Spiritual Meaning of

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 Poor, Needy

That by the poor and needy in the internal sense are meant those outside the church who are in ignorance of truth, because they have not the Word, and yet long to be instructed, and who by means of that which they know are nevertheless in a little good; and also those within the church who from various causes are ignorant of truth, but nevertheless by virtue of some good long for it, is evident from passages where the poor and needy are mentioned in the Word, as in David:--

I am needy and poor; make haste unto me, O God; my help and my deliverer, O Jehovah (Ps. 70:5);

these words were spoken by David, who was not poor and needy, from which it is evident that spiritual poverty and need are meant. In like manner elsewhere:--

I am needy and poor; O Lord, remember me, my help and my deliverer (Ps. 40:17).

God shall judge His people in righteousness, and His needy in judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the hills in righteousness. He shall judge the needy of the people. He shall save the sons of the poor, and shall break: in pieces the oppressor (Ps. 72:2-4);

the needy here denote those who are in spiritual need, and thus in the hunger, that is, in the longing to be willing to be instructed in truths.

[6] In the same:--

All my bones shall say, O Jehovah, who is like unto Thee, who deliverest the needy from him that is stronger than he; yea, the needy' and the poor from them that plunder him? (Ps. 35:10);

the bones denote memory-truths (AC 8005); the needy, those who are in but little truth; and the poor those who are in but little good, and are infested by evils and falsities. From these infestations the needy are also called in the original tongue the afflicted, for to be afflicted denotes to be infested by falsities (AC 9196). Again in the following passages:--

The wicked lieth in wait in the tent to catch the needy; he doth catch the needy, and draweth him into his net (Ps. 10:9).

Is not this the fast, to break bread to the hungry? and to bring into the house the needy that are cast out? (Isa. 58:6, 7).

Jehovah hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His needy ones (Isa. 49:13).

I will leave in the midst of thee a people needy and feeble, who hope in the name of Jehovah (Zeph. 3:12).

In these passages the needy denote those who are in ignorance of truth and long to be instructed.

from AC 9209

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