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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of "He said," as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:18, Exodus 24:16)

[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was "Elias who was to come." He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings' houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by "the wilderness" in which he was, also what by "a reed shaken by the wind," and likewise by "soft raiment in kings' houses;" and further what is signified by his being "more than a prophet," and by "none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he," and lastly by his being "Elias." For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)

[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by "the wilderness of Judea in which John was" is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was "in the wilderness," that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That "a wilderness" denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to "a reed shaken by the wind" when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense "a reed" denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their "not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings' houses." That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of "raiment," or "garments," as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of "kings' houses," as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for "houses" are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and "kings," from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called "sons of the kingdom," "sons of the king," and also "kings."

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)

[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by "what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;" and by, "there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;" for in the internal sense "a prophet" denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and "those who are born," or are the sons, "of women" denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, "he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;" for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, "all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being "Elias who is to come."

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That "Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished" signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by "even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them." (That "the Son of man" denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the "clothing" and "food" of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By "clothing," or a "garment," when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by "camel's hair" are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the "leathern girdle" is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by "food" is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by "locusts" are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by "wild honey" their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by "clothing" and "food" has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that "clothing," or a "garment," denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that "food" or "meat" denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that "a girdle" denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that "leather" denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus "a leathern girdle" denotes an external bond; that "hairs" denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that "a camel" denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that "a locust" denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that "honey" denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called "wild honey," or "honey of the field," because by "a field" is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was "not Elias, nor the prophet," and that he was "not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord's shoe," as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word ("Moses" the historic Word, and "Elias" the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that "Moses and Elias were seen in glory," for "glory" denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the "cloud" its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia #4763

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

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4763. And he rent his garments. That this signifies mourning, is evident from the signification of "rending the garments," as being mourning, namely, on account of truth having been destroyed, or because there was no faith. We often read in the Word, especially the historic, of persons rending their garments; but the origin of this is not known at the present day, and it is also unknown that it was representative of grief on account of truth being lost. This act became representative from the fact that "garments" signified truths, as before shown (n. 4545). Further on in this chapter it is also said that when Jacob recognized his son's tunic he rent his garments (verse 34), and by this is signified mourning for truth destroyed. So in other places in the Word, as when Rabshakeh, who was sent by Sennacherib the king of Assyria, spoke insults against Jerusalem; whereupon Eliakim who was over the King's household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the recorder, rent their garments and told these things to King Hezekiah; and when the king heard it he also rent his garments, and covered himself with sackcloth (Isaiah 36:22; 37:1; 2 Kings 18:37; 19:1). The insults which Rabshakeh spoke were against God, the King, and Jerusalem, thus against Divine truth, as is still plainer from the internal sense of the passage; hence the garments were rent because of mourning.

[2] When Jehudi had read before the king the roll of the book which Jeremiah wrote, it is said that the king cast it into the fire, and that the king and his servants, who heard all those words, did not rend their garments (Jeremiah 36:23, 24); their not rending their garments denoted that they did not mourn when Divine truth was not received. The rending of their garments by Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, when the spies brought an evil report of the land of Canaan, and their speaking against them (Numbers 14:6), involves a similar meaning; for the land of Canaan signifies the Lord's kingdom, to speak against which is to speak falsity against Divine truth. When the ark of God was taken by the Philistines, and the two sons of Eli were slain, that there ran a man out of the army to Shiloh with his garments rent and dust upon his head (1 Samuel 4:11, 12), signified mourning over lost Divine truth and Divine good; for, as the ark represented the Lord's kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself, and hence the holy of the church, the rent garments signified mourning over lost Divine truth; and dust upon the head, over lost Divine good.

