Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And all the inhabitants of the cities. That this signifies that all goods were taken away from them, in order that they might have nothing but evils, is evident from the signification of "inhabitants," when predicated of a city, as being goods; which may be confirmed by many things in the Word. The same is also evident from the fact that when a "city" signifies truth (as already shown), an "inhabitant" denotes good; for truth is that in which good dwells; and truth in which there is no good, is like a city empty, or without an inhabitant. Moreover as regards the fact that all goods are separated from the evil, so that they may have nothing but evils, see above (n. 2449).2452.
And the growth of the ground. That this signifies all that is of the church, is evident from the signification of the "growth" (by which is meant both the crops and also every green thing, and that goods and truths are signified by these, is evident from the Word throughout); and also from the signification of the "ground," as being the church (see n. 566, 1068). That goods and truths are everything of the church, is well known.2453.
Verse 26. And his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. "His wife looked back behind him," signifies that truth turned itself away from good, and looked to doctrinal things; "and she became a pillar of salt," signifies that all the good of truth was vastated.2454.
His wife looked back behind him. That this signifies that truth turned itself away from good, and looked to doctrinal things, is evident from the signification of "looking back behind him," and from the signification of a "wife." It has been already said (n. 2417) that to "look back behind him" is to look to doctrinal things, which are of truth, and not to a life according to doctrinal things, which is of good; for that is said to be "behind" him, which is posterior; and that is said to be "before" him, which is prior. It has been frequently shown that truth is posterior, and good prior; for truth is of good, because good is the essence and life of truth; and therefore to "look back behind him" is to look to truth, which is of doctrine, and not to good, which is of life according to doctrine. That this is the signification is very evident from the Lord's words (where also He is speaking of the last time of the church, or of the consummation of the age) in Luke: In that day he that shall be upon the house, and his vessels in the house, let him not go down to take them away; and let him that is in the field likewise not turn back behind him: Remember Lot's wife (Luke 17:31-32).  These words of the Lord are not at all intelligible without the internal sense, thus unless it is known what is signified by being upon the house, what by the vessels in the house, what by going down to take them away, and what by the field, and lastly what by turning back behind him. According to the internal sense, to be "upon the house" is to be in good (that a "house" denotes good may be seen above, n. 710, 2238, 2234). The "vessels" in a house denote the truths which are of good (that truths are the vessels of good, may be seen above, n. 1496, 1832, 1900, 2063, 2269). To "go down to take them away" denotes to turn one's self away from good to truth, as we can see; for as good is prior it is also higher; and as truth is posterior it is lower. That a "field" denotes the church, being so called from the seed which it receives into it, consequently that those are "fields" who are in the good of doctrine, is evident from many passages in the Word. This shows what is signified by "turning back behind him," namely, to turn one's self away from good, and to look to doctrinal things; wherefore, because these things are signified by Lot's wife, it is added, "Remember Lot's wife." It is not said that she "looked back behind herself," but "behind him;" because "Lot" signifies good (see n. 2324, 2351, 2370, 2399). Hence it is that when Lot was told what to do (verse 17), it was said, "Look not back behind thee."  The reason why it is said in Luke, "Let him not turn back behind him," and not "to the things that are behind him," is that the celestial are not willing even to mention anything of a doctrinal nature (see n. 202, 337); which is the reason why nothing specific is mentioned, but it is merely said "behind him." These same things are thus described in Matthew: When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, foretold by Daniel the prophet, then let them that are in Judea flee into the mountains; let him that is upon the house not go down to take anything out of his house; and let him that is in the field not return back to take his garments (Matt. 24:15-17).  The "abomination of desolation" denotes the state of the church when there is no love and no charity, for when these are desolated, abominable things predominate. That "Judea" denotes the church, and indeed the celestial church, is evident from the Word of the Old Testament throughout, both the historic and the prophetic. That the "mountains" into which they shall flee, denote love to the Lord and the consequent charity toward the neighbor, may be seen above (n. 795, 1430, 1691). That "he who is upon the house," denotes the good of love, has just been stated. That to "go down to take anything out of his house," denotes to turn one's self away from good to truth, has also just been stated. That "they who are in the field" denote those who are in the spiritual church, is evident from the signification in the Word of a "field." That "let him not return back to take his garments," denotes that he should not turn himself away from good to the truth that is of doctrine, is because "garments" signify truths, for truths act as garments in clothing good (see n. 1073). Everyone can see that very different things are meant and that arcana are involved by all that the Lord there said concerning the consummation of the age, as that they who were in Judea should flee into the mountains, that they who were upon the house should not go down to take anything out of the house, and that they who were in the field should not return back to take their garments; and in like manner by its being said that Lot should not look back behind himself (verse 17), and here that his wife did look back behind him. This is further evident from the signification of a "wife," as being truth (see n. 915, 1468); and from the signification of "Lot," as being good (see n. 2324, 2351, 2370, 2399); hence it is said "behind him."  Truth is said to turn itself away from good, and to look to doctrinal things, when the man of the church no longer has at heart what kind of a life he lives, but what kind of a doctrine he possesses; when yet it is a life according to doctrine that makes a man of the church, but not doctrine separate from life; for when doctrine is separated from life, then because good, which is of the life, is laid waste, truth, which is of doctrine, is also laid waste, that is, becomes a pillar of salt; which everyone may know who looks only to doctrine and not to life, when he considers whether, although doctrine teaches them, he believes in the resurrection, in heaven, in hell, even in the Lord, and in the rest of the things that are of doctrine.2455.
And she became a pillar of salt. That this signifies that all the good of truth was laid waste, is evident from the signification of a "pillar," and from the signification of "salt." In the original language a "pillar" is expressed by a word which signifies a standing still, not by one that means a pillar erected for worship, or for a sign, or for a witness; so that by the "pillar of salt" is here signified that it, namely, the truth signified by Lot's wife, stood vastated (n. 2454). Truth is said to be vastated, or laid waste, when there is no longer any good in it, vastation itself being signified by "salt."  As most things in the Word have a double sense, namely, the genuine sense and its opposite, so also has "salt;" in the genuine sense it signifies the affection of truth; in the opposite sense, the vastation of the affection of truth, that is, of good in truth. That "salt" signifies the affection of truth may be seen in Exod. 30:35; Lev. 2:13; Matt. 5:13; Mark 9:49, 50; Luke 14:34, 35; and that it signifies the vastation of the affection of truth is evident from the following passages. In Moses: The whole land shall be brimstone and salt, a burning; it shall not be sown, it shall not bear, neither shall any herb spring up therein; like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim (Deut. 29:23); where "brimstone" denotes the vastation of good; and "salt" the vastation of truth: that the subject is vastation is evident from every particular.  In Zephaniah: Moab shall be as Sodom, and the sons of Ammon as Gomorrah; a place that is left to the nettle, and a pit of salt, and an eternal desolation (Zeph. 2:9); where a "place that is left to the nettle" denotes vastated good, and a "pit of salt" vastated truth; for the expression "place left to the nettle" refers to Sodom, by which is signified evil or vastated good, and a "pit of salt" to Gomorrah, by which is signified falsity or vastated truth, as already shown. That the subject is vastation is manifest, for it is said an "eternal desolation." In Jeremiah: He that maketh flesh his arm shall be like a bare shrub in the solitude, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land, and not inhabited (Jer. 17:5-6); where "parched places" denote vastated goods, and a "salt land" vastated truths.  In David: Jehovah maketh rivers into a wilderness, and water springs into dry ground, a fruitful land into a salt one, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein (Ps. 107:33-34); a "fruitful land made into a salt one" denotes the vastation of good in truth. In Ezekiel: The miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given up to salt (Ezek. 47:11); to be "given up to salt" denotes being altogether vastated as to truth. As "salt" signified vastation, and "cities" the doctrinal things of truth (shown at n. 402, 2268, 2428, 2451), in ancient times when cities were destroyed they were sown with salt, in order to prevent their being rebuilt (Judges 9:45). The words before us therefore denote the fourth state of that church which was represented by Lot, which state was that all truth was vastated as to good.2456.
