Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 15:14-16
AC 8310. Verses 14-16. The peoples have heard, they have trembled, pain hath laid hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then were the chiefs of Edom dismayed, the mighty ones of Moab, terror hath laid hold of them, all the inhabitants of Canaan are melted. Fright and dread are fallen upon them; in the greatness of Thine arm they shall be destroyed as a stone, until Thy people shall pass over, O Jehovah, until shall pass over this people which Thou hast taken possession of. "The peoples have heard," signifies all who are in falsity from evil everywhere; "they have trembled," signifies terror; "pain hath laid hold of the inhabitants of Philistia," signifies despair of enlarging their dominion on the part of those who are in faith separate from good; "then were the chiefs of Edom dismayed," signifies the like with those who are in a life of evil from the love of self; "the mighty ones of Moab," signifies those who are in a life of falsity from this love; "terror hath laid hold of them," signifies that they have dared nothing; "all the inhabitants of Canaan are melted," signifies the like with those who had been of the church, and have adulterated goods, and falsified truths; "fright and dread are fallen upon them," signifies that they are without any hope of domination; "in the greatness of Thine arm," signifies by virtue of omnipotence; "they shall be destroyed as a stone," signifies a falling down like a weight; "until Thy people shall pass over," signifies that thus without danger of infestation all shall be saved who are capable of receiving the truth of good and the good of truth; "until shall pass over this people," signifies that thus shall be saved those of the church who are in truth and good; "which Thou hast taken possession of," signifies who have thus become the Lord’s.
AC 8311. The peoples have heard. That this signifies all who are in falsity from evil everywhere, is evident from the signification of "peoples," as being those who are in truths from good, and in the opposite sense those who are in falsities from evil (n. 1259, 1260, 3295, 3581, 4619). It is said "in falsities from evil," to distinguish them from those who are in falsities and yet in good. In falsities and at the same time in good are, within the church, those who are in heresies and in a life of good; and, without the church, all who are in good. But with these, falsities do not condemn, unless they are such falsities as are opposed to good, and destroy the very life of good. But the falsities which are not opposed to good are indeed in themselves falsities, but relatively to the good of life, to which they are not opposed, they almost put off the quality of falsity, which is done through application to good. For such falsities can be applied to good, and they can be applied to evil. If they are applied to good, they become mild; but if to evil, they become hard; for falsities can be applied to good equally as truths can be applied to evil, for all truths whatever are falsified through applications to evil. Take as an example that faith alone saves. In itself this is a falsity, especially with the evil, who thus shut out the good of charity as contributing nothing at all to salvation. But this falsity becomes mild with those who are in the good of life, for they apply it to good, saying that faith alone saves, but that it is not faith except together with its fruit, consequently except where good is. So in all other cases.
 In what now follows, all those are treated of who had been in falsities from evil, and in evil from falsities, and who were cast into hell when the Lord came into the world. For there are very many kinds of evil, and consequently also of falsity, because every kind of evil has its falsity adjoined to it. For falsity is produced from evil, and is evil in form, just as the understanding with man is the form of his will; because the will shows itself in the light through what is of the understanding, and effigies and forms itself, and presents itself by means of images, and these by means of ideas, and these again by means of words. These things have been said that it may be known that there are many binds of evil and of the derivative falsity. These were first described under the name of "the Egyptians;" and nod in these verses under the name of "the inhabitants of Philistia," under the name of "the leaders of Edom," "the mighty ones of Moab," and "the inhabitants of Canaan," of all of whom it is said that consternation and terror had taken possession of them, because they had heard that those who were in faith separate from charity and in a life of evil, who were signified by "the Egyptians," had been cast into bell, and that they in like manner were to be cast down into hell, in order that those who were in truth and good might pass through safe and unhurt, and he brought to heaven. This last is signified by the words of the following verses (verses 16, 17): "fright and dread are fallen upon them, in the greatness of Thine arm they shall be destroyed as a stone, until Thy people shall pass over, O Jehovah, until shall pass over this people which Thou hast taken possession of; Thou shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, the place of Thy dwelling."
AC 8312. They have trembled. That this signifies terror, is evident without explication.
