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Deuteronomy Chapter 5

Verses 1-5. The keeping the commandments and obeying the Divine will as given in the Word is the covenant to conjoin the soul with heaven.
Verses 6-21. The Ten Commandments, which are a summary of the Divine Law
(For the full explanation of the Ten Commandments see AC 8863-8912. It is perhaps scarcely necessary to state here that the fact of the moral commands containing a spiritual sense does not mean any weakening of the literal sense.)
Verses 22-29. The perception of the perfections of the Divine Being; and the utter discordance of its desires and thoughts therewith, alarms the soul.
Verses 30-33. Instruction that if the soul leads a good life as far as it can, it receives a perception of truth accommodated to its state which leads it on by degrees.
  1. And Moses called all Israel, and said to them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgements which I speak in your ears this day, that you may learn them, and keep, and do them.
  1. And the Lord instructs the regenerating through the Word, and enforces upon them that it is essential they should be careful to obey the laws of Divine order and the decisions of Divine Wisdom in every step of life which are perceived to be right, that the Divine will may be impressed upon the memory, imbue the understanding, and be carried out in the life.
  1. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
  1. For the Divine Goodness and Wisdom become conjoined to the regenerating soul by means of revelations through the Word.
  1. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
  1. These revelations are different to those which were given to the soul in any former state, but they are now given to the regenerating who have been brought to receive true life from heaven.
  1. The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,
  1. The Divine Wisdom is perceived in the interior sense of the Word shining forth from the Divine Love towards the human race
  1. (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the word of the LORD: for you were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
  1. (The Word in the letter mediates between the Lord and those who are in external states, and shows them the will of the Lord as far as they are able to bear it, for the desires and thoughts of those who are in externals are not in conformity with the Divine Love, so that they cannot ascend into more interior states), and reveals as follows:—
  1. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
  1. That the Divine Love and Wisdom, as displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ, should be the object of inmost adoration with the regenerate; it is this that has brought them out of their natural and unregenerate condition, and from the slavery of sin.
  1. You shall have none other gods before me.
  1. There is nothing to be worshiped as the supreme good but this.
  1. You shall not make you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
  1. That which proceeds from self-intelligence is not to be worshiped, nor any hypocritical resemblance of what is good, whether it be of religious or spiritual good, civil and moral good, or of those things which please the external senses.
  1. You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
  1. You shall not debase the soul to those things nor serve them. For there is nothing good but what proceeds from the Lord Jesus Christ; the worship of aught else brings evil and falsity with all their evil progeny upon the soul in a long series, till all good and truth is obscured with those who reject the Divine influence that proceeds from the Lord.
  1. And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
  1. Whereas good and truth flow in for ever into the souls of those who will receive the good of love and the truths of faith that flow from the Lord's Divine Humanity by endeavouring to conform their lives to them.
  1. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
  1. Good and truth must not be profaned (by believing the truth and doing evil, or by doing good from a hypocritical or selfish motive), for thereby what is spiritual in the soul is hopelessly destroyed by being conjoined to its opposite, and a state induced that cannot be healed.
  1. Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD your God has commanded you.
  1. Those regenerating should ever have before them as the main object of life the conjunction of all things in the soul to the Lord, whereby they will be sanctified by conforming themselves to the pattern given in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  1. Six days you shall labour, and do all your work:
  1. It is necessary that the soul should pass through a complete period of temptation and combat against evils and falsities, and thus fully work out its salvation.
  1. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you.
  1. But the holy state will then come in which the whole man is reduced to order by conjunction with the Lord; there will then be no more occasion to struggle against sin and falsity, either for the man's interior will or for his internal perception of what is good and true, or for his opinions of rectitude and wisdom in externals, or for his affection for these principles in natural things, or for his natural truths, or for any feeling or perception in the soul, or scientific in the understanding whereby the truths of the Church are introduced into the mind; that the subservient faculties of the soul may be at peace as well as the inner man himself. [Note.—When the soul is brought to the state signified by the Sabbath, every faculty will be at peace because all will work harmoniously in the Divine order.]
  1. And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
  1. It should be remembered that what is spiritual in the soul was oppressed in the natural unregenerate state of the mind, and that it has been liberated by the Divine Love and Wisdom leading the mind in all the operations of Providence with Divine Omnipotence; and the object of all these operations of Divine Love and Wisdom should be ever present in the mind, namely, the sanctification of the soul by conjunction with the Lord.
  1. Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
  1. Prefer the Lord and His kingdom before all things, for the Divine Love and Wisdom have shown the soul that these are the fountains of life, that thus states of blessedness may be acquired in heaven, and that the soul may be led into the state of order and happiness which is designed for it by the Divine Love and Wisdom.
  1. You shall not kill.
  1. You shall not quench or destroy the spiritual life of love and wisdom which proceeds from the Lord, either in yourself or others, for this is spiritual murder.
  1. Neither shall you commit adultery.
  1. You shall flee from everything which destroys the sacred marriage of genuine good and truth, which is the union in the soul of the love of truth and the love of doing good, and you shall abominate the foul union of the love of what is evil with what is false.
  1. Neither shall you steal.
  1. You shall not attribute anything of good and truth to yourself, which is spiritual theft, for all genuine good and truth is from the Lord.
