Spiritual Meaning of

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Valleys are designated, in the original language, by certain terms which signify, when used in that sense, what is more or less profane in worship.

[3] That valleys have such a signification is evident in Isaiah:--

The burden of the valley of vision. For it is a day of tumult, and of treading down, and of perplexity, to the Lord Jehovih of Armies, in the valley of vision (Isa. 22:1, 5).

The valley of vision denotes phantasies and reasonings, whereby worship is falsified and at last profaned. In Jeremiah:--

How sayest thou I am not defiled, I have not walked after the Baalim? see thy way in the valley (Jeremiah 2:23).

The valley denotes unclean worship. Again:--

They have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom; wherefore behold the days come, saith Jehovah, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter (Jeremiah 7:31, 32; 19:6).

The valley of Hinnom denotes hell, and also the profanation of truth and good.

[4] In Ezekiel:--

Thus hath said the Lord Jehovih to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, Behold Me, I bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places (Ezekiel 6:3).


I will give unto Gog a place there for burial in Israel, the valley of them that pass through toward the east of the sea, and they shall call it the valley of the multitude of Gog (Ezekiel 39:11, 15).

This is said of worship in externals a valley denotes such worship. But when the worship has not yet become so profane, this is expressed by the Hebrew word for valley that is used in the verse before us (Gen. 11:2); and also in Isaiah:--

I will open rivers upon the slopes, and I will make fountains in the midst of the valleys, the wilderness a pool of waters, and the dry land springs of waters (Isaiah 41:18).

This is said of those who are in ignorance, or who are beyond the knowledges of faith and of charity, and yet are in charity. Valley as used here denotes these. In like manner does valley in (Ezekiel 37:1).

from AC 1292

That a valley is the lower things of the church, is evident from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah;

The prophecy of the valley of vision. What hast thou here, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? It is a day of tumult, and of treading down, and of perplexity, to the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth, in the valley of vision (Isa. 22:1, 5);

the valley of vision denotes phantasies concerning spiritual things from sensuous, thus from lower things. Again:

The choice of thy valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen placing placed themselves at the gate (Isa. 22:7);

the choice of the valleys denotes good and true things in the natural or external man. Again:

The voice of one crying in the Wilderness, Prepare ye the Way of Jehovah, make level in the solitude a pathway for our God; every valley shall be exalted (Isa. 40:3, 4);

a valley denotes low things.

[4] In Jeremiah:

How sayest thou, I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baalim? See thy way in the valley, acknowledge what thou hast done (Jer. 2:23);

where valley denotes things of the memory and of the senses, which are lower things by which they perverted truths. Again:

I am against thee O inhabitress of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith Jehovah; who say, Who will come down against us? (Jer. 21:13);

the inhabitress of the valley and rock of the plain denote faith in which there is no charity. Again:

The waster shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape but the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed (Jer. 48:8);

with a similar meaning. Again:

Thou shalt not glory in the valleys; thy valley hath flowed away O perverse daughter (Jeremiah 49:4);

valley denotes external things in worship, which are also the lowest.

[5] In Ezekiel:

I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of them that pass through, and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude whence they shall call it, The valley of the multitude of Gog (Ezek. 39:11, 15)

Gog denotes those who are in external worship without internal (AC 1151), whence his burial place is called the valley of them that pass through, and the valley of the multitude of Gog. In David:

Yea, when I walk through the valley of shadow I will fear no evil (Ps. 23:4);

where the valley of shadow denotes lower things, which are relatively in shade.

[6] As valleys were between mountains and hills, and below them, therefore by valleys are signified the lower or exterior things of the church, because by hills and mountains are signified its higher or interior things, by hq things which are of charity, and by mountains those which are of love to the Lord (AC 795, 1430, 2722, 4210); and as by the land of Canaan is signified the Lord's kingdom and His church, therefore it is called a land of mountains and valleys, that drinketh water of the rain of heaven (Deut. 11:11). That Joseph is here said to have been sent out of the valley of Hebron is because the mission was to those who taught concerning faith (AC 4705); for those who are in faith, and not in' charity, are in lower things; because with them faith is only in the memory and thence in the mouth, but not in the heart and thence in the work.

from AC 4715

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