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Arcana Coelestia #31

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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31. That 'the great lights' mean love and faith, and are also mentioned as the sun, the moon, and the stars, is clear from various places in the Prophets, as in Ezekiel,

When I have blotted you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars, I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. All the bright lights in the heavens I will make dark over you, and I will put darkness over your land. Ezekiel 32:7-8.

This refers to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who are used in the Word to mean the sensory and the factual. The meaning here is that they will have blotted out love and faith by means of sensory evidence and factual knowledge. In Isaiah,

The day of Jehovah for making the earth a desolation; for the stars of the heavens and their constellations 1 will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. Isaiah 13:9-10.

In Joel,

The day of Jehovah is coming, a day of darkness and thick darkness. The earth quakes before Him, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. Joel 2:10.

(References: Joel 2:1-2)


[2] In Isaiah, in reference to the Lord's Coming and the enlightenment of gentiles, and so to a new Church, in particular to individuals who are in darkness but who are beginning to receive the light and be regenerated,

Arise, shine, for your light has come. Behold, darkness is covering the earth, and thick darkness the peoples, but Jehovah will arise upon you, and nations will walk towards your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Jehovah will be for you an everlasting light; your sun will no more go down nor your moon be withdrawn, for Jehovah will be for you an everlasting light. Isaiah 60:1-3, 19-20.

In David,

Jehovah makes the heavens by intelligence, He spreads out the earth upon the waters, He makes the great lights, the sun to have dominion over the day, and the moon and stars to have dominion over the night. Psalms 136:5-9.

And in the same author,

Praise Jehovah, sun and moon, praise Him, all stars of light! Praise Him, heaven of heavens, and waters that are above the heavens! Psalms 148:3-4.

(References: Isaiah 60:20)


[3] In all of these places 'the lights' mean love and faith. Because the lights represented and meant love and faith in the Lord, the Jewish Church was commanded to keep a light burning all the time from evening till morning, for every command which that Church received was representative of the Lord. Concerning this light it is said,

Command the sons of Israel that they take oil for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. In the Tent of Meeting outside the veil which is before the testimony Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before Jehovah. [Exodus 27:20-21]

That this means the love and faith which the Lord kindles and causes to shine in the internal man, and by means of the internal man in the external man, will in the Lord's Divine mercy be shown at that point in Exodus.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, orions

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(References: Genesis 1:14-17)


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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 1001, 1837, 1984, 2034, 2116, 2441, 2495, 3121, 3195, 3272, 4697, 4918, 6015, 7233, 9228

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 121

Other New Christian Commentary

Great lights 1

Luminaries 1

Pharaoh 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

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

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Arcana Coelestia #31

     

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31. Quod 'luminaria magna' significent amorem et fidem: et quoque nominentur sol, luna et stellae, constat passim apud Prophetas, ut apud Ezechielem,

Obtegam, cum exstinxero te, caelos, et atrabo stellas eorum: solem nube obtegam, et luna non lucere faciet lucem suam, omnia luminaria lucis in caelis atrabo super te, daboque tenebras super terra tua, 32:7-8;

ubi agitur de Pharaone et Aegyptio, per quos intelligitur in Verbo sensuale et scientificum, hic quod per sensualia et scientifica exstinxerint amorem et fidem:

apud Esaiam,

Dies Jehovae ad ponendum terram in desolationem, nam stellae caelorum, et oriones 1 eorum, non facient lucere lucem suam, obtenebratus sol in exitu suo, et luna non splendere faciet lucem suam, 13:9-10:

apud Joelem,

Venit dies Jehovae, dies tenebrarum et caliginis, coram Ipso contremiscit terra, commoventur caeli, sol et luna atrantur, et stellae retrahunt splendorem suum, 2:10.

(References: Joel 2:1-2)


[2] Apud Esaiam, ubi agitur de Adventu Domini et illuminatione gentium, ita de nova Ecclesia, in particulari de singulis qui in tenebris sunt et lucem accipiunt ac regenerantur, Surge, illuminare, quia venit lux tua, ecce tenebrae obtegunt terram, et caligo populos, et super te exorietur Jehovah, ambulabuntque gentes ad lucem tuam, et reges ad splendorem ortus tua, erit Jehovah tibi in lucem aeternitatis, non occidet amplius sol tuus, et luna tua non colligetur, quia Jehovah erit tibi in lucem aeternitatis, 60:1-3, 19-20:

apud Davidem,

Jehovah facit caelos in intelligentia,... expandit terram super aquis,... facit luminaria magna,... solem ad dominandum in die,... et lunam et stellas ad dominandum in nocte, Ps. 136:5-9;

et apud eundem,

Glorificate Jehovam sol et luna, glorificate Ipsum omnes stellae lucis; glorificate Ipsum caeli caelorum; et aquae, quae supra caelos, Ps. 148:3-4.

