Arcana Coelestia, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1749-56], tr. by John F. Potts [1905-10], at sacred-texts.com
And they cried. That this signifies entreaty, is evident without explication.6802.
And their cry came up unto God by reason of their bondage. That this signifies that they were heard, is also evident without explication, for the statement follows that "God heard their groaning, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob."6803.
And God heard their groaning. That this signifies aid, is evident from the signification of "to hear," as being to obey (see n. 2542, 3869, 4652-4660, 5017), but when said of the Lord it denotes to provide and bring aid, for the Lord hears him to whom He brings aid; and from the signification of "groaning," as being sorrow by reason of the attempt to subjugate by falsities.6804.
And God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. That this signifies by reason of conjunction with the church through the Lord's Divine Human, is evident from the signification of "covenant," as being conjunction (of which in what follows); and from the representation of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom a covenant was made, as being the Lord's Divine Human. (That Abraham represents the Lord as to the Divine Itself, Isaac as to the Divine rational, and Jacob as to the Divine natural, see n. 1893, 2011, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 3194, 3210, 3245, 3251, 3305, 3439, 3576, 3599, 3704, 4180, 4286, 4538, 4570, 4615, 6098, 6185, 6276, 6425.) That where mention is made of "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" in the Word, in the spiritual sense these men are not meant, can be seen from the fact that names never penetrate into heaven, but only what is signified by those who are named, thus the things themselves, their quality and their states, which are of the church and of the Lord's kingdom, and which are of the Lord Himself.  And moreover the angels in heaven never determine their thoughts to the individual persons, for this would be to limit the thoughts, and to withdraw them from the universal perception of the things, from which is angelic speech. Hence what the angels speak in heaven is unutterable to man, and far above his thought, which is not extended to universals, but confined to particulars. When therefore we read this: Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall recline with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 8:11); the angels perceive the Lord's presence and the appropriation of the truth and good which proceed from His Divine Human. Also when we read that Lazarus was taken up into Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22); the angels perceive that he was taken up into heaven where the Lord is present. Hence also it can be seen that by the "covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" in the internal sense is meant conjunction through the Lord's Divine Human.  That the Divine Human is a "covenant," that is, conjunction itself, can be seen from many passages in the Word, as: I will give Thee for a covenant to the people, for a light of the nations (Isa. 42:6). I gave Thee for a covenant of the people, to restore the land, to divide the wasted heritages (Isa. 49:8). Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear and your soul shall live; so will I make a covenant of eternity with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold I have given Him for a witness to the peoples, a prince and a lawgiver to the nations (Isa. 55:3, 4). The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple; and the Angel of the covenant whom ye desire, behold He cometh (Mal. 3:1). He hath put for Me a covenant of eternity, to be disposed for all and to be kept (2 Sam. 23:5).  In these passages the Lord is plainly treated of, and the conjunction of the human race with the Divine Itself of the Lord through His Divine Human. It is known in the church that the Lord as to the Divine Human is the Mediator, and that no one can come to the Divine Itself, which is in the Lord and is called the Father, except through the Son, that is, through the Divine Human. Thus the Lord as to the Divine Human is the conjunction. Who can comprehend the Divine Itself by any thought? And if he cannot comprehend it in thought, who can be conjoined with it in love? But everyone can comprehend the Divine Human in thought, and be conjoined with it in love.  That a "covenant" denotes conjunction can be seen from the covenants made between kingdoms, and that by these they are joined together; and that there are stipulations on each side, which are to be kept, in order that the conjunction may be inviolate. These stipulations or compacts are also called a "covenant." The stipulations or compacts which in the Word are called a "covenant" are on the part of man, in a close sense, the ten commandments, or Decalogue; in a wider sense they are all the statutes, commandments, laws, testimonies, precepts, which the Lord enjoined from Mount Sinai through Moses; and in a sense still more wide they are the books of Moses, the contents of which were to be observed on the part of the sons of Israel. On the part of the Lord the "covenant" is mercy and election.  That the ten commandments or Decalogue are a "covenant" is evident from the following passages: Jehovah hath told you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, the ten words which He wrote on two tables of stone (Deut. 4:13, 23). And because the two tables of stone, on which the ten commandments were written, were stored up in the ark (Exod. 25:16, 21, 22; 31:18; 32:15, 16, 19; 40:20), therefore the ark was called the "ark of the covenant" (Deut. 31:9, 24-26; Josh. 3:3, 6, 14; 4:7; Judg. 20:27; 2 Sam. 15:24; 1 Kings 8:21). In the last passage cited, Solomon thus speaks: There I have set a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of Jehovah which He made with our fathers (1 Kings 8:21). And in John: The temple of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant (Rev. 11:19).  That all the judgments and statutes which the Lord commanded through Moses to the people of Israel, were called the "covenant," as were also the books of Moses themselves, is evident from the following passages: After the mouth of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel (Exod. 34:27); the things which are here called a "covenant" were the many in regard to sacrifices, feasts, and unleavened bread. Moses took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people, who said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do and hear (Exod. 24:7-8). Josiah, king of Judah, in the house of Jehovah in the presence of them all read the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Jehovah. And he made a covenant before Jehovah, to establish the words of the covenant written in that book; and all the people stood to the covenant. The king commanded all the people that they should perform the passover to Jehovah God, as it is written in this book of the covenant (2 Kings 23:2-3, 21). If thy sons will keep My covenant and My testimony that I have taught them, their sons also shall sit on thy throne forevermore (Ps. 132:12).  That a "covenant" denotes conjunction through love and faith is evident from these passages: Behold the days come, said Jehovah, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, because they rendered My covenant vain; but this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put My law in the midst of them, and I will write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jer. 31:31-33); "to put a law in the midst of them, and to write it on their heart" is to endow with faith and charity; through faith and charity the conjunction is made which is described by the words, "I will be their God, and they shall be My people." I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will no more turn away from them; and I will do well to them; and I will put My fear in their heart, that they shall not depart from Me (Jer. 32:40); conjunction through love, which is the "covenant," is signified by, "I will put My fear in their heart, that they shall not depart from Me."  In Ezekiel: I will make a covenant of peace with them, a covenant of eternity it shall be with them; and I will give them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them; and My habitation shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Ezek. 37:26-27); here conjunction through love and faith, which are a "covenant," is described by "a sanctuary in the midst of them," and by "a habitation with them," and by the words, "I will be their God, and they shall be My people." When I passed by thee, and saw thee, that behold it was thy time, the time of loves, and I entered into a covenant with thee, that thou shouldest be Mine (Ezek. 16:8); speaking of Jerusalem, whereby is signified the Ancient Church; that "to enter into a covenant that thou shouldest be Mine" is marriage, or spiritual conjunction, is plain. As a "covenant" signifies conjunction, a wife is also called "a wife of the covenant" (Mal. 2:14); and conjunction among brethren is called "the covenant of brethren" (Amos 1:9). By "covenant" is also signified conjunction in David: I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David My servant (Ps. 89:3).  That the compact of a covenant on the part of the Lord is mercy and election, is evident in these passages: All the ways of Jehovah are mercy and truth to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies (Ps. 25:10). The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My mercy shall not depart, and the covenant of My peace shall not be removed, saith thy compassionate One, Jehovah (Isa. 54:10). Jehovah thy God, He is God, the faithful God, keeping covenant and mercy with them that love Him, and that keep His commandments, to the thousandth generation (Deut. 7:9, 12). If ye will keep My covenant, ye shall be unto Me for a peculiar treasure from all peoples (Exod. 19:5), I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and will establish My covenant with you (Lev. 26:9); "to have respect unto them" is of mercy; "to make them fruitful and multiply them" is to endow them with charity and faith; they who are endowed with these gifts are called the "elect;" so that these are words of election; and also the words "they shall be for a peculiar treasure."  Signs of a covenant existed also in the representative church, and were such as reminded of conjunction. Circumcision was such a sign (Gen. 17:11); for "circumcision" signified purification from filthy loves, on the removal of which, heavenly love is instilled, through which is conjunction. The Sabbath is also called "an eternal covenant" (Exod. 31:16). It is said also that "the show-bread should be to the sons of Israel for an eternal covenant" (Lev. 24:8) and especially the "blood", as is evident from these passages: Moses took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people, who said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do and hear; then Moses took the blood of the peace sacrifice, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which Jehovah hath made with you over all these words (Exod. 24:7-8), By the blood of Thy covenant I will send forth the bound out of the pit wherein is no water (Zech. 9:11 ). Blood was a covenant, or the token of a covenant, because it signified conjunction through spiritual love, that is, through charity toward the neighbor; therefore when the Lord instituted the Holy Supper, He called His blood the "blood of the new covenant" (Matt. 26:28). From all this it can now be seen what is meant by a "covenant" in the Word in the internal sense.6805.
