Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 17:14-16
AC 8618. Verses 14-16. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book, and put it in the ears of Joshua, that blotting I will blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi; and he said, Because there is a hand against the throne of Jah, Jehovah shall have war against Amalek from generation to generation. "And Jehovah said unto Moses," signifies instruction; "Write this for a memorial in the book," signifies for perpetual remembrance; "and put it in the ears of Joshua," signifies to be obeyed in behalf of truth fighting against this falsity; "that blotting I will blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens," signifies that this falsity must be completely removed so that it may fight no longer; "and Moses built an altar," signifies in what is holy of worship and of memory; "and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi," signifies continual warfare and the Lord‘s protection against those who are in the falsity of interior evil; "and he said, Because there is a hand against the throne of Jah," signifies because they wish to do violence to the Lord’s spiritual kingdom; "Jehovah shall have war against Amalek from generation to generation," signifies that they were brought under the yoke, and were cast into hell, from which by reason of the Lord‘s Divine power they can never rise up.
AC 8619. And Jehovah said unto Moses. That this signifies instruction, is evident from the signification of "saying," as involving the things that follow; and because Moses is here instructed what must be done, it is instruction that is signified.
AC 8620. Write this for a memorial in the book. That this signifies for perpetual remembrance, is evident from the signification of "a memorial," as being that it is to be remembered, or that it is to be in the memory (n. 8066, 8067); and from the signification of "writing in the book," as being for perpetual remembrance. This is signified by "writing in a book" in Isaiah:--
Come, write thou upon a tablet before them, and express it upon a book, that it may be for the time to come, forever even to eternity (Isa. 30:8).
As remembrance is signified by "writing in a book," therefore the faithful are said to be "written in the book of life;" for by "Divine remembrance" is signified salvation, and by "non-remembrance," or "forgetting," is signified damnation. Concerning the book of life we read in these passages:--
The Ancient of days did sit for the judgment, and the books were opened (Dan. 7:9, 10).
At that time thy people shall be rescued, everyone that shall be found written in the book (Dan. 12:1).
Give iniquity upon their iniquity; and let them not arrive at Thy righteousness; let them be blotted out of the book of lives, and not be written with the righteous (Ps. 69:27, 28).
He that overcometh shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life (Rev. 3:5).
There shall not enter into the New Jerusalem any but those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27).
I saw that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is that of life; and the dead were judged according to the things that were written in the books, according to their works. They were all judged according to their works. And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast out into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:12, 13, 15; 13:8; 17:8).
He who does not know from the internal sense what the book of life is, and also what the books are out of which the dead are to be judged, cannot have any other idea than that in heaven there are such books, and that in them are written the acts of all, whereof the memory is thus preserved. When yet by "books" in the above passages are not meant books, but the remembrance of all things that have been done; for everyone carries with him into the other life the memory of all his acts, thus the book of his life (n. 2474). But no one except the Lord alone can judge anyone according to his acts; because all acts proceed from final causes, which lie deeply concealed within. Man is judged according to these causes; and no one knows them but the Lord. therefore judgment belongs to Him alone, which is also meant by these words in John:--
I saw upon the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Thereafter I saw a strong angel crying with a great voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? One of the elders said to me, Behold the lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath overcome to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof: and He took the book, and they sang a new song, worthy art Thou who takest the book, and openest the seals thereof (Rev. 5:1, 2, 5, 8, 9).
From all this it can be seen that by "a book written" is meant the presence of the acts of everyone. In like manner by the "book" in David:--
On Thy book all the days were written that were ordained (Ps. 139:16).
AC 8621. And put it in the ears of Joshua. This signifies to be obeyed in behalf of truth fighting against this falsity, is evident from the signification of "putting in the ears," as being to be obeyed. "Ear" denotes obedience, (n. 2542, 3869, 4652-4660); and from the representation of Joshua, as being truth fighting against the falsity from interior evil (n. 8595).
AC 8622. That blotting I will blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. That this signifies that this falsity must be completely removed so that it may fight no longer, is evident from the signification of "blotting out the memory," as being to remove; and from the representation of Amalek, as being those who are in falsity from interior evil (n. 8593).
