Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son at the edge of the sword. That this signifies that they extirpated the church itself, is evident from the representation of Hamor, as being the Church among the Ancients as to good (see n. 4447); from the representation of Shechem, as being the Church among the Ancients as to truth (n. 4454, 4472, 4473); and from the signification of the "edge of the sword," as being falsity and evil combating (n. 4499), thus the means by which they extinguished the church in themselves.4502.
And took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went forth. That this signifies that they took away the affection of truth, is evident from the representation of Dinah, as being the affection of truth (see above, n. 4498). It is according to the proximate internal sense that they took away the affection of truth from those who were of the remains of the Most Ancient Church, because it is said that they "took her out of Shechem's house," "Shechem's house" signifying the good of the truth of that church. But as the subject treated of is the extirpation of truth and good among the descendants of Jacob who are here signified by his sons, and as all things are to be taken in application to the subject treated of, therefore by "Shechem's house" is here signified simply the good of truth such as had existed with the man of the Most Ancient Church; and what is signified is that this was extinguished in the nation sprung from Jacob; for in the internal sense of the Word the signification of the names and words is determined by the subject to which they are applied; yet here there is at the same time signified the breaking down of the good and truth with Hamor and Shechem and his family, because they acceded to externals, as shown above (n. 4493).  That what has thus far been unfolded about Simeon and Levi is really so, may be seen from the prophetic utterances of Jacob just before his death: Simeon and Levi are brethren, instruments of violence are their swords; let not my soul come into their secret, in their congregation let not my glory be united, for in their anger they slew a man, and in their pleasure they unstrung an ox; cursed be their anger, for it was vehement, and their fury, for it was grievous; I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Gen. 49:5-7); by "Simeon and Levi" are signified the truth of faith which with the descendants of Jacob was turned into falsity, and the good of charity which was turned into evil (as shown above, n. 4499, 4500). They are called "brethren" because good is the brother of truth, or charity is the brother of faith (n. 4498). "Instruments of violence are their swords" signifies that falsities and evils inflicted violence on truths and goods (n. 4499). "Let not my soul come into their secret, in their congregation let not my glory be united" signifies disjunction as to life and doctrine, for in the Word "soul" is predicated of life (n. 1000, 1040, 1742, 3299), and "glory" of doctrine. "For in their anger they slew a man, and in their pleasure they unstrung an ox" signifies that in evil of set purpose they extinguished the truth of the church and the good of the church (for a "man" is the truth of the church, n. 3134, and an "ox" is its good, n. 2180, 2566, 2781). "Cursed be their anger, for it was vehement, and their fury, for it was grievous" signifies the penalty for turning away from truth and good (for "to curse" is to turn one's self away, and also to be punished therefor, n. 245, 379, 1423, 3530, 3584; "anger" is a turning away from truth, and "fury," from good, n. 357, 3614). "I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel" signifies that goods and truths will no longer be in the external and the internal of their church ("to divide" and "to scatter" denote to separate and to extirpate from them, n. 4424; "Jacob" is the external of the church, and "Israel" the internal, n. 4286).  These things were said of Simeon and Levi in that prophecy because by them is signified the truth and good of the church in general; but when these have become null and void, and still more when falsities and evils succeed in their place, the church is then extinct. That such is the meaning of these prophetic words is evident from the fact that the tribe of Simeon and the tribe of Levi were not cursed above the other tribes; for the tribe of Levi was taken for the priesthood, and the tribe of Simeon was among the other tribes of Israel as one of them.4503.
The sons of Jacob came upon those who were pierced, and plundered the city. That this signifies that all that posterity destroyed the doctrine, is evident from the signification of the "sons of Jacob," as being the posterity from Jacob (of which above); from the signification of "to plunder" as being to destroy; and from the signification of a "city," as being the doctrine of the church (see above, n. 4500). That after Simeon and Levi had slain every male in the city, and also Hamor and Shechem, they went forth, and that the sons of Jacob then came upon those who were pierced and plundered the city, is a mystery not manifest except from the internal sense.  This mystery is that after the truth and good of the church represented by Simeon and Levi had been extinguished, and falsity and evil had taken their place, there were then superadded those falsities and evils which are signified in the opposite sense by the rest of the sons of Jacob. (That each son of Jacob represented some general principle of faith and charity was shown above, n. 2129, 3858, 3913, 3926, 3939, 4060; what was represented by Reuben, n. 3861, 3866, 3870; what by Judah, n. 3881; what by Dan, n. 3921-3923; what by Naphtali, n. 3927, 3928; what by Gad, n. 3934, 3935; what by Asher, n. 3938, 3939; what by Issachar, n. 3956, 3957; and what by Zebulun, n. 3960, 3961.) These generals of faith and charity represented by them become falsities and evils of that kind when once the truth and good of the church have been extinguished, and then these falsities and evils are superadded; for falsities and evils continually grow in the church that has once been perverted and extinguished, and it is these which are signified by the sons of Jacob coming upon those who were pierced and plundering the city, after Simeon and Levi had slain every male in the city, and Hamor and Shechem also, and had taken away Dinah, and had gone forth.  That by "those who are pierced" are signified in the Word truths and goods extinguished is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah: Thou art cast forth out of thy sepulchre like an abominable shoot, the raiment of the slain that are pierced with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, as a carcass trodden under foot (Isa. 14:19); said of Babylon; "those pierced with the sword" denote those who have profaned the truths of the church. Again: So that their pierced shall be cast forth, and the stink of their carcasses shall come up (Isa. 34:3); treating of the falsities and evils that infest the church, which are meant by the "pierced."  In Ezekiel: The violent of the nations shall draw their sword against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall profane thy comeliness; they shall let thee down into the pit, and thou shall die the deaths of those who are pierced in the midst of the seas (Ezek. 28:7-8); said of the prince of Tyre, by whom are signified the primary things of the knowledges of truth and good; "dying the deaths of those who are pierced in the midst of the seas," denotes those who hatch falsities by means of memory-knowledges, and thereby defile the truths of the church.  Again: These also shall go down with them into hell, unto those who are pierced with the sword; when thou shalt be made to go down with the trees of Eden into the earth of lower things, thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are pierced with the sword (Ezek. 31:17-18). Again: Go down and lie with the uncircumcised; they shall fall in the midst of those who are pierced with the sword; the chief of the mighty ones shall speak to him in the midst of hell (Ezek. 32:19-21); said of Pharaoh and Egypt; "those pierced with the sword" denote those who become insane through knowledges, by which they extinguish in themselves the faith of the truth of the church.  In David: I am accounted among those who go down into the pit; I have become as a man that has no strength, neglected among the dead, like the pierced that lie in the grave, whom Thou hast remembered no more, and who have been cut off by Thy hand (Ps. 88:4-5); "those who are pierced in hell," "in the pit," and "in the grave," denote those who have destroyed truths and goods in themselves by falsities and evils. It is obvious that they are not in hell merely because they had been pierced with the sword.  