“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Passages from the Writings
- “A new church will be established by the Lord when He comes into the world, and it will be formed out of the nations.”
AC 6435 
- “…the signification of ‘hills,’ is evident from the following passages…(Micah 4:1)…the ‘mountain of Jehovah,’ which is Zion, denotes the Lord’s celestial kingdom, thus the good of this kingdom, which is of love to the Lord; thus in the supreme sense it is the Lord Himself, for all the love and all the good in the celestial kingdom belong to the Lord.”
AC 10438 
- “That ‘mountains’ signify the heaven where is the good of celestial love, is manifest from many passages in the Word, as from the following…Micah 4:1…”
AC 3305 [6-7]
- “…Israel will not be gathered together from wherever they have been dispersed, and will not be sanctified, and the sanctuary placed in the midst of them forever, as is said; but this is to be with those who in the representative sense are signified by ‘Israel;’ and who, as is known, are all of the faithful…In the supreme sense of all these passages by ‘Jacob’ and ‘Israel’ is meant the Lord; and in the representative sense the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, and the church which is a church from the doctrine of truth and the life of good. By ‘Jacob’ are meant those who are in the externals of this church; and by ‘Israel’ those who are in its internals…”
AE 405 
- “Since ‘a mountain’ signified the good of love, and in the highest sense, the Divine good, and from the Divine good Divine truth proceeds, so Mount Zion was built up above Jerusalem, and in the Word ‘Mount Zion’ signifies the church that is in the good of love to the Lord, and ‘Jerusalem’ the church that is in truths from that good, or the church in respect to doctrine. For the same reason Jerusalem is called ‘the mountain of holiness,’ also ‘the hill;’ for ‘the mountain of holiness,’ likewise ‘hill’ signify spiritual good, which in essence is truth from good…”
Doctrine of the Lord 39
- “That the Lord is called ‘the God of Israel,’ and ‘the God of Jacob,’ is evident from the following passages…” Micah 4:1, 2 are cited among many passages.
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days…”
- What shall come to pass in the “latter days”? The Lord’s advent. Why did He have to make His advent? Doctrine of the Lord 3 teaches, “The Lord came into the world in the fullness of times, which was when He was no longer known by the Jews, and when, consequently, there was nothing of the church left; and unless He had then come into the world and revealed Himself, mankind would have perished in eternal death…The Lord came into the world in order to set up a new church which should acknowledge Him as the Redeemer and Saviour, and be redeemed and saved through love to Him and faith in Him.” N.B. there are six points in this number. I have given but two of them. Look over all six reasons for His advent.
“…that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills…”
- AE 495  points out for us a very important doctrinal teaching in this verse. How so? Note first that the Lord’s house was to be established on top of the mountains. It was to be higher than the hills. Why did the Lord decree this? The answer is found by using the suggested doctrinal terms celestial good and spiritual good. What are their differences? Celestial good is the highest and purest form of love. It is the love of all loves. It is a love that comes only from the Lord. Angels and human beings make no contribution to the Lord’s Celestial good (love). It is above all other loves. Those who truly love the Lord and see Him as the highest good are brought by the Lord to this celestial good by an internal way. See AC 4581. Only the sincere and those who intend to keep the Lord in the highest position are gifted with celestial good. Spiritual good, as represented by the hills, comes to a person by external ways. AC 5595 explains the difference this way: “Spiritual good is truth that has become good; for truth becomes good when the person lives according to it, for it then passes into the will, and from the will into act, and becomes of the life…Spiritual good is distinguished from celestial good in that celestial good is implanted in man’s will…” by the Lord alone, whereas spiritual good involves learning ways to love the neighbor through various forms of charity. Celestial good loves the Lord and willingly accords Him the highest place—yes, above the hills.
“…and peoples shall flow to it…”
- Let’s pause for a moment and consider the inclusiveness of the Lord’s words. Israel is not mentioned specifically as the chosen people. “Peoples shall flow to it…” The Lord, in John 10:16, said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” Isn’t this a wonderful teaching? The Lord will draw all people unto Himself, and He will be their God.
- The words “flow to” have implications, too. Heaven flows into everyone’s mind, bringing enlightenment. Like the Wisemen, people will come arduously seeking the birthplace of the Messiah.
“Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob…’”
- The word “nation” has a dual representation. In the negative sense, “nation” signifies the evils of love and life (see AC 139), and in the positive sense, “nation” signifies those who are in the good of love and of life (see AE 175 , AE 388 , AC 1159 , and AE 881). There are 35 other references we could cite, but the ones selected are quite representative of the others.
- I believe we can safely assume, then, that this verse is talking about the positive representation of “nations” because the “nations” are quite eager to draw near the Lord. They are seeking His counsel, inspiration, and direction. An evil life and evil good would not want to be in the presence of the Lord, nor would it want to be brought into the sphere of His enlightenment.
