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That by those who are pierced are signified in the Word truths and goods extinguished is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:--

Thou art cast forth out of thy sepulchre like an abominable shoot, the raiment of the slain that are pierced with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, as a carcass trodden under foot (Isa. 14:19);

said of Babylon; those pierced with the sword denote those who have profaned the truths of the church. Again:--

So that their pierced shall be cast forth, and the stink of their carcasses shall come up (Isa. 34:3);

treating of the falsities and evils that infest the church, which are meant by the pierced.

[4] In Ezekiel:--

The violent of the nations shall draw their sword against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall profane thy comeliness; they shall let thee down into the pit, and thou shall die the deaths of those who are pierced in the midst of the seas (Ezek. 28:7, 8);

said of the prince of Tyre, by whom are signified the primary things of the knowledges of truth and good; dying the deaths of those who are pierced in the midst of the seas, denotes those who hatch falsities by means of memory-knowledges, and thereby defile the truths of the church.

[5] Again:--

These also shall go down with them into hell, unto those who are pierced with the sword; when thou shalt be made to go down with the trees of Eden into the earth of lower things, thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are pierced with the sword (Ezek. 31:17, 18).


Go down and lie with the uncircumcised; they shall fall in the midst of those who are pierced with the sword; the chief of the mighty ones shall speak to him in the midst of hell (Ezek. 32:19-21);

said of Pharoah and Egypt; those pierced with the sword denote those who become insane through knowledges, by which they extinguish in themselves the faith of the truth of the church.

[6] In David:--

I am accounted among those who go down into the pit; I have become as a man that has no strength, neglected among the dead, like the pierced that lie in the grave, whom Thou hast remembered no more, and who have been cut off by Thy hand (Ps. 88:4, 5);

those who are pierced in hell, in the pit, and in the grave, denote those who have destroyed truths and goods in themselves by falsities and evils. It is obvious that they are not in hell merely because they had been pierced with the sword.

[7] In Isaiah:--

A city of tumults, a city that exulteth, they are not pierced with the sword, and are not slain in war; all who have been found in thee were bound together, they fled from afar (Isa. 22:2, 3);

said of fallacies from sensuous things through which the truths of the church cannot be seen, and concerning which they are therefore in negative doubt, and are said to be pierced, but not with the sword.

[8] In Ezekiel:--

I bring a sword upon thee, and I destroy your high places, and your altars shall be destroyed, and your statues shall be broken, and I will cause your pierced ones to lie before your idols; when the pierced ones shall fall in the midst of you, you shall know that I am Jehovah; then ye shall acknowledge, when the pierced ones shall be in the midst of their idols, round about their altar (Ezek. 6:3, 4, 7, 13);

where the pierced ones denote those who are in falsities of doctrine.

[9] Again:--

Defile the house, and fill the courts with the pierced ones; they went forth and smote in the city (Ezek. 9:7);

a prophetic vision; to defile the house and fill the courts with the pierced ones, denotes to profane goods and truths. Again:--

Ye have multiplied your pierced ones in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the pierced one; wherefore said the Lord Jehovih, Your pierced ones whom ye have put in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and that is the pot, and He shall bring you forth out of the midst of it (Ezek. 11:6, 7).

[10] As by the pierced are signified those who have extinguished the truths of the church in themselves by falsities and evils, therefore also in the representative church they who touched one who was pierced were unclean, of whom we read in Moses:--

Whosoever has touched upon the surface of the field one that is pierced with a sword, or the dead, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days (Num. 19:16, 18).

And therefore inquiry was made, and expiation was made by means of a calf, as again in Moses:--

If one pierced be found lying in the field, and it be not known who has smitten him, then the elders of the city and the judges shall come forth, and they shall measure toward the cities which are round about him that is pierced; and it shall be, at the city which is nearest unto him that is pierced the elders of that city shall take a she-calf of an ox, by which labor hath not been done, and which hath not drawn in the yoke, and they shall bring her down unto a river or a valley, and shall behead the calf there, and wash their hands over the beheaded calf, and shall say, Our hands have not shed blood, and our eyes have not seen it; expiate Thy people Israel, O Jehovah, and give not innocent blood in the midst of Thy people; and the blood shall be expiated for them (Deut. 21:1-8).

[11] That these laws were given because by the pierced is signified the perversion, destruction, and profanation of the truth of the church by falsity and evil, is manifest from every particular in the internal sense. It is said a pierced one lying in the field, because by a field is signified the church (AC 2971, 3310, 3766). A she-calf by which labor has not been done signifies that innocence of the external man which is in ignorance. Unless these things were made known by the internal sense, the enjoining of such an expiatory process would excite universal surprise.

from AC 4503

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