Spiritual Meaning of

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 Horse, White Horse

That the white horse is the understanding of the Word as to its interiors, or what is the same, the internal sense of the Word, is evident from the signification of a horse, as being the intellectual faculty. In the prophetic parts of the Word a horse and a rider are often named; but no one has hitherto known that a horse signifies the faculty of understanding, and a rider one who is intelligent--as in the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel, respecting Dan:--

Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an arrow-snake upon the path, biting the horse's heels, and his rider shall fall backward. I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah (Gen. 49:17, 18).

That a serpent is one who reasons concerning Divine arcana from the senses and from memory-knowledges, may be seen above (AC 195); also that a way and a path" are truth (AC 627, 2333); and that the heel is the lowest of the natural (AC 259); a horse is the understanding of the Word; and a rider he that teaches. Hence it is manifest what these prophetic words signify, namely, that one who reasons concerning the truths of faith from the senses and from memory-knowledges, sticks fast in the lowest things of nature only, and thus believes nothing, which is to fall backward; wherefore it is added, I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah.

[2] In Habakkuk:--

O God, Thou dost ride upon Thy horses, Thy chariots are salvation, Thou hast made Thy horses to tread in the sea (Habakkuk 3:8, 15);

where horses denote the Divine truths which are in the Word; chariots, doctrine from them; the sea, knowledges (AC 28, 2120); and because these are of the understanding of the Word from God, it is said, Thou hast made Thy horses to tread in the sea. Horses are here attributed to God, as in the Apocalypse, above; to whom they cannot be attributed unless they signify such things.

[3] In David:--

Sing unto God, sing praises to His name, extol Him that rideth upon the clouds, by His name Jah (Ps. 68:4);

to ride upon the clouds denotes the understanding of the Word as to its interiors, or in its internal sense. A cloud is the Word in the letter, in which is the internal sense (AC 2135a).

[4] In the same:--

Jehovah bowed the heavens, and came down, and thick darkness was under His feet; and He rode upon a cherub (Ps. 18:9, 10);

thick darkness here denotes clouds; to ride upon a cherub represents the Lord's providence lest man should of himself enter into the mysteries of faith which are in the Word (AC 308). In Zechariah:--

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto Jehovah (Zechariah 14:20);

the bells of the horses denote the understanding of the spiritual things of the Word, which are holy.

[5] In Jeremiah:--

There shall enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes, sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariot and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city shall be inhabited forever (Jeremiah 17:25, 26; 22:4);

the city Jerusalem denotes the Lord's spiritual kingdom and church; kings, truths (AC 1672, 2015, 2069); princes, the primary precepts of truth (AC 1482, 2089); David, the Lord (AC 1888); the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, those who are in the good of love, of charity, and of faith (AC 2268, 2451, 2712); thus to ride upon a chariot and upon horses means to be instructed in the doctrine of truth from the internal understanding of the Word.

[6] In Isaiah:--

Then shalt thou delight thyself in Jehovah, and I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob (Isaiah 58:14);

to ride upon the high places of the earth denotes intelligence. In David:--

A song of loves: Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O mighty one, Thy glory and Thy majesty; and in Thy majesty go forward, ride upon the word of truth, and of the gentleness of righteousness, and Thy right hand shall teach Thee wonderful things (Ps. 45:3, 4);

to ride upon the word of truth manifestly denotes the understanding of truth; and upon the word of the gentleness of righteousness, the wisdom of good.

[7] In Zechariah:--

In that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness (Zechariah 12:4, 5);

where also the horse manifestly denotes the understanding, which would be smitten with astonishment and blindness; and the rider him that understands, who would be smitten with madness. In Hosea:--

Take away all iniquity, and accept that which is good, and we will render the bullocks of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; and we will no more say to the work of our hands, Thou art our god (Hosea 14:2, 3);

Asshur denotes reasoning (AC 119, 1186); the horse one's own intelligence. Besides these there are many other passages.

from AC 2761

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