Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
Speaking generally, little children are of a genius either celestial or spiritual. Those of a celestial genius are well distinguished from those of a spiritual genius. The former think, speak, and act more softly, so that hardly anything appears except a fluent something from the love of good to the Lord and toward other little children; but the latter do not think, speak, and act so softly, but something as it were winged and vibratile shows itself in all their doings; and is also evident from their indignation; besides other characteristic differences. Thus every little child has a natural disposition different from that of every other, and each is educated according to his natural disposition.2302.
There are certain and numerous societies of angels who have the care of little children; and which are chiefly from the female sex, who had loved them very tenderly in the life of the body. The little children who are more virtuous than others, by an established custom they offer to the Lord.2303.
Angelic spirits who were above in front spoke with me in angelic speech not distinguished into words, saying that their state was a state of the tranquillity of peace, and that there were also little children among them, and that they were conscious of blessedness from being in association with them; these spirits also were of the female sex. They said further concerning infants on earth, that directly after birth angels from the heaven of innocence are with them; in the succeeding age angels from the heaven of the tranquillity of peace; and afterwards those who are from the societies of charity; and then, as the innocence and charity with the young children decrease, other angels are with them; and at length, when they become older and enter into a life foreign to charity, angels are indeed present, but more remotely, and this in accordance with the ends of life, which the angels especially regulate by continually insinuating good ones, and turning aside evil ones; and they flow in more nearly or more remotely, in proportion as they can or cannot do this.2304.
Many may suppose that in the other life the little children remain such, and are as little children among the angels. They who do not know what an angel is, may have been confirmed in this opinion by the images that are common in churches and elsewhere, where angels are represented as little children. Very different however is the actual truth. It is intelligence and wisdom that make an angel, and so long as the little children have not these they are indeed with the angels, but are not angels. But when they have become intelligent and wise, then for the first time do they become angels; and it is a wonderful fact that they then do not appear as little children, but as adults; for they are then no longer of an infantile genius, but of a more adult angelic one. Intelligence and wisdom are attended with this result, for it is understanding and judgment, and a life according thereto, that cause everyone to appear to himself and to others as an adult; as everyone can see.  I have not only been informed by the angels that such is the case, but I have also spoken with a certain one who had died when an infant, and yet then appeared as an adult. The same also spoke with his brother who had died in adult age, and this from so much mutual brotherly love that his brother could not refrain from tears, saying that he perceived no otherwise than that it was love itself that was speaking. Besides other examples not necessary to mention.2305.
There are some who suppose that innocence is the same as infancy, for the reason that the Lord said of little children that of such is heaven; and that they who do not become as little children cannot enter into the kingdom of the heavens. But they who so imagine do not know the internal sense of the Word, nor therefore what is meant by "infancy." By "infancy" is meant the innocence of intelligence and wisdom, which is such that they acknowledge that they have life from the Lord alone, and that the Lord is their only Father; for that man is man is from the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good, which he has solely from the Lord. Innocence itself, which in the Word is called "infancy," has no existence or abode except in wisdom; so much so that the wiser one is, the more innocent he is; on which account the Lord is innocence itself, because wisdom itself.2306.
As regards the innocence of little children, being as yet devoid of intelligence and wisdom it is only a kind of plane for receiving genuine innocence, which they receive by degrees as they become wise. The quality of the innocence of little children has been represented to me by a wooden something almost void of life, which is vivified in proportion as they are perfected by means of knowledges of truth and affections of good. The quality of genuine innocence was afterwards represented by a most beautiful little child, full of life, and naked; for the innocent themselves, who are in the inmost heaven, and thereby are nearest the Lord, appear before the eyes of other angels no otherwise than as little children, and indeed naked; for innocence is represented by the nakedness of which they are not ashamed, as we read of the first man and his wife in paradise. In a word, the wiser the angels are, the more innocent they are; and the more innocent they are, the more do they appear to themselves as little children. Hence it is that in the Word innocence is signified by "infancy." But concerning the state of innocence, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.2307.
Concerning little children I have inquired of the angels whether they are pure from evils, seeing that they have no actual evil, as adults have. But I was told that they are equally in evil; nay, that they too are nothing but evil; but that they, like all the angels, are withheld from evil and are kept in good by the Lord, insomuch that it appears to them as if they were in good from themselves. And therefore also the little children, after they have become adults in heaven, in order to prevent them from being of the false opinion regarding themselves that the good in them is from themselves, and not from the Lord, are sometimes remitted into their evils which they have received by inheritance, and are left in them until they know, acknowledge, and believe, that the truth is as has been said. A certain one also who had died when an infant, but had grown up in heaven, was of a similar opinion; and therefore he was remitted into the life of the evils inborn in him, and it was then given me to perceive from his sphere that he had a disposition to domineer over others, and that he esteemed lascivious things as of no account; which were evils that he had inherited from his parents. But after he had acknowledged that such was his nature, he was again received among the angels with whom he had been before.2308.
No one ever suffers punishment in the other life on account of hereditary evil, because it is not his, and therefore he is not to blame for being of such a nature; but everyone suffers on account of the actual evil which is his own, and consequently for so much of the hereditary evil as he has appropriated to himself by actual life (as before said, n. 966). It is not therefore for the sake of punishment that the little children on becoming adult are remitted into the state of their hereditary evil; but that they may know that of themselves they are nothing but evil, and that it is of the Lord's mercy that they are taken away from the hell that is with them into heaven; and that they are not in heaven by their own merit, but of the Lord; and thereby to prevent them from boasting before others of the good that is in them; for this is contrary to the good of mutual love, as it is contrary to the truth of faith.2309.
From what has been adduced we can see what is the nature of the education of little children in heaven, namely, that by means of the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good they are introduced into the angelic life, which is love to the Lord, and mutual love, in which loves there is innocence. But how contrary is the education of little children on earth, with many, has been evidenced from this one example. I was in the street of a great city, and saw little boys fighting with one another. A crowd gathered and looked on with much pleasure; and I was informed that the parents themselves urge on their little boys to such fights. The good spirits and angels who saw these things through my eyes were so averse to them that I perceived their horror, especially at the fact that the parents incite them to such things; saying that thus in their earliest age they extinguish all the mutual love and all the innocence which little children receive from the Lord, and initiate them into hatred and revenge; consequently that they deliberately shut out their children from heaven, where there is nothing but mutual love. Let parents therefore who wish well to their children beware of such things. At the end of the preceding seventeenth chapter of Genesis the Last Judgment is treated of, and at the end of this eighteenth chapter the state of little children in the other life-in both cases from experience of things which have been seen and heard in the world of spirits and in the heaven of angels.2310.