And God saw the sons of Israel. That this signifies that He endowed the church with faith, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to have faith (see n. 897, 2325, 2807, 3863, 3869, 4403-4421, 5400); hence "God saw" denotes to endow with faith, for faith is from God; and from the signification of the "sons of Israel," as being the church (n. 6637).6806.
And God took knowledge. That this signifies that He endowed with charity, is evident from the signification of "knowing," when predicated of God, that is, of the Lord, as being to endow with charity; for it is charity which conjoins the Lord with man, and causes the Lord to be present with him, consequently to know him. The Lord indeed knows all in the universe, but not as a father his sons except those who are in the good of love and charity.  Therefore the Lord says of those who are in good, whom He calls His "sheep": I am the good shepherd, and I know Mine own, and I am known of Mine. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:14, 27). But of those who are in evil, the Lord says that He "does not know them," in these passages: Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied through Thy name, and through Thy name have cast out demons, and in Thy name done many mighty deeds? But then will I confess to them, I know you not: depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity (Matt. 7:22-23). At last came also the other virgins saying. Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:11-12). When once the master of the house hath risen up, and hath shut to the door, then will ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but He shall answer and say to you, I know you not whence ye are; then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets; but He shall say, I say to you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:25-27). Hence it is plain that "to be known," when said of the Lord, is to be in the good of charity, that is, to be endowed with that good, because all the good of charity comes from the Lord; and that "not to be known" is to be in evil.  "To know" involves conjunction, and man is said to be "known" by the Lord insofar as he is conjoined with Him. The Lord also knows those who are not conjoined, nay, the very smallest particulars in every such man (John 2:24, 25); but these men, being in evil, are in a different kind of presence, which is as it were absence; although the Lord is not absent, but the man and the spirit who is in evil is he who is absent; and then it is said that the Lord "does not know" them. An image of this condition appears among angels and spirits; they who are alike as to states of life appear near each other, and thus mutually know each other; but they who are unlike as to states of life, appear to each other to be far away, nor do they know each other in the same way. In a word, in the other life likeness of state causes people to appear present, and to be known; and unlikeness of state causes them to appear absent, and not to be known.6807.
On the spirits of the planet Mercury. That the universal heaven bears relation to a man, which has been called the Grand Man, and that each and all things in man, both his exteriors and his interiors, correspond to that man, or to heaven, has been shown at the close of many chapters. But they who come into the other life from this earth, being relatively few, are not sufficient to constitute this Grand Man: there must be others from many other earths; and it is provided by the Lord that as soon as the nature or the amount of the correspondence is lacking anywhere, there shall be straight-way summoned from some earth those who will make up the deficiency, in order that the proportion may be maintained, and that in this way heaven may stand firm.6808.
What the spirits of the planet Mercury bear relation to in the Grand Man, has also been disclosed to me from heaven, namely, the memory, but the memory of things that are abstracted from what is earthly and merely material. But as it has been given me to speak with them, and this for many weeks, and to learn their quality, and to explore the condition of those who are in that earth, I would present the actual experiences.6809.
They once came to me and searched the things in my memory. (Spirits can do this with the utmost skill; for when they come to a man, they see in his memory everything he knows.) When therefore the spirits of Mercury searched out various things, and among others the cities and places where I had been, I observed that they did not wish to know about the churches, palaces, houses, and streets; but only what I knew to have been done in these places, and also matters relating to the government there, and to the genius and manners of the inhabitants, with other things like these; for such things cling to the places that are in man's memory, and therefore when the places are excited, these other things also come up. I wondered at this character of the spirits of Mercury, and I therefore asked why they passed by the magnificent features of the places, and only searched out the facts and doings there? They said they have no delight in looking at material, bodily, and earthly things, but only at real ones. From this it at once appeared that the spirits of that earth relate in the Grand Man to the memory of real things when abstracted from things material and earthly.6810.
I have been told that their life in their own earth is of the same character, namely, that they care nothing for earthly and bodily things; but only for the statutes, laws, and governments of the nations there, and also for the things of heaven, which are innumerable. And I was further told that many of the men of that earth speak with spirits, and from this have knowledges of spiritual realities, and of the states of life after death, and from this also they have contempt for bodily and earthly things. For they who know with certainty and believe in a life after death, care for heavenly things, as being eternal and happy, and not for worldly things except insofar as the necessities of life require.6811.
With what eagerness they search out and learn knowledges, such as are in the memory that is raised above the sensuous things of the body, was made evident to me from the fact that when they looked into what I knew about heavenly things, they ran over them all, continually saying, "That is so-and-so, that is so-and-so." For when spirits come to a man, they enter into all his memory, and excite from it all that is suited to themselves; nay, as I have often observed, they read its contents as from a book. The spirits of Mercury did this with greater skill and quickness, because they looked at the real things themselves, and did not delay over such things as are slow, and which confine and consequently retard the internal sight, as do all earthly and bodily things when regarded as an end, that is, when loved in an extraordinary degree. For realities to which earthly things do not adhere bear the mind upward, thus into a wide field; whereas merely material things bear the mind downward, thus into a narrow one. Their eagerness to acquire knowledges also became evident in the following manner. Once when I was writing something about the future, and they were at a distance, so that they could not look at it from my memory, they were very indignant because I would not read it in their presence, and contrary to their usual behavior they desired to upbraid me, calling me the worst of men, and so forth; and in order to show their anger they induced a kind of contraction on the right side of my head as far as the ear, that was attended with pain. But such things did me no harm. But as the spirits had done evil they went still further off, and yet they waited; because they wanted to know what I had written about the future. Such is their desire for knowledges.6812.