In Isaiah: A city of tumults, a city that exulteth, they are not pierced with the sword, and are not slain in war; all who have been found in thee were bound together, they fled from afar (Isa. 22:2-3); said of fallacies from sensuous things through which the truths of the church cannot be seen, and concerning which they are therefore in negative doubt, and are said to be "pierced, but not with the sword."  In Ezekiel: I bring a sword upon thee, and I destroy your high places, and your altars shall be destroyed, and your statues shall be broken, and I will cause your pierced ones to lie before your idols; when the pierced ones shall fall in the midst of you, you shall know that I am Jehovah; then ye shall acknowledge, when the pierced ones shall be in the midst of their idols, round about their altar (Ezek. 6:3-4, 7, 13); where the "pierced ones" denote those who are in falsities of doctrine.  Again: Defile the house, and fill the courts with the pierced ones; they went forth and smote in the city (Ezek. 9:7); a prophetic vision; "to defile the house and fill the courts with the pierced ones," denotes to profane goods and truths. Again: Ye have multiplied your pierced ones in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the pierced one; wherefore said the Lord Jehovih, Your pierced ones whom ye have put in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and that is the pot, and He shall bring you forth out of the midst of it (Ezek. 11:6-7).  As by "the pierced" are signified those who have extinguished the truths of the church in themselves by falsities and evils, therefore also in the representative church they who touched one who was pierced were unclean, of whom we read in Moses: Whosoever has touched upon the surface of the field one that is pierced with a sword, or the dead, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days (Num. 19:16, 18). And therefore inquiry was made, and expiation was made by means of a calf, as again in Moses: If one pierced be found lying in the field, and it be not known who has smitten him, then the elders of the city and the judges shall come forth, and they shall measure toward the cities which are round about him that is pierced; and it shall be, at the city which is nearest unto him that is pierced the elders of that city shall take a she-calf of an ox, by which labor hath not been done, and which hath not drawn in the yoke, and they shall bring her down unto a river or a valley, and shall behead the calf there, and wash their hands over the beheaded calf, and shall say, Our hands have not shed blood, and our eyes have not seen it; expiate Thy people Israel, O Jehovah, and give not innocent blood in the midst of Thy people; and the blood shall be expiated for them (Deut. 21:1-8).  That these laws were given because by the "pierced" is signified the perversion, destruction, and profanation of the truth of the church by falsity and evil, is manifest from every particular in the internal sense. It is said "a pierced one lying in the field," because by a "field" is signified the church (see n. 2971, 3310, 3766). A "she-calf" by which labor has not been done signifies that innocence of the external man which is in ignorance. Unless these things were made known by the internal sense, the enjoining of such an expiatory process would excite universal surprise.4504.
Because they had defiled their sister. That this signifies that they had befouled the truth of faith, is evident from the signification of "defiling," as being to befoul; and from the signification of a "sister," as being truth (see n. 1495, 2508, 2524, 2556, 3386), here the truth of faith, because by Dinah, who is here the sister, is signified the affection of all things of faith (n. 4427). The reason why Shechem's defiling of their sister signifies that they befouled the truth of faith, is that the affection of all truth, thus the church itself, is represented by her (n. 3963, 3964); and as she was not given by her brothers to Shechem for a woman, but remained with them defiled, therefore the opposite was afterwards represented by her as by her brothers, namely, the affection of all falsities, thus the church corrupted; so that the words "they had defiled their sister" signify that they had befouled the truth of faith.4505.
Their flocks and their herds. That this signifies that they destroyed rational and natural good, is evident from the signification of "flocks," as being rational good; and from the signification of "herds," as being natural good (see n. 2566).4506.
And their asses. That this signifies the truths thence derived, namely, from natural and rational good, is evident from the signification of "asses," also of the "sons of a she-ass," and also of "mules," as being the truths of the natural and of the rational (see n. 2781).4507.
And whatever was in the city, and whatever was in the field, they took. That this signifies all the truth and good of the church, is evident from the signification of a "city," as being doctrine, thus the truth of the church (see n. 402, 2268, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493); and from the signification of a "field," as being the church as to good, thus the good of the church (n. 2971, 3310, 3766, 4440, 4443); so that "whatever was in the city, and whatever was in the field" denotes all the truth and good of the church.4508.
And all their wealth. That this signifies all the matters of knowledge they had acquired, is evident from the signification of "wealth," as being matters of knowledge, as is evident from many passages in the Word; for spiritual wealth, thus wealth understood in a spiritual sense, is nothing else. Insofar as spiritual wealth consists in what is known, it consists in matters of knowledge; and in the Lord's kingdom (and therefore in the church) these constitute the wealth, as of the Lord's Divine mercy will be confirmed from the Word elsewhere.4509.
And all their babe. That this signifies all the innocence, is evident from the signification of a "babe," as being innocence (see n. 430, 2126, 3183).4510.
And their women. That this signifies the charity, is evident from the signification of "females," of "women," and of "wives," as being affections of truth and affections of good - affections of truth when the consort is mentioned and he is called "husband;" and affections of good when the consort is not mentioned and the expression "man" [vir] is used (n. 915, 1468, 2517, 3236). In the present instance "women" denote the affections of good, because they were the women of the men of the city, by whom truths are signified (n. 4478); and the city is everywhere called the city of Shechem, by whom was represented the truth of the Church among the Ancients (n. 4454). The affection of spiritual good is the same thing as charity, and therefore by "women" is here signified charity.4511.
They took captive and made a prey of. That this signifies that they stripped them and perverted them, is evident from the series of things in the internal sense.4512.
And all that was in the house. That this signifies everything of the church, is evident from the signification of a "house," as being the church as to good (see n. 1795, 3720), thus everything of the church; and because of this signification the "house" is mentioned last.4513.
Verses 30, 31. And Jacob said to Simeon and to Levi, Ye have troubled me, to make me to stink to the inhabitant of the land, to the Canaanite and the Perizzite; and I am mortals [few] of number, and they will be gathered together upon me, and will smite me, and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Shall he make our sister as a harlot? "And Jacob said," signifies the external Ancient Church; "to Simeon and to Levi," signifies the representative of spiritual and celestial things; "Ye have troubled me, to make me to stink to the inhabitant of the land," signifies that those who were of the Ancient Church would abhor them; "to the Canaanite and the Perizzite," signifies who were in good and truth; "and I am mortals [few] of number," signifies that it would be easy; "and they will be gathered together upon me, and will smite me, and I shall be destroyed," signifies that thus the Ancient Church would perish; "I and my house," signifies as to truth and good; "and they said," signifies reply; "Shall he make our sister as a harlot?" signifies that they had no affection.4514.
And Jacob said. That this signifies the external Ancient Church, is evident from the representation of Jacob, as being the Ancient Church (see n. 4439). And as the Ancient Church, like every church, is external and internal, by Jacob in the Word is represented the external church, and by Israel the internal.4515.