- The word “come,” as explained in AR 629, signifies “…the acknowledgment and confession that every truth of the Word…is from the Lord, according to which every man will be judged…” AC 5999 teaches that “‘going up’ signifies elevation…[so that] the internal celestial [the Lord within a person’s soul] shall [be vivified]…”
- The “mountain of the Lord” draws our attention to love. Whose love? The Lord’s love (see AE 815 and AC 9420). The “‘house of the God of Jacob’ signifies the Divine Itself, and the Divine Human, thus the Lord…’” (AC 6838, emphasis added.) These teachings point out an important prophecy and promise by the Lord. That which had been lost and had become invisible to humankind (the Lord) will once again become visible. This is the promise given in the books of the prophets, and it is heralded in the message of the New Church. Note in this next section how all of this shall come about.
“…He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.”
- AC 9418 reminds us that it is self-evident that to “teach” denotes instruction. TCR 308 adds the following: to “‘…teach’ signifies to observe, study, and judge from the things that the Lord Jehovah created…” (Emphasis added.) In the context of this passage, our teaching (learning) will not be oriented toward ourselves; we will learn only that which is from the Lord. “The Lord’s ‘ways’ signify all the truths of heaven and the church.” (AE 938)
- “…and we shall walk in His paths.” AR 167 explains what it means to walk with God. “‘…to walk’ signifies to live and ‘to walk with God’ signifies to live with Him’…” (Emphasis added.)
“For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
- “Zion” signifies “…the church in which there is celestial love.” (AE 504 ) “Zion” signifies the unity of the will and understanding, conjoined in perfect harmony, because such unity comes from the Lord alone.
- Celestial love from the Lord is the only origin from which the law can come forth. Human prudence on its own (secularizing) cannot match nor approximate the purity and equality of the laws of the Lord.
- “Jerusalem,” in the positive sense, signifies “…the doctrine of the New Church.” (AE 194 ) “Jerusalem signifies the church where there is genuine doctrine.” (HH 187) “…‘Jerusalem’ signifies the church as to worship, and therefore also the church as to doctrine.” (AR 880)
- These two things, the Lord’s law going forth from “Zion” and the Lord’s word from “Jerusalem,” illustrate what the Lord promises with His coming. He will rule (lead) from His Celestial Love, and His laws will provide us with genuine doctrines that will amend (cleanse) the church and the lives of all the followers of “His new church.”
Putting It All Together
P&P summed up the meaning of this section with these words: “A new church will be established by the Lord when He comes into the world, and it will be formed out of the nations.”
Match this teaching with Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 111:
“As without the Word there is no knowledge of the Lord, and therefore no salvation, it pleased the Lord that when the Word had been wholly falsified and adulterated among the Jewish nation and thus as it were brought to nothingness, that He should descend from heaven and come into the world, and fulfill the Word, and thereby repair and restore it, and again give light to the earth’s inhabitants…” (Emphasis added.)
Without the Word, there is no knowledge of the Lord and there is no salvation: Isn’t that a gripping thought? Left to our own ways, we would have been hopelessly lost, confused, and in utter darkness. But the Lord would not permit this. It pleased Him to come into our world. It pleased Him to repair and restore the Word. It pleased Him to give light again.
Our enthusiasm can be expressed in this way:
- Let’s go to the mountain of the Lord. We need to encourage one another to go and see the spiritual things which the Lord is bringing to pass.
- In the presence of the Lord, let’s announce (profess) that we have come so that He will teach us His way.
- We need to make it prayerfully known that we are asking for His enlightenment so we can walk in His path.
- Our mission is to learn His laws and the things from His mouth.
- It is His church and His doctrine. We have no proprietary rights or exclusive ownership of the New Church.
- May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Micah 4:1-2.
Questions to Stimulate Reflection
- Have you ever taken notice (or notes) about how disorderly things got within the Jewish Church? How many mistakes can you recall them making? Were there any faithful souls left? Surely there was a faithful remnant set aside for the Lord to work with. I picture them quietly protected by the Lord so they could be of use in the restorative work of redemption.
- The quote from the Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 111 is one to ponder. Even though it carries some bad news about the state of the church, there is within it a message of happiness. What are some of its uplifting words? It pleased the Lord; He came to repair and restore; He came to give light; He came to fulfill the Word among the inhabitants of the world. There are no words of anger or retribution. Can you hear, feel, His words of cheer and encouragement?
- The Lord’s plan is to restore our vision of Him. No longer will He be hidden or invisible. He came that we might begin to worship Him in His Divine Human. How is this going for us? Is the great Nunc Licet giving you a view of Him that is real and satisfying?
“He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.”
Passages from the Writings
- “Falsities and evils will no longer be there, but truths and goods…”
AE 403 
- “…in Micah 4:3, 4…And as [in the Lord’s kingdom] such have truths inscribed on their hearts, and therefore do not dispute about them, it is said that ‘nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,’ which signifies that in that kingdom there shall be no disputation about truths…That through the truths and goods in which they are, they shall be safe from evils and falsities is signified by ‘they shall sit under their own vine and under their own fig-tree, and none shall make afraid.’”
AE 734 
- “That ‘war’ signifies in the Word spiritual war, which is the war of falsity from evil against truth from good, and of truth from good against falsity from evil, or what is the same, which is carried on by those who are in falsities from evil against those who are in truths from good, is evident from many passages in the Word, of which the following only need be cited…Micah 4:3.”
