Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 20:13
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(verses 13-16 in English Bible)

AC 8901. Verse 13. Thou shalt not kill, signifies not to take away spiritual life from anyone, also not to extinguish faith and charity, as also not to hold the neighbor in hatred.

AC 8902. Thou shalt not kill. That this signifies not to take away spiritual life from anyone, also not to extinguish faith and charity, as also not to hold the neighbor in hatred, is evident from the signification of "killing," as being to deprive of spiritual life. That "killing" means this in the internal sense, is because in this sense spiritual life, or the life of heaven with man, is treated of; and spiritual life, or the life of heaven with man, is the life of faith and of charity; therefore by "not to kill" is signified also not to extinguish faith and charity in anyone. The reason why "not to kill" is also in the internal sense not to hold the neighbor in hatred, is that he who holds in hatred continually wishes to kill, and also would kill in act unless prevented by the fear of the penalty, of the loss of life, of reputation, and the like. For hatred is of evil, is contrary to charity, and breathes nothing but the murder of him whom it hates: in the world the murder of his body; in the other life the murder of his soul. This is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:--

Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement; but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother rashly shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the Gehenna of fire (Matthew 5:21, 22);

hatred against the neighbor is meant by being "angry with the brother rashly," and the degrees of its increase are described by saying to him "Raca," and by calling him "a fool". Anger is a turning away from charity, and is from evil, thus it is hatred, (n. 357, 4164, 5034, 5798, 5887, 5888).

[2] That in the internal sense "to kill" denotes to take away spiritual life from anyone, consequently to extinguish faith and charity, is evident from almost all the passages in the Word where a " killing," or "to kill," is mentioned, as in Isaiah:--

Behold the day of Jehovah cometh, cruel, and of indication, and of wrath, and of anger; to make the land a waste, and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. Then the stars of the heavens and the constellations thereof shall not shine with their light, the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. I will visit the wickedness upon the world, and their iniquity upon the wicked. I will make a man more rare than pure gold, and the son of man than the gold of Ophir. Everyone that is found shall be thrust through, and everyone that is gathered shall fall by the sword. Their infants shall be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Their bows shall dash the young men in pieces, their eye shall not spare sons (Isa. 13:9-12, 15, 16, 18);

the subject treated of in this passage is the last time of the church, when there is no longer any faith and charity, which time is "the day of Jehovah cruel, full of indignation, of wrath, and of anger." Everyone can see that something else is here meant than that which the words nakedly declare; but what is meant cannot be known except from the significations of the words in their spiritual sense. In this sense "the land" denotes the church (n. 566, 662, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732); therefore "to make the land a waste, and to destroy the sinners out of it" signifies that the man of the church is then without faith and charity.

[3] "Stars" and "constellations" denote the knowledges of truth and good (n. 2120, 2495, 2849, 4697), and these are said "not to shine with their light," when they are no longer illuminated by the light of heaven which flows in through the faith of charity. That "the sun" denotes love to the Lord, and "the moon" faith in Him, see (n. 2120, 2441, 2494, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321, 4696, 5097, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 8644, 8812); therefore "the sun being darkened in his rising," signifies that love to the Lord cannot arise with man; and "the moon not causing her light to shine," signifies that neither can charity and faith arise, thus that man cannot any longer be regenerated.

[4] "To make a man more rare than pure gold, and the son of man than the gold of Ophir," signifies that good is no longer seen, nor truth; for by "man" is signified the good of the church (n. 4287, 8547), and by "the son of man" truth from good, in the supreme sense the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord (n. 1729, 1733, 2813, 3704). That "everyone found shall be thrust through" signifies that all will perish by reason of the evil of falsity; and that "everyone that is gathered shall fall by the sword" signifies that they will perish by reason of falsity. "To be thrust through" denotes to perish by reason of the evil of falsity, (n. 4503); "To fall by the sword" denotes to perish by reason of falsity, (n. 2799, 4499, 7102, 8294).

[5] The "infants being dashed in pieces" signifies that they will utterly extinguish innocence, for "infants" denote innocence (n. 430, 2126, 3183, 3494, 5608). The "wives being ravished" signifies that the goods of truth will be perverted by the evils of falsity, for "wives" denote the goods of truth (n. 2517, 4510, 4823, 7022), and "to be ravished" denotes to be perverted (n. 2466, 4865). That "their bows shall dash the young men in pieces" signifies that the truths of good will perish through the doctrines of falsity from evil; for a "bow" denotes the doctrine of truth, and in the opposite sense the doctrine of falsity (n. 2686, 6422, 8800); "young men" denote truths confirmed (n. 7668). "And their eye shall not spare sons" signifies that he who understands truths will nevertheless extinguish them, for "sons" denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2803, 2813, 3373, 4257, 5542); and "the eye" denotes the understanding of truth (n. 2701, 4403, 4421, 4523, 4534). From all this it is now clear what is meant by the above prophetic words, namely, that when the church arrives at its end, all truth and all good will perish. It is also evident from what has been said, that "to be thrust through," "to be dashed in pieces," in a word "to be killed," denotes the extinction of faith and charity.