Above all other spirits the spirits of Mercury possess knowledges of real things, both of those within this solar system, and also of those which are beyond it in the starry heaven; and what they have once acquired they retain, and also recall, as often as like things occur. This shows very plainly that the memory of spirits is much more perfect than that of men, and also that what spirits hear, see, and perceive, they retain, especially such things as delight them, as the knowledges of real things delight these spirits. For all things that cause delight and love, flow in as it were spontaneously, and remain; other things do not enter, but only touch the surface and pass by.6813.
When the spirits of Mercury come to other societies, they search out from them what they know, and as soon as they have done this they depart. There is such a communication among spirits that when they are in a society, if they are accepted and loved, all things which they know are communicated, and this not by any speech, but by influx. By reason of their knowledges the spirits of Mercury are more conceited than others, and they were therefore told that although they know innumerable things, still there are infinite things which they do not know; and that if their knowledges should increase to eternity, they would not attain even to a knowledge of generals. They were told also of their conceit and elation of mind, and how unbecoming this is; but they answered that it is not conceit, but only a glorying in their faculty of memory. In this way they can excuse their faults.6814.
They are averse to verbal speech because it is material, and therefore I could talk with them no otherwise than by a kind of active thought. Their memory, being of real things, and not of purely material images, supplies the thought with its objects more closely; for the thought which is above the imagination requires for its objects things abstracted from what is material. But in spite of this, the spirits of Mercury excel but little in the faculty of judgment. They are not delighted with matters that belong to judgment and to conclusions from thoughts; for bare knowledges are their delight.6815.
I was allowed to insinuate the question whether they did not desire to perform some use by virtue of their knowledges; because it is not sufficient to be delighted with knowledges, seeing that knowledges look to uses, and uses must be the ends. From knowledges alone, I told them, there is no use to them, but only to others to whom they may desire to communicate their knowledges; and it is by no means proper for a man who desires to be wise, to halt in knowledges alone, because these are only instrumental causes, intended to serve in the search for uses, which must be of the life. But they answered that they are delighted with knowledges, and that to them knowledges are uses.6816.
The spirits of Mercury are quite different from the spirits of our earth, for the spirits of our earth care not so much for real things as for material, worldly, bodily, and earthly things. Therefore the spirits of Mercury cannot be together with the spirits of our earth, and so whenever they meet them they flee away; for the spiritual spheres which exhale from the two are almost opposite. The spirits of Mercury have a saying, that they love what is drawn out from things material, and that they do not desire to look at the sheath, but at things stripped of their sheath, thus at interior things.6817.
The subject of the spirits of the planet Mercury will be continued at the end of the following chapter.6818.
Exodus 3 THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY With respect to the Neighbor, more must be said, because without knowing who the neighbor is, no one can know in what way charity must be practiced. In the preface to the preceding chapter it was said that every man is the neighbor, but not one in like manner as another; and that he who is in good is more the neighbor than others, thus that it is the good in a man which is to be loved; for when good is loved, the Lord is loved, because it is the Lord from whom is good, who is in good, and who is good itself.6819.
But not only is man in the singular the neighbor, but also man in the plural. For a society, smaller or greater, is the neighbor; our country is the neighbor; the church is the neighbor; the Lord's kingdom is the neighbor; and so above all is the Lord. All these are the neighbor who is to be benefited from charity. These also are ascending degrees of the neighbor; for a society of many is the neighbor in a higher degree than is an individual man; our country in a higher degree than a society; in a still higher degree the church; and in a still higher degree the Lord's kingdom; but in the highest degree the Lord is the neighbor. These ascending degrees are like the steps of a ladder, at the top of which is the Lord.6820.
A society is more a neighbor than an individual man, because it consists of many. Charity is to be practiced toward it in like manner as toward an individual man, namely, according to the quality of good in it; thus quite differently toward a society of the upright, from the way in which it is to be practiced toward a society of those who are not upright.6821.
Our country is more the neighbor than a society, because it is like a parent; for there the man has been born; it nourishes him, and protects him from harm. Our country is to be benefited from love, according to its necessities, which chiefly regard its sustenance, its civil life, and its spiritual life. He who loves his country, and from good will benefits it, in the other life loves the Lord's kingdom; for there the Lord's kingdom is his country. And he who loves the Lord's kingdom, loves the Lord, because the Lord is the all in all of His kingdom; for what is properly called "the Lord's kingdom" is the good and truth from the Lord in those who are in it.6822.
The church is more the neighbor than our country, because he who has regard for the church, has regard also for the souls and eternal life of the men who are in the country. And the church is cared for when man is led to good, and he who does this from charity, loves the neighbor, for he desires and wills for another, heaven and happiness of life to eternity. Good can be instilled into another by anyone in his country, but not truth, except by those who are teaching ministers; if others do this, heresies arise, and the church is disturbed and rent asunder. Charity is practiced, if through the truth which is of the church, the neighbor is led to good. If in the church anything is called truth which leads away from good, this is not worthy of mention, for it is not truth. Everyone must first obtain for himself truth from the doctrine of the church, and afterward from the Word of the Lord; this must be the truth of his faith.6823.
The Lord's kingdom is the neighbor in a higher degree than the church in which one is born; for the Lord's kingdom consists of all who are in good, both on earth and in the heavens; thus the Lord's kingdom is good with every quality of it in the complex; and when this good is loved, everyone who is in good is loved. Thus the whole, which is all good in the complex, is the neighbor in the first degree, and is that Grand Man which has been treated of at the end of many chapters, which Man is a representative image of the Lord Himself. This Man, that is, the Lord's kingdom, is loved, when from inmost affection those are benefited who are men through that man from the Lord, thus with whom is the Lord's kingdom.6824.
