Spiritual Meaning of

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That thorns denote the falsities of concupiscences, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:--

Upon the land of My people cometh up thorn and brier (Isa. 32:13);

the land denotes the church; the thorn and brier denote falsities, and the consequent evils. Again:--

As for your spirit, a fire shall consume you, so the peoples shall be burned into lime, as thorns cut down that are kindled with fire (Isa. 33:11, 12);

the thorns that are kindled with fire denote falsities which break into Same, and consume truths and goods.

[6] In Ezekiel:--

There shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel, nor a thorn causing grief (Ezek. 28:24);

a pricking brier denotes falsity of the concupiscences of the love of self; a thorn, falsity of the concupiscences of the love of the world. In Hosea:--

Your mother hath played the harlot; therefore I hedge up thy way with thorns, and she shall not find her paths (Hosea 2:5, 6);

ways and paths denote truths; and thorns, falsities in place of truths.

[7] Again:--

The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed; the thistle and the thorn shall come up on their altars (Hosea 10:8);

the thistle and the thorn denote evil and falsity that lay waste the goods and truths of worship. In David:--

They compassed me about like bees; they go out like a fire of thorns (Ps. 118:12);

a fire of thorns denotes the concupiscence of evil. In Matthew:--

By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matt. 7:16);

gathering grapes of thorns denotes deriving the goods of faith and of charity from the falsities of concupiscences. Grapes denote these goods, (AC 1071, 5117, 6378).

[8] In Mark:--

Other seed fell among thorns, but the thorns came up, and choked it, that it yielded no fruit. They that are sown among the thorns, are they that hear the word; but the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the concupiscences of other things entering In, choke the word, so that it becometh unfruitful (Mark 4:7, 18, 19);

here there is explained what is meant by being sown among thorns, thus what by thorns. The same is signified by sowing among thorns, and reaping thorns, in Jeremiah:--

Thus said Jehovah to the man of Judah, and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns (Jer. 4:3).

They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns (Jer. 12:13).

[9] The falsities of concupiscences, which are signified by thorns, are falsities which confirm those things which are of the world and its pleasures, for more than all other falsities these take fire and blaze up, because they are from those concupiscences in the body which are felt; wherefore also they close the internal man, so that there is no appreciation of that which concerns the salvation of the soul, and eternal life.

[10] That:--

They put a crown plaited of thorns upon the Lord's head when He was crucified, and that then He was hailed King of the Jews, and said, Behold the Man (John 19:2, 3, 5),

represented the condition of the Divine Word at that time in the Jewish church; namely, that it was stifled by the falsities of concupiscences. The King of the Jews, as He was then hailed by them, signified truth Divine. By a king in the Word is signified truth from the Divine, (AC 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148); and that the like is signified by the Anointed, which in the Hebrew idiom is the Messiah, and in the Greek the Christ, (AC 3004, 3008, 3009, 3732). By Judah in the supreme sense is meant the Lord as to Divine good, and in the internal sense as to the Word, and thus as to doctrine from the Word (AC 3881); and that when such a crown was upon His head the Lord said Behold the Man, signified, Behold the Divine truth such as it now is in the church. For the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord in heaven is a Man; consequently heaven is the Grand Man, and this by influx and by correspondence, as has been shown at the end of many chapters (AC 1871, 1276, 2996, 2998, 3624-3649, 3741-3750, 7396, 8547, 8988). From this also the Lord's celestial church was called Man (AC 478, 479), this church being that which the Jews represented (AC 6363, 6364, 8770). From this it is evident what was signified by the crown of thorns, and by His being hailed King of the Jews, by behold the Man, and also by the inscription on the cross, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews (John 19:19, 20); namely, that Divine truth, or the Word, was so regarded and so treated by the Jews, among whom was the church. That all things done to the Lord by the Jews at His crucifixion signified the states of their church with respect to truth Divine, or the Word, (AC 9093). That the Lord was the Word, is evident in John:--

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt in us, and we beheld His glory (John 1:1, 14);

the Word denotes the Divine truth.

from AC 9144

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