« AnteriorContinuar »
their faces, and were sore afraid, and then Jesus came and touched them, saying, Be not afraid. Matt. xvii. 5,6,7. The Lord also said unto the woman who saw Him at the sepul. chre, Fear not. Matt. xxviii. 10. Likewise the angel, whose face was like lightning, and his garment as snow, said unto those women, Fear not ye. Matt. xxviii. 3, 4, 5. The angel said to Zachariah also, Fear not. Luke i. 12, 13. In like manner the angel said to Mary, Fear not. Luke i. 30. The angel said to the shepherds also, when the glory of the Lord shone round about them, Fear not. Luke ii.9, 10. A similar holy fear seized Simon, by reason of the draught of fishes; therefore he said, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord; but Jesus said unto him, Fear not. Luke v. 8, 9, 10; besides other places. These are adduced that it may be known why the Lord said to John, Fear not, and that by it is denoted resuscitation, and then adoration from the most profound humiliation. A. R. 56.
Verse 13. Thy prayer, &c.— By prayers are meant the things which are of faith, and at the same time the things which are of charity, with those who pour forth prayer, because prayers without such things are not prayers, but empty sounds. A. R. 278.
Verse 14. Joy and gladness, &c.—Joy and gladness are mentioned, because joy is predicated of the delight originating in the affection of good, and gladness of the delight originating in the affection of truth. A. E. 652.
Verse 15. He shall drink neither wine, &c.—Forasmuch as it has been hitherto unknown what was represented by the Nazarite, and what was signified by his abstaining from grapes and from wine, and by making the hair of his head to grow, it is allowed here to make the discovery: concerning his abstinence from grapes and from wine it is thus written in Numbers: “He shall abstain from wine, and strong drink, vinegar of wine and vinegar of strong drink he shall not drink, yea, he shall not drink any bruising of grapes; the grapes also either new or dry he shall not eat: all the days of his Nazariteship he shall not eat anything that is made of the grape of the vine, from the kernels even to the skin." Numbers vi. 3, 4. This law was for the Nazarite before he fulfilled the days of his Nazariteship, because he then represented the Lord as to His first state. The Lord, like every man, passed through a first state which was sensual, for every man is first sensual, afterwards he is made natural and rational, then spiritual, and lastly, if the third degree is opened with him, celestial, such as is an angel of the third heaven : the
sensual principle of man is signified by the hair of the head, and whereas the sensual is the extreme part or principle of the life of man, wherein all power resides, therefore the Nazarites had so great strength: such power appertained to the Lord in His childhood, by which He overcame and subjugated the most direful hells, where all are sensual. This state of the Lord was represented by the days of fulfilment with the Nazarites, which being fulfilled, the Lord entered from the sensual and natural principle into the divine spiritual and celestial : now inasmuch as that state, and its good and truth, is signified by grapes and by wine, therefore it was not lawful for the Nazarite to eat grapes and drink wine, before he had fulfilled those days; that afterwards it was lawful for him, is evident from the 20th verse of that chapter, where it is said, “And after that the Nazarite may drink wine.” That at the end of the days of fulfilment " he should shave his head, and put the hair of his head upon the fire, which was under the sacrifice of the peace offerings” (verse 18), represented the sensual principle then new, from the Divine celestial principle for new hair grew afterwards upon the Nazarite; and also represented that the Lord from ultimate Divine Truth, which is the literal sense of the Word, entered into interior Divine Truth, which is the Word in the internal sense, even to the supreme there; for the Lord, whilst He was in the world, was the Word, inasmuch as He was divine truth, and was more interiorly so by degrees, as He grew up, even to the supreme thereof, which is purely divine, altogether above the perception of angels. It is to be observed that the Lord, during His abode in the world, from infancy even to the last day there, successively advanced to union with the Essential Divine principle which was in Him from conception.
From these considerations it may appear, what was represented by its not being granted to the Nazarite to eat any thing of the grape, nor to drink any thing of wine, before the fulfilment of the days of his Nazariteship. A.E. 918.
Verses 15, 41, 44.-It is said of John the Baptist, that he was filled with the Holy Spirit from the mother's womb, and that the babe leaped in the womb at the salutation of Mary, but by this was signified that he was about to represent the Lord as to the Word, like Elias; for in the Word, which is Divine Truth, there is throughout a marriage of Divine Good and Divine Truth, and Divine Good united to Divine Truth is the Divine principle proceeding from the Lord, which is called the Holy Spirit : The leaping in the womb at the salutation of Mary represented the joy resulting from the love of the conjunction of Good and of Truth, thus the joy of heavenly conjugial love, which is in every part [and thus] in all things of the Word. A. E. 710.