These are the degrees of the neighbor, and according to these degrees charity ascends; but these are degrees in successive order, in which a prior or higher degree is always preferred to a posterior or lower one; and as the Lord is in the highest, and He is to be regarded in every degree as the end to which each tends, therefore He is above all, and is to be loved above all things. EXODUS 3 1. And Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock behind the wilderness, and came unto the mountain of God, to Horeb. 2. And the angel of Jehovah was seen by him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bramble; and he saw, and behold the bramble burned with fire, and the bramble was in no wise consumed. 3. And Moses said, I will therefore go aside, and see this great vision, why the bramble is not burnt. 4. And Jehovah saw that he went aside to see, and God called unto him out of the midst of the bramble, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Behold me! 5. And He said, Draw not nigh hither; pull off thy shoes from upon thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest a ground of holiness is this. 6. And He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses covered his faces, because he was afraid to look upon God. 7. And Jehovah said, Seeing I have seen the affliction of My people, which is in Egypt, and I have heard their cry from before their taskmasters; for I have known their sorrows; 8. And I am come down to liberate them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to make them come up out of that land unto a land good and broad, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9. And now behold the cry of the sons of Israel is come unto Me, and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10. And now go, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, and do thou bring forth My people the sons of Israel out of Egypt. 11. And Moses said unto God, Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the sons of Israel out of Egypt? 12. And He said, Because I will be with thee; and this shall be the sign to thee that I have sent thee: when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall worship God near this mountain. 13. And Moses said unto God, Behold I come unto the sons of Israel, and say to them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? What shall I say unto them? 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM WHO I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say to the sons of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15. And God said further unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the sons of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is My name forever, and this is My memorial unto generation and generation. 16. Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, Jehovah the God of your fathers hath been seen of me, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, saying, Visiting I have visited you, and that which is done to you in Egypt. 17. And I say, I will make you come up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. 18. And they shall hear thy voice, and thou shalt go in, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt; and ye shall say unto him, Jehovah God of the Hebrews hath met us; and now let us go we pray a way of three days into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Jehovah our God. 19. And I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go, and not by a strong hand. 20. And I will put forth My hand, and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof, and afterward he will send you away. 21. And I will give this people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when ye go, ye shall not go empty. 22. And every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments; and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters, and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.6825.
The Contents. In the first chapter, in the internal sense, the subject treated of was the infestation by falsities and evils of those who are of the church; in the second chapter it was the beginnings and successive states of truth Divine with them; in this chapter in the internal sense the subject treated of is their liberation; and then for the first time they are instructed who the God is who has liberated them, that it is the Lord; and that He introduces them into heaven after they have been endowed with manifold truth and good.6826.
The Internal Sense. Verses 1-3. And Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock behind the wilderness, and came into the mountain of God, to Horeb. And the angel of Jehovah was seen by him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bramble; and he saw, and behold the bramble burned with fire, and the bramble was in no wise consumed. And Moses said, I will therefore go aside, and see this great vision, why the bramble is not burnt. "And Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian," signifies that the law from the Divine was instructing those who were in the truth of simple good; "priest," is the good of the church where such are; "and he led the flock behind the wilderness," signifies after they had undergone temptations; "and came unto the mountain of God," signifies that the good of love Divine appeared to him; "to Horeb," signifies its quality; "and the angel of Jehovah was seen by him," signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human; "in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bramble," signifies love Divine in the truth of memory-knowledge; "and he saw, and behold the bramble burned with fire," signifies a noticing that the truth of memory-knowledge was full of the good of love Divine; "and the bramble was in no wise consumed," signifies Divine truth united to Divine good in the natural; "and Moses said," signifies perception from the law from the Divine; "I will therefore go aside, and see this great vision," signifies reflection upon this revelation; "why the bramble is not burnt," signifies that such is the union.6827.
And Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. That this signifies that the law from the Divine was instructing those who were in the truth of simple good; and that "the priest of Midian" is the good of the church where such are, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Lord as to the law Divine (see n. 6752); and in the beginning as to the truth which is of the law from the Divine (n. 6771); but here as to the law from the Divine. So may we name the degrees of progression in the Lord, before, as to the Human, He was made the very law Divine. In the whole Word, in its inmost or supreme sense, the Lord alone and the glorification of His Human are treated of; but as the inmost or supreme sense transcends human understanding, it is allowable to unfold the Word as to its internal sense, in which are treated of the Lord's kingdom and the church, and the setting up of the latter, and also the regeneration of the man of the church by the Lord. That these subjects are treated of in the internal sense, is because the regeneration of man is a representative image of the glorification of the Lord (n. 3138, 3212, 3245, 3246, 3296, 3490, 4402, 5688).  From the signification of "to feed," as being to instruct (n. 3795, 5201); from the signification of a "flock," as being one who learns and is led by means of truth to the good of charity (n. 343), thus the "flock" in the general sense is the church (n. 3767, 3768), here the church where are those who are in the truth of simple good, who are signified by "Midian" (n. 3242, 4756); from the signification of "father-in-law," as being the good from which, as from a father, comes forth that good which has been conjoined with truth, here with the truth which is of the law from the Divine, which is represented by Moses (see n. 6793), the quality of this good is "Jethro;" and from the signification of the "priest of Midian," as being the good of the church where are they who are in the truth of simple good (n. 6775). From all this it is evident that by "Moses was feeding the flock of his father-in-law, the priest of Midian," is signified that the law from the Divine was instructing those who were in the truth of simple good; and that the "priest of Midian" is the good of the church where such are.6828.
And he led the flock behind the wilderness. That this signifies after they had undergone temptations, namely, they who were in the truth of simple good, is evident from the signification of a "flock," as being the church where they are who are in the truth of simple good (of which just above, n. 6827); and from the signification of "wilderness," as being a state of temptation. For a "wilderness" signifies what is but little inhabited and cultivated, and also what is not inhabited and cultivated at all, thus in the spiritual sense a man vastated as to good and desolated as to truth, consequently a man who is in temptation; for he who is in temptation is in vastation and in desolation, because the falsity and evil in him come out and darken and almost take away the influx of truth and good from the Lord; and the truth which flows in does not appear to him to have sufficient life to disperse the falsities and evils. Moreover, evil spirits are then present, who inject grief, and despair of salvation. That a "wilderness" signifies such a state, is evident from very many passages in the Word (see n. 2708); and as a "wilderness" signified a state of temptation, and the number "forty" its duration, however long or short (n. 730, 862, 2272, 2273), therefore the sons of Israel were in the wilderness forty years; and therefore the Lord was in the wilderness forty days when He was tempted (Matt. 4:2; Mark 1:13).6829.
And came to the mountain of God. That this signifies that the good of love Divine then appeared, is evident from the signification of the "mountain of God," as being the good of love Divine. (That a "mountain" is the good of love, see n. 795, 796, 2722, 4210, 6435.) That this good appeared after they had undergone temptations, is signified by his coming to that mountain behind the wilderness. The case herein is this. When a man is in temptation, he is beset round by falsities and evils which impede the influx of light from the Divine, that is, the influx of truth and good, and then the man is as it were in darkness. Darkness in the other life is nothing else than this besetment by falsities, for these take away the light from the man who is in temptation, and thus the perception of consolation by truths. But when the man emerges from temptation, then the light appears with its spiritual heat, that is, truth with its good, and from this he has gladness after anxiety. This is the morning which in the other life follows the night. The reason why good is then perceived, and truth appears, is that after temptation truth and good penetrate toward the interiors, and there take root. For when a man is in temptation, he is as it were in hunger for good, and in thirst for truth; and therefore when he emerges he draws in good as a hungry man devours food, and receives truth as a thirsty man imbibes drink. Moreover, when light from the Divine appears, falsities and evils are removed, and when these are removed, the way is opened for truth and good to penetrate more interiorly. These are the reasons why after temptations the good of love appears with its light from the Lord. That after the obscurity and anxiety of temptations, brightness and gladness appear, is known to all in the other life, because it is there a common occurrence.6830.
