Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 20:2-7
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AC 8863. Verses 2-7. I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants. Thou shalt have no other gods before My faces. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or that which is in the earth beneath, or that which is in the waters under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I Jehovah thy God am a zealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the thirds and upon the fourths of them that hate Me; and doing mercy to thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. "I am Jehovah thy God," signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human universally reigning in each and all things of good and truth; "who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants," signifies liberation by Him from hell; "Thou shalt have no other gods before My faces," signifies that truths must not be thought of from any other source than the Lord; "Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image," signifies not from self-intelligence; "nor any likeness," signifies a semblance of those things which are from the Divine; "of that which is in the heavens above, or that which is in the earth beneath," signifies of those things which are in spiritual light, or of those which are in natural light; "or that which is in the waters under the earth," signifies of those which are in the sensuous corporeal; "thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them," signifies no Divine worship is to be paid them; "for I Jehovah thy God," signifies the Divine from the Lord in each and all things; "am a zealous God," signifies that falsity and evil are therefrom; "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon tile sons," signifies the consequent prolification of falsity derived from evil; "upon the thirds and upon the fourths," signifies in a long series, and the conjunction of them; "of them that hate Me," signifies who absolutely reject the Divine of the Lord; "and doing mercy unto thousands," signifies good and truth unto them forever; "of them that love Me," signifies who receive the good of love; "and keep My commandments," signifies who receive the truths of faith; "Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain," signifies profanings and blasphemings of the truth and good of faith; "for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain," signifies that these things cannot be forgiven.

AC 8864. I am Jehovah thy God. That this signifies the Lord as to the Divine Human universally reigning in each and all things of good and truth, is evident from the fact that in the Word no other than the Lord is meant by "Jehovah" (n. 1343, 1736, 2921, 3023, 3035, 3445, 5663, 6280, 6281, 6303, 8274), in like manner by "Jehovah Zebaoth," by "the Lord Jehovih," by "Jehovah God" (n. 2921, 3023, 3445, 6303); and that the Lord is called "Jehovah" from the Divine good, which is the Divine Being, but "God" from the Divine truth, which is the Divine Coming-forth (n. 6905, 709, 732, 1096, 2586, 2769, 2507, 2822, 3921, 4402). That it is the Divine Human of the Lord which is here meant by "Jehovah God," is because the Lord as to this is meant in the Word both by "Jehovah" and by "God"-the Divine good, which He is even as to the Human, by "Jehovah;" and the Divine truth, which He is because it proceeds from Him, by "God."

[2] That the Divine Human of the Lord is meant by "Jehovah God," is because the Divine Itself which is in the Lord cannot be seen in heaven, and not even perceived, thus cannot be received in faith and love, but the Divine Human only. That the Divine Itself cannot be communicated to the angels in heaven, and still less to men on earth, except through the Divine Human, is known in the churches from the words of the Lord in the Evangelists, where He says that He is the "door," that He is the mediator," that "no one can come to the Father but through Him," that "Do one knoweth the Father but He," and that "no one hath seen the Father," not even any "shape" of Him. From this it is plain that it is the Lord who is here meant by "Jehovah God." That it is He also who redeemed the human race and liberated it from hell is likewise known. This is signified by the words which follow: "who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants." From all this it is now plain that Jehovah God who spake from Mount Sinai denotes the Lord as to the Divine Human.

[3] That this is the first thing which is said by the Lord from Mount Sinai, is because this ought to reign universally in each and all things that follow; for what is said first must be kept in the memory in the things that follow, and must be regarded as the universal thing that is in them. What is meant by "universally reigning" shall be seen in what fools. The things said by the Lord are all of this nature, namely, that the things said first are to reign in the things which follow, and are to involve them, and so successively the things that follow in the series. The things which follow in this chapter are the commandments of the decalogue, which are internal truths, and then the statutes, which are external truths. In both of these the Lord must reign as to the Divine Human, for they are from Him, and are Himself, because all truths that are truths proceed from Him, and the things which proceed from Him are Himself. That the Lord as to the Divine Human must reign in each and all things of faith, is also known in the churches, for it is there taught that without the Lord there is no salvation, and that all the truth and good of faith are from Him. Thus as He is the source of faith, He is the faith with man, and if the faith, He is also every truth that is contained in the doctrine of faith, which is from the Word. From this also it is that the Lord is called "the Word."

[4] That the things which precede must reign in the things which follow, and thus in the series, as said above, is evident from everything which the Lord spake, especially from His prayer, which is called "the LordĎs Prayer." In this prayer all things follow on in such a series that they constitute as it were a column that grows larger from top to bottom, in the interiors of which are the things which precede in the series. What is first therein is inmost, and what succeeds in order adds itself to the inmost successively and thus grows. That which is inmost reigns universally in those things which are round about; that is, in each and all things for from this is that which is essential to the existence of all things.

