Spiritual Meaning of EXODUS 22:15-16
AC 9181. Verses 15, 16. When a man shall persuade a virgin who is not betrothed, and shall lie with her, endowing he shall endow her to himself for a woman. If refusing her father shall refuse to give her to him, he shall pay silver according to the dowry of virgins. "When a man shall persuade a virgin who is not betrothed," signifies good not conjoined with truth: "and shall lie with her," signifies unlawful conjunction; "endowing he shall endow her to himself for a woman," signifies a token of consent to a lawful conjunction; "if refusing her father shall refuse to give her to him," signifies if interior good does not allow conjunction; "he shall pay silver according to the dowry of virgins," signifies other truth consenting in its place.
AC 9182. When a man shall persuade a virgin who is not betrothed. That this signifies good not conjoined with truth, is evident from the signification of "persuading," when said of a man and a virgin, as being to entice to conjunction; from the signification of "a man (vir)" as being truth (n. 3134, 7716, 9007); from the signification of "a virgin," as being the church as to good (n. 3081, 4638), thus the good which is the church; and from the signification of "to be betrothed," as being conjunction. It shall here be briefly stated what is the cause and the origin of the law relating to unlawful conjunction that is here treated of. All the laws delivered to the sons of Israel have their cause in heaven, and their origin in the laws of order there. All the laws of order in heaven are from the Divine truth and good which proceed from the Lord, consequently they are the laws of the good of love and truth of faith. The conjunction of good and truth in heaven is called the heavenly marriage, and this is represented in marriages on earth, and is also signified by "marriages" in the Word. From this it is plain what is involved in unlawful conjunctions, and also in scortations and adulteries. In these two verses an unlawful conjunction is treated of which is afterward either made lawful or is dissolved. The unlawful conjunction which afterward is made lawful, is the subject treated of in this verse; and the unlawful conjunction which afterward is dissolved, is the subject treated of in the following verse.
 Unlawful conjunction is that which is not made from conjugial affection; but from some other affection, as the affection of beauty, the affection of gain, or the affection of personal rank; and also which is made from lasciviousness. In the beginning these conjunctions are unlawful, because that which conjoins is external, and not at the same time internal. Nevertheless a lawful conjunction may afterward be effected from them as means, which takes place when the minds are conjoined; and on the other hand no conjunction may result from them, as is the case when the minds are disjoined. That this is so, is generally known in the world.
 Lawful conjunction, which is that of minds, is effected when both are in the like good and truth; for good and truth make a man‘s life; moral and civil good and truth, the life of the external man; and spiritual good and truth, the life of the internal man. Be it known that a man’s life is from no other source than good and truth, for all that a man loves is called good, and all that he believes is called truth; or, what is the same, all that a man wills is called good, and all that he understands is called truth. From this it is evident that a lawful conjunction is effected when the husband is in truth, and the wife is in the corresponding good, for in this way the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth, is represented in the pair. From this it is that conjugial love descends from this marriage (n. 2727-2759, 2803, 3132, 4434, 4835).
 From these as premises it can be known how the case is with the conjunctions treated of in this verse and the following one. Betrothals before marriage have been in use from ancient times, and represented the first conjunction, which is that of the internal man apart from the external. The subsequent marriages themselves represented the second conjunction, which is that of the internal man with the external; for during man‘s regeneration by means of the goods and truths of faith, the internal man is first regenerated, and afterward the external, because the latter is regenerated by the former (n. 3286, 3321, 3493, 3882, 8746).
 From this it is evident what is signified in the Word by "betrothing" and by "being betrothed," and also what by "bridegroom" and "bride;" namely, by "betrothing" is signified the conjunction of truth and good in the internal man; by "bridegroom" (where the Lord and the church are treated of) is signified good; and by "bride," truth: as in the following passages. In Jeremiah:--
I remembered for thee the mercy of thy youth, the love of thy betrothals, when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown (Jer. 2:2);
speaking of the Ancient Church and of its being set up by the Lord; "the love of betrothals" denotes the affection of spiritual life, which is from the truths of faith and the good of love; and the state of desire, when as yet they were in ignorance and in want of these things, is signified by "going after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown."
