Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 9:9
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AR 436. Verse 9. And they had breastplates, as breastplates of iron, signifies arguments from fallacies, by which they fight and prevail, which appeared to them so powerful that they could not be refuted. By "breastplates" are signified defenses, because they protect the breast; here, defenses of falsities, which are effected by arguments from fallacies, by which a false principle is defended. For from a false principle nothing but falsities can flow. If truths are advanced, they are only viewed outwardly or superficially, thus also sensually, and are consequently falsified, and, with such persons, become fallacies. The reason why "breastplates" have this signification, is because "wars," in the Word, signify spiritual wars, and thence the "arms of war" signify the various things relating to such wars; as in Jeremiah:--

Harness the horses and mount, ye horsemen, and stand ye in helmets; polish the lances, and put on the cuirass (Jer. 46:4).

In Isaiah:--

For he put on justice as a cuirass, and an helmet of salvation upon His head (Isa. 59:17).

In David:--

Under His wings shalt thou trust, His truth shall be thy shield and buckler (Ps. 91:4; Ezek. 23:24; 38:4; 39:9; Nah. 2:3; Ps. 5:12; 35:2, 3).

"Their breastplates were as of iron," signifies that their arguments seemed to them so strong that they could not be refuted; for "iron" from its hardness, signifies what is strong.

AR 437. And the voice of their wings was as the voice of chariots of many horses running to war, signifies their reasonings as if they were from truths of doctrine from the Word fully understood, for which they must ardently fight. "The voice of wings" signifies reasonings, because "to fly" signifies to perceive and instruct (n. 245, 415); "chariots" signify doctrinals, as will be seen presently; "horses" signify the understanding of the Word (n. 298); and "many horses," what is plenary; that "running to war" signifies ardor for fighting, is evident. That "a chariot" signifies doctrine, is plain from these passages:--

The chariots of God are two myriads, thousands of peaceful ones, the Lord is among them (Ps. 68:17).

Jehovah maketh the clouds His chariots; He walketh upon the wings of the wind (Ps. 104:2, 3).

Jehovah, Thou didst ride upon Thine horses, Thy chariots are salvation (Hab. 3:8).

Behold, Jehovah will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind (Isa. 66:15).

Ye shall be satisfied at My table with horse and chariot; and I will set My glory among the nations (Ezek. 39:20, 21).

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem (Zech. 9:10).

I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, I will overthrow the chariot, and those that ride in them (Hag. 2:22).

Set a watchman who may look, let him announce; and he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen, and a camel-chariot and the chariot of a man, and he said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen (Isa. 21:6, 7, 9).

"Elijah" and "Elisha" represented the Lord as to the Word, and thence signifies doctrine from the Word, as did all the prophets (n. 8), therefore they were called "the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof;" and for the same reason:--

Elijah was seen taken into heaven in a chariot of fire, and there were seen by Elisha’s boy chariots and horses of fire round about him (2 Kings 2:11, 12; 6:17; 13:14);

besides other places where "chariots" occur; as in (Isa. 31:1; 37:24; 66:20; Jer. 17:25; 22:4; 46:2, 3, 8, 9; 50:37, 38; 51:20, 21; Ezek. 26:7, 8, 10, 11; Dan. 11:40; Nah. 3:1-3; Joel 2:1-5).

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