Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 9:13-14
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AR 442. Verse 13. And the sixth angel sounded, signifies the exploration and manifestation of their state of life in the church of the Reformed who are not so wise, and yet place the all of religion in faith, and think of it alone and of nothing except it, and the customary worship, and so live as they please. That these are treated of to the end of this chapter, will appear from the explanation of what follows. That "to sound" signifies to explore and make manifest the state of the church, and thence of the life of those whose religion consists in faith alone, may be seen in (n. 397). These who are now treated of, are altogether distinct from those referred to thus far in this chapter, the falsities of whose faith were seen in the form of locusts. They are distinct in this:-Those already described are studious in exploring the arcana of justification by faith, and also in giving the signs of it, and its testimonies, which, with them, are the goods of moral and civil life; insisting that the precepts of the Word are indeed in themselves Divine, but that with man they become natural, because they proceed from his will, which have no conjunction with the spiritual things of faith; and because they confirm these things by rational considerations, which savor of erudition, they dwell in the southern quarter of the abyss, according to the description in (n. 421). But they who are treated of in what follows to the end of the chapter, do not study those arcana, but only make mere faith the all of religion, and nothing besides it and the customary worship, and so live as they please. I have been permitted to see and converse with these also; they live in the northern quarter, in huts that are scattered about, and constructed of reeds and rushes plastered over with lime, in which the ground is the floor. The more ingenious, who, by means of natural light, know how to establish that faith by reasonings, and confirm that it has nothing in common with life, dwell in front, the more simple behind them, and the more stupid toward the western part of that region; the multitude of them is so great that it is incredible. They are instructed by angelic spirits, but they who do not receive the truths of faith, and live according to them, are let down into the hell which is under them, and imprisoned.

AR 443. And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God (verse 14), saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, signifies a command from the Lord out of the spiritual heaven to those who were to explore and make manifest. By" a voice" is signified a Divine command; by "the golden altar," or altar of incense, is signified the spiritual heaven (n. 277, 392); by "the four horns" of that altar is signified its power (n. 270); here, the power of loosing the four angels bound at the river Euphrates, as follows: by "the sixth angel" who had the trumpet, is signified to those to whom the office of exploring and making manifest these things was enjoined (n. 442).

AR 444. Loose the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates, signifies that external bonds should be removed from them, that the interiors of their minds might appear. That this is the signification of these words, no one can know, and scarcely can suspect, unless he knows what is meant by "the great river Euphrates," and what by "the four angels bound there." By "Euphrates," in the Word, are signified the interiors of man’s mind, which are called things rational, which, with those who are in truths from good, are full of wisdom, but in those who are in falsities from evil, are full of insanity. The reason why these are signified in the Word by "the river Euphrates," is, because that river divided the land of Canaan from Assyria; and by "the land of Canaan" was signified the church; and by "Assyria," its rational; and thence by the river which bounded it, are signified the interiors of the mind which are called rational, in both senses. For there are three things which constitute the man of the church, the spiritual, the rational or intellectual, and the natural, which is also the scientific. The spiritual of the church was signified by "the land of Canaan" and its rivers; the rational or intellectual of the church, by "Ashur" or "Assyria" and its "river Euphrates;" and the natural, which is also the scientific of the church, by "Egypt" and its "river" the Nile; but concerning these more may be seen below (n. 503). By "the four angels bound at the river Euphrates," are signified those interiors with the men of the church which are said "to be bound," because they are not openly avowed; for they are infernal spirits, who are meant by these four angels, since it is said of them, in what follows (n. 446), that "they were prepared to kill the third part of men," and the interiors of men make one with spirits, either infernal or celestial, because they cohabit: by "loosing them" is signified to remove external bonds, that the interiors of their minds may appear. Such is the signification of these words. By "Euphrates" are signified the interiors of man‘s mind bordering upon the spiritual things of his church, may appear from those passages in the Word where "Ashur" or "Assyria" is mentioned; but "Euphrates" occurs in the opposite sense, in which it signifies the interiors fall of falsities and thence of insanities, in these passages:--

Behold, God bringeth up over them the waters of the river (Euphrates) strong and many; the King of Assyria, he shall go through Judah; he shall overflow and go over (Isa. 8:7, 8).

What hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, that thou drinkest the waters of Sihor? and what has thou to do with the way of Assyria, that thou drinkest the waters of the river? (Jer. 2:18).

Jehovah shall curse the tongue of the sea of Egypt, and shall shake His hand over the river Euphrates (Isa. 11:15, 16).

The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the river Euphrates, whose water was dried up (Apoc. 16:12).

It was commanded the prophet that he should put a girdle upon his loins, and should afterwards hide it in a hole of a rock by the Euphrates, and when after a short time he took it again, behold, it was rotten, nor was it good for anything (Jer. 13:1-7, 11).

And it was also commanded him that after he should finish reading the book, be should throw it into the midst of the Euphrates, and say, thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again (Jer. 51:63, 64).

By these things the interiors of the state of the church with the sons of Israel were represented. That the "river of Egypt," the Nile, and "the river of Assyria," the Euphrates, were the boundaries of the land of Canaan, is manifest from this:--

Jehovah made a covenant with Abraham, Unto thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt even to the great river Euphrates (Gen. 15:18).

That the Euphrates was a boundary, see (Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:7, 8; 11:24; Joshua 1:4; Micah 7:12).

REVELATION 9:13-14    previous  -  next  -  text  -  summary  -  Revelation  -  Full Page

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