Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
Behold the word of Jehovah came unto him. That this signifies an answer, namely that there should not be what is external of the church, but that there should be what is internal, is evident from what follows. "The word of Jehovah," or this answer, is the consolation.1802.
Saying, This one shall not be thine heir. That this signifies that what is external shall not be the heir of His kingdom, is evident from the signification of becoming an heir, or inheriting, explained just above. The heir of the Lord's kingdom is not what is external, but what is internal. What is external is so too, but through what is internal, for they then act as a one. That it may be known how the case herein is, it is to be kept in mind that all who are in the heavens-as well those who are in the first and in the second, as those who are in the third,-that is, as well those who are external and those who are interior, as those who are internal-are heirs of the Lord's kingdom; for they all make one heaven. In the Lord's heavens, the internals and the externals are circumstanced exactly as they are in man. The angels in the first heaven are subordinate to those in the second, and these are subordinate to the angels in the third heaven. The subordination, however, is not that of command, but is, as in a man, the influx of things internal into things more external; that is, the Lord's life inflows through the third heaven into the second, and through this into the first, in the order of their succession, besides that it inflows immediately into all the heavens. The inferior or subordinate angels do not know that this is so unless reflection is given them by the Lord; thus there is no subordination of command.  In proportion to the existence of what is internal in an angel of the third heaven is he an heir of the Lord's kingdom; and in proportion to the same in an angel of the second heaven is he an heir; and in like manner, in proportion to the existence of what is internal in an angel of the first heaven, is he too an heir. It is that which is internal that causes anyone to be an heir. With the interior angels there is more of what is internal than there is with the more external angels, and therefore the former are nearer to the Lord, and are more fully heirs. That which is internal is love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; in proportion therefore to the love and the charity which they have, in the same proportion are they sons and heirs, for in the same proportion are they partakers of the Lord's life.  But no one can possibly be taken up from the first or external heaven into the second or interior heaven until he has been instructed in the goods of love and the truths of faith. So far as he has been instructed, so far he can be taken up, and can come among angelic spirits. It is the same with angelic spirits before they can be taken up or come into the third heaven, or among angels. By instruction the interiors are formed, and thereby the internals, and are adapted to receiving the goods of love and the truths of faith, and thereby the perception of what is good and true. No one can perceive what he does not know and believe, consequently he cannot be gifted with the faculty of perceiving the good of love and the truth of faith except by means of knowledges, so as to know what they are and of what nature. It is so with all, even with infants, who are all instructed in the Lord's kingdom. But these are easily instructed, because they are imbued with no principles of falsity; they are however instructed in general truths only; and when they receive these they perceive things without number or limit.  The case in this respect is the same as it is with one who has been persuaded respecting any truth in general: the particulars of the general truths, and the singulars of the particulars, which are confirmatory, he easily learns, as it were of himself, or spontaneously; for he is affected by the truth in general, and thence also by the particulars and singulars of the same truth, which confirm; for these enter into the general affection with delight and pleasantness, and thus constantly perfect it. These are the internal things on account of which they are called "heirs," or by means of which they can inherit the Lord's kingdom. But they first begin to be heirs, or to have a heritage, when they are in the affection of good, that is, in mutual love, into which they are introduced by the knowledges of good and truth, and by the affections of them; and in proportion as they are in the affection of good, or in mutual love, in the same proportion are they "heirs," or have an inheritance. For mutual love is the veriest life [vitale] which they receive from the Lord's essence, as from their Father. These things may be seen from what follows in the next verse.1803.
But he that shall go forth out of thy bowels. That this signifies those who are in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor, is evident from the signification of "bowels," and of "going forth out of the bowels," which is to be born; and here it means those who are being born of the Lord. They who are being born of the Lord, that is, who are being regenerated, receive the Lord's life. The Lord's life, as before said, is the Divine love, that is, love toward the whole human race; or His will to eternally save, if possible, the whole of it, or all men. They who have not the Lord's love, that is, who do not love the neighbor as themselves, never have the Lord's life, and therefore are never born of Him, that is, have not "come forth out of His bowels;" and therefore they cannot be heirs of His kingdom.  From which it is evident that by "to go forth out of the bowels," in the internal sense, are here signified those that are in love to Him and in love toward the neighbor. So in Isaiah: Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am Jehovah thy God, who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee in the way that thou shouldest walk. Oh that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments, and thy peace had been as a river, and thy righteousness as the billows of the sea, and thy seed had been as the sand, and those who go forth out of thy bowels as the gravel thereof (Isa. 48:17-19). The "seed as the sand," denotes good; and "those who go forth out of the bowels as the gravel," truth; thus those who have love, for these alone are in the love of good and truth.  Moreover, in the Word "bowels" signify love or mercy for the reason that the bowels of generation, especially the mother's womb, represent and thus signify chaste conjugial love, and the love for children that is derived from it. As in Isaiah: The stirring of Thy bowels and of Thy compassions toward me have restrained themselves (Isa. 63:15). In Jeremiah: Is not Ephraim a dear son onto Me? Is he not a child of delights? Therefore My bowels are troubled for him; in mercy I will have mercy upon him (Jer. 31:20).  It is evident from this that the Lord's love itself, or mercy itself, and compassion toward the human race, are what are signified in the internal sense by "bowels," and by "going forth out of the bowels;" consequently by "them that go forth out of the bowels" are signified those who have love. (That the Lord's kingdom is mutual love, may be seen above, n. 548, 549, 684, 693, 694.)1804.
He shall be thine heir. That this signifies that they shall become heirs, is evident from the signification of an "heir," already treated of.1805.
Verse 5. And He led him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them; and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. "He led him forth abroad," signifies the sight of the interior man which from external things sees internal; "and said, Look now toward heaven," signifies a representation of the Lord's kingdom in a mental view of the universe; "and number the stars," signifies a representation of things good and true in a mental view of the constellations; "if thou canst number them," signifies the fruitfulness of love and the multiplication of faith; "and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be," signifies the heirs of the Lord's kingdom.1806.
He led him forth abroad. That this signifies the sight of the interior man which from things external sees things internal, may be seen from the signification of "leading forth abroad," in connection with what follows. Things internal are led forth, when with the eyes of the body a man contemplates the starry heaven, and thence thinks of the Lord's kingdom. Whenever a man sees anything with his eyes, and sees the things that he looks upon as if he saw them not, but from them sees or thinks of the things which are of the church or of heaven, then his interior sight, or that of his spirit or soul, is "led forth abroad." The eye itself is properly nothing but the sight of his spirit led forth abroad, and this especially to the end that he may see internal things from external; that is, that he may, from the objects in the world, reflect continually upon those which are in the other life; for this is the life for the sake of which he lives in the world. Such was the sight in the Most Ancient Church; such is the sight of the angels who are with man; and such was the Lord's sight.1807.