Verses 27-29. And Abraham rose up early in the morning unto the place where he had stood before Jehovah. 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. 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. "Abraham rose up early in the morning," signifies the Lord's thought concerning the last time; Abraham here as before denotes the Lord in that state; "unto the place where he had stood before Jehovah," signifies the state of perception and thought in which He had been before; "place" denotes state. "And he looked against the faces of Sodom and Gomorrah," signifies thought concerning their interior state in respect to evil and falsity; "and against all the faces of the land of the plain," signifies all the interior states thence derived; "and he saw and behold the smoke of the land went up, as the smoke of a furnace," signifies a state of falsity (which is "smoke") from a state of evil (which is the "furnace") within the church (which is the "land"). "And it came to pass when God destroyed the cities of the plain," signifies when they perished through the falsities of evil, which are the "cities of the plain;" "that God remembered Abraham," signifies salvation through the unition of the Lord's Divine Essence with His Human Essence; "and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow," signifies the salvation of those who are in good, and of those who are in truth in which is good, all of whom are here meant by "Lot;" "when He over- threw the cities," signifies when those who were in falsities from evils perished; "in which Lot dwelt," signifies although they who were saved were also in such falsities.2457.
It is not necessary to explain these things in detail, because for the most part they have been explained in the preceding chapter, and also previously to that. They have been here added and inserted to the end that it might be evident that the good were separated from the evil, the former being saved while the latter were condemned, solely through the unition of the Lord's Divine Essence with His Human Essence; for if this had not taken place all those who are here represented by Lot would have perished together with the rest; which is meant by these words: "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;" which in the internal sense denote that through the unition of the Lord's Divine Essence with His Human Essence, all who were in good were saved, and also those who were in truth in which there is good, here represented by Lot, while those who were in falsities from evils perished, although they who were saved were also in falsities and evils. In this way therefore are the things said in this chapter conjoined with those said in the preceding one; namely, that Abraham (that is, the Lord in that state) interceded for those people of Sodom and Gomorrah who are signified by the "fifty," the "forty-five," the "forty," the "thirty," the "twenty," and the "ten;" concerning whom it was there explained that these are all in their order who are in good, and also those who are in truth in which there is anything of good.2458.
Verse 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. "Lot went up out of Zoar," signifies when they were no longer in the affection of truth; "and dwelt in the mountain," signifies that they then betook themselves to a kind of good; " and his two daughters with him," signifies that so did the affections thence derived; "for he feared to dwell in Zoar," signifies because they could no longer look to good from the affection of truth; "and he dwelt in a cave," signifies the good of falsity; "and his two daughters," signifies the affections thence derived, which are those of such good and such falsity.2459.
Lot went up out of Zoar. That this signifies when they were no longer in the affection of truth, is evident from the signification of "Zoar," as being the affection of truth (see n. 2439); and as there follows the statement that "he dwelt in the mountain because he feared to dwell in Zoar," the signification is "when they were no longer in the affection of truth," and this because all the good of truth had been vastated, as is evident from verse 26. In this verse therefore there is described the fifth state of the church which was represented by Lot, which state was that after there was no longer any affection of truth, a kind of impure good, or good of falsity, infused itself.2460.
And dwelt in the mountain. That this signifies that they then betook themselves to a kind of good, is evident from the signification of a "mountain," as being love in every sense, namely, celestial and spiritual love (n. 795, 1430); and also the love of self and of the world (n. 1691); and this because most things in the Word have also an opposite sense. And as all good is of some love, by the "mountain" is here signified good; but what kind of good is described in what follows, namely, that it was obscure, and became impure; for it is presently said that he "dwelt in a cave," and afterwards that profane things took place there.2461.
And his two daughters with him. That this signifies that so did the affections thence derived, is evident from the signification of "daughters," as being affections (see n. 489-491); but such as the good is, such are the affections that are derived from it. Even spurious and impure good has its affections, for all are affected by the things which they deem to be good, of whatever kind these may be, for they are the objects of their love.2462.
For he feared to dwell in Zoar. That this signifies because he could no longer regard good from the affection of truth, is evident from the signification of "Zoar," as being the affection of truth (n. 2439); and when this is vastated no one can any longer have regard to good from it. There is then also a fear of all truth, because this is opposed to the good of an impure love.2463.
And he dwelt in a cave. That this signifies the good of falsity, is evident from the signification of a "cave." A cave is a kind of dwelling in a mountain, but a dark one; and as all dwellings whatever, like "houses," signify goods (n. 2233, 2234), but goods of such sort as are the dwellings; here the "cave," being a dark dwelling, signifies the good of falsity. "Caves of mountains" are often mentioned in the Word, and in the internal sense have such a signification, as in Isaiah (2:19; 32:14), and in the historical books, as when Elijah, escaping from Jezebel, Came to a cave in Mount Horeb, and spent the night there; and there the word of Jehovah came to him, and He said unto him, Go forth and stand on the mount before Jehovah; and he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood at the entrance of the cave (1 Kings 19:9, 13); where in the internal sense by a "cave" is signified obscure good, but such as exists in temptations; and as this could not endure the Divine, he wrapped his face in his mantle. So too elsewhere in the historical books, as that the sons of Israel made for themselves caves in the mountains on account of Midian (Judges 6:2); also on account of the Philistines (1 Sam. 13:6). These historical facts, like those now explained in the books of Moses, have a different meaning in the internal sense.2464.
And his two daughters. That this signifies the affections thence derived, which are those of such good and such falsity, is evident from the signification of "daughters," as being affections (n. 2461). The good from which came these affections, or the father from whom came these daughters, was Lot; and the truth from which came these affections, or the mother of the daughters, was Lot's wife; and when she was made a pillar of salt, that is, when the good of truth was vastated, then there came forth such good as is signified by "Lot in the cave," and such affections thence derived as are signified by the "daughters."2465.
Verses 31-36. 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. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, and let us quicken seed from our father. 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. 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. 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. And the two daughters of Lot conceived by their father.  " The firstborn said unto the younger," signifies here as before the affections; the firstborn the affection of such good, the younger the affection of such falsity; "our father is old, and there is no man in the earth," signifies that it is no longer known what good is, and what truth is; "to come unto us," signifies with which they might be conjoined; "according to the way of all the earth," signifies according to doctrinal things; the "earth" is the church. "Come, let us make our father drink wine," signifies that they should imbue such good with falsities, which are the "wine;" "and let us lie with him," signifies that in this way they would be conjoined; "and let us quicken seed from our father," signifies that so there would be a newness of a sort of church.  "And they made their father drink wine," signifies that they imbued such good with falsities; "that night," signifies when all things were in such obscurity; "and the firstborn went in," signifies the affection of such good; "and lay with her father," signifies that thus they were brought into accordance; "and he knew not when she lay down nor when she arose," signifies that such a general kind of good knew no otherwise than that it was so. "And it came to pass on the morrow," signifies afterwards "that the firstborn said unto the younger," signifies that the affection of such good persuaded the falsity; "Behold, I lay yesternight with my father," signifies that thus they were conjoined; "let us make him drink wine this night also," signifies here as before that they imbued such good with falsities when everything was in such obscurity;  "and go thou in and lie with him," signifies that these things also should be conjoined; "and let us quicken seed from our father," signifies here as before that so there would be a newness of a sort of church. "And they made their father drink wine that night also," signifies that in that obscure state they imbued such good with falsities; "and the younger arose and lay with him," signifies that the affection of falsity did in like manner, so that falsities appeared as truths, and in this way they were conjoined; "and he knew not when she lay down nor when she arose," signifies that such general good knew no otherwise than that it was so. "And the two daughters of Lot conceived by their father," signifies that hence was the origin of such a religion as is signified by Noah and the son of Ammon.2466.
