Spiritual Meaning of

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That by death is signified spiritual death, or damnation, is evident from very many passages in the Word, of which it will suffice to adduce the following. In Isaiah:--

In righteousness He shall judge the poor, and reprove with rectitude the wretched of the earth. But He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He cause the wicked to die (Isa 11:4);

speaking of the Lord. The rod of His mouth, and the breath of His lips, denote the Divine truth from which is judgment; to die denotes to be damned. Again:--

He will swallow up death eternally; and the Lord Jehovih will wipe away the tear from upon all faces (Isa. 25:8).


The dead shall not live; the Rephaim shall not rise; because Thou hast visited, Thou hast extinguished them (Isa. 26:14).


Thy dead shall live, my carcass, they shall arise (Isa. 26:19).


Ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell have we made a vision; your covenant with death shall be abolished, and your vision with hell shall not stand (Isa. 28:15, 18).

[3] In Jeremiah:--

Ye wait for the light, but He turns it into the shadow of death, He makes it thick darkness (Jer. 13:16).

In Ezekiel:--

Ye have profaned Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to make the souls live that should not live (Ezek. 13:19).

In Hosea:--

I will redeem them from the hand of hell; from death I will deliver them; O death, I will be thy pests; O hell, I will be thy destruction (Hosea 13:14).

In David:--

Thou liftest me up from the gates of death (Ps. 9:13).


Enlighten mine eyes, lest perchance I sleep death (Ps. 13:3).


The cords of death compassed me, and the cords of hell (Ps. 18:4, 5).


They shall be set as a flock in hell; death shall pasture them (Ps. 49:14).

In John:--

I have the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18).


He that overcometh shall not be hurt in the second death (Rev. 2:11).

[4] Again:--

I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, but thou art dead. Be thou watchful, and establish the things that remain, which are ready to die (Rev. 3:1, 2).

In Matthew:--

The people that sitteth in darkness saw a great light; and to them that sit in the region and shadow of death, to them light hath arisen (Matthew 4:16).

In John:--

He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, shall have eternal life, and shall not come into judgment, but hath passed from death unto life (John 5:24).


I go away, and ye shall seek Me, but ye shall die in your sin. I said therefore unto you that ye shall die in your sins; for unless ye believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins. If anyone shall keep My word, he shall never see death (John 8:21, 24, 51, 52).

As death signified damnation, the people of the representative church were forbidden to touch the dead, and if they touched they were unclean, and were to be cleansed (Ezek. 44:25; Lev. 15:31; 21:1, 2; 22:8; Num. 6:6-12; 19:11-22).

from AC 6119

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