And said, Look now toward heaven. That this signifies a representation of the Lord's kingdom in a mental view of the universe, may be seen from the signification of "heaven." "Heaven" in the Word, in the internal sense, does not signify the heavens which appear to the eyes; but the Lord's kingdom, universally and particularly. When a man who is looking at internal things from external sees the heavens, he does not think at all of the starry heaven, but of the angelic heaven; and when he sees the sun, he does not think of the sun, but of the Lord, as being the Sun of heaven. So too when he sees the moon, and the stars also; and when he sees the immensity of the heavens, he does not think of their immensity, but of the immeasurable and infinite power of the Lord. It is the same when he sees all other things, for there is nothing that is not representative.  In like manner as regards the things on the earth; as when he beholds the dawning of the day he does not think of the dawn, but of the arising of all things from the Lord, and of progression into the day of wisdom. So when he sees gardens, groves, and flower-beds, his eye remains not fixed on any tree, its blossom, leaf, and fruit; but on the heavenly things which these represent; nor on any flower, and its beauty and pleasantness; but on what they represent in the other life. For there is nothing beautiful and delightful in the skies or on the earth, which is not in some way representative of the Lord's kingdom (concerning which see what is said, n. 1632). This is the "looking toward heaven" which signifies a representation of the Lord's kingdom in a mental view of the universe.  The reason why all things in the sky and on earth are representative, is that they have come forth and do continually come forth, that is, subsist, from the influx of the Lord through heaven. It is with these things as it is with the human body, which comes forth and subsists by means of the soul; on which account all things in the body both in general and in particular are representative of the soul. The soul is in the use and the end; but the body is in the performance of them. All effects, whatever they may be, are in like manner representatives of the uses which are the causes; and the uses are representative of the ends which belong to the first principles.  They who are in Divine ideas never come to a stand in the objects of the external sight; but from them and in them constantly see internal things. The veriest internal things themselves are those which are of the Lord's kingdom, thus those which are in the veriest end itself. It is the same with the Word of the Lord; he who is in Divine things never regards the Lord's Word from the letter; but regards the letter and the literal sense as being representative and significative of the celestial and spiritual things of the church and of the Lord's kingdom. To him the literal sense is merely an instrumental means for thinking of these. Such was the Lord's sight.1808.
And number the stars. That this signifies a representation of what is good and true in a mental view of the constellations, is evident from what has just been said; and also from the representation and signification of "the stars," as being things good and true. The "stars" are frequently mentioned in the Word, and everywhere they signify things good and true, and also, in the contrary sense, things evil and false; or what is the same, they signify angels or societies of angels, and also in the contrary sense evil spirits and their associations. When they signify angels or societies of angels, they are then fixed stars; but when evil spirits and their associations, they are wandering stars, as I have very frequently seen.  That all things in the skies and on the earth are representative of celestial and spiritual things, has been evidenced by this plain indication, that things similar to those which appear before the eyes in the sky and on the earth, are also presented to view in the world of spirits, and this as plainly as in clear day; and there they are nothing but representatives. For instance, when the starry heaven appears, and the stars therein are fixed, it is instantly known that they signify things good and true; and when the stars appear wandering, it is instantly known that they signify things evil and false. From the very glow and sparkle of the stars it may also be known of what kind they are; besides numberless other things. Hence, if one is willing to think wisely, he may know what is the origin of all things on the earth, namely, that it is the Lord; and the reason why they come forth on the earth not ideally but actually, is that all things, both celestial and spiritual, which are from the Lord, are living and essential, or as they are called substantial, and therefore they come forth into actual existence in ultimate nature (see n. 1632).  That the stars represent and signify things good and true, may be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah: The stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shine not with their light; the sun has been darkened in his going forth, and the moon doth not cause her light to shine; and I will visit evil upon the world, and their iniquity upon the wicked (Isa. 13:10-11); where the day of visitation is treated of. Everyone can see that by "the stars" and "constellations" here are not meant the stars and constellations, but things true and good; and by "the sun," love; and by "the moon," faith; for the evils and falsities which cause darkness are treated of.  In Ezekiel: When I shall extinguish thee I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof black; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine; all the luminaries of light I will make black over thee, and will set darkness upon thy land (Ezek. 32:7-8), where the meaning is similar. In Joel: The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon were blackened, and the stars withdrew their shining (Joel 2:10; 3:15), where the meaning is similar. In David: Praise Jehovah, sun and moon; praise Him, all ye stars of light; praise Him, ye heavens of heavens (Ps. 148:3-4), meaning the same.  That by the "stars" are not meant the stars, but things good and true, or what is the same, those who are in things good and true, as the angels are, is plainly said in John: I saw the Son of man; and He had in His right hand seven stars. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest upon My right hand, and the seven candlesticks: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches (Rev. 1:13, 16, 20).  Again: The fourth angel sounded, so that the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; that the third part of them should be darkened, and the day shone not for the third part of it, and the night in like manner (Rev. 8:12), where it is clearly evident that what is good and true was darkened. In Daniel: There came forth a little horn, which grew exceedingly toward the south and toward the east and toward adornment [decus] and it grew even to the army of the heavens; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the earth, and trampled upon them (Dan. 8:9-10), which words plainly show that "the army of the heavens" and "the stars" are things good and true, which were trampled upon.  From these passages may be seen what is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew: In the consummation of the age, immediately after the affliction of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matt. 24:29). And in Luke: There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations in despair, the sea and the waves roaring (Luke 21:25); where by "the sun" the sun is not meant at all, nor by "the moon" the moon, nor by "the stars" the stars, nor by "the sea" the sea; but the things which they represent, namely, by "the sun" the celestial things of love, by "the moon" the spiritual things, by "the stars" things good and true, that is, the knowledges of what is good and true, which are thus darkened near the consummation of the age, when there is no faith, that is, no charity.1809.
If thou canst number them. That this signifies the fruitfulness of love and the multiplication of faith, or what is the same, the fruitfulness of good and the multiplication of truth, may be seen without explication; for the words plainly mean that they cannot be numbered.1810.
So shall thy seed be. That this signifies the heirs of the Lord's kingdom, is evident from the signification of "seed," as being love and the faith derived from it, or what is the same, those who are in love and faith, both angels and men. That "seed" has this signification has already in various places been stated and shown. These words signify in general the Lord's kingdom, which is so vast and numerous that no one can ever credit it; so that it can only be expressed by IMMENSE. Its immensity will of the Lord's Divine mercy be treated of elsewhere; it is what is here signified by the words of this verse, "Look now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou canst number them; and He said unto him, so shall thy seed be." These words also signify the innumerable goods and truths of wisdom and intelligence, together with their attendant happiness, in every angel.1811.
Verse 6. And he believed in Jehovah, and He imputed it to him for righteousness. "He believed in Jehovah," signifies the Lord's faith at that time; "and He imputed it to him for righteousness," signifies that herein the Lord first became righteousness.1812.
