Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 20:8-11
AC 8884. Verses 8-11. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. And the seventh day is the sabbath to Jehovah thy God; thou shaft not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and thy beast, and thy sojourner who is in thy gates. For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested in the seventh day; wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. "Remember," signifies what is perpetual in the thought; "the sabbath day," signifies in the supreme sense the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human of the Lord, in the internal sense the conjunction of the Divine Human with the heavens, thus heaven, and so the marriage of good and truth there; "to keep it holy," signifies no violation in any manner; "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work," signifies the combat which precedes and prepares for this marriage; "and the seventh day is the sabbath to Jehovah thy God," signifies good implanted and thus the marriage; "thou shalt not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and thy beast, and thy sojourner who is in thy gates," signifies that in this case heaven and blessedness are in each and all things in the internal and in the external of man; "for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea," signifies the regeneration and vivification of those things which are in the internal and in the external man; "and all that is in them," signifies of all things therein; "and rested in the seventh day," signifies that then there are peace and the good of love; "wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day," signifies that then is the heavenly marriage from the Lord; "and hallowed it," signifies that it cannot in any wise be violated.
AC 8885. Remember. That this signifies what is perpetual in the thought, is evident from the signification of "remembering," when said of such a thing as must not in any wise be forgotten, as being what is perpetual in the thought. That is perpetual in the thought which universally reigns there; and that universally reigns with man which is perpetually in his thought, even when he is meditating on other things, or is engaged in business affairs. The thought of man involves many things together, for it is the form of many things which have entered successively. Those things which come to manifest perception are at the time in the midst, and thus in the light of the internal sight, while all other things are then at the sides round about. Those which are in the circuits are in obscurity, and are not manifested except when such objects occur as they are associated with. But the things which are still more remote, and are not on the same plane, but tend downward, are such as the man has rejected and holds in aversion. Such things are evils and falsities with the good, and goods and truths with the evil.
 In the very thought of man are those things which are perpetually there, that is, which universally reign there, which are his inmost things. From these man regards those things which are not perpetually there (that is, those things which do not yet universally reign) as being outside of himself, and also as beneath himself, and as not yet being akin to him; from which he can then choose and adjoin to himself those things which agree with the inmost things, and from the adjunction and final consociation of which, the inmost things, that is, those which universally reign, are strengthened. This is effected by means of new truths with the good, and by means of new falsities, or by wrong applications of truths, with the evil.
 Be it known further that that which universally reigns is that which has been insinuated into the will itself, for the will itself is the inmost of man, because it has been formed from his love. For whatever man loves, this he wills, and that which he loves above all things, this he inmostly wills. But the understanding serves to make manifest before others the things which the man wills, that is, which he loves; and serves also to bend the wills of others by ideas variously formed for accommodation thereto. When this is the case, love or affection flows from the will into the intellectual ideas also, and by a certain kind of inspiration vivifies and moves them.
 With the good these intellectual ideas make a one with the affections which are of the will; but it is otherwise with the evil, for with these the thought and the will do indeed inmostly agree, because the evil which the will wills, the understanding thinks, as falsity that is in agreement with this evil; but this agreement does not appear before men in the world, because from their infancy the evil learn to speak differently from what they think, and to act differently from what they will; in a word, they learn to separate their interior man from their exterior, and in this latter to form another will and also another thought besides that which is in their interior man, and thus by the exterior man to counterfeit good that is quite contrary to the interior man, which at the same instant wills evil and also imperceptibly thinks it, But in the other life the quality of the interior will and thought is manifest as in clear light, for in that life external things are removed, and internal things are laid bare.
