Spiritual Meaning of
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What is signified in the genuine sense by the west and what by the north; and what in the opposite sense, may be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:--
Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth (Isa. 43:5, 6)
speaking of a new spiritual church, which is there called Jacob and Israel. To bring seed from the east, and to gather from the west, denotes those who are in good; to say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back, denotes those who are in truth.
 In David:--
The redeemed of Jehovah shall say, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the sea. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way they found no city to dwell in (Ps. 107:2-4)
concerning those who are in ignorance of good and truth. From the east and from the west denotes those who are in ignorance of good; from the north and from the sea, those who are in ignorance of truth; concerning those who are in ignorance of good it is said that they wandered in the wilderness, and concerning those who are in ignorance of truth, that they wandered in a solitary way; and concerning the ignorance of both good and truth it is said that they found no city to dwell in. City signifies what is doctrinal of truth, (AR 402, 2449, 2943, 3216); and to dwell is predicated of good, (AR 2268, 2451, 2712).
 In Isaiah:--
Behold these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim (Isa. 49:12);
where the north denotes those who are in obscurity as to truth; and the west those who are in obscurity as to good, who are said to come from far, because they are remote from the light which is from the Lord.
 In Amos:--
Behold the days come that I will send a famine in the land; and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east they shall run to and fro to seek the word of Jehovah, and shall not find it (Amos 8:11, 12)
where famine denotes scarcity and failure of knowledges (AR 1460, 3364); wandering from sea to sea, denotes to inquire where there are knowledges. Seas signify knowledges in general, (AR 28, 2850); to run to and fro from the north even to the east denotes from those knowledges which are in obscurity to those which are in light. It is evident that knowledges are here meant, for it is said, to seek the word of Jehovah, and they shall not find it."
 In Jeremiah:--
Proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah I will not cause My faces to fall upon you for I am merciful. In those days the house of Judah shall go to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north upon the land that I gave for an inheritance unto your fathers (Jer. 3:12, 18)
speaking of the restoration of the church that is from the Gentiles. The north denotes those who are in ignorance of truth, and yet are in a life of good. It is evident that in this passage the north is not meant, nor the land of the north for Israel no longer had any existence. Again:--
Jehovah liveth that brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north (Jer. 16:15)
where the north in like manner denotes ignorance of truth.
Behold I will bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the sides of the earth, and among them the blind and the lame (Jer. 31:8);
the land of the north denotes ignorance of good, because of truth; and because the land of Canaan represented the Lord's kingdom, and thence also good (AR 3705); and what was in the midst thereof, as Zion and Jerusalem, represented the inmost good with which truth was conjoined, therefore the parts which were distant therefrom represented obscurity as to good and truth; and all that which is in obscurity is called the land of the north, and also the sides of the earth.
 Moreover as all the good which flows in with light from the Lord terminates in what is obscure in man, the north is also called an assembly or congregation; as in Isaiah:--
Thou saidst in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the sides of the north (Isa. 14:13).
Howl, O gate cry, O city; thou art melted away, O Philistia, all of thee for a smoke cometh out of the north, there is none solitary in the assemblies (Isa. 14:31).
Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. The joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King (Ps. 48:1, 2).
The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine the world and the fulness thereof Thou hast founded them; the north and the right hand Thou hast created them (Ps. 89:11, 12);
where the north denotes those who are more remote from the light of good and truth; and the right hand, those who are nearer thereto. These are at the Lord's right hand, (AR 1274, 1276).
 In Zechariah (who saw four chariots coming out from between two mountains of brass, with red, black, white, and strong grizzled horses, and the angel said):--
These are the four winds of the heavens which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. All the black horses go forth into the land of the north; and the white went forth after them; and the grizzled went forth into the land of the south. Then he spake unto me, saying, Behold they that go forth to the land of the north have quieted my spirit in the land of the north (Zech. 6:1-8)
chariots going forth between two mountains of brass, denote doctrinal things of good. That chariots signify doctrinal things will be made manifest elsewhere; that a mountain signifies love, may be seen above (AR 795, 1430, 2722); hence two mountains signify two loves, celestial love, which is love to the Lord, and spiritual love, which is love toward the neighbor; that brass signifies the good therefrom which is in the natural, see above (AR 425, 1551); that horses signify intellectual things, thus the understanding of the doctrinal things of good (AR 2760-2762, 3217); the land of the south denotes those who are in the knowledges of good and truth (AR 1458, 3195); the land of the north, those who are in ignorance of good and truth, but in a life of good, in which are the upright Gentiles, among whom when a new church is being set up, the spirit of God is said to rest.
 In Jeremiah:--
Jehovah, who brought up and who led back the seed of the house of Israel out of the land to the north, and from all the lands whither I had driven them, that they may dwell upon their own land (Jer. 23:8)
where out of the land to the north signifies from the obscurity of ignorance respecting good and truth. Again:--
Shall iron be broken, iron from the north, and brass? (Jer. 15:12)
iron signifies natural truth (AR 425, 426); brass, natural good (AR 425, 1551). These are said to be from the north, because from the natural, where there is relative obscurity and a termination. That this prophecy does not signify that iron and brass are from the north, is evident without explication for what could there be of the Divine, or even of coherence with what goes before and what follows after, if the meaning were that iron and brass were therefrom?
 In Matthew:--
I say unto you that many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:29);
where many from the east and the west denote those who are in the knowledges and the life of good, and those who are in obscurity and ignorance thus those who are within the church and those who are without it; for that states of good are signified by east and west, was said above. To sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, signifies to be with the Lord, (AR 3305). That in like manner those will come from the east and from the west who shall be with the Lord in His kingdom or in His church, is said in the Prophets; as in Isaiah:--
I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west (Isa. 43:5).
They shall fear the name of Jehovah from the west, and His glory from the east (Isa. 59:19).
They shall know from the rising of the sun, and from the setting, that there is none besides Me I am Jehovah, and there is none else (Isa. 45:6).
I will stir up one from the north, and he shall come from the rising of the sun shall he call upon My name (Isa. 41:25).
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|