CHAPTER 19 The Internal Sense of the Word has already been many times treated of; but I am aware that few can believe that there is such a sense in everything of the Word, not only in the prophetical, but also in the historical parts. That there is such a sense in the prophetical parts can more easily be believed, because in them there is not so connected a series of things, and there are also strange expressions in them, from which everyone may conjecture that they contain within them some secret meaning. But that there is also such a sense in the historical parts, does not so easily appear, both because this has hitherto come into no one's mind, and because the historical parts are such as to keep the attention fixed on themselves, and thereby to draw away the mind from thinking that anything of a deeper nature is there stored up; and also because the historicals are truly such as related.  Nevertheless no one can fail to infer that within these parts of the Word also there is what is heavenly and Divine, and which does not shine forth; first, from the fact that the Word was sent down by the Lord through heaven to man, and therefore differs in its origin (and what the nature of this origin is, and that it is so different and distant from the literal sense as not even to be seen, and consequently not acknowledged, by those who are merely worldly, will be shown by many things in what follows); secondly, from the fact that the Word, being Divine, has not been written for man only, but also for the angels with man, in order that it might serve not only for use to the human race, but also for use to heaven; and that in this way the Word is a medium uniting heaven and earth. This union takes place by means of the church, and in fact by means of the Word in the church, which is for this reason such as it is, and is distinguished from all other writing.  As regards the historical parts specifically, unless they in like manner contained Divine and heavenly things in a sense abstracted from the letter, they could never be acknowledged by anyone who thinks more deeply to be the inspired Word, even as to every jot. Would anyone say that the abominable affair of Lot's daughters, treated of at the end of this chapter, would be related in a Divine Word? or Jacob's peeling rods and making the white appear, and placing them in the watering-troughs, that the flock might bear partly-colored, speckled, and spotted young? Besides many other things in the rest of the books of Moses, of Joshua, the Judges, Samuel, and the Kings, which would be of no importance, and in regard to which it would be a matter of indifference whether they were known or not known, unless they enfolded deeply within them a secret Divine meaning. If it were not for this, they would differ in no respect from other historical narratives, which have sometimes been so written that they seem more effective.  As the learned world is unacquainted with the fact that Divine and heavenly things lie hidden even within the historical parts of the Word, were it not for the holy veneration for the books of the Word which has been impressed upon them from childhood, they would be quite ready to say in their hearts that the Word is not holy except solely from that fact; when yet it is not from that, but because there is within it an internal sense which is heavenly and Divine, and which causes it to unite heaven with earth, that is, angelic minds with human minds, and thereby these latter with the Lord.2311.
That the Word is of such a nature, and that it is in this way distinct from all other writing, may be seen also from the fact that not only do all the names signify actual things (as shown above, n. 1224, 1264, 1876, 1888), but all the words also have a spiritual sense; and they thus signify another thing in heaven from what they do on earth, and this most constantly, in both the prophetical and the historical parts. When these names and words are set forth in their heavenly sense in accordance with their constant signification in the whole Word, there comes forth an internal sense which is the angelic Word. This twofold sense of the Word is circumstanced as are the body and the soul; the literal sense is like the body, and the internal sense is like the soul; and as the body lives by means of the soul, so does the literal sense by means of the internal sense. Through the internal sense the Lord's life inflows into the literal sense, in accordance with the affection of him who is reading it. Hence it is evident how holy is the Word, although it does not appear so to worldly minds. GENESIS 19 1. And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom; and Lot saw, and rose up to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 2. And he said, Behold I pray my lords, turn aside, I pray, to the house of your servant, and pass the night, and wash your feet; and in the morning ye shall rise, and go on your way; and they said, Nay, for we will pass the night in the street. 3. And he urged them exceedingly; and they turned aside unto him, and came to his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened [bread]; and they did eat. 4. Scarcely yet were they lain down when the men of the city, the men of Sodom, compassed the house about, from a boy even to an old man, all the people from the uttermost part. 5. And they cried unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came unto thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6. And Lot went out unto them to the door and shut the door behind him. 7. And he said, I pray you, my brethren, do not wickedly. 8. Behold I pray I have two daughters, who have not known man; let me I pray bring them out unto you, and ye may do unto them as is good in your eyes; only unto these men do not anything; for therefore are they come under the shadow of my roof. 9. And they said, Come on. And they said, Is one come to sojourn, and shall he judge indeed? Now will we do worse to thee than to them. And they pressed upon the man, upon Lot, exceedingly; and drew near to break open the door. 10. And the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11. And the men who were at the door of the house they smote with blindness, from small even to great; and they labored to find the door. 12. And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou yet anyone here? Son-in-law, thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of the place. 13. For we will destroy this place, because their cry is become great before Jehovah; and Jehovah hath sent us to destroy it. 14. And Lot went out, and spoke to his sons-in-law that were to marry his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place, for Jehovah will destroy the city. And he was in the eyes of his sons-in-law as one that jested. 15. And when the dawn arose the angels pressed Lot to hasten, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are found, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16. And he lingered; and the men laid hold of his hand, and of the hand of his wife, and of the hand of his two daughters, in the clemency of Jehovah upon him, and they led him forth, and set him without the city. 17. And it came to pass, when they were leading them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not back behind thee, and stay not in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18. And Lot said unto them, Nay I pray my lords. 19. Behold I pray thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes, and thou hast made thy mercy great, which thou hast done with me, to make alive my soul, and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest peradventure evil cleave to me, and I die. 20. Behold I pray this city is near to flee thither, and it is a little one; let me, I pray, escape thither-is it not a little one? And my soul shall live. 21. And he said unto him, Behold I have accepted thy face as to this word also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken. 22. Hasten, escape thither, for I cannot do anything until thou be come thither. Therefore he called the name of the city Zoar. 23. The sun was gone forth upon the earth, and Lot came to Zoar. 24. And Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven. 25. And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and the growth of the ground. 26. And his wife looked back behind him, and became a pillar of salt. 27. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, unto the place where he had stood before Jehovah. 28. And he looked against the faces of Sodom and Gomorrah, and against all the faces of the land of the plain, and he saw and behold the smoke of the land went up, as the smoke of a furnace. 29. And it came to pass when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt. 30. And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is no man in the earth to come unto us according to the way of all the earth. 32. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, and let us quicken seed from our father. 33. And they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I, lay yesternight with my father; let us make him drink wine this night also, and go thou in and lie with him, and let us quicken seed from our father. 35. And they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down nor when she arose. 36. And the two daughters of Lot conceived by their father. 37. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: he is the father of Moab even unto this day. 38. And the younger she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: he is the father of the sons of Ammon unto this day.2312.
THE CONTENTS. In this chapter, in the internal sense, by "Lot" is described the state of the Spiritual Church which is in the good of charity but in external worship: how in course of time it declines.2313.
The First State of that church: that they are in the good of charity and acknowledge the Lord, and that from Him they are confirmed in good (verses 1-3); and are saved (verse 12). The Second State: that with them evils begin to act against goods, but they are powerfully withheld from evils and kept in goods by the Lord (verses 14-16). Their weakness is described (verse 17); that they are saved (verse 19). The Third State: that they no longer think and act from the affection of good, but from the affection of truth (verses 18-20); and that they are saved (verse 23). The Fourth State: that the affection of truth perishes, which is Lot's wife becoming a pillar of salt (verse 26). The Fifth State: that an impure good, or a good of falsity, succeeds, which is Lot in the cave of the mountain (verse 30). The Sixth State: that even this good is still more adulterated and falsified (verses 31-33); and the truth likewise (verses 34-35). That therefrom there is conceived and born a certain semblance of a church whose good, so called, is "Moab," and whose truth, also so called, is the "son of Ammon" (verses 36-38).2314.
Further: in the internal sense, by the "inhabitants of Sodom" is described the state of those within the same church who are against the good of charity, and how in course of time evil and falsity increase with them until they have nothing but evil and falsity.2315.
