Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 21:2-6
AC 8973. Verses 2-6. When thou shalt buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. If in his body he shall come in, in his body he shall go out; if he is master of a woman, then his woman shall go out with him. If his master shall give him a woman, and she shall bear him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall be his master’s, and he shall go out in his body. And if saying the servant shall say, I love my master, my woman, and my children; I will not go out free; then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him unto the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore through his ear with his awl; and he shall serve him forever. When thou shalt buy a Hebrew servant," signifies those within the church who are in the truths of doctrine and not in good according to them; "six years he shall serve," signifies a state of labor and of some combat and of the consequent confirmation of truth; "and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing," signifies a state of truth confirmed without exertion on his part; "if in his body he shall come in," signifies truth without delight; "in his body he shall go out," signifies a state of truth without delight also after combat; "if he is master of a woman," signifies truth with delight adjoined; "then his woman shall go out with him," signifies a state of truth with delight conjoined also after combat; "if his master shall give him a woman," signifies good from the spiritual adjoined to truth while in combat; "and she bear him sons or daughters," signifies the truths and goods thence derived; "the woman and her children shall be his master‘s," signifies that good adjoined to truth by the spiritual, together with the goods and truths thence derived, shall not be appropriated to truth; and he shall go out in his body," signifies the state after combat, which is merely one of confirmed and implanted truth; "and if saying the servant shall say," signifies thought then from the implanted truth; "I love my master, my woman, and my children," signifies the delight of the remembrance of spiritual goods; "I will not go out free," signifies the delight of obedience; "then his master shall bring him unto God," signifies a state into which he then enters according to Divine order; "and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post," signifies a state of communication of truth confirmed and implanted with spiritual good; "and his master shall bore through his ear with his awl," signifies a representative of obedience; "and he shall serve him forever," signifies to eternity.
AC 8974. When thou shalt buy a Hebrew servant. That this signifies those within the church who are in the truths of doctrine and not in good according to them, is evident from the signification of "buying," as being to procure and appropriate to one’s self (n. 4397, 5374, 5397, 5406, 5410, 5426, 7999); and from the signification of "a Hebrew servant," as being those within the church who are in the truths of doctrine and not in good of life according to them; for "servant" is predicated of those who are in truth and not in the corresponding good, and in general, of truth relatively to good (n. 3409), and "Hebrew" is predicated of those things which are of the church, and of those things which are of some service. That it is predicated of those things which are of the church, (n. 5136, 5236, 6675, 6664); also that it is predicated of those things which are of some service, (n. 1703, 1741, 5013). As in what now follows, the menservants and maidservants of the sons of Israel are treated of, it must be told what the statutes concerning them involve in the internal sense. Everyone can see that the statutes contain within them secret things of heaven, because they were spoken and commanded orally by Jehovah to Moses on Mount Sinai, and because they follow immediately after the words of the decalogue. Apart from such secret things they would be merely civil and public laws like the laws of other nations on earth, in which there is no secret thing of heaven. But the secret things here contained are not manifest except to the angels in the heavens, consequently not to men except by the internal sense; for this teaches how the angels perceive the Word, consequently it teaches the secret things that are within the Word. What and of what quality these secret things are, will be plain in the following explication of each particular.
 That a general idea may be had, it shall be briefly told what is specifically meant by "Hebrew servants" in the internal sense. In the spiritual church, which the sons of Israel represented, there are two kinds of men: there are those who are in the truth of faith and not in the corresponding good of life, and there are those who are in the good of charity and in the corresponding truth of faith. They who are in the good of charity and in the corresponding truth of faith are they who constitute the very church itself, and are men of the internal church. In the internal sense of the Word these are they who are called the "sons of Israel." These are of themselves free, because they are in good; for they who are led by the Lord by means of good are free (n. 892, 905, 2870-2893). But they who are in the truth of faith and not in the corresponding good of life are men of the external spiritual church. These are they who in the internal sense of the Word are meant by the "Hebrew servants." They are represented by servants because those things which are of the external church are relatively nothing else than things of service. The case is similar also with the truth of faith relatively to the good of charity; for the truth of faith serves for introducing the man of the church into the good of charity.
 Be it known moreover that he who makes everything of the church, thus everything of salvation, to consist in the truth of faith and not in the good of charity, and who also does good from obedience only and not from the affection which is of the love, cannot be regenerated, as can those who are in the good of charity, that is, who do what is good from the affection of love. They can indeed be reformed, but not re generated. Their reformation is here treated of in the internal sense in the laws concerning menservants and concerning maidservants. The secret things of this reformation are not at this day known to anyone, for the reason that an almost total ignorance prevails within the church of what the truth of faith effects toward salvation, and what the good of charity effects. Nay, it is not known what charity is, or that charity and faith must marry together for anything of the church to exist in man; for the marriage of good and truth is the church itself, because it is heaven in man (n. 2173, 2618, 2728, 2729, 2803, 3132, 3155, 4434, 4823, 5194, 5502, 6179).