(References: Isaiah 60:20)


[3] In quibus omnibus locis 'luminaria' significant amorem et fidem. Quia luminaria repraesentabant et significabant amorem et fidem in Dominum, praeceptum est in Ecclesia Judaica ut luminare perpetuum esset accensum a vespera ad mane, nam quicquid Ecclesiae illi praeceptum erat, repraesentativum Domini erat; de quo luminari ita, Praecipe filiis Israelis, ut accipiant oleum ad luminare, ad ascendere faciendum lucernam jugiter. In tentorio conventus extra velum, quod est super testimonium, disponet illam Aharon et filii illius, a vespera usque admane, coram Jehovah. [Exod. 27:20-21.]

Quae quod significent amorem et fidem, quae Dominus accendit et lucere facit in interno homine, et per internum hominem in externo ibi loci, ex Divina Domini Misericordia, ostendetur.

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Footnotes:

1. The Hebrew is (kesilihem) from (kesil), the name given by the Jews to the constellation Orion. Schmidius has sidera, and the King James Version (A.V. 1611) has constellations.

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(References: Genesis 1:14-17)


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Arcana Coelestia 1001, 1837, 1984, 2034, 2116, 2441, 2495, 3121, 3195, 3272, 4697, 4918, 6015, 7233, 9228

De Nova Hierosolyma et ejus Doctrina Caelesti 121

Other New Christian Commentary

Great lights 1

Luminaries 1

Pharaoh 1


Glossary of Terms Used by Emanuel Swedenborg

This is the Third Latin Edition, published by the Swedenborg Society, in London, between 1949 and 1973.

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Arcana Coelestia #7233

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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7233. 'It was this Aaron and Moses' means that it was from these that the teachings and the law of God among those people sprang. This is clear from the representation of 'Aaron' as the teachings of the Church, dealt with in 6998, 7009, 7089; and from the representation of 'Moses' as the law of God, dealt with in 6723, 6752. These two - the law of God and doctrinal teachings - among those who belong to the spiritual Church have their origin chiefly in the Word; they are however concerned primarily with faith and charity, the things of chief importance to the founders of that Church. The words from these have been used, yet they do not mean from Aaron and Moses but from charity and faith, which are represented by Levi, Simeon, and Reuben, who are spoken of in the verses immediately above.

[2] To go further into these matters, it should be recognized that the teachings of the spiritual Church do not consist of God's truth itself. The reason for this is that those who belong to the spiritual Church do not possess any perception of God's truth, as those who belong to the celestial Church do. Instead of that perception they possess conscience, which is formed out of the truth and goodness, whatever these may be like, which they have adopted within their own Church. For the fact that those who belong to the spiritual Church are in comparative obscurity so far as the truths of faith are concerned, see 86, 2708, 2715, 2716, 2718, 2831, 2935, 2937, 3241, 3246, 3833, 6289, 6500, 6865, 6945. This explains why all within the spiritual Church accept as the truth of faith that which their founders have declared and do not go further to search the Word to see whether it really is the truth. And if they did make this search they would not find that truth unless they had been regenerated and then received specific enlightenment. The reason for this is that although the understanding part of their minds can receive enlightenment, the new will part cannot be aroused except by one kind of good, namely that formed by connection with the truths accepted within the Church. For the will that is properly their own has been corrupted and a new will has been formed within the understanding, see 863, 875, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2256, 4328, 5113. And since the will that is properly their own is separated from the new will within the understanding, the light there is feeble, like the light from the moon and stars at night when compared with the light from the sun during the daytime. This also explains why 'the moon' is used in the internal sense of the Word to mean the good of spiritual love, and 'the sun' to mean the good of celestial love, 30-38, 1529-1531, 2495, 4060.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1043-1044, 2715-2716)


[3] Since this is the situation in the spiritual Church it is no wonder that for the majority faith is the essential element of the Church, not charity, and that teachings about charity are of no importance to them. The fact that the things they teach are derived from the Word does not mean that those things are Divine truths; for one can hatch any kind of teaching out of the literal sense of the Word, and seize on any such argument as may lend support to wicked desires, thus on falsity instead of truth. This is what the things taught by Jews, Socinians, and many others are like. It is different however if the teaching that is given is based on the internal sense. The internal sense is not only the sense that lies concealed within the external sense, as has been shown up to now, but is also the sense which emerges from a large number of places in the literal sense when they are correctly compared with one another. And it is the sense discerned by those in whom the understanding part of their mind has been enlightened by the Lord. For when enlightened the understanding distinguishes apparent truths from real truths, and in particular falsities from truths, though it does not form any judgements with respect to real truths in themselves. But the understanding part cannot be enlightened unless a person believes that love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour are the chief and essential qualities of the Church. And provided that he is governed by these once he has recognized them he can go on to see countless truths; indeed he can see very many hidden things that have been disclosed to him. He does so with an inward recognition of them, insofar as he is enlightened by the Lord.

(References: Exodus 6:26)

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Arcana Coelestia 7313, 7975, 8521, 8607, 8928, 9277, 9404, 9670, 9684

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 35


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


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