141. To eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. That this signifies that they may acquire evils and thence falsities is evident from the signification of to eat, as denoting to appropriate to themselves, and to consociate (concerning which see n. 2187, 2343, 3168, 3513, 5643, 8001); thus also to acquire; and from the signification of things sacrificed to idols, which are things sanctified to idols, as denoting evils of every kind (concerning which more will be said in what follows); and from the signification of committing fornication, as denoting to falsify truths (concerning which also more will be said presently). That Balaam consulted with Balak that he might invite the sons of Israel to the sacrifices of his gods is evident from what was shown in the preceding article, and from these words of Moses:
"Israel abode in Shittim, where the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. For they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. Especially did he join himself to Baal-peor; therefore the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and twenty and four thousand were slain" (Numb. xxv. 1-3, 9).
It was among the statutes when sacrifices were instituted, that some part of the sacrifices, especially the eucharistic, should be burnt upon the altar, and some part should be eaten in the holy place. The sacrifices themselves signified worship grounded in love and faith, and the eating of them together, signified appropriations of that good. (That sacrifices signified all things of worship from the good of love and faith, may be seen, n. 923, 6905, 8680, 8936, 10,042; and that eating together signified the appropriation of good, n. 10,109.) Because the eating together of things sanctified to Jehovah signified the appropriation of good, therefore the eating together of the sacrifices which were for the gods of the Gentiles, and which were called things sacrificed to idols, signified the appropriation of evil.
Arcana Coelestia 993, 2187, 2343, 3168, 3513, 5643, 6905, 8001, 8680, 8936, 10042, 10109; Numbers 25:1-3, 25:9; Revelation 2:14)
 That to commit whoredom, in the spiritual sense, signifies to acquire falsities and also to falsify truths is evident from several passages in the Word. The same was signified by the whoredoms of the sons of Israel with the daughters of Moab; for all the historicals of the Word involve and signify spiritual things (as is evident from the explanations of Genesis and Exodus, which are called Arcana Coelestia). And because the sons of Israel eating of things sacrificed to idols, and their whoredoms with the daughters of Moab, involved also such things (for what they signify they also involve), therefore it was commanded that the heads of the people should be hung up to Jehovah before the sun; and therefore also Phinehas the son of Eleazar thrust through a man of Israel and a Midianitish woman in a tent, on account of which he was also blessed; and for the same reason there were slain of Israel twenty and four thousand, as may be seen, Numb. xxv. 1 to the end. Such punishments and plagues would by no means have been commanded solely because of their eating of the idolatrous sacrifices, and committing whoredom with the women of another nation, unless these things involved things unlawful against heaven and the church, which are not evident in the literal sense of the Word, but only in its spiritual sense. The unlawful things involved were the profanation at the same time of the goods and truths of the church, which, as said above, was the appropriation of evil and falsity.
Numbers 25:1, 25)
 That adulteries and whoredoms involve such things is evident from numerous passages in the Word, where they are referred to, from which it is clear that by them are signified the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth. In Ezekiel:
Jerusalem, "thou hast trusted in thy beauty, and hast played the harlot because of thy renown, so that thou hast poured out thy fornications on every one that passed by. Thou hast committed fornication with the sons of Egypt thy neighbours, great of flesh, and hast multiplied thy whoredoms. Thou hast played the whore with the sons of Asshur, when there was no satiety to thee, with whom thou committedst whoredom. Thou hast multiplied thy fornication even to Chaldea, the land of merchandise. An adulterous woman receiveth strangers under her own husband. All others give reward to their harlots, but thou hast given reward to all thy lovers, and hast rewarded them that they may come unto thee on every side in thy whoredoms. Wherefore, O harlot! hear the word of Jehovah" (xvi. 15, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35, and following verses).
Who cannot see, that by the whoredoms here mentioned are not meant whoredoms in an ordinary natural sense? For the church in which all the truths of the Word are falsified is here treated of; these things are what are meant by whoredoms; for whoredoms, in the spiritual sense, or spiritual whoredoms, are nothing but falsifications of truth. Jerusalem, there, is the church; the sons of Egypt with whom she committed whoredom, are scientifics (scientifica) and knowledges (cognitiones) of every kind, perversely applied to confirm falsities. The sons of Asshur, are fallacious reasonings therefrom; Chaldea, the land of merchandize, signifies the profanation of truth; the rewards which she gave to her lovers, signify the selling of falsities. From the adulteration of good by means of the falsification of truth, that church is called a woman adulterous under her own husband.
