Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 21:18-21
AC 9023. Verses 18-21. And when men shall dispute, and a man shall smite his companion with a stone or with his fist, and he dieth not, and lieth down in bed; if he rise and walk abroad upon his staff, the smiter shall be guiltless; only he shall give his cessation, and healing he shall heal him. And when a man shall smite his manservant, or his maidservant, with a rod, and he die under his hand; in being avenged he shall be avenged. Nevertheless if he shall stand for a day or two, he shall not be avenged, because he is his silver. "And when men shall dispute," signifies contention among themselves about truths; "and a man shall smite his companion with a stone, or with his fist," signifies the invalidating of some one (truth of the church) by reason of some memory or general truth; "and be dieth not," signifies and it is not extinguished; "and he lieth down in bed," signifies what is separate in the natural; "if be rise and walk abroad upon his staff," signifies the strength of life therein; "the smiter shall be guiltless," signifies not to be guilty of evil; "only he shall give his cessation," signifies indemnification;" and healing he shall heal him," signifies restoration; "and when a man shall smite his manservant, or his maidservant, with a rod," signifies if anyone within the church ill-treats the truth of memory or its affection from his own power; "and he die under his hand," signifies so that it is extinguished under his view; "in being avenged he shall be avenged," signifies the punishment of death; "nevertheless if he shall stand for a day or two," signifies a state of life abiding even to fulness; "he shall not be avenged," signifies no punishment of death; "because he is his silver," signifies what is acquired from one‘s own.
AC 9024. And when men shall dispute. That this signifies contention among themselves about truths, is evident from the signification of "disputing," as being to contend and from the signification of "men (viri)," as being those who are intelligent and who are in truths, and in the abstract sense things intellectual and truths (n. 3134, 9007); consequently "the disputing of men" signifies contention about truths among those who are of the church, and in the abstract sense about truths among themselves. For in the spiritual sense "to dispute" denotes to contend about such things as are of the church, consequently such as are of faith. Nothing else is meant in the Word by "disputing," for the Word is spiritual and treats of spiritual things, that is, of those things which belong to the Lord, His kingdom in heaven, and His kingdom on the earth, that is, the church. That in the Word "to dispute" signifies contention about truths, and in general in favor of truths against falsities, likewise also defense and liberation from falsities, is plain from the following passages.
 In Jeremiah:--
A tumult is come even to the end of the earth; for Jehovah hath a dispute against the nations, He will enter into judgment with all flesh; He will deliver the wicked to the sword. Behold evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest shall be raised up from the sides of the earth (Jer. 25:31, 32);
thus is prophetically described the perverted state of the church; "a tumult" denotes contention in favor of falsities against truths, and in favor of evils against goods; "the earth" denotes the church; "the dispute of Jehovah against the nations" denotes the contention of the Lord in favor of truths against falsities, and in favor of goods against evils, thus also defense; "the nations" denote falsities and evils; "a sword" denotes falsity fighting and conquering; "a great tempest" denotes falsity ruling; "the sides of the earth" denotes where falsities burst forth from evil.
 In the same:--
Jehovah shall dispute their dispute; that He may give rest to the earth (Jer. 50:34);
"to dispute the dispute" denotes to defend truths against falsities and to liberate; "the earth" denotes the church, which has "rest" when it is in good, and consequently in truths. In the same:--
O Lord, Thou hast disputed the disputes of my soul; Thou hast liberated my life (Lam. 3:58);
"to dispute the disputes of the soul" denotes to defend and liberate from falsities. In David:--
Dispute Thou my dispute, and redeem me; vivify me according to Thy word (Ps. 119:154);
"to dispute the dispute" here also denotes to liberate from falsities. In Micah:--
Dispute Thou with the mountains, sad let the hills hear Thy voice (Micah 6:1);
"to dispute with the mountains" denotes to contend and defend against the exalted ones, and also against the evils of the love of self; "the hills which are to hear His voice" denote the humble, and those who are in charity. In Isaiah:--
I will not eternally dispute, and I will not be wroth forever (Isa. 57:16);
"to dispute" denotes to contend against falsities. In Hosea:--
Jehovah hath a dispute with Judah (Hosea 12:2);
where the meaning is similar. Besides other passages.
