HEAVENLY SECRETS
Emanuel Swedenborg

Back | Next | Index | Home


AC GENESIS Chapter 20

AC 2495. That the Word contains within it an internal sense that is not apparent in the letter has already been stated and shown in many places, and the nature of this internal sense appears from all that has thus far been unfolded, beginning with the first chapter of Genesis. Nevertheless as the few who at this day believe in the Word do not know that there is such a sense, it may be well to confirm it further.

[2] The Lord describes the Consummation of the Age, or the last period of the church, as follows:--

Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the sun shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24).

That in this passage the "sun" does not mean the sun, nor the "moon" the moon, nor the "stars" the stars; but that the "sun" signifies love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; the "moon" the faith of love and charity; and the "stars" the knowledges of good and truth, was shown above (n. 31, 32, 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2120, 2441); so that by these words of the Lord there is signified that in the consummation of the age (or last period of the church) there will no longer be any love, or charity, nor therefore any faith.

[3] That this is the meaning is evident from similar words of the Lord in the Prophets, as in Isaiah:--

Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, to make the earth a solitude and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it for the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine (Isaiah 13:9, 10);

where also the last period of the church, or what is the same, the consummation of the age, is treated of. In Joel:--

A day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and obscurity, before Him the earth quaked, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon were darkened, and the stars withdrew their shining (Joel 2:2, 10);

with a similar meaning. Again in the same:--

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah came (Joel 2:31).

And again in the same:--

The day of Jehovah is near, the sun and the moon have been darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining (Joel 3:14, 15).

In Ezekiel:--

When I shall extinguish thee, I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof dark I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine all the luminaries of light in the heavens will I make dark, and will set darkness upon thy land (Ezekiel 32:7, 8).

So too in John:--

I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and behold there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars fell unto the earth (Rev. 6:12, 13).

In the same:--

The fourth angel sounded, so that the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, and the third part of them was darkened (Rev. 8:12).

[4] From these passages it is evident that the Lord‘s words in the Evangelists involve much the same as His words in the Prophets, namely, that in the last times there will be neither charity, nor faith; and that this is the internal sense; as also is still further evident in Isaiah:--

The moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed, for Jehovah Zebaoth shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem (Isaiah 24:23);

that is to say, faith, which is the "moon," shall blush; and charity, which is the "sun," shall be ashamed, because they are such; for it cannot be said of the moon and the sun that they shall blush and be ashamed. And in Daniel:--

The goat’s horn grew toward the south, and toward the east, and grew even to the army of the heavens, and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the earth and trampled upon them (Daniel 8:9, 10);

where it is plain to every one that the " army of the heavens‘s does not signify an "army," nor the "stars" stars.

GENESIS 20:1-18

1. And Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar.

2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

3. And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold thou wilt die because of the woman whom thou hast taken, for she is married to a husband.

4. And Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation?

5. Said he not himself unto me, She is my sister? and she herself also said, He is my brother: in the uprightness of my heart and in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this.

6. And God said unto him in the dream, Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this; and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me; therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her.

7. And now restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet; and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that dying thou shalt die, thou and all that are thine.

8. And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and spake all these words in their ears and the men feared greatly.

9. And Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against thee that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done.

10. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou that thou hast done this word?

11. And Abraham said, Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife.

12. And moreover truly she is my sister, being the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.

13. And it came to pass when God caused me to depart from my father‘s house that I said unto her, This is thy goodness which thou shalt do unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

14. And Abimelech took flock and herd, and menservants and maidservants, and gave unto Abraham; and restored to him Sarah his wife.

15. And Abimelech said, Behold my land is before thee; dwell in that which is good in thine eyes.

16. And unto Sarah he said, Behold I have given a thousand of silver to thy brother; behold it is unto thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee, and with all; and she was vindicated.

17. And Abraham prayed unto God, and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they brought forth.

18. For closing Jehovah had therefore closed every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of the word of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

THE CONTENTS

AC 2496. In the twelfth chapter above, Abraham‘s sojourning in Egypt has been treated of; by which was signified the Lord’s instruction in memory-knowledges while still a boy. In this chapter the subject treated of is Abraham‘s sojourn in Gerar, where Abimelech was; by which the Lord’s instruction is in like manner signified, but in the doctrinal things of charity and faith. The subject that is especially treated of here is the doctrine of charity and faith in respect to its origin; namely, that it is spiritual from a celestial origin, but is not from the rational.

AC 2497. The Lord‘s state in which He was when He first instructed Himself in the doctrinal things of charity and faith is treated of; the state itself is signified by "Kadesh and Shur;" the doctrine of faith by "Abimelech king of Gerar" (verses 1, 2). That He at first thought in regard to the rational that it should be consulted (verse 2). That still it was not consulted (verses 3, 4, 8, 9). The reasons why He so thought (verses 5, 6, 10-13). That the doctrine of charity and faith is spiritual from a celestial origin (verse 7). That He was so instructed; and that then all things rational, as well as all memory-knowledges, were of service to Him, being like a covering or garment (verses 14-16). And in this way the doctrine was perfect (verse 17). That it would have been otherwise if the doctrine had come from the rational (verse 18).

THE INTERNAL SENSE

AC 2498. That these historical matters, like all the other things of the Word, involve Divine arcana, is evident from the fact that Abraham now again said that his wife was his sister; for the same thing had occurred when he came into Egypt; for he then said to Sarah, "Say, I pray, thou art my sister" (Gen. 12:13). And not Abraham alone, but Isaac likewise, when he came to Gerar, said that his wife Rebecca was his sister: "The men of that place asked concerning his wife, and he said, She is my sister" (Gen. 26:6, 7); and there are other things in the same chapters that resemble each other, so that such historical matters are related three times; which, without a hidden cause in the internal sense, would by no means have been done.

AC 2499. Verse 1. And Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar. "Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south," signifies the Lord’s progression in the goods and truths of faith ("Abraham" is the Lord in that state); "and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur," signifies His state specifically ("Kadesh" is the affection of interior truth proceeding from things rational; " Shur" is the affection of exterior truth proceeding from memory-knowledges); "and he sojourned in Gerar," signifies instruction thence in the spiritual things of faith.

AC 2500. Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south. That this signifies the Lord‘s progression in the goods and truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "journeying," as being to progress (n. 1457); and from the signification of the "land of the south," as being the good and truth of faith (n. 1458). It has already been stated concerning Abraham, in the twelfth chapter, that he "journeyed, going and journeying toward the south," when he went into Egypt (verses 9, 10); by which was signified in the internal sense that the Lord when a child progressed into goods and truths in respect to the memory-knowledge of knowledges (n. 1456, 1459); and here it is said that he journeyed "toward the land of the south," by which there is signified a further and more interior progression, which is into goods and truths in respect to the doctrine of faith; on which account it is here said the "land" of the south, because "land" in its proper sense signifies the church, for the sake of which is doctrine (n. 566, 662, 1066, 2117, 2118).

[2] As regards the Lord’s instruction in general, the nature of it is very clear in the internal sense of this chapter; namely, that it was by continual revelations, and thus by Divine perceptions and thoughts from Himself, that is, from His Divine; which perceptions and thoughts He implanted in Divine intelligence and wisdom, and this even to the perfect union of His Human with His Divine. This way of growing wise is not possible with any man; for it flowed in from the Divine itself, which was His inmost, being of the Father, of whom He was conceived; thus from the Divine Love itself, which the Lord alone had, and which consisted in His desire to save the universal human race.

[3] It is an arcanum which is as yet known to scarcely anyone, that within love itself there are wisdom and intelligence; these being such as is the love. That wisdom and intelligence are within love comes from the fact that all influx takes place into the love, or what is the same, into the good, thus into man‘s very life. This is the source of the wisdom and intelligence of the angels, which is ineffable. It is also the source of the wisdom and intelligence of men who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor; who, although they have no perception of it in themselves while they are living in the body, nevertheless come into it after death, for the reason that it is within this very love and charity (n. 2494). But as regards the Lord’s love, it was infinitely above the love in which the angels are, for it was the Divine love itself; and therefore He had in Himself a supereminence of all wisdom and intelligence; into which however because He was born a man, and was to progress as a man according to Divine order, He introduced Himself by successive steps, in order that He might thus unite His Human to the Divine, and make it Divine; and this by His own power.

AC 2501. That "Abraham" is the Lord in that state, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord; here the Lord in that state (n. 1893, 1965, 1989, 2011, 2172, 2198).

AC 2502. And dwelt between Kadesh and Shur. That this signifies His state specifically, is evident from the signification of "dwelling," as being to live (n. 1293). What precedes also indicates this, namely, that Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, by which there is signified the Lord‘s progression into the goods and truths of faith; and as it is now said that he "dwelt between Kadesh and Shur," it follows that nothing else is signified than the Lord’s state specifically, which is described by "Kadesh and Shur"--now to be explained.

AC 2503. That "Kadesh" is the affection of interior truth that proceeds from things rational, and "Shur" the affection of exterior truth that proceeds from memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "Kadesh and Shur." That "Kadesh" signifies truth about which there is contention, was shown above (n. 1678), thus contention concerning truth in regard to its origin, as to whether it is from the rational; as is evident from what follows. But as with the Lord all truth was from a celestial origin, "Kadesh" here signifies the affection of truth. With every man of the church there are rational truths and truths of mere memory (vera scientifica), the former being more interior, and the latter more exterior. These are distinct from each other, precisely as are man‘s two memories (n. 2469-2473). From this it follows that there are also two affections of truth-one more interior, as being of rational things, and the other more exterior, as being of mere memory truths. The affection of interior truth that proceeds from rational things is here signified by "Kadesh;" and the affection of exterior truth that proceeds from memory truths, by "Shur." "Shur" signifies this truth (n. 1928). Names in the Word signify nothing else than actual things (n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888).

AC 2504. And he sojourned in Gerar. That this signifies instruction thence in the spiritual things of faith, is evident from the signification of "sojourning," as being to be instructed (n. 1463, 2025); and from the signification of "Gerar," as being what is spiritual of faith. Gerar is named in several places (Genesis 10:19; 26:1, 6, 17, 20, 26); and in these it signifies faith, and this for the reason that Gerar was in Philistia; and by "Philistia" is signified the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith (n. 1197, 1198); and it was Gerar where the king of the Philistines dwelt. Hence it is that faith itself is signified by "Gerar" (n. 1209); and by the "king of Gerar," the truth itself of faith; for "king" in the internal sense is truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). Thus by "Abimelech" is signified the doctrine of faith, concerning which in what follows.

[2] In general there are intellectual things of faith, rational things of faith, and memory-knowledges of faith. They thus proceed in their order from interiors to exteriors. The things of faith which are inmost are called intellectual; those which proceed from them or thence are the rational things of faith; and those which proceed again from these are the memory-knowledges of faith. They are--to use the language of the learned--as prior to posterior, or what is the same, as higher to lower, that is, as interior to exterior. It indeed appears to man as if the memory-knowledge of faith were first, and that the rational then came forth from it, and at length the intellectual; and this for the reason that man advances in this way from his childhood. Nevertheless, although man is not aware of it, the intellectual flows in continually into the rational, and this into the faculty of knowing; but in childhood obscurely, in adult age more evidently, and at last in full light when the man has been regenerated. Then it is apparent that this is the order, and still more fully in the other life (n. 1495). All these are called "spiritual things;" which are distinguished in this way into degrees, and succeed one another in such an order. The spiritual things of faith are all the truths which are from good, that is, from a celestial origin. Whatever is derived from the celestial is a spiritual thing of faith.

AC 2505. Verse 2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. "Abraham said," signifies the Lord’s thought; "of Sarah his wife," signifies spiritual truth conjoined with the celestial; "she is my sister," signifies rational truth; "and Abimelech king of Gerar sent," signifies the doctrine of faith ("Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith that looks to rational things); "and took Sarah," signifies the affection of consulting the rational.

AC 2506. Abraham said. That this signifies thought, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive, as well as to think (n. 1898, 1919, 2061, 2080, 2238, 2260, 2271, 2287).

AC 2507. Of Sarah his wife. That this signifies spiritual truth conjoined with the celestial, is evident from the signification of "Sarah" as a wife, as being intellectual truth conjoined with the Divine good, or what is the same, spiritual truth conjoined with the celestial (n. 1468, 1901, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198). What the spiritual is, and what the celestial, has often been stated before (n. 1155, 1577, 1824, 2048, 2088). That is called Celestial, which is of good, that is, which is of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor; and that Spiritual, which is of truth, that is, which is of faith derived from those loves.

AC 2508. She is my sister. That this signifies rational truth, is evident from the signification of a "sister," as being rational intellectual truth (n. 1495). That rational truth is a "sister," can be seen only from the heavenly marriage; for the things which descend from this have kinships among themselves like the relationships and connections on earth (n. 685, 917); and this with indefinite variety. The heavenly marriage itself exists solely between the Divine good and the Divine truth. From this there are conceived in man the intellectual, the rational, and the faculty of knowing; for without conception from the heavenly marriage man cannot possibly be imbued with understanding, with reason, or with knowledge, and consequently cannot be man. In proportion therefore as he receives from the heavenly marriage, in the same proportion is he man. The heavenly marriage is in the Lord Himself, thus the Lord is this marriage itself, for He is the Divine good itself and at the same time the Divine truth. Angels and men are in the heavenly marriage in so far as they are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, and in so far as they are thence in faith; that is, in so far as they are in the Lord‘s good, and thence in truth; and they are then called "daughters and sons," and in their relation to one another "sisters and brothers;" but this with differences. The reason why rational truth is called a "sister" is that it is conceived from the influx of the Divine good into the affection of rational truths; the good which is thence in the rational is called a "brother," and the truth which is thence, a "sister." But this will be better seen from what is said by Abraham in (verse 12) of this chapter: "and moreover truly she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."

AC 2509. And Abimelech king of Gerar sent. That this signifies the doctrine of faith, is evident from what was said above (n. 2504), namely, that by "Philistia" is signified the memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith (n. 1197, 1198); by "Gerar," which was in Philistia, faith (n. 1209, 2504); and by a "king," the truth itself of faith (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). Hence by "Abimelech" is signified the doctrine of faith, but the doctrine of faith looking to rational things; as will be manifest from what now follows.

AC 2510. That "Abimelech" is the doctrine of faith looking to rational thing, is evident from the fact that he looked upon Sarah, not as Abraham’s wife, but as his sister; and by Sarah as a sister is signified rational truth (n. 2508). The same is also manifest from what follows; for the doctrine of faith is there treated of, as to whether it has its origin from the rational, or from the celestial. Hence "Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith looking to rational things. Doctrine is said to look to rational things when nothing is acknowledged as truth of doctrine except what can be comprehended by the reason, so that the consideration of all the things which are of doctrine is from the rational. Yet that the doctrine of faith is not from a rational but from a celestial origin, is taught in the internal sense in what follows.

AC 2511. And took Sarah. That this signifies the affection of consulting the rational, is evident from the signification of Sarah as a "sister," as being rational truth (n. 2508); and also from the signification of "taking" her, as being from affection toward her; thus, in the internal sense, from the affection of consulting the rational. The things contained in this verse involve the Lord‘s first thought respecting the doctrine of faith, as to whether it would be well to consult the rational or not. The reason why the first thought was of such a character is that the Lord progressed according to all Divine order; and whatever was of the human into which He was born, and which He derived from the mother, must necessarily be put off in order that He might put on the Divine; thus also this human thought, namely, as to whether the rational was to be consulted in regard to the doctrinal things of faith.

AC 2512. Verse 3. And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou wilt die because of the woman whom thou hast taken, for she is married to a husband. "God came to Abimelech," signifies the Lord’s perception concerning the doctrine of faith; "in a dream by night," signifies that it was obscure; "and said to him," signifies thought thence; "Behold, thou wilt die because of the woman," signifies that the doctrine of faith would be null and void if the rational were consulted in regard to its contents; "for she is married to a husband," signifies that the doctrine of true faith, and the things therein, are conjoined with the celestial.

AC 2513. God came to Abimelech. That this signifies the Lord‘s perception concerning the doctrine of faith, is evident from the signification of "God coming," and from the signification of "Abimelech." That "God coming" signifies to perceive, is evident, for perception is nothing else than the Divine advent or influx into the intellectual faculty. That "Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith was shown above, (n. 2504, 2509, 2510).

AC 2514. In a dream by night. That this signifies that the perception was obscure, is evident from the signification of a "dream," and likewise of "night." A "dream," when perception is treated of, signifies something obscure in comparison with wakefulness; and still more when it is said "a dream by night." The Lord’s first perception is called obscure, because it was in the human that He was to put off, and the shades of which He was to disperse The Lord‘s perception, although from the Divine, was yet in the human, which is such that it does not immediately receive the light itself, but gradually as the shades which are there are dispersed. That He brought Himself into what was less obscure in regard to the doctrine of faith, is signified by "God coming again to Abimelech in a dream," as declared in (verse 6), where there is no mention of "night;" and that He afterwards came into clear perception is signified in (verse 8) by the words, "Abimelech rose early in the morning."

AC 2515. And said to him. That this signifies thought therefrom, namely, from the perception, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to perceive, and also to think (n. 2506). As it is here said that there was thought from the perception, it may be well to state in a few words how the case is with thought. There are thoughts from perception; thoughts from conscience; and thoughts from no conscience. Thoughts from perception exist only with the celestial, that is, with those who are in love to the Lord; such thought is the most internal that exists with man; and it exists with the celestial angels in heaven, for it is perception from the Lord by which and from which their thought exists; and to think contrary to perception is impossible. Thoughts from conscience are lower, and exist with the spiritual, that is, with those who are in the good of charity and faith as to life and as to doctrine. Moreover with these persons to think contrary to conscience is impossible; for this would be to think against the good and truth which are dictated to them from the Lord through conscience.

