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From all this it can now be seen what is meant in the Word by the anger and wrath of Jehovah, namely, punishments; as in these passages:--

Behold the name of Jehovah cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the heaviness of a burden; His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is as a burning fire (Isa. 30:27);

where anger denotes reproof and warning lest they should perish through evils. Again:--

In an inundation of anger I hid My faces from thee for a moment (Isa. 54:8);

an inundation of anger denotes temptation, in which evils vex and torment. In Jeremiah:--

I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand, and with a strong arm, and in anger, and in fury, and in great indignation; lest My fury go forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the wickedness of your works (Jer. 21:5, 12).


To fill with the carcasses of the men whom I have smitten in Mine anger, and in My wrath (Jer. 33:5).

I will pour out upon them Mine indignation, all the wrath of Mine anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My zeal (Zeph. 3:8).

He sent on them the wrath of His anger, indignation, and fury, and distress, and a sending of evil angels (Ps. 78:49).

[5] Besides many other passages, in which, as in the above, by anger, wrath, fury, fire, are meant punishments and damnations, into which man casts himself when into evils; for it is of Divine order that goods are attended with rewards; and hence it is that evils are attended with punishments, because they are conjoined together punishment and damnation are also meant by the day of the anger of Jehovah (Isa. 13:9, 13; Lam. 2:1; Zeph. 2:3; Rev. 6:17; 11:18); also by the wine of the anger of God, and by the cup of the anger of God (Jer. 25:15, 28; Rev. 14:10; 16:19); and likewise by the winepress of the anger and fury of God (Rev. 14:19; 19:15)

[6] That punishment and damnation are signified by anger, is also evident in these passages:--

Offering of vipers! Who hath warned you to flee from the anger to come? (Matt. 3:7).

He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God abideth on him (John 3:36).

In the last time there shall be great distress upon the land, and anger on this people (Luke 21:23).

From these passages it is plain that by the anger of Jehovah are signified punishments and damnations. That by anger is meant clemency and mercy, is because all the punishments of the evil arise from the mercy of the Lord toward the good, lest these should be harmed by the evil; yet the Lord does not impose the punishments on them, but they do so upon themselves, for in the other life evils and punishments are conjoined together. Especially do the evil impose punishments on themselves when the Lord does mercy to the good, for then evils increase upon them, and consequently punishments. It is from this that instead of the anger of Jehovah, by which are signified the punishments of the evil, the angels understand mercy.

[7] From all this it can be seen what is the nature of the Word in the sense of the letter, and also what Divine truth is in its most general form, namely, that it is according to appearances; and this for the reason that man is such that what he sees and apprehends from his sensuous, he believes; and what he does not see nor apprehend from his sensuous, he does not believe; thus does not receive. Hence it is that the Word in the sense of the letter is according to things that so appear; and yet it has genuine truths stored up in its inward bosom; and in its inmost bosom, the truth Divine itself which proceeds immediately from the Lord; thus also Divine good, that is, the Lord Himself.

from AC 6997

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