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Deuteronomy Chapter 9

Verses 1-6. There is no righteousness naturally in the soul.
Verses 7-29. The dualism in the mind between what is spiritual and what is natural, and the stubborn rejection of all good by the latter.

  1. Hear, O Israel: You are to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fenced up to heaven,
  1. Hearken, you who desire to live for heaven: You are now to advance from external to internal things, the new regenerate will within you is to occupy the place of evils far greater and more powerful than its own unaided strength would be, and fallacies in the soul proceeding from deep ingrained evils, and barred up to prevent the entrance of good into the mind,
  1. A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom you know, and of whom you have heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!
  1. False persuasions and evil desires of great power and deeply rooted in the mind, proceeding from self-love, and of which you have perceived how well near impossible it is to resist the delights and the ideas which proceed from the love of self.
  1. Understand therefore this day, that the LORD your God is he which goes over before you; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before your face: so shall you drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.
  1. Let the soul, therefore, now fully realize that the Lord Jesus Christ has Himself gone before you through the regeneration; the love of good which proceeds from Him will destroy those principles of evil, and drive them forth from the interiors of the soul; you shall, therefore, yourself be diligent to co-operate and to drive them out completely, and to destroy them, as you have received commandment from the Lord.
  1. Speak not you in your heart, after that the LORD your God has cast them out from before you, saying, For my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD does drive them out from before you.
  1. Let not the thought be cherished in the mind after that these evils have been cast out from your soul by the Divine Goodness and Wisdom, that for any inherent righteousness in yourself the Lord has put them under the regenerate will; but because the Lord knows the ruin these evils would work in the soul, therefore out of pure mercy He desires to drive them out from your soul.
  1. Not for your righteousness, or for the uprightness of your heart, do you go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you, and that he may perform the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  1. Not for any merit of your, nor for any integrity in your own heart, are you introduced into the heavenly states which come from their destruction; but because of the horrible wickedness of these evils the Divine Love and Wisdom drive them out from the interiors of your soul that He may have compassion upon you, as promised in the Word to all who receive good from Him, whether in the celestial, spiritual, or natural degree of the mind. (See note, chap. i. verse 8.)
  1. Understand therefore, that the LORD your God gives you not this good land to possess it for your righteousness; for you are a stiffnecked people.
  1. Lay it well to heart, therefore, that the Divine Goodness and Wisdom give you these heavenly states to possess them, not for any merit of your, for the heart of man is naturally averse to all good.
  1. Remember, and forget not, how you provokedst the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that you did depart out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.
  1. Remember and forget not how you have turned away from the precepts of Divine Love and Wisdom in temptations; from the day when you were first brought out of a natural unregenerate condition, even until the present condition of the mind, the soul has ever been averse to receive what proceeds from the Lord.
  1. Also in Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you.
  1. Also when instructed in Divine truth it still turned away from its influence, so that the Divine influx was well-near rejected, and the spiritual life thereby destroyed.
  1. When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:
  1. For when the interiors of the soul were elevated to a state of love to receive interior truths, truths the keeping of which would conjoin the soul more closely to the Lord, in that state the interiors of the soul were kept by the Lord under the influence of love to Him, whilst a full state of temptation, both as to the will and the understanding, was experienced, in which the soul seemed to be without any sustaining good and truth.
  1. And the LORD delivered to me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spoke with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.
  1. And the Lord then revealed to the interior perception of the soul that the Divine Word is essential Divine truth proceeding from Himself to conjoin mankind to heaven, and contains an internal sense relating to spiritual things agreeing with the external, being evidently the work of the Lord by Divine truth; and in them were seen all the necessary instructions for the soul (and that they must be carried out in the life), according to the former perception of the necessity of carrying out the commandments of the Lord, which the soul had when raised to an interior state, and it was perceived by all its faculties that the commandments proceed from the Divine Love, and that the keeping of them is absolutely necessary for the welfare of the soul.
  1. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.
  1. And thus it came to pass after a full state of initiation and temptation, both as to the affections and thoughts, that the Lord delivered to the interior perceptions of the soul a knowledge of the internal sense of the Word in the external relating to regeneration, and intended to unite the soul with heaven (AC 10451-53).
  1. And the LORD said to me, Arise, get you down quickly from here; for your people which you have brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
  1. And it is then perceived from heaven that these interior perceptions must be exalted in the soul, and that it is imperative that they should reform the outer practical life; for the natural principle which has been brought forth by the reception of truth from the Word out of its unregenerate condition corrupts the Divine truth, and perpetually turns aside from the path pointed out by the perception of the Divine will when in an interior state: it loves what proceeds from its own evil heart.
  1. Furthermore the LORD spoke to me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
  1. And a clear perception is given to the higher faculties of the soul of the quality of its hereditary nature, and it is seen to be absolutely averse to all good and truth:
  1. Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.
  1. It is hopeless to intercede for the hereditary will, for it is absolutely against heaven; it is necessary that its old qualities should be blotted out from the interiors of the mind, and the Lord will make, in the higher perceptions of the soul given from Himself, a new regenerate will far more powerful for good and more enriched with truths than the old depraved will.