That the things now set forth are signified in the internal sense, can be confirmed, and indeed as to each word; but most of them have been confirmed before, and besides, they are such as do violence to our ideas and give offense to chaste ears. From the summary explication we can see that by the things in question there is described the origin of such a religion as is signified in the Word by "Moab" and the "son of Ammon." The nature of this religion will be told hereafter, where Moab and the son of Ammon are treated of. That it is adulterated good and falsified truth, is evident. The adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth are commonly described in the Word by "adulteries" and "whoredoms," and are also so called, the reason of which is based on the fact that good and truth form a marriage with each other (n. 1904, 2173); nay, incredible as it may appear to most, it is from this marriage as from its genuine origin that there comes the sanctity of marriages on earth, and also the laws of marriages given in the Word.  For the case is this: When celestial and spiritual things descend out of heaven into a lower sphere, they are there turned in the most perfect manner into some likeness of marriages, and this from the correspondence that exists between spiritual and natural things (concerning which correspondence of the Lord's Divine mercy elsewhere). But when they are perverted in the lower sphere, as is done where evil genii and evil spirits are present, the same are then turned into such things as belong to adulteries and whoredoms. Hence it is that contaminations of good and perversions of truth are described in the Word by adulteries and whoredoms, and are also so named, as is very evident from the following passages in Ezekiel: Thou didst commit whoredom because of thy name, and pouredst out thy whoredoms on everyone that passed by; thou didst take of thy garments and madest for thee high places decked with diverse colors, and didst commit whoredom upon them; thou didst take the vessels of thy adornment of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images of a male, and didst commit whoredom with them; thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them. Was there but little of thy whoredoms? Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, thy neighbors, great of flesh and hast multiplied thy whoredom to provoke Me to anger; thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, and hast committed whoredom with them, and wast not satisfied; and thou hast multiplied thy whoredom even unto the land of traffic, unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied therewith (Ezek. 16:15-17, 20, 26, 28-29, etc.),  where Jerusalem is treated of, by which is here signified the church perverted in respect to truths. Everyone can see that all these things have quite different meanings. That something of the church that has been perverted is called "whoredom" is quite evident; the "garments" here mentioned denote the truths that are being perverted; the falsities thence derived, which are worshiped, are the "high places decked with divers colors," with which there was whoredom. (That "garments" denote truths may be seen above, n. 1073; and that "high places" denote worship, n. 796.) The "vessels of adornment of gold and silver which I had given," denote the knowledges of good and truth from the Word by which they confirm falsities; and when these appear as truths, they are called "images of a male" with which whoredom was committed. (That the "vessels of adornment of gold and silver," denote the knowledges of good and truth, is evident from the signification of "gold," as being good, n. 113, 1551, 1552; and of "silver" as being truth, n. 1551, 2048; and that the "images of a male" signify that they appear as truths may be seen above, n. 2046.) That the "sons and daughters" which they bore and sacrificed to them denote the truths and goods which they have perverted, is evident from the signification of "sons and daughters" (see n. 489-491, 533, 2362). That to "commit whoredom with the sons of Egypt," denotes to pervert these truths and goods by means of memory-knowledges is evident from the signification of "Egypt" as being memory-knowledge (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462). That to "commit whoredom with the sons of Asshur," denotes to pervert them by reasonings, is evident from the signification of "Asshur," as being reasoning (n. 119, 1186). That to "multiply whoredom even unto the land of Chaldea," denotes to pervert them even to the profanation of truth, which is "Chaldea" (n. 1368). All this makes clear what is the nature of the internal sense of the Word in the very sense of the letter.  In like manner elsewhere in the same Prophet: Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredom in Egypt; they committed whoredom in their youth; Samaria is Oholah, Jerusalem is Oholibah. Oholah committed whoredom under Me, and she doted on her lovers, the Assyrians her neighbors, she bestowed her whoredoms upon them, the choice of all the sons of Asshur; she hath not forsaken her whoredoms from Egypt, for they lay with her in her youth. Oholibah corrupted her love more than she, and her whoredoms more than the whoredoms of her sister; she doted upon the sons of Asshur; she added to her whoredoms, and saw the images of the Chaldeans, she doted upon them at the view of her eyes; the sons of Babel came to her into the bed of loves (Ezek. 23:2-5, 7-8, 11-12, 14, 16, etc.). "Samaria" denotes the church which is in the affection of truth, and "Jerusalem" that which is in the affection of good; whose "whoredoms with the Egyptians," and "with the sons of Asshur," denote perversions of good and truth by means of memory-knowledges and reasonings, by which falsities are confirmed, as is evident from the signification of "Egypt" (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462); and of "Asshur" (n. 119, 1186). That this was done even to profane worship, which in respect to truth is "Chaldea" (n. 1368); and in respect to good is the "sons of Babel" (n. 1182, 1326).  In Isaiah: And it shall come to pass at the end of seventy years that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her harlot hire, and shall commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth (Isa. 23:17). It is the vaunting of what is false that is signified by the "harlot hire" and the "whoredom" of Tyre. That "Tyre" denotes the knowledges of truth may be seen above (n. 1201); and also that the "kingdoms" with which the whoredom was committed denote truths (n. 1672).  In Jeremiah: Thou hast committed whoredom with many companions; and return again unto Me. Lift up thine eyes unto the hills, and see; where hast thou not been debauched? Upon the ways hast thou sat for them as an Arab in the wilderness, and thou hast profaned the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness (Jer. 3:1-2). To "commit whoredoms" and to "profane the land with whoredoms" denote to pervert and falsify the truths of the church (that the "land" denotes the church see above, n. 662, 1066, 1067).  Again: By the voice of her whoredom she hath profaned the land, she hath committed adultery with stone and with wood (Jer. 3:9); to "commit adultery with stone and with wood," denotes to pervert the truths and goods of external worship (that "stone" is such truth may be seen above, n. 643, 1298; and that "wood" is such good, n. 643).  Again: Because they have wrought folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with the wives of their fellows, and have spoken a word in My name that is false, which I commanded them not (Jer. 29:23); to "commit adultery with the wives of their fellows," is to teach falsity as from them.  Again: In the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing, in committing adultery and walking in falsehood (Jer. 23:14); where to "commit adultery" regards good which is contaminated; and to "walk in falsehood" regards truth which is perverted. Again: I have seen thine abominations; thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the foulness of thy whoredom upon the hills in the field. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem, thou wilt not be made clean; how long shall it yet be? (Jer. 13:27).  In Hosea: Whoredom, and wine, and new wine, have taken possession of the heart. My people inquireth of wood, and the staff thereof will declare it; for the spirit of whoredom hath led them astray, and they have committed whoredom from under their God; they sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under the oak, the poplar, and the terebinth [robore]; therefore your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery; shall I not visit upon your daughters because they commit whoredom, and upon your daughters-in-law because they commit adultery? For they divide with whores, and sacrifice with prostitutes (Hos. 4:11-14). What each of these things signifies in the internal sense can be seen from the signification of "wine," as being falsity; of "new wine," as being the evil thence derived; of the "wood that is inquired of," as being the good of the delight of some cupidity; of the "staff that will declare," as being the imaginary power of their understanding; also of the "mountains" and the "hills," as being the loves of self and of the world; of the "oak, the poplar, and the terebinth," as being so many gross perceptions thence derived in which they trust; of "daughters" and the "daughters-in-law" as being such affections; all of which show what is here signified by "whoredoms," "adulteries," and "harlots."  In the same: O Israel, thou hast committed whoredom over thy God, thou hast loved harlot hire upon all the corn floors (Hos. 9:1); "harlot hire" denotes the vaunting of what is false. In Moses: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they commit whoredom after their gods, and sacrifice unto their gods; and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifices, and thou take of his daughters for thy sons, and his daughters commit whoredom after their gods, and make thy sons commit whoredom after their gods (Exod. 34:15-16). In the same: I will cut off all that commit whoredom after him, committing whoredom after Molech, from the midst of their people; and the soul that turneth unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto the soothsayers, to commit whoredom after them, I will set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from the midst of his people (Lev. 20:5-6). In the same: Your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whoredoms, until your bodies be consumed in the wilderness (Num. 14:33). In the same: Remember all the precepts of Jehovah, and do them, that ye seek not after your own heart, and your own eyes, after which ye do commit whoredom (Num. 15:39).  And still more plainly in John: An angel said, Come hither, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed whoredom, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom (Rev. 17:1-2); the "great harlot" denotes those who are in profane worship; the "many waters" upon which she sits, are knowledges (n. 28, 739); the "kings of the earth" who have committed whoredom with her, are the truths of the church (n. 1672, 2015, 2069); the "wine" with which they were made drunk, is falsity (n. 1071, 1072). Because "wine" and "drunkenness" signify these things, it is said of the daughters of Lot, that they made their father drink wine (verses 32-33, 35).  In the same: Babylon hath made all nations drink of the wine of the fury of her whoredom, and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her (Rev. 18:3). "Babylon" or "Babel" denotes a worship the externals of which appear holy, while the interiors are profane (n. 1182, 1295, 1326); the "nations that she makes to drink," are the goods which are being profaned (n. 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849); the "kings" who committed whoredom with her, are truths (n. 1672, 2015, 2069). In the same: True and just are the judgments of the Lord God, for He hath judged the great harlot, who corrupted the earth with her whoredom (Rev. 19:2); where the "earth" denotes the church (n. 566, 662, 1066, 1068, 2117, 2118).  As "whoredoms" signify such things, and "daughters" signify affections, it was therefore forbidden so severely that the daughter of a priest should commit whoredom; concerning which we read in Moses: The daughter of a priest, having begun to commit whoredom, she is profaning her father, she shall be burned with fire (Lev. 21:9). It was also commanded that they should not bring the hire of a harlot into the house of Jehovah, because it is an abomination (Deut. 23:18). And for the same reason there was such an inquisitorial process concerning a wife whose husband had conceived a suspicion of adultery (Num. 5:12-31), in which instance each and all things have relation to the adulterations of good. Moreover in the Word many different kinds of adulteries and whoredoms are spoken of, and still more varieties. This kind which is here described by Lot's daughters lying with their father, is what is called "Moab" and the "son of Ammon," now to be explained.2467.