To Simeon and to Levi. That this signifies the representative of spiritual and celestial things, is evident from the representation of Simeon, as being faith, but in the opposite sense falsity; and from the representation of Levi, as being love, but in the opposite sense evil (see n. 4497, 4502, 4503); here therefore they denote the representative of spiritual and celestial things, for the reason that the things of faith are called spiritual things, and those of love celestial things. It is said that Simeon and Levi signify the "representative" of these things, because to represent them is not to be them; for representations regard not the person, but the thing (n. 665, 1097); so that it was immaterial what kind of person represented (n. 3670). That the representative of a church could have been instituted among the descendants of Jacob, no matter what the quality, provided they had strictly observed the statutes in the outward form, may be seen above (n. 3147, 4208, 4281, 4292, 4307, 4444). Hence it is that by "Simeon and Levi" is here signified the representative of spiritual and celestial things.4516.
Ye have troubled me, to make me to stink to the inhabitant of the land. That this signifies that they who were of the Ancient Church would abhor them, is evident from the signification of "troubling me, to make me to stink," as being to cause them to feel abhorrence; and from the signification of "the inhabitant of the land," as here being those who were of the Ancient Church, for by the "land" is signified the church (see n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447), thus by the "inhabitant of the land," those who were of the church, here of the Ancient Church, because this still remained among some nations in the land of Canaan. The representative of a church was not instituted among the people sprung from Jacob until after this Ancient Church had altogether perished, which is also signified by the fact that the descendants of Jacob were not admitted into the land of Canaan until the iniquity of the inhabitants of the land had been consummated, as is said in Genesis 15:16; for no new church is set up until the former one has been vastated.4517.
To the Canaanite and the Perizzite. That this signifies who are in good and truth, is evident from the signification of the "Canaanite," as here being those who were in the good of the church, and of the "Perizzite," as being those who were in the truth of the church. The reason why "the Canaanite and the Perizzite" have this signification is that the Ancient Church was still among them there, as stated just above (n. 4516). For in the land of Canaan there existed people of the Most Ancient Church (see n. 4447, 4454), and also people of the Ancient Church, especially from that Ancient Church called "Hebrew," for which reason the inhabitants of the land of Canaan were in general called "Hebrews" (Gen. 40:15), and also had altars, and sacrificed, and therefore after they had become idolaters the destruction of their altars was so frequently enjoined. So long therefore as the church or anything of the church remained among them, the good of the church was signified by the "Canaanite," and the truth of the church by the "Perizzite." But when everything of the church with them, had been consummated, evil was signified by the "Canaanite," and falsity by the "Perizzite" (n. 1573, 1574).4518.
And I am mortals [few] of number. That this signifies that it would be easy, is evident from the meaning of the expression "mortals few of number," as being a few; but when in accordance with the series in the internal sense quality is understood instead of quantity, what is easy is signified. For when, as we now read, "many are gathered together upon" a few, these are easily destroyed.4519.
And they will be gathered together upon me, and will smite me, and I shall be destroyed. That this signifies that thus the Ancient Church would perish, is evident from the signification of "being gathered together," "being smitten," and "being destroyed," as being to perish. The reason why the Ancient Church is meant, is that Jacob says this of himself and his house. (That Jacob here is the Ancient Church, see above, n. 4514.)4520.
I and my house. That this signifies as to truth and good, is evident from the representation of Jacob, who here is "I," as being the church, specifically the church as to truth, may be inferred from what has been shown in regard to the representation of Jacob (n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3576, 3599, 3775, 4234, 4337), namely, that he represents the Lord as to Divine truth natural. Now with regard to representations, the man who in the supreme sense represents the Lord as to the Divine truth of the natural, also represents the Lord's kingdom as to Divine truth therein, and consequently the church as to truth, for these correspond to each other, because all the truth that is in His kingdom and church is the Lord's. And that the church as to good is signified by "my house," is evident from the signification of a "house," as being the church as to good (n. 3720).4521.
And they said. That this signifies reply, is evident without explication.4522.
Shall he make our sister as a harlot? That this signifies that they had no affection, is evident from the representation of Dinah, after she was defiled, or had become a harlot, as being the affection of falsities and thus the church corrupted (as shown above, n. 4504), which consequently had no longer any affection of truth, as also is there shown.4523.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE EYE AND OF LIGHT WITH THE GRAND MAN. Everyone who has any knowledge of air and sound may know that the ear is formed in precise adaptation to the nature of their modifications, thus that in respect to its bodily and material form, the ear corresponds to them; and he who has acquired any knowledge of the ether and light, knows that in respect to its bodily and material form, the eye has been formed so as to correspond to the modifications of these; and that this is so much the case that whatever secret thing has been stored up in the nature of air and of sound is inscribed on the organism of the ear, and whatever secret thing has been stored up in the nature of the ether and of light is inscribed on the organism of the eye.  Consequently he who is skilled in anatomy and also in physics may know by investigation that as regards their bodily and material forms, the organs both of sense and of motion, together with all the viscera, correspond to various things that exist in the nature of the world; and thus that the whole body is an organ composed of the most secret things in the nature of the world, and in accordance with their secret forces of acting and their wonderful modes of flowing. For this reason man was called by the ancients a little world or microcosm.  He who knows this may also know that whatever exists in the world and its nature does not come forth from itself, but from what is prior to itself; and that this prior cannot come forth from itself, but from something prior to itself; and so on even to the First, from whom the things that follow come forth in order. And as they come forth from this, they also subsist from it; for subsistence is a perpetual coming forth. Hence it follows that all things in nature both in general and in particular, down to its last things, have not only come forth from the First, but also subsist from the First; for unless they were perpetually coming forth, and unless there were a continuous nexus, from the First, and thus with the First, they would fall to pieces and perish in an instant.4524.
Now as all and each of the things in the world and its nature come forth, and come forth perpetually, that is, subsist, from things prior to themselves, it follows that they come forth and subsist from a world above nature, which is called the spiritual world; and as in order that they may subsist or perpetually come forth there must be a continuous nexus with that world, it follows that the purer and more interior things which are in nature, and consequently which are in man, are from that world; and also that the purer and more interior things are such forms as can receive the influx. And as there is only one possible fountain of life, as in nature there is only one fountain of light and heat, it is evident that everything of life is from the Lord, who is the First of life. And because this is so, it follows that all and each of the things which are in the spiritual world correspond to Him, and consequently all and each of the things which are in man; for man is a little spiritual world in the least form. Hence also the spiritual man is an image of the Lord.4525.
From all this it is evident that with man especially there is a correspondence of all things with the spiritual world, and that without this correspondence he cannot subsist even for a moment; for without correspondence there would be nothing continuous from the very being of life, that is, from the Lord; thus there would be what is unconnected; and what is unconnected is dissipated as a nothing. The reason why correspondence with man is more immediate and hence closer, is that he has been created to apply to himself the life from the Lord, and thence into the capacity of a possible elevation by the Lord above the natural world in regard to his thoughts and affections, and thereby to think of God and to be affected with the Divine, and thus to be conjoined with Him, quite differently from the lower animals. And when the bodily things of this world are put away, those die not who are thus capable of being conjoined with the Divine, because their interiors remain conjoined with Him.4526.