- “Heavenly peace, which, in respect to the hells, is that evils and falsities shall not rise up from them and break forth, may be compared in many respects with natural peace; as with peace after war, when every one is secure from enemies and is safe in his own city and home and living in his own fields and garden. This is as the prophet said when he spoke naturally of heavenly peace…Micah 4:4…”
“He shall judge between many peoples…”
- Let’s focus for a moment on the word “judge.” The Lord is the Divine judge. What is He seeking to do? AC 7154 teaches us that to “judge” signifies “the Divine disposal.” The Lord wants to “dispose” the views of all the people. To “dispose” means to distribute and put things in their place; “dispose” means to arrange, to regulate, to adjust, to settle matters fairly.
- To say that the Lord “shall judge between many peoples” means He will cut through the man-made theories and the obfuscations of multiple conflicting views. His good and truth will unravel tradition and derived doctrines, and will, “from another source,” settle fairly every singular and particular issue. (AC 8696) What is that other source? His infinite love, His infinite truth, and His infinite uses.
“…and rebuke strong nations afar off…”
- To “rebuke” “signifies the desolation of all truth…” (AE 342 ) “Afar off” signifies the Lord’s desire to “save them although they are far from salvation.” (AE 811 ) “From afar” signifies those who are “apart and remote from, also opposed to, goods and truths.” (AE 403 )
- A “strong nation,” in the positive sense, signifies “the potency of the powers of combating…” (AC 6416; AE 448 ) The opposite sense would seem to denote a weakness, a deficiency of powers. These “strong nations” imagined they had their own power to combat evil and falsity. Strength apart from the Lord is a useless and foolish fantasy of unity and preparedness.
“They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.”
- We need the internal sense of the Lord’s Word to set the meaning of this text in its proper context. Without the spiritual sense, wrong applications will be made in the external sense. For instance: Placards and car bumper stickers bearing this quote are used to urge the end of all earthly warfare. Peace advocates, called pacifists, indicate that these passages teach that the Lord is against war. As noble as this cause may appear, is that really what is being taught? Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 use the same wording about beating swords into ploughshares, but Joel 3:10 instructs us to do just the opposite: “beat your plowshares into swords and…pruning hooks into spears.” Which is it? To draw a correct answer from the Word, let’s slowly and carefully turn to the Writings so we can rightly understand the difference between spiritual warfare and earthly warfare.
- AE 644  notes that to “beat” means “the contentions and combats of truth from good with falsities from evil…”
- “Swords” “signify such things as belong to spiritual warfare…” (AE 671 ) (Emphasis added.) We read in AE 1145  that “swords” “signify falsities destroying truths…” AE 315  explains that “swords signify the destruction of truth by falsities…” Do we see a meaning emerging as to why we are instructed to beat our swords into ploughshares? The Lord is urging us to lay down our weapons of opposition and falsity that resist His truth. Putting down the sword and the spear—converting them into ploughshares and pruning-hooks—is explained in AE 734 , which states that “ploughshares” denote the church as to the good of life, and “pruning hooks” denote truths of doctrine. To help us focus, let’s highlight the meaning of “ploughshares” and “pruning hooks” once again: the church following the good of life and the church following the truths of the Lord’s doctrine. We are directed by the Lord to surrender to Him our weapons of spiritual resistance and rebellious defiance.
- Now can we take this same doctrinal information and use it to understand why Joel’s prophecy turned the wording around? I believe Joel’s admonition is for us, as we regenerate, to take the good of life from the Lord and use it as a sword to fight against evil and falsity. He is also teaching us to take, and use, the doctrines of the Lord in the defense of the Lord’s doctrinal causes.
“…nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore…”
- The words “nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom” are explained in the following passages. In AC 1846: “…the non-existence of charity is meant by ‘nation being stirred against nation and kingdom against kingdom’…” In AC 2120: “…by ‘nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom’ nothing else is meant than evils against evils and falsities against falsities…” In AE 48 : “…‘nations against nation’ is evil against good and ‘kingdom against kingdom’ is falsity against truth…”
- With the above passages, do we not see what is meant by “neither shall they learn war anymore”? When the Lord’s new church is established, charity will be at its core; there will no longer be conflicting evils and falsities; truth will be free of hellish assaults and ridicule.
“But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree…”
- Our ability to penetrate the meaning and understanding of the spiritual sense of “to sit” depends on some reflection on passages such as AE 687b. “…the expressions ‘to walk,’ ‘to stand,’ and ‘to sit,’ are used as following one another, for ‘to walk’ pertains to the life of thought from intention, ‘to stand’ to the life of the intention from the will, and ‘to sit’ to the life of the will, thus it is life’s being (esse).” In AE 687 , we read that “…‘to sit’ signifies to be, and also to continue in one state and pertains to the will…”
- AC 3552 states that “to ‘sit’ involves something of tranquility.” And lastly, let’s consider this quote from AE 687 : “…‘to sit’ has reference to the being (esse) of man, which belongs to his will and love.”
- The word “intention” refers to our will, our love, and our desire. These things make up our “being” or esse.
- “…‘to sit under his vine and under his fig tree’…” is explained in AC 5113 : “…in the genuine sense a ‘vine’ signifies the good of the intellectual part, and a ‘fig tree’ the good of the exterior man…”
“…and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.”
