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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 24:16, 24:18)

[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 #8588

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8588. And Meribah. That this signifies the quality of the complaining, is evident from the fact that in the original tongue “Meribah” means “contention,” or “quarreling,” and “quarreling” signifies complaining (see n. 8563, 8566); and because names signify the quality of the thing (n. 8587), therefore “Meribah” here signifies the quality of the complaining. As regards this temptation itself and its quality, be it known that in this passage are described those who in temptations almost yield, namely, those who complain against heaven and also against the Divine Itself, and at last almost disbelieve in the Divine Providence. These things are signified in the internal sense by what precedes, and also by what follows in this verse, namely, the quality of the state of the temptation, which is signified by “Massah,” and the quality of the complaining in the temptation, which is signified by “Meribah.” That this quality is here signified by “Meribah,” is plain in David:

Thou calledst upon Me in distress, and I rescued thee; I answered thee in the secret place, I proved thee at the waters of Meribah (Psalms 81:7).

[2] But in the internal historical sense, in which the subject treated of is the state of religion with the Israelitish nation, that nation is described in respect to its quality toward Jehovah, namely, that they were not willing by supplication to entreat Him for aid, but that they expostulated. The reason was, that at heart they did not acknowledge Jehovah as the supreme God, but only in the mouth, when they saw the miracles. That at heart they did not acknowledge Him is very evident from the Egyptian calf which they made for themselves and worshiped, saying that these were their gods; also from their frequent apostasy (of which see n. 8301). This is what is here described in the internal historical sense; but in the internal spiritual sense is described the quality of the temptation with those who before they are liberated are brought to the last of temptation.

[3] That the quality of the Israelitish nation and of its religiosity is described by contention with Moses at Massah and Meribah, is also evident in the following passages:

Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted Me; they tempted Me, and saw My work; for forty years did I feel loathing at the generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and the same have not known My ways, to whom I sware in Mine anger that they should not come unto My rest (Psalms 95:8-11).

Ye shall not tempt Jehovah your God, as ye tempted Him in Massah (Deuteronomy 6:16; 9:22, 24).

Of Leviticus he said, Thy Thummim and thy Urim are with the Holy Man, whom thou didst tempt at Massah, with whom thou didst contend at the waters of Meribah (Deuteronomy 33:8).

“The Holy Man” here denotes the Lord, whom they tempted, and whom Moses and Aaron did not sanctify.

(References: Deuteronomy 4:16, Deuteronomy 33:8-9)

[4] In the internal historical sense, in which the subject treated of is the religiosity of the Israelitish nation, by Moses and Aaron is not represented truth Divine, but the religiosity of that nation whose leaders and heads they were (n. 7041). Because this religiosity was such as said above, it was intimated to them that they should not bring the people into the land of Canaan, as is written in the book of Numbers:

Jehovah said unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye have not believed in Me, and sanctified Me in the eyes of the sons of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them; these are the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with Jehovah (Numbers 20:12-13; 27:14).

Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall not come into the land which I have given to the sons of Israel, because ye rebelled against My mouth at the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20:24).

The same is said of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:50-51).

[5] That still representative Divine worship was instituted with that nation, was because representative worship could be instituted with any nation that had holy externals of worship, and worshiped almost idolatrously; for what is representative does not regard the person, but the thing (n. 1361), and it was the genius of that nation, beyond any other nation, to worship merely external things as holy and Divine, without any internal; as for instance to worship as deities their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterward Moses and David, and moreover to account holy and as Divine, and to worship, every stone and every piece of wood that had been inaugurated in their Divine worship; as the arks, the tables therein, the lamp, the altar, the garments of Aaron, the Urim and Thummim, and afterward the temple. Of the Lord’s Providence there was then given a communication of the angels of heaven with man by means of such things. For there must needs be somewhere a church, or the representative of a church, in order that there may be communication of heaven with the human race; and as that nation, beyond any other nation, could make Divine worship consist in external things, and thus act the representative of a church, therefore that nation was taken.