[2] But thoughts from no conscience exist with those who do not suffer themselves to be inwardly directed by what is good and true, but only by what is evil and false; that is, not by the Lord, but by themselves. Such persons believe that they inwardly think just as do those who think from conscience and perception, for the reason that they do not know what conscience is, still less perception; but the difference is as great as is that between hell and heaven. They who think without conscience think from any cupidities and phantasies whatever; thus from hell; and when it seems otherwise, it is from external decorum for the sake of reputation. But they who think from conscience think from the affections of good and truth; thus from heaven. But as regards the Lord’s thought, it transcended all human understanding, for it was immediately from the Divine.

AC 2516. Behold, thou wilt die because of the woman. That this signifies that the doctrine of faith would become null and void if the rational were consulted as to its contents, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," who is here addressed, as being the doctrine of faith; from the signification of "dying," as being to become null and void; and from the signification of a "sister," who is here called "the woman," as being the rational (n. 2508). Hence now by "Abimelech dying because of the woman" is signified that the doctrine of faith would become null and void if the rational were consulted.

[2] The reason why there is no doctrine of faith from the rational, is that the rational is in appearances of good and truth, which appearances are not in themselves truths (n. 2053, 2196, 2203, 2209). Moreover the rational has under it fallacies which are from external sensuous things confirmed by memory-knowledges, which induce obscurity in these appearances of truth. The rational for the most part is merely human, as also is evident from its birth; and this is why nothing doctrinal of faith can begin from it, and still less be constructed from it; but must be from the Lord‘s Divine Itself and Divine Human. This is its origin, and indeed so entirely that the Lord is doctrine itself; on which account also in the Word He is called the Word, the Truth, the Light, the Way, the Door; and (what is an arcanum) all doctrine is from the Divine good and the Divine truth, and has in itself the heavenly marriage. Doctrine that has not this in it is not the genuine doctrine of faith. Hence it is that in all the particulars of the Word (the source of doctrine) there is an image of a marriage (n. 683, 793, 801).

[3] In the literal or external sense of the Word the doctrine of faith does indeed appear as if it possessed much from the rational, and even from the natural; but this is because the Word is for man, and has been in this manner accommodated to him; but still in itself it is spiritual from a celestial origin, that is, from Divine truth conjoined with Divine good. That doctrine would become null and void if as to its contents the rational were consulted, will be illustrated by examples in what follows.

AC 2517. For she is married to a husband. That this signifies that the doctrine of true faith is spiritual, and that its contents are conjoined with the celestial, is evident from the signification of being "married to a husband." "Husband," when mentioned in the Word, signifies good, and "wife" then signifies truth. It is otherwise when the husband is called the "man;" for then "man" signifies truth, and "wife" good (n. 915). Here therefore her being "married to a husband" signifies that truth is conjoined with good, and in such a manner that the truth also is good. The same is also evident from the signification of "Sarah as a wife," as being spiritual truth, and of "Abraham," as being celestial good, both Divine (n. 2501, 2507). And as "Sarah" signifies Divine spiritual truth, the doctrine itself of true faith is also meant by "Sarah a wife;" for the doctrine is from truths. It is plain from this that her being "married to a husband" means that the doctrine of true faith is spiritual, and that its contents are conjoined with the celestial.

AC 2518. Verse 4. And Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation? "Abimelech had not come near her," signifies that in the doctrine of faith rational truth had not been consulted in any manner; "and he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation?" signifies whether would the good and truth of doctrine he extinguished.

AC 2519. Abimelech had not come near her. That this signifies that in the doctrine of faith rational truth had not been consulted in any manner, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," as being the doctrine of faith (n. 2504, 2509, 2510); and from the signification of "coming near her," namely to Sarah as a sister, as being to touch, or in any manner to consult rational truth, which is a "sister" (n. 1495, 2508). The reason why the rational had not been consulted in any manner, is that which has been stated before, namely, that the doctrinal things of faith are in their entirety from the Divine, which is infinitely above the human rational. It is from the Divine that the rational receives its good and its truth. The Divine can enter into the rational, but not the rational into the Divine; as the soul can enter into the body, and form it, but not the body into the soul; or as light can enter into shade, and modify it variously into colors; but not shade into light. But as it appears at first as if the rational ought to be present, because the rational is the very thing that receives the doctrine, it is here shown that the first subject of thought was, whether it also should not be consulted at the same time. But the Lord revealed and answered to Himself that doctrine would thus become null and void; and therefore the rational was not consulted; which is here signified by "Abimelech not coming near her."

AC 2520. And he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation? That this signifies whether would the good and truth be extinguished, is evident from the signification of "nation," as being good (n. 1259, 1260, 1416); and as it is predicated of the nation of Abimelech, by whom is signified the doctrine of faith, by a "righteous nation" is here signified both good and truth; for both are of doctrine.

[2] That this was said from the zeal of affection or of love toward the whole human race, is manifest. This love directed the Lord’s thoughts while He was still in the maternal human; and although He perceived from the Divine that the doctrine of faith was from a celestial origin only, nevertheless in order that the human race might be provided for, which does not receive anything of which it cannot have some idea from its rational, it is therefore said, " Wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation?" by which is signified whether would the good and truth of doctrine be extinguished. That man does not receive anything of which he cannot have some idea from his rational, is evident from the ideas which man cherishes respecting Divine arcana. Some idea from worldly things or from things analogous to these always adheres to them, by which they are retained in the memory, and by which they are reproduced in the thought; for without an idea from worldly things man can think nothing at all. If therefore truths from a Divine origin were set forth naked, they would never be received, but would completely transcend man‘s comprehension, and therefore his belief, and most especially with those who are in external worship.

[3] To illustrate this take the following examples: The Divine Itself can be in nothing but the Divine, thus in nothing but the Lord’s Divine Human, and with man through this. If the rational were consulted it would say that the Divine Itself can be in the human of every one. Again: Nothing is holy which does not proceed from the Lord, thus from the Divine, which is one. If the rational were consulted it would say that there may be what is holy from other sources also.

[4] Again: Man does not live, nor do good, nor believe truth, from himself, nay, does not even think from himself; but the good and truth are from the Lord, while the evil and falsity are from hell; and what is more, hell, that is, they who are in hell, do not think from themselves, but receive the Lord‘s good and truth in the manner indicated. If the rational were consulted it would reject this, because it does not comprehend it. In like manner it would reject the truth that no one is rewarded on account of doing what is good and teaching what is true; and that the external contributes nothing, but only the internal in so far as there is the affection of good in doing what is good, and in so far as there is from that the affection of truth in teaching what is true, and this not from self. And so in a thousand other instances.

[5] It is because the human rational is of such a character that the Word has spoken in accordance with man’s apprehension, and also in accordance with his genius. This therefore is the reason why the internal sense of the Word is different from its literal sense; which is very evident in the Word of the Old Testament, where most things have been written in accordance with the apprehension and genius of the people who then lived. On this account almost nothing is said concerning the life after death, salvation, and the internal man. For the Jewish and Israelitish people with whom the church then was, were of such a character that if these things had been disclosed they would not only not have understood them, but would also have derided them. And it would have been the same if it had been disclosed to them that the Messiah or Christ was to come to eternally save their souls: this also they would have rejected as a matter of no moment; as is also evident from the same nation at the present day; for if what is internal or spiritual is mentioned in their presence even now, and it is said that the Messiah will not be the greatest king on the earth, they deride it

[6] This is why the Lord sometimes spoke like the Prophets, and taught the rest of what He had to say by parables, as He Himself has declared in Matthew:--

Jesus said, I speak unto them by parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand (Matthew 13:13).

By "those who see and hear" are meant those within the church who although they see and hear, still do not understand. Also in John:--

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (John 12:40).

Their being "converted" and "healed" implies that nevertheless they would afterwards reject, and so would profane, which involves eternal condemnation (n. 301-303, 582, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426). Nevertheless the Lord has disclosed the interior things of the Word in many places, but only for the wise.

AC 2521. Verse 5. Said he not himself unto me, She is my sister? and she herself also said, He is my brother: in the uprightness of my heart and in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this. "Said he not himself unto me," signifies exculpation for having so thought; "she is my sister," signifies that it was the rational which should be consulted; "and she herself also said, He is my brother," signifies that the rational itself so dictated that celestial good should be adjoined to it; "in the uprightness of my heart," signifies that it was so thought from innocence and simple good; "and in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this," signifies from the affection of truth, and so with all ability.

AC 2522. Said he not himself unto me. That this signifies exculpation for having so thought, is evident from the particulars in this verse, as also from the signification of "saying," as being to think (n. 2506).

AC 2523. She is my sister. That this signifies that it was the rational which should be consulted (that is, that he so thought), is evident from the signification of "sister" in this chapter as being rational truth (n. 1495, 2508). In the internal sense of the Word the Lord‘s whole life is described, such as it was to be in the world, even as to the perceptions and thoughts, for these were foreseen and provided because from the Divine; this being done for the additional reason that all these things might be set forth at that time as present to the angels, who perceive the Word according to the internal sense; and that so the Lord might be before them, and at the same time how by successive steps He put off the human, and put on the Divine. Unless these things had been as if present to the angels, through the Word, and also through all the rites in the Jewish Church, the Lord would have been obliged to come into the world immediately after the fall of the Most Ancient Church, which is called Man or Adam; for there was an immediate prophecy of the Lord’s advent (Gen. 3:15); and what is more, the human race of that time could not otherwise have been saved.

[2] As regards the Lord‘s life itself, it was a continual progression of the Human to the Divine, even to absolute union (as already frequently stated), for in order that He might combat with the hells and over come them, He must needs do it from the Human; for there is no combat with the hells from the Divine. It therefore pleased Him to put on the human like another man, to be an infant like another, to grow up into knowledges (in scientias et in cognitiones), which things are represented by Abraham’s sojourning in Egypt (chapter 12), and now in Gerar; thus it pleased Him to cultivate the rational as another man, and in this way to disperse its shade, and bring it into light, and this from His own power. That the Lord‘s progression from the Human to the Divine was of this nature, can be denied by no one if he only considers that He was a little child, and learned to talk like one; and so on. But there was this difference: that the Divine Itself was in Him, seeing that He was conceived of Jehovah.

AC 2524. And she herself also said, He is my brother. That this signifies that the rational itself dictated that celestial good should be adjoined to it, is evident from the signification of a "sister" (here meant by "she herself") as being the rational (n. 1495, 2508), and from the signification of a "brother," as being the good of truth (n. 367, 2508). For the case herein is as follows: Divine good and Divine truth are united to each other as if by marriage; for thence comes the heavenly marriage, and thence comes marriage love also, even down to lower nature. But the good and truth of the rational are not conjoined with each other as by marriage, but by consanguinity, like brother and sister; since the rational as to truth is conceived from the influx of Divine good into the affection of knowledges (scientiarum et cognitionum) (n. 1895, 1902, 1910); and the good of the rational, through the influx of Divine good into that truth, which then becomes the good itself of charity, which is the "brother" of faith, or what is the same, of truth (n. 367).

[2] But in regard to the good and truth of the rational, the procuring of this takes place in such a way that its good is from Divine good, whereas its truth is not from Divine truth; for the truth of the rational is procured by means of knowledges (scientias et cognitiones), which are insinuated through the external and internal senses, thus by an external way. Hence it is that there adhere to its truths many fallacies from the senses, which cause the truths not to be truths; nevertheless when Divine good flows into them, and conceives them, they then appear as truths, and are acknowledged as truths, although they are nothing but appearances of truth. The good itself is then modified in these truths according to the shades there, and becomes in quality like the truth. This is one arcanum which lies hidden in these words, that the rational thus dictated that celestial good should be adjoined to it.

AC 2525. In the uprightness of my heart. That this signifies that it was so thought from innocence and simple good, is evident from the signification of "uprightness," and of "heart." In the original tongue "uprightness" is expressed by a word which signifies also integrity and perfection, and also simplicity; moreover "heart" signifies love and charity, which are of good, as is well known. Hence it is that "from the uprightness of the heart" means from innocence and simple good.

AC 2526. And in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this. That this signifies from the affection of truth, and so from all ability, is evident from the signification of "blamelessness," and also of "hands." In the original language "blamelessness" is expressed by a word which also means cleanness and purity. "Hands" are predicated of truth, and signify power, thus ability (n. 878). That "I have done this from the uprightness of my heart and the blamelessness of my hands" signifies that it was so thought from innocence and simple good, and from the affection of truth, and thus from all ability, is because good is good from innocence; and truth is truth from good; and when these are in their order, there is then all ability. That these things are involved in the words is plain; for there is not an upright, sound, or perfect heart (by which good is signified) unless innocence be in the good, as just said; from this it becomes simple good. And there are not blameless, clean, or pure hands which are predicated of truths) unless good be in the truths, as also just said; that is, unless there be the affection of truth. When the thought is from these, it is also from all ability or power; which is likewise signified by "hands" (n. 878).

AC 2527. Verse 6. And God said unto him in the dream, Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this; and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me; therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her. "God said unto him in the dream," signifies perception less obscure; "Yea I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this," signifies here as before that it was so thought from innocence and from simple good; thus that there was no fault; " and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me," signifies that no harm resulted; "therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her," signifies that the rational was not at all consulted.

AC 2528. God said unto him in the dream. That this signifies perception less obscure, is evident from what was said and explained above (n. 2514). The name "God" is used in this chapter, but not "Jehovah," except in the last verse, for the reason that spiritual things are treated of, that is, the doctrinal things of faith. When this is the subject He is called" God;" but when celestial things, or love and charity, are treated of, He is then called "Jehovah" (n. 709, 732, 2001).

AC 2529. Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this. That this signifies that it was so thought from innocence and from simple good, is evident from what was said above (n. 2525, 2526), where are the same words. That it is not also said, as above, "in the blamelessness of thy hands," is for the hidden reason that in the affection of truth (which is signified by the "blamelessness of the hands") there was something of the human; for truth was insinuated into the Lord also through the human of His birth, but good from the Divine alone; as is evident from the coming forth (existentia) of the rational as to good and as to truth (n. 2524).

AC 2530. And I also withheld thee from sinning against Me. That this signifies that no harm resulted, that is, that in the doctrine of faith the rational was not consulted (as also follows presently) is evident without explication.

AC 2531. Therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her. That this signifies that the rational was not at all consulted, is evident from the signification of "suffering to touch," as being to consult, as is also meant by "coming near her" in (verse 4), (n. 2519) and from the signification of " Sarah as a sister," who is here meant, as being the rational (n. 1495, 2508).

[2] That it may be further known how the case is with the doctrine of faith, as being spiritual from a celestial origin, be it known that it is Divine truth from Divine good, and thus wholly Divine. What is Divine is incomprehensible, because above all understanding, even the angelic; but still this Divine, which in itself is incomprehensible, can flow in through the Lord’s Divine Human into man‘s rational; and when it flows into his rational, it is there received according to the truths which are therein; thus variously, and not with one as with another. In so far therefore as the truths with a man are more genuine, so far the Divine which flows in is received more perfectly, and so far the man’s understanding is enlightened.

[3] In the Lord‘s Word are Truths themselves; but in its literal sense are truths which are accommodated to the apprehension of those who are in external worship; whereas in its internal sense are truths accommodated to those who are internal men; that is, to those who are angelic as to doctrine and at the same time as to life. Their rational is enlightened therefrom to such a degree that their enlightenment is compared to the brightness of the stars and the sun (Dan. 12:3; Matt. 13:43). Hence it is plain how important it is that interior truths be known and received. These truths may indeed be known, but by no means received, except by those who have love to the Lord, or faith in Him; for as the Lord is the Divine good, so He is the Divine truth; consequently He is doctrine itself, since whatever is in the doctrine of true faith looks to the Lord, and looks also to the heavenly kingdom and the church, and to all things of the heavenly kingdom and the church. But all these are His, and are the intermediate ends through which the last end, that is, the Lord, is regarded.

[4] That the Lord is doctrine itself as to truth and good, and thus that it is He who alone is regarded in doctrine, He teaches John:--

Jesus said, I am the way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6, 7);

where the "Way" is doctrine, the "Truth" all that is of doctrine, and the "Life" the good itself which is the life of the truth. And that love to Him or faith in Him is what receives, He also teaches in John:--

His own received Him not; but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to be the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:11-13).

Those are "born of God" who are in love and thence in faith.

AC 2532. Verse 7. And now restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that dying thou shalt die, thou and all that are thine. "And now restore the man‘s wife," signifies that he should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational; "for he is a prophet," signifies that thus it should be taught; "and he shall pray for thee," signifies that it will thus be revealed; "and thou shalt live," signifies that thus doctrine will have life; "and if thou restore her not," signifies here as before that if he should not render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational; "know thou that dying thou shalt die," signifies there will be no doctrine of truth and good; "and all that are thine," signifies all things that belong to it together.

AC 2533. And now restore the man’s wife. That this signifies that he should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational, is evident from the signification of "wife," as being spiritual truth (n. 2507, 2510); and from the signification of the "man," as being doctrine itself; for Abraham (by whom the Lord in that state is represented), when called a "man," signifies celestial truth, which is the same as doctrine from a celestial origin; for in the internal sense a "man" is the intellectual (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517). Hence it is evident that to "restore the man‘s wife" is to render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint. That it means without taint from the rational, is because Abimelech, who was to restore her, signifies doctrine that has regard to rational things, or what is the same, the rational things of doctrine (n. 2510).

[2] It was said above that although the doctrine of faith is in itself Divine, and therefore above all human and even angelic comprehension, it has nevertheless been dictated in the Word according to man’s comprehension, in a rational manner. The case herein is the same as it is with a parent who is teaching his little boys and girls: when he is teaching, he sets forth everything in accordance with their genius, although he himself thinks from what is more interior or higher; otherwise it would be teaching without their learning, or like casting seed upon a rock. The case is also the same with the angels who in the other life instruct the simple in heart: although these angels are in celestial and spiritual wisdom, yet they do not hold themselves above the comprehension of those whom they teach, but speak in simplicity with them, yet rising by degrees as these are instructed; for if they were to speak from angelic wisdom, the simple would comprehend nothing at all, and thus would not be led to the truths and goods of faith. The case would be the same if the Lord had not taught in the Word in accordance with man‘s comprehension, in a rational manner. Nevertheless in its internal sense the Word is elevated to the angelic understanding; and yet that sense, in its highest elevation in which it is perceived by the angels, is infinitely below the Divine. It is hence manifest what the Word is in its origin, and thus in itself; and that it thus everywhere involves more things than the whole heaven is capable of comprehending, even as to a small part, although in the letter it appears so unimportant and so rude.