AC 9025. And a man shall smite his companion with a stone, or with his fist. That this signifies the invalidating of some one (truth of the church) by reason of some memory or general truth, is evident from the signification of "smiting," as being to injure (n. 7136, 7146, 9007), here to invalidate, because it is said of truths from memory-knowledges; from the signification of "a stone," as being truth (n. 643, 1298, 3720, 3769, 3771, 3773, 3789, 3798, 6426, 8940), namely, truth in the ultimate of order, that is, in the natural, thus memory-knowledge (n. 8609); and from the signification of "a fist," as being general truth; for by "the hand" is signified the power which belongs to truth (n. 3091, 4931, 7188, 7189), consequently by "the fist" is signified full power from general truth. That is called general truth which has been received, and everywhere prevails; consequently "to smite with the fist" denotes with full force and power; in the spiritual sense, by means of truths which are from good; and in the opposite sense, by means of falsities which are from evil. In the latter sense it is used in Isaiah:--
Behold ye fast for dispute and contention, to smite with the fist of wickedness (Isa. 58:4);
"to smite with the fist of wickedness" denotes with full force by means of falsities from evil.
 What is meant by invalidating any truth of the church by means of memory or general truth, shall be explained. By memory-truths are meant truths which are from the literal sense of the Word. General truths therefrom are such as are received among people generally, and consequently are in general discourse. There are very many such truths, and they prevail with much force. But the literal sense of the Word is for the simple, for those who are being initiated into the interior truths of faith, and for those who do nor apprehend interior things; for this sense is according to the appearance before the sensuous man, thus is according to his apprehension. Hence it is that in this sense things frequently appear dissimilar, and as it were contradictory, to each other - as for example, that the Lord leads into temptation, and elsewhere that He does not lead into temptation; that the Lord repents, and elsewhere that He does not repent; that the Lord acts from anger and wrath, and elsewhere that He acts from pure clemency and mercy; that souls come to judgment immediately after death, and elsewhere that this is at the time of the Last Judgment; and so on. As such truths are from the literal sense of the Word, they are called memory-truths, and differ from the truths of faith which are of the doctrine of the church. For the latter arise from the former by an unfolding; for when they are unfolded, the man of the church is instructed that such things have been said in the Word for the sake of apprehension, and according to the appearance. Hence also it is that in very many cases the doctrines of the church depart from the literal sense of the Word. Be it known that the true doctrine of the church is that which is here called "the internal sense;" for in the internal sense are truths such as the angels have in heaven.
 Among priests, and among the men of the church, there are those who teach and who learn the truths of the church from the literal sense of the Word; and there are those who teach and those who learn from doctrine drawn from the Word, which is called the doctrine of faith of the church. The latter differ very much from the former in perception, but they cannot be distinguished by the common people, because they both speak from the Word nearly alike. But those who teach and who learn only the literal sense of the Word without the doctrine of the church as a guide, apprehend only those things which belong to the natural or external man; whereas those who teach and who learn from true doctrine drawn from the Word, understand also things which are of the spiritual or internal man. The reason is that the Word in the external or literal sense is natural, but in the internal sense it is spiritual. The former sense is called in the Word a "cloud," but the latter sense is called the "glory" in the cloud (n. 5922, 6343, 6752, 8106, 8781).
 From all this it can now be seen what is meant by "contention among themselves about truths," and by the "invalidating of some one (truth of the church) by means of some memory or general truth." As before said, memory or general truth is truth from the literal sense of the Word. And as this varies, and as it were contradicts itself, according to the appearance, it must needs sometimes invalidate the spiritual truths which are of the doctrine of the church. These are invalidated when the thought comes into doubt from passages in the Word which are in conflict with each other. This state in connection with the truths of faith with man is here treated of in the internal sense.
