2417. 'Do not look back behind you' means that he was not to look to matters of doctrine. This is clear from the meaning of 'looking back behind him' when the city was behind him and the mountain in front of him; for 'a city' means doctrinal teaching, 402, 2268, 2451, while 'a mountain' means love and charity, 795, 1430. That this is the meaning will be evident in the explanation at verse 26, where it is said that his wife looked back behind him and she became a pillar of salt. Anyone may recognize that these words - 'looking back behind him' - have some Divine arcanum within them and that this lies too far down to be visible. For looking back behind him seems to involve nothing reprehensible at all, and yet it is of such great importance that it is said that he was to escape for his life, that is, he was to be concerned about his life to eternity by not looking back behind him. What is meant by looking to matters of doctrine however will be seen in what follows.
Arcana Coelestia 2392)
 Here let it be merely stated what doctrinal teaching is. Such teaching is twofold: one kind has to do with love and charity, the other with faith. Each of the Lord's Churches at the outset, while still very young and virginal, neither possesses nor desires any other doctrinal teaching than that which has to do with charity, for this has to do with life. In course of time however a Church turns away from this kind of teaching until it starts to despise it and at length to reject it, at which point it acknowledges no other kind of teaching than that called the doctrine of faith. And when it separates faith from charity such doctrinal teaching colludes with a life of evil.
 This was so with the Primitive or gentile Church after the Lord's Coming. At the outset it possessed no other doctrinal teaching than that which had to do with love and charity, for such is what the Lord Himself taught, see 2371 (end). But after His time, as love and charity started to grow cold, doctrinal teaching regarding faith gradually crept in, and with it disagreements and heresies which increased as men leant more and more towards that kind of teaching.
 Something similar had happened to the Ancient Church which came after the Flood and which was spread throughout so many kingdoms, 2385. This Church at the outset knew no other teaching than that which had to do with charity, for that teaching looked towards and permeated life; and so they were concerned about their eternal welfare. After a time however some people started to foster doctrinal teaching about faith which they at length separated from charity. Members of this Church called such people 'Ham' however because they led a life of evil, see 1062, 1063, 1076.
Arcana Coelestia 1062-1063)
 The Most Ancient Church which existed before the Flood and which was pre-eminently called Man enjoyed the perception itself of love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour, and so had teaching about love and charity inscribed within them. But there also existed at that time those who fostered faith, and when these at length separated it from charity they were called Cain, for Cain means such faith, and Abel whom he killed means charity; see the explanation to Genesis 4.
Arcana Coelestia 337-442)
 From this it becomes clear that doctrinal teaching is twofold, one kind having to do with charity, the other with faith, although in themselves the two are one, for teaching to do with charity includes everything to do with faith. But when doctrinal teaching comes to be drawn solely from things to do with faith, such teaching is said to be twofold because faith is separated from charity. Their separation at the present day becomes clear from the consideration that what charity is, and what the neighbour, is utterly unknown. People whose teaching is solely about faith know of charity towards the neighbour as nothing other than giving what is their own to others and taking pity on everyone, for they call everyone their neighbour indiscriminately, when in fact charity consists in all the good residing with the individual - in his affection, and in his ardent zeal, and consequently in his life - while the neighbour consists in all the good residing with people which affects the individual. Consequently the neighbour consists in people with whom good resides - and quite distinctly and separately from one person to the next.
 For example, charity and mercy are present with him who exercises righteousness and judgement by punishing the evil and rewarding the good. Charity resides within the punishment of the evil, for he who imposes the punishment is moved by a strong desire to correct the one who is punished and at the same time to protect others from the evil he may do to them. For when he imposes it he is concerned about and desires the good of him who does evil or is an enemy, as well as being concerned about and desiring the good of others and of the state, which concern and desire spring from charity towards the neighbour. The same holds true with every other kind of good of life, for such good cannot possibly exist if it does not spring from charity towards the neighbour, since this is what charity looks to and embodies within itself.
 There being so much obscurity, as has been stated, as to what charity is and what the neighbour, it is plain that after doctrinal teaching to do with faith has seized the chief position, teaching to do with charity is then one of those things that have been lost. Yet it was the latter teaching alone that was fostered in the Ancient Church. They went so far as to categorize all kinds of good that flow from charity towards the neighbour, that is, to categorize all in whom good was present. In doing so they made many distinctions to which they gave names, calling them the poor, the wretched, the oppressed, the sick, the naked, the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoners or those in prison, the. sojourners, the orphans, and the widows. Some they also called the lame, the blind, the deaf, the dumb, and the maimed, and many other names besides these. It was in accordance with this kind of teaching that the Lord spoke in the Old Testament Word, and it explains why such expressions occur so frequently there; and it was in accordance with the same that the Lord Himself spoke, as in Matthew 25:35-36, 38-40, 42-45; Luke 14:13, 21; and many times elsewhere. This is why those names have quite a different meaning in the internal sense. So that doctrinal teaching regarding charity may be restored therefore, some discussion will in the Lord's Divine mercy appear further on as to who such people are, and what charity is, and what the neighbour, generally and specifically.
Genesis 19:17; Matthew 25:35-45, 25:38-39, 25:40)