[3] That the Lord is the Word, because the Word is from Him and He is in the Word, is evident in John:--

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word in Him was life, and the life was the light of men the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 4, 14; Rev. 19:11, 13, 16).

And as the Lord is the Word, He is also doctrine; for there is no other doctrine which is itself Divine.

AC 2534. For he is a prophet. That this signifies that thus it would be taught, is evident from the signification of a "prophet." In the Word we frequently read of a "prophet;" and in the sense of the letter "prophet" signifies those to whom revelation is made, also abstractedly, revelation itself; but in the internal sense a "prophet" signifies one who teaches, and also abstractedly doctrine itself; and as the Lord (as before said) is doctrine itself, that is, the Word which teaches, He is called a "Prophet," as in Moses:--

A Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, will Jehovah thy God raise up unto Him shall ye be obedient (Deut. 18:15, 18).

It is said "like unto me," because the Lord was represented by Moses, as well as by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and many more; and because they expected Him it is said in John:--

The men, seeing the sign which Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world (John 6:14).

[2] It is because the Lord is the "Prophet" in the highest sense, and that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10), that in the internal sense of the Word a "prophet" signifies one who teaches, and also abstractedly, doctrine; which is plainly evident from the following passages. In Luke:--

Thou child shalt be called the prophet of the Highest (Luke 1:76).

This was said by Zacharias of his son John the Baptist, who himself said that he was not the prophet, but one preparing the way by teaching and preaching concerning the Lord’s coming:--

They asked him, What art thou? art thou Elias? but he said, I am not. Art thou that prophet? he answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord (John 1:21-23).

[3] In Matthew:--

Many will say in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name? (Matthew 7:22),

where it is manifest that to "prophesy" is to teach. In John:--

Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings (Rev. 10:11);

to "prophesy" denotes to teach; and what "peoples, nations, tongues, and kings" mean, has been stated and shown before. In the same:--

The nations shall trample the holy city forty-two months but I will give to My two witnesses that they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:2, 3);

where also to "prophesy" denotes to teach. In Moses:--

Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet (Exod. 7:1);

where "prophet" denotes the one who should teach or speak what Moses would say. In Joel:--

I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy (Joel 2:28);

"shall prophesy" denotes shall teach.

[4] In Isaiah:--

Jehovah hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the prophets and your heads, the seers, hath He covered; the vision of all hath become like the words of a sealed book, which they give to him that knoweth letters, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed (Isaiah 29:10, 11);

where by "prophets" are meant those who teach truth; and by "seers" those who see truth; who are said to be "covered" when they know and see nothing of the truth. As in ancient times those who taught were called "prophets," they were therefore called also "seers," because to "see" signifies to understand (n. 2150, 2325); that they were called "seers" may be seen (1 Sam. 9:9; 2 Sam. 24:11). They were also called "men of God," from the signification of "man" (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517); that they were called "men of God," (2 Kings 1:9-16; 4:7, 9, 16, 21, 22, 25, 27, 40, 42; 5:8, 14, 20; 13:19; 23:16, 17).

[5] That in the internal sense by "prophets" are signified those who teach, is evident in Jeremiah in the whole of chapter 23, and in Ezekiel in the whole of chapter 13, where "prophets" are specifically treated of; as also in many other places where they are mentioned Hence also by "false prophets" are signified those who teach falsities; as in Matthew:--

In the consummation of the age many false prophets shall arise, and shall mislead many. There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs, and shall mislead if possible even the elect (Matthew 24:11, 24);

where by "false prophets" no others are signified. In like manner by the "false prophet" in (Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).

[6] This shows how greatly the internal sense of the Word is obscured by the ideas that have been formed from the representatives of the Jewish Church; for whenever a "prophet" is mentioned in the Word, there at once occurs the idea of prophets such as they were at that time; which idea is a great obstacle to perceiving what is signified by them. Yet the wiser anyone is, the more easily is the idea gathered from those representatives removed; as for example where the "temple" is mentioned, they who think more wisely do not perceive the temple at Jerusalem, but the Temple of the Lord; where "Mount Zion," or "Zion," is mentioned, they do not perceive that mountain at Jerusalem, but the Lord‘s kingdom; and where "Jerusalem" is mentioned, they do not perceive the city that was in the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, but the holy and heavenly Jerusalem.

AC 2535. He shall pray for thee. That this signifies that it will thus be revealed, is evident from the signification of "praying." Prayer, regarded in itself, is speech with God, and some internal view at the time of the matters of the prayer, to which there answers something like an influx into the perception or thought of the mind, so that there is a certain opening of the man’s interiors toward God; but this with a difference according to the man‘s state, and according to the essence of the subject of the prayer. If the man prays from love and faith, and for only heavenly and spiritual things, there then comes forth in the prayer something like a revelation (which is manifested in the affection of him that prays) as to hope, consolation, or a certain inward joy. It is from this that to "pray" signifies in the internal sense to be revealed. Still more is this the case here, where praying is predicated of a prophet, by whom is meant the Lord, whose prayer was nothing else than internal speech with the Divine, and at the same time revelation. That there was revelation is evident in Luke:--

It came to pass when Jesus was baptized, and prayed, that the heaven was opened (Luke 3:21).

In the same:--

It came to pass that He took Peter, James, and John, and went up into the mountain to pray and as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became white and glistening (Luke 9:28, 29).

In John:--

When He prayed, saying, Father glorify Thy name, then came there a voice from heaven: I have both glorified, and will glorify again (John 12:27, 28);

where it is plain that the Lord’s "praying" was speech with the Divine, and revelation at the same time.

AC 2536. And thou shalt live. That this signifies that thus doctrine will have life, is evident without explication.

AC 2537. And if thou restore her not. That this signifies that if spiritual truth were not rendered up without taint from the rational, is evident from what has been said just above (n. 2533), where are the same words.

AC 2538. Know thou that dying thou shalt die. That this signifies that there will be no doctrine of truth and good, is also evident from what was said above (n. 2516); where also the words are similar. In like manner that "all that are thine" signifies all the things that are of it, namely, of the doctrine, together. That in the internal sense "all" signifies everything or all things, is because in the Word persons signify actual things; and thus "all that belonged to Abimelech" signifies everything or all things that are of doctrine. From all this then it is evident what is the internal sense of the words in this verse; namely, that He should render up the spiritual truth of doctrine without taint from the rational, and that thereby it would be taught and revealed to Him, and thus doctrine would have life; but that if He should not render up spiritual truth without taint from the rational, the doctrine of truth and good would become null and void in respect to each and all things of it.

[2] In regard to doctrine the case is this: In so far as there is what is human (that is, what is of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of the rational) as the ground of belief, so far the doctrine is null and void. But in so far as what is of sense, of memory-knowledge, and of the rational is removed, that is, in so far as doctrine is believed without these things, so far doctrine lives; for so far the Divine flows in. It is that which is proper to the human that hinders the influx and the reception. But it is one thing to believe from what is of the rational, of memory-knowledge, and of sense (that is, to consult such things in order to believe), and quite another thing to confirm and corroborate by means of things rational, of memory-knowledge, and of sense, that which is believed. What the difference is will be made plain in what follows; for these things also are treated of in this chapter in the internal sense.

AC 2539. Verse 8. And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and spake all these words in their ears; and the men feared greatly. "Abimelech rose early in the morning," signifies clear perception, and the light of confirmation from celestial good; "and called all his servants," signifies things rational and of memory-knowledge; "and spake all these words in their ears," signifies an exhortation to the things thence derived that confirm, even until they should become obedient; "and the men feared greatly," signifies until they were also averse.

AC 2540. Abimelech rose early in the morning. That this signifies clear perception, and the light of confirmation from celestial good, is evident from the signification of "rising in the morning," also of "Abimelech," and also of "early." What "morning" signifies has been shown above (n. 2333, 2405): that it is here clear perception is manifest in itself, as well as from the series; that the perception was at first obscure (n. 2513, 2514); and that afterwards it was less obscure (n. 2528). That "Abimelech" signifies the doctrine of faith looking to rational things, may be seen above (n. 2509, 2510); and what "early" signifies is manifest from the signification of "morning." As it is here said that he "rose early in the morning," this not only signifies clear perception, but also the light of confirmation from celestial good; for it is celestial good from which comes the confirming light of truth; all of which shows that this is the signification.

[2] The reason why the perception which the Lord had when in the Human, and His thought concerning what is rational in the doctrine of faith, are so much treated of in the internal sense, is that which has been stated above; as well as that it is angelic to think with distinctiveness of various things concerning the Lord‘s life in the world, and how He put off the human rational, and made the rational Divine from His own power; and at the same time concerning the doctrine of charity and faith, such as it is when the rational mixes itself with it; besides many more things dependent on these, which are interior things of the church and of man. To the man whose mind and heart are set upon worldly and corporeal things, these things appear as unimportant, and perchance as of no advantage to him; yet to the angels, whose minds and hearts are set upon celestial and spiritual things, these same things are precious; and their ideas and perceptions respecting them are ineffable. This shows that very many things which seem unimportant to man, because they transcend his comprehension, are held in the highest estimation by the angels, because they enter into the light of their wisdom; and on the other hand, things that are most highly esteemed by man, because they are of the world, and therefore come within his comprehension, are unimportant to the angels, for they pass outside of the light of their wisdom. And such is the case with the internal sense of the Word, relatively to angels and to men, in many places.

AC 2541. And called all his servants. That this signifies rational things and memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification in the Word of "servants", concerning which hereafter at (verse 14), (n. 2567). In a man who is in the Lord’s kingdom, or who is the Lord‘s kingdom, there are celestial things, spiritual things, rational things, memory-knowledges, and things of sense; and these are in subordination to one another. Celestial and spiritual things hold the first place, and are the Lord’s; to these rational things are subordinate, and are subservient; to these again memory-knowledges are subordinate and subservient; and lastly the things of sense are subordinate and subservient to these, that is to memory-knowledges. The things which are subservient, or which serve, are relatively servants, and in the Word are called "servants." That there is such a subordination, the man who thinks only from sense and memory-knowledge is ignorant; and he who knows anything of them nevertheless has a most obscure idea, because he is still in corporeal things; but the angels have a most distinct idea; for thousands, nay myriads, of ideas that to the angels are distinct, present nothing but a single obscure idea to men. For example, in regard to Abimelech calling his servants and speaking all the words in their ears, and the men fearing greatly, the angels perceive deeper arcana than man can possibly apprehend, or can even believe--namely, how the Lord reduced rational things and memory-knowledges to obedience; and indeed in such manner that He reduced to obedience not the rational things and memory-knowledges themselves, but the affections that rose up against the celestial and spiritual things of doctrine, for on the subjugation of these the rational things and memory-knowledges were reduced to obedience, and at the same time into order. To the angels, these are among the most common things; but to man they are perchance among those which are most obscure or unintelligible to him.

AC 2542. And spake all these words in their ears. That this signifies an exhortation to the things thence derived that confirm, even until they should become obedient, is evident from the series in the internal sense, as well as from the signification of "ears." From the series: There are many confirmatory things that support whatever the rational acknowledges; for it is precisely from these confirmatory things that its acknowledgment comes; and therefore it is that when rational things are being reduced to obedience exhortation is made to the things that confirm; for these are ever pressing in, and as it were rising up. From the signification of "ears:" In the internal sense of the Word "ears" signify obedience, by reason of the correspondence between hearing and obeying; which correspondence is moreover latent in the very word "hear," and still more in "hearken;" the origin of which correspondence is from the other life, where they who are willing and obedient belong to the province of the ear, and indeed correspond to the hearing itself; which is an arcanum not yet known. But these things will become more clearly manifest when in what follows, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy, correspondence will be treated of. That "ears" have this signification is evident from many passages in the Word. For the present we may adduce a single passage from Isaiah:--

Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes lest peradventure they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and their heart should understand (Isaiah 6:10).

Here to "see with the eyes" is to understand; and to "hear with the ears" is to perceive with affection, consequently to obey. And nothing else is signified where the Lord says, "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear" (Matt. 11:15; 13:9, 43; Luke 8:8; 14:35).

AC 2543. The men feared greatly. That this signifies even until they should become averse, is evident from the signification here of "fearing;" and from the signification of the "men." "Fearing," or" fear," like all other emotions, though in appearance simple, involves in itself many things, namely, in worldly matters the loss of life, of reputation, of honor, and of gain; and in heavenly matters the loss of what is good and true, and of the life thence derived. As fear involves these things it also involves aversion to whatever endeavors to destroy them; and this the more in proportion as the man is in the affection of what is good and true. To this very affection aversion is the opposite or contrary, and therefore by "fearing" is here signified to become averse. How great was the Lord’s aversion is evident from the zeal with which the things in the next verse are said; which zeal was for doctrine, that it might be free from contamination by anything rational or by anything of memory-knowledge. "Men" signify rational things and memory-knowledges, or all intellectual things whatever (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007).

AC 2544. Verse 9. And Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against thee that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done. "Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him," signifies the Lord‘s thought from the doctrine of faith; "what hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against thee?" signifies self-conviction for having so thought; "that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin," signifies that thereby the doctrine of faith and all doctrinal things would be in danger; "thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done," signifies horror.

AC 2545. Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him. That this signifies the Lord’s thought from the doctrine of faith, is evident from the representation of Abimelech, and also of Abraham, and from the signification of "saying," which have all been explained several times. What it is to think from the doctrine of faith cannot be explained to the apprehension; for the perception of this can fall into angelic ideas only; but to these it is presented in a light so great, attended with heavenly representatives, that scarcely anything of it can be described; as is evident when we say that the Lord‘s thought was from intellectual truth, which was above that rational which He looked upon therefrom; but that the perception from which He thought was from Divine truth.

AC 2546. What hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against thee? That this signifies self-conviction for having so thought, is evident from the emotion and zeal in these words (n. 2543), on account of the faculties of reason and memory-knowledge desiring to rise up and enter, and thus to have some share in the doctrine of faith, which is Divine.

AC 2547. That thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin. That this signifies that thereby the doctrine of faith and all doctrinal things would be in danger, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," here meant by "me," as being the doctrine of faith; and from the signification of "kingdom," as being the truth of doctrine or that which is doctrinal. That in the internal sense "kingdom" signifies the truths of doctrine; and in the opposite sense, falsities of doctrine, is evident from the Word; as in Jeremiah:--

He is the Former of all things, and the scepter of His inheritance Jehovah Zebaoth is His name. Thou art My hammer, weapons of war; and I will scatter nations in thee, and destroy kingdoms in thee (Jeremiah 51:19, 20),

where the Lord is treated of, who evidently will not scatter nations nor destroy kingdoms, but will scatter and destroy the things signified by nations and kingdoms, namely, the evils and falsities of doctrine.

[2] In Ezekiel:--

Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations whither they be gone, and will gather them from every side, and bring them into their own land; I will make them one nation in the land in the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall no more be two nations, neither shall they any more be divided into two kingdoms (Ezekiel 37:21, 22);

here "Israel" denotes the spiritual church; and "nation" the good of that church or of doctrine. That "nations" denote goods may be seen above, (n. 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849). "Kingdom" denotes its truths. It is evident that something else than nations and kingdoms is here meant by "nations and kingdoms," for it is said of the sons of Israel or of the Israelites that they are to be "gathered and brought back into the land," the fact being that when dispersed among the nations they were transformed into Gentiles.

[3] In Isaiah:--

I will confound Egypt with Egypt, and they shall fight every man against his brother, and every man against his companion, city against city, kingdom against kingdom (Isaiah 19:2),

where "Egypt" denotes reasonings from memory-knowledges concerning the truths of faith (n. 1164, 1165, 1186); "city" denotes doctrine, here one that is heretical (n. 402, 2268, 2449); "kingdom" denotes the falsity of doctrine; so that "city against city, and kingdom against kingdom" denotes that heresies and falsities will fight among themselves; in like manner as is denoted by what the Lord said in regard to the consummation of the age, in Matthew:--

Nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matthew 24:7);

denoting evils against evils, and falsities against falsities.

[4] That which Daniel prophesied in regard to the four kingdoms (Daniel 2:37-46; 7:17-28); and concerning the kingdoms of Media and Persia (Daniel 8:20-27); and concerning the kingdoms of the king of the south and the king of the north (Daniel 11:1); and that which John prophesied in the Revelation concerning kings and kingdoms, have no other signification: "kingdoms" there merely mean the states of the church in respect to truths and falsities. States of monarchs and of the kingdoms of the earth in the sense of the letter, are in the internal sense states of the church and of the Lord’s kingdom; in which sense there are none other than spiritual and celestial things; for regarded in itself the Lord‘s Word is solely spiritual and celestial; but in order that it may be read and apprehended by every man whatever, the things of heaven are set forth by such things as are on earth.

AC 2548. Thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done. That this signifies horror, is evident from the emotion in the words; as well as from the series, namely, that the Lord was averse (n. 2543); that He reproved Himself from zeal (n. 2546); and here that He felt horror.

AC 2549. Verses 10, 11. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, what sawest thou that thou hast done this word? And Abraham said, Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife. "Abimelech said unto Abraham," signifies further thought from the doctrine of faith; "what sawest thou that thou hast done this word?" signifies a looking into the cause; "Abraham said," signifies a perception which is an answer; "because I said surely there is no fear of God in this place," signifies thought thence derived: that they would have no respect for spiritual truth in the state in which they were; "and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife," signifies that the celestial things of faith would thus also perish if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good.

AC 2550. Abimelech said unto Abraham. That this signifies further thought from the doctrine of faith, is evident from what was said above (n. 2545), where are nearly the same words. As the statement is here repeated, it signifies further thought, and indeed concerning the cause. (What thought from the doctrine of faith is may also be seen there).

