Spiritual Meaning of
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That strangers denote those who do not acknowledge the Lord, and are unwilling to acknowledge Him, whether they be out of the church or within it, thus who are in evils and in the falsities of evil, and in a sense abstracted from persons, that they are evils and the falsities of evil, is evident from many passages in the Word. It is said those who do not acknowledge the Lord, thus who are in evils and the falsities of evil, because those who do not acknowledge the Lord must needs be in evils and the falsities of evil; for all good and the truth of good are from the Lord, and therefore those who deny the Lord are in evils and the falsities of evil; according to the words of the Lord in John:--
Unless ye believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
 That these are strangers, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
Your land is a solitude, your cities are burned with fire; your ground, strangers shall devour it in your presence; and it shall be a solitude, as the overthrow of strangers (Isa. 1:7);
by land in this passage is not meant land, nor by cities and ground, cities and ground; but by land is meant the church; in like manner by ground; and by cities, the truths of the church which are called doctrinal things, and which are said to be burned with fire when they have been consumed by the evils of the loves of self and of the world. From this it is evident what is signified by strangers devouring the ground, namely, that evils and the falsities of evil devour the church; and by the land being desolate. That land or earth denotes the church, (AR 9325); in like manner ground, (AR 566, 1068); that cities denote the doctrinal things of the church, thus its truths, (AR 2268, 2451, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493); and fire the evils of the loves of self and of the world, (AR 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7575, 9141).
 In Jeremiah:--
Disgrace hath covered our faces, seeing that strangers are come against the sanctuaries of the house of Jehovah (Jer. 51:51);
strangers against the sanctuaries of the house of Jehovah denote evils and the falsities of evil against the truths and goods of the church; those of the nations were called strangers who were servants in the Jewish Church; and by the nations of that land are also signified evils and falsities (AR 9320). In the same:--
Thou sayest, There is no hope, no; but I will love strangers, and after them will I go (Jer. 2:25);
to love strangers, and to go after them, denotes to love evils and the falsities of evil, and to worship them.
 In Ezekiel:--
I will bring the sword upon you, and I will give you into the hand of strangers (Ezek. 11:8, 9);
where to bring a sword denotes falsities from evil fighting against truths from good; to give into the hand of strangers denotes that they should believe and serve these falsities. That a sword denotes truth fighting against falsities, and in the opposite sense falsities fighting against truths, (AR 2799, 6353, 7102, 8294).
Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised in the hand of strangers (Ezek. 28:10);
the uncircumcised denote those who in respect to the life are in filthy loves and their cupidities, however much they may be in doctrinal things (AR 2049, 3412, 3413, 4462, 7045, 7225), whose death is spiritual death; in the hand of strangers denotes in evils themselves and the falsities of evils.
Jerusalem is an adulterous wife under her man, she receiveth strangers (Ezek. 16:32);
Jerusalem an adulterous wife denotes the church in which good is adulterated; to receive strangers denotes to acknowledge evils and the falsities of evil in life and doctrine. And in Joel:--
Jerusalem shall be holiness, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more (Joel 3:17);
Jerusalem denotes the church, but that in which the Lord is acknowledged, men live in good, and believe in the truths which are from the Lord; that strangers shall not pass through her any more denotes that the evils and falsities of evil which are from hell shall not enter.
 In David:--
Strangers are risen up against me, and violent men have sought after my soul (Ps. 54:3);
here also strangers denote evils and the falsities of evil; violent men denote the same doing violence to goods and truths. Those who look solely at the sense of the letter of the Word, understand nothing else by strangers than those who are outside the church, and that they will rise up against David; whereas nothing of person enters into the heavens, but only the things which are signified (AR 8343, 8985, 9007); thus not strangers, but instead of them strange things, which are those which are estranged from the church, thus evils and the falsities of evil which destroy the church; by David also, against whom they would rise up, is perceived the Lord (AR 1888, 9954).
 In Moses:--
He forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation; they provoked Him to jealousy by strangers (Deut. 32:15, 16);
to forsake God, and lightly esteem the Rock of salvation, denotes to deny the Lord; to provoke by strange things denotes by evils and the falsities of evil. That a Rock denotes the Lord as to the truths of faith, (AR 8581). Moreover in other places also strangers denote evils and falsities (Isa. 25:2, 5; Jer. 30:8; Ezek. 31:11, 12).
 As strangers signified those who are in evils and the falsities of evil, and from this in the abstract sense, evils and the falsities of evil, therefore it was forbidden that a stranger should eat the holy things (Lev. 22:10); that a stranger should approach the office of the priesthood, or the service of the sanctuary; and that if he did so he should be slain (Num. 1:51; 3:10, 38; 18:7).
 It was also forbidden to burn incense from strange fire, for doing which Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, were consumed by fire from heaven (Lev. 10:1, 2); for by the holy fire which was from the altar was signified love Divine; but by strange fire, infernal love, and hence also evils and their cupidities (AR 1297, 1861, 2446, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7575, 9141).
 Mention is also made of foreigners, which is expressed in the original tongue by another word than strangers, and by foreigners are signified falsities themselves, as in these passages:--
O Jehovah look on our reproach; our inheritance is turned unto strangers, and our houses unto foreigners (Lam. 5:1, 2).
Strangers have led captive his strength, and foreigners have entered his gates, and shall cast a lot upon Jerusalem (Obad. 1:11);
to cast a lot upon Jerusalem denotes to destroy the church, and to dissipate its truths.
 In Zephaniah:--
I will visit upon the princes, and upon the king's sons, and upon all such as are clothed in the clothing of a foreigner (Zeph. 1:8);
those clothed in the clothing of a foreigner denote those who are in falsities; for princes and the king's sons, upon whom was visitation, denote the chief truths, and in the opposite sense the chief falsities. That princes have this signification, (AR 1482, 2089, 5044); and that kings denote truths themselves, and in the opposite sense falsities themselves, (AR 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148); consequently the king's sons denote that which is derived therefrom.
 In David:--
Deliver me and rescue me out of the hand of the sons of the foreigner, whose mouth speaketh emptiness, and their right hand is a right hand of a lie (Ps. 144:7, 8, 11);
that the sons of the foreigner denote those who are in falsities, thus falsities, is very evident, for it is said, whose mouth speaketh emptiness, and their right hand is the right hand of a lie; for emptiness denotes falsity of doctrine, and a lie, falsity of life (AR 9248).
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|