AC 8886. The sabbath day. That this signifies in the supreme sense the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human‘ of the Lord, in the internal sense the conjunction of the Divine Human with the heavens, thus heaven, and so the marriage of good and truth there, is evident from what was shown before (n. 8495). As such things are signified by "the sabbath," therefore in the representative church it was most holy, and was that which was to be perpetually in the thought, that is, which was to reign universally. That this makes the life of man, (n. 8853-8858, 8885). The Israelitish nation did not indeed think about the union of the Divine and the Divine Human of the Lord, nor about His union with heaven, nor about the conjunction of good and truth in heaven, which things were signified by "the sabbath," because they were altogether in externals without an internal. But they were enjoined to hold the sabbath as most holy, in order that these Divine and heavenly things might be represented in heaven. How the case herein was with them, is plain from what was shown above concerning that nation and the representative of a church therewith (n. 3147, 3479, 3480, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4289, 4293, 4307, 4444, 4580, 4680, 4825, 4844, 4847, 4899, 4912, 6304, 6306, 7048, 7051, 8301).
AC 8887. To keep it holy. That this signifies no violation in any manner, is evident from what was commanded concerning the sabbath, as before shown (n. 8495), and from what here follows concerning the sanctification of the sabbath, namely, "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; and the seventh day is the sabbath to Jehovah thy God; thou shalt not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy sojourner that is within thy gates; for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested in the seventh day; wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it" From these words it is evident that by "keeping the sabbath holy" is signified not to violate it in any manner; but in the internal sense that those things which are signified by "the sabbath" are not to be violated in any manner, namely, the union of the Divine essence of the Lord with His Human essence, also the union of this with the heavens, and the consequent conjunction in these of good and truth (n. 8886); for if these things are violated, spiritual life perishes with that man, and becomes life merely natural and afterward sensuous; and then falsity is readily learned in place of truth, and evil in place of good, for falsity and evil then universally reign with him.
AC 8888. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. That this signifies the combat which precedes and prepares for this marriage, is evident from the signification of "six days," as being states of combat. That "six" denotes combat, (n. 720, 737, 900); and that "days" denote states, (n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 2788, 4850, 5672, 5962, 6110, 8426); and from the signification of "laboring and doing one’s work," as being to do those things which are necessary to life, here those which are necessary to spiritual life, that is, to the life in heaven.
 Moreover by the combat which precedes, and prepares for the heavenly marriage, is meant spiritual combat or temptation; for before he enters into the heavenly marriage, that is, before he is regenerated, the man is in combat against the evils and falsities in himself, because these must be removed before the truth and good which are from the Lord can be received. These evils and falsities are removed by means of the truths of faith, for by means of these the man not only learns what good is, but is also led to good. This state is the first state of the man who is being regenerated, and is called the state which precedes, and prepares for the heavenly marriage. But when the man is in good and is led by the Lord through good, he is then in the heavenly marriage, thus in heaven, for the heavenly marriage is heaven. The former state is what is signified by "the six days" which precede the seventh, and the latter state by "the seventh day" (concerning these two states with man, see (n. 7923, 8505, 8506, 8510, 8512, 5516, 8539, 8643, 8648, 8658, 8685, 8690, 8701, 8722).
 As by "the sabbath" is signified the heavenly marriage, that is, heaven, therefore the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens is called a perpetual sabbath, thus a perpetual rest and peace, and there are no longer there six days of labor.
AC 8889. And the seventh day is the sabbath to Jehovah thy God. That this signifies good implanted and thus the marriage, is evident from the signification of "the sabbath," as being the heavenly marriage (n. 8886), thus good implanted by means of truths, and afterward formed by them; for the good with man is not spiritual good until it has been formed by truths; and when it has been so formed, there is then the heavenly marriage; for this is the conjunction of good and truth, and is heaven itself with man. From this also it is that "the seventh day" signifies a holy state. That "day" denotes state, (n. 8888); and that "seven" denotes what is holy, (n. 395, 433, 716, 881, 5265).
