Spiritual Meaning of
|Back to Words index||Back to Seven_Churches words index|
7. And unto the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no one shutteth, and shutteth and no one openeth.
8. I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door and no one is able to shut it: because thou hast a little power, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name.
9. Behold, I will give from the synagogue of Satan, those who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and adore at thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10. Because thou hast kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11. Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that thou hast, that no one take thy crown.
12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of My God; and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God; and My new name.
13. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.To the churches in the Christian world:
Ver. 7. "And unto the angel of the church in Philadelphia write," signifies to those and concerning those, who are in truths from good from the Lord (n. 172). "These things saith He that is holy, He that is true," signifies the Lord as to the Divine truth (AR 173). "He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no one shutteth, and shutteth and no one openeth," signifies who alone has omnipotence to save (AR 174).
Ver. 8. "I know thy works," signifies here, as in (AR 175). "Behold, I have set before thee an open door," signifies that heaven is open to those who are in truths from good from the Lord (AR 176). "And no one is able to shut it," signifies that hell cannot prevail against them (AR 177). "Because thou hast a little power," signifies because they know that they can do nothing from themselves (AR 178). "And hast kept My Word," signifies because they live according to the Lord‘s commandments in His Word (AR 179). "And hast not denied My name," signifies that they are in the worship of the Lord (AR 180).
Ver. 9. "And I will give from the synagogue of Satan," signifies those who are in falsities as to doctrine (AR 181). "Who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie," signifies who say that the church is with them, and yet it is not (AR 182). "Behold I will make them to come and adore at thy feet," signifies that many who are in falsities as to doctrine, will receive the truths of the New Church (AR 183). "And to know that I have loved thee," signifies that they shall see that they are loved and received into heaven by the Lord (AR 184).
Ver. 10. "Because thou hast kept the Word of My endurance," signifies because they have fought against evils (AR 185). "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth," signifies that they will be protected and preserved in the day of the Last Judgment (AR 186).
Ver. 11. "Behold I come quickly," signifies the Lord’s coming (AR 187). "Hold fast that thou hast," signifies that in the meantime they should remain in their truths and goods (AR 188). "That no one take thy crown," signifies lest wisdom should perish, from which is eternal felicity (AR 189).
Ver. 12. "Him that overcometh," signifies they who persist in truths from good (AR 190). "Will I make a pillar in the temple of My God," signifies that truths from good from the Lord, with those in whom they abide, sustain the church (AR 191). "And he shall go no more out," signifies that they shall remain there to eternity (AR 192). "And I will write upon him the name of My God," signifies that Divine truth shall be inscribed on their hearts (n. 193). "And the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem," signifies that the doctrine of the New Church shall be inscribed on their hearts (n. 194). "Which cometh down out of heaven from My God," signifies which will be from the Divine truth of the Lord such as it is in heaven (AR 195). "And My new name," signifies the worship of the Lord alone, with new things which were not in the former church (AR 196).
Ver. 13. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches," signifies here, as before (AR 197).
AR 172. Verse 7. And unto the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, signifies to those and concerning those who are in truths from good from the Lord. That these are meant by "the church in Philadelphia" is clear from what is written to it, when understood in the spiritual sense.
AR 173. These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, signifies the Lord as to the Divine truth. That it is the Lord, is evident; the reason why "He that is holy, He that is true," is the Lord as to the Divine truth, is because the Lord is called "holy" from His Divine truth, and "just" from His Divine good; hence it is, that His Divine proceeding, which is the Divine truth, is called "the Holy Spirit," and the Holy Spirit here is "He that is holy, He that is true." "Holy" often occurs in the Word, and everywhere relates to truth, and as all truth, which in itself is truth, is from good, and is from the Lord, it is that truth which is called holy; but good from which the truth is, is called just. Hence it is, that the angels who are in the truths of wisdom, and are called spiritual, are said to be "holy," and the angels who are in the good of love, and are called celestial, are said to be "just;" in like manner men in the church. It is also from this, that the prophets and apostles are called "holy," for by "the prophets" and "apostles," are signified the truths of doctrine of the church. For the same reason also the Word is called holy, for the Word is the Divine truth; the law in the ark in the tabernacle was also called the Holy of Holies, and also "the Sanctuary." In like manner Jerusalem is called holy, for by "Jerusalem" is signified the church, which is in Divine truths. So likewise the altar, the tabernacle, and the garments of Aaron and his sons were called holy after they were anointed with oil, for oil signifies the good of love, and this sanctifies, and everything sanctified has relation to truth. That the Lord alone is holy, because He is the Divine truth itself, is evident from the following passages:--
Who shall not glorify Thy name, O Lord, for Thou only art holy (Apoc. 15:4).
Thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5).
Thus saith Jehovah the Redeemer of Israel, His Holy One (Isa. 49:7).
As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 47:4).
Thus saith Jehovah your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 43:14).
In that day they shall lean upon Jehovah the Holy One of Israel in truth (Isa. 10:20; Isa. 1:4; 5:19; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19; 30:11, 12; 41:16; 45:11, 15; 48:17; 55:5; 60:9; Jer. 50:29; Dan. 4:13, 23; Ps. 78:41).
As the Lord is holiness itself, therefore the angel said unto Mary:--
The holy One that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
And the Lord said of Himself:--
Father, sanctify them in the truth, Thy Word is truth; for their sakes I sanctify Myself; that they also might be sanctified in the truth (John 17:17, 19).
Hence it appears, that the truth, which is from the Lord, is holiness itself, because He alone is holy; on which subject the Lord says:--
When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will lead you into all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself, for He shall receive of mine and shall announce it unto you (John 16:13-15).
The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, He shall teach you all things (John 14:26).
That the "Holy Spirit" is the life of the Lord‘s wisdom, thus the Divine truth, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 51). From hence it may appear, that "He that is holy, He that is true," is the Lord as to His Divine truth. That "holy" is said of truth, and "just" of good, is evident from those passages in the Word where both expressions occur; as from the following:--
He that is just let him be justified still, and he that is holy let him he sanctified still (Apoc. 22:11).
Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints (Apoc. 15:3).
To serve Him in holiness and justice (Luke 1:75).
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and holy (Mark 6:20).
Fine linen is the justice of the saints (Apoc. 19:8).
AR 174. He that hath the key of David, and that openeth and no one shutteth, and shutteth and no one openeth, signifies, who alone is omnipotent to save. By "David" is meant the Lord as to the Divine truth; by "key" is signified the Lord’s omnipotence over heaven and hell; and by "opening that no one can shut," and by "shutting that no one can open," is signified to lead forth out of hell and introduce into heaven, thus to save, in like manner as in (AR 62), where it is explained. That by "David" is meant the Lord as to the Divine truth, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 43, 44). The same, which is here signified by "the key of David," is also signified by "the keys of Peter" (Matt. 16:15-19); which may be seen explained below (AR 798), as also by these words to all the disciples:--
Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 18:18).
For the twelve disciples represented all things of the church as to its goods and truths, and Peter represented it as to truth, and truths and goods save man, consequently the Lord alone from whom they are. The same is also signified by the "key of David which was given to Eliakim," concerning which it is thus written:--
I will give the government into his hands, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah, and I will give the key of the house of David upon his shoulder, so he shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open (Isa. 22:21, 22).
He was over the king‘s house, and by "the king’s house" is signified the church as to the Divine truth.
AR 175. Verse 8. I know thy works, signifies that the Lord sees all their interiors and exteriors at once, as in (AR 76).
AR 176. Behold, I have set before thee an open door, signifies that heaven is open to those who are in truths from good from the Lord. That by "an open door" is signified admission, is evident. The door is said to be open to those who are of the church in Philadelphia, because by that church are meant those who are in truths from good from the Lord, and to them the Lord opens heaven. But on this subject something not before known shall be declared. The Lord alone is the God of heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18); they therefore who do not directly approach Him, cannot see the way to heaven, nor can they find the door, and if haply they are permitted to approach it, it is shut, and if they knock it is not opened. In the spiritual world there are actually ways which lead to heaven, and there are here and there gates, and they who are led to heaven by the Lord, take the ways which lead thither, and enter through the gates. That there are ways there, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell (HH n. 479, 534, 590); and also gates (HH n. 429, 430, 583, 584). For all things which are seen in the heavens are correspondences, thus also, ways and gates; for ways correspond to truths, and thence signify them, and gates correspond to admission, and thence signify it. Since the Lord alone leads man to heaven, and opens the door, therefore He calls Himself "the way" and also "the door": "the way" in John:--
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
The door in the same Evangelist:--
I am the door of the sheep, by Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:7, 9).
Since there are both ways and doors in the spiritual world, and angelic spirits actually go in those ways, and enter into heaven by doors, therefore "doors," "gates " and "portals" are frequently mentioned in the Word, by which is signified entrance; as in these places:--
Lift up your heads, O ye gates, lift them up, ye doors of the world, and the King of Glory shall come in (Ps. 24:7, 9).