AC 8313. Pain hath laid hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. That this signifies despair of enlarging their dominion on the part of those who are in faith separate from good, is evident from the signification of "pain," as being despair on account of their being no longer able to enlarge their dominion; and from the signification of "the inhabitants of Philistia," as being those who are in faith alone separate from the good of charity (n. 1197, 1198, 3412, 3413, 8093, 8096, 8099). They are distinguished from the Egyptians in the fact that they shut out the goods of charity, believing that man is saved through faith without these goods. From this foremost of their doctrine many errors are born; as that salvation is of mercy howsoever the man has lived; that through faith all sins and evils are washed away; and that thus the man marches along justified; also that salvation can be effected in a moment, even in the last hour of death, through the trust of faith; consequently that it is not the affection of celestial love that makes heaven with a man. These are "Philistines," and they were called "the uncircumcised" by reason of the evils of the love of self and of the world, in which is their life.
 That "pain"‘ here denotes despair, is because utmost pain is meant, such as is that of women in travail. Moreover in the original tongue the word signifies such pain. Despair or utmost pain is also described in the Word by "the pain of a woman in travail," as in these passages:--
The kings gathered themselves together, terror seized them, pain as of a woman in travail (Ps. 48:4, 6).
O dweller in Lebanon, having a nest in the cedars, how much of grace shalt thou find when pains come to thee, the pain as of a woman in travail? (Jer. 22:23).
The king of Babylon hath heard the fame of them, and his hands became slack, distress took hold of him, pain as of a woman in travail (Jer. 50:43).
The day of Jehovah is near, as a devastation from Shaddai, therefore all hands are slackened, and every heart of man melteth, and they are terrified, the gripes and pains take hold of them, they are in travail as a woman bringing forth (Isa. 13:6-8).
Behold a people cometh forth from the land of the north, and a great nation shall be stirred up from the sides of the earth, they lay hold on bow and spear, he is cruel and shall not have compassion, their voice resoundeth like the sea, and they ride upon horses, he is prepared as a man for war, against thee O daughter of Zion, we have heard the fame thereof, our hands have slackened, distress hath taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in travail (Jer. 6:22-24);
the vastation of truth with those who are in evil is here treated of; "a people from the land of the north" denotes those who are in falsities from evil; "a great nation from the sides of the earth" denotes those who are in evils utterly opposed to good; "they lay hold on bow and spear" denotes that they fight from false doctrine; "their voice resoundeth like the sea" denotes the derivative reasoning; "they ride upon horses" denotes argumentation as if from what is of the understanding; "he is prepared as a man for war" denotes the cupidity of assaulting truth; "the daughter of Zion" denotes the church where good is; "distress hath taken hold" denotes pain because truths are being infested; "pain as of a woman in travail" denotes despair because good is being injured. From this it is evident that by "pain" is here signified despair on account of the injuring of good.
 That "pain hath laid hold of the inhabitants of Philistia" denotes despair, or no hope of enlarging their dominion, is because the Philistines, that is, those who establish salvation by faith alone without the goods of charity, in the other life continually aspire to dominion, by fighting against others; and this so long as they are not yet devastated as to the memory-knowledge of the knowledges of faith. For in the other life everyone retains the principles of his faith which he had in the life of the body, and no others change them into truths than those who have been in the good of life; for good longs for truth, and receives it willingly, because it is homogeneous. But they who have been in evil of life do not change them (they are as it were hard), and they even reject truths and are also in obscurity, so that they cannot even see them: they see only such things as confirm their own principles, and not the least of what is opposed to these. Such also believe that they are the most intelligent of all; but they know nothing except how to reason from an assumed principle; and therefore it is these who most assault charity, consequently who desire to have dominion. For they who are in charity are humble, and desire to serve all, as being the lowest; whereas they who are in faith without charity are lofty, and desire to be served by all, as being the highest ones; and therefore they make heaven consist in the glory of having dominion, and because they believe themselves to be more intelligent than all others, they suppose that they will be archangels, and thus that many others will serve them; and also, according to the words in Daniel, that "the intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the expanse, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and to eternity" (Daniel 12:3). But instead of brightness these have darkness.
