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Verses 13, 21. The angel, &c.—See Exposition, chap. i. 11, 13; chap. xxii. 43.
Verse 14. Glory to God, &c.—To give glory and to glorify, when predicated concerning God, is to worship and adore Him. Glory in the Word, when predicated of the Lord, properly signifies the Divine Truth proceeding from Him, by reason that the Divine Truth is the light of heaven, and from that light angels and men derive, not only all their intelligence and wisdom, but also all their felicity; and moreover all magnificence in the heavens, which is ineffable, is thence derived ; these things, therefore, are what are properly signified by the glory of God. A. E. 678.
On earth peace, &c.—By peace are signified all things in their complex or aggregate which come from the Lord, and consequently all things of heaven and the church, and the beatitudes of life in them; these are what belong to peace, in a supreme or inmost sense. That peace is charity, spiritual security, and internal tranquillity, follows of course, for when man is in the Lord, he is in peace with his neighbour, which is charity; in protection against the hells, which is spiritual security; and when he is in peace with his neighbour, and in protection against the hells, he is in internal tranquillity from evils and falses. Keep in mind spiritual peace, and you will see it plainly. A. R. 306. See also H. H. 284—290; A. E. 365.
Verse 16. In the manger.-See Exposition, verse 12.
Verses 22—24. And when the days of her purification, &c. -The law concerning the redemption of the first-born of man, was enacted for this end-to prevent the sacrifice of their sons, which was customary amongst the Gentiles, with whom the statutes of the ancient church, which was a representative church, remained, but in process of time these statutes were actually adulterated ; that the first-born were to be sanctified to God was one of the statutes of the ancient church, but by sanctification they began to mean sacrificing; the posterity of Jacob also inclined to do the like, wherefore that law was explained before them, and to prevent there doing so the Levites were taken in the place of the first-born; that law was explained according to its correspondent sense in the spiritual world, which is, that the truths of faith are not holy, thus neither to be sanctified or ascribed, but the goods of faith. Sanctification also was afterwards thus understood, that they should give or present the first-born to Jehovah, and offer a sacrifice for him, according to the words in Luke ï. 22–24. A. C. 8080.
Verse 23. As it is written in the law of the Lord, that every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.-Inasmuch as the truth of doctrine or the doctrine of truth is signified by a male, therefore this law was enacted. Exod. xiii. 12,15; Deut. xv. 19; Luke ü. 23. For from the marriage of truth and of good, which in the spiritual sense is meant by the marriage of a man and woman, are born truths and goods, which hence in that sense are signified by sons and daughters, truths by sons and goods by daughters; and whereas every man is reformed and regenerated by truths (for without truths man does not know what and of what quality good is, thus does not know the way to heaven), hence it is that the truth first born from the marriage of truth and good, is sanctified to Jehovah; the truth first born is likewise the doctrine of truth, for that which is first is the all in what follows, thus it is all truth, and all truth is doctrine: But it is well to be noted, that by the first-begotten is signified the truth which is of the good of charity, consequently the good of charity in its form and in its quality, thus truth, for the form of good and the quality of good is truth; the reason why this is signified by the first-begotten is, because from the good of love, which is signified by the womb and the infant therein, nothing else can be born but the good of charity, and this good does not become good, until it be formed and qualified, thus unless it be in a form in which it has its quality, and its form is called truth, but still it is good in form. A. E. 725.
Verse 24. And to offer sacrifice, &c.-Inasmuch as a lamb signified innocence, therefore when the days were fulfilled after child-birth, a lamb, the son of a year, was offered for a burnt-offering, and the son of a dove or a turtle for sacrifices, Lev. xii. 6; by the son of a dove and by a turtle, in like manner as by a lamb, was signified innocence; by child-birth, in the spiritual sense, is signified the birth of the church, which is that of the good of love, for no other birth is understood in heaven; and by the burnt-offering and sacrifice, from such things, is signified the purification from evils by the good of innocence, for this good is that into which the Divine principle flows-in, and by which it purifies it. A. C. 10,132.
By young pigeons and by turtle doves are signified the same as by lambs, namely, innocence. A. E. 314. See also Exposition, chap. iii. 22.
Verse 25. Simeon was just and circumspect.-See Exposition, chap. i. 6, and A. E. 281, 282, 759.
Verses 25—27. The Holy Spirit was upon him.—The Holy Spirit is the Divine Truth, and also the Divine Virtue and Operation proceeding from the One only God, in whom there is a Divine Trinity, consequently, proceeding from the Lord God the Saviour. Properly speaking, the Divine Truth, and consequently the Word, is signified by the Holy Spirit, and in this sense the Lord Himself is also the Holy Spirit. Since the Lord is the very Truth Itself, therefore all that which proceeds from Him must be truth; and this is understood by the Comforter, who is also called the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit.
The angel said, concerning the conception of the Lord, “ The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, &c. Luke i. 35; Matt. i. 20, 25. The Holy Spirit mentioned in these passages, is the Divine Truth proceeding from Jehovah the Father, and this proceeding is the power of the Highest which then overshadowed the mother Mary, which coincides therefore with what is said in John, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh” i. 1, 14. T.C.R. 139, 140. See Exposition, chap. i. 35 ; xii. 12.
