Spiritual Meaning of

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As regards the timbrel specifically, it corresponds to spiritual good, that is, to the good of truth. The reason is that the timbrel is not a stringed instrument, neither is it a wind instrument, but as it is made with a skin, it is as it were a continuous stringed instrument, and moreover its sound is graver and deeper than is the sound of stringed instruments. This can also be seen from the Word, where the timbrel is mentioned, as in Isaiah:--

The joy of the timbrels shall cease, the tumult of the joyous shall cease, the joy of the harp shall cease (Isa. 24:8);

the joy of the timbrels denotes the delights of the affections of the good of faith; the joy of the harp, the delight of the affection of the truth of faith. In Jeremiah:--

Anew I will build thee, that thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel; anew shalt thou adorn thy timbrels, and shalt go forth into the dance of them that play (Jer. 31:4);

to adorn the timbrels denotes to glorify God from spiritual good, for it treats of the spiritual church, which is the virgin of Israel.

[4] In like manner in Ezekiel:--

Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God, the work of thy timbrels and of thy pipes was in thee, in the day that thou wast created they were prepared (Ezek. 28:13);

speaking of Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of good and of truth, and by timbrels and pipes the affections of the former, and the joys of the latter. In David:--

They have seen Thy goings, O God, the goings of my God in the sanctuary. The singers went before, after them the players, in the midst of the virgins playing on timbrels (Ps. 68:24, 25).

Shout to the God of Jacob, lift up a song, and give a timbrel, a pleasant harp with a psaltery (Ps. 81:1, 2).

Sing to Jehovah a new song, let them praise His name in the dance, let them sing psalms to Him with timbrel and harp (Ps. 149:1, 3);

here to praise with timbrel denotes to glorify from the delight of the affection of the good of faith; and to praise with harp denotes the pleasantness of the affection of the truth of faith.

[5] In the same:--

Praise ye God with timbrel and dance, praise ye Him with stringed instruments and organ, praise Him with cymbals of sound, praise Him with cymbals of noise (Ps. 150:4, 5);

to praise with timbrel and dance denotes from the good and truth of faith; with stringed instruments and organ denotes from truths and the good thence derived. As by correspondence all instruments signified the delights and pleasantnesses of spiritual and celestial affections, many of the Psalms of David have an inscription, and it is told how they are to be sung, as upon Neginoth, upon Nechiloth, upon the Octave, Shigajon, Gitthith, Muth-labben, Sheminith, Shoshannim, Machalath.

from AC 8337

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