Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 20:12
AC 8896. Verse 12. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be prolonged upon the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee. "Honor thy father and thy mother," signifies love for good and truth, in the supreme sense for the Lord and for His kingdom; "that thy days may be prolonged upon the land," signifies the consequent state of life in heaven; "which Jehovah thy God giveth thee," signifies where the Divine is and the consequent influx.
AC 8897. Honor thy father and thy mother. That this signifies love for good and truth, in the supreme sense for the Lord and for His kingdom, is evident from the signification of "honoring," as being to love, for in the spiritual sense "to honor" denotes to love, for the reason that in heaven one loves another, and when he loves be also honors, for in honor there is love. Honor without love is refused in heaven, nay, is rejected, because it is devoid of life from good. From the signification of "father," as being good (n. 3703, 5581, 5902, 6050, 7833, 7834), and in the supreme sense the Lord as to Divine good (n. 15, 1729, 2005, 2803, 3704, 7499, 8328); that the Lord in the supreme sense is the "father," is because He gives new life to man, and thereby man becomes a son and heir of His kingdom; and from the signification of "mother," as being truth (n. 3703, 5581), and in the supreme sense the Lord as to Divine truth, thus His kingdom, because the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord makes heaven. That the Divine truth of the Lord makes heaven, is because the Lord as to Divine good is in the other life the Sun, and as to the Divine truth is the light. This Divine light from the Lord as the Sun is what illumines angelic minds, and fills them with intelligence and wisdom, and makes them to be angels of light. Divine good is within Divine truth, as heat from the sun is within the light in the time of spring and summer in the world.
AC 8898. That thy days may be prolonged upon the land. That this signifies the consequent state of life in heaven, is evident from the signification of "to be prolonged," as being predicated of good and its increase; from the signification of "thy days," as being states of life (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785, 4850, 5672, 5962, 6110, 7680, 8426); and from the signification of "land," here the land of Canaan (because it is said to the sons of Israel "which Jehovah thy God giveth thee"), as being the kingdom of the Lord (n. 1413, 1437, 1607, 1866, 3038, 3481, 3686, 3705, 4240, 4447). The reason why "to be prolonged" is predicated of good and its increase, is that length of days is duration of the time of life; and in heaven there is neither time nor space, but instead thereof state. Therefore as "to be prolonged" is predicated of state as to good, it denotes its increase. That "length" is predicted of good, and "breadth" of truth, (n. 1613, 4482); and that in heaven there are no spaces, neither are there times, but instead thereof states, (n. 1274, 1382, 2625, 2755, 2837, 3254, 3356, 3404, 3935, 4321, 4814, 4882, 4901, 4916, 5605, 6110, 7218, 7381).
AC 8899. Which Jehovah thy God giveth thee. That this signifies where the Divine is and the consequent influx, is evident from the fact that these words are spoken of heaven, which is here signified by "the land" (n. 8898); consequently "Jehovah God" denotes the Divine therein, and "to give" denotes influx; for heaven in general with all, and in particular with each one, is the reception of influx from the Divine. That such things are signified by the commandment about honoring parents, may seem strange, because they are remote from the sense of the letter. But be it known that the commandments of the decalogue are rules of life both for those who are in the world and for those who are in heaven - the sense of the letter or the external sense being for those who are in the world, and the spiritual or internal sense for those who are in heaven - and consequently both senses, external as well as internal, are for those who while they are in the world are also in heaven, that is, for those who are in the good of life according to the truths of doctrine. That the commandments of the decalogue are also for those who are in heaven, is plain from the internal sense of all things in the Word, and clearly from the fact that the things which Jehovah God (that is, the Lord) Himself speaks, are not only for men, or for the world; but are also for angels, nay, for the whole heaven, because the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord flows through heaven and passes through down unto man. This is the case with these ten commandments, which the Lord Himself spake from Mount Sinai.
 Inasmuch as these commandments were spoken not only for those who are in the world, but also for those who are in heaven, therefore they could not be perceived in the same way by both - as for instance this commandment, that they should honor father and mother in order that their days might be prolonged upon the land which Jehovah God would give them; for in heaven parents and children do not come together the same as on earth; and therefore for "father" there they have the Lord, and for "mother" His kingdom. Nor can it be said of those in heaven that their days would be prolonged, because they live there to eternity; nor can "land" be understood there as in this commandment to mean the land of Canaan, but instead the heavenly Canaan or heaven. As by "father and mother" are meant the Lord and His kingdom, therefore this commandment is the fourth in order, and surpasses in holiness those which follow. The commandment concerning the worship of Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is first and second, because the most holy one. Next comes the commandment concerning the Sabbath, because by this in the supreme sense is signified the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human in the Lord. After this follows the commandment concerning honoring parents, because by this is signified the love of the Lord and the consequent love of good and truth which are from the Lord. As these things are signified by this commandment, therefore contempt for parents is enumerated among the crimes which are signified by "shedding blood" (Ezek. 22:6, 7) and for this reason disobedient and rebellious sons were stoned (Deut. 21:18-21).
AC 8900. That by "father" is meant the Lord, and by "mother" His kingdom, has been shown just above (n. 8897). But lest perchance the mind be in doubt whether by "mother" in the internal sense is meant the kingdom of the Lord, that is, heaven, I may add the following to what was said above. In the Word by "mother" is meant the church (n. 289, 4257, 5581), which also on this account is at one time called "the bride," and at another "the wife," of the Lord; and as the kingdom of the Lord is the same as the church, with only this difference, that the kingdom of the Lord on the earth is called "the church," therefore this also is signified by "mother." For this reason the sons born of this mother are truths, and are called "the sons of the kingdom" (Matt. 13:38); (n. 3373). Moreover to all those who are therein the Lord‘s kingdom is their country, and one’s country is "mother" in a natural sense, as the church is "mother" in the spiritual sense. EXODUS 20:12 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|