AC 8975. Six years he shall serve. That this signifies a state of labor and of some combat and of the consequent confirmation of truth, is evident from the signification of "six years," as being states of labor and combat. That "six" signifies labor and combat (n. 737, 900, 8888); and that "years" signify states, (n. 487, 488, 493, 893, 7839). That the confirmation of truth is also signified, is because spiritual truth, which is called the truth of faith, is confirmed by labor and combat. It is said "somewhat of combat,"‘ because they who are in the truth of faith and not in the corresponding good of life are not admitted into any grievous combat, that is, into temptation, because they would yield. For the Lord cannot flow in with them by means of good, and thus defend them against the evils and falsities which assail in temptations. They are only external men, and whatever flows in from the Lord must flow in through the internal man into the external. When men are not in the good of charity, the internal man is not open, for good is that which opens the internal man, and which dwells there.
AC 8976. And in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. That this signifies a state of truth confirmed without exertion on his part, is evident from the signification of "the seventh year," as being a state of the conjunction of good and truth; for by "the seventh year" is signified the like as by "the seventh day," or "the sabbath." That by this is signified the conjunction of good and truth, or the heavenly marriage, thus the state of peace which succeeds after a state of servitude, (n. 8494, 8495, 8510, 8888, 8890, 8893). But here, as those who are in truth and not in the corresponding good of life are treated of, by "the seventh year" is signified a state of confirmed truth. The reason is that with such there is no conjunction of truth and good, as there is with those who are in the good of charity, and who are understood in the representative sense by the sons of Israel; but instead of this conjunction there is the confirmation of truth. And from the signification of "for nothing" (gratis), as being without exertion on their part; for when they are in labor and in some combat the truth of faith with them is confirmed by the Lord without any exertion of theirs. The like is signified by "for nothing," or "freely" in these passages:--
I will give unto him that is athirst from the fountain of the water of life freely (Rev. 21:6).
He that heareth, let him say, Come; and he that is athirst, let him come; and he that will, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).
Everyone that thirsteth, go ye to the water, and he that hath no silver; go ye, buy and eat; go ye, I say, buy wine and milk without silver and without price (Isa. 55:1);
"the waters" denote truths from the Word; "wine," the truth of good therefrom; and "milk," the good of truth.
AC 8977. If in his body he shall come in. That this signifies truth without delight, is evident from the signification of "body," as being truth alone, thus truth without its delight; for by "body" is meant the manservant alone without a woman, thus without delight, for the "woman" of a manservant denotes delight conjoined with truth, as will be plain from what follows. With regard to this secret the case is this. The men of the external church, who were represented by the Hebrew servants, are they who learn truth from no delight, but solely for the reason that it is the truth of the church, by means of which they believe that they man be saved. It is this necessity which enjoins them to learn and to know it. These are they who in the internal sense are meant by "menservants who come in their body and go out in their body." With these, truth is merely confirmed. In the other life such persons are in the entrance to heaven, and not in heaven itself; they are called "the cuticulars," because in the Grand Man they correspond to the skin (n. 5553-5559).
 But they who are in truth to which delight is adjoined are they who in the internal sense are here meant by the menservants who come with a woman, for "the woman" signifies good, when "the man" signifies truth; but here "woman" signifies delight, for in the man of the external church this takes the place of good. The good in which this man is, is not from a spiritual origin, but from a natural origin, for it has its relish from the delight of living and of teaching truth for the sake of gain or for the sake of honor, consequently for the sake of self. This is the reason why it is called "delight," but not "good." In the external form it does indeed appear as good, but because it is natural good, that is, because it has its origin from the world, and not from heaven, it is called delight.
 But good from a spiritual origin is meant in the internal sense by the woman whom the master gives his servant; but this cannot be conjoined; and therefore it was decreed that when the manservant should go forth, the woman should be the master’s, and also her sons and daughters. For spiritual good is good not for the sake of gain, or for the sake of honor; but for the sake of the church, and for the sake of the salvation of the neighbor. Such good cannot be conjoined with those who are in the externals of the church, for it is the very good of charity, and it springs from the affection which is of love. For they who are in the externals of the church cannot be affected by the truths of faith in any other way than chiefly for the sake of themselves, and secondarily for the sake of the church; and they who are of such a character can indeed act according to truths, thus can do what is good, not from affection, but from obedience. These are they who in the internal sense are meant by those who desire to serve forever.
 These are the arcana which in the internal sense are contained in these statutes concerning menservants, and which can in no wise be apprehended except by those who are in the good of charity; but not by those who are in the truths of faith without this good. The reason is that they who are in the good of charity are in the light of heaven, and from this light they see the things which are in the light of the world; whereas they who are in the truth of faith, and not in the good of charity, are in the light of the world, from which light the things which are in heaven cannot be seen. For the light of heaven is above, that is, within; but the light of the world is beneath or without, and lower or exterior things can be seen from higher or interior ones, but not the reverse; for heaven can flow into the world, but not the world into heaven (n. 3721, 5119, 5259, 5779, 6322).
AC 8978. In his body he shall go out. That this signifies a state of truth without delight also after combat, is evident from the signification of "body," as being truth without delight (n. 8977); and from the signification of "going out," as being after he has served six years, thus a state after combat; for by the service of six years is signified a state of labor and of combat (n. 8975, 8977).
