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Deuteronomy Chapter 22

Verses 1-3. Any affections or principles in the soul which have wandered from heavenly order and the life of charity are to be brought back as soon as possible.
Verse 4. Or if the natural mind is falling away from spiritual life, every effort must be made to restore it.
Verse 5. The things favoured by the natural inclination to be kept quite distinct from those known to be right.
Verses 6, 7. New ideas and truths appearing in the rational faculty to be appropriated, but the origin of them not to be attributed to self.
Verse 8. The will must not be allowed to relapse from a state of good to one of truth.
Verse 9. Truths derived from other sources to be kept distinct from those of the Church accepted by the soul.
Verses 10-12. The soul cannot be led by good as a primary agent and by truth as a primary agent at the same time as the states derived therefrom are quite distinct.
Verses 13-21. Examination into the affections of the soul as to whether they are good or evil.
Verse 22. Any doctrine which perverts the love of good to the love of evil to be destroyed.
Verses 23, 24. To love falsity when tniths are present in the soul is grievous sin, andean only be removed by destruction of the old tendencies of the will.
Verses 25-27. But falsities embraced from inability to understand the truth on account of the external state of the soul are easily removed.
Verses 28, 29. Imperfect truths, if believed in, must be acted out, and will then be purified.
Verse 30. To act against the good and truth whereby the soul is born again is profanation.
  1. You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them: you shall in any case bring them again to your brother.
  1. You shall not perceive that the love of good either from a natural origin or from a spiritual origin in the soul is wandering from the path of love to the Lord and charity to the neighbour, and neglect the perception: the interior will must endeavour with all its powers to bring them back to heavenly order.
  1. And if your brother be not near to you, or if you know him not, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall be with you until your brother seek after it, and you shall restore it to him again.
  1. And if the soul be far removed from a state of true charity, or in a state of ignorance as to what true charity is, you shall remain in the desire to bring back all the affections into heavenly order, and that desire shall remain in the mind till the nature of true charity is perceived, and then you shall bring all your affections into conformity with it.
  1. In like manner shall you do with his ass; and so shall you do with his clothing; and with all lost thing of your brother's, which he has lost, and you have found, shall you do likewise: you may not hide yourself.
  1. And you shall do the same with natural truth (or science and the love of it); or any external truths; or any other principle in the soul which has wandered from true charity, and you perceive it in the conscience and interior will, the perception must not be neglected; but everything done to bring back all the faculties into heavenly order.
  1. You shall not see your brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely help him to lift them up again.
  1. If You shall not perceive that the truths or love of good in the natural mind, which is subordinate to spiritual principles, are unable to persevere in the path of duty, and neglect the perception, and gloss it over in the mind; but with all your powers you shall endeavour to help them, and lift them up to receive life from the spiritual principle.
  1. The woman shall not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination to the LORD your God.
  1. The things of the affectional nature or proprium that naturally belongs to man must be kept most distinct from those of rational wisdom, nor is it according to order for the intellect and understanding to adopt truths because they are favoured by the natural proprium: for by this means the Divine Love and Wisdom are averted from the soul. [Note.—It is by the complete separation between the will and intellect that man is capable of regeneration; for by this the understanding can be elevated into a higher state than that to which the man belongs, but to which he can afterwards attain if he follows the light thus given. (See AC 875, 927, 1023, 1044, etc.)]
  1. If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, you shall not take the dam with the young:
  1. If you shall find in the path of regeneration new developments of rational truths either derived from some knowledges or perception which you have, or in the natural mind receptive of the truths of the Church, either completely developed truths or the germs of them, and the state of the rational faculties from which these truths or germs of truth are developed is also perceived, you shall not ascribe to yourself this state of the rational faculties and the truths developed from it:
  1. But you shall in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to you; that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days.
  1. You shall be careful to acknowledge that the origin of them is not from yourself, and then the truths may be adjoined to the life and made use of; that it may be well with your soul, and that your states in the heavenly life may be full and complete. [Note.—Birds denote thoughts, ideas, reasonings (A. C. Index). They are insinuated into the faculties of the soul from the world of spirits. Good thoughts are from heaven; man should make use of and appropriate them, but acknowledge they are not from himself.]
