Spiritual Meaning of

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 Play, Dance

The signification of playing, is the festivity of the interiors; for play comes from this, because it is an activity of the body which comes forth as an effect from gladness of mind; and all festivity and gladness are from the delights of the loves in which the man is. That consent also is signified, is because all interior festivity has consent in it; for if anything dissents and is contradictory, the festivity perishes. Interior festivity is in man's freedom; and all freedom is from love that is not opposed.

[2] As in the Word internal things are described by external, so likewise the joys and gladnesses which are in the interiors of man are described by plays and dances, as in the following passages:--

The city shall be builded upon its own heap, then shall confession go forth from them, and the voice of them that play (Jer. 30:18, 19).

Anew will I build thee, that thou mayest be built, O virgin of Israel; anew shalt thou deck thy timbrels, and shalt go forth into the dance of them that play. Their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they she not sorrow any more at all; and the virgin shall rejoice in the dance, and the young and the old together, for I will turn their mourning into joy (Jer. 31:4, 12, 13).

The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls, playing (Zech. 8:5).

Praise ye the name of Jehovah with the timbrel and dance (Ps. 149:2, 3; 150:4).

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing (Ps. 30:11).

The joy of our heart hath ceased; our dance is turned into mourning (Lam. 5:15).

[3] As plays and dances signified the joys and gladnesses of the interiors which are from love, therefore after the Egyptians were sunk in the sea Suph, Miriam with the women went forth with timbrels into dances (Exod. 15:20); and therefore also David, when the ark was brought out of the house of Obededom, into the city of David, leaped and danced before Jehovah (2 Sam. 6:12, 16).

from AC 10416

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