AC 8979. If he is master. of a woman. That this signifies truth with delight conjoined, is evident from the signification of master," as being truth and from the signification of "a woman," as being good, but here delight. That "a master" denotes truth, is because by "master" is here meant the manservant as the woman‘s man, and in the internal sense by a "manservant," as also by a woman’s "man," is signified truth. That truth is signified by "a manservant," (n. 8974); also that it is signified by "a man," (n. 3134, 3309, 3459, 7716). That "a woman" denotes delight is because by the woman of a man is signified in the internal sense good (n. 915, 2517, 4823, 6014, 8337). But as by a manservant from the Israelitish people is represented a man of the external church, who indeed has truth of doctrine, but not the corresponding good (n. 8974), because he does not do truth for the sake of truth, nor good for the sake of good, but that he may be recompensed; therefore in the truth and good which he does, there is the idea of self, and this idea does not belong to good, but to delight; for in the spiritual sense nothing is called "good" except that which belongs to love to the Lord and to love toward the neighbor. This good does indeed appear also as delight in the natural man; but it is the spiritual that is within it that makes it to be good.
 That it may be further known how the case is in regard to this, it is to be borne in mind that the man of the internal church acts from charity, thus from the affection which is of love toward the neighbor; whereas the man of the external church does not act from the good of charity, but from the truth of faith; thus not from the affection which is of love toward the neighbor, but from obedience, because it has been so commanded. It flows from this that the man of the internal church is free, but the man of the external church is relatively a servant; for he who acts from the affection which is of love, acts from freedom (n. 2870-2893); but he who acts from obedience does not act from freedom, for to obey is not freedom. This is the reason why he who acts from the good of charity is a true man of the spiritual church, and therefore in the Word is represented by Israel, whereas he who does not act from the good of charity, but from the truth of faith, is not a true man of the spiritual church, but is relatively his servant; and he was therefore represented by the manservant who was called a "Hebrew servant," because bought from the sons of Israel.
AC 8980. Then his woman shall go out with him. That this signifies a state of truth with delight also conjoined after combat, is evident from the signification of "going out," namely, from service, as being the state after combat (n. 8975); and from the signification of "a woman," as being the conjoined delight (n. 8979). From all this it is evident who were here represented by menservants, namely, they who are in the faith of the doctrinal things of their church, and not in the corresponding good, but in a delight which counterfeits the corresponding good. Their service with their master signifies their state before they can be admitted into heaven, and their going out from service signifies their state when they are received into heaven. But as they are merely in the faith of the doctrinal things of their church, and not in the corresponding good, thus not in the truth of good, that is, in the faith of charity, therefore they cannot be admitted further into heaven than to the entrance of it. For they who are in the entrance to heaven communicate by the truth which is of faith with those who are in heaven, and by delight conjoined with truth with those who are outside of heaven no otherwise than as do the skins or coats which encompass the body, which by the sense of touch communicate with the world, and by a fibrous connection, with the life of the soul in the body. From this it is that they who are in the entrance to heaven, and are represented by the Hebrew servants, are called "the cuticulars" in the Grand Man (n. 5552-5559). But such are of as many genera and species as are the cuticles or coats in the body; for there are those which encompass the whole body; there are those which encompass the interiors in general, as the peritoneum, the pleura, the pericardium; and there are those which specifically encompass each of the viscera therein. All are relatively things of service.
AC 8981. If his master shall give him a woman. That this signifies good from the spiritual adjoined to truth while in combat, is evident from the signification of "master," as here being the spiritual; for by "master" is here meant some one of the sons of Israel, and by the "sons of Israel" are signified those who are true men of the spiritual church, that is, who do what is good from the affection which is of love, or what is the same, from charity. That "the sons of Israel" denote the men of the spiritual church, (n. 6426, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062, 7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 7957, 8234, 8805); consequently by the same in the abstract sense are signified spiritual truths and goods, (n. 5414, 5801, 5803, 5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5833, 5879). From this it is that by "master" is here signified the spiritual. And from the signification of "giving him a woman," as being to adjoin good to truth; for "to give," when said of a woman, denotes to adjoin, and "a manservant" denotes one who is in the truth of doctrine and not in the corresponding good (n. 8974); and "a woman" denotes delight (n. 8980), but here good, because it is given (that is, adjoined) from the spiritual; for all that which comes from the spiritual is called "good," because the spiritual itself is the good of charity. That "a woman" denotes good, (n. 915, 2517, 4823, 6014, 8337). The reason why it denotes in combat, is that it is said that if his master have given him a woman, at the end of his service the woman should be the master‘s. From this it is evident that the woman was the manservant’s while he was in service, and not afterward; thus while in combat, and not after combat; for by the service of six years is signified labor and combat (n. 8975).
 Who cannot see that in this statute there is a secret which cannot be known except by him to whom it has been revealed? For in the external form it appears contrary to Divine justice that a woman given to a manservant should remain the master‘s when the servant went out from service, seeing that a woman ought to be her man’s forever. Of the same character are also many other things that were commanded the sons of Israel by Jehovah, as that they should ask of the Egyptians vessels of gold and of silver, and garments, and thus should spoil them; besides other things of a similar nature spoken of in their places. But although, as has been said, in the outward form these things appear contrary to Divine justice, they nevertheless are not so, for they flow from the laws of Divine order in the heavens, which laws are the very laws themselves of justice; but these laws are not clear unless they are unfolded from the sense of the letter by means of the internal sense. The law from which this statute flows is that spiritual good cannot be conjoined with those who are in the externals of the church from infancy, but can only be adjoined to them so long as they‘ are in combat, and that after combat it recedes.
