Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/287

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191
AND SUBJECTS IN THE WORD.

wine out of the vessels of gold and of silver which were taken out of the temple in Jerusalem, 'Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin,' which is, numbered, weighed, and divided; wherefore this is the interpretation; 'mene, God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it; tekel, thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting; peres, thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians'" (v. 1, 2, 26-28). By drinking out of the vessels of gold and silver of the temple in Jerusalem, and at the same time worshipping other gods, the profanation of good and truth is signified; so also by Babel; mene, or to number, signifies to know his quality as to truth; tekel, or to weigh, signifies to know his quality as to good; peres, or to divide, signifies to disperse. That the quality of truth and good is signified by measures and balances in the Word, is evident in Isaiah: "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out the heavens with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?" (xl. 12). And in the Apocalypse: "The angel measured the wall of the Holy Jerusalem, an hundred and forty and four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is of an angel" (xxi. 17). (A. E. n. 313.)

Alpha and Omega.

The Lord is called the Alpha and the Omega, because Alpha is the first and Omega the last letter in the Greek alphabet, and from this circumstance signify all things in the complex; the reason is that each letter of the alphabet in the spiritual world signifies something; and a vowel, because it is used for sound, signifies something of affection or love. From this origin is spiritual and angelic language, and also that of the Scriptures. But this is an arcanum hitherto unknown. . . . The Lord describes His Divinity and infinity by Alpha and Omega; which signify that He is the All in all of heaven and the church. Because in the spiritual world, and therefore in angelic language, each letter of the alphabet signifies something, David wrote the 119th Psalm, in order according to the letters of the alphabet, beginning with Aleph and ending with Thau, as may be seen from the initials of the verses. Something similar to this appears in Psalm cxi., but not so evidently. On this account also Abram was called Abraham, and Sarai was called Sarah. This was done in order that in heaven not they but the Divine should be understood by Abraham and Sarah. And it is so understood; for the letter H involves infinity, because it is only an aspirate. (A. R. n. 29, 38.)