[6] At that time communication with the angels in heaven was effected by means of representatives in the following way. Their external worship was communicated to angelic spirits who are simple, and who do not reflect upon internal things, but still are interiorly good. Such are they who in the Grand Man correspond to the outer skin. These pay no attention whatever to the internal of man, but only to his external. If this appears holy, they think holily of the internal also. The more interior angels of heaven saw in those spirits the things that were represented, consequently the heavenly and Divine things that corresponded; for they could be present with these spirits, and see those things; but not with the men except by means of the spirits. For angels dwell with men in things interior; but where there are no such things, they dwell in the interior things of simple spirits; for the angels have no interest in other than spiritual and heavenly things, which are the interior things contained in representatives. From these few words it can be seen how there could be communication with heaven by means of such a people. But see what has been previously shown on this subject, namely: That with the Jews the holy of worship was miraculously elevated into heaven quite apart from them (n. 4307); that whatever their quality might be, the descendants of Jacob could represent what is holy, provided they closely observed the rituals commanded (n. 3147, 3479, 3480, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4289, 4293, 4307, 4444, 4500, 4680, 4825, 4844, 4847, 4899, 4912, 6304, 6306, 7048, 7051, 8301).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3479-3480, 4288-4289; Deuteronomy 4:16, Deuteronomy 33:8-9)

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Apocalypse Explained #242

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242. To buy of Me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be enriched, signifies that they should acquire for themselves from the Lord genuine good, that they may be able to receive the truths of faith. This is evident from the signification of "buying," as being to acquire and appropriate to oneself (see Arcana Coelestia 4397, 5374, 5397, 5406, 5410, 5426); also from the signification of "gold tried by fire," as being genuine good, thus good from the Lord (of which presently); also from the signification of "that thou mayest be enriched," as being to be enabled to receive the truths of faith. This is the signification of being "enriched," because "riches" and "wealth" signify the knowledges of truth and good, and "the rich" are those who are in intelligence by means of knowledges, here, those who are in faith by means of them, since those who are in the doctrine of faith alone are here treated of. From this it is clear that "to buy of Me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be enriched," signifies that they must acquire for themselves genuine good from the Lord so that they may receive the truths of faith.

(References: Revelation 3:18)

[2] It shall first be told how this is to be understood. It has often been said before, that there is no truth which is truth in itself unless it be from good, thus no faith that is faith in itself unless it be from charity: for there is no truth that is truth in itself unless there is spiritual life within it, and spiritual life is within it when it is formed out of the good of charity; for truth is the form of good, and good is the esse of truth, thus also its life; and good is from no other source than from the Lord. When there is good from the Lord, the truth that is from the good looks primarily to the Lord and also to the neighbor and his good, for the Lord flows in with good and by it forms truth, which is the truth of faith, and causes man's spiritual sight to look to him and to the neighbor. (That this is so, may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell 145, 251, namely, that the Lord looks at angels and men in the forehead, and these look to the Lord through the eyes; for the reason that the forehead corresponds to the good of love, and the eyes to the understanding illustrated thereby, consequently to the truths of faith. Also in the same work, n. Heaven and Hell 17, 123, 124, 142-144, 510, it is shown that in the spiritual world all are turned to their own loves, and those who have acknowledged the Lord and believed in Him are turned to Him, and thereby have good, and through good, illustration in respect to truths.) From this it can be seen what the genuine good is that is signified by "gold tried by fire," namely, that it is good from the Lord alone.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 17, The Apocalypse Explained 123-124, The Apocalypse Explained 142-144, The Apocalypse Explained 510)

[3] As what is written to the angel of this church treats of those who live according to the doctrine of faith alone, and as those who had confirmed themselves in that doctrine, and were on that account called learned in the world, were able to join falsities with truths and make the doctrine appear as if it were true, therefore, it was granted me to talk with some of them in the other life; and as the things that were then said on either side may serve for illustration I will present them. These learned ones, from their belief while in the world, supposed that there might be faith without charity, and that man may be justified by that alone. Their talk was very ingenious; they said that there is faith without charity, because it is prior to charity, and because by it man is in good. "Who," they said, "is not able to believe that there is a God, that the Word is Divine, and other like truths, which unless believed could not be received and thought of by man?"