AC 9026. And he dieth not. That this signifies, and it is not extinguished, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being to cease to be such as before (n. 494, 6587, 6593), consequently to be extinguished, here not to be extinguished. As the internal sense here treats of the agreement of the truths of faith with the truths of the literal sense of the Word, and as the truths of the literal sense of the Word cannot be extinguished, because they are truths in the ultimate of order, therefore the smiting of a man from which he dies is not here treated of, but only the smiting of a man from which he does not die; for the truths of the literal sense of the Word can indeed be invalidated, but cannot be extinguished. Moreover after they have been invalidated, they can be set aside, but again by an unfolding of their meaning they can be restored. These things are signified by what was decreed about a man smitten by his companion, but rising again and walking upon his staff.
 He who investigates the interior things of the Word can see that for some secret reason which does not fall under the understanding unless this is enlightened by the light of heaven, it was decreed by the Lord that the smiter should be guiltless, if the person smitten rose again from his bed and walked abroad upon his staff; and especially that it was decreed by the Lord that he who smiteth his servant, and the servant die not for a day or two, should not be punished, because he is his silver; when yet this is the taking away of a man’s life, for the servant is a man, although a servant. But the secret reason why it was so decreed by the Lord does not appear except by means of the internal sense, in which the subject treated of is the truths of the church derived from the Word, the case with which is similar, when by "a man disputing and smiting his neighbor," and also by "a man smiting his manservant and his maidservant," are meant such things as in the spiritual sense correspond, and which are now unfolded. With the Israelitish nation there was instituted a representative church, that is, a church in which the internal things which are of heaven and the church were represented by external things. Therefore such things were decreed, and indeed commanded, as have no validity as laws since the internal things of the church were opened and revealed by the Lord; for since that time man is to live an internal life, which is a life of faith and charity, and such an external life as internal things make it.
AC 9027. And he lieth down in bed. That this signifies what is separate in the natural, is evident from the signification of "lying down," as being to be separated; and from the signification of "a bed," as being the natural (n. 6188, 6226, 6463). How the case herein is will appear from what follows.
AC 9028. If he rise and walk abroad upon his staff. That this signifies the strength of life therein, is evident from the signification of "rising," which involves something of elevation, here of spiritual truth to agreement with memory-truth; from the signification of "walking," as being to live (n. 519, 1794, 8417, 8420); and from the signification of "a staff‘," as being strength, for "a rod" signifies the power which belongs to truth, thus strength (n. 4876, 4936, 6947, 7011, 7026), and in like manner "a staff," but as applied to those who are not in good health. In this sense it is used also in David:--
They preceded me in the day of my calamity; but Jehovah was my staff, and He brought me forth into breadth (Ps. 18:18, 19);
"the day of calamity" denotes a weak state in respect to the faith of truth; "Jehovah being a staff"’ denotes power then; "to bring forth into breadth" denotes into the truths which are of faith. That this is meant by "bringing forth into breadth," (n. 4482). So also in Isaiah:--
The Lord Jehovah Zebaoth doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the rod and the staff, the whole rod of bread, and the whole rod of water (Isa. 3:1);
"to take away the rod and the staff" denotes to take away the power and strength of life derived from truth and good; "the rod of bread" denotes power from good; and "the rod of water," power from truth. In the original tongue "staff" is a term implying to lean upon and be supported, which in the spiritual world is effected by means of truth and good.
AC 9029. The smiter shall be guiltless. That this signifies not to be guilty of evil, is evident from the signification of "to be guiltless," as being not to be guilty of evil; for those are treated of who from some spiritual truth, which is the truth of the doctrine of faith of the church from the Word, look at some memory-truth, which is truth from the sense of the letter of the Word; and because there appears to be no agreement, the spiritual truth is invalidated and for some time set aside, but is not denied, or exterminated. Of these persons it is said that they "are not guilty of evil." And from the signification of "to smite," as being to invalidate (n. 9025).