 In Hosea:--
In that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild animal of the field, and with the bird of the heavens, and the creeping thing of the earth; and I will break the bow and the sword and the war; and I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness and in judgment, and in mercy, and in compassions (Hosea 2:18, 19);
the setting up of a new church is here treated of; "to make a covenant with the wild animal of the field, with the bird of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the earth," denotes the conjunction of the Lord through the internal and external good and truth in a man. That "a covenant" denotes conjunction, (n. 665, 666, 1023, 1038, 1864, 1996, 2003, 2021, 6804, 8767, 8778); "the wild animal of the field" denotes life from good (n. 841, 908); "the bird" denotes the life of truth (n. 40, 745, 776, 991, 3219, 5149, 7441); "the creeping thing of the earth" denotes the goods and truths of the external and sensuous man (n. 746, 909); "to break the bow, and the sword, and the war," denotes to destroy the doctrine and the forces of falsity; "the bow" denotes the doctrine of falsity (n. 2686, 2709); "the sword," falsity fighting against truth (n. 2799, 4499, 6353, 7102); "the war" the combat itself, or spiritual combat (n. 1664, 2686, 8273), and "to break" these denotes to destroy them;
 "to betroth in righteousness and in judgment" denotes to be conjoined with the Lord in good and truth; "to betroth" denotes to conjoin with one’s self; "righteousness" is predicated of good, and "judgment" of truth (n. 2235); "to betroth in mercy and in compassions," denotes doing so from love toward those who are in good, and in love toward those who are in truths; the Lord‘s "mercy" is predicated as being directed toward those who are in need of good and who yet long for it; and His "compassions," toward those who are in ignorance of truth and who yet long for it. From all this it is evident that "betrothal" denotes the conjunction of good and truth with a man by the Lord. Everyone can see that such things are here signified; for it is clear even to the perception from merely natural light that Jehovah does not make a covenant with the wild animal of the held, with the bird, and with the creeping thing of the earth; but with those who are in the good and truth of faith, thus with the good and truth in the man; consequently that such things are hidden in this prophecy.
 And in Malachi:--
Judah hath dealt treacherously, for he hath profaned the holiness of Jehovah, in that he hath loved, and hath betrothed to himself, the daughter of a strange god (Mal. 2:11);
"to betroth the daughter of a strange god" denotes to be conjoined with the evil of falsity; "a strange god" denotes falsity (n. 4402, 4544, 7873).
 That where the Lord and the church are treated of, the "bridegroom" denotes good, and the "bride" truth, may be seen in the following passages:--
Jehovah hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom putteth on his headdress, and as a bride adorneth herself with her vessels (Isa. 61:10).
I saw the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2).
The angel said, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the lamb’s wife (Rev. 21:9);
where "the bride" denotes the church.
 In Matthew:--
Jesus said unto the disciples of John, Can the sons of the wedding mourn, so long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast (Matt. 9:15; Luke 5:34, 35);
those are called "sons of the wedding" who are in the truths of the church, and receive good, for the good which is from the Lord is "the bridegroom;" that "the sons of the wedding do not mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them" denotes that they are in a blessed and happy state, thus with the Lord, when they are in truths conjoined with their good; "they shall fast when the bridegroom is taken away from them" denotes that they are in an unhappy state when good is no longer conjoined with truths; this state is the last state of the church, but the former is its first state.
 The like is signified in (Matthew 25:1-12)by the bridegroom whom the ten virgins went forth to meet; for the virgins who had oil in their lamps denote those who have good in their truths, but those who had no oil in their lamps denote those who have no good in their truths (n. 4638); and that "oil" denotes the good of love, (n. 886, 3728, 4582).
 In John:--
John said, I am not the Christ, but I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom‘s voice (John 3:28, 29);
"the bride" denotes the truth of faith of the church; and "the bridegroom" the good of love of the church, both from the Lord; thus they denote the man of the church with whom good has been conjoined with truths. From all this it is also plain what is meant in the internal sense by the "joy" and the "voice of the bridegroom and of the bride" in (Isa. 62:5; Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:11; Rev. 18:23); namely, heaven and the happiness resulting from the conjunction of good and truth with man and angel.
AC 9183. And shall lie with her. That this signifies unlawful conjunction, is evident from the signification of "lying with a virgin not betrothed," as being an unlawful conjunction; for by "being betrothed" is signified the conjunction of the internal man; but by "lying with" is signified the conjunction of the external man (n. 9182).
AC 9184. Endowing he shall endow her to himself for a woman. That this signifies a token of consent to a lawful conjunction, is evident from the signification of a "dowry" and of "endowing," as being a token of consent (n. 4456); and from the signification of "for a woman," as being to a lawful conjunction, for to take anyone for a woman denotes to be lawfully conjoined. In the spiritual sense an unlawful conjunction is the conjunction of truth with an affection from the delight of self-advantage or from the delight of being honored. In such an affection are they who learn the truths of the church for the sake of these delights. But this conjunction does no harm to those who are afterward regenerated by the Lord, for although these affections remain with them, they are subordinated under the affection of truth for the sake of the good of use and of life; and they serve, for they are in the last place, although at first they appeared to be in the first place. For while a man is being regenerated, the order of his life is inverted. In this manner is lawful conjunction made out of unlawful conjunction.