[6] In Jeremiah:--

Drag them away like a sheep for the slaughter, and destine them for the day of killing. How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither? For the wickedness of them that dwell therein, the beasts shall be consumed and the bird (Jer. 12:3, 4);

"the day of killing" here denotes the time of the vastated church, which is its last time, when there is no longer faith because there is no charity; "the land shall mourn" denotes the church; "the herb of every field shall wither" denotes that every truth of the church will do so; " the beasts and the bird shall be consumed" denotes that goods and truths will be so. "The land" denotes the church, (n. 8902). "The herb of the field" denotes the truth of the church, (n. 7571); "The field" denotes the church, (n. 2971, 3310, 3766). "Beasts" denote goods and the affections of good, (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 719, 1823, 2179, 2180, 3218, 3519, 5198). "Birds" denote truths and the affections of truth, (n. 5149, 7441). From all this it can be seen what is the internal sense of these words, and also that what is spiritual and holy of the church and of heaven is in all the particulars; and that without the internal sense it would not in any wise he understood what is meant by "the day of killing," by that "the earth shall mourn," that "every herb of the field shall wither," and that "the beasts and the bird shall then be consumed."

[7] In Zechariah:--

Thus said Jehovah thy God, Feed the sheep of the killing, whose possessors kill them, and do not own themselves guilty (Zech. 11:4, 5);

where "the sheep of the killing‘ denote those who are in simple good, in whom the truths of faith are extinguished, not by their own fault, but by the fault of those who teach.

[8] In Isaiah:--

In those that are to come shall Jacob take root; Israel shall blossom and flower; so that the faces of the world shall be filled with produce. Hath he smitten him according to the stroke of him that smote? is he killed according to the slaughter of his killed? (Isa. 27:6, 7).

Behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of His place to visit the iniquity of the land; then shall the land uncover its bloods, and shall not hide its killed (Isa. 26:21).

Here also in the internal sense the subject treated of is the last time of the church, when a new church shall be resuscitated, the old perishing. "Jacob" denotes those who are in the external of the church; "Israel" those who are in the internal; "the faces of the world" denote the church in general; "the land" denotes the old church; "the killed" those in whom there is no faith because no charity.

[9] In the same:--

Thou art cast forth out of thy sepulchre like an abominable shoot, a vestment of the killed, that through with the sword. Thou shalt not be united with them in the grave, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast killed thy people (Isa. 14:19, 20);

"the killed" denote those who have been deprived of spiritual life; "thou hast killed thy people" denotes the destruction of the truths and goods of faith. Babel is here treated of, by which is signified the profanation of good (n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326), and also its vastation (n. 1327).

[10] In Jeremiah:--

I have heard the voice of the daughter of Zion, she sigheth, she spreadeth out her hands, saying, Woe is me now, for my soul is wearied because of killers. Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see I pray, and know, and seek in the avenues thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth judgment, that seeketh truth (Jer. 4:31; 5:1);

"the daughter of Zion" denotes the celestial church; "killers," those who destroy goods and truths; "a man who doeth judgment," denotes those who are in truths from good.

[11] In Ezekiel:--

Ye have profaned Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to kill the souls that should not die, and to keep the souls alive that should not live (Ezek. 13:19);

"to kill souls" here plainly denotes to take away spiritual life. As "killing" had also this signification, therefore it was one of the curses upon Mount Ebal, "to slay one’s companion in secret, and to take a gift to kill the soul innocent of blood" (Deut. 27:24, 25).

[12] Again:--

In the consummation of the age they shall deliver you into tribulation, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all the nations for My name‘s sake (Matt. 24:9).

Jesus said to His disciples, The hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think that he offereth holy worship to God; and these things will they do, because they know not the Father, nor Me (John 16:2, 3).

In these passages also by "killing" is signified to deprive of spiritual life, that is, of faith and charity; for by "the disciples" are signified all things of the truth and good of faith and charity (n. 3488, 3858, 6397). That the disciples to whom the Lord spake are not here meant, is evident from the fact that the subject treated of is the consummation of the age, when the Lord is to come in the clouds of heaven, concerning which the disciples had asked, and by which is meant the last time of the church, when the disciples would not be alive (n. 3488).

[13] In like manner in Mark:--

Brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his children; children shall rise up against parents, and shall kill them (Mark 13:12);

here also the last times are treated of, and by "killing" here also is signified to deprive of the truths and goods which are of faith and charity, thus of spiritual life.

[14] In Luke:--

I will send unto them prophets and apostles; but some of them they shall kill and persecute; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zechariah the prophet it shall be required of this generation (Luke 11:49, 51);

"prophets and apostles" denote in the spiritual sense the truths and goods of the church; "to kill" denotes to extinguish them; "the blood of Abel" denotes the extinction of charity. "Prophets" denote the truths of doctrine from the Word, (n. 2534, 7269); and "the blood of Abel" denotes the extinction of charity, (n. 374).