As to what further regards the correspondence of the sight of the eye, treated of at the end of the foregoing chapter, be it known that its correspondence is with the things which are of the understanding; for the understanding is the internal sight, and this internal sight is in a light which is above the light of this world. The reason why man is able to acquire intelligence by means of the things which appear before him in the light of this world, is that a higher light (that is, the light of heaven) flows into the objects which are of the light of the world, and causes them to appear representatively and correspondently; for the light which is above the light of the world is a light that proceeds from the Lord, who illumines the universal heaven. The very intelligence and wisdom that are from the Lord appear there as light. It is this light which produces man's understanding or internal sight, and when it inflows through the understanding into the objects of this world's light, it causes them to appear representatively and correspondently, thus intellectually. And as the eyesight which is in the natural world corresponds to the sight of the understanding which is in the spiritual world, it corresponds to the truths of faith, because these belong to genuine understanding; for truths produce all man's understanding, inasmuch as all his thought is employed in deciding that a thing is so, or is not so; that is, that it is true, or is not true. (That the sight of the eye corresponds to the truths and goods of faith, may be seen above, n. 4410.)4527.
I have spoken with some a few days after their decease, and who being recently arrived were in a light which to them differed but little from the light of this world, which caused them to doubt whether they had the light from any other source. They were therefore taken up into the entrance of heaven, where there was a light still clearer; and speaking with me from there, they said that they had never seen such a light; and yet this occurred after our sunset. They then wondered that spirits have eyes wherewith to see, and yet during their bodily life they had believed that the life of spirits is mere thought, abstracted from any subject, for they had not been able to think of any subject of thought because they had not seen it. And this being the case, they had imagined that as the spirit is mere thought it must be dissipated, like some breath of air or some fire, together with the body that had contained it, unless it were miraculously held together and kept in existence by the Lord. And they then saw how easily the learned fall into error regarding the life after death, and that above all others they believe nothing but what they see. They wondered therefore, not merely that they can think, but also that they can see, and enjoy all the other senses, and still more that they appear to themselves exactly like men, and see, hear, and converse with one another, and feel their own members by touch, and this more exquisitely than in the life of the body. At this they fell into amazement, that men living in this world know nothing of this, and they pitied the human race for their ignorance of such things consequent on their unbelief in them, and especially did they pity those who have more light than others, namely, those who are within the church and have the Word.  Some of them had believed that after death men would be like ghosts, in which opinion they had confirmed themselves from the specters of which they had heard, but in regard to which they had imagined that such a specter must be some gross principle of life, which first exhales from the body's life, but afterwards sinks back again into the corpse, and is thus extinguished. Some however had believed that they would not rise again until the time of the last judgment when the world would be destroyed, and they would then rise again with the body, which, though fallen into dust, would then be gathered together, and they would thus rise again with their bones and flesh. And as that last judgment or destruction of the world had been waited for in vain for many centuries, they had fallen into the error that they would never rise again; never thinking of what they had learned from the Word, and from which they had also sometimes spoken, saying that when a man dies his soul is in the hand of God, among the happy or the unhappy according to the life which he had made habitual to himself; nor thinking of what the Lord said about the rich man and Lazarus. But they were instructed that the last judgment of everyone is when he dies; and that he then appears to himself endowed with a body as in the world, and enjoys as here every sense, only more pure and exquisite because bodily things no longer stand in the way, and the things of the light of the world no longer darken those of the light of heaven; thus that they are as it were in a purified body, and that in the other life one could not possibly carry about a body of bones and flesh such as he had in the world, because this would be to be again encompassed with the dust of the earth.  I have spoken on this subject with some on the very day their bodies were being entombed, who saw through my eyes their own corpse, the bier, and the funeral ceremony; and they said that they reject that body, which had served them for uses in the world in which they had been, and that they are now living in a body which serves them for uses in the world in which they are now. They also desired me to tell these things to their relatives who were mourning; but it was given me to reply, that if I should do so they would scoff, because that which they could not see with their own eyes they would believe to be nothing, and would set down as delusive visions. For men cannot be brought to believe that just as they see one another with their eyes, so spirits see one another with theirs; and that a man can only see spirits with the eyes of his own spirit, and that he sees them when the Lord opens his internal sight, as was done to the prophets, who saw spirits and angels, and also many things in heaven; and there is room for doubt whether those now living would have believed these things if they had lived at that time.4528.
The eye, or rather its sight, corresponds especially to those societies in the other life which are in the paradisal regions, which appear above in front a little to the right, where gardens are vividly presented to view, with trees and flowers of so many genera and species that those on the whole earth are comparatively few; and within every object there is something of intelligence and wisdom that shines forth from it, so that you may say that the people in the gardens are at the same time in paradises of intelligence and wisdom, and it is these which inwardly affect them, and thus gladden not only their sight, but also at the same time their understanding.  These paradisal regions are in the first heaven, in the very threshold to the interiors of that heaven, and are representatives which come down from a higher heaven, when the angels of that heaven are conversing with one another intellectually about the truths of faith; and this speech of the angels there is effected by means of spiritual and celestial ideas, which with them are verbal forms, and by a continuous series of representations of inexpressible beauty and pleasantness; and it is these beauties and pleasantnesses of their discourse which are represented as paradisal scenes in the lower heaven.  This heaven is distinguished into many heavens, to which correspond the various things in the chambers of the eye. There is the heaven of paradisal gardens just described. There is a heaven where there are atmospheres of various colors, and where the whole air flashes as it were with gold, silver, pearls, precious stones, flowers in least forms, and innumerable other things. There is a rainbow heaven, where are the most beautiful rainbows, great and small, variegated with the most splendid colors. All these come forth by means of the light which is from the Lord, and which contains within it intelligence and wisdom, so that in every object there is something of the intelligence of truth and of the wisdom of good, which is thus shown representatively.  They who have had no idea of heaven, nor of the light there, can with difficulty be brought to believe that such things are there, and therefore those who take this incredulity with them into the other life, and who have been in the truth and good of faith, are conveyed by the angels into these scenes, and when they see them they are astounded. (As regards the paradisal and rainbow scenes, and the atmospheres, see what has been already said from experience, n. 1619-1626, 2296, 3220; and that there are continual representations in the heavens, n. 1807, 1808, 1971, 1980 ,1981, 2299, 2763, 3213, 3216-3218, 3222, 3350, 3475, 3485.)4529.