Verses 37, 38. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of Moab even unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon even unto this day. "The firstborn bare a son," signifies the religion of that church in respect to good; "and called his name Moab," signifies its quality; "he is the father of Moab even unto this day," signifies that this is the source of such persons. "And the younger she also bare a son," signifies the falsified truth of that church; "and called his name Benammi," signifies its quality; "he is the father of the sons of Ammon even unto this day," signifies that this is the source of such persons.2468.
These things, again, need no confirmation; for that such things are signified is evident from the explication itself, and from what precedes and what follows. But what is the nature and quality of the religion signified by "Moab" and the "sons of Ammon," can be seen from their origin, as here described; as well as from many passages in the Word, both historic and prophetic, where these nations are mentioned. To speak generally they denote those who are in an external worship which appears in a manner holy, but who are not in internal worship; and who readily learn as being goods and truths the things that belong to external worship, but reject and despise those of internal worship.  Such worship and such religion fall to the lot of those who are in natural good, but despise others in comparison with themselves. They are not unlike fruits which in the external form are not unbeautiful, but which are moldy or rotten within; and they are not unlike marble vases, within which are things impure and even foul; or not unlike women seemly enough in face, form, and manners, but diseased within, and full of impurities. For there is a general good appertaining to such which appears not ill-favored; but the particulars that enter into it are filthy. In the beginning indeed it is not so, but it gradually becomes so; for such men easily suffer themselves to be imbued with whatever things are called good, and with any falsities whatsoever that are derived from these, and which, because they confirm them, they suppose to be truths; and this because they despise the interior things of worship, for the reason that they are in the love of self. Such persons have their existence and derivation from those who are in external worship alone (represented in this chapter by Lot); and this when the good of truth has been desolated. They are described in the Word, both such as they are in the beginning, when their good has not yet become so defiled; and afterwards when it is becoming defiled; and also after this, when it has become utterly defiled; and it is shown that they reject the interior things of worship and of doctrine.  The character of such in the beginning when their good has not yet become so defiled, is described in Daniel: In the time of the end shall the king of the south be at variance with him; and the king of the north shall rush upon him like a storm, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships, and shall come into the lands, and shall overflow, and shall pass through; and he shall come into the land of beauty, and many lands shall go to ruin: these shall be rescued out of his hand, Edom, and Moab, and the firstlings of the sons of Ammon (Dan. 11:40-41). The "king of the south," denotes those who are in goods and truths; the "king of the north," those who are in evils and falsities; the "king of the north with chariot, horsemen, and ships, coming upon the lands, overflowing, and passing through," signifies that the evils and falsities denoted by "chariots," "horsemen," and "ships," will prevail; "Edom, Moab, and the firstlings of the sons of Ammon who are to be rescued out of his hand," denote those who are in such good that is not as yet so defiled by falsities; on which account they are called the "firstlings of the sons of Ammon."  In Moses: We passed through by the way of the wilderness, and Jehovah said unto Moses, Distress not Moab, neither mingle thyself with them in war, for I will not give thee of his land for an inheritance, because I have given Ar unto the sons of Lot for an inheritance (Deut. 2:8-9). And concerning the sons of Ammon: Jehovah spoke unto Moses, saying, Thou art to pass this day over Ar the border of Moab, and thou wilt come near over against the sons of Ammon; distress them not, nor mingle thyself with them; for I will not give thee of the land of the sons of Ammon for an inheritance, because I have given it unto the sons of Lot for an inheritance (Deut. 2:17-19); "Ar" denotes such good; "Moab" and the "sons of Ammon" denote those who are in such good, but in the beginning; on which account it is ordered that they be not distressed.  Hence it is that Moab drove out the Emim, and the Rephaim who were like the Anakim; and that the sons of Ammon also drove out the Rephaim whom they called the Zamzumim (Deut. 2:9-11, 18-21). By the Emim, Rephaim, Anakim, and Zamzumim, are signified those who are imbued with persuasions of what is evil and false (see n. 581, 1673); by Moab and the sons of Ammon are here meant those who were not yet so imbued. These nations however when they too had become so imbued, that is, when their good was defiled by falsities, were likewise driven out (Num. 21:21-31; Ezek. 25:8-11).  Their character when their good is becoming defiled is described in Jeremiah: Unto Moab thus saith Jehovah, Woe unto Nebo, for it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is put to shame, is taken; Misgab is put to shame and is dismayed; the praise of Moab is no more; give wing to Moab, for flying she must fly away, and her cities shall become a desolation, without any to dwell therein. Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab; and be like the dove, she maketh her nest in the passages of the mouth of the pit. I know his anger, saith Jehovah, but it is not firm; his falsities, they have not done right. Therefore will I howl over Moab, and I will cry out to all Moab. From the weeping of Jazer will I weep for thee, O vine of Sibmah; thy shoots have passed over the sea, they reached even to the sea of Jazer; upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage the spoiler is fallen. Therefore my heart is moved over Moab, like fruits. Woe unto thee, O Moab, the people of Chemosh is destroyed; for thy sons are taken into captivity, and thy daughters into captivity. And I will bring back the captivity of Moab in the latter days (Jer. 48:1, 9, 28, 30-32, 36, 46-47).  In this whole chapter the subject treated of is Moab; but through him those are treated of who are in such good, in that they suffer themselves to be imbued with falsities; on which account it is said that they should "give wing to Moab, that it may fly away, and that its cities shall become a desolation;" but that they should "leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and make nests like the dove in the passages of the mouth of the pit," and so on, by which expressions it is signified that they are persuaded to remain in their general goods and truths; and that if they should then be seduced by the falsities of ignorance, they will be brought back from captivity in the latter days; but concerning those with whom this was not done it is said, "I will howl over Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab, and my heart is moved over Moab." The falsities with which they are imbued are signified by Nebo, Kiriathaim, Misgab, Sibmah, Jazer, Chemosh, and other names in this chapter.  In Isaiah: A nest sent away shall the daughters of Moab be. Bring forth counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow like the night 2468-1 in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts, betray not the wanderer, let mine outcasts dwell with thee, O Moab; be thou a covert to them from the spoiler. We have heard the arrogance of Moab, he is very arrogant, his pride, and his arrogance, and his anger; his lies are not so; therefore Moab shall howl, for Moab all shall howl. Therefore my bowels shall be stirred like a harp over Moab, and mine inward part for the city of Heres. And it shall come to pass when Moab shall be seen, when he is wearied upon the high place, and shall come to his sanctuary to pray, that he shall not prevail. In three years, as if years of hire, and the praise of Moab shall become vile, in all the great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small, and not strong (Isa. 16:2-4, 6, 11-12, 14). Moab is further treated of in this whole chapter, and through him those who are in such good; and they are described there in words similar to those in Jeremiah (chapter 48) and are in like manner persuaded to remain in their general goods and truths, and not to suffer themselves to be imbued with falsities. These general goods and truths are signified by their "giving counsel," "executing judgment," "hiding the outcasts," "not betraying the wanderer," and being "a covert to the outcasts from the spoiler;" all of which things signify the externals of worship. But as they suffer themselves to be imbued with falsities, it is said, "in three years, as years of hire, shall the praise of Moab become vile in all the great multitude, and the remnant shall be very small, and not strong."  