[15] In like manner in John:--

The blood of saints, and of prophets, and of the killed, was found in Babylon (Rev. 18:24);

where also "the blood of saints and of prophets" denotes the extinction of the good and truth of faith and charity, and "the killed" denote those who have perished as to spiritual life. "Blood" denotes violence done to charity, as well as all evil in general, (n. 374, 1005); as also, specifically, the profanation of truth, (n. 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326).

[16] As by one "killed," or "thrust through," is signified the extinction of good and truth, and as all things which were instituted in the Jewish Church were representative of the spiritual and celestial things in the Lord’s kingdom, and in the supreme sense, of the Divine things in the Lord, therefore when one was found lying in the field thrust through, the following procedure of expiation for the people was commanded, namely:--

They were to measure toward the cities from him that was lying in the field thrust through, and the elders of the nearest city were to take a she-calf of an ox, by which no labor had yet been done, and upon which there had not yet been a yoke, and were to bring her down to a rapid stream, and the priests, the sons of Levi, were to behead her there, and then the elders of the city were to wash their hands over the calf, and were to say that their hands had not shed that blood, neither had their eyes seen it, and that thus the blood would be expiated (Deut. 21:1-8).

Who would ever know why such a procedure was instituted on account of one lying in the field thrust through, unless it were known from the internal sense what is signified by "one in a field thrust through," by "the nearest city," by "a calf," by "a rapid stream," by "the washing of hands," and by the other things there mentioned? By "one in the field thrust through" is signified truth and good extinguished (n. 4503); by "field," the church (n. 2971, 3310, 3766); by "city," the doctrine of truth (n. 402, 2449, 2943, 3216, 4492, 4493); by "the elders of the city," truths agreeing with good (n. 6524, 6525, 8578, 8585); by "a calf upon which there had not yet been a yoke," truth not as yet confirmed (what "a calf" signifies, see (n. 1824, 1825); by "washing the hands over the calf at a rapid stream" is signified purification from that evil, because done from the immoderate zeal of one ignorant of what truth is.

[17] From the above, as from the other passages, it can be seen what and how great arcana are contained in the particulars of the Word, which will not appear even as arcana if it is believed that the sense of the letter is the whole of the Word; and thus it will not be believed that anything more holy and heavenly lies inwardly hidden therein; when yet the sense of the letter is for man in the world, that is, for the natural man; while the internal sense is for man in heaven, that is, for the spiritual man. Hence it is plain what is involved in the commandment "not to kill," namely, that not only is man not to be killed as to the body, but also that he is not to be killed as to the soul; thus that he is not only not to be deprived of life in the world, but especially that he is not to be deprived of life in heaven. If this commandment had not involved within it at the same time this meaning, it would not have been pronounced by Jehovah Himself, that is, the Lord, in a living voice upon Mount Sinai with so great a miracle; for all peoples and nations know without immediate revelation, and moreover their laws decree, that man is not to be killed, as also that adultery, theft, and false witness are not to be committed. Neither is it to be believed that the Israelitish nation was so stupid as alone to be ignorant of what all other nations on the globe know. But the revealed Word, being from the Divine Itself, over and above this stores up in its bosom higher and more universal things, namely, such things as are of heaven, thus which not only concern the life of the body, but which also concern the life of the soul, or eternal life. Herein the Word differs from, is separated from, and is pre-eminent over, all other writing.

AC 8903. Verse 13. Thou shalt not commit adultery, signifies that those things which are of the doctrine of faith and of charity are not to be perverted; thus that the Word is not to be applied to confirm evils and falsities; also that the laws of order are not to be upset.

AC 8904. Thou shalt not commit adultery. That this signifies that those things which are of the doctrine of faith and of charity are not to be perverted, thus that the Word is not to be applied to confirm falsities and evils, also that the laws of order are not he upset, is evident from the signification of "committing adultery," "debauching," and "whoredom," as being in the spiritual or internal sense, to pervert the goods, and falsify the truths, which are of the doctrine of faith and of charity. And as these things are signified by "committing adultery," there is also signified to apply the Word to confirm evils and falsities; for the Word is the very doctrine itself of faith and charity, and the perversion of the truth and good of the Word is its application to falsities and evils. That these things are signified by "committing adultery" and "debauching" in the spiritual sense, is known to scarcely anyone at this day, for the reason that within the church few now know what the spiritual is, and in what respect it differs from the natural. And scarcely anyone knows that there is a correspondence between the two, and indeed of such a nature that the image of the one is presented in the other, that is, the spiritual is represented in the natural, consequently that the spiritual is like a soul, and the natural is like its body; and thus that through influx and the consequent conjunction they constitute a one; as in the regenerate man do his internal man which is also called spiritual, and his external man which is also called natural.