AC 2551. What sawest thou that thou hast done this word? That this signifies a looking into the cause, is evident without explication; as well as from what follows, where the cause is stated. The reason of there being thus presented in regular order, in the internal sense, how the Lord perceived and thought concerning the doctrine of faith, and concerning the rational as to whether it should be consulted, is that it is angelic to think of these things in such a series. The internal sense of the Word is especially for the angels; and therefore is adapted to their perceptions and thoughts. They are in their delightful, nay, in their blessed and happy states, when they are thinking about the Lord, His Divine and His Human, and how the Human was made Divine; for they are encompassed with a celestial and spiritual sphere which is full of the Lord; so that it may be said that they are in the Lord. Hence nothing is more blessed and happy to them than to think in accordance with the things that belong to that sphere and its derivative affection.

[2] At the same time moreover they are instructed and perfected, especially in this: how the Lord by degrees and of His own power, as He grew up, made Divine the human into which He was born; and thus how, by means of the knowledges that He revealed to Himself He perfected His rational, dispersed by successive steps its shadows, and introduced it into Divine light. These and innumerable other things are presented before the angels in a celestial and spiritual manner, with a thousand and a thousand representatives, in the light of life, when the Word is being read. But these things, which are so precious to the angels, are to men as of no importance, because above their comprehension, and thus in the shade of their understanding; and on the other hand, the things that are precious to men, such as those which contain within them worldly matters, are of no importance to the angels, because below their state and thus in the shade of their wisdom. Thus, wonderful to say, the things that come to shade with man, and almost into contempt, with the angels pass into light, and into their affection, as is the case with many things of the internal sense of the Word.

AC 2552. Abraham said. That this signifies a perception which is an answer, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as explained many times before (n. 1791, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2061, 2080, 2238, 2260, 2271, 2287). With regard to the Lords thought from the doctrine of faith being signified by the words "Abimelech said to Abraham;" and the perception which was an answer being meant by "Abraham said," the case is this perception is a higher thing, and the Lord had it from the Divine Itself; whereas thought is a lower thing, and the Lord had it from the intellectual itself; and as it was perception from which He had the thought, so the answer of the thought was from perception. This may be illustrated by something similar with man. The celestial man cannot think except from perception, nor the spiritual man except from conscience (n. 2515). The perception of the former, like the conscience (of the latter) is from the Lord, and it is not apparent to the man himself whence it is; but his thought is from the rational, and appears to him as from himself. And so again, when a man is thinking concerning any subject from the rational, then the conclusion of the thought, or the answer, comes either from perception or from conscience; consequently an answer is given him by the Lord in accordance with his state of life, his affection, and the truth of doctrine implanted or impressed in agreement therewith.

AC 2553. Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place. That this signifies the thought thence derived: that they would have no respect for spiritual truth in that state in which they were, is evident from the signification of the expression "fear of God," as being respect for Divine or spiritual truth; and from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 1273-1275, 1377). The case herein is this Man cannot apprehend any doctrine that is purely spiritual and celestial, that is, Divine, because it infinitely transcends his apprehension, and thus also his belief. All man’s thoughts are terminated in the natural things which are connected with his senses. Whatever is not said from and according to these natural things is not comprehended, but perishes, like sight that has no bound in some ocean or universe; and therefore if doctrinal matters were set forth before a man in any other manner, they would not be at all received, and thus no respect would be entertained for them; as may be sufficiently evident from everything in the Word where for this very reason purely Divine things themselves are set forth naturally, nay, sensuously; as that Jehovah has ears, eyes, and a face; and that He has feelings like a man, such as anger, and so forth.

[2] This need was still greater at the time when the Lord came into the world, for then men did not know even what the celestial and the spiritual was, nor even that there was anything internal. Things merely earthly and worldly, and thus external, had full possession of their minds, as was the case with the apostles themselves, who imagined that the Lord‘s kingdom would be like a kingdom of this world, and therefore asked that one might sit on His right hand and another on His left, and who long thought that they should sit upon twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel; not as yet being aware that in the other life they would not have ability to judge even the smallest thing of one man (n. 2129). His looking into this state of the human race was the reason of the Lord’s thinking at first whether the rational was to be consulted in the doctrine of faith; and this from His love, which was that the salvation of all might be provided for, and that the Word might not perish.

AC 2554. They will kill me for my wife‘s sake. That this signifies that thus the celestial things of faith also would perish, if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good, is evident from the signification of "killing," as being to perish; and from the signification of "wife," as being spiritual truth conjoined with celestial good (n. 2507). This is another reason why the Lord thus thought, and is as follows. The Divine good, which is here called celestial good, is united as by a marriage to the Divine truth, which is here called spiritual truth (n. 2508); and although the Divine good is united in this manner to the Divine truth alone, it nevertheless flows into lower truths, and conjoins itself with them, but not as by a marriage; for it flows into rational truths which are only appearances of truth, and conjoins itself with them; nay, it flows into truths of sense and of memory-knowledge, which are scarcely anything but fallacies, and conjoins itself with these. Unless this were so, no man could possibly have been saved (n. 1831, 1832). That the Divine good might be conjoined with truths of reason and of memory-knowledge, and that man might thus be saved, was the purpose of the Lord’s coming into the world; for without the Lord‘s Human made Divine there cannot possibly be any conjunction; whereas through Him there is conjunction.

[2] Besides this arcanum, there are still other arcana in the words "they will kill me for my wife’s sake" (by which is signified that so the celestial things of faith would perish, if they were to think that spiritual truth alone could be conjoined with celestial good); for example, that if men were to have no regard for spiritual truth, celestial good would thereby also perish; for when the former is rejected the latter perishes; and again, that unless it were said that they should adore the Father, although there is no access to Him except through the Son, and he who sees the Son sees the Father, (John 14:8-12), it would not have been received.

AC 2555. Verses 12, 13. And moreover truly she is my sister, being the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. And it came to pass when God caused me to depart from my father‘s house, that I said unto her, This is thy goodness which thou shalt do unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. "And moreover truly she is my sister," signifies that rational truth had such an affinity; "the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother," signifies that the rational was conceived of celestial good as a father, but not of spiritual truth as a mother; "and she became my wife," signifies that spiritual truth was conjoined with the celestial by the mediumship of rationality; "and it came to pass when God caused me to depart from my father’s house," signifies when He left what is of memory-knowledge and the appearances therefrom, together with their delights, which are here the "house of his father;" "that I said unto her," signifies the thought at the time; "this is thy goodness which thou shalt do unto me," signifies that He would then have therefrom this comfort; "at every place whither we shall come," signifies all that He should afterwards conclude concerning rational truth; "say of me, he is my brother," signifies that it should be said that rational truth had been adjoined to celestial good.

AC 2556. And moreover truly she is my sister. That this signifies that rational truth had such an affinity, is evident from the representation of Sarah as a sister, as being rational truth (n. 2508); as well as from what now follows concerning the birth of the rational, and its consequent affinity. It is to be held in general that all things in a truly rational, that is, a regenerate man-all the things of his affections, of his perceptions, and of his thoughts-are conjoined with one another as if by blood-relationship and affinity; for they have been so disposed that they mutually regard one another as do the families of one house, and this in the most distinct manner; and hence they are reproduced in accordance with these affinities. This they derive from the influx of heaven, that is, of the Lord through heaven. With the man who is truly rational, that is, regenerate, all things have been disposed into order such as exists in heaven, and this from influx. From this there is given man a faculty of thinking, concluding, judging, and reflecting so wonderful as to exceed all mere human knowledge and wisdom, and immeasurably to surpass the analyses which human industry has drawn from these sources. The reason why these things have been hitherto unknown, is that it has not been believed that all things of the affections, perceptions, and thoughts flow in (the evil from hell, and the good from heaven), thus that these have a connection with the things which are without them; when yet the truth is that man is so conjoined as to his spirit with those who are without him, that if he were deprived of this connection he would not live a single moment; as may also be known from the fact that anything unconnected is impossible, and that anything unconnected perishes in a moment.

AC 2557. The daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother. That this signifies that the rational was conceived of celestial good as a father, but not of spiritual truth as a mother, is evident from the conception of the rational, namely, that this is effected by the influx of Divine celestial good into the affection of memory-knowledges (n. 1895, 1902, 1910). Two arcana are contained herein; one, that man‘s rational is conceived of Divine celestial good as a father, and that otherwise no rational would exist; the other, that the rational is not conceived of spiritual truth as a mother. As regards the first, namely, that man’s rational is conceived of Divine celestial good as a father, and that otherwise no rational would exist, this is evident from what has been said above (n. 1895, 1902, 1910), and also from what may be known to every man if he reflects.

[2] For it is known that a man is born into no knowledge and into nothing of reason, but only into the faculty of receiving them; and also that he afterwards learns and imbues himself with all things by degrees, and this principally through the sensuous things of the hearing and sight; and as he learns and imbues himself with these, he so becomes rational. That these things take place by the way of the body, that is, by an external way, because through the hearing and sight, is manifest; but the reason why man has not become acquainted with this (on account of not reflecting upon it) is that there is something constantly flowing in from within that receives the things which thus enter and are insinuated from without, and disposes them into order. That which flows in and receives and disposes them, is Divine celestial good, which is from the Lord. Thence comes the life of these things, thence their order, and thence the kinships and affinities among them severally, as before said. All this shows that man‘s rational is from Divine celestial good as a father, in accordance with the words in this verse: "she is the daughter of my father."

[3] As regards the other arcanum, namely, that the rational is not conceived of spiritual truth as a mother; this is evident from what was said above (n. 1902). For if spiritual truth were to flow in from within, as good does, man would then be born into everything of reason, and at the same time into everything of knowledge, so that he would have no need to learn anything. But as man is such that he is hereditarily in all evil, and thence in all falsity, and therefore if truths themselves also were to flow in would adulterate and falsify them, and thereby the man would eternally perish, it has been provided by the Lord that nothing of truth flows in through man’s internal, but only through his external. From this it is evident that man‘s rational is not from spiritual truth as a mother, in accordance with the words in this verse: "she is not the daughter of my mother." It was the Lord’s pleasure that His rational should be formed according to the same order, to the end that from His own power He might make what was human in Himself Divine, and might implant and unite Divine spiritual truth to Divine celestial good, and Divine celestial good to Divine spiritual truth.

AC 2558. And she became my wife. That this signifies that spiritual truth was conjoined with the celestial by the mediumship of rationality, is evident from the representation of Sarah as Abraham‘s wife, as being spiritual truth conjoined with celestial good (n. 2507); and from the representation of the same as his sister, as being rational truth (n. 2508). Hence that she became his wife, from being his sister, signifies that by rationality as a medium spiritual truth was conjoined with the celestial. How these things are circumstanced is evident from what has been said just above, (n. 2557).

AC 2559. And it came to pass when God caused me to depart from my fathers house. That this signifies when He left what is of memory-knowledge, and the appearances therefrom, together with their delights, which here are the "house of his father," is evident from the signification of "departing," as being to leave; and from the signification of "house," as being good (n. 2231, 2233), here the good of the delight from the appearances of the things of memory-knowledge and of rational things for all delight appears as good. That by the "house of his father" are here signified the delights of memory-knowledges and of rational things, consequently of their appearances, comes from the fact that they are predicated of Abraham when he departed from the house of his father; for then Abraham together with the house of his father worshiped other gods (n. 1356, 1992). Hence it is that it is said in the plural, "God (Elohim) caused me to depart." It might also be rendered according to the original tongue "the gods caused me to wander;" but as the Lord is represented by Abraham it must be rendered "God caused me to depart." As with the Lord the first memory-knowledges and the rational things derived from them were human, being imbued with what was hereditary from the mother, and thus were not purely Divine, they are therefore represented by Abraham’s first state But how far representations go, see (n. 665, 1907, 1361, 1992).

AC 2560. That I said unto her. That this signifies the thought at the time, is evident from the signification of "saying" as being to think, as explained several times before.

AC 2561. This is thy goodness which thou shalt do unto me. That this signifies that He would then have therefrom this comfort, is evident from what goes before and from what follows, and thus without further explication.

AC 2562. At every place whither we shall come. That this signifies all that He should afterwards conclude respecting rational truth, is evident from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 1273-1275, 1377). The state of the thing here treated of is the state of concluding concerning rational truth (that it should be said that rational truth was adjoined to celestial good), as follows.

AC 2563. Say of me, He is my brother. That this signifies that it should be said that rational truth was adjoined to celestial good, is evident from what was said above (n. 2524), where nearly the same words occur.

AC 2564. Verse 14. And Abimelech took flock and herd, and menservants and maidservants, and gave unto Abraham; and restored to him Sarah his wife. "Abimelech took," signifies the doctrine of faith; "flock and herd," signifies that it was enriched with rational goods and natural goods; "and men-servants and maidservants," signifies also with rational truths and natural truths, as well as with their affections; " and gave unto Abraham," signifies to the Lord; "and restored to him Sarah his wife," signifies when the Divine spiritual had been adjoined to the Divine celestial.

AC 2565. Abimelech took. That this signifies the doctrine of faith, is evident from the signification of "Abimelech," as being the doctrine of faith (n. 2504, 2509, 2510).

AC 2566. Flock and herd. That this signifies that it was enriched with rational goods and natural goods, is evident from the signification of "flock and herd." Those within the church are called the "flock" who are truly rational, that is, are internal men; hence also it is that in the abstract rational or internal goods themselves are signified by "flock", concerning which signification of "flock" see above, (n. 343, 415, 1565). But those within the church are called the "herd" who are natural, that is, are external men; hence also in the abstract natural or external goods themselves are signified by "herd;" (concerning which signification of "herd" see also above, (n. 2180). That such things are signified by "beasts" has been shown above, (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 776, 1823, 2179). Its being said that "Abimelech took and gave" signifies that the doctrine of faith was enriched; for as already said by "Abimelech" is signified the doctrine of faith.

AC 2567. And menservants and maidservants. That this signifies that it was enriched also with rational truths and natural truths, as well as with the affections of them, is evident from the signification of "menservants and maidservants." These are frequently mentioned in the Word, and by them are signified in the internal sense things that are relatively lower and of less value, such as are rational and natural things in comparison with spiritual and celestial things. By natural truths are meant memory-knowledges of every kind, for these are natural. That in the Word these are signified by "menservants and maidservants," is manifest from the internal sense of the words where they are mentioned, as in Isaiah:--

Jehovah will have compassion on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and will set them upon their own ground and the sojourner shall cleave unto them, and shall join themselves unto the house of Jacob; and the peoples shall take them, and shall bring them to their own place and the house of Israel shall possess them for themselves upon the ground of Jehovah for menservants and for maidservants (Isaiah 14:1, 2),

[2] where " Jacob" denotes the external church; "Israel," the internal; "sojourners," those who are being instructed in truths and goods (n. 1463, 2025); "menservants and maidservants," natural and rational truths together with the affections of them, which are to serve the church meant by "Jacob and Israel." It is evident that Jacob and Israel are not meant here, nor the Jews and Israelites, for the latter when dispersed among the Gentiles became Gentiles. The Jews still cherish this prophecy and expect its fulfillment, even according to the letter, namely, that sojourners will cleave to them, that the people will bring them to their place, and will be to them for menservants and maidservants; when yet not even the smallest thing is to be understood of the Jews and Israelites in the prophecies of the Word where these are mentioned; as must be evident even to themselves from the fact that it is often said of Israel equally as of Judah that they shall be brought back.

[3] Again in the same Prophet:--

Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and emptieth it out, and will disfigure the face of it, and scatter the inhabitants thereof and it shall be, as the people, so the priest as the servant, so his master as the maidservant, so her mistress (Isa. 24:1, 2).

Here the "earth" denotes the church (n. 662, 1066, 1068, 1850), which is made empty and is emptied out, and its face is disfigured, and its inhabitants scattered, when there are longer any interior truths and goods, which are the "people and the priest," nor any exterior truths and goods, which are the "servant" and the "maidservant," as comes to pass when external things rule over internal things.

[4] Again:--

I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountain, and My chosen shall possess it, and My servants shall dwell there (Isa. 65:9),

where "Jacob" denotes the external church; "Judah," the internal celestial church; the "chosen," its goods and the "servants," its truths.

[5] In Joel:--

I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; also upon the servants and the maidservants will I pour out My spirit in those days (Joel 2:28, 29)

where the Lord‘s kingdom is treated of; "to prophesy" denotes to teach (n. 2534); "sons," truths themselves (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147); "daughters," goods themselves (n. 489-491); "servants" and "maidservants," lower truths and goods, upon which the spirit is said to be poured out when they accede and confirm. That such things are signified by "menservants and maidservants" here and elsewhere, does not so appear, by reason both of the common idea respecting menservants and maidservants, and of the apparent history.

[6] In John:--

I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all, both of free and bond, both of small and great (Rev. 19:17, 18).

It is here evident that it is not the flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses, of those who sit on them, of the free and of the bond, which they should eat; but that it is the truths of the church, both internal and external, that were made "flesh" for them.

[7] That "menservants" signify truths, and "maidservants" goods, which are subservient to and thus serve spiritual and celestial truths and goods, is more clearly evident from the laws enjoined in the Representative Church in regard to menservants and maidservants; which laws all have regard to the state of the church and of the Lord’s kingdom in general and in particular; and to the way in which lower truths and goods, or those which are natural and rational, are to serve those which are spiritual and celestial, and thereby those which are Divine. For example: The Hebrew manservant and the Hebrew maidservant were to be free in the seventh year, and were then to be endowed from the flock, the threshing-floor, and the wine-press (Exod. 21:2, 6; Deut. 15:12-15; Jer. 34:9-14): The servant‘s wife was to be free if she entered into service with him; but if the master gave him his wife, the wife and children were to be the master’s (Exod. 21:3, 4). A poor brother who had been purchased was not to serve as a bondservant, but as a hired servant and a sojourner; at the jubilee he was to go out together with his children (Lev. 25:39-43): If a brother were bought by a foreign sojourner, he might be redeemed, and was to go out in the year of the jubilee (Lev. 25:47): Menservants and maidservants might be bought of the nations around, and of the sons of foreign sojourners, and they were to be their perpetual possession, whom they might rule absolutely, but not the sons of Israel (Lev. 25:44-46): If a manservant did not desire to go out of service, his ear was to be pierced with an awl, at the door, and he was to be a perpetual servant; and the same with a maidservant (Exod. 21:6; Deut. 15:16, 17): If anyone smote his manservant or his maidservant with a rod, so that he died, vengeance was to be taken on him; but if he survived a day or more, he was to be free, because he was his money (Exod. 21:20, 21): If he should smite a servant‘s eye or tooth, he was to go forth free (Exod. 21:26, 27): If an ox should gore a manservant or a maidservant so that he died, the owner was to pay thirty shekels to his master, and the ox was to be stoned (Exod. 21:32): A servant who had escaped from his master was not to be placed in confinement, but should dwell in the place where he chose, and was not to be afflicted (Deut. 23:15, 16): A servant bought with silver, and circumcised, was to eat of the Passover (Exod. 12:44): Any one’s daughter that was bought was not to go out of service like the manservants; if she were evil, her master was not to sell her to a stranger; if she were betrothed to his son, she was to be as a daughter; if he took another, he was not to diminish her food, her raiment, nor her duty of marriage; if these things were not done, she was to go out of service without price (Exod. 21:7-12).