Open ye the gates, that the just nation, which doeth fidelity, may enter in (Isa. 26:2).
The five prudent virgins went in to the wedding, and the door was shut; and the five foolish virgins came and knocked, but it was not opened (Matt. 25:10-12).
Jesus said, Strive to enter in at the straight gate, for many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able (Luke 13:24).
Since "a door" signifies entrance, and "the New Jerusalem" signifies the church consisting of those who are in truths from good from the Lord, therefore the New Jerusalem is described also as to "its gates, upon which there were angels," and it is said, They should not be shut (Apoc. 21:12, 13, 25).
AR 177. And no one is able to shut it, signifies that hell cannot prevail against it. For the Lord alone opens and shuts the doors to heaven, and the door, which He opens, is perpetually open to those who are in truths from good from the Lord, and perpetually shut to those who are in falsities from evil; and since the Lord alone opens and shuts, it follows that hell cannot prevail against them: more may be seen on this subject in (AR 174).
AR 178. Because thou hast a little power, signifies because they know that they can do nothing from themselves. They who are in truths from good from the Lord, know that they have not any power against evils and falsities, thus against hell, from themselves, and they also know that they cannot, out of any power from themselves, do good and introduce themselves into heaven, but that all power is the Lord‘s, and thus is in them from the Lord, and in proportion as they are in truths from good, in the same proportion they are in power from the Lord, which yet appears to them as their own. This then is what is meant by "For thou hast a little power."
AR 179. And hast kept My Word, signifies because they live according to the Lord’s commandments in His Word, as is evident without any explanation.
AR 180. And hast not denied My name, signifies that they are in the worship of the Lord. That "the name of Jehovah," or of the Lord, in the Word, signifies all by which He is worshiped, thus every doctrine of the church, and universally the whole of religion, may be seen in (AR 81); from which it is plain what is here signified by "thou hast not denied My name."
AR 181. Verse 9. And I will give from the synagogue of Satan, signifies those who are in falsities as to doctrine, as may be seen in (AR 97).
AR 182. Who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie, signifies who say that the church is with them, when yet there is no church with them. By "Jews" here are meant they who are of the church, because the church was instituted among them, therefore also by their Jerusalem is still meant the church as to doctrine: but, especially, by "Jews" are meant they who are in the good of love, as in (AR 96), thus also the church, for from the good of love the church exists. That still there is no church with them is signified by "and are not, but do lie."
AR 183. Behold, I will make them to come and adore at thy feet, signifies that those who are in falsities as to doctrine, provided they are not in falsities from evil, will receive and acknowledge the truths of the New Church. This is said of those who are of "the synagogue of Satan, and say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie," by whom are meant those who are in falsities as to doctrine, yet not in falsities from evil, but in falsities as to doctrine but in good as to life. The latter, and not the former, receive and acknowledge truths when they hear them. The reason is, that good loves truth, and truth from good rejects what is false. To receive and acknowledge truths is signified by "coming and adoring at thy feet"; not at their feet, but at the feet of the Lord, from whom they have the truths from good; therefore the following passage in David has a like signification:--
Adore Jehovah our Lord, adore at His footstool (Ps. 99:5).
AR 184. And to know that I have loved thee, signifies that they shall see that they who are in truths from good, are beloved and received into heaven by the Lord. This follows in a series from the foregoing.
AR 185. Verse 10. Because thou hast kept the word of My endurance, signifies because they have fought against evils, and then have rejected falsities. That "the word of endurance" signifies spiritual combat, which is called temptation is plain from what next follows; "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall be"; for he who is tempted in the world, is not tempted after death. Spiritual combat, which is temptation, is called the word of the Lord‘s endurance or patience, because in temptations the Lord fights for man, and He fights by means of truths out of His Word.
AR 186. I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, signifies that they will be protected and preserved in the day of the Last Judgment. That their protection and preservation in the day of the Last Judgment is meant by these words, may be seen from what is written and related concerning The Last Judgment in the work on that subject, and afterwards in The Continuation of the same, from which it is manifest, that they who underwent it were let into temptation, and explored as to their qualities, and that such as were interiorly evil were rejected and such as were interiorly good were saved; and they were interiorly good who were in truths from good from the Lord.