He believed in Jehovah. That this signifies the Lord's faith at that time, is evident from the very words, and also from the connection of things in the internal sense; which is that while He lived in the world the Lord was in continual combats of temptations, and in continual victories, from a constant inmost confidence and faith that because He was fighting for the salvation of the whole human race from pure love, He could not but conquer; which is here meant by "believing in Jehovah." From the love from which anyone fights it is known what his faith is. He who fights from any other love than love toward the neighbor and toward the Lord's kingdom, does not fight from faith, that is, does not "believe in Jehovah," but in that which he loves, for the love itself for which he fights is his faith. For example: he who fights from the love of becoming the greatest in heaven, does not believe in Jehovah, but rather in himself; for to desire to become the greatest is to desire to command others; thus he fights for command; and so in all other cases. And thus from the love itself from which anyone fights, it may be known what his faith is.  But in all His combats of temptations the Lord never fought from the love of self, or for Himself, but for all in the universe, consequently, not that He might become the greatest in heaven, for this is contrary to the Divine Love, and scarcely even that He might be the least; but only that all others might become something, and be saved. As He also says in Mark: The two sons of Zebedee said, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy glory. Jesus said, Whoever would be great among you shall be your minister; and whoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be ministered onto, but to minister, and to give His soul a ransom for many (Mark 10:37, 43-45). This is the love, or this is the faith, from which the Lord fought, and which is here meant by "believing in Jehovah."1813.
He imputed it to him for righteousness. That this signifies that herein the Lord first became righteousness, may also be seen from the connection of things in the internal sense, in which the Lord is treated of. That the Lord alone became righteousness for the whole human race, may be seen from the fact that He alone fought from Divine love, namely, from love toward the whole human race, whose salvation was what in His combats He solely desired and burned for. In regard to His Human Essence the Lord was not born righteousness, but became righteousness through combats of temptations and victories, and this from His own power. As often as He fought and overcame, this was imputed to Him for righteousness, that is, it was added to the righteousness that He was becoming, as a continual increase, until He became pure righteousness.  A man who is born of a human father, or of the seed of a human father, when fighting from himself cannot fight from any other love than the love of self and of the world, thus not from heavenly love, but from infernal love, for such is the character of his Own from his father, in addition to the Own acquired by his own conduct. Therefore he who supposes that he fights from himself against the devil is hugely mistaken. In like manner he who desires to make himself righteous by his own powers-that is, to believe that the goods of charity and the truths of faith are from himself, consequently that he merits heaven by them-acts and thinks against the good and truth of faith; for it is a truth of faith, that is, it is the truth itself, that the Lord fights. And therefore because he then acts and thinks against the truth of faith, he takes away from the Lord what is His, and makes what is the Lord's to be his own, or what is the same, he puts himself in the Lord's place, and thereby puts that which is infernal in himself. Hence it is that such men desire to become great, or the greatest, in heaven; and hence it is that they falsely believe that the Lord fought against the hells in order that He might be the greatest. What is man's own is attended with such phantasies,, which appear as if they were truths, but are just the reverse.  That the Lord came into the world in order to become righteousness, and that He alone is righteousness, was also foretold by the prophets; and therefore this could have been known before His coming; and also that He could not become righteousness except through temptations, and victories over all evils and all the hells. As in Jeremiah: In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell in confidence, and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, Jehovah our righteousness (Jer. 23:6). In the same: In those days and in that time will I cause an Offshoot of righteousness to grow onto David, and He shall do judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell in confidence; and this is what they shall call Him, Jehovah our righteousness (Jer. 33:15-16). In Isaiah: He saw, and there was no man; and He wondered that there was none to intercede; and His arm brought salvation unto Him, and His righteousness it upheld Him. And He put on righteousness as a coat of mail, and a helmet of salvation upon His head (Isa. 59:16-17; see especially Isa. 63:3, 5). "His arm" means His own power. Because the Lord alone is righteousness, the "habitation of righteousness" also is mentioned in Jeremiah 31:23; 50:7.1814.
Verse 7. And He said unto him, I am Jehovah, who led thee forth out of Ur of the Chaldees to give thee this land to inherit it. "He said unto him, I am Jehovah," signifies the Lord's internal man, which was Jehovah, and from which He had perception; "who led thee forth out of Ur of the Chaldees," signifies the first state of the external man; "to give thee this land to inherit it," signifies the Lord's kingdom, of which He alone is the possessor.1815.
He said unto him, I am Jehovah. That this signifies the Lord's internal man, which is Jehovah, and from which He had perception, is evident from what has been already said, namely, that the Lord's Internal, that is, whatever the Lord received from the Father, was Jehovah in Him, for He was conceived from Jehovah. What a man receives from his father is one thing, and what he receives from his mother is another. From his father a man receives all that is internal, his soul itself or life being from the father; but he receives from his mother all that is external. In a word, the interior man, or spirit itself, is from the father; but the outer man, or body itself, is from the mother; which everyone can comprehend merely from the fact that the soul itself is implanted by the father, and this begins to clothe itself in a little bodily form in the ovum. Whatever is afterwards added, whether in the ovum or in the womb, is of the mother, for it has no increase from anywhere else.  It may be seen from this that as to His internals the Lord was Jehovah. But because the external, which the Lord received from the mother, was to be united to the Divine or Jehovah, and this through temptations and victories, as before said, it could not appear otherwise to Him in those states, than that when He spoke with Jehovah it was as it were with another; when yet He spoke with Himself, that is, so far as He was in a state of conjunction. The Lord's perception, which He had in the highest perfection above all who have been born, was from His Internal, that is, from Jehovah Himself, which is here signified in the internal sense by the words, "Jehovah said unto him."1816.
Who led thee forth out of Ur of the Chaldees. That this signifies the first state of His external man, may be seen from the signification of "Ur of the Chaldees." The maternal which the Lord received from birth, or the inheritance from the mother, is what is here signified by "Ur of the Chaldees." The nature of this has been described before. It was out of this maternal, or inheritance from the mother, that He was led forth whenever He conquered evils and falsities, that is, the hells.1817.
To give thee this land, to inherit it. That this signifies the Lord's kingdom, of which He alone is the possessor, is evident from the signification of the "land," here the Holy Land or Land of Canaan, as being the heavenly kingdom; and also from the signification of "inheriting," spoken of several times before. To "inherit the land," signifying to possess the heavenly kingdom, is here predicated of the Lord's Human Essence; for as to the Divine Essence He was the Possessor of the universe, consequently of the heavenly kingdom, from eternity.1818.
Verse 8. And he said, Lord Jehovih, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? "He said, Lord Jehovih," signifies a conversation, as it were, of the Interior man with the Internal; "whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?" signifies a temptation against the Lord's love, which desired to be fully assured.1819.