Unto Horeb. That this signifies the quality, namely, of the good of love Divine which appeared, is evident from the fact that when names are added they involve the quality of the thing treated of. The quality involved by "Horeb" is plain from the things there seen, namely, from the flame of fire out of the midst of the bramble; thus it is the Divine good of love shining forth through the truth which is of the law Divine.6831.
And the angel of Jehovah was seen of him. That this signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human, is evident from the signification of "the angel of Jehovah," as being the Divine Human of the Lord (see n. 6280). The reason why the Divine Human is called the "angel of Jehovah," is that before the coming of the Lord, when Jehovah passed through heaven, He appeared in a human form as an angel. For the whole angelic heaven bears relation to a man, which is called the Grand Man, and which has been treated of at the end of many chapters. Therefore when the Divine Itself passed through the angelic heaven, it appeared in human form as an angel before those with whom He spoke: this was the Divine Human of Jehovah before the coming of the Lord. The Lord's Human when made Divine is the same, for the Lord is Jehovah Himself in the Divine Human. That the Lord as to the Divine Human is called an "angel," may be seen above (n. 6280); and it is also evident from many passages in the New Testament where the Lord says that He was "sent by the Father;" to be "sent" signifies to proceed, the word "sent" in the Hebrew tongue being the same as "angel." (That the Lord speaks of Himself as "sent" see Matt. 10:40; 15:24; Mark 9:37; Luke 4:43; 9:48; 10:16; John 3:17, 34; 4:34; 5:23, 24, 36-38; 6:29, 39, 40, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28, 29; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 9:4; 10:36; 11:41, 42; 12:44, 45, 49; 13:20; 14:24; 16:5, 7; 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23, 25.)6832.
In a flame of fire out of the midst of the bramble. That this signifies love Divine in the truth of memory-knowledge, is evident from the signification of a "flame of fire," as being love Divine (of which below); and from the signification of a "bramble," as being the truth of memory-knowledge. That a "bramble" denotes the truth of memory-knowledge, is because all small shrubs of every kind signify memory-knowledges, but the greater shrubs signify real knowledges and perceptions. As a "bramble" produces flowers and berries, it signifies the truth of memory-knowledge. The truth of memory-knowledge of the church is nothing else than the Word in the sense of the letter, and also every representative and significative of the church which existed among the descendants of Jacob. In their external form these truths are called truths of memory-knowledge, but in the internal form they are spiritual truths. But as truths in the internal form, that is, in their spiritual form, could not appear to the posterity of Jacob, because they were in mere externals, and were quite unwilling to learn anything internal, therefore the Lord appeared in the bramble; for when the Lord appears, He appears according to the quality of the man, because a man receives the Divine no otherwise than according to his own quality. Therefore when the Lord appeared on Mount Sinai, He appeared to the people as fire burning even to the heart of heaven, and as darkness, clouds, and thick darkness (Deut. 4:11; 5:22-25 also Exod. 19:18). He would have appeared altogether otherwise if the people who were looking on beneath the mountain had not been of such a quality; and because that people was in mere externals, therefore when Moses entered unto the Lord on Mount Sinai, it is said that he "entered into a cloud" (Exod. 24:2, 18; 34:5). That a "cloud" denotes the external of the Word, see the preface to the eighteenth chapter of Genesis, and n. 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343; consequently also it was representative of the church as looked at in its outward form.  That the Lord appears to everyone according to his quality, is evident from the fact that the Lord appears to those who are in the inmost or third heaven as a sun, from which proceeds ineffable light, because those who are there are in the good of love to the Lord; and that He appears to those who are in the middle or second heaven as a moon, because those who are there are more remotely and obscurely in love to the Lord, being in love toward the neighbor; but in the lowest or first heaven, the Lord does not appear as a sun nor yet as a moon, but only as a light which far surpasses the light of the world. And as the Lord appears to everyone according to his quality, therefore also He cannot appear to those who are in hell except as a dusky cloud and thick darkness; for as soon as the light of heaven which is from the Lord sinks down into any hell, shades and darkness are produced there. From all this it can now be seen that the Lord appears to everyone according to his quality, because according to his reception; and as the descendants of Jacob were in externals only, therefore the Lord appeared unto Moses in the bramble, and also in a cloud, when he entered in unto the Lord upon Mount Sinai.  That "flame" denotes love Divine is because love in its first origin is nothing else than fire and flame from the Lord as a sun. It is the fire or flame of this sun which gives the being of life to every man; and it is the vital fire itself which fills the interiors of man with heat, as can be seen from love, for in proportion as love increases with man, he grows warm, and in proportion as love decreases, he grows cold.  Hence it is that when the Lord appeared in vision, He appeared as fire and flame, as in Ezekiel: The appearance of the four animals (which were cherubs) was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches; it was going along among the animals, as the brightness of fire, and out of the fire went forth lightning. Above the expanse that was over their head was as it were the appearance of a sapphire stone, the likeness of a throne; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above. And I saw the appearance of a burning coal as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upward; but from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, which had a brightness round about (Ezek. 1:13, 26-27). That the details of this vision are significative and representative of something Divine, no one can deny; but unless it is known what is signified by "cherubs," by "burning coals of fire like the appearance of torches," by a "throne," by the "appearance of a man upon it," by the "loins from which was the appearance of fire upward and downward, and brightness from the fire," it is impossible to know the holy secret contained within it. That "cherubs" denote the providence of the Lord, see n. 308; that a "throne" denotes heaven, properly the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, which forms heaven, n. 5313. That "the appearance of a man upon the throne above" denotes the Lord as to the Divine Human, is plain; that "loins" denote conjugial love and from this all heavenly love, n. 3021, 4277, 4280, 4575, 5050-5062; which love was represented by the appearance of burning coal as the appearance of fire, which had a brightness round about.  In Daniel: I held even until the thrones were cast forth, and the Ancient of days did sit; His garment was like white snow, and the hair of His head was like clean wool; His throne was a flame of fire; His wheels were burning fire, a stream of fire issued and went forth from before Him (Dan. 7:9-10); the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love was here also seen as a flame of fire. In John: He that sat upon the white horse had eyes as a flame of fire (Rev. 19:12); that "He that sat upon the white horse" is the Lord as to the Word, is there openly said (verses 13, 16); thus the "flame of fire" is the Divine truth which is in the Word, which is from the Lord's Divine good. Again: In the midst of the seven candlesticks was one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot. His head and hairs were white as white wool, as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:13-14); here also "eyes as a flame of fire" denotes the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine good.  