- Falsity and evil will no longer rule. Truth and good will reign. AE 403  sums up the meaning of this passage with these words: “…through the truths and goods in which they are, they shall be safe from evils and falsities…” This is what is “signified by ‘they shall sit under their own vine and under their own fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid.”
Putting It All Together
The Lord is offering some powerful encouragement in these verses. He wants us to “stay the course” by trusting and following Him and His Word. Evil and falsity may loudly boast that they are stronger than the Lord, but P&P tells us differently: “Falsities and evils will no longer be there….” What will be there for us? Truths and goods! They will be inscribed on our hearts. When the Lord’s new church comes to fruition, there will no longer be “disputation about truths.” Read AE 403 . We will be safe from evils and falsities. The Lord will come and judge between many peoples. He will dispose, arrange, adjust, settle, and regulate all of the conflicting and confusing man-made issues and concepts. His infinite love, wisdom, and use will settle all matters fairly. Those who defiantly and erringly lifted up their spiritual swords to oppose Him will beat their swords into ploughshares and turn their spears into pruning hooks. In other words, those disputing will need and want to make peace with our Lord.
When the Lord institutes His church, fear will be gone. We will sit under our vines and fig trees and have love within our intellectual parts, and we will have love in our very external being. Truth and good will reign supreme. Evil and falsity will be banished. We will no longer be afraid of the hells. We will “sit” before Him in a being (esse) and state of tranquility.
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Micah 4:3-4.
Questions to Stimulate Reflection
- Do you feel within you a sense of the coming victory over evil and falsity?
- The Lord as a judge will dispose, put into order, settle, and unravel things. Don’t you feel a kind of longing for that to happen? So many issues tire us out. There are so many views of what is right and wrong. I can’t wait for the Lord to settle things. When that happens, we will see through the clouds and darkness of human thought. His light will reach into every recess and dark place, and we will see the answer.
- Are we ready to beat our swords into ploughshares? Do we willingly come before the Lord to have our spears turned into pruning hooks? I can hear my heart saying “yes” to that question. How about you? Can we join hands and say with a loud voice, “Thy way and not my way O. Lord!”?
- The closing portion of this text says that no one shall know fear anymore. That is a message of tranquility that we can sit under with assurance. Why don’t we spend a few minutes basking in that promise from the Lord? It is especially comforting when the hells try to drown out this prophecy. We need not listen to them. Hell is weak and unable to withstand the Lord’s disposing judgment. “Amen and Amen,” said all of the people. Read Deuteronomy 27 to gather the importance of saying “Amen” to all of the Lord’s commandments.
“For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. ‘In that day,’ says the Lord, ‘I will assemble the lame. I will gather the outcast and those whom I have afflicted; I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; so the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever. And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.’ Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished? For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor. Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; there the Lord will redeem you from the hands of your enemies.”
Passages from the Writings
- “…under the Lord, those who are in externals, and those who from ignorance are in things not true and good, will draw near. Truths and goods with them will grow. Falsities will not enter and destroy.”
AC 4302 
- “That ‘to halt’ denotes to be in good in which there are not yet genuine truths, but nevertheless general truths into which genuine truth can be insinuated, and such as do not disagree with genuine truths; and thus that the ‘lame’ are those who are in good, but not in genuine good because of their ignorance of truth (that is, in such good as are the Gentiles who live in mutual charity), may be seen from these passages in the Word where the ‘lame’ and the ‘halt’ are mentioned in a good sense. As in…Micah 4:6, 7…”
AE 405 
- “…Jerusalem is called ‘the mountain of holiness,’ also ‘the hill;’ for ‘the mountain of holiness,’ likewise ‘hill’ signify spiritual good, which in essence is truth from good, as can be seen from the following passages…” Micah 4:7 is cited among the many references.
AC 4599 
- “In Micah 4:7, 8…the Lord’s celestial kingdom is described; its inmost which is love to the Lord, by ‘Mount Zion;’ its derivative which is mutual love, by ‘hill of the daughter of Zion,’ which love in the spiritual sense is called charity toward the neighbor; its interior truths of good by the ‘tower of the flock;’ that from this comes the spiritual of the celestial kingdom is signified by the ‘kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.’”
AC 2362 
- “…in the Word the ‘daughter of Zion,’ and also the ‘virgin daughter of Zion;’…constitutes the spiritual church, and is called in the Word the ‘daughter of Jerusalem.’” Micah 4:8 is cited among other references.
AC 2362 
- “That the celestial church, or the Lord’s celestial kingdom, is called the ‘daughter of Zion’ from the affection of good, that is, from love to the Lord Himself, may be seen further in…Micah 4:10, 13…”
AE 685 
- “In Micah 4:8…‘the daughter of Zion’ signifies the celestial church, the essential of which is the good of love, ‘dominion’ is predicated of it, while ‘kingdom’ is predicated of ‘the daughter of Jerusalem’ because that signifies the spiritual church, the essential of which is the truth of doctrine.”