[8] All these laws have their origin from the laws of truth and good in heaven, and in the internal sense have reference to them; partly by correspondences, partly by representatives, and partly by significatives. But after the representatives and significatives of the church (which were the most external and lowest things of worship) had been abolished, the necessity for these laws ceased also. Now if these laws were to be unfolded from the laws of order of truth and good, and from representatives and significatives, it would be plain that nothing else was meant by "menservants" than rational and memory truths (vera rationalia et scientifica), which are lower truths, and therefore ought to serve spiritual truths; and that by "maidservants" were signified the goods of these, which being also lower, ought to serve indeed, but in another manner; and therefore certain of the laws laid down respecting maidservants differ from those laid down respecting menservants; for regarded in themselves truths are more fully servants than their goods are.

[9] By the "king‘s right," in Samuel, nothing else is signified in the internal sense than the "right" of truth, and likewise the "right" of falsity when it begins to rule over truth and over good; as is evident from the explication of the words by which this is described:--

This will be the right of the king that shall reign over you he will take your sons and appoint them to him over his chariots and for his horsemen, and they shall run before his chariots; he will take your daughters for perfumers, and for cooks, and for bakers; your menservants and your maidservants and your goodliest young men and your asses will be take and put them to his work; he will take the tenth of your flock; and ye shall be for servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king whom ye have chosen for you, and Jehovah will not answer you in that day (1 Sam. 8:11, 13, 16-18).

[10] That by a "king" is signified truths, may be seen above (n. 1672, 2015, 2069); thus in the opposite sense things that are not true, that is, falsities. By the "sons whom he would appoint for himself over his chariots and for his horsemen," are signified the truths of doctrine, which should be subservient to principles of falsity, which are the "chariots and horsemen." By the "daughters whom he should take for perfumers, cooks, and bakers," are signified the goods of doctrine, by which those falsities would be filled with delight; and which would be made to favor the falsities. By the "menservants and maidservants, the young men, and the asses, by which he would do his work," are signified the things of reason and of memory-knowledge, by which those falsities would be confirmed. By the "flock of which he will take a tenth" are signified the remains of good that he would do violence to. And by their "being servants" is signified that it would come to pass that the celestial and spiritual things of the Word and of doctrine, instead of ruling, would be subservient to the confirmation of the falsities of his principles, and the evils of his cupidities. For there is nothing that cannot be injected into principles of falsity as confirmatory of them, either by a false application, by a wrong interpretation, by perversion, or by a rejection of those things which do not favor; and therefore it is added: "if ye cry out in that day because of your king whom ye have chosen for you, Jehovah will not answer in that day."

AC 2568. It has been said above in this chapter that doctrine would become null and void if the rational were consulted (n. 2516, 2538); and that it was not consulted (n. 2519, 2531). But here it is said that the doctrine of faith was enriched with goods and truths both rational and natural. At first view these statements appear as if they were adverse and contrary to each other; and yet are not so. How the case was with the Lord, has been stated; but how it is with man, remains to be told.

[2] As regards man it is one thing to regard the doctrine of faith from rational things, and altogether another to regard rational things from the doctrine of faith. To regard the doctrine of faith from rational things is not to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine thence derived, until one is persuaded from rational things that it is so; whereas to regard rational things from the doctrine of faith is first to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine therefrom, and then to confirm the same by rational things. The former is inverted order, and results in nothing being believed; whereas the latter is genuine order, and causes the man to believe the better. It is the former that is here meant by its being said that Abimelech should die because of the woman; by which is signified that the doctrine of faith would become null and void if the rational were consulted (n. 2516, 2538); but the latter is meant by its being said that Abimelech gave flock and herd, and menservants and maidservants; by which is signified that the doctrine of faith was enriched with rational and natural goods and truths.

[3] These things are much treated of in the Word in its internal sense, especially where Asshur and Egypt are spoken of; for the reason that while the doctrine of faith is regarded from rational things, that is, while a man does not believe until he is persuaded from them that it is so, it then not only becomes null and void, but whatever is contained in it is also denied; whereas when rational things are regarded from the doctrine of faith, that is, when a man believes the Word, and afterwards the same things are confirmed by rational things, the doctrine is then living and whatever is contained in it is affirmed.

[4] There are therefore two principles; one of which leads to all folly and insanity, and the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in the heart that we cannot believe them until we are convinced by what we can apprehend, or perceive by the senses; this is the principle that leads to all folly and insanity, and is to be called the negative principle. The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within ourselves that they are true because the Lord has said them: this is the principle that leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and is to be called the affirmative principle.

[5] The more they who think from the negative principle consult things rational, the more they consult memory-knowledges, and the more they consult things philosophical, the more do they cast and precipitate themselves into darkness, until at last they deny all things. The causes of this are, that no one can apprehend higher things from lower ones, that is, spiritual and celestial things, still less Divine things, from lower ones, because they transcend all understanding, and moreover everything is then involved in negatives from that principle. On the other hand, they who think from an affirmative principle can confirm themselves by whatever things rational, by whatever memory-knowledges, and whatever things philosophic they have at command; for all these are to them things confirmatory, and give them a fuller idea of the matter.

[6] Moreover there are some who are in doubt before they deny, and there are some who are in doubt before they affirm. They who are in doubt before they deny are they who incline to a life of evil; and when this life carries them away, then in so far as they think of the matters in question they deny them. But they who are in doubt before they affirm are they who incline to a life of good; and when they suffer themselves to be bent to this by the Lord, then in so far as they think about those things so far they affirm. As this subject is further treated of in the verses which follow,. it is permitted of the Lord’s Divine mercy to illustrate them more fully there (n. 2588).

AC 2569. And gave unto Abraham; and restored to him Sarah his wife. That he "gave unto Abraham" signifies to the Lord, is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord. That he "restored unto him Sarah his wife" signifies when the Divine spiritual had been adjoined to the Divine celestial, is evident from the signification of "Sarah a wife," as being spiritual truth adjoined to celestial good (n. 2507). The internal sense of the words in this verse is manifest from what has been said, namely, that when the Human in the Lord had been united to the Divine, and the Divine to the Human, He then possessed omniscience not only of Divine celestial and spiritual things, but also of infra-celestial and infra-spiritual things, that is, of rational and natural things; for from the Divine, as from the Sun of all light, everything is seen as present.

AC 2570. Verse 15. And Abimelech said, Behold my land is before thee; dwell in that which is good in thine eyes. "Abimelech said, Behold my land is before thee," signifies the Lord‘s perception concerning the doctrine of love and charity; "dwell in that which is good in thine eyes," signifies that he was in everything where there was good.

AC 2571. Abimelech said, Behold my land is before thee. That this signifies the Lord’s perception concerning the doctrine of love and charity, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being to think (n. 2506); and from the signification of "land," as being here the doctrine of love and charity. "Land" (or "earth") in the internal sense signifies various things (n. 620, 636, 1066); and that which it signifies is evident from the series or connection. For it signifies the external man of the church, when "heaven" signifies the internal (n. 82, 913, 1411, 1733); it also signifies the region where the church is (n. 662, 1066); it signifies the church itself; also in a universal sense the Lord‘s kingdom in the heavens and on earth, since this was represented by the land of Canaan or the holy land (n. 1437, 1585, 1607); the same being signified also by the "new heaven and new earth" (n. 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118); and because "land" signifies the man of the church, the church, and the Lord’s kingdom, it also signifies that which is their essential, namely, love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, for on this they all hang (n. 537, 540, 547, 553, 2130); consequently it signifies the doctrine of love and charity, which belongs to the church, and which is here the "land of Abimelech;" for by Abimelech as a king is signified the doctrine of faith, as shown above; and by his "land," whence and where he was, is signified the doctrine of love and charity, whence and where faith is.

[2] That the Lord‘s thought hitherto had been concerning the doctrine of faith, but now was concerning the doctrine of love and charity, comes from the fact that the Lord adjoined the Human to the Divine by means of the truths which are of faith (although at the same time by means of Divine goods which are of love, in the truths) according to the order by which man also becomes spiritual and celestial; but not Divine, so as to have life in himself, like the Lord. But when the Divine marriage of truth and good and of good and truth in the Lord had been effected, which is signified by Abimelech restoring to Abraham Sarah his wife, (n. 2569), the Lord’s thought then was concerning the doctrine of love and charity, and this also according to order; for when a man has become spiritual and celestial he then no longer thinks from truth, but from good; yet not from the Divine good united to the Divine truth, as did the Lord. This is the reason why the doctrine of love and charity is now for the first time mentioned, although regarded in itself the doctrine of faith is the same; and the Lord‘s perception and thought in everything of faith was always from the Divine Love. Hence it is that the doctrine of love and charity is the Divine doctrine itself, and is that which was cultivated in the most ancient churches; and because this made a one with the doctrine of faith, they cast out those who separated them (n. 2417).

AC 2572. Dwell in that which is good in thine eyes. That this signifies that He was in everything where there was good (in the proximate sense, that He was in the good of doctrine) is evident from the signification of "eyes," as being the intellectual, which is of doctrine; and from the signification of "dwelling," as being to live (n. 1293); here Esse (being), because it is predicated of the Lord. Esse in everything where there is good, is Esse in the omniscience of all Divine, celestial, spiritual, rational, and natural things, and this from Divine love; for in the Divine Love there is omniscience of all these things (n. 2500).

[2] Moreover there are both the good and the truth of doctrine. The good of doctrine is love and charity, the truth of doctrine is faith. They who are in the good of doctrine, that is, in love and charity, are in the truth of doctrine, that is, in faith. But it is one thing to be in good, or in love and charity, and another to be in the good of doctrine. Little children who are in love to their parents and in charity toward other little children are in good, but not in the good of doctrine, consequently not in the truth of doctrine, or faith. But they who have been regenerated by the truths of faith are in the good of doctrine. In so far as these are in good, so far are they in truths; that is, in so far as they are in love and charity, so far are they in faith, consequently, so far in wisdom and intelligence.

[3] The angels, being in love to the Lord and in mutual love, are also in all truth, and thus in all wisdom and intelligence; not only in regard to celestial and spiritual things, but also in regard to rational and natural things; for from love, because from the Lord, they are in the very principles or springs of things that is, in their ends and causes. To see from principles, or from ends and causes, is to see from heaven all things that are below, even those which are on the earth. To use a comparison, this is like one who is on a high mountain, in a watch-tower, who is able to look around for many miles upon the things below; while they who are below, especially if they are in a valley or in a forest, can scarcely see as many paces. Precisely so is it with those who are in the good of doctrine, in comparison with those who are in the truth of doctrine separated from its good; although the latter think that they see farther than the former. Nevertheless these see nothing of good, nor anything of truth except very slightly on the surface, and even this defiled by falsities.

[4] Yet at the best the wisdom and intelligence of angels is finite, and in comparison with the Lord’s Divine Wisdom, most finite, and scarcely anything; as is evident from the fact that between the Infinite and the finite there is no ratio; but yet there is a communication from the Divine omnipotence; and also from the fact that the Lord is Good Itself and Love Itself, consequently the Esse itself of good, and the Esse itself of the love that exists with the angels, and thus the Esse itself of their wisdom and intelligence. From this we can see that the Lord is in everything in which there is good, both in heaven and on earth. They who think that the Lord is in truth separate from good are much mistaken. He is not in anything but good, and from that in truth; that is, in love and charity, and from that in faith.

AC 2573. Verse 16. And unto Sarah he said, Behold I have given thy brother a thousand of silver; behold it is unto thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee, and with all; and she was vindicated. "And unto Sarah he said," signifies perception from spiritual truth; "behold I have given thy brother a thousand of silver," signifies an abundance of rational truth adjoined to celestial good; "behold it is unto thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee," signifies that rational truths are like a covering or clothing to spiritual truths; "and with all," signifies that so also are the derivative truths; "and she was vindicated," signifies that thus there was no fault and no harm.

AC 2574. And unto Sarah he said. That this signifies perception from spiritual truth, is evident from the representation of "Sarah a wife," as being Divine spiritual truth (n. 2507), and of the same as a " sister," as being rational truth (n. 2508); and from the signification of " saying," as being to perceive (n. 2506). Sarah is here addressed as a wife, and also as a sister; as a wife, inasmuch as she had been restored (n. 2569), and as a sister, inasmuch as it is said, "I have given thy brother a thousand of silver;" and that which was said by Abimelech was perceived by Sarah in the former relation; therefore by "saying to Sarah" is signified to perceive from spiritual truth.

[2] It is evident that these things involve deeper arcana than can be set forth to the apprehension; and even if they were set forth merely to some extent, it would be necessary to explain many things first that are as yet unknown; such as what spiritual truth is, and what perception from spiritual truth is; that the Lord alone had perception from spiritual truth; that as the Lord had implanted rational truth in rational good, so had He implanted spiritual truth in celestial good, thus continually the Human in the Divine, so that there might be in everything a marriage of the Human with the Divine, and of the Divine with the Human. These and many more things must come first, before the things in this verse can be unfolded to the apprehension. These things are chiefly adapted to the minds of angels who are in the understanding of such things, and for whom is the internal sense of the Word. To them these things are represented in a heavenly manner, and thereby, and by the things contained in this chapter, it is insinuated how the Lord by degrees cast out the human from the mother, until at last He was no longer her son. That He did not acknowledge her as His mother, is manifest in (Matthew 12:46-49; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:20, 21; John 2:4); also how He made the Human Divine by His own power, even until He was one with the Father, as He Himself teaches in (John 14:6, 8-11).

[3] These things are presented by the Lord to the angels in clear light by means of myriads of ideas and representations, all ineffable. The reason as before said is that such things are adapted to their minds, and when in them they are in the blessedness of their intelligence and the happiness of their wisdom. Moreover as there are angels who when they were men had conceived an idea of the Lord‘s Human as of the human with another man, in order that in the other life these may be able to be with the celestial angels (for there ideas inspired by the affection of good conjoin), such things are dispersed by means of the spiritual sense of the Word, and in this way they are perfected. This shows how precious to the angels is that which is contained in the internal sense of the Word, although perchance it may appear as but of little consequence to man, who has so obscure an idea about such things that it is scarcely any idea at all.

AC 2575. Behold I have given to thy brother a thousand of silver. That this signifies an infinite abundance of rational truth adjoined to good, is evident from the signification of a "thousand," as being much and countless; here infinite, or an infinite abundance, because predicated of the Lord (concerning which signification see below); from the signification of "silver," as being rational truth (n. 1551, 2048); and from the signification of "brother," as being celestial good adjoined to rational truth, as a brother to a sister (n. 2524, 2557). From all this it is evident that "I have given to thy brother a thousand of silver" signifies an infinite abundance of rational truth adjoined to good. Its being given to good, which is the "brother," but not to truth, is because truth is from good, not good from truth. Concerning this infinite abundance, see (n. 2572).

[2] That in the Word a "thousand" signifies much and countless, and when predicated of the Lord what is infinite, is manifest from the following passages. In Moses:--

I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments (Exod. 20:5, 6; 34:7; Deut. 5:9, 10).

And in Jeremiah:--

Jehovah showeth mercy unto thousands, and recompenseth the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their sons after them (Jeremiah 32:18).

In these passages by " thousands" is not signified any definite number, but what is infinite, for the Lord’s mercy is infinite, because Divine. In David:--

The chariots of God are two myriads, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them, Sinai in holiness (Ps. 68:17);

where "myriads" and "thousands" denote things innumerable.

[3] In the same:--

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and a myriad at thy right hand; it shall not come nigh thee (Ps. 91:7);

where also a "thousand" and a " myriad" denote things innumerable; and as it is concerning the Lord, who in the Psalms is meant by "David," they denote all who are His enemies. In the same:--

Our garners are full, affording all manner of food, our flocks bring forth a thousand and ten thousand in our streets (Ps. 144:13);

where also a "thousand," and "ten thousand," that is, a myriad, denote things innumerable. In the same:--

A thousand years in Thine eyes are as yesterday when it is past (Ps. 90:4);

a "thousand years" denote what is without time, and therefore eternity, which is infinity of time. In Isaiah:--

One thousand from before the rebuke of one, from before the rebuke of five shall ye flee, until ye be left as a mast upon the top of a mountain (Isaiah 30:17);

where "one thousand" denotes many without any definite number; and "five" a few (n. 649). In Moses:--

Jehovah the God of your fathers make you a thousand times as many more as ye are, and bless you (Deut. 1:11);

where a "thousand times" denotes numberless, as in common speech, in which also a "thousand" is used for many; as when it is said that a thing has been said a thousand times, or done in a thousand ways. In like manner in Joshua:--

One man of you shall chase a thousand, for Jehovah your God fighteth for you (Joshua 23:10).

[4] As in computation a "thousand" is a definite number, it appears in the prophecies, especially when connected with history, as if a "thousand" meant simply a thousand, when yet it signifies many or innumerable, apart from any fixed number; for historical matters are of such a nature as to determine the ideas into the nearest and proper significations of the words, as also to the names given; when yet real things are signified in the Word by numbers as well as by names (n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252). Hence also it is supposed by some that by the "thousand years" in (Revelation 20:1-7) there are meant a thousand years or a thousand periods, for the reason as already said that things prophetic are there described under the form of history; when yet by the "thousand years" nothing is there meant except an indeterminate large amount, as elsewhere also infinity of time, or eternity.

