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Arcana Coelestia #6766

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6766. And he said, Who set thee for a man, a prince, and a judge over us? That this signifies perception that he was not as yet so far advanced in the truths of faith as to settle differences within the church, is evident from the signification of “he said,” as being perception (of which often above); and from the signification of “a man a prince,” as being one who is in primary truths, thus who has been preeminently enlightened in the doctrine of truth. Such a one was meant in the representative church by “a prince,” and hence by the words “Who set thee for a man, a prince?” is signified that he was not yet so far advanced in the truths of the church (that a “prince” is one in primary truths, see n. 5044). And from the significance of a “judge,” as being one who settles disputes or differences, here differences within the church, because between two Hebrew men, by whom are signified those who are of the church.

[2] In the supreme sense the subject treated of has been the beginnings of the law Divine in the Lord’s Human, and now the subject treated of is the progress of this law; but in the internal sense the subject treated of now is the progress of Divine truth with the man who is being regenerated. This progress is such that the man is for the first time enabled to discriminate between falsity and truth; for from the truth in which he is he can see falsity, because it is opposite; but he cannot at this first time settle differences between the truths of faith within the church; in order to be able to do this he must make further progress, for man is enlightened successively. This is very evident from youths and young men, who believe the doctrinal things of their church to be truth itself, and from these judge of falsities, but as yet are not able to settle differences between matters of faith within the church. This ability comes by degrees; and therefore a man to whom this is possible must be of a more advanced age, and must have the interiors of his understanding enlightened.

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

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Arcana Coelestia #5044

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5044. And the prince of the prison house. That this signifies truth governing in a state of temptations, is evident from the signification of a “prince,” as being primary truth, thus the governing truth, of which presently; and from the signification of a “prison house” as being the vastation of falsity, and consequently temptation (of which above, n. 5038, 5039, 5043). What is meant by truth governing in a state of temptations must first be told. With all who are in temptations there flows in truth from the Lord, which rules and governs the thoughts and raises up the sufferers whenever they fall into doubts and even into despair. This governing truth is that truth and such truth as they have learned from the Word or from doctrine, and have confirmed in themselves. Other truths are indeed at such times also called to mind, but they do not govern the interiors. Sometimes the truth which governs is not presented visibly before the understanding, but lies hid in obscurity, yet it still governs; for the Divine of the Lord flows into it, and thus keeps the interiors of the mind in it, and therefore when it comes into light, the person who is in temptation receives consolation and is relieved.

[2] It is not this truth itself, but the affection of it, by which the Lord governs those who are in temptations; for the Divine flows only into those things which are of the affection. The truth which is implanted and rooted in a man’s interiors is implanted and rooted by affection, and not at all without affection; and the truth which has been implanted and rooted by affection, clings there, and is recalled by affection; and when this truth is so recalled, it presents the affection that is conjoined with it, which is the man’s reciprocal affection. As such is the case with the man who is in temptations, therefore no one is admitted into any spiritual temptation until he reaches adult age, and has thus become imbued with some truth by which he can be governed; otherwise he sinks under the temptation, and then his latter state is worse than the first. From these things it may be seen what is meant by truth governing in a state of temptations, which is signified by the “prince of the prison house.”

[3] That a “prince” denotes primary truth, is because a “king” in the internal sense signifies truth itself (see n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4789, 4966); hence “princes,” because they are the sons of a king, signify the primary things of that truth. That “princes” have this signification may be seen above in n. 1482089, but as this was not there proved from many other passages in the Word, some may be cited here.

In Isaiah:

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the principality shall be upon His shoulder-the Prince of peace. Of the multiplying of His principality and peace there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7);

which is said of the Lord. The “principality upon the shoulder” is all Divine truth in the heavens from Him; for the heavens are distinguished into principalities according to truths from good, whence also the angels are called “principalities.” Peace is a state of blessedness in the heavens, affecting with good and truth from the inmosts (n. 3780); hence the Lord is called the “Prince of peace,” and it is said that “of the multiplying of His principality and peace there shall be no end.”