AE 721 
- “…Micah 4:8-10…treats of the spiritual captivity in which the faithful are when they remain in a church in which there is no more truth and good; their lamentation that they are in that church is signified by ‘why doest thou shout in shouting?’ also by ‘that pangs take hold of thee as a woman in travail;’ when yet they have truths of doctrine and also the understanding of them, which is signified by ‘Is there no king in thee; hath thy counselor perished?’ ‘king’ signifying the truth of doctrine from the Word, and ‘counselor’ the understanding of it. That with those who are in the good of charity and thence in the truths of doctrine there will be a church is signified by ‘the daughter of Zion to whom the kingdom shall come,’ and by ‘the daughter of Jerusalem,’ ‘kingdom’ also signifying the church. The establishment of the church and reformation of those who are of the church is meant by ‘be in travail, bring forth, O daughter of Zion;’ ‘for now thou shalt go out from the city and shalt dwell in the field’ signifies that they will withdraw from a doctrine in which there is no longer any truth or good, and will abide where these abound; ‘city’ meaning the doctrine from which they will withdraw; ‘field’ meaning where truths and goods abound, and ‘to go out’ meaning to withdraw, namely, from doctrine, and to be delivered from spiritual captivity.”
- “It is known, that by ‘the land of Canaan’ is signified the church, because the Word was there, and by it the Lord was known; also because in the midst of it was the city Zion, and under it the city Jerusalem, both upon a mountain. Hence by ‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ are signified the inmost things of the church; and as the church in the heavens makes one with the church on earth, therefore by ‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ is meant the church everywhere, but by ‘Zion’ the church as to love, and by ‘Jerusalem’ the church as to doctrine from love. It is called ‘mount Zion’ because by ‘a mountain’ is signified love. That by ‘mount Zion’ is signified heaven and the church where the Lord alone is worshiped, may appear from the following passages…” Micah 4:7-8 are cited.
AE 850 
- “In Micah 4:1-3, 7, 8…Any one can see that the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom in the heavens and in the earth are here described; therefore His kingdom, which is heaven and the church, is meant by ‘the mountain of the house of Jehovah’ that will then be established in the head of the mountains. And as ‘Zion’ means heaven and the church in which the Lord is to reign by His Divine truth, while ‘Jerusalem’ means heaven and the church as to doctrine from that Divine truth, it is said, ‘ from Zion shall go forth the law. And the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.’ The instruction of all from the Lord is described by what then follows.”
We are quite fortunate in the study of these verses to have an expanse of direct teachings that will open for us the empowering understanding of the spiritual sense. Most notably, we need to read with care AE 721  and AR 612. Like a wonderful puzzle, many of the essential spiritual parts are given to us. Now we need to lay them out on the table of our mind and patiently scrutinize and prayerfully learn how to put them together. Providence will protect those who humbly ask for help. He will help us so that we do not force the pieces together. Under His direction, let’s assemble before the Word and watch the wonders of His good and truth take form. But before we begin the assembling process, it is prudent that we use some additional, helpful facts that were not covered in the direct teachings. A search and use of derived doctrine will be of great help, too.
“In that day, says the Lord…”
- In the positive sense, these words, “in that day,” signify an acknowledgement of the Lord and of His Divine. See AE 654 . AE 422  and AE 548  teach that the words “in that day” refer to the coming of the Lord.
- In the negative sense, the words “in that day” point to a day of judgment for those “who trust in falsities...” “…they shall [in that day] be without any truth.” (AE 355 ) (Emphasis added.) In a passage from AE 357 , we read that “…he who trusts in himself because of an ability to reason from falsities shall [in that day] be deprived of all truth.” (Emphasis added.)
- What we get from these teachings is a sense of the Lord’s cleansing and expunging from His church the decay and harm of self-love and the falsities of evil. As P&P stated, “falsities will not enter and destroy.”
“I will assemble…”
- The word “assemble” signifies that the faithful should “…set themselves in order” because truths and goods cannot be assembled unless they are set in order. (AC 6338) In AC 7556, we read that the Lord places in safe-keeping goods and truths—“even within the evil.” “For goodness and truth which have not been linked to evils and falsities are not laid waste but are stored away interiorly by the Lord and at a later time are brought out for use.” Picture the Lord calling for those hidden goods and truths to come out from their hiding places. In this day, of the Lord, they can now be assembled for use and order.
“I will gather the outcast…”
- AC 4802 describes an “outcast” as one whose “faith is devoid of the life of faith.” What does this mean? TCR 347 teaches that truths do not actually live until they are in deeds. CL 160 reminds us that “love must go forth and be efficient or it will perish.” The same is true of faith. Faith is not something wispy, fluffy, or ethereal. Faith is not a leap of blind trust. Faith is the eye of love. TCR 347  defines faith “as a complex of truths shining in the mind…truths [teaching us] not only [what] to believe, but also in whom [we] ought to believe…” So the Lord’s Word is teaching us that He wants our “outcasts” to be gathered and put in order so we might receive His shining complex of truths. No more limping or halting spiritual progress. He wants our faith to be a living part of our life by being practical, useful, and on the alert to see the things of spiritual reality.
“O tower of the flock…”
- AE 922  defines a “tower” as signifying “interior truths from that good which looks to heaven.”
- A “flock” signifies those who will be taught (guided) and instructed. To be called a “flock” is to receive a pledge from the Lord—He gives the “flock” His promise of conjunction. See AC 4704, AC 6770, and AC 4863.
“And to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; there the Lord will redeem you.”