As such persons are easily led away, Moab is called "the sending forth of the band of the Philistines," and the sons of Ammon their "obedience," in Isaiah: The root of Jesse which standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto Him shall the nations seek, and His rest shall be glory; the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not distress Ephraim and they shall fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea; together shall they spoil the sons of the east, Edom, Moab the sending forth of their hand, and the sons of Ammon their obedience (Isa. 11:10, 13, 14) the "root of Jesse" denotes the Lord; "Judah" those who are in celestial good; "Ephraim" those who are in spiritual truth; the "Philistines" those who are in the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of truth, and not in charity, the "sons of the east," those who are in the mere memory-knowledge of the knowledges of good, and also not in charity; and Moab is called the "sending forth of their hand," and the sons of Ammon their "obedience," because they are imbued with falsities by them.  But of what character become those who are called Moab and the sons of Ammon when their good has been altogether defied by falsities, is described in David: God hath spoken in His holiness, Gilead is Mine, Manasseh is Mine, Ephraim also is the strength of My head, Judah is My lawgiver, Moab is My washpot (Ps. 60:7-9, and also Ps. 108:8-10) the "washpot" denotes good defiled by falsities.  In Jeremiah: The praise of Moab is no more in Heshbon they have devised evil against him: come, let us cut him off from being a nation. Moab hath been at peace from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, and hath not gone into exile therefore his taste remaineth in him, and his odor is not changed. On all the housetops of Moab there shall be lamentation everywhere, because I have broken Moab like a vessel in which there is no pleasure (Jer. 48:2, 11, 38) The falsities with which the good denoted by Moab is defiled, are here called "lees, in which the taste and the odor remain," if he is not reformed, which is here denoted by being "emptied from vessel to vessel." This good itself is called the "vessel in which there is no pleasure," just as in David it is called a "washpot," in which washing is done. In Isaiah: In this mountain the band of Jehovah resteth, and Moab shall be trodden down under it, as chaff is trodden down in the dunghill (Isa. 25:10).  That they who are in such good care for external things only, and despise, reject, and indeed spew out the internal things of worship and of doctrine, and that consequently they have falsities instead of truths - in Ezekiel: Son of man, set thy face toward the sons of Ammon, and prophesy against them, and say unto the sons of Ammon, Hear the word of the Lord Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou saidst, Aha, against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity, I will make Rabbah a habitation for camels, and the sons of Ammon a couching-place for the flock. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because thou hast clapped the hand, and hast stamped with the foot, and hast been glad with all the contempt of thy soul against the ground of Israel, therefore behold I will stretch out My hand upon thee, and give thee for a spoil to the nations, and I will cut thee off from the peoples, and destroy thee from the lands (Ezek. 25:2-11). These words: "Aha, against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity," "thou hast clapped the hand, and hast stamped with the foot, and hast been glad with all the contempt of thy soul against the land of Israel," are expressions of contempt, derision, and rejection of the interior things of worship and of doctrine; and when these are rejected, external things are of no avail; but such persons are "given for a spoil to the nations," that is, they are taken possession of by evils, and are "cut off from the peoples," that is by falsities, and are "destroyed from the earth," that is they become of no church.  In Zephaniah: I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the blasphemies of the sons of Ammon, who have reproached My people; they enlarged against their border: therefore, as I live, Moab shall be as Sodom, and the sons of Ammon as Gomorrah, a place abandoned to the nettle, and a pit of salt, and a perpetual desolation. This they have for their pride, because they reproached and enlarged against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth (Zeph. 2:8-10). To "reproach the people," and to "enlarge against their boundary, and against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth," is to hold as vile and to reject interior truths, which are the "people of Jehovah Zebaoth." The consequence of this is that goods become evils of falsity, which are "Sodom" and a "place abandoned to the nettle;" and truths become falsities, which are "Gomorrah" and a "pit of salt." For it is from internal things that external are capable of being good and true.  In David: Thine enemies craftily meditate a secret thing against thy people, they consult together against thy hidden ones: Come, let us cut them off from being a nation, and let the name of Israel be no more in remembrance for they consult together with one heart; against thee do they cut out a covenant, the tents of Edom, and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagarenes, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre Asshur also is joined with them, they are an arm to the sons of Lot (Ps. 83:2-8). To "consult together against the hidden ones," to "cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel should be no more in remembrance," denotes to utterly reject interior things; the "tents of Edom, the Ishmaelites, Noah, the Hagarenes, Gebal, and Ammon," denote those who are in the external things of worship and of doctrine; "Philistia with Tyre" denote the things they say concerning internal things while not being in them; "Asshur, who is an arm to the sons of Lot," denotes the reasoning by which they contend in favor of external things and against internal things.  In Moses: A man shall not take his father's wife, and shall not violate his father's skirt. He that is bruised with a bruising, or is bruised in the testicle, shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah; a Moabite and an Ammonite shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation, they shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah forever (Deut. 22:30; 23:1-3). These words show what is the character of Moab and Ammon in the "end of days," or when they have become altogether imbued with falsities (that is, those with whom good is being adulterated and truth falsified), in that they despise, reject, and at length utterly cast out all interior things. On this account they are here mentioned after mention has been made of foul adulteries, such as taking a father's wife, and violating a father's skirt; nearly as is related of Lot's daughters, from whom came Moab and Ammon; and also after the mention of those who are bruised with a bruising, and bruised in the testicle, by whom are signified those who utterly reject whatever is of love and charity. The "congregation of Jehovah" is heaven, into which they cannot come, because they have no remains, which are solely from interior goods and interior truths, and are signified by the "tenth generation" (n. 576, 1738, 2280).  These were also among the nations who sacrificed their sons and daughters to Molech, by which is signified in the internal sense that they extinguished truths and goods; for the god of Moab was Chemosh, and the god of the sons of Ammon was Molech and Milchom (1 Kings 11:7, 33; 2 Kings 23:13), to which they sacrificed (2 Kings 3:27). That by "sons and daughters" are signified truths and goods, may be seen above (n. 489-491, 533, 1147).  Such then is the signification of Moab and Ammon; but as regards the various kinds of falsity by which they adulterate goods and extinguish truths, these are numerous, being thus recounted in Jeremiah, but merely by names: Judgment is come upon the land of the plain, upon Holon, upon Jahzah, and upon Mephaath; and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Beth-diblathaim; and upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth-gamul, and upon Beth-meon; and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near. The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken. Make him drunken, because he magnified himself against Jehovah; and let Moab exult in his vomit (Jer. 48:21-26). These are the kinds of falsity that assemble together in those who are called Moab and Ammon; but what is the nature and quality of these various kinds of falsity can be seen from the signification of these several names in the internal sense. That in the Word names signify nothing else than actual things, has often been shown already.2469.