AC 9030. Only he shall give his cessation. That this signifies indemnification, is evident from the signification of the "cessation," as being indemnification, here that of spiritual truth, which was invalidated through memory-truth. That is called "spiritual truth" which together with good makes the life of the internal man, but that is called memory-truth" which makes the life of the external man. This truth is from the literal sense of the Word, but spiritual truth is from the internal sense of the Word, thus also from the genuine doctrine of faith of the church, for this doctrine is the doctrine of the internal sense.
AC 9031. And healing he shall heal him. That this signifies restoration, namely, by means of interpretation, is evident. For if the things which are in the literal sense of the Word are looked at interiorly, they all agree together. This is circumstanced like that which is said in the Word about the sun, that it rises and sets, when yet it does not rise or set; but such an appearance is presented to the inhabitants of the earth, because the earth rotates every day around its axis. This natural truth lies hidden in the former, which is according to the appearance to the external sight. If it had been said in the Word contrary to this appearance, the common people would not apprehend it, and what the common people do not apprehend they do not believe. The case is similar with the Sun of heaven, which is the Lord, concerning which it is also said that it "rises," but in hearts, when man is being regenerated; and also when he is in the good of love and faith; and that it "sets" when man is in evil and in the consequent falsity. And yet the Lord is continually in His rising, from which also He is called the "Sunrise," or "East," and He is never in any setting; nor does He turn Himself away from man, but man turns himself away from Him. From this arises the appearance that the Lord turns away His face and also brings evil; and therefore it is also so said in the Word. This likewise is the truth, but apparent truth, thus it is not in conflict with the former. From all this it can now be seen what is meant in the internal sense by "healing he shall heal," namely, the restoration of spiritual truth, which is effected by means of a right interpretation of the memory-truth, or that of the literal sense of the Word.
 The case is similar with every truth of the literal sense, for in the natural light, which is that of the sensuous man, this appears just as it is expressed in the Word, because the literal sense is natural, and is for the sensuous man. But when the same is presented in the light of heaven, it then appears according to the internal sense; for this sense is spiritual, and is for the heavenly man, because those things which are of natural light vanish away in the light of heaven; for natural light is like shade or cloud, and heavenly light is like the glory and the brightness when the cloud is taken away. And therefore also the literal sense of the Word is called "a cloud," and the internal sense "glory" (n. 2135a, 4391, 5922, 6343, 8106, 8443, 8781).
 By "healing he shall heal" is signified in the spiritual sense to restore, because disease and sickness signify the infirmity of the internal man, which infirmity exists when he is sick in respect to his life, which is the spiritual life; thus when he turns aside from truth to falsity, and from good to evil. When this is the case, the spiritual life sickens; and when he wholly turns himself away from truth and good, it dies; but this death is called "spiritual death," which is damnation. As this is the case with the life of the internal man, therefore such things as relate to diseases and death in the natural world are said in the Word of the diseases of the spiritual life, and of its death. So also the cures of diseases, or healings, as in Isaiah:--
Jehovah smiteth Egypt, smiting and healing; whence he turneth himself unto Jehovah, and He shall be entreated for them, and shall heal them (Isa. 19:22).
Surely He was pierced for our transgressions, He "has bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and in His wound we are healed (Isa. 53:5);
speaking of the Lord.
 In Jeremiah:--
Return, ye perverse sons, I will heal your backslidings (Jer. 3:22).
Behold, I will cause to come up to it cure and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth (Jer. 33:6).
Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt; in vain hast thou multiplied medicines; there is no healing for thee (Jer. 46:11).
And in Ezekiel:--
By the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that, cometh up the tree for food, whose leaf falleth not, neither is the fruit consumed; it springeth up again in its months, because the waters thereof go forth out of the sanctuary; therefore the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicines (Ezek. 47:12);
"the fruit which shall be for food" denotes the good of love and charity which is for the nourishment of the spiritual life; "the leaf which shall be for medicine" denotes the truths of faith which are for the refreshment and restoration of that life. That "fruit" denotes the good of love and of charity, (n. 3146, 7690); and that "leaf" denotes the truth of faith, (n. 885).