A certain person who had been much talked of and celebrated in the learned world for his skill in the science of botany, after death heard in the other life, to his great surprise, that there also flowers and trees are presented to view; and as botany had been the delight of his life he was fired with a desire to see whether such was the case, and was therefore carried up into the paradisal regions, where he saw most beautiful plantations of trees and most charming flower gardens of immense extent. And as he then came into the ardor of his delight from affection, he was allowed to wander over the field, and not only to see the plants in detail, but also to gather them and bring them close to his eye, and to examine whether the case was really so.  Speaking with me from thence he said that he could never have believed it, and that if such things had been heard of In the world, they would have been regarded as marvels. He said further that he saw an immense abundance of flowers there which are never seen in the world, and of which it would be almost impossible there to form any idea; and that they all glow with an inconceivable brightness, because they are from the light of heaven. That the glow was from a spiritual origin, he was not yet able to perceive, that is, that they glowed because there was in each one of them something of the intelligence and wisdom which are of truth and good. He went on to say that men on earth would never believe this, because few believe there is any heaven and hell, and they who believe only know that in heaven there is joy, and few among them believe that there are such things as eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and the mind has never conceived; and this although they know from the Word that amazing things were seen by the prophets, such as many things seen by John, as recorded in the Revelation, and yet these were nothing else than the representatives which are continually coming forth in heaven, and which appeared to John when his internal sight was opened.  But these things are comparatively of little moment. They who are in the very intelligence and wisdom which are the source of these things, are in such a state of happiness that the things which have been related are to them of slight importance. Some spirits also who when in the paradisal regions said that these surpass every degree of happiness, were therefore carried up into a heaven more to the right, which sparkled with a still greater resplendence, and finally they were carried up into the heaven where there is also a perception of the blessedness of the intelligence and wisdom that exist in such things. And when they were there, they told me that what they had seen before was comparatively worthless. At last they were carried up into a heaven where on account of the bliss of interior affection, they could scarcely subsist, for the bliss penetrated to the very marrows, and these being as it were dissolved away with bliss, they began to fall into a holy swoon.4530.
Colors also are seen in the other life which in splendor and refulgence surpass the luster of the colors of this world to such a degree that scarcely any comparison is possible. These colors are produced by the variegation of the light and shade there; and as it is the intelligence and wisdom that come from the Lord which there appear as light before the eyes of angels and spirits, and at the same time inwardly illumine their understandings, in their essence these colors are variations or so to speak modifications of intelligence and wisdom. The colors there--not only those with which the flowers are adorned, the atmospheres made brilliant, and the rainbows varied, but also those which are distinctly presented in other forms-have been seen by me an almost countless number of times. They have their brightness from the truth which is of intelligence, and their effulgence from the good which is of wisdom, and the colors themselves are produced from the whiteness and the darkness thereof, thus from light and shade, like the tints of color in this world. It is for this reason that the colors mentioned in the Word, such as those of the precious stones in Aaron's breast plate and upon his garments of holiness, and those of the curtains of the tent where the ark was, and those of the stones of the foundation of the New Jerusalem, described by John in Revelation, besides others mentioned elsewhere, represented such things as are of intelligence and wisdom. But what each of these colors represents shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be told in the explications. In general the colors seen in the other life have splendor and whiteness insofar as they come from the truth of intelligence; and they have refulgence and crimson insofar as they come from the good of wisdom. Those colors which derive their origin from these sources also belong to the provinces of the eyes.4531.
As it is intelligence and wisdom from the Lord which appear in heaven as light, the angels being therefore called angels of light, so it is the folly and insanity which are from self that reign in hell, causing those who are there to have their name from darkness. It is true that in hell there is not darkness, but a dusky luminosity like that from a coal fire, in which they see one another, and without which they would not be able to live. This luminosity comes to them from the light of heaven, which is turned into such a luminosity when it falls into their insanities, that is, into their falsities and cupidities. The Lord is everywhere present with light, even in the hells, otherwise the infernals would have no capacity to think and thereby to speak, but the light is according to the reception. This luminosity is what is called in the Word the "shadow of death," and is compared to "darkness," and is also turned into darkness with them when they approach the light of heaven; and when they are in darkness, they are in folly and stupidity. Hence it is evident that as light corresponds to truth, so darkness corresponds to falsity, and that they who are in falsities are said to be in "blindness."4532.
They who believe that they understand good and truth of themselves, and hence trust in themselves alone, and thus deem themselves wiser than all (although they are in ignorance of what is good and true), and especially those who do not desire to understand what is good and true, and consequently are in falsities, in the other life are sometimes let into a state of darkness; and when they are in it, they speak idiotically, for they are in stupidity. I have been told that there are many such, and among them those who had believed themselves to be set in the greatest light, and had also appeared so to others.4533.
Among the wonderful things that take place in the other life is also this, that when the angels of heaven look at evil spirits, the latter appear altogether different from what they appear to one another. When evil spirits and genii are by themselves, and in their own fatuous luminosity (which as before said is like that of a coal fire), they appear to themselves to be in a human form, and also according to their phantasies not uncomely. But when the same are looked at by the angels of heaven, that luminosity is instantly dissipated, and they appear with totally different faces, each according to his genius. Some are dusky and black like devils; some have ghastly faces like that of a corpse; some have almost no face at all, and instead of a face there is a mass of hair; some are like grates of teeth; some like skeletons; and what was still more strange, some are like monsters, the deceitful are like serpents, and the most deceitful are like vipers, while others appear differently. But as soon as the angels remove their look from them, they appear in their own previous form, such as they have in their own luminosity. The angels look at the evil whenever they observe them trying to get out of their hells into the world of spirits, intending to do evil to others; and in this way they are detected and are cast back again. The reason why there is such an efficacy in the look of the angels, is that there is a correspondence between intellectual sight and that of the eye; and therefore there is a sharp-sightedness in their look, before which the infernal luminosity is dissipated, and evil spirits appear in the form and genius that belong to them.4534.
A continuation concerning the Grand Man and Correspondence will be found at the end of the following chapter.4535.