Their First State: that they are against the good of charity and against the Lord (verses 4, 5). Their Second State: that although informed concerning the good of charity and concerning the delights of its affections which they should enjoy, they are obstinate and reject good (verses 6-8). That they also endeavor to destroy the very good of charity itself, but that the Lord protects it (verses 9, 10). The Third State: that at last they become such that they cannot even see truth and good, still less that truth leads to good (verse 11). That they are possessed by evil and falsity, so that they cannot but perish (verse 13). The Fourth State: their destruction (verse 24); and that all goods and truths are separated from them (verse 25).2316.
That the good are separated from the evil, and that the good are saved through the Lord's Human made Divine (verses 27-29).2317.
THE INTERNAL SENSE Verse 1. And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom; and Lot saw, and rose up to meet them, and bowed himself with his face to the earth. "The two angels came to Sodom in the evening," signifies the visitation which precedes the Judgment; the "two angels" signify the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, to which Judgment belongs; "Sodom" signifies the evil, especially those within the church; "evening" is the time of visitation; "and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom," signifies those who are in the good of charity, but in external worship, who here are "Lot;" these are among the evil, but are separated from them, which is to "sit in the gate of Sodom;" "and Lot saw," signifies their conscience; "and rose up to meet them," signifies acknowledgment and a disposition of charity; "and bowed himself with his face to the earth" signifies humiliation.2318.
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening. That this signifies the visitation which precedes the Judgment, can be seen from the things said by the three men, or Jehovah, in the preceding chapter; and also from the things that follow in this chapter; and likewise from the signification of "evening." In the preceding chapter Jehovah said: "I will go down and see whether the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah have made a consummation according to the cry which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know" (5:20, 21), by which words, as has been there shown, is signified the visitation which precedes the Judgment. In this chapter there is described the act itself of visitation, and then the Judgment; as is evident from what follows. That "evening" signifies the time of visitation will be seen below. (What visitation is, and that visitation precedes Judgment, may be seen above, n. 2242.) The preceding chapter has treated of the perverted state of the human race, and of the Lord's grief and intercession for those who were in evil and yet in some good and truth; and therefore the present chapter treats, in continuance, of the salvation of those who are in some good and truth; and it is these who are represented in this chapter by "Lot." At the same time also the destruction of those who are altogether in evil and falsity is treated of; and it is these who are here signified by "Sodom and Gomorrah."2319.
"Two angels." That these signify the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, to which Judgment belongs, is evident both from the signification in the Word of "angels," and from its being here said that there were "two" angels. That in the Word "angels" signify some Divine essential in the Lord, and that what this is can be seen from the series, has been shown above (n. 1925). That they here signify the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, is evident from the fact that by the "three men" who were with Abraham was meant the Lord's Divine Itself, Divine Human, and Holy proceeding (n. 2149, 2156, 2288); from this and also from the fact that the angels are called "Jehovah" (verse 24), and also from the signification of "angels" (n. 1925), it is clear that by the "two angels" are here meant the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding.2320.
Why there should here be only two angels, seeing that there were three men with Abraham, is an arcanum which cannot be set forth in few words. It can in some measure be seen from the fact that in this chapter Judgment is treated of, namely, the salvation of the faithful, and the condemnation of the unfaithful; and it is evident from the Word that Judgment belongs to the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding. That it belongs to the Divine Human see in John: "The Father judgeth not anyone, but hath given all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22); by the "Son" is meant the Divine Human (see n. 2159). That Judgment belongs to the Holy that proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human, see also in John: "If I go away, I will send the Comforter unto you; and when He is come, He shall reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:7-8); and that the Holy proceeds from the Lord, see in the same: "He shall not speak from Himself but shall take of Mine, and shall declare it" (John 16:13, 15); and this when the Human was made Divine, that is, when the Lord had been glorified, see in the same: "The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39).2321.
As regards the fact that Judgment pertains to the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, the case is this: The human race could no longer have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world and had united the Divine Essence to the Human Essence; for without the Lord's Human made Divine salvation could no longer have reached to man (n. 1990, 2016, 2034, 2035). The Holy Itself that proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human is that which separates the evil from the good; for the evil so fear and shudder at the Lord's Holy that they cannot approach it, but flee far away from it into their hells, each one according to the profaneness that is in him.2322.
That "Sodom" signifies the evil, especially those within the church, is evident from the signification of "Sodom," as being the evil of the love of self (see n. 2220, 2246); consequently as being those who are in that evil. They who apprehend the Word according to the sense of the letter alone, may suppose that by "Sodom" is meant a foulness that is contrary to the order of nature; but in the internal sense by "Sodom" is signified the evil of the love of self. Out of this evil all evils of every kind well forth; and all evils that thus spring from it are called in the Word "adulteries," and are described by the same, as will be evident from passages of the Word that will be adduced at the end of this chapter.2323.
That "evening" signifies the time of visitation, is evident from the signification of "evening." The states of the church are compared in the Word both to the seasons of the year and the times of the day; to the seasons of the year because to its summer, autumn, winter, and spring; to the times of the day because to its noon, evening, night, and morning; for the two things are similarly circumstanced. The state of the church which is called "evening," is when there is no longer any charity, consequently when there begins to be no faith, thus when the church is ceasing to be; this is the "evening" that is followed by the "night" (see n. 22). There is also an "evening" when charity shines forth, consequently when faith does so, and thus when a new church is rising up; this "evening" is the twilight before the morning (see n. 883). Thus "evening" has both significations, for it is provided by the Lord that when a church is ceasing to be, a new one is rising up, and this at the same time; for without a church somewhere on the globe the human race cannot subsist, because it would have no conjunction with heaven (as shown above in n. 468, 637, 931, 2054).  In the present chapter both states of the church are treated of, namely, the rising up of a new church, which is represented by "Lot," and the destruction of the old, which is signified by "Sodom and Gomorrah;" as can be seen from the Contents. This is why it is here said that the two angels came to Sodom "in the evening;" and why there is told what was done in the evening (verses 1-3), what in the night (verses 4-14), what in the morning or rising dawn (verses 15-22), and what after the sun had gone forth (verses 23-26).  As the "evening" signifies these states of the church, it also signifies the visitation which precedes Judgment; for when a Judgment is close at hand, that is, the salvation of the faithful and the condemnation of the unfaithful, then visitation precedes, or an exploration of what quality they are, that is, whether there is any charity and faith. This visitation takes place in the "evening;" and therefore the visitation itself is called "evening," as in Zephaniah: Woe to the inhabitants of the region of the sea, the nation of the Cherethites. The word of Jehovah is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines; and I will cause to destroy thee, till there shall be no inhabitant. The remnant of the house of Judah shall feed in the houses of Ashkelon, in the evening shall they lie down; for Jehovah their God will visit them, and will bring back their captivity (Zeph. 2:5, 7).2324.
And Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. That this signifies those who are in the good of charity, but in external worship, who here are "Lot," and who are among the evil, but separate from them-which is to "sit in the gate of Sodom"-can be seen from the representation of "Lot," and from the signification of "gate," and also from that of "Sodom." From the representation of "Lot:" Lot when with Abraham represented the Lord's sensuous part, thus His external man (as shown in Volume 1, n. 1428, 1434, 1547). But here, when separated from Abraham, Lot no longer retains the representation of the Lord, but the representation of those who are with the Lord, namely, the external man of the church, that is, those who are in the good of charity, but in external worship.  No, in this chapter Lot not only represents the external man of the church, or what is the same, the external church such as it is in the beginning, but also such as it is in its progress, and also in its end. It is the end of that church which is signified by "Moab" and the "son of Ammon," as of the Lord's Divine mercy will appear from the series of the things that follow. It is a common thing in the Word for one person to represent a number of states that succeed each other, and which are described by the successive acts of his life.  From the signification of a "gate:" a gate is that through which one enters into a city, and through which he goes out of the city; consequently, to "sit in the gate" does indeed here signify to be with the evil, but still to be separate from them; as is wont to be the case with the men of the church who are in the good of charity; these, although they are among the wicked, are still separate from them; not as to civic society, but as to spiritual life. (That "Sodom" signifies evil in general, or what is the same, the evil, especially within the church, was said above, n. 2322.)2325.
And Lot saw. That this signifies the conscience, namely, of those who are in the good of charity but in external worship, may be seen from the signification of to "see." To "see," in the Word, signifies to understand (n. 897, 1584, 1806, 1807, 2150); but in the internal sense it signifies to have faith, of which signification we shall speak, of the Lord's Divine mercy, when we come to the 32nd verse of chapter 29. That to "see" here signifies conscience, is because those who have faith also have conscience. Faith is inseparable from conscience, so inseparable indeed that whether you say faith or conscience it is the same. By faith is meant the faith by means of which there is charity, and which is from charity, thus charity itself; for faith without charity is no faith; and as faith is not possible without charity, so neither is conscience.2326.
And he rose up to meet them. That this signifies acknowledgment, as also a disposition of charity, may be seen from the fact that when they came Lot forthwith acknowledged that they were angels; but not so the men of Sodom, of whom it is said: "They cried unto Lot, and said, Where are the men that came unto thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them" (verse 5). In the internal sense these words signify that those within the church who are in the good of charity acknowledge the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding (meant by the "two angels"), but not those who are not in the good of charity. That the same words likewise involve a disposition of charity, is evident also from the fact that Lot, by whom are represented those who are in the good of charity, nay, by whom is signified the good of charity itself, invited them into his house.2327.
He bowed himself with his face to the earth. That this signifies humiliation, may be seen without unfolding the meaning. The reason that in former times, especially in the representative churches, they bowed themselves so low that they let down the face to the earth, was because the face signified man's interiors (n. 358, 1999); and the reason they let it down to the earth was that the dust of the earth signified what is profane and condemned (n. 278); consequently they thus represented that of themselves they were profane and condemned. For the same reason they prostrated themselves, pressing the face to the earth, and even rolling themselves in dust and ashes, and also sprinkling dust and ashes upon their heads (as may be seen from Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30; Micah 1:10; Josh. 7:6; Rev. 18:19; and elsewhere).  By all this they represented the state of true humiliation, which is possible to none unless they acknowledge that of themselves they are profane and condemned, and thus that they cannot of themselves look to the Lord, where there is nothing but what is Divine and Holy; on which account, so far as a man is in self-acknowledgment, so far he can be in true humiliation, and in adoration when in worship. For in all worship there must be humiliation; and if this is separated therefrom, there is nothing of adoration, thus nothing of worship.  That the state of humiliation is the essential state of worship itself, comes from the fact that so far as the heart is humbled, so far the love of self and all the evil therefrom ceases; and so far as this ceases, so far good and truth, that is, charity and faith, flow in from the Lord; for that which stands in the way of the reception of these is principally the love of self, in which there is contempt for others in comparison with one's self; hatred and revenge if self is not treated with honor; and also unmercifulness and cruelty; thus the worst evils of all; and into these good and truth can in no wise be introduced, for they are opposites.2328.
Verse 2. And he said, Behold I pray my lords, turn aside I pray to the house of your servant, and pass the night, and wash your feet; and in the morning ye shall rise and go on your way; and they said, Nay, for we will pass the night in the street. "And he said, Behold I pray my lords," signifies an interior acknowledgment and confession of the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding; "turn aside I pray to the house of your servant, and pass the night," signifies an invitation to have an abode with him; "to the house of a servant," means in the good of charity; "and wash your feet," signifies application to his natural; "and in the morning ye shall rise and go on your way," signifies confirmation thereby in good and truth; "and they said, Nay," signifies a doubting, which is wont to attend temptation; "for we will pass the night in the street," signifies that He was as it were willing to judge from truth.2329.
He said, Behold I pray my lords. That this signified an interior acknowledgment and confession of the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, is evident from the acknowledgment and humiliation spoken of just before; here confession immediately follows, for this is meant by Lot's saying, "Behold I pray my lords." Interior confession is of the heart and comes forth in humiliation, and at the same time in the affection of good; but exterior confession is of the lips, and may possibly come forth in a feigned humiliation and a feigned affection of good, which is none at all, being such as exists with those who confess the Lord for the sake of their own honor, or rather their own worship, and their own gain. That which these confess with the lips, they deny in the heart.  Its being said in the plural, "my lords," is for the same reason that in the preceding chapter it is said "three men;" for just as the "three" there signify the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding, so here the "two" signify the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, as was said above. That these are one is known to everyone within the church; and because they are one, they are also named in the singular in what follows, as in verse 17, "It came to pass when they had led them forth abroad, that He said, Escape for thy life;" verse 19, "Behold I pray thy servant hath found grace in thine eyes, and thou hast made thy mercy great which thou hast done with me;" verse 21, "And he said unto him, Behold I have accepted thy face as to this word also, that I will not overthrow the city;" and verse 22, "For I cannot do anything until thou be come thither."  That the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding are Jehovah, is evident from the foregoing chapter, where the three men are called "Jehovah," as in verse 13, "Jehovah said unto Abraham;" verse 14," Shall anything be too wonderful for Jehovah;" verse 22, "Abraham, he stood yet before Jehovah;" verse 33, "Jehovah went His way when He made an end of speaking with Abraham." Consequently the Divine Human and Holy proceeding are Jehovah, as also He is named in this chapter, verse 24, "And Jehovah caused it to rain upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven;" the internal sense of which words will be seen in what follows. (That the Lord is Jehovah Himself, who is so often named in the histories and prophecies of the Old Testament, may be seen above, n. 1736.)  They who are truly men of the church, that is, who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, are acquainted with and acknowledge a Trine; but still they humble themselves before the Lord and adore Him alone, for the reason that they know that there is no access to the Divine Itself which is called the "Father" except through the Son; and that all the Holy which is of the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him. When they are in this idea they adore no other than Him through whom and from whom all things are, thus One;  nor do they spread out their ideas among Three, as many within the church are wont to do, as can be seen from many in the other life, even the learned, who in the life of the body had supposed that they possessed the arcana of faith more than others. When these were explored in the other life as to what idea they had concerning the one God-whether of Three Uncreates, Three Infinities, Three Eternals, Three Almighties, Three Lords, it was plainly perceived that they had the idea of Three (for there is a communication of ideas there), when yet it is part of the creed, being stated in plain words, that there are not Three Uncreates, not Three Infinities, not Three Eternals, not Three Almighties, not Three Lords, but One; as also is the truth. The result was that they confessed that with the mouth they had indeed said that there is one God, yet still had thought, and some had believed, that there are three, whom in idea they could separate, but not join together, the reason of which is that all arcana whatever, even the deepest, are attended with an idea; for without an idea nothing can be thought of, nor indeed can anything be kept in the memory.  Hence in the other life it is manifest as in clear day what thought, and thence what belief, each person has formed for himself concerning the One God. Indeed the Jews in the other life, when they hear that the Lord is Jehovah and that there is but One God, can say nothing. But when they perceive that the ideas of Christians are divided among Three, they say that they themselves worship One God, but Christians Three; and this the more since none can join together the Three thus separated in idea, except those who are in the faith of charity; for the Lord applies the minds of these to Himself.2330.