From this they concluded that as faith precedes, or is prior to, charity, there can be faith without charity; and if there can be, that it must be saving, since man cannot do good from himself; unless, therefore, that faith were saving all would perish: moreover, without faith there could be no presence of God with man; and without the presence of God evil would reign, and no one would have any good. This, they said, is what is meant by justification by faith alone. But it was shown them that there could not be faith unless there was at the same time charity; and that what they called faith was nothing but the knowledges that are first with every man; for example, that there is a God, that the Word is Divine, and the like, and that these knowledges are not in the man before they are in his will, but are in the entrance to him, which is his memory; but so far as they are in his will so far they are in the man himself, for the will is the man himself; and so far as they are in the will so far they are in his sight, which is faith. The knowledges themselves that precede, and that appear to the natural sight as if believed, do not until then come to be of faith; consequently this seeing the knowledges, that is thought to be of faith, recedes step by step from man as he begins from willing evil to think evil, and also recedes from him after death when man becomes a spirit, if the knowledges have not been rooted in his life, that is, in his will or love.

[4] This may be illustrated by a comparison with the stomachs of birds and beasts of the earth that are called ruminating stomachs. Into these they first collect their food, and afterwards by degrees take it out and eat it, and thus nourish the blood; food thus becomes a part of their life. With man the memory corresponds to these stomachs; and man is endowed with memory instead of these because he is spiritual; into this he first gathers spiritual foods, which are knowledges, and afterwards he takes them out by a sort of ruminating, that is, by thinking and willing, and appropriates them, and thus makes them a part of his life.

From this comparison, although trifling, it can be seen that knowledges, unless implanted in the life by thinking and willing them and then doing them, are like food that remains unconsumed in ruminating stomachs, where it either becomes putrid or is vomited out. Moreover, the circle of man's life is to know, 1 to understand, to will, and to do; for man's spiritual life begins with knowing, passes next to understanding, then to willing, and finally to doing. From this it is clear that so long as knowledges are in the memory they are merely in the entrance to the life, and that they are not fully in man until they are in acts, and the more fully they are in acts the more fully they are in the understanding and will.

[5] It was further shown that the faith of knowledges before it becomes the faith of life is historical faith, the nature of which is well known, namely, that it is believed because another has said it; until this has been made man's own it is an alien thing, or something with ourself belonging to someone else. Historical faith, moreover, is like a belief in things unknown, for it is said that things must be believed though not understood, yea, that they must not be searched into by the understanding; and yet spiritual faith is such that in it truths themselves are seen and are consequently believed. In heaven no one believes any truth unless he sees it or has seen it; for they say, "Who can believe that a thing is so unless he sees it? It may possibly be false." And only the evil can believe what is false; for the evil from evil see falsities, but the good from good see truths; and as good is from the Lord, so also seeing truth from good is from the Lord. Angels see truths because the light of heaven, in which they are, is Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; all, therefore, even those in the world, who are in that light are able to see truth. (Of the light of heaven, and that it is such, see in the work on Heaven and Hell 126-140.)

[6] It was then shown that charity and faith act as one and enter together into man, thus that man is so far in faith as he is in charity, since faith as to its essence is charity, just as truth as to its essence is good; for good, when it exists in shape or in form is truth; in like manner charity is faith, for good is of charity and truth is of faith; moreover, the one loves the other and conjoins itself to the other, therefore one is not given unless the other be with it. This was illustrated by man's thought, which is of his understanding, and his affection, which is of his will; to think apart from affection is impossible, for the very essence of thought is affection or love. Man is able, to be sure, to think all things that he knows from the doctrine of the church, but only from a natural affection, which is the affection or love of glory, fame, honor or gain; but such an affection does not make thought to be spiritual; this requires charity, which is spiritual affection itself. When this is conjoined with knowledges there is faith, and then so far as man is in that affection he sees in thought the things that are of his faith, which are called truths, and acknowledges them, because they are from his very spirit, thus from his very spiritual life. This also is what is called illustration; and this is why no one can be illustrated from the Word unless he is in the spiritual affection of truth. Something like illustration there is, indeed, with those who have confirmed themselves in such things as are of the doctrine of faith alone and justification by faith; but that illustration is a fatuous illustration, since falsities as well as truths can be confirmed, like all those heresies that prevail both among the Jews and among Papists. With those who are called naturalists, and who deny God, the Divinity of the Word, and all other things belonging to the church, there is a similar light after confirmations; like that with those who have confirmed themselves in faith alone and justification by faith. (That the light of confirmation is natural, not spiritual, and exists also with the evil, see Arcana Coelestia 8780.)

