Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 15:3-5
AC 8272. Verses 3-5 Jehovah is a man of war; Jehovah is His name. Pharaoh‘s chariots and his army He hath cast into the sea; and the choice of the tertian captians are sunk in the sea Suph. The abysses have covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. "Jehovah is a man of war," signifies that the Lord protects against all evils and falsities that are from the hells; "Jehovah is His name," signifies that it is He alone from whom all things are; "Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He hath cast into the sea," signifies that the falsities from evil, in particular and in general, of those who were of the church and in a life of evil there, at His presence cast themselves into the hells; "and the choice of the tertian captains," signifies all with each; "are sunk in the sea Suph," signifies that they have shut themselves up in falsities from evil; "the abysses have covered them," signifies that falsities from cupidities have enveloped them; "they went down into the depths like a stone," signifies that they fell down toward lower things as if by reason of weight.
AC 8273. Jehovah is a man of war. That this signifies that the Lord protects against all evils and falsities that are from the hells, is evident from the signification of "a man of war," as being one who fights against falsities and evils, that is, against the hells, and conquers them, here who protects man against them; for, as before shown, the Lord alone fights for man and protects him when he is assaulted by the hells, and this continually, especially in temptations, which are spiritual combats. The Lord is called "a man of war" primarily from the fact that when He was in the world, He alone, that is, from Himself, fought against the hells, which were then for the most part open, and attacked and endeavored to subjugate all who came into the other life. The reason why the diabolical crew--that is, the hells--were at that time so rampant, was that the Divine passing through heaven, which before the coming of the Lord was the Divine Human, did not avail against evils and falsities, then so immensely increased. Therefore it pleased the Divine Itself to assume the Human and to make this Divine, and then at the same time through combats admitted into Himself to cast that diabolical crew into the hells, and shut them in there, and to make them subject to the heavens; and at the same time also to reduce the heavens themselves into order. From these combats the Lord is first called "a man of war," and also afterward, because when He had thus conquered the hells and had become righteousness, He protects men by His Divine power, and this continually, and especially in the combats of temptations.
 That the Lord alone and from Himself fought against the hells and overcame them, see in Isaiah:--
Judgment hath been cast backward, and righteousness stood afar off; for truth hath stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot approach; while truth hath been taken away; and he that departeth from evil is insane: Jehovah saw, and it was evil in His eyes that there was no judgment; and He saw that there was no man, and He was amazed that there was no one interceding; therefore His arm wrought salvation for Him; and His righteousness stirred Him up; hence He put on righteousness as a breast-plate, and a helmet of salvation upon His head (Isa. 59:14-17);
there is here described the state of that time in both worlds, and that the Lord from Himself alone restored the fallen estate. In like manner elsewhere in the same:--
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with sprinkled garments from Bozrah? this that is honorable in his apparel, marching in the multitude of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, great for salvation; I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples not a man with Me, whence their victory hath been sprinkled upon My garments; for the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed had come; I looked around, but there was no one helping; and I was amazed, but there was no one supporting; therefore Mine arm wrought salvation for Me (Isa. 63:1, 3-5);
from these words it can be seen that in the world the Lord fought alone against the hells, and overcame them.
 As regards combats and victories over the hells, the case is this. He who once overcomes them overcomes them perpetually; because through victory he procures for himself power over them, for in the same proportion he confirms in himself, and appropriates to himself, the good which is of love and the truth which is of faith, against which the hells afterward dare nothing. When the Lord was in the world He admitted combats of temptations into Himself from all the hells, and through these He made the Human in Himself Divine, and at the same time He forever reduced the hells to obedience (n. 1663, 1668, 1690, 1692, 1737, 1813, 1820, 2776, 2786, 2795, 2803, 2814, 2816, 4287). From this it is that the Lord alone has power over the hells eternally; and from Divine power fights for man. From this then it is that the Lord is called "a man of war," and also a "Hero," as also in these passages:--
Jehovah shall go forth like a Hero, He shall stir up zeal like a man of wars, He shall prevail over His enemies (Isa. 42:13).
Who is this King of glory? Jehovah strong and a Hero, Jehovah a Hero of war. Who is this King of glory? Jehovah Zebaoth (of armies) (Ps. 24:8, 10).