CONCERNING MAN'S MEMORY WHICH REMAINS AFTER DEATH, AND THE RECOLLECTION OF WHAT HE HAD DONE IN THE LIFE OF THE BODY Scarcely anyone has yet known that every man has two memories, one exterior and the other interior; and that the exterior memory is proper to his body, but the interior memory to his spirit.2470.
Man, while living in the body, can scarcely be aware that he has an interior memory, because the interior memory then acts almost as one with his exterior memory; for the ideas of thought of the interior memory flow into the things in the exterior memory as into their vessels, and the two are there conjoined together. It is as when angels and spirits are speaking to a man; for then the ideas of the former, by which they converse with each other, flow into the words of the man's language, and so conjoin themselves with them that the spirits know no otherwise than that they are speaking the man's own language; when yet the ideas are theirs, and the words into which they flow are the man's; on which subject I have often spoken with spirits.2471.
These two memories are entirely distinct from each other. To the exterior memory, which is proper to man while he is living in the world, pertain all the words of languages, also the objects of the outer senses, and also the knowledges that belong to the world. To the interior memory pertain the ideas of the speech of spirits, which are of the inner sight, and all rational things, from the ideas of which thought itself comes into existence. That these two classes of things are distinct from each other, man does not know, both because he does not reflect upon it, and because he is in corporeal things, from which he cannot then so far withdraw his mind.2472.
Hence it is that men while living in the body cannot speak with each other except by means of languages distinguished into articulate sounds, that is, into words, and are unable to understand one another unless they are acquainted with these languages, for the reason that their speech is from the exterior memory. Whereas spirits speak with each other by means of a universal language distinguished into ideas such as are of thought itself, and thus they can have converse with any spirit whatever, of whatever language and nation he had been while in the world, for the reason that their speech is from the interior memory. Into this language comes every man immediately after death, because he comes into this memory, which, as before said, is proper to his spirit (see n. 1637, 1639, 1757, 1876).2473.
The interior memory immeasurably surpasses the exterior, and is relatively as are some myriads to one, or as light is to darkness; for myriads of the ideas of the interior memory flow into a single thing of the exterior memory, and there present a general obscure something. Hence all the faculties of spirits, and still more those of angels, are in a more perfect state, that is, both their sensations, and their thoughts and perceptions. In what way the interior memory excels the exterior, may be seen from examples. When a man calls to remembrance any other man whose quality is known to him from the interaction of many years, whether a friend or an enemy, that which he then thinks about him is presented as one obscure thing; and this because he is thinking from the exterior memory. But when the same man has become a spirit, and calls the other to remembrance, that which he then thinks about him is presented as to all the ideas which he had ever conceived concerning him; and this because he is then thinking from the interior memory. And so it is with everything: the thing itself about which anyone has known many things presents itself in the exterior memory as a single general thing; but in the interior memory it presents itself as to all the particulars about which he has ever acquired for himself an idea in respect to that thing; and this in a wonderful form.2474.
All things whatever that a man hears and sees, and by which he is affected, are, unknown to the man, insinuated as to ideas and ends into his interior memory; and they remain in it, so that not anything perishes; although the same things are obliterated in the exterior memory. Such therefore is the interior memory that there are inscribed on it all the single, nay, the most singular things that the man has ever thought, spoken, and done; nay, even those which have appeared to him as but a shade, with the minutest particulars, from his earliest infancy to the last of old age. The memory of all these things the man has with him when he comes into the other life, and he is successively brought into full recollection of them. This is his Book of Life, which is opened in the other life, and according to which he is judged. He then can scarcely believe this, but yet it is most true. All the ends, which to him have been in obscurity, and all the things he has thought; together with everything that from these he has spoken and done, down to the smallest point, are in that Book, that is, in the interior memory, and whenever the Lord grants, are made manifest before the angels as in clear day. This has several times been shown me, and has been attested by so much experience that not the least doubt remains.2475.
As yet no one knows what is the state of souls after death in respect to the memory. From much and daily experience of many years, it has been given me to know that after death a man loses nothing whatever of what has been in his memories, whether in the exterior or in the interior memory; insomuch that nothing can possibly be thought of so small or so minute that the man does not have it with him; so that after death he leaves nothing whatever behind him except his bones and flesh, which, while he lived in the world, were not animated from themselves, but from the life of his spirit, which was his purer substance annexed to the things of the body.2476.
But as regards man's exterior memory, the case is this: He has all things of it with him both in general and in particular; but he is not then allowed to use this memory, but only the interior memory. The reasons are many; the first being that which has been stated, namely, that from the interior memory one can speak and have interaction in the other life with all in the universe. The second is, that this memory is proper to the spirit and is adapted to the state in which it then is; for exterior things-that is, those of memory-knowledge, of the world, and of the body-are adapted to man and correspond to his state while he is in the world and the body; but interior things-that is, things rational, spiritual, and celestial-are adapted and correspond to his spirit.2477.
I once heard spirits speaking together of the fact that whatever is adopted as a principle, no matter what it may be, can be confirmed by innumerable things, until at length, to the man who has confirmed himself, it appears entirely true even though false; and that men can be more easily persuaded of a falsity than of a truth. In order that they might be convinced of this, it was proposed to them that they should think and speak together on the point as to whether it is useful to spirits to use the exterior memory (for spirits converse on such subjects in a manner far surpassing man's belief, or even conception, but each one in accordance with his affection). The spirits who were in favor of corporeal and worldly things confirmed the proposition in question by many reasons, such as that in this way they would have lost nothing, but would be men after death equally as before; that in this way they could come again into the world through man; that the delight of life is in the exterior memory; and that in no other faculty and endowment are there intelligence and wisdom; besides many other reasons by which they confirmed themselves in their principle, until it appeared to them true.  But others then thought and spoke from the opposite principle, knowing that what they said was true, because it was from Divine order. They said that if spirits were permitted to use the exterior memory they would then be in similar imperfection as before, when they were men; that by so doing they would be in gross and obscure ideas, in comparison with those who are in the interior memory; and thus would not only become more and more foolish, but would also descend, and not ascend; thus would not live eternally; for to immerse themselves again in worldly and corporeal things would be to give themselves again into a state of death. They said also that if spirits were permitted to use the exterior memory the human race would perish; for every man is directed by the Lord through angels and spirits; and that if spirits were to flow into man from the exterior memory, he could not think from his own memory, but only from that of the spirit; thus man would come to be no longer in the enjoyment of his own life and his own freedom, but would be obsessed (the obsessions of former times being nothing else); besides other reasons.2478.
In order that I might know how the case is as to man's not being able to think from his own memory if spirits flowed in from their exterior memory, it has been permitted two or three times that this should be done; and I then knew no otherwise than that that was mine which was not mine, but a spirit's; and that I had thought things before which I had not thought; and this I was not able to perceive until they withdrew.2479.
A certain newly arrived spirit was indignant that he did not remember many things which he knew in the life of the body, grieving on account of the delight which he had lost, and with which he had been very greatly pleased. But he was told that he had lost nothing at all, and that he knew everything he had known; but that in the other life it is not permitted to draw forth such things; and that it is sufficient that he is now able to think and speak much better and more perfectly, without immersing his rational as before in dense, obscure, material, and corporeal things which are of no use in the kingdom into which he has now come; and that the things which were in the kingdom of the world had been left behind; and that he now has whatever conduces to the use of eternal life; and that thus and not otherwise can he become blessed and happy; thus that it is a result of ignorance to believe that in the other life intelligence perishes with the disuse of the corporeal memory; when yet the case is that insofar as the mind can be withdrawn from sensuous or corporeal things, so far is it elevated to spiritual and heavenly things.2480.
Seeing that men after death are in the interior memory (which has belonged to their rational) therefore those who in the world have been preeminently skilled in languages, cannot call forth even one syllable of them; and they who have been preeminently versed in the sciences cannot call up anything of their knowledges, and are sometimes more stupid than others. But whatever they have imbibed by means of the languages, or of the sciences, this they bring forth into use, because it has formed their rational. The rational they had so procured is that from which they think and speak. He who has imbibed falsities by means of the languages and sciences, and has confirmed himself in them, reasons from nothing but falsities; but he who has imbibed and confirmed truths, speaks from the truths. It is the affection itself which gives life-the affection of evil which gives life to falsities, and the affection of good which gives life to truths. Everyone thinks from affection, and no one without affection.2481.
