Symbolism of the Heavens & Earth

Sir Isaac Newton


"The figurative language of the prophets is taken from the analogy between the world natural and an empire or kingdom considered as a world politic. Accordingly, the world natural, consisting of heaven and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, or so much of it as is considered in prophecy; and the things in that world signify the analogous things in this. For the heavens and the things therein signify thrones and dignities, and those who enjoy them: and the earth, with the things thereon, the inferior people; and the lowest parts of the earth, called Hades or Hell, the lowest or most miserable part of them. Great earthquakes, and the shaking of heaven and earth, are put for the shaking of kingdoms, so as to distract and overthrow them; the creating of a new heaven and earth, and the passing of an old one; or the beginning and end of a world, for the rise and ruin of a body politic signified thereby. The sun, for the whole species and race of kings, in the kingdoms of the world politic; the moon, for the body of common people considered as the king's wife; the stars, for subordinate princes and great men; or for bishops and rulers of the people of God, when the sun is Christ. Setting of the sun, moon, and stars; darkening the sun, turning the moon into blood, and falling of the stars, for the ceasing of a kingdom." (Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel, Part i. chap. ii)

Comment: Here we have a correct statement of the symbolic meaning behind the “heavens and earth.”  They are symbols for nations and governments, not the Old or New Testaments.  If the heavens and earth put down at Christ’s coming were the throne and dominions of Nero Caesar, the Sanhedrin and rulers of the Jews, together with other temporal powers who rejected the gospel and persecuted the church, then the new heavens are earth are best understood as the government of Christ, ruling the nations in righteousness with an iron rod


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