AC 8314. Then were the chiefs of Edom dismayed. That this signifies the like with those who are in a life of evil from the love of self, is evident from the signification of "the chiefs," as being the principal ones, thus all and each; and from the representation of Edom, as being those who from the evil of the love of self readily learn falsities and reject truths, and in the sense abstracted from person, as being the evil of the love of self to which falsity is adjoined and from which truth is rejected, thus also those who are in a life of evil from this love, namely, from the love of self. As regards these "chiefs," by them are signified the principal ones; in the sense abstracted from person, the principal things, thus all things and each; for when "the chiefs" are mentioned, general things are signified, under which are the rest; or the principal things; as for instance the "tertian captains" (n. 8150, 8276); and they are predicated of good, and in the opposite sense of evil; while by "princes" are also signified general things under which are the rest, or primary things (n. 1482, 2089, 5044), but these are predicated of truth.
 Be it known that in the Word there are words that belong to the class of spiritual things, and words that belong to the class of celestial things; that is, there are those which express such things as belong to truth or faith, and those which express such things as belong to good or love. There are also words which are predicated of both. He who knows these things can know from the first view or reading of the Word, especially in its original tongue, where in the internal sense it treats of such things as are of truth, or of such things as are of good. The case is so with the signification of "princes," and of "chiefs;" "princes" signify primary things, and are predicated of the truths of faith; but "chiefs" signify principal things, and are predicated of the good of love. In the opposite sense, "princes" are predicated of the falsities of faith, and "chiefs" of the evils of love.
 From this it is that those who reigned in Edom were called "chiefs" (Gen. 36:15-21, 29, 30, 40-43). The reason is that by "Edom" was signified the good of celestial love, and in the opposite sense the evil of the love of self; but with the sons of Ishmael, those who presided over the rest were not called "chiefs," but "princes" (Gen. 25:16), because by "Ishmael" were signified those who are in truth (n. 3263, 3265, 4747). For this reason also those were called "princes" who presided in Israel (Num. 7:2, 10, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54), for by Israel were represented those who are in the truth and good of faith. But those who presided over Judah were called "chiefs," because by Judah were represented those who are in the good of love, as in Zechariah:--
Let him be as a chief in Judah (Zech. 9:7).
The chiefs of Judah shall say in their heart, I will confirm to me the inhabitants of Jerusalem in Jehovah Zebaoth their God; in that day I will make the chiefs of Judah like a furnace of fire in pieces of wood (Zech. 12:5, 6).
AC 8315. The mighty ones of Moab. That this signifies those who are in the life of falsity from this love, is evident from the signification of "mighty ones," as being things that reign and prevail; and from the representation of Moab, as being those who are in natural good and suffer themselves to be easily led astray (n. 2468), thus who are in a consequent life of falsity; for they who are in natural good, and not in good from the truth of faith, thus not in spiritual good, suffer themselves to be led away to believe any falsities whatever, thus to live according to them. They are led away from truths to falsities especially by those things which favor their loves. These are they who are meant by "Moab." They who are in natural good, and not in spiritual good, cannot possibly be led by any influx from heaven, (n. 3470, 3471, 3518, 4988, 4992, 5032, 6208, 7197, 8002). The word by which "the mighty ones"’ are expressed in the original tongue, is predicated of those who are in truth from good, and in the opposite sense, of those who are in falsity from evil; in this latter sense is this word in (Ezek. 31:11); 2 Kings 24:15).
AC 8316. Terror hath laid hold of them. That this signifies that they have dared nothing, is evident from the signification of "to be laid hold of by terror," as being to dare nothing, for with those who are in terror the blood grows cold and rushes into the veins; the circulation stops; thence the sinews become flaccid; and the strength fails, so that they dare nothing.
AC 8317. All the inhabitants of Canaan are melted. That this signifies the like with those who are of the church and have adulterated goods, and falsified truths, is evident from the signification of "the inhabitants of Canaan," as being those who are of the church, and as being those there who have adulterated goods, and falsified truths. That by "the inhabitants of Canaan" are signified those who are of the church, is because the church of the Lord had been in the land of Canaan from the most ancient times (n. 3686, 4447, 4454, 4516, 4517, 5136, 6516). Moreover that they are signified who have adulterated goods and falsified truths, is because by the nations there, whom the sons of Israel were to drive out, are represented evils, and likewise falsities, of faith (n. 8054), and this because these nations had previously been of the church.
AC 8318. Fright and dread have fallen upon them. That this signifies that they are without any hope of domination, is evident from the signification of "fright and dread," when said of those who are in the love of self and in the consequent falsities and evils, who are signified by "the chiefs of Edom and the mighty ones of Moab," as being that they are without hope of domination; for they who are in the evil of the love of self continually desire to domineer, but when terror falls upon them on account of a victorious enemy, then the hope of domineering falls.
