Spiritual Meaning of

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The reason why the neck signifies that which conjoins, is that the higher things in man, which are of the head, communicate through the intervening neck with the lower things which are of his body hence it is that both influx and communication, and consequently conjunction, are signified by this intermediate part; as may be seen still more conclusively from the correspondences of the Grand Man with the things of the human body, treated of at the ends of the chapters. From this comes a like signification of the neck in the Word, as in Isaiah:--

His breath as an overflowing stream will divide even unto the neck (Isa. 30:28);

where an overflowing stream denotes falsity thus overflowing; dividing even unto the neck denotes falsity closing up and thus intercepting the communication and thus the conjunction of higher things with lower ones which conjunction is precluded and intercepted when spiritual good and truth are not received.

[3] In Habakkuk:--

Thou hast smitten the head out of the house of the wicked, laying bare the foundation even unto the neck (Habakkuk 3:13);

where smiting the head out of the house of the wicked denotes destroying the principles of falsity laying bare the foundation even unto the neck denotes intercepting the conjunction thereby. In Jeremiah:--

Transgressions knit together are come up upon my neck he hath over-thrown my forces God hath given me into their hands, I am not able to rise up (Lam. 1:14);

transgressions knit together ascending upon my neck denote falsities ascending toward interior or rational things.

[4] Inasmuch as by the neck was signified this communication and conjunction, therefore by the bonds of the neck was signified interception, consequently the desolation of truth which comes forth when the spiritual things that continually flow in from the Lord are no longer admitted into the rational of man, and consequently not into his natural. This interception, or desolation, is what is represented in Jeremiah by the command that he should make unto himself bonds and yokes, and should put them upon his neck, and send them to the peoples, and should say that they were to serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and that they who did not yield their necks under his yoke should be visited by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence; but that those who bowed down their necks should be left upon the land (Jer. 27:2, 3, 8, 11). To put the neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, signifies to be desolated as to truth, and to be vastated as to good. It is Babel" which vastates, (AC 1327); and they are vastated lest holy things should be profaned, (AC 301-303, 1327, 1328, 2426, 3398, 3399, 3402); and because when the influx of good and truth is intercepted, what is evil and false is served, therefore also to put the neck under the yoke signifies to serve.

[5] Again in the same Prophet:--

Thus saith Jehovah, Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two years of days from off the neck of all the nations (Jer. 28:11);

signifying that they should be delivered from vastation. In Isaiah:--

Shake thyself from the dust arise, sit thee down O Jerusalem open the bonds of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion (Isa. 52:2);

where to open the bonds of the neck signifies to admit and receive good and truth. In Micah:--

Behold against this family do I devise an evil from which ye shall not draw forth your necks, and ye shall not walk erect, for it is an evil time (Micah 2:3).

Not to draw forth the neck from evil is not to admit truth; not to walk erect is thereby not to look to higher things, that is, to those which are of heaven (AC 248).

from AC 3542

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