AC 8865. What is meant by "universally reigning" can be seen from what has been said and shown above (n. 8853-8858), namely, that that is universally regnant with man which is in each and all things of his thought, and in each and all things of his will, consequently which constitutes his very mind, or life. Such a regnant must the Lord be with man, for such a regnant is the Lord with the angels in heaven, of whom therefore it is said that they are "in the Lord." The Lord becomes regnant when it is not only believed that all good and all truth are from Him, but also when it is loved to be so. The angels are not only in the faith, but also in the perception, that it is so. Hence it is that their life is the Lordís life in them; the life of their will is the life of love from the Lord, and the life of their understanding is the life of faith from the Lord. From all this it is evident how it is that the Lord is the all in all of heaven, and that He Himself is heaven. When the Lord universally reigns with a man of the church, as with the angels of heaven, then the Lord is in all the truths and goods of faith with him, as the heart is in all the blood-vessels, because these derive from it their origin, and the blood which is their life.

[2] Be it further known that such spirits and such angels are with a man as is his universal regnant. The reason is that that which reigns universally is the being of the life of everyone (n. 8853-8858). All the cheerfulness and all the content a man has, even when he is thinking about other things, are therefrom; for therein the angels and spirits who are with him dwell and as it were have their abode, and their gladness flows into the man, and causes his cheerfulness and content. That such is its source does not come to the perception of the man, because he does not know that his life flows in, nor that the universal regnant makes his life, nor that when this regnant of his life is touched, it is as if the pupil of the eye is touched; with delight when by beautiful objects; and with pain when by ugly ones. It is called universal from the fact that it is the whole singular in the complex, and thus the universal regnant is that which is in each and all things (n. 1919, 5949, 6159, 6338, 6482, 6483, 6571, 7648, 8067).

AC 8866. Who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servants. That this signifies liberation by Him from hell, is evident from the signification of "bringing forth," as being liberation; from the signification of "the land of Egypt," as being infestations by the infernals (n. 7240, 7278); and from the signification of "the house of servants," as being spiritual captivity (n. 8049). That "the house of servants" denotes spiritual captivity and also hell, is because it is servitude to be held captive and to be led by those who are in hell, and it is freedom to be led by the Lord (n. 892, 905, 2870-2875, 2582, 2884, 2892, 2893, 6205, 8209). They who are of the spiritual church and are represented by the sons of Israel were liberated from hell by the Lord, by His coming into the world and making the Human in Himself Divine, (n. 6854, 6914, 7035, 7828, 7932, 8018, 8321).

AC 8867. Thou shalt have no other gods before My faces. That this signifies that truths must not be thought of from any other source than the Lord, is evident from the signification of "gods," as being truths, and in the opposite sense as being falsities (n. 4402, 4544, 7268, 7873, 8301); and from the signification of "faces," when predicated of God, as being love, mercy, peace, good (n. 222, 223, 2434, 5585), thus the Lord Himself, for it is the Lord from whom these are. That "no other gods before My faces" signifies that truths must not be thought of from any other source than the Lord, is also because the Divine Human of the Lord, which is signified by "I am Jehovah thy God," is first spoken of, and consequently holds the first place in order, and must universally reign in each of the truths that follow (n. 8864, 8865); and therefore there are now perceived such things as must be avoided, because they would destroy and prevent the universal reign of the Lord in all and each of the truths contained in the commandments and statutes that were dictated and commanded from Mount Sinai. The first thing which would destroy is the thinking of truths from some other source than the Lord, which is signified by the command to have no other gods before the LordĎs faces. The rest of the things that would destroy this universal regnant are contained in the things which follow in order, namely, that they should not make to themselves a graven image, nor the likeness of anything that is in the heavens, in the earth, or in the waters, and that they should not bow down themselves to them nor serve them. After this therefore it again follows "for I am Jehovah thy God," by which is signified that the Lord must be in each and all things.

AC 8868. It must also be briefly told what is meant by truths which are from some other source than the Lord. They are in general those truths in which the Lord is not. The Lord is not in the truths with a man when the man denies Him and His Divine, and also when he acknowledges Him and still believes that good and truth are not from Him, but from himself, and who consequently claims righteousness for himself. Truths also in which the Lord is not are those which are taken from the Word, especially from the sense of its letter, and are explained in favor of self-rule and self-gain. In themselves these are truths, because they are from the Word; but in this case they are not truths, because they are wrongly explained and thus perverted. They are such as are meant by the Lord by these words in Matthew:--

If anyone shall say, Lo, here is the Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall give great signs and wonders; so as to lead into error, if possible, even the elect (Matt. 24:23-26);

(n. 3900). And in Luke:--

See that ye be not led astray; for many shall come in My name, saying, I am; and, The time is at hand; go ye not therefore after them (Luke 21:8).