Verse 17. He shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons.—John the Baptist being sent before to prepare a people for the re. ception of the Lord, was by baptism, for baptism represented and signified purification from evils and falses, and likewise regeneration by the Word from the Lord, and unless this representation had preceded, the Lord could not have manifested Himself, taught, and tarried in Judea and in Jerusalem; because the Lord was the God of heaven and the God of earth under a human form, who could not dwell together with a nation which was in mere falses as to doctrine, and in mere evils as to life; wherefore unless a representative of purification from evils and falses by baptism had prepared that nation for the reception of the Lord, the nation would have perished by diseases of every kind at the presence of the Divine Being Himself; this, therefore, is what is signified by, “ Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” Mal, iv. 6; that this would have been the case, is very well known in the spiritual world, for in that world all, who are in falses and evils, are dreadfully tormented, and spiritually die, at the Lord's presence. The reason why the baptism of John could produce that effect was, because the Jewish church was a representative church, and all conjunction of heaven with members of that church was by representatives, as may likewise be manifest from the washings enjoined in that church, as that all who were made unclean should wash themselves and their garments, and hence they were reckoned as clean; in like manner that the Priests and Levites should wash themselves, before they entered the tent of assembly, and, afterwards, when they entered into the temple, to perform holy duties; in like manner that Naaman was cleansed of his leprosy by washing in Jordan ; the washing itself and the baptism did not indeed purify them from falses and evils, but only represented and thence signified purification from them, which yet was accepted in heaven, as if themselves were purified ; thus heaven was conjoined with the people of that church by the baptism of John, and when heaven was so conjoined with them, the Lord, who was the God of heaven, could there manifest Himself, teach, and abide. A. E. 724.
In the spirit and power of Elias.—John the Baptist, in like manner as Elias, represented the Lord, as to the Word, which
is the Divine Truth on the earth, on which account he was the Elias who was to come before the Lord. A. C. 5620.
That in this passage by fathers and sons are not meant fathers and sons, is evident, but that the goods and truths of the church are meant, which the Lord was about to restore. A. C. 3703.
Verses 19, 26. I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God, &c.—By Michael is not meant any archangel; neither by Gabriel, nor Raphael, but ministries in heaven; the ministry signified by Michael, is performed by those who prove from the Word, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that God the Father and He are one, as the soul and body are one; also that men ought to live according to the commandments of the decalogue, and that then they are gifted with charity and faith. Michael is also mentioned in Daniel x. 13, 21; xii. 1, and thereby a similar ministry is understood, as appears from chap. ix. x. xi., and from the last verses of chap. xii. But by Gabriel is understood the ministry of those who teach from the Word, that Jehovah came into the world, and that the Humanity He there assumed is the Son of God, and divine; for which reason, the angel who announced the same to Mary, is called Gabriel. Luke i. 19, 26–35. They, also, who are engaged in these ministries, are named Michaels and Gabriels in heaven. A.R. 548.
To stand, when it is before the Lord, signifies to sustain His presence and to live. Moreover, as to walk and to sit, in the Word, signify to be and to live, so to stand signifies to consist and subsist, as in Luke i. 19. A. E. 414.
Angels are the recipients of Divine Truth, and as it were divine truths in form; from this circumstance it is, that the angels are said to stand before the Lord, to stand being properly predicated of Divine Truth because it encompasseth the Lord, as a sun. To stand before God signifies to be in the divine truth, consequently to be present with the Lord. A. E. 639.
Verse 22. He had seen a vision.-See A. C. 1786; A. E. 1037.
Verse 25. To take away my reproach, &c.—Inasmuch as mother signified the church, and sons and daughters its truths aud goods, and whereas in the ancient churches, and afterwards in the Jewish church, all things were representative and thence significative, therefore it was a disgrace and ignominy for women to be barren, on which account Rachael was angry with Jacob because she did not bear children, and said, when she brought forth Joseph, “God hath taken away my reproach.” Gen. xxx. 1, 23. For the same reason, after that Elizabeth had conceived, she said, “Thus hath the Lord done to me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach amongst men.” A. E. 721.
Verses 31, 32. Thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus, &c.-No other opinion is held by the church than that the Son of God is a separate person of the Godhead, perfectly distinct from the person of the Father; which has given rise to the belief that the Son of God was born from eternity. In consequence of the general prevalence of this notion, and because it relates to God, no liberty is allowed, in thinking about it, to make use of the understanding, not even upon the meaning of the expression, "born from eternity.' And indeed were any one intellectually to reflect upon it, all that he could say would be, “It transcends my powers of comprehension, but still I affirm and believe it, because others do the same." Let it however be well noted, that there is no Son from eternity, yet that the Lord is from eternity. When an accurate knowledge of the Lord and of the Son is obtained, then, and not before, can we think intellectually of the Triune God. That the Human principle of the Lord, conceived of Jehovah the Father, and born of the virgin Mary, is the Son of God, is very manifest from the following passages; as in Luke, “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, &c., and said unto her, Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. But Mary said to the angel, How shall this thing be, since I know not a man? And the angel answering said to her, THE HOLY SPIRIT SHALL COME UPON THEE, AND THE POWER OF THE HIGHEST SHALL OVERSHADOW THEE; therefore also the Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." i. 35. It is here said, Thou shalt conceive and bring forth a Son, He shall be great, and shall be called the Son OF THE HIGHEST: and again, the Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, whence it is evident that the Human principle, conceived of God, and born of the virgin Mary, is what is called the Son of God. So in Isaiah, “The Lord Himself gives a sign, behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call His nane, God with us,” vii. 14. That the Son born of the virgin, and conceived of God is He who shall be called God with us, thus who is the Son of God, is evident. So again in the same prophet. “A Child is born