- “Babylon” signifies a tired external worship. (AC 3708) Doctrine of the Lord 65 describes “Babylon” as the “church corrupted by self love and the love of the world.” AE 374  identifies “Babylon” as the “profanation of good and truth.” AE 1021 pictures “Babylon” as the “love of ruling over heaven and earth through the holy things of the church.”
- We need to remember that the Lord says that He will deliver and redeem us from these Babylonian states.
Putting It All Together
Let’s return to Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 111. Remember we were taught that “…without the Word there is no knowledge of the Lord, and therefore no salvation…” AC 5128  teaches us that there are two things “which not only close up the way of communication, but even deprive a man of the capacity of ever becoming rational—deceit and profanation. Deceit is like a subtle poison which infects the interiors, and profanation mixes falsities with truths and evils with goods…”
It appears that these issues of deceit and profanation were wreaking havoc in the Jewish church. Leaders and church officials were “selling” their offices. Bribes and not truth swayed decisions. The people in the faithful remnant were not able to find help from the church. They were crying out in pain and turmoil. They felt like cripples limping along.
Return for a moment to the quote from Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 111. We read there that it “pleased the Lord that when the Word had been wholly falsified and adulterated among the Jewish nation and thus as it were brought to nothingness, that He should descend from heaven and come into the world, and fulfill the Word, and thereby repair and restore it and again give light to the earth’s inhabitants…” (Emphasis added.) This is the message the Lord gave through Micah. When things were at the darkest point, when each person walked in the name of his (own) god, the Lord came to put an end to disorder, sin, and spiritual death.
There was no king in their midst! There was no counselor! Did their counselor perish? These were Divine observations and questions posed by the Lord to cause His faithful to reflect and to long to have Him as their King and Counselor.
In the midst of this travail, the Lord speaks to their hearts. He musters their remains. His voice calls forth the hidden good and truth and tells them all to assemble. He announces that evil and falsity will no longer trouble them. Falsity and evil will no longer be among them. Falsity will no longer have the ability to enter and destroy. The inmost things of the church and the church in the heavens will make a one. Deceit and blasphemy will be gone, and communication with the Lord will be repaired and restored.
The tower of the flock will teach and instruct the faithful remnant about the ways wherein they should walk. The tower of the flock will show the way that conjunction will come about. The message ends with these words: “…you shall be delivered…the Lord will redeem you from the hands of your enemies.”
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Micah 4:5-10.
Questions to Stimulate Reflection
- Consider the Lord’s pointed statement to His people, and us, that “all people walk each in the name of their god.” It gives us pause to ponder and ask, “What god do I walk after?”
- I like the next part of this verse, beginning with the word but. “…but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.” That is our prayer, isn’t it? I can’t imagine an eternity apart from the Lord. I even hope and pray that He might visit and touch me the way He did the little children brought to Him by their parents. What things do you hope to experience in the Lord’s presence?
- “In that day” refers to the coming of the Lord. “In that day” refers to the eradication of falsity and evil. “In that day” will mark the end of terrorism from the hells. “In that day,” truths and goods will grow and falsity will not enter and destroy. That sounds so peaceful and tranquil. Is hell trying at this moment to take this reality away by calling it a fantasy?
- The Lord calls our attention to the fact that we have experienced “lameness.” He notes our “halting” (hesitant) nature. He recalls to us that we have known temptation and affliction. But then He assures us that as “outcasts,” we will be called to assemble. He promises us that the “outcasts” will become a strong nation. Is this a happy message? Where is there any gloom and doom in this prophecy?
- The Lord reminds us that on our own we will have no king. He also tells us that our proprial counselor will perish. We need to turn from this false counsel as quickly as possible. Can we, in this moment of reflection, pause long enough to invite the Lord to be our King and our Counselor?
- The “tower of the flock” was an interesting study. A tower gives us height. A tower gives us an early warning system when an enemy approaches. A tower gets our eyes looking upward. As a flock, we need the Lord’s steady promise that He will bring heaven and earth into conjunction. What do you see in the usage of the tower of the flock?
- Getting us out of Babylon—please do so, Lord, as quickly as possible. I long to rid myself of tired worship experiences. I long to allow spiritual things to be my guiding light and not a means to flatter self-love. What does the Lord promise us? He will redeem us from the hands of our enemies. Talk about giving us a voice of confidence—the Lord has loaded us up with a pep talk that can motivate us to reach out and take His hand.
“Now also many nations have gathered against you, who say, ‘let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.’ But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, nor do they understand His counsel; for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the Lord, and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”
Passages from the Writings
- “Falsities will be destroyed among them.”
AC 2362 
- “That the celestial church, or the Lord’s celestial kingdom, is called the ‘daughter of Zion’ from the affection of good, that is, from love to the Lord Himself…” Micah 4:10, 13 are cited.
AC 10303 
- “…truths with man have been disposed into a series according to the angelic societies with the regenerate…The series into which truths have been disposed with the good, and the series into which falsities have been disposed with the evil, are signified in the Word by ‘sheaves’ and ‘bundles’…” Micah 4:12 is cited.