He said, Lord Jehovih. That this signifies a conversation, as it were, of the Interior man with the Internal, is evident from what was said in the preceding verse in connection with the words, "Jehovah said unto him;" and also from what was said (at verse 2 of this chapter) concerning the Lord Jehovih, as denoting the conversation of the Interior man with the Internal, or Jehovah, especially when He was in temptation.1820.
Whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? That this signifies a temptation against the Lord's love, which desired to be fully assured, may be seen from the doubt that is implied in the words themselves. He who is in temptation is in doubt concerning the end in view. The end in view is the love, against which the evil spirits and evil genii fight, and thereby put the end in doubt; and the greater the love is, the more do they put it in doubt. If the end which is loved were not put in doubt, and indeed in despair, there would be no temptation. Assurance respecting the result precedes the victory, and belongs to the victory.  As few know how the case is with temptations, it may here be briefly explained. Evil spirits never fight against other things than those which the man loves; the more ardently he loves them, the more fiercely do they wage the combat. It is evil genii who fight against the things that pertain to the affection of good, and evil spirits that fight against those which pertain to the affection of truth. As soon as they notice even the smallest thing which a man loves, or perceive as it were by scent what is delightful and dear to him, they forthwith assault it and endeavor to destroy it, and thereby the whole man, for man's life consists in his loves. Nothing is more delightful to them than to destroy a man in this way, nor would they desist, even to eternity, unless they were driven away by the Lord. They who are malignant and crafty insinuate themselves into man's very loves by flattering them, and thus bring the man among themselves; and presently, when they have brought him in, they attempt to destroy his loves, and thereby murder the man, and this in a thousand ways that cannot be comprehended.  Nor do they wage the combat simply by reasoning against things good and true, because such combats are of no account, for if they were vanquished a thousand times they would still persist, since reasonings against goods and truths can never be wanting. But they pervert the goods and truths, and inflame with a certain fire of cupidity and of persuasion, so that the man does not know otherwise than that he is in the like cupidity and persuasion; and at the same time they enkindle these with delight that they snatch from the man's delight in something else, and in this way they most deceitfully infect and infest him; and this they do with so much skill, by leading him on from one thing to another, that if the Lord did not aid him, the man would never know but that the case was really so.  They act in a similar way against the affections of truth that make the conscience: as soon as they perceive anything of conscience, of whatever kind, then from the falsities and failings in the man they form to themselves an affection; and by means of this they cast a shade over the light of truth, and so pervert it; or they induce anxiety and torture him. They also hold the thought persistently in one thing, and thus fill it with phantasies; and at the same time they clandestinely clothe the cupidities with the phantasies; besides innumerable other arts, which cannot possibly be described to the apprehension. These are a few of the means, and only the most general, by which they can make their way to man's conscience, for this above all else they take the greatest delight in destroying.  From these few statements, and they are very few, it may be seen what temptations are, and that they are, in general, such as the loves are, and from this we may see what was the nature of the Lord's temptations, that they were the most terrible of all, for such as is the greatness of the love, such is the fearful character of the temptation. The Lord's love was the salvation of the whole human race, and was most ardent; consequently it was the whole sum of the affection of good and affection of truth in the highest degree. Against these, with the most malignant wiles and venom, all the hells waged the combat; but still the Lord conquered them all by His own power. Victories are attended with the result that the malignant genii and spirits afterwards dare not do anything; for their life consists in their being able to destroy, and when they perceive that a man is of such a character that he can resist, then at the first onset they flee away, as they are wont to do when they draw near to the first entrance to heaven, for they are at once seized with horror and terror, and hurl themselves backward.1821.
Verse 9. And He said unto him, Take thee a heifer of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. "He said unto him," signifies perception; "take a heifer of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years," signifies the representatives of the celestial things of the church; a "heifer" being representative of exterior celestial things, a "she-goat" of interior celestial things, and a "ram" of spiritual celestial things; they were to be "three years" old, because they were to involve all things of the church as to times and states; "and a turtledove and a young pigeon," signifies the representatives of the spiritual things of the church; a "turtledove" those which are exterior, and a "young pigeon" those which are interior.1822.
He said unto him. That this signifies perception, is evident from what was said above at verses 2 and 7. Perception itself is nothing else than a kind of internal speech, which internal speech manifests itself by being perceived. All interior dictate, and even conscience, is nothing else; but perception is a higher or more interior degree of it.1823.
Take a heifer of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years. That this signifies the representatives of the celestial things of the church, is evident from the signification of the same animals in the sacrifices. No one who thinks sanely can believe that the various animals which were sacrificed signified nothing but sacrifices; or that an ox and a bullock or a calf signified the same as a sheep, a kid, and a she-goat, and these the same as a lamb; and that a turtledove signified the same as young pigeons; the fact being that every animal had its own special signification. This may be sufficiently evident from the fact that in no case was one offered instead of another; and that those are expressly named which were to be used in the daily burnt-offerings and sacrifices, those on the Sabbaths and festivals, those used in free-will offerings, vows, and peace-offerings, those in expiation of guilt and sin, and those in purifications; which would never have been so unless something special had been represented and signified by each animal.  But what was signified by each particular kind would be too tedious to explain here; it is sufficient to know now that celestial things were signified by the animals, and spiritual things by the birds; and by each kind, some special celestial or spiritual thing. The Jewish Church itself, and all things relating to it, were representative of such things as are of the Lord's kingdom, where there is nothing but what is celestial and spiritual, that is, nothing but what is of love and of faith; as may also be sufficiently evident from the signification of the clean and useful beasts, explained above (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 776). As in the Most Ancient Churches these were significative of heavenly goods, they afterwards became representative in the church, when worship merely external, which was also representative, was valued and acknowledged.  As the state of the church is here treated of, and it is foretold what that state is to be, this was shown to Abram by similar representatives, exactly as is here related; but still such things are signified in the internal sense, as indeed everyone may know and think; for what would be the need of taking a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon, of dividing them into two parts, and placing them so, unless everything had been significative? But what these things signified may be seen from what follows.1824.
That "a heifer" signifies the representatives of exterior celestial things, "a she-goat" the representatives of interior celestial things, and "a ram" those of spiritual celestial things, may be seen from the sacrifices, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter, where the sacrifices are treated of. There are exterior celestial things, and interior celestial things, as well as spiritual celestial things. Exterior celestial things are those which are of the external man, interior celestial things are those which are of the internal man, and spiritual celestial things are those which are derived from these. The celestial itself is love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor. This celestial flows in from the Lord, and in fact through the internal man into the external. In the interior man this is called the interior celestial; in the external man the exterior celestial. The exterior celestial is all affection of good; nay, it is also all the pleasure which comes from the affection of good. So far as the good of love and of charity is in these, that is, in the affection of good and in the pleasure derived from it, so far the celestial is in them, and also happiness. But the spiritual celestial is all the affection of truth in which there is the affection of good, or the affection of truth which is begotten by the affection of good; thus it is faith in which is charity, or faith which is begotten by charity.1825.
