FOOTSTOOL >> The Lord's Church on the Earth
Since the Lord's Church on earth (in terris) is beneath the heavens it is therefore called 'the footstool of His feet', as in these places:
He has cast forth out of heaven onto the land the ornament of Israel, He remembers not the footstool of His feet Lam. ii 1.
The land is the footstool of My feet Isa. lxvi 1.
We will enter into His dwellings, we will bow ourselves down at the footstool of His feet Ps. cxxxii 7.
Swear not by heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by the land, for it is the footstool of His feet Matt. v 34, 35.
I will render the place of My feet honourable Isa. lx 13.
Thou hast made Him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands, Thou hast put all things under His feet Ps. viii 6 [H.B. 7]. [AR470]
And under His feet. That this signifies the ultimate sense which is the sense of the letter itself, is evident from the signification of "feet," as being natural things (see n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952); thus the soles, which are under the feet, denote the ultimate things of nature. That "under the feet" here denotes the ultimate sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, is because it is said of the Divine truth or Word, which is from the Lord, and which is the Lord, as can be seen from what goes before; and the ultimate of truth Divine, or the Word, is such as is the sense of the letter, which is natural, because for the natural man. That the sense of the letter contains within it an internal sense, which is relatively spiritual and celestial, is evident from all that has been hitherto shown about the Word. But the more worldly and bodily a man is, the less he apprehends this, because he does not suffer himself to be raised into spiritual light, and thereby to see what is the nature of the Word; namely, that in the letter it is natural, and in the internal sense spiritual; for the nature of lower things, down to ultimate ones, can be seen from the spiritual world, or from the light of heaven; but not the reverse (n. 9401e); thus it can be seen that such is the Word in the letter.
 As the Word in the letter is natural, and by "the feet" are signified natural things, therefore the ultimate of the Word, like the ultimate of the church, is called "the place of the feet" of Jehovah, and also His "footstool," and likewise relatively a "cloud" and "darkness;" as in Isaiah:
They shall open thy gates continually, to bring unto thee the army of the nations, and their kings shall be brought. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together; to adorn the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet honorable (Isa. 60:11, 13).
The subject here treated of is the Lord, and His kingdom and church. By "the army of the nations" are meant those who are in the goods of faith; and by "kings," those who are in the truths of faith. (That "nations" denote those who are in the goods of faith, see n. 1259, 1328, 1416, 1849, 4574, 6005; and that "kings" denote those who are in truths, n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148). "The glory of Lebanon," or the cedar, denotes spiritual good and truth; "the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box," denote the natural goods and truths that correspond; "the place of the sanctuary" denotes heaven and the church, and also the Word; "the place of the feet" denotes heaven, the church, and also the Word, in ultimates. The reason why the Word also is here signified, is that heaven is heaven from the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord; in like manner the church; and the Divine truth which makes the church and heaven is the Word. Consequently also the inmost of the tent, where was the ark containing the law, is called "the sanctuary," for the law is the Word (n. 6752).
The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool (Isa. 66:1).
Exalt ye Jehovah our God, and adore ye toward His footstool; holy is He. Moses and Aaron among His priests. He spoke unto them in the pillar of cloud (Ps. 99:5-7).
"The footstool of Jehovah toward which they were to adore" denotes Divine truth in ultimates, thus the Word. That in the representative sense "Moses and Aaron" denote the Word, see n. 7089, 7382, 9373, 9374; and that a "cloud" denotes the Word in the letter, or Divine truth in ultimates, see the preface to Genesis 18; n. 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343, 6752, 8106, 8781; from which it is plain what is meant by "speaking in the pillar of cloud."
We heard of Him in Ephrathah; we found Him in the fields of the forest. We will enter into His tabernacles; we will bow down ourselves at His footstool (Ps. 132:6, 7).
The subject here treated of is the Lord and the revelation of Himself in the Word; "to find Him in Ephrathah" denotes to do so in the spiritual celestial sense of the Word (n. 4585, 4594); "in the fields of the forest" denotes in the natural or literal sense of the Word (n. 3220, 9011); "the footstool" denotes the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord, in ultimates.
Jehovah bowed the heaven, and thick darkness was under His feet. He made darkness His hiding place, darkness of waters, clouds of the heavens. At the brightness before Him His clouds passed (Ps. 18:9, 11, 12).
The subject here treated of is the coming and presence of the Lord in the Word; "thick darkness under His feet" denotes the sense of the letter of the Word; in like manner "darkness of waters and clouds of the heavens." That nevertheless the Divine truth, such as it is in the heavens, is in this sense is signified by "making darkness His hiding place;" and that at the presence of the Lord the internal sense appears in its glory, such as it is in heaven, is signified by "His clouds passing at the brightness before Him." In Nahum:
The way of Jehovah is in the storm and tempest, and the clouds are the dust of His feet (Nah. 1:3);
where also "the clouds" denote the Word in the sense of the letter, which also is "the storm and tempest in which is the way of Jehovah."
 When truth Divine, such as it is in heaven, shines through with a man from the very sense of the letter, then this sense is described by "feet whose brightness is like that of burnished brass"; as also in Daniel:
I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz. His body also was like a beryl, and His face as the face of lightning, and His eyes as torches of fire, His arms and His feet like the shining of burnished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a crowd (Dan. 10:5-6);
where by "a man clothed in linen" is meant in the supreme sense the Lord, and because the Lord is meant, the Divine truth that is from Him is also meant, for the Divine truth that is from the Lord is the Lord Himself in heaven and in the church; truth Divine, or the Lord in ultimates, is meant by "arms and feet like the shining of burnished brass;" and also by "the voice of his words like the voice of a crowd." In like manner in Ezekiel 1:7.
 The successive states of the church on this earth in respect to the reception of the truth Divine that proceeds from the Lord are also meant by the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar; in Daniel:
The head of the image was gold, his breast and his arms silver, his belly and thighs brass, his legs iron, his feet part iron and part clay, which did not cohere. And a stone out of the rock broke in pieces the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold (Dan. 2:32-35, 43).
The first state of the church in respect to the reception of the truth Divine that proceeds from the Lord is the "gold," because by "gold" is signified celestial good, which is the good of love to the Lord (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 8932); the second state is signified by the "silver," which denotes spiritual good, which is the good of faith in the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor (see n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 7999); the third state is signified by the "brass," which denotes natural good (n. 425, 1551); and the fourth state by the "iron," which denotes natural truth (n. 425, 426); the "clay" denotes falsity which does not cohere with truth and good. That "a stone out of the rock broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the silver, and the gold" signifies that the church perishes in respect to the reception of truth from the Word, when falsity and evil are confirmed by the sense of the letter of the Word, as is the case when the church is in its last state, when it is no longer in any heavenly love, but only in worldly and bodily love. Such was the Word in respect to its reception among the Jewish nation when the Lord came into the world; and such is the Word with many at this day, insomuch that it is not even known that there is anything internal in the Word; and if it were to be said that there is, and its nature were to be told, it would not be received; when yet in the most ancient times, which were signified by "gold," nothing else was seen in the sense of the letter of the Word than what is heavenly, almost abstractedly from the letter. From all this it can now be seen that by "the God of Israel" as seen "under His feet" is signified the Word in the ultimate sense, which is the sense of the letter. [AC9406]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)