[4] Again in the same prophet:

The princes of Zoan are foolish, the wise, the counselors of Pharaoh. How say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of the kings of antiquity? The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; and they have seduced Egypt, the corner stone of the tribes (Isaiah 19:11, 13);

treating of Egypt, by which is signified the memory-knowledge of the church (n. 4749), thus natural truth, which is the ultimate of order; wherefore also Egypt is here called the “corner stone of the tribes,” for the “tribes” are all things of truth in one complex (n. 3858, 3862, 3926, 3939, 4060). But in this passage “Egypt” is the memory-knowledge which perverts the truths of the church, thus truths in the ultimate of order falsified, which are the “princes of Zoan” and the “princes of Noph.” He calls himself the “son of the kings of antiquity,” because the memory-knowledges in Egypt were from the truths of the Ancient Church. The truths themselves are signified by “kings,” as was shown above, and the truths of the Ancient Church are signified by the “kings of antiquity.”

[5] Again:

Asshur thinketh not right, and his heart doth not meditate right; for his heart is to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes kings? (Isaiah 10:7-8

“Asshur” denotes reasoning about Divine truths, from which come falsities, thus perverse reasoning (n. 1186). The truths thus falsified, or falsities, which are produced by reasoning and which appear as the veriest truths, are signified by his saying, “Are not my princes kings?” That “Asshur” is reasoning, and that his “princes who are kings” are primary falsities which are believed to be the veriest truths, cannot be seen and thence believed so long as the mind is kept in the historic sense of the letter, and still less if it is in the negative as to there being anything more holy and more universal in the Divine Word than what appears in the letter; and yet in the internal sense by “Asshur” nothing else than reason and reasoning is understood in the Word, and by “kings” truths themselves, and by “princes” the primary things of truth. Nothing is known in heaven of Asshur, and the angels also reject from themselves the idea of a king and a prince; and when they perceive it in man, they transfer it to the Lord, and perceive that which proceeds from the Lord and is the Lord’s in heaven, namely, the Divine truth from His Divine good.

[6] Again:

Asshur shall fall with the sword, not of a man; and the sword, not of a man, shall devour him; his rock shall also pass away by reason of dread, but his princes shall be dismayed by the ensign (Isaiah 31:8-9);

also said of Egypt, which is the memory-knowledge of the church perverted. Reasoning from memory-knowledges about Divine truths, from which come perversion and falsification, is “Asshur,” these truths perverted and falsified are the “princes,” the “sword with which Asshur shall fall” is falsity battling with and vastating truth (n. 2799, 4499). Again:

The strength of Pharaoh shall become to you for a shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt for a reproach, when his princes shall be in Zoan (Isaiah 30:3-4

the “princes in Zoan” denote truths falsified, thus falsities, as above.

[7] Again:

The pelican and the bittern shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein; he shall stretch over it the line of emptiness, and the plummet of a waste. The nobles thereof are not there, they shall call a kingdom, and all her princes shall be nothing (Isaiah 34:11-12).

The “pelican,” the “bittern,” the “owl,” and the “raven,” denote the different kinds of falsity which come into existence when the Divine truths that are in the Word become of no account. The desolation and vastation of truth are signified by the “line of emptiness, and the plummet of a waste;” and the falsities, which to them are primary truths, are signified by “princes.” Again:

I will render profane the princes of holiness, and I will give Jacob for a curse, and Israel for reproaches (Isaiah 43:28);

“to profane the princes of holiness” denotes to profane holy truths; the extirpation of the truth of the external and the internal church is signified by “giving Jacob for a curse, and Israel for reproaches”; that “Jacob” is the external church, and “Israel” the internal, may be seen above (n. 4286).

[8] In Jeremiah:

There shall enter in by the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariot and on horses, they and their princes (Jeremiah 17:25);

one who here understands the Word in the historic sense, cannot be aware that the words store within them anything more deep and holy than that kings and princes would enter in by the gates of the city in chariots and on horses, and he gathers from it that the duration of the kingdom is referred to; but he who knows what a “city,” “kings,” “princes,” the “throne of David,” and “riding in chariot and on horses” signify in the internal sense, sees there things more deep and holy; for the “city” or Jerusalem signifies the spiritual kingdom of the the Lord, (n. 2117, 3654); “kings” signify Divine truths (as shown above); “princes,” the primary things of truth; the “throne of David,” the heaven of the the Lord, (n. 1888); “riding in chariot and on horses,” the spiritual understanding of the church (n. 2760, 2761, 3217).

