Arcana Coelestia #1463

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1463. That 'sojourning' means receiving instruction becomes clear from the meaning in the Word of 'sojourning' as receiving instruction, and it has this meaning because sojourning and passing on, or moving from one place to another, is in heaven nothing else than a change of state, as shown already in 1376, 1379. Therefore every time travelling, sojourning, or transferring from one place to another occurs in the Word nothing else suggests itself to angels than a change of state such as takes place with them. There are changes of state both of thoughts and of affections. Changes of the state of thoughts are cognitions, which in the world of spirits are represented by means of forms of instruction. This also explains why members of the Most Ancient Church, having communication with the angelic heaven, did not perceive anything else by 'sojourning'. Thus the statement here that 'Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn' does not mean anything other than the Lord's being instructed.

[2] Something similar is meant by Jacob and his sons going down into Egypt, as in Isaiah,

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, My people went down to Egypt at first to sojourn there, and Asshur oppressed them without cause. Isaiah 52:4.

Here 'Asshur' stands for reasonings. This is also why in the Jewish Church people who were receiving instruction were called 'sojourners, sojourning in their midst' who, it was commanded, were to receive the same treatment as the native-born, Exodus 12:48-49; Leviticus 24:22; Numbers 15:13-16, 26, 29; 19:10. Regarding sojourners it is said in Ezekiel,

You shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. You shall divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves and for sojourners, sojourning in your midst. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel, they shall cast lots with you for an inheritance in the midst of the tribes of Israel. In the tribe with which the sojourner has sojourned, there shall you give him his inheritance. Ezekiel 47:21-23.

This refers to the new Jerusalem, or the Lord's kingdom. 'Sojourners sojourning' is used to mean people who allow themselves to receive instruction, consequently the gentiles. That 'sojourners' stands for people who are receiving instruction is clear from the fact that it is said 'in the tribe with which he has sojourned, there shall an inheritance be given him'. 'Tribes' stands for the things that constitute faith.

[3] 'Sojourning' is also similar in meaning to travelling and dwelling. 'Travelling' means the established patterns and order of life, while 'dwelling' means living, both dealt with already in 1293. For the same reasons the land of Canaan is also called 'the land of the sojournings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob', in Genesis 28:4; 36:7; 37:1; Exodus 6:4. And Jacob said to Pharaoh,

The days of the years of my sojournings; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojournings. Genesis 47:9.

Here 'sojourning' stands for life and for forms of instruction.

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Arcana Coelestia 1896, 2025, 2371, 2504, 2567, 2726, 3148, 3369, 3672, 3703, 4243, 4444, 4615, 4844, 4958, 5605, 6077, 6095, 7197, 7908, 8007, 8650, 8890, 9196, 9281

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Apocalypse Explained 386

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.