[7] But let us return to the faith that in its essence is charity. That faith is continually perfected by such things as confirm; for from spiritual light more truths are constantly being seen, and all these join themselves to the good of charity, and perfect it. From this man has intelligence and wisdom, which at length become angelic. Moreover, those who are merely in the knowledges of faith, and not in a life according to them, believe that man can easily receive faith, if not in the world yet in another life, saying within themselves, "When I hear and see that a thing is so can I not believe it?" But they are greatly mistaken; for those who have not received spiritual faith in the world can never afterwards receive it, even if they were to hear of it and see it a thousand times; and for the reason that such a faith is not in man, but outside of him. That this is so can be clearly seen from this, that all who come from the world are first received by angels and good spirits, and instructed in every way, yea, many things are shown them to the life and before their very eyes, and yet they do not receive; thus they alienate themselves from angels and good spirits, and join those who are in no faith.

[8] Again, it was also told them, that if faith could be received by merely knowing and thinking it would be received by all, 2 the evil and the good alike, and thus no one would be damned. That charity, which is spiritual affection, can never be given to anyone unless he knows truths, examines himself by means of them, accepts them, and leads a new life in accordance with them, may be seen above n. 239. From this it follows that charity is the life of faith, and that there is nothing of life in faith except in the measure of the charity that is in it; and also that in the measure that charity is in faith man is led by the Lord, but in the measure that charity is not in faith man is led by himself; and he who is led by himself and not by the Lord is unable to think of good, still less to will and do good which is good in itself; for from what is man's own [ex proprio] nothing proceeds except evil; for when a man thinks of good, and wills and does good and 3 what is his own [ex propio], it is only for his own sake and for the sake of the world, which are the ends of what he does, and the ends are the loves that lead him; and man cannot be withdrawn from his selfhood [a suo proprio] or elevated unless he looks to the Lord in regard to the things that are of life; by this looking he is conjoined with heaven, and from heaven a spiritual affection is given him by the Lord. When this had been said, it was granted to those with whom I was talking on this subject to be in spiritual light, which light is such that in it truths can be seen as clearly as objects in the world are seen in its light; and then those who were in the doctrine of faith alone and justification by faith could not but affirm that this was true; but as soon as that light was taken away from them, and they were let back into their own light, which was natural, they were unable to see otherwise than that the sight of knowledges is saving faith, and therefore that the falsities that they had made part of their faith were truths. Falsities come to be of the faith when evils are of the life.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 239)

[9] But to return to the explanation of the words of this passage, "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be enriched," which signifies that they should acquire for themselves from the Lord genuine good, that they may be able to receive truths. It now remains to be shown that "gold" in the Word signifies the good of love. This can be seen from the following passages. In Malachi:

Behold, I send My angel [messenger] who shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the angel [messenger] of the covenant whom ye desire; He shall sit refining and purifying silver, and shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall purge them as gold and silver, that they may bring to Jehovah an offering in righteousness (Malachi 3:1-3).

These things are said of the Lord's coming. It is said that Jehovah is to send a messenger [an angel] who will prepare the way before Him; and the messenger [angel] meant is John the Baptist, as is known. "Before Me," or before Jehovah, means before the Lord's Divine Itself; "the temple to which He is to come" means His Divine Human; this is also called "the messenger [angel] of the covenant," because through it there is a conjunction of men and angels with the Divine Itself, for covenant means conjunction. "The silver that He shall sit refining and purifying" means truth from good; "the sons of Levi" mean all those who are in the good of charity and in the truths of faith therefrom; it is therefore said, "He shall purge them as gold and silver." This is said because "gold" signifies good, and "silver" the truth therefrom. "Bringing to Jehovah an offering in righteousness" means worship of the Lord from the good of charity. (That "temple" signifies the Lord's Divine Human, see above, n. 220; that "covenant" signifies conjunction, see Arcana Coelestia 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778, 9396, 10632; that "silver" signifies truth from good, n. 1551, 1552, 2954, 5658; that "an offering" signifies the good of love and charity, n. 4581, 9992-9994, 10079, 10137; that "righteousness" is predicated of good, n. 2235, 9857.) Therefore "to bring an offering in righteousness" signifies worship from the good of love.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 665-666, 1551-1552; The Apocalypse Explained 220)

