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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 #9212

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)

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9212. If taking a pledge thou shalt take in pledge thy companion's garment. That hereby is signified, if memory-truths be separated through fallacies derived from the things of sense, is evident from the signification of "taking a pledge," as being to receive a token for goods that have been communicated; for a pledge is a token for goods that are lent. When spiritual things are understood in the place of these, to communicate goods means to instruct in truths, and a token or pledge then means sensuous truth; for by the "garment" mentioned here as given in pledge, is signified the ultimate of the natural, which is the sensuous. As this abounds in fallacies, and fallacies extinguish truths, therefore by "taking thy companion's garment in pledge" is signified the separation of truths by fallacies derived from the things of sense. That these things are signified, is evident from the series of the things as they follow in the internal sense.

[2] By a "garment" in general is signified all that which clothes something else, thus whatever is relatively exterior. Consequently the external or natural man is called a "garment" relatively to the internal or spiritual man. In like manner truth is called a "garment" relatively to good, because truth clothes good; so likewise is memory-truth relatively to the truth of faith, which is of the internal man. The sensuous, which is the ultimate of life with man, is a "garment" relatively to memory-truth. (That "garments" denote lower things which cover higher ones, or what is the same, exterior things which cover interior ones, see n. 2576, 5248; in general that they denote truths, n. 4545, 4763, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6917, 9093; that they denote memory-truths, n. 6918; also sensuous truths, n. 9158; and that the sensuous is the ultimate of life with man, n. 4009, 5077, 5125, 5128, 5767, 5774, 6201, 6313, 7442, 7693, and is in fallacies, n. 5084, 5089, 6201, 6948, 6949, 7442)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6948-6949)


[3] That "garments" denote truths, originates from the representatives in the other life, where angels and spirits appear clothed in garments according to the states of faith or of truth in which they are; and their garments vary according to the changes of this state. Those who are in genuine truth appear clothed in white garments, and those who are in truths derived from good in shining garments; but those who are solely in good, as are the angels of the inmost heaven, who are called celestial, appear without clothing. From this then it is that garments denote truths, and that by "garments" in the Word are signified truths, as can be seen from the passages before quoted, to which may be added the following from the Evangelists.

[4] In Matthew:

When Jesus was transfigured, His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as the light (Matthew 17:2);

by "the face" in the Word are signified the interiors, especially the affections (n. 358, 1999, 2434, 3527, 3573, 4066, 4796, 4797, 5102, 5695, 6604, 6848, 6849); and by "the face of God," good itself (n. 222, 223, 5585); by "the sun" is signified the Divine love (n. 2441, 2495, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696, 7083, 8644). From this it is evident what is signified by "the face of the Lord shining as the sun," namely, that His interiors were the good of the Divine love. That "His garments became as the light" signifies the Divine truth proceeding from Him, which in heaven also appears as light (n. 1521, 1619-1632, 3195, 3222, 3485, 3636, 3643, 4415, 5400, 8644).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 222-223, Arcana Coelestia 4796-4797, 6848-6849)


[5] Again:

When Jesus drew nigh unto Jerusalem they brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments, and set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; but others cut branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way (Matthew 21:1, 21:7-8);

to ride on an ass and her colt was a representative of the highest judge and king (see n. 2781), as is also evident from what goes before in verse 5: Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass and upon a colt, the son of a beast of burden (Matthew 21:5; see also Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40;John 12:12-15). In Zechariah 9:9it is said of the Lord that He "was riding upon an ass, even upon a young ass, the son of she-asses," and He is there called a "King;" and it is added that "His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth." That the highest judge rode upon a she-ass, and his sons upon young asses, maybe seen in Judges 5:9-10; 10:3-4; 12:14; and that the king rode upon a she-mule, and the sons of the king upon mules, in 1 Kings 1:33, 1 Kings 1:38, 1 Kings 1:44-45, and in 2 Samuel 13:29.

(References: John 12:12-16; Zechariah 9:9-10)


[6] By the disciples putting their garments on the ass and her colt, was represented that truths in the whole complex were submitted to the Lord as the Highest Judge and King; for the disciples represented the church of the Lord in respect to its truths and goods (n. 2129, 3488, 3858, 6397), and their garments represented the truths themselves (n. 4545, 4763, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6917, 9093) The like was represented by the multitude strewing their garments in the way, and also branches of trees. The reason why they strewed them in the way was that by "a way" is signified the truth whereby the man of the church is led (n. 627, 2333, 3477). The reason why they strewed branches of trees, was that trees signified the perceptions and also the knowledges of truth and good (n. 2682, 2722, 2972, 4552, 7692), consequently "the branches" denote the truths themselves. This was done also in conformity with a customary rite; for when the highest judges and kings rode in their solemn procession, the princes of the people then put their garments on the asses and mules, and the people themselves strewed their garments on the way, or in their place the branches of trees; for the judicial function in heaven is the Divine truth from the Divine good, and the regal one is the Divine truth (n. 1728, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148).

[7] In Luke:

No man addeth a piece of a new garment to an old garment; for so he rendeth the new, and the piece from the new doth not agree with the old (Luke 5:36).

The Lord used this similitude to describe the truth of the new church and the truth of the old church, for the "garment" denotes truth. To "sew" or "add" one to the other denotes to destroy both; for the truth of the new church is interior truth, thus is truth for the internal man; but the truth of the old church is exterior truth, thus is for the external man. In the latter truth was the Jewish Church, for by means of external things this church represented internal ones; whereas the church at this day is in the internal truths which had been represented; for the Lord revealed these truths. That these truths do not agree with external truths so as to be together with them, is signified by the above words of the Lord. From this also it is evident that a "garment" signifies the truth of the church.

[8] In John:

Jesus said unto Peter, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast a boy, thou girdedst thy loins, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hand, and another shall gird thy loins, and lead thee whither thou wouldest not (John 21:18);

he who does not know the internal sense of the Word, cannot know what these words involve. That they contain arcana is very evident. In the internal sense by "Peter" is signified the faith of the church (see the preface to Genesis 18 and 2 2760. 3750, 6000, 6073, 6344). Thus by "Peter when a boy" is signified the faith of the church such as it is in its beginning; and by "Peter when old," the faith of the church such as it is at its end. From this it is evident what is signified by the words, "when thou wast a boy, thou girdedst thy loins, and walkedst whither thou wouldest," namely, that the faith of the church in its beginning is the faith of truth from good, thus the faith of charity toward the neighbor and of love to the Lord, and that then the man of the church does good from freedom, because from the Lord; for "the loins" denote the goods of love (n. 3021, 3294, 4280, 4575, 5050-5062), consequently "to gird the loins" denotes to clothe good with truths; "walking" denotes living (n. 519, 1794, 8417, 8420); thus "walking whither one would" denotes living in freedom, for those live in freedom, or act from freedom, who are in faith from love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, because they are led by the the Lord, (n. 892, 905, 2870-2893, 6325, 9096). "When thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thy loins, and lead thee whither thou wouldest not," signifies that at the end of the church there will be no faith, and then falsities of evil from the loves of self and the world will take its place, and will reduce it to bondage. This is the secret which lies hidden in these words of the Lord, and which can be seen only from their internal sense. From this it is again evident in what manner the Lord spoke, namely, that in every detail there was an internal sense, to the intent that by means of the Word heaven might be conjoined with the world; for without the Word there is no conjunction, that is, without revealed Divine truth; and if there is no conjunction, the human race perishes.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135, 2870, Arcana Coelestia 9593; Exodus 22:26)

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