Spiritual Meaning of
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By servants are signified those who are in faith from charity; to them these things are manifested, because they understand and receive them. By servants, in the spiritual sense, are meant those who are in truths; and because truths are from good, by servants are meant those who are in truths from good, thus also, those who are in wisdom from love, because wisdom is of truth, and love is of good; also those who are in faith derived from charity, because faith also is of truth and charity is of good; and as the genuine spiritual sense is abstracted from person, therefore in it by servants are signified truths. Now as truths are serviceable to good by teaching it, therefore, in general, and properly, by servant, in the Word, is meant what is serviceable, or he or that which serves; in this sense not only the prophets are called the servants of God, but also the Lord as to His Human; that the prophets are called the servants of God is evident from the following passages:--
Jehovah hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets (Jer. 25:4).
He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
He set before you by the hand of His servants the prophets (Dan. 9:10);
And Moses is called The servant of Jehovah (Mal. 4:4).
The reason is that by a prophet in the spiritual sense is meant the truth of doctrine, as explained below. And because the Lord was the Divine truth itself, which also is the Word, and from this was Himself called the Prophet; and served in the world, and serves all to eternity by teaching, therefore, He also, in many places, is called the servant of Jehovah; as in the following passages:--
He shall see of the labor of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many (Isa. 53:11).
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, He shall be extolled and exalted and be lifted up greatly (Isa. 52:13).
Behold, my servant, on whom I lean, mine elect, In whom my soul hath good pleasure, I have put my Spirit upon Him (Isa. 42:1, 19);
this is spoken of the Lord: in like manner David is called a servant, where, by him, the Lord is meant; as in the following passages:--
And I Jehovah will be their God, and My servant David a prince in the midst of them (Ezek. 34:24).
My servant, David, shall be king over them, that there may be one shepherd to them all (Ezek. 37:24).
I will protect this city to preserve it, for My sake and My servant David's (Isa. 37:35; Psalms 78:70-72; 89:3, 4, 20).
That by David in these places is meant the Lord, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (L n. 43, 44). The Lord Himself says the same of Himself:--
Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, and whosoever will be first let him be your servant, as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (Matt. 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-44; Luke 22:27; Luke 12:37).
This the Lord says, because by servant and minister is meant one who serves and ministers by teaching, and abstractly from person, the Divine truth, which was Himself. Since, therefore, by servant is meant he who teaches Divine truth, it is evident that by servants in this place in the Apocalypse are meant those who are in truths from good, or in faith from charity, because these can teach from the Lord, that is, the Lord can teach and minister through them. In this sense they are called servants in Matthew:--
In the consummation of the age, who is the faithful and prudent servant, whom his Lord shall set over His household, to give them their food in its season; blessed is that servant whom the Lord when He cometh, shall find so doing (Matthew 24:45-46).
And in Luke:--
Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh, shall find watching: verily, I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to recline, and shall Himself come near and minister unto them (Luke 12:37).
In heaven all are called servants of the Lord who are in His spiritual kingdom; but they who are in His celestial kingdom are called ministers; the reason is, that they who are in His spiritual kingdom, are in wisdom from Divine truth; and they who are in His celestial kingdom are in love from Divine good; and good ministers and truth serves. But in the opposite sense, by servants are meant those who serve the devil; these are in a state of servitude itself; but they who serve the Lord are in a state of liberty; as the Lord also teaches (John 8:32-36).
from AR 3
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|