[2] The truths which are from the Lord are always truths from the Lord in the internal form; and the truths which are not from the Lord appear as truths in the external form only, but not in the internal form; for within they are either empty, or false, or evil. In order for truth to be truth there must be life in it; for truth without life is not the truth of faith with man; and life is from no other source than good, that is, through good from the Lord. If therefore the Lord is not in truth, it is truth without life, thus is not truth; but if falsity is in it, or evil, the truth itself in man is falsity or evil; for that which is within makes the essence, and also in the other life shines through the outside. From all this it can now be seen how it is to be understood that truths must not be thought of from any other source than the Lord.

[3] As few know how the case is with truths which in the internal form are truths, thus which live from the Lord, something shall be said about these from experience. In the other life it is openly perceived from everyone who speaks there what lies hidden within the words of his speech, as whether it is closed within, or whether it is open, also what kind of affection there is therein. If the affection of good is within, it is inwardly soft; if the affection of evil, it is inwardly hard; and so on. With the angels of heaven all things of their speech are open even to the Lord, and this is both clearly perceived and also heard from the softness and the quality of this. From this also it is known what lies hidden within truths, whether the Lord or not. Truths in which the Lord is are truths which are alive, but truths in which the Lord is not are truths which are not alive. Those which are alive are truths of faith from love to the Lord and from charity toward the neighbor. Those which are not alive are not truths, because within them there are the love of self and the love of the world. In the other life spirits and angels can be discriminated by this, for everyone has truths according to his life, that is, according to that which universally reigns with him.

AC 8869. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image. That this signifies not from self-intelligence, is evident from the signification of "a graven image," as being that which is not from the Lord, but from what is manís own. That which is manĎs own of his intellect is signified by "a graven image," and that which is manís own of his will is signified by "a molten image." To have either the one or the other for a god, or to adore it, is to love above all things all that which proceeds from self. They who do this entirely disbelieve that anything of intelligence and wisdom flows in from the Divine, for they attribute all things to themselves; everything else that happens to them they ascribe either to fortune or to chance. They totally deny the Divine Providence in such things. They suppose that if there is anything of Deity present, it is in the order of nature, to which they ascribe all things. They do indeed say with their lips that some Creator God has impressed such things upon nature; but still in their heart they deny any God above nature. much are they who from the heart attribute everything to themselves and to their own sagacity and intelligence, and nothing to the Divine; and those of them who love themselves, adore what belongs to themselves and also desire to be worshiped by others, even as gods, and would do so openly if the church did not forbid. These are the formers of graven images, and the graven images themselves are what they hatch from their own, and wish to be adored as things divine.

[2] That these things are signified in the Word by "graven images," is evident from the passages where they are mentioned, as in Jeremiah:--

Every man is become a fool from knowledge; every founder is put to shame by his graven image; for his molten image is a lie, and there is no breath in them (Jer. 10:14; 51:17);

as by "a graven image" is signified that which does not proceed from the Lord, but from self-intelligence, therefore it is said, "Every man is become a fool from knowledge, and every founder is put to shame by his graven image;" and as in those things which are hatched from self-intelligence there is nothing of spiritual life, which is solely from the Lord, therefore it is also said, "and there is no breath in them."

[3] In Habakkuk:--

What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it, the molten image, and the teacher of a lie, because the maker of his invention trusteth upon this, when he maketh dumb gods? there is no breath in the midst of it (Habakkuk 2:18, 19);

here the "graven image" denotes those things which are hatched from self-intelligence, wherein there is nothing of life from the Lord.

[4] In Jeremiah:--

A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up; for it is a land of graven images, and they glory in horrors; therefore the ziim dwell with the iim, and the daughters of the owl dwell therein (Jer. 50:38, 39);

speaking of Chaldea and Babel; "a drought upon the waters, and they shall be dried up," denotes truths wherein there is nothing of life; "the ziim, and the iim, and the daughters of the owl, dwell therein," denotes evils and falsities, thus those things which are of death within; from this it is that they are called "a land of graven images."

[5] In Isaiah:--

They that fashion a graven image are all of them vanity; and their most desirable things shall not profit; and they are witnesses to themselves, they see not nor know (Isaiah 44:9-11);

"they that fashion a graven image," denotes those who hatch out doctrines which are not grounded in truths from the Word, but in self-intelligence, of which doctrines it is said that "their most desirable things do not profit," and that "they see not nor know." In what follows (Isaiah 44:12-16) there is treated of the art of inventing and of hatching by reasonings from self-intelligence, things which they desire should be acknowledged as Divine, of which things it is thus finally said:--

The residue thereof he maketh into a god, his graven image, he adoreth it, he boweth himself down, and yet they know not, neither do they understand; and their eyes do not see, that their hearts may not understand (Isaiah 44:17, 18);

that "they know not, and understand not, and see not" denotes that truths and goods are not within, for all things which go forth from self-intelligence are not inwardly truths and goods, but falsities and evils, because they proceed from oneĎs own, and that this at its root is evil, (n. 210, 215, 694, 874-876, 987, 1023, 1044, 1047, 1581, 3812, 4328, 5660, 5786, 8480).

