The Story of the Peoples and Lands of Scripture and Their Spiritual Significance as Revealed in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg


Hugo Ljungberg Odhner

Swedenborg Foundation, Inc.
New York

Copyright, 1954, by Hugo Lj. Odhner

[Map of the Holy Land with correspondences.]



Introduction                                                 1
Beyond History                                                 

The Hebrew Perspective                                   6

The Location of Paradise                                   11

The Pre-adamites                                          12

The Old Stone Age                                          14

The Racial Migrations                                   19

The Extent of the Golden Age                            23
Nations of the Ancient Church

Noah and the Spread of the Ancient Church              30

The Nations of the Ancient Church                     35

The Decline of the Ancient Church                     38

Japheth and Shem                                          42

The Hebrew Church                                          43
The Patriarchal Period

The Covenant with Abram                                   48

Conjunction by Correspondences                            49
Canaan and Egypt

The Prophetic Role of Abram                            53

Problems of Biblical Chronology                            54

The Date of the Exodus                                   58

The Spiritual Egypt                                          61

The Formation of Egyptian Culture                     64

The Scientifics of Egypt                                   68

Egypt, the House of Bondage                            70

Religious Elements in Israel                            73

Meaning of the Exodus                                   76
The Conquest of Canaan

The Correspondence of Canaan                            78

The Inheritance of Reuben                                   82

The Balm of Gilead                                          87

The March into Canaan                                   91

Manasseh in Bashan                                          94

Simeon and Judah                                          95
The Northern Tribes

The Migration of the Danites                            103

The Sources of the Jordan                                   105

Naphtali                                                        107

Asher                                                        109

Issachar and Zebulon                                          110
Joseph and Benjamin

The Inheritance of Joseph                                   115

Benjamin - the Medium                                   118

The Lot of Benjamin                                          123
Israel Among the Nations

The Kingdom Divided                                          126

The Captivities of Israel and of Judah                     130

Every Nation is "Representative"                            133
The Land of the Gospel

Canaan - the Scene of the Advent                            140

The Old Jerusalem and the New                            142

The Allegory of Regeneration                            144
Bibliography                                                 150


Correspondences of the Bible Lands                            Frontispiece
The Hebrew World                                                 7, 8
Ancient Races of Man                                          15
Theory of Post-Glacial Migrations                            21
Ancient Migrations in the Bible Lands                     45
Comparative Chronologies of Egypt and Canaan              54
Correspondences of the Twelve Tribes                     80

"These things are an allegory."
Paul, in Galatians 4:24

"Everywhere in the Word there are internal things which never appear at all on the surface, except for a very few which the Lord revealed and explained to the apostles: such as that the sacrifices signify the Lord; that the land of Canaan and Jerusalem signify heaven - being called the heavenly Canaan' and the heavenly Jerusalem'; and that Paradise has a similar meaning."

"No one can know the spiritual sense of the Word except form the science of correspondences."






It is widely believed among Christians that the holy Bible is Divinely inspired and worthy to be called the Word of God. But if one asks wherein its holiness lies or what makes it different from other religions books, few can give any adequate answer. On the surface, or in its literal sense, the Bible is a history of men and nations, giving intimate glimpses of domestic bliss and of human folly, high-lights of moral wisdom and of tender faith, as well as examples of the lowest depravity to which men can sink. If we reflect we must admit that if God is the real Author of the Bible, His infinite wisdom must be present in the whole and in every part, even where the subject matter ostensibly is confined to wars between nations or the frank outpourings of human emotions of fear or revenge.

And how could this be, unless the story of the Biblical nations were in fact a parable intended to teach a wisdom far beyond the literal meaning of the words spoken to the prophets and the apostles? If the Bible be indeed the Word of God, it must contain a substratum of spiritual teachings so inexhaustible and profound that it can enlighten and inspire all generations to come.

That such a depth of truth is indeed present in the history and rituals of the Jews has sometimes been suspected by earnest students of Scripture. Paul warned that "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Cor. 3:6) and found an allegorical meaning in the story of Abraham's two sons (Gal. 4:22-31). He showed that the priests ministering in the tabernacle had served "as an example and shadow of heavenly things" (Hebr. 8, 9).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 3 Paul glimpsed these things only in part, as "in an enigma" or as "through a glass, darkly". But the rediscovery of the ancient knowledge of "correspondences", now presented clearly in the theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, makes it possible to demonstrate to any open-minded Christian that the story of the lands and peoples of the Bible is truly a Divine allegory - a continuous thread of spiritual teachings which are concealed within the language of consistent symbols and parables and representations: teachings about the nature and eternal destiny of the soul, about the laws of the regeneration of man's spirit, and about the modes whereby God our Creator becomes the Lord our Redeemer.

*       *       *

The Word, as it exists on earth, is the eternal foundation of the wisdom of the heavens. In it Divine truth is finally crystallized in its last or ultimate form. It was given as a mirror for all possible states of human life, in which we may see the relations of these states in their connection and contrast, and see their progressions as the angels see them, with the hope that we may thus be consociated with heaven.

Even a simple reading of the Sacred Scripture begins to accomplish these ends. For the Word - in its most obvious meaning - is clearly an account of how the Lord the Creator and Savior guided the human race toward an eventual salvation. Aside from its moral philosophy, which even the scoffer admires, it is a study of the ways of God with man and a record of man's fickle responses.

But in the New Church, we are promised, "every Divine truth of the Word in the sense of the letter with the men of that Church is translucent from the Divine truth in the spiritual sense" (AR 911). The spiritual sense is disclosed in the Writings, in order that the literal sense of the Word may become more and more a mirror of the Lord and of His Divine order.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 4 The objective in any New Church study of the letter of the Word is that the spiritual sense within it may come to light.

This objective is impossible of fulfillment unless the sense of the Letter be understood. It must be read and known and studied. It is true that the angels who attend man when he reverently reads the Word, do understand the internal sense without any idea of the persons and places about which man reads. And this is true also of the interior degrees of man's mind - upon which, subconsciously, spiritual ideas are inscribed without his knowledge; but man cannot on earth utilize these spiritual ideas, or think about them, or discuss them, unless he has seen them, either from open doctrine or in the sense of the Letter when this is rendered transparent.

Emanuel Swedenborg, in preparation for his mission as revelator, spent three years (1745-1748) in an intensive study of the literal sense of the Word; and this despite his having already been a constant reader of the Bible since his childhood. He was first led to search the literal sense and to see therein genuine truths of doctrine, before he could perceive the spiritual sense which he published in the Arcana Coelestia. And then the Heavenly Doctrine - which is a one with the internal sense of the Word - was published in a new series of volumes.

This is the order which we also need to follow. We cannot divorce the Doctrine from its foundations in Scripture. How can we understand what the 'New Jerusalem' implies, if we know nothing about the old Jerusalem? How can we follow the intricacies of the spiritual teachings given in the Arcana Coelestia, unless we have a clear idea of the natural events and the places and peoples that stand as the ultimate background of their representations and outline the connections between the spiritual states that are described.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 5 And abstract doctrines, even if known, are difficult to bear in mind, or to recollect, unless they are associated - by correspondence - with imagery from the natural world, through which they are suggested and held in their sacred connection.

For these reasons it is useful to take up the study of the places and the peoples about which the Word speaks in its letter. These places and these people were chosen for their role by a Divine selection. The more nearly we come to know and understand the peoples and the situations spoken of in the sense of the letter, the more details and the more profound depths can we discern in the spiritual meaning within. The less we know about the natural sense, the more general and obscure the internal sense becomes; as we may confirm from the fact that the Writings say about some nations, "What is signified by these cannot so well be seen, because they are not mentioned in other parts of the Word . . ." (AC 1183, 1153, etc.); and of some others, "By these nations are signified so many rituals . . . But what these kinds of ritual are, it is impossible to say, because they are determined by their relation to the worship itself, and until this is known nothing can be said about its rituals; nor would it be of any use to know them; neither do the names recur in the Word . . ." (AC 1247).

It stands to reason that if we had an intimate knowledge of oriental life and customs, the literal sense of the Word would be endowed for us with new and more precise shades of meaning which would render it more transparent to the living spirit within. For words mean different things to different ages; and the same holds true of names and places, objects and gestures. Many an obscure passage in the Prophets, referring to some strange little village or district, has received a new glow of beauty or a new and forceful meaning since archaeologists have unearthed its secrets from the sand: perhaps it had a shrine to the Moon-goddess, or was a source of some spice for the sacrifices; perhaps it was the place of some decisive battle.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 6 Generations of New Church scholars are yet to come who will restore the ancient landmarks of the Word, and make its letter speak with a greater power. But in the meanwhile, the clergy and laity of the Church can at least learn to love the sacred books and seek to read their story with a sympathetic heart, maintain the study of its sacred languages - the Hebrew and the Greek - and encourage a more correct translation than the present versions, which still speak, in places, in the tones of old church theology.





The inspired books which compose the Word* were written in different ages, and compiled from many sources. And therefore they contain several different styles. Some are poetical, in whole or in part. Some contain representative visions and historical predictions, or vague allusions to things yet to come. A great part is historical and biographical, depicting the actual events of Israelitish history from the time of Abram to that of the Lord's coming in the flesh.

* "The books of the Word are all those which have the internal sense; but those books which have not an internal sense are not the Word". The books of the Word are: Moses, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, the Psalms, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel and the twelve Minor Prophets, the four Gospels and the book of Revelation (AC 10325).

The historical portion contains the true history of Israel as the eyes of Israelites saw it. Certainly no other nation has preserved so merciless a record of its own shortcomings. None the less, the data given in the Bible are those which were accepted by the prophetic writers as the facts, and no doubt the record contains exaggerations - here and there - which redounded to the greater glory of Israel, to the power of Jehovah, and to the shame of His enemies. Thus the Writings reveal that when the text records how the sun and the moon, by Joshua's command, stood still over the valley of Ajalon, this was the actual appearance to the Hebrews, although the earth did not stop revolving (AE 401:18). And whatever slight aberrations the sincere history of Israel contained, it was by permission of Providence for the sake of the internal sense - which was the inward secret purpose within the literary records of this unique race.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 8 More and more, however, modern archeology confirms the remarkable accuracy of the Bible, to the discomfiture of a whole generation of learned critics.

What is true of Hebrew history, also holds true of the geography and ethnology of the Bible. It was the natural world, with its people, its fauna and flora, as known to the Israelites, that was the ultimate for the spiritual sense of the Word: a world seen in a very different perspective from ours. From the factual side, it was very inadequate. For the simple Hebrews believed themselves to dwell on a habitable crust of earth which the Creator had literally "stretched out above the waters" (Psalm 136:6) or "established upon the floods" (Psalm 24:2). Beneath it He had "gathered the waters of the sea together as an heap" and "laid up the depth in storehouses" (Psalm 33:7).





Thus beneath the earth were the 'fountains of the deep' which in the time of Noah had broken forth to flood the land. (Compare Proverbs, 8:27-29). And still further below lay the 'earth of lower things' - the pit, or Sheol - the underworld, the abode in which the dead were 'gathered to their fathers'. Above the world of the living, however, there stretched the vast firmament, which rested on the ranges of the 'everlasting hills' that surrounded the earth as a border.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 10 The transparent vault of the firmament, the 'Rakia', held the waters of heaven, having windows through which rain was released and beyond the firmament shone the heavenly bodies, sun and moon and stars. And the winds were held in their storehouses at the four quarters of the earth.

It must be remembered that the ancients - although some of the wise amongst them may have had deeper insights into the nature of the cosmos - were unable to draw definite debarkations between the spiritual world and the natural. The two worlds fused into each other Nature was, in a sense, alive, and gods walked with men. This led to the philosophy of pantheism, or at least to the idolatry of worshipping stocks and stones, and of raising men, animals, and even the sun and moon, into embodiments of Divinity. The Hebrews were regarded as materialists and iconoclasts when they condemned the making of graven images and the worship of local deities and ascribed all the forces of nature to the One God. Yet they inherited their ideas of the world from the dead letter of Ancient-Church tradition. And their account of Creation came directly from the Ancient Word, and was devoid of the polytheistic trappings which embellish the mythologies of other nations.

The Genesis story of Creation was originally not intended as a description of how the natural universe was formed. The Arcana states that "the creation of the universe is not there meant: for such things are there described as may be known from common sense not to have been so - as that there were days before the sun and moon.... It is plain that the historic narrative concerning the creation and concerning the first man and concerning paradise, is a history so framed as to contain within it heavenly and Divine things, and this according to the accepted manner [of writing] in the Ancient Churches. This style of writing extended thence also to many who were outside of that Church, who in like manner devised histories and involved arcane within them, as is clear from very ancient writers".


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 11 The Ancients "thought more interiorly than men do at this day, and thus had communication with angels and found delight in weaving such things together" (AC 8891).

To force a modern meaning into such an ancient text is therefore a fruitless task. The world which the wise men of antiquity saw as "created" by God, was an essentially mental world - a spiritual environment which gradually took shape about them and which they pictured as the creation by God of a natural world. For their language lacked abstract terms and they resorted to the use of analogies, figures, and fables, even as children love to do. The six days of creation therefore really described the order of spiritual creation or regeneration; which begins as a dawn of spiritual light the dawn of conscience - and then gradually manifests the powers and degrees of the soul; culminating in the formation, within man's body and natural mind, of the "image and likeness" of God, or of "Adam" - the truly human quality. In the spiritual world, also, an image of actual creation takes place about the angels, and they can even recognize their own particular affections and states in the correspondential creations about them (DLW 322f; TCR 78). The Hebrew idea of the cosmos, for all its crudities, was peculiarly adapted to the purposes of the Word; that is, for representing the state of the spiritual world as it was in the ages of the declining Ancient Churches. For in those times the spirits of men were indeed confined in the 'lower earth' - surrounded by the infesting hells in the antipodes of the world of spirits.




The stories about Creation and Paradise describe the rise of spiritual life with the infant race. Yet this Spiritual development was expressed in natural symbols. Its imagery was taken from things with which the sacred writers were familiar in the natural world. And we may therefore rightly expect to find a substratum of natural facts within the narrative, and even references to true history as handed down by tradition. Thus we find mention, in those earlier chapters of Genesis which were taken from the Ancient Word, of place-names which correspond to known localities

The garden of Eden which the Lord planted "from the east" has no known equivalent. But out of it went forth a river which "parted into four heads". One "head" was the Pishon, associated with the land of Havilah where there is gold and bdellium and the onyx stone. This land is mentioned elsewhere (Gen. 25:18) and seems to lie in the Syrian desert, bordering Babylonia. The next river, the Gihon, is associated with the land of Cush, which the Authorized Version calls 'Ethiopia', and is therefore supposed to mean the Nile; yet the land of Kas, in present Persia, was probably here meant by 'Cush' and the river would then be the Khoaspes. The third and fourth rivers, Hiddekel and Phrath, are the actual names for the Tigris and the Euphrates.

This brings us no certainty that Eden was situated in what is now Iraq, or lower Mesopotamia. The sacred writer describes a state, not a place; even though, to him, these river deltas gave a worthy picture of the original paradise, the garden of 'Delight' into which Jehovah God introduced man as the master of all other creatures. But it indicates that it was here that the old Semitic creation-story was first moulded into its inspired form.



The precise expressions of the text show that Jehovah God first formed man, then planted the garden, and then put the man into it: He "took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it". Even if we feel satisfied that we have located the habitat of the celestial church, this leaves untouched the broader question of the "locus" of man's first creation.


Our DOCTRINE is quite definite, that the Church called ADAM, or 'Man', was not the first form of human life here on earth. 'Adamic' man - whom the New Church does not hesitate to call 'Homo Sapiens' whatever anthropologists might do - was the product of generations of development and spiritual regeneration, and was preceded by 'pre-adamites' of lower type. The six days of creation and the descriptions of Adam and of Eve in Eden thus treat interiorly, "first, of those who lived like wild animals (feroe) but at length became spiritual men; then, of those who became celestial men and made up the Most Ancient Church, and later of those who fell away . . ." (AC 286). The character of the pre-adamites who were regenerated by the Lord, was disclosed to Swedenborg from ancient or modern examples in the spiritual world. They were not evil, but had very little of spiritual life within their externals (SD 3390).

The existence of a people which did not originate from Adam and Eve is seen by some to be suggested in the fact that Cain went forth into the land of NOD where he apparently married and built a city (TCR 466).

Swedenborg, as a young man of thirty, had dismissed this idea of a pre-adamite race. But he was most interested in the extent of the original Eden, and theorized that its bland climate may have embraced even his native Sweden, which he knew as being from olden times a center from which innumerable waves of migrating peoples had proceeded.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 14 In a little work on "The Motion and Position of the Earth . . ." which he published in 1718, he speculates that Sweden was possibly inhabited before any other land. For in the infancy of the earth, he maintains, its days and nights, and its years also, were shorter, with the result that its climate was that of a perpetual spring. He suggests that America - in such a balmy epoch - might easily have been populated from Sweden, over the landbridge of Greenland. And he confirms this theory - advanced only partly from patriotic bias - by various reasons from geology as well as from the Holy Writ.

Although we cannot defend this thesis of the youthful Swedenborg, we accept as good advice his own defense - which was in brief, that "where the truth cannot yet reach, surmise must fill in the gap"! The fact that the Word does not solve the conundrum of the first appearance of mankind - or that the Writings, in speaking of the pre-adamites, give no suggestion either of the time or the place of their existence - does not prevent our imaginations from wondering about our distant origins.

The time of man's advent on this planet is an open question. Research directed to the study of the earliest traces of human life has at least confirmed this negative truth, that the earlier chronology of the Biblical writers - with its scanty six thousand years since creation - cannot be accepted as factual; since recorded events in Egypt's secular history go far back of the traditional date for the Flood, and human remains have been found in stratified deposits which must have taken hundreds of thousands of years in forming. These conclusions do not disturb the mind of the New Churchman, who must have faith that human science will eventually be seen to yield magnificent confirmations of revealed truth, if these are patiently awaited.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 15 A director of the American School of Prehistoric Research recently stated that "Prehistory is not an exact science".* And with this in mind, it may be of use briefly to describe a few of the general facts which geologists and paleontologists seem now to accept as bearing on the antiquity of man.

* MacCurdy, "Human Origins", vol. 1, p. 430.

Their claim is that in Tertiary times - perhaps more than a million years ago, thus before the Glacial Period - a genial climate prevailed over the Eurasian continent. This was the age of luxuriant flora when the great mammals began to appear on earth. A relatively few examples of what is thought to be human remains, and roughly worked tools of stone, have been found in strata which are assigned to the close of this Tertiary period.


But to the next period are assigned a great many evidences of human existence. It began under mild climatic conditions, but the glaciers repeatedly marched in from the north, compelling those forms of life to give way which required warmer conditions. As the ice sheets - such as now cover Greenland - began in turn to retreat, southern flora and fauna sprang up. In one of the intervals between the ice-invasions, elephants and hippopotamuses found their way into England by a land bridge that is now severed. And in such intervals men - the men of the Old Stone Age - apparently followed the southern life back into Europe. One supposition is that they could come only by way of the land bridges then connecting Spain and Italy with North Africa - as "Europe appears to have been cut off from Asia by a continuous sea, which extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian and thence to the Arctic Ocean by way of the great Ural Gulf".*


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 16 [Diagram]


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 17 This is at least one opinion. Some of these Paleolithic peoples were apparently Negroid in type, others were not. Several left rock paintings or carvings of artistic merit. There are signs of religious life, for they buried food and tools with their dead. But what is known of such primitive human stocks - the Heidelberg man, the Neanderthal race, the Cro-Magnons, the Grimaldi, the Aurignacians, and the Magdalenians, some of which must have met and mingled before they became extinct or before we lose trace of them in the maze of time - is not enough to answer the question which most entices us: Whence came they?

* Huntingdon, "Character of Races", 1927, p. 42.

For they are presumed to have lived not only in Europe; traces of such early types have been found to have existed in widely separated lands, as in China, in South Africa, in Egypt, and in Palestine. No actual agreement exists among anthropologists as to the placing of these races into any order of descent. Professor Osborn (whose diagram we reproduce on page 15) classifies them largely on the basis of cephalic indices. But Professor Franz Weidenreich, in his "Apes, Giants, and Man" (1946, page 108), maintains that the skull index cannot be used as an infallible standard for determining racial relationship. He offers evidence that the earliest "pre-human" races of which fossil remains have been found in Java and China were of gigantic size.

A relationship between these earliest types of man and the "pre-adamites" referred to in the Writings of Swedenborg, readily suggests itself. The stature of these people was usually not quite so erect and graceful as that of modern races, but their brains were capacious. It is interesting to note a statement in the Spiritual Diary, to the effect that "the erect attitude of the body is not natural, but artificial, and has been learnt by process of time, and adopted by custom". This is said with reference to the inhabitants of Jupiter, who do not walk in our proud modern way but assist themselves with the hands, as if hopping or springing, and stand with the knees sagging (SD 567) It is further said, that the people of our Most Ancient Church were "extremely similar" in type with these Jovians (SD 3488; cp. AC 8249). Anatomists agree that the upright posture is not natural. And Swedenborg provides additional comfort when he notes that "nature desires" that men should walk as the Jovians do, and that if this were customary it would also be accepted as becoming (SD 567).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 18 Every infant indeed begins by creeping like a quadruped, yet has the instinctive desire to turn his face heavenward and not to the ground. Why should the race in its infancy not have been marked by a trace of some such posture? (DP 275; compare "Worship and Love of God", n. 31)

Of the spiritual quality of the men of the Old Stone Age we know practically nothing, except that some of them undoubtedly believed in a life after this - a life which would somehow resemble that of earth. To describe the earliest "Dawn-men" - dating from before the Glacial Period - as kindred to pre-adamite man does not seem to me to be a very daring assumption. But to decide whether the later paleolithic peoples were related to these pre-adamites in their upward struggles to become spiritual men - a struggle which answers to the first six days of "creation" - or whether they represented some of the debased branches which either deteriorated after reaching some stage in this regenerating process, or perhaps may include even some of the profane and degraded offspring of the Most Ancient Church-that is a far more difficult question.

This seems clear. Most of the men of the Old Stone Age, at least in Europe, became extinct, and - at the close of the Glacial Period - the direction of human progress was entrusted to other races which are represented by the species of man who now occupy the earth. These new races were of a different genius, and of a different appearance.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 19 Scientists - knowing nothing about the value of the celestial qualities which characterized the Most Ancient Church - call the new races "Homo Sapiens". But they were not wise, and should rather be called potentially 'intelligent'. They carried forward external civilization, and their appearance coincides with the beginning of the New Stone Age, or the Neolithic Period.

The Writings do not speak of the Paleolithic and the Neolithic races. But they definitely describe the Most Ancient Church, its forebears and descendants, as being of a celestial genius, having even physiological differences when compared with the peoples who succeeded it, - difference as to breathing and as to brain function. The succeeding dispensation, or the Ancient Church, was taken up only by a small remnant of that antediluvian stock, - a remnant called Noah, which for special reasons was able to adjust itself to a new mode of spiritual and natural life; while the new culture of the "spiritual church", or that of the Silver Age, was spread mainly among new races, formerly of a more or less gentile way of life.

Before Swedenborg's time it was generally believed that the great deluge at the time of Noah was an actual event, and that Noah and his family alone survived. Therefore all the present races of mankind were supposed to have descended from his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and that "of them was the whole earth overspread" (Gen. 9:19). But the Writings do not sanction this view. Noah was only the spiritual father of those who were called his sons. Moreover, there were other survivors of the 'flood' than those who received the Ancient Church. It was only the utterly corrupt descendants of the celestial church - those who had profaned their high gifts - that became extinct. Other branches of the human race, stocks which had never been fully developed into a celestial church, still survived; and of these many - in widely separated parts of the globe - became variously affected by the influence of the new Ancient Church.




In approaching our subject of the peoples and lands of the Scriptures, we sought to point out that the symbolic history given in the early chapters of the book of Genesis was not intended as an account of the natural development of the human race, but as a record of its spiritual states; that is, not as an ethnological treatment of races and peoples, but as a history of churches or religions, and of their growth and decline, and their descent one from another.

Yet at certain points, true historicals are interwoven into the symbolic narrative. And the Writings open up a new aspect and a new set of problems when they definitely show that those men, who, by stages, developed into a celestial church, and who are described by Adam and some of his descendants, were possessed of certain physiological characteristics which marked them apart as a distinct race, albeit a race which was in process of evolution or change, capable of deterioration and also of new adjustments.

Human science knows nothing of the primeval celestial church. But it has unearthed a considerable amount of evidence that there were distinctive groups of races living before and during the Glacial Period. Most of these, it is considered, reached only the cultural level which is called the "early Paleolithic". They became extinct before history ever dawned, and scholars seem to agree that they are not the direct ancestors of any races now living.