[2] Such things being at this day unknown, it therefore cannot be known what is signified by "committing adultery," further than being unlawfully conjoined as to the body. These things, as has been said, being at this day unknown, the reason may be told why "committing adultery" in the spiritual sense signifies to pervert those things which are of the doctrine of faith and charity, thus to adulterate goods and falsify truths. The reason, which at this day is a secret one, is that conjugial love descends from the marriage of good and truth, which is called "the heavenly marriage." The love which flows in from the Lord and which exists between good and truth in heaven, is turned into conjugial love on the earth, and this by correspondence. Hence it is that the falsification of truth is "whoredom," and the perversion of good is "adulteration," in the internal sense. Hence also it is that they who are not in the good and truth of faith cannot be in genuine conjugial love; and also that those who find the delight of life in adulteries can no longer receive anything of faith. I have heard it said by the angels that as soon as anyone commits adultery on the earth and takes delight in it, heaven is closed to him, that is, he refuses any longer to receive from heaven anything of faith and charity. That at this day in the kingdoms where the church is, adulteries are made light of by very many persons, is because the church is at its end, and thus there is no longer any faith, because there is no charity; for the one corresponds to the other. Where there is no faith, falsity is in the place of truth, and evil is in the place of good, and from this there flows the result that adulteries are no longer accounted as criminal; for when heaven is closed with a man, such things flow in from hell. See what has been said and shown before on this subject, (n. 2727-2759, 4434, 4835, 4837).

[3] That "to debauch," and " to commit adultery," in the internal or spiritual sense denote to falsify and to pervert the truths and goods of faith and charity, consequently also to confirm falsity and evil by wrong applications from the Word, can be seen from the several passages in the Word where mention is made of "committing adultery," of "debauching," and of "committing whoredom;" as will plainly appear from the following passages; as in Ezekiel:--

Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations. Thou didst commit whoredom because of thy name, and didst pour out thy whoredoms on everyone that passed by. Thou didst take of thy garments, and didst make for thee high places of various colors, and didst commit whoredom upon them. Thou didst take the vessels of thine adornment of My gold and of My silver, which I had given thee, and madest for thee images of a male; thou didst commit whoredom with them. Thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto Me, and these hast thou sacrificed. Was there little of thy whoredoms? Thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, thy neighbors, great of flesh; and hast multiplied thy whoredom to provoke Me. And thou hast committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, when thou wast insatiable; yea, thou hast committed whoredom with them, and yet thou wast not sated. And thou hast multiplied thy whoredom, even unto the land of traffic, unto Chaldea; and yet in this thou wast not sated. A woman, an adulteress under her man, taketh strangers. They give hire to all harlots; but thou hast given hirings to all thy lovers, and hast recompensed them, that they may come unto thee from every side for thy whoredoms. Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of Jehovah. I will judge thee with the judgments of adulteresses, and of the shedders of blood (Ezek. 16:2-38);

[4] who cannot see that by "whoredoms" here are signified falsifications of truth and adulterations of good? And who can understand a syllable of the passage unless he knows that "whoredom" has such a signification; also unless he knows what is meant by "the sons of Egypt," by "the sons of Asshur," and by "Chaldea," with whom Jerusalem is said to have "committed whoredom?" That she did not do this with those peoples themselves is manifest. It must therefore be told what these things signify in the internal sense. By "Jerusalem" is meant the church perverted; her "garments" here denote truths which are perverted; consequently the falsities which are acknowledged are "the high places of various colors;" "the sons of Egypt" denote memory-knowledges; "the sons of Asshur," reasonings; "Chaldea," the profanation of truth (that "garments" denote truths, (n. 1073, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 5319, 5954, 6914, 6918); that "high places" denote worship, and "the high places of various colors," here, the worship of falsity, (n. 796); "vessels of adornment of gold and of silver" denote the knowledges of good and truth (that "vessels" denote knowledges, (n. 3068, 3079); that "gold" denotes good, (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917); and "silver," the truth of good, (n. 1551, 2048, 2954, 5658); "images of a male" signify appearances and likenesses of truth (n. 2046); "the sons and daughters whom they bare" denote the truths and goods which they have perverted. (That "sons" denote truths, (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373); and that "daughters" denote goods, (n. 489, 2362, 3024); that "the sons of Egypt" denote the memory-knowledges through which is perversion, (n. 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, 2588, 4749, 4964, 4966, 5700, 5702, 6004, 6015, 6125, 6651, 6679, 6683, 6692, 6750, 7296, 7779, 7926); that "Asshur" denotes the reasoning through which by means of memory-knowledges the truths of faith are perverted, and the goods thereof adulterated, (n. 119, 1186); and that "multiplying whoredom even unto the land of Chaldea" denotes even to the profanation of truth; also that "Chaldea" denotes the profanation of truth, (n. 1368); from this it is plain why she is called "a woman an adulteress," and also "a harlot."

[5] In like manner we read of Babylon in the Apocalypse:--

There came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials, and spake with me, saying to me, Come, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed whoredom, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunken with the wine of her whoredom. It was Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth (Rev. 17:1, 2, 5; 14:8; 18:3).