 That it may be clear how the case herein is (for it is a secret), it shall be briefly explained. They who from infancy have thought little about eternal life, thus about the salvation of their soul, but only of worldly life and its prosperity, and yet have lived a good moral life, and have also believed in the truths of the doctrine of their church, when they come to more adult age, cannot be reformed otherwise than by the adjoining of spiritual good when they are in combat; but still they do not retain this good, but only confirm the truths of their doctrine by means of it. The reason why they are of this character is that in their past life they have indulged worldly loves; and when these loves have been rooted in, they do not suffer spiritual good to be conjoined with truth, because these loves are altogether repugnant to that good. Nevertheless spiritual good can take possession of the thought when these loves become inactive, as is the case when they are in anxiety, in misfortunes, and in sicknesses, and the like. Then the affection of welldoing from charity flows in, but this affection serves only for confirming and rooting in more deeply the truths of doctrine; but it cannot be conjoined with truth. The reason is that this influent affection of charity fills only the intellectual part of the mind, but does not enter into its will part, and that which does not enter into the will part is not appropriated, thus is not conjoined, because the conjunction of good and truth with man is effected when truth enters the will; consequently when the man wills truth, and from willing does it. Then for the first time truth becomes good, or what is the same, faith becomes charity.
 This cannot be effected with those who from infancy have indulged the loves of the world, and yet are in the truth of the doctrine of their church; for their will part is possessed by these loves, which are wholly in opposition to and reject spiritual good. They merely admit this into the intellectual part of the mind, that is, into the thought, when these loves are dormant, which is the case, as said above, in a state of sickness or of misfortune, or in anxiety, consequently in labor, and in some combat. This is the secret which lies hidden in this statute. And as this statute was thus representative of the law of Divine order with respect to those who are in the truth of doctrine and not in the corresponding good, therefore in the representative church it was in agreement with Divine justice, even in the external form.
AC 8982. And she bear him sons or daughters. That this signifies the truths and goods thence derived, is evident from the signification of "sons," as being truths (n. 489, 491, 535, 1147, 2803, 2813, 3373, 3704, 4257); and from the signification of "daughters," as being goods (n. 489-491, 2362, 3024). That derived truths and goods are signified is plain, because by the woman who is the mother of whom they are born, is signified spiritual good (n. 8981), and in the internal sense by "births" are signified derivations (n. 1330, 3263, 3279).
AC 8983. The woman and her children shall be his master’s. That this signifies that good adjoined to truth by the spiritual, together with the truths and goods thence derived, shall not be appropriated to truth, is evident from the signification of "the woman," as being spiritual good adjoined to truth when in combat (n. 8981); from the signification of "children," as being derived truths and goods (n. 8982); and from the signification of "shall be his master‘s," as being that they shall belong to the spiritual from which they are, and not to truth, for "the master" denotes the spiritual, (n. 8981), and "the manservant," truth without the corresponding good, (n. 8974); consequently that they shall not be appropriated to this truth. For in the internal sense by "man and woman" is signified the conjunction of truth and good, because marriage on earth represents the heavenly marriage which is that of good and truth; and moreover conjugial love corresponds to this marriage (n. 2727-2759, 2803).
 But between a manservant and a woman given him by his master there is no marriage, but only a coupling like that of a concubine with a man, which coupling does not correspond to the heavenly marriage; and therefore it is dissolved when the manservant goes forth, for then the woman together with the children become the master’s. The reason why such a coupling takes place, is that the truth which is represented by the manservant is in the external man, and the good which is represented by the woman is in the internal man; and the good of the internal man cannot be conjoined with the truth of the external unless conjunction has been previously effected in the internal man. This cannot be done, because the manservant represents the merely external man who has not the corresponding good, and to whom it cannot be appropriated. That the good of the internal man cannot be conjoined with the truth of the external unless conjunction has been first effected in the internal man, can be seen from what has been already said about the regeneration of man (n. 3321, 3469, 3493, 3573, 3616, 3882, 4353); for regeneration is the conjunction of good and truth.
AC 8984. And he shall go out in his body. That this signifies the state after combat, which is merely one of confirmed and implanted truth, is evident from the signification of "going out," namely, from service, as being the state after combat (n. 8980); and from the signification of "in his body," as being with truth without good (n. 8977, 8978). The reason why it denotes a state of confirmed and implanted truth, is that this is signified by "going out in the seventh year" (n. 8976), and here that spiritual good, which is represented by the woman, had served to confirm that truth, and also to implant new truth (n. 8981).