Where they came from is unknown. The oldest human implements or artifacts found in the Near East up to 1932, may, according to Professor Breasted, date from the beginning of the European Ice Age,


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 21 - when North Africa was turning into desert, while the Mediterranean was still a lake and had not yet broken the land connections which joined Africa to Europe. The inhabitants of North Africa then had the alternative of migrating into Europe or of moving into the valley of the primitive Nile, where they took up farming and herding.

Attempts have been made to prove that a race of "Dawnmen" lived comfortably in England before the Ice Age had well begun - perhaps a million years ago! * In Java, remains of far more primitive types have been unearthed. Throughout western Europe plentiful finds have been made of human bones and artifacts of the Neanderthal type, and in Palestine remains have been discovered of similar paleolithic cave-men, while others have been found in Rhodesia. In Mongolia and China remains and implements of the Old Stone Age have been dug up in quantities and varieties great enough to convince many scholars that Asia was the homeland of these extinct races.

* Osborn, "Man Rises to Parnassus", p. 35.

But whether this conclusion be accepted or not, anthropologists are willing to hazard a more definite opinion as to the ancestors of the present-day races. These, they say, should be looked for in the high plateaus of Asia, whence their descendants in successive surges, spread in all directions. Negroid types spread southward into India and Australia, and south-westward into tropical Africa. Mongolian types pressed eastward into China and eventually into America; and southward into Malaysia.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 22 [Diagram]


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 23 The Caucasian types - Mediterraneans, Alpines, and Nordics explored the West, at first mostly skirting the Mediterranean on the East and South. The Nordics are believed to have found their way to the Baltic through the Balkans. Most of those races which reached the Near East and Europe during the later intervals of the Glacial Period and after it, exhibit that culture which is called the Neolithic, or that of the New Stone Age, when flints were finely wrought.

It is to be noted that the Biblical stocks of Shem, Ham, and Japheth find no place in these modern classifications, as those from whom 'the whole earth was overspread'. For the earth which was filled by Noah's seed was the spiritual 'earth' of the Ancient Church. Nor should we, in an eagerness to give a factual basis to the Biblical account, try to identify the Glacial Period with the Flood of Noah! But we might nevertheless recognize that the Neolithic peoples who lived near the Mediterranean basin during one of the Glacial epochs, had plenty of occasion to regard a deluge as the symbol of utter catastrophe. For in such epochs - when the continent was subsiding and whole islands disappeared - the rising sea and the rivers and the torrential rains must have become man's legendary enemies, the scourge of God upon a corrupted race.

And it is strange to note that the geographical conditions of these long ages were such that the course of the migration into Europe of these new peoples was naturally directed mostly through the Levant - through those regions which we call the countries of the Bible: through Asia Minor and the Caucasus, through the present Iran and Iraq, through Syria and Palestine, Araby and Egypt, which as yet were not nations.

In an ethnological and geographical sense, this region was then more than ever the hub and crossroads of the world - the center of the greatest land-mass on the earth. Here Europe and Asia and Africa met. And if this region had any cultural gifts to offer, there could be no better market-place for spiritual trading.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 24 If this was the region where the Most Ancient Church grew into its quiet glory and found the secrets of truly human life and learned to read wisdom from the book of nature, then it must have transmitted at least a frail remnant of its passing intuitions to the transient populations which, millennium after millennium, moved from the Asiatic highlands down the fertile crescent of the Orient to the broad spaces of North Africa.


But the celestial church declined into utter corruption. The Swedish name for Noah's Flood is "Syndafloden", the Flood of Sin. This expression unintentionally suggests the spiritual fact: for the deluge was of spiritual origin, but deadly none the less. The Arcana Coelestia relates that the race which attained the lofty character described by Adam in paradise, had preserved with themselves the endowment of a united mind. For they had been born in the order of creation and therefore had a perceptive understanding which was so closely conjoined to the will that if the will, through man's choice, became debased and evil, the whole mind would be obsessed with irresistible phantasies, by which man would excuse his wickedness as permissible. In fact, these antediluvians claimed that they were "sons of god" and could do no wrong. "Every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). No "remains" of good and of truth could be implanted in such a race (AC 562). To make matters even worse, these descendants of the most ancient church enjoyed a peculiar type of breathing - a tacit, or "internal respiration" (AC 607, 608, 805). This breathing was controlled involuntarily by their states of love or hate; and in consequence, when their evil passions rose beyond a certain limit, they would suffocate of their own accord, as if drowned in a flood of their own evils and profane persuasions (AC 653, 1120).



Thus the profane race perished from off the earth. But with some of that stock, an external type of breathing, more independent of their emotions, began to be cultivated. Our consciousness, our thinking, is dependent on our manner of breathing. If we can control our respiration, we can seek to understand even what opposes our impatient native passions. So, with the remnant called "Noah" - the parent church of the Ancient Church - the understanding became a new basis for salvation and regeneration (AC 530-535).

The Arcana seems to suggest the influence which the Most Ancient Church exerted upon races of different character when it mentions - as if by the way - that at the time of the Flood, or when the Most Ancient Church had corrupted itself, there were "other churches also", besides the new Church which was called Noah (AC 640). Church 'Noah' is particularly stressed in the Word because it was so different from the Most Ancient Church. But before the time of Noah there had been other "new" churches which had sprung from the Most Ancient Church; such as that signified by Seth (Gen. 4:25), which is also described by Jabal, Jubal and Tubal-cain. Jabal is called 'the father of the dweller in tents, and of cattle', Jubal 'the father of everyone that playeth upon the harp and organ', and Tubal-cain 'an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron'. This church Seth signified a new faith by which charity might be restored; and after his son, Enos, had been born, we read then began they to call upon the name of Jehovah' (Gen 4:26). This was evidently a church of spiritual type and race, but one which received its religious influences directly from the Most Ancient Church. From it - it is permissible to imagine - might have come the peoples which in later ages became the pioneers in the use of bronze and later introduced the iron cultures in the Near East (AC 435, 439).



Another 'new' church which sprang from the Most Ancient, also bore the same name of Seth (Gen. 5:3), but is described in the Arcana as 'not like the Most Ancient Church in respect to love and its derivative faith' but still somewhat similar, its quality being like that of the parent church before this had become celestial (AC 484). And this new church is described as the 'first posterity' of the declining Most Ancient Church (AC 435), which was becoming less and less celestial (AC 505), thus reverting to a lower state.

Here we must call attention to the fact that the impression given in the Writings of the Most Ancient Church appears somewhat ambiguous; and the ambiguity will not be removed unless we suppose that the Most Ancient Church - in one sense - was confined to a special race with special characteristics and perhaps living within a small area; and that - in another, broader sense - the name refers to a religious dispensation among peoples who had come into contact with that race and been imbued with its life and worship. This must have been the sense in which the Most Ancient Church (as well as the later Ancient Church) is called 'a true church of the gentiles' (AC 1259). Finally, in a still wider sense, we can apply the term 'golden age' and 'most ancient' to the infancy of many separate peoples - as do the classical writers.

As a race, the Most Ancient Church was characterized not only by what is called 'internal breathing', but, as a result, by a speech which took place without articulate words, and indeed mostly by gestures and facial expressions. "The first speech in any earth was speech by the face" (AC 8249). This therefore was retained in the stock which remained in the order of its creation and developed into a 'celestial man'.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 27 "Every one also may know", Swedenborg writes, "that the most ancient people could not have had spoken words" or an articulate speech, "because the words formed by the tongue were not immediately inspired, but had to be invented and applied to things, and this could not have been accomplished except gradually in the course of time" (AC 8249). This racial church is described as living, each family by itself, in greatest innocence, a primitive life resembling that of the spirits of Jupiter (AC 8118; SD 3488). They cared nothing about external things beyond the necessities of the body and were able to consociate wit h angels in visions and dreams. (AC 243, 920, 69, 895, 1172, 1880) Despite their simplicity, they possessed the wisdom of life which springs from a love of God, whom they conceived as the Only Man.

Yet when Swedenborg describes his visits to the heavens of the Most Ancient Church, he does not tell of a people devoid of all the externals of civilization, although he infers that some of the celestials went about naked as in the tropics Mostly they seem to be of the tent-dwelling, patriarchal type - nomadic shepherds, who also raised crops of grain (AE 799). Some of these, living in communities of thousands of tents, wore garments of wool and of linen, and had gems and jewelry of worked gold, and in their tabernacle they kept written tablets (CL 42, 75). The house of God, with some of the Most Ancient peoples, seems to have been constructed of wood (AC 3720; AE 1145:2).

All these descriptions indicate that the Most Ancient Church did not die out without leaving many remnants and side-branches which developed an external civilization. Some of these continued to advance possibly for ages, before their internal deterioration began. Some, on the other hand, were so evil and awe-inspiring that the Hebrews called them by the name Nephilim, the name of the so-called 'giants' before the Flood (AC 4454). Others were of a good disposition, like certain of the Hittites and Hivites who dwelt in the land of Canaan.



But it is unlikely that any of these were blood-descendants of the men of the celestial church called Adam - the special race which rose to the summit of their celestial potentiality and then profaned their high inheritance. The high state of culture which the descriptions of the Writings assign to some of the Most Ancient Church strongly suggest that this Church was propagated widely among the first Neolithic peoples who streamed past the region of the Near Fast in their migrations; and who at that time had not totally destroyed the order of creation with themselves, even though they had already lost the possibility of becoming fully celestial.

Such races-of a seed "less celestial", yet having "a voluntary not so much destroyed" as is the case with the spiritual (AC 505; SD 4719) - were still in the sixth day, or the fifth, of spiritual creation! and they, in their migrations' formed (we believe) the early 'golden age' of many a nation, to be recounted in later legends and sung by poets - a fading memory of a disappearing race of godlike, happy beings who first peopled the earth and once in a while are glimpsed in the early morning mists of history.

And among some of these the art of writing developed, an art which enabled the communion called Enoch (the seventh from Adam) to collect the correspondences that were to serve a later church for its first instruction. In this labor, the men of Enoch used even earlier written records (SD 5999; AC 609; AE 728). They reduced to doctrine what in the Most Ancient Church had been matters of perception: which was not for their own account, but for the use of a future church (AC 520, 521); since it was recognized that enlightenment was on the wane and that truth was threatened with destruction at the hands of the last and most evil posterity of the celestial church.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 29 These doctrines were thus preserved and guarded (AE 728).

How long ago this may leave occurred, there is no way of knowing.* Yet we do know that even in the eaves of the later paleolithic peoples of the Magdalenian era - dated about 16,000 or 25,000 years ago - symbolic signs and what some take to be alphabetical inscriptions have been found, as well as beautiful rock paintings and decorations.**

* The Arcana, in discussing the ages of the patriarchs about the time of the Flood, shows that the years are not to be taken literally but in a symbolic sense, to picture the changes of state in the ancient churches; "but their ecclesiastical computation is now totally lost" (AC 575).

** MacCurdy, Human Origins, I, page 286.

Other remnants of the Most Ancient Church may have survived. For it was from "descendants of the most ancient church" that Moses had the things concerning creation, the garden of Eden, and down to the time of Abram" (AC 66); things which, in the meantime had been incorporated in the so-called 'Ancient Word', from which he copied them, presumably from the Hebrew version (AC 66; SS 102).

A great many traditions and customs were handed down from the most ancient church. The precepts of monogamic marriage were traced to the most ancients by certain peoples of the Copper Age who probably belonged to the Hebrew Church (CL 77). The custom of setting up stone pillars, or dolmens or megaliths, - a practice which has been considered as belonging to Neolithic times, - is said in the Writings to have originated among the most ancient peoples (AC 3727, 4580:2). And finally, Swedenborg saw an angelic pair who had lived in the Golden Age, using a chariot with horses (CL 42): a remarkable thing, since the horse was not domesticated before dater Neolithic times and is taken as typical of the Ancient Church rather than of the Most Ancient. In the Near least it was introduced through the Northern Hittites and the Hyksos.



We conclude from all this that the Writings do not confine the Most Ancient Church to the farthest antiquity - or to so-called Paleolithic ages; but that it marked a prehistoric substratum of peoples whose voluntary faculty had not yet been completely destroyed by hereditary evils.

Even in the history of Israel do we meet with such peoples. For there were ire Canaan, in the times of Abram and Jacob, certain tribes of Hittites and Hivites, who were, we read, "of the remains of the Most Ancient Church which was celestial" (AC 4431, 4489).* They are contrasted with the Israelites, who had received the externals of their worship from the Hebrew or "Second Ancient" Church. These Hittites were a friendly people, "among the more upright of the nations in Canaan" (AC 3470, 2913), and "not so much in falsity and evil" as other tribes in the land. They still possessed a remainder of interior truth from the most ancient Divine stock - truth which was inscribed in the will as good of charity (AC 4447, 4448). But when some of them, under Shechem their chief, consented to be circumcised and to adopt the Jewish type of merely external worship, they committed a grievous evil, for thereby their internals would be closed and their salvation made impossible. This is the hidden reason why they were permitted to be slain by the cruel and treacherous sons of Jacob (AC 4493). For there is one mode of salvation for the celestial, and another for the spiritual. The celestial are reformed and regenerated through charity and are thus introduced into love to the Lord (AC 3122, 5113, 6296e, 6065). For such to recede and become a merely representative church, or seek a salvation by external and intellectual modes, would profane their nature and genius, and cause them to decline from the good and truth which they had, thus incurring a dreadful spiritual peril (AC 4493, 310).

* Indeed, in his ear]y exegetical notes, Swedenborg, by a strange transference of ideas, sometimes calls them "descendants of Seth" (WE 1563).





It MIGHT appear, therefore, that the remnants of the celestial race could in nowise take refuge in the spiritual church. The question then arises how it was that Noah - or those meant by him - as a remnant of the Most Ancient Church, could have been saved and formed into a spiritual church.

But observe that NOAH could be saved by a new mode because he was of the corrupted celestial church (AC 788, 1072e). This may sound like a contradiction; yet those called 'Noah' were of that posterity of the most ancient church whose hereditary will had become utterly corrupt, and who had become corporeal, - a condition which did not exist with the churches called 'SETH' or 'ENOS' or with such remnants as the Hittites. The Noahtic peoples had no good left except some natural good, and their hope of salvation consisted in the formation of a new will, in the understanding; for they were still capable of perceiving some rational truth, as the Lord - in His foresight - had provided that their will should be separable from their understanding, and that their conscious life could be carried on in the understanding even apart from the will.

This was signified by the ark which Noah built and in which he was carried safely on the surface of the turbulent waters of phantasy which engulfed those who did not accept the Lord's proffered new way of salvation by rational self compulsion, by artificial civilization


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 32 such as we see developing more and more in later races, when the truth of doctrine, from tradition and from Divine revelation, became the thing which shaped men's lives, kindled their religious perceptions, and subdued racial heredities.

NOAH was thus "of another and entirely different" nature and genius than the churches which still had something of the celestial seed left in them. This first communion of a new, spiritual church was only "among a few". We presume that it took root at first in the land of Canaan, - taking Canaan in its widest sense. But there are indications that it was not there that the Noahtic people found the soil for their missionary work. Their message was not acceptable to the dying race of Nephilim - who were obsessed with their own supposed divinity and were a law unto themselves, governed by their own will and passion for self-worship. And neither was the mission of Noah meant for such good remnants of celestial type as the Hittites, some of whom remained in that land of the most ancient church.

For such it was. The definite statements of the Writings show that the Most Ancient Church - and, spiritually, the garden of Eden or the church called Adam - were in this land; and here also was the Ancient Church, the Hebrew, and the Christian. Truly it was the land of the Churches.

Archeology does not as yet assist us - its systematic search reaches only down to the age of the Hebrew kings. Old Stone Age implements have of course been found, and indeed paleolithic remains of Neanderthal type. It is known that untold ages later a Neolithic race - non-Semitic, of short stature, lived in Palestine, in caves or in huts of wood or stone, a race which sometimes cremated its dead, but which also buried the dead with food and drink for the after-life; and which had domestic animals and used flint weapons, grindstones and rough pottery.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 33 Several dolmen areas of great memorial stones remain also on both sides of the Jordan. But no conclusive traces of continuous occupation are as yet indicated before about 3000 B.C.

Yet when we examine what the Writings say of the spread of the Ancient Church, it seems rather as if this religion was reintroduced into Canaan, even though it probably had once originated there with those who are called 'Noah'. Noah, as already noted, was only among a few (AC 468, 788). Yet the religious gospel of that people spread widely. Shem, Ham, and Japheth - the spiritual sons of Noah - were the components of the vast religion of the Ancient Church, and "of them was the whole earth overspread". These three 'sons' were of course not races, nor individual, separate churches, nor nations. But they represented the three ways in which the Noahtic gospel was received. Shem signifies the Church as interiorly received in charity and intelligent faith; Japheth represents the simple, but external reception of it among sincere people; Ham stands for an idolatrous, merely external and formal acceptance.

This does not mean that the Ancient Church cannot be recognized as having existed among definite nations and races, some of which are named in the Word and called the 'sons', or descendants, of either Shem, or Ham, or Japheth. The communion called Noah, however, disappears from history. It was the parent or seed, not the Ancient Church itself (AC 788).

One thing is notable. 'The flood came, and Noah is borne away in his ark. It subsides, and the ark lands on Mount Ararat, the mountain of 'first light'. Can it be that we have, here, a hint of the true history? Did that little colony of 'Noah' settle clown in the highlands of Armenia, planting there the vineyard of the spiritual church? Was it there that they brought the precious 'book of Enoch' which was to serve as their primitive Word before prophets of their own arose?


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 34 Did the religion of the Ancient Church spread forth from this region which was so close to the cross-roads of the world - looking East towards the fertile Asiatic plains across the Caspian, North upon the steppes of Russia, West towards Anatolia and the Danube valley, and South upon the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia and the lands connecting with the Nile valley and Africa, lands where the great oriental empires were later to arise? Let us quote the information given in the "Coronis":

"The Noahtic, or Ancient Church, was diffused (dispersa) through the whole of Asia, especially into Syria, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Chaldea, the land of Canaan and parts adjacent to it - Philistia, Egypt, Tyre, Sidon, Nineveh, - and also into Arabia and Ethiopia, and in the course of time into great Tartary, and thence downward even to the Black Sea, and from this into all the districts of Africa . . ." (Coro 39).

The 'dispersion' of the Ancient Church continued farther than is indicated by this statement. From the Syrian seashore and across the Aegean, the influences of the Ancient Church, in successive waves, may be traced into Greece and the Roman world; but the Ancient Church had already flourished and deteriorated * before its full force was felt among the Greeks (SS 21, 117; AC 8944:2, 9011e). There was also an extension of the influence of the Ancient Church to the northern Europeans whose mythology was so kindred to that of the Greeks; and yet another extension into North and South America, probably by way of Tartary, or (who knows?) by way of the Atlantic!

* It was adulterated by innovators in various places (AC 1241).

Until scholars can, with some accuracy, trace the courses of the various migrations of the Neolithic and the prehistoric peoples from which the known nations have stemmed, it is perhaps vain to try to picture in any detail how the Ancient Church was propagated "from nation to nation", and especially how it could have been transferred - as if by a belated second effort, from Great Tartary downwards through the Black Sea region into all parts* of Africa, and thus independently of its spread into Africa from adjacent Palestine.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 35 'Great Tartary' does not figure among the Bible lands. But it was there that the Ancient Word, such as it existed in the time of Moses, was apparently preserved until Swedenborg's own day (TCR 279; Coro 39). Or did Swedenborg mean that it is preserved among the Tartars in the spiritual world?

* Compare TCR 760: "partly in Africa".

* * *

The Ancient Church, it is particularly noted in the Writings, took color and quality from the genius and disposition of the nations. Each nation, each people, developed different rituals and doctrinals. Each nation also - by virtue of its native bents - came to live in a circumscribed and typical environment in which its qualities were best expressed. Each came to represent a spiritual faculty, or a state of the church. The ancient churches therefore were many. But certain com mon characteristics were present. They all had representative worship and made use of the science of correspondences to express spiritual things in natural symbols. They all had teachings about spiritual things, couched in the form of history or ritual.

Some of these nations remained primitive, their religion simple. All through the world we find the familiar remnants of their worship - great megaliths or "pillars" set in groups. In course of time, some of these heliolithic nations developed an intricate system of symbols and an elaborate mode of worship, which - by and by - made them take the external symbol for a power in itself, and place their faith in magic; the while the worship of the One God was lost in a pantheon of lesser deities which their philosophers and priests then sought in vain to reunite or reconcile. We find such nations in ancient Mexico and in India, in Druid Wales and in the isles of Greece.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 36 But in the Near East they stand in a close grouping surrounding the land where the Bible was written. And those nations, whether simple or cultured, whether desert tribes or empires, whether good or evil, have a significance of deeper import than the rest. For they - in their time played a role in shaping those events which brought salvation back to mankind. And even now, whenever the Word is read in its letter, the spiritual states of these ancient nations - states which they consciously sought to represent each by its own symbolic rites, and states which they unconsciously represented by reason of their genius and potentialities or by reason of their external acts and political fate-are resurrected before angels and men to tell again the story of spiritual redemption and human regeneration.


In the tenth chapter of Genesis we find a genealogical table, entitled "The Generations of the Sons of Noah". This is written in a style intermediate between the style of made-up history and that of true history. It makes allegorical use of the names of nations, civilizations, and churches as if they were the names of individual men who claim a common descent from Noah. A few actual individuals are also mentioned, e.g. Eber and his posterity. But this apart, the chapter, in its literal sense, is a list of nations which constituted the Ancient Church, and a description of their spiritual affinities. The list is of course not complete, for the Ancient Church spread, in some form or other, far beyond the peoples known by name to the Hebrews. But it is complete in that it comprises all the main types and varieties of the Ancient Church; and this is all that is necessary to express the spiritual sense, in which the varieties of the cults and doctrinals of that dispensation are the sole subject matter.



The common character of this Church consisted in this that all belonging to it were of a spiritual genius, as contrasted with those who had a remnant of "celestial seed", or of a will not totally perverted. The "spiritual" had to seek salvation through the understanding of truth; thus not by access to the 'tree of life', but by taking refuge in the 'ark' of doctrine. This is what made them, in a spiritual sense, the sons and descendants of Noah. They were no longer permitted to enjoy open intercourse with spirits or angels, although prophets, specially prepared, received Divine revelations in dreams or visions. The covenant of Noah was that of the "bow in the clouds" - signifying a conscience formed from doctrine (AC 1043).

But doctrine, as understood in the Ancient Church, was a markedly different thing from that abstract and definite body of knowledge which is now possessed by the New Church. The Ancients had no ready-made language of philosophy in which to convey their wisdom, any more than they had any sifted and checked science about the constitution of the natural world. The words necessary for conveying thought had to be invented and applied to things, and thus were long in forming (AC 8249). The beginnings of language are derived from the ultimates of nature. Doctrine, at first, had to be conveyed through symbols; that is, through ultimate objects and names with which spiritual ideas were associated and which thus suggested and recalled spiritual states. Both worship and life thus became charged through and through with "representatives". And the new spiritual church of the "Silver Age" became a representative church. For the Ancients sought to represent the ideal life of the lost celestial state by way of imitating the externals which the men of the Golden Age had spontaneously used to convey their love, their worship, and their perceptions.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 38 These externals - such as worship on mountains, contemplations in groves, the use of oil for anointing and blessing, and the raising of "pillars" for remembrance, - were transmitted to the Ancients through the books of Enoch which served as the first revelation to the spiritual church. And on this groundwork they gradually built up more elaborate representations, adapting them to the needs of their own more intellectual church. And in process of time, the various books of the Ancient Word were written by prophets and handed down to many peoples of antiquity. Portions of these sacred writings were preserved, other parts were adulterated, lost, and forgotten.

Each nation framed its own kind of worship, and its own sets of customs which symbolized the knowledge which their prophets and seers had revealed concerning spiritual things, concerning the life of man after death, concerning the love and wisdom of God, and the omnipotent protection of Divine Providence. And the central aim within these representative customs was to perpetuate the ideals of charity. The doctrine of Charity - which taught how men might live together in amity and peace, and labor for the common good of their communities - was a unifying element in the great diversity which differing rituals brought about. So long as this was the central aim, the representations adopted by the various peoples were not regarded as anything but a means to a common end. If God was called by a different name, or pictured in a different aspect, by some other nation, this was not taken to imply a denial of their own idea of God: for what finite thing could possibly by itself define the manifold powers and attributes of God? Was it not better to combine these various efforts of representing the truth about the Divine as Creator, or as Provider, or as Protector or Regenerator - and picture His Divine qualities in a variety of forms? To seek to perceive the qualities of Deity within such different forms became a matter of wisdom to the Ancients.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 39 Their minds delighted in mysteries - in the awe of discovering new phases of Divine power reflected in the many forces and forms of nature. Yet they also looked forward to the time when these symbols should become a language which would clearly teach the interior truths about communion with God and concerning the order of spiritual life here and hereafter.

