9832. 'And they shall take the gold' means the good reigning universally. This is clear from the meaning of 'gold' as the good of love, dealt with in 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917, 9490, 9510. Its reigning universally is meant by the fact that the gold was interwoven everywhere in the ephod, as is clear from what is stated later on in this book,
They beat out 1
the plates of gold and cut them up into threads, to work in among the violet, and in among the purple, and in among the twice-dyed scarlet, and in among the fine linen. Exodus 39:3.
'Reigning universally' describes that which is dominant and so is present in each individual part, see 5949, 6159, 7648, 8067, 8853-8858, 8865. The reason why the gold was interwoven everywhere was that Aaron's garments represented the spiritual heaven, 9814, and in that heaven good holds sway, as it also does in the remaining heavens. In the inmost heaven it is the good of love to the Lord, in the middle one the good of charity towards the neighbour, and in the lowest the good of faith. The truth however which belongs to faith leads the way to good, and afterwards is brought forth from it. From this it is evident that a person is not in heaven until good is present within him. If merely the knowledge of truths, called the truths of faith, is present in a person he does no more than stand in front of the door; or if, knowing those truths, he is looking towards good he goes through into the porch. But if, in knowing those truths, he is not looking towards good he cannot see heaven, not even from a long way off. The reason for saying that a person is not in heaven until good is present within him is that a person must have heaven within him while in the world if he is to enter it after death. For heaven exists within people; and it is granted in mercy to those who during their life in the world allow themselves to be led by means of the truths of faith into charity towards the neighbour and into love to the Lord, that is, into good. People are not in heaven until they have come into that state in which the Lord leads them by means of good, see 8516, 8539, 8722, 8772, 9139. By good is meant the good of life; and the good of life consists in the performance of what is good because there is a will for what is good, and a will for what is good springs from love; for what a person loves, he wills.
Arcana Coelestia 1551-1552; Exodus 28:5)
Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.