AC 2576. Behold it is unto thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee. That this signifies that rational truths are like a covering or clothing to spiritual truths, is evident from the signification of a "covering"; and from the signification of the "eyes," as being things intellectual (as is evident from very many passages in the Word); and also from the signification of "seeing," as being to understand (n. 2150, 2325). Every one can see that in everything in this verse there are arcana which cannot be revealed except by some interior sense; such as the statement that he gave a thousand of silver, and that this is said to have been given, not to her husband, but to her brother; that it was a covering of the eyes both to her and to all that were with her, and also with all; and that thereby she was vindicated. Many historical conjectures might possibly be drawn from the sense of the letter, but without having anything spiritual in them, still less anything Divine; and yet this is what the Word is.

[2] As regards rational truths being like a covering or clothing to spiritual truths, the case is this: Man‘s inmost things are those of his soul, and his outer things are those of his body; the former are goods and truths, from which the soul has its life, for otherwise the soul would not be a soul: the latter draw their life therefrom, and are all like a body, or what is the same, a covering or clothing. This is especially evident from the things that appear in the other life; as from angels when presented to view; for their interiors shine forth from their faces; their exteriors being represented in both their bodies and their dress; and this so fully that everyone there can know their quality from their garments alone; for these are real substances, and thus essences in form. The same is the case with the angels seen and described in respect to their faces and dress in the Word, such as those seen in the Lord’s sepulchre (Matt. 28:3; Mark 16:5); and the four and twenty elders around the throne (Rev. 4:4); and others. Nor is this the case with the angels only, but also with all other things that are mentioned in the Word, even those which are inanimate; in all cases their exteriors are a covering or clothing; as for example the ark of the covenant and the tent that was round about it; the ark, being the inmost, represented the Lord Himself, for therein was the Testimony; and the tent outside of it represented the Lord‘s kingdom. The clothing, that is, the veils and coverings, each and all represented the more exterior celestial and spiritual things in His kingdom, that is, in the three heavens; as is evident from the fact that the form of the Tent was shown to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exod. 25:9; 26:30). From this it had its holiness, and not from the gold, the silver, and the carvings, that were in it.

[3] Since rational truths are now treated of, as being a kind of veil or clothing to spiritual truths, and as the tent is described in Moses in respect to its clothing or coverings, and also in respect to its veils which were before the entrance, for the sake of illustration we may explain what was specifically signified by the veils; but what was signified by the encompassing coverings will of the Lord’s Divine mercy be told elsewhere. The veils of the tent were three: the first, which made the division between the Holy and the Holy of Holies; the second, which is called the hanging for the door of the tent; and the third, which was the hanging for the gate of the court.

[4] Concerning the veil itself, which was the first, before the ark, we read in Moses:--

Thou shalt make a veil of hyacinthine, and bright crimson, and double-dyed scarlet, and fine-twined linen, the work of a designer, thou shall make it with cherubim; and thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim-wood, overlaid with gold, and their hooks of gold upon four bases of silver; and thou shalt hang the veil under the clasps; and thou shalt bring in thither, within the veil, the Ark of the Testimony and the veil shall divide unto you between the Holy and the Holy of Holies (Exod. 26:31-34; 36:35, 36).

This veil represented the nearest and inmost appearances of rational good and truth, in which are the angels of the third heaven; which appearances are described by the hyacinthine, the bright crimson, the double-dyed scarlet, and the fine-twined linen; in which the red color represented the goods of love, and the white its truths. The same is true also of the gold and silver with which the pillars were overlaid, and of which the books and the bases were made. That colors are representative see (n. 1042, 1043, 1053, 1624); that "gold" is the good of love, (n. 113, 1551, 1552); and that "silver" is truth, (n. 1551, 2048).

[5] From this we can see what is signified by the veil of the temple being rent in twain (Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45), namely, that the Lord entered into the Divine Itself by dispersing all appearances; and that He at the same time opened the way to His Divine Itself through His Human made Divine.

[6] Concerning the second veil, or the hanging for the door of the tent, we read in Moses:--Thou shalt make a hanging for the door of the tent, of hyacinthine, and bright crimson, and double-dyed scarlet, and fine-twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; and thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim-wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold and thou shalt cast for them five bases of brass (Exod. 26:36, 37; 36:37, 38). By this hanging were represented appearances of good and truth that are lower or more external than the former, that is, the middle ones of the rational, in which are the angels of the second heaven; which appearances are described almost in the same manner as the first, with the difference however that for this hanging there were five pillars and five bases, by which number is signified what is comparatively but little; for these appearances do not so cohere together, or are not so heavenly, as are the appearances of the inmost or third heaven. Concerning the number five as meaning a little, see (n. 649, 1686). And because these appearances look to natural things, it was commanded that the bases should be cast of brass; for by brass was represented and signified natural good (n. 425, 1551).

[7] Concerning the third veil, or the hanging for the gate of the court, we read in Moses:--For the gate of the court shall be a hanging of twenty cubits, of hyacinthine, and bright crimson, and double-dyed scarlet, and fine-twined linen, the work of the embroiderer their pillars four, and their bases four all the pillars of the court round about shall be filleted with silver, their hooks of silver, but their bases of brass (Exod. 27:16, 17; 38:18, 19). By this hanging were represented still lower or more external appearances of good and truth, which are the lowest ones of the rational, in which are the angels of the first heaven. As these appearances correspond to interior things, they are described in a similar manner, yet with the difference that these pillars were not overlaid with gold, but filleted with silver, and that the hooks were of silver, by which are signified rational truths that derive their origin immediately from memory-knowledges and the bases were of brass, by which are signified natural goods. All this shows that there was nothing in the Tent that was not representative of the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord‘s kingdom, or that all things were made according to the type of celestial and spiritual things in the three heavens; also that the veilings or coverings signified the things that are like a body or dress around or without the inmost.

[8] Moreover that "veilings," "coverings," "clothing," or "garments" signify relatively lower truths, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in Ezekiel:--

Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was thy spread of sail; hyacinthine and bright crimson from the isles of Elishah was thy covering (Ezekiel 27:7);

where Tyre is treated of, by which are signified interior knowledges of celestial and spiritual things, and consequently those who are in them (n. 1201); "broidered work from Egypt" denotes what is of memory-knowledge. That "Egypt" denotes this see (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462); "hyacinthine and bright crimson from the isles of Elishah, which was the covering," denote the rituals that correspond to internal worship (n. 1156).

AC 2576a.

[9] In the same:--

All the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay aside their robes, and put off their broidered garments they shall be clothed with tremblings, they shall sit upon the earth (Ezekiel 26:16);

also speaking of Tyre "robes" and "broidered garments" denote knowledges derived from the contents of the memory (cognitionibus ex scientificis), and thus lower truths.

[10] In the same:--

I clothed thee with broidered work, and shod thee with badger, and girded thee about with fine linen, and covered thee with silk; I decked thee also with ornaments, and put bracelets upon thy hands, and a necklace upon thy throat. Thou didst take of thy garments, and madest for thee high places with divers colors, and didst commit whoredom upon them; thou tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them (Ezekiel 16:10, 11, 16, 18);

speaking of Jerusalem, which is the spiritual church, described as it was of old, and such as it was afterwards, when perverted: its lower spiritual things and its doctrinal matters are the "garments of broidered work, fine linen, and silk."

[11] In Isaiah:--

The Lord Jehovih Zebaoth doth take away from Jerusalem the whole staff of bread and the staff of water. Then shall a man take hold of his brother, of the house of his father-Thou hast a garment, be thou our prince. In that day he shall lift up his voice, saying, I will not be a binder up, and in my house there is neither bread, nor garment; ye shall not make me a prince of the people. The Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion; and in that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their anklets, and their network, and crescents, and their collars, and chains, and plates and the headtires, and the ankle chains, and the sashes, and the soul houses, and the ear-drops; the rings, and the nose jewels, the festival garments, and the mantles, and the robes, and the satchels, the mirrors, and the fine linen, and the turbans, and the cloaks (Isaiah 3:1, 6, 7, 17-24).

"Jerusalem" denotes the spiritual church; " Judah" the celestial church; the " staff of bread and the staff of water, which will be removed," denote good and truth; the "garment which the prince should have," the truths which are of doctrine; the clothing and various ornaments of the daughters of Zion, which are enumerated, all and each, the kinds and varieties of good and truth, of which they would be deprived. Unless everything here mentioned signified something peculiar to the church, they would not be of the Word, in every expression of which there is what is Divine; but they are predicated of the daughters of Zion, and by these are signified the things of the church, as may be seen above (n. 2362).

[12] In the same:--

Awake! awake! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem, the city of holiness for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isa. 52:1, 2);

"Zion" denotes the celestial church; "Jerusalem" the spiritual church; and "garments of beauty" the holy things of faith. In the same:--

Their webs shall not become a garment, neither shall they cover themselves with their works their works are works of iniquity (Isa. 59:6);

"webs" denote fictitious truths that do not become a garment; a "garment" denotes the exterior truths of doctrine and of worship; hence it is said, "neither shall they cover themselves with their works."

[13] In the same:--

Rejoicing I will rejoice in Jehovah, my soul shall exult in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10);

the "garments of salvation" denote the truths of faith; and the "robe of righteousness" the good of charity. In John:--

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis that have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy be that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment (Rev. 3:4, 5).

In the same:--

Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked (Rev. 16:15).

In the same:--

Upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white garments (Rev. 4:4);

where it is manifest that the "garments" are not garments, but the spiritual things of truth.

[14] So where the Lord said in reference to the consummation of the age that they should not return back to take their garments (Matt. 24:18; Mark 13:16), where that "garments" are truths may be seen above (n. 2454). Also in regard to the one not clothed in a wedding garment (Matt. 22:11, 12). And concerning John:--

What went ye out to see? a man clothed in bright garments? Behold they that wear bright garments are in kings’ houses (Matt. 11:8; Luke 7:25);

meaning that they were not in the externals of doctrine and worship, but in the internals; on which account He adds:--

What went ye out to see? a prophet? yea, I say unto you and more than a prophet (Matt. 11:9);

a "prophet" denotes the externals of doctrine and of worship.

[15] As "garments" signified truths of every kind, it was commanded that the sons of Israel on going out of Egypt should borrow gold and silver, and garments, and put them upon their sons (Exod. 3:22; 12:35, 36) also that garments of various kinds, or mixed garments, should not be worn (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11); and that they should make for themselves fringes on the borders of their garments, and should put a blue thread there, and that when they saw it they should call to mind the commandments, and do them (Num. 15:38-40).

[16] Formerly also they rent their garments (Josh. 7:6; Judges 11:35; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2, 11, 12; 3:31; 13:30, 31; 15:32; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 5:7, 8; 6:30; 22:11, 14, 19; Isa. 36:22; 37:1); by which was signified zeal for doctrine and truth, which was thus torn to pieces; and also humiliation, because there was nothing appertaining to them that is signified by the adornment of garments.

[17] That such things are signified by "veilings," "coverings," "clothing," or "garments," is also manifest from the prophecy of Jacob, then Israel:--

He shall bind his foal to the vine, and his ass‘s colt unto the choice vine he shall wash his garments In wine, and his clothes In the blood of grapes (Gen. 49:11);

what these words signify can be known to none except from the internal sense; namely a "vine," a "choice vine," a "foal," an "ass’s colt," "wine," the "blood of grapes," "garments," and "clothes;" but it is evident that they are predicated of the Lord, who is here called "Shiloh." The subject spoken of is Judah, by whom is represented the Lord‘s Divine celestial; and by the " garments he should wash in wine," and "the vesture he should wash in the blood of grapes," are signified the Lord’s rational and natural, which He should make Divine.

[18] In like manner in Isaiah:--

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, marching in the multitude of His strength? Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garment like him that treadeth in the wine-vat? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was none with Me their victory is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My raiment (Isaiah 63:1-3);

where also "garments" and "raiment" denote the Lord‘s Human which of His own power He made Divine by combats of temptations and by victories; on which account it is said, "I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was none with Me." Isaac’s smelling the smell of Esau‘s garments, and so blessing him (Gen. 27:27), involved the same.

[19] The Holy itself of the Lord’s Divine Human was also a garment which appeared as the light, and as white and glistening, when He was transfigured, concerning which we read in Matthew:--

When Jesus was transfigured, His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light (Matthew 17:2).

In Luke:--

When Jesus prayed, the appearance of His countenance was changed, and His raiment became white and glistening (Luke 9:29).

And in Mark:--

When Jesus was transfigured, His garments became shining, exceeding white like snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them (Mark 9:3).

The garments of holiness with which Aaron was clothed when he entered within the veil, and which were of linen, had a similar representation (Lev. 16:2, 4): likewise the garments of holiness that were for glory and for beauty; and those of his ministry (Exod. 28:2-43; 39:1-43): for in these there was not one whit that was not representative.

AC 2577. And with all. That this signifies that so also are the derivative truths, namely, those of memory and of the senses, is evident from what has been said above, and from the series itself; for it is said just above, " behold it shall be unto thee a veiling of the eyes unto all who are with thee;" by which are signified rational truths, which are like a veil to spiritual truths; and it is now said again, " with all;" by which are therefore signified still lower truths which are derived from rational truths; these being no other than what are called memory truths and sensuous truths. That these truths are derived from rational truths is evident from the order of influx. Interior things flow into exterior things; or what is the same, higher things into lower; but not the reverse. It indeed appears otherwise, namely, that man becomes rational by means of the things of sense and of memory, but this is a fallacy. Good from the Lord is constantly flowing in through man‘s rational faculty, and it meets and adopts to itself the knowledges in the memory; and in so far as it can do this, and dispose them in due order, so far the man becomes rational. The case herein is the same as with the good and truths which are called those of faith: good from the Lord flows into truths, and adopts them, and in so far as it can do this the man becomes spiritual; although it appears as if truths, called the truths of faith, flow in, and render the man spiritual. It is also owing to this appearance that the truth of faith is so much cultivated at this day, while the good of charity is not thought of.

AC 2578. And she was vindicated. That this signifies that thus there was no fault and no harm, is evident from all that precedes, of which this is a brief conclusion.

AC 2579. Verse 17. And Abraham prayed unto God, and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they brought forth. "Abraham prayed unto God," signifies a revelation; "and God healed Abimelech," signifies soundness of the doctrine in respect to good; "and his wife," signifies in respect to truth; "and his maidservants," signifies in respect to the affections of doctrinal things; "and they brought forth," signifies their fruitfulness.

AC 2580. Abraham prayed unto God. That this signifies revelation, is evident from the signification of "praying" when predicated of the Lord, as being to be revealed (n. 2535); and from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord- often shown above. Here in the sense of the letter there are two, namely, one who prayed, and another to whom he prayed; for it is said, "Abraham prayed unto God." But in the internal sense there are not two, but one; for it was God or Jehovah in the Lord who made the revelation, because He was conceived of Jehovah; yet in so far as He had that which belonged to the maternal human, so far He was another. How the case is herein can with difficulty fall into the ideas so as to be understood. These things can indeed fall into angelic ideas, which are presented in the light of heaven; but not so well into human ideas, which do not perceive unless illuminated by things that are of the light of the world; still less can they fall into the ideas of those to whom everything that is of the light of heaven is thick darkness, so as to be nothing at all.

AC 2581. And God healed Abimelech. That this signifies the soundness of the doctrine in respect to good, is evident from the signification of "healing," as being to make sound; and from the representation of Abimelech, as being the doctrine of faith looking to rational things (n. 2510). That it is in respect to good is evident from the fact that his wife also is said to be healed, by which is meant the soundness of the doctrine in respect to truth; for when in the Word a husband is called "husband," and also when he is called by name, he then signifies good, and his wife truth; but when a husband is called a "man," he then signifies truth, and his wife good (n. 915, 1468, 2517).

AC 2582. And his wife. That this signifies in respect to truth, is evident from the signification of a "wife," as being truth (n. 2581).

AC 2583. And his maidservants. That this signifies in respect to the affections of the derivative doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of "maidservants," as being the affections of the things of the reason and of the memory (n. 1895, 2567); here of doctrinal things, because they are predicated of the doctrine of faith, for they belonged to Abimelech, by whom is signified the doctrine of faith, (n. 2509, 2510); for the signification of everything is determined by what is being treated of.

AC 2584. And they brought forth. That this signifies fruitfulness, is evident from the signification of "bringing forth" and of "birth." In the internal sense of the Word none but spiritual and celestial things are signified; on which account where mention is made of "conception" or of " conceiving;" of "bearing" or of "bringing forth;" of "birth" or of "being born;" of "generation" or of "generating," as well as of those who beget, as "father and mother;" and of those who are begotten, as "sons and daughters," all these are meant in none but a spiritual sense, for in itself the Word is spiritual and celestial; and such is the case here in regard to "bringing forth," by which is signified fruitfulness in respect to the things of doctrine.

[2] That in the Word "birth" means no other kind of birth than this, is evident from the passages that follow. In Samuel:--

The full have hired out themselves for bread, and the hungry have ceased, until the barren hath borne seven, and she that hath many children hath languished; Jehovah killeth and maketh alive. He causeth to go down into hell, and bringeth up (1 Sam. 2:5, 6).

In Jeremiah:--

She that hath borne seven languisheth, she breatheth out her soul; her sun is gone down while it is yet day (Jeremiah 15:9).

In Isaiah:--

Sing, O barren, that did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, that did not travail with child; for more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married wife, saith Jehovah (Isaiah 54:1).

In David:--

The voice of Jehovah maketh the hinds to calve, and strippeth the forests and in His temple every one speaketh glory (Ps. 29:9).

In Isaiah:--

Blush O Zidon, for the sea hath spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth, neither have I brought up young men, nor caused maids to grow up as with the report of Egypt, they shall travail according to the report of Tyre (Isaiah 23:4, 5).