Turn aside I pray to the house of your servant and pass the night. That this signifies an invitation for the Divine Human and Holy proceeding to have an abode with him, is evident without unfolding the meaning.2331.
That "to the house of a servant" denotes in the good of charity, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being celestial good, which is of love and charity alone (see n. 2048, 2233).2332.
Wash your feet. That this signifies application to his natural, is evident from what was said in the preceding chapter (n. 2162), where are the same words. In former times, when they saw an angel of Jehovah, they believed that they were about to die (Exod. 19:12, 21, 24; 20:19; Judges 6:22-23; 13:22-23), for the reason that when the Divine Holy flows into the profane that is with man, its virtue is such as to cause it to be a devouring and consuming fire; and therefore when the Lord presents Himself to the view of any man, or even of any angel, He miraculously moderates and tempers the Holy that proceeds from Him, so that they may be able to endure it; or what is the same, He applies Himself to their natural. This then is what is signified in the internal sense by these words which Lot said to the angels: "Wash your feet." And this shows what is the nature of the internal sense, for that this is the signification cannot be seen from the sense of the letter.2333.
And in the morning ye shall rise and go on your way. That this signifies confirmation in good and truth, may be seen from the signification of "rising in the morning," and also from the signification of "going on the way." In the Word "morning" signifies the Lord's kingdom and whatever belongs to the Lord's kingdom, thus principally the good of love and of charity, as will be confirmed from the Word at verse 15; and a "way" signifies truth (see n. 627); for which reason it is said that after they had been in his house and had passed the night there (by which is signified that they had an abode in the good of charity that was with him), they should "rise in the morning and go on their way," by which is signified being thereby thus confirmed in good and truth.  From this, as from other passages, it is evident how remote from the sense of the letter, and consequently how much unseen, is the internal sense, especially in the historical parts of the Word; and that it does not come to view unless the meaning of every word is unfolded in accordance with its constant signification in the Word. On this account, when the ideas are kept in the sense of the letter, the internal sense appears no otherwise than as something obscure and dark; but on the other hand when the ideas are kept in the internal sense, the sense of the letter appears in like manner obscure, nay, to the angels as nothing. For the angels are no longer in worldly and corporeal things, like those of man, but in spiritual and celestial things, into which the words of the sense of the letter are wonderfully changed, when it ascends from a man who is reading the Word to the sphere in which the angels are, that is, to heaven; and this from the correspondence of spiritual things with worldly, and of celestial things with corporeal. This correspondence is most constant, but its nature has not yet been disclosed until now in the unfolding of the meaning of the words, names, and numbers in the Word, as to the internal sense.  That it may be known what is the nature of this correspondence, or what is the same, how worldly and corporeal ideas pass into corresponding spiritual and celestial ideas when the former are elevated to heaven, take as an example "morning" and "way." When "morning" is read, as in the passage before us to "rise in the morning," the angels do not get an idea of any morning of a day, but an idea of morning in the spiritual sense, thus such a one as is described in Samuel: "The Rock of Israel He is as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, a morning without clouds" (2 Sam. 23:3, 4); and in Daniel: "The holy one said unto me, Until evening, when morning comes, two thousand three hundred" (Dan. 8:14, 26). Thus instead of "morning" the angels perceive the Lord, or His Kingdom, or the heavenly things of love and charity; and these in fact with variety according to the series of things in the Word which is being read.  In like manner where "way" is read-as here, to "go on your way"-they can have no idea of a way, but another idea which is spiritual or celestial, namely, like that in John, where the Lord said: "I am the way and the truth" (John 14:6); and as in David: "Make Thy ways known to me, O Jehovah, lead my way in truth" (Ps. 25:4, 5); and in Isaiah: "He made Him to know the way of understanding" (Isa. 40:14). Thus instead of "way" the angels perceive truth, and this in both the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word. For the angels no longer care for the historical things, as these are altogether inadequate to their ideas; and therefore in place of them they perceive such things as belong to the Lord and His kingdom, and which also in the internal sense follow on in a beautiful order and well-connected series. For this reason, and also in order that the Word may be for the angels, all the historical things therein are representative, and each of the words is significative of such things; which peculiarity the Word has above all other writing.2334.
And they said, Nay. That this signifies the doubting which is wont to attend temptation, may be seen from their declining and yet going into his house. In all temptation there is somewhat of doubt concerning the Lord's presence and mercy, and concerning salvation and the like things; for those who are in temptation are in interior anxiety, even to despair; in which they are for the most part kept, to the end that they may be at length confirmed in the fact that all things are of the Lord's mercy; that they are saved by Him alone; and that with themselves there is nothing but evil; in respect to which they are confirmed by means of conflicts in which they overcome. After the temptation there remain from it many states of truth and good to which their thoughts may afterwards be bent by the Lord, which would otherwise rush into insane things, and draw away the mind into opposition to what is true and good.  Since by "Lot" there is here treated of the first state of the church which is in the good of charity but in external worship, and since before a man comes into this state he is to be reformed, which is also done by a certain kind of temptation (but they who are in external worship undergo only a light temptation), therefore these things which involve something of temptation are said, namely, that the angels at first said they would pass the night in the street, and that Lot urged them, and so they turned aside to him, and came into his house.2335.
For we will pass the night in the street. That this signifies that he was as it were desirous to judge from truth, may be seen from the signification of a "street," and from the signification of "passing the night." A "street" is often named in the Word, and in the internal sense signifies the same as a "way," namely, truth-for a street is a way in a city-as will be evident from the passages that will soon follow. That "to pass the night" is here to judge, may be seen from the signification of "night." It was shown above (n. 2323) that "evening" signifies the state of the church before the last, when there begins to be no faith; and also the visitation which precedes the Judgment. From this it is evident that "night," which succeeds, is the last state, when there is no faith; also that it is the Judgment. It is clear from this that to "pass the night in the street," in the internal sense denotes to judge from truth.  As regards Judgment it is twofold, namely, from good and from truth. The faithful are judged from good, but the unfaithful from truth. That the faithful are judged from good, is plainly evident in Matthew (Matt. 25:34-40), and that the unfaithful are judged from truth (Matt. 25:41-46). To be judged from good is to be saved because they have received it; but to be judged from truth is to be condemned because they have rejected good. Good is the Lord's, and they who acknowledge this in life and faith are the Lord's, and therefore are saved; but they who do not acknowledge it in life, and consequently not in faith, cannot be the Lord's, and therefore cannot be saved. They are therefore judged according to the acts of their life and according to their thoughts and ends; and when they are judged according to these, they cannot but be condemned; for it is a truth that of himself a man does, thinks, and intends nothing but evil, and of himself rushes to hell insofar as he is not withheld therefrom by the Lord.  But as regards judgment from truth the case is this: The Lord never judges anyone except from good; for He desires to raise all into heaven, however many they may be, and indeed, if it were possible, even to Himself; for the Lord is mercy itself and good itself. Mercy itself and good itself can never condemn anyone; but it is the man who condemns himself, because he rejects good. As in the life of the body he had shunned good, so does he shun it in the other life; consequently he shuns heaven and the Lord, for the Lord cannot be in anything except good. He is likewise in truth, but not in truth separated from good. That the Lord condemns no one, nor judges any to hell, He says in John: God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. This is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil (John 3:17, 19). And in the same: If any one hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (John 12:47). (See also what has been said on the subject before, n. 223, 245, 592, 696, 1093, 1683, 1874, 2258.)  Where Judgment was treated of above (n. 2320, 2321), it was shown that all Judgment belongs to the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding, according to His words in John: The Father judgeth not anyone, but hath given all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22); and yet it is now said that the Lord does not judge by condemning anyone. From this it is evident what is the nature of the Word in the letter: that unless it were understood from another sense, namely, from the internal sense, it would not be comprehended. From the internal sense alone is it manifest how the case is with Judgment.2336.
