Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 79

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79. And he laid his right hand upon me. That this signifies life from Him, is evident from the signification of right hand, when said of the Lord, as being life from Him (concerning this see above, n. 72). The reason why this signifies life from the Lord, is, that it follows immediately after the words, "I fell at his feet as dead." And, moreover, by touching with the hand, is signified to communicate and transfer to another that which belongs to oneself, and also to receive from another and to communicate and transfer to another what belongs to; oneself, When said of the Lord, as in this passage, denotes life, such as is communicated to those who are in a state of enlightenment, and see and hear such things as are in heaven. This also was the case with John; for he was in such a state of enlightenment when he saw and heard the things described in the Apocalypse. [2] The reason why to touch with the hand denotes to communicate, and to transfer to another, is, because all the power of man is transferred from the body into the hands; therefore, what the mind wills that the body should do, the arms and hands perform accordingly. Hence it is that by arms and hands in the Word is signified power (as may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 878, 3091, 4931-4937. 6947, 7673, 10,019); this power, however, is natural power, and communication thereby is the exertion of the forces of the body; but spiritual power is to will the good of another, and, as much as possible, to be willing to transfer to another what belongs to oneself. This power is signified by hand in the spiritual sense,, and its communication and translation by touching with the hand.

From these considerations it is evident that, by the Lord, who is there called the Son of man, laying His right hand upon John, when he lay as dead, is signified, that He communicated and transferred to him life from Himself (concerning which, see above). [3] To touch, and to touch with the hand, has a similar signification in many passages in the Word, as in the following. In Daniel:

The, Lord, who there appeared to him as a man clothed in linen, whose aspect was as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as torches of fire, and His feet as the brightness of polished brass, touched him; restored him to his station; set him upon his knees; touched his lips, and opened his mouth; and again touched him, and strengthened him (x. 4 to the end).

In Jeremiah:

"Jehovah put forth his hand and touched my mouth, and said, I give my words into thy mouth" (i. 9).

And in Matthew:

Jesus put forth His and to the leper "and touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed" (viii. 3).

In the same:

Jesus saw Peter's wife's mother sick of a fever "and he touched her hand, and the fever left her" (viii. 14, 15).

In the same:

Jesus touched the eyes of two blind men and their eyes were opened (ix. 29).

In the same:

"While Peter was speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed the disciples, and behold a voice out of the cloud which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell upon their face, and were sore afraid. Then Jesus came near and touched them, and said, Arise, be not afraid" (xvii. 5-7).

In Luke:

Jesus came and touched the bier of the dead man, and said, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. Then he that was dead sat up, and began to speak" (vii. 14, 15).

In the same:

Jesus touched the ear of the deaf man, and healed him (xxii. 51).

In Mark:

"They brought young children to him, that he should touch them. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them" (x. 13, 16).

In the same:

They brought unto Jesus those that were sick "that they might touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made whole" (Matt. xiv. 35, 36).

In Luke:

"A woman having an issue of blood, touched the border of Jesus' garment; and immediately her issue of blood stanched. Jesus said, Some one hath touched me, for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me" (viii. 43, 44, 46).

[4] Because by the touching and laying on of hands, is signified to communicate and transfer to another what is one's own, therefore from ancient times it has been customary in the churches to lay hands upon the heads of those who were inaugurated and blessed, as Moses was commanded to do in the case of Joshua (Numb. xxvii. 18-23; Deut. xxxiv. 9). Since all things among the sons of Israel were representative and significative of spiritual things, so also was the touch; therefore those were sanctified who touched what was holy, and those were polluted who touched what was unclean, for the touch signified communication and transference from one to another, and reception from one by another; as is evident from the following passages in Moses: whosoever shall touch the tent of the assembly, the ark of the testimony, the table and all its vessels, the lampstand and its vessels, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, and the laver and its foot, shall be holy (Exod. xxx. 26-29). Whatsoever touched the altar should be holy (Exod. xxix. 37). Every thing which touched the remainder of the meat-offering, and the remainder of the flesh from the sacrifices, should be holy (Lev. vi. 11-20).

"Whosoever touched a dead body, and purified not himself, defiled the tabernacle of Jehovah; therefore that soul should be cut off from Israel. Whosoever touched one that was slain with a sword in the open fields, or a bone of a man, or a grave, should be unclean seven days. He that toucheth the waters of separation, shall be unclean until even. Whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean until even" (Numb. xix. 11, 13, 16, 21, 22).

He who toucheth unclean beasts, and unclean creeping things, shall be unclean; everything upon which they shall fall shall be unclean, whether a vessel of wood, raiment, water, an earthen vessel, food, drink, an oven, except a fountain, pit, a receptacle of waters, shall be unclean (Lev. xi. 31-36). Besides other places, as Lev. v. 2, 3; vii. 21; xi. 37, 38; xv. 1 to the end; xxii. 4; Numb. xvi. 26; Isaiah lii. 11; Lam, iv. 14, 15; Hos. iv. 2, 3; Hagg. ii. 12, 13, 14.

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