[6] In the same:--

To whom will ye liken God? and what image will ye compare with Him. The craftsman casteth the graven image, and the founder overlayeth it with gold, and casteth silver chains. He that is destitute of an oblation chooseth wood that will not rot; he seeketh him a wise craft man to prepare a graven image that shall not be shaken (Isa. 40:18-20);

"the graven image which the craftsman casteth" denotes false doctrine which is from manís own; "the founder overlayeth it with gold, and casteth silver chains," denotes that through reasonings he makes the falsities of doctrine appear as truths.

[7] In the same:--

I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the bound one from the prison, them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. I am Jehovah, this is My name, and My glory will I not give to another, nor My praise to graven images (Isa. 42:6-8);

speaking of the Lord, that He is Jehovah, and that from Him is all wisdom, and nothing of it from man. That the Lord is here treated of is evident. That He is "Jehovah" here is also evident, for it is said that "Jehovah hath called Him in righteousness," and then, "I am Jehovah, this is My name, and My glory will I not give to another." That from Him is the wisdom that belongs to life, is signified by His "opening the blind eyes," and "bringing out the bound one from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house;" that nothing of wisdom is from man, is signified by "I will not give My praise to graven images."

[8] By "graven images" are also signified the things of self-intelligence in the following passages:--

And there cometh a chariot of a man, a pair of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babel is fallen; and all the graven images he hath broken into the earth (Isa. 21:9).

Then will ye judge unclean the covering of the graven images of their silver, and the clothing of the molten image of their gold; thou shalt scatter them as a menstruous cloth; it shall be called dung (Isa. 30:22).

Why have they provoked Me to anger by their graven images, by vanities of strangers? (Jer. 8:19).

They have called themselves, so they went for the sake of themselves; they sacrifice to the Baals, and burn incense to graven images (Hos. 11:2).

Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image, an abomination to Jehovah, the work of the hands of the craftsman (Deut. 27:15).

AC 8870. Nor any likeness. That this signifies a semblance of those things which are from the Divine, is evident from the signification of a "likeness," as being a semblance. That it denotes a semblance of those things which are from the Divine, is plain from what precedes and from what follows - from what precedes, that they shall have "no other gods before the faces of Jehovah God," and that they shall not "make to themselves a graven image," by which words are signified truths from another source than the Divine, and yet which are set forth like them; and from what follows, as "of that which is in the heavens, or which is in the earth, or which is in the waters," whereby are meant such things as are from the Divine everywhere.

[2] It must here be told what is meant by a semblance of those things which are from the Divine, because these things are treated of in what follows of this verse and in the beginning of the following verse. Semblances of those things which are from the Divine are made by men when they speak Divine things with the mouth, and also in act do such things as have been commanded by the Divine, and thus induce a belief that they are in good and truth, when yet at heart they think altogether otherwise, and will nothing but evil: such are dissemblers, hypocrites, and the deceitful, and these are they who make semblances of those things which are from the Divine. In the other life evil spirits make semblances of those things which are from the Divine, who set forth a likeness and appearance in outward things, within which there is nothing of the Divine. Dissemblers, hypocrites, and the deceitful learn to do this in the other life, and in general all who from frequent use have contracted the habit of speaking otherwise than they think, and of doing otherwise than they will. Sole by such practices wish to get reputation, that they may seem to be good, and thus deceive; some that they may exercise command.

[3] Moreover there, such things are abuses of correspondences. But the outward things whereby they have made a pretense of such things as are of charity and faith, are successively taken away from them; for in this way they act from their very nature that has been acquired in the world, and no more from any pretense or hypocrisy. They who are of this character, and who perceive that these external things are to be taken away from them, say that if these external things were left them, they would be able to live with their associates in the other life, and do what is good in appearance, just as formerly in the world. But this cannot be done, because by the externals which are apparently good they would communicate in some measure with heaven, that is, with those who are in the encompassing parts there and are simple, who correspond to the cuticles in the Grand Man; while by their internals they would communicate with the hells. And as the evils which are within rule, because they are of the will, and the goods that are made a pretense of in externals serve the evil as a means for acquiring dominion, therefore it is contrary to Divine order itself to leave them free to act with pretense and hypocrisy as in the world. Wherefore such things are taken away from them, and they are remitted into the very evil of their will.

