Extracts

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Biblical interpretation

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[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Bible, interpretations of" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.1": detail "Section 801"
Since man, therefore, consists of these two parts (the will and the understanding, of which the one flows into the other), when man is described in the Word (Bible), he is described with distinctiveness as to the one part and as to the other. This is the reason of the repetitions, and without them the description would be defective. And the case is the same with every other thing as it is here with the will and the understanding, for things are circumstanced exactly as are their subjects, seeing that they belong to their subjects because they come forth from them; a thing separated from its subject, that is, from its substance, is nothing. And this is the reason why things are described in the Word in a similar way in respect to each constituent part, for in this way the description of each thing is full.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Bible, interpretations of" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 250"
That there are two expressions used in the Word [Bible], which appear like repetitions of the same thing, must be evident to every attentive reader; as for instance, brother and companion, poor and needy, wilderness and desert, vacuity and emptiness, foe and enemy, sin and iniquity, anger and wrath, nation and people, joy and gladness, mourning and weeping, justice and judgment, etc. These appear to be synonymous expressions, when in fact they are not; for the terms brother, poor, wilderness, vacuity, foe, sin, anger, nation joy, mourning, and justice, are predicated of good, and, in the opposite sense, of evil; whereas the terms companion, needy, desert, emptiness, enemy, iniquity, wrath, people, gladness, weeping, and judgment, are predicated of truth, and, in the opposite sense, of what is false; and yet it must appear to the reader who is unacquainted with this arcanum, as if the terms poor and needy, desert and wilderness, vacuity and emptiness, etc. were one thing; whereas they are not so, but yet they become one thing by conjunction.
 In the Word also we frequently find two things joined together; as fire and flame, gold and silver, brass and iron, wood and stone, bread and wine, purple and fine linen, etc.; because fire, gold, brass, wood, bread, and purple, are predicated of good; whereas flame, silver, iron, stone, water, wine, and fine linen, are predicated of truth. In like manner it is said that God is to be loved with all the heart, and with all the soul, and also that God will create in man a new heart and a new spirit; for heart is predicated of the good of love, and soul and spirit of the truths of faith.
 There are some expressions also, which in consequence of partaking alike both of good and truth, are used by themselves without the adjunction of others; but these, and many things besides, are apparent only to the angels, and to those who see into the spiritual sense of the Word while they are reading the natural sense.


[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Bible, interpretations of" (search under Outer Life/Doctrine, Rites, Scriptures)": source "Apocalypse Explained, vol.1": detail "Section 238"
“… will maintain the cause of the miserable, and the judgment of the poor” [Psalm cxl.12]. The reason why both the miserable and the poor are mentioned is that it is according to the style of the Word [Bible] that where truth is treated of good is also treated of; and, in the opposite sense, where falsity is treated of evil is also treated of, because they form one, and are like a marriage.