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

SS 17

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17. That the Lord when in the world spoke by correspondences, thus that He spoke spiritually while He spoke naturally, is evident from His parables, in each and every word of which there is a spiritual sense. Take for example the parable of the ten virgins:
The kingdom of the heavens is like unto ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom; five of them were wise, and five were foolish; they that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil, but the wise took oil in their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept; and at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins awaked, and trimmed their lamps; and the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out; but the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the wedding, and the door was shut. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, lord, open to us; but he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:1-12).
[2] That there is a spiritual sense in each and every one of these things, and a consequent Divine holiness, can be seen by him only who knows that a spiritual sense exists, and what is its nature. In the spiritual sense, the "kingdom of God" means heaven and the church; the "bridegroom," the Lord; the "wedding," the marriage of the Lord with heaven and the church by means of the good of love and of faith. "Virgins" signify those who are of the church; "ten," all; "five," some; "lamps," the truths of faith; "oil," the good of love; to "sleep," and to "awake," the life of man in this world which is natural life, and his life after death which is spiritual; to "buy," to procure for themselves; to "go to them that sell and buy oil," to procure for themselves the good of love from others after death; and as this can then be no longer procured, although they came with their lamps and the oil they had bought to the door where the wedding was, yet the bridegroom said to them "I know you not." The reason is that after his life in this world a man remains such as he had lived in this world.
[3] From all this it is evident that the Lord spoke exclusively by correspondences, and this because He spoke from the Divine that was in Him, and was His. That the "bridegroom" signifies the Lord; the "kingdom of the heavens," the church; a "wedding," the marriage of the Lord with the church by means of the good of love and of faith; "ten," all; "five," some; to "sleep," a natural state; to "buy," to procure for one's self; a "door," entrance into heaven; and "not to know them," when spoken by the Lord, not to be in His love, is evident from many passages in the prophetic Word where these expressions have a like signification. It is because "virgins" signify those who are of the church that the virgin and daughter of Zion, of Jerusalem, of Judah, and of Israel are so often mentioned in the prophetic Word. And it is because "oil" signifies the good of love that all the holy things of the Israelitish church were anointed with oil. It is the same with all the other parables, and with all the words the Lord spoke, and that were written in the Gospels. This is why the Lord says that
His words are spirit and are life (John 6:63).
[4] It is the same with all the Lord's miracles, which were Divine because they signified the various states of those with whom the church was to be set up anew by the Lord. Thus when the blind received sight, it signified that they who had been in ignorance of truth should receive intelligence; when the deaf received hearing, it signified that they who had previously heard nothing about the Lord and the Word should hearken and obey; when the dead were raised, it signified that they who otherwise would spiritually perish would become living; and so on. This is meant by the Lord's reply to the disciples of John, who sent them to ask whether He was the one that should come:
Tell John the things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead rise again, and the poor hear the gospel (Matt. 11:3-5).
Moreover, all the miracles related in the Word contain in them such things as belong to the Lord, to heaven, and to the church. This makes these miracles Divine, and distinguishes them from those which are not Divine. These few examples are given in order to illustrate what the spiritual sense is, and to show that it is in all things of the Word and in every particular of it.


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