It is not to be doubted that in the eyes of the angels every nation of the Ancient Church came to stand for some particular and essential aspect of the true church. But we do not now know precisely what nations constituted the Ancient Church at the time of its spiritual integrity. When the tenth chapter of Genesis was written among the Hebrews, many of these nations had already become spiritually decadent, and some had no doubt faded out of memory. Most of those that are mentioned had therefore already lost their original spiritual virtues, and by the introduction of destructive innovations had perverted their pristine graces (AC 1241). Indeed they had come - in the eyes of heaven - to represent perversions, evils and falsities of specific types. At times these evils and this opposite representation could be veiled over and hidden, by reason of the good qualities which they once possessed; but mostly, such nations as Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria stand in the Word to signify evil and false principles.


This decline is recounted, in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, in the story of the tower of Babel. This story is prefaced with the statement, "And the whole earth was of one lip, and their words were one". For as long as the Ancient Church was in mutual love, there was an essential agreement as to doctrine, despite varieties of cults and rituals.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 40 Charity made one church out of many, and a common understanding

But "it came to pass when they journeyed from the east, that they found a valley in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there". They began to withdraw from the charity which springs from love to the Lord: they began to retreat from the mountain heights of pure internal worship, and turned down into the Hood plains of natural life. The suggestion presented is that from a nomadic, primitive existence, they came to hanker for the ease and comfort of a more complex society in which the love of external possessions might be satisfied and the lust of dominion would have freer sway; a society in which the many were made to labor for the few, and the few bore rule over the many, not as leaders but as masters (AC 8118). They made them bricks for stone and, using bitumen for mortar, constructed a city with a tower whose head was to be in heaven - so that their name and fame would spread over the whole earth. Instead of the stones of Divinely revealed truth they used manmade opinions in the building of their church. Instead of the mortar of charity their social structure was held together by the sticky substitute of self-interest and inflammable jealousies. The rise of the ambition to stamp their own quality upon the church by persuasion and spiritual dominion is here seen. It was the attempt of self-love to steal the delights of others, depriving them of their freedom by infusing the fear that no one could be saved except by certain external modes which their leaders laid down as essential.

This was the beginning of idolatry and magic - which is a resort to externals without internals, and which is thus an abuse of the power that rightly lodges in what corresponds to and represents heavenly order. Yet in the "First Ancient Church" - the Writings reveal - this beginning of such a profane worship was not permitted to establish itself as a defined doctrine (AC 1324, 1327).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 41 The Lord confounded their tongues, so that they could not understand each other but left off building their city! And He scattered them upon the face of the earth!

This worship, called 'Babel', is one in which the love of self lurks within holy externals, and in which many begin to aspire to be worshipped - or to take precedence over others. "Such men in the church could not but be as a kind of ferment, or as a fire-brand which causes a conflagration" - introducing innovations which brought a peril of profaning holy things. But in the Lord's Providence "the state of the church then was changed, so that its internal worship perished" and was forgotten rather than profaned: and all that remained was the external forms of the worship which became empty and idolatrous.

The indications are that the decline here described did not affect the entire Ancient Church at once. Indeed, this corruption of it into an idolatrous and merely external worship seems to have taken place first with certain groups of nations - or possibly races - whom the Hebrew tradition called 'the sons of Ham'. These 'Hamitic' peoples were distinguished into four stocks: Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. Of these four, only Mizraim can be identified with certainty, for Mizraim was the Hebrew name for Egypt. Cush is represented as the father of various tribes in Arabia and elsewhere; but it is added, "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah . . . And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur and builded Nineveh . . ." (Gen. 10:8-11).

Historians place no credence in the details of this Hebrew account. Yet they have verified that in the dawn of history there dwelt in the valley of the Euphrates and the Tigris - the valley of Shinar - a people not related to the later Semites;


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 42 a people known as Sumerians, with a fairly advanced civilization preserved in sculpture and buildings; with a strong priesthood and sacred traditions, some of which bear a remarkable similarity to those of the Hebrews. Their language, written in pictorial forms, was agglutinative and thus very different from the Semitic tongues. It is classed as Hamitic. They built their towns mostly of bricks and bitumen and indeed their temple-towers seem to suggest that this race came from the mountains on the East.

Apparently it was upon this people that the Hebrews placed the chief blame for the decadence of mankind - as a consequence of the irreverence which Ham had shown to his father Noah. Sumer is the Biblical 'Shiner'. The Sumerians very clearly were idolatrous and - like Nimrod - 'mighty hunters before Jehovah', hunters of souls, seekers for spiritual dominion. And when, later, increasing waves of Semitic nomad peoples pressed into the fertile valley of the Euphrates to escape the droughts and dust-storms which were gradually swallowing up their pasture-grounds in the areas that were turning into the Arabian and Syrian deserts, the population of the plains of Shinar was transfused with the new blood of Semites who gradually gained the political power and virtually displaced the Sumerians; yet the spiritual conquest was on the part of the Sumerian civilization which absorbed the immigrants into itself. The religious lore of the shaven Sumerian priestly caste was adopted as a part of the religion of the rising Semitic elements. The incantations used in Sumer, the magical practices and the legends of the gods, were taken over almost without change, with a growing reverence for their great antiquity. And thus Nimrod laid new beginnings of his kingdom in Babel and Erech, in Accad and Calneh and some sons of Shem became the spiritual sons of Ham. And when a distinctly Semitic empire rose into prominence in northern Babylonia, it also inherited the culture of the south, so that it could be said that "out of that land", that is, out of Sumero-Accadia, "went forth Asshur and builded Nineveh".


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 43 Yet Asshur was a son of Shem!


The sons of Shem - who are racially distinguished as Semites - are spoken of as the direct heirs of Noah's blessing. "Shem" means 'name' and signifies quality, the distinctive quality of the internal church in whom there is an intelligent faith from charity. Hardly any stress is laid in the Hebrew story upon the nations descended from Japheth, nations which were far away to the north of Syria, in Asia Minor, in Greece, and in the "isles of the gentiles"; nations who were in relative ignorance of the Divine covenant, but who nonetheless are present such as live in something of charity and in a certain external worship. It was however promised that "God would enlarge Japheth" who should eventually "dwell in the tents of Shem" - as if foreshadowing a time when the European nations would inherit the functions of the internal church.

Presumably there is something of historical truth in classing as the sons of Shem those nations which are called Elam, ASSHUR (Assyria), ARPHAXAD and LUD (both unknown peoples), and ARAM (or Syria). In these nations, the traditions and the quality of the Ancient Church were long preserved, and the ancient wisdom was described by their names. Elam signified faith from charity; Asshur signified the rational intelligence that comes thence; Arphaxad stood for derivative science such as the science of correspondences and of discrete degrees; Lud represented knowledges of truth, and Aram, knowledges of good.



That Aram (or Syria) signified knowledge about religious things is confirmed in the Writings by the fact that Jehovah was there known, even in Mosaic times; and that the wise men, who saw the star in the east at the time of the Lord's birth, came from (or through) Syria. And because in Syria the Ancient Church maintained something of its strength, and especially something of its moral and genuine natural good, therefore, when other Semitic nations had followed the sons of Ham into corruption, a "Second Ancient Church" took its beginning in Syria.


This new beginning - a revival of representative worship with something of a genuine internal - marks the time of the first historical personage that is mentioned in the Word. For the institutor of this "Second Ancient Church" was Eber who may be regarded as the father of the Hebrews. His name signifies 'transition' - and this church indeed constitutes a passing over from the pure worship of the Silver Age to the merely representative worship of the later church of Israel.

The new Hebrew Church began in Syria. But at this time there were new racial movements on the part of the nomadic Semites who had already spread into lower Mesopotamia and now, in another wave, moved westward and south into Canaan and also into many other countries. It was among these newcomers, who became known to history as 'Amorites', that the "Hebrew Church" took root. The new worship was characterized by priestly offices, by the use of highplaces "pillars", anointings, sacred groves, and, especially, by animal sacrifices. In the true Ancient Church, such sacrifices "had been unknown, except among some of the descendants of Ham and Canaan, who were idolaters, and with whom they were permitted in order to prevent them from sacrificing their sons and daughters" (AC 1241).



It may be permissible to surmise, from the archeological evidence before us, that the Hebrew immigration into Palestine took place about three thousand years before Christ, or about a thousand years before the time of Abraham. When they filtered into Palestine this land was peopled by a neolithic race, short in stature and probably dark of skin, such as that which had spread itself over the shores of the Mediterranean; a people who lived from the flocks and herds which they had domesticated, and who were versed in primitive weaving and pottery; but who used only flint weapons and flint tools.* Their worship is indicated by the presence of sacred caves and huge monoliths, and the cremation of their dead. We must take it, I think, that these neolithic peoples were degraded descendants of the First Ancient Church. We do not know whether there may have been other races living in the land - as is suggested by the presence of so-called Hittites, and also of the Anakim, reputed as of the brood of the giants, the Nephilim or Rephaim. But it seems indicated that when the Hebrews - descendants of Eber - came into Canaan, they, as a taller and more vigorous race, probably advanced in the use of metal (copper and bronze), became dominant in Palestine; and when they finally intermixed with the original inhabitants, there arose those tribes, of Hebrew speech but of gross pagan habits, which were scattered in that region at the time of Abraham.

* See L. W. King, "History of Babylon", 1915, p. 125.

Thus the Hebrew Church - born in Syria and perhaps Northern Arabia - spread into Canaan. But it also extended elsewhere. For among the direct descendants of Eber, we find one family, that of Terah, established in the thriving city of UR in Chaldea, at the mouth of the Euphrates. It was a sacred city of importance, the seat of the Moon-god. The Word records that Terah and his family served other gods than Jehovah.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 46 [Diagram]


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 47 Indeed, the very name of Jehovah had been forgotten, and Abram and his descendants for over four centuries knew God only as 'God Shaddai'.

Ur was the capital of a rich country, a trade center and a port. Polytheism with its magic and immorality was rife there. What was left of the traditions and the learning of the Ancient Church - such as the stories of Creation, the Fall, and the Flood - had become overlaid by so gross an embellishment of legends about gods of monstrous type that their original truth could no longer be recognized.

Yet the family of Terah and his surviving sons, Abram and Nahor, knew of their Syrian origin. The call of their blood caused them to migrate to Haran in Mesopotamia - a five hundred mile journey. They were not going to any unknown land. For, somewhat more than 2000 years B.C., the conquests of the First Babylonian Empire had paved the way for a tide of commerce with the West and the Mediterranean shorelands. The Babylonian language, written in cuneiform on clay tablets, provided a medium for interchange between the countries of the "fertile crescent" of the Near East.

Thus it was that Abram came to settle at Haran in Syria. This country was mainly dominated by a branch of those almost forgotten peoples who are vaguely called Hittites (or "Khattu") which later established their brief empires there. These northern Hittites were apparently of different breed from those of the same name in Palestine. And their advanced civilization - dating as far back as 3000 B.C. - reveals all the signs of their having been a nation of the Ancient Church. Their predominance in the Syria of Abram's time is thought by some to lend additional meaning to Ezekiel's statement concerning Jerusalem, "Thy father was an Amorite and thy mother a Hittite" (Ez. 16:3). Yet the Hebrews - who were nomadic and pastoral tribes - had kept by themselves, and thus we find Abram in tribal seclusion, living the life of the shepherd-king.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 48 And here, in Haran in northern Syria, he hears the call of his God, Shaddai, bidding him to forsake the house of his father and his kinsfolk and promising him untold blessings and a great national future, if he would settle in the land of Canaan.





This Canaan, and its peoples, became from now on the center of every Biblical event. The covenant of God with Abram focussed on the promise that his seed would inherit this land. The new religion could find its fulfillment there and nowhere else. It was to rededicate the sacred groves and pillars and high places of that region to the worship of that God who had called Abram out of Syria. It was to reclaim that country to the One God, whom Abram knew only as God Shaddai, but whom Moses later found to be that ancient Jehovah which the Hebrew Church had once confessed.

Despite the fact that Abram was promised this land of Canaan for his seed, it was made clear that this goal could not be attained until in the fourth generation - or after four hundred years. "For the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full" (Gen. 15:16). There were still, in the land, small remnants, not only from the Hebrew Church, but from the Ancient Church, yea, from the Most Ancient Church (AC 4516, 4517). And as long as these remained in some worship which was not idolatrous but contained something genuine, the Church of Israel could not be instituted in the land.

The reason for this was that the Israelitish Church was totally different from any former church. It was, indeed, not a church, but a representative of a church. For the seed of Abram was a corporeal race, with whom worldly loves and the lusts of self had stamped out the possibility of entering upon the real functions of a church, which are those of regenerate life.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 50 The only saving feature of that race was their capacity for external humiliation and for an awe before that which they regarded as holy; and thence for rendering actual obedience to Divine commands.

In the Ancient Church, those called 'Shem' had been in internal worship, from charity and faith; those called 'Japheth' had been mostly in externals, yet from a genuine internal; those called 'Ham' had been in an internal worship which had become corrupt; and those called 'Canaan' had been in perverted externals. But the seed of Abram, which was now to become "representative of a church", was, as a race, in none of these states, having known nothing of the internal things of worship or of doctrine; and yet it was capable of adopting - from the customs of the Hebrew Church - certain externals which might typify and symbolize internal things.

This was the reason why the church with Abram's seed was to be established in the land of Canaan. The spiritual functions of Israel could not be performed without that land in which - already - there had been carried on the worship and life of all the previous churches. It was a land steeped in sacred memories. And the strange, miraculous function of Israel, was to evoke these memories anew, as a service to the heavens which had been formed from the churches of the past; and thus to renew - albeit in an artificial way - the conjunction of the heavens with the human race.


It is to be admitted that the whole of nature is representative of uses and of Divine ends. Mountains everywhere correspond to celestial love, valleys to lowly natural states, rivers to the truths of the understanding.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 51 But the groves of Greece bring to mind the glories of pagan art and philosophy, rather than the religious perceptions of the celestial heavens. The hills of Valley Forge and Gettysburg arouse our remembrance, not of the life of the spiritual church, but of the struggles of mankind for the basic freedoms of civil life. The water-brooks and flood-plains of Canaan did not in themselves have any different correspondence than similar features elsewhere. But because "the church had been in that land from most ancient times", all the places in it and around it "had become representative of celestial and spiritual things" (AC 10559). All things in it had become representative as to situation, distance, boundaries, quarters; and even provinces, cities, and names were significative of all the states of the church which had there been given expression. It is of course readily recognized by men that associations of ideas modify the meaning of names and places. But how fundamental the laws are by which such associations are produced, is shown only in the Writings, where it is also made clear that "the Word could not have been written anywhere but in Canaan" (AC 10559).

The law is that conjunction takes place by means of ultimates. Contacts between the minds of living men are established by gestures, tones, and actions, and by the use of objects that help to convey our meanings and to create our moods. Words and written symbols are employed to transfer our thoughts. But the Doctrine extends this law also to the relations of spirits and angels with men, and to the con junction of the Lord - through heaven - with the church, by means of ultimate correspondences. Such is the conjunction initiated and confirmed by the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper.

Our entire lives consist only of chains of rituals by which we invite the presence of the heavens and the hells. There is something in the human race which is as essential to the life of departed spirits, as their influx is essential to us.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 52 And the reason is, that when the departed enter into spiritual life, their memories of earthly objects, things, and languages, are closed up; and they live only in the spiritual associations, or in the interior thoughts and affections, which had become attached to the material ideas formed from their earthly environment. Freed from the narrow sphere of their own very limited scope of material ideas, their lives then become less bound and their delights more complete, and they are able to enter more fully into the contents of the interior states of which they had felt only a foretaste here on earth.

Yet without at least an indirect touch with material ideas, there could be no order and no progressions among the interior states which make the conscious life of spirits and angels. Therefore it is provided, that although a spirit "no longer subsists on his own [individual] basis", he does find "a common basis which is the human race" on earth (LJ 9). His mental life inflows into such ultimate or material ideas with men as correspond to his own affections; i.e., such as can carry a sphere of associated ideas and affections similar to his own. Into such objective ideas of place and time and person, the celestial and spiritual things of the mind of the spirit inflow, to find a delightful orderly sequence and development. In and by these ultimate ideas with men, the thought of the spirit begins to evolve into ever greater fulness. I think there are indications that the ultimate ideas thus gathered from the minds of many men, furnish the elements by which the states of the spirits themselves are portrayed about them in the spiritual world as an actual environment of visual and tangible creations which serves them as a reactive spiritual ultimate, and which is stable and lasting so far as their states are permanent.

The use of furnishing such "ultimates" was performed for the angels of the ancient and most ancient churches by the seed of Abram when they entered into the land of Canaan.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 53 So long as there was a living spiritual church on earth, these angels could find an abundance of such ultimates in the minds of men, because heavenly states then attached themselves continually to new objects and ideas. But with the fall of the entire ancient world into polytheism and gross idolatry there was urgent need for some means by which the heavens could be present with mankind in an orderly way And the means chosen was the Church of Israel, which might - though without understanding - renew a devotion to the ancient sanctities in the land of Canaan. This, then, explains why we find Abram, as soon as he came into that land, seeking out its holy places, its ancient altar-sites and sacred oak groves, and submitting in all things to the tutelage of his God who was to purge this region from disorderly cults and make it serve as a holy land of prophecy and a means for renewed conjunction with Himself.





Abram's covenant with God, by which the land of Canaan was promised to his seed forever and all nations should be blessed through him, exalted the simple shepherd-king into a prophetic type and representative of the Lord incarnate through whom the blessing of spiritual Redemption would actually come to all mankind. This representation was to pass from Abram to his descendants. He himself - in all the actions which are recorded in Scripture - was to represent the Lord in His Divine infancy in the world. The land of promise itself was in the supreme sense significative of the Divine heritage which was to be given the Human of the Lord by the process of glorification.

But this heritage could not be entered into by the Lord except by degrees and stages. After His birth at Bethlehem, the Lord's Human had to pass through the general states of an orderly human life, and - like human infants - be instructed before His mind could be built up to receive the Divine presence. This upbuilding of a mind in the Lord's Human could be accomplished only by means of the acquisition of knowledge (TCR 89, 90, 110).

In order to represent the need of such instruction, Abram after his arrival from Syria did not linger long in Canaan. A famine compelled him to move his great herds and flocks down towards the fertile delta of the Egyptian Nile, where pasture was plentiful. By this sojourn in Egypt is represented the Lord's instruction in scientifics - a thing which is also signified by the later migration of the family of Jacob into Egypt; and by the flight of Joseph, Mary, and the infant Lord into Egypt, as related in the Gospel.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 55 [Diagram]



The story of Israel is thus tied up with the history of the great empire to the south. In the case of Abram, it was natural that he should drive south into Egypt. For at this time the increasing drought-conditions in the interior of Syria and Arabia were destroying the pasture lands, and great hordes of Asiatic tribes - the so-called Hyksos, not fully identified - were filtering into the north of Egypt and, settling there, became a power in the land. From the account of Abram's brief and friendly sojourn with the "Pharaoh", we can discern no racial antipathy of the Egyptians to the Hebrews. But a few generations later, the Syrian influx look on dangerous proportions. The weak Egyptian kings were no match against the Hyksos, or "Upland Sheiks", who surpassed them in the arts of war and were better acquainted with the use of metals and with fortifications, and also made fine pottery and used the horse, which had not yet become employed in Egypt. The 'Shepherd-Kings' thus gained the control of Lower Egypt for at least two hundred years, which falls into the general period when Israel lived, by Joseph's invitation, in the ]and of Goshen.


A word must be said here concerning the controversies which have raged for the last century around the question whether the Biblical history of those times is accurate enough to be fitted into the dates supplied by Egyptologists. The chronology of Bishop Usher was adopted into the Authorized Version in the 1701 edition, and was given wide credence by all literalistic readers. By adding up the ages of the patriarchs given in the Hebrew accounts, he arrived at the date 4004 B.C. for creation, 2348 B.C. for the deluge, 1996 B.C. for the birth of Abraham, and 1491 B.C. for the exodus of Israel from Egypt.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 57 When geology demonstrated that the earth's history required immense spaces of time for the creation, and that there was no evidence of an actual worldwide flood, the thinking public lost faith in the accuracy of the whole Bible, and learned critics began to treat even the stories of Abraham, the exodus, and the Jewish monarchy as mere folktales, claiming that the books of Moses were mostly written after the Babylonish Captivity from legends and questionable records, to inspire a nationalistic tradition within the new Jewish settlement in Palestine. It was asserted that in the time of Moses (if there was such a man) the people of Palestine were utterly illiterate, and that no such laws as that of the Levites could possibly have existed.

This challenge was met by archaeologists by the simple method of the spade. The last seventy years of research have established beyond dispute not only that there was a people called Israel, but that the life described in each period of its history is in general true to the times.* But while this general confirmation is now conceded, there is among scholars no disposition to give more credit to the historicity of the Hebrew record than the findings compel. And on the other hand, what has been established of the history of contemporary nations such as Egypt and Syria must cause us to alter our picture somewhat of many of the simple tales which are given in the Bible, and see the story of Israel as a not less important, but yet much less dominant theme in the great pageant of the Near East, and, by reason of this, gain a clearer understanding of the miracle which preserved this persistent little people in the midst of a turmoil of forces materially far stronger.

* Certain tablets, dated between 1400 and 1360 B. C., found in Ras Shamra, Syria, recorded, in a Hebrew written by cuneiform characters, a ritual and laws strongly suggestive of Leviticus.



We may, for instance, from first impressions, picture Abraham as a pacific shepherd in a land of friendly tribes. But this was so only as long as he pastured his flocks in the Palestinian hill country. On either side of these mountain lands the tides of empire were in full flood! Along the plains of the Mediterranean shore the aggressive Hyksos were pressing down - in restless waves following the courses of trade and culture. And on the east - through the Jordan valley route - came Chedorlaomer and his Mesopotamian allies for a punitive raid on the rebellious cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of "the plain of salt". When "Abram the Hebrew" heard that Lot and his people were among the captives, he armed his trained servants (three hundred and eighteen men) and, with his Amorite neighbors, pursued the raiders and, by a night-attack, recovered both slaves and goods.

Among the allies of Chedorlaomer was Amraphel, king of Shinar (Sumer). Many scholars have sought to identify the name with that of Hammurabi, the great king of Babylonia who by astronomical reckoning ruled from 2123 B.C., and who not only united many Mesopotamian kingdoms in a firm empire, but also sent out expeditions to pacify more distant districts. The Hebrew record naturally magnifies the brave feat of Abram by associating all the eastern kings themselves with their ill-fated raid. Yet the essential historic truth is not marred thereby; for in the tribal mind, an affront to a servant was always an affront to the master. And how elastically "astronomical" evidence can be applied is shown by a recent placing of Hammurabi's reign as late as 1728 to 1676 B.C. The identity of Amraphel remains unknown.

The date of Abraham is of course also debatable. But Professor W. F. Albright has recently pointed out that with the editing of a rich store of newly found tablets from Mari in Syria, "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob no longer seem isolated figures, much less reflections of later Israelite history", but "they now appear as true children of their age . . " *

* "The Archaeology of Palestine", 1949, page 236.




Scholars have not been able to agree as to what time the Hyksos dynasty began to rule in Egypt; some placing this event at 1700 B.C., definitely after the coming of Abram; while others place it as early as 2371 B.C. Similar difficulties are encountered in determining what Pharaoh reigned at the time of the Exodus. Many historians still seem wedded to the theory that it was the forceful despot Rameses II who was the oppressor of Israel; partly because he built the town of Raamses mentioned by Moses (Exod. 1:11). The Exodus would then have taken place in the second year of Merneptah, in 1233 or 1232 B.C. This would of course sacrifice the Biblical dating. But later findings seem to have made so late a date questionable if not untenable. For in the recent excavations on the site of Jericho the general catastrophe which was accompanied by the outward fall of the walls of the Bronze Age city and the abrupt end of tomb deposits, is dated about the year 1400 B.C. by the painted pottery, the lamps, and the actual seals of officials up to those of Thotmes III's reign. Nor is any later influence traceable - such as Mycenaean wares or the peculiar art products of the Khun-Aten or Tel-el-Amarna period.* Joshua's burning of Jericho was exceedingly thorough. Yet it left - in the buried storechambers - the scorched remains of foodstuffs, which after three thousand three hundred years testify that the town was 'devoted', not plundered! And only one building was unaffected by the earthquake - and this, like that of Rahab the harlot's - was enclosed in the city-wall! (Josh. 6:22, 25; 2:15, 18, 19)

* Garstang and Rowe, Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, July 1936.



According to this evidence, fortified by a great number of other contemporary conditions now revealed, Moses would have lived in Egypt during the XVIIIth dynasty. The first Pharaoh of that line for "there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph" and who therefore treated Israel as a potential ally of the Hyksos - succeeded in driving the Hyksos back into Palestine, and his descendants with a well-trained mobile army of horses and chariots continued their conquests far into Syria. Moses may well have been raised at the royal court of Hat-shepsut, who was the stepmother of Thotmes III and for a long period the real ruler of Egypt. But at her death in 1480 b.c. Thotmes III took over the rule and deposed all her favorites. Moses may then have found Egypt too dangerous, and have fled to Midian. "And it came to pass after many days" - and Thotmes III ruled until 1447 - "that the king of Egypt died", and Moses felt it safe to return, to champion his oppressed brethren. Contemporary inscriptions show Semitic laborers making brick.*

* Ancient Records of Egypt, II, par. 758 f.