  1. So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.
  1. And the state of the soul is then inverted and brought down to practical life from its elevated perceptions of Divine truth, in which it was imbued with the spirit of love to the Lord in its interiors; and the will of the Lord was made known to it from the internal sense of the Word agreeing with the external now revealed to it, and containing instructions intended to bring the soul into conformity with the laws of heaven.
  1. And I looked, and, behold, you had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: you had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.
  1. And from this state examination is made into the exterior principles of the mind, and behold, they are seen to be averse to all the goodness and wisdom which flows from heaven, and worship what favours their own depraved natural affections, and perpetually turn aside from the Lord's will as revealed to the soul.
  1. And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and break them before your eyes.
  1. Thus there is no agreement between the perception of what is good and true given to the spiritual man, and the things loved by the natural man; the perverted state of the latter deprives the spiritual mind of the power to will good and understand truth, and this rupture between heaven and the outer life is made evident even to the natural man himself.
  1. And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which you sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
  1. And this brings deep sorrow and humiliation upon the higher faculties of the soul, which desire to receive the life of heaven, and, as in former temptations, a struggle for the mastery ensues between the spiritual and natural desires and perceptions: the spiritual mind can receive neither good affections nor truths from the Lord because of the evils committed by the natural man in turning away from the perception which is given of the Divine will, and thereby rejecting all the influence which proceeds from heaven.
  1. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, with which the LORD was angry against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened to me at that time also.
  1. For a terrible fear comes upon the spiritual man lest by contempt and rejection by the natural mind of the things of heaven and the Church, the soul should be cut off from the Lord, and its spiritual life destroyed. But in these temptations the Lord helps and fights for the spiritual man.
  1. And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.
  1. And in that state the externals of the Church and of worship (AC 10397), separate from the internal principle, are averse to the good and truth which comes from heaven; and the interior faculties strive to bring external religious principle into conformity with the order of heaven.
  1. And I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.
  1. And the spiritual man searches out what is evil in the loves and worship of the external man which separates the soul from heaven, a resemblance of good in external form only, proceeding from man's own evil heart, and finds it to be defiled with self-love; and that its good and truths are profaned by being applied to evil loves till they are utterly destroyed; and that the falses which proceed from infernal delights are mixed with the truths which flow from heaven (AC 9391).
  1. And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibrothhattaavah, you provoked the LORD to wrath.
  1. And by complaints arising from evil desires (Numb 11:1-3), and by distrust in the Lord, even to despairing of His help, and thereby almost giving up in temptations, and by distaste for the simple perception of good flowing from heaven, and craving for external delights, the natural man ever rejects the good influences which flow in from the Lord.
  1. Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and you believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice.
  1. And also when the Lord gives the soul a perception of heavenly blessedness and the way to attain it, and invites the man to acquire the happiness prepared for it, the natural man is unwilling to follow this dictate of the Divine Love and Wisdom, and does not believe in the blessedness in the heavenly life, and refuses to listen to the internal dictate by striving after it.
  1. You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
  1. The natural man has ever turned away from and rejected the influences of Divine Love and Wisdom from the day that regeneration first commenced in the soul.
  1. Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.
  1. Thus, again, the spiritual man was brought into a state of deep humiliation before the Lord by temptations both as to the affections and the understanding of truth, as on the former occasions; because it feared that the soul would be cut off from all conjunction with heaven and spiritual life,
  1. I prayed therefore to the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not your people and your inheritance, which you have redeemed through your greatness, which you have brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
  1. And besought the Lord, saying, O Jehovah God, let not the perceptions of truth and the aspirations after good with which You have gifted the soul by Your great love for mankind perish, which You have brought from under the dominion of the natural unregenerate heart by the omnipotence of Your Providence.
  1. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not to the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin:
  1. Have mercy upon the regenerate principles of the soul that desires to serve You—its new desire to act from love to the Lord, its love of truth and desire to carry the same out in the life; look not to the stubbornness of the unregenerate heart, nor to its love of evil and absolute departure from the life of heaven,
  1. Lest the land whence you broughtest us out say, Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.
  1. Lest the natural mind should despair and the thought should arise therein that the soul cannot be brought to those blessed states which are promised in the Word to those who are regenerate, and that the Lord is against or does not care for the regenerate; and that if the dictates of the Word to the spiritual man are followed, the happiness of the whole man will be destroyed by his being brought to a miserable condition without any delight.
  1. Yet they are your people and your inheritance, which you broughtest out by your mighty power and by your stretched out arm.
  1. Yet these dictates to the spiritual man and desires of the new regenerate will are planted in the soul by the Divine Love and Wisdom, and have been brought forth and developed by the Lord out of a merely natural condition of the mind by His Divine power and by the omnipotent workings of His Providence.

DEUTERONOMY 9    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page