In the same:--

Before she travailed she brought forth, and before her pain came she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Does the earth travail in one day, and shall I not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah shall I cause to bring forth, and close up? said thy God (Isaiah 66:7-9).

In Jeremiah:--

Ask I pray and see whether a man bringeth forth; wherefore have I seen every man with his hands on his loins, as one that bringeth forth (Jeremiah 30:6).

In Ezekiel:--

I will set a fire in Egypt, and Sin travailing shall travail, and No may be... (Ezekiel 30:16).

In Hosea:--

Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from conception (Hosea 9:11).

In the same:--

The pains of one that travaileth came upon Ephraim; he is an unwise son, for at the time he will not stand in the place of the breaking forth of sons (Hosea 13:13).

In John:--

A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars and she being with child cried, travailing, and pained to bring forth. The dragon stood before the woman who was about to bring forth, that when she brought forth her son, he might devour him. And she brought forth a man child, who was to pasture all nations with a rod of iron; but the child was caught up unto God and to His throne (Rev. 12:1-5).

[3] Who cannot see from all these passages that no other conceptions and births are signified than those which are of the church? And the same is the case with what is here said concerning Abimelech, that "God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants, and they brought forth;" and that "Jehovah closing had closed up every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of the word of Sarah, Abraham’s wife." What is signified by these things in the internal sense is evident from the explication of the same, namely, the quality of the doctrine of faith when regarded from Divine truths, and when regarded from the rational: when it is regarded from Divine truths, that is, from the Word, then each and all things, of both reason and memory, confirm it; but this is not the case when it is regarded from human things, that is, from reason and memory-knowledges; for then nothing of good and nothing of truth is conceived; for to regard it from the Word is to regard it from the Lord, whereas to regard it from reason and memory-knowledge is to regard it from man. From the former comes all intelligence and wisdom; from the latter all insanity and folly.

AC 2585. Verse 18. For closing Jehovah had therefore closed very womb of the house of Abimelech, because of the word of Sarah, Abraham‘s wife. "For closing Jehovah had therefore closed every womb of the house of Abimelech," signifies the barrenness of the doctrine; "because of the word of Sarah," signifies by reason of the rational, if it had conjoined itself; "Abraham’s wife," signifies that spiritual truth might be conjoined with celestial good.

AC 2586. For closing Jehovah had therefore closed every womb of the house of Abimelech. That this signifies barrenness, namely, of doctrine, is evident from the signification of "closing to close up the womb," as being to prevent conception itself; and from the signification of "the house of Abimelech," as being the good of the doctrine of faith, which shows that barrenness is signified. That up to this point in this chapter " God" is mentioned, but here for the first time "Jehovah," is because "God" is mentioned where the subject is truth, but "Jehovah" where the subject is good. All the conception of doctrine is from god as a father, but its birth is by means of truth as a mother, as occasionally stated before. Here the conception of doctrine is treated of, and as this is from good, "Jehovah" is mentioned; whereas above its birth is treated of, and as this takes place by means of truth, "God" is mentioned, as in the verse preceding: "God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants, and they brought forth."

[2] The case is the same elsewhere in the Word where conception is treated of, as in Isaiah:--

Jehovah hath called me from the womb. Thus saith Jehovah that formed me from the womb; then shall I be precious to Jehovah; and my God shall be my strength (Isaiah 49:1, 5);

"strength" is predicated of truth, and therefore "God" is mentioned In the same

Thus saith Jehovah thy Maker, and thy Former from the womb (Isaiah 44:2, 24).

For the same reason it is said "the house of Abimelech," by which is signified the good of the doctrine of faith. That a "house" denotes good, see (n. 2048, 2233, 2234); and that "Abimelech" denotes the doctrine of faith, (n. 2509, 2510). That there is a Divine arcanum in the fact that they brought forth, and that the wombs of the house of Abimelech were shut on account of Sarah, is manifest; and this arcanum cannot possibly be disclosed except by the internal sense.

AC 2587. Because of the word of Sarah. That this signifies by reason of the rational if it had conjoined itself, is evident from the representation of "Sarah" as a sister, as being rational truth (n. 2508). The "word of Sarah" signifies the whole transaction, namely, that she was called a sister, and that Abimelech took her, but that he did not come near her. What these things signify further will be told in what follows.

AC 2588. Abraham‘s wife. That this signifies in order that spiritual truth might be conjoined with celestial good, is evident from the representation of Sarah as a wife, as being spiritual truth conjoined with celestial good (n. 1468, 1901, 2063, 2065, 2172, 2173, 2198, 2507); and from the representation of Abraham, as being celestial good conjoined with spiritual truth (n. 2011, 2172, 2198, 2501). Whether we say "spiritual truth and celestial good," or "the Lord," it is the same; because the Lord is truth itself and good itself, and is the very marriage itself of truth and good, and of good and truth. How the case herein is can indeed be seen from the explication but as these matters are among those which are obscure at this day, we may so far as possible illustrate them. The subject here treated of is the doctrine of faith, concerning which the Lord thought in His childhood, namely, whether it was allowable to enter into it by means of rational things, and thus form for one’s self ideas concerning it His so thinking came from His love and consideration for the human race, who are such as not to believe what they do not comprehend in a rational manner. But He perceived from the Divine that this ought not to be done; and He therefore revealed the doctrine to Himself from the Divine, and thereby at the same time all things in the universe that are subordinate, namely, all things of the rational and of the natural.

[2] How the case is with the doctrinal things of faith among men has been stated above (n. 2568), namely, that there are two principles from which they think, a negative and an affirmative and that those think from the negative principle, who believe nothing unless they are convinced by what is of reason and memory-knowledge; nay, by what is of sense; but those think from the affirmative who believe that things are true because the Lord has said so in the Word, thus who have faith in the Lord. They who are in the negative in regard to a thing being true because it is in the Word, say at heart that they will believe when they are persuaded by things rational and memory-knowledges. But the fact is that they never believe; and indeed they would not believe if they were to be convinced by the bodily senses of sight, hearing, and touch; for they would always form new reasonings against such things, and would thus end by completely extinguishing all faith, and at the same time turning the light of the rational into darkness, because into falsities. But those who are in the affirmative, that is, who believe that things are true because the Lord has said so, are continually being confirmed, and their ideas enlightened and strengthened, by what is of reason and memory-knowledge, and even by what is of sense; for man has light from no other source than by means of the things of reason and memory, and such is the way with every one. With these the doctrine thus "living lives;" and of them it is said, that they "are healed," and "bring forth;" whereas with those who are in the negative the doctrine "dying dies;" and it is said of them that "the womb closing is closed." All this shows what it is to enter into the doctrine of faith by means of rational things, and what to enter into rational things by means of the doctrine of faith; but let this be illustrated by examples.

[3] It is from the doctrine of the Word, that the first and principal thing of doctrine is love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor. They who are in the affirmative in regard to this can enter into whatever things of reason and of memory, and even of sense, they please, every one according to his gift, his knowledge, and his experience. Nay, the more they enter in, the more they are confirmed; for universal nature is full of confirmation. But they who deny this first and principal thing of doctrine, and who desire to be first convinced of anything true by means of the things of reason and memory, never suffer themselves to be convinced, because at heart they deny, and all the time take their stand in favor of some other principle which they believe to be essential; and finally, by confirmations of their principle they so blind themselves that they cannot even know what love to the Lord and love to the neighbor are. And as they confirm themselves in what is contrary, they at length confirm themselves in the notion that no other love is possible that has any delight in it except the love of self and of the world; and this to such a degree (if not in doctrine, yet in life) that they embrace infernal love in place of heavenly love. But with those who are not in the negative nor as yet in the affirmative, but are in doubt before they deny or affirm, the case is as above stated (n. 2568), namely that they who incline to a life of evil fall into the negative, but they who incline to a life of good are brought into the affirmative.

[4] Take another example: It is among the primary things of the doctrine of faith that all good is from the Lord, and all evil from man, that is, from one‘s self. They who are in the affirmative that it is so, can confirm themselves by many things of reason and of memory-knowledge, such as that no good can possibly flow in except from god itself, that is, from the Fountain of Good, thus from the Lord; and that the beginning or principle of good can be from no other source; finding illustration in all things that are truly good, in themselves, in others, in the community, and also in the created universe. But they who are in the negative confirm themselves in what is contrary by everything they think of, insomuch that at last they do not know what good is; and dispute among themselves as to what is the highest good, being deeply ignorant of the fact that it is the celestial and spiritual good from the Lord, by which all lower good is made alive, and that the delight therefrom is truly delight. Some also think that unless good is from themselves, it cannot possibly come from any other source.

[5] Take as another example the truth that they who are in love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor can receive the truths of doctrine and have faith in the Word, but not they who are in the life of the love of self and the world; or what is the same, that they who are in good can believe, but not they who are in evil. They who are in the affirmative can confirm this by numberless things of reason and memory. From reason they can confirm it on the ground that truth and good agree, but not truth and evil; and that as all falsity is in evil, so it is from evil; and that if any who are in evil nevertheless have truth, it is on the lips, and not in the heart; and from their memory-knowledge they can confirm by many things that truths shun evils, and that evils spew out truths. But they who are in the negative confirm themselves by alleging that every one, of whatever character, is able to believe just as well as others, even though he lives in continual hatred, in the delights of revenge, and in deceit; and this even while they themselves altogether reject from their doctrine the good of life, after the rejection of which they do not believe anything.

[6] That it may be still more manifest how the case herein is, let us take this example: They who are in the affirmative that the Word has been so written as to possess an internal sense which does not appear in the letter, can confirm themselves therein by many rational considerations; as that by the Word man has connection with heaven; that there are correspondences of natural things with spiritual, in which the spiritual are not seen; that the ideas of interior thought are altogether different from the material ideas which fall into the words of language; that man, being born for both lives, can, while in the world, be also in heaven, by means of the Word which is for both worlds; that with some persons a certain Divine light flows into the things of the understanding, and also into the affections, when the Word is read; that it is of necessity that there should be something written that has come down from heaven, and that therefore the Word cannot be such in its origin as it is in the letter; and that it can be holy only from a certain holiness that it has within it. He can also confirm himself by means of memory-knowledges; as that men were formerly in representatives, and that the writings of the Ancient Church were of this nature; also that the writings of many among the Gentiles had this origin; and that it is on this account that in the churches such a style has been revered as holy, and among the Gentiles as learned, as examples of which the books of many authors might be mentioned. But they who are in the negative, if they do not deny all these things, still do not believe them, and persuade themselves that the Word is such as it is in the letter, appearing indeed worldly, while yet being spiritual (as to where the spiritual is hidden within it they care little, but for manifold reasons are willing to let it be so), and this they can confirm by many things.

[7] In order to present the subject to the apprehension of the simple, take as an example the following matter of knowledge. They who are in the affirmative that sight is not of the eye, but of the spirit, which sees the things that are in the world through the eye as an organ of its body, can confirm themselves by many things; as from our hearing things said by others; in that they refer themselves to a certain interior sight, into which they are changed; which would be impossible unless there were an interior sight; also that whatever is thought of is seen by an interior sight, by some more clearly, by others more obscurely; and again, that things we imagine present themselves not unlike objects of sight; and also that unless it were the spirit within the body that saw the objects which fall within the ken of the eye as the organ of sight, the spirit could see nothing in the other life, when yet it cannot but be that it will see innumerable and amazing things that cannot possibly be seen with the bodily eye. Then again we may reflect that in dreams, especially those of the prophets, many things have been seen although not with the eyes. And finally, should anyone be skilled in philosophy, he may confirm himself by considering that outer things cannot enter into inner things, just as compounds cannot into simples; and therefore that things of the body cannot enter into those of the spirit, but only the reverse; not to mention a host of other proofs, until at last the man is persuaded that the spirit has sight, and not the eye, except from the spirit. But they who are in the negative call every consideration of this kind either a matter of nature or one of fancy, and when they are told that a spirit possesses and enjoys much more perfect sight than a man in the body, they ridicule the idea, and reject it as an idle tale, believing that if deprived of the sight of the bodily eye they would live in the dark; although the very opposite is the truth, for they are then in the light.

[8] From these examples we may see what it is to enter into the things of reason and memory-knowledge from truths, and what it is to enter into truths from the things of reason and memory-knowledge; and that the former is according to order, but the latter contrary to order; and that when we do that which is according to order we are enlightened; but when we do that which is contrary to order, we are made blind. All of which shows of how great concern it is that truths should be known and believed; for man is enlightened by truths, but is made blind by falsities. By truths there is opened to the rational an immense and almost unbounded field; but by falsities comparatively none at all, although this does not appear to be so. It is because the angels are in truths that they enjoy wisdom so great; for truth is the very light of heaven.

AC 2588a.

[9] They who have blinded themselves by not being willing to believe anything which they do not apprehend by the senses, until at length they have come to believe nothing, were in old times called " serpents of the tree of knowledge;" for such reasoned much from sensuous things and their fallacies, which easily fall into man’s apprehension and belief, and thereby they seduced many (n. 195, 196). In the other life such are readily distinguished from other spirits by the fact that in regard to all things of faith they reason whether it be so; and if they are shown a thousand and a thousand times that it is so, still they advance negative doubts against every proof that is offered; and this they would go on doing to all eternity. So blind are they on this account that they have not common sense, that is, they cannot comprehend what good and truth are; and yet every one of them thinks himself wiser than all in the universe; making wisdom to consist in being able to invalidate what is Divine, and deduce it from what is natural. Many who in this world have been esteemed wise, are preeminently of this character; for the more anyone is endowed with talent and knowledge, and is in the negative, the more insane he is, beyond all others; whereas the more anyone is endowed with talent and knowledge, and is in the affirmative, the wiser he is able to be. It is by no means denied man to cultivate the rational faculty by means of memory-knowledges; but that which is forbidden is to harden ourselves against the truths of faith which belong to the Word.

[10] These things are much treated of in the internal sense of the Word, especially in that of the prophetic Word, where Asshur (or Assyria) and Egypt are treated of; for reasoning is signified by "Asshur" (n. 119, 1186); and memory-knowledge by "Egypt" (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462). Concerning those who desire to enter into doctrinal and Divine things by means of memory-knowledges and rational things, we read in Isaiah:--

I will confound Egypt in Egypt, and they shall fight every man against his brother, and every man against his companion, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom and the spirit of Egypt shall be made void in the midst of it, and I will swallow up the counsel thereof the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be dried up and shall become totally dry; and the streams shall vanish, the rivers of Egypt shall be minished and dried up the reed and the flag shall wither away; and all the seed of the river shall become dry. Jehovah hath mingled a spirit of perversities in the midst of her, and they have caused Egypt to go astray in every work thereof, as a drunken man strayeth in his vomit (Isaiah 19:2, 3, 5-7, 14).

In the same:--

Woe to the rebellious sons, who walk to go down into Egypt, but have not asked at My mouth, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. And the strength of Pharaoh shall be unto you for a shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt for a reproach (Isa. 30:1-3).

In the same:--

Woe to them that go down into Egypt for help, and stay upon horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, and seek not Jehovah. And when Jehovah shall stretch out His hand, he that helpeth shall stumble, and he that is helped shall fall, and they shall all be consumed together. And Asshur shall fall by the sword not of man, and the sword not of man shall devour him (Isa. 31:1, 3, 8).

In Jeremiah:--

My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew them out pits, broken pits, which can hold no water. Is Israel a servant? If he was born of the house, why is be become a prey? Dost thou not do this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken Jehovah thy God in the time when He led thee in the way? And now what hast thou to do with the way to Egypt to drink the waters of Shihor? or what hast thou to do with the way of Asshur to drink the waters of the river? O generation, see ye the Word of Jehovah: have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore said My people, We will rule, we will come no more unto Thee? why goest thou away so much to change thy way? thou shalt be ashamed from Egypt also, as thou wast ashamed from Asshur (Jeremiah 2:13, 14, 17, 18, 31, 36).

In the same:--

Hear ye the word of Jehovah, O remnant of Judah thus saith Jehovah Zebaoth the God of Israel, If setting ye set your faces to come into Egypt, and ye come to sojourn there then it shall come to pass that the sword which ye were fearing for yourselves shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye were afraid shall cleave unto you there in Egypt, that ye die there. So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to come into Egypt, to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon you (Jeremiah 42:15-17).

In Ezekiel:--

And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am Jehovah; because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel; in their taking thee by thy hand thou didst break, and didst rend for them every shoulder, and in their leaning upon thee thou breakest, and makest all their loins to be at a stand; therefore thus said the Lord Jehovah, Behold I will bring a sword upon thee, and will cut off from thee man and beast, and the land of Eat shall be a desolation and a waste, and they shall know that I am Jehovah; because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it (Ezekiel 29:6-9).

In Hosea:--

Ephraim was like a silly dove; they called unto Eat, they went unto Asshur; when they shall go, I will spread out My net upon them; woe unto them because they have wandered away from Me (Hosea 7:11-13).

In the same

Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; every day he multiplieth a lie and a waste, and they make a covenant with Asshur, and oil is carried down into Egypt (Hosea 12:1).

In the same:--

Israel hath committed whoredom under her god thou hast loved hire upon all the corn-floors; Ephraim shall return into Egypt, and they shall eat what is unclean in Asshur; for lo they are gone away from devastation, Egypt shall gather them up, Moph shall bury them, the thorn shall possess their desirable things of silver, the thistle shall be in their tents. Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit yea, though they bring forth yet will I slay the desired fruit of their womb my God will cast them out, because they did not hearken unto Him, and they shall be wanderers among the nations (Hosea 9:1, 3, 6, 16, 17).

In Isaiah:--

Woe to Asshur, the rod of Mine anger, and he is the staff in their hand of Mine indignation; he thinketh not right, neither doth his heart meditate right; for it is in his heart to destroy and to cut off nations not a few; for he saith, Are not my princes all of them kings? I will visit upon the fruit of the elation of heart of the king of Asshur, for he hath said, In the strength of my hand I have done it, and in my wisdom, for I am intelligent and I will remove the bounds of the peoples, and will plunder their treasures, and will cast down as a mighty one the inhabitants. Therefore shall the Lord of lords Zebaoth send among his fat ones leanness and instead of his glory, kindling there shall be kindled a burning of fire (Isaiah 10:5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 16).