According to these inferences, the new Pharaoh, Amen-Hotep II, was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. His successor, it seems, was not his "firstborn", hut another son, Thotmes IV. Egypt continued to be tho overlord over its vassal states in Palestine and Syria, but it was a loose political hegemony, maintained by isolated military outposts and occasionally reinforced by punitive raids-in-force which weakened the spirit of the tribes of Canaan. Indeed it has been suggested that when Moses was promised that the Lord would send "hornets" before Israel to drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, this referred to the hornet-badge on the arms of Thotmes and his successors.

Meanwhile, Israel wandered like a lost horde south of Canaan shifting from one pasture land to another.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 61 Cuneiform tablets accidentally found at Tel-el-Amarna in Egypt reveal that when the Cananitish, Amorite, and Jebusite chiefs begged for help against the invading Habiru (whom many take to mean the Hebrews under Joshua), the Pharaohs turned a deaf ear. One of these Pharaohs was the well known religious reformer, Khun-Aten, who dreamed of philosophy and art rather than of war, and who let the empire of his fathers slowly fall to pieces. Possibly he had some sympathy for the Israelitish monotheists. Egypt thus leaves the Israelites alone, for over a hundred years, to carry on their partial, gradual settlement of the more easily defended mountain-regions of Palestine; even while the backwash of the tides of empire swirl along the seashore and along the trade-routes to the east; until, in the days of Rameses II, Egypt makes peace with the Hittite king of Syria - both countries exhausted by the long struggle. But in the next generation, Pharaoh Merneptah (1225-1215 B.C.) carried on a raid in Palestine, which - perhaps because only tribal mercenaries were employed - is not mentioned in the Bible as an Egyptian undertaking. On his stele of victory, Merneptah inscribed these words: "Wasted is Libya, the Hittite land is at peace, plundered is the Canaan with every evil, carried off is Ashkelon, seized is Gezer, Yanoam is made as a thing not existing, Israel is desolated, her seed is not, Kharu is become a widow". This is the first known reference to Israel in an Egyptian document. And it refers to Israel alone as in nomadic state, giving it the determinative of tribe.

It is thus becoming apparent how true was the promise of God, "I will not drive out these nations in one year . . . Little by little I will drive them out from before thee, till thou be increased and inherit the land" (Exod. 23:29, 30). Not until the time of David can we picture Israel as more than a loose confederacy of tribes precariously maintaining themselves amidst a hostile population of settled peoples.



Our interest in attempts to fix the chronology of the Exodus from Egypt is partly due to the fact that Swedenborg does not always accept the statements in the Hebrew version uncritically. Thus he accepts the Septuagint reading of Exodus 12:40, 41, which specifies 430 years as the period which elapsed between Abram's sojourn in Egypt and the exodus (AC 1502); giving a spiritual reason for using the number 430 for the years "of the dwelling of the sons of Israel in Egypt", since four-hundred signifies temptation, like the forty years in the wilderness (AC 1847). Thus the Arcana gives about 215 years for the period between the coming of Jacob into Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea (AC 2959). This is confirmed by citations of the ages of the various men of the seven generations involved (AC 7985). But while this by itself does not enable us to fix a definite date either for Abram's birth or for the Exodus, it is a general confirmation of the accuracy of the Biblical chronologies from Abram on, when these are interpreted with a liberal allowance for the spiritual reasons why certain numbers are employed in Scripture. The Writings do not cite any actual dates for Scriptural events prior to 605 B.C., the year of the beginning of the Babylonish captivity.


The SPIRITUAL reasons why Egypt exerts so powerful an influence upon the destinies of Israel are only vaguely hinted at in the Word, such as when the Apocalypse speaks of the two witnesses being killed "in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified". It there stands for the church in the days of its corruption. The prophets of Israel also made the liberation from Egypt an object-lesson, a type of moral redemption. But the Writings assign a precise spiritual meaning to the land of Egypt.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 63 It stands always for "the scientific which is of the natural man"; and this whether used in a good or a bad sense.

A 'scientific', as the term is constantly employed in the Writings, means a thing of knowledge, such as results from sensual experience or from instruction which enters the memory and remains there. All the truth and all the falsity which man learns, is stored up in the memory in the form of scientifics. And our mental life, so far as we can translate it into conscious ideas, is carried on entirely within the limits of our knowledge; and by means of this field of scientifics, or of mental objects within the memory, we connect up chains of conscious thoughts which we can afterwards use as units for new combinations of ideas, and can reconstruct and recollect as a whole.

The memory thus becomes the ultimate foundation of our mind. It becomes the repository of past states. It stands at the outer gate of the mind, close to the senses of the body. It is the feeding-ground for all our interior states. No new states can come into conscious existence unless they clothe themselves with knowledges.

For this reason, the Lord insinuates into man a delight in knowledges, or scientifics, which is particularly evident in childhood and youth when it serves as a goad to progress. The love of knowing, with a child, procures for itself very many knowledges; so many that a child learns in his first few years tremendously more rapidly than at later times. he learns to judge of the objects around him, to perceive relations of space and time, learns to talk and think and use his body; learns, later, how to read and write. Such knowledges as these become embodied into habits and skills and pass out of notice. They have a temporary use, in preparing him for usefulness and making him rational; and having served their purpose, they are forgotten - or as it were destroyed, beyond recall, like some of the rules of grammar or spelling.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 64 And unless they are thus removed, there could be no spontaneity, no grace, no smoothness of action or speech or thought; thus no use, nothing "celestial".

This first imbibing of knowledges in infancy and early childhood is signified by Abram's brief visit to Egypt. It would have been fatal for Abram to remain there. Scientifics not smoothly translated into action and use, but delighted in for their own sakes, tend to clog the mind and to become material, pleased with themselves, and closed to the celestial affections which they should serve. But if turned into service, into a means of love for others and love to the Lord, then they become open and receptive of the influx of heaven and the Lord (AC 1487, 1489, 1472).

Abram - in the supreme sense represents the Lord in His tender childhood. He also learnt, storing His memory with such things as could become the basis and correspondential ultimate for celestial things, that is, for His Divine celestial which was His inmost. And with the Lord there was received no other knowledge than what came from the Word of Divine revelation, or from the Word in its ultimate form in nature, - knowledges which are open from the Divine itself (AC 1461). With man, however, the fact that he absorbs empty, closed scientifics in childhood and youth is one of the chief causes why he cannot become celestial, or enter fully into a confirmation of his celestial remains of infancy (AC 1542). And later, man in his adolescence - like Ishmael's mother, Hagar, a rebel against her mistress - stands vacillating between Egypt and Canaan, between the natural call of the flesh and the angelic voice of a developing conscience. And still later, man-like the sons of Jacob - becomes a prey to spiritual famine, and seeking food for his mind, turns so avidly to the Egypt of knowledge that he well-nigh forgets his spiritual land of promise.




But even Egypt could suffer from famine. One such famine came after Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brethren, only to rise to become the real power behind the throne of Pharaoh. As in the days of Abram, the Egypt of Joseph's time did not represent anything wholly corrupt. It stands rather as the type of man's natural memory, his field of knowledge, which is destined to serve his rational and spiritual life, and to assist him to apprehend the things of the Lord's kingdom (AC 4539:2). Thus Joseph's first master, Potiphar, the chamberlain of Pharaoh, represented the interior things of knowledge especially the interpretative science of the correspondence of natural things to spiritual things and to the heavenly uses which the internal man sees (AC 4965). It was Potiphar's wife - from the cupidities of the natural man - that caused Joseph's imprisonment. And the Pharaoh who elevated Joseph as the real power behind his throne, represented the interior natural, and Egypt, the memory in a state of reformation.

Thus we may surmise that the Egypt of Joseph's time was not fully vastated. The ruling dynasty - undoubtedly Hyksos - perhaps brought with them out of Syria some remains of the Ancient Church which served to delay the judgment upon Egypt and enabled them to serve their destined purpose in the Divine drama of the Word, and to modify - by their characteristics and new culture the nature of Egyptian civilization, that it might more livingly represent the scientific part of the mind in its manifold aspects.

The whole history of Egypt had been moulded to this effect. It was an ancient land, and its early story is shrouded in uncertainties. To judge from what scholars claim, it was once blessed by plentiful rainfall and was then the home of a paleolithic race still surviving as late as 13,000 B.C.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 66 But by 5,000 B.C., the narrow valley, flooded by the fertile Nile, served a neolithic people, a race, short, and long-headed like the so-called Hamitic Mediterraneans; who developed a distinctive civilization, living in huts of reed, mud, or wood, and using domesticated animals, boats, varied utensils of pottery, weapons and tools of flint; and by degrees replacing garments of skin with woven fabrics. They buried their dead mostly in the embryonic position along with funerary offerings. They were not fetishists, nor were they savage or warlike. By about 3800 B.C. they had mastered the art of spinning and modeled crude clay statuettes, made beads and ivory carvings, and ground cosmetics. A few centuries later there came an infiltration of a new race of uncertain origin. Some call them "Armenoids". Some describe them as broadheaded Asiatics who brought with them tools of metal, introduced the worship of the god Horus, and affected the Hamitic language with a proto-semitic influence. And after some centuries had passed and the two stocks had merged, we find hieroglyphic, pictorial writing developed and the Nile valley and the Delta united by war into one nation, reputedly under Menes of the First Dynasty, who now is conservatively assigned the date of ca. 3000 B.C.

That Palestine and the Semites early brought a significant influence to bear upon egypt is clear from Semitic traces in the language of the Nile country. It is also the opinion of many scholars that, shortly before the dynastic period opens, the use of copper spread to Egypt through Semitic neighbors; and that the cultivation of corn and wheat and wine came both to Babylonia and to Egypt from Palestine the tiny land which inconspicuously stood as the hub and spiritual center of the ancient world.*

* See H. R. Hall, "Ancient History of the Near East", 1920, pages 89 and 90.

It is difficult to find any one era in Egypt's history which bears the mark of all those traits which the Writings ascribe to the Ancient Church.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 67 The spiritual state of a people can never be universal, and cannot be segregated from the turmoil of those external events which leave their more obvious marks upon history. But out of these elements - and from later intrusions of negroes and Asiatics - there arose a people which retained its pristine characteristics amid a cultural development of astounding dimensions. It was a practical, cheerful, hard-working people, which had no capacity for great invention or abstract thought but who were very devout and were wonderful organizers and good economists. They possessed an innate grace and charm which pervaded all their art and life. Despite their being ruled by powerful despots, their way of living was democratic and surprisingly free of castes or race-feeling. And many renowned scholars believe that in the intricate religious system of thousands of deities which developed in Egypt there are shown the signs of an original monotheism, as well as a persistent faith in the survival of man's whole spirit and character in a spiritual world.

The belief in the afterlife caused the Egyptians to attach a peculiar importance to burial rites and graves. A great collection of funerary texts cut or painted on walls of tombs or pyramids, and copied on coffins and sarcophagi and on rolls of papyri, has been gathered under the name of "The Book of the Dead". This consists of miscellaneous hymns and litanies, magical formulas, prayers, and words of power, by which the deceased would be aided to ward off the demons which infested his way through the underworld to the kingdom of Osiris.

Osiris was the Redeemer-God who had lived and suffered on earth, and been elevated to judge the dead and to rule over the afterworld. Though covered over by grotesque details and perversions, there is obviously present here the basic concept of a Messianic prophecy.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 68 The texts prescribed how, by denying guilt and assuming the names of the gods and especially of Osiris, the spiritual body and soul would become transformed into images or likenesses of God. The gods are mystically identified with each other, yet distinguished with considerable care. Thus in an early papyrus the god Neb-er-tcher says: "I evolved myself under the form of the evolutions of the god Khepera, which were evolved at the beginning of all time.... My name is Osiris the germ of first substance.... I was alone, for nothing had been brought forth; I had not then emitted from myself either Shu or Tefnut.... I emitted from myself the gods Shu and Tefnut, and from being One I became three . . ." *

* E. A. W. Budge, "Books on Egypt and Chaldea", 1, pages 23 ff.

The most usual name of this One God who became manifested in many forms, was Ra, the Sun-god, worshipped since pre-dynastic times. He was the king of the gods. "Thou art Horus", the Egyptians sang to him, "Thou only One . . . Homage to thee in thy characters of Horus Tem and Khepera! . . . Thou art unknowable, and no tongue can describe thy similitude; thou existest alone", "self-begotten and self-born, One, Might, of myriad forms and aspects" . . .

It is no doubt true that this theoretical acknowledgment of the essential and original unity of God may have existed for long ages side by side with gross popular polytheism and an increasing idolatry, even as the Christian dogma of three Persons in Deity has been accompanied by the assurance that somehow these three are one.

But another sign of the religious decadence of Egypt is the growing elaboration of the externals of their worship. Their love for mystical rites which they had long since ceased to understand in any spiritual sense, turned their worship into magic and superstition. The increasing power of their rival priesthoods is observable. The priests of Amen in Thebes - with eventual success - began to force Egypt to accept that god as the Sun-god, claiming him as the "unknown god", the hidden invisible and innermost form of Deity, of which the rest were symbolic and partial aspects.




When it is taught in the Writings that Egypt signifies 'scientifics', this does not refer principally to the fact that the Egyptians early began to study medicine and astronomy and mensuration. But the reference is to the scientifics of the Ancient Church, which treated of the correspondences of the natural world with the spiritual world, and of representations of spiritual and celestial things in earthly and natural forms. The Egyptians had "primitively" been among those who constituted the Ancient Representative Church (AC 5702). In Egypt especially, external scientifics had been handed down - correspondences and significatives which originally had been of use in interpreting the things said in the Ancient Word, and later in other sacred books and rituals (AC 4964, 5223). Such knowledge led them into spiritual thinking, and was thus of quite a different nature from the science of the present age, which-like the philosophy of Aristotle and others - tend to focus the mind's search for reality upon natural things (AC 4966). Egyptian literature is almost devoid of any of the abstract terms of philosophy.

In general, Egypt, in its good sense, signifies all scientifics, or matters of knowledge through which the things of charity and faith can be applied: all true knowledge "concerning correspondences, representatives, significatives, influx, order, intelligence and wisdom, affections; nay, all truths of interior and exterior nature both visible and invisible, because these correspond to spiritual truths" (AC 5213e, 6004).

In the days of their integrity, the Egyptians knew Jehovah and were acquainted with correspondences.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 70 Their symbolism and hieroglyphic writings were indeed constructed from something of this knowledge, for the Egyptians, in this, and in their acquaintance with representative rituals, excelled all others in the Ancient Church (AC 7779:4). But later they came to make everything of the Church to consist in knowing such things, rather than in a life of charity. They sought to find a ritual way of salvation, until they turned their church into a routine of magical practices, which evaded the need of real repentance. This was indeed the idea behind their magnificent tombs and pyramids, and their elaborate funeral rites and embalmings. Egypt came thenceforth to signify false scientifics, dead literalistic knowledge, closed to heavenly life, averse to spiritual truths.

The decadence - the onward march of this externalization of Egyptian religion - seems to have been halted for a while by the coming to power of the Hyksos dynasties, even though these Asiatics did adopt the forms of Egyptian worship with but slight modifications.

Israel's sons represented the truths of the spiritual church, which seek for confirmations in the Egypt of knowledge, and seek to reduce the Natural into order and into subserviency to spiritual ends. They were indeed given a pasture in the fat of the land, protected by Pharaoh himself, who in this connection represents that interior realm of the external memory wherein rational things of doctrine are gathered. But when a new dynasty came into power "which knew not Joseph" - the role of Egypt changed. It came to represent false scientifics, knowledges inflamed by selfish loves, by lusts of fame and power and gain which reduce spiritual truths to the status of slaves to be exploited.

Thus we see the people of Israel subjected to oppression and captivity and serving as a type of the mental struggles of faith to maintain itself against the infesting spheres of a falsity which finds its power in scientifics that are divorced from the service of God.



For that knowledge which is signified by Egypt is a power both for good and for ill. Knowledge, in itself, is neither truth nor falsity, but may serve either. It is fickle like a reed upon which we dare not lean. It may be a friend or a foe to our spiritual life. It can yield the riches of Solomon, it can supply the gold for the tabernacle of God. But its precious wealth can also be used to mould the golden calf of sensual self-worship.


The signification of Egypt as "the scientific of the natural man" was based primarily on the character of its people, their religious history, their mental development and civilization. We cannot here discuss the question of how far a people chooses an environment which represents their native bent and how far a given environment moulds a population into correspondence with itself. Yet here we find a country which perfectly serves as a symbolic picture of what it represents - that ultimate degree of the mind which is the repository of knowledges.

Egypt presents a parable of man's memory. For the memory, like Egypt, is built out of the silting sands of Time, by the great river of Experience. That river, like the Nile, overwhelms us at its flood, but when it sinks into a calmer state it leaves behind the fertile riches whereby our mind can be nourished for growth. 'Egypt' Herodotus wrote, 'is the gift of the Nile'. It is "a land without rain" (Zech. 14:17, 18). Moses, telling his people of Canaan, draws the contrast: "The land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt . . . where thou sowedst thy seed and waterest it with thy foot" - by digging and irrigation - "as a garden of herbs: but the land, whither you go . . . is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven; a land which the Lord thy God careth for . . . " (Deut. 11:10-12).



The spiritual mind is refreshed by the influx of Divine Revelation, by truth fresh out of heaven, by the doctrine that "drops as the dew". But the natural mind seeks its truth from laborious experience, by artificial devices and continual exercise of prudence. Its waters are either muddy, never quite clear, or stagnant, never quite pure. The Nile sweeps on majestically, imperiously, ruthlessly, as a turbid tide which nothing can stem. It must be caught in manmade dikes and handled with economy. It used to abound with fish; and in the northern swamp-lands - where waterbirds nested amidst the rushes - there grew palms, lotusflowers, and the precious papyrus from which the first paper was made to record the written words of men.

The desert-sands continually encroach upon the narrow valley which the Nile creates and man watches over. It is said that 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'. But it is still more true that sensual experience in the mass, - knowledges undigested by the mind, facts of science, facts of necessity, facts, facts, beating upon a tottering soul, moving masses of confusing facts raised like advancing waves of sand dunes, blown up by the hot winds of human ambition, - makes existence a trackless waste, blinds the eyes and suffocates the thought, and buries everything of spiritual life in a living grave.

This happened spiritually as well as naturally to the [Egypt of the Ancient Church. It was turned into a valley of the dead - a land of barren deserts, of mighty giant-tombs in which their past glories are imprisoned, carved in indestructible stone; even as man's own forgotten history is inscribed in his memory to all eternity, so that each trivial thing can be read before the angels. The memory raises its monuments over all the living states of the past, preserves a record of perceptions once entertained, even though these be long-forgotten and covered over by the drifts of new experiences.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 73 Even states that man has disowned can be recovered out of the dry facts of scientific dust; but their living essence is gone beyond recapture.

It was in an Egypt such as this that Israel was brought into bondage. The sons of Jacob coming into Egypt represented the need that spiritual truths should be inserted into scientifics in order that natural truths might come into being. For facts are not truths. Facts must be ordered and organized to serve human needs, not only those of the body but those of the soul, before they can be truths in natural form. However unfortunate for the populace, yet Joseph's rule over Egypt - in which the wealth of all the land except that of the priests passed into the hands of Pharaoh - indeed signified such a subordination of knowledge to spiritual uses; an orderly state of the memory, in which spiritual truths could freely feed and multiply, and the 'remains' of regenerate life be implanted deeply in the natural mind.

But when the state changed, and a new Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph, a Pharaoh of a dynasty which was allied with the imperious priesthood of Amen, signifying a dominant falsity that used the sensual appearances of the memory for selfish ends and for the ambitions of grandeur and power, Israel by stages and degrees became a captive in its land of sojourn. In the mind, such a bondage comes about chiefly from falsities of religion, which close the mind up so as to prevent it from perceiving what is good or understanding what is true. But it is the appearances of the senses that are now the means by which truths are infested and made to serve the ends of falsity. Even states which are well- disposed are laid under tribute to strengthen the appearances which build up the power and prestige of human prudence, and make the 'bricks' of fallacy by which falsities are built up and confirmed.



In our own day, the falsities and the denials which infest our religious life carry on their power through the growing prestige of Science, which confounds simple minds beyond the endurance of ordinary faith. Science departing from its proper field - has begun to dictate over faith, creating unbelief in the laws of salvation and in the very existence of a visible God who can reveal Himself in the Word. Science - in contradistinction to "the sciences" - is becoming dogmatic in its effort to systematize all knowledge, even that of revealed truth, in the light of sensual appearances. Its secret doctrine is the philosophy of material force; it is building its precise canals and meticulously laid out store-cities; it is establishing its out-posts far into Canaan and Syria. It has harnessed the horse of understanding to the chariot of theory, even as the new Pharaohs of the XVIIIth dynasty converted the horse and chariot into the irresistible "panzerdivisions" of that age. It threatens the seed of Abraham with extinction.


Those who desire to be in good and in truth, seem to themselves frustrated in spirit when continually infested by falsities which bend them to think only from natural appearances and to feel a futility in maintaining any ideals of spiritual life or in entertaining any higher motives than those of prudence and temporal advantage. And only the Lord can lead those who still resist the forces of the world out of such a captivity. This is the meaning, today, of the Writings of the New Church. This was the meaning, for Israel, of the call of Jehovah to Moses to lead his kinsmen out of Egypt.

Essentially, the question was one of religious liberty, the freedom of the spirit. The animal sacrifices of the Hebrews were "an abomination unto the Egyptians". But in Sinai, similar worship was carried on.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 75 Queen Hatshepsut had renewed the workings of the copper and turquoise mines there with Midianitish labor. Moses had already stayed for forty years among the Midianites, who were Hebrews, and had since revived among the Israelites the desire for their ancient worship.

It may have been in the land of Midian, and from Jethro the priest who was also called Reuel ("the friend of God"), that Moses came into contact with the Hebrew books of the Ancient Word. Jethro represents, like his people, 'the truth of simple good', a remnant of the Ancient Church. It is at least more likely that Moses should have learned of these books from a Semitic people than from the Egyptians; and indeed he copied the early chapters of Genesis from a Hebrew text, and later cites parts out of the 'Wars of Jehovah, and 'The Enunciators' which clearly were written about the very places through which Israel passed in its journeyings. Nor can we imagine any great antiquity for these parts of the Ancient Word, since contemporary tribes and places are named. It is more than likely that they were produced by late prophets of the Hebrew Church-certainly within a few centuries before Moses' time; unless the place-names and the tribes mentioned in the Mosaic citations had been altered in the versions current at the time of the Exodus (SS 102,103; TCR 279; SD 6107).

That the Ancient Word was not in Israel's possession during the oppression, is clear from their state of religious ignorance (AC 4289:2, 2986). They did not even know the name of Jehovah. The Jewish religion and the tribal laws which crystallized during the emigration from Egypt, were not Egyptian in character, but had certain features which bore a much greater resemblance to the religion and law of Semitic Babylonia and to that of many tribes around Canaan. The Babylonian laws of retaliation and Sabbath-observance, and those governing sorcery, debts, slavery, and social responsibility, show many parallels to the Hebrew codes, although the latter were more elastic and applicable to a simple nomadic life.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 76 Yet there was no direct borrowing, on the part of the Israelites, from the Babylonian codes of Hammurabi. The resemblances are rather the result of racial feeling and common outlook. On the other hand we know that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, had a direct hand in advising on matters of government (Gen. 18).

Moses, being educated at court, naturally exerted a sphere of authority amidst his people (AC 10563). Yet the laws of Moses - while indeed including seven commandments recognized as moral laws both in Egypt and in Babylonia - came to Israel as Divine commands, and were prefaced with precepts against the worship of any other gods than Jehovah, against the use of images or idols, and against blasphemy, magic or incantation, besides the law ordaining the Sabbath to be kept holy in remembrance of the Lord. Actually, the influence of Egypt was superficial. The tabernacle indeed resembled the temples of Egypt in its form. The ark, with its guardian cherubim (which must have been kindred to the winged sphinxes of Egypt), followed an Egyptian pattern. The sense of order - an almost military order - in the arrangement of the camp, may have been unconsciously acquired from contact with the conventional Egyptians. Yet essentially, Israel was in revolt against all things Egyptian. When Aaron melted down the people's earrings and made a golden calf after the likeness of the Egyptian idol Apis, this was punished with a fearful massacre.