That a "flame of fire" denotes the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, is evident also in David: The voice of Jehovah falleth down like a flame of fire (Ps. 29:7); "the voice of Jehovah" denotes the Divine truth. That the Divine truth might be represented as proceeding from the Lord's Divine good, the command was given that they should make a lampstand of pure gold with seven lamps, and that it should be set in the tent of the congregation by the table on which were the loaves of setting forth, and that the lamps should burn continually before Jehovah (Exod. 25:31 to the end; 37:17-24; 40:24, 25; Lev. 24:4; Num. 8:2; Zech. 4:2). By the lampstand with the seven lamps was represented the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine good.  That the Divine good itself might also be represented, it was commanded that there should be a perpetual fire on the altar: The fire shall burn upon the altar, and shall not go out; the priest shall kindle pieces of wood upon it every morning. The fire shall burn continually upon the altar, and shall not go out (Lev. 6:12-13). That fire was very well known to the ancients to be representative of the Divine love is very evident from the fact that this representative spread from the Ancient Church even to remote nations which were in idolatrous worship, and who are known to have instituted a sacred perpetual fire, and to have appointed to it virgins, called the vestals.  That in the opposite sense "fire and flame" signify filthy loves, such as the loves of revenge, of cruelty, of hatred, of adultery, and in general the lusts which are from the loves of self and of the world is evident also from many passages in the Word, of which it is enough to cite only the following: Behold they are become as stubble, the fire hath burned them; they rescue not their soul from the hand of the flame; no coal to warm at, or a fire to sit before (Isa. 47:14). Behold I will kindle a fire in thee, which shall devour in thee every green tree, and every dry tree; the flame of a grievous flame shall not be quenched, whence all faces shall be burned up from the south to the north (Ezek. 20:47); by "fire" and "flame" are signified the cupidities of evil and falsity, which extinguish all the good and truth of the church, whence comes its vastation.  In Luke: The rich man said to Abraham, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame (Luke 16:24); they who do not know that the fire of life in man is from a different origin than is elementary fire cannot possibly know otherwise than that by the "fire of hell" is meant such fire as is in the world; when yet in the Word no such fire is meant, but the fire which is of love, thus which is of man's life, proceeding from the Lord as a sun; which fire, when it enters into those who are in things contrary is turned into the fire of cupidities, which, as before said, are those of revenge, hatred, and cruelty, springing forth from the love of self and of the world. This is the fire which torments those who are in the hells, for when the rein is given to their cupidities, they rush one upon another, and torture one another in direful and unspeakable ways, because everyone desires to be preeminent, and by secret or open artifices to take from another what belongs to him. This being the case on both sides, deadly hatreds come forth from it, and from these the perpetration of savage deeds, especially by means of magical arts and also by means of phantasies, which arts are innumerable and are quite unknown in the world.  They who do not believe in spiritual things, especially the worshipers of nature, can never be brought to believe that the heat in living beings, which makes the internal life itself, is from any other origin than the heat of this world; for they cannot know, still less acknowledge, that there is a heavenly fire proceeding from the Lord as a sun, and that this fire is pure love. Consequently they cannot know innumerable things that exist in the Word, where no other fire is meant; neither can they know innumerable things in man, who is an organ receptive of this fire.6833.
And he saw, and behold the bramble burned with fire. That this signifies a noticing that the truth of memory-knowledges was full of the good of love Divine, is evident from the signification of "seeing," as being to notice (see n. 2150, 3764, 4567, 4723, 5400); from the signification of a "bramble," as being the truth of memory-knowledge (of which just above, n. 6832); and from the signification of "fire," as being love Divine (n. 934, 4906, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832). Hence "to burn with fire" denotes to be full of the good of love Divine.6834.
And the bramble was in no wise consumed. That this signifies Divine truth united to Divine good in the natural, is evident from the signification of a "bramble," as being the truth of memory-knowledge (of which above, n. 6832, 6833); here being said of the Lord, it denotes Divine truth in the natural, and the natural is signified because the truth of memory-knowledge is there; and from the signification of "not being consumed by fire," as being not to be dissipated by the good of Divine love (that "fire" is the good of Divine love, see just above, n. 6832), thus that it is united, namely, Divine truth with Divine good in the natural. This is the signification of these words in the supreme sense, in which the Lord is treated of. The case herein is this. The Divine good of the Divine love is the very solar fire in the other life, which fire is so ardent that if it were to light on anyone without an intermediate tempering, even on an angel of the inmost heaven, he would be deprived of all sense, and would perish. Such is the ardor of the Lord's Divine love. But when the Lord was in the world, and united the human essence to the Divine essence, He received the fire of this love in His Human, and united it to the truth there when He made Himself the law Divine. This then is what is meant by the Divine truth being united to the Divine good in the natural.6835.
And Moses said. That this signifies perception from the law from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "saying," in the historicals of the Word, as being perception (of which frequently above); and from the representation of Moses, as being the law from the Divine (of which also above, n. 6827).6836.
I will therefore go aside, and see this great vision. That this signifies reflection on this revelation, is evident from the signification of "going aside and seeing," as being to reflect, for in the spiritual sense "to go aside" denotes to turn aside from the present thought; and "to see" denotes to perceive, thus both expressions together denote to reflect; and from the signification of a "vision," as being revelation (see n. 6000). It is called a "great vision," because in the supreme sense by the "flame in the bramble" is signified the Divine truth united to the Divine good in the Lord's Human (n. 6834).6837.
Why the bramble is not burnt. That this signifies that such is the union, is evident from what was said above (n. 6834).6838.
Verses 4-6. And Jehovah saw that he went aside to see, and God called unto him out of the midst of the bramble, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Behold me! And He said, Draw not nigh hither; pull off thy shoes from upon thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest a ground of holiness is this. And He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses covered his faces, because he was afraid to look upon God. "And Jehovah saw that he went aside to see," signifies reflection from the Lord; "and God called unto him," signifies influx from the Divine; "out of the midst of the bramble," signifies from the truths of memory-knowledge; "and said, Moses, Moses; and he said, behold me!" signifies internal exhortation, and hearing; "and He said, Draw not nigh hither," signifies that he must not still think of the Divine from sensuous things; "pull off thy shoes from upon thy feet," signifies that sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, must be removed; "for the place whereon thou standest a ground of holiness is this," signifies that otherwise the Divine cannot enter; "and He said, I am the God of thy father," signifies the Divine which was of the Ancient Church; "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," signifies the Divine Itself, and the Divine Human, thus the Lord; "and Moses covered his faces," signifies that the interiors were guarded; "because he was afraid to look upon God," signifies lest they should be injured by the presence of the Divine Itself.6839.