AC 8871. Of that which is in the heaven above, or that which is in the earth beneath. That this signifies of those things which are in spiritual light, or of those which are in natural light, is evident from the signification of "a likeness of those things which are in the heavens above," as being those things which appear and are seen in spiritual light, all of which bear relation to the good and truth which are of faith, of charity toward the neighbor, and of love to the Lord to counterfeit and make a pretense of these things is to "make a likeness of the things which are in the heavens above;" and from the signification of "a likeness of those things which are in the earth beneath," as being those things which appear and are seen in natural light, which are such as bear relation to civil and moral good and truth to counterfeit and make a pretense of these things is to make a likeness of those things which are in the earth beneath. In the sense of the letter are meant such things as appear in heaven, as the sun, the moon, the stars; and such things as appear on the earth, as animals of various kinds, both flying, walking, and creeping; but in the internal sense are meant such things as are signified by these, all of which bear relation to good and truth, as was said above.

[2] These things are further described in Moses, in these words: Lest ye make you a graven image in the shape of any likeness, the figure of male or of female, the figure of any beast that is on the earth, the figure of any winged bird that flieth under heaven, the figure of anything that creepeth on the earth, of a fish that is in the waters under the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and look at the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the army of the heavens, and thou be impelled, and bow thyself to them, and serve them. Take heed to yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of Jehovah your God, which He made with you, and make you a graven image of any figure. For Jehovah thy God is a devouring fire, a zealous God. When ye shall beget sons, and sonsĎ sons, and ye shall have grown old in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image of any figure, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that perishing ye shall quickly perish from off the land. Jehovah shall scatter you among the peoples, where ye shall serve gods, the work of a manís hands, wood and stone (Deut. 4:16-19; 23-28).

[3] The reason why it was so severely forbidden to make a likeness of anything in the heavens and on the earth, was chiefly for the reason that that people, which was from Jacob, was very prone to worship external things The cause was that they were not willing to know anything about the internal things of the church, which belong to faith and love to the Lord, and to charity toward the neighbor. Therefore if they had been allowed to make likenesses of things, they would then have bowed themselves to them and worshiped them as gods; as is very evident from the golden calf which they made for themselves in the midst of so many miracles, and also from their frequent apostasy from Divine worship to idolatrous worship. Nevertheless in the internal sense such things as these are not meant, but the things which have been set forth above.

AC 8872. Or of that which is in the waters under the earth. That this signifies such things as are in the sensuous corporeal, is evident from the signification of "a likeness of those things which are in the waters under the earth," as being the things below those which are in natural light; and that these things are such as are in the sensuous corporeal is manifest from the successive degrees of the light that belongs to the intellectual in man. In the first degree in man are those things which are in spiritual light, which are signified by "those which are in the heavens above." In the second degree are those which are in natural light, which are signified by "those which are in the earth beneath." And in the third degree are those which are in the sensuous corporeal, which are signified by "those which are in the waters under the earth." What and of what quality is the sensuous corporeal, (n. 5084, 5089, 5094, 5125, 5128, 5580, 5767, 6183, 6201, 6310-6316, 6318, 6598, 6612, 6614, 6622, 6624, 6844, 6845, 6948, 6949, 7442, 7693). To the sensuous corporeal bear relation those memory-knowledges which arise most immediately from the experience of the external senses and also of their delights. With the good these knowledges and their delights are good because they are applied to goods; but with the evil they are evil because they are applied to evils. To deceive by means of these, as dissemblers, hypocrites, and the deceitful are wont to do, is to "made a likeness of such things as are in the waters under the earth."

AC 8873. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. That this signifies that no Divine worship is to be paid them, is evident from the signification of "bowing down oneĎs self," as being humiliation (n. 2153, 5682, 6266, 7068); and from the signification of "serving," as being submission (n. 5164). That it denotes Divine worship, is because humiliation and submission are essentials of worship, for worship without them is not worship, but gesture in imitation of those who are in the truth of worship; in which gesture there is nothing of life, for life from the Lord flows in solely into a humble and submissive heart, because such a heart has been fitted to receive. That such is the case is because when the heart is truly humble, nothing of the love of self and of the love of the world stands in the way. That both expressions are used, is because "bowing down" signifies worship from the good of love, and "serving" signifies worship from the truth of faith.

AC 8874. For I Jehovah thy God. That this signifies the Divine from the Lord in each and all things, is evident from what was unfolded above (n. 8864, 8865).

AC 8875. Am a zealous God. That this signifies that falsity and evil are therefrom, is evident from the fact that in the genuine sense "a zealous God" denotes the Divine truth of the Divine good, for "God" is predicated of truth (n. 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822, 3921, 4287, 4402, 7010, 7268, 8301), and "zealous" of good. But relatively to those who do not receive the Divine truth of the Lordís Divine good, "a zealous God" denotes falsity and evil; for they who are in the opposite perceive Divine truth as falsity, and Divine good as evil; because everyone sees these things from his own quality. Hence it is that the zeal of the Lord, which in itself is love and compassion, appears to them as anger; for when the Lord from love and mercy protects His own in heaven, they who are in evil are indignant and angry against the good, and rush into the sphere where the Divine truth and Divine good are, with the endeavor to destroy those who are there; and then the Divine truth of the Divine good works in them and makes them feel torments such as are in hell. Hence it is that they attribute wrath and anger to the Divine, and also all evil, when yet in the Divine there is absolutely nothing of anger, and absolutely nothing of evil; but pure clemency and mercy.