The fact of course remains that the Israelites did 'borrow' from the Egyptians, begging 'vessels of gold and vessels of silver' - probably including amulets and charms and talismans, household 'gods' or symbolic images to ward off evil in their journey. These symbols represented scientifics, knowledges of good and truth, knowledges which in themselves, and properly regarded, were useful as ultimates of worship and instruction.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 77 The letter of the Word is full of such imagery as is here meant and each successive Church receives the literal of the Word of the old church as its own ultimate of worship and as the 'vessel' in which the increasing perceptions of the new truth can be conveyed. This had to be represented, in the case of Israel. For Israel was to represent a true church, even if in reality it carried no real, living remains with it from the Ancient Church. It carried with it, however, the coffin in which the "bones", or the embalmed mummy, of Joseph had been laid - Joseph, who in this sense represented the Ancient Hebrew Church, the dead rituals of which alone remained among the Jews. For if internals had not been first vastated, they would have been profaned by this race (AC 6592-6596). Thus the Jews knew nothing of the spiritual things to which their representative laws and rites corresponded. But still the internal was suggested to the angels who were present so far as there was order and obedience among the Israelites. And therefore there was a use performed - a use essential at that time - when the people, benighted though they were, offered their Egyptian spoil of gold and silver to Moses to be made into the sacred objects of their own tabernacle, built and arranged in adaptation to a heavenly pattern shown to Moses on Mount Horeb.


The EXODUS of the Israelites from Egypt remains as an outstanding example of political liberation and of the birth of a nation. But for the man of the church this event of long ago has a parallel in his own life. As he enters the responsibilities of adult life, he reminds himself at times of the tender faith of childhood and the idealism of youth. He comes to realize that he is in danger of becoming a mere slave to the tyrannical and brutal routines of worldly life, and must make a bold bid for freedom.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 78 He hears the voice of Moses - the call of conscience; and against the dictates of his worldly prudence and temporal self- interest he prepares to brave the deserts of temptation, to gain the peace of soul that is the heritage - the Canaan - promised to every man who is willing to face the truth. His first triumph comes when the sea of ridicule and worldlywise logic part their waves in marvel to let him through - even as when Israel crossed the "Sea Suph". So he ventures on his lifelong pilgrimage of faith and learns to find sustenance and delight in the "manna" which descends upon him as he uplifts his mind to meditate on the truths revealed in the pages of the Word. The laws of religious and moral life alike become to him the voice of God speaking directly to his soul, as God spake to Israel at Sinai. And - by shunning his evils as sins against God - he builds his life anew, centered around the Tabernacle of the Covenant where the uses of man's natural life are sanctified as an offering to the Lord.

All this involves a deliverance from a spiritual oppression. And in the spiritual world, the souls of such as had on earth been held captive under false persuasions and spurious doctrines, actually find themselves confined near the hells in a "lower earth", where they suffer much mental anxiety. But at the last judgment these "souls under the altar" (Rev. (6:9-11) are released as by a spiritual Exodus and are led into heaven (AC 7932a; AR 325, 884).





The abject slave-people of Israel, during their forty years of wandering, were transformed by necessity into a fighting-clan. And when they finally approached their promised land, they came from the south-east, having already fought their way against the small nations on the east side of Jordan. Sihon, the king of the Amorites, and Og the giant, king of Bashan, were destroyed. The tribe of Reuben was settled south of Mount Gilead, Gad was given the northern part of Gilead, and Bashan was assigned to half the tribe of Manasseh. Before he died, to leave the leadership to Joshua, Moses ascended Mount Nebo, to the east of the northern part of the Dead Sea, and was shown by the Lord the extent of Canaan, from wooded Gilead northward to mountainous Dan below distant Mount Hermon, and all Naphtali (among the Galilean hills), and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and Judah unto the utmost sea, and the south country, and then, again, the plain near Jericho even to the little town of Zoar near the Dead Sea. In this his survey, Moses represented the omniscience of the Lord, scanning all the possible states of His kingdom in heaven and the church.

For the land of Canaan has this wide significance. In the supreme sense, it signifies the Divine Human, the inheritance into which the Lord entered by the glorification of His Human and thus after the conquest of the hells which at first infested it (AC 4108, 3038, 3705, 4112, 4240). In this sense the land shows forth the Divine pattern of the kingdom of eternal uses and eternal love and wisdom - that Divine, infinite, ideal order in which finite human spirits may find their place, but which to all eternity can never be completely filled.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 80 In a derived sense, however, Canaan stands for the angelic heaven, or for the Church in its whole complex, which includes everything of religious life (AC 5757; AR 194). It also represents the man of the church, that is, the spiritual mind and the natural mind (AC 4447). And when evil nations lived within its borders, Canaan represented the human mind infested with hereditary and actual evils which, with their falsities, must be overcome and utterly driven out during the struggles of regenerate life; and, in the wider sense, it pictured all the states of the other life (AC 6306), with its heavens and with its fictitious heavens which are the strongholds of evil spirits who had usurped the lower parts of heaven while interiorly communicating with the hells.

That the sons of Israel "seized and inhabited the land of those nations who represented the hells, was a representation that the infernals, about the time of the Lord's coming, would have occupied a large part of heaven, and that the Lord, by coming into the world and making the Human in Himself Divine, would expel them and cast them down into the hells, and thus deliver heaven from them and give it for an inheritance to those who would be of His spiritual kingdom" (AC 6306). The conquest of Canaan thus signified the Lord's redemptive work in both worlds, and also the redemption of the interiors and the externals of the mind that is effected by the Lord in the reformation and regeneration of each man.

Among the pagan tribes which were to be dispossessed - Hittites, Hivites, Amorites, Jebusites, Perizzites, Girgashites, and Canaanites - there were also some original inhabitants variously named; such as the gigantic "sons of Anak" before whom the awe-stricken spies of Moses felt like grasshoppers (Num. 13:33).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 81 [Diagram]


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 82 Whether or not these and other giants or "Nephilim" might have been isolated remnants of some paleolithic race, they were used in the Word to signify evil spirits from the time of the Flood who still roamed about in the world of spirits exercising a deadly persuasive power which could take away all faculty of thinking from others. These uniquely wicked "genii" the Lord overcame in His childhood through the force of His Divine innocence (AC 1673, 581).

The land of Canaan, in its narrowest extent, embraces only the strip of country between the Jordan valley and the Mediterranean Sea. This strip consists of three parts: (1) a northern portion - near Syria, between Mount Hermon and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon and down through the forests and dark ravines of the Lebanon and past Lake Galilee down to the plain of Esdraelon; (2) a central section, including Mount Carmel by the sea and the mountains of Samaria and Ephraim; and (3) the district of the Judean highlands between the Dead Sea and the Philistine seashore. The correspondences of Canaan were not assigned by artificial divisions of the map. But still it holds true, that these three portions, in their order, correspond in general to the three degrees of the human mind, the Natural, the Spiritual, and the Celestial, thus to the planes of the three heavens. And the central and southern of the three parts therefore represent the Spiritual and Celestial minds of man. In general, Galilee represents the Natural degree, the region later centering about Ephraim signifies the Spiritual, and the Judean hills the Celestial.

The Jordan is the nearest boundary of Canaan proper. The country west of Jordan therefore represents the Internal Man, or the Internal Church, while the lands to the east of the river signify the Natural Man or the External Church (AE 434:11, 440:7, 569:4). The most extended domain over which Israel loosely ruled in the age of Solomon, had as its farthest limits the Nile and the Euphrates as well as the gulf of Akabah (AE 518:17; AC 5196; AR 444).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 83 But the Jordan was the boundary between the Internal and the External of the Church, and it therefore signifies the means by which a man is introduced into spiritual things. This introduction is effected in the natural mind through the religious instruction and repentance that are symbolized in the sacrament of Baptism. John therefore preached repentance and baptized by the Jordan, even as Joshua, after crossing the river, followed the Mosaic custom and caused the new generations of Israelites to be circumcised.


The tribes of Israel took their names from the twelve sons of Jacob, although that of Joseph was divided into two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and Manasseh was further distinguished into two half-tribes. The inheritances of these tribes were assigned gradually, but not in the order of the birth of their fathers. Reuben was indeed given his lot among the first, but the lots of the rest were determined by needs and circumstances, and seven of the tribes cast lots for their portions. The tribes sometimes joined each other in subduing the former inhabitants, which proved a task not of years but of centuries, and indeed was never fully accomplished. It should also be observed that the territories of the tribes were usually not exactly defined, and often merged into each other - as populations grew or decreased.

In their representation as the universals or "the cardinal things of the church", the sons of Israel fall naturally into certain groups. The first four, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, were all sons of Leah. These represent the successive steps of the ladder by which the regenerating man progresses from a state of truth to a state of good.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 84 Only so far as man thus ascends to a state of good, in order that he may afterwards view all things (and thus all truths) from good, can he become regenerated, or he made new as to spirit, mind, and life (AC 3882).

The name Reuben means 'seeing', and he signifies faith in truth, or belief in the truths of faith. The tribe was given as an inheritance the first district which the Israelites under Moses encountered and which lies OH the east side of the Dead Sea. The kind of faith which Reuben signified is external and general. It rests itself on the authority of others and yet accepts the authority of the Lord in His Word. It may be compared to the faith which Israel had, a faith propped up by a series of miracles and traditions which could not be gainsaid. Yet as Israel now - after her forty years of wanderings - actually came upon the sight of her inheritance, her faith was renewed and confirmed. From the summit of Mount Nebo - within the lot of Reuben - Moses was shown the whole promised land - a vision which he could not share with his people, because he died there and was buried by the Lord in an unknown place lest Israel might come to worship his relics.

The people under Joshua were however anxious to enter their promised land, the borders of which they had now reached. Only the weaker souls were satisfied to remain where they were. And these, like Reuben, came to represent the external church. The quality of Reuben's faith is significantly emphasized by the nearness of his settlements to the Dead Sea; for the Dead Sea represents the sensual man - the lowest part of the mind, which depends on its life upon the senses and appetites of the body.

That the Dead Sea should have such a representation is not remarkable. The valley of the Jordan, about 150 miles long, and mostly lower than sea-level, terminates in this lake, the surface of which lies about 1300 feet below the Mediterranean.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 85 The peculiar three-hundred-mile cleft in which it is located was formed in the Tertiary Age and was later submerged and connected with the Mediterranean. The lake is at least 1278 feet deep. It lies in a trough between precipitous, barren mountains. It has no outlet except by evaporation. It often steams with rising mists. It is not without its desolate, delusive, weird beauty. Its water is clear and slightly tinted, but no fish can live in it; no tree grows on its banks, and its air is like the blast of a furnace. It has within it five times as much salt as ocean-water, and is bitter from chlorides of magnesium, calcium and potassium, and other mineral salts. Bitumen and asphaltic matter occur on the bottom and in pits throughout the district; along the shores are deposits of sulphur and petroleum springs; and at the southern end there is a solid mountain of rock salt. The region is subject to earthquakes.*

* George Adam Smith, "Historical Geography of the Holy Land." R. L Stewart, "The Land of Israel."

The Dead Sea has no outlet; it takes but does not give forth. Similarly the influx of life into the sensual man when governed by the love of self is perverted into evils, into phantasies and pleasures which destroy all spiritual charity, all faith, all natural usefulness.

That such a lake and its shores should signify the unclean things of falsities derived from cupidities, and thus represent the hells, may be confirmed also from the fact that it is a final depository - as if it were a sink for all the iniquities that were ever washed off in the Jordan. It was in this valley that Sodom and Gomorrah perished in the days of Abraham, and that Lot's wife looking back - was turned into a "pillar of salt". Possibly the catastrophe described in Genesis was an explosion of great reservoirs of oil and gas, such as has happened in similar geological formations in North America.* lot represented the Sensual, (and his incestuous offspring, Moab and Ammon, are given as the ancestors of the two nations which Israel found established on the east of Jordan.

* George Adam Smith, "Historical Geography of the Holy Land." R. L Stewart, "The Land of Israel."



The Ammonites represent those who are in merely natural good and thence falsify the truths of the church (AE 637:10). They eventually became worshippers of Milchom or Molech - the terrible Phoenician idol who, like the Moabite god Chemosh, demanded human sacrifices. The Moabites settled in the pasture country on the mountainous plateau to the east of the southern end of the lake, and thus south of the Arnon river, displacing the remnants of the Emim, an ancient and mysterious race which represented direful persuasions of evil (AC 2468).

Apparently a comparatively peaceful race, the Moabites - at first - represent those who are in natural good and who easily suffer themselves to be seduced. Israel journeyed around their land, unwilling to force their way through. But Balak, the king of Moab, seeing Israel's strength, invoked the aid of the Syrian seer, Balaam, to cast a spell over Israel. Jehovah instead caused Balaam to bless the chosen people.

Yet Israel, which had already defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites and Og the king of Bashan, and also fought various wandering Midianites which infested the district, avoided any direct provocation of Moab. Even when the Israelites were seduced into the sacrificial worship of Baal-Peor or Chemosh through "the daughters of Moab", Moses apparently blamed the Midianites living in Moab.

The inheritance of Reuben was directly north of Moab, in a territory which the Moabites still coveted and indeed at a later period regained. Here we see the weakness of Reuben which, as a tribal territory, soon disappeared. The external, persuasive faith which is the first state of the Church with man, has little protection from the temptations which 'natural good' spreads in its way. Those who are content to remain in a merely persuasive faith lack any discrimination between spurious natural good and genuine good.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 87 They judge superficially, and are often carried away by the call of the world, by its sensual pleasures, and by the self-satisfaction and eventual self-worship of the love of self.

The land of Moab, which thus also absorbed the tribe of Reuben, was a pleasant place, with plentiful fields, with summer-fruits and wine-presses. And when Eglon, a later king of Moab, had gathered hordes of Ammonites and Amalekites to help him and had made Israel a tributary, he truly displayed the representation of Moab as natural good. He built a summer-pavilion among the palm-groves of Jericho. He loved ease and comfort, being a very fat man. But while his attendants thought he was taking his siesta, Ehud, the left-handed Benjamite, ripped him open with the sword. The confused Moabites - "all fat men", the account notes with the grimness of primitive humor - fled, but were cut off and slaughtered at the fords of Jordan (Judg. 3).

Only the brutal truth can reveal the evils that hide within the disguise of natural good. Always these evils and their falsities wear the mask of politeness and gracious condescension. They oppose spiritual uses. But, like prudent parasites, they seek not to give offence or show how they despise others in comparison to themselves (AC 2468). They are cultivated and smooth of tongue, full of persuasive reasons and of many bland promises. They put many little obstacles in the way of important undertakings, and divert attention from essentials to details. They piously use even the things of the letter of the Word to turn man against the things of internal worship. "There is a general good with them which appears not unbeautiful, but the particulars which enter are filthy. In the beginning, indeed, not so: but successively". For those who are called 'Moab' are easily imbued with any or all falsities, so long as these favor and flatter; and confirm them until they suppose them to be true; and then their natural good is more and more defiled (AC 2468).



And the only remedy for such states - the only thing which can overcome and purify natural good - is the truth of faith. But this faith can win no lasting victory if it remains a mere matter of persuasion, or remains a 'historical faith', a faith not yet made one's own by individual study from the Word of revelation, by individual sight of truth in the light of truth.

Only by spiritual progress can the mind be purified from such subtle enemies. Reuben cannot be certain of his lot unless he follows his brethren and lends of his strength in the conquest of Canaan, and in this warfare seeks to realize that by himself he cannot prevail. Because Reuben signifies faith in the understanding, which is not yet reliable; therefore his birthright as the oldest of Jacob's sons was transferred to the sons of Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1). And his father's dying prophecy was fulfilled in him: "Reuben thou art my firstborn, my power and the beginning of my strength: surpassing in pride and in force. Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel . . ." (Gen. 49:3, 4).

For such faith like water boils up quickly with momentary emotion, but settles again into flat apathy. We hear of no judge, no prophet, no hero, from the tribe of Reuben. After his first few efforts, he lingers among his sheepfolds even when the trumpet sounds in Israel. And while the Moabites resettle the towns of his inheritance, the hope of Israel her to be vested in the other tribes.


Church in its beginning is external. It carries with it out of the consummated old church an evil inheritance, and it struggles with difficulty to establish a place for itself amidst a civilization which is blind to its own corruptions. The first victories of the Church are indeed easy and obvious, and very satisfying.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 89 The power of the new faith is so observable in its workings that it seems that nothing could stand before it. There comes the vision of an entirely new life the pattern of a new worship and a new civilization. It seems as if faith would by itself, and automatically, sweep all before it and, apart from human endeavors or the slow ripening of time, create its new ideal order. The Church can clearly sec in its intellectual vision - the whole category of uses and states which will mean for it a sure salvation, a security against its spiritual enemies. But it is as yet blissfully unaware how persistent these enemies are, and how deeply they are entrenched.

It was so with Israel. Avoiding any conflict with Moab and Ammon - the descendants of Lot - they were met by Sihon, king of the Ammonites, and defeated him near the fords of the Arnon. Flushed by their victory, they swept up northward through the mountainous plateau of Gilead and up into Bashan, which was known as the land of the giants, and smote Og its king, whose "bedstead of iron" (or whose basalt sarcophagus) was thirteen and a half feet long. And they claimed for Israel the whole region on the east of Jordan up to Mount Hermon. Reuben settled straightway north of Moab. Southern Gilead was given to the tribe of Gad. Both these tribes were shepherd clans, and the upland country skirted by the desert was suitable for them. But northern Gilead and Bashan were frontier districts of a different type. Bashan was crossed by two travelled highways, linking Damascus with the Red Sea and Phoenicia with Babylonia. The mountains, if properly held, were nearly impregnable, with impassable ravines and rugged heights, and especially the region of congealed lava which is called 'the refuge'. It has been called 'a tempest in stone' and has ever been a stronghold against invaders. It took a warlike clan to take and hold such an outpost which flanks a country of incredible fertility. And therefore it was given to the descendants of Machir, of the tribe of Manasseh.



The tribe of Gad settled in Gilead. Northern Gilead, just south of the Yarmuk river, is a rugged fertile undulating ridge, sometimes densely wooded, sometimes giving room for open glades and grass-covered knolls and rolling pasture lands and cornfields. But to the south, there is an expanse of table-land, good for pasture and tillage and cut around by the river Jabbok and its tributaries. There is charming rural scenery. There are forests of pine and evergreen oak and terebinth with low, gnarled branches, such as caused disaster to Absalom in his flight. And in the Jordan valley the vegetation is tropical.

It is a land of rest and delight, in which it is easy to forget dangers from without and from within. The prophets made mention of 'the balm of Gilead' - from which ointments and aromatic oils were made. And all this answers to what the tribe represented, namely, "good works from truth", or "the works of faith" - the first attainments of faith, by which good is first insinuated into man (AC 3935). This is the state of first enthusiasm, when man, having entered the church and confirmed his faith, decides now to apply it to his life and, if possible, to the lives of others. He is apt to think that now he knows all the truth that is necessary, and he is liable to stress, not the shunning of his own evils and falsities, but the doing of good. And indeed, he does good; he finds marry obvious uses to support, and takes delight in the strength and growth of the external church, in its social sphere and the beauty of its worship. In this state he enjoys the good of pleasure, the sensual and bodily delights which the life of the church brings with it. He contributes to such delights.

But in such states men are likely to be misled. They may mistake their friendship for charity, their piety for internal humiliation, their knowledge for wisdom. They may indulge in unwise zeal - and so do harm instead of good. They may be generous without much discrimination, they may hurt tender states of faith or charity by premature instruction or by lack of restraint and reflection and wise adaptation.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 91 They are so sure of themselves, and can prove it by Scripture and by the letter of the Doctrine, that they cannot in time convince themselves that perhaps what they do is - wrong.

An example of this was provided by Jephthah the Gileadite. In his days the tribe of Gad had driven out the evil Amorites. But they had not been forgiven by the Ammonites who formerly had lived in southern Gilead. The Ammonites, originally, signified those who are in simple good and in the externals of worship and doctrine. But because they had adopted the horrible rites of Moloch, with its human sacrifices, they came to signify those who - for the sake of natural good - falsify and adulterate the truths of the church. The Ammonites, in the time of the Judges, began to seduce their neighbors, the Israelites, to their worship, and - by the usual mode of intermarriage and infiltration - came to become dominant in Gilead. And when Israel, in their repentance, decided to free themselves, they found no chieftain except a despised but courageous outlaw to lead them - Jephthah, the son of a harlot. This man swore an oath to sacrifice unto Jehovah the first thing which met him at his victorious home-coming. And when his own only daughter met him, he kept his ill-considered vow. His was a well-intentioned act from a spurious conscience - such as is possible in the state which is called Gad. Of such the Writings say:

"They are those who are mistaken about truth, and yet from that do works, thus works not of truth, still less works of good. By works from this source they are thrust clown from truth: for the moment a man who is in truth and not yet in good, from a religious principle carries anything into act, he afterwards defends it as if it were the veriest truth and abides in it; nor does he admit any amendment of it except in proportion as he comes into good; for by act he imbues it, and loves it . . ." (AC 6405).



To remain in the early mistakes of an initiatory state is fatal to man. Most men of the church indeed never advance across the Jordan, to possess a lot in the interior of Canaan; but they come to belong to the External Church, which is not capable of profound self-examination and thus must frequently find that they have acted from non-truths. Yet all may redeem their mistakes if they only humble their pride of opinion, and seek a closer understanding; of what the internal things of the Church are, that these may at least not be denied or opposed. For by itself the external church is doomed. Only by its association and fraternity with the internal church can it retain its fruitfulness.


The CROSSING of the Jordan - and irrevocable step which represented the beginning of interior repentance and thus the introduction into the internals of the church - was preceded by the sending, of spies into the interior, especially to Jericho. This spying out of the land signifies self- examination and the exploration of one's inward motivations. Without this preparation the capture of Jericho and the miraculous fall of its walls would not have represented such a signal victory; but as it was, it meant the destruction of the falsities by which interior evils are concealed (AE 700:15).

Such were the reasons why Moses, in giving Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh their portions to the east of Jordan, bade them not to linger there, but, having settled their families, to join their brethren in the march into Canaan itself. Still upborne by their first enthusiasm they responded to the call.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 93 The Jordan was crossed - its waters parting by a miracle as the ark of God was carried across. The walls of Jericho fell before the sacred trumpet blasts of the priests. Ai, reached by steep mountain trails from the valley, was later taken by a stratagem.

Soon after the fall of Jericho, the Gibeonites (friendly Hivites) drew their league of cities into alliance with Israel by a prudent ruse, and became hewers of wood and carriers of water for the Tabernacle. Joshua, now master of the central mountain district, read the law, with its blessings and its curses, from Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim to the assembly of Israel. When the kings of five Ammonite city-states near Philistia sought to punish Gibeon for their stampede to Joshua's side, Joshua swept down the valley of Ajalon - where the sun stood still to give him light - and down into the foothills, wasting their cities one after another and making Israel the terror even of the south country and the coastal plain. Indeed, it may be his name that is meant by one Iashuia mentioned in the letters which the frightened chiefs of the coast-cities sent to an indifferent Egypt, asking assistance and telling that the land of Shechem had seceded to the Habiru (Hebrews).* And Joshua was too wise to try to conquer the coast, where Egyptian "chariots of iron" kept the trade routes open between a chain of Philistine cities and all the way to Tyre and Sidon and Damascus. Again and again the book of Judges states how the tribes "drove out the inhabitants of the mountains, but could not drive them out of the valleys", nor out of the larger cities. In the north a league of Canaanite kings made ready for war. By forced marches, Joshua met them near the waters of Merom - nearly a hundred miles away from Israel's permanent camp in the Jordan valley - and defeated them utterly. Complete pacification, however, was to prove a feat, not of years but of centuries.

* Tel-el-Amarna letters, tablet 289, etc.



The land was temporarily subdued, and Israel set up the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Shiloh was to he the sanctuary of Jehovah and the rallying place of the tribes-the only place authorized for the performance of sacrifices, and thus the symbol of Israel's unity. Here the land was apportioned by lot among the tribes, and thence each was sent out - with Joshua's blessing - to possess its inheritance.

But when the warriors of Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh, with their share of the plunder of conquest, came across the Jordan, they built a great altar on the bluffs of the river. Perturbed at this sign of disaffection, Israel began to gather for a punitive war. But priestly council prevailed, and an embassy was first sent to remonstrate. And the explanation was received with great relief. For the eastern tribes had erected the altar not for sacrifice but for remembrance, and for a witness that they, too - though separated - had a part in the worship of Jehovah. It was to be a seal of their unity with the rest of Israel.

The essential of worship pertains to the internal church, represented by the tribes west of Jordan. This internal is with those who feel a genuine delight in learning spiritual truths from the internal sense of the Word. These are the kernel of the Church. Yet others - in more external states - are carried in the sphere of worship and thought which belongs to those who arc internal. Those of the external church who cannot think truths from their own understanding can yet see truth in the reflected light of others.

Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh were also of the Church. They did not so often come to Shiloh or (later) Jerusalem to sacrifice and listen to the Law. Their flocks and herds were too many, the road was too long and wearisome. Yet in the ultimates of worship - not idolatrously used, but symbolically - there is found a common ground for all states, simple or advanced. These holy ultimates are loved by those of external type as well as by the more interior.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 95 In this there is association, conjunction, and a sharing of strength. In this lies the hope of survival and advance.


In the externals of life - in the good works done by man, whether the works of piety or the uses of practical life - there is a common field in which men of all characters can work together. Yet they are inspired by different motives, different loves, different ideas of what is being accomplished. No man has any right to judge as to the inmost purposes of others, so long as they cooperate for the good of society.

The tribe of Gad and the country of Gilead signify the works done from truth, works done often without much perception and usually only from a sense of duty to a doctrinal principle. But the half-tribe of Manasseh signifies works done from love, from a good, a use that is genuine and springs from a new will. It is also 'natural good', but genuine and selfless, willing to serve. At times this genuine external good is hard to distinguish from the zeal of faith that begets momentary enthusiasm and must be spoon-fed with external incentives. But a good work that is done from good, from a constant and established love, is persistent and loyal and patient and builds well and for ages to come. Its fruitfulness is greater, its results will endure (AE 440:7).

This impression of endurance pervades the region of Bashan. Its mountains are capped with basalt. Its ancient cities and rough-hewn palaces - dating probably from the time of the Rephaim and since inhabited by many later races - are built of cyclopean rock, with gates of stone which still turn in their sockets and basalt slab-roofs not yet dislodged. The legendary 'oaks of Bashan' still grow on the rocky heights. Where the "rams and bulls of Bashan" found pasture in the rolling prairies - there feed now camels by the thousands.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 96 The finest wheat in all Syria is cultivated in lands plowed straight in furrows nearly a mile long. Rich, red, inexhaustible volcanic soil makes it a wonderland to harvest. Such was the lot of the hardy warriors of Manasseh, who from their mountain fortresses were chosen to defend the frontiers of Israel.


The swift conquests of Joshua's warriors proved to be only a prelude in the long process of occupation. Thus, although certain warlike clans had previously settled in the south of the country (Joshua 15:14), it was not until after Joshua's death that Judah and Simeon and their allies the Kenites joined in a determined attempt to drive out the Canaanites from the southern mountain and hill districts between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.

To understand the spiritual significance of these events, it must be recalled that the first four sons of Jacob - Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, born in succession to Leah - represented the four general states by which the regenerating man ascends from truth to good.

Reuben signifies external faith, the first beginning of religious life. Simeon, whose name means 'hearing' or 'hearkening', stands for the second state - that of obedience to truth, or faith in act and thus in will. Such a willingness is the ground in which charity can be implanted. And he was therefore followed by Levi, who signifies charity in act, or the good of life. It is clear that obedience by itself is only a very general quality which becomes a virtue only when the obedience is rendered to what is known to be a just and proper command. We are therefore told that in heaven little children have to learn to say 'no' as well as 'yes'. Blind loyalty becomes the tool of evil.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 97 The state meant by 'Simeon' is an obedience of doing the goods and truths taught in the precepts of the Word in its obvious sense and in the doctrine of that church in which man was born; and thus is a following of one's masters and leaders (AE 443). Such an obedience of faith was also signified by the apostle Peter where he is called only 'Simon': "Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat . . ." (Luke 22:31). For obedience cannot stand alone. It can be strong only by its alliance with the highest ideals of the church. And to lift it up and bind it to aid such ideals, there is needed an affection of truth which-from a love apart from persons-seeks truth for its own sake.

Levi, the next brother, signifies charity in just this sense: a charity not to persons but to what is right. Levi means 'adherence', adherence to truth and affection of truth. This is the true charity of spiritual love and it cannot be gained except through intelligence, and through instruction in Divine truths. Levi therefore became the priestly tribe. Its inheritance consisted of forty-eight cities scattered through out Israel. Since it was the office of the Levites to keep alive in Israel the higher law of mercy and truth, six of these cities were kept open as a refuge for the involuntary slayer who was fleeing from the avenger of blood (Josh. 20, 21).

The fourth son of Jacob was Judah. His tribe, within the representative church, had a role of the highest character - that of celestial love, the will of good. This love, which is love to the Lord, must inflow into the spiritual truths which are represented by the sons of Israel, and must dispose them into order and thus submit them to the Lord (AC 6366, 6367); wherefore Jacob, in his blessing, said of Judah, "The sceptre shall not be removed from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall be the obedience of the peoples".

The name 'Judah' means 'confession of Jehovah'. Indeed, the time was to come when this tribe alone held out for the confession of the one only God in a world utterly given over to polytheism and idolatry;


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 98 and this despite the corporeal and cruel nature which marked them throughout their history. Judah was to give to Israel its dynasty of kings. And when at last the Lord had been born in the 'city of David', he was to be hailed in the gates of Jerusalem as the Son of David, and be called by seers 'the lion of the tribe of Judah'.

The conquest of the territory of Judah began when Caleb and his brave family drove out the three "sons of Anak" (or Anakim) from their stronghold at Kirjath-arba (or Hebron), and from Kirjath-sepher (Debir). This region was possibly the 'valley of Eshcol' whence the spies of Moses brought a cluster of grapes so huge that it was borne upon a staff between two men, but which was inhabited by men so tall that the Israelites felt like grasshoppers beside them, and all but Caleb and Joshua advised turning back (Num. 13 and 14).

However this might be, Hebron was to become the capital of Judah, for it represented the Church long before Jerusalem (AC 2909). It was here - on the plains of Mamre with its sacred oak-groves of hoary antiquity, that Abram often camped and where he bought his family burial cave from some generous Hittites, who then possessed the city. Hebron itself lay at the head of a fertile, well-watered valley, where every inch is now filled with vineyards terraced on the slopes of the hills or with vegetable gardens and olive, mulberry, fig, almond, and pomegranate trees. The city which Caleb saw there was built seven years before the Hyksos city of Tanis (Zoan) in Egypt. It was in Hebron that David ruled for seven years and a half, and here also Absalom later set up his rival court.

The tribes of Judah and Simeon in their concerted march, could only increase the conquest by degrees. They fought the Canaanites and the Perizzites - who represented inherited evils and their falsities. Jerusalem - or Jebus, as the Hittite inhabitants called it


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 99 had been taken and burned, but was not retained. Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron, close to the sea, were taken from the Philistines, but could not be held. Only in the mountains could Judah prevail.

The lot assigned to Judah included four strips of country. The first was only nominally within its boundaries. It was the maritime plain - a few miles of barren drifting sand along the sea, then a plain which, enormously fertile, was one vast grainfield. The streams from the mountains disappear into the porous soil of this plain, and springs can be found by shallow digging. Upon it were the cities of "the lords of the Philistines", Ekron, Gath, Ashdod, Askelon, and Gaza, around which were luxuriant gardens. This strip was almost always under the control of Egypt or of some other imperial power, and its great highway was well trafficked, not only by caravans and mule-trains, but by chariots. A little further inland were other cities of note - Gerar, where Abram had visited Abimelech for pasture and Sarai had posed as his 'sister'; Lachish and Eglon, "walled up to heaven" by the Amorites; all now yielding interesting archeological finds. On the south Gaza, whose gates Samson carried off, and where he later - as a blind captive - pulled down the pillars of a Philistine temple, marks the frontier of Philistia; the last important town where Egypt-bound caravans or armies could be outfitted and supplied.

The second strip was the hilly country (the "Shephelah") which was the disputed "irredenta" of both Philistia and Judah. Here - in the "wadys" or valleys amid rounded limestone hills, in a land of glens and moors, with frequent barley fields but mostly thirsty country - was the home of such guerilla wars as those of Samson and the location of the valleys of Ajalon, of Sorek and of Elah, which figured in some of the great pitched battles of Israel's history, as they have in many other wars. In Ajalon the sun "stood still" for Joshua, and there Jonathan and David slew the marauding Philistines.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 100 In Elah young David slew the giant of Gath with smooth stones from the brook.

The third strip of Judah's inheritance was the central range of mountains with their fertile valleys and ample sheep-pastures. North of Hebron the land rises to a height of 3,546 feet above the sea. It is a pastoral land - barren and desolate as a whole but relieved by wild flowers and shrubby undergrowth. In the breaks of the tableland there is rich vegetation - as at Bethany, the valley of Hinnom, the regions about Bethlehem and Hebron. Its specific fruits were the fig, the grape, and the olive, and these three - to the prophets - became the symbols of the Church with its natural good, its spiritual truth, and its celestial love.

But the fourth strip is a waste and inaccessible wilderness, which by sudden rugged chasms swallows up the sloping pasture lands that rest above it. Here we find the originals for "the valley of the shadow of death" in which the lost sheep of Israel are apt to stray. It is the picture of a state of temptation. It is the wilderness where the hermit John the Baptist fed on locusts and wild honey and brooded on the state of Israel; and where Satan took the Son of Man up on a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. There is savage grandeur - travellers say - in the deep gorges that issue from the precipitous mountains along the edge of the Dead Sea. Outlaws found their refuge in its caves and mazes - and it was here, at Engedi, that David crept up and cut off the mantle of Saul who hunted him like a partridge in the mountains (I Sam. 24:4, 26:20).

Thus it was the central mountains, with their vines and olives and flocks of sheep, that became the chief abode of Judah, in keeping with its correspondence to celestial love. After all the rest of the tribes had mingled with the nations and been obliterated or carried captive, Judah still held out in its strongholds - a vineyard on a hill of olives, fenced, and the stones gathered out of it, and a watchtower in the midst.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 101 The tribe represented especially the celestial kingdom of heaven, which before the Lord's advent served to transmit the transflux of the Divine and thus was a medium of the revelation of God-Man, who appeared to the prophets through angels as the 'Human Divine' (AC 6371-6373). David and all the other anointed kings thus became the representatives who prefigured the Lord - the Messiah or Christ who was to come.

Simeon found his lot south of Judah. There the plains are few, the torrential winter rains cutting the land into narrow gullies which are dry in the summer. But once it was a well-cultivated land sprinkled with cities the ruins of which still are seen. The chief of these was Beer-sheba, a place of seven ancient wells with abundant pure water. It was in this country that Hagar, in her flight, hesitated between Egypt and Canaan, and later was exiled with her son Ishmael whose descendants became nomads of the desert. In Beersheba Abraham and Isaac made their home, and planted a sacred grove. Here Abraham and Abimilech the king of Gerar, swearing by the "God of Eternity", made a covenant, to end a dispute about some water holes.

For Beer-sheba, "the well of the oath", signifies the perception that the doctrine of faith is in its origin Divine, for that doctrine is the literal sense of the Word, and its authority can be acknowledged by all states, simple and wise (AC 2723, 3436). The sense of the letter of the Word is a well from which all may draw. To its authority all must render obedience. Therefore this well was the chief oasis in the lot of Simeon, who signifies Obedience to the Lord

Such obedience to the authority of the Word is the first beginning of all the states of the advancing church. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". Beer-sheba was therefore the southernmost point of Canaan, which was said to stretch "from Dan to Beer-sheba". Dan was at the northern entrance to Canaan, and signifies a state which is remote from the celestial things of the church, although in the affirmation of truth.



Simeon - as a tribe soon virtually disappeared, partly merging with Judah and partly absorbed by neighboring desert tribes, Edomites and Amalekites. Judah remained strong, leading Israel in the fight against the persistent Philistines. The culture of the Philistines shows influences from the Ancient Church through the Northern Hittites, the Mycenaeans, the Phoenicians, and the Egyptians. Modern students believe that they came by sea from the shores of the northern Mediterranean several generations after the arrival of the twelve tribes. But the Bible, perhaps for spiritual reasons, mentions their presence already in the days of Abram and states that they had "gone forth" from Egypt. For - in a good sense - they represent "the science of cognitions about faith and charity". They signify "those who study life but little, but doctrine much": those who are interested not in the natural sciences, but in religious science - comparing and labelling and systematizing religious knowledge, as do so many critics and scholars of our own sophisticated age, among whom religion is a matter of curiosity and historic interest, not a way of spiritual life, nor a matter of Divine authority.

Let us note that Israel did not gain its holy land by going up from Egypt through the narrow country of Philistia, where the roads were controlled by the patrols of Pharaoh. For it is not by great knowledge or even by philosophical research and debate that man is introduced into the church - but by crossing the Jordan of repentance.

Yet, although the Philistines at times filled up the wells of the patriarchs with dust the dust of sensual interpretation and the pretense of scientific acumen - Abraham and Isaac abode among the Philistines at times, to signify the need that the Church must enter into systematic studies of the things of doctrine, and that the Lord - whose states on earth are in the supreme sense meant by these patriarchs adjoined to the doctrine of faith very many things from the science of human cognitions, and utilized human knowledges, with its appearances, in the construction of the Divine Word (AC 2726).



The Philistines, like the Phoenicians, were therefore seafarers and fishermen, and among; their gods - taken from various corrupt religions of the East - was the idol Dagon, the fish-god, which fell and broke to pieces when the captured ark of Israel was brought into its temple. In their wars against Israel, the uncircumcised Philistines, like Goliath their champion, always represent Faith Alone, the giant dogma which can be slain only by the smooth stones which genuine love seeks out from the water-brooks of Divine Revelation-stones of truth, well polished by the uses of life.





The sons of Jacob, the four which were first born of Leah - Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah - represent the four successive states through which the regenerating man must ascend from a state of truth to a state of good. From an external faith - a first sight or recognition of truth - man enters into a state of obedience in which his faith becomes a matter of the will. This paves the way for a spiritual charity - a love of truth; and through this man comes into a love of the Lord, which is then to rule his mind.

But the next four of Jacob's sons - Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher, all born of the concubines of Jacob - represent, not states in the process of regeneration, but rather the media, modes, and intermediate agencies through which regeneration becomes effective, and through which the natural man is prepared for a conjunction with the spiritual man.

Without such mediating states no man can be "born again". Even if there were, inmostly in the mind, a love to the Lord, this could accomplish no real change in man's life unless the externals of the mind could be so purified, subdued and tempered as to respond to the influx of this love.

The first of the means by which this is done is to put the mind into an affirmative attitude, or into a state of acknowledgment; which is signified by Dan, whose mother was the handmaid of Rachel. What one needs to acknowledge is not only the truths of abstract faith but especially the need of repentance and regeneration, and thus the need for all the truths in the very letter of the Word and in the letter of revealed Doctrine which can introduce man into the life of regeneration.



This acknowledgment is indeed prompted by an interior love of truth such as is signified by 'Rachel'. Yet it is reenforced by many natural impulses and external affections which long to become active and are zealous to serve to produce a 'judgment' upon the evil and false states which embarrass and confuse one's mind. The name 'Dan' means 'a judge' (AC 3923).

The tribe of Dan established itself in the small region allotted to it west of Judah - in the hill country, next to Philistia; but within it were several strong, walled cities and populous valleys which the tribe although it had been one of the most numerous - could not retain. The outstanding figure among the Danites was Samson - whose story is both heroic and pathetic. He was a man of brawn rather than brain, good-natured, optimistic, and affirmative, and imbued with loyalty to Israel; but easily duped, and terrible in his anger. We are told that his unshaven locks were the secret of his great strength, and that he represented that power which lodges in the literal sense of the Word. He also represented 'judgment' - but a judging by externals, a judgment often warped by natural affections such as caused him to intermarry with the daughters of the "uncircumcised Philistines."

But in later times, as the Philistines grew stronger, the Danites resolved, with six hundred men-at-arms, to hew out an inheritance for themselves at the extreme north of Canaan. On their march they encountered on Mount Ephraim an inn kept by a man named Micah. Micah had for a priest an itinerant Levite who had consented to preside over his house of idols. The Danites stole these idols, a molten image and various seraphim, and compelled the priest to come along with them bringing his sacred ephod.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 106 Eventually they reached the southern slopes of Mount Hermon and - after destroying the isolated frontier settlement of Laish - named the place 'Dan'. It was a time of confusion. "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes". And it was here, in Dan, that the rebel king of Israel, Jeroboam, later established a center for the worship of a golden calf.

The tribe of Dan thus represents both the virtues and the weaknesses of those who are in a general affirmation of truth and good, but go no further; who judge and often wrongly - of truths, and from truths judge of good; who remain only in a literal understanding of the Word and in sensuous thought; who put their faith and allegiance in phrases only, and are therefore apt to be carried off into fallacious reasonings and into heretical phantasies which emulate what is celestial (AE 355:31).

Yet, although 'Dan' was so unstable and vulnerable, his tribal office was important in the early stages of Israel's history. For he possessed himself of the northern gateway into the land, and guarded the pass between Lebanon and Mount Hermon. In a spiritual sense, it is in the affirmative attitude that all the progress of the church commences; and this attitude is the chief spring and stimulus from which all doctrinal knowledge comes. Actually, therefore, Dan was situated at the head-waters of the Jordan; which river - in a good sense - represents the common truths from the letter of the Word (AC 6396).


Lovely Mount Hermon is the original source of the Jordan. It is by some thought to be the "mountain apart" where the three leading disciples saw their Lord transfigured. However this may be, it is referred to in the Word in language which makes it the symbol of Divine Revelation:


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 107 ". . . as the dew of Hermon descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded a blessing, even life forevermore" (Ps. 133:3). The summit of the crest rises above nine thousand feet; snowy in winter, it is often shrouded in clouds. Copious dew and rain and melting snow makes it twinkle with untold cascading brooks which by turns lose themselves in dark ravines and then through oak-glades and thickets of oleander, hawthorn and cane, slide down into the valleys, and - at the south - into the little plains of a rich farming district and into an opening, trough of tropical vegetation, which in turn runs into an impenetrable swamp filled with canes and papyrus reeds.

And the chief source of the Jordan is at the site of the city of Dan, in a spring-head which travellers like to call the largest fountain in the world.

Like the dews of Hermon, the Divine truth descends through the heavens and enters pure into man's acknowledgment - the thankful affirmation that the Word is Divine. And the truths from the Word - like the Jordan - descend from state to state, healing and purifying, reaching even into the lowest and most corrupt conditions. The Jordan reaches sea-level already at the Waters of Merom, where it rests awhile, in a setting of beauty and peace, as if to be clarified. Then it rushes down by successive rapids into a gorge along the hills of Naphtali and, between banks of oleander, to the Sea of Galilee, which lies 682 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. We cannot now follow the river farther as it passes into its deep trench and, muddied by its tributaries, reaches the Dead Sea basin at 1300 feet below sea-level! But without doubt, it is the most striking feature of the land of Canaan. Always it was regarded as the gateway to Canaan. It had to be crossed by Abram the pioneer, by the home-coming Jacob, by the tribes bent on conquest. By its side the people had to be circumcised.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 108 In its waters Naaman the leper regained health, and John administered the washing of sins. Its fords marked many a battle: there were slain the Ephraimites who could not pronounce their 'Shibboleth'. It is the river of Repentance, which leads into the church and into heaven; it is the river of introductory truths. But it has also its evil aspects - as when Canaan is dominated by evil tribes. Then it rises in its pride as a barrier - a muddy torrent of falsities, swelling with a conceit of knowledge from the letter of the Word turned by the elated natural man to defend heresy; a torrent which must be disciplined by Divine Doctrine, as when it was turned aside by the priests who carried the sacred Ark of the Covenant, and by Elisha who flayed it with the prophetic mantle of Elijah!


Dan represented acknowledgment as a first medium by which the Church enters into man, or man into the Church. Naphtali, whose name means 'wrestlings', signifies the second of the four media. Naphtali stands for Temptation, such as is caused by the resistance offered by the natural man to the order which conscience would impose upon it (AC 3928).

The tribe of Dan is not mentioned among the twelve from whom were chosen one hundred and forty-four thousand to be sealed in their foreheads and become inhabitants of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 7). For "even the worst of men are able to know truths and goods and also to affirm them" (AC 3923). But those are sealed who have conquered in temptation. By victory in temptation the external man is reduced into agreement with the internal.

The lot of Naphtali was principally a mountainous country - the wilder highlands of northern Palestine.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 109 Its northern border was the deep river ravine which separates the lofty Lebanon range from Canaan. The country here is a broad, undulating table-land, adorned with clumps of evergreen oak and beautiful forests, and dotted with little fertile plains. But on the east the land breaks down into gray cliffs and wooded slopes which bear into the rich plains and valleys of the upper Jordan. And finally, to the south, there are the luxuriant ravines and shore-plains of the Sea of Galilee, which was the garden spot of all Palestine, where choicest fruit grew abundantly amid eternal spring or summer. The Sea of Galilee itself was full of fish - exported in later times for the tables of the Romans.

The tribe of Naphtali was not aggressive. It is compared to "a hind let loose, giving goodly words" - a hind, curious but also timid, modest, and hesitant. Yet Naphtali - as do all free nations - treasured its freedom; and it could fight bravely against an oppressor, like a stag when brought to bay (TCR 815). Thus Barak, the Naphtalite hero, had to be encouraged by Deborah before he would fight his uneven battle against Sisera and the Canaanites. And the goodly words of Deborah's paeon of victory also bore proofs of Naphtali's eloquence (Judges 5).

Northern Naphtali, with its mountains and dark passes, may give the picture of temptation. Many a battle was fought near the Waters of Merom. But southern Naphtali pictures the state after temptations when doubts have given way to some extent, and a place has been prepared in the natural mind for the message of Redemption which the Lord comes to proclaim. Therefore it was principally in Naphtali that the Lord while on earth preached and healed. And it is notable that after His baptism in the Jordan and after spending forty days in the Judean wilderness being tempted of the devil, He departed into Galilee and, leaving Nazareth, came and dwelt in Capernaum which is upon the coast of the sea of Galilee, in the borders of Zebulon and Naphtali:


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 110 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 'The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up' (Matt. 4).

Here it was that He called the fishermen for His apostles, and also Matthew, the publican. Here, on the stormy lake, He stilled the waves of doubt, and walked on the water to manifest His power to control the laws of nature and use even natural truths for His eternal ends. For the Lord is most present to man in states of temptation; and none become His disciples unless they can follow Him out of the doubts that beset their spirits and the natural preoccupations and worries which befog the vision of their spiritual goals.


The Natural man is ordered by the acknowledgment of truth (Dan), and is disciplined and chastened by temptation (Naphtali). But the ultimate means by which it can be conjoined with the spiritual mind is good works. For nothing is man's own unless it is confirmed in actual life. Such external goods of use are represented by the tribe of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh on the other side of Jordan. But since we have already spoken of these tribes, we wish only to recall that external uses by themselves give no lasting satisfaction to the spiritual man; for they perish with the world, and die with the flesh. Good works do not "merit" salvation, and give no eternal security.

But by Asher, whose lot adjoined Naphtali on the west, is signified real 'blessedness', the happiness of being "content in God" (AC 3938). It is the hope of eternal life, which becomes perceptible when temptations subside and uses have been accomplished from a charity which looks beyond the grave and which cannot conceive of eternal bliss apart from uses to others.



To Asher was assigned the whole westward slope of the highlands of Galilee, including one side of the jutting headlands of forested Mount Carmel and some harbors in the gulf to the north of it. Tyre and Sidon were probably not included; and although Asher held a strip of coast for a time, they were soon crowded back into the mountains, where "a wilderness of rocks alternates with upland meadows, deep valleys, and wooded hills . . ."* Wheat and olives were the products of the soil. "Asher's food is fat; he gives dainties to kings" (Gen. 49:20). The land now has a scarcity of water, and perhaps it is difficult to see its correspondence to 'the hope of eternal blessedness' unless we note how this hope is accompanied with a realization of earthly lacks and spiritual weaknesses. From his hill-slopes, the man of Asher could cast his longing eyes over the enchanting blue expanse of the Mediterranean - in semblance of one's wistful yearning for that eternal world which one can hardly visualize from within the barriers of space and time.

* Olmstead, "Hisstory of Palestine and Syria", p. 209.


The delight at the prospect of eternal uses and heavenly blessedness is only tasted to a slight degree by mortal man. Asher takes out his portion mostly in hope; yet this hope colors the all of life, and consecrates the natural man to the service of the spiritual.

For this reason, Asher was followed by Issachar, whose name literally means 'hire'. 'Issachar', said his father Jacob 'is a bony ass lying down between the burdens. And he shall see rest that it is good, and the land that it is pleasant; and he shall bow his shoulder to bear and become a servant to tribute'.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 112 But this describes the service which the natural man offers, before regeneration: service which only looks to recompense, and counts whatever sacrifice it makes as very meritorious. Those who are such "do not dispense the good that is communicated to them, except to those who can recompense; passing by the rest who are in the greatest need; and if they do good to these latter, it is with a view to recompense from the Lord" (AC 6389). Life to such a one is a burden - full of self-pity and envy; for the love of the neighbor and its buoyant delight cannot lift him up. He is under tribute to the changing conditions of natural life, and is a prey to the powers of this world. Spirits of such a character cannot dwell among angels, although those of the lowest heaven do partake of something of this idea of merit.

