(SS) - Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture

SS 13

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13. In Revelation, chapter 9, we read:
The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit; and he opened the bottomless pit, and there went up a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit; and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth, and unto them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power. The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for war, and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold; and their faces were as the faces of men; and they had hair as the hair of women; and their teeth were as the teeth of lions; and they had breastplates as of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of many horses running to war; and they had tails like scorpions; and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew is Abaddon, but in the Greek he hath the name Apollyon (Rev. 1-3, 7-11).
Neither could these things be understood by anyone unless the spiritual sense were revealed to him; for nothing here is said emptily, but every single thing has its signification. The subject here treated of is the state of the church when all knowledges of truth from the Word have been destroyed, and consequently man, having become sensuous, persuades himself that falsities are truths.
[2] The "star fallen from heaven" signifies the knowledges of truth destroyed; the "sun and air darkened" signifies the light of truth become thick darkness; the "locusts that came out of the smoke of the pit" signify falsities in the outermost things such as exist with those who have become sensuous, and who see and judge all things from fallacies; a "scorpion" signifies their persuasiveness. That the locusts appeared "like horses prepared for war" signifies their reasonings as it were from the understanding of truth; that the locusts had "crowns like gold upon their heads, and faces as the faces of men" signifies that they appeared to themselves as conquerors, and as wise; their having "hair as the hair of women" signifies that they appeared to themselves as if they were in the affection of truth; their having "teeth as the teeth of lions" signifies that sensuous things, which are ultimate things of the natural man, appeared to them as having power over all things.
[3] Their having "breastplates as breastplates of iron" signifies argumentations from fallacies by which they fight and prevail; that "the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots running to war" signifies reasonings as if from the truths of doctrine from the Word for which they were to fight; their having "tails like scorpions" signifies persuasions; their having "stings in their tails" signifies their cunning arts of deceiving thereby; their having "power to hurt men five months" signifies that they induce a kind of stupor on those who are in the understanding of truth and perception of good; their having "a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon or Apollyon" signifies that their falsities were from hell, where dwell those who are merely natural and in self-intelligence.
[4] This is the spiritual sense of these words, of which nothing appears in the sense of the letter. Everywhere in Revelation it is the same. Be it known that in the spiritual sense all things hang together in a continuous connection, which is fitted together in such a manner by the force and meaning of all the words in the literal or natural sense, that if even a little word were taken out of it, the connection would be broken and the coherence would perish. In order to prevent this, it is added at the end of this prophetical book,
That not a word shall be taken away (Rev. 22:19).
It is the same with the books of the prophets of the Old Testament; in order to prevent anything from being taken away from them, it came to pass of the Lord's Divine Providence that everything therein down to the very letters was counted. This was done by the Masorites.


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