That "three years old" involves all things of the church as to times and states, is evident from the signification of "three" in the Word. By "three" is signified the full time of the church, from its origin even to its end, and thus all its state. The last time of the church is therefore signified by the third day, the third week, the third month, the third year and the third age, which are all the same. As the state of the church is signified by the number three, so also is the state of everyone who is a church, and everything which is of the church, as may be seen from the signification of this number in the passages adduced from the Word (n. 720, 901).  That "a heifer of three years" thus signifies the time or state of the church even to the last, that is, when it has been vastated or made desolate, may also be seen in Isaiah: My heart crieth out upon Moab; her fugitives are unto Zoar, a heifer of three years old; for by the ascent of Luhith, with weeping he shall go up in it; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of breaking to pieces (Isa. 15:5). Also in Jeremiah: Gladness and exultation are gathered from Carmel, and from the land of Moab; and I will make 1825-1 wine to cease from the winepresses; none shall tread with shouting; the shouting shall be no shouting. From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, even unto Jahaz have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto 1825-2 Horonaim, a heifer of three years old; for the waters of Nimrim also shall become desolations (Jer. 48:33-34). No one could possibly perceive what these things mean unless he knew what is signified by "Moab," by "Zoar," "the ascent of Luhith," "the cry of Heshbon unto Elealeh," by "Jahaz," by "Horonaim," "the waters of Nimrim," and by "a heifer three years old." That this is an uttermost vastation is plain.1826.
And a turtle-dove and a young pigeon. That this signifies the representatives of the spiritual things of the church, is evident from the signification of birds in general and of turtle-doves and pigeons in particular. That "birds" signify spiritual things, which are those of faith or of truth, and therefore are intellectual and rational things, was shown above (n. 40, 745, 776, 991); also that "doves" signify the goods and truths of faith (n. 870). What they signified in the sacrifices shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be stated in what follows, where the sacrifices are treated of. In the Word, especially in the prophetic part, when celestial things are spoken of, spiritual things also are spoken of, and in this way they are conjoined; because the one is from the other, so that the one is the other's (as before said, n. 639, 680, 683, 707, 793, 801).1827.
That "a turtle-dove" signifies the representatives of exterior spiritual things, and "a young pigeon" the representatives of interior spiritual things, may be seen from what has been said respecting celestial things, of which the exterior were signified by the "heifer," the interior by the "she-goat," and the intermediate by the "ram."1828.
Verse 10. And he took unto him all these and divided them in the midst, and laid each part over against the other; and the birds he did not divide. "He took unto him all these," signifies that it was so done; "and divided them in the midst," signifies the church and the Lord; "and laid each part over against the other," signifies a parallelism and correspondence as to celestial things; "and the birds he did not divide," signifies spiritual things, wherein there was not such parallelism and correspondence.1829.
He took unto him all these. That this signifies that it was so done, is evident without explication.1830.
And divided them in the midst. That this signifies the church and the Lord, is evident from what follows; for celestial things were signified by the heifer, the she-goat, and the ram, and spiritual things by the turtle-dove and the young pigeon; and these, when divided and placed opposite to each other, can have no other signification.1831.
And laid each part over against the other. That this signifies a parallelism and correspondence as to the celestial things, may be seen from the consideration that the parts on one side signify the church, and the parts on the other the Lord; and when these are placed opposite to each other, this is nothing else than a parallelism and correspondence; and as the heifer, the she-goat, and the ram were so divided and placed, and by these celestial things are signified (as said just above at verse 9), it is evident that there is a parallelism and correspondence as to celestial things. It is otherwise with spiritual things, concerning which presently. Celestial things, as has often been said, are all that pertain to love to the Lord and to love toward the neighbor. It is the Lord who gives love and charity; it is the church that receives. What unites is conscience, in which the love and charity are implanted; and therefore the middle space between the parts signifies that in man which is called perception, internal dictate, and conscience. The things which are above the perception, dictate, and conscience, are the Lord's; those which are below, are in man. Because they thereby mutually regard each other, there is said to be a parallelism; and because they correspond to each other, as the active and the passive, there is said to be correspondence.1832.
And the birds he did not divide. That this signifies spiritual things, and that in them there is not such a parallelism and correspondence, is evident from the signification of "birds," as being what is spiritual [as distinguished from what is celestial], and as treated of in verse 9, just above; and from the statement that he did not divide the birds in the midst; consequently that there is not such a parallelism and correspondence. By spiritual things are signified, as often said before, all the things of faith, consequently all doctrinal things, for these are called things of faith, although they are not of faith until they have been conjoined with charity. Between these and the Lord there is not a parallelism and correspondence, for they are such things as do not flow in by internal dictate and conscience, as do those which are of love and charity, but they flow in by instruction, and so by hearing, thus not from the interior, but from the exterior, and in this way they form their vessels or recipients in man.  The greater part of them appear as if they were truths, but are not truths, such as those things which are of the literal sense of the Word, and are representatives of truth and significatives of truth, and thus are not in themselves truths; some of them even being falsities, which however can serve as vessels and recipients. But in the Lord there are none but truths that are essentially such; and therefore with these there is no parallelism and correspondence on the part of those apparent truths, but still they may be so adapted as to serve as vessels for the celestial things which are of love and charity. These apparent truths are what constitute the cloud of the intellectual part, before spoken of, into which the Lord insinuates charity, and so makes conscience.  For example: with those who remain in the sense of the letter of the Word, and suppose that it is the Lord who leads into temptation and who then torments man's conscience, and who suppose that because He permits evil He is the cause of evil, and that He thrusts the evil down into hell, with other similar things: these are apparent truths, but are not truths; and because they are not truths that are such in themselves, there is no parallelism and correspondence. Still the Lord leaves them intact in man, and miraculously adapts them by means of charity so that they can serve celestial things as vessels. So also with the worship, the religious teachings and morals, and even with the idols, of the well-disposed Gentiles; these likewise the Lord leaves intact, and yet adapts them by means of charity so that they also serve as vessels. The case was the same in regard to the very numerous rites in the Ancient Church, and afterwards in the Jewish Church; which in themselves were nothing but rituals in which there was not truth, but which were tolerated and permitted, and indeed commanded, because they were held as sacred by parents, and so were implanted in the minds of children and impressed upon them from infancy as truths.  These and other such things are what are signified by the statement that the birds were not divided. For the things that are once implanted in a man's opinion, and are accounted as holy, the Lord leaves intact, provided they are not contrary to Divine order; and although there is no parallelism and correspondence, still He adapts them. These same things are what was signified in the Jewish Church by the birds not being divided in the sacrifices; for to divide is to place the parts opposite to each other in such a manner that they may adequately correspond; and because the things which have been spoken of are not adequately in correspondence, they are obliterated in the other life with those who suffer themselves to be instructed, and truths themselves are implanted in their affections of good. That in the Jewish Church for the sake of this representation and signification the birds were not divided, is evident in Moses: If his offering to Jehovah be a burnt-offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtle-doves or of the sons of the pigeon. And he shall cleave it with its wings, he shall not divide it (Lev. 1:14, 17). And the same in the case of the sacrifices for sin (Lev. 5:7-8).1833.