 As diseases and sicknesses, and also healings and medicines, are not said in the Word of the natural life, but of another life which is distinct from the natural life; it is therefore plain to him who gives some consideration to the matter, that man has another life, which is that of his internal man. They who have gross thoughts with respect to the life of man, believe that he has no other life than that of the body, which is the life of the external or natural man. They wonder what the life of the internal man may be, and even what the internal man is. If they are told that that life is the life of faith and charity, and that the internal man is man‘s spirit, which lives after death, and which is essentially the man himself, they wonder still more. And such of them as live only for the body, and not for the soul, thus who are merely natural men, have no apprehension whatever of what is said about the life of faith and charity, and about the internal man, because their thought is merely from natural light, and not at all from spiritual light. Wherefore also after death they remain gross in respect to thought, and live in the shadow of death, that is, in falsities from evil; and they are wholly in thick darkness, and blind to the light of heaven.
AC 9032. In the last two verses the subject treated of is spiritual truth, which is the truth of the doctrine of faith from the Word, invalidated by means of memory-truth, which is the truth of the literal sense of the Word. But as it is commonly believed that the truth of the doctrine of faith of the church is one and the same thing with the truth of the literal sense of the Word, the subject may be illustrated by an example. The genuine truth of the doctrine of the church is that charity toward the neighbor and love to the Lord make the church with man, and that these loves are insinuated by the Lord through faith, that is, by means of the truths of faith which are from the Word, consequently that faith alone does not make the church with man. He who is in this truth, and consults the Word, is everywhere confirmed therein. But when he meets with words about faith, and no mention is made at the same time of love, he hesitates, and begins to revolve doubts with respect to the truth of the doctrine of his faith. Consequently this truth is for the time invalidated, and is separated from the other truths which are of undoubted faith.
 Let the words of the Lord in Mark about faith serve for illustration:--
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned (Mark 16:16);
as faith is here treated of, and not love at the same time, the mind may halt in doubt concerning the truth of its doctrine-that heavenly love insinuated by means of the truths of faith makes the church. But when this memory-truth, that is, truth of the literal sense of the Word, is viewed interiorly, it is plain that it nevertheless does agree with the truth of doctrine; for in the internal sense by "being baptized" is signified to be regenerated (n. 4255, 5120), and to be regenerated is to be led into the good of love and charity by means of the truths of faith (n. 8548-8553, 8635-8640, 8742-8747). From this it is evident that the truth which is the truth of the literal sense of the Word agrees with the truth of doctrine, provided it is understood what is signified by "being baptized." And the reason why it is said that "he that believeth not shall be condemned," is that such a one cannot be "baptized," that is, regenerated, thus cannot be introduced into the church, still less become a church; for baptism is a symbol of regeneration, and thus of introduction into the church, which is effected by introduction into good by means of truths from the Word.
 From all this it is now plain how it is to be understood what is signified in the internal sense by "a man smiting his companion with a stone or with his fist, and that if the man did not die, but lay down in bed, and then rose and walked with his staff, the smiter should be guiltless," but that "he should give his cessation, and should heal him;" in the internal sense, that if the truth of the doctrine of faith of the church be invalidated by means of memory-truth from the literal sense of the Word, and yet is not extinguished, it shall be made good and restored, which is effected by a right interpretation.
AC 9033. The invalidation of spiritual truth, that is, of the truth of the doctrine of faith of the church, has been treated of in the two preceding verses; and in the two verses which follow, the subject treated of is the invalidation of memory-truth, which is the truth of the literal sense of the Word. This truth indeed appears like the former, but still it is not like it; and therefore here for the sake of elucidation take this example. It is a spiritual truth, or a genuine truth of the doctrine of faith of the church, that the Lord punishes no one, because He is mercy itself; and therefore whatsoever He does, He does from mercy, and by no means from anger and revenge; and yet the Lord says in Matthew:--
Be ye not afraid of those who are able to kill the body, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna (Matt. 10:28);
here it is said of God that He is "to be feared," because He "is able to destroy body and soul in Gehenna," when yet He destroys no one. Nevertheless this is a truth; and therefore it is not to be extinguished, that is, denied; for if it is denied, faith in the Word perishes; and if this perishes, man cannot spiritually live, for man has spiritual life through faith from the Word.
