1. THE APOCALYPSE
THE FIRST CHAPTER
1. THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, which GOD gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He signified, sending by His angel to His Servant John. 2. Who bare witness of the Word of GOD, and the testimony of JESUS CHRIST, whatsoever things he saw. 3. Blessed is he who reads and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein, for the time is near. 4. John to the seven Churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits who are before His throne. 5. And from JESUS CHRIST, Himself the Faithful Witness, Himself the First-born from the dead, and Himself the Prince of the kings of the land, loving us and washing us from our sins in His own blood. 6. And He makes us kings and priests unto GOD AND HIS FATHER: to Him be glory and strength for ages of ages. [Amen.] 7. Behold He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the land shall wail over Him. Even so, Amen. 8. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the LORD, Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty. 9. I John, who also am your brother and companion in affliction, and in the kingdom, and the patient expectation of JESUS CHRIST, was in the isle called Patmos for the Word of GOD, and the testimony of JESUS CHRIST. 10. I came to be in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet, 11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. What thou seest write in a book, and send to these Churches in Asia, unto Ephesus, and Smyrna, and Pergamum, and Thyatira, and Sardis, and Philadelphia, and Laodicea. 12. And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me, and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands. 13. And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the SON OF MAN clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle. 14. And His head and hairs were white as wool, like snow, and His eyes as a flame of fire. 15. And His feet like burnished bronze as if burned in a furnace, and His voice as the voice of many waters. 16. And having in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword going forth, and His face as the sun shines in its power. 17. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last;
18. And am the Living One, and was put to death, and behold I am the Living One for ages of ages, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death. 19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which are going to be hereafter. 20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou hast seen in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the Angels of the seven Churches, and the seven lampstands which thou hast seen are the seven Churches.
THE SPIRITUAL SENSE
THE CONTENT OF THE WHOLE CHAPTER
That this Revelation is from the Only Lord, and that it is received by those who will be in His New Church, which is the New Jerusalem, and who acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth. Also the Lord is described as to the Word.
THE CONTENTS OF EACH OF THE VERSES
1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ signifies predictions by the Lord concerning Himself and concerning His Church, what this will be like at its end, and what it is going to be like afterwards. Which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants signifies for those who are in a faith derived from charity. Things which must shortly come to pass signifies that they are certainly going to happen so that the Church may not perish. And He signified, sending by His angel unto His servant John signifies the things that have been revealed by the Lord through heaven to those who are in the good of life derived from charity and its faith. 2. Who bare witness of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ signifies who from the heart and so in the light receive Divine Truth out of the Word, and acknowledge the Lord's Human to be Divine. Whatsoever things he saw signifies their enlightenment in all the things that are in this Revelation. 3. Blessed is he who reads and they who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein signifies their fellowship with the angels of heaven, who live in accordance with the doctrine of the New Jerusalem. For the time is near signifies that the state of the Church is such that it cannot any longer endure so as to have conjunction with the Lord. 4. John to the seven Churches signifies to all who are in Christendom, where the Word is, and through it the Lord is known, and who accede to the Church. Which are in Asia signifies to those who are in the light of the truth (veritas) out of the Word. Grace be unto you and peace signifies a Divine salutation. From Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come signifies from the Lord Who is the Eternal and Infinite, and is Jehovah. And from the seven spirits who are before His throne signifies from the entire heaven, where the Lord is in His Divine Truth. 5. From Jesus Christ signifies the Divine Human. Himself the Faithful Witness signifies that He is Divine Truth Itself. Himself the First-born from the dead signifies that He also is Divine Good Itself. And Himself the Prince [of the kings] of the land signifies out of Whom is everything true derived from good in the Church. Loving us and washing us from our sins [its His own blood] signifies Who out of Love and Mercy reforms and regenerates men by means of His Divine truths out of the Word. 6. And He makes us kings and priests signifies Who grants that those who are born from Him, that is, regenerated, are in wisdom derived from Divine truths, and in love derived from Divine goods. Unto God and His Father signifies thus [they are] images of His Divine Wisdom and of His Divine Love. To Him be glory and strength for ages of ages signifies Who Only has Divine Majesty and Divine Omnipotence to eternity. Amen signifies Divine confirmation out of the Truth (veritas), thus out of His very Self. 7 And He is coming with the clouds of heaven signifies that the Lord is going to reveal Himself in the sense of the letter of the Word, and to open its spiritual sense at the end of the Church. And every eye shall see Him signifies that all who out of affection are in an understanding of Divine Truth are going to acknowledge [Him]. And they who pierced Him signifies that those in the Church who are in untruths are also going to see. And all the tribes of the land shall wail* signifies that this will be when there are no longer any goods and truths in the Church. Even so, Amen signifies Divine confirmation that it is going to be so. 8. And I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending signifies Who is the Very and Only One from Primes to Ultimates, from Whom all things are, thus Who is the Very and One Only Love, the Very and One Only Wisdom, and the Very and One Only Life in Itself, and thus the Very and One Only Creator, Saviour, and Enlightener from Himself, and thence the All in all of heaven and the Church. Says the Lord, Who is and Who was and Who is to come signifies Who is the Eternal and Infinite, and is Jehovah. And the Almighty signifies Who is, lives, and has power out of His Very Self, and Who rules all things out of primes by means of ultimates. 