 In the Word, where mention is made of "war," in the internal sense there is meant spiritual war, which is against falsities and evils; or what is the same, which is against the devil, that is, the hells (n. 1664, 2686). The wars or combats of the Lord against the hells are treated of in the internal sense in both the historicals and the propheticals of the Word; in like manner the wars and combats of the Lord for man. Among the ancients with whom was the Lord‘s church, there was also a Word both historic and prophetic, which at this day is not extant. The historic Word was called "The Book of the Wars of Jehovah," and the prophetic Word "The Enunciations." This Word is mentioned in Moses (Num. 21:14, 27). That by this word "Enunciations", used in the 27th verse, are signified prophetical things, is evident from the meaning of this word (here "parable") in (Num. 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15). By "the wars of Jehovah" were there meant the Lord’s combats and victories against the hells when He was in the world, and also His subsequent perpetual combats and victories for man, for the church, and for His kingdom. For the hells continually wish to raise themselves up, because they breathe nothing but domination; but they are repressed by the Lord alone. Their attempts to force their way out appear like bubblings up, and like the dorsal ejections from man; but as often as they attempt this, so often many of them are cast down more deeply there.
AC 8274. Jehovah is His name. That this signifies that it is He alone from whom all things are, is evident from the signification of the name "Jehovah," as being all things of faith and love, or all things of truth and good, in the complex, by which the Lord is worshiped (n. 2724, 3006, 6674); and as being in the supreme sense the Divine Human of the Lord (n. 2628, 6887), from which all these things are. From this cause and also from the fact that Jehovah is Being itself, thus the being of all things, it is evident that by, "Jehovah is His name," is signified that the Lord alone is He from whom all things are.
AC 8275. Pharaoh‘s chariots and his army He hath cast into the sea. That this signifies that the falsities from evil, in particular and in general, of those who had been of the church and in a life of evil there, at His presence cast themselves into the hells, is evident from the signification of "chariots," as being falsities (n. 8146, 8148, 8215), here falsities in particular, because the "army" also is mentioned, by which are signified falsities in general. "Armies" denote falsities, (n. 3448, 8138, 8146, 8148); from the representation of Pharaoh and of the Egyptians, as being those of the church who are in faith separate and in a life of evil, and consequently are in mere falsities from evil (n. 7926, 8132, 8135, 8138, 8148); and from the signification of "the sea," here the sea Suph, as being the hell where they are who are in these falsities (n. 8099, 8137, 8148). Consequently, "He cast into the sea," denotes that He cast into hell; in the internal sense, that at the mere presence of the Lord they cast themselves there (n. 8265). From all this it is evident that by "Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He hath cast into the sea" is signified that the falsities from evil, in particular and in general, of those who had been of the church and in a life of evil there, at the presence of the Lord cast themselves into the hells.
AC 8276. And the choice of the tertian captains. That this signifies all with each, is evident from the signification of "the tertian captains," as being the generals under which are particulars in a series (n. 8150); thus all and each. For when mention is made of generals, the particulars which are under them and in them are also meant, and likewise the singulars which are under the particulars and in them; for a general without particulars and singulars is not anything, since it is called a "general" from these, because it is a complex of many. Hence it is that by "tertian captains" are signified all with each. It is said "the choice," and by this are signified the chief falsities, under which the rest are.
AC 8277. Are sunk in the sea Suph. That this signifies that they have shut themselves up in falsities from evil, is evident from the signification of "to be sunk," here in the waters of the sea Suph, as being to shut themselves up in falsities from evil, for by the waters of that sea are signified falsities (n. 8137, 8138), and by "to be sunk" is signified to be shut up; for they who are in the hells are shut up and encompassed with falsities, like those who are sunk in waters. They immerse or shut up themselves in them, (n. 7926, 8227, 8228).
AC 8278. The abysses have covered them. That this signifies that falsities from cupidities have enveloped them, is evident from the signification of "the abysses," as being falsities which are from cupidities. By "abysses" in the Word are meant waters and abundance of waters in the deeps; and by "waters" in a good sense are signified truths, and in the opposite sense falsities (n. 739, 790, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976, 5668), and by "deeps" are signified the hells. Hence it is that "abysses" denote falsities from cupidities; also that they denote the hells. That by "abysses" in the Word are meant waters in the deeps and abundance of waters, is evident in these passages:--
The waters made the cedar to grow, the abyss made it high; so that with its rivers it went round thy plant, and it sent out water-channels unto all the trees of the field (Ezek. 31:4).