 Be it known that evils are from a double origin; namely, from the love of self, and from the love of the world. They who are in evils from the love of self, love themselves only, and despise all others except those who make one with themselves, in loving whom they do not love them, but themselves, because they see themselves in them. The evils from this origin are the worst of all; for they who are in them not only despise all others in comparison with themselves, but also pursue them with invectives, and bear hatred toward them for slight cause, and then breathe their destruction. In this way revenge and cruelty become the delight of their life. They who are in the evil of this love are at a depth in hell according to the quality and amount of this love.
 But they who are in evil from the love of the world also hold their neighbor in slight estimation, and esteem him solely by reason of his wealth, thus they esteem his riches; not him. These desire to possess all that belongs to their neighbor, and when they are in this cupidity, they are then devoid of all charity and mercy; for to deprive their neighbor of his goods is the delight of their life, especially of those who are sordidly avaricious, that is, who love gold and silver for the sake of gold and silver, but not for the sake of any use from them. Those with whom the evil of this love has dominion are also in the hells, but not in hells so deep as are they who are in the evil of the love of self. Besides these two origins of evil there is also a third, which is to do evil from the principles of a false religion; but this evil has a bad character with those who are in the love of self and of the world; but not with those who are in love toward the neighbor and to their God; for the end is good, and the end qualifies all the rest (n. 8311).
AC 8319. In the greatness of Thine arms. That this signifies by virtue of omnipotence, is evident from the signification of "arm," as being power (n. 878, 4931-4937), and when said of the Divine, as being omnipotence.
AC 8320. They shall be destroyed as a stone. That this signifies a falling down like a weight, is evident from what was unfolded above (n. 8279, 8298).
AC 8321. Until Thy people shall pass over. That this signifies that thus without danger of infestation all shall be saved who are capable of receiving the truth of good and the good of truth, is evident from the signification of "passing over," as being to be saved without danger of infestation; for when they who are in falsities from evil, and have infested, are cast into hell, and are removed, then there are none who obstruct by injecting falsities and evils, and who thus prevent the reception of good and truth from the Lord. This is what is here signified by "passing over." For so long as the evil were not cast into hell, scarcely any could "pass over," that is, be saved; for the evil then continually excited evils and falsities with those who were coming into the other life, and thus withheld them from good and truth. In order therefore that those who were in good and truth might be liberated from such infesters, the Lord came into the world; and when He was in the world, then by means of continual temptations admitted into Himself, and by means of continual victories therein, He subjugated all such spirits, and afterward by His presence caused them to be cast into hell, where being taken possession of by their own evils and falsities, they might be kept bound to eternity.
 By "people" are here meant those who are in the capacity of receiving the truth of good and the good of truth, for "people" in general signifies those who are in the truth and good of faith (n. 1259, 1260, 3295, 3581, 4619); here, it signifies Israel, that is, those who are of the spiritual church, or what is the same, who are in the truth of good and the good of truth (n. 7957, 8234). It is said "in the capacity of receiving the truth of good and the good of truth," because no others are in this capacity than those who have lived a life of charity. This life gives this capacity. Hugely do those err who believe that faith without charity can confer this quality; for faith without charity is hard and resistant, and rejects all the influx from the Lord; but charity with faith is yielding and gentle and receives the influx. From this it is that charity gives this capacity, but not faith without charity; and as charity gives this capacity, it is this also which saves; for they who are saved are not saved through charity from themselves, but through charity from the Lord, consequently through the capacity of receiving it.
AC 8322. Until shall pass over this people. That this signifies that thus shall be saved those of the church who are in truth and good, is evident from what has been unfolded just above.
AC 8323. Which Thou hast taken possession of. That this signifies who have thus become the Lord‘s, is evident from the signification of "to take possession of," as being to be His. Here, because it treats of those who are in truth and good, to save whom the Lord came into the world, it is they who are signified, as being the Lord’s. Elsewhere they are called "the redeemed," as in Isaiah:--
Art thou not it that hath dried up the sea, the waters of the great abyss, that made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over? thus the redeemed of Jehovah shall return (Isa. 51:10, 11).
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