Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 1019

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

1019. (v. 19) And the great city was divided into three parts. That this signifies that everything of the doctrine of truth from the Word was dissipated, is evident from the signification of a city, as denoting doctrine (concerning which see n. 223). The reason why all things of doctrine from the Word are denoted is, that it is called a great city. And the reason why everything of the doctrine of truth is denoted is, that it follows that the cities of the nations fell, whereby are signified everything of the doctrine of good; for doctrine treats of the truths that are predicated of faith, and of goods that are predicated of love. Therefore is it said, the doctrine of truth and the doctrine of good. It is also evident from the signification of being divided into three parts, as denoting to be dissipated. The reason why being divided into three parts denotes to be dissipated is, that three signifies all, whole, and full; and when these are divided, dissipation follows. That three signifies all, whole, and full, and is said of truths, may be seen above (n. 532). The same is signified by being divided into three parts in Ezekiel (v. 2).

[2] The explanation of the Eighth Precept of the Decalogue, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," now follows.

By bearing false witness, in the proximate sense, is signified to lie against the neighbour by accusing him falsely. But, in the internal sense, to call what is just unjust, and what is unjust just, and to confirm it by falsities is signified; and, in the inmost sense, to falsify the truth and good of the Word is signified; and, on the other hand, to verify the falsity of doctrine, by confirming it by fallacies, appearances, fictions, scientifics, falsely applied, sophisms and similar things. Such confirmations, and the persuasions resulting therefrom, are false testimonies, for they are false declarations. It is therefore evident that not only the false witness before a judge is here meant, but also the judge himself who makes what is just unjust, and the reverse, in perverting the right; for he equally with the witness himself acts the part of a false witness. Also every man who causes what is straight to appear crooked, and what is crooked to appear straight. The same is the case with the prelate who falsifies the truth of the Word, and perverts the good thereof. In a word, every falsification of truth, as well spiritual as moral and civil done from an evil heart, is false witness.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church