 That "blotting out the memory of Amalek" denotes to remove the falsity which is from interior evil, is because this can be removed, but cannot be blotted out, for this falsity exists with the infernal genii who live to eternity (n. 8593). But these genii are removed by the Lord, to prevent them from flowing into those who are of the spiritual church. The reason is that they do not flow into the thoughts which are of the understanding, thus not into what is of faith, as infernal spirits do, but into the affections which are of the will, consequently into the things of charity; and this so secretly that there never appears a trace that it is from them; and therefore if they were to flow in, the man of the spiritual church could not possibly be saved, because they would pervert and utterly deprave the affections of truth and good. Hence it is that these infernal genii are removed, so that they may not communicate with those who are of the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom.
 Be it known further that with the man of the spiritual church a new will has been implanted in the intellectual part (n. 895, 927, 1023, 1043, 1044, 2256, 4328, 4493, 5113), which will these genii would wholly destroy if they were permitted to flow in. They would also enter into the hereditary evils of the old will, and would reopen them, and yet they have been closed, (n. 986, 1667, 2308). These infernal genii are removed in this way in order to prevent their knowing it; because their falsity, which is falsity from interior evil, is evil, and indeed such evil that it cannot flow into the intellectual part, but into the will part; and as the new will of the man of the spiritual church has been implanted in the intellectual part, as was said above, they have consequently been removed from influx into it. To this end moreover the Lord provides that such genii be vastated as to everything intellectual.
 Men become such genii after death who have continually meditated evil against their neighbor, and have delighted their thought with such things, and moreover have inflicted evil, but secretly and by means of others, taking the greatest care that no one should know that it came from them. In other respects they have seemed in outward appearance modest and courteous, and like friends, and also like Christians in their speech, as also in their life, yet have been hypocrites, and inwardly deceitful tigers.
AC 8623. And Moses built an altar. That this signifies for what is holy of worship and of memory, is evident from the signification of "an altar," as being the chief representative of the Lord (n. 2777, 2811, 4489), and consequently what is holy of worship (n. 4541). That it is also for memory, is because in ancient times mounds were piled up as a witness unto and in memory of something that was to stand firm, and which they were to remember; and afterward also altars (n. 4192); in the present case in memory of the fact that because the hand of Amalek was against the throne of Jah, Jehovah would have war against him from generation to generation. That altars were erected for witness and memory, is also evident from the altar that the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh built at the Jordan, concerning which they said to the sons of Israel, who on that account were disposed to make war against them, that they built it to be a witness that they would not worship Jehovah by burnt-offerings and sacrifices upon this altar, but upon the altar that was before the tabernacle; and therefore they called that altar "a witness between us and you that Jehovah is God" (Josh. 22:10-34).
AC 8624. And called the name of it Jehovah-nissi. That this signifies continual warfare, and the Lord’s protection, against those who are in the falsity of interior evil, is evident from the fact that the names bestowed by the ancients in the church signified the quality and the state of the thing then in question, and these they also wrapped up in the very names (n. 340, 1946, 3422, 4298). The quality and the state of the thing here treated of is that Jehovah would have war against Amalek from generation to generation; in the internal sense, that there should be perpetual war against those who are in the falsity of interior evil; this also is signified by "Jehovah-nissi." In the original tongue "Jehovah-nissi" means "Jehovah my banner," or "ensign," and by "an ensign," or "banner," in the Word is signified a calling together for war; and as it is said that "Jehovah shall have war," protection by Him is also signified.
 That by "a banner" or "ensign" is signified a calling together for war, is evident from the fact that when they were called together, whether for journeyings, or for festivals, or for war, they sounded a trumpet, and then also lifted up an ensign or banner upon the mountains. That they sounded a trumpet see (Numbers 10:1-11); that they lifted up an ensign or banner see the following passages:--
Declare ye in Judah, and make it heard in Jerusalem, and say, and blow ye the trumpet in the land, proclaim, fill full, say, Gather yourselves together, and let us enter into the defenced cities, set up a banner toward Zion, assemble yourselves, stay not (Jer. 4:5, 6).
All ye inhabitants of the world, and ye dwellers on the earth, when a banner is lifted up, see ye; and when a trumpet is sounded, hear ye (Isa. 18:3).
He hath lifted up a banner to the nations from far, and hath hissed for him from the extremity of the earth; and behold he shall come with speed swiftly (Isa. 5:26).
Lift ye up a banner upon the lofty mountain, lift up the voice unto them, wave the hand, that they may come to the gate of the princes (Isa. 13:2).
Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Behold I will lift up My hand toward the nations, and set up My banner to the peoples; and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters they shall carry upon their shoulder (Isa. 49:22).
From these passages it is plain that by "a banner" is signified a gathering together.
