Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 1024

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1024. Verse 20. And every island fled, signifies that there was no longer any truth of faith. This is evident from the signification of "island," as being the church as to the truths of the natural man, which are called scientific truths [vera scientifica] also cognitions [cognitiones] of truth and good (concerning which see above, n. 406); here it signifies the church as to the truths of faith, for the truths that are called the truths of faith are the truths of the natural man; and that there were no longer these is signified by "every island fled." An "island" means the church as to the truths of faith, the reason is that an island is land encompassed by the sea, and "land" signifies the church, and "sea" the scientific and knowing faculty in general, which belong to the natural man. "Islands" signify also in the Word the churches with the Gentiles that possess nothing but appearances of truth, which are truths further removed from genuine truths. Islands have this signification because the islands of the sea were widely separated from the land of Canaan, which was the mainland, by which the church that was in genuine truths was signified.

(The Commandments of the Decalogue in general)

[2] The commandments of the Decalogue are called the ten words or ten commandments, because "ten" signifies all; consequently the ten words mean all things of the Word, and thus all things of the church in a summary. All things of the Word and all things of the church in a summary are meant, because there are in each commandment three interior senses, each sense for its own heaven, for there are three heavens. The first sense is the spiritual moral sense; this is for the first or lowest heaven; the second sense is the celestial spiritual sense, which is for the second or middle heaven; and the third sense is the Divine celestial, which is for the third or inmost heaven. There are thus three internal senses in every least particular of the Word. For from the Lord who is in things highest, the Word has been sent down in succession through the three heavens even to the earth, and thus has been accommodated to each heaven; and therefore the Word is with each heaven and almost with each angel in its own sense, and is read by them daily; and there are preachings from it, as on the earth. [3] For the Word is Divine truth itself, thus the Divine wisdom, proceeding from the Lord as a sun, and appearing in the heavens as light. Divine truth is the Divine that is called the Holy Spirit, for it not only proceeds from the Lord but it also enlightens man and teaches him, as is said of the Holy Spirit. As the Word in its descent from the Lord has been accommodated to the three heavens, and the three heavens are joined together as inmosts are with ultimates through intermediates, so, too, are the three senses of the Word; which shows that the Word is given that by it there may be a conjunction of the heavens with each other, and also a conjunction of the heavens with the human race, for whom the sense of the letter is given, which is merely natural and thus the basis of the other three senses. That the ten commandments of the Decalogue are all things of the Word in a summary can be seen only from the three senses of those commandments, which are as above stated.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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