9. I John, who also** am your brother and companion signifies those who are in the good of charity and thence in the truths of faith. In affliction, and in the kingdom, and the patient expectation of Jesus Christ signifies those things [i.e. the good of charity and truths of faith] in the Church which have been infested by evils and untruths, but these [evils and untruths] are to be removed by the Lord when He comes. Was in the isle called Patmos signifies the state and situation in which he could be enlightened. For the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ signifies so that from the heart, and thus in the light, Divine Truth may be received out of the Word, and the Lord's Human acknowledged to be Divine. 10. I came to be in the spirit on the Lord's day signifies the spiritual state then as a result of Divine influx. And heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet signifies a manifest perception of Divine Truth revealed out of heaven. 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last signifies Who is the Very and Only One from Primes to Ultimates, from Whom all things are, and more as above (verse 8). [What thou seest write in a book signifies so that [these truths] may be revealed to posterity.]*** And send to these Churches in Asia signifies for those in Christendom who are in the light of the truth (veritas) out of the Word. Unto Ephesus, and Smyrna, and Pergamum, and Thyatira, and Sardis, and Philadelphia, and Laodiocea signifies specifically in accordance with the state of reception of each one. 12. And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me signifies the inversion of the state of those who are in the good of life, as to the perception of truth in the Word, while they turn to the Lord. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands signifies the New Church, which will be in enlightenment from the Lord out of the Word. 13. And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man signifies the Lord as to the Word from Whom that Church [will be]. Clothed with a garment down to the foot signifies the Divine proceeding, which is Divine Truth. And girt about the breasts with a golden girdle signifies the Divine proceeding and at the same time conjoining, which is Divine Good. 14. And His head and hairs were white as wool, like snow signifies the Divine Love of the Divine Wisdom in primes and in ultimates. And His eyes as a flame of fire signifies the Divine Wisdom of the Divine Love. 15. And His feet like burnished bronze as if burned in a furnace signifies natural Divine Good. And his voice as the voice of many waters signifies natural Divine Truth. 16. And having in His right hand seven stars signifies all the cognitions**** of good and truth in the Word out of Himself. And out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword going forth signifies the dispersion of untruths by the Lord by means of the Word and doctrine. And His face as the sun shining in power signifies the Divine Love and Wisdom, which are Himself, and proceed from Him. 17. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead signifies a failing of one's own life as a result of such presence of the Lord. And He put His right hand upon me signifies life then inspired by Him. Saying unto me, Do not be afraid signifies revival, and adoration then from profound humiliation. I am the First and the Last signifies that He is the Eternal and Infinite, therefore the Only God. 18. And I am the Living One signifies Who Only is Life, and from Whom Only Life is. And was put to death signifies that in the Church He has been disregarded, and His Divine Human has not been acknowledged. And behold I am the Living One for ages of ages signifies that He is eternal Life. Amen signifies Divine confirmation that it is the truth (veritas). And have the keys of hell and of death signifies that He Only can save. 19. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which are going to be hereafter signifies in order that all the things that are now being revealed may be for posterity. 20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou hast seen in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands signifies the arcana in the visions concerning a new heaven and a new Church. The seven stars are the Angels of the seven Churches signifies the new Church in the heavens, which is the new heaven. And the seven lampstands which thou hast seen are the seven Churches signifies the new Church on earth (in terris), which is the new Jerusalem coming down from the Lord out of the new Heaven. * The words 'over Him', omitted here, are not referred to at n. 27. ** Reading et (also) instead of est (is). *** Omitted here in the Original Edition. But see n. 39. **** The term cognitiones, here used in the Latin, is translated 'cognitions' to distinguish these knowledges from those that are meant by the Latin scientifica also used in the Writings of Swedenborg. Two of the meanings most commonly associated with cognitiones are (i) a particular species of knowledge, as knowledges of the Word, of good and truth, or of spiritual things (AC 24, 3665, 9945; NJHD 51; HH 111, 351, 469, 474, 517, 518); and (ii) a higher type of knowledge which is from understanding and perception (AC 1486-7; HH 110, 353).
Up to this time it has not been known what the spiritual sense is. In THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (n. 5-26), it has been shown that that sense is in the details of the Word, and that without it the Word in many places cannot be understood. This sense is not apparent in the sense of the letter, for it is within it like the soul in the body. It is known that there is a Spiritual and a Natural, and that what is spiritual inflows into what is natural and presents itself to be seen and felt in forms that become objects of sight and touch, and that the Spiritual apart from those forms is not perceived otherwise than as affection and thought, or as love and wisdom, which are of the mind. It is acknowledged that affection and thought, or love to which affection pertains, and wisdom to which thinking pertains, are spiritual. The fact is known that obese two faculties of the soul present themselves in the body in forms that are called sensory and motor organs; as also is the fact that they [the soul's faculties and organs] make one, and one In such a way that, while the mind thinks, the mouth instantly utters what is being thought, and while the mind wills, the body instantly does what is being willed. From this it is clear that with man there is a perfect union of things spiritual and natural.  It is similar in all the things of the world and in each separate thing thereof. What is spiritual is there, being the inmost of the cause, and what is natural is there, being the effect of that; and the two make one. In the Natural also the Spiritual is not apparent, because, as has been said, this is within it as the soul in the body, and as the inmost of the cause in the effect. It is similar with the Word. Since this is Divine, it is not possible for anyone to deny that in its bosom it is spiritual. Since, however, what is spiritual is not apparent in the sense of the letter, which is natural, the spiritual sense was unknown up to this time; and it could not have become known before, until genuine truths were revealed by the Lord, for that sense is in these truths. This is why the Apocalypse has not been understood up to this time. But so that there may be no doubt that such things are therein, the details must he expounded and demonstrated by means of similar things elsewhere in the Word. The exposition and demonstration now follows.