 That "a banner" or "ensign," when predicated of the Lord, signifies also protection, is evident in these passages:--
They shall fear the name of Jehovah from the west, and His glow from the rising of the sun; because it will come as a pent up stream, the spirit of Jehovah shall lift up a banner against him; then shall the Redeemer come to Zion (Isa. 59:19).
It shall come to pass in that day that the root of Jesse, which standeth for a banner of the people, shall the nations seek; and his rest shall be glory (Isa. 11:10).
 Inasmuch as "an ensign" which in the original tongue is expressed by the same term as "a banner," signified a gathering together, and when said of the Lord, protection also, therefore it was expressly commanded that a brazen serpent should be set upon an ensign, of which we read in Moses:--
Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a serpent, and set it upon an ensign; and it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten, and looketh at it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon an ensign; whence it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten a man, and he looked at the serpent of brass, he lived again (Num. 21:8, 9);
that the brazen serpent represented the Lord, see (John 3:14, 15); that it also signified protection, is plain; for the healing effected by looking on the serpent that was on the ensign signified healing from evils of falsity by the looking of faith to the Lord. For the Lord says in the passage as quoted from John:--As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life.
AC 8625. And he said, Because there is a hand against the throne of Jah. That this signifies because they wish to do violence to the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom, is evident from the signification of "a hand against anyone," as being to do violence; and from the signification of "the throne of Jah," as being the Lord’s spiritual kingdom. That "the throne of Jah" denotes the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom is because "a throne" is predicated of the Lord’s royalty; and the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom corresponds to His royalty. There are two things which are predicated of the Lord, namely, priesthood and royalty. The celestial kingdom corresponds to His priesthood, and the spiritual kingdom to His royalty; for the Lord is called "Priest" from Divine good, and "King" from Divine truth. This latter, namely, Divine truth, is involved in the name "Christ," and Divine good in the name "Jesus" (n. 1728, 2015, 3004, 3009, 6148). "Throne" is predicated of the Lord’s royalty, consequently of His spiritual kingdom, and in like manner "Jah." What "throne" signifies, (n. 5313); and what "Jah," (n. 8267).
 As regards the subject itself, namely, that they who are represented by Amalek (who are infernal genii that are in the falsity from interior evil) wish to do violence to the Lord‘s spiritual kingdom, this has been unfolded above (n. 8593, 8622). They who were in the falsity of this evil could not be warded off from those who were of the spiritual church until the Lord came into the world and made the human in Himself Divine. They were then shut up in hell, whence they can never rise up; moreover, the communication which is effected through influx, was quite taken away. For the man of the spiritual church is in obscurity as to the truth of faith, and acknowledges it as truth because the church has said so, and not because he has perceived it to be truth. With these men this truth becomes good, and consequently a matter of conscience. If malignant genii were to flow into their obscurity, they would destroy the conscience in a thousand ways; for they do not act into the truths of faith therein, but into the affections themselves; and wheresoever they notice anything of the affection of good, they pervert it in a moment so secretly that it cannot possibly be noticed. They attack the very ends. In a word, their malignity cannot be described; but it may be compared to an unseen deadly poison, which penetrates to the very marrows. Concerning these genii, of the Lord’s Divine mercy more shall be said from experience at the end of the chapters.
AC 8626. Jehovah shall have war against Amalek from generation to generation. That this signifies that they were brought under the yoke and were cast into hell, from which by reason of the Lord‘s Divine power they can never rise up, is evident from the signification of "Jehovah having war," as being a casting into hell: and from the signification of "from generation to generation," as being perpetually, thus that they can never rise up from it. This was by the Divine power of the Lord, (n. 8625). That "Jehovah having war" denotes a casting into hell, is because "Jehovah having war" denotes perpetual victory. The infernal genii cannot possibly wage war and fight against Jehovah, that is, against the Lord; yet it appears to them that they fight, and even that they sometimes conquer, when they subjugate those who are in evil; but still they have no power whatever against the Divine. The least exercise of Divine power by a single nod instantly subdues the whole diabolical crew, even if it consists of myriads of myriads; but still it gives them the opportunity to act in so far as their doing so may be of use, and insofar as their evil can be turned by the Lord into good. On this subject, of the Lord’s Divine mercy, elsewhere. From all this it can in some measure be seen that by "Jehovah having war with Amalek from generation to generation" is signified subjugation and casting into hell, from which by reason of the Lord‘s Divine power they can never rise up.