Spiritual Meaning of

Bible Meanings Back to Words index Back to Geographical words index
 Isles, Island

And in like manner by isles they perceive those things within the church itself which are somewhat remote from charity, as are friendships and civilities. Friendship is not charity, and still less is politeness charity these are degrees below charity; and the more they derive from charity the more sincere they are.

[3] That such things are signified by islands may be seen from the following passages from the Word. In Isaiah:--

Keep silence before Me, O Islands; and let the peoples renew their strength, let them come near. The isles saw, and feared; the ends of the earth trembled they drew near, and came (Isaiah 41:1, 5).

Here islands denote upright nations out of the church who have religiously observed their external worship. The furthest limits of the region where the church is are called the ends of the earth. In the same:--

He shall not be dark, and shall not break in pieces till He has set judgment in the earth, and the isles shall wait for His law. Sing unto Jehovah a new song, His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and the fullness thereof, the isles and the inhabitants thereof. Let them give glory to Jehovah, and declare His praise in the islands (Isa. 42:4, 10, 12).

Here also islands denote nations out of the church, who have lived in ignorance, simplicity, and uprightness.

[4] In the same:--

Listen, O Isles, unto Me, and hearken, ye peoples from far (Isa. 49:1),

likewise denoting those nations which are more remote from the worship of the Lord, and from the knowledges of faith wherefore it is said from far. Again:--

The Isles shall hope in Me, and on Mine arm shall they wait (Isa. 51:6),

denoting the same. Because they are such as live in uprightness, it is said, they shall hope in Me, and on Mine arm shall they wait. In Jeremiah:--

Hear the word of Jehovah, O ye nations, and declare it in the Isles afar off (Jeremiah 31:10),

denoting the same. In Zephaniah:--

Jehovah will be terrible unto them, for with leanness He will consume all the gods of the earth and they shall bow themselves down to Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the nations (Zephaniah 2:11).

The isles of the nations denote nations more remote from the knowledges of faith.

[5] In David:--

Jehovah reigneth; let the earth rejoice let the multitude of isles be glad. Clouds and darkness are round about Him (Psalms 97:1, 2)

denoting the same. Their ignorance is here representatively expressed by clouds and darkness; but because they are in simplicity and uprightness it is said round about Him. Because by islands are signified those things which are more remote, Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, and Javan also - by whom were signified external worships - are called islands (Isa. 66:19). So also Kittim (Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:6). When contrasted with lands, or with mountains, islands signify also the truths of faith, from being in the sea; thus they signify doctrinals which are rituals.

from AC 1158

Back to Words index, Back to Geographical words index

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