[2] From all this it is evident why "zealous" signifies falsity and evil, and "zeal" signifies anger. See what has been shown above on these subjects, namely, that wrath and anger are attributed to the Lord, when yet they are with those who are in evil, or who are in anger against the Divine (n. 5798, 6997, 8284, 8483). That in like manner evils, punishments, and vastations are attributed to the Lord, when yet in the Lord there is nothing but love and mercy, (n. 2447, 6071, 6559, 6991, 6997, 7533, 7632, 7643, 7679, 7710, 7877, 7926, 8214, 8223, 8226-8228, 8282, 8632); also that the evil devastate themselves, and cast themselves into damnation and hell by endeavoring to destroy what is good and true, (n. 7643, 7679, 7710, 7926, 7989); as also that the Lord appears to everyone according to his quality, (n. 1861, 6832, 8197). That "the zeal of the Lord" denotes love and mercy, and that when the Lord protects the good against the evil, it appears as hostility and also as anger, is evident from the following passages in the Word.

[3] That "the zeal of the Lord" denotes love and mercy, in Isaiah:--

Look forth from the heavens, and behold from the habitation of Thy holiness and of Thy comeliness: and where is Thy zeal and Thy mighty deeds; the yearning of Thy bowels and Thy compassions toward me have restrained themselves (Isa. 63:15);

where "zeal" denotes mercy, which is the "yearning of the bowels," and is predicated of good; for it is said "Thy zeal and Thy mighty deeds," where "zeal" is said of good, and "mighty deeds" of truth; in like manner "the yearning of the bowels" is said of good, and cúcompassions" is said of truth; so likewise "the habitation of holiness" denotes the heaven where they are who are of the celestial kingdom, and "the habitation of comeliness," the heaven where they are who are of the spiritual kingdom. From this it is also evident that in the Word where mention is made of good, mention is also made of truth, on account of the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth, in every detail of the Word, as in the case of the two names of the Lord, "Jesus" and "Christ," which signify the Divine marriage that is in the Lord (n. 683, 793, 801, 2516, 4138, 5138, 5502, 6343, 7945, 8339).

[4] In the same:--Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and He called His name Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. To the multiplying of His government and peace there shall be no end. The zeal of Jehovah shall perform this (Isa. `ix. 6, 7). This is said of the Lord and of His coming; "the zeal of Jehovah shall perform this," denotes that He will do it from the ardent love of saving the human race. Again:--

Out of Jerusalem shall go forth remains, and an escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of Jehovah shall perform this (Isa. 37:32);

"the zeal of Jehovah shall perform this" denotes that He will do it from love and mercy.

[5] In Ezekiel:--

Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and will have mercy upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be zealous for the name of My holiness (Ezek. 39:25);

where being" zealous" denotes to have compassion. In David The zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up (Ps. 69:9); speaking of the Lord; "the zeal of the house of Jehovah" denotes His love toward those who receive good and truth, for these are "the house of Jehovah."

[6] That when the zeal or mercy of the Lord protects the good it appears as hostility, is manifest in Isaiah:--

Jehovah shall go forth as a Hero; He shall stir up zeal like a man of war; He shall shout and cry, He shall prevail over His enemies (Isa. 42:13).

In Joel:--

Jehovah shall be zealous for His land, and shall spare His people (Joel 2:18).

[7] That the zeal of the Lord is called "anger" and "wrath" because mercy so appears to the evil, is manifest in these passages:--

Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples which are around you, for Jehovah thy God in the midst of thee is a zealous God; lest the anger of Jehovah thy God be kindled against thee, and He destroy the from off the faces of the earth (Deut. 6:14, 15).

They provoked Him to zeal with strange ones, with abominations they rendered Him angry. They sacrificed to demons. They have moved My zeal with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities (Deut. 32:16, 17, 21).

When Mine anger shall be spent and I shall make My wrath to rest on them, it shall repent Me; and they shall know that I Jehovah have spoken in My zeal, when I shall have consummated My wrath upon them (Ezek. 5:13).

The angel of Jehovah in me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus said Jehovah Zebaoth, I have been zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal. For with great indignation I am indignant against the careless nations (Zech. 1:14, 15; 8:2).

I will pour upon them Mine indignation, all the wrath of Mine anger; for all the earth shall be devoured in the fire of My zeal (Zeph. 3:8).

Jehovah will not please to pardon him, but then the angel of Jehovah shall smoke; and His zeal against that man, and all the curse shall rest upon him (Deut. 29:20).