  1. Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbour.
  1. Neither is the perception given of what is really good and true in the smallest degree to be perverted or disregarded.
  1. Neither shall you desire your neighbour's wife, neither shall you covet your neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is your neighbour's.
  1. Great heed is to be taken of the loves of self and the world, lest they should induce the understanding to use the truths of the Church for selfish ends, or lest they should induce the will to appropriate its goods to self, or to turn to selfish or evil ends the doctrines of. the Church within the soul, or its rational truths, or the love of them, its natural good or natural truths, or any of those things which are given simply to enable the soul to live more unselfishly for the good of others.
  1. These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them to me.
  1. The perception from the Lord that these things must be done was given to the whole soul in a state of good from Divine Love, from the letter of the Word, and shining through the obscurity with which it had been veiled by false doctrines arising from evils; it was clear and unmistakable, separating what was good from what was evil in the soul; it showed that the duty of man was the keeping of the commandments from the Lord and nothing else. And that the Lord has given to man through the Word all those truths which are needful to conjoin him with Himself, and which make him receptive of Divine Love and Wisdom.
  1. And it came to pass, when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that you came near to me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
  1. And when this clear revelation of Divine truth was perceived shining out of the midst of the obscurity in which the Word was before veiled (for it was then manifest that the good proceeding from the Divine Love was in it), the soul approached with reverence the Word in the letter with all the powers of the understanding and with all its rational intelligence;
  1. And you said, Behold, the LORD our God has showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God does talk with man, and he lives.
  1. And the soul confessed that the Divine goodness and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only God had been manifestly revealed to it, and that His commandments proceed from His ardent love towards the whole human race; and it is seen in this state that hence is an influx into the soul of man, who receives all his life therefrom.
    [Note.—The soul perceives the glory and greatness of the Lord, and hears His voice out of the midst of the fire, when it is realized that the Lord is absolutely nothing but pure Love and Wisdom; and when it perceives that the Divine Humanity (that is, the unselfish life and character of the Lord Jesus Christ) is the only shape and form which Divine Love and Wisdom could possibly assume when brought to the perception of man, so that no God other than the Lord Jesus Christ can be justly conceived of (John 14:9)].
  1. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
  1. And the external principles of the soul fear that they will entirely lose their own proper life, and that the life of heaven will perish with them, for they are not able to receive the pure love of the Lord; and they fear that if they have to act on the dictates of the Divine Goodness and Wisdom proceeding from that love, their own proper life will perish, or all that is spiritual, with them. [Note.—As an illustration it may be mentioned that when it is first perceived in the soul that the Lord Jehovah is absolutely unselfish, that all His dealings are dictated by the desire to give all He has to others as far as they can receive it, the fear arises that if the soul were to endeavour to follow this example, and become perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect, it would lose all that is delightful in life.]
  1. For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
  1. For how can a man (says the soul), whose natural life is derived from the loves of self and of the world, carry out the dictates and follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, proceeding, as they did, from His ardent love to the human race as now perceived by the mind, and live from them, and retain anything of the natural life of self-enjoyment?
  1. Go you near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak you to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you; and we will hear it, and do it.
  1. And it feels its distance from Divine perfection, and desires that Divine truth may be presented in some form accommodated to the state of the soul, which shall act as a medium between the Divine Love and Wisdom as seen to exist in the Lord, and the soul's state; and that if the dictates proceeding from that Love and Wisdom were explained in some accommodated form, the soul would be able to receive them, and carry them out in the life.
  1. And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when you spoke to me; and the LORD said to me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you: they have well said all that they have spoken.
  1. And the Lord attends to this desire of the soul when meditating over the Divine commands, and instructs the soul through the Word that its desires are heard; and that these thoughts are good as proceeding from humiliation of heart.
  1. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
  1. The Lord's earnest desire for the soul is that it may have a heart receptive of Divine things from humility, and a holy dread of acting against the goodness of the Lord; and that it may at all times endeavour to carry out His will, that it may be blessed by Him at the present time, and in all its future developments to eternity.
  1. Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.
  1. And the Divine Word proclaims to the soul that it should remain abiding in the highest state of charity of which it is capable.
  1. But as for you, stand you here by me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgements, which you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.
  1. And the soul's understanding of truth is brought nearer to truth Divine, and receives by it instruction in all things which are necessary both for life and for worship and for each difficulty that arises; whereby the whole mind is informed of those things which must be done in the new heavenly states with which the Lord is gifting the soul. [Note.—Thus the soul's understanding of truth is the medium which leads it on towards perfection by degrees, and is accommodated to its capacities of reception in every state.
  1. You shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God has commanded you: you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
  1. It is therefore of the greatest importance for the regenerating soul to attend to and carry out those things which are taught by Divine Love and Wisdom; nor must it go in any other way than that into which the Lord Himself leads it, and into which the good and truth of heaven and the Church lead it (AE 600, end).
  1. You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
  1. It is the duty of the regenerate to walk in the paths pointed out by Divine Love and Wisdom, that they may attain to spiritual life; it will then be well with them, and they will be gifted with blessed states in heaven, with which they will be endowed by the Lord.

DEUTERONOMY 5    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page