  1. When you buildest a new house, then you shall make a battlement for your roof, that you bring not blood upon your house, if any man fall from there.
  1. When you are gifted with a new regenerate will for good, then you shall make a guard round about the interior states you shall then possess, in which love to the Lord is the governing principle, that you bring not the guilt of rejecting the Divine influence within you by allowing any principle in the mind to relapse into inferior states and act from inferior motives. (See AC 10184, 9274; Matt 24:17)
  1. You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse seeds: lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown, and the fruit of your vineyard, be defiled.
  1. You shall not commingle with the holy truths of the Church which you have received and accepted, the ideas derived from different and diverse religions; lest what is derived from these ideas become mingled with the good derived from the holy truths of the Church so that they cannot be separated, and thus both become denied (Matt 9:16, 17).
  1. You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together.
  1. You can not work out your salvation in the natural mind from good and from truth at the same time as primary agents (that is to say, either the mind is in the love of good from which it selects truths which agree with that good; or else the mind is in the love of truths, and by them forms an idea of what is good; and it cannot be in both states at the same time).
  1. You shall not wear a garment of diverse sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
  1. The soul must not be clothed with truths from diverse origins at the same time; thus not from those derived from the love of good, which is celestial; and those derived from the love of truth, which is spiritual (AC 9470).
    [Note (verses 10, 11).—These verses also signify that those who are in the love of good ought not to regard good and truth as separate things; in fact, to them truth is only truth so far as it is good, in its origin, in the end regarded, and in its effects. (See AC 5895.)]
  1. You shall make you fringes upon the four quarters of your clothing, with which you cover yourself.
  1. Thus the love of good and the truths developed by it, and the love of truth and the affections acquired by it, must be arranged with order in the natural mind and due discrimination made between them.
  1. If any man take a wife, and go in to her, and hate her,
  1. If the understanding, after having been conjoined to an affection, come to be at disagreement with it,
  1. And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
  1. And suggest to the mind that it is tainted with false principles and altogether of evil quality, and that it ought not to have been conjoined to it, as it is an affection of evil instead of what is good;
    [Note (verses 13, 14).—Generally an affection is evil which regards the love of self or of the world as of primary importance; and it is good if it regard the love of the Lord and the good of others as of primary importance.]
  1. Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity to the elders of the city in the gate:
  1. Then shall careful inquiry be made by the cardinal introductory truths of the Church into the principles of good and truth from which the affection originated; these shall show whether it was joined to evil or no: [Note. —The elders which sit at the gate seem to signify here the doctrines which discriminate between the things which enter into the mind by examination into the motives from which they spring.]
  1. And the damsel's father shall say to the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her;
  1. If it shall be seen from these that the origin of that affection was good, and that the understanding perversely rejects it;
  1. And, lo, he has given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not your daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
  1. And desires to make it appear that the affection was impure; and yet it was patent before the primary truths of doctrine that the affection was a good and holy one, undefiled with the loves of self and of the world;
  1. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
  1. Then shall the understanding be corrected and purified by the primary truths of doctrine;
  1. And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the damsel, because he has brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
  1. And the apparent truths (now proved to be falsities, which were against the good affection), must be taken from it, and those acceded to which are in conformity with the principles of good and truth from which the affection originated, because the understanding had suggested to the mind that a holy spiritual affection was evil; and the understanding must become conjoined to that affection, and may not remove from it through all the states of the regenerate life.
  1. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
  1. But if the thoughts of the understanding are found to be correct, and the affection to be defiled with the loves of self and of the world;
  1. Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she has worked folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shall you put evil away from among you.
  1. Then shall the mind be brought to that state in which the affection first left its derivative principles before it was accepted by the understanding, and there the affection shall be destroyed by the truths of doctrine; because it has led astray the spiritual mind from wisdom by introducing the evil loves of self and of the world into the soul so as to contaminate the internal will: thus sin and hell will be removed from the soul.