How long, O Jehovah! wilt Thou be angry forever? Shall Thy zeal burn like a fire? your out Thine anger upon the nations that have not known Thee (Ps. 79:5, 6).

In like manner the zeal of Jehovah is described as anger" in (Ps. 38:1; Ezek. 16:42; 23:25; 38:19). From all this it can be see" what is meant by "the zeal of Jehovah," or what by "a zealous God;" namely, that in the genuine sense are meant love and mercy; but in a sense not genuine, such as appears to those who are in evils and falsities, anger and vastation are signified.

[8] Be it known that Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is especially called "zealous," or "an avenger," when that is corrupted which ought to reign universally with the man of the church, namely, the Divine, which must be loved, or thought of, or feared, above all things. When this has been corrupted or destroyed, then instead of heavenly light mere thick darkness usurps its place, for there is no longer any influx of this light from the Divine, because there is no reception. For this reason it is said, "I am Jehovah thy God, a zealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the thirds and upon the fourths of then) that hate Me," and this in case they worshiped other gods or made unto themselves a graven image or likenesses for these things corrupt the Divine which ought to reign universally.

[9] Therefore it is declared in like manner elsewhere in Moses:--

Take heed lest ye make you a graven image of any fire, for Jehovah God is a devouring fire, a zealous God (Deut. 4:23, 24).

Thou shalt not adore another God; for Jehovah, whose name is Zealous, zealous is He (Exod. 34:14).

This was so severely forbidden in the case of the Israelitish nation because the adoration of other gods, of graven things, and of images, was destructive of every representative of the church among them; for in heaven Jehovah, that is, the Lord, is the universal regnant; His Divine fills all things there, and makes the life of all. If anything had been worshiped instead of the Divine, every representative would have perished, and thus the communication with heaven.

AC 8876. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons. That this signifies the consequent prolification of falsity derived from evil, is evident from the signification of "visiting the iniquity of the fathers," as being the prolification of evils; that "to visit" denotes prolification is because the state of those who utterly reject from themselves the Divine is here treated of, who therefore are no longer receptions of good, but of evil, and this continually, for with such, evil is continually increasing, and this is prolification (that "father" denotes good, and in the opposite sense evil, (n. 3703, 5902, 6050, 7833, 7834); and from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 1147, 2623, 3373), consequently in the opposite sense falsities. In the sense nearest the letter, by "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons" is not meant that the sons suffer the penalty of the iniquity of their fathers, for this is contrary to the Divine (Deut. 24:16); but that evil increases with the fathers, and thus is by heredity carried over into the children, and that there is a consequent successive accumulation of evil (n. 2910, 3701, 4317, 8550, 8551). But in the spiritual sense by "fathers" are not meant fathers, but evils; nor are sons meant by "sons," but falsities; therefore by the above words is signified the continual prolification of falsity derived from evil.

AC 8877. Upon the thirds and upon the fourths. That this signifies in a long series and the conjunction of them, is evident from the signification of "three," as being what is full from beginning to end (n. 2788, 4495, 7715), thus what is in a long series, and therefore "the third sons" denote falsities in a long series (that "sons" denote falsities see just above, n. 8876); and from the signification of "four," as being conjunction, in like manner as "two" (n. 1686, 5194, 8423); therefore "the fourth sons" denote falsities conjoined in a long series. That this is the signification of "the third and fourth sons" must needs seem like a paradox, or foreign to the sense of the Word; but be it known that in the internal sense numbers do not signify numbers, but things (n. 482, 487, 575, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495, 4670, 5265, 6175).

AC 8878. Of them that hate me. That this signifies who absolutely reject the Divine of the Lord, is evident from the signification of "them that hate God," as being those who are in evil and thence in falsity, for these are they who reject the Divine of the Lord; and so far as they are in evil and thence in falsity, so far they not only reject it, but also hold it in hatred. That it is the Divine of the Lord which they reject, is because they who are in evil are not in heavenly light, but in natural light, and finally are in sensuous light which is from the corporeal. From this light they cannot possibly see the Human of the Lord otherwise than as human, for they cannot perceive what the Divine Human is, because they have an idea about the Divine that is utterly empty and worthless. If they are told that the Divine Itself is Divine love, that the Divine love is the being of all life, and that from conception the Lord was this love, which was thus the inmost being of His life, thus was Jehovah, and that He glorified His Human to the likeness of this, that is, made it Divine, all this may indeed be in some measure apprehended by those who are endowed with some intellectual penetration; but still they do not believe it, for when they descend from the intellectual light in which they then are, into their own natural and sensuous light, they fall into mere thick darkness in respect to this truth, and from this into denial.

AC 8879. And doing mercy unto thousands. That this signifies good and truth unto them forever, is evident from the signification of "mercy," as being the influx of good and truth from the Lord and the consequent spiritual life, which is bestowed by means of regeneration (n. 6180, 6307), for the Lord in mercy bestows such things as belong to eternal life and happiness; and from the signification of "a thousand," as being very much, and when it is said of the Divine mercy, as being forever (n. 2575, 8715).

