Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 19:1-2
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AC 8749. Verses 1, 2. In the third month of the going forth of the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, in this day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. And they journeyed from Rephidim, and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and encamped in the wilderness; and Israel encamped close to the mountain. "In the third month," signifies fulness of state; "of the going forth of the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt," signifies after those who were of the spiritual church had been liberated from infestations "in this day," signifies that it was then; "they came into the wilderness of Sinai," signifies a state of good in which truths of faith were to be implanted; "and they journeyed from Rephidim," signifies continuity of life from the former state; "and came into the wilderness of Sinai," signifies to a state of good in which truths were to be implanted; "and encamped in the wilderness," signifies the arrangement in this state; and Israel encamped close to the mountain," signifies the arrangement by Divine celestial good with those who are of the spiritual church.

AC 8750. In the third month. That this signifies fulness of state, is evident from the signification of "month," as being state; for all periods of time, as "days," "weeks," "months," and "years," signify states (n. 2788) and from the signification of "three" and "third," as being what is complete (n. 1825, 2788, 4495, 5159); consequently "in the third month" denotes in fulness of state.

[2] What fulness of state is, shall be briefly told. Every state has its beginning, its progression, and its end. When a state arrives at its end, it is then full, and is called "fulness." In the other life all things are measured by progressions of state and their successive changes from beginning to end, as in the world by times. That this is so is because in heaven there are no times, but states in their stead. The reason is that the sun in the other life, which is the Lord, remains constantly in its place, and does not, as in the world, by apparent daily progressions distinguish the day into morning, noon, evening, and night; nor by apparent annual progressions distinguish the year into spring, summer, autumn, and winter. From this it is that in heaven there are no times, but states in their stead. But as in the inmost sphere of heaven there is a certain progression according to the Divine heavenly form, which comes to the perception of no one, and as according to this progression the states of all in heaven undergo changes, the angels there are by turns in the good of love, in the truth of faith, and in obscurity as to the one and the other. From this it is that there is a correspondence of the states there with times in the world, namely, of the state of the good of love with morning, of the state of the truth of faith with noon, and of an obscure state with evening and night. Moreover the heat also, which is from the sun there, is the good of love; and the light which is from the sun there, is the truth of faith. From this also it is that there is a correspondence of the heat in the world with love, which is therefore called "spiritual heat;" as also of the light in the world with faith, which is therefore called "spiritual light."

[3] There are in general two states of life, namely, a state of thought, which is of the understanding, and a state of affection, which is of the will. The state of thought, which is of the understanding, bears relation to the truth which is of faith. It is this state that is enlightened by light from the sun of heaven, which is the Lord. So also is the light of the understanding in man from that light. But the state of affection, which is of the will, bears relation to the good which is of charity; and moreover the heat of the will in man, which is love, is from the heat from that sun in heaven, which is the Lord. From all this it can now be seen how the case is with states and their changes in the other life, and what is meant by the fulness of state which is signified by "the third month." By state here, of which fulness is predicated, is meant the former state which those who were of the spiritual church had passed through. These pass through two states, the first when they are led by the Lord by means of truth, the second when they are led by Him by means of good, (n. 8643, 8648, 8658, 8685, 8690, 8701). Here there is meant a fulness of the former state which has been described in what goes before; now the second state is described.

AC 8751. Of the going forth of the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. That this signifies after those who were of the spiritual church had been liberated from infestations, is evident from the signification of "going forth," as being to be liberated; from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being those who are of the spiritual church (n. 6426, 6637, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223); and from the signification of "the land of Egypt," as being infestations (n. 7278). What infestations are, (n. 7474); and also that those who were of the spiritual church were detained in the lower earth until the coming of the Lord into the world, and were liberated by the Lord, (n. 6854, 6914, 7035, 7091, 7474, 7878, 7932, 8018, 8054, 8099).

AC 8752. In this day. That this signifies that it was then, is evident from the signification of "in this day," as being then; for by "day" is signified state (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 2788, 7680); and therefore "in this day" denotes when there was fulness of state.

AC 8753. They came into the wilderness of Sinai. That this signifies a state of good in which truths of faith were to be implanted, is evident from the signification of "the wilderness of Sinai," as being a state of good in which truths of faith are to be implanted. "The wilderness" here denotes good in which truths have not yet been implanted; and "Sinai" denotes the truths themselves. For a "wilderness" has several significations (n. 3900); in general it signifies what is uninhabited and uncultivated, thus in the spiritual sense, good in which as yet there are no truths, for good without truths is spiritually uncultivated; consequently a "wilderness" signifies a new will that as yet has not been formed by means of the truths of faith (n. 8457).