Verse 26. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, until he had seen the Lord's Christ. The Lord's Christ is the Divine Truth of the Divine Good, for Christ is the same thing as Messiah, and Messiah signifies anointed or king; the Lord in this passage is Jehovah, for in the Word of the new Testament no mention is made of Jehovah, but instead of Jehovah mention is made of the Lord and God. A. C. 4973. See also A. E. 684. See also Exposition, chap. iv. 18; ix. 20.
Verse 27. To do for Him after the custom of the law.-See Exposition at verses 22—24.
Verses 28, 30, 31. And he took Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people.-In this passage, to bless God manifestly denotes, to glorify and to give thanks that the Lord was come into the world to save all who receive Him; wherefore He calls the Lord the salvation which his eyes saw, which He prepares for all people; they are called His people who are principled in truths derived from good, thus who receive Him by those truths. A. E. 340. See also Exposition, chap. i. 64, 68.
Verse 29. Depart in peace.-See Exposition at verse 14, and chap. i. 79.
Verse 30. Mine eyes have seen, &c.—The eye denotes understanding and faith; for the understanding is internal sight, and it is that sight which sees by the eye, since it determines the latter to its objects. A. E. 37. See also Exposition, chap. vi. 20; . 23.
Thy salvation. See Exposition, verse 11, and chap. i. 35, 69, 71.
Verses 31, 32. Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light for the illumination of the nations.—That the church is transferred to the nations which acknowledge the Lord, is manifest from several passages in the Word, as from the following, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, they who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death on them hath the light shined : Thou hast multiplied the nation, Thou hast restored to it great joy” Isa. ix. 1, 2. Again, in the same prophet, “It shall come to pass in that day, from the root of Jesse, which stands for a sign of the people, the nations shall seek, and His rest shall be glory” xi. 10. And in the prophecy of Simeon concerning the Lord who was born, “Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light for the illumination of the nations” Luke ii. 30, 31, 32. In all these passages the Lord is treated of, that the nations would come to Him; and they do come to Him, when they acknowledge Him for their God; and what is wonderful, the nations adore the only God under a human form ; wherefore when they hear of the Lord, they receive and acknowledge Him; nor can the new church be established amongst others. A. C. 9256.
Verse 32. A light, &c.—These words were prophetically spoken by Simeon concerning the Lord who was born; a "light for the illumination of the nations” is the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord; and “the glory of thy people Israel” is all that which was revealed by the Lord concerning Himself, and concerning faith and love to Him with those who receive; all this is called glory, because it appears in heaven in the light there, which light is the Divine Truth; by the sons of Israel are meant those who are in faith and love to the Lord. That light denotes the Lord as to Divine Truth, and also glory the things which are of light, is evident from the words of the Lord Himself in John, “They loved the glory of men more than the glory of God; I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth may not abide in darkness” xii. 43, 46. And again, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; this was the true light, which illuminates every man, that cometh into the world. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father," i. 9, 14; the Word is the Divine Truth, and also light; and glory denotes all that appears concerning the Lord in that light. These passages are quoted from the Word, because in them glory and light are named together, and they are quoted to the intent that it may be known, that light is Divine Truth from the Lord, thus the Lord Himself as to Divine Truth, and that glory is every thing which is of the light, consequently every thing which is of the Divine Truth, which makes intelligence and wisdom with the angels, and with those men who receive the Lord in faith and love. A. C. 10,574. See also Exposition, verse 14.
Verse 34. Blessed them.-To bless, in the Word, signifies, in an external sense, to enrich with every earthly and corporeal good, according to the explication of the Word with all those who abide in the external sense, as with the ancient and modern Jews, and also with Christians, especially at this day, wherefore they made the Divine blessing to consist in riches, an abundance of possessions, and in self-glory. But to bless, in an internal sense, signifies to enrich with all spiritual and celestial good, which blessing, being never given, nor possible to be given, but by the Lord, signifies on this account the presence and grace of the Lord, for the presence and grace of the Lord bring with them such spiritual and celestial good. A.C. 981.
That by the blessed are signified those in whom heaven is, appears from the signification of blessed, as denoting one who is happy to eternity, thus in whom heaven is; the blessedness which is not eternal, is indeed called blessedness, but yet respectively it is not, for it passeth away, and that which passeth away, respectively to that which does not pass away, is as nothing. It is said, “In whom is heaven,” because heaven is in man; the heaven that is without man, flows into the heaven which is within him, and is received in proportion to the degree of correspondence. A. E. 12.
Many in Israel, &c.-Inasmuch as Israel represents the good of truth or spiritual good, and his sons spiritual truths in the natural principle, therefore the sons of Israel represent the church, for the church is the church by virtue of spiritual good and of the truths thence derived. He who is not in spiritual good, that is, in the good of charity, and in spiritual truths, that is, in the truths of faith, is not of the church, notwithstanding his being born within the church. A. C. 6637.
For a sign, &c.-By a sign is understood divine manifesta