 That this is possible is because the truths which are of faith enter through the hearing, thus through the external man; and the external man relishes only those things which belong to the world and to self, and which are the delights arising from self-advantage and honors. But when the internal man has been opened by means of regeneration, good from the Lord then flows in through it, and adopts and conjoins with itself the truths of faith which have entered through the external man, and according to this conjunction the order is inverted, that is, what had been in the first place is put in the last. The Lord then draws to Himself all things in the man which belong to life, so that they may look upward. The man then regards as ends those things which belong to the Lord and to heaven; and the Lord Himself as the end for the sake of which are all things; and the former things, which are the delights of self-advantage and of honors, he regards as means to this end. It is known that the means derive their life solely from the end, and that apart from the end they have no life. Thus when the delights of self-advantage and of honors have become means, they then have their life from the life which comes from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; for the end for the sake of which they exist is the Lord. When a man is in such an order of life, matters of self-advantage and honors are then blessings to him; whereas if he is in the inverted order, these things are curses to him. That all things are blessings when a man is in the order of heaven, the Lord teaches in Matthew:--
Seek ye first the kingdom of the heavens and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
AC 9185. If refusing her father shall refuse to give her to him. That this signifies if interior good does not allow conjunction, is evident from the signification of "refusing," as being not to allow; from the signification of "giving her to him," that is, "for a woman," as being lawful conjunction (n. 9184); and from the signification of "father," as being good (n. 3703, 3704, 5581, 5902, 6050, 7499, 8328, 8897); and as being interior good, because from interior good as a father, and from interior truth as a mother, are conceived and born exterior truths and goods, which are therefore in the Word called "sons and daughters."
AC 9186. He shall pay silver according to the dowry of virgins. That this signifies other truth consenting in its place, is evident from the signification of "silver," as being truth (n. 1551, 2954, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917); from the signification of "paying," as being substitution in the place of the former, for he who pays a dowry and does not take the virgin gives something else in place of her; and from the signification of "the dowry of virgins," as being a token of consent to conjunction (n. 9184), which token is truth consenting to interior good. For the dowry was fifty pieces of silver given to the father of the girl (Deut. 22:29), and thus denotes truths initiating to full conjunction; for "silver" denotes truth, as shown just above; and "fifty" denotes to the full (n. 2252); here other truths in place of the former, and consenting to good.
 How the case us with these truths is clear from what was shown above; to which is to be added what follows, namely, in order that an unlawful conjunction may become lawful, the good which flows in from the Lord through the internal man, must conjoin with itself the truth which enters through the external man, that is, through its hearing. If this truth does not agree with that good, then in place of it there has to be substituted some other truth which does agree; that is, which consents to conjunction.
 This might be illustrated by examples; but as the conjunction of good and truth is enveloped in thick darkness on account of the good of love having been removed from the truths of faith, and rejected behind the truths, and almost behind the back, this subject will not become any clearer by examples. In general no one can apprehend the internal sense of the Word, and thus the things of angelic wisdom, unless he knows and understands that each and all things in heaven bear relation to good and truth; and that nothing exists there except from the one of these conjoined with the other. Hence it is that those are in darkness who separate the one from the other, namely, the truth which is of faith from the good which is of charity, as do those who say that a man is saved by faith alone, that is, by the mere confidence which is of faith. As these persons ascribe all things to faith, and nothing to charity, they cannot possibly apprehend anything about those heavenly things which are in the internal sense of the Word; for they are in darkness concerning good, thus also in darkness concerning the conjunction of good and truth; and consequently concerning truth itself, for this is then involved in the same darkness. Hence arise mental wanderings and heresies so many and so great. They who are enlightened in respect to truths, are the few who are in the doctrine, and at the same time in the life, of truth.
 Let those who are in faith alone know that all the ideas of thought of the angels who are in the second heaven, and are called spiritual, are from truths which have become goods by life; and that all the ideas of thought of the angels who are in the third heaven, and are called celestial, are from good; and that therefore these latter are in wisdom itself, concerning which, of the Lord’s Divine mercy, wonderful things shall be told elsewhere.EXODUS 22:15-16 previous - next - text - summary - Exodus - Full Page
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