[10] In Zechariah:

Two parts in all the land shall be cut off, shall expire, but the third shall be left therein. Yet I will lead the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried. (Zechariah 13:8-9)

"All the land" does not mean all the land, but the whole church; nor does "the third part" mean a third part, but some in the church. "To lead it through the fire, and refine as silver is refined, and to try as gold is tried," signifies to so purify them from falsities and evils that good and truth may be implanted. (That "earth" [land] in the Word signifies the church, see Arcana Coelestia 662, 1066, 1068, 1262, 1413, 1607, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 6516, 9325, 9643; that "a third part" signifies some, n. 2788.) In these passages there are comparisons of "silver" and "gold" with truth and good; but in the Word all things that serve as comparisons also correspond, and thence signify (see Arcana Coel (Arcana Coelestia 3579, 8989[1-11]) estia, n. 3579, 8989). Because "gold tried by fire" signifies the good of love purified from evils, it was commanded:

That the gold and silver taken from the Midianites should be passed through the fire, and thus be purified (Numbers 31:22-23).

[11] That "gold" signifies the good of love and of charity is shown further in the following passages.

In Hosea:

Israel hath forsaken good; the enemy pursueth him; they have made their silver and their gold into idols for themselves (Hosea 8:3-4).

"Making their silver and their gold into idols for themselves" signifies that they have turned truth and good into falsities and evils, as is evident from its being said, "Israel hath forsaken good, and the enemy pursueth him;" "the enemy" is falsity from evil, and evil from falsity.

[12] In Joel:

What are ye to Me, O Tyre and Zidon? My silver and My gold ye have taken, and the desirable things of My goods have ye brought into your temples, and the sons of Judah, and the sons of Jerusalem ye have sold to the sons of the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their borders (Joel 3:4-6).

"Tyre and Zidon" mean those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good; here those who have perverted these, and applied them to falsities and to the evils of falsities; this is signified by "Ye have taken My silver and My gold, and the desirable things of My goods have ye brought into your temples;" "silver" signifying truth, "gold" good, and "the desirable things of goods" signifying derived truths and goods, which are knowledges from the sense of the letter of the Word; "to bring them into their temples" signifies to turn them into profane worship; that "they sold the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem to the sons of the Grecians" means that they changed all the truths of good into the falsities of evil; "removing them far from their borders" means far from truths themselves. (That "Tyre and Zidon" mean those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good, see Arcana Coelestia 1201; that "sons of Judah and sons of Jerusalem" mean all truths of good, because "sons" signify truths, n. 1729, 1733, 2159, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 7499, 8897, 9807; "Judah" the celestial church, n. 3654, 6364; "Jerusalem" the church where there is genuine doctrine, n. 3654, 9166; that "sons of the Grecians" mean falsities, because "Grecians" signify the nations that are in falsities, see above, n. 50.)

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 50)

[13] In Ezekiel:

The traders of Sheba and Raamah, by the chief of all spices, and by every precious stone and gold, they gave for thy tradings (Ezekiel 27:22).

In the same:

In thy wisdom and thine intelligence thou hadst made to thyself wealth, and hast gotten gold and silver in thy treasures. Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, and gold (Ezekiel 28:4, 13).

In these two passages also Tyre is treated of, and by it, as was said above, those within the church who are in the knowledges of truth and good are meant. (By "her tradings" those knowledges themselves are meant. "Sheba and Raamah" also mean those who are in these knowledges, see Arcana Coelestia 1171, 3240; "spices" signify truths which are pleasing because from good, see n. 4748, 5621, 9474, 9475, 10199, 10254; "precious stones" signify truths, which are beautiful because from good, n. 9863, 9865, 9868, 9873, 9905; "the garden of Eden" signifies intelligence and wisdom therefrom, n. 100, 108, 1588, 2702, 3220.) Now because these things signify the knowledges of truth and of good, and "gold and silver" the goods and truths themselves, and because through these all intelligence and wisdom are acquired, it is said, "In thine intelligence and thy wisdom thou hast gotten gold and silver in thy treasures."