That "Babylon" denotes those who pervert the truths and goods of the church for the sake of self-dominion and of self-gain, and this even to profanation, is evident from the signification of "Babel" (n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304, 1306-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326, 1327). Hence it is that Babylon is called "a harlot" and "the mother of harlots." They who know nothing of the internal sense will believe that the kings of the earth who committed whoredom with her signified kings upon the earth, or kingdoms. Yet they do not signify kings, or kingdoms, but the truths of faith of the church, to "commit whoredom" with which denotes to pervert them. That "kings" denote the truths of faith, (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148); and that "the earth" denotes the church, (n. 566, 662, 1067, 1262, 1413, 1607, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 2928, 3355, 4447, 4535, 5577, 8011, 8732). "The inhabitants of the earth made drunk with the wine of whoredom" denotes that they who were within the church were brought into errors and ravings through the falsities of evil; for to be "made drunken" denotes to be led into errors through false reasonings and wrong interpretations of the Word (n. 1072). "Wine" denotes falsity from evil (n. 6377); consequently "the wine of whoredom" denotes falsity from the perversion of truth. That "earth" denotes the church has just been shown; she is said to "sit upon many waters," because upon falsities, for in the genuine sense "waters" denote truths, and in the opposite sense, falsities (n. 729, 790, 8137, 8138, 8568).

[6] That "to commit adultery and whoredom" denotes to pervert the goods and the truths of the church, is plainly evident also from another passage in Ezekiel:--

Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredom in Egypt; they committed whoredom in their youth. Ohola is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem. Oholah committed whoredom under Me; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors, clothed in blue, governors and leaders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her whoredoms upon them, the choice of all the sons of Asshur. Yet she forsook not her whoredoms from Egypt; for they lay with her in her youth. Oholibah was more corrupt in her love than she, and in her whoredoms above the whoredoms of her sister. She doted on the sons of Asshur. She added to her whoredoms, when she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, and she loved them at the look of her eyes. The sons of Babel also came to her unto the copulation of loves; they defiled her with their whoredom. Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, while she remembered the days of her youth, wherein she had committed whoredom in the land of Egypt. She doted on them more than their courtezans (Ezek. 23:2-20).

In this passage also no one can fail to see that by "whoredoms" are meant spiritual whoredoms, that is, perversions of the good, and falsifications of the truth, which are of the church; also that the things here contained in the internal sense are not manifest unless it is known what is signified by "the sons of Egypt," by "the Assyrians" or "the sons of Asshur," by "Chaldea," and by "Babel;" for it is clear that these nations are not meant, but such things as are of falsity; because the inhabitants of Samaria and Jerusalem did not commit whoredom with them. But what is signified by "Egypt," "Asshur," "Chaldea," and "Babylon" can be seen shown just above.

[7] From the following passages also it is evident that "whoredoms" and "adulteries" in the internal sense denote falsifications and perversions of good and truth, thus adulterations of these; as in Hosea:--

Strive ye with your mother, strive ye, because she is not My wife, and I am not her husband; that she may remove her whoredoms from her faces, and her adulteries from between her breasts. I will not have mercy on her sons; because they are sons of whoredoms. For their mother hath committed whoredom, saying, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drinks. But I will lay waste her vine and her fig-tree, whereof she hath said, These are my harlot-hire that my lovers have given me (Hosea 2:2, 4, 5, 12);

by "mother" in the internal sense is here meant the church (n. 289, 2691, 2717, 4257, 5581, 8897); in like manner by "wife" (n. 252, 253, 409, 749, 770), who is said "not to be a wife," because in truths perverted, that is, in falsities; by "sons" are meant the truths of the church, here falsities, because they are called "sons of whoredoms" (n. 489, 491, 533, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257). What is meant by "bread," what by "water," what by "wool and flax," also by "oil and drink," and likewise by "vine and fig-tree," has been shown in their places; namely, that they are the goods of love and of charity, also the goods and truths of faith interior and exterior; but in the opposite sense evils and falsities; for goods become evils, and truths become falsities, when they are perverted. What is meant by "bread," (n. 276, 680, 2165, 2177, 3464, 3478, 3735, 3813, 4217, 4735, 4976, 5915, 6118, 6409); also what by "waters," (n. 739, 790, 8137, 8138, 8568); what by "flax," (n. 7601); and what by "oil," (n. 886, 3728, 4582); what by "drink," (n. 3069, 3168, 3772, 8562); what by "vine," (n. 1069, 5113, 6376); and what by "fig-tree," (n. 4231, 5113). "Harlot-hire" denotes the falsity of doctrine which they vaunt as truth.

[8] In the same:--

My people asketh wood, and their staff answereth to it, because the spirit of whoredom hath led them astray, and they have committed whoredom from under their god. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, therefore your daughters commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. If thou, Israel, committest whoredom, let not Judah become guilty. Shall I not visit upon your daughters, because they commit whoredom, and upon your daughters-in-law, because they commit adultery? for they divide with whores, and they sacrifice with prostitutes (Hosea 4:12-15);

"to commit whoredom from under their god" denotes to pervert truth, for by "god" in the internal sense is signified truth, and in the opposite sense, falsity (n. 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822, 4295, 4402, 4544, 7010, 7268, 7873, 8301, 8867); "mountains and hills" denotes loves, here the loves of self and of the world (n. 795, 796, 1691, 2722, 6435); "the wood of which counsel is asked" denotes the good of the delight of some cupidity (n. 643); "the staff which answereth" denotes imaginary power from one‘s own intellectual (n. 4013, 4015, 4876, 4936, 7011, 7026). As "gods" in the genuine sense signify truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, therefore falsifying truths and adulterating goods is signified by, They have gone a whoring after strange gods, as after Baal, after Molech, after idols (Ezek. 6:9; Lev. 20:5).