 The case herein is this. It is a law of Divine order that good should have its recompense - thus heaven - within itself; and it is from this that evil has in itself its punishment, thus hell. The former law is from the Lord, because the Lord wills good to all; but the latter law not so, because the Lord wills evil to no one. Nevertheless so it is done; not from the Lord, but from the man who is in evil, consequently from evil. Yet this is attributed to the Lord in the sense of the letter of the Word, because it so appears. Therefore, because it is an apparent truth, it must not be denied, that is, extinguished; for thus faith in the Word would be extinguished, which faith is for the simple (n. 2447, 6071, 6991, 6997, 7533, 7632, 7643, 7679, 7710, 7877, 7926, 8197, 8227, 8228, 8282, 8483, 8631, 8632, 9010).
AC 9034. And when a man shall smite his manservant, or his maidservant, with a rod. That this signifies if anyone within the church ill-treats the truth of memory, or its affection, from his own power, is evident from the signification of "smiting," as being to ill-treat, for "smiting" is predicated of any injury whatsoever; from the signification of "a man (vir)," here a man of the sons of Israel, as being one who is of the church, and who consequently is in spiritual truth, which is the truth of the doctrine of faith of the church from the Word (n. 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 7957, 8234, 8805); from the signification of a "manservant," as being memory-truth, which is the truth of the Word, but of its literal sense; from the signification of a "maidservant," as being natural affection, thus the affection of memory knowledges, because these are in the natural (n. 1895, 2567, 3835, 3849, 8993, 8994); and from the signification of a "rod," as being natural power (n. 4876, 4936, 6947, 7011, 7026), here, one’s own power, because the manservant of whom it is said, was bought. From this it is plain that by the words, "if a man shall smite his manservant, or his maidservant," is signified if anyone within the church ill-treats the memory-truth of the Word, or its affection.
 The reason why a "manservant" denotes the truth of the literal sense of the Word, is that by a "servant" in general are signified lower or exterior things, because these serve higher or interior things (n. 2541, 5161, 5164, 5936, 7143); consequently by a "servant" is signified the natural, because this serves the spiritual (n. 3019, 3020, 5305, 7998), consequently memory-truth, which belongs to the literal sense of the Word, for this serves spiritual truth, which belongs to the internal sense. The truth of the internal sense of the Word is the same as the genuine truth of the doctrine of faith of the church.
 How the truth of the literal sense of the Word serves spiritual truth, shall be briefly told. The man of the church first learns truth from the literal sense of the Word, which is general truth accommodated to the apprehension of the external man, who is in natural light. This truth is received by an external way, that is, by hearing, and is stored up in the memory of the external man, where are also various memory-knowledges derived from the world (n. 2469-2494). Afterward the things stored up in this memory are subjected to the sight or view of the internal man, who sees from the light of heaven. The internal man calls forth therefrom by selection the truths which agree with the good which flows in from the Lord by the way of the soul, and which the man had received. There the Lord conjoins these truths with good. The truths which are thus conjoined in the internal man are called "spiritual truths," and the good with which the truths are conjoined is called "spiritual good." This good, formed by means of truths, is what makes the spiritual life of man. The truths themselves there are called "the truths of faith," and the good is called "the good of charity." The good in which truths have thus been implanted is the church with man.
 From this it is plain in what manner the truths of the literal sense of the Word serve for the formation of spiritual truths, in general for the formation of faith and of charity, which make the spiritual life; which life consists in being affected with truths for the sake of good, and in being affected with good from truths, and finally in being affected with truths from good.