AC 8985. And if saying the servant shall say. That this signifies thought then from the implanted truth, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being thought (n. 7094, 7107, 7244); and from the signification of "manservant," as being truth without the corresponding good (n. 8974); here, this truth confirmed and implanted, because it is said of that servant when he was about to go forth (n. 8984). It is said that "manservant" denotes truth, but there is meant the man who is in truth without the corresponding good. The reason why truth is called a "manservant," and not the man who is in such truth, is that abstract speech, that is, speech separate from man, is angelic speech. For in heaven they think about a thing apart from the person, because when the person also is there thought of, the society which is in the thing in question is excited, and thus the thought is determined thither, and is fixed. For in heaven where the thought is, there the presence is; and presence would bend to itself the thoughts of those who are in the society, and would thus disturb the influx from the Divine there. It is otherwise when they think abstractedly about a thing; in this case the thought diffuses itself in every direction according to the heavenly form which the influx proceeding from the Divine produces, and this without the disturbance of any society. For it insinuates itself into the general spheres of the societies, and in this case does not touch or move anyone in the society; thus does not divert anyone from the freedom of thinking according to the influx from the Divine. In a word, abstracted thought can pervade the whole heaven without stopping anywhere; but thought determined to person, or to place, is fixed and stays.
AC 8986. I love my master, my woman, and my children. That this signifies the delight of the remembrance of spiritual goods, is evident from the signification of "loving," as here being the delight of remembrance; from the signification of "master," as being the spiritual good which is the source (n. 8981); from the signification of "woman," as being the good that is adjoined from the spiritual (n. 8981); and from the signification of "children," as being the goods and truths thence derived (n. 8982); consequently by "master, woman, and children," taken together, are signified spiritual goods. That the delight of the remembrance of such goods is signified by "loving," is because they who were represented by the Hebrew menservants are those who within the church are in truths of doctrine and not in good in accordance with these truths (n. 8974, 8976). Such cannot be affected with truth for the sake of good, but for the sake of delight; and therefore by "loving," here, because it is said of such, is signified the delight of remembrance.
AC 8987. I will not go out free. That this signifies the delight of obedience, is evident from the signification of "going out free," as being the state after combat, which is merely a state of confirmed and implanted truth (n. 8976, 8980, 8984); for the service, which was of six years, and is called "a week" in (Genesis 29:27, 28), signifies labor or some combat, such as those have who are in truths and not in the corresponding good, and who in the spiritual sense are meant by the "Hebrew menservants." These are of such a nature that they cannot be regenerated, but only reformed. For to be regenerated is said of those who suffer themselves to be brought by the Lord, by means of the truths called the truths of faith, to the good of spiritual life; but to be reformed is said of those who cannot be brought to the good of spiritual life by means of the truths which are of faith; but only to the delight of natural life.
 They who suffer themselves to be regenerated, act from affection according to the precepts of faith; but they who do not suffer themselves to be regenerated, but only to be reformed, do not act from affection, but from obedience. The difference is this. They who act from affection, act from the heart, and thus from freedom, and they also do truth for the sake of truth, and good for the sake of good, and thus they exercise charity for the sake of the neighbor; but they who act from obedience do not thus act from the heart, consequently not from freedom. If they seem to themselves to act from the heart and from freedom, it is for the sake of something of self-glory which causes it to be so perceived; and they do not do truth for the sake of truth, nor good for the sake of good, but for the sake of the delight arising from this glory. Thus they do not practice charity toward the neighbor for the sake of the neighbor, but in order to be seen, and in order to be recompensed. From this it is evident who and of what quality are they who are represented by the sons of Israel, and who and of what quality are they who are represented by the Hebrew menservants.
 But within the church at this day the knowledge of this distinction has been lost. The reason is that the church at this day is proclaimed and said to be from faith and not from charity; and few know what faith is; most persons believing that faith consists in knowing those things which the doctrine of the church teaches, and in being persuaded that they are true; but not that it consists in living according to them. Life according to them they call "moral life," which they separate from the doctrine of the church, and entitle it Moral Theology. But the learned believe that faith is confidence or trust that they are saved by the Lord‘s having suffered for them, and redeemed them from hell; and they say that those are saved who have this confidence; thus by faith alone. But such persons do not consider that there cannot be the confidence of faith, except with those who live a life of charity.
 These are the reasons why knowledge has been lost concerning the difference between those who are in truths of faith and not in the corresponding good of life, and those who are in good of life corresponding with the truths of faith; and because this knowledge has been lost, what has now been said about those who are in truths and not in good, who are signified by "the Hebrew menservants," cannot but appear strange.
AC 8988. Then his master shall bring him unto God. That this signifies a state into which he then enters according to Divine order, is evident from the signification of "bringing unto God," when those are treated of who are in truths and cannot be in good, as being to cause them to enter into a state according to Divine order; for by "bringing unto" is signified to enter; and by "God" is signified Divine order. That these things are signified is plain from what follows in this verse, in which is described the state of those who are in truths and not in the corresponding good, namely, that it is a state of perpetual obedience. For they who are in this state are in servitude relatively to those who are in good that corresponds with truths; because as these latter act from good, they act from affection; and they who act from affection, act from the will, thus of themselves; for whatsoever is of the will with man is his own, seeing that the being of man’s life is his will. But they who act merely from obedience do not act from their will, but from the will of their master; thus not from themselves, but from another; and therefore they are relatively in servitude. To act from truths, and not from good, is to act solely from the intellectual part; for truths bear relation to the intellectual part, and goods to the will part; and to act from the intellectual part, and not from the will part, is to act from that which stands without and serves, because the understanding has been given to man to receive truths, and to introduce them into the will, that they may become goods; for truths are called goods when they become of the will
 But to serve the Lord, by doing according to His commandments, and thus by obeying Him, is not to be a servant, but is to be free, for the veriest freedom of man consists in being led of the Lord (n. 892, 905, 2870, 2872), because the Lord inspires into the very will of man the good from which he is to act, and though it is from the Lord, still it is perceived as if it were from self, thus from freedom. This freedom is possessed by all who are in the Lord, and it is conjoined with inexpressible happiness.