AR 187. Verse 11. Behold, I come quickly, signifies the Lord’s coming, and then the New Church from them. The Lord says here, "Behold, I come quickly," because by the foregoing words is meant the Last Judgment, and the Last Judgment is also called the Lord‘s coming, as in Matthew:--
The disciples said unto Jesus, What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the consummation of the age? (Matthew 24:3).
"The consummation of the age" is the last time of the church, when the Last Judgment is at hand. The reason why by these words, "Behold, I come quickly," the New Church is also meant, is, because after the Last Judgment, the church is established by the Lord; that church now is the New Jerusalem, into which those will enter who are in truths from good from the Lord, to whom this is addressed.
AR 188. Hold fast that thou hast, signifies that in the meantime they should remain in their truths and in their good, as is manifest without explanation.
AR 189. That no one take thy crown, signifies lest wisdom should perish, from which comes eternal happiness. Wisdom in man is from no other source than good by truths from the Lord. The reason why man has wisdom through these, is, because the Lord conjoins Himself to man, and man to Himself by them, and the Lord is wisdom itself; therefore wisdom perishes with man when he ceases to do truths, that is, to live according to them, for then he ceases to love wisdom, and thus the Lord. By wisdom is meant wisdom in things spiritual, from which, as from a fountain, is derived wisdom in other things, which is called intelligence, and by intelligence, science, which exists from the affection of knowing truths. "A crown" signifies wisdom, because wisdom holds the supreme place with man, and thus crowns him. Nor does "a king’s crown" signify anything else, for "king," in the spiritual sense, is the Divine truth (AR 20), and from the Divine truth is all wisdom. Wisdom is also signified by "crown" in the following places:--
There will I make the horn of David to bud, but upon himself shall his crown flourish (Ps. 132:17, 18).
Jehovah gave ear-rings upon thine ears, and a crown of ornament upon thy head (Ezek. 16:12)
Speaking of Jerusalem, by which is signified the church as to doctrine, therefore "a crown of ornament" is wisdom from the Divine truth or the Word.
In that day shall Jehovah of Hosts be for a crown of ornament and for a mitre of beauty unto the residue of His people (Isa. 28:5).
These things are concerning the Lord, because it is said "in that day"; "the crown of ornament" which He will be, is wisdom, and "the mitre of beauty" is intelligence; "the residue of the people" are they with whom His church will be. The same is signified by "crown" and "mitre" in (Isa. 62:1, 3); as also by "the plate upon Aaron‘s mitre" (Exod. 28:36, 37), which was also called "the coronet." Likewise in these places:--
Say unto the king, and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down, for the ornament of your head is come down, the crown of your comeliness (Jer. 13:18).
The joy of our heart is ceased, the crown of our head is fallen (Lam. 5:15, 16).
He hath stript me of my glory, and taken the crown of my head (Job 19:9).
Thou hast condemned the crown of Thine anointed to the earth (Ps. 89:39).
In these places, by "crown" is signified wisdom.
AR 190. Verse 12. Him that overcometh, signifies they who persist in truths from good from the Lord, as appears from the series, and thus without explanation.
AR 191. Will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, signifies that truths from good from the Lord, with those in whom they abide, sustain the Lord’s church in heaven. By "temple" the church is signified, and by "the temple of my God," the Lord‘s church in heaven; hence it is evident, that by "pillar" is signified that which sustains the church and makes it firm, and this is the Divine truth of the Word. By "temple," in the supreme sense, the Lord is signified as to the Divine Human, in particular as to the Divine truth; but, in the representative sense, by "temple" is signified the Lord’s church in heaven, and likewise the Lord‘s church in the world. That "temple," in the supreme sense signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human, and in particular as to the Divine truth, is evident from these passages:--
Jesus said to the Jews, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up; He spake of the temple of His body (John 2:19, 21).
I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it (Apoc. 21:22).
Behold, the Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, and the angel of the covenant whom ye seek (Mal. 3:1).
I will bow down towards the temple of Thy holiness (Ps. 138:2).
Yet I will again look to the temple of Thy holiness and my prayer shall come to Thee, to the temple of Thy holiness (Jonah 2:4, 7; Hab. 2:20).
"The temple of holiness of Jehovah," or the Lord, is His Divine Human, for that is bowed down to, looked to, and prayed to, and not to the temple only, for the temple in itself is not holy. It is called "the temple of holiness," because holiness is predicated of the Divine truth (AR 173). The temple which sanctifieth the gold (Matt. 23:16, 17) means nothing else than the Lord’s Divine Human. That by "temple" in a representative sense, is signified the Lord‘s church in heaven, appears from these passages:--
The voice of Jehovah from the temple (Isa. 66:6).
