Spiritual Meaning of

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That a shield means protection against evils and falsities, which is trusted in, is evident without explication; for from common usage the expression has become familiar that Jehovah is a shield and a buckler. But what is specifically signified by a shield, may be seen from the Word, in that as regards the Lord it signifies protection, and as regards man, trust in the Lord's protection. As war" signifies temptations (AC 1664), so all the weapons of war signify some specific thing belonging to temptation, and to defence against evils and falsities, that is, against the diabolical crew that induce the temptation, and that tempt. Therefore a shield signifies one thing, a buckler signifies another, and a target another, a helmet another, a spear and a lance another, a sword another, a bow and arrows another, a coat of mail" another; concerning each of which of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.

[2] The reason why a shield in relation to the Lord signifies protection against evils and falsities, and in relation to man trust in the Lord; is that it was a protection to the breast; and by the breast good and truth are signified good because the heart is there, and truth because the lungs are there. That this is the signification of a shield, is evident in David:--

Blessed be Jehovah my rock, who teacheth my hands combat, my fingers war; my mercy and my fortress, my fortified citadel and my deliverer, my shield, and He in whom I trust (Ps. 144:1, 2),

where the combat and war are those of temptations, and in the internal sense, the Lord's temptations; the shield, with reference to Jehovah, is protection; and with reference to man is trust, as is plainly evident.

[3] In the same:--

O Israel, trust thou in Jehovah; He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust ye in Jehovah; He is their help and their shield. Ye that fear Jehovah, trust in Jehovah; He is their help and their shield (Ps. 115:9-11),

where the meaning is similar. Again:--

Jehovah is my fortress, my God in whom I trust. He shall cover thee with His wing; and under His wings shalt thou trust; His truth is a shield and a buckler (Ps. 91:2, 4),

where a shield and a buckler denote protection against falsities.

[4] Again:--

Jehovah is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my strong rock in whom I trust, my shield, and the horn of my salvation. Jehovah is a shield unto all that trust in Him (Ps. 18:2, 30),

where the meaning is similar. Again:--

Thou that provest the hearts and reins, a just God; my shield is upon God who saveth the upright in heart (Ps. 7:9, 10),

meaning trust. Again:--

Thou hast given me the shield of Thy salvation, and Thy right hand will hold me up (Ps. 18:35),

also signifying trust. Again:--

The shields of the earth belong unto God; He is greatly exalted (Ps. 47:9),

where trust is again meant.

[5] Again:--

Jehovah God is a sun and a shield; Jehovah will give grace and glory; good shall not be withheld from them that walk in integrity (Ps. 84:11),

signifying protection. In Moses:--

Thy blessings, O Israel; who is like unto thee, a people saved in Jehovah, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency, and thine enemies shall be mistaken in regard to thee (Deut. 33:29);

the shield denoting protection.

[6] As weapons of war are spoken of with reference to those who are in the combats of temptations, so also the same weapons of war are attributed to the enemies who assail and tempt, and then they signify the contrary things; thus a shield signifies the evils and falsities from which they fight, and which they defend, and in which they trust. As in Jeremiah:--

Make ye ready the shield and buckler, and draw near to battle. Harness the horses, and go up, ye horsemen, and stand forth in helmets, furbish the lances, put on the coats of mail (Jer. 46:3, 4).

Besides many other passages.

from AC 1788

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