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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.)]
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:
- 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:
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.
- 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.]
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.
- 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)
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.
- 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).
You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together.
- 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).
You shall not wear a garment of diverse sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
- 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.)]
You shall make you fringes upon the four quarters of your clothing, with which you cover yourself.
- 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.
If any man take a wife, and go in to her, and hate her,
- If the understanding, after having been conjoined to an affection, come to
be at disagreement with it,
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:
- 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.]
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:
- 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.]
And the damsel's father shall say to the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her;
- If it shall be seen from these that the origin of that affection was good,
and that the understanding perversely rejects it;
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.
- 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;
And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
- Then shall the understanding be corrected and purified by the primary
truths of doctrine;
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.
- 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
But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
- 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;
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.
- 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.]
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.
- 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.
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed to an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
- 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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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:
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:
- 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:
For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
- 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.)]
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;
- 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;
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.
- 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.]
A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt.
- 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,