Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

Deuteronomy Chapter 19

Verses 1-3. When the soul follows sincerely the truths it knows, faults committed through ignorance do not bring guilt or hurt to the soul.
Verses 4-10. An example of this.
Verses 11-13. But theories which are maliciously and persistently against charity are to be destroyed.
Verse 14. The highest standard of good and truth the soul can reach to be rigidly maintained.
Verse 15. One unconfirmed truth not to condemn anything, but several agreeing together to be taken as a proof of evil.
Verses 16-21. On the decisions in the soul between evil and good, and between truth and falsity. Evil and falsity when brought to light to be destroyed.
  1. When the LORD your God has cut off the nations, whose land the LORD your God gives you, and you succeedest them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses;
  1. When the Divine Love and Wisdom have subjected the evils of the unregenerate heart, whose place shall be occupied by the thoughts and intentions inspired into the soul from the Divine Love and Wisdom which shall succeed them, and dwell in the understanding and its doctrines, and in the will and its intents and desires;
  1. You shall separate three cities for you in the midst of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to possess it.
  1. There shall be provided states of blamelessness, if the soul commits a fault from errors of doctrine, in the interior thought and will of those new regenerate states received as your own from the Divine Love and Wisdom.
  1. You shall prepare you a way, and divide the coasts of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
  1. You shall believe in the truths of the Church as revealed to your highest perceptions of truth, and place all the external truths of the mind which the Divine Love and Wisdom has permitted you to enjoy in orderly arrangement and subjection to the truths of the Church, and then any principle destructive of good or truth, through ignorance in the soul, shall be blameless.
  1. And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoever kills his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
  1. And this is the case with any principle in the mind destructive of good through error, which shall be blameless and bring no hurt to the soul: Whatever destroys goodness and truth through ignorance, and not from the malice of an evil heart;
  1. As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lights upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee to one of those cities, and live:
  1. As when one who is principled in good disputes concerning good and truths from his religious tenets, and his powers are directed to destroy some principle which he believes to be false by enforcing the tenets he believes to be true, and in his effort truth and good become separated with him, and he destroys the charity with which he is associated, he shall be kept in safety by the Lord and shall not thereby lose spiritual life (AC 9011):
  1. Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
  1. Lest the punishment of destroying the influx of good and truth from the Lord should follow such a one for the destruction of charity while his will is imbued with the evil proceeding from false doctrine, and come upon him so as to destroy his spiritual life, because he is far removed from real truth; whereas his interior will is not in a state of condemnation, inasmuch as the destruction of charity does not proceed from a heart averse to all good and truth (but from mistaken tenets).
  1. Wherefore I command you, saying, You shall separate three cities for you.
  1. Wherefore it is the will of the Lord that there shall be states of preservation and blamelessness for those who have destroyed what is good from false religious tenets sincerely believed.
  1. And if the LORD your God enlarge your coast, as he has sworn to your fathers, and give you all the land which he promised to give to your fathers;
  1. And if the faculties of the external mind become increased from influx of the Divine Love and Wisdom, as is the Divine will for those who are in good, and the soul becomes gifted with all those heavenly states which are promised in the Word to those who receive good from the Lord;
  1. If you shall keep all these commandments to do them, which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shall you add three cities more for you, beside these three:
  1. If you carry out in the life all that you shall perceive of the Lord's will in your regenerate states, to love the Divine Love and Wisdom above all things, and habitually to conform your life to them; then shall you be more completely purified from the evils arising from errors of doctrine:
  1. That innocent blood be not shed in your land, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, and so blood be upon you.
  1. That the Divine principle inseminated by the Lord in the interiors of the soul be not destroyed, which the Divine Love and Wisdom desire to appropriate to you, and so the guilt of quenching the Holy Spirit (which is spiritual murder) be upon you.
  1. But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and flees into one of these cities:
  1. But if any principle in the soul proceeding from the evil of the heart is utterly averse to all charity and seeks every occasion to destroy it; and ever opposes it and aims at the inmost life of good in the soul to destroy it, and seeks to justify itself from religious tenets believed by the soul:
  1. Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
  1. Then the true wisdom given by the Lord to the soul from religion shall by rigid self-examination root out that falsity, and give it over to destruction as something profane and evil, that it may be destroyed out of the soul,
  1. Yours eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.
  1. The understanding shall not favour it, but you shall put away everything which destroys the influx from the Lord into the spiritual mind, that it may go well with the life of the soul.
  1. You shall not remove your neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in your inheritance, which you shall inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess it.
  1. You shall not let selfishness or worldly-mindedness diminish the standard of good appointed by the highest wisdom you can attain to, derived from the Word according to the perception given you, which you shall receive in the new states or regenerate character which the Divine Love and Wisdom give you as your own.
  1. One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
  1. If One opinion or view of a matter (though it seem derived from good) shall not be permitted to rise up against any principle in the soul to condemn it as being against the good derived from faith, or to condemn any act or desire of the will as being against the genuine life of charity; but when good and truth both testify against it, or where several truths combine to condemn it, the matter enforced by them shall be considered fully confirmed (AC 4197).
  1. If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
  1. If any falsity, either derived from education or the religious persuasions received in childhood, or the lust of evil, rise up in the mind against the goods and truths of faith to proclaim them to be evil and false;
  1. Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
  1. Then both the doctrines or desires about which there is dispute in the mind shall be compared with the standard of the Divine Humanity, by the perception of good and judgement of truth which is given to the soul in its then state;
  1. And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother;
  1. And the soul shall make diligent examination of itself by means of these perceptions; and if it is clearly seen that the doctrines or opinions rising up in the mind testify falsely against principles in the soul that are really truths of faith, and the good thence derived;
  1. Then shall you do to him, as he had thought to have done to his brother: so shall you put the evil away from among you.
  1. Then shall these opinions be destroyed out of the mind in proportion as they are perceived to be against real charity; and so shall evil be put away from the soul.
  1. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall now on commit no more any such evil among you.
  1. And the doctrines and opinions that remain shall be confirmed, and be in subjection to the perception of good, and so the soul will be preserved from sinning against the goods and truths that are given it from heaven.
  1. And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
  1. (In these self-examinations) the understanding, and perception given to the soul shall not permit itself to be biassed in favour of anything that is false by the unregenerate will: what is destructive of spiritual life shall be utterly destroyed out of the soul; what dims the perception of truth shall be accounted as false; what destroys the exterior understanding of truth shall be accounted a falsity proceeding from the sensual principle; any principle that destroys spiritual truth in act must be accounted destitute of spiritual truth; and anything that destroys natural truth will lose the perception of natural truth (according to the law of order in the spiritual world, that evil intended, immediately recoils upon the author (AC 9048-9057)).
    [Note (verses 15-21).—To set a question at rest by a dogmatic doctrine; or by this or that text by itself, is not the way to arrive at the real truth; the subject should be looked at and examined from all its bearings, and the various passages in the Word relating to it taken together, and its effects on the life for good or evil considered; otherwise the soul will lose perception of rational truth, though the memory may be a receptacle of the dogmas of others.]

DEUTERONOMY 19    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page