That men after death, that is, spirits, have lost nothing whatever of the things which belong to their external or corporeal memory; but that they retain all things of it (that is to say, they retain the whole of it), although it is not permitted to bring forth from it the particulars 2481-1 of their life, has been given me to know from much experience, as may be seen from what follows. Two persons whom I had known during their life in the body, and who had been enemies to each other, met; and I heard one describing the character of the other with many circumstances, and also telling what opinion he had had of him, repeating an entire letter that he had written to him, and many other things in series which were particulars, and that belonged to the exterior memory; all of which the other acknowledged, and at which he was silent.2482.
I heard a certain one upbraiding another, in that he had kept back his property, and had not restored it; and this together with circumstances that were of the exterior memory, until the other was ashamed. I also heard the other replying, and rehearsing the reasons why he had done it; all of which were worldly particulars.2483.
A certain woman was let into the state in which she had been in the world when she had plotted a misdeed; and then all the details of her thoughts, and of her conversation with another female, came out as into clear day. A certain female belonging to the crew of the Sirens, because she persisted in denying that she had been such in the life of the body, was let into the state of her corporeal memory; and then her adulteries and shameless deeds, which while she lived had been known to scarcely anyone, were laid open and were recounted in series, almost to hundreds: where she had been; with whom she had committed adultery; what she then plotted; and all these as much to the life as if in open day; thus was she convicted. Such things are brought forth when anyone desires to exculpate himself from having been such; and indeed to the life, with every circumstance.2485.
A certain one was with me whom I had not known during his life in the body. When I inquired whether he knew whence he was, he did not know; but by means of the interior sight he was led by me through the cities where I had been, and at length through the city from which he was, and then through its streets and squares, all of which he recognized, and at length into the street where he had dwelt; and if I had been acquainted with the houses, and how they were situated, I should have been able to know his house.2486.
That men have with them everything of the corporeal memory, both in general and in particular, has frequently been made evident to me from those with whom I had been acquainted during their life in the body, in that when I spoke with them they recognized everything they had done while I was present, and which they had then spoken and thought. From these and many other experiences, it has been given me to know for certain that a man carries with him into the other life all things of the exterior or corporeal memory.2487.
I have been instructed that regarded in itself the exterior memory is simply something organic formed from the objects of the senses-specially those of the sight and of the hearing-in the substances which are the beginnings of the fibers; and that according to the impressions from these objects are effected variations of form, which are reproduced; and that these forms are varied and changed according to the changes of the state of the affections and persuasions. Also that the interior memory is in like manner organic, but purer and more perfect, being formed from the objects of the interior sight; which objects are disposed into regular series, in an incomprehensible order.2488.
Before I had been instructed by living experience, I had supposed, as do others, that no spirit could possibly know the things in my memory and in my thought; but that they were solely in my possession, and were hidden. But I can assert that the spirits with man know and take note of the smallest things of his memory and thoughts; and this much more clearly than the man himself; and that the angels know and take note of the ends themselves, how they bend themselves from good to evil, and from evil to good; and of many more things than the man knows; such as those which he has immersed in his delights, and thus as it were in his nature and disposition; for when this is done such things no longer appear, because he no longer reflects upon them. Let no man therefore any longer believe that his thoughts are hidden, and that he is not to render an account of his thoughts, and of his deeds according to the degree and the quality of the thoughts that have been in them; for the deeds have their quality from the thoughts, and the thoughts from the ends.2489.
The things of the interior memory manifest themselves in the other life by a certain sphere, from which the quality of spirits is known at a distance, that is, what is their affection, and what their opinions. This sphere comes forth from the activity of the things in the interior memory. (Concerning these spheres see above, n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504, etc.)2490.
As regards the interior memory the case is this: There are retained in it not only all and each of the things the man from his infancy has ever seen and heard, and those he has thought, spoken, and done; but also those which he sees and hears, and which he thinks, speaks, and does, in the other life. But this takes place with a difference. They who are in the persuasion of falsity and the cupidity of evil imbibe and retain all things that are in agreement therewith, for they enter in as water does into a sponge. All other things do indeed also flow thereto, but are retained so slightly that they scarcely know that they are anything. But they who are in the faith of truth and the affection of good retain all things which are true and good, and are thereby being continually perfected. Hence it is that they can be instructed, and that they are instructed in the other life.2491.
There are spirits whose origin shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be spoken of elsewhere, who relate to the interior memory. These wander about in bands, and in wonderful ways elicit whatever others know, and whatever they hear they communicate to their companions.2492.
The nature of the memories is sometimes presented to view in the other life, in forms to be seen there alone. (Many things are there presented to the sight, which in the case of men fall only into the ideas.) The exterior memory is thus presented to view as a callosity; the interior memory as a medullary substance such as is in the human brain. From this circumstance it is possible to know of what quality the spirits are. With those who in the life of the body have fostered the memory alone, and so have not cultivated their rational, the callosity appears hard, and striated within. With those who have filled the memory with falsities, it appears as if made of hair and shaggy, and this from the disorderly mass of things. With those who have fostered the memory for the sake of the love of self and of the world, it appears conglutinated and indurated. With those who have desired to penetrate into Divine arcana by things scientific, and especially by things philosophical, and who would not believe until persuaded by means of these things, it appears dark, and of such a nature as to absorb the rays of light, and turn them into darkness. With those who have been deceitful and hypocrites, it appears as if bony and of ebony, 2492-1 reflecting the rays of light. But with those who have been in the good of love and the truth of faith, such a callosity does not appear; because their interior memory transmits the rays of light into the exterior memory, in the objects or ideas of which-as in their basis or as in their ground-the rays are terminated, and find there delightful receptacles. For the exterior memory is the ultimate of order, in which spiritual and heavenly things are softly terminated and reside when there are goods and truths therein.2493.
I have spoken with the angels concerning the memory of things past, and the consequent anxiety regarding things to come; and I have been instructed that the more interior and perfect the angels are, the less do they care for past things, and the less do they think of things to come; and also that from this comes their happiness. They say that the Lord gives them every moment what to think, and this with blessedness and happiness; and that they are thus free from cares and anxieties. Also, that this was meant in the internal sense by the manna being received daily from heaven; and by the daily bread in the Lord's Prayer; and likewise by the instruction not to be solicitous about what they should eat and drink, and wherewithal they should be clothed. But although the angels do not care for past things, and are not solicitous about things to come, they nevertheless have the most perfect recollection of past things, and the most perfect mental view of things to come; because in all their present there are both the past and the future. Thus they have a more perfect memory than can ever be thought of or expressed.2494.
When men who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor are living in the world, they have with themselves and in themselves angelic intelligence and wisdom, but stored up in the inmosts of their interior memory; which intelligence and wisdom cannot possibly appear to them until they put off corporeal things. Then the memory of particulars (spoken of above) is put to sleep; and they are awakened into the interior memory, and successively afterwards into the angelic memory itself.2495.
