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Arcana Coelestia #2516

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2516. 'Behold, you will die because of the woman' means that the doctrine of faith would be ruined if the rational were consulted as regards the contents of that doctrine. This is clear from the meaning of Abimelech, to whom 'you' refers here, as the doctrine of faith; from the meaning of 'dying' as being brought to ruin; and from the meaning of 'a sister', called 'the woman' here, as the rational, dealt with in 2508. Consequently the statement that Abimelech would die because of the woman means that the doctrine of faith would be brought to ruin if the rational were consulted.

[2] The reason no doctrine of faith from the rational exists is that the rational is immersed in the appearances of good and truth, and such appearances are not truths in themselves, as shown already in 2053, 2196, 2203, 2209. What is more, the rational bases itself on illusions, which are the product of external sensory impressions confirmed by facts which introduce haziness into those appearances of truth. The rational for the most part is merely human, as also becomes clear from its birth. This then is why nothing of the doctrine of faith can even be started, let alone be built up from it. Such doctrine must stem from the Lord's Divine itself and His Divine Human. This is the origin of it, so much so indeed that the Lord is doctrine itself. It is for this reason also that in the Word He is called the Word, the truth, the light, the way, and the door. Furthermore - and this is an arcanum - all doctrine is derived from Divine Good and Divine Truth and possesses the heavenly marriage within it. Doctrine which does not possess this within it is not the genuine doctrine of faith. Consequently every detail of the Word, the source of doctrine, holds the image of a marriage within it, see 683, 793, 801.

[3] It does indeed seem in the literal or external sense of the Word as though the doctrine of faith possessed much from the rational and indeed from the natural. But the reason for this is that the Word exists for the sake of man, for whom it has been adapted in this way. Nevertheless in itself the Word is spiritual from a celestial origin, that is, it is derived from Divine Truth joined to Divine Good. The fact that doctrine would be brought to ruin if the rational were consulted as regards the contents of that doctrine will be illustrated by examples in what follows.

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #2203

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2203. 'Saying, After I have grown old, shall I have this pleasure?' means that the affection possessed by that truth had no inclination to change its state. This is clear from the meaning of 'growing old' as casting off the human and so as changing its state, dealt with above in 2198, and from the meaning of 'shall I have this pleasure?' as not desiring it, thus that this affection was not so inclined. The implication of these matters becomes clear from what has been stated above in 2196 about Sarah standing at the tent door, and this being behind him, namely that the human rational as regards truth is such that it is not able to understand what the Divine is, for the reason that that truth is immersed in appearances, and consequently that which it cannot understand it does not believe, and that which it does not believe does not affect it. The appearances in which the rational is immersed are such that they do affect it, for the appearances themselves bring delight and therefore if deprived of appearances the rational imagines that no delight is left, whereas heavenly affection is not immersed in appearances but in good and truth themselves. But as rational truth is of this nature, it is also excusable and permissible for it to be immersed in appearances and to take delight in them. Such truth immersed in appearances is represented here by 'Sarah' when the Lord joined Himself to the Divine. This explains why it is said that she stood at the tent door and that she laughed and said, 'After I have grown old shall I have this pleasure?' by which is meant that the affection possessed by rational truth had no inclination to change its state.

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