And Jehovah saw that he went aside to see. That this signifies reflection from the Lord, is evident from the signification of "going aside to see," as being reflection (of which above, n. 6836; as also that "Jehovah" denotes the Lord, n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 5663, 6303). The nature of the sense of the letter of the Word is evident here also. It is said that Jehovah saw that he went aside to see, as if He had not known before, and as if He had not enabled him and moved him to go aside to see. Nevertheless it is so said because this is according to the appearance. But the internal sense teaches how this is to be understood, namely, that the Lord flowed into his thought, in order that he might reflect upon it. This shows how the case is with the sense of the letter of the Word relatively to the internal sense; and that the contents of the sense of the letter are of such a nature as to accommodate themselves to the apprehension of the simple, who believe only as it appears; what does not appear they do not believe, because they cannot enter into the interiors of things; and therefore unless the Word had been of this nature in the letter, it would not have been received. He who is in sensuous things, and is engrossed by worldly ones, in no wise apprehends interior things. He desires to see the things he must believe; those which he does not see are as it were foreign, and when he is thinking from himself about them, he rejects them as matters worthy of denial, or at any rate as worthy of doubt.6840.
And God called unto him. That this signifies influx from the Divine, is evident from the signification of "calling," as being influx; for in the internal sense there is not meant a calling by means of speech, as in the external historic sense, but a calling by influx into the will; and this calling is internal, for Jehovah, or the Lord, flows into the will and moves it to do what pleases Him. When this internal thing falls into what is historic, in which there are nothing but external things, it falls either into a command, or a call, or an address, or into other like terms.6841.
Out of the midst of the bramble. That this signifies from the truths of memory-knowledge, is evident from the signification of a "bramble," as being the truth of memory-knowledge (see n. 6832, 6833).6842.
And said, Moses, Moses; and he said, Behold me! That this signifies internal exhortation and hearing is evident from the signification of being "called by God," in the historicals of the Word, as being influx from the Divine (see n. 6840). The call itself is in these words: "and Jehovah said, Moses, Moses;" and because these words involve all things that follow, and first that he should not draw nigh hither, but that he should pull off his shoes from upon his feet, they signify exhortation; and the reply of Moses, "behold me," signifies hearing.6843.
And He said, Draw not nigh hither. That this signifies that he must not still think of the Divine from sensuous things, is evident from the signification of "drawing nigh to Jehovah," as being to think of the Divine. That "to draw nigh," when said of a man's approach to the Lord, denotes thought about the Divine, is because man cannot approach the Divine with the body, as a man approaches a man, but with the mind, thus with the thought and the will. There is no other access to the Divine, because the Divine is above the things of place and time, being in those things with man which are called "states," namely, states of love and states of faith, thus states of both faculties of the mind, that is, of the will and of the thought; by these man can approach the Divine. Hence it is that here, by "Draw not nigh hither," is signified that he must not think of the Divine, that is, from the external sensuous things which are signified by the "shoes that he was first to pull off." It is said still, because the external sensuous things of the natural are the last to be regenerated, and thus last receive influx from the Divine; and the state here treated of was not yet such that sensuous things could receive the influx. As regards sensuous things, see what now follows.6844.
Pull off thy shoes from upon thy feet. That this signifies that sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, must be removed, is evident from the signification of "shoes," as being the sensuous things which are the externals of the natural (see n. 1748); and from the signification of "feet," as being the natural (n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952). That "to pull off" denotes to remove is evident, because it is said of sensuous things; for terms must be applied to their subject that is being treated of; thus "to pull off," to the shoes; and "to be removed," to sensuous things. How the case herein is, must be told. Everyone can see that shoes here represent something that was not in agreement with the holy Divine, and thus that to pull off the shoes was representative of the removal of such things; otherwise what would it matter to the Divine whether man approached in shoes or with the soles of his feet bare, provided that he was interiorly of such a character as to be able to approach the Divine in faith and love? Therefore by "shoes" are signified sensuous things, and these being the externals of the natural are of such a nature that they cannot be present when the Divine is the object of holy thought; therefore, as at that time representatives were to be observed, Moses was not allowed to approach with shoes on his feet.  That sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, are of such a nature that they cannot receive the Divine, is because they are in things worldly, bodily, and even earthly, for they proximately receive these things; hence the things that are in the memory from sensuous things derive from the light and heat of the world all that belongs to them, and but little from the light and heat of heaven, and therefore they are the last things that can be regenerated, that is, receive anything of the light of heaven. Hence it is that when a man is in these sensuous things, and is thinking from them, he thinks no otherwise of the Divine than as he thinks about earthly things, and if he is in evil he thinks from these sensuous things quite against the Divine. Therefore if when a man is thinking about such things as are of faith and love to God he is in good, he is elevated from the sensuous things which are the externals of the natural, toward interior things, consequently from earthly and worldly things nearer to heavenly and spiritual things.  This a man knows not, because he does not know that the interiors in him are distinct from the exteriors, and that thought is more and more interior and also more and more exterior; and as he does not know these things, he cannot reflect upon them. But see what has been before said about thought from sensuous things, namely, that they who think from them, have very little wisdom (n. 5089, 5094, 6201, 6310, 6312, 6314, 6316, 6318, 6598, 6612, 6614, 6622, 6624); that man is elevated from sensuous things, and that when thus elevated he comes into a milder light; and that this is especially the case with those who are being regenerated (n. 6183, 6313, 6315). From all this is now plain what is meant by "putting off the shoes from upon the feet." That the natural with man is external, middle, and internal, see n. 4570, 5118, 5126, 5497, 5649. The internal natural is signified by the "feet," the middle natural by the "soles of the feet," and the external by the "shoes."6845.
For the place whereon thou standest a ground of holiness is this. That this signifies that otherwise the Divine cannot enter, is evident from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 4321, 4882, 5605), whence "the place whereon thou standest" denotes the state in which he as yet is; and from the signification of "ground of holiness," as being the holy which proceeds from the Lord. Thus it is a state of the holy proceeding from the Lord's Divine Human which is meant by these words. That it signifies that otherwise the Divine cannot enter, follows from what goes before, namely, that if man were not removed from sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, that is, if he were not elevated from these to things interior, the Divine could not flow in. The reason why the Divine cannot flow in with man so long as he is in these sensuous things, is that the influx from the Divine passes on even to those things which are last in order, thus down to the sensuous things which are the externals of the natural with man; and if the things therein be merely bodily and earthly, the Divine things which flow in are there dissipated, because they are not in agreement. Therefore when man is about to receive the Divine, that is, the things which are of faith and love, he is elevated from sensuous things; and when he has been elevated from them, the Divine no longer flows in thither, namely, into the external sensuous, but into the interior plane into which the man has been elevated. That this is the case it has been given me to know from much experience.6846.