That a "street" signifies truth, may be seen from many passages in the Word, as in John, where the New Jerusalem is treated of: The twelve gates were twelve pearls, every gate was one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass (Rev. 21:21).  The "New Jerusalem" is the Lord's kingdom, which, being described as to good and truth, is described by "walls," "gates," and "streets." By the "streets" are meant all things of truth which lead to good, or all things of faith which lead to love and charity; and because truths then become of good, thus transparent from good, the street is said to be "gold, as it were transparent glass." Again: In the midst of the street of it and of the river, on this side and on that, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits (Rev. 22:2), where also the New Jerusalem or the Lord's kingdom is treated of. The "midst of the street" denotes the truth of faith, by means of which comes good, and which afterwards comes from good; the "twelve fruits" are what are called the fruits of faith; for "twelve" signifies all the things of faith (as shown above, n. 577, 2089, 2129-2130).  In Daniel: Know and perceive that from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem, even unto Messiah the Leader, shall be seven weeks, and sixty and two weeks, and it shall be restored and built with street and moat (Dan. 9:25), where the Lord's advent is treated of; "it shall be restored with street and moat," denotes that there will then be what is true and good. That Jerusalem was not then restored and built is well known; and that it is not to be restored and built anew everyone may also know provided he does not keep his ideas fixed on a worldly kingdom, but on the heavenly kingdom that is meant by "Jerusalem" in the internal sense.  In Luke: The master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind (Luke 14:21). They who remain in the sense of the letter apprehend from this nothing else than that the servant should go everywhere, and that this is signified by the "streets and lanes;" and that he should bring in everybody, and that this is signified by the "poor, maimed, lame, and blind." But each of these words contains deep secrets within it, for they are the Lord's words. That he should "go into the streets and lanes," signifies that he should seek everywhere for some genuine truth, or truth which shines from good, or through which good shines. That he should "bring in the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind," signifies such as were so called in the Ancient Church and were such as to the faith, but were in the life of good, who should thus be informed about the Lord's kingdom-thus the nations which were not yet instructed.  As "streets" signified truths, it was a representative rite among the Jews to teach in the streets (as appears in Matt. 6:2, 5, and in Luke 13:26-27). In the Prophets, "streets," wherever named, signify in the internal sense either truths, or things contrary to truths, as in Isaiah: Judgment is cast away backward, and righteousness standeth afar off; for truth hath stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter (Isa. 59:14). Again: Thy sons have fainted, and have lain at the head of all the streets (Isa. 51:20). In Jeremiah: Death is come up into our windows, it is entered into our palaces, to cut off the child from the street, the young men from the roads (Jer. 9:21).  In Ezekiel: Nebuchadnezzar shall tread down all thy streets with the hoofs of his horses (Ezek. 26:11), speaking of Tyre, by which are signified the knowledges of truth (n. 1201); the "hoofs of the horses" denote the memory-knowledges that pervert truth. In Nahum: The chariots rave in the streets, they run to and fro in the roads (Nah. 2:4); the "chariots" denote the doctrine of truth, which is said to "rave in the streets," when falsity is in the place of truth. In Zechariah: There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls, playing in the streets (Zech. 8:4-5), speaking of the affections of truth, and the consequent gladnesses and joys. (Besides other places, as Isa. 24:11; Jer. 5:1; 7:34; 49:26; Lam. 2:11, 19; 4:8, 14; Zeph. 3:6).2337.
Verse 3. And he urged them exceedingly, and they turned aside unto him, and came to his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened [bread]; and they did eat. "He urged them exceedingly," signifies a state of temptation when one overcomes; "and they turned aside unto him," signifies abode; "and came to his house," signifies confirmation in good; "and he made them a feast," signifies a dwelling together; "and baked unleavened [bread]," signifies purification; "and they did eat," signifies appropriation.2338.
He urged them exceedingly. That this signifies a state of temptation which one overcomes, cannot be seen except by those who have been in temptations. As before said, temptations are attended with doubt in regard to the Lord's presence and mercy, and also in regard to salvation. The evil spirits who are then with the man and induce the temptation strongly inspire negation, but the good spirits and angels from the Lord in every possible way dispel this state of doubt, and keep the man in a state of hope, and at last confirm him in what is affirmative. The result is that a man who is in temptation hangs between what is negative and what is affirmative. One who yields in temptation remains in a state of doubt, and falls into what is negative; but one who overcomes is indeed in doubt, but still, if he suffers himself to be cheered by hope, he stands fast in what is affirmative. As during this conflict the man seems to urge the Lord, especially by prayers, to be present, to have mercy, to give aid, and to deliver from damnation, therefore where the temptation of those who are becoming men of the church is treated of, as in the passage before us, these things are described by the angels' first saying, "Nay," and that they would tarry all night in the street; and by Lot's then urging them exceedingly, so that they turned aside to him and came to his house.2339.
And they turned aside unto him. That this signifies abode, is evident from the signification of the same words above (n. 2330); thus without further explication.2340.
And came to his house. That this signifies confirmation in good, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being celestial good (see n. 2233, 2331); and from this, as well as from the series of things in the internal sense, it is evident that these words mean to be confirmed in good.2341.
And he made them a feast. That this signifies a dwelling together, is evident from the signification of a "feast." Feasts are often mentioned in the Word; and in the internal sense they signify a dwelling together; as in Jeremiah: The word of Jehovah to him: Thou shalt not go into the house of a feast, to sit with them, to eat and to drink (Jer. 16:8); where several things are said to the prophet by which he should represent the fact that good should have no communication with evil, nor truth with falsity; and among other things it is said that he should not enter into the house of a feast, by which was signified that good and truth should not dwell together with evil and falsity.  In Isaiah: In this mountain shall Jehovah Zebaoth make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of sweet wines, of fat things full of marrow, of wines well refined (Isa. 25:6); where "mountain" denotes love to the Lord (n. 795, 1430). They who are in this love dwell with the Lord in good and truth, which is signified by the "feast." The "fat things full of marrow" are goods (n. 353); the "sweet" and the "refined wines" are the truths thereof (n. 1071).  The feasts made from the sanctified things in the Jewish Church, when they sacrificed, represented nothing else than the Lord's dwelling with man in the holy things of love signified by the sacrifices (n. 2187). The same was afterwards represented by the Holy Supper, which in the Primitive Church was called a Feast.  In the twenty-first chapter of Genesis it is related that Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned (verse 8); by which was represented, and thereby signified, the dwelling together and first conjunction of the Lord's Divine with His Human Rational. In the internal sense the same is also signified in other places by "feasts," as may also be inferred from the fact that feasts take place in a company of many who are in love and charity together, who mentally conjoin themselves together, and share with one another their glad feelings, which are emotions of love and charity.2342.