Verse 11. And the fowls came down upon the bodies, and Abram drove them away. "The fowls came down upon the bodies," signifies evils and the falsities thence derived, that were desirous to destroy; "and Abram drove them away," signifies that the Lord put them to flight.1834.
The fowls came down upon the bodies. That this signifies evils and the falsities thence derived that were desirous to destroy, is evident from the signification of "fowls," as being falsities. "Fowls" in the Word signify truth-as shown above-and also in the opposite sense falsity (for almost all such things in the Word are thus used in both senses); that "fowls" signify falsity also has been shown before (n. 778, 866, 988). Everyone can see that this signifies arcana; otherwise it would not have been worthy of mention. What the arcanum is has also been already stated, and is evident from the series or connection of things in the internal sense, namely, that it is concerning the state of the church.  When a church is raised up by the Lord, it is in the beginning blameless, and the one then loves the other as his brother, as is known from the case of the primitive church after the Lord's coming. All the church's children then lived together as brethren, and likewise called one another brethren, and loved one another; but in process of time charity grew cold and vanished away and as it vanished, evils succeeded, and together with these falsities insinuated themselves. Hence came schisms and heresies, which would never be the case if charity were regnant and alive, for then they would not even call schism schism, nor heresy heresy, but a doctrinal matter in accordance with each person's opinion; and this they would leave to each person's conscience, provided such doctrinal matter did not deny first principles, that is, the Lord, eternal life, and the Word; and provided it was not contrary to the Divine order, that is, to the precepts of the Decalogue.  The evils and the falsities thence derived which succeed in the church when charity vanishes, are what are here meant by the fowls which Abram drove away, that is, which the Lord, who is here represented by Abram, put to flight. Abram drove away nothing but the fowls, and nothing at all of evil and falsity; nor is Abraham known in heaven except as is any other man, who can do nothing at all of himself; but the Lord alone; as also is said by Isaiah: Thou art our Father, for Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us; Thou O Jehovah art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy name is from everlasting (Isa. 63:16).1835.
And Abram drove them away. That this signifies that the Lord put them to flight, is evident from what has been said. And such also is the case with a church when it is beginning to recede from charity. Evils and the falsities thence derived are then more easily put to flight, for as yet the church is in a state that is not so far removed from charity, and thus men's minds are more easily bent. But in process of time evils and the falsities derived from them increase, and so are confirmed and strengthened; and this is treated of in what follows.  So far as possible the Lord is continually putting evils and falsities to flight, but through conscience. When conscience is relaxed, there is no medium through which the Lord can flow in, for the Lord's influx with man is by means of charity into his conscience. But in place of this charity a new medium succeeds and is formed, which is external, namely, the fear of the law, fear for life, for honors and wealth, and the reputation from these. But these are not of conscience; they are only external bonds which enable a man to live in society with others, and to appear as a friend, whatsoever he may be inwardly.  But this medium, or these bonds, are of no account in the other life, for there externals are removed, and everyone remains as he is internally. There are very many who have lived a moral and a civic life, have injured no one, have performed acts of friendship and civility, nay, have done good to many, but only for the sake of self, with a view to honors, gain, and the like. In the other life these are among the infernals, because they have nothing of good and truth within, but only evil and falsity, nay, hatred, revenge, cruelty, adulteries, which do not appear before man, that is to say insofar as the fears just referred to, which are external bonds, prevail.1836.
Verse 12. And it came to pass when the sun was going down, that a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and behold a terror of great darkness falling upon him. "The sun was going down," signifies the time and the state before the consummation; "that a deep sleep fell upon Abram," signifies that the church was then in darkness; "and behold a terror of great darkness falling upon him," signifies that the darkness was terrible; "darkness" means falsities.1837.
The sun was going down. That this signifies the time and the state before the consummation, is evident from the signification of "the sun." In the internal sense "the sun" signifies the Lord, and thence it signifies the celestial things which are of love and charity, consequently love itself and charity (spoken of above, n. 30-38, and n. 1053). From this it is evident that the "going down of the sun" denotes the last time of the church, which is called the consummation, when there is no longer any charity. The Lord's church is also compared to the times of the day; its first period to the rising of the sun, or to the dawn and the morning; its last to the setting of the sun, or to the evening and the shades then prevailing, for the two things are similarly circumstanced. The church is also compared to the times of the year; its first period to the spring, when all things are in bloom; that which is before the last to the autumn, when they begin to become inactive. It is even compared to the metals; its first period is called golden; its last, iron and clay; as in Daniel (2:31-33). From all this it is evident what is signified by "the going down of the sun," namely, that it signifies the time and the state before the consummation, seeing that the sun had not yet set. In what follows, the state of the church when the sun has set is treated of, in that there was then thick darkness and the smoke of a furnace, and that a torch of fire passed between the pieces.1838.
A deep sleep fell upon Abram. That this signifies that the church was then in darkness, is evident from the signification of "a deep sleep." A "deep sleep," relatively to one of wakefulness, denotes a dark state; and this state is here attributed to the Lord, who is represented by Abram; not that there was ever with Him a deep sleep or a state of darkness, but that there was with the church. The case herein is the same as it is in the other life, where the Lord is always the Sun, and Light, itself; but where before the evil He appears as darkness; for the Lord appears according to the state of each person. So here this is said of the church when it is in a state of darkness.  Also take as an example, vastation, punishment, and condemnation, which are attributed to the Lord in many passages of the Word; when nevertheless they belong to the man of the church, who vastates, punishes, and condemns himself. It appears before man as if the Lord vastated, punished, and condemned; and because it appears so, it is so expressed according to the appearances; for if man were not instructed by appearances, he would not suffer himself to be instructed at all. What is contrary to the appearance he does not believe or comprehend, except at a later period, when he possesses judgment and has been gifted with the faith of charity.  So with the church; when it is in a state of darkness, the Lord is then obscured before its people, so that He does not appear, that is, is not acknowledged; although the Lord is not at all obscured, but man, in whom and with whom the Lord should be; but still the obscuration is predicated of the Lord. So is it here with the "deep sleep," by which there is signified a dark state of the church.1839.