AC 7729 
- “In Micah 4:13…what these words mean no one can know without the internal sense, thus unless it is known what is meant by ‘threshing,’ by the ‘daughter of Zion,’ by the ‘horn which shall become as iron,’ by the ‘hoof which shall become as brass, with which many peoples shall be broken in pieces.’ The ‘daughter of Zion’ denotes the celestial church; the ‘horn’ denotes the power of truth from good; ‘iron’ denotes natural truth which shall avail to destroy falsities; ‘hoof’ denotes truth from good in the ultimate degree; ‘brass’ denotes natural good which shall avail against evils.”
AC 7770 
- “…in Micah 4:13…‘to break in pieces many peoples’ denotes to devastate them; the ‘gain which is devoted to Jehovah and to the Lord of the whole earth’ denotes the knowledges of truth and good. That David sanctified to Jehovah the silver and the gold that he had taken from the nations which he had subdued, from the Syrians, from Moab, from the sons of Ammon, from the Philistines, from Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer…and that Solomon put the sanctified things of his father among the treasures of the house of Jehovah…involve the like.”
- “They, who believe from themselves and not from the Lord through the Word, also believe that they know and understand all things. The reason is, that their spiritual mind is shut, and their natural mind alone open; and this mind without spiritual light, sees no otherwise…” Micah 4:13 is cited among other references.
- “‘A horn’ is frequently mentioned in the Word, and by it is everywhere signified power; therefore when ‘a horn’ is predicated of the Lord, it signifies omnipotence…That ‘a horn’ signifies power, and when applied to the Lord, omnipotence, may appear from the following passages…” Micah 4:13 is among the numerous passages cited.
AE 176 
- “In Micah 4:13…The ‘daughter of Zion’ is the celestial church; ‘horn’ is power in the natural man; ‘hoofs’ are the ultimates there, called sensual scientifics; hence it is evident what is signified by ‘making the horn iron, and the hoofs brass.’…That ‘horn’ is the power of truth from good in the natural man…and that ‘hoofs’ are the knowledges of the sensual man, which are truths in the ultimate of order…”
AE 316 
- “In Micah 4:13…‘Rise and thresh, O daughter of Zion,’ signifies the dispersion of evil with those who are of the church, ‘to thresh’ is to disperse, and ‘daughter of Zion’ is the church that is in the affection of good; ‘I will make thy horn iron’ signifies Divine truth mighty and powerful; ‘I will make thy hoofs brass’ has a like meaning, ‘hoofs’ meaning truths in ultimates; ‘that thou mayest beat in pieces many peoples’ signifies that thou mayest scatter falsities, for ‘peoples’ are predicated of truths, and in the contrary sense, of falsities.”
“Now also many nations have gathered against you, who say, let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion…”
- Don Rose wrote a series of articles for New Church Life wherein he focused on “the great conspiracy” of Hell to destroy the Lord’s New Church. I recommend his series. Hell can’t stand the conjugial principle; Hell can’t stand a scintilla of innocence; Hell can’t stand anyone studying the Word. The greater the purity of a person’s love, the greater the influx of the Lord’s celestial church, the more Hell burns with a desire to defile this love and all of its derivatives.
- Hell is a place where self-love seeks to overcome anyone or anything that opposes its ends. Each hellish spirit wants to be “king of the mountain.” They will push, shove, and intimidate one another so as to be the “supreme” object of worship. But when it comes to fighting the Lord, they put aside their individual agendas to gather their bags of sneaky tricks and insanities to oppose Him.
“…many nations have gathered against you…”
- AE 304  explains that “nations signify the goods of the church, and in the contrary sense, its evils…” (Emphasis added.)
- Which sense is being used here? Are the goods of the church gathering against the corrupted Jewish church to expose falsity? Or are evils drawing near the Lord’s church to oppose its repentance, reformation, and regeneration? Let’s hold this question in mind as we read the next portion of the prophecy.
“…who say, ‘Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.’”
- It appears we have an answer here. It is evil, in the contrary sense, that’s speaking. The goods of the church would not seek to defile and amend, change, rectify, or banish goods and truths. Nor would the good take delight in defiling.
- “…let our eye look upon Zion…” The “eye” signifies “the understanding of truth and the belief in it…but it is the reverse with the ‘evil eye,’…” (AE 1081 ) An “evil eye” is not seeking an understanding of truth. Instead, evil seeks to keep an eye out to find a way to believe in falsity. See AE 1081 . The hells want to turn an “evil eye” on Zion because Zion signifies the church in which is celestial love. See AE 504 . Why? The love, delight, and craving desire of evil is to attack celestial and spiritual love.
“But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, nor do they understand His counsel…”
- Isn’t the literal sense of this passage quite plain in its meaning? Hell doesn’t know and hasn’t a clue about the infinite thoughts of the Lord. His good and truth are far above any comprehension of the hells. “Counsel” represents being intelligent from truths that are from the good of love. See AE 1100 .
“…for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.”
- In AC 10303 , the meaning of “sheaves” is explained. “The series into which truths have been disposed with the good and the series into which falsities have been disposed with the evil are signified in the Word by ‘sheaves’…” (Emphasis added.)
- The threshing floor is a place, or basis, of separation or disposal. The chaff is separated from the wheat. In like manner, the “threshing floor” signifies the Lord bringing about the separation of falsity from truth. AE 539  defines a “…threshing floor, by which are signified truths of good, and goods of truth…” The church must be shown what is good and true so it can be freed from evil and falsity. AC 10303 spoke of “series.” There is the series of good and the series of falsity. These series are like a bundle of sheaves that will be separated by the Lord.
“Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion…”
- “Arise” signifies “the elevation of the mind.” (AC 2695) “Arise signifies the union of the Divine and the Human of the Lord and His conjunction with heaven and the church…” (AE 700 )
- “…and thresh,” as we noted above, has to do with the separation of good and truth from evil and falsity.
- “Daughter of Zion signifies the church which is in love to the Lord.” (AE 328 ) “Daughter of Zion signifies the spiritual affections for the Divine truth, which is the love of truth for the sake of truth…” (AE 850 )
“For I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves bronze…”
- “…a horn signifies Divine truth about to be revealed out of heaven.” (AE 55) “…a horn signifies the influx of Divine truth and the revelation of it.” (AE 611)
- A “horn” being made into “iron” “signifies truth in ultimate order.” (AR 847)
- AC 7729  was cited earlier and explains that “hoof denotes truth from good in the ultimate degree; ‘brass’ denotes natural good which shall avail against evils.”
“…you shall beat in pieces many peoples…”
- AE 316  explains that the words “beat in pieces” signify that they (the remnant, called to serve the Lord’s New Church) will be given the power to disperse or “scatter falsities…” The work of the faithful under the efficient direction of the Lord will be thoroughly successful.
“I will consecrate their gain to the Lord, and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”
- “Consecrate” means to make or declare something sacred or holy. “Consecrate” means to set apart or to devote something to the service or worship of the Lord. In other words, the Lord’s remnant will not foolishly ascribe victory or success to self-merit. The threshing or beating into pieces of falsity is rightly the Lord’s doing. The Lord is the one who brings good out of each and every evil Hell has manufactured to foil our spiritual successes.
- Substance, or love, is not the creation of humanity. We can be filled with the Lord’s substance to use. His substance is necessary to overcome the falsity of hell. We need to consecrate all our power and substance to the Lord.
- What is meant by “the whole earth”? Simply, it means that we are to diligently endeavor to “beat in pieces” or “thresh” evil wherever it might be found in our heart and mind to facilitate the growth of the Lord’s New Church. See AE 316 .
Putting It All Together
“Falsities will be destroyed…” (P&P)
Hell, in a state of delusion and illogical reasoning, thinks that it can gather together its many nations (thousands of devious tricks) to defile the intention the Lord has for His new church remnant. Hell casts an evil eye toward the “daughter of Zion,” the affection for good, and assumes it will be easy to conquer its intended victims. Hell, as usual, underestimates the eternal and dynamic power of the Lord. So the voice of the Lord reminds them, and us, that they haven’t a clue of what they are up against. “…they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, nor do they understand His counsel.” The Lord states that He will gather the faithful remnant together and help them thresh or dispose of Hell’s menacing evils.
The good news is given to the “daughter of Zion” that Divine truth with its accompanying good will come to the aid of the faithful so that they will have the power to disperse and scatter falsities. How thorough will this action be? Listen again to the words of the Lord: “I will consecrate their gain…and their substance…” (Emphasis added.) How extensive will it be? It will infiltrate and enliven the whole earth, or as the spiritual sense says, it will bring an end to evil wherever it seeks to hide to oppose the Lord.
These are not the words (or thoughts) of the prophet Micah. These are not the words and interpretation of this researcher. These are the words and the promise of the Lord. Therefore, what He says is true and eternal. Falsity will be destroyed. Hell will be conquered. The Lord’s New Church will be forever and ever. Let the faithful feel and began to experience a sense of anticipatory excitement and happiness with the announcement of this news so they can cry out: “So may it be forever, O Lord.”
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Micah 4:11-13.
Questions to Stimulate Reflection
- Do we, in any sense, see examples in history, or the present, of the illusions and complete insanity of Hell? Can we picture their belief that they are more powerful than the Lord? Can we see or imagine the evil eye they have toward anything good?
- The Lord teaches us that Hell has no idea of what it is up against when it imagines the Lord can be defeated. I want us to say that phrase over and over, again and again. I believe saying—and believing—this will give us power over Hell. The more we believe this, the more Hell’s power to confuse and frustrate us will diminish. We need positive thinking working within our hearts and minds. What are your thoughts on this subject?
- The Lord makes some positive promises to His new church in this prophecy:
- He will “consecrate” our gain over Hell.
- He will inflow into our lives and give us “substance.”
- He will enliven the whole earth (our minds).
- Every nook and corner where Hell hides and lurks will be cleansed.
- The Lord will help us thrash the armies of Hell.
Mull over these promises. Let the power surge in and bolster our resolve to stand toe to toe with evil and fight with the resources of our doctrine. The Lord will win. Because of Him, we will win, too.
- Hell will try to remove this soundness from us, seeking to exert their insanity and illusions over our daily lives. Will we, as a church, put aside our personal agendas and band together under the Lord’s providence and leadership? I believe we ought to seek moments when we can pledge our allegiance wholly to the Lord so we can draw strength from the Lord and, in charity, encourage our fellow worshipers to join hands. Will we do this? What little doubt has been planted by the Hells to tell us this is an impossible human goal to achieve?