Spiritual Meaning of

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Words signify doctrine in particular, or the particulars of doctrine. For the particulars cause no disagreement, provided they look to one end, which is to love the Lord above all things and the neighbor as one's self; for then they are particulars of these generals.

[2] That a word signifies all doctrine concerning charity and the derivative faith, and that words signify the things which are of doctrine, is evident in David:--

I will confess unto Thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall learn the judgments of Thy righteousness; I will keep Thy statutes. Wherewithal shall a child make pure his path? By taking heed according to Thy word. With my whole heart have I sought Thee; make me not to wander from Thy precepts. Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Jehovah; teach me Thy statutes. With my lips have I rehearsed all the judgments of Thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies. I meditate in Thy commandments, and look unto Thy ways. I delight in Thy statutes; I do not forget Thy word (Ps. 119:7-16).

Word here denotes doctrine in general. It is evident that a distinction is here made between precepts, judgments, testimonies, commandments, statutes, way, and lips; and that all these belong to the Word, or to doctrine. And everywhere else in the Word they signify the same distinct things.

[3] Again:--

A song of love. My heart hath willed a good word; my tongue is the pen of a rapid writer. Thou art beauteous above the sons of man; grace is poured upon thy lips. Ride upon the word of truth; and of the gentleness of righteousness; thy right hand shall teach thee wonderful things (Ps. 45:1, 2, 4).

To ride upon the word of truth and of the gentleness of righteousness, is to teach the doctrine of truth and of good. Here, as elsewhere in the Word, the terms word, lip, and tongue signify distinct things; that they are things of doctrine concerning charity is evident, because it is called a song of loves. Of this doctrine is predicated beauty above the sons of man, grace of lips, and a right hand that teacheth wonderful things.

[4] In Isaiah:--

Jehovah sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel (Isa. 9:8).

A word denotes the doctrine of internal and of external worship; Jacob here denotes external worship, and Israel internal. In Matthew:--

Jesus said, Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).


When any one heareth the word of the Kingdom and heedeth it not, then cometh the evil one and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart (Matthew 13:19)

see also concerning the word in the same chapter, (Matt. 13:20-23). Again:--

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:35).

In these passages, the word denotes the Lord's doctrine; and words the things that belong to His doctrine.

[5] Because the expression words denotes all things of doctrine, the commandments of the decalogue were called words, in Moses:--

Jehovah wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words (Exod. 34:28).


He hath declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, the ten words; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone (Deut. 4:13; 10:4).


Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the words that thine eyes have seen (Deut. 4:9)

besides other places.

AC 1288

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