AC 8890. Thou shalt not do any work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and thy beast, and thy sojourner who is within thy gates. That this signifies that in this case heaven and blessedness are in each and all things in the internal and in the external of man, is evident from the signification of "not doing any work," as being rest and peace, thus heaven; for when man is in heaven, he is free from all solicitude, unrest, and anxiety, and when he is free from these he has blessedness; and from the signification of "thou, thy son, thy daughter, thy manservant, thy maidservant, thy beast, the sojourner within thy gates," as being each and all things in the internal and in the external of man. For by "thou" is signified the man himself, by "son" is signified his intellectual, by "daughter" his will, both in the internal man; by "manservant" is signified the natural as to truth, and by "maidservant" the natural as to good, thus both that are in the external man; but by "beast" is signified affection in general, and by "the sojourner within the gates," memory-knowledge in general; thus there are signified each and all things. That "son" denotes the intellectual, is because "son" denotes truth, for truths constitute the intellectual; and that "daughter" denotes the will, is because "daughter" denotes good, for goods constitute the will. "Son" denotes truth, thus the intellectual, (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4227). "Daughter" denotes good, thus the will, (n. 489-491, 2362, 3024). "Manservant" denotes the natural as to truth, (n. 3019, 3020, 3409, 5305, 7998). "Maidservant" denotes the natural as to good, (n. 2567, 3835, 3849); "Beast" denotes affection in general, (n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 2179, 2180, 3218, 5198, 7523, 7872); and "sojourner" denotes one who is being instructed in the truths of the church, (n. 1463, 4444, 8007, 8013). Consequently "the sojourner within the gates" denotes memory-knowledge in general, for memory-knowledge in general is at the gates, that is, at the entrance to the truths which are of the church.
AC 8891. For in six days Jehovah bade heaven and earth and the sea. That this signifies the regeneration and vivification of those things which are in the internal and in the external man, is evident from the signification of "six days," as being states of combat (n. 8888), and when predicated of Jehovah, that is, the Lord, they signify His labor with man before he is regenerated (n. 8510); and from the signification of "heaven and earth," as being the church or kingdom of the Lord in man, "heaven" in the internal man, and "earth" in the external man (n. 82, 1411, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535), thus the regenerate man, that is, one who has found the new life and has thus been made alive; and from the signification of "the sea," as being the sensuous of man adhering to the corporeal (n. 8872).
 In this verse the subject treated of is the hallowing of the seventh day, or the institution of the sabbath, and it is described by the words, "In six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested in the seventh day; wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." They who do not think beyond the sense of the letter cannot believe otherwise than that the creation which is described in the first and second chapters of Genesis, is the creation of the universe, and that there were six days within which were created the heaven, the earth, the sea and all things which are therein, and finally man in the likeness of God. But who that takes into consideration the particulars of the description cannot see that the creation of the universe is not there meant; for such things are there described as may be known from common sense not to have been so; as that there were days before the sun and the moon, as well as light and darkness, and that herb age and trees sprang up; and yet that the light was furnished by these luminaries, and a distinction was made between the light and the darkness, and thus days were made.