(References: 1 Samuel 4:11-12; Jeremiah 36:23-24)

[3] We read of Samuel and Saul:

As Samuel turned about to go away, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his tunic, and it was torn off. And Samuel said unto him, Jehovah hath rent the kingdom of Israel from upon thee this day, and hath given it to thy companion. I will not return with thee, for thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, and Jehovah hath rejected thee from being king over Israel (1 Samuel 15:26-28);

Saul's tearing off the skirt of Samuel's tunic represented what Samuel said - that the kingdom should be rent from him, and that he should no longer be king of Israel; for "kingdom" in the internal sense signifies Divine truth (n. 1672, 2547, 4691), as also do a "king" and "royalty" (n. 1672, 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581), and specifically the Kingdom and king of Israel, because by Israel was represented the Lord's royalty. So what is related of Jeroboam and the prophet Ahijah:

When Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, and the prophet Ahijah found him in the way, when he had clad himself with a new garment, and they two were alone in the field, Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was upon him, and rent it in twelve pieces; and he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces; for thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel, Behold I rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee (1 Kings 11:29-31).

[4] The same is true of their rending their garments when Saul was slain in battle, as related in the second book of Samuel:

After Saul had been slain in battle, on the third day a man came from the camp whose garments were rent; and when David heard of the death of Saul, David took hold of his garments and rent them; as did all his servants that were with him (2 Samuel 1:1-2, 11:11);

by this also was represented mourning on account of Divine truth lost and thrown away by those who were in faith separate; for as before said Divine truth was signified by royalty, and they who were in faith separate were represented by the Philistines, by whom Saul was slain (n. 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413); as also is evident from David's lament over him in the same chapter (2 Samuel 1:17-27).

(References: 2 Samuel 1:11, 1:18-27; Arcana Coelestia 1197-1198, 3412-3413)

[5] When Absalom had smitten his brother Amnon, and the tidings came to David that Absalom had smitten all the king's sons, David "rent his garments and lay on the earth, and all his servants stood by with their garments rent" (2 Samuel 13:28, 30-31); this also was done for the sake of representing that truths from the Divine were destroyed, these being signified in the internal sense by the king's sons. So when David fled before Absalom he was met by Hushai the Archite with his tunic rent (2 Samuel 15:32); for in the Word by a king, especially by David, is represented Divine truth. In like manner also when Elijah spoke to Ahab king of Israel the words of Jehovah, that he should be extirpated on account of the evil which he had done, Ahab rent his garments and put sackcloth upon his flesh (1 Kings 21:27).

(References: 1 Kings 21:27-29; 2 Samuel 13:28-31)

[6] That the rending or tearing of garments represented mourning on account of lost truth, is further evident from the following passages:

Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah; and Shaphan read it before king Josiah. And when the king heard the words of the book of the law, he rent his garments (2 Kings 22:11);

manifestly on account of the Word (that is, Divine truth) having been so long lost, and obliterated in hearts and life. When the Lord confessed that He was the Christ the Son of God, that the high priest rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy (Matthew 26:63-65; Mark 14:63, 64), signified that he had no other belief than that the Lord spoke against the Word, and thus against Divine truth.

(References: 2 Kings 22:10-11, 22:8; Mark 14:63-64)

[7] When Elijah went up in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw it, he took hold of his own garments, and rent them in two pieces; and he took up the tunic of Elijah that fell from upon him, and smote the waters, and they were parted hither and thither, and Elisha went over (2 Kings 2:11-14); that Elisha then rent his garments in two pieces was on account of mourning that the Word (that is, Divine truth) was lost; for by Elijah is represented the Lord as to the Word, that is, Divine truth (n. 2762). The tunic falling from Elijah, and being taken up by Elisha, represented that Elisha continued the representation. That a tunic is Divine truth may be seen above (n. 4677), wherefore also the garment which was rent in such mourning was the tunic, as is evident from some of the passages above cited. As a "garment" signified the truth of the church, and in the supreme sense Divine truth, it was therefore a disgrace to go with rent garments, except in such mourning - as is evident from what was done to the servants of David by Hanun the king of the sons of Ammon, in that he shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks; for which reason they were not admitted to David (2 Samuel 10:4, 5).

(References: 1 Kings 21:27-29; 2 Kings 22:8, 22:10-11; 2 Samuel 10:4-5, 13:28-31; Genesis 37:29; Mark 14:63-64)

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