Ezekiel 16:15, 16:26, 16:28-29, 16:32-33, 16:35)
 In the same:
"Two women, the daughters of one mother, have committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth." One "committed whoredom under me, and chose for lovers the Assyrians her neighbours: she gave her whoredoms upon them, nevertheless she hath not deserted her whoredoms in Egypt." The other "hath corrupted her love more than she, and her whoredoms above the whoredoms of her sister she added to her whoredoms, she loved the Chaldeans the sons of Babel came to her to the bed of loves, and they defiled her with their whoredom" (xxiii, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 14, 16, 17, and following verses).
That by whoredoms are here also meant spiritual whoredoms, is evident from the particulars mentioned. The two women, daughters of one mother, are the two churches, the Israelitish and the Jewish; their whoredoms with the Egyptians, the Assyrians and Chaldeans signify things similar to what were explained above; the bed of loves with the sons of Babel is the profanation of good.
Ezekiel 23:2-3, Ezekiel 23:5, 23:5-8, 23:7-8, Ezekiel 23:11, 23:14, 23:16-17)
 In Jeremiah:
"Thou hast played the harlot with many companions, thou hast profaned the land with thy whoredoms, and with thy wickedness. Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? Going away upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hast thou played the harlot: perfidious Judah also hath gone away and played the harlot, so that by the voice of her whoredom she hath profaned the land; she hath committed adultery with stone and with wood" (iii. 1, 2, 6, 8, 9).
Israel is the church which is in truth, Judah is the church which is in good, for they represented these two churches; the falsifications of truth are signified by the whoredoms of Israel, and the adulterations of good by the whoredoms of Judah. To go away upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and commit whoredom, is to inquire into all the knowledges of good and truth, even from the Word, and to falsify them; to commit adultery with stone and wood, is to pervert and profane all truth and good; stone signifies truth, and wood signifies good.
Jeremiah 3:1-2, 3:6, 3:8-9)
 In the same:
"Run ye through the streets of Jerusalem, and seek in the broad ways thereof, if ye can find a man (vir), if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth. When I fed them to the full, they committed whoredom and came by troops to the house of the harlot" (v. 1, 7).
To run through the streets, and to seek in the broad ways of Jerusalem is, to see and examine the doctrinals of that church; for Jerusalem is the church, and streets and broad ways are doctrinals. If thou canst find a man (vir), if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth denotes whether there be any truth in the church. When I had fed them to the full they committed whoredom denotes, that when truths were revealed to them they falsified them; such a church, as to doctrine, is the house of the harlot, into which they came by troops.
Jeremiah 5:1, 5:7)
 In the same:
"Thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the crime of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the field have I seen. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! thou wilt not be made clean" (xiii. 27).
Neighings denote profanations of truth, because a horse signifies the Intellectual where truth dwells; the hills in the field signify the goods of truth in the church, which are perverted.
 In the same:
"I have seen in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible obstinacy, in committing adultery and going in a lie" (xxiii. 14).
In the same:
"They have done foolishness in Israel, and have committed adultery with the wives of their companions, and have spoken my word in my name lyingly" (xxix. 23).
To adulterate and to commit adultery here clearly denote to pervert truths; the prophets signify those who teach truths from the Word; for it is said, in committing adultery and going in a lie, and they have spoken my word lyingly. A lie, in the Word, signifies what is false.
Jeremiah 23:14, 29:23)
 In Moses:
"Your sons were feeding in the desert forty years; and they bore your whoredoms even till their bodies were consumed in the desert" (Numb. xiv. 33).
That the sons of Israel were not consumed in the wilderness because they bore whoredoms, but because they rejected heavenly truths is evident from the fact that this was said to them because they were not willing to enter into the land of Canaan, but wished to return into Egypt. For by the land of Canaan is signified heaven and the church, with its truths; and by Egypt are signified those things falsified, and turned into magic.
 In Micah:
"All the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the rewards of whoredom shall be burned in the fire; and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate, for she hath gathered them from the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot" (i. 7).
Graven images and idols signify the falsities which are from man's own intelligence; the hire of a harlot denotes the knowledges of truth and good which they applied to falsities and evils, and thus perverted.
 And in Hosea:
Jehovah said to the prophet, "Take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms, for the land doth commit great whoredom in departing from Jehovah" (i. 2).
By this was represented that the quality of the church was such that it was wholly immersed in falsities.
 In the same:
"They sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame; they committed whoredom, because they have quite forsaken Jehovah. Whoredom, wine and new wine, occupied the heart. Your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery" (iv. 7, 10, 11, 13).