There came a great voice out of the temple of heaven (Apoc. 16:17).
The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in the temple the ark of His covenant (Apoc. 11:19).
The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened; and the seven angels came out of the temple; and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God (Apoc. 15:5, 6, 8).
I called upon Jehovah, and cried unto my God; He heard my voice out of His temple (Ps. 18:6).
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple (Isa. 6:1).
That temple signifies the church in the world is manifest from these passages:--
Our house of holiness has become a conflagration (Isa. 64:11).
I will shake all nations, that I may fill this house with glory: the glory of the latter house shall be greater than of the former (Haggai. 2:7, 9).
The church to be established by the Lord is described by the "new temples in Ezekiel 40 to 48; and is meant by" the temple which the angel measured" (Apoc. 11:1); and so in other places; as (Isa. 44:28; Jer. 7:2-4, 9-11; Zech. 8:9).
The disciples came to Jesus, to show Him the buildings of the temple; and Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left stone upon stone, which shall not be thrown down (Matt. 24:1, 2; Mark 13:1-5; Luke 21:5-7).
By "the temple" here is signified the church at this day; and by its dissolution that "there is not one stone upon another," is signified the end of this church, in that no truth whatever would then be left. For when the disciples spoke to the Lord concerning the temple, the Lord foretold the successive states of this church even to its end, or "the consummation of the age," and by "the consummation of the age" is meant its last time, which is at this day. This was represented by that temple being destroyed to its foundation. "The temple" signifies these three, namely the Lord, the church in heaven, and the church in the world, because these three make one, and cannot be separated, consequently one of them cannot be meant without the other. Therefore he who separates the church in the world from the church in heaven, and these from the Lord, is not in the truth. The reason why the church in heaven is here meant by "the temple," is because the church in the world is treated of afterwards (AR 194).)
AR 192. And he shall go no more out, signifies that they will remain there to eternity, as is evident without explanation.
AR 193. And I will write upon him the name of My God, signifies that the Divine truth will be written in their hearts. "To write" upon anyone, signifies to inscribe, so that it may be in him as his own; and "the name of My God" signifies the Divine truth. Here something shall be said of this, that "My God" is the Divine truth. In the Word of the Old Testament, in innumerable places, "Jehovah God" occurs, as also separately, sometimes "Jehovah," and sometimes "God," and by "Jehovah" is meant the Lord as to the Divine good, and by "God" is meant the Lord as to the Divine truth; or what is the same, by "Jehovah" is meant the Lord as to the Divine love, and by "God" is meant the Lord as to the Divine wisdom; both terms are used for the sake of the heavenly marriage in all the particulars of the Word, which is the marriage of love and wisdom, or the marriage of good and truth, concerning which marriage see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (Sacred n. 80-90). But in the Word of the New Testament it is not said Jehovah God, but "Lord God"; for "Lord," like "Jehovah," signifies the Divine good or the Divine love. From these things it may appear, that by "the name of My God" is signified the Divine truth of the Lord. That "name," when spoken of the Lord, is the all by which He is worshiped, may be seen in (AR 81); and the all by which He is worshiped, has relation to the Divine good and the Divine truth. As it is not known what is meant by the following words of the Lord, it shall be told:--
Father, glorify Thy name; then came forth a voice from heaven, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again (John 12:28).
The Lord, when He was in the world, made His Human the Divine truth, which also is the Word, and when He went out of the world, He fully united the Divine truth to the Divine good, which was in Him from conception; for the Lord glorified His Human, that is, made it Divine, as He makes man spiritual; for He first introduces into man truths from the Word, and afterwards unites them to good, and by that union man is made spiritual.
AR 194. And the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, signifies that the doctrine of the New Church shall be written in their hearts. By "the New Jerusalem" is signified the New Church, and by the same, when it is called "city," is signified the New Church as to doctrine; therefore by "writing upon him the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem," is signified that the doctrine of the New Church will be written in their hearts. That by "Jerusalem" is signified the church, and by it as a city, the church as to doctrine, may be seen below (AR 880, 881). A city signifies doctrine, because "land," and in particular "the land of Canaan," signifies the church in the aggregate, and thence by the inheritances into which the land of Canaan was divided, are signified the various things of the church, and, by the cities in them, doctrinals. It is from this that the angels understand nothing else by cities when they are named in the Word; which has also been testified to me by much experience. Similar is the signification of mountains, hills, valleys, fountains, rivers, all which signify such things as are of the church. That "cities" signify doctrinals, may in some measure appear from the following passages:--
The land shall be emptied, the land shall be confounded, the land shall be profaned, the empty city shall be broken, the remnant in the city is a waste, and the gate shall be beaten down even to devastation (Isa. 24:3, 4, 10, 12).