 In what follows in the history there are also like things, which are hardly acknowledged to be possible by anyone who thinks interiorly, as that the woman was built from the rib of the man; also that two trees were set in paradise, of the fruit of one of which it was forbidden to eat; and that a serpent from one of them spoke with the wife of the man who had been the wisest of mortal creatures, and by his speech, which was from the mouth of the serpent, deceived them both; and that the whole human race, composed of so many millions was in consequence condemned to hell. The moment that these and other such things in that history are thought of, they must needs appear paradoxical to those who entertain any doubt concerning the holiness of the Word, and must afterward lead them to deny the Divine therein. Nevertheless be it known that each and all things in that history, down to the smallest iota, are Divine, and contain within them arcana which before the angels in the heavens are plain as in clear day. The reason of this is that the angels do not see the sense of the Word according to the letter, but according to what is within, namely, what is spiritual and celestial, and within these, things Divine. When the first chapter of Genesis is read, the angels do not perceive any other creation than the new creation of man, which is called regeneration. This regeneration is described in that history; by paradise the wisdom of the man who has been created anew; by the two trees in the midst thereof, the two faculties of that man, namely, the will of good by the tree of life, and the understanding of truth by the tree of knowledge. And that it was forbidden to eat of this latter tree, was because the man who is regenerated, or created anew, must no longer be led by the understanding of truth, but by the will of good, and if otherwise, the new life within him perishes (n. 202, 337, 2454, 2715, 3246, 3652, 4448, 5595, 5897, 7877, 7923, 7992, 8505, 8506, 8510, 8512, 8516, 8539, 8643, 8648, 8658, 8690, 8701, 8722). Consequently by Adam, or man, and by Eve his wife, was there meant a new church, and by the eating of the tree of knowledge, the fall of that church from good to truth, consequently from love to the Lord and toward the neighbor to faith without these loves, and this by reasoning from their own intellectual, which reasoning is the serpent (n. 195-197, 6398, 6399, 6949, 7293).
 From all this it is evident that the historic narrative of the creation and the first man, and of paradise, is a history so framed as to contain within it heavenly and Divine things, and this according to the received method in the Ancient Churches. This method of writing extended thence also to many who were outside of that Church, who in like manner devised histories and wrapped up arcana within them, as is plain from the writers of the most ancient times. For in the Ancient Churches it was known what such things as are in the world signified in heaven, nor to those people were events of so much importance as to be described; but the things which were of heaven. These latter things occupied their minds, for the reason that they thought more interiorly than men at this day, and thus had communication with angels, and therefore it was delightful to them to connect such things together. But they were led by the Lord to those things which should be held sacred in the churches, consequently such things were composed as were in full correspondence.
 From all this it can be seen what is meant by "heaven and earth" in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, namely, the church internal and external. That these are signified by "heaven and earth" is evident also from passages in the prophets, where mention is made of "a new heaven and a new earth," by which a new church is meant (n. 82, 1411, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355, 4535). From all this it is now plain that by, "In six days Jehovah made heaven and earth and the sea," is signified the regeneration and vivification of those things which are in the internal and in the external man.
AC 8892. And all that is in them. That this signifies the vivification of all things therein, is evident without explication.
AC 8893. And rested in the seventh day. That this signifies that then are peace and the good of love, is evident from the signification of "resting," as being peace; and from the signification of "the seventh day," as being a state of heavenly love (n. 84-87), and therefore what is holy (n. 395, 433, 716, 5265, 5268). That by "rest in the seventh day" is signified peace and the good of love, is because before a man is regenerated, or created anew, he is in an untranquil and restless state, for his natural life then fights with his spiritual life, and wishes to rule over it. Consequently at this time the Lord has labor, for He fights for man against the hells which assault. But as soon as the good of love has been implanted, the combat ceases, and rest ensues, for the man is then introduced into heaven, and is led by the Lord according to the laws of order there, thus in peace. These things are signified by "the rest of Jehovah in the seventh day."
AC 8894. Wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath. day. That this signifies that then is the heavenly marriage from the Lord, is evident from the signification of being "blessed," as being to be disposed into heavenly order, and to be gifted with the good of love (n. 3017, 3406, 4981, 8674); and from the signification of "the sabbath day," as being a state of heavenly love (n. 84-87), thus the heavenly marriage; for the heavenly marriage is the conjunction of good and truth, and this is heaven in man. "The sabbath" denotes this marriage, (n. 8495, 8510).
AC 8895. And hallowed it. That this signifies that it cannot in any wise be violated, is evident from the signification of "to be hallowed," when the heavenly marriage in the regenerate man is treated of, as being to be inviolate (n. 8887); for the holy of the Lord with man is inviolable, thus the man who receives the holy of the Lord, that is, who is in the good of love, consequently who is in heaven. EXODUS 20:8-11 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|