisdom.

AR 352. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand, signifies uses of life, which are of wisdom from that love, also with those who will be in the Lord’s New Heaven and New Church. By "Gad," in the highest sense, is signified omnipotence; in the spiritual sense, the good of life, which also is use; and, in the natural sense, work; in this instance uses of life, because it follows after Reuben and Judah, and celestial love through wisdom produces uses. There are three things which cohere and cannot be separated, love, wisdom, and use of life; if one is separated, the other two fall to the ground, as may be seen in The Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom (DLW n. 241, 297, 316). That by "Gad" is signified use of life, which is also called fruit, may appear from his being named from a troop or a heap (Genesis 30:10, 11); as also from his father Israel‘s blessing (Genesis 49:19; and from the blessing of him by Moses (Deuteronomy 33:20, 21); and likewise from his inheritance (Numbers 32:1-42; 34:14; Deuteronomy 3:16, 17; Joshua 13:24-28). Also from the signification of "Gad" in the opposite sense (Isaiah 65:11; Jeremiah 49:1-3). It must be known, that all the tribes of Israel are here divided into four classes, as in the Urim and Thummin, and in the encampments, and that each class contains three tribes, by reason that three cohere as one, as love, wisdom, and use, and as charity, faith, and work; for, as was said, if one is wanting, the other two are not anything.

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