CHAPTER 20 That the Word contains within it an internal sense that is not apparent in the letter has already been stated and shown in many places, and the nature of this internal sense appears from all that has thus far been unfolded, beginning with the first chapter of Genesis. Nevertheless as the few who at this day believe in the Word do not know that there is such a sense, it may be well to confirm it further.  The Lord describes the Consummation of the Age, or the last period of the church, as follows: 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; Mark 13:24). That in this passage the "sun" does not mean the sun, nor the "moon" the moon, nor the "stars" the stars; but that the "sun" signifies love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor; the "moon" the faith of love and charity; and the "stars" the knowledges of good and truth, was shown above (n. 31, 32, 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 2120, 2441); so that by these words of the Lord there is signified that in the consummation of the age (or last period of the church) there will no longer be any love, or charity, nor therefore any faith.  That this is the meaning is evident from similar words of the Lord in the Prophets, as in Isaiah: Behold, the day of Jehovah cometh, to make the earth a solitude and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it; for the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine (Isa. 13:9-10); where also the last period of the church, or what is the same, the consummation of the age, is treated of. In Joel: A day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of cloud and obscurity, before Him the earth quaked, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon were darkened, and the stars withdrew their shining (Joel 2:2, 10); with a similar meaning. Again in the same: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes (Joel 2:31). And again in the same: The day of Jehovah is near, the sun and the moon have been darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining (Joel 3:14-15). In Ezekiel: When I shall extinguish thee, I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine; all the luminaries of light in the heavens will I make dark, and will set darkness upon thy land (Ezek. 32:7-8). So too in John: I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and behold there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars fell unto the earth (Rev. 6:12, 13). 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, and the third part of them was darkened (Rev. 8:12).  From these passages it is evident that the Lord's words in the Evangelists involve much the same as His words in the Prophets, namely, that in the last times there will be neither charity, nor faith; and that this is the internal sense; as also is still further evident in Isaiah: The moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed, for Jehovah Zebaoth shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23); that is to say, faith, which is the "moon," shall blush; and charity, which is the "sun," shall be ashamed, because they are such; for it cannot be said of the moon and the sun that they shall blush and be ashamed. And in Daniel: The goat's horn grew toward the south, and toward the east, and 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); where it is plain to everyone that the "army of the heavens" does not signify an "army," nor the "stars" stars. GENESIS 20 1. And Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar. 2. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3. And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold thou wilt die because of the woman whom thou hast taken, for she is married to a husband. 4. And Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, Lord, wilt Thou slay also a righteous nation? 5. Said he not himself unto me, She is my sister? And she herself also said, He is my brother: in the uprightness of my heart and in the blamelessness of my hands have I done this. 6. And God said unto him in the dream, Yea, I know that in the uprightness of thy heart thou hast done this; and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me; therefore I did not suffer thee to touch her. 7. And now restore the man's wife, for he is a prophet; and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; and if thou restore her not, know thou that dying thou shalt die, thou and all that are thine. 8. And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and spoke all these words in their ears; and the men feared greatly. 9. And Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? And wherein have I sinned against thee that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Thou hast done unto me deeds that ought not to be done. 10. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou that thou hast done this word? 11. And Abraham said, Because I said, Surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me on account of the word of my wife. 12. And moreover truly she is my sister, being the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13. And it came to pass when God caused me to depart from my father's house that I said unto her, This is thy goodness which thou shalt do unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. 14. And Abimelech took flock and herd, and menservants and maidservants, and gave unto Abraham; and restored to him Sarah his wife. 15. And Abimelech said, Behold my land is before thee; dwell in that which is good in thine eyes. 16. And unto Sarah he said, Behold I have given a thousand of silver to thy brother; behold it is unto thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee, and with all; and she was vindicated. 17. And Abraham prayed unto God, and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they brought forth. 18. For closing Jehovah had therefore closed every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of the word of Sarah, Abraham's wife.2496.
THE CONTENTS. In the twelfth chapter above, Abraham's sojourning in Egypt has been treated of; by which was signified the Lord's instruction in memory-knowledges while still a boy. In this chapter the subject treated of is Abraham's sojourn in Gerar, where Abimelech was; by which the Lord's instruction is in like manner signified, but in the doctrinal things of charity and faith. The subject that is especially treated of here is the doctrine of charity and faith in respect to its origin; namely, that it is spiritual from a celestial origin, but is not from the rational.2497.
The Lord's state in which He was when He first instructed Himself in the doctrinal things of charity and faith is treated of; the state itself is signified by "Kadesh and Shur;" the doctrine of faith by "Abimelech king of Gerar" (verses 1, 2). That He at first thought in regard to the rational that it should be consulted (verse 2). That still it was not consulted (verses 3, 4, 8, 9). The reasons why He so thought (verses 5, 6, 10 to 13). That the doctrine of charity and faith is spiritual from a celestial origin (verse 7). That He was so instructed; and that then all things rational, as well as all memory-knowledges, were of service to Him, being like a covering or garment (verses 14 to 16). And in this way the doctrine was perfect (verse 17). That it would have been otherwise if the doctrine had come from the rational (verse 18).2498.
THE INTERNAL SENSE That these historical matters, like all the other things of the Word, involve Divine arcana, is evident from the fact that Abraham now again said that his wife was his sister; for the same thing had occurred when he came into Egypt; for he then said to Sarah, "Say, I pray, thou art my sister" (Gen. 12:13). And not Abraham alone, but Isaac likewise, when he came to Gerar, said that his wife Rebecca was his sister: "The men of that place asked concerning his wife, and he said, She is my sister" (Gen. 26:6-7); and there are other things in the same chapters that resemble each other, so that such historical matters are related three times; which, without a hidden cause in the internal sense, would by no means have been done.2499.
Verse 1. And Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and he sojourned in Gerar. "Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south," signifies the Lord's progression in the goods and truths of faith ("Abraham" is the Lord in that state); "and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur," signifies His state specifically ("Kadesh" is the affection of interior truth proceeding from things rational; "Shur" is the affection of exterior truth proceeding from memory-knowledges); "and he sojourned in Gerar," signifies instruction thence in the spiritual things of faith.2500.
Abraham journeyed thence toward the land of the south. That this signifies the Lord's progression in the goods and truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "journeying," as being to progress (see n. 1457); and from the signification of the "land of the south," as being the good and truth of faith (see n. 1458). It has already been stated concerning Abraham, in the twelfth chapter, that he "journeyed, going and journeying toward the south," when he went into Egypt (verses 9, 10); by which was signified in the internal sense that the Lord when a child progressed into goods and truths in respect to the memory-knowledge of knowledges (n. 1456, 1459); 2500-1 and here it is said that he journeyed "toward the land of the south," by which there is signified a further and more interior progression, which is into goods and truths in respect to the doctrine of faith; on which account it is here said the "land" of the south, because "land" in its proper sense signifies the church, for the sake of which is doctrine (n. 566, 662, 1066, 2117, 2118).  As regards the Lord's instruction in general, the nature of it is very clear in the internal sense of this chapter; namely, that it was by continual revelations, and thus by Divine perceptions and thoughts from Himself, that is, from His Divine; which perceptions and thoughts He implanted in Divine intelligence and wisdom, and this even to the perfect union of His Human with His Divine. This way of growing wise is not possible with any man; for it flowed in from the Divine itself, which was His inmost, being of the Father, of whom He was conceived; thus from the Divine Love itself, which the Lord alone had, and which consisted in His desire to save the universal human race.  It is an arcanum which is as yet known to scarcely anyone, that within love itself there are wisdom and intelligence; these being such as is the love. That wisdom and intelligence are within love comes from the fact that all influx takes place into the love, or what is the same, into the good, thus into man's very life. This is the source of the wisdom and intelligence of the angels, which is ineffable. It is also the source of the wisdom and intelligence of men who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor; who, although they have no perception of it in themselves while they are living in the body, nevertheless come into it after death, for the reason that it is within this very love and charity (see n. 2494). But as regards the Lord's love, it was infinitely above the love in which the angels are, for it was the Divine love itself; and therefore He had in Himself a supereminence of all wisdom and intelligence; into which however because He was born a man, and was to progress as a man according to Divine order, He introduced Himself by successive steps, in order that He might thus unite His Human to the Divine, and make it Divine; and this by His own power.
2468-1 Totam but sicut noctem n. 9642 [Rotch ed.]
2481-1 By "particulars" Swedenborg here means such things as the words of natural languages, the names of men, and of cities, together with other similar merely external matters. See this plainly stated in the Spiritual Experiences, n.2285. [Reviser.]
2492-1 Ebena, perhaps for eburnea, of ivory, as in the Apocalypse Explained, n. 253. [Rotch ed.]
2500-1 That is in respect to possessing a mere memory acquaintance with the knowledges of what is good and true. [Reviser.]