Arcana Coelestia #941

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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941. To the right of Gehenna, that is, between Gehenna and the swamp, there is also another city, where better types of Jews seem to themselves to be living. For them however this city undergoes changes in accordance with the delusions they have. At one point it turns into country areas, at another into a swamp, and then back again into a city. Its inhabitants live in fear of robbers, but as long as they are inside that city they are safe. Between the two cities there is, it seems, a gloomy triangular-shaped section where there are robbers. They too are Jews, but are the most evil of them, who show no mercy to anyone at all whom they encounter. Out of fear the Jews call these robbers 'master', and the desert region where the robbers are they call 'the land'. To protect themselves from the robbers they enter this city from the right where a good spirit is stationed at the far corner who receives all who come there. On arrival they bow to the ground and are let in beneath his feet, the formality before being admitted into this city. A certain spirit suddenly came up to me and I asked where he had come from. He said he was fleeing in fear from the robbers who kill, murder, burn, and boil people. He asked where it would be safe for him. I demanded where he was from, and from which country. But he did not dare, from fear, to answer other than the master's land; for they call the desert 'the land', and the robbers 'master'.

[2] Then the robbers arrived, who were extremely black. They spoke with deep voices like giants; and what is remarkable, when they draw near they strike a sense of great fear and horror. I asked them who they were. They said they were looking for plunder. I asked where they intended to store up their plunder. Did they not know that they were spirits and that they were unable to carry off or store up plunder, and that such things were the delusions of the evil? They replied that they were in the desert searching for loot and that they showed no mercy to those they encountered. They did at length acknowledge while with me that they were spirits, yet they still could not be brought to believe that they were living anywhere else than in the [physical] body. Those roving around in this fashion are Jews who declare that they kill, murder, burn, and boil, doing so to anybody they meet, Jews or friends regardless. This demonstrated their intentions, though in the world they did not dare to let these be made public.

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