[9] Again:

O sword against the Chaldeans, and against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her princes and against her wise men. O sword against the liars. O sword against her horses and against her chariots (Jeremiah 50:35-37);

a “sword” denotes truth fighting against falsity, and falsity fighting against truth and vastating it (n. 2799, 4499); the “Chaldeans” denote those who profane truths; and the “inhabitants of Babylon,” those who profane good (n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1307, 1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, 1327 at the end); “princes” denote the falsities which to such are primary truths; “horses,” the intellectual of the church, and “chariots,” its doctrine, the vastation of which is signified by a “sword against the horses and against the chariots.”

[10] Again:

How doth the Lord in His anger cloud over the daughter of Zion! The Lord hath swallowed up, He hath not spared, all the habitations of Jacob; He hath destroyed in His wrath the stronghold of the daughter of Judah; He hath cast them forth to the earth; He hath profaned the kingdom and the princes thereof; the gates have sunk into the earth, and He hath broken the bars in pieces; the king and the princes are among the nations (Lam. 2:1-2, 9).

The “daughter of Zion and of Judah” denotes the celestial church, here this church destroyed; the “kingdom,” the truths of doctrine therein (n. 2547, 4691); the “king,” the truth itself, and the “princes,” its primaries.

[11] Again:

Our skins have been blackened like an oven, because of the storms of famine. They ravished the women in Zion, the virgins in the cities of Judah, the princes were hanged up by their hand (Lam. 5:10-12);

“the princes being hanged up by their hand” denotes that truths are profaned, for hanging represented the damnation of profanation; and because of this representation, it was also commanded when the people committed whoredom after Baalpeor and worshiped their gods, that the princes should be hanged up before the sun (Numbers 25:1-4); for to commit whoredom after Baalpeor, and to worship their gods, was to profane worship.

In Ezekiel:

The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with astonishment, and the hands of the people of the land shall be terrified; I will deal with them after their way (Ezekiel 7:27); where the “king” in like manner denotes truth in general, and the “prince,” its primaries.

[12] Again:

The prince that is in the midst of them shall be borne upon the shoulder in the dark, and shall go forth; they shall dig through the wall to bring out through it; he will veil over his faces that he see not the earth at his eye (Ezekiel 12:12).

That a “prince” here does not mean a prince, but the truth of the church, is very manifest; and when it is said of this that it shall be “borne on the shoulder in the dark,” it means that with all their might it should be conveyed down among falsities, for “darkness” is falsities; “to veil over the faces” denotes that truth should not be seen at all; his “not seeing the earth at his eye,” means that nothing of the church would be seen. (That the “earth” is the church may be seen above, n. 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118 at the end, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535.) In Hosea:

The sons of Israel shall sit many days, there is no king, and no prince, and no sacrifice, and no pillar, and no ephod, and no teraphim (Hos. 3:4).

[13] And in David:

The king’s daughter is all glorious within; and of inweavings of gold is her garment, in needlework shall she be brought to the king; instead of thy fathers shall be thy sons, thou shalt set them for princes in the whole earth (Psalms 45:13-16).

The “king’s daughter” is the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, which is called His spiritual kingdom from the Lord’s Divine truth, here described by her garment of inweavings of gold and of needlework; “sons” are the truths of that kingdom which are from the Lord’s Divine, which must be “princes,” that is, primary truths. The “prince” who together with his possessions in the New Jerusalem and in the new earth is described in Ezekiel (44:3; 45:7-8, 17; 46:8, 10, 12, 16, 18; 48:21) signifies in general the truth which is from the Lord’s Divine; for by the “New Jerusalem,” the “new temple,” and the “new earth” there, is meant the Lord’s kingdom in heaven and on earth, which is there described by representatives such as are found in other parts of the Word.

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