(References: Arcana Coelestia 9474-9475)

[14] In Lamentations:

How is the gold become dim! How is the most pure gold changed! The stones of holiness are poured out at the head of every street. The sons of Zion are esteemed equal to pure gold; how are they reputed as earthen bottles, the work of the hands of the potter! (Lamentations 4:1-2).

Here the vastation of the church is treated of; "the gold that is become dim, and the most pure gold that is changed," signify the goods of the church; "the stones of holiness that are poured out at the head of every street," signify the truths therefrom that are falsified; "the sons of Zion, who were esteemed equal to pure gold," signify the truths of the former church; "earthen bottles, the work of the hands of the potter," signify evils of life from falsities of doctrine, which are from self-intelligence.

[15] In Ezekiel:

I decked thee with ornaments, and I gave bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy garments of fine linen and silk and broidered work. Thou didst also take the vessels of thine adorning of My gold and My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images with which thou couldst commit whoredom (Ezekiel 16:11, 13, 17-18).

Here Jerusalem is treated of, which signifies the church in respect to doctrine (as above). "The ornaments with which she was decked" signify in general all truths from good and intelligence therefrom (Arcana Coelestia 10536, 10540); "bracelets upon the hands" signify in particular, truths from good (3103, 3105); "the chain upon the neck" signifies the conjunction of interior truths and goods with exterior, or things spiritual with things natural (5320); "fine linen" signifies genuine truth, and "silk" the same, resplendent from interior good (5319, 9469); "broidered work" signifies knowledge [scientificum] pertaining to the natural man (n. 9688); "the images with which she committed whoredom" are the fallacies of the senses, that appear as truths to those who are in falsities; "to commit whoredom with them" is to establish falsities by fallacies (that "to commit whoredom" signifies to imbue with falsities, see above, n. 141. From this it is clear that the contents of this chapter describe the church as it was when first established by the Lord, and as it afterwards became.

(References: Ezekiel 16:17; The Apocalypse Explained 141)

[16] In Isaiah:

Behold, I stir up against them the Medes, who shall not value silver, and shall not delight in gold; their bows shall dash to pieces the young men, their eye shall not spare the sons (Isaiah 13:17-18).

The "Medes" mean those who are against the truths and goods of the church; it is therefore said of them, "they shall not value silver nor delight in gold;" "silver" is the truth of the church, and "gold" its good. Their "bows" signify the doctrinals of falsity fighting against truths and goods (Arcana Coelestia 2686 Arcana Coelestia 2686[1-8], 2709); "the young men whom they shall dash to pieces" signify those who are intelligent from truths (n. 7668); "the sons whom they shall not spare" signify the truths themselves.

[17] In the same:

The troop of camels shall cover thee; they all shall come from Sheba; they shall bring gold and frankincense; and they shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah. The isles hope in Me, and the ships of Tarshish, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them (Isaiah 60:6, 9).

Here the coming of the Lord is treated of, and "the troop of camels" means all who are in the knowledges of truth and good (Arcana Coelestia 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145); "Sheba, from which they shall come," means where those knowledges themselves are (n. 1171, 3240); "the gold and frankincense which they shall bring" mean goods and truths from good, which are therefore pleasing, "gold" is goods, and "frankincense" truths (n. 9993, 10177, 10296); "the isles which shall hope" mean the nations that are in Divine worship, but more remote from the truths of the church (n. 1158); "the ships of Tarshish" mean the general knowledges of truth and good, which contain many knowledges in particular (n. 1977, 6385); "the sons whom they shall bring from far" mean truths more remote, "sons" meaning truths (as above), and "from far" those more remote (n. 1613, 9487); "their silver and gold with them" signify the knowledges of truth and good with them.

Like things are signified by:

The wise men who came from the East to the place where Christ was born, offering gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).

They offered these because these signified goods and truths, interior and exterior, which are gifts pleasing to God.

[18] In David:

All kings shall bow themselves before Him; and all nations shall serve Him. He shall save the souls of the needy. And they shall live, and He shall give them of the gold of Sheba (Psalms 72:11, 13, 15).