    [Example explanatory of verses 13-21.—These verses may be understood by applying them to any virtue and its contrary vice; thus, take economy and meanness. Supposing there is in the character a strong tendency to economize which the understanding is inclined to condemn, and suggests that it springs from the love of the world, and is avaricious, and that it ought not to have such a tendency as it is a worldly affection; then careful inquiry must be made by the light of the heart-searching doctrines of the New Church into the motives from which the tendency originated, which shall be the proof as to whether it is evil or no. If these shall prove that the tendency was not joined to the love of the world, but was simply prudence and frugality, which was irksome to the natural mind, and hence its disagreement; then the natural mind must be purified, and reject its calumnies, and study to cultivate more closely the frugal tendency. But if it appears that the tendency arose from a selfish and worldly love, it must be destroyed and rooted out of the mind by the truths of doctrine, because it would lead astray the soul from heaven.]
  1. If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shall you put away evil from Israel.
  1. If what had been considered as spiritual truth in the mind is found perverting the affections of the soul, which had been fixed on good, to what is evil, then both must be destroyed, both the false doctrine which perverted the affections, and the love of evil engendered thereby in the mind; so shall you put away evil from the regenerating soul.
  1. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed to an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
  1. If the affection of truth in the soul has seen and acknowledged the holy truths of the Church and yet becomes conjoined to and loves falsity, even in states in which the doctrines of the Church are present in the mind to show the truth;
  1. Then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbour's wife: so you shall put away evil from among you.
  1. Then the mind must be brought back into that state in which the doctrines of the Church were first received, and the falsity with its perverted affection must be destroyed with truths from the Word; the affection because it did not take refuge in the doctrines which had been acknowledged, and the falsity because it had drawn away the affections of the mind from its love of the holy truth of the Church; and thus shall evil be put away from the soul.
  1. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.
  1. But if the mind is in an external state, and becomes conjoined to falsity (as it were against its will, there being no truth at hand to save); then that falsity will perish:
  1. But to the damsel you shall do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man rises against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
  1. But the will principle has not committed mortal sin; for as when false principles arise and destroy the good of the soul (through ignorance) without the consent of the will, even so is this matter:
  1. For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
  1. For the soul was in an external condition when it was conjoined to the false, and it sought the truth but was not able to find it.
    [Note (verses 23, 24).—Thus if falsities are received in the soul by the will, or because they are loved; against the light which is present in the mind, from truths which have been accepted and believed; grievous evil is committed, and the soul can only be brought back by inversion of the will; but if (verses 25-27) the mind fall into falsities through ignorance and inability to see what is true, and not from the love of them; the evil is light and easily removed. (See also AE 863; John 9:41.)]
  1. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
  1. If an affection of the soul which is ignorant of true doctrines of the Church, though in the sincere love of the truth, should become conjoined to apparent but not real truth, and from inferior motives (which is an illegitimate conjunction), and this be perceived;
  1. Then the man that lay with her shall give to the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he has humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
  1. The false shall be removed as far as possible, and be replaced by genuine truth in accordance with the good from which the affection for truth was derived; and this truth so purified shall be legitimately conjoined to the affection of truth in the soul, because it has brought about the conjunction of good and truth in the soul, which is the primary of the Church and the principle by which regeneration is effected, therefore they cannot be separated in the succeeding states of the regenerate life.
    [Note.— Regeneration is effected by carrying out in the life the truths which the soul has accepted and believed after having arrived at years of maturity, and this forms the marriage of good and truth in the soul; and though the truths are imperfect, or were at first adopted from inferior motives, such as the fear of punishment, or the hope of advantage either in this world or the next, still they are the means by which regeneration is effected, and if sincerely believed in, they must be followed out throughout the whole regenerate life, and what is false and imperfect will be as far as possible removed from them.]
  1. A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt.
  1. Beware lest you profane the love of good, or violate the sacred truths whereby you were born again. [Note.— "The profanation of good is the affection of evils conjoined to truths, and the profanation of truths is the conjunction of truths with falses " (AC 10652). To believe the truth and afterwards to deny it; or to believe and know what is right and yet to do what is evil; or to act apparently sincerely and well for the sake of an evil end, is profanation.]

DEUTERONOMY 22    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page