Genesis 35 THE LAST JUDGMENT Preliminary to the foregoing chapters, from chapter 26, an explication has been given of what the Lord foretold about His advent, or the CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE; and it has been repeatedly shown that by His advent or the consummation of the age is signified the last time of the church, which is called in the Word the Last Judgment. They who do not see beyond the literal sense must suppose that the Last Judgment is the destruction of the world, and this especially from the Revelation, where it is said: I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21:1-2). And also from the prophecies of Isaiah, where are similar words: Behold I create new heavens and a new earth; therefore the former things shall not be remembered, nor come up upon the heart; but be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create, for behold I create Jerusalem an exultation, and her people a gladness (Isa. 65:17, 18; 66:22).  They who do not see beyond the literal sense must infer that the universal heaven together with this earth will be annihilated, and that the dead will then for the first time rise again, and dwell in a new heaven and upon a new earth. But that the Word is not to be so understood may be seen from many other passages where the heavens and the earth are mentioned. They who have any faith in an internal sense can plainly see that by "a new heaven and a new earth" is meant a new church, which shall succeed when the former church passes away (see n. 1733, 1850, 3355); and that the "heaven" is its internal and the "earth" its external.  This last time of a former church and first time of a new church are what is called the "consummation of the age" of which the Lord spoke in Matthew 24, and also are His advent, for the Lord then leaves the former church and comes to the new church. That this is the "consummation of the age" may be seen also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah: In that day the remains shall return, the remains of Jacob, unto the mighty God; for although Thy people Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, remains of it shall return; a consummation is determined, inundated is righteousness; for a consummation and a determination doth the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth make in the whole earth (Isa. 10:21-23). In the same: Now be ye not scorners, lest your punishments be strengthened; for a consummation and a decision have I heard from-with the Lord Jehovih Zebaoth upon the whole earth (Isa. 28:22). In Jeremiah: Thus said Jehovah, The whole earth shall be a waste, yet will I not make a consummation (Jer. 4:27). In Zephaniah: I will bring men into distresses, and they shall go like the blind, because they have sinned against Jehovah; and their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung, for Jehovah shall make a consummation, yea, a speedy one, with all them that dwell in the land (Zeph. 1:17-18). That the "consummation" here mentioned is the last time of the church, and that the "earth" is the church, is manifest from the particulars.  That "earth" or "land" denotes the church, comes from the fact that the land of Canaan was the land where the church had been from the most ancient times, and where afterwards there was the representative of a church among the descendants of Jacob. When this land is said to be "consummated," it is not the nation in it that is meant, but it is the holy of worship that exists with the nation where the church is. For the Word is spiritual, and the land itself is not spiritual, nor the nation therein, but that which is of the church. (That the land of Canaan was the land where the church had been from the most ancient times, may be seen above, n. 567, 3686, 4447, 4454, 4516, 4517; and that for this reason by "land" in the Word is signified the church, n. 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 1262, 3355, 4447.) From this it is manifest what is meant in Isaiah by "making a consummation in the whole land," or "earth," and in Zephaniah by the "speedy consummation of all that dwell in the land." That the Jewish nation which dwelt in that land was not consummated, but the holy of worship with them, is well known.  That this is the "consummation" appears still more plainly in Daniel: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy city of holiness, to consummate the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of an age, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies; in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; at last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation; and even to the consummation and the determination shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:24, 27).  From all this it may now be seen that by the "consummation of the age," respecting which the disciples said to the Lord, "What shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the consummation of the age?" (Matt. 24:3) nothing else is signified than the last time of the church; and also by these words of the Lord, which are the last in the same evangelist: "Jesus said to the disciples, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you all the days even unto the consummation of the age" (Matt. 28:20). It was said by the Lord that He would be with the disciples even to the consummation of the age, because by the Lord's twelve disciples the like is signified as by the twelve tribes of Israel, namely, all things of love and faith, consequently all things of the church (see n. 3354, 3488, 3858); which is the same as is meant by the twelve tribes (n. 3858, 3926, 3939, 4060). That it is the consummation of the church when there is no longer any charity and therefore no faith, has been repeatedly shown above. That in this church which is called Christian scarcely anything of charity and its derivative faith survives, thus that the consummation of its age is now at hand, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown in the following pages. GENESIS 35 1. And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and abide there; and make there an altar unto God who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from before Esau thy brother. 2. And Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the gods of the stranger which are in the midst of you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments: 3. And let us arise, and go up to Bethel, and I will make there an altar unto God who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I walked. 4. And they gave unto Jacob all the gods of the stranger which were in their hand, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. 5. And they journeyed; and a terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. 6. And Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, this is Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. 7. And he built there an altar, and called the place El-Bethel; because there the gods were revealed unto him when he fled from before his brother. 8. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried from under Bethel under the oak; and he called the name of it Allon-bacuth. 9. And God was seen by Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10. And God said to him, Thy name is Jacob; thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and He called his name Israel. 11. And God said to him, I am God Shaddai; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be from thee, and kings shall go forth from thy loins. 12. And the land which I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. 13. And God went up from upon him in the place in which He spoke with him. 14. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place in which He spoke with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink-offering thereon, and poured oil thereon. 15. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel. 16. And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was still a tract of land to come to Ephrath; and Rachel brought forth, and suffered hard things in her bringing forth. 17. And it came to pass in her suffering hard things in her bringing forth that the midwife said unto her, Fear not, for this also is to thee a son. 18. And it came to pass as her soul was going forth that she was about to die; and she called his name Benoni; and his father called him Benjamin. 19. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, this is Bethlehem. 20. And Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave; this is the pillar of Rachel's grave even to this day. 21. And Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder. 22. And it came to pass, while Israel abode in this land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine, and Israel heard. And the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23. The sons of Leah, Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun. 24. The sons of Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin. 25. And the sons of Bilhah Rachel's handmaid, Dan and Naphtali. 26. And the sons of Zilpah Leah's handmaid, Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram. 27. And Jacob came unto Isaac his father to Mamre Kiriath-arba, this is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. 28. And the days of Isaac were a hundred years and eighty years. 29. And Isaac expired and died, and was gathered unto his people, old and sated of days; and Esau and Jacob his sons buried him.4536.
THE CONTENTS. The subject treated of in the internal sense of this chapter is the residue in the Lord's natural, that it was made Divine. The interior things of the natural that were made Divine are here "Israel." The progress toward things still more interior, where is the rational, is described by the birth of Benjamin, and afterwards by the coming of the sons of Jacob to Isaac.4537.
THE INTERNAL SENSE. Verses 1-4. And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and abide there; and make there an altar unto God who appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from before Esau thy brother. And Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the gods of the stranger which are in the midst of you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments; and let us arise, and go up to Bethel, and I will make there an altar unto God who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I walked. And they gave unto Jacob all the gods of the stranger which were in their hand, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. "And God said unto Jacob," signifies the perception of natural good, such as Jacob now was, from the Divine; "arise, go up to Bethel," signifies concerning the Divine natural; "and abide there," signifies life; "and make there an altar unto God who appeared unto thee," signifies what is holy there; "when thou fleddest from before Esau thy brother," signifies when truth was set before good; "and Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him," signifies disposition in natural good, such as there was then; "put away the gods of the stranger which are in the midst of you," signifies that falsities should be rejected; "and purify yourselves and change your garments," signifies holiness to be put on; "and let us arise and go up to Bethel," signifies the Divine natural; "and I will make there an altar to God," signifies the holy in which interior things are terminated; "who answered me in the day of my distress," signifies in the state of the setting of truth before good; "and was with me in the way which I walked," signifies His Divine providence; "and they gave unto Jacob all the gods of the stranger which were in their hand," signifies that it rejected all falsities as much as possible; "and the earrings which were in their ears," signifies things actual; "and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem," signifies eternal rejection; "the oak by Shechem" denotes the fallacious natural.4538.