Behold a terror of great darkness falling upon him. That this signifies that the darkness was terrible, and that "darkness" means falsities, is evident from the signification of "darkness," as being falsities, to be explained presently. The state of the church before its consummation, when the sun was "going down," is described by the "terror of great darkness;" but its state when the sun had gone down is described by the "thick darkness" and the other things mentioned in verse 17.  The same is thus described by the Lord in Matthew: The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matt. 24:29). This does not mean that the sun of the world will be darkened, but the celestial which is of love and charity; nor the moon, but the spiritual which is of faith; nor that the stars will fall from heaven, but that the knowledges of good and truth with the man of the church will do so, for these are "the powers of the heavens;" nor will these things take place in heaven, but on earth; for heaven is never darkened.  That "a terror of great darkness fell upon him," means that the Lord was horrified at so great a vastation. So far as anyone is in the celestial things of love, so far does he feel horror when he perceives a consummation. So it was with the Lord, above all others; for He was in love itself, both celestial and Divine.  That "darkness" signifies falsities is evident from very many passages in the Word; as in Isaiah: Woe unto them that put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Isa. 5:20); "darkness" denotes falsities, and "light" truths. In the same: He shall look onto the land, and behold darkness, distress, and the light is darkened (Isa. 5:30); "darkness" denoting falsities, and "the light darkened" the truth not appearing.  In the same: Behold, darkness covereth the earth, and thick darkness the peoples (Isa. 60:2). In Amos: The day of Jehovah, it is darkness, and not light. Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light? and thick darkness and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18, 20). In Zephaniah: The great day of Jehovah is near; that day is a day of wrath, a day of straitness and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and thick darkness, a day of cloud and shade (Zeph. 1:14-15). In these passages, the "day of Jehovah" denotes the last time and state of the church; "darkness and thick darkness" falsities and evils.  The Lord likewise calls falsities "darkness" in Matthew: If thine eye be evil, thy whole body is 1839-1 darkened. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness (Matt. 6:33). "Darkness" here denotes the falsities which take possession of those who are in knowledges; and the meaning is, how great is this darkness above that of others, or of the Gentiles,, who have not knowledges.  Again in Matthew: The sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness (Matt. 8:12; 22:13). "The outer darkness" denotes the more direful falsities of those who are in the church; for they darken the light, and bring up falsities against truths, which Gentiles cannot do. In John: In Him was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light appeareth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:4-5). "The darkness" here denotes falsities within the church.  Falsities outside of the church are also called "darkness," but such as can be illuminated. Such are spoken of in Matthew: The people that sat in darkness saw a great light, and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, did light spring up (Matt. 4:16); "darkness" here denoting the falsities of ignorance, such as are those of the Gentiles.  In John: And this is the judgment, that the Light is come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their works were evil (John 3:19); "the Light" denotes truths, and "the darkness" falsities; and "the Light" denotes the Lord, because all truth is from Him; and "the darkness" the hells, because all falsity is from them.  Again: Jesus said, I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in the darkness (John 8:12). And again: Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness seize upon you, for he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in the darkness (John 12:35, 46). "The light" denotes the Lord, from whom are all good and truth; "the darkness" falsities, which are dispersed by the Lord alone.  The falsities of the last times, which are called "darkness" in the verse before us, or of which the "terror of great darkness" is predicated, were represented and signified by the darkness that came upon the whole earth, from the sixth hour to the ninth [at the crucifixion], and also by the sun being then darkened, by which was represented and signified that there was then no longer either love or faith (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45).1840.
Verse 13. And He said unto Abram, Knowing thou shall know that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years. "He said unto Abram," signifies a perception; "knowing thou shalt know," signifies that it is certain; "thy seed shall be a stranger," signifies that charity and faith shall be rare; in a land that is not theirs," signifies where there is a church that is as it were not composed of those who are in charity and faith; "and they shall serve them," signifies oppression; "and they shall afflict them," signifies their severe temptations; "four hundred years," signifies the duration and state.1841.
He said unto Abram. That this signifies a perception, is evident from what has been already said (at verse 9 and elsewhere), where the same words have the same signification.1842.
Knowing thou shalt know. That this signifies that it is certain, is evident without explication.1843.
Thy seed shall be a stranger. That this signifies that charity and faith shall be rare, is evident from the signification of "a stranger," and of "seed." A "stranger" or "sojourner" signifies one that is not born in the land, so that he is not acknowledged as a native, and thus is looked upon as an alien. But "seed" signifies charity and its faith (as before shown, n. 255, 1025; and just above at verse 3). Because that is called "strange" which is looked upon as alien, and alien is that which is not in the land or of the land, it follows that it is that which is rare; and consequently it here means that charity and the faith of charity, which are the "seed," will be rare. It is the time before the consummation that is here treated of, when there shall be "great darkness," that is, falsities; the seed shall then be a stranger, that is, charity and faith will then be rare.  That faith would be rare in the last times was foretold by the Lord when He spoke of the consummation of the age (Matt. 24:4-51; Mark 13:3-37; Luke 21:7-38), where everything that is said implies that charity and faith will be rare at those times, and that at last there will be none. The like is said by John in Revelation, and also in many passages of the Prophets, besides what is said in the historical parts of the Word.  But by the faith that will perish in the last times there is meant nothing but charity, for there cannot possibly be any faith but the faith of charity. He who has not charity cannot have any faith at all, for charity is the very soil in which faith is implanted; it is its heart, from which it exists and lives. The ancients therefore compared love and charity to the heart, and faith to the lungs, both of which are in the breast. This comparison involves a real likeness, seeing that if a man should pretend to a life of faith without charity, it would be like having life from the lungs alone without the heart, which is manifestly impossible; and therefore the ancients called all things that pertain to charity things of the heart, and all things that pertain to faith without charity they said were of the mouth only, or of the lungs by the influx of the breathing into the speech. Thence came the ancient forms of speech concerning good and truth; that they must go forth from the heart.1844.
In a land which is not theirs. That this signifies where there is a church that is as it were not composed of those who are in charity and faith, is evident from the signification of "a land," as being the church (see n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067). At this day men speak of the church as existing from the mere doctrinals of faith, and thereby distinguish the churches of the Lord, not caring what life men live-whether they cherish inward hatreds, and tear one another like wild beasts, rob one another, and deprive others of reputation, honor, and wealth, and at heart deny whatever is holy. And yet with such there is no church at all; but the church is with those who love the Lord, and who love the neighbor as themselves, who have conscience, and are averse to such hatreds as have been mentioned. But among those previously described these men are like strangers, and are treated with the utmost possible abuse and persecution, or else are regarded as being simple, mean, and of no account. This then is what is meant by "thy seed shall be a stranger in the land."1845.
And they shall serve them. That this signifies oppression, may be seen from what has just been said.1846.
