Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 1159

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

1159. And all things fat and splendid have departed from thee.- That this signifies that all goods and truths, and things auspicious and magnificent, which they have persuaded themselves, they would be able to acquire by means of that religion, are changed into the contrary, is evident from the signification of fat things, which denote goods and auspicious things therefrom, of which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of things splendid, which denote truths and things magnificent therefrom. The reason why this is the signification of things splendid, is, that splendour is the result of light, and the light of heaven is Divine Truth or Divine Wisdom, which is the cause of all things in the heavens shining with a splendour unknown in the world. It may be compared with the brilliancy of a diamond turned to the sun, but the splendour seen in heaven far exceeds this, just as the light of heaven exceeds the light of the world, the difference between which is so great, that while it may be illustrated by comparisons, yet it cannot be described. All the magnificent things of heaven, exist from that light, and these chiefly consist of forms corresponding to wisdom, which are such that in the world they can neither be pictured nor described. For in them art itself is in its art, and science is in its wisdom, consequently they are of ineffable beauty. It is evident from these facts why things splendid signify truths and thence things magnificent. The reason why fat things signify goods and auspicious things therefrom, is, that the fat is the best part of flesh, and that it is like oil, which signifies the good of love. That fatness signifies good and those things that belong to it, thus happiness and joys, is clear from the following passages in the Word.

In Isaiah:

"Attending attend unto me, eat ye good, that your soul may be delighted in fatness" (lv. 2).

To eat good signifies to appropriate good to themselves; thence by delighting in fatness is signified to be in a state of happiness and blessedness.

In Jeremiah:

"I will fill the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with good" (xxxi. 14).

Here also fatness signifies happiness and blessing from the good of love.

In David:

"My soul shall be satisfied with fat and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips" (Psalm lxiii. 5).

The soul being satisfied with fat and fatness, signifies to be filled with the good of love and with joy therefrom. To praise with joyful lips signifies to worship by means of truths which gladden the mind.


"Thy houses shall be filled with fatness, and thou shalt cause them to drink of the stream of delights" (Psalm xxxvi. 8).

The fatness with which the houses shall be filled, signifies the good of love, and happiness therefrom, houses denoting things pertaining to the mind. The river of the delights, of which they shall drink, signifies intelligence and happiness therefrom.

[3] In Isaiah:

"In this mountain shall Jehovah Zebaoth make to all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow and of wine on the lees well refined" (xxv. 6).

These things are said concerning the state of those who would acknowledge and adore the Lord. By that mountain is signified a new church from them; by the feast of fat things, of fat things full of marrow, is signified good both natural and spiritual with joy of heart; and by the lees, lees well refined, are signified truths from that good with the happiness therefrom.

In the same prophet:

"Jehovah shall give the rain of thy seed, with which thou shalt sow the earth, and bread of the produce of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous" (xxx. 23).

The rain of seed signifies the multiplication of truth; and bread of produce the fructification of good. By fat and plenteous is signified good and truth with all its satisfaction and happiness.

In David:

"As yet they shall have increase in old age, they shall be fat and green, to show that Jehovah is right" (Psalm xcii 14, 15).

To be fat and green signifies to be in goods and truths of doctrine.


"Jehovah shall remember all thy offerings and shall make fat thy burnt offering" (Psalm xx. 3).

By offerings and burnt offering is signified worship, and by making it fat is signified that it is from the good of love.

The signification of fatness in Ezek. xxxiv. 3; Genesis xxvii. 39, and elsewhere is similar. Because fat and fatness signify the good of love, and because all worship, which is truly worship, must be from the good of love, therefore it was a law that all the fat in the sacrifices should be burnt upon the altar (Exod. xxix. 13, 22; Levit. i. 8; iii. 3-16; iv. 8-35; vii. 3, 4, 30, 31; xvii. 6; Numbers xviii. 17, 18); for the sacrifices and burnt offerings signified worship.

[4] Since the Jews and Israelites were only in external worship, and not at the same time in internal worship, and not therefore in any good of love, or in any good of charity and faith, they were therefore prohibited from eating fat, and blood, and it was a law that if they ate these, they should be cut off (Levit. iii. 17; vii. 23, 25). But to those who are in internal worship, and thence in external worship-as those will be who shall belong to the Lord's New Church-it is said, that they shall eat fat to fulness, and drink blood to drunkenness (ebrietas) (Ezek. xxxix. 19). Fat there signifies all the good of heaven and of the church, and blood all the truth of these. In the opposite sense the fat ones signify those who loathe good. and who utterly despise and reject it (Deut. xxxii. 15; Jer. v. 28; 1. 11; Psalm xvii. 10; xx. 4; lxviii. 31; cxix. 70; and elsewhere).

[5] Continuation.- Such, however, is not the lot of those who are continually evil, for these are in hell according to the loves of their life. There they think, and from their thought, speak, although they utter falsities; they also will, and, from their will they act, although their actions are evil. They appear, moreover to one another as men, although in the light of heaven they are of a monstrous form. It is therefore evident, why it is in accordance with a law of order relating to reformation, and called a law of Divine Providence, that a man is admitted into the truths of faith and the goods of love, only so far as he can be withheld from evils and kept in goods to the end of his life and that it is better that he should be always evil, than that he should be good and afterwards evil; for in this case he becomes profane. The Lord, who both provides and foresees all things, for this reason conceals the operations of His Providence, and to such a degree that man scarcely knows whether there is any providence at all. He permits him rather to attribute ordinary events to prudence, and contingencies to fortune, and even to ascribe many things to nature, rather than that, through any striking and manifest signs of the Divine Providence and Presence, he should plunge unreasonably into the midst of holy things in which he would not remain. The Lord also permits similar things in accordance with other laws of His Providence, namely, that man should enjoy freedom, and that in all that he does he should act according to reason, thus entirely as if from himself. For it is better that he should ascribe the operations of the Divine Providence to prudence and fortune, than that he should acknowledge them, and still live as a devil. From these facts it is evident that the laws of permission, which are numerous, proceed from the laws of Providence.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church