Rock/Stone

Rock/Stone signifies in the Word the truth which is of faith; and therefore the Lord as to Divine truth is called the Stone of Israel. That a rock denotes the Lord as to the truth of faith, is because by a rock is also meant a bulwark......

The signification of a rock, is faith, here faith from the Lord, or the Lord in respect to faith; for Yahweh that is, the Lord, says, Behold I stand upon the rock. That a rock denotes the Lord as to faith, and relatively to man, the faith which is from the Lord, is evident from many passages in the Word, as:

Moses being put in an opening of the rock when he was to see Yahweh (Exod.33:20-23); for by an opening of a rock is signified obscurity of faith. That the rock in Horeb from which came the waters signified the Lord, is known in the churches; but that it signifies the Lord as to faith, and also that it signifies faith from the Lord, has now been shown. The like to what is signified by the rock in Horeb is also signified by these words in Isaiah:

Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea! With shouts of joy declare this, announce it; Make it known to the ends of the earth, Say: "The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob. They did not thirst when he led them through dry lands; Water from the rock he set flowing for them; he cleft the rock, and waters welled forth." (Isa.48:20,21).

That water was not given to the people from any other rock than that in Horeb(Ex.32:18), is because by Horeb is signified the Divine Law; that the Divine Law is signified by Horeb, is because the Law was there promulgated; and faith which is from the Lord is from the Divine Law, that is, from the Word; for through this the Lord teaches what faith is, and also gives faith.

I will be standing there in front of you
on the rock in Horeb

Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
for the people to drink

In Moses: For I will proclaim the name of the LORD, praise the greatness of our God! The Rock - how faultless are his deeds, how right all his ways! A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he! (Deut.32:3,4)

He had them mount the summits of the land, fed them the produce of its fields; He suckled them with honey from the crags and olive oil from the flinty rock (Deut.32:13)

So Jacob ate and was satisfied, Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; you became fat and gross and gorged.They forsook the God who made them and scorned the Rock of their salvation. (Deut.32:15)

You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, you forgot the God who gave you birth. (Deut.32:18)

"How could one rout a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, Unless it was because their Rock sold them, the LORD delivered them up? " Indeed, their "rock " is not like our Rock; our enemies are fools. (Deut.32:30,31)

He will say, Where are their gods, the rock in whom they took refuge.(Deut.32:37)

From these words it is plain that it is Yahweh, that is, the Lord, who is called the flock; that this is Yahweh or the Lord as to faith, is clear from the details here in the internal sense.

The iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold statue,
a stone struck its and breaking them in pieces

'Golgotha' the name of the rock
on which Jesus was crucified

In Daniel: While you watched, a stone was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, and it struck its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces. The iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel.2:34,35)

In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever. That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain without a hand being put to it, which broke in pieces the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure.(Daniel.2:44,45)

This is said of the Lord and His kingdom, and by a stone is meant faith, and by a rock the Lord as to faith. That these things are signified by stone and by rock, is plain to everyone who reflects. Stone too signifies in the Word the truth which is of faith; and therefore the Lord as to Divine truth is called the Stone of Israel. That a rock denotes the Lord as to the truth of faith, is because by a rock is also meant a bulwark against falsities; the bulwark itself is the truth of faith, for combat is waged from this truth both against falsities and against evils.

From all this it can also be seen that by rock is meant the Lord as to faith, and also the faith which is from the Lord, in the words which the Lord spake to Peter:

The words which the Lord spake to Peter in Matthew: And so I say to you, you are Peter (Petrus), and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt.16:18,19)

Primacy of Simon Peter

Heart shape stone near the Galilee sea
outside the Primacy

That a rock here denotes the Lord as to faith, and the faith which is from the Lord, and that Peter represents this faith. It is also plain to everyone who thinks from sound reason that the power of opening heaven and of shutting hell for the good, and of opening hell and shutting heaven for the evil, belongs to the Lord alone; and that this belongs to faith is because faith is from the Lord, thus also is the Lord's, that is, the Lord Himself is in it. Moreover all sovereign power in the other life comes through the truth of faith from good. And he who thinks from reason can conclude that the Lord's church has not been built upon any man, thus not upon Peter, but upon the Lord Himself, thus upon faith in Him.

From all this it can be seen into what and how great errors they fall, who press so closely the sense of the letter of the Word; and with what eagerness the leaders of the church catch at the idea that such power was given to Peter, and consequently to those who call themselves his successors, because it favors their love; and with what difficulty they suffer themselves to be persuaded that anything else is meant, for everyone desires to procure for himself the height of power. From the above it is also plain how necessary it is to know what is signified in the internal sense by a rock, what by keys, what by the gates of hell, and many other things.

That Yahweh is called the Rock, and that then is meant the Lord as to faith, is also evident from many other passages in the Word, as from the following, which may be cited without further explication:

Send them forth, hugging the earth like reptiles, from Sela (Petra) across the desert, to the mount of daughter Zion. (Isa.16:1)

Truly, you have forgotten the God who saves you, the Rock, your refuge, you have not remembered. Therefore, though you plant plants for the Pleasant One. (Isa.17:10)

Assyria shall fall by a sword, not wielded by human being, no mortal sword shall devour him; He shall flee before the sword, and his young men shall be impressed as laborers. He shall rush past his crag in panic, and his princes desert the standard in terror, Says the LORD who has a fire in Zion (Isa.31:8,9).

Let the wilderness and its cities cry out, the villages where Kedar dwells; Let the inhabitants of Sela exult, and shout from the top of the mountains. (Isa.42:11)

Listen to me, you who pursue justice, who seek the LORD; Look to the rock from which you were hewn, to the quarry from which you were taken. (Isa.51:1)


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