He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and made them drink the great abysses; He brought forth streams out of the rock, and made the waters to come down like streams (Ps. 78:15, 16).
A good land, a land of rivers of water, of fountains and abysses, going forth from valley and from mountain (Deut. 8:7).
In these passages "abysses" denote waters in abundance; and waters in abundance, or "abysses," denote truths of faith in abundance. "He made them to drink great abysses out of the rock" denotes that He made them receive truths of faith without lack, for "rock" denotes faith from the Lord, thus the Lord as to faith; "the abysses going forth from valley and from mountain" denote truths of faith from love. Consequently also among the blessings of Joseph were "blessings of the abyss that lieth beneath" (Gen. 49:25; Deut. 33:13).
 That "abysses" denote falsities from cupidities, consequently also the hells, is evident in the following passages:--
Awake, as in the days of old, the generations of eternity; dost Thou not dry up the sea, the waters of the great abyss, and make the depths of the sea for a way, that the redeemed may pass over? (Isa. 51:9, 10).
Jehovah who cleft asunder the waters before them, who led them through the abysses, like a horse in the wilderness; they stumbled not (Isa. 63:12, 13).
Thus said the Lord Jehovih, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall make the abyss to come up against thee, and many waters shall cover thee (Ezek. 26:19).
I saw a star from heaven fallen to the earth, to which was given the key of the pit of the abyss, and he opened the pit of the abyss (Rev. 9:1, 2, 11).
The beast that cometh up out of the abyss made war with them (Rev. 11:7).
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss, and go into perdition (Rev. 17:8).
In these passages the "abyss" denotes the hells, thus also falsities from cupidities, for these are in the hells and make them.
 As these things are signified by "abysses," by them are also signified temptations, for temptations are effected by means of falsities and evils that are injected by the hells. In this sense "abyss" is used in these passages:--
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; the abyss was round about me (Jonah 2:5).
Abyss crieth unto abyss at the voice of thy water-channels; all thy breakers and thy waves have passed over me (Ps. 42:7).
Who hast shown me many and evil straitnesses, return and quicken me, and make me return and come up from the abysses of the earth (Ps. 71:20).
AC 8279. They went down into the depths like a stone. That this signifies that they fell down to lower things as if by reason of weight, is evident from the signification of "to go down," when to lower things as if by reason of weight, as being to fall; from the signification of "depths," as being the lower places where the hells are, of which below; and from the signification of "like a stone," as being as if by reason of weight. It is said "like a stone," because by "a stone" in the genuine sense is signified truth (n. 643, 1298, 3720, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3789, 3798, 6426), consequently in the opposite sense falsity. Moreover falsity from evil is of such a nature that it sinks down toward lower things, as does a heavy body in the world. But truth from good is of such a nature that it ascends to higher things, as does something light in the world. Hence it is that so long as the evil have not been as yet devastated as to truths, they are in a region above the hells but as soon as they have been devastated, that is, deprived of truths, it is as if their wings were cut off, and then they sink down like weights, and the deeper in proportion as their falsities from evil are worse. From this it is that by "depths," equally as by "abysses," are signified the hells; but by "depths," the hells relatively to evils, and by "abysses," the hells relatively to the falsities that are from evils; as in these passages:--
Flee ye, they have turned away, they have let themselves down into the depth to dwell (Jer. 49:8, 30).
The waters have come even unto the soul, I have been sunk in the mire of depth, there is no standing; I have come into the depths of the waters, and the billow overflows me: rescue me out of the mire, lest I be sunk, I shall be rescued from those who hate me, and out of the depths of the waters, lest a billow of waters overflow me, and lest the depth swallow me up; let not the pit shut its mouth upon me (Ps. 69:1, 2, 14, 15).
He shall cast into the depths of the sea all their sins (Micah 7:19).
The reason why "depth" denotes hell relatively to evil, is that it is opposite to "high," by which is signified heaven, and which is predicated of good (n. 8153). Moreover evil corresponds to what is heavy on earth, which sinks by its own weight; thus also to the heaviness of a stone, when by a "stone" is signified falsity.EXODUS 15:3-5 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
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