[11] In all these passages, by "Asshur" as before shown is signified reasoning; by "Egypt" and "Pharaoh" memory. knowledge; by "Ephraim" the intellectual; and there is described in these and in many other places of what quality man‘s rational becomes when it reasons concerning the truths of faith from the negative principle. The like is involved in Isaiah chapters 36 and 37, where we read that when Rabshakeh, sent by the king of Asshur, spake against Jerusalem and king Hezekiah, the angel of Jehovah smote a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the king of Asshur; by which is signified what an overthrow of man’s reasonings takes place when he reasons against Divine things, however much the man may then appear to himself to be wise.

[12] This reasoning is also in various places called "whoredom with the sons of Egypt and with the sons of Asshur." As in Ezekiel:--

Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, thy neighbors, great of flesh, and hast multiplied thy whoredom and hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, and yet thou wast not satisfied (Ezekiel 16:26, 28; 23:3, 5-21);

(n. 2466).

[13] Concerning those who enter into rational things and memory-knowledges from the doctrine of faith, and thence are wise. In Isaiah:--

In that day shall there be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Jehovah and it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto Jehovah Zebaoth in the land of Egypt for they shall cry unto Jehovah because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour and a Prince, and He shall deliver them and Jehovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day; and they shall offer sacrifice and meat-offering, and shall vow a vow unto Jehovah, and shall perform it (Isaiah 19:19-21).

In the same:--

In that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Asshur, and Asshur shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptians shall serve Asshur. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Asshur, a blessing in the midst of the land, which Jehovah zebaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and Asshur the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance (Isaiah 19:23-25);

where the spiritual church is treated of, of which the spiritual is "Israel," the rational is "Asshur," and the faculty of knowing is "Egypt;" which three constitute the intellectual things of that church, which thus follow in order; on which account it is said, "In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Asshur," and "Blessed be Egypt My people, and Asshur the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance."

[14] In the same:--

It shall come to pass in that day that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Asshur, and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt, and they shall bow themselves down to Jehovah in the mountain of holiness at Jerusalem (Isa. 27:13).

In the same:--

Thus saith Jehovah, The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Cush and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine they shall go after thee, and shall bow themselves down to thee, they shall make supplication unto thee. In thee only is God, and there is no God else besides (Isa. 45:14).

"Cush and the Sabeans" are knowledges (n. 117, 1171). In Zechariah:--

Egypt shall go up to Jerusalem, to worship the King Jehovah Zebaoth (Zechariah 14:17, 18).

In Micah:--

I look unto Jehovah, I wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me; a day for building thy walls, in this day, and they shall come even unto thee thence from Asshur, and the cities of Egypt, and thence from Egypt even to the river (Micah 7:7, 11, 12).

[15] In Ezekiel:--

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, At the end of forty years will I gather Egypt from the peoples whither they were scattered, and I will bring again the captivity of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:13, 14).

In the same:--

Behold, Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches and a shadowing forest, and lofty in height, and its branch was among the tangled boughs the waters made it grow, going with her streams round about her plantation, and she sent out her canals unto all the trees of the field; therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long by reason of many waters; all the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs, and under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth, and under its shadow dwelt all great nations. And it became fair in its greatness, in the length of its branches, for its root was by many waters; the cedar‘ in the garden of God did not hide it, the fir’ were not like its boughs, nor was any tree in the garden of God like unto it in its beauty. I made it fair by the multitude of its branches, and all the trees of Eden that were in the garden of God, envied it (Ezekiel 31:3-8).

The Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, is here described in regard to the quality of its rational, and thereby its wisdom and intelligence, because that church looked at things below from Divine things, thus at truths from goods themselves, and thence at things that are subordinate. "Asshur" and the "cedar" are the rational; the "tangled boughs among which were its branches" are memory-knowledges; the "rivers and waters" are spiritual goods, among which was its root; the "height and length of its branches" are its extension; the "garden of God" is the spiritual church the "trees of Eden" are perceptions. From this and from all that goes before we can see what is the quality of man‘s rational, and what is the quality of his faculty of knowing, when they are subordinated to Divine truths, and serve them by confirming them.

[16] That rational things and memory-knowledges are of service to those who are in the affirmative as means of being wise, was represented and signified by its being commanded the sons of Israel to borrow from the Egyptians vessels of gold, and vessels of silver, and garments (Exod. 3:22; 11:2; 12:36, 36). The like is meant by its being said in various passages of the Word that they should possess the goods, houses, vineyards, and oliveyards, and other things, of the nations; and also that the very gold and silver taken from the nations should become holy. As in Isaiah:--

Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her harlot hire, and shall commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the face of the ground, and her merchandise and her harlot hire shall be holiness to Jehovah it shall not he stored up nor laid away, for to them that dwell before Jehovah her merchandise shall be for eating till satisfied, and for an ancient covering (Isaiah 23:17, 18);

"the merchandise of Tyre" denotes knowledges (n. 1201), which to those who are in the negative are as harlot hire but to those who are in the affirmative are as what is holy. The like is also meant by the Lord’s words:--

Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail they may receive you into eternal habitations; if ye have not become faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will intrust you with the true? (Luke 16:9, 11).

CONCERNING THE STATE AND LOT IN THE OTHER LIFE OF THE NATIONS AND PEOPLES BORN OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH

AC 2589. It is the common opinion that they who are born out of the church, and who are called Pagans and Gentiles, cannot be saved, because they have not the Word, and thus are ignorant of the Lord, without whom there is no salvation. But that these also are saved, may be known from the following considerations: that the Lord‘s mercy is universal, that is, toward every one; that these are born men equally with those who are within the church, who are comparatively few; and that it is not their fault that they are ignorant of the Lord. Consequently, their state and lot in the other life, have of the Lord’s Divine mercy been shown me.

AC 2590. I have been instructed in many ways that Gentiles who have led a moral life, and have been obedient, and have lived in mutual charity, and have received some sort of conscience according to their religion, are accepted In the other life, and are there instructed by angels with anxious care in the goods and truths of faith. While receiving instruction they conduct themselves modestly, intelligently, and wisely, and easily receive and become imbued with the instruction; for they have formed for themselves no principles contrary to the truths of faith that have to be dispersed, still less stumbling blocks against the Lord; as have many Christians who have led a life of evil. Moreover such do not hate others, nor avenge injuries, nor plot artifices and deceits. Nay, they wish well to Christians; although on the other hand Christians despise them and even do them violence so far as they can; but they are withdrawn by the Lord from their unmercifulness, and are protected.

[2] For the case of Christians and Gentiles in the other life is such that Christians who have acknowledged the truths of faith, and have at the same time led a life of good, are received in preference to Gentiles; although at the present day such are few; but Gentiles who have lived in obedience and mutual charity are received in preference to Christians who have not led so good a life. For in the wide world all those who have lived in good are of the Lord‘s mercy received and saved; for good is that which receives truth. The good of life is the very ground for the seed, that is, for the truth. Evil of life cannot possibly receive it, for although such as are in evil be instructed in a thousand ways, nay, even if they become most fully instructed, nevertheless the truths of faith enter no further with them than into the memory, and do not penetrate to the affection which is of the heart; and therefore in the other life their truths of memory are dissipated, and become null and void.

AC 2591. Among the Gentiles however, just as among Christians, there are both the wise and the simple. In order that I might be instructed as to the quality of these, it has been granted me to speak with both wise and simple, sometimes for hours and days. But of the wise there are scarcely any at this day, whereas in ancient times there were very many, especially in the Ancient Church, from which wisdom emanated to many nations. In order that I might know of what quality these were, I have been allowed to hold familiar converse with some of them; so that the nature of their wisdom, and its superiority to that of the present day may be seen from what follows.

AC 2592. There was present with me a certain person who was formerly among the more wise, and was thereby well known in the learned world. I conversed with him on various subjects, and as I knew that he had been a wise man, I spoke with him concerning wisdom, intelligence, order, the Word, and finally concerning the Lord. Concerning wisdom he said that there is no other wisdom than that which is of life, and that wisdom can be predicated of nothing else. Concerning intelligence he said that it was from wisdom. Concerning order he said that it is from the Supreme God, and that to live in that order is to be wise and intelligent.

[2] As regards the Word, when I read to him something from the prophecies, he was very greatly delighted, especially from the fact that each of the names and each of the words signified interior things, wondering greatly that the learned of this day are not delighted with such a study. I plainly perceived that the interiors of his thought or mind had been opened, and at the same time that those of certain Christians who were present had been closed; for ill-will against him prevailed with them, and also unbelief that the Word is of this nature. Nay, when I went on reading the Word he said that he could not be present, because he perceived it to be too holy for him to endure, so interiorly was he affected. The Christians on the other hand said aloud that they could be present; and this was because their interiors had been closed, and therefore the holy things did not affect them.

[3] At length I talked with him about the Lord; that He was born a man, but was conceived of God; that He had put off the human and had put on the Divine; and that it is He who governs the universe. To this he made answer that he knew many things about the Lord, and had perceived in his own way that it could not have been done otherwise if the human race was to be saved. Meantime certain wicked Christians injected various difficulties, for which he did not care, saying that it was not surprising, because they had become imbued in the life of the body with unbecoming ideas respecting these things, and that until such ideas were dispersed they could not admit things confirmatory, as could those who are ignorant. This man was a Gentile.

AC 2593. I have also been permitted to speak with others who lived in ancient times and who were then among the more wise. They were at first seen in front at a distance, and were there able to perceive the interiors of my thoughts, thus many things in a thorough manner. From one idea of the thought they could know the entire series, and fill it with delightful things of wisdom together with pleasing representations, which showed me that they were among the more wise, and I was told that they were from the Ancients. So they drew nearer, and when I read to them something from the Word they were most highly delighted. It was granted me to perceive their very delight and enjoyment, which arose chiefly from the fact that all the things they heard from the Word were both in general and in particular representative and significative of heavenly and spiritual things. They said that in their time when they lived in the world their mode of thinking and speaking, and also of writing, was of this nature, and that this was their wisdom’s study.

AC 2594. But as regards the Gentiles who are on earth at this day, they are not so wise, but are for the most part simple in heart; and yet those of them who have lived in mutual charity receive wisdom in the other life-concerning whom I may relate what follows.

AC 2595. I heard the sound of a certain gyre, but coarser than usual, and from the sound I at once knew that they were from the Gentiles. I was told by the angels that they were Gentiles who had been raised up three or four days before. The gyre or choir was heard for several hours, and it was perceived that even during the short time in which it was heard they were being perfected more and more. When I wondered at this I was told that these can be initiated into choirs, and thus into harmony, in one night; while most Christians barely can in thirty years. Gyres or choirs exist when many speak together, all as one, and each as all; but concerning gyres or choirs, of the Lord‘s Divine mercy elsewhere.

AC 2596. One morning there was a choir at a distance from me, and it was given me to know from the representations of the choir that they were Chinese; for they presented a kind of woolly goat, a cake of millet, and an ivory spoon, as also the idea of a floating city. They desired to come nearer to me; and when they had applied themselves they said that they desired to be alone with me, that they might open their thoughts. But they were told that they were not alone, and that there were others who were indignant at their desiring to be alone, when yet they were guests. When they perceived the indignation of the others, they began to think whether they had trespassed against the neighbor, and whether they had claimed anything for themselves that belonged to others. (In the other life all thoughts are communicated). I was permitted to perceive their trouble: it was that of an acknowledgment that perhaps they had wronged the others, and of shame on that account, and of other good affections at the same time, from which it was known that they were endued with charity. Presently I spoke with them, and at length about the Lord. When I called Him Christ, a kind of repugnance was perceived in them; but the cause was discovered to be that they brought this repugnance from the world, from their having known Christians to live worse than they did themselves, and in no charity. But when I simply called Him the Lord, they were inwardly moved. They were afterwards instructed by the angels that beyond every other doctrine in the whole world the Christian doctrine prescribes love and charity, but that there are but few persons who live in accordance with it.

AC 2597. There are Gentiles who when they lived in the world had known from social intercourse and report that Christians lead the very worst life-in adulteries, in hatreds and quarrels, in drunkenness, and the like things-at which they are affected with horror, because such things are contrary to their laws, their morals, and their religion. In the other life these are more timid than others in receiving the truths of faith; but they are instructed by the angels that the Christian doctrine, and the faith itself, teach the very opposite, but that Christians live less in accordance with their doctrine than do the Gentiles. When they perceive this they receive the truths of faith and adore the Lord, but more tardily.

AC 2598. When I read the 17th and 18th chapters of Judges, concerning Micah, how the sons of Dan took away his graven image, the teraphim, and the Levite, there was present a spirit from the Gentiles, who in the life of the body had adored a carved image. While he listened attentively to what was done to Micah, and in what grief he was on account of his graven image that the Danites took away, he too was overcome with grief, and was affected to such a degree that he scarcely knew what to think for inward grief. I perceived his grief, and at the same time perceived the innocence in each of his affections. Christian spirits were also present and observed it, and wondered that a worshiper of a graven image should be moved by so strong an affection of mercy and innocence. Afterwards good spirits spoke to him, saying that a graven image ought not to be adored, and that he could understand this because he was a human being; but that he ought to think beyond the graven image of God the Creator and Governor of the universal heaven and earth; and that this God is the Lord. When these things were said I was permitted to perceive the interior emotion of his adoration, which was communicated to me, and was much more holy than that with Christians; from which it could be seen that Gentiles come into heaven more easily than Christians at this day who are not so affected (according to the Lord’s words in (Luke 13:29, 30); for in the state in which he was he could be imbued with all things of faith, and could receive them with interior affection. Thee was in him the mercy that is of love, and in his ignorance there was innocence; and when these are present, all things of faith are received as it were spontaneously, and with joy. He was afterwards received among the angels.

AC 2599. There was also another among the Gentiles, who had lived in the good of charity. When he heard Christian spirits reasoning about things to be believed (spirits reason with one another much more fully and much more acutely than men, especially about goods and truths, because these belong to the other life), he marveled that they should dispute so, and said that he did not want to hear such things, because they were reasoning from fallacies, and be gave them the following instruction: If I am good, I can know from good itself what is true, and what I do not know, I can receive.

AC 2600. Well-disposed Gentiles are instructed in the other life, for the most part, and so far as possible, in accordance with their states of life and in accordance with their religion, thus in various ways. I may here describe only three.

AC 2601. Some are reduced into a state of tranquillity, as it were a kind of sleep; and they then seem to themselves to be building small cities, and in the midst of them to hide some secret thing which they wish to preserve from violence. They give these cities to others, with entreaties not to do violence to the secret thing in the midst of them. Innocence is thus insinuated into them, and also charity, together with the idea that the secret thing is concerning the Lord. They are kept in this state a considerable time. It is a state of ignorance in which there is innocence. They are guarded by little children, lest anyone should do them harm. I have spoken with them, and have been much affected by their state of innocence and charity, and also by the solicitude with which they hide the secret, and by the holy fear lest it should be violated.

AC 2602. There is one nation (I was told that it is from the Indies) which makes it their religion to worship the Greatest God with the following rite. When they are adoring Him they first magnify themselves, but soon prostrate themselves as worms; and at the same time they hold, that above the universe, which they believe to be whirling around, is that Greatest God, looking down on what they are doing. As they have had such religious observances, in the other life they are brought back into them; and I have spoken with them while they imagined such things. They are for the most part modest, obedient, and simple in heart. They are by successive steps freed by the angels from this phantasy; for they are instructed, in accordance with their religion, that the Greatest God is the Lord; and that they can indeed magnify themselves on account of their being able to adore Him; and that nevertheless they are like little worms and that the Lord from on high sees each and all things. In this manner, by means of their own religion, they are brought into the knowledges of good and truth

AC 2603. There are some Gentiles from those regions where they are black, who bring with them from their life in the world a wish to be treated severely; believing that no one can come into heaven except through punishments and afflictions, and that they will afterwards receive more gladsome things, which they call paradisal. As they have such ideas from their religion they are at first treated severely in the other life by some whom they call devils, and are afterwards taken to the paradises already described (n. 1622). But they are instructed by the angels that their punishments and afflictions are turned by the Lord into what is good for them, as with those who are in temptations also that paradisal things are not heaven, but that heaven is the affection of the celestial and spiritual things that are in them; and that they have been in a certain way of truth, although in the shade of ignorance. They spoke with me a long time. While in their state of affliction their speech was attended with a kind of collision; thus was distinct from that of others; but after their afflictions were over, and they were taken up to the paradises, they no longer had such a speech, but one that was almost angelic. From their religion they have that they believe, and desire to have interior things. They said that whenever they are treated severely they are black; but that they shortly put off the blackness, and put on whiteness; knowing that their souls are white, but their bodies black.

AC 2604. It is usual for Gentiles who adore any god under an image or statue, or any carved thing, to be introduced, on coming into the other life, to certain ones who are in the place of their gods or idols, in order that they may put away their phantasies; and when they have been with these for some days, they are taken away from such persons. They who have adored men are also sometimes introduced to them, or to others in their stead; as many of the Jews are to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and David; but when they perceive that these have the same kind of human nature as others have, and can afford them no help, they become ashamed, and are taken to their own places in accordance with their life. Among the Gentiles in the other life the Africans are the most beloved, because they receive the goods and truths of heaven more easily than others. They especially desire to be called the obedient, but not the faithful. They say that Christians can be called faithful, because they have the doctrine of faith; but not they, unless they receive it, or as they say, are able to receive it.

AC 2605. I have spoken with some who were in the Ancient Church, and who then knew concerning the Lord that He was to come, and who had been imbued with the goods of faith, but yet fell away and became idolaters. They were in front, toward the left, in a darksome place, and in a miserable state. Their speech was like the sound of a fife, of one tone, almost devoid of rationality of thought. They said that they had been there for many ages, and that they are sometimes taken out thence to serve others for some uses, which are vile. From these it was given me to think about many Christians, who are idolaters not exteriorly but interiorly, and who at heart deny the Lord, and thereby also the truths of faith; and to reflect upon what kind of a lot must await them in the other life.


Back | Next | Index | Home