5585. 'Saying, You will not see my face' means that no compassion will show itself. This is clear from the meaning of 'face', when used in reference to a person, as his interiors, that is to say, his affections and consequent thoughts, dealt with in 358, 1999, 2434, 3527, 3573, 4066, 4796, 4797, 5102. But when used in reference to the Lord, for the Lord is represented in the highest sense by 'Joseph', 'face' means mercy and compassion, and therefore 'not seeing his face' means a lack of mercy or absence of compassion. Not that the Lord lacks any compassion, for He is pure mercy; but when the intermediary that effects the joining to Him is not present it does seem to a person as though there is no compassion in the Lord. The reason for this is that if no intermediary effecting the joining together is present, no acceptance of good takes place. And if there is no acceptance of good, evil is present instead. If at this time the person calls out to the Lord because evil prompts him to do so, thus for selfish reasons in defiance of anyone else's needs, he is not heard, in which case it seems as though no compassion shows itself.
Arcana Coelestia 4796-4797)
 As regards 'Jehovah's (or the Lord's) face' meaning mercy, this is evident from the Word; for understood properly 'Jehovah's (or the Lord's) face' is Divine love itself, and being Divine love it is the face of mercy since mercy is the expression of love towards the human race set in such miseries. The truth that 'Jehovah's (or the Lord's) face' is Divine Love may be seen from the Lord's face when He was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John; that is, when He displayed His Divinity to them,
His face shone like the sun. Matthew 17:2.
It has been shown already that 'the sun' is Divine Love, see 30-38, 1521, 1529-1531, 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321 (end), 4696. The Lord's actual Divinity had never previously appeared in any face; but His Divine Human had so appeared, through which, seemingly within which, Divine Love - which in relation to the human race is Divine Mercy - showed itself. This Divine Mercy within the Divine Human is called 'the angel of His face' in Isaiah,
I will cause the mercies of Jehovah to be remembered. He has rewarded 1
them according to His mercies, and according to the abundance of His mercies; and He became their Saviour. And the angel of His face saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them. Isaiah 63:7-9.
The expression 'the angel' is used because 'angels' in the Word means in the internal sense some attribute of the Lord, 1925, 2821, 4085, in this case His mercy, which is why the phrase 'the angel of His face' is used.
Arcana Coelestia 3038)
 'Jehovah's (or the Lord's) face' is not only mercy but also peace and goodness since these are attributes of mercy, as may also be seen from the following places: In the Blessing,
Jehovah make His face shine upon you and be merciful to you. Jehovah lift up His face upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:25-26.
Here it is quite evident that 'making His face shine' means showing mercy, and 'lifting up His face' means granting His peace. In David,
God be merciful to us and bless us, and make His face shine upon us. Psalms 67:1.
Here also 'face' stands for mercy. In the same author,
Turn us back, O God, and make Your face shine, that we may be saved. Psalms 80:3, 7, 19.
Here the meaning is similar. In the same author,
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and my pursuers. Make Your face shine upon Your servant. Psalms 31:15-16.
Likewise in Psalms 119:134-135. In Daniel,
Hear, our God, the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and make Your face shine upon Your sanctuary that has been made desolate. Daniel 9:17.
Here also 'making His face shine' stands for showing mercy.
 In David,
Many are saying, Who will cause us to see good? Lift up the light of Your face upon us. Psalms 4:6-7.
'Lifting up the light of His face' stands for His imparting good because of His mercy. In Hosea,
Let them seek My face; when they are in distress, in the morning let them seek Me. Hosea 5:15.
Seek My face! Your face, O Jehovah, will I seek. Psalms 27:8-9.
In the same author,
Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His face continually. Psalms 105:4.
'Seeking Jehovah's face' stands for seeking His mercy. In the same author,
I, in righteousness, shall see Your face. Psalms 17:15.
And in Matthew,
See that you do not despise any of these tiny ones; for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10.
'Seeing God's face' stands for the enjoyment of peace and good because of His mercy.
 But the contrary of this is the hiding or concealment and also the turning away of the face, by which showing no compassion is meant, as in Isaiah,
In an overflowing of My anger I hid My face from you for a moment; but with eternal mercy I will have mercy on you. Isaiah 54:8.
'An overflowing of anger' stands for temptation in which, because the Lord does not seem to show mercy, the words 'I hid My face from you for a moment' are used. In Ezekiel,
I will turn My face away from them. Ezekiel 7:22.
How long, O Jehovah, will You forget me [as if] for ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? Psalms 13:1
In the same author,
Do not hide Your face from me; do not cast aside Your servant in anger. Psalms 17:8, 9.
In the same author,
Why, O Jehovah, do You abandon my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? Psalms 88:14.
In the same author,
Make haste, answer me, O Jehovah. MY spirit is consumed. Do not hide Your face from me, lest I become like those going down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your mercy in the morning. Psalms 143:7-8.
And in Moses,
My anger will flare up against this people on that day, so that I forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they will be devoured. I will certainly hide My face on that day, because of all the evil which they have done. Deuteronomy 31:17-18.
'Anger flaring up' stands for turning oneself away, 5034, and 'hiding one's face' for not showing any compassion.
 These actions are attributed to Jehovah or the Lord, for the reason that although He is never angry and never turns away or hides His face He is said to do so because that is how it seems to someone under the influence of evil. For the person under the influence of evil turns himself away and hides the Lord's face from himself; that is, he removes His mercy from himself. The fact that it is the evils present with a person that do this is also clear from the Word, as in Micah,
Jehovah will hide His face from them at that time, inasmuch as they have rendered their deeds evil. Micah 3:4.
Because they transgressed against Me, therefore I hid My face from them. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them and have hidden My face from them. Ezekiel 39:23-24.
In particular in Isaiah,
Your iniquities are what separate you from your God, and your sins what cause. His face to hide from you. Isaiah 59:2.
From these and many other places one may see the internal sense, which shows itself in various places and is discovered by one who is looking for it.
1. Reading retribuit (has rewarded), which Swedenborg has in his rough draft and also in 221, for retribuet (will reward)
Ezekiel 39:28-29; Genesis 43:3)