 The term "God" here denotes Divine order, because in the Word "God" is named where truth is treated of, and "Jehovah" where good is treated of (n. 2769, 2807, 2822, 3921, 4402, 7010, 7268, 8867); and therefore in the supreme sense the Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Lord is "God," and His Divine good from which the Divine truth proceeds is "Jehovah." The reason is that the Divine good is Being itself, and the Divine truth is the derivative Coming-forth; for that which proceeds comes forth by so doing. The case is similar with good and truth in heaven, or with the angels, and also in the church with men. The good there is being itself, and the truth is the derivative coming-forth; or what is the same, love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are the very being of heaven and of the church, but faith is the derivative coming-forth. From this it is clear whence it is that "God" denotes also Divine order, for it is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord which makes order in heaven, insomuch that Divine truth is order itself. That Divine truth is order, (n. 1728, 1919, 7995, 8700). And therefore when a man or an angel receives Divine truth from the Lord in good, there is with him the order which is in the heavens, consequently he is a heaven or kingdom of the Lord in particular; and this in the degree in which he is in good from truths, and afterward in the degree in which he is in truths from good; and-what is a secret- the angels themselves appear in a human form in the heavens absolutely according to the truths which pertain to them in good, with a beauty and brightness according to the quality of the good from truths. As to their souls so also do the men of the church appear in heaven. It is the Divine truth itself proceeding from the Lord that leads to this, as can be seen from what has been shown about heaven as the Grand Man, and about its correspondence with everything in my, at the end of many chapters.
 This secret is what is meant by these words of John in the Apocalypse:--
He measured the wall of the holy Jerusalem, a hundred and forty and four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel (Rev. 21:17);
who can possibly understand these words that does not know what is signified by "the holy Jerusalem;" what by "the wall" thereof; what by a "measure;" what by "the number one hundred and forty and four;" and thus what by "a man, that is, an angel?" By "the new and holy Jerusalem" is signified the New Church of the Lord which is at this lay about to succeed the Christian Church (n. 2117); by "the wall" are signified the truths of faith which will defend that church (n. 6419); by "measuring" and "the measure" is signified its state as to truth (n. 3104); by the number "one hundred and forty and four" is signified the like as by "twelve," for one hundred and forty-four is a number compounded of twelve multiplied into twelve. That by these numbers are signified all truths in the complex, (n. 7973). From this it is clear what is signified by "the measure of a man, that is, of an angel," namely, truth itself proceeding from the Lord in its own form, which as before said is the form of an angel man in heaven. All this makes clear the secret involved in the above words, namely, that by them are described the truths of that Church which is to succeed the Christian Church existing at this day.
 That these are truths from good is described in the next following verse in these words:--The building of the wall thereof was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like to pure glass (verse 18); by "jasper" is signified truth such as will be the truth of that church, for by stones in general are signified truths (n. 1298, 3720, 6426), and by "precious stones," truths which are from the Lord (n. 643); by "gold" is signified the good of love and of wisdom (n. 113, 1551, 1552, 5658). Who could ever foresee that such things are involved in the above words? and who cannot see from this that innumerable arcana lie hidden in the Word, which in no wise appear to anyone except through the internal sense? and that by this sense, as by a key, are opened truths Divine such as are in heaven, consequently heaven and the Lord Himself, who, in the inmost sense, is the all in all of the Word.
AC 8989. And he shall bring him to the door, or unto the door post. That this signifies a state of communication of truth confirmed and implanted with spiritual good, is evident from the signification of a "door," as being the introduction of truth to good (n. 2356, 2385), here of truth confirmed and implanted, which is signified by a Hebrew manservant after a service of six years (n. 8976, 8984), and as "a door" denotes introduction, it also denotes communication, for one room communicates with another by means of a door; and from the signification of "door-post," as being the conjunction of such truth with good, for a door-post stands between two rooms and joins them together. Who cannot see that this ritual for the menservants who remain contains in it some secret, and indeed a Divine one? for it was dictated and commanded by Jehovah from Mount Sinai. They who do not believe that there is anything more holy and Divine in the Word than that which appears in the letter, must needs wonder that these and many other things contained in this chapter and in the following chapters were dictated by Jehovah in a living voice; for in the letter they appear to be such things as are contained in the laws of nations as this concerning menservants that one who did not wish to go forth from service should be brought to a door or to a door-post, and should have his ear bored through with an awl by his master. In the sense of the latter this does not savor of anything Divine; nevertheless it is most Divine; but this does not appear except through the internal sense. The internal sense is that they who are in there truths and not in the corresponding good, but yet are in the delight of the remembrance of spiritual goods (n. 8986, 898), have some communication and conjunction with spiritual good.