[9] From all this it can now be seen what is meant by "adulteries" and "whoredoms" in the following passages:--

Come hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer, and she hath committed whoredom; against whom do ye delight yourselves? against whom make ye wide the mouth, and thrust out the tongue? are ye not born of transgression, a seed of a lie, who have been hated among gods under every green tree? (Isa. 57:3-5).

It shall come to pass at the end of seventy years, Jehovah will visit Tyre, that it may return to its harlot-hire, and commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth upon the faces of the world (Isa. 23:17).

And a man put away his wife, and she went from him, and was another man’s; she committed whoredom with many companions. Thou hast profaned the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Hast thou seen what backsliding Israel hath done? She goeth away upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and thou committest whoredom there. Moreover her treacherous sister Judah went away, and she also committed whoredom, insomuch that she hath profaned the land by the voice of her whoredom; she hath committed debauchery with stone and with wood (Jer. 3:1, 2, 6, 8, 9).

This is thy lot, because thou hast forgotten Me, and trusted in a lie; thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the wickedness of thy whoredom, on the hills in the field I have seen thine abominations. Woe to thee, O Jerusalem (Jer. 13:25, 27).

Against the prophets. The land is full of adulterers; for because of the curse the land mourneth; the pastures of the wilderness have dried up, because both prophet and priest practice hypocrisy. In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible stubbornness, in committing adultery and walking in a lie; they have strengthened the hands of the evil; they speak a vision of their heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah (Jer. 23:9-11, 14, 16).

They have wrought folly in Israel, and have committed debauchery with the wives of their companions, and have spoken a word in My name falsely, which I commanded them not (Jer. 29:23).

[10] From these passages it is very manifest that "to commit adultery," and "to debauch," denote to explain and pervert the truths of the Word from one‘s own heart, that is, from one’s own, in such a manner as the loves of self and of the world persuade one to do; consequently it is to speak lies, that is, falsities, as is openly said. Again:--

Be not glad, O Israel, because thou hast committed whoredom from under thy God, thou hast loved harlot-hire upon all the cornfloors (Hos. 9:1).

Jehovah spake unto Hosea, Go, take unto thee a woman of whoredoms and children of whoredoms; because in whoring the land doth commit whoredom from behind Jehovah (Hos. 1:2).

Woe to the city of bloods! Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of sorceries, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her sorceries (Nahum 3:1, 4).

Your sons shall be feeders in the wilderness forty years, and they shall bear your whoredoms forty years; according to the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, for every day a year, shall ye bear your iniquities (Num. 14:33, 34).

[11] Inasmuch as falsifications of truth and adulterations of good corresponded to whoredoms on the earth, therefore the penalty of death was for adulterers (Lev. 20:10); and the daughter of a man who was a priest, if she profaned herself by committing whoredom, was to be burnt with fire (Lev. 21:9); also no daughter in Israel was to be exposed to whoredom (Lev. 19:19). In like manner a bastard was not to come into the congregation of Jehovah, not even his tenth generation (Deut. 23:2); and the hire of a harlot was not to be brought into the house of Jehovah, because it is an abomination (Deut. 23:18).

[12] From these passages it can now be fully seen what is signified by "committing adultery," namely, that in the external sense it is to commit adulteries; in the internal representative sense it is to worship idols and other gods by means of such things as are of the church, consequently idolatry external and internal; but in the internal spiritual sense are signified adulterations of good and perversions of truth. From all this it is plainly evident whence it is that adulteries are in themselves so wicked, and are called "abominations," namely, from the fact that they correspond to the marriage of falsity and evil, which is the infernal marriage; and on the other hand, why genuine marriages are holy, namely, from the fact that they correspond to the marriage of good and truth, which is the heavenly marriage. Nay, genuine conjugial love descends from the marriage of good and truth, thus out of heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; whereas the love of adultery is from the marriage of falsity and evil, thus from hell, that is, from the devil.

AC 8905. Verse 13. Thou shalt not steal, signifies that no one‘s spiritual goods must be taken away from him, and that those things which belong to the Lord are not to be attributed to self.