And baked unleavened [bread]. That this signifies purification, is evident from the signification of "unleavened" or "unfermented." In the Word "bread" signifies in general all celestial and spiritual food, thus celestial and spiritual things in general (see n. 276, 680, 1798, 2165, 2177). That these should be free from everything impure was represented by bread without leaven; for "leaven" signifies that which is evil and false, by which celestial and spiritual things are rendered impure and profane. On account of this representation it was commanded those who were of the Representative Church that in their sacrifices they should not offer any other bread, that is, meat-offering, than that which was unfermented or unleavened; as is evident in Moses: No meat-offering which ye shall bring to Jehovah shall be made with leaven (Lev. 2:11). Again: Thou shalt not sacrifice the blood of My sacrifice with what is leavened (Exod. 23:18; 24:25).  And it was therefore also commanded, that on the seven days of the Passover they should not eat any other than unfermented or unleavened bread, as stated in Moses: Seven days shall ye eat unleavened [bread] even on the first day ye shall cause leaven to cease from your houses; for whosoever eateth what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, ye shall eat unleavened [bread], until the one and twentieth day of the month at even seven days shall no leaven be found in your houses; for whosoever eateth what is leavened, that soul also shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner or born in the land (Exod. 12:15, 18-20; and elsewhere, as Exod. 13:6, 7; 23:15; 34:18; Deut. 16:3, 4). Hence the Passover is called the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" (Lev. 23:6; Num. 28:16, 17; Matt. 26:17; Luke 22:1, 7).  That the Passover represented the Lord's glorification, and thereby the conjunction of the Divine with the human race, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown elsewhere; and as the Lord's conjunction with the human race is effected through love and charity and the faith thence derived, these celestial and spiritual things were represented by the unleavened bread that they were to eat on the day of the Passover; and lest these things should be contaminated by anything profane, that which was leavened was so severely interdicted that whoever should eat of it was to be cutoff; for whoever profanes celestial and spiritual things cannot fail to perish. Everyone can see that apart from this secret meaning, this ceremonial, to which there was attached so severe a penalty, would never have been given.  Everything that was commanded in that church represented some secret thing, even the very cooking, as was the case with every particular of what the sons of Israel did when they went forth from Egypt; to wit: They shall eat on that night flesh roasted with fire, and unleavened bread upon bitter herbs they shall not eat it raw, nor boiled in water; the head shall be on the legs they shall not leave of it until the morning, but shall burn the residue with fire (Exod. 12:8-10). These particulars, namely, that they should eat it by night, the flesh roasted with fire, the unleavened bread upon bitter herbs, the head on the legs, not raw, nor boiled in water, that they should not leave of it until the morning, and that they should burn the residue with fire, were representative. But the arcana represented cannot possibly appear unless disclosed by the internal sense; it is from this sense alone that it can be seen that all things are Divine.  In like manner with the ritual in regard to the Nazirite: The priest shall take the boiled shoulder of a ram, and one unleavened cake out of a basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the palms of the Nazirite, after he has shaved his nazariteship (Num. 6:19). He who does not know that the Nazirite represented the celestial man himself, does not know that celestial things, thus arcana which do not appear in the letter, are enfolded within all these particulars, namely, the boiled shoulder of a ram, the unleavened cake, the unleavened wafer, and the shaving of the hair; which shows what kind of an opinion concerning the Word must be formed by those who do not believe that it contains an internal sense; for without what is internal these are particulars of no moment: whereas when the ceremonial or ritual is removed, everything there becomes Divine and holy. The same is the case with everything else, as here with the unleavened bread, which denotes the holy of love, or a holy of holies, as it is likewise called in Moses: The unleavened bread that is left shall be eaten by Aaron and his sons in a place of holiness, for it is a holy of holies (Lev. 6:16, 17). The "unleavened bread" therefore denotes pure love; and the "baking of what is unleavened" denotes purification.2343.
And they did eat. That this signifies appropriation, is evident from the signification of "eating," which is to be communicated and conjoined, thus to be appropriated (see above, n. 2187). From what has been already said and unfolded it can be seen how the things contained in the preceding verse, and in this, are circumstanced in the internal sense, and how in that sense they cohere together; from the fact that by the "angels" is signified the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding; by "turning aside to him," having an abode; by "coming to his house," being confirmed in good; by "making a feast," dwelling together; by "baking unleavened bread," being purified; and by "eating," being appropriated. From this it is evident what is the series and connection of things in the internal sense, although nothing whatever of it appears in the historical sense.  Such is the order and series in all of the things of the Word, both in general and particular. But the series itself such as it is in itself cannot be made to appear in an explication of the several words, for in that case everything appears in a disconnected form, and the continuity of the sense is dissipated. But when all things are viewed together in one idea, or are perceived in one mental view, as is the case with those who are in the internal sense and at the same time in heavenly light from the Lord, there is then presented to view in these words the entire process of the reformation and regeneration of those who are becoming men of the church (who are here represented by Lot), to wit, that at first they perceive something of temptation, but when they persist and overcome, the Lord has an abode with them, and confirms them in good, introduces them unto Himself in His kingdom, and dwells with them, and there purifies and perfects them, and at the same time appropriates good and happy things to them, and this by means of His Divine Human and Holy proceeding.  That all regeneration or new life, thus salvation, is from the Lord alone, is indeed known in the church, but is believed by few, for the reason that men are not in the good of charity. It is as impossible for those who are not in the good of charity to have this belief, as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle; for the good of charity is the very ground for the seeds of faith. Truth and good agree, but truth and evil never: they are of a contrary nature, and are averse one to the other. For this reason, so far as a man is in good, so far he can be in truth; or so far as he is in charity, so far he can be in faith; especially in this chief point of faith, that all salvation is from the Lord.  That this is the chief point of faith, is evident from many passages in the Word, as in John: God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). Again: He that believeth in the Son hath eternal life, but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36). Again: This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom the Father hath sent (John 6:29). Again: This is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone that seeth the Son, and believeth in Him, should have eternal life; and I will raise Him up at the last day (John 6:40). Again: Except ye believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24). Again: I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die (John 11:25-26).  That no one can believe in the Lord unless he is in good, that is, that no one can have faith unless he is in charity, is also evident in John: As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become children of God, to them that believe in His name; who were born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13). And again: I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing. If one abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered. As the Father hath loved Me, I also have loved you; abide ye in My love. This is My commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you (John 15:5-6, 9, 12).  From these passages it can be seen that love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor are the life of faith. But that they who are in evil, that is, in a life of evil, cannot possibly believe that all salvation is from the Lord, has been made evident to me from those who had come into the other life from the Christian world; and also from those who in the life of the body had confessed with the mouth and had even taught, according to the doctrinal tenet of faith, that without the Lord there is no salvation, and yet had led a life of evil. These, when the Lord was merely named, forthwith filled the sphere with endless difficulties (for in the other life that which spirits merely think is perceived, and diffuses from itself a sphere, in which it becomes manifest in what kind of faith they are; see n. 1394).  Among the same, when love or charity was merely mentioned, there was perceived from them something as it were full of darkness and at the same time clotted from a kind of filthy love; which thing was of such a nature as to extinguish, suffocate, and pervert all perception of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor. Such is the faith at this day, which they say saves without the good of charity.  The same also on being asked what faith they had (since they had not that which they had professed in the life of the body) said (for in the other life no one can conceal what he thinks) that they believed in God the Creator of the universe. But when they were examined in order to see whether it was so, it was found that they did not believe in any God, but thought that all things are of nature, and that all things that have been said about eternal life are empty and worthless. Such is the faith of all those within the Church who do not believe in the Lord, but say that they believe in God the Creator of the universe. For truth can flow in from no other source than the Lord; nor can truth be inseminated in anything except the good which is from the Lord.  That it is the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding by means of which and from which come life and salvation, is very well known from the words of the Holy Supper: "This is My Body;" "this is My Blood;" which is the Lord's Divine Human; and it is evident that all the Holy is from this. Whether you say His Divine Human, or His Body, or His Flesh, or the Bread, or the Divine Love, it is the same; for the Lord's Divine Human is pure Love, and the Holy is of love alone, and from this is derived the Holy of faith.2344.