 This was represented by the ear of the servant being bored through at a door or at a door-post by his master; for "a door" denotes communication, and "a door-post" conjunction; the "ear" denotes obedience; and boring it through with an awl is representative of the state in which he would remain. Thus do the angels perceive these things who are with a man who is reading this word. For the angels do not think of a door or of a door-post, nor of an ear and its boring, nor even of a manservant; but instead thereof they think of the aforesaid communication and conjunction. For the angels are in the understanding of such things, because they are in light; and the things presented to them are spiritual and heavenly, not natural and worldly as are the things contained in the sense of the letter of the Word; for the sense of the letter of the Word is natural and worldly, but its internal sense is spiritual and heavenly; the literal sense is for men, the internal sense is for the angels, consequently there is a communication and conjunction of heaven with man by means of the Word.
 In order that the arcana which are contained in this procedure with menservants that remain with their master may be opened still further, it must be told whence it is that "a door" and "a door-post" signify communication and conjunction. Angels and spirits have habitations which appear quite like those which are in the world (n. 1116, 1626-1628, 1631, 4622), and-what is a secret each and all things that appear in their habitations are significative of spiritual things; for they flow forth from the spiritual things which are in heaven, and which are consequently in their minds. Communications of truth with good are there presented to view by means of doors, and conjunctions by means of door-posts, and other things by the rooms themselves, by the courts, by the windows, and by the various adornments. That this is so, a man at this day, especially one who is merely natural, cannot believe, because such things are not manifest to the senses of the body. Nevertheless that such things were seen by the prophets when their interiors had been opened into heaven, is evident from the Word. They have also been perceived and seen by me a thousand times. I have moreover frequently heard them say, when their thoughts were in communication with me, that "the doors of their rooms were opened," and when they did not communicate, that they "were closed."
 From this it is that mention is made of "doors" in the Word, where communication is treated of, as in Isaiah:--
Go, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy door after thee; hide thyself as for a little moment, until the anger be overpast (Isa 26:20);
"to shut the door after one‘s self until the anger be overpast" denotes no communication with evils, which are "the anger" (n. 3614, 5034, 5798, 6358, 6359, 6997, 8284, 8483). In Malachi:--
Shall He receive faces from you? said Jehovah Zebaoth. Who is there even among you that would rather shut the door? and not kindle a light upon Mine altar in vain (Mal. 1:9, 10);
"to shut the doors" denotes not to communicate with holy or Divine things. In Zechariah:--
Open thy doors O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars (Zech. 11:1);
"to open the doors" denotes to afford a passage or communication.
 In David:--
He commanded the skies from above; He set open the doors of the heavens (Ps. 78:23);
"to set open the doors of the heavens" denotes to give communication with the truths and goods which are from the Lord in the heavens. Again:--
I have chosen to stand at the door in the house of my God, rather than dwell in the tents of wickedness (Ps. 84:10);
"to stand at the door" denotes to communicate abroad with good, which is "the house of God" (n. 3720). Again:--
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; be ye lifted up, ye door of the world; that the King of glory may come in (Ps. 24:7, 9);
"the doors of the world being lifted up" denotes the opening and elevation of hearts to the Lord, who is "the King of glory," and so to give communication, that is, that He may flow in with the good of charity and with the truth of faith. The Lord is called "the King of glory" from the truth which is from good.
 In Isaiah:--
Jehovah said to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings: to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I Jehovah, who have called thee by thy name, am the God of Israel (Isa. 45:1-3);
speaking of the Lord as to His Human, who in the representative sense is "Cyrus;" to "open the doors before him" denotes to give entrance to the Divine Itself. Hence it is that even as to His Human He is called "God," here "the God of Israel."
 In John:--
Behold I have set before thee an open door, which no one can shut; for thou hast a little power, and hast kept My word (Rev. 3:8);
"to set an open door" denotes communication with heaven. In the same:--
Alter these things I saw, and behold a door opened In heaven. I heard, Come up hither, that I may show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter (Rev. 4:1);
here "a door" plainly denotes communication, because it is said of the revelation which he was about to receive from heaven. From this also it is plain that communication is there represented by a door, as was said above. In the same:--
Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if anyone hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and lie with Me (Rev. 3:20);
here also "a door" plainly denotes entrance and communication with heaven, where the Lord is, and thus with the Lord.
 In like manner in Matthew:--
The bridegroom came, and the virgins went in to the wedding, and the door was shut. At last came the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:10-12);
what these words signify in the internal sense, see at (n. 4635-4638), namely, that "the virgins" denote those who are within the church; "to have oil in their lamps" denotes the good of charity in the truths of faith; and "not to have oil in their lamps" denotes to have the truths of faith, and no good of charity therein; to these latter the door is said to be "shut," because they do not communicate with heaven, that is, through heaven with the Lord. Communication with heaven, and through heaven, is effected by means of the good of charity and of love, but not truths, which are called the truths of faith, without good therein; and therefore these latter a re called "foolish virgins," but the former "prudent virgins."
 So in Luke:--
Many shall seek to enter, but shall not he able. From the time when the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, then shall ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but He answering will say to you, I know you not whence ye are. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast ought in our streets. But He shall say to you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:24-27);
here also "a door" plainly denotes entrance and communication, as above. That they to whom the door is shut and who knock thereat and are not let in, are those who are in truths of faith from the Word and not in the good of charity, is signified by "eating and drinking in the presence of the Lord and hearing the Lord teach in the streets," and yet not living the life of faith; for they who do not live this life are "workers of iniquity."