Whoredom, wine and new wine, are falsified truths. Whoredom is the falsification itself, wine is interior falsity, new wine is exterior falsity; the daughters who commit whoredom are the goods of truth perverted; the daughters-in-law who commit adultery are evils conjoined with falsities therefrom.
Hosea 4:7, 4:10-11, 4:13)
 In Isaiah:
"It shall come to pass after the end of seventy years that Jehovah will visit Tyre, that she may return to her meretricious hire, and commit fornication with all the kings of the earth upon the faces of the world; at length her merchandize shall be holy to Jehovah" (xxiii. 17, 18).
Tyre, in the Word, signifies the church with respect to the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good; the meretricious hire spoken of denotes the same knowledges applied to evils and falsities by perversion; her merchandize is the selling thereof. To commit fornication with all the kings of the earth, denotes with everyone of the truths of the church. The reason why it is said that her merchandize and her meretricious hire shall be holy to Jehovah, is, that by these are signified knowledges of truth and good applied by them to falsities and evils. And a man, by definite knowledges, may become wise; for they are the means of becoming wise; they are also a means of becoming insane when they are falsified by application to evils and falsities.
The same is signified where it is said that
they should make to themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness (Luke xvi. 9);
and where it is commanded that
the sons of Israel should borrow from the Egyptians gold, silver and raiment, and take them away with them (Exod. iii. 22; xii. 35, 36);
for by the Egyptians are signified scientifics (scientifica) of every kind, which they applied to falsify truths.
Exodus 3:22, 12:35-36; Isaiah 23:17-18; Luke 16:9)
 In Moses:
"I will cut off the soul which looketh back to such as have familiar spirits, and to wizards, to go a whoring after them" (Lev. xx. 5).
"He entereth into peace, he walketh in uprightness. But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore" (lvii. 2, 3).
"Woe to the city of bloods, full of lies; the horseman ascendeth, and the glitter of the sword, and the sheen of the spear, the multitude of the slain, above the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, of the mistress of sorceries, selling the nations by her whoredoms" (iii. 1, 3, 4).
A covenant was not to be made with the inhabitants of the land, lest their sons and their daughters go a whoring after their gods (Exod. xxxiv. 15).
In the same:
"That ye may remember all the commandments of Jehovah, and do them: and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye used to go a whoring" (Numb. xv. 39).
In the Apocalypse:
Babylon "hath made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (xiv. 8).
The angel said: "I will show the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication" (xvii. 1, 2).
Babylon "all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her" (xviii. 3).
"He hath judged the great harlot, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication" (xix. 2).
Exodus 34:15, 34:15-16; Isaiah 57:2-3; Leviticus 20:5, 20:5-6, 20:6; Nahum 3:1, 3:3-4; Numbers 15:39; Revelation 14:8, 17:1-2, 18:3, 19:2)
 That in these passages by whoredoms are meant falsifications of truth, is evident. Because such things are signified by whoredoms and adulteries, and as they have the same signification in heaven, therefore, in the Israelitish church, which was a representative church in which all things were significative, the following commands were given:
That there should not be a whore nor a whoremonger in Israel (Deut. xxiii. 17).
That the man who committed adultery with the wife of a man, and he who committed adultery with the wife of his companion, should be put to death (Levit. xx. 10).
That the gift of a whore should not be brought into the house of Jehovah with any vow (Deut. xxiii. 18).
That the sons of Aaron should not take a harlot to wife, nor a woman put away by her husband. That the high priest should take a virgin to wife. That the daughter of a priest, if she profaned herself by committing whoredom, should be burned with fire (Levit. xxi. 7, 9, 13, 14), besides many other passages.
Deuteronomy 23:17, Deuteronomy 23:18; Leviticus 20:10, Leviticus 21:7, 21:9, 21:13-14)
 That whoredoms and adulteries involve such things, has been testified to me from much experience in the other life. The spheres of spirits who have been of such a quality, manifest those things. From the presence of spirits who have confirmed in themselves falsities, and applied truth from the sense of the letter of the Word to confirm them, there goes forth an abominable sphere of whoredom; such spheres correspond to all the prohibited degrees (concerning which see Levit. xx. 11-21), with differences according to the application of truths to falsities, and according to the conjunction of falsities with evils, especially with the evils flowing from the love of self (concerning which more may be seen in the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 384, 385, 386).
Deuteronomy 23:17-18; Ezekiel 23:5, Ezekiel 23:7-8; Heaven and Hell 384-386; Leviticus 20:5, Leviticus 20:11-21; Revelation 2:14)