And He said, I am the God of thy father. That this signifies the Divine which was of the Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "father," as being the Ancient Church (see n. 6075). The Ancient Church is called "father" because from it were born the churches which came after it, namely, the Hebrew Church, and afterward the church that was among the posterity of Jacob. For the rites and statutes which were commanded to the posterity of Jacob through Moses, were not new, but had previously existed in the ancient churches, and were only restored among the sons of Jacob. They were restored because with other nations they had become idolatrous, and in Egypt and in Babel had been turned into magic. That these rites and statutes existed in the ancient churches, can be seen from many passages in the Word. Hence then it is that the Ancient Church is meant by "father," and is also called "father" in the Word where the church is treated of. The God who was worshiped in the Ancient Church was the Lord as to the Divine Human, and it was known to them that it was the Lord who was represented in every rite of their church; and many of them also knew that the Lord was to come into the world, and was to make the Human in Himself Divine. Nor in that church was any other meant by Jehovah, for He had appeared to them as a Divine Man, and was called "Jehovah" (n. 1343, 5663), as also afterward to Abraham (Gen. 18:2), to Joshua (Josh. 5:13-15), to Gideon (Judges 6:11), and to Manoah and his wife (Judges 13:3). And He was acknowledged as the God of the universe, and the Only One whom they should adore. Hence then it is that by "the God of thy father," is meant in the internal sense the Divine which was of the Ancient Church, that is, the Lord; but in the external historic sense there is meant Abraham, and also Isaac and Jacob.6847.
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. That this signifies the Divine Itself, and the Divine Human, thus the Lord, is evident from the representation of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, as being the Divine Itself, and the Divine Human of the Lord. (That Abraham represents the Lord as to the Divine Itself, Isaac as to the Divine rational, and Jacob as to the Divine natural, see n. 1893, 2011, 2066, 2072, 2083, 2630, 3194, 3210, 3245, 3251, 3305, 3439, 3704, 4180, 4286, 4538, 4570, 4615, 6098, 6185, 6276, 6425, 6804.) By "God" is signified the Divine, and by these names the representative; hence these things in the Lord are what are meant by "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."6848.
And Moses covered his faces. That this signifies that the interiors were guarded, is evident from the signification of the "faces," as being the interiors (see n. 1999, 2434, 3527, 4066, 4796, 4797, 5102). That "to cover" denotes to guard, follows from the connection in the internal sense, for it is said that "he covered his faces because he was afraid to look upon God," and by this is signified lest the interiors should be injured by the presence of the Divine Itself. How this is will be told in what follows.6849.
Because he was afraid to look upon God. That this signifies lest they should be injured by the presence of the Divine itself is evident from the signification of "being afraid" as being fear lest they should be injured, namely, the interiors, for this was the cause of the fear; and from the signification of "looking upon God" as being the presence of the Divine Itself; for the Lord is presented before man in no other way than by an internal looking, which is effected through the faith that is from charity. If the Lord appears to anyone in an outward form, still it is the interiors which are affected, for the Divine penetrates to the inmosts. In regard to the interiors not being injured by the presence of the Divine Itself, and that on this account they were protected, the case is this. The Divine Itself is pure love, and pure love is like a fire which is more ardent than the fire of the sun of this world; and therefore if the Divine love in its purity were to flow into any angel, spirit, or man, he would utterly perish. Hence it is that Jehovah or the Lord is in the Word so often called a "consuming fire." Lest therefore the angels in heaven should be injured by the influx of heat from the Lord as a sun, they are each of them veiled over by a certain thin and suitable cloud, whereby the heat flowing in from that sun is tempered.  That without this preservation everyone would perish at the presence of the Divine was known to the ancients; and therefore they were afraid to see God, as is evident in the book of Judges: Gideon saw that he was an angel of Jehovah; and therefore Gideon said, Ah Lord Jehovih, forasmuch as I have seen an angel of Jehovah face to face. And Jehovah said to him, Peace be to thee; fear not, for thou shalt not die (Judg. 6:22-23). Manoah said unto his wife, Dying we shall die, because we have seen God (Judg. 13:22). And in the book of Exodus: Jehovah said unto Moses, Thou canst not see My faces, for no man shall see Me and live (Exod. 33:20). When therefore it was given Moses to see God, he was put into a hole of the rock (verse 22); by which was represented the obscurity of faith, and also the cloudiness which covered him over, and by which he was protected.  How dangerous it would be for the angels if they were looked upon by the Divine, without being veiled with a cloud, can be plainly seen from the fact that when the angels look at any spirit who is in evil, he appears to be turned into something inanimate, as has been frequently given me to see. The reason is, that through the angelic sight the light and heat of heaven fall there, and with these the truth of faith and the good of love, and when these penetrate, the wicked are almost deprived of life by them.  This being the effect of a look from the angels, how much more would be the effect of a look from the Lord! This is the reason why the hells are quite removed from heaven, and why they who are there desire to be removed, for unless this is done they are direfully tormented. From this it is plain what is meant by these words: They shall say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne (Rev. 6:16; Luke 23:30; Hos. 10:8).  From the fact that the presence of the Divine Itself is of such a nature that no angel can endure it unless he is protected by a cloud, which tempers and moderates the rays and heat from that sun, it is very evident that the Lord's Human is Divine; for unless it were Divine, it could never be so united to the Divine Itself which is called the "Father," that they may be one, according to the Lord's words in John 14:10, and elsewhere. For what so receives the Divine must needs be altogether Divine; what is not Divine would be utterly dissipated by such a union. To speak by comparison, what can be put into the solar fire, and not perish, unless it is of a solar nature? And in the same way, who can be introduced into the ardor of infinite love except him who is in the ardor of the like love? Consequently, who but the Lord alone? That the Father is in Him, and that the Father does not appear except in His Divine Human, is evident from the Lord's words in John: No one hath ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath set Him forth (John 1:18). Ye have neither ever heard His voice, nor seen His shape (John 5:37).6850.
Verses 7, 8. And Jehovah said, Seeing I have seen the affliction of My people, which is in Egypt, and I have heard their cry from before their taskmasters; for I have known their sorrows; and I am come down to liberate them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to make them come up out of that land unto a land good and broad, unto a land flowing with milk and honey, unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. "And Jehovah said, Seeing I have seen the affliction of My people" signifies mercy toward those who are of the spiritual church after infestations by falsities; "and I have heard their cry from before their taskmasters" signifies the aid of mercy against those who desired to compel them to serve; "for I have known their sorrows" signifies foresight in regard to how much they would be immersed in falsities; "and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians" signifies that He would let Himself down to them to set them free from the power of false memory-knowledges, which endeavor to destroy the truths of the church; "and to make them come up out of that land" signifies that they should be elevated; "unto a land good and broad" signifies to heaven, where are the good of charity and the truth of faith; "flowing with milk and honey" signifies the pleasantness and delight thence; "unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite" signifies the region occupied by evils from falsities; "and the Amorite, and the Perizzite" signifies by evils and the derivative falsities; "and the Hivite, and the Jebusite" signifies by idolatry in which there is somewhat of good and truth.