 In John:--
Verily, verily, I say into you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. I am the door; by Me if anyone shall enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:1, 2, 9);
"to enter in by the door" denotes by the truth which is of faith to the good of charity and of love, thus to the Lord, for the Lord is good itself; He is also the truth which introduces, thus likewise the "door," for faith is from Him.
 That by "a door" is signified communication, appears like a metaphorical way of speaking, or like a comparison; but in the Word there are no metaphorical expressions or comparisons, but real correspondences. Even the comparisons therein are made by such things as correspond, as can be seen from what has been said about a door, namely, that doors actually appear in heaven with angels and spirits, and that their opening and shutting are according to the communications. And so in everything else.
AC 8990. And his master shall bore through his ear with his awl. That this signifies a representative of obedience, is evident from the signification of "the ear," as being obedience (n. 2542, 3869, 4551, 4652-4660) and from the signification of "boring through with an awl," namely, to the door, or to the door-post, as being to affix; here, as obedience is treated of, as being to assign; and therefore it follows that "he shall serve him forever," that is, shall be obedient. From this it is plain that the boring through of the ear with an awl to the door or to the door-post by his master is representative of obedience.
 How the case herein is, can be seen from what precedes, namely, that they who are in truths alone, and not in the corresponding good, that is, who are in faith and not in charity, are not free, but are servants. For they who act from good, or charity, are free, because they act from themselves; for to act from good, or charity, is to act from the heart, that is, from the will, thus from what is one’s own; for that which is of the will belongs to the man, and that which is done from the will is said to go forth from the heart. But they who are only in the truths of faith and not in the good of charity, are relatively servants, for they do not act from themselves, because they have no good in themselves from which to act; but it is outside of themselves, and they act from it as often as they remember it. They who are of this character even to the end of life, remain after death in this state; and they cannot be brought to a state so as to act from the affection of charity, thus from good, but only from obedience. In the Grand Man, which is heaven, these persons constitute those things which serve the interiors, such as the membranes and skins (n. 8977, 8980).
 From all this it can be seen how the case is with faith alone, thus with those who from doctrine set faith in the first place, and the good of charity in the second place, and even in the last place. They who actually, that is, in the life itself, so regard faith, are Hebrew servants in the representative sense. From all this it may also be concluded how the case is with those who make everything of salvation to consist in the truths of faith, and nothing in the good of charity; namely, that actually, or in the life itself, they cannot enter into heaven; for good reigns in heaven, and not truth without good; neither is truth truth, nor faith faith, except with those who are in good.
 That the boring through of the ear with an awl by his master is representative of obedience, is plain also from the fact that to affix the ear to the door is to cause attention to be given to those things which his master, who is in the room, commands; thus it is to hear continually, and consequently to obey; here in the spiritual sense the things which good wills and commands, for by the master of the servant is represented spiritual good (n. 8981, 8986). As "the ear" signifies the hearing which is of obedience, therefore by virtue of an origin coming from the spiritual world there has flowed into human speech the expression, "to pinch the ear," meaning to cause a person to be attentive, and to remember; in like manner the expressions "to hear," and "to hearken to," anyone, meaning to obey. For the interior sense of very many expression‘s has flowed from the spiritual world by virtue of correspondences; in like manner as when we speak of "spiritual light," and the consequent "sight," as denoting what is of faith; also of "spiritual fire," and the consequent" life," as denoting what is of love.
 The reason why the boring through of the ear was to be done with an awl, was because by an "awl" is signified the like as by a "peg," or a "nail," namely, an affixing or joining to, and in the spiritual sense an assignment to anything; but the awl was an instrument of service, and therefore serves to represent assignment to perpetual obedience on the part of the servant. That "pegs" or "nails" signify an affixing, or adjoining to, is evident from the passages where they are mentioned; as in (Isa. 22:23; 33:20; 41:7; 54:2; Jer. 10:4; Exod. 27:19; 38:31; Num. 3:37;4:32.
AC 8991. And he shall serve him forever. That this signifies to eternity, is evident from the signification of "serving," as being to obey, for servants are they who obey, and masters are they who command; that those who were represented by the menservants denote those who have done what is good from obedience, but not from the affection of charity, is evident from what precedes; and from the signification of "forever," as being to eternity. In the sense of the letter "forever" here signifies service with his master even to the end of his life; but in the internal or spiritual sense it signifies what is eternal, because it signifies the state after death. It is said "to eternity," because they who do what is good from the obedience of faith, and not from the affection of charity, who are represented by the menservants, in the other life can never be brought to a state of good, that is, to act from good; because everyone’s life remains after death. Such as a man is when he dies, such he remains; according to the common saying, "as the tree falls so it lies;" not that he is such as he is near the hours of death, but such as from the whole course of his life he is when he dies. And therefore they who during their life in the world have become habituated to doing what is good from obedience only, and not from charity, remain such to eternity. They are indeed perfected in respect to obedience; but they do not attain to anything of charity. EXODUS 21:2-6 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|