But when regeneration has progressed, and - after marry battles - the loves of self and of the world have been overcome and the phantasies of self have been dispersed, the natural man feels a new delight in performing uses for others. And a new "Issachar" comes into being, which is service from affection, or Mutual Love. For mutual love brings heaven down upon earth, into the actual lives of men, into the uses of community and home; and thus conjoins the natural mind with the spiritual.

Issachar therefore lies on the border of Manasseh; it is spread over the irregular plain of Esdraelon or Jezreel or Megiddo. This plain - which joins the sea-coast with the Jordan valley - is a marvelous farming belt, now seemingly "an ocean of grain", although during Turkish rule it was sparsely cultivated. It separates the mountains of Galilee from the mountains of Sarnaria. Mount Tabor, "Little Mount Hermon", and Mount Gilboa, stand isolated upon it and, between, many streams gather to form the important brook Kishon.



One western corner of this plain and the mountains north of it, were the inheritance of Zebulon - the tribe which signifies 'the conjugial', or the heavenly marriage. Together, Issachar and Zebulon conjoin Galilee, which represents the natural degree of the mind, with the highlands later called Samaria, which represent the spiritual. These two tribes therefore represent the inmost of the Natural with man. And this inmost is that in the Natural wherein the Spiritual can abide.

The Writings speak much of the Interior Natural. It is the highest conscious realm of man's life while he is on earth. It is a part of the rational mind - wherein man thinks abstractedly and draws up his principles of life and where his doctrinal perceptions become formed and clearly articulated. Let us note, however, that the merely natural Rational must be represented as outside of the borders of Canaan - in fact, may be depicted in the lofty range of proud Lebanon to the north, Lebanon with its mighty cedars. The Interior Natural here meant is indeed formed by means of the Rational, but is concerned with spiritual things, and is the resting-point of man's conscience in the natural mind.

It is in the inmost realm of the natural mind, in the plane of his inmost reasonings, that - in utter freedom of choice - man decides his spiritual destinies. Here the forces of good continually meet the forces of evil. Here also lies the Nazareth of the mind, where the virgin-state of the affection of Divine Truth, like Mary the betrothed of Joseph, may become miraculously pregnant with the secret message of salvation.

Here, in the interiors of the Natural, each man anew celebrates in spirit the wedding of Cana where the Lord turns the water of natural truth into the wine of spiritual perception - the first perceptible miracle of regeneration. For here the conjugial of good and truth, of charity and faith, is confirmed by a rational consent.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 114 On one of the mountains in this spreading valley it was that the Lord, in the 'Sermon on the Mount', taught the multitudes how to live together.

Through the plain of Esdraelon, however, passed the great arteries of the Orient. The main road from Egypt to Tyre bends inland over Mount Carmel, and the highway to Damascus and Babylonia runs through the plain across the Jordan into Bashan. Here - Egypt-bound, and laden with spicery and balm and myrrh from Gilead - had travelled the caravan of Ishmaelites to whom Joseph was sold by his brethren. Here a row of forts were maintained (despite Israel's efforts to dislodge them) - maintained in turns by Egyptians or Philistines, or by Assyria or Babylon, or Persia, Greece, or Rome. Here the world and the church met in the common tasks of life, with its reasoned compromises and its flaring rivalries.

And on the plains of Fsdraelon were decided the fates of empires and tribes and nations. There - in the days before the Exodus - Thotmes tore Palestine from the control of the Hittite empire. It was there that Barak of Naphtali fought Sisera's host and lured their three hundred iron chariots into disaster, the while even "the stars in their courses fought against Sisera". There the brave Gideon and his three hundred confounded the nomad hosts of the desert with trumpets and torches; and there fell king Saul on his own sword. The good king Josiah was mortally wounded on this battleground by the archers of Pharaoh-Necho; and there it was that Jehu the avenger slew king Ahaziah. Many great battles were here fought - between Jews and gentiles, between Moslems and crusaders. Napoleon marched his army through this plain. Allenby's cavalry here routed the fleeing Turks. And even within recent memory the "Free French" and their British allies marshalled here their tanks and guns for a bid for the control of the Middle East. And the end is not yet.



For in the last times, the day of the Sixth Plague, the seer of Patmos foretells, the demons of hell, "doing signs", will "go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" "into a place called in the Hebrew 'Armageddon"' - which is none other than this plain of Megiddo (Apoc. 16:14, 16).

This battle was to represent the final assault upon the church by those who are in faith alone; whereby the hells sought to "compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city" (Apoc. 20:9). It was said to be fought out on the plain of Megiddo, because in the consummation of the church that place represents the love of honor, dominion, and supereminence, which is the perversion of the mutual love which in all things supports the spiritual uses of the church for their own sakes (AE 1010). It is such a love of supereminence which devastates the church and adulterates its goods and its truths and breaks up the marriage-bonds of charity and faith.





The TERRITORIES of Issachar and Zebulon, in their good sense, represent regenerate states of mutual love and of the spiritual marriage. Still, they signify such states in the natural mind. The spiritual marriage (so often referred to in the Writings) is not a conjunction of natural good and natural truth, but is that state in which natural good is purified and lifted up by a love of spiritual truth, and the study of natural truth is entered into from a spiritual love, or from the good of charity (AC 3952). Such a conjunction is one which looks to what is eternal, and is indeed the only source from which truly conjugial love can spring, - that love which is the chief adornment of human life and the very shrine of the Christian religion; which brings the sphere of the inmost heaven down into the very ultimates of man's nature; and which inspires the essential uses on which the preservation of the race and the growth of the heavens depend - the uses of marriage and of the home.

But to the south of the two tribes of Issachar and Zebulon, there rises the central plateau country of Canaan - which, in general, represents the spiritual degree itself of the mind. This country was given to the descendants of Joseph the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim - and was commonly referred to as "Mount Ephraim", later as Israel, and still later, as Samaria. Moses said of this inheritance, "Blessed of the Lord shall be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that crouch beneath;


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 117 and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the treasures of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and the fullness thereof . . ."

The district has rugged, irregular ridges, originally to a large extent wooded; with many small plains for rich pasture and grain. The glens and river beds are deeply cleft. From the central heights of two or three thousand feet elevation, the land goes down by bulging terraces into the lovely coastal plain of Sharon; one long range towards the northwest - jutting its finger out into the sea to form Mount Carmel. Towards the east the narrow valleys dip steeply into the tropical deep - which "croucheth beneath" and hides the Jordan river.

This well-watered land - which later became barren, ruined, and desolate, with much of its rich soil swept down by the rains into the valleys - was given to Ephraim and Manasseh, the honored descendants of Joseph.

Manasseh signifies the new will which is formed in the understanding of the regenerating man. His name means 'forgetfulness', for when love begins to lead his life, man forgets all the labor and arduous effort toward self-compulsion. What man does from his will - his re-born will - appears spontaneous and easy. Forgotten also, or removed, are the evils, both hereditary and actual, which once used to tempt him. Much evil has yet to be overcome; but when a love of spiritual good has been formed, those evils which he has conquered are held in aversion (AC 5353).

Ephraim, signifies the new understanding, which, although in reality prompted by the new will, is, with the spiritual, the predominant element in his regenerate progress. The new will cannot be formed except within the understanding, and in mutual conjunction the two act together as a conscience which discerns good and truth.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 118 All spiritual growth and conquest and strength come through the new understanding - the understanding that enlightens by charity. The name Ephraim indeed means 'double fruitfulness', 'fertility', 'potency'.

The biblical events which befell within this district testify to its representation as the will and the new understanding of the spiritual man. It was at Bethel on the border of Ephraim that Jacob visioned the ladder of truth which reached into heaven. Here he made his covenant with God. And when the tribes of Israel began to occupy their promised land, it was on Mount Ephraim that they enshrined the bones of Joseph. This district - Joshua's own tribe - became the earliest seat of Israel's worship and a national rallying-place. The tabernacle was put up at Shiloh, the first center of their orthodoxy. On Mount Ebal, of hoary sanctity, they set up great stones with plaster surfaces on which the law of God was inscribed for all to see. In a natural amphitheater between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerezim the tribes in their most solemn convocation heard read the curses and the blessings which would determine their national fate. Deborah the prophetess judged Israel under a palm-tree near Bethel, and there she planned with Barak the defeat of Sisera. It was in Ophrah, in Ephraim, that Gideon cut down the altar of Baal and blew the trumpet to rally Israel against the Midianite hosts. From Mount Gerizim, Jotham spoke his bold parable against the usurper Abimelech who ruled in Shechem. The surviving Benjamites (Judg. 21) went up to Shiloh to lie in wait in the vineyards and capture themselves wives to propagate their tribe. And Samuel, the prophet-priest and reluctant king-maker, was a man of Ephraim.

Nor must we forget Mount Carmel - the garden and parkland, the fruitful hill. The 'excellency of Carmel and of Sharon' were besung by the prophets as symbols of gladness of heart. This mountain, with its vineyards, the first of Israel's hills to taste the eagerly awaited rains, signifies the spiritual church with all its truths.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 119 It was fitting that Elijah, the fiery prophet, should select this place in Manasseh to challenge a vacillating people to choose between God and Baal, and to light his sacrifice with fire out of heaven; a fire which consumed both bullock and altar - in prophecy of Him Who should glorify His Human even unto ultimates.

And when the Lord had come on earth, to save those of the spiritual genius who had wandered far astray, He did not (as did the Jews) avoid the way through despised Samaria. But He came to sit patiently by the ancient well of Jacob near Shechem, and drew living water out of the well of His infinite wisdom to save and solace a fallen Samaritan woman.

The understanding of the spiritual church leads the way in states of progress. But the spiritual church, which depends on the understanding (signified by Ephraim), cannot prosper unless it receives influx from the celestial things of love to the Lord which are signified by the tribe of Judah. Without the governing spheres of the celestial heavens, the spiritual church becomes perverted into an abode of pride and self-intelligence. The defection of Israel from Judah, after Solomon's death, therefore depicts the decadence of the spiritual church.


The two sons which Rachel, the only-beloved wife of Jacob bore, were Joseph and Benjamin. They represent the highest fruitions of regenerate life, states which are formed in man after many struggles of temptation and as a result of repentance, self-discipline and spiritual growth.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 120 Rachel, their mother, signifies the interior affection of truth, which is willing to renounce its own life for the sake of the spiritual truth that it perceives. Benjamin signifies this newborn truth; and at his birth Rachel died, near Ephrath on the way to Bethlehem.

To understand the significance of the last born son of Jacob, we should reflect on the fact that the life of Jacob represents one of the most arduous stages of man's regeneration. Jacob, moved by a persistent ambition, had supplanted his older twin brother Esau. Esau, with his irresponsible charm, signifies the inborn good and the native talents on which a man is wont to rely. But Jacob represented a new order in the mind, by which doctrine is visualized as the ladder by which one can attain the blessings of heaven after the natural man has been disciplined in a life of fruitful labor. For the acquisition of religious knowledge man goes to the spiritual "Syria". And as he begins his labor he is inspired by the vision of the love of truth and also by the prospect of reward. He is sustained by "mediate goods" or external delights which add their relish to the study of doctrine and to the life of the church. These lower motives are represented in the story by Laban from whom Jacob and his family of twelve children must finally flee.

The love of truth for its own sake is represented by the beautiful Rachel whom Jacob met so romantically at the well. But while man believes that he has such an interior and pure love of truth devoid of all external bias, he finds that his first fruitfulness comes rather from a more external and mixed affection of truth which is less perceptive; even as Jacob woke up to find that he had been married to Leah who was "weak of eyes", instead of to the perfect Rachel. Rachel was barren for many years. Her firstborn was Joseph. But Benjamin was not born until Jacob had completed his service under Laban and fled from Padan-Aram, had wrestled with his angel, and had been reconciled with Esau.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 121 By his "wrestling" is meant temptation; and victory in the soul's struggles changes a man's quality, even as Jacob's name was changed to Israel, which signifies "the good of truth .

Benjamin, born soon thereafter, signifies "new truth" This originates from spiritual good which is formed in the course of natural life by the arduous labors of study and of shunning evils and combatting falsities. And it is stated that this new truth is "the only truth of the church" (AC 5806). That this is so may easily be seen. For man is such as he is in the present. The truth which he once knew and no longer acknowledges is of no use to him. What rests in the memory is not a living part of him; but the truth which he perceives anew every moment is what vitalizes his thought and grants him enlightenment. Unless, in the Church, there be constant renewals of perception, and indeed an ever more interior perception of the truths of faith by which the truths of our fathers and founders are elaborated and strike us with new force and fresh light, there is no living truth in the Church, and thus no progress. Let us not imagine that the "new" truth, which Benjamin signified, is some doctrinal novelty, or some revolutionary theory which discards the general truths acknowledged in the past. It is but a more interior perception which discloses new ways and new means by which the ends of Providence may be fulfilled in our lives.

Because of this practical aspect of his significance, the tribe of Benjamin was allotted a territory which included not only the high mountain fastness in the central watershed of Canaan, but also the steep descents on both sides with the valley of Jericho and a part of the Jordan valley for valleys represent the natural man, and Benjamin, in this connection, signifies the means, or medium, by which the good of the spiritual man (the regenerate good of charity) inflows into the natural and conjoins itself with it; which is done by new truth, perceived as man seeks instruction from the Word itself.



When the sons of Jacob desired to buy food from Joseph in Egypt, their brother refused unless they brought Benjamin along. The ten sons here represented the effort to perpetuate the truths of the failing church by means of scientifics. The internal man (signified by Joseph) knew that this could not be done, unless 'new truth' - a new, constantly clearer and keener perception of truth from spiritual good - be provided (AC 5411, 5822, 5920). Thus 'Benjamin' is called a medium between the spiritual and the natural, and is said to signify the conjunction of good and truth in the natural degree of man, or in the natural heaven, and as such is the last or ultimate of the Church and of heaven: the final effect of regeneration. For the natural degree is the last to be regenerated even as the Natural Heaven - the heaven of Christians, the "New Heaven" - was the last to be organized.

But natural effects have internal causes. The things that come to pass in the natural man owe their existence to developments of spiritual life in the internal man. While man's natural is being regenerated, his spiritual degree is being formed interiorly in the natural, and this spiritual reaches its height in a submission and response to Divine truth from the Lord Himself - a submissive trust in the Divine Human of the Lord and an understanding love of the supreme truth concerning His glorification. This apex of the Spiritual is called the "celestial of the spiritual" and is signified by 'Joseph'. 'Benjamin' is a plane which is formed in conformity with this 'Joseph' plane; a plane of truths which conforms with the love of the doctrine concerning the Divine Human; a plane which is distinguished as "the spiritual of that celestial".

The Arcana humbles us with the warning that only those who are enlightened from heaven can perceive the living meaning of these states (AC 4592).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 123 For they are most interior. In heaven, they correspond to the connections between the second and third heavens; in man, to those between the spiritual degree and the celestial degree. It might be pointed out that 'Joseph', the "celestial of the spiritual", is called the 'external' of the celestial heaven, of which Judah signifies the internal; and this heaven is said to be founded in the rational degree; for it is the celestial remains of love which enable man to become rational. The spiritual degree or heaven, which is represented by 'Israel' in general, is founded in the interior of the natural; for it depends not so nearly on rational intuition as on knowledge and experience (AC 4585).

Without our pretending to understand all the implications of these profound teachings, it is at least clear from them that 'Benjamin' represents a medium or an intermediate between the celestial and the spiritual, deriving something of its quality from both. And this may well account for the geographical situation of Benjamin, between Judah and Israel. We can also realize that the tribe of Benjamin must represent that truth which comes of good, or the conviction and perception which spring afresh from a love of the Lord as He appears to us in His Divine Human.

And therefore, when the Lord descended into the world that He might manifest Himself as the Word made flesh, or as Divine truth; yea, when He came as new Divine truth, by which His Divine love could have power to overcome the hells at the cost of death; He chose to be born in Bethlehem of Judah, close to Ephrath of Benjamin where Rachel gave up her life at the birth of her son 'Benjamin' ('the son of my right hand', 'the son of power'). Like Benjamin, Bethlehem signifies "the spiritual of the celestial." The further explanation is given, that the Lord was born in a place of this significance because He - unlike any other man - comprised in Himself both the spiritual and the celestial (AC 4592:3, 4594).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 124 He was born "spiritual-celestial". In His infinite Soul, good and truth were united from eternity. Man is born natural, with the power that he might become either celestial or spiritual. Man is born of a specific genius, either celestial or spiritual. And by regeneration he may become fitted for a life in the second or the third degree of one of these kingdoms. But man cannot be in both. The Lord's Soul, His 'ruling love', was without such human limitations. His love was a love of the salvation of the whole human race, and His wisdom was omniscience. And in His life on earth, He was the Divine truth proceeding from Divine good. The truth Divine entered more and more fully into the borrowed human which He had assumed from Mary; and there - after struggles of temptation - it became united with the Divine good, so that the Spiritual and the Celestial in Him were united in the Natural. This enabled the Lord to become visible before man's natural mind and adorable as Divine-Natural Man, and, in the fullness of time, to establish His New Heaven in the Natural degree of His eternal kingdom. 'Benjamin', as was pointed out, signifies a medium for the conjunction of good and truth in the natural. But the Lord in His Divine Natural is supremely the Mediator of all conjunctions.


The land of Benjamin, at the time of the conquest, was a desirable land. Because of its strategic value it was the first to be attacked. Jericho - guarding its approaches - was besieged and burnt; and then, by a surprise march up the precipitous gorges, Ai was taken by a ruse. Gibeon and other Hivite cities in the neighborhood entered into an alliance with Israel. Established here, Israel controlled the situation, and chased her enemies down the western passes of Beth-horon.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 125 Later Ehud swooped eastward down on the Moabites from these heights. Jonathan's remarkable exploit at Michmash, when he and his armor-bearer climbed up a precipice to scatter a whole host of Philistines, shows the terrain of the country. It properly belonged to a fighting clan who "dwelt in safety" "between its shoulders" of rock. Saul, a head taller than all the rest - became Israel's first king, though his was the least among the tribes. At the death of Saul and Jonathan, David dirged the ancient song of "The Bow" - "How are the mighty fallen!" Benjamin was known for its archers and its left-handed swordsmen.

A 'bow' signifies doctrine. The essence of all doctrine is the conjunction of good and truth, or of charity and faith. Not only was Benjamin the home of Samuel, the founder of Israel's prophetic schools. But within this tribe's territory was Jebus, the Hivite city on Mount Zion which later, as Jerusalem, became the center of Israelitish worship and instruction, and whose name became the symbol of the Heavenly Doctrine which shall 'make all things new'. David erected the Tabernacle on Mount Moriah, on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin, and there Solomon built the Temple. These two tribes joined thereafter into the kingdom of Judah.

But before this, in the days of the Judges, the tribe of Benjamin had passed through a period of wild license. The worst cruelty and the most shocking immorality recorded in the Word occurred within this tribe who lived amidst the Hivite population. Israel, in abhorrence, decided to exterminate the sinful tribe, and at a tremendous cost, nearly did so. Six hundred warriors alone remained of Benjamin, in an impregnable stronghold on the Rock Rimmon. At last the fathers of Israel in grief relented, lest a tribe unique in bravery - perish from Israel.

Truly, Benjamin is a region of tragic memories, as if Rachel was still mourning for her children.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 126 The land is one of ruins, of desolated vineyards, eroded soil, dried-up streams, and cut-down groves. Back and forth across its rocky trails passed the armies of Judah and Israel in their age-long internecine strife.





The story of the twelve tribes is one of progress towards a natural and spiritual unity, which culminates in the days of David and Solomon; and then one of sudden disruption, followed by captivity and eventual dispersion. Hidden within the words of the sacred text there is also a story of constant progress which snatches victory and redemption out of apparent defeat and degradation. Each tribe, and each historical figure, has a good representation, even if its picture has been drawn in blackest hues. For inmostly the Word treats of Divine things and is prophetic of the Lord, Who is beyond the realm of evil.

Israel was an evil race from the first, sensual, self-willed, stubbornly insisting on representing a spiritual church although unwilling to become one. Externally, this people could humble itself, but internally its pride was unbroken. And when this internal resistance came out into overt disobedience to its ritual law, the people could openly only represent a church which is being consummated by evils and falsities.

A striking example of such a decadence is given in the tribe of Ephraim. Ephraim, in a spiritual sense, originally stood for the new regenerate understanding, in which the hope of human salvation lies. There was sacred Shiloh, with the ark of the covenant. But the men of Ephraim - descendants of Joseph and kinsmen of Joshua - were conscious of their aristocracy and sensitive to slights, real or imaginary.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 128 They did not profit by the lesson taught them by Jephthah, the outcast, with whom they sought a quarrel and by whom they were slaughtered at the ford of "Shibboleth". They lost, thereafter, the ark of God in a battle with the Philistines. They supported Saul in his jealous persecution of David. They felt themselves to be the leaders of Israel, and long rebelled against David whom God had anointed. When Solomon died they seceded from his son, Rehoboam; and Jeroboam, of Ephraimite stock, led all the northern tribes of Israel into an idolatrous worship. The rulers of the seceding 'Israel' - as the northern tribes called themselves - were all evil according to Jewish standards, and although some were able monarchs and two were victorious conquerors, there was constant rivalry and disruption. Conquests - such as those under Jeroboam II - brought luxury and "ease" into Samaria. Contact with Syria and Phoenicia brought traffic with foreigners and the introduction of hideous religious cults. In vain did Israel's prophets - counteracting the influence of the kings - cry out against 'the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim'. The kingdom degenerated, adopting, in clumsy imitation, all the worst features of the powerful civilizations from which Israel was to have been a people apart. Making alliances with the rival powers, she was drawn into the whirlpool of international politics, and much of her people was finally carried captive into Assyria, in 722 B.C.

The destructive element in the kingdom of Israel was the love of the world, which easily captivates a church in a state of self-intelligence, or the pride of understanding. Such spiritual sophistication made Israel represent a faith divorced from charity, or the heresy of Faith Alone, such as rules in the modern world of Protestant Christendom. Israel's secession from Judah is parallel to the schism in the Christian Church, by which the reformed nations withdrew from the papal dominion. The 'golden calves' which Israel set up to worship, signify the seductive delights of the world and the flesh.



Judah, also, went into decadence. Even Solomon, for all his wisdom, multiplied wives and indulged in the grandeur of oriental court-life. His despotic power was maintained by a standing army, with horses and chariots. His public works meant tribute from conquered peoples and heavy taxes from his own. Although he built the Temple of Jehovah, the One God, he also built shrines for the gods of nations whose princesses he had received as wives. His wealth was procured by the profits which accrued from controlling the trade routes (between Africa and Asia) which his army straddled.

Israel's secession from Rehoboam the son of Solomon, was in effect a protest against tyranny or against the love of dominion, which perennially is opposed by the love of the world and the conceit of self-intelligence. The two Hebrew kingdoms thus came to represent the two "kingdoms" of hell - the diabolical kingdom and the satanic. In Providence, there is a certain balance maintained between these two evil forces, so that each might check the other. The kingdom of Israel also represented falsity and the evils of falsity, while Judah came to signify evil and the falsities of evil.

These evil representations applied to the two kingdoms whenever their real character came out so openly as to prevent their performing the external acts prescribed for them in the Divine law. Always, however, they kept on representing the specific Church, wherein the Word is and the Lord is known they remained the "chosen people", and especially in their relations to the peoples and nations round about them.

And because it was their actions which were used by the Spirit of Prophecy to represent a church, many things with the Jewish race could symbolize what was good, even if in themselves such actions proceeded from the lusts of self.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 130 An instance of this is Solomon's polygamy - his taking seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. This grievous abuse - condemned even in the letter of the Word - is stripped of the appearance of evil when its Divine sense ascends before the angels. In the supreme sense, Solomon's realm is converted to mean the universal kingdom of the Lord; and his wives and concubines represent the varieties of religious faith and worship in the whole world - for within all religions there are remnants who have a place in the Lord's universal church (DP 245).

In a good sense, Israel stands for the spiritual church, Judah for the celestial. In such a sense, the division of Solomon's kingdom means simply the separate establishment of the spiritual kingdom of heaven at the time of the Lord's Advent, and its relative independence thereafter; for before the Advent, the spiritual heavens had been attached, as an external, to the celestial kingdom. This was the meaning of the prophecy that "the sceptre shall not be removed from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come" (Gen. 49:8-12; AC 6371-6373).

In order to maintain in the Word, and in the chosen people, a basis for the positive sense in which we see a steady progress without retrogression, it was provided that as both kings and priests and people grew worse, there should be raised up a succession of prophets who should point to the ideal Israel and vision what the aim and end of Providence really was. They spoke indeed of repentance and foretold dire judgments. But they also pictured the ideal surviving Israel as a loyal remnant, persecuted and suffering, personified as a Servant bearing the sins of others, a Servant which somehow was to become the Savior of the world (Isa. 52, 53). And sometimes this picture of Israel is changed into one of a great king to come - a Messiah, a redeemer, of the seed of David (Dan. 7, 9).