And God said unto Jacob. That this signifies the perception of natural good, such as Jacob now represents, from the Divine, is evident from the signification in the historicals of the Word of "to say," as being to perceive (n. 1602, 1791, 1815, 1822, 1898, 1919, 2061, 2080, 2238, 2260, 2619, 2862, 3395, 3509), wherefore that "God said" denotes perception from the Divine; and from the representation of Jacob, who here in the supreme sense is the Lord as to natural good. In the preceding pages it has been shown what Jacob represents in the Word; and as he represents various things, the subject shall be briefly explained.  In the supreme sense Jacob represents in general the Lord's Divine natural. But as the Lord glorified His natural, it was different in the beginning from what it was in the progression, and at the end. Therefore Jacob represented various things, namely, in the beginning the Lord's natural as to truth, in the progression the Lord's natural as to the good of truth, and at the end the Lord's natural as to good. For the Lord's glorification proceeded from truth to the good of truth, and finally to good, as has already been frequently shown. Now as this is the end, Jacob represents the Lord as to natural good. (See what has already been shown on these points, namely, that in the supreme sense Jacob represents the Lord's Divine natural, in the beginning as to truth, n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3576, 3599; and in the progression, the Lord's Divine natural as to the good of truth, n. 3659, 3669, 3677, 4234, 4273, 4337.) The reason why Jacob now represents the Lord's Divine natural as to good, is that this is the end, as before said.  This was the process when the Lord made His natural Divine, and the process is similar also when the Lord regenerates man; for it pleased the Lord to make His Human Divine in the same order as that in which He makes man new. It is for this reason that it has been repeatedly stated that man's regeneration is an image of the Lord's glorification (n. 3138, 3212, 3296, 3490, 4402). When the Lord makes man new He first instructs him in the truths of faith, for without the truths of faith man does not know what the Lord is, what heaven is, and what hell is, nor even that they exist; and still less does he know the innumerable things relating to the Lord, to His kingdom in heaven, and to His kingdom on earth, that is, to the church; neither does he know what and of what nature are the things opposite to these, which relate to hell.  Before he has learned these things, he cannot know what good is, by which is not meant civil good and moral good, for these are learned in the world by means of laws and statutes, and by reflections upon the morals of men, and therefore the nations outside the church also know such things; but by good is meant spiritual good, which good is called in the Word charity; and this good is in general to will and do good to others for no selfish reason, but from the delight of the affection. This good is spiritual good, and to it no man can attain except by means of the truths of faith, which are taught by the Lord by means of the Word and preachings of the Word.  After a man has been instructed in the truths of faith, he is gradually led by the Lord to will the truth, and also from willing to do it. This truth is called the good of truth, for the good of truth is truth in will and act; and it is called the good of truth because the truth which has been of doctrine then becomes of the life. At last, when the man perceives delight in willing good and in doing it from will, it is no longer called the good of truth, but good; for he is then regenerate, and no more wills and does good from truth, but truth from good; and the truth which he then does is also as it were good, for it derives its essence from its origin, which is good. From all this it is evident why and whence it is that Jacob in the supreme sense represents the Lord's natural as to good. The reason why Jacob here represents this good, is that in the internal sense further progress is now treated of, namely, toward the interior things of the natural, which are "Israel" (n. 4536). No one who is being regenerated by the Lord can be led to these interior things until the truth with him has become good.4539.
Arise, go up to Bethel. That this signifies that the perception is concerning the Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "arising," as being elevation (see n. 2401, 2785, 2912, 2927, 3171, 4103), here the elevation of the natural to the Divine; from the signification of "to go up," as being more toward the interiors (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "Bethel," as being the Divine in the natural, or in the ultimate of order (n. 4089). For in the original language "Bethel" means the "house of God," and as the house of God is where the knowledges of good and truth are, by "Bethel" in the proximate sense are signified these knowledges (as shown above, n. 1453). But as the interiors are terminated and closed in the ultimates of order, and are together there, and as it were dwell together in one house; and as the natural in man is the ultimate with him in which his interiors are terminated, therefore by "Bethel" or the "house of God" is properly signified the natural (n. 3729, 4089), and indeed the good therein, for in the internal sense a "house" is good (n. 2233, 2234, 3720, 3729); moreover knowledges are in the natural, or in the ultimate of order.  That "to go up" denotes toward the interiors is because interior things are what are called higher things (n. 2148), and therefore when progress toward interior things is treated of in the internal sense, the expression "to go up" is employed, as "to go up" from Egypt to the land of Canaan, and in the land of Canaan itself "to go up" to the interior parts, and from all parts of it to Jerusalem, and in Jerusalem itself to the house of God there. For example "to go up" from the land of Egypt to the land of Canaan, in Moses: Pharaoh said to Joseph, Go up and bury thy father; and Joseph went up, and all the servants of Pharaoh went up with him; and there went up with him both chariots and horsemen (Gen. 50:6, 7, 9). And in the book of Judges: And the angel of Jehovah went up from Gilgal to Bochim, and he said, I made you go up out of Egypt (Judg. 2:1); for by "Egypt" in the internal sense is signified that memory-knowledge which is to serve for apprehending the things of the Lord's kingdom; and by the "land of Canaan" is signified the Lord's kingdom. And as memory-knowledges are lower, or what is the same, are exterior, and the things of the Lord's kingdom are higher, or what is the same, interior, therefore one is said "to go up from Egypt to the land of Canaan," and on the other hand "to go down from the land of Canaan to Egypt" (Gen. 42:2, 3; 43:4, 5, 15; and elsewhere).  In the land of Canaan itself "to go up" to its interior parts, in Joshua: Joshua said, Go up and spy out the land; and the men went up and spied out Ai; and they returned unto Joshua and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; let about two thousand men or about three thousand men go up; so there went up thither of the people about three thousand men (Josh. 7:2-4); as the "land of Canaan" signifies the Lord's kingdom, the parts which were more remote from its ultimate boundaries signified things interior, and therefore the expression "to go up" is here used. In like manner from all the surrounding parts to Jerusalem; and in Jerusalem to the house of God (1 Kings 12:27, 28; 2 Kings 20:5, 8; Matt. 20:18; Mark 10:33; Luke 18:31; and in many other places). For Jerusalem was the inmost of the land, because by it was signified the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and the house of God was the inmost of Jerusalem, because by it was signified the Lord's celestial kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself. Hence men spoke of "going up" to them. From all this it is evident what is signified by "arise, go up to Bethel," namely, progress toward the interiors, which is the subject treated of in this chapter (n. 4536).4540.
And abide there. That this signifies life, is evident from the signification of "to abide," or "dwell," as being life (see n. 1293, 3384, 3613, 4451).4541.
And make there an altar unto God who appeared unto thee. That this signifies what is holy there, is evident from the signification of an "altar," as being the principal representative of the Lord (see n. 921, 2777, 2811, 4489); and therefore "to make an altar to God" signifies what is holy of worship.4542.
When thou fleddest from before Esau thy brother. That this signifies when truth was set before good, is evident from the representation of Esau, as being the Divine good of the Lord's Divine natural (see n. 3322, 3494, 3504, 3576, 3599). That the signification is when truth was set before good, may be seen from the explications given about Jacob (Gen. 27), when he fled before Esau, for the cause of his flight was that Jacob had taken away the birthright from Esau, by which is signified that truth had set itself before good; for Jacob there represents the truth of the Lord's natural, and Esau its good. The reason why truth had set itself before good was that when anyone is being regenerated, truth is apparently in the first place; but after he has been regenerated, good is in the first place and truth is in a secondary place (see n. 3324, 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603, 3610, 3701, 4243, 4244, 4247, 4337). Hence it is, that "when thou fleddest from before Esau thy brother" signifies when truth was set before good.4543.
And Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him. That this signifies disposition by natural good, such as there was then, is evident from the signification of "saying to his household and to all that were with him," as being disposition; and from the representation of Jacob, as here being natural good (see above, n. 4538). The reason why "saying to his household and to all that were with him" denotes disposition, is that in what now follows the subject treated of in the internal sense is the disposition of truths by good. For when spiritual good (described above, n. 4538) begins to act the first part in the natural mind, it then disposes into order the truths which are there.4544.
Put away the gods of the stranger which are in the midst of you. That this signifies that falsities should be rejected, is evident from the signification of "to put away," as being to reject; and from the signification of the "gods of the stranger," as being falsities. For by "gods" in the Word are signified truths, and in the opposite sense falsities (n. 4402); and those were called "strangers" who were outside of the church, consequently those who were in falsities and evils (n. 2049, 2115). Therefore the "gods of the stranger" denote falsities.4545.
And purify yourselves, and change your garments. That this signifies that holiness was to be put on, is evident from the signification of "to be purified" or "cleansed," as being to be sanctified (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "changing the garments," as being to put on, here to put on holy truths; for in the internal sense of the Word by "garments" are signified truths. It is very evident that to change the garments was a representative received in the church, but what it represented no one can know unless he knows what garments signify in the internal sense (see n. 2576). As the subject here treated of is the rejection of falsities and the disposition of truths by good in the natural, mention is made of the fact that they were commanded by Jacob to change their garments.  That to change the garments was a representative that holy truths were to be put on, may be seen also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah: Awake, awake, O Jerusalem, put on thy strength, O Zion, put on the garments of thy adornment, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall not continue to come into thee any more the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isa. 52:1); as "Zion" is the celestial church, and "Jerusalem" the spiritual church, and as the celestial church is that which is in good from love to the Lord, and the spiritual church is that which is in truth from faith and charity, therefore "strength" is predicated of Zion, and "garments" of Jerusalem; and it is signified that thereby they were clean.  In Zechariah: Joshua was clothed with defiled garments, and stood thus before the angel; and [the angel] answered and said unto those that stood before him, saying, Remove the defiled garments from upon him; and unto him he said, See, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from upon thee by putting on thee change of garments (Zech. 3:3-4); from this passage also it is evident that to remove the garments and to put on a change of garments, represented purification from falsities, for it is said, "I have made thine iniquity to pass from upon thee." It was also for this reason that men had changes of garments, and they were so called (whereof occasional mention is made in the Word) because representations were thereby exhibited.  As such things were represented by changes of garments, therefore where the new temple is treated of in Ezekiel, by which in the internal sense is signified a new church, it is said: When the priests enter in, they shall not go out of the holy place to the outer court, but there they shall lay aside their garments wherein they ministered, for they are holiness, and shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which pertain to the people (Ezek. 42:14). And again: When they go forth into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they minister, and shall lay them aside in the chambers of holiness, and they shall put on other garments, and shall sanctify the people with other garments (Ezek. 44:19).  Everyone can see that by the new temple and by the holy city and land, here described by the prophet and in the chapters which precede and follow, is not meant any new temple, nor a new city and a new land, for mention is made of sacrifices and rituals as to be instituted anew which nevertheless were to be abrogated; and mention is also made by name of the tribes of Israel dividing the land into inheritances among themselves, which nevertheless have been dispersed and have never returned. Hence it is evident that by the rituals there mentioned are signified spiritual and celestial things of the church, similar to what are signified by the changes of garments when Aaron ministered, in Moses: When he maketh a burnt offering he shall put on his clothing, and his linen breeches, the ashes he shall put beside the altar. Afterward he shall put off his garments, and shall put on other garments, and shall bring forth the ashes into a clean place outside the camp, and thus shall he make the burnt-offering (Lev. 6:9-11).  That to be cleansed denotes to be sanctified, may be seen from the cleansings which were commanded, as that they should wash their flesh and their garments, and that they should be sprinkled with the waters of separation. That no one is sanctified by such things, everyone may know who has any knowledge about the spiritual man; for what has iniquity and sin in common with the garments with which a man is clothed? And yet it is sometimes said that after they had cleansed themselves, they should be holy. From this it is also manifest that the rituals enjoined upon the Israelites were holy simply because they represented holy things; consequently that those who were representative did not thereby become holy as to their persons; but that the holiness abstractedly represented by them affected the spirits who were with them, and thereby the angels in heaven (n. 4307).  For of necessity there must be communication of heaven with man, in order that the human race may subsist, and this by means of the church, for otherwise they would become like beasts, devoid of internal and external bonds; and thus each would rush without restraint to accomplish the destruction of others, and they would annihilate each other. And as at that time this communication was not possible by means of any church, it was therefore provided by the Lord that it should be miraculously effected by means of representatives. That sanctification was represented by the ritual of washing and cleansing, is manifest from many passages in the Word, as when Jehovah came down upon Mount Sinai, He said to Moses: Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day (Exod. 19:10, 11). In Ezekiel: I will sprinkle upon you clean waters, and ye shall be cleansed from all your uncleannesses, and I will cleanse you from all your idols, and I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in the midst of you (Ezek. 36:25-26); where it is manifest that "sprinkling clean waters" represented the purification of the heart; thus that "to be cleansed" is to be sanctified.4546.
And let us arise, and go up to Bethel. That this signifies the Divine natural, is evident from what was said above (n. 4539), where the same words occur.4547.
And I will make there an altar to God. That this signifies the holy in which interior things are terminated, is evident from the signification of "making an altar to God," as being the holy of worship (see n. 4541). It is said that interior things are terminated therein, because he was to make the altar in Bethel, which is here meant by "there," and because by "Bethel" is signified the natural, in which interior things are terminated (see above, n. 4539).4548.
Who answered me in the day of my distress. That this signifies in the state of the setting of truth before good, is evident from the signification of "day," as being state (see n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785). That by the "day of my distress" is signified the state of the setting of truth before good, may be seen from what was said above (see n. 4542); for the "day of distress" here involves the same as the words there-"when thou fleddest from before Esau thy brother."4549.
And was with me in the way which I walked. That this signifies His Divine providence, is evident from the signification of "to be with anyone in the way which he walks," when predicated of the Divine or of the Lord, as being His Divine providence; for to provide is properly to be present with anyone, and to protect him from evils.4550.
And they gave unto Jacob all the gods of the stranger which were in their hand. That this signifies that it rejected all falsities as much as possible, is evident from the signification of the "gods of the stranger," as being falsities (see n. 4544); and from the signification of "which were in their hand," as being as much as possible, for the "hand" signifies power (n. 878, 3387). Hence, "being in the hand" denotes being in their power, or as much as possible. Their "giving them to Jacob" denotes that good rejected them, for by Jacob in this chapter is represented the good of the natural (n. 4538).