Here also the coming of the Lord is treated of; by "kings that shall bow themselves before Him," and "nations that shall serve Him," all who are in truths from good are meant (that "kings" signify those who are in truths, see above, n. 31; and that "nations" signify those who are in good, see also above, n. 175; "the needy whom He shall save" mean those who are not in the knowledges of good and truth but yet long for them (see also above, n. 238; "the gold of Sheba, of which He shall give them," means the good of love into which the Lord shall lead them by means of knowledges (what "Sheba" signifies see just above).

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 31, The Apocalypse Explained 175, The Apocalypse Explained 238)

[19] In Haggai:

I will stir up all nations, that they may come, the choice of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory. The silver is Mine, and the gold. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former (Haggai 2:7-9).

This also treats of the coming of the Lord; by "nations" those who are in good and in truths therefrom are meant; by "house" the church (Arcana Coelestia 3720); "the glory with which it shall be filled" means Divine truth (n. 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429). "The silver is Mine, and the gold," means that truth and good are from the Lord alone.

[20] In Zechariah:

The wealth of all nations round about shall be gathered together, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance (Zechariah 14:14).

"The wealth of all nations" means knowledges, wheresoever they are, even with the evil; "gold, silver, and garments, in great abundance," mean goods and truths, spiritual and natural. The like was signified by:

The gold, silver, and garments that the sons of Israel borrowed from the Egyptians, when they went away from them (Exodus 3:22; 11:2, 3; 12:35-36).

Why this was done, and what it involves, may be seen in The Arcana Coelestia 6914, 6917, namely, to represent that the things the evil have shall be taken away from them and given to the good (according to the Lord's words in Matthew 25:28, 29; and in Luke 19:24, 26); and that they should make to themselves friends by the unrighteous mammon (according to the words of the Lord in Luke 16:9). "The unrighteous mammon" means the knowledges of truth and good with those who do not possess them justly, who are those that do not apply them to life.

(References: Exodus 11:2-3; Matthew 25:28-29)

[21] In David:

Kings' daughters are among thy precious ones; at Thy right hand stood the queen in the best gold of Ophir. The king's daughter is all glorious within; her vesture is inwrought with gold (Psalms 45:9, 13).

This treats of the Lord; and "a king's daughter" means the church that is in the affection of truth, which is described by "kings' daughters are among His precious ones," which means the affections of truths themselves; "at His right hand doth stand the queen in the best gold of Ophir" means the Lord's celestial kingdom, which is in the good of love; "her vesture is inwrought with gold" means that its truths are from good.

[22] In Matthew:

Jesus said to His disciples whom He sent forth to preach the gospel, that they should possess no gold, nor silver, nor brass in their purses (Matthew 10:9);

by this was represented that they should have nothing of good and truth from themselves, but only from the Lord, and that all things would be given them freely. Because "gold" signified the good of love:

The table on which the shewbread was placed was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:23-24);

Likewise the altar of incense, which was thence called the golden altar (Exodus 30:3);

For the same reason the lampstand was made of pure gold (Exodus 25:31, 38);

Also the cherubim (Exodus 25:18);

And for the same reason the ark was overlaid within and without with gold (Exodus 25:11);

Likewise many things in the temple at Jerusalem.

For the tabernacle, in which were the ark, the cherubim, the table on which was the shewbread, the altar of incense, and the lampstand, represented heaven, and so did the temple; therefore the gold therein signified the good of love, and the silver truth from good.

(References: Exodus 25:17-18, 25:31-38)

[23] As what is most holy in heaven was represented by the gold in the temple:

When Belshazzar drank wine out of the vessels of gold brought out of that temple, and at the same time praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, there appeared written on the wall: Numbered, weighed, divided; and in that night he was slain (Daniel 5:2);

for thereby was signified the profanation of good.

[24] Moreover "gold" in the Word in a contrary sense signifies the evil of self-love, and "silver" the falsity therefrom. As in Moses:

The silver and gold of the nations they shall not covet, for they are abominations, nor bring them into their houses, but they shall be accursed, because they are to be abhorred and abominated (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).

But this signification of "gold" and "silver" shall be spoken of further on.


1. For "is to know" the Latin has "and to know."

2. For "received by all" the Latin has "received that by all."

3. For "and what is his own" the context requires "from what is his own. "


(References: Exodus 25:31-38; Ezekiel 16:17; Revelation 3:18)

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