The lion has come up from the thicket, to reduce the land to a waste; thy cities shall be destroyed; I saw Carmel a wilderness, and her cities desolate: the land shall mourn; the whole city shall flee, being deserted (Jer. 4:7, 26-29).
"The land" here is the church, and" the city" is its doctrine. Thus is described the devastation of the church by the falsities of doctrine.
The waster shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape, and the valley shall perish, and the plain be destroyed (Jer. 48:8).
In like manner:--
Behold, I have made thee a fortified city against the whole land (Jer. 1:18).
This was said to the prophet, because by "a prophet" the doctrine of the church is signified (AR 8).
In that day it shall be sung in the land of Judah, We have a strong city; salvation will He put for walls, and bulwarks (Isa. 26:1).
The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell (Apoc. 16:19).
The prophet saw upon a high mountain the structure of a city to the south, and an angel measured the wall, the gates, the chambers, the porch of the gate; and the name of the city was Jehovah there (Ezek. 40:1).
A river, whose streams made glad the city of God (Ps. 46:4).
I will confound Egypt with Egypt, that city may fight against city, and kingdom against kingdom (Isa. 19:2).
Every kingdom divided against itself is desolated, and every city divided against itself shall not stand (Matt. 12:25).
In these places by cities, in the spiritual sense, are meant doctrines; as also in (Isa. 6:11; 14:12, 17, 21; 19:18, 19; 25:1-3; 33:8, 9; 54:3; 64:10; Jer. 7:17, 34; 13:18, 19; 32:42, 44; 33:4; Zeph. 3:6; Ps. 48:2; 55:9; 107:4, 7; Matt. 5:14, 15). From the signification of "city" it may appear what is meant by cities in this parable of the Lord:--
A nobleman going away to receive for himself a kingdom, gave his servants pounds to trade with: when he returned, he called the servants: the first approached, saying, Thy pound hath gained ten pounds; to whom he said, Good servant, thou shalt have authority over ten cities; and the second came, saying, Thy pound hath gained five pounds; to whom he said, Be thou over five cities (Luke 19:12-19).
By "cities" here, also, doctrinals or truths of doctrine are signified, and "by being over them" is meant to be intelligent and wise, thus to give "authority over them" is to give intelligence and wisdom; "ten" signifies much, and "five" something; that by "trading" and "gaining" is meant to acquire intelligence by the exercise of one’s faculties, is evident. That "the holy city Jerusalem" signifies the doctrine of the New Church, is plainly manifest from the description of it (Apocalypse 21); for it is described as to its dimensions, also as to the gates, and as to the wall, and its foundations, which, when Jerusalem signifies the church, cannot signify any other than things belonging to its doctrines. The church is a church from no other source. Since by "the city of Jerusalem" is meant the church as to doctrine, therefore it is called "the city of truth" (Zech. 8:3, 4), and in many places "the holy city," and this because holy is predicated of truths from the Lord (AR 173).
AR 195. Which cometh down out of heaven from My God, signifies which will be from the Divine truth of the Lord, such as it is in heaven. Since by "My God" is signified the Divine truth (AR 193), it follows, that by "coming down out of heaven from God," when it is said of the Lord, and of the doctrine of the New Church, is signified which will be from the Divine truth from the Lord, such as it is in heaven.
AR 196. And My new name, signifies the worship of the Lord alone, with new things which were not in the former church. That by "the name of the Lord" is signified all that by which He is worshiped, may be seen in (AR 81), therefore here the worship of the Lord alone, with new things which were not in the former church. That in the New Church the Lord alone is worshiped, is evident from (Apoc. 21:9, 10), where that church is called the Lamb‘s Wife. That there are new things in that church, appears from (Apoc. 21:5), where it is said, "Behold, I make all things new." Such therefore is the signification of "My new name," which was to be written upon them.
AR 197. Verse 13. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, signifies that he who understands, ought to obey what the Divine truth of the Word teaches those who will be of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, as in (AR 87).
Back to Words index, Back to Seven_Churches words index
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|