And they shall afflict them. That this signifies their severe temptations, may be seen from the signification of "afflicting," or of "affliction," as being persecution, consequently temptation. In the Word of the Lord nothing else is signified by "affliction." As in Isaiah: I will purge thee, and not with silver; I will choose thee in the furnace of affliction (Isa. 48:10), "affliction" denoting temptation. In Moses: Thou shalt remember all the way by which Jehovah thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that He might afflict thee, to tempt thee. Jehovah, who fed thee in the wilderness with manna which thy fathers knew not, that He might afflict thee, and that He might tempt thee, to do thee good at thy latter end (Deut. 8:2, 16); to "afflict" manifestly denotes to tempt.  In the same: When the Egyptians did evil unto us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard servitude; and we cried unto Jehovah, the God of our fathers, and Jehovah heard our voice, and saw our affliction, and our toil, and our oppression (Deut. 26:6-7). Here we find the same things as in the present verse: that they "served" and were "afflicted," by which in like manner are signified the temptations of the faithful, as likewise by their afflictions in the wilderness, by which also there were represented the temptations of the Lord.  As in Isaiah: He was despised, a man of sorrows, and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. But truly He hath borne our diseases, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted (Isa. 53:3-4). By these words are signified the Lord's temptations; by His "bearing our sicknesses, and carrying our sorrows," is not meant that the faithful are to undergo no temptations, nor is it meant that He took their sins upon Himself, and so bore them; but it means that by the combats and victories of temptations He overcame the hells, and in this way would alone, even as to His Human Essence, endure the temptations of the faithful.  Temptations are also called by the Lord "afflictions;" as in Mark: They that are sown upon stony places, when they have heard the Word have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; afterwards, when affliction and persecution arise because of the Word, straightway they are offended (Mark 4:16-17). "Affliction" here manifestly denotes temptation; to "have no root in themselves" is to have no charity, for in this is faith rooted, and they who have not the support of this root yield in temptations. In John: In the world ye have affliction; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). "Affliction" here denotes temptation.  In Matthew: Nation shall be stirred up against nation and kingdom against kingdom; all these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up unto affliction. Then shall be great affliction, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world. Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened (Matt. 24:7-9, 21, 29). Here the consummation of the age, or the last times of the church, are treated of; "affliction" denotes temptations, both external and internal, the external being persecutions from the world, and the internal being persecutions from the devil. That there will be no charity, is signified by "nation being stirred against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;" also by "the sun," that is, the Lord and love and charity, being "darkened."1847.
Four hundred years. That this signifies the duration and state, namely, of the temptations, is evident from the signification of "four hundred," which number signifies the same as "forty," namely, the durations and states of temptations (see n. 730, 862). The durations of temptations, both the shorter and the more lasting, are described in the Word by "forty." In the literal sense the words before us relate to the stay of the sons of Jacob in Egypt; and that this was four hundred and thirty years is evident from Exodus 12:40; though the time was not so great as reckoned from Jacob's coming into Egypt, but it was reckoned from Abram's sojourn there, as has been observed before. The number four hundred and thirty is mentioned, from Abram's sojourn, for the reason that this number involves the temptations which they represented by their servitude in Egypt, and afterwards also by the forty years' afflictions in the wilderness.1848.
Verse 14. And also that nation whom they shall serve will I judge, and after that shall they go out with great substance. "And also that nation whom they shall serve," signifies the evil who oppress; "will I judge" signifies visitation and judgment; "and after that shall they go out with great substance," signifies deliverance, and that they will have celestial and spiritual goods.1849.
And also that nation whom they shall serve. That this signifies the evil who oppress, is evident from the signification of a "nation" and of "serving." In the genuine sense a "nation" signifies goods, or what is the same, good persons; for when goods are spoken of in the abstract, they are in a subject; and this is a man, a spirit, or an angel. But in the opposite sense a "nation" signifies evils, or what is the same, the evil (see n. 1159, 1258-1260). But to "serve," or "servitude," signifies oppression, as in the preceding verse.1850.
Will I judge. That this signifies visitation and judgment, may be seen without explication. By "judging," or "judgment," there is not signified any last judgment, as people in general suppose, that is, that the heaven and the earth are to perish, and that so a new heaven and a new earth will be created, as spoken of in the Prophets and in Revelation; and thus that all things are to perish, which opinion has spread itself so widely that it has even taken possession of the minds of those who are best instructed; and this to such a degree that they do not believe that the dead are to rise except at that time. And therefore because this time was foretold, and still, after so many centuries have since passed by, they see that it has not come and is not at hand, feeling safe they confirm themselves in their assurance that there is no such thing, and therefore that they will not rise again. But it is to be known that by the last judgment, or by the destruction of heaven and earth, no such thing is meant. According to the sense of the letter it is so; but not at all according to the internal sense: in this sense the last judgment means the last time of the church; the heaven and earth that will perish, mean the church as to internal and external worship, which becomes no church when there is no charity.  There was a last judgment of the Most Ancient Church when all charity and faith had failed, and when there was no perception, as was the case just before the flood. The flood itself, treated of above, was the last judgment of that church; heaven and earth, that is, the church, then perished; and a new heaven and a new earth, that is, a new church, were created, which was called the Ancient Church, and which also has been treated of. This church likewise had its last time, namely, when all charity grew cold and all faith was darkened, which was about the time of Eber. This time was the last judgment of that church; which was the heaven and earth that had perished.  The Hebrew Church was a new heaven and a new earth, and this too had its last time, or last judgment, when it became idolatrous; and then a new church was raised up among the descendants of Jacob, which was called the Jewish Church, and which was a church that was merely representative of charity and faith. In this church, that is, among the descendants of Jacob, there was neither charity nor faith, and therefore no church, but only the representative of a church, for the reason that it had become impossible for there to be immediate communication of the Lord's kingdom in the heavens with any true church on earth, and therefore a mediate communication was effected by means of representatives. The last time of this so-called church, or its last judgment, was when the Lord came into the world; for the representatives then ceased, that is, the sacrifices and similar rites; and in order that these might cease, the Jews were cast out of the land of Canaan.  After this a new heaven and a new earth were created, that is, a new church, which is to be called the Primitive Church, which was commenced by the Lord, and afterwards gradually became stronger, and which at first was in charity and faith. The destruction of this church is foretold by the Lord in the Gospels, and by John in Revelation; and this destruction is what is called the Last Judgment. Not that heaven and earth are now to perish, but that in some quarter of the globe a new church will be raised up, the present one remaining in its external worship, as the Jews do in theirs, in whose worship it is well known that there is nothing of charity and faith, that is, nothing of the church. So far as regards the last judgment in general.  In particular, there is a last judgment for everyone immediately after he dies; for he then passes into the other life, in which, when he comes into the life that he had had in the body, he is adjudged either to death or to life. There is also a last judgment in the singular, for with a man who is adjudged to death, every single thing condemns him, for there is nothing in his thought and will, not even the least thing, that does not resemble his last judgment, and that does not drag him to death. In like manner with the man who is adjudged to life: in him every single thing of his thought and of his will presents an image of his last judgment, and all carry him on to life. For such as is man in general, such is he in the singulars of his thought and of his affection. These are the things that are signified by the last judgment.
1825-1 Cessare faciam; but elsewhere feci, as Apocalypse Explained 376. [Rotch ed.]
1825-2 Latin here has a, doubtless a misprint for ad, as in n. 9391. [Ibid.]
1839-1 Est: but elsewhere erit, as n. 9051.