AC 8880. Of them that love Me. That this signifies who receive the good of love, is evident from the signification of "those who love Jehovah," that is, the Lord, as being to receive the good of love, for they who love the Lord do not love from themselves but from the Lord; for all good flows in from Him, and those love who desist from evil, because evil stands in the way and rejects the influx of good from the Lord. Wherefore when evil has been removed, good is received, which is continually present from the Lord and endeavoring to enter.

AC 8881. And keep My commandments. That this signifies who receive the truths of faith, is evident from the signification of "commandments," as being the truths of faith (n. 3382, 8362). That "to keep" these denotes to receive, is because in order that the truths which are called the truths of faith may be of faith, and may be living with a man, these also flow in from the Lord. They are indeed learned by the man, and stored up in the memory, but so long as the man does not will them, and consequently does not do them, they do not become living. But when they are brought forth from the memory, and are insinuated through the intellectual into the will, that is, through the thought into the affection, and thence into act, they then become living, and are truths of faith. This is effected by the Lord when the man desists from evils (n. 8880).

AC 8882. Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain . That this signifies profanations and blasphemings of the truth and good of faith, is evident from the signification of "the name of God," as being all in the complex by which the Lord is worshiped, thus all the truth and good of faith (n. 2724, 3006, 6674); and from the signification of "taking in vain," as being to profane and blaspheme. By "taking the name of God in vain" is properly signified to turn truth into evil, that is, to believe that it is truth, and nevertheless to live in evil; and it also denotes to turn good into falsity, that is, to live holily, and yet not to believe. Both are profanation (n. 4601), for believing is of the understanding, and living is of the will; and therefore in those who believe otherwise than they live, the thought and will are divided. But as the will continually flows into the understanding, for the understanding is the for"Ď of the will; that is, the will manifests itself there in light; therefore it is that when a man believes in one way and lives in another, truth and evil, or good and falsity, are conjoined; thus the things that are of heaven with man are conjoined with those which are of hell. This conjunction cannot be dissolved, and thereby the man be healed, except by a pulling asunder which carries away with it everything of spiritual life; and therefore these persons are sent into a hell the most grievous of all, where they are direfully tormented.

[2] This is what is meant by the words of the Lord in Matthew:--

All sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy of the spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. If anyone shall say a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but be who shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come (Matt. 12:31, 32).

Also by these words in Luke:--

When the unclean spirit hath gone out of a man, he goeth through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out. And if on coming he findeth it swept and garnished, he goeth away and taketh seven other spirits worse than himself: and they enter in and dwell there; and the manís last things become worse than the first (Luke 11:24, 26).

[3] By these words is described the profanation of truth from the Lord; by "the unclean spirit when he goeth out" is meant the acknowledgment and faith of truth; by "the house swept" is meant a life contrary to truths; by "his return with seven other spirits" is meant a state of profanation. These are the things which are signified by "taking the name of God in vain." That such a state with man cannot be healed, thus cannot be forgiven, is signified also by the words which immediately follow, namely, "Jehovah will not hold him unless that taketh His name in vain," by which is meant that it cannot be forgiven. For further information about the nature of profanation, and who are guilty of it, (n. 593, 1003, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426, 3398, 3399, 3402, 3489, 6348, 6595, 6959, 6963, 6971, 8394).

[4] By "taking the name of God in vain" is also signified blasphemy, which takes place when those things which are of the Word, or of the doctrine of faith, thus which are holy, are held in derision, and are debased to unclean earthly things, and thus are defiled (n. 4050, 5390). But by "taking the name of God in vain," relatively to the Israelitish nation, which did not acknowledge any good and truth of faith (which are signified by "the name of God"), is meant the applying of the name of Jehovah, and also of the commandments and statutes which were commanded them, to the worship of idols, as they did in the wilderness to the worship of the golden calf, unto which they not only offered burnt offerings and sacrifices, and ate of the things sanctified thereby, but also called the day of its celebration "a feast to Jehovah," as we read in Moses:--

Aaron made of the gold a molten calf, and they said, These be thy gods, Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to Jehovah. And therefore they rose up in the morning of the next day, and offered burnt-offerings, and brought things eucharistic (Exod. 32:4-6).

[5] That those who thus took the name of Jehovah God in vain could not be forgiven, which is signified by their "not being held guiltless," is evident from the words of Jehovah to Moses at that time concerning them, namely:--

Him that hath sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book. Nevertheless go, lead this people in unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee; but in the day of My visitation I will visit their sin upon them (Exod. 32:33, 34).

AC 8883. For Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. That this signifies that these things cannot be forgiven, is evident from what has been unfolded just above (n. 8882).

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