Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 20: The Babel correspondence


The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563). [Image from the Wikipedia 'Tower of Babel' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

Babel (Babylon) came up within three different contexts in the analysis of Manhunter: in a historical context, in the book of Genesis, regarding the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues; in a prophetic context, in the book of Jeremiah; and in an 'apocalyptic' context in Revelation. When we look under 'Babel' in the first volume of the Swedenborg Concordance, we find listed there several pages of entries, most of which contain one or more correspondences for 'Babel' and associated terms. In this post we will look at a few of those entries which have to do with the aforementioned historical and prophetic contexts, and in the next post, we will look at some listings from the Concordance that point to certain parts of Apocalypse Revealed in which the term 'Babel' is used in an apocalyptic context. In what follows, 'E.' is Apocalypse Explained, and 'A.' is Arcana Coelestia. The leading numbers are section numbers in Apocalypse Revealed, and the material between single quotation marks is that taken by Swedenborg from the book of Revelation itself. Subdivision numbers within the given sections of Apocalypse Revealed have been omitted for clarity. The equals sign ("=") means 'signifies'. All emphasis is in original. We first examine some listings pertaining to the book of Jeremiah:

E. 601. 'Babel' (Jer. li) = those who abuse holy things in order to domineer...

A. 583. 'The mighty ones of Babel' (Jer. li.30) = those who are given up to self-love.

Now one of the listings for 'historical' Babel (the subject is Genesis chapter 11):

A. 1283. The Ancient Church in general is now treated of, and that its inward worship was in process of time falsified and adulterated...The falsification and adulteration of inward worship is 'Babel' here. That here also the historical statements are not true, but made up, may be seen from those made concerning the Babylonish Tower...and also from the fact that it is said Babel originated thence, when yet in the preceding chapter, Babel is said to have been built by Nimrod. Hence it is evident that 'Babel' does not signify a city, but a certain thing, and here worship, the interiors of which are profane, while the externals appear holy.[a]

a. Swedenborg, Emanuel. The Swedenborg Concordance: a complete work of reference to the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Comp. / ed. and trans. John Faulkner Potts. London: Swedenborg Society, 1888. Vol. 1. pp. 291, 295, 296.

To skip over the remainder of the Swedenborgian analysis of the Hannibal Lecter movies, click here.


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