AC 8906. Thou shalt not steal. That this signifies that no one’s spiritual goods must be taken away from him, and that those things which belong to the Lord are not to be attributed to self, is evident from the signification of "stealing," as being to take away spiritual goods from anyone. That this is signified by "stealing," is because riches and wealth in the spiritual sense are the knowledges of good and truth, in general all those things which are of faith and charity, that is, which are of spiritual life in man. Wherefore to take these things away from anyone is "to steal" in the spiritual sense. And because all spiritual goods, that is, all things of faith and charity, are from the Lord alone, and absolutely nothing from man, therefore by "stealing" is also signified to attribute to one‘s self what belongs to the Lord. They who do this are also called "thieves and robbers" in John:--

Verily I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber; but he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not but that he may steal, and slay, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and may have abundance (John 10:1, 2, 9, 10);

"to enter by the door into the sheepfold" denotes to enter by the Lord, for the Lord is the "door," as He Himself says; "the sheep" are they who are in charity and thence in faith. These enter by the Lord when they acknowledge that from Him is everything of faith and charity, for then these flow in from Him. But to attribute them to others, especially to themselves, is to take them away, thus "to slay and to destroy." They who attribute to themselves what is the Lord’s, also place merit in works, and make themselves righteousness (n. 1110, 1877, 2027, 2273, 2340, 2373, 2400, 3816, 4007, 4174, 4943, 6388-6390, 6392, 6393, 6478). This then is "stealing" in the spiritual sense, and this comes to the angels in heaven when man reads in the Word about "stealing," for the angels understand the Word only spiritually.

[2] The like is signified by "stealing" in Hosea:--

When I healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was revealed, and the evils of Samaria; because they wrought a lie; and the thief cometh, the troop spreadeth itself abroad; now do their works encompass them before my faces; they make the king glad by their wickedness, and the princes by their lies (Hosea 7:1-3).

And in Joel:--

The day of Jehovah cometh. A fire devoureth before it, and after it a flame burneth; the land is as the garden of Eden before it, but after it a waste wilderness. The appearance thereof is as the appearance of horse; and as horsemen, so do they run, as the sound of chariots on the tops of the mountains; they run to and fro in the city, they run on the wall, they climb up into the houses, they enter in through the windows like a thief. The earth quaked before Him, the heavens trembled, the sun and the moon were made black, and the stars withdrew their shining (Joel 2:1-10);

the subject here treated of is the desolation of the church, when falsities break in and destroy truths; these falsities are the "thieves who climb up into houses and enter in through the windows." Who can help wondering why it is said that "the day of Jehovah will be as the appearance of horses," and that then "they shall run like horsemen, they shall run to and fro in the city, they shall run on the wall, shall climb up into the houses, shall enter in through the windows, the earth shall quake, the heavens shall tremble, the sun and the moon shall be made black, and the stars shall withdraw their shining?" He who knows nothing of the internal sense, and who in his heart calls the holiness of the Word into doubt, will say that these are mere words devoid of anything Divine stored up within them, and perhaps will call them worthless sayings. But he who believes that the Word is most holy, because it is Divine, and who moreover knows that there is an internal sense which treats of the church, of heaven, and of the Lord Himself, will confess that every word herein has its own weighty import. It shall therefore be briefly unfolded what the words and sayings in this passage signify.

[3] "The day of Jehovah" denotes the last state, or last time, of the church, when there is no longer any truth, but falsity in the place of truth; "the fire which devours before it" denotes the desire of evil; "the flame which burns after it‘ denotes the consequent desire of falsity; "the appearance of horses" denotes the intellectual reasoning from falsity as if from truth; "the horsemen who run" denote reasoners; "the chariots" denote doctrinal things of falsity; "a city" denotes the doctrine itself; "the wall upon which they run" denotes essential falsity; "the houses into which they climb" denotes the will of man; "the windows through which they enter in" denote intellectual things; "the thief" denotes the falsity which takes away truth; "the earth which will quake before Him" denotes the church, so also do the heavens which will tremble;" "the sun" denotes love to the Lord; the moon," faith in Him, these are said to be "made black" when they no longer appear; "the stars" denote the knowledges of good and truth which will no longer have light from faith and love, thus from heaven, and this is meant by "withdrawing their shining." From all this it can be seen what these words involve in general, and also in what sense "that day," or the last state of the church, is called "a thief who will climb up into the houses, and enter in through the windows," namely, that it is falsity, which will then take possession of the whole man, both of his will and of his understanding, and thus will take away all truth and good. The like is signified by a "thief" in Obadiah:--

The Lord Jehovah said to Edom, If thieves came to thee, if destroyers by night (how art thou cut off!), will they not steal till they have enough? (Obadiah 1:1, 5).

In like manner by a "thief," or "one who steals," in (Zech. 5:1-4; Ps. 50:18-20; Matt. 6:19, 20).

[4] As all the statutes commanded the sons of Israel by the Lord were founded on the laws of order which are in heaven, that is, derived their existence and essence from the spiritual world, so for the same reason were the statutes which were enacted concerning theft; as that he who stole an ox and sold it should restore five, if a sheep four (Exod. 22:1); also that if a thief he smitten in breaking in, there shall be no blood; but if the sun be risen, there shall be blood; the thief shall repay or shall be sold; if the theft be found in his hand, he shall restore double (Exod. 22:2-4).

He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, but if he be found in his hand, dying he shall die (Exod. 21:16).