Verse 4. Scarcely yet were they lain down when the men of the city, the men of Sodom, compassed the house about, from a boy even to an old man, all the people from the uttermost part. "Scarcely yet were they lain down," signifies the first period of visitation; "the men of the city," signifies those who are in falsities; "the men of Sodom," signifies those who are in evils; "compassed the house about," signifies that they were against the good of charity; "from a boy even to an old man," signifies falsities and evils both recent and confirmed; "all the people from the uttermost part," signifies all and each of them.2345.
Scarcely yet were they lain down. That this signifies the first period of visitation, is evident from what was said above concerning "evening" and "night" (n. 2323, 2335), namely, that in the Word they signify visitation and Judgment. Here neither evening nor night is indeed mentioned, but it is said, "scarcely yet were they lain down," whereby there is implied the time of evening advancing to night, or of commencing night, consequently the first period of visitation upon the evil; as is also evident from what follows, for here commences an inquisition concerning the evil within the church who are meant by "Sodom."2346.
The men of the city. That this signifies those who are in falsities; and "the men of Sodom," those who are in evils, is evident from the signification of "city," and of "Sodom." That a "city" signifies truths, and also falsities or things contrary to truths, was shown before (n. 402); and that "Sodom" signifies evils of every kind (n. 2220, 2246). As there were both falsities and evils that were inquired into, or visited, it is said, "the men of the city, the men of Sodom." If both were not meant, it would only have been said, "the men of Sodom."2347.
Compassed the house about. That this signifies that they were against the good of charity, is evident from the signification of "house," as being celestial good, which is nothing else than the good of love and of charity (see n. 2048, 2233); and also from the signification of "compassing about," which is to be against that good, that is, to assail and attack it with hostile intent.2348.
From a boy even to an old man. That this signifies falsities and evils both recent and confirmed, can be seen from the signification of a "boy" and of an "old man," when predicated of falsities and evils; namely, that "boys" denote those not yet matured, thus recent ones; and "old men," those which have attained to considerable age, thus those confirmed. "Boy" and "old man" occur elsewhere in the Word in a similar sense, as in Zechariah: There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem; and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets (Zech. 8:4-5); where "Jerusalem" denotes the Lord's kingdom and church (n. 402, 2117); the "streets," truths therein (n. 2336); thus "old men," confirmed truths; and "old women," confirmed goods; "boys playing in the streets," recent truths; and "girls," recent goods and their affections and the derivative gladnesses. It is evident from this how celestial and spiritual things are changed into things historic, in their descent into the worldly things of the sense of the letter, in which sense it scarcely appears otherwise than that old men, boys, women, and girls, are meant.  In Jeremiah: Pour out upon the child in the street of Jerusalem, and upon the assembly of young men in like manner; for even the man with the woman shall be taken, the old man with him that is full of days (Jer. 6:11); here the "street of Jerusalem" denotes the falsities that reign in the church (n. 2336), of which the recent and the maturing are called the "child" and the "young men," and the old and the confirmed are called the "old man" and "him that is full of days." Again: I will scatter in thee the horse and his rider, and I will scatter in thee the chariot and him that is borne in it, and I will scatter in thee man and woman, and I will scatter in thee the old man and the boy (Jer. 51:21-22); where in like manner the "old man" and the "boy" denote confirmed truth and recent truth.  Again: Death is come up into our windows, it is entered into our palaces, to cut off the child in the street, the young men from the roads (Jer. 9:21); where the "child" denotes the truths which are first born, and which are cut off when death comes into the windows and palaces, that is, into the things of the intellect and of the will. (That "windows" denote things of the intellect, see above, n. 655, 658; and that "palaces," or "houses," denote things of the will, n. 710.)2349.
All the people from the uttermost part. That this signifies all and each of them, is evident from what precedes (that by "boys" and "old men" are signified falsities and evils both recent and confirmed), so that here the "people from the uttermost part" signifies all and each of these. Moreover the term "people" in general signifies falsities (see n. 1259, 1260).  Here then there is described the first state of those within the church who are against the good of charity, and consequently against the Lord, for the one involves the other, because no one can be conjoined with the Lord except through love and charity. Love is spiritual conjunction itself, as can be seen from the essence of love; and whoever cannot be conjoined with Him, also cannot acknowledge Him. That they who are not in good cannot acknowledge the Lord, that is, have faith in Him, is evident in John: The light is come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil; for everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved; but he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they have been wrought in God (John 3:19-21); from which it is evident that they who are against the good of charity are against the Lord; or what is the same, that they who are in evil hate the light, and do not come to the light. That the "light" is faith in the Lord, and is the Lord Himself, is evident in John (1:9-10; 12:35-36, 46).  In like manner in the same elsewhere: The world cannot hate you, but Me it hateth, because I testify of it that its works are evil (John 7:7). More plainly still in Matthew: He shall say unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed for I was hungry, and ye gave Me not to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me not to drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in; naked, and ye clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me (Matt. 25:41-43, 45).  These words show in what manner those are against the Lord who are against the good of charity; and also that everyone is judged according to the good of charity, and not according to the truth of faith when this is separated from good. So also again in Matthew: The Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then shall He render to everyone according to his deeds (Matt. 16:27); "deeds" denote the goods which proceed from charity; and the things which are of charity are also called the fruits of faith.2350.
Verse 5. And they cried unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came unto thee this night? Bring them out unto us that we may know them. "They cried unto Lot, and said unto him," signifies falsity from evil becoming angry against good; "where are the men that came unto thee?" signifies the denial of the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding; "this night," signifies the last time, when these are no longer acknowledged; "bring them out unto us, that we may know them," signifies that men then desire to show that it is false to acknowledge their existence.