Thus the evils of the Israelitish church were overshadowed by a larger prophecy and the representation of the people was interiorly transferred upon the Messiah to come; so that this representation could be preserved whatever befell Israel as a people, and could survive the judgments and captivities which were imminent. The people itself could soon visibly represent only a church in process of decay and dissolution. Yet from the beginning its supreme office had been to represent the Lord at His Advent and the Redemption which He then wrought.


Israel was first to fall into captivity. In B.C. 722, the city of Samaria, after a three years' siege, yielded to the armies of Sargon II, the usurper of Assyria, who had extended his empire over all Syria and Canaan. Only Tyre and Jerusalem resisted his demands for submission. Multitudes of Israelites were carried away into Assyria, and a mixed population of Orientals was placed in the cities of Samaria In their stead.

All this was significant of the state of the northern kingdom. Israel, in its spiritual self-sufficiency, simply pictured a church which from a negative attitude reasons against the truths and goods of the Church; and Assyria represented the very phantasies, false principles, and lines of argument which had captivated them. The internal weakness of Israel actually came from the infiltration or open acceptance of heathen worship of baalim and ashteroth. A corresponding spiritual decadence may be observed in the Protestant churches from the 17th century on, in the growth of "Rationalism" and the tendency to rely on "natural theology", which - by placing faith on a "scientific" basis - opened the gates to a denial of the holiness of the Word and of the Divinity of the Lord.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 132 Science proved a weak reed to lean upon; even as Israel, trusting in support from Egypt, found itself overcome by Assyria (AC 1188, 1189; DP 251:3).

In the place of the deported population of Israel, the Assyrians transplanted settlers from other subject-peoples to rebuild the ravaged districts. These gradually mingled with the Israelites who had been left behind or who had drifted back, and became known as Samaritans. They adopted the religion of the land and became loyal to their version of the Pentateuch, but rejected the rest of Scripture. The Jews came to despise them as heretics and as worse than pagans, offended them by refusing their offers of help, and thus made them their enemies. The Samaritans signify those who are in falsities; yet the Lord's dealings with them and His parable about the Good Samaritan suggest that they were of a gentile disposition and as such they represent an affection of truth and the good of charity.

At the time of the fall of Samaria, and for a century thereafter, Judah remained outwardly obedient. Indeed, external dangers had brought Judah into several attempts towards reformation and renewed loyalty to Jehovah. Under the upright king Hezekiah (who was under the influence of Isaiah the prophet), Jerusalem actually resisted the Assyrian hosts of Sennacherib, the mysterious disaster of whose army is explained only in the Biblical account. Judah, as the celestial church, could resist the perverted reasonings which attack faith. But Judah was vulnerable to other temptations. Hers was the office of administering the things of worship and piety. And with the separation from Israel, her worship became more and more formal, magical, and meaningless. Her irresponsible priests neglected the law and mercy. Her kings used the power of religion as a means to dominion only.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 133 And in the course of time, when Babylonia had displaced Assyria as the master of the Orient, Judah, whose internal corruption was manifested in open crime and idolatry, became its legitimate prey (AE 1029:16). For Babylonia represents the love of dominion by means of holy things. There was no more industrious worshipper than Nebuchadnezzar: he brought to Babylon the gods of all nations, for their political value.

The falsities represented by Babylon were more the phantasies and delusions of the imagination than the errors of reason. The Arcana calls them the 'falsities of cupidity' or of lust; such as are formed to fit in with daydreams of power or of self-esteem; or such as man seizes upon to captivate the minds of others and lead them by explaining or perverting doctrinal things in favor of his self-love (AC 1295). In the Christian Church, such persuasions were built up into dogmas by the Roman Catholics, until the Word became no more the arbiter of doctrine, and mysterious ceremonials became the all of the church and the idolatry of saints and images rivalled the worship of God.

Nebuchadnezzar's wholesale transfer of Judea's population has not been equalled until similar events occurred during the second World War. His destruction of Solomon's temple was the crucifixion of the Jewish nation, and recalls the Lord's own passion on the cross, when He cried out, 'It is finished', and the veil of the holy place rent asunder. The seventy years of Babylonish Captivity was the burial of the Jewish nation. It represents the vastation of a consummated church. But it has also a good significance. For in Babylonia the remnants of loyal Jews - including such heroes as Daniel - were held under a Divine protection; as good spirits under the influence of a perverted church are gathered into a "lower earth" where they are concealed until the judgment releases them for their heavenward journey.



In a merely formal sense, remnants of the Jewish nation were raised from the grave of Babylonia, and - outwardly purged - re-established themselves in Canaan. Their orthodoxy, their meticulous observance of the ritual law, their nationalistic fervor and pride, made them retain their representation of a church (AC 5376:8). But their independence had gone forever, except for a span of about a century of self-rule. They studied their Scriptures and rekindled the ancient prophecies. Yet when the Redeemer came, they spurned Him, and profaned their land by spilling His blood in violence. Their land was never again "the Holy Land". Presently, about forty years after the Lord's crucifixion, the Roman eagles gathered around Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed, and the role of the Jews as a representative of a church was over; their sacrificial worship ceased and they were scattered among the nations of the earth.


Time and circumstances alter representations. In the view of heaven, every nation - not Israel only - is representative. Every nation has its soul, its societies in the world of spirits. And according to the natural affections which are dominant within those societies, and according to the way in which the process of judgment goes on among the spirits there, the nation on earth plays a definite role which is hidden from men and which is not to be measured by its material might or its cultural importance.

The Lord governs the world, and He provides for every nation its place, according to its representation, or according to the manner that it can fulfill its representative functions. Israel, although one of the worst nations, was protected as long as it was faithful to its office.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 135 Wars between nations are thus governed, on both sides, "correspondentially" to the conflicts between states of the church in the other world, states which are represented by the nations on earth. There is a spiritual issue unseen by men - involved in every war, as in all other human relations. This issue brings all nations into a new orientation, according to the representation which they have freely, but in a manner unconsciously, assumed. And men cannot be certain, from merely rational reasonings, what this spiritual issue is. For man "does not know that in heaven there is a spiritual justice to a cause and in the world a natural justice . . . and that these are conjoined by means of a connection between things past and things future that are known to the Lord alone" (DP 251, 252). But man may be certain of this, that his duty is to discern the natural justice, "to defend his country and his fellow-citizens against invading enemies . . ." and to leave the future of the world in the Lord's hands. For He knows our needs. And man also can be assured that the strength that gains the victory is given from the spiritual world, where are marshalled the moral forces which move men and give them courage and endurance.

"All wars, however much they may belong to civil affairs, represent in heaven the states of the church.... Such were all the wars described in the Word, and such are all wars at this day.... When the sons of Israel departed from their commandments and statutes, and fell into the evils signified by some nation, they were punished by that nation.... It is not known in this world, what kingdoms in Christendom answer to the Moabites and Ammonites, Syrians and Philistines, or what to the Chaldeans and Assyrians, and others . . . yet there are those that do correspond to them" (DP 251).

At any time, the whole world is a representation of the human mind, with its various states based on faculties.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 136 The countries and peoples which are mentioned in the Word - like those at this day - were capable of good representations as well as bad. No nation without a remnant of good could possibly survive, but would suffer the fate of Sodom when Lot forsook it. Babylon and Nineveh and Tyre are now dust. Different races people Israel and Egypt. Yet the prophecy of Isaiah shall yet be fulfilled: "In that day there shall be a highway out of Egypt into Assyria, that Assyria may come into Egypt and Egypt into Assyria, that the Egyptians may serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be a third to Egypt and to Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord shall bless . . ." (Isa. 19:23, 24).

Canaan, in its central position, signifies the Spiritual Mind, in its three degrees. It is the focus of heavenly influx. Assyria stands for the Rational - and neighboring Syria for the abstract cognitions of doctrine. Egypt signifies the scientific, and Philistia the systematized science of cognitions. Babylonia originally represented the Imagination or the Interior Sensual. All these faculties can serve the spiritual mind if properly subordinated and purified (AE 654:10, 340:18).

The good representative functions of some nations of the ancient world, such as the Medes and the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, are not distinctly given in the Writings. But when Israel failed in her representation of a church and was carried away from Canaan, a notable revival took place in the consummated Ancient Church - as if to attempt to bridge the gap left by Israel's apostasy. New religious movements sprang up contemporaneously but independently in various parts of the world.

In China, two reformers appeared. One was Laotse, who bequeathed to his corrupt people the Tao, a metaphysical mysticism which advocated gentleness, humility, and frugality. The other, Confucius (551-478 B.C.), overlaid the prevalent superstitions and the popular worship of local deities with a moral and political philosophy founded on respect.



In India, Gotama "the Buddha" (564-488 B.C.), later regarded as an Avatar or incarnation of the god Brahma, began to teach the "eightfold path" of self-renunciation, by which men were to reject their trust in ritual observance and sacrifices to the gods, and find salvation by fleeing the desires of the world and self which brought so much unhappiness. Buddhism was a pantheistic religion which looked for the return of man's soul, after many reincarnations, to the Nirvana of infinity. Yet it was adapted into a popular doctrine, and in the course of centuries it gave rise to a powerful monastic hierarchy with elaborate rites and degrading superstitions.

In Persia, just preceding the Babylonish captivity of the Jews, there had taken place another remarkable reform. Zoroaster (born ca. 660 B.C.) had established the faith in Ahura Mazda or Ormuzd as the supreme god, who was absolutely good but divided his power with Ahriman, the spirit of evil and darkness. The religion had a ritual, sacrificial ceremonies, sacred scriptures, hymns, a concept of creation, and a prophetic office, which remind one of Judaism. It had also a well developed teaching about a race of archangels, angels, and demons, which seems to have left a deep impress on later Jewish thought. It even extended the hope of a Divine Redeemer to come; and was rather free of idolatry.

It is of interest, therefore, that it was Cyrus, the Persian, who after his conquest of Babylon gave the Jews permission to return to their home in Canaan and rebuild the temple of the only God. And the prophet Isaiah calls Cyrus a shepherd anointed by Jehovah. Indeed Cyrus, although a foreign king, becomes a type of the Lord in His Human! (AC 8989:6).

The brief extension of Persian rule over Egypt and Asia Minor came during the era when Greek art and philosophy began their unique development, and when Rome was making its start as a constitutional republic.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 138 But the power of Persia was eventually broken by Alexander the Great (332 B.C.), whose conquests disseminated the thought, language, and culture of Greece over the Near East. Alexander was welcomed by the Jews in Palestine as an ally and protector as well as a master, and he repaid their services with special privileges. The Greek kings of Syria afterwards oppressed the Jews, who liberated themselves under the brave Maccabees. Then, in the days of Pompei, Rome took Israel under a protection which grew into practical annexation and ended with the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

When the prophet Daniel interpreted the dream of king Nebuchadnezzar, he seemingly predicted the course of empire for the next few centuries. The king had seen a statue with head of gold, breast of silver, belly of copper and legs of iron - an image with clay feet which was broken and shattered by a rock that was cut out without hands and would fill the earth. Daniel does not name the successive kingdoms which were signified, although in later visions some of his descriptions are so close to known facts that many students identify Babylonia, Media, Persia, and Syria, and even the persons of Alexander and Antiochus Epiphanes. But the Writings assure us that the dream "did not signify four political kingdoms on this earth, but four successive churches" (Coronis 2). These four dispensations are named as the most ancient church, the ancient church, the Israelitish church and the Christian; and the Divine truth given as a final revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word is said to be signified by the Rock that would fill the earth (Coronis 4). In another application, the four "kingdoms" of Daniel picture the progressive states which are seen as a church declines from the "gold" of love to the Lord, through the "silver" of spiritual charity, the "brass" of natural good, and the "iron" of natural truth; the last being so mixed with falsities that it had no coherence with the good of life and thus marked the consummation of that church.



The Writings do not directly give us the spiritual correspondences of nations such as Persia, Greek Syria, and Rome, which yet so intimately affected Jewish history. The significance of Babylonia is however given - as the profane love of dominion exercised by means of holy things (LJ 54). This is of course a perversion of a heavenly love - the love of ruling for the sake of charity and use. This unholy "Babylon" is described in the Apocalypse, in symbols that clearly refer to imperial Rome and which prophetically suggest the eventual spiritual judgment upon the papal hierarchy. Media and Persia are often used in a good sense as representing faith from charity, while Greece stands then for faith without charity (Faith 66). But the representation changes according to the historic role of these nations. To judge from related teachings, Persia represented a passing state of spiritual intelligence which can enlighten the rational. Greece seems to stand for an interior understanding or an intellectual faith which vaguely seeks for a moral good but lacks any strong foundation such as Divine revelation would provide. Rome, by her masterful statescraft and by the iron strength of her legions, at times protected but at other times persecuted the infant church of Christ. Rome thus represented a civic good which is founded on order and on practical experience; and this is indispensable for the evangelization of the church.

Yet these states, represented by pagan nations, were not states of the Church Specific, but of the Church Universal! And in their midst - its importance unrecognized - stands Canaan, the country of the Word. Nations may battle, their powers rise and ebb. They may raise armies and armadas and roll their siege-engines over the deserts. Yet for all their effort, all their short-lived pomp, the issue which determines their destinies is the spiritual issue which centers around the Church:


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 140 the issue how far their actions can assist the end of the Divine providence, assist in the chastisement and purification, or in the liberation and eventual growth, of the kingdom of the Lord on earth.





It was therefore in Canaan, the land of Divine prophecy, that the Lord Jesus Christ - "the Desire of all nations" as well as the Messiah of Jewish hopes - was born in obscure Bethlehem. His early sojourn in Egypt is only mentioned, but His adolescence is associated with Nazareth where His foster- father Joseph was a carpenter. The Lord was therefore known as a Galilean, and it was in "Galilee of the gentiles" (Isa. 9:1) that He did most of His preaching and His ministrations to those who were sick in body and soul.

Galilee signified those in a gentile state, who are in the good of life and are receptive of instruction (AE 447:5). But Nazareth had sometimes a negative correspondence, since a prophet is without honor in his own country and in his own house. It was in Capernaum and in the district near the Sea of Galilee where He was most eagerly sought after. This lake with its deep, pure waters, was symbolic of the Word of God and its profundities, and the Lord therefore sometimes gave forth His doctrine from a boat by its shore. There He aided His disciples to net their fish - to signify that they were to become "fishers of men". In its opposite sense, the lake, when whipped up by treacherous winds, signified states of anxiety and temptation.

Aside from His circuits in Galilee, the journeys of the Lord usually centered in Jerusalem, but seem to have extended also into the borders of Phoenicia - a land representing the knowledge of truth and good, which can be falsified and perverted - as well as into Samaria (representing the spiritual whose truths had been turned into falsities) and the land to the east of Jordan which signified external states of the Church.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 142 The parable of the Good Samaritan suggested that the future of the Church lay among those of relatively gentile states.

The Jordan river, where the Lord was baptized of John, was always symbolic of the entrance into the Church. John therefore offered a "baptism of repentance for the remission of sins", so that the repentant Israelite might be spiritually associated with those in the other world who awaited the Lord's advent. It was therefore of order that the Lord should enter upon His redemptive mission by submitting to a similar baptism (Matt. 3:15; TCR 689, 691). And after this was done, the Lord retired for forty days to the Judean wilderness "to be tempted of the devil". It was the state of the Church in both worlds which was described as a desolate wilderness.

Jerusalem was the scene of the Lord's most public appearances. It was the center of Jewish religious life, and the seat both of the Roman provincial government and of the "king" which Caesar had appointed over Judea. Spiritually, it represented the Church as to doctrine, and especially the interiors of the Church. Jerusalem represents the celestial church when Samaria or Israel stands for the spiritual church; for in Jerusalem alone were ceremonial worship and sacrifices authorized.

To the east of Jerusalem rose Mount Olivet, which represents love to the Lord. There, in Bethany, lived His friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, with whom He was wont to make His home. There Mary anointed Him with precious ointment, against the protest of Judas Iscariot. And below, in the valley of the royal tombs, lay the garden of Gethsemane, where the Lord poured out His soul as He entered His final temptation.



Since, at the time of the Lord, no spiritual life remained in the Jewish religion, Jerusalem often stands as a symbol of a church which has reached its end and can no longer fulfil its spiritual function of introducing men's spirits into heaven. The city was dominated over by a corrupt priestly caste, by hypocritical Pharisees, literalistic Scribes, and agnostic Sadducees, and external order was assured only through a wholesome fear of the Roman legions.

Thus the Lord, at His triumphal entry, weeps over Jerusalem, knowing its impending doom (Luke 19:41). A few days before His passion He led His disciples up to Mount Olivet where they saw the city and the temple roofs silhouetted against the darkening sky; and there He predicted that no stone of the temple would remain on another, and described the signs that would precede His final return "in the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 24).

The magnificent temple, which had taken forty years to complete, was the chief glory of Jerusalem. It was built by Herod "the Great", who, though of Edomite descent, was professedly a Jew, and had in this manner sought to make the populace forget his many brutalities. Because its pattern was basically that of the tabernacle of Israel, it had the same symbolic significance. That the Lord respected its sanctity is clear, for, using His prerogative as a prophet, He drove out the merchants and money-changers who had made the house of prayer into a den of thieves.

The inner reason for His action was that the temple inmostly represented the Human of the Lord who "spoke of the temple of His body" when He said to the Jews, "Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days" (John 2). For a similar reason the veil of the temple was rent at His crucifixion, not only as a sign of the end of the Jewish dispensation but as a token that the Divine and the Human were being united in the Lord.

Since Jerusalem also signified the Church as to doctrine, the Lord observed, "It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33).


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 144 It was in this city that the Lord was brought before the high priest and condemned on a charge of blasphemy. Here pagan Pilate learned with agnostic indifference that Jesus claimed a kingdom not of this world, having come only to testify of the Truth. And here the Lord was mocked and crucified, even as the Divine truth had been tortured in the minds of men.

With this event, the Jerusalem of Jewry lost its representation as "the holy city". After its destruction by Titus, in 70 A.D. it became a mere garrison city. In A.D. 135 a Jewish rebellion under a false "Messiah" resulted in the final dispersion of the Jews from Judea. Hundreds of towns were laid in ashes, and Emperor Hadrian made Jerusalem a Roman city. After Constantine had issued the edict of toleration, the city became a goal for Christian pilgrims. It is significant that since the Moslem conquest in A.D. 636, Jerusalem has been in the hands of monotheists Mohammedans and Jews. Even during the Crusades, Christians maintained themselves in Jerusalem only for eighty-eight years. The recent return of the Jews to Palestine might have been hailed by some as a fulfillment of prophecy, were it not for the secular outlook of the Jewish colonizers.

But prophecy has now found a spiritual fulfillment, and the old Jerusalem has lost the significance it used to carry. Christians, increasingly disillusioned as the ages passed without any personal return of Christ in the clouds, also forgot the prophecy of a New Jerusalem that should in fullness of time descend "from God out of heaven". It was to be a city of truth, crystal clear, and the nations shall "walk in the light of it" (Rev. 21, 22). This heavenly Jerusalem, as shown to John in vision, had the names of Israel's tribes and of the Lord's apostles inscribed on its gates and foundations. It represents a Divinely revealed doctrine which has always been implied within the symbolic language in which the Old and New Testaments are both written.


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 145 This doctrine is thus a one with the spiritual sense of the Word and expresses the angelic understanding of the Word. And since it could be brought to earth only through the instrumentality of a man, the Lord inspired Emanuel Swedenborg (who subscribes himself "Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ") to disclose the spiritual teachings within the Scripture in a systematic doctrinal form - as a logical structure - a New Jerusalem within whose walls the minds of men may again find enlightenment and spiritual safety, and where the tree of life may again yield its leaves "for the healing of the nations."


The Jewish world, the Palestine which we associate with the Gospel stories - a world wherein every shade of human vice and frailty merges with the tender and the pure and is contrasted with the majesty and inconceivable love of the Divine Redeemer - is a cross-section of human life in any age. In our own minds we may recognize states which reflect the character of the Herods and the Pharisees, the scribes and the Sadducees, of the sinning Magdalene and the vacillating Peter, of the publicans and the sinners, the proud Romans, the wise men and the shepherds and the traitor Iscariot, as well as the sick and lame and blind, the lost sheep of Israel.

It is into this mental world that the Lord must be born today - received now in the virginal affection of spiritual truth as once in the womb of Mary. For He must enter our hearts through our understanding if He is to work within us the miracle of regeneration. He must enter as revealed truth such as He offers in His Word of Scripture and Doctrine. As such He walks the reaches of our mind as once He journeyed on the soil of Canaan:


DIVINE ALLEGORY p. 146 healing our spiritual diseases and opening our eyes to penetrate the parables of His teaching and visualize the heavenly goals of charity and faith.

Our thoughts must be converted into His disciples. Yet - in our despair - we have to confess that in our evil heart, and by our self-love and conceit, we torment the truth Divine and crucify it by our prudence, and bury it in the tomb of our misunderstandings. Only by a Divine miracle is it raised up into glory - so that we can acknowledge its complete Divinity, and see it as the infinite and eternal Truth which was not conceived of man or born of our own hopes, but which is God-with-us, our Lord and our God.

Only then can our thoughts be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and - like the disciples, "beginning at Jerusalem" - commence to "teach all nations", so that the kingdom of God might be extended into all the boundaries of human knowledge and over the ever widening spheres of man's usefulness.


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The preceding study of the spiritual meanings of the Scriptures, the writer has drawn freely from the various theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. References to these works are inserted only occasionally, but students are referred to the invaluable six-volume index, "The Swedenborg Concordance", compiled by the late John Faulkner Potts. A special acknowledgement is made of our debt to the works of the late Professor C. Th. Odhner, whose book, "Correspondences of Canaan", now out of print, must be regarded as the classic in its field. It gave the initial impulse to the present study.

We make grateful acknowledgments to Charles Scribner's Sons and to the Clarendon Press, for the permission to use certain diagrams. And special indebtedness is felt towards the following authors and their works:

Albright, W. F., The Archeology of Palestine, London, 1949. Barton, George A., Archeology and the Bible, Philadelphia, 1920.

Bishop, Abbot, and Hrdlicka, Man from the Farthest Past, Smithsonian Scientific Series, 6, vol. 7.

Breasted, J. H., Smithsonian Inst., Annual Report, 1932.

Budge, E. A. Wallis, Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life, London, 1908; Egyptian Magic, London, 1899; History of Egypt, vol. I, London, 1904.

Cambridge Ancient History, vols. I, II. New York, 1923, 1924.

Chamberlin and Salisbury, Geology vol. III.

Finnegan, Jack, Light from the Ancient Past, Princeton Univ. Press, 1946.



Hall, H. R., Ancient History of the Near East, revised, London, 1924.

Handcock, P. S. P., Archeology of the Holy Land, New York, 1916.

Hayes, William C., Daily Life in Ancient Egypt, National Geographic Magazine, Washington, D. C., October 1941.

Huntingdon, Ellsworth, The Character of Races, New York and London, 1927.

Keith, Sir Arthur, New Discoveries relating to the Antiquity of Man, W. W. Norton & Co., New York (1930?).

King, Leonard W., History of Babylon, London, 1915; History of Sumer and Akkad, London, 1916.

Lynch, Expedition to the Dead Sea and Jordan, 1849.

Macalister, R. A. S., A Century of Excavation in Palestine, New York and Chicago, 1925.

MacCurdy, G. G., Human Origins, London, 1926.

Marston, Sir Charles, The Bible Comes Alive, F. H. Revell Co., 1937.

Moret, A., The Nile and Egyptian 1927.

Odhner, C. Th., Correspondences of Canaan, Bryn Athyn, Pa., 1911; The Golden Age, 1913.

Olmstead, A. T., History of Palestine and Syria, New York and London, 1931.

Osborn, Henry F., Men of the Old Stone Age, New York 1915; Man Rises to Parnassus, Princeton and London, 1927.

Petrie, Flinders, Egypt and Israel, London, 1912; Seventy Years in Archeology, New York, 1932.

Peet, T. Eric, Egypt and the Old Testament, Liverpool, 1922.

Rowe, Alan, and Garstang, John, Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, July 1936.



Sandford and Arkell, Paleolithic Man and the Nile-Fayum Divide, Chicago, 1929.

Smith, George Adam, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, 4th ed., New York, 1896.

Stewart, R. Laird, The Land of Israel, F. H. Revell Co., 1899.

Warren, W. Fairfield, The Earliest Cosmologies, New York, 1909.

Weidenreich, Franz, Apes, Giants, and Man, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1946.


used in citing some of the works of Emanuel Swedenborg

AC-Arcana Coelestia
AE-The Apocalypse Explained
AR-The Apocalypse Revealed
CL - Conjugial Love
DP-The Divine Providence
LJ-The Last Judgment
SD-The Spiritual Diary
SS-Doctrine of the Sacred Scriptures
TCR-The True Christian Religion
WE-The Word Explained (Adversaria)