If a man be found who hath stolen a soul of his brethren, of the sons of Israel, and hath made gain in him, while he sold him, that thief shall be killed; that thou mayest put away the evil from the midst of thee (Deut. 24:7);

in the internal sense "the men of the sons of Israel" denote those who are in the truths and goods of faith, thus in the abstract sense they denote the truths and goods of faith (n. 5414, 5879, 5951); and therefore "to steal a man of the sons of Israel" denotes to take these away, and "to sell him" denotes to cast them off, and also to make them serve. For the truths and goods of faith, being from the Lord, are in a free state, and serve the Lord alone; but when they are cast off, they then come into a servile state, for they serve any evil of the love of self or of the love of the world, thus any bodily cupidity; whence come the derivation and correspondence of the above law. And as then from being free the truth and good of the church become servile, thus from being alive become dead, therefore the penalty which is the effect, is "death."

AC 8907. Verse 13. Thou shalt not answer against thy neighbor the witness of a lie, signifies that good is not to be called evil, nor truth falsity; thus conversely, neither is evil to be called good, nor falsity truth.

AC 8908. Thou shalt not answer against thy neighbor the witness of a lie. That this signifies that good is not to be called evil, nor truth falsity; thus conversely, neither is evil to be called good, nor falsity truth, is evident from the signification of "the witness of a lie," as being the confirmation of falsity. That "witness" denotes confirmation, (n. 4197); and that "a lie" denotes the falsity of faith will be plain from what follows. "To answer against a neighbor" denotes to speak in such manner against anyone; for by "neighbor" is signified every man, and specifically everyone who is in good, and in the abstract sense, good itself (n. 3419, 5025, 6704, 6706-6711, 6818, 8123). Consequently "thou shalt not answer against thy neighbor the witness of a lie," in the internal sense denotes not to say to anyone what is false, that is, to say that what is good is evil, and what is true is false, or the converse.

[2] How the case herein is shall be briefly explained. All with whom there reigns the love of self or the love of the world, that is, who have as their end eminence, or honors, or wealth, or gain, do not hesitate to say and persuade others that what is just is unjust, and that what is unjust is just, and thus to act the part of witnesses of a lie. The reason why they are of such a character is that their will is wholly subject to these loves and their cupidities, and is wholly occupied and possessed by them; and then the understanding, which is the other part of the mind, is indeed able to see what is just and what is unjust; but is not willing to see, because the will prevails over the understanding, and by means of influx persuades it, and at last also blinds it. These same persons neither have conscience, nor do they know that it belongs to conscience to call that just which is just, for no other reason than because it is just, that is, from the love of what is just. They who are of this character in the world are also of the same character in the other life, but with the difference that they do not then call what is just unjust, but the good which is of faith they call evil, and truth they call falsity; for what is just in the civil world corresponds to what is good and true in the spiritual world. And they do this without conscience and also without shame, because they have been inured and habituated to it in the life of the body.

[3] Frequent mention is made in the Word of "a lie," and by this in the internal sense is everywhere signified the falsity and evil of faith, and by "the witness of a lie," which is also called "the witness of violence," is signified the confirmation of falsity, whether it he before a judge, or before anyone else, or before one’s self within the thought by self-persuasion (Exod. 23:1-9; Lev. 19:11, 12; Deut. 19:16-20). That in the spiritual sense "a lie" denotes the evil and falsity of faith, is evident from the following passages. In John:--

Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, be speaketh from his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:44);

"a lie" here denotes the falsity of faith; for the subject treated of is the Jews, that they were not willing to acknowledge the Lord. In the spiritual sense "the devil" here denotes falsity, and "the father of it" denotes evil; for falsity is from evil as a son is from his father. The falsity which is of the devil is the falsity of faith, and the evil is the evil of the love of self and the love of the world.

[4] In Isaiah:--

Moab is exceeding haughty, his pride, and his haughtiness, and his anger, his lies are not firm (Isa. 16:6);

"lies" denote the falsities of faith, because "Moab" denotes those who are in the evil of the love of self, and therefore falsify truths (n. 2468, 8315). Again:--

We have made a covenant with death, and with hell have we made a vision; we have made a lie our trust, and have lurked in falsehood (Isa. 28:15).

This is a rebellions people, lying sons, sons that are not willing to hear the law of Jehovah (Isa. 30:9).

They mock every man his companion, and speak not the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak a lie (Jer. 9:5).

I am against them that prophesy dreams of a lie, and tell them, that they may seduce My people by their lies (Jer. 23:32).

0 sword against the liars, that they may be foolish (Jer. 50:36).

They have seen vanity and divination of a lie, saying, Jehovah hath said, when Jehovah hath not sent them. Therefore thus said the Lord Jehovah, Because ye speak vanity, and see a lie, therefore behold I am against you (Ezek. 13:6-9).

Woe to the city of bloods! it is all full of lying and rapine (Nahum 3:1).

The remains of Israel do no perversity, nor will they speak a lie, neither shall a tongue of fraud be found in their mouth; they shall feed and be at rest (Zeph. 3:13).

Without are dogs, and enchanters, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and everyone that loveth and maketh a lie (Rev. 22:15).

In these as in many other passages "a lie" denotes the falsity and evil of faith.

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