[2] As regards "Mount Sinai," it signifies in the supreme sense Divine truth from Divine good; "mountain," Divine good; and "Sinai," Divine truth. In the internal sense it signifies the truth of faith from good, here the truth of faith that is to be implanted in good, because the law had not yet been promulgated from it. "Mount Sinai" has these significations because the law was promulgated by the Lord from thence, and "the law" denotes Divine truth from Divine good, and also the truth of faith from good (n. 6752, 7463, 8695). For this reason it was that the sons of Israel encamped in the wilderness near that mountain, for from it were promulgated not only the ten commandments, which are "the law" in a close sense, but also all the statutes of the church, which contained in themselves, because they represented, the spiritual and celestial truths and goods of the Lordís kingdom. That the law was promulgated from thence, is evident from the following chapter, and that so also were the statutes of the church, from the succeeding chapters, and also from (Leviticus 7:37, 38; 27:34). The same is signified by "Sinai" in David:--

O God, when Thou wentest forth before Thy people, when Thou didst march in the wilderness; the earth trembled, the heavens also dripped before God; this Sinai before God, the God of Israel. Thou, O God, makest to drip the rain of Thy benevolences (Ps. 68:7-9);

here "Sinai" denotes the truth that is from good, for such is the signification of "the heavens dripping before God," and of "God making to drip the rain of His benevolences."

[3] In the book of Judges:--

Jehovah, when Thou wentest forth out of Seir, when Thou camedst forth out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, the heavens also dripped, the clouds also dripped waters, the mountains flowed down before Jehovah, Sinai itself before Jehovah the God of Israel. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the ways ceased, and they that walked in paths went through crooked ways, the roads ceased in Israel; they ceased until I Deborah arose, until I arose a mother in Israel (Judges 5:4-7);

here also "Sinai" denotes the law or Divine truth from Divine good, by virtue of which the truths of faith were implanted in its good, which things are also signified by "the heavens dripped," and "the clouds dripped waters;" that the truths of faith were lacking and were perverted, is signified by "the ways ceased, and they that walked in paths went through crooked ways". "Ways," "paths," and "roads" denote truths, (n. 627, 2333, 3123, 3477); for the subject treated of in this prophetic song, which is the song of Deborah and Barak, is the perversion of the truth of the church, and its restitution.

[4] In Moses:--

Jehovah came from Sinai, He rose up from Seir to them; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came from the ten thousands of holiness, from His right hand was the fire of the law to them (Deut. 33:2);

in this chapter the sons of Jacob are blessed by Moses before his death, who begins the prophetic utterance of his blessing with "Jehovah came from Sinai" and by "Sinai" are here signified the truths of faith in the complex. That he begins in this way is because by "the sons of Jacob" are signified all the truths and goods of faith (n. 3858, 3862, 3926, 3939, 6335); and in like manner by "the sons of Israel" (n. 5414, 5951, 5879).

AC 8754. A few words shall here be said about the good in which truths are to be implanted, which good is here signified by "the wilderness of Sinai." The man who is being regenerated is first led by the Lord by means of truth, and afterward by means of good, (n. 7923, 8643, 8648, 8658, 8685, 8690, 8701). He who is being regenerated is led by means of truth to the intent that he may come to good, that is, may know it, and then will it, and finally do it. But when he is being led to good by means of truth, he first comes to the good in which the truths of faith have not yet been implanted; for truths cannot be implanted until he is in good. Before this they are indeed known, because they are in the memory, but at this time they are not in good, but are outside of good. Afterward when the man receives new life, which he first receives when he is in good, the truths of faith are implanted, and as it were enter upon a marriage with good in the internal man. This good, in which the truths of faith have not yet been implanted, but which is still so disposed that they can be received, is here meant by "the wilderness of Sinai." No other good is meant than Christian good (n. 8635-8638).

AC 8755. And they journeyed from Rephidim. That this signifies continuity of life from the former state, is evident from the signification of "journeying," as being the continuity of life (n. 4375, 4554, 4585, 5996, 8181, 8345, 8397, 8557); and from the signification of "Rephidim,Ď as being the quality of the state of temptation in respect to truth (n. 8561), thus the quality of the former state (n. 8754); for in the former state the man of the spiritual church undergoes temptations, and therefore from that state there is the continuity of life which is signified by "journeying from Rephidim."

AC 8756. And came into the wilderness of Sinai. That this signifies to a state of good in which truths were to be implanted, is evident from what was said above (n. 8753), where like words occur; and concerning the quality of this good, see (n. 8754).

AC 8757. And encamped in the wilderness. That this signifies the arrangement in this state, is evident from the signification of "encamping," as being the setting in order of the truth and good which are of the life (n. 8103), thus also their arrangement; and from the signification of "wilderness," as being a state of good in which are not yet the truths of faith (n. 8753).

AC 8758. And Israel encamped close to the mountain. That this signifies the arrangement by Divine celestial good with those who are of the spiritual church, is evident from the signification of "to encamp," as being arrangement (n. 8757); from the representation of Israel, as being those who are of the spiritual church (n. 8751); and fromí the signification of "a mountain," as being the good of celestial love (n. 4210, 4635, 8327). By Divine celestial good is meant the Divine good in heaven, for in itself Divine good is far above heaven.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info