(NJHD) - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Teaching - From Things Heard from Heaven: Preceded by a Discussion of the New Heaven and the New Earth


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6. What is meant by "Jerusalem" in the spiritual sense of the Word, shall also be briefly stated. "Jerusalem" means the church itself as to doctrine, because there in the land of Canaan, and in no other place, were the temple, the altar, the sacrifices, and thus Divine worship itself. On this account, also, three festivals were celebrated there every year, to which every male throughout the whole land was commanded to go. This, then, is the reason why "Jerusalem," in the spiritual sense, signifies the church as to worship, or, what is the same, as to doctrine; for worship is prescribed in doctrine, and is performed according to it. The reason why it is said, "The holy city, New Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven," is because, in the spiritual sense of the Word, "a city" [civitas] and "a town" [urbs], signify doctrine, and "the holy city" the doctrine of Divine truth, since Divine truth is what is called "holy" in the Word. It is called "the New Jerusalem" for the same reason that "the earth" is called "new"; because, as was observed above, "the earth" signifies the church, and "Jerusalem," the church as to doctrine; which is said "to descend from God out of heaven," because all Divine truth, whence doctrine is derived, descends out of heaven from the Lord. That "Jerusalem" does not mean a city, although it was seen as a city, manifestly appears from its being said that:
Its height was, as its length and breadth, twelve thousand stadia (Rev. 21:16).
And that the measure of its wall, which was a hundred forty-four cubits, was the measure of a man, that is, of the angel (Rev. 21:17).
Also from its being said that:
It was prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband (verse 2).
And afterwards the angel said:
Come, I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife: and he showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem (verses 9, 10).
The church is called in the Word "the Bride" and "the Wife" of the Lord; she is called "the Bride" before conjunction, and "the Wife" after conjunction. As may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 3103, 3105, 3164, 3165, 3207, 7022, 9182).


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