AC 9035. And he die under his hand. That this signifies so that it be extinguished under his view, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being to be extinguished (n. 9026); and from the signification of "under his hand," as being under his view, for by "hand" is signified the power which belongs to spiritual truth (n. 5327, 5328, 7011), thus which is of the view, for this is effected by virtue of this truth, and is notice. For the truths of the literal sense of the Word, stored up in the natural memory of man, form there as it were a field for the view of the internal man, into which light from heaven flows. From this field, as before said, the internal man selects such things as agree with the good in him, comparatively as the eye selects from the field of a garden such things as conduce to the uses of its life.
AC 9036. In being avenged he shall be avenged. That this signifies the punishment of death, is evident from the signification of "avenging," or "taking vengeance," as being the punishment of death, here of spiritual death, which is damnation; for the truth of the literal sense of the Word is being extinguished, and with it faith in the Word, (n. 9033, 9039).
AC 9037. Nevertheless if he shall stand for a day or two. That this signifies a state of life abiding even to fulness, is evident from the signification of "a day," as being a state of life (n. 893, 2788, 3785, 4850); and from the signification of "two days," as being a succeeding state (n. 1335), thus a full state, namely, of view; for when mention is made in the Word of "one day," or "one week," or "one month," or "one year," an entire period of time, or state, is signified (n. 2906) and when it is added, "or two days," the signification is, even to fulness.
AC 9038. He shall not be avenged. That this signifies no punishment of death, is evident from the signification of "vengeance being taken," as being the punishment of death (n. 9036).
AC 9039. Because he is his silver. That this signifies what is acquired from one‘s own, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917), here, as a bought slave is treated of, it denotes truth acquired by one’s own. That is called "truth acquired by one‘s own" which by induction from principles conceived from one’s own is believed to be truth, and yet is not truth. Such is the truth with those who explain the Word without being enlightened by the light of heaven; that is, who read it not with any affection of truth for the sake of the good of life; for these are not enlightened. If after a full view this truth is extinguished, there is no punishment of death, that is, damnation, because it is not Divine spiritual truth; but if it is extinguished before a full view, there is damnation, because there is a rejection of the truth of faith itself. For that which has been made of anyone‘s faith, even if it is not true, ought not to be rejected, except after taking a full view; if it is rejected sooner, the first beginning of the man’s spiritual life is plucked up by the roots; and therefore the Lord never breaks such truth with a man, but as far as possible bends it. Let an example serve for illustration.
 He who believes that the glory and therefore the joy of heaven consist in rule over many, and from this conceived principle explains the Lord‘s words concerning the servants who gained ten pounds and five pounds, that they should have power over ten cities and over five cities (Luke 19:11); and also the Lord’s words to the disciples, that they should sit upon thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:30); if before taking a full view he extinguishes his faith, which is a faith of truth from the literal sense of the Word, he occasions the loss of his spiritual life. But if after taking a full view, he interprets these words of the Lord from His other words that "whosoever will be greatest must be the least," and "whosoever would be the first must be the servant of all" (Matt. 20:26-28; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:24-27), if he then extinguishes his faith as regards heavenly glory and joy from rule over many, he does not occasion the loss of his spiritual life; for by the "cities" over which those were to have power who gained the pounds are signified the truths of faith (n. 2268, 2449, 2712, 2943, 3216), and the derivative intelligence and wisdom; in like manner by the "thrones" upon which the disciples were to sit (n. 2129, 6937).
 Those in heaven who are pre-eminently in intelligence and wisdom from the truths of faith, are in such humiliation that they attribute everything of power to the Lord, and nothing to themselves; and therefore they do not make anything of glory and joy to consist in ruling, but in serving; and when they are in this state, they are in rule, and also in glory and joy, above others; yet not as before said from the love of rule, but from the affection of love and charity, which is that of serving others. For the Lord flows with power into those who are humble